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mous sum of $20,150 was allowed, are not indicated in any ment of a steamboat line by contract for the purpose of car. report made to Congress. In the report of the 18th of frying the mail: the whole frame and language of the secApril, 1832, the contract is set down at $14,950, and no tion forbids it. " The Postmaster General is authorized to thing is any where said to to the public of increased ser have the mail carried in any steamboat wbich shall be vice or increased compensation. The extra amount thus used as a packet.” He may avail himself of such means paid on this contract, without legal warrant or adequate of transportation when he finds it already existing, but he consideration, during its continuance four years, is 80,600 is not authorized to incur the expense of providing it. dollars, besides the $3,150 a year paid for the express The law also provides that he shall not pay more than mail on the same line.
three cents for each letter, nor more than half a cent for In the above case, it will be perceived that the con- each newspaper so carried-a restriction wholly inconsistract is, in the aggregate, for eleven mail routes; so inter- tent with the supposition that he had power to get up weaving and complicating the transaction as to render it steamboat lines by contract for the transportation of the exceedingly difficult to unravel it, and to find whether mail. And the reason that this is not permitted is obvithe bids at which the routes were struck off are the most ous: the expense of getting up a steamboat line, by confavorable for the Department; and still more difficult is it tract, for the transportation of the mail, is enormously disto ascertain the reality of any alleged improvements, proportioned to the object; while, at the same time, the and their actual value, if they exist. The same objection Department may avail itself most alvantageously of an occurs in numerous cases. Improvements are said to be existing line of packets for the cheap and expeditious made by expediting on one route, changing the schedule transportation of the mail. The fifth section of the act, on another, and ordering additional trips on a third; so above referred to, is a transcript of the third section of that a single contract is, in this manner, rendered so com the act of the 27th of February, 1815. And while the plex as to require the labor of several days to reduce it last-named act was in force, it was thought expedient by to its elements, and ascertain its true condition.
thie Department to contract for carrying the mail from E. Porter & Co. are contractors for carrying the mail New Orleans to Louisville hy steamboats; but, as the from Staunton, in Virginia, to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, power was not supposed to be conferred by that law, a three times a week, in four.horse post coaches, from the special act was passed on the 21 March, 1819, authorizing 1st of January, 1831, to the 31st of December, 1834, at such contract, with the express proviso that the wliole exan annual compensation of $7,566.
pense of sending the mail in steambca's should not exceed On this contract, legal and regular in its inception, are that of transporting the same by land. In the steamboat ingrafted extra allowance compensation for extension and contracts made by the present Postmaster General, not private contracts to the enormous yearly sum of $18,156. the slightest attention is paid to the restrictions in either
The two largest of the items which compose this extra of the above-named statutes, and the sum paid for the sum, namely, $2,000 for extending a steamboat mail be. transportation of the mail from Cincinnati to Louisville tween Guyandotte, Virginia, and Cincinnali, Ohio; and consumes greatly more than half the nett revenue receiv$11,000 a year for extending the steamboat mail to Lou- ed by the Department in both those cilies. isville, is, in the opinion of your committee, not only an There is another transaction with the same individual unnecessary and extravagant expenditure of the public which is liable to the same and still stronger objections. funds, but is an act wholly unauthorized by law.
It seems that a person by ihe name of Rhodes under. Every one acquainted with the situation of the country, took to carry the mail from New Orleans to Mobile, but and the course of business between those points, will be failed, and gave up the contract. Afterwards, Messrs. at once satisfied that it is unnecessary. It is wholly im. Stockton and Stokes, James Reeside, and Avery and Pormaterial whether the mail be carried between those points ter, undertook to carry the mail on the same route, three in a two-horse coach or in a steamboat, provided it be car times a week, in steamboats, for $25,000 a year. They ried safely; and the lines on which it was carried before also failed to comply, and their contract was also given the establishment of this roule were ample for that pur. up. Edwin Porter then undertook, by private agreepose. No one travels in stages from Guyandotte to Cin- ment with the Department, to carry the mail daily on that cinnati, or from Cincinnati to Louisville; and the aid of route, in steamboats, for four years, at $40,000 a year; the Department is not necessary to keep up a constant which agreement is still subsisting. Within the last year, and regular communication by steamboats between them. there were 150 failures on this improved line, for which The establishment of this line was therefore unnecessary, the contractor says he is fined on the books of the Deeither for the transportation of the mail or the accommo-partment $6,800; yet no part of this sum appears to have dation of passengers.
been relained out of his pay; on the contrary, he was perIt was also against law. The general act of the 3d day mitted to overdraw very largely, and his draft for $20,000, of March, 1825, reducing into one the several acts regu- accepted by the Postmaster General, and not yet paid, lating the Post Office Department, in its first section, en. was discounted some lime since at New Orleans, to enable acts that the Postmaster General "shall provide for the bim to raise money to go on with the contract, which was carriage of the mail on all post routes that are or may be likely to fail by the unskillulness and inefficiency of his established by law." This clause contains bis whole gen- agent. This contractor (Edwin Porter) is also the bor. eral authority for contracting for the transportation of the rower of large sums of money of Obadiah B. Brownmail, and this does not authorize the setting up of this $3,500 early in the year 1832, and $4,500 in November, line of steamboats, inasmuch as the Ohio river between 1833; making an aggregate loan of $8,000. these points is not a legal mail route. But the authority The waste of money on this contract is enormous. The here exercised may be supposed to be conferred by the nett proceeds of all die postages in the city of New Or. fifth section of the act, which provides “that the Post- leans, and the town of Mobile, are hardly sufficient 10 master General be authorized to have the mail carried in sustain it. The law has been violated by entering into any steamboat, or other vessel which shall be used as a a contract to get up a steamboat line for the transportapacket in any of the waters of the United States, on such tion of the mail, without any regard to legal restrictions. terms and conditions as shall be considered expedi- It was violated by the Department when it entered into a ent, provided that he does not pay more than three cents contract for the transportation of the mail without an adfor each letter, and not more than one-half cent for each vertisement inviting public competition. And there is newspaper conveyed in such mail.” But it is perfectly clear another feature in this and some other cases which your to your committee that this provision of law was never in committee have examined, which, in their opinion, is de. tended to authorize, and does not authorize, the establish- serving of the most decisive condemnation: it is the blend
ing and connecting the fiscal affairs of the Department duced, in consequence of it, but $4,900; with those of individual contractors. Thus, while advan. leaving him an additional yearly allowance cing its funds, and lending its credit to this individual to of
1,900 00 enable him to repair his errors and carry on his contract, For which no service whalever is rendered. the Department itself did, in several cases, call in the aid There is also an extra allowance of $975 made to Wil. of other contractors to assist it in raising money to pay its liam Smith (document 138, page 166) for an extension of ordinary and current expenses. Two instances of this his line from Dobson's cross-roads tó Lexington, North kind are stated in the lestimony of James Reeside. About Carolina. Prior to this arrangement, this mail went on two years ago, he drew a draft of $6,000, at the request the route from Dobson's cross-roads to Salem, and from of the Department, and for its use, and got it negotiated Salem to Lexington, which increased his distance only at the Western Bank of Philadelphia; and some time last seven miles, passing through a very flourishing town. winter he “ arranged" $10,000 through the assistant post. This extension, as it is called, was therefore wholly use. master at New York, for the use of the Department. No less, except so far as it served the convenience of the other cases of the like kind are distinctly in evidence be contractor, and enabled him to draw off upon his newly. fore the committee, but, from general information, they adjusted line the passengers which had theretofore gone believe the practice to have prevailed to a considerable upon the old line of Peck and Wellford. It does not touch extent. Your committee condemn this practice most de- a single post office in the 'wenty-five miles which is not cisively. In their opinion, it is placing the Department also passed on the regular mail route established by law, in an improper and injurious connexion with individuals. The extra allowances made on this route of William As a matter of mere pruderce, independently of the ques. Smith, (doument 119 1830 and 1831,) from Wasbing. tion of power, it should neither venture its own money ton until it unites with the route of Peck and Wellford, at or plighi its credit, to sustain any individual, much less Lexington, North Carolina, was $8,875, as stated in the should it ask pecuniary assistance of its contractors, to report of the 3d of March, 1834. The true sum is beenable it to keep up its i redit. Those contractors should lieved to be larger, but taking that to be the actual amount, be required to do their duty, and they should be asked for the extra allowances exceed the whole neit proceeds of nothing more. Favors are expected to be reciprocal; and postages on that line from Alexandria, where it first diif the Department ask and receive them, it cannot deny verges from the line of Stockton & Co. to Lexington, them when something is asked in return. But the De- where it unites with the line of Peck and Wellford, by partment has placed itself in this undignified relation with more than $2,000, including all the postages of the large its contractors. It has become the acceptor for one to en- towns of Warren, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg: able him to sustaio liis credit and carry on his cout ; ct; E. P. Johnson is the contractor for carrying the mail and it has become the debtur to another for his nam, to on several routes in Indiana, numbered 11, 17, 19, 23, 24, enable it to raise money to answer its own pressing ne. 25, 27, and 41, from the 1st of January, 1830, to the 31st cessities. The relations in which it is thus involved are of December, 1833, at a yearly compensation of $3,300. partly the cause and partly the consequence of its present There are no less than eighleen different modifications and insolvent conduion. The individuals who, variously con- additions to this single contrac!, fo: which he receives in necled and combined, hold extravagant private contracts, the aggregale, yearly, $14,502 18, in addition to what and who receive exira allowances, which exhaust the rev. he receives by contract--amounting in the four years to enues of whole Stites, are the same who lend their credit $58,008 72; and all this by private arrangement, without to keep up the credit of the Department-who furnish advertisement or competition. funds to pay off the di bts and relieve the embaarassments The nett amount of postages received in the State of of its chief officer-who advance large sums of money to Indiana, according to the repori of the Postmaster Gene. enable another of its officers to purchase real estate "at ral of the 28th of February, 1831, was $9,609 67, falla reduced price," and who send presents of chvice wines ing short by $4,892 51 of paying the yearly extra allowto furnish the tables of boih.
ance on this single contract. The increase of the postWilliam Smith is the contractor for carrying the mail from ages during the continuance of the contract will not, in
Washington city to Lyrchbuig, (ilocument 138, page all probability, bring up the receipts to a sum sufficient 157,) 200 miles, three times a week, in four-horse post to discharge ihese extra allowances in the four years by
coaches, at the yearly compensation of $6,000 00 the nett proceeds of postages for the same four years in Ile was allowed for two changes of schedule,
the whole State. the propriety and utilily of which is not
* E. P. Johnson, John Hutchins, Joseph H. Hough, shown, $800 and $300,
1,100 00 William Henny, and J. C. Chiles, are stated in the report For a daily mail from Washington to Warren.
of the Postmaster General of the 18th of April, 1832, ton, fifty-two miles,
1,200 00 (document 212, page 22,) as contractors for carrying the A daily mail from Warrenton to Orange court
mail from Maysville to Louisville daily; from Frankfort to house, forty-four miles,
1,600 Nashville titree times a week; from Louisville tf Nashville And a daily mail from Orange court-house to
six times a week, and from Lexington to Bean station six Lynchburg, 106 miles,
4,000 00 times a week, in four-horse post coaches, at the annual
compensation of $37,760. Making an extra allowance, yearly, of 7,900 00 Your committee called for the bids pursuant to which The four additional trips per week were relin
this contract was made, and they find those that are mark. quished on the 1st December, 1833, in con.
ed accpted as follows: sequence of the insolvency of the Depart.
1731. From Maysville to Louisville daily, ment, and there was deducted from the
in four-horse post coaches, one hun. extra allowance
4,900 00 dred and forty miles; also, from Lex
ington to Frankfort, thirty miles: E. Leaving for no known increase of service, the
P. Johnson's bid, (" accepted and yearly allowance of
$4,500 00 If we admit the change of schedule to be a
1740. From Frankfort, Kentucky, to Nashmeritorious cause for the allowance of 1,100 00 ville, Tennessee, three times a week, The contractor is, in that case, released from
in four-borse post coaches, two lun. all his additional trips, for which he was allowed $6,800, and his compensation is re.
• Nos. 1731, 1740, 1741, 1742, and 1746.
dred and six miles, Hough & Chiles,
of 13,500 dollars. Thus first grouping, and then dividing 1740 and 1741 improved; (" accept
into smaller groups, and confounding one group of coned and executed,”)
7,080 00 tracts with another, until it becomes impracticable to 1746. From Lexington to Bean's station,
trace and reduce to their elements their multiform transone hundred and seventy-one miles,
actions. twice a week, in four-horse post
After several other extras for improvements which re. coaches, J. G. Chiles, (" accepted
sult in daily mails, with increased expedition on these and executed,"
6,500 00 routes, and an increased allowance of 11,000 dollars a 1742. From Louisville (o Nashville, one
year, there occurs this extraordinary allowance: hundred and seventy-four miles, in
“For running, besides a tri-weekly line in a four-horse four-horse post coaches, six times a
wagon, so as to exclude passengers, and ensure the regu. week, to Bowling Green, and the re.
lar arrival of the mail during the winter season, they were mainder three times a week, E. P.
allowed, from December 1, 1832, an additional compenJohnson & Co., (“accepted and ex
sation, at the annual rate of 2,500 dollars." Thus, after ecuted,")
4,500 00 paying these individuals a large compensation by con
tract for carrying the mail, and giving them further large Amounting in the whole to $22,580 00 extra allowances for carrying it, they are paid 2,500 dol
lars a year further extra, for carrying it in a wagon. Being less than the sum reported by the Postmøster Gen In examining the proportions which the money paid eral in his report of April 18, 1832, by $15,180.
for the transportation of the mail bears to the receipts for Opposite the accepted bid on route 1742, from Louis- postages in particular districts of country, and even in ville to Nashville, is noted in red ink, “to run alternate whole States, the disproportion is in some cases remark. between Franklin and Russelville at pro rata allowance," able. showing that one of the routes which he run from Bowl. The extra allowances of E. P. Johnson, on one single ing Green to Nashville under this contract, passed through contract, as has been shown, consume the whole revenue Russelville.
of Indiana. 1743. And in document 212, page 23, of
The extra allowances of contractors in Virginia fall April 18, 1832, we find that John Gray
short but three hundred and thirty-five dollars, of swal. receives on the route from Bowling
lowing up the whole revenue received by the Department Green to Nashville, •
2,980 00 in that siate. And by the report of the 3d of March, 1834,
In North Carolina, the extra allowances fall short of the (document 138, page 218,) he
nett receipts for postages six bundred dollars. to be allowed for running three additional
In Alabama, the extra allowances are to the nett protrips from Bowling Green to Russelville,
ceeds for postages as two to one. on the same route,
1,019 55 The whole nett proceeds of postages in Virginia, as
appears by the Postmaster General's report of the 28th Amounting to
$3,999 55 of February, 1831, was $79,262 91. The whole cost for
transportation in that State, by the contracts of October, So it appears that John Gray is paid three thousand 1831, and allowances and extra allowances made to con. nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars and fifty-five cents tractors, is 233,959 dollars: falling short but 3,829 dollars for carrying the mail from Bowling Green to Nashville, of three to one. on the same route on which it is carried by E. P. John The whole nett receipts in Alabama were 22,678 dol. son & Co. as above.
lars. The cost of transportation within it is reported at James F. Robinson contracted to carry the mail daily, 157,566 dollars: being something more than five to one. in four-borse post coaches, from Cincinnati, Ohio, to These estimates are subject to variation equal to the Georgetown, Kentucky, seventy-two miles, in fourteen increase of postages in those States from January, 1830, hours, at a yearly compensation of 1,000 dollars. His until the contracts took effect, and the extra allowances schedule was so changed that lie was required to run were made. When those corrections are made, the dig. through in twelve hours, instead of fourteen, making part proportion between the nett receipts for postages, and of the trip in the night; for which he was allowed the the expenditures in those States, though lessened, will additional yearly compensation of 3,000 dollars. It is not still be enormous. perceived by your committee that the change of a sche The law contemplates that on new routes, and consedule was at ali essential to the public interest.
quently in new States, a considerable expenditure should One among the many contracts of Avery, Tompkins, & be allowed over and above the amount of receipts; but Co., and others who are connected with them, and whose even where the money is fairly and judiciously applied contracts are interlaced with theirs, is taken as a speci- for the benefit of the public, there is a limit beyond which men of another very large class of cases a leading fea. such expenditure is not permitted to pass without the ture of which is complication and confusion.
consent of Congress. By the thirty-ninth section of the The annual report of the Postmaster General of the act of 1825, reducing into one the acts regulating the 251h of February, 1831, states that E. Porter, James Ree- Post Office Department, it is provided “that it shall be side, John H. Avery, Isaac Tompkins, D. A. Salımarsh, the duty of the Postmaster General to report annually Charles P. Mallett, John McLean, and Sidney Porter, to Congress every post route which shall not, after the are contractors on routes 1901, 1902, 1903, 2047, 2101, second year from its establishment, have produced one2102, 2104, 2105, 2254, 2255, 2352, 2353, in stages and third of the expenses of carrying the mail on the same." steamboals, at 67,950 dollars yearly.
If this provision of law had been attended to, the ag. The Postmaster General, iii his report of 3d March, gregate of the routes in Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama, 1834, (document 138, p. 144,) states that Avery, Tomp ought to have been reported as unproductive routes; and kins, & Co., are contractors on routes Nos. 1903 and 2101, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, would at a compensation of 24,000 dollars; and they receive, but just have escaped its provisions; the expenditure in for divers improvements on routes Nos. 1903, 2101, and each of these last-named States being more than double 2102, which are all included in the grand aggregate of "he amount of receipts. contracts above named, and also for improvements on There are two siates which lie side by side, nearly 2107, which is not included in it, an extra allowance yearly equal in population, extent of territory, and in the reve
23d Cong. 1st Sess.]
Affairs of the Post Office Department.
nue which they yield to the Department, which show a tract to J. B. Bennett, there is still a difference between remarkable difference in the sums paid in each for the the next lower and valid bid, and that at wbich it was transportation of the mail.
struck off, of 1,520 dollars a year, equal in four years to In Vermont there was received for postages,
6,080 dollars, which appears to be the extra expense in. as appears by the report of February 28,
curred by the Department to place tliis contract in the 1831, nett,
$17,663 72 hands of a newspaper editor. In New Hampshire,
16,338 82 The “incidental expenses," comprehending the secret.
service fund of the Department, present an interesting Difference in favor of Vermont,
$1,324 90 subject for consideration. No law appropriates money
for those expenses. Congress exercises no control over There is paid for transportation in N. Hamp
them. The Postmaster General, at his mere discretion, shire,
$38,818 96 selects the objects of his patronage, which he dispenses In Vermont,
23,208 66 from the revenue derived from postages, and is guided
by that discretion alone in fixing the amount of that pa. Difference on the other side,
$15,610 30 cronage. He may employ one printer and one travelling
ageni, or one hundred of each at his pleasure; and he Your committee find no good reason for this dispropor. may pay each of them as much as he pleases. If, by the tion of expenditure in these two States.
improper exercise of this and his other unrestrained pow. Mr. Jefferson, in his letter to Nathaniel Macon, of Mayers, the Department becomes bankrupt, then, by the con14th, 1801, says, that "a very early recommendation had struction which he bestows on the constitution, be (not been given to the Postmaster General to employ no print. Congress alone) may borrow any amount of money, on er, foreigner, or revolutionary tory, in any of his offices." the credit of the nation, to supply the deficiency. Sub. His reason for the exclusion of the printer from any con- joined is a statement of these incidental experises from nexion with the Post Office Department is obvious; and the year 1790, prepared by a clerk, at ibe request of the if we would preserve the press from corruption, and pre- committee, accompanied by a view of the contingent vent it from exerting a corrupting influence over the com expenses," and of the sums appropriated by law for the munity, that recommendation ought to be esteemed as a salaries of the officers of the Department, which must precept, and religiously observed in the present and in not be confounded with the "incidental expenses.” By all future times. But this admonition has passed unno- this the Senate will perceive that, from a sum less than ticed, or is disregarded, by those who now conduct the two thousand dollars, these expenses, under former adaffairs of tbis Department. Large sums of money appear ministrations, gradually increased for many years, there to have been expended in such a manner, that ihe obvi- being an average annual addition of about one thousand ous tendency of the expenditure is, to extend the influ. dollars. In 1829, they had swelled to the sum of 56,471 ence of the Department over the public press, and through dollars, exceeding the sum expended in any former year; that press over the people.
and in the year commencing July 1, 1832, embracing the William Smith, wbose extra allowance, as stated in the period of the last presidential election, they amounted to Blue Book, (pp. 256 and 258,) amounts to 11,129 dollars about 88,000 dollars, being a sudden increase of bear a year, is the proprietor of an efficient party press in Cul. 20,000 dollars over the correspording expenditures of peper county, Virginia.
any former year. Horatio Hill, said to be tbe conductor of a violent party Of these expenses, no detailed account is required to press in the State of New Hampshire, is a contractor to be rendered to Congress-no report of the various items carry the mail on no less than fifteen mail routes; and in- which form their aggregate amount is published. The stead of extra allowances, bis contracts are noted in the money to defray them constitutes what may be emphatimargin "WITH NEWSPAPER PRIVILEGE,” which we under-cally called the secrel-service fund. The fund commonly stand to mean the privilege of carrying and distributing so called, which is placed in the hands of the President newspapers at pleasure on his mail routes.
to defray the contingent expenses of foreign intercourse, Hay and Benneit were contractors for carrying the mail is not so properly entitled to be appellation. That fund from Bellefonte to Meadville, in the State of Pennsylva- is limited in its amount by the will of Congress, whose nia, from the 1st of January, 1828, to the 31st of Decem. approbation is requisite to its existence. This fund is ber, 1831. On the 5th of January, 1830, they obtained unlimited by aught but the will of him who uses it, and an extra allowance of 500 dollars a year for increased ex. is as free from the control of law as if it were the treasure pedition, and it is said that Bennett thereupon purchased of an independent government. That fund is also limitan opposition press in Meadville, and arrayed it at once ed by the acts of appropriation to a certain object. This on the side of the administration.
has just so many objects as the Postmaster General may At the lettings in October, 1830, this route was adver- select. Whatever expenses be chooses to consider as tised to run through in two days and seven hours. E. “ incidental” to liis Department, he pays; and the only Platt & Co. bid for it at 1,980 dollars; Moore, Libu, & Co. account which he renders for it is contined to a line in his at 2,450 dollars; and Benjamin Bennett at "350 dollars, annual report, thus: “The incidental expenses for last pt. 525 $700," in broken bids, equal, it is believed, tv year were 87,701 dollars." The consequence of this 1,575 dollars for the whole route. The bid of Benjamin state of things is, that, while the secret-service fund in Bennett is marked accepted, and the acceptance erased, the hands of the President is 30,000 dollars, the fund ex. and that of J. B. Bennett (the owner of the press) is ac- pended during the current year by the Postmaster Gen. cepted at 3,500 dollars, through in two days. But the eral for the "incidental expenses” of his Department bes schedule, which appears to have been made out at the now increased, as appears by the estimate in his last an. time of executing the contracts, states that, on account nual report, to thrice that sum. of the unusual fresbets and destruction of bridges, and At an early day of the present session, one of your con. other material changes in the road since the 15th of Oc- mittee drew the attention of the Senate to this subject, tober, 1831, it is agreed to run the mail through in two by a resolution calling for an account of these expenses days and a half each way, making five hours longer time for the period intervening between the 30th of Septem. then it was fixed at by the advertisement, and proposed ber, 1831, and the 30th September, 1833. Months elapsed for by the other bidders. Supposing the bid of Benjamin before any answer was given to the resolution, although, Bennett to be fictitious, or made by arrangement, merely as will be seen by reference to the length of the report to enable the Department the better to transfer the con- of the Postmaster General on this subject, herelo ames•
ed, the wbole of it might have been transcribed from the York and elsewhere, from 1st October to Post Office books, by a tolerable clerk, in one day. When, 31st December, 1831, inclusive,
$3,944 10 after repeated inquiries for this paper, it was at length, May 9. True & Greene's compensation for for the first time, communicated to the Senate, it appear. furnishing paper and I wine, &c., from the ed in secrel session, in company with another paper giving 1st of January to the 31st of March, 1832, an account marked "confidential.” On the last paper, inclusive,
2,144 35 over which the veil of secrecy still hangs, your commit. August 27. True & Greene, do. for blanks, tee make no comment; but to the paper on which the paper, and twine, to 30th June, 1832, 2,824 10 injunction of secrecy does not rest, they invite the atten. Dec'r 15. True & Greene, do. for blanks, tion of the Senate.
paper, and twine, from 1st July to the While examining this document with a view to the cor 30ih September, 1832,
2,455 05 rection of the abuses which it disclosed, the attention of 1833. March 23. True & Greene, do. for your committee was arrested by the extent of official pa blanks, paper, and twine, from 1st Octo. tronage to printers which it develops, and the amount of ber, 1832, to 31st December, 1832,
2,164 85 that patronage as exhibited in the “Blue Book." The April 23. True & Greene, do. for blanks, resolution of Congress, of the 14th of July, 1832, direct paper, and twine, from 1st October, 1832, ed that there should be included in the next (present) to 15th April, 1833,
3,727 23 edition of this book a correct list of all printers in any way July 24. True & Greene, for paper, blanks, employed by any department or officer of the Govern. and twine, from 1st October, 1832, to ment, within the period between the 30th of September, 30th September, 1833,
3,022 12 1831, and the 30ih of September, 1833, with the compen. October 16. True & Greene, for blanks, sation allowed to each. The resolution of Congress, to paper, and twine, from 1st April to 1st enable the Secretary of State to comply with it, enjoins October, 1833,
9,625 95 it upon the "several heads of departments directing or incurring the expense, to cause the list, and the matter Real compensation,
$29,907 75 thereby required to be added, to be lodged in the Depart. ment of State.” The document in the Blue Book, (pages So that the printers of “the Boston Statesman,” thus 182, '3, and '4,) entitled “List of all printers employed employed by the Department, received compensation for by the Post Office Department between the 30th of Sep. the articles which they were employed to furnish, with. tember, 1831, and the 30th of September, 1833, with the in the period named in the resolution, exceeding, by compensation of each," is the official paper furnished in $23,008 50, the sums published by the Department in obedience to this resolution, and is the first publication of the Blue Book. any portion of the incidental expenses that has ever been And from an accurate examination of the original vouchmade in obedience to the requisitions of law.
ers for these payments to them, the following facts appear: The object of the resolution was to interpose the check First, that the real sum paid for “the printof public opinion to arrest the abuse of official patronage ed blanks," including the press work, to printers, no other check having been provided. To type setting, and the paper on which the the end, also, that this patronage might not be abused, blanks were actually printed, was $16,463 25 without detection, by employing the owners of the press, And that the real sum paid for wrapping in any other way than in printing, it is provided that the paper and twine, was
13,444 50 list to be furnished should embrace all printers in any way employed, with the compensation to each, no matter
$29,907 75 for what allowed. If a printer be a mail contractor, it was intended by the resolution that the fact should ap. So that the sum paid for the printed blanks alone exceeds pear. If any one of those who control the public press the sums published in the Blue Book, by 9,564 dollars. enjoys for years a monopoly in supplying the Department Secondly. It appears that the only evidence upon with articles to the great profit of the contractor, the fact which these large sums were paid, is the certificate of was designed to be shown, in order that the public might Nathaniel Greene, the postmaster at Boston. He is the judge of the extent and influence of the Executive pa- brother of Charles G. Greene, of the firm of True and tronage over the press so controlled. But, so far from Greene. He undertakes to certify, in all cases, that accomplishing this, or any other proper object of this blanks, paper, and twine, were furnished to the various part of the resolution, it has been the means of eliciting postmasters " in New York and elsewhere," of the qual. a report from the Post Office Department precisely adapt. ity stated in these vouchers. He is the same person who ed to mislead the public, in reference to the whole sub- edited “the Boston Statesman," before that press was ject.
transferred to its present proprietors, and, from the inOn the list of printers in the Blue Book, True & Greene, formation we have, it appears to us, that the postmaster proprietors and printers of the Boston Statesman, are thus himself was interested in it at the time of granting his stated to be employed;
certificates. True & Greene, for printing blanks,
$6,692 75 This is but one of a class of cases presented by “the For advertising proposals,
206 50 incidental expenses," and we think it proper to remark,
that, profitable as such contracts are, there is no compeTotal compensation reported in the Blue Book, $6,899 25 tition admitted for them; no advertisement, or other notice
invites other persons to enter the lists in rivalry with the But the exhibit now made by the account of the De- favored newspaper editor upon whom such compensation partment, hereto appended, shows that they have been is to be bestowed. Established in a city where its patron. employed during the whole time, (as the present Post- age from other sources than Executive favor was proba. master General bad in fact before employed them,) in bly not very great, the press of “the Boston Statesman” furnishing paper, printed blanks, and twine, to the amount appears by the vouchers and receipts, to have been sus. of $29,907 75.
tained in the year 1832, when the last presidential elecSee the account for the following items:
tion occurred, by the employment of its proprietors in 1832. January 25. True & Greene's com.
rendering services to the amount of nearly sixteen thou. pensation for furnishing blanks, paper,
sand dollars, which were paid out of the revenues of this and I wine, to various post offices in New