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320 Cong.....2p Sess.
The Gardiner Claim-Mr. Olds.
Ho. of Reps.
and that it excited the closest scrutiny. What | charged a duty which I owed my constituents and Gardiner committee. I am told, sir, that few or does Mr. E. W. Johnson, who was Secretary to the country; and even though the committee might none of the Whig papers have published it in full. the Board, say? He says that the Commissioners | acquit Mr. Corwin of the real charges alleged I should like very much so know whether the suspected the case, and that Dr. Gardiner was against him, still I felt that I had but discharged honorable gentleman, when he used the language called in again and again, and that his counsel my duty, and that I might rather rejoice, than feel
had ever seen the report published in were called upon to explain time after time. Who mortified at such acquiital. And even now, sir, I any form, other than the garbled extracis, scatwere his counsel? Why Robert G. Corwin and regret exceedingly that a sense of duty to myself, tered broadcast over the country just prior to the Thomas Corwin. The Board suspected that it and duty to the constituency that I have the honor | Ohio and Pennsylvania elections. Has the honorwas a fraudulent case; the Secretary of the Board to represent in this Congress, compels me, in con- able gentleman, himself the publisher of a Whig suepected it; but these gentlemen did not find it sequence of a remark made the other day, during | newspaper, ever given that report publicity in his out; and R. G. Corwin swears he never knew of my temporary absence from the Hall, by the hon- own paper: Mr. Sreaker, I will venture the preit being suspected till suit had been brought against orable gentleman from New York, [Mr. Brooks,] || diction, that even now, notwithstanding the genDr. Gardiner.' The inference is, that they either to ask the kind indulgence of the House, whilst I tleman would have the country believe that the did find it out, or that Mr. Corwin has more credit review, somewhat in detail, this most extraordi- Gardiner committee have honorably acquitted Mr. for sagacity and talent than he is entitled to. The nary transaction.
Corwin, he dare not publish, without note or comgentleman from Ohio pronounced a splendid eulogy I'was aware, sir, that an effort had been made, | ment, the report of that committee, with the acupon Mr. Corwin yesterday, and spoke of him as by pensioned dependents, by hired letter-writers, companying testimony, in the New York Express. being a man of great and shining talents, and of and by paid telegraphers, to forestall public opinion Sir, until he has the manliness to do this, let him gigantic intellect; and yet with all his sagacity and upon the report of the investigating committee; not attempt to tell this House and the country experience and knowledge of men, he failed to find | but knowing that sooner or later, the real facts that I “attempted to throw odium upon the Adout that this was a fraudulent claim. The com
of the case would be spread before the public, Iministration, but that it was turned back upon me mittee by saying that he had no knowledge of its was willing to wait for, and abide by the verdict by my own party." being a fraudulent claim, say that he is a man of that should be given upon that report by the Amer- Mr.ORR, (interrupting.) I rise to a question extraordinary obtuseness, and is not entitled to | ican people.
of order. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the remarks credit for sagacity. He either knew that it was a I had supposed that the thousand and one of my friend from Ohio' (Mr. Oles) are not in fraudulent claim, or else was too obtuse a man to false reports respecting the action of the commit- order when the House is considering the bill now find it out. If Dr. Gardiner's counsel failed to
tee, and the honorable acquittal of Mr. Corwin, | before it. discern that the claim was a sheer fabrication from which were scattered broadcast over the country, Mr. OLDS. My remarks apply to the opinion beginning to end, it argues but little for their heads were designed to operate upon the elections then of the committee in reference to this transaction. and detracts much from their reputation for talents pending over the United States, and more espe- Mr. ORR. The House is now considering speand sagacity; and if they had reason to believe cially upon my own election; for in my Congres- || cifically a bill, and the remarks of the gentleman that the claim was spurious, and was sustained by sional district, these false reports, with all manner are not applicable to that bill. forgery and perjury, it makes them parties to the of unfair and unjust comments, in handbill form, Mr. OLDS. This bill is to prevent similar transwhole transaction-equally criminal with Gardi- || just upon the morning of the election, came upon actions in future, ner himself, and deserving the withering condem- us as did the frogs upon the Egyptians, and it Mr. ORR. My reason for making the point of nation of an outraged and betrayed people. The might literally be said that they " came into our order is, that if the gentleman from Ohio goes on gentleman may take either horn of the dilemma. houses, into our bedchambers, and into our very with his remarks, some other gentlemon upon the W. E. Johnson says that the counsel were sent kneading-troughs!" But I had no idea that even other side of the House must be heard upon the for again and again to explain the claim. So far the men who gave them circulation, and carried other side, and the merits of the particular bill beas the other witnesses are concerned, you might them from door to door, and distributed them fore the House will not be at all enlightened by go on still further. Mrs. Chase and General from hand to hand, supposed for a moment that the discussion. Waddy Thompson seem to be at issue in their they contained one word of truth. I had thought, Mr. OLDS. I trust they will, before I get testimony. Mrs. Chase says that General Thomp- || sir, that when the occasion which gave them cir- || through. son is mistaken in attributing certain expressions | culation, the election, had passed, an American The SPEAKER. The Chair understands that to her in relation to Dr. Gardiner; that she never representative would no longer be assailed for the bill before the House is reported from a commade use of them.
having boldly, fearlessly discharged his duty. But | mittee appointed to investigate the very transacI find that my hour is within a few minutes of I find, sir, from the indication given by the gentle- tion to which the gentleman from Ohio refers. being out, which will prevent me from a more man from New York, that this false impression, Mr. ORR. What is the bill before the House? minute examination of this case; but I cannot con- this impression produced by these pensioned de- The SPEAKER. It is a bill to punish offenses clude without making an earnest appeal to the || pendents and hired letter-writters, is to be sec- such as the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Olds] is House to come forward and sustain this bill, as one onded and continued by the efforts of honorable now discussing; and the Chair thinks the genilestep towards arresting and condemning this sys- l gentlemen upon this floor; and that, by such a man is not exceeding the limits generally allowed tem of high-handed plundering and swindling, course, if possible, the tables are to be turned upon in debate. which has been and is being carried on, about
Mr. ORR. I do not perceive the pertinency of Congress and the various departments of Govern- If gentlemen are not satisfied with their efforts the gentleman's remarks to the bill under considment. Sound morality, common honesty, justice, to forestall public sentiment, and with their spurian eviscerated Treasury, all demand that some- ous acquittal of Mr. Corwin, but are desirious of The SPEAKER. The Chair thinks the gentlething should be done to separate these vampires turning the war upon me, I am ready and willing man is arguing the necessity of the bill, and that from the body politic. There must be something for the conflict.
his remarks are pertinent. done to restore public confidence, for it is going The gentleman from New York, (Mr. Brooks,] Mr. OLDS. Mr. Speaker, that the gentleman very fast, if not already gone. The Government in reply to my colleague, (Mr. Sweetser,) is re- from New York (Mr. Brooks) may see his error, and the functionaries of Government are beginning | ported in the Daily Globe as using the following and that the country may know in what manner to stink in the very nostrils of the nation; it is language:
the Committee of Investigation have acquitted now dead and rotten in many of its parts, while “The gentleman from Ohio, in order to evade or avoid Mr. Corwin, and turned back upon me the odium the disease is rapidly making its way into the these unanswerable facts and conclusions, attempted to of Gardinerism, I shall direct the attention of the others less accessible. Its putrid stench is sent abuse the present Administration for its extravagant ex
House to the phraseology of the resolution under forth upon every wind and is arresting the atten
penditures, as if their doing wrong would justify him for
which the committee was raised. It is as foltion of the voracious vultures throughout the land, and observe the history of this Administration, he will see
lows: and they have gathered, and are still gathering, that in no one single instance, though a large majority in around the carcass, ready to begin their foul work. both Houses of Congress are nominally opposed to it, yet
“ Resolved, That a committee, consisting of five mem
bers of this House, be appointed by the Speakerio investigate has there been no one instance in which they have reversed They come from the mountain tops, with hideous cry or condemned its action. The gentleman himself, or rather
all the facts touching the connectinn of the said Thomas And clattering wings; the filthy harpies fly:
Coruin, the present Secretary of the Treasury, with the said a colleague of his, did, indeed, in connection with the Monsters more fierce oflended Heav'n ne'er sent,
Gardiner claim ; what fee, if any, he was to receive for his Gardiner claim, atterrpt to throw odium upon this AdminisFrom Hell's abyss for human punishment."
services us agent or counsel for said Gardiner; what interest, tration ; but it was turned back upon him by his own party."
if any, other than his fee, he purchased and held, either diMr. Speaker, the honorable gentleman from New rectly or indirectly, in said claim, and the amount paid or THE GARDINER CLAIM.
York, when he gave utterance to the language just stipulated to be paid therefor; at uhat time he ceased to act
quoted, should have known that it was unfounded
in fact, and unwarranted by the report
whom and for what consideration he disposed of his one OF OHIO, ,
paper; and if his duty as Congressman did not This, sir, is the language of the resolution. It IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
require him to read the report of the Gardiner constituted the committee, and it pointed out disJanuary 6, 1853.
committee, certainly his duty as the publisher of tinctly and specifically the duty required by the
such newspaper demanded that he should inform House to be performed by the committee. The report of the Select Committee to prevent frauds himself of the facts, that thereby he might be able First. The committee was required to investion the Treasury being under consideration- to enlighten and not mislead the public.
gate Corwin's connection with the Gardiner claim Mr. OLDS said:
I wish, sir, that I could believe that the honor- || generally. Mr. SPEAKER: When I left my home in Ohio, to able gentleman had spoken in ignorance, rather Second. The committee was to ascertain his return to this capital, I had not the most distant than with a desire to pervert and misrepresent the (Corwin's) fee interest in the claim. idea that I should feel called upon to trespass facts connected with the Gardiner fraud. "I say, Mr. Third. The committee was to ascertain what upon the time of this House by again adverting to Speaker, that I hope the gentleman has really interest he (Corwin) had in the claim, other than the Gardiner claim. I felt, sir, that in calling for | spoken in ignorance, and that it may prove true his fee interest. the Committee of Investigation, I had but dis- that he has never seen or read the report of the Fourth. The committee was to ascertain the
amount paid, or stipulated to be paid, for such what consideration he disposed of his fee interest, and agree upon, but I found the Governor unprepared to pay interest.
so much as I considered the interest worth. to whom and for what consideration he disposed of his
I proposed Fifth. The committee was to ascertain at what
myself to purchase Mr. Corwin's claim at the estimate I one fourth interest in said claim ?”
had proposed to Young, but to this he would not listen, stattime he (Corwin) ceased to act as the agent or In reply to this specification, the committee say: | ing that he still should be morally involved in the matter, counsel for Gardiner.
“ The Hon.Tbomas Corwin resigned his seat in the
for if I profited by the purchase he knew I would share it Sixth. The committee was to ascertain to whom Senate, and accepted the appointment of Secretary of the
with him, and if there was a loss upon it he would be un.
willing that I should bear the loss." and for what consideration he (Corwin) disposed Treasury, in the month of July, 1850. In the same month of his fee interest, and to whom and for what con
and previous to his going into the Cabinet of President Mr. Speaker, is not this really a very pretty
Fillmore as Secretary of the Treasury, a sale of his fee sideration he had disposed of his one fourth inter
little farce? Why, sir, analyze it, and see its variinterest in, and also of his half of the one fourth part of the est in said claim. Gardiner claim, was negotiated through the intervention of
Corwin felt that he would be liable to censure, These, sir, were the specific duties referred by Governor John Young, of New York, to George Law, Esq.,
" the House to the committee; all the facts touching
if he accepted the Treasury Department under these specifications the committee were required claim his acquittal upon the score of this pretended that Treasury. The verdict of the people upon
Inasmuch, sir, as Mr. Corwin and his friends | Fillmore, still holding an interest in claims against to investigate and report to the House.
If, as the gentleman from New York charges; unable to perceive, even admitting the sale to be mind. Sir, it could not well be otherwise; for turned back upon me the odium” of Gardinerism, genuine, how this makes his acquittal. The re- he had just witnessed the inauguration of Presiit must be found in their action and report upon | Claims, that a sale of his interest in these Mexican | this Hall to receive the oath of office, followed by
solution of inquiry implies, just what Corwindent Fillmore. He had just seen Fillmore enter these specifications.
the Cabinet of the deceased Taylor; and the Pardon me, then, Mr. Speaker, for trespassing i claims was really consummated. This is what upon the time of the House, in applying to each | public rumor charged, and this was my own be- murmur from yonder gallery of “there come the inquiry and specification the finding of the com
lief at the time I called for the investigation. Galphins,” which reached every part of this Hall, mittee; for by this course, without the intervention
But, sir, let us examine this pretended sale, and was still ringing in his ears. The suspicions of of pensioned letter-writers, we shall be able to unsee what it really amounts to.
the people must be quieted by at least the semderstand who has been exonerated, and upon whom
In July, 1850, Mr. Corwin accepted a seat in blance of a sale. the committee “ have turned back the odium."
Mr. Fillmore's Cabinet; prior to which a verbal He felt, too, that a sham sale to his nephew First. The committee was required " to investi
contract or sale was made of his interest in this, and partner would evoke rather than quiet the gale Corwin's connection with the Gardiner claim"
as well as his other Mexican claims; but, sir, it suepicions of the public. In this extremity, through generally:
appears from the report of the committee, that Governor Young, George Law is made to play the That duty, sir, the committee performed; that
this sale made in July, 1850, was not consum- part of “dummy.” Bob Corwin would convey investigation the committee made. But do they mated until November, 1850—full four months the impression that Governor Young was himsel exonerate Mr. Corwin from all connection with after Mr. Corwin had entered the Cabinet of the purchaser, thou the committee assign him the the claim, and thus roll back upon me the odium President Fillmore. The committee say: position of negotiator, or rather that of a "go-be
tween. of being Mr. Corwin's slanderer? No, sir; on
** The assignment of his fee interest and his interest in
the one fourth part of the Gardiner claim, and all his in- " But I found the Governor," says Bob Corthe contrary, the committee say, that,
terest in all other claims before the Board of Commissioners, “ In May, 1849, the Hon. Thomas Corwin, then a mem- (thirty-seven in number,) was executed by Thomas Cor
win," unprepared to pay as much as I considered ber of the United States Senate, was employed as counsel win to Jacob Little, of New York, in November, 1850, and
the claim worth." No doubt, sir, that Governor in the Gardiner claim by General Waddy Thompson, the the money for the purchase was then paid by George Law, Young, seeing this claim enveloped in all the original counsel of Gardiner, upon an agreement that Mr. to whom the assignment to Jacob Little was at that time doubts and difficulties that hung over it at the time Corwin should have for his fee five per cent. on whatever transferred. The money for the sale, $80,357, was resum should be awarded to Gardiner by the commissioners.
the Corwins purchased it, was unprepared to raise ceived by Thomas Corwin, and on the 23d of November In February, 1850, Thomas Corwin, in company with Rob- was deposited by him to his credit with Messrs. Corcoran
its value from $11,000 to $80,000. Consequentert G. Corwin, Esq., purchased one fourth part of the claim & Riggs.”
ly, by their own showing, this pretended sale of Gardiner, and this fourth part of said claim was assigned on the 13th of that month to W. W. Corcoran, Esq., who Mr. BROOKS. I do not desire to interrupt the
remained incomplete and inoperative until these loaned money to the Messrs. Corwin to purchase it, and gentleman further than to request that he will ex
doubts and difficulties were removed. Messrs. held the claim for Messrs. Thomas an
Little and Law were too shrewd operators to place in equal shares, as collateral security for the payment of the loan.
their signatures to an instrument binding themThe Messrs. Corwin paid $22,000, and relin
Mr. OLDS. I wish, Mr. Speaker, that my quished their fees on the one fourth of the claim purchased time would permit me to read the whole of the re
selves to pay any stipulated sum, much less the by them, and paid a part of Edward Curtis's fees--what port of the committee, and every word of the evi
enormous sum of $80,000, until they had some amount does not appear-as the consideration for the pur
dence upon which that report is predicated. It reliable basis upon which to estimate the value of should be read, sir, not only by every member of
the purchase. Call you this, sir, exonerating Mr. Corwin from all connection with the Gardiner claim ? Call States. The gentleman can do much towards acthis House, but by every citizen of the United
Why, Mr. Speaker, no man can peruse the
testimony of George Law and Robert G. Corwin, you this turning back upon me the odium” of complishing this object by giving the report and
witnesses sworn at the instance, and to give eviGardinerism?
dence for, Mr. Corwin, without a settied convicSecondly. The committee was " to ascertain his | testimony a publication in his newspaper. Dare he do it?
tion upon his mind, that the sale in July was a (Corwin's) fee interest in the claim.” On this specification the committee say, " that made in July, the consideration of which amounted
Why, sir, was the consummation of this bargain,
mere pretense, made expressly to deceive and
mislead the public mind. Mr. Corwin was employed as counsel in the to more than $80,000, delayed until November, a
Corwin, though he sold the claim unconditioncase by General Waddy Thompson, upon an period of full four months? Does not this trans
ally, had no knowledge of the amount he was to agreement that he (Corwin) should have for his action, sir, carry upon its very face the evidence receive for jit; and George Law, the pretended awarded to Gardiner by the commissioners.” Is that the bargain made in July was a pretense, a this exonerating Mr. Corwin from having a fee
mere farce? Why, sir, this sale covered Corwin's ally, had no knowledge of the amount he was to interest, and “turning back upon me the odium?"
half of the one fourth interest, and his half of the pay for it; and yet we are told that Corwin had Third. The committee was “to ascertain what fee interest. For these two interests he had only
is washed his hands of all interest in these claims"
before entering the Cabinet of President Fillmore. interest he (Corwin) held in the claim other than his paid a little over $11,000; and yet, with all the unfee interest."
certainty that hung over this claim at the time that True, sir, Mr. Corwin had nominally sold his The committee say, that in February, 1850, 1 Corwin purchased it, still hanging over it, it is claims; but I ask every candid unprejudiced mind
to tell me whether or not Corwin's real interest in Thomas Corwin, in company with Robert G. || Wall street broker, and George Law, one of the pretended that Jacob Little, a cunning, crafty
these claims was not precisely the same after, that Corwin, purchased one fourth part of the Gardiner shrewdest speculators in all the country, stipulated it was before this pretended sale, ay, sir, up to Call you this, sir, exonerating Corwin from to pay the enormous sum of more than $80,000.
the time that Governor Young and Co. fixed and being a part owner of this most fraudulent claim?
Why, sir, if anything more were necessary to
reported to the parties the price to be paid as the Call you this turning back upon me the odium?
show that this pretended sale was a mere farce, it purchase money for these claims ? Fourth. The committee was directed “ to ascerwill be found in the following extract from the
Suffer me, sir, to call the attention of the House tain the amount paid, or stipulated to be paid therefor, || Mr. Corwin's own town, and published in the
to a few extracts from the testimony of the witspeech of Robert Corwin, made in Lebanon, Ohio,
ness referred to. George Law says: and the conditions of said purchase.
“Soon after General Taylor's death, in the month of July, The committee say: "The Messrs. Corwin Cincinnati Gazette, and other Whig journals in
1850, I was here in Wasbington. Governor Young, of New paid $22,000, and relinquished their fees on the Ohio. Robert Corwin says that:
York, called at my room at the National Hotel, one fourth of the claim purchased by them, and
“In July General Taylor died, and the administration of he had a friend who was offered a seat in Mr. Fillmore's
the Government devolved on Millard Fillmore, who, in Cabinet, and who had some interest in claims that were paid a part of Edward Curtis's fees." The com
looking about him for his constitutional advisers, solicited then known as Mexican claims,' and that were to be setmittee; in speaking of the final distribution of the Thomas Corwin to accept a post in his Cabinet as Sec- tled by a commission; and that this friend, from feelings of claim, further states, that “the sum of $94,582 retary of the Treasury
delicacy, would not take a seat in the Cabinet whilst he was paid to counsel, and $107,187 50 was paid to
" In this request be was joined by Daniel Webster, but was interested in such claims. Governor Young was de
Mr. Corwin replied that he was interested in a private sirous to relieve him from that objection. I asked him if he the assignees of the one fourth of the claim origin-1 claim
against the United States Treasury; that Crawford thought that was the only obstacle in the way. ally sold to Thomas Corwin and Robert G. Cor- had been charged with committing a wrong in being inter- Young said that it was. I told him that if he (Governor
ested in a claim while a member of the Cabinet, and he Young) desired, I would purchase those claims. He said Call you this, sir, exonerating Mr. Corwin,
would not place himself in a situation which would subject that he did, but that the purchase must be unconditional;
him to a similar charge. Several days elapsed, during which because he was satisfied that if there was any understand"and turning back upon me the odium” of Gardi- he was urged to accept the post, but peremptorily refused, ing about the claims if not realized, his friend would not nerism?
until Governor Young, of New York-now in his grave take the place. I told him that there was no necessity for Fifth. The committee was directed “ to ascertain
came forward and proposed to take Mr. Corwin's interest in any contingency about them, and that I would leave it to
all the claims before the Board. Mr. Corwin did not know him (Governor Young) to say what the value of the claims at what time he (Corwin) ceased to act as the counsel what was their value, and he proposed to take for his inter- and I would purchase them at his valuation. Gov. or agent of the said Garárner, and to whom and for est whatever sum Governor Young and myself should ernor Young said he presumed that would be satisfactory;
320 CONG.....20 Sess.
The Gardiner Claim - Mr. Olds.
Ho. OF REPS.
that the friend to whom he had reference was Mr. Thomas he late commission under the treaty with Mexico? If so, I had the honor to submit to the House, at the Corwin, and that he would go and see him. Governor state whether I sold out all my interest in those claims, time I introduced the resolution calling for this Young went away, I am not sure whether it was the same and when, and to whom. day or the next morning that he returned and said that it " Answer. I was concerned with you in the prosecution of
committee of investigation, I made certain charges was satisfactory to Mr. Corwin to leave it to him (Governor claims up to the time when you went into the Cabinet of Mr. against Mr. Corwin, which the committee felt itYoung) to determine what the value of the claims was; and Fillmore. Your interes was sold prior to your going into Governor Young said, if I was satisfied, it should be the
self called upon to investigate; and that upon those the Cabinet, and your interest was represented afterwards understanding. I told him I was satisfied. Governor by Governor John Young, of New York. I don't know
charges they have acquitted Mr. Corwin, and . Young afterwards brought me a valuation of the claims, exactly by whom the whole arrangement was made with
“turned back upon me the odium” of being an (this was along that season,) and I paid about $80,000 for Governor Young. The assignment of his interest was made “ infamous slanderer." them. I recollect that there was an interest in the Gardi- to Jacob Little; be afterwards transferred his interest in On the 5th of March last, in my remarks in ner claim included. I think it was in all a little over these claims to George Law. I understood that Young was $80,000 (but not much) that I paid ; but I cannot say how the negotiator, and that the assignment was made to Little
this House upon the tand bill, I charged that much I paid for the Gardiner claim in particular. I gave to enable Young to get the money from him fairly; then it
Corwin had been employed in this case, that it my check for the amount for all the claims, or Mr. Corwin's was transferred to Law, from whom the money was re- might receive the aid, not of his legal abilities, not interest in them."
ceived. The sale was made prior to the organization of Mr. of his great eloquence, but of his political position, Again, Mr. Law says:
Fillmore's Cabinet, which was some time in July, 1850; but
and the influence of his great name. He is not “ I purchased those claims as a favor to Governor Young,
mate the value of your interest in all the claims you were charged with being a party in the fraud, but the who was a friend of mine, and in whom I had entire confidence. He seemed to be desirous and anxious to relieve
concerned in. We were concerned in thirty-seven claims | charge is, that he sold his political position and Mr. Corwin from this embarrassment, in the way of going in all. We, Governor Young and myself, concluded the
political influence in aid of a claim, fraudulent in examination of all the papers, and made out the estimate a into the Cabinet. Witness had very little acquaintance
itself, and sustained by perjured testimony.. 1 short time prior to the next regular session of the board in with Mr. Corwin he knew him by sight; but he (the witness) would have done the same thing for any other person November, 1850."
repeated the same language, showing my precise to oblige Governor Young, having full confidence in him.' Now, Mr. Speaker, I ask, in all fairness, does meaning in the remarks I submitted at the time of "I did not know anything of the value of the claims, ex
not this case really assume this one aspect? Corwin | calling for the committee of investigation. That must sell his interest in these claims before enter
I may place myself right, and be correctly undercept what was stated to me by Governor Young. My ob ject was not to make or lose money, but to do Governor ing the Cabinet of President Fillmore. Conse- stood, I will read from the remarks then made, as Young a favor."
s made the purchase, quently, he sells to Governor Young at such price reported in the Congressional Globe, page 2303, relying upon Governor Young's judgment and integrity. I did not undertake to go into the matter in detail."
as Governor Young himself, and Robert G. Cor- part 3d of the 24th volume, and repeated in the win should fix upon them; giving them time to
Appendix to the same volume, page 266: Now, Mr. Speaker, what is the only true infer- || wait until the award of the commissioners should
“Sir, let me divert the attention of this conimittee for a ence to be drawn from such testimony? Why || be known, before fixing the value. And then, as
single moment to charges that common rumor fasten upon
the present Secretary of the Treasury, and which the counsimply this, sir: Governor Young, the sub-treas- || Governor Young was Mr. Corwin's sub-treasu- try demand to bave investigated by this Congress. I refer, urer of New York, the custodian of the Govern
Publie rurer in the city of New York, George Law, the in- sir, to his connection with the Gardiner claim. ment money in that city, was the personal friend timate friend and surety of Governor Young, is
mor charges, sir, that Mr. Corwin received $79,000 as the
agent of this Gardiner claim. Now, sir, the inquiry natuof Mr. Corwin. Perhaps, sir, his continuance in || used to throw an obscurity over the transaction, rally arises, Why did (r. Gar ner stipulate to pay Mr. Corthe office of sub-treasurer depended upon Corwin's and give it the semblance of a sale.
win this enormous fee? Was Mr. Gardiner so dumb that assuming the control of the Treasury Department. Why, sir, when you have exposed and set aside he could not act as the agent of his own claim? Not so, Perhaps, too, sir, the fact of Governor Young's | George Law's connection with this transaction,
sir; he is a man belonging to one of the liberal profes
sions, and cannot be supposed to be devoid of commort being the sub-treasurer, and controlling the enor- you have taken from it the veil of obscurity, and sense; and, sir, if his claim was a just one, he could him. mous revenues of the Government in New York, it stands, like Moore's Prophet when the veil was self present it before the proper tribunal and ask a decision will explain George Law's great confidence in, lifted, exposed in all its "hideous deformity.”
upon its merits. But if his claim was bad, he would nat
urally desire to bring the stronger influence to its support. and extreme willingness to oblige him. Perhaps, And yet, sir, this is what the gentleman from He could not have selected Mr. Corwin because of his great sir, Governor Young's control of the Government New York calls exonerating Mr. Corwin, “and eloquence; for, sir, a plain, simple statement of facts was money made it necessary, to save appearances, to turning back upon me the odiom!"
all that was allowed before the tribunal. He could not have use George Law, or some other third person, lest These five specifications, Mr. Speaker, in the very
selected bim on account of his legal acumen in taking and it might be said that the Government money, in order in which I have named them, embrace all the
arranging testimony, for, sir, this case was prepared and
the testimony taken in Mexico; and every one knows that the hands of Governor Young, had been used in duties imposed by the resolution of the House Mr. Corwin, though a great favorite in Mexico in consethis transaction. Perhaps the fact that George upon the Committee of Investigation. That reso- quence of his bloody hand and hospitable grave' sentiLaw was one of Governor Young's sureties, his lution, sir, nowhere charged the committee with
ments, was never in Mexico. Nay, more, sir; a grand in
quest of the country, upon their oaths, have said that this name being upon his official bond for $400,000, the duty of inquiring into Corwin's knowledge of whole case is a forgery. Why, then, sir, was Mr. Corwin will account for his great confidence in the Gov- the fraudulent character of Dr. Gardiner's evi- selected? The answer is obvious: Mr. Corwin is a great ernor, and the loose and unbusiness-like manner dence. No such specification is made in the reso- man with his party. He has been made so, sir, by the in which, by his own showing, he seems to have lution, and as a matter of course no testimony
Whigs of Ohio. They made him their Representative first
in this House ; then, sir, they made him their standardconducted this whole transaction.
was adduced before the committee to establish any bearer of the party in Obio, by selecting him as their canBe all these conjectures as they may, there can such inference or implication. If any such thing didate for Governor; then, sir, they sent him to the Senate be no doubt but that Governor Young was ex- had been attempted, Mr. Corwin, if he chose,
of the United States. But this is not all; he was at one tremely anxious to have Mr. Corwin enter the could at once have objected to the jurisdiction
time the favorite of his party in Obio, as a candidate for the Cabinet of President Fillmore; and in order to re
Presidency. His name, in connection with
that office, was of the committee, and have told them that they at the mast-head of his party press. Sir, Mr. Gardiner, as lieve his “ feelings of delicacy,” undertakes to were going beyond the duty assigned them by a shrewd man, knew all this. He knew that this man must negotiate a sale of Corwin's interest in these va- the House.
be possessed of great influence with a Whig Administrarious Mexican claims. And to oblige Governor
tion; and for the exercise of this influence, for the power Mr. BROOKS. Will the gentleman from Ohio
of this position, Mr. Gardiner could afford to give Mr. CorYoung, without any investigation or examination, | allow me to read the preamble to the resolution ? win $100,000, if thereby he could get allowed his claim of the sagacious George Law agrees to purchase those Mr. OLDS. Certainly, sir.
$480,000.' Bút, sir, in what light does it present Mr. Corwin claims. This he does without the least anxiety or Mr. BROOKS. It is as follows:
before the country? The people had sent him here to guard hesitation, as Governor Young is to assess their
their interests; they were paying bim eight dollars per day
“ Whereas, a strong suspicion rests upon the public mind to watch the National Treasury ; they supposed, sir, that value. This, too, is satisfactory to Mr. Corwin, that fraudulent claims have been allowed by the late Mexi
with the vigilant and ever-watchful eye of Mr. Corwin inasmuch as the claims are to remain untransferred, can Claim Commissioners, with one of which it is suspect
upon the Treasury, all would be safe. But, sir, rumor says and his partner and nephew is also to assess their
ed Thomas Corwin, Secretary of the Treasury, bas been that they were mistaken in their man; for whilst receiving
improperly connected ; therefore,” &c. value. Mr. Corwin's feelings of delicacy" are
pay from the people to watch and guard their Treasury, this
Will the gentleman from Ohio incorporate it in Mr. Gardiner, knowing his man, feed him on the other side relieved, and he takes his position in the Cabinet. his speech?
--- he outbid the people. Gardiner's $100,000 was as omGovernor Young and Bob Corwin wait until the
nipotent over your National Treasury as was the 'Open award of the claims commission is known, or as
Mr. OLDS. Certainly.I will. But, Mr. Speak
sesame' of Ali Baba over the cavern of the Forty er,
it does not in the least change the interpreta- Thieves.'' Mr. Law says, until some time along that season,
tion of the resolution, neither does it in the least and then they assess the value; and then, and not till
Mr. Speaker, the evidence of General Thompthen, the contract is consummated and the bargain change the character of the specifications against
son himself, as well as that of Edward M. Johnreduced to writing.
son, the secretary of the board of Mexican claims mittee inform us, was in November, more than
Why, sir, the committee do not hesitate to say
commission, fully demonstrate it was political infour months after Mr. Corwin had entered the that the commissioners allowed fraudulent Mexi
fluence that Gardiner desired to aid and strengthen Cabinet of President Fillmore.
can claims. The suspicions of the public then, his claim, and not forensic eloquence or legal acMr. Speaker, a careful reading of this testimony | Is it not, sir, equally as clear, that the connection as affirmed in this preamble, were well founded.
cumen. has satisfied me that Governor Young, Mr. Cor
Johnson, in his testimony, says: win's sub-treasurer in New York, and not George | the preamble, was improper? If not, sir, why of Mr. Corwin with one of them, as affirmed in
" After the first instances, the board became satisfied that Law, was the real purchaser of Corwin's interest
Dr. Gardiner bimself understood his own case better than in these Mexican claims, if such a loose unbusi
do the committee, as they have done in the bill anybody else, and that the best means of arriving at the truth ness-like transaction as this could be dignified with now under consideration, seek to make, in future, I would be to receive his own statements, and cross-examine
him on all these points." the name of a sale. The extracts already read precisely such a connection, a misdemeanor, even
though the claim may not be a fraudulent one? Gardiner, then, was fully competent to the from Mr. Law's testimony lead the mind imper- || Mr. Corwin, sir, is welcome to the full benefit of ceptibly to this conclusion; and the following ex
management pf his own case; and in the selecall his friends can make out of this preamble. tion of his counsel and agents, his object was to tract from the testimony of Robert G. Corwin, taken before the commitiee, confirms the impres- || honorable gentleman from New York, or any hon
Now, sir, with these facts before us, will the secure the aid of such persons as had power and
influence with the commissioners. sion:
orable gentleman, rise in his place and say, that This is shown in the testimony of Waddy “ Robert G. Corwin appeared as a witness, and was the committee have not fully sustained every spe- Thompson, who, in speaking of the employment Sworn. " Question by Hon. Thomas Corwin. Were you con
cification made in the resolution of the House? I of Major Lilly, i mai commexion of one of the cerned with me, as counsel, in prosecuting claims before may, perhaps, be told that, in the remarks which commissioners, says :
“ Some time in the fall of 1849, or early in 1850, Dr. Gar- both endeavored to negotiate a loan for him, and failed. and made the specifications as I have made them. diner called at my roon and told me that he had been ad We also failed in our efforts to sell a share of the claim. vised to employ Major Lally in this case. I protested Capitalists were afraid to invest, because, as they remarked,
And yet, sir, the gentleman from New York would strongly against it, and said it would be an act of great injus- the commissioners had yet several months to sit, and in the
call this an honorable acquittal of Mr. Corwin, tice to me to do so—20 enplay him or anybody else without mean time it might occur ttiat Gardiner's claim lacked sup- and “ turning back upon me the odium by my my consent. I knew nothing of Major Lally or his charac. port, and the board had the power to revoke al) it had done own party. ter which would justily any impulation on that account, but in bis regard. At this time Dr. Gardiner came to me and 'I knew that such imputations would be made, as he was
insisted that should purchase a share of his claim. At Mr. Speaker, I will not say that at the time I nearly connected with one of the commissioners, and, as I first averse to the proposal, my objections were gradually offered the resolution calling for this committee of had been informer, was not a lawyer; and that he, Gardi- overcome, and I purchased one fourth of Dr. Gardiner's investigation, that I had not a settled conviction ner, had certainly counsel enough.” claim for the sum of over $40,000. This being a larger
upon my mind, that Corwin must have known, amount than I could command, and one half being a cash Gardiner, Mr. Speaker, most undoubtedly em- payment, I raised the money by getting my friends in Wash
or at least have strongly suspected, the fraudulent ployed all these men, and gave them most enor- ington and Ohio to indorse my paper. Among others, I
character of this claim. That conviction has not mous fees, that he might have the influence, not
asked Thomas Corwin, and you know Corwin signs every- been changed, but greatly confirmed, by the evi
body's note. only of their political, but also of their personal
"Alter this I proposed to Mr. Corwin that as we had been
dence reported by the committee. But, sir, notposition, in aid of his doubtful and fraudulent associated as lawyers in the case, and heretofore in busi
withstanding these convictions, I had no purpose claim.
ness, he should join me in my purchase of an interest in the of making any such charge in the resolution, The charge against Mr. Corwin was, and is,
Gardiner claim. He did so after weighing the matter in his | knowing the utter impossibility of proving a man's
own mind, and finding no valid objection to such a course. that he sold his political position, being United This was in March, 1850."
thoughts or impressions. Nothing in the language States Senator, and his great personal influence
Again, in his testimony before the committee, accompanied the resolution, can be construed into
of the resolution, or in the remarks with which i with the Whig commissioners, in aid of a claim,
Robert G. Corwin says: fraudulent in itself, and sustained by perjured tes
such a charge. Upon this precise point, sir, in timony.
" I purchased the one-fourth of his claim. His reason for commenting upon my colleague's account of CorI am aware,
selling it was to raise money to go to Mexico and get this
win's connection with this transaction, in which BELL,) in a speech delivered by him in this House graph from a speech of mine, made in July pre- | Gardiner's necessity to have money to visit Mexico. in August last, by the quotation of a single para- || as charged, this sale was made in consequence of contradictions, I used the following language: There is not a remaining doubt, then, but that, I supposed he had involved himself in seeming
“What, sir, is to be the interpretation of these contra-' vious, not upon this subject, but upon the state of
dictory statements? I fear me, sir, that my colleague bimAnd the fact is equally as well established, that, self will convict Mr. Corwin of being a party to this fraud. political parties, attempted to make me the accuser of Mr. Corwin, as being a party in the forgery the instructions of Corwin and Thompson in his with this money, he actually visited Mexico, with I fear me, sir, (that from my colleague's own showing,) this
case is likely to be far more serious upon Mr. Corwin than and perjury committed in this case.
his worst enemies had apprehended." my colleague on this precise point, I took partic- pocket
, and that he returned with his forged testimony
This language does not look as though I deular pains to be correctly understood, and conse
Fourth. " That Dr. Gardiner's claim was founded upon
sired, at that time, making Corwin a party to the quently put my exact meaning into the form of
his right to a silver mine in Mexico, from which he alleges fraud. I repeat, sir, no matter what might have specific charges. They may be found on page he was expelled by the Mexicans.”
been my setiled convictions, this language shows 2303 of the 3d part of the 24th volume of the Con
The committee say:
that I designed making no such charge. It shows, gressional Globe. They are as follows:
“The claim of George A. Gardiner was a claim for dam- sir, that I designed imposing no such inquiry First. “ That Mr. Corwin, while acting as Senator, and ages alleged to have been sustained by him, by reason of upon the committee. Yet, sir, because the comreceiring eight dollars per day for watching and guarding his expulsion, on the 24th day of October, 1846, by the mittee inserted in their report, a paragraph simply the National Treasury, took a contingent fee, said to amount Mexican authorities, from mines which he alleged he was to $100,000, for the prosecution of a claim against that extensively engaged in working in the State of San Luis | stating the fact that “no testimony has been adTreasury.” Potosi, in Mexico."
duced before the committee proving, or tending This specification, excepting so much as fixes Fifth. “ That no such silver mine as the one claimed by to prove, that the Hon. Thomas Corwin had any the amount of Corwin's fee, is fully sustained by Dr. Gardiner, ever existed.”
knowledge that the claim of the said Gardiner the committee, who say "that in May the Hon. Upon this specification, the committee say:
was fraudulent, or that false testimony or forged "Thomas Corwin, then a member of the United “ Upon examination of the evidence taken by them, it
papers had been, or were to be, procured to sus• States Senate, was employed as counsel in the appears from the testimony of José Antonio Barragan, that "tain the same," I am to be told that the com•Gardiner claim by General Waddy Thompson.
he is well acquainted with the place in the department of mittee have acquitted Mr. Corwin of the actual
Rio Verde, State of San Luis Potosi, in Mexico, where Second. “That when about to become the head of the Gardiner's evidence locates his mine; that there are silver
charges, " and turned back upon me the odium," Treasury Department, he sold his contingent fee to a citizen mines in the State of San Luis Potosi, but that there is none
Why, sir, I never for a moment supposed that the of New York for a large amount, said to be $79,000, and at that place, or in the department of Rio Verde.”
cunning, sagacious Corwin, had 'so committed that said claim, amounting to nearly half a million of dollars, was paid upon the draft or warrant of Mr. Corwin.”
Again, the committee say:
himself, as that his knowledge of the fraud would The finding of the committee upon this specifi
“Two witnesses, John Baptiste Barragan and Pantaleon
be proved. He would have been a fool, indeed, cation has already been stated. It is, that the Galvan, testify to the forgery of the documentary evidence
had he not well covered up his tracks; and notof Gardiner; and both testify that they are acquainted with withstanding he was surrounded by his friends • Hon. Thomas Corwin resigned his seat in the the locality of Laguinillas, in the State of San Luis Potosi, and accomplices, kept his own secrets closely • Senate, and accepted the appointment of Secre- and that there is no silver mine there. These three wit• tary of the Treasury, in the month of July, 1850. nesses are Mexicans, residing in the vicinity where Dr.
locked up in his own bosom. But, sir, apply to Gardiner's testimony locates his raine; they are all gentle
Mr. Corwin a principle universal in your courts • In the same month, and previous to his going men of character and respectability in their own country, into the Cabinet of President Fillmore as Sec
of judicature, * that a man's in ward intentions The first named, Jose Antonio Barragan, held, from 1843 to shall be judged by his outward acts," and then • retary of the Treasury, a sale of his fee interest 1846, the office of collector of the customs at Rio Verde.
tell me if you can, sir, that Corwin has estab. in, and also of his half of the one fourth part of Laguinillas belongs to this district. He now holds the
lished his honest intentions, and vindicated his the Gardiner claim, was negotiated through the They all came to the United States as witnesses, under an innocence. • intervention of Governor John Young, of New arrangement made by George W. Blacum, Esq., an agent
But, sir, the committee do not undertake to say • York, to George Law, Esq., of New York;' and of the United States Government, who went by direction further, that “the money for the sale, $80,357, of Hon. R. P. Letcher, the American Minister in Mexico,
that Corwin had no such knowledge. They to the State and city of San Luis Potosi, for the purpose of merely assert a fact, viz: that no such evidence ' was received by Thomas Corwin, and on the
investigating the character of the claim of George A. Gar- was adduced before the committee. Upon the * 23d of November, was deposited by him to his diner, and the Mears claim, and obtaining testimony in recredit with Messrs. Corcoran & Riggs." lation to them."
contrary, the inference to be drawn from the decThird. " That Thomas Corwin and Robert G. Corwin, his
The Sixth and last charge. “ That the evidence upon
laration and the action of the committee is, that which the Mexican claims commissioners awarded nearly
they did infer that Corwin must have had suspinephew, through Mr. Corcoran, purchased the one fourth inter esl of this claim for the sum of $15,000. That with
half a million of dollars to Gardiner, Corwin & Co., was cions, amounting almost to a certainty, that the this $15,000 Dr. Gardiner twice visited Mexico in the prepa forgery from beginning to end."
whole case was a fraud. For it must be admitted aration of his papers and evidence, to be presented io the I have already shown from the finding of the upon all hands that the commissioners who allowed Bourd of Commissioners.”
committee, that “ John Baptiste Barragan and the claim had no better information as to the charI have already shown, from the report of the Pantaleon Galvan, gentlemen of character and acter of the claim than had Mr. Corwin, the concommittee, that Thomas Corwin and Robert G. respectability, testify to the forgery of the docu-fidential counsel and agent of Mr. Gardiner. Corwin purchased the one fourth of the Gardiner mentary evidence of Dr. Gardiner."
It is not to be presumed that Mr. Corwin would claim for a sum of over $22,000 instead of $15,000. The committee add:
have purchased one fourth of so large a claim The report of the committee also shows that after « From the evidence before the committee, (the above without having as closely scrutinized its validity receiving this money, Dr. Gardiner proceeded to
being only a summary of the more important facts testified
and honesty as did the commissioners. Neither Mexico to complete his testimony. But to sub
is it to be presumed that if the case had been devoid stantiate fully the charge that with this money Dr. lieve, upon the first branch of the investigation committed to them, that the claim of George A. Gardiner, upon which
of suspicion that the Messrs. Corwin could have Gardiner proceeded to Mexico with the instruc- an award was made by the Board of Commissioners for the purchased one fourth of $428,000 for the sum of tions of General Thompson and Thomas Corwin sum of $42,750, was sustained before the commissioners
$22,000. in his pocket, allow me to refer again to Robert G. by false testimony and forged papers, and is a naked fraud
The committee do not hesitate to censure the Corwin's Lebanon speech, in which, in speaking upon the Treasury of the United States."
commissioners. Does not that censure apply of the necessity of procuring additional testimony | ed, were drawn up before the taking of any testi- | equally as strong to Mr. Corwin? They say:
mony in this case.
“ The committee, at the same time, are of opinion that “ Dr. Gardiner was now in an embarrassed condition. The destruction of his property in a foreign country had left admit, from the finding of the committee, after
there were circumstances developed during the course of
the trial which should have induced the Board of Commishim almost destitute. As one of the consequences, he had having all the testimony before them, that if they sioners to have given the case a more thorough investigaleft the country largely in debt, and deemed it unsafe to re- had desired to put the facts of this case, as they tion. turn in his present condition lis old friend Perez Giulvez was dead, and he had no powerful friends in Mexico on report them, into specifications for the purpose
“It is in proof, from the testimony of the secretary of whom he could rely. He had no money for so expensive a of introducing articles of impeachment against
the board, that the claim was suspected by the board from
the first, and that Gardiner was frequently called on for journey. In this dilemina, General Thompson and myself W Mr. Corwin, they would have used the language, ll explanations."
320 Cong....20 Sess.
Foreign Policy—CubaMr. Marshall.
Ho. of Reps.
Were not these circumstances and suspicions as Call you this bill, sir, exonerating Mr. Corwin will it cause suits to be instituted against them, to well known to Corwin as they were to the com- from all suspicions ?
recover back into the National Treasury their pormissioners. To suppose anything else, is to deny I will admit, sir, that if this bill had been re- tion of this enormous plunder? to him that sagacity which his friends so fully ac- ported from one of the standing committees of the Be the action of Congress what it may, sir, I cord to him.
House, the case would have presented a different have discharged my duty, and am content to abide Mr. Speaker, the committee do not undertake aspect. But not 90, sir. The bill comes from the the result. to say that Corwin had no knowledge of the fraud- committee appointed to investigate Corwin's conulent character of this claim. They merely as. nection with the Gardiner claim. If that connecsert the fact that no such evidence was presented tion had been all right and honorable, why has
FOREIGN POLICY-CUBA. to the committee. But, sir, is it not fair to infer that committee reported this bill? Scrutinize this SPEECH OF HON. E. C. MARSHALL, the opinion of the committee as to the guilt or in- bill, sir; examine all its provisions. Why, sir, nocence of Mr. Corwin from the recommendation every section of it has been drawn by a master
OF CALIFORNIA, made by the committee to the House? That hand, to meet precisely, and punish by incarcer- IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, committee, sir, had been appointed and instructed ation within the walls of the penitentiary, exactly to investigate Corwin's connection with the Gar
January 6, 1853, such a case as that presented by the committee diner claim. And what is their finding? Why, against Mr. Corwin.
In the Committee of the Whole on the state of the that Corwin, whilst acting as Senator, had been Mr. Speaker, if this committee designed exon
Union, on the conduct of the present Adminisconnected with this claim as the agent or counsel | erating Mr. Corwin from all censure, they have
tration in regard to Cuba, and our foreign policy of Gardiner; 'the committee find, sir, that the done him great injustice by reporting this bill. generally. Messrs. Corwin had a large fee interest in the For it is impossible to separate Mr. Corwin's con
Mr. MARSHALL said: claim; they find, sir, that Thomas Corwin and nection with the Gardiner claim, from the neces
Mr. CHAIRMAN: I had not wished or intended to Robert G. Corwin had purchased the one fourth sity which has called from that committee this
claim the attention of the committee to the remarks of this claim; they find that the claim was most most fearful and stringent bill.
I propose to make to-day. I had intended, and fraudulent; and they find that it was sustained And yet, sir, with all these facts staring him in
still intend (unless the duiy is discharged by some and allowed upon forged testimony. And what the face, the gentleman from New York has the one who can bring before the House the auihority do they do, sir? Why, they report the facts to hardihood, may I not say the audacity, to tell this of a greater name) to offer a resolution to this effeci: this House, and they accompany that report with House and the country, that the committee have That the Committee on Ways and Means be dia bill making the recurrence of just such transac- exonerated Mr. Corwin, " and turned the odium rected to report a bill placing at the disposal of the tions as Corwin had been guilty of a misdemeanor, back upon me.
President of the United States the sum of five and punishable with fine and imprisonment.
Why, sir, this bill, if it were a law, would not or ten millions of money in the Treasury, and not Mr. Speaker, every line, every word of that bill reach the case of any of the parties interested in otherwise appropriated, to meet any exigencies speaks trumpet-tongued the opinion of the com- the Gardiner claim, except the case of Thomas
arise before the meeting of the next mittee as to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Corwin. Corwin. It would not reach Waddy Thompson, Congress in our foreign relations. I wished to The very caption of the bill has a significance in for he is not a member of Congress. It would have presented some such resolution in the House, it not easily misunderstood. Listen to it:
not reach Bob Corwin, or Mr. Curtis, or Major not only that it might give rise to discussion of “Mr. Preston King, from the Select Committee ap- | Lally. They are not members of Congress, matters of a practical and important bearing on the pointed to investigate the connection of the Hon. Thomas Corwin with the Gardiner claim, reported the following
neither are they connected with any of the Depart- interests of the country, but that such discussion bill."
ments. If, then, the committee desired to exon- might be followed by some action on the part of A bill for what, sir? Why, “ A bill to prevent
erate Mr. Corwin from all censure, why do they this House which would have significance before frauds upon the Treasury of the United States.
seek to punish, by incarceration within the walls | the people. I had hoped, and still hope, that a Does not this imply that a fraud had been comof a dungeon, any Senator or Representative in
vote of the House, giving unequivocal expression mitted upon that Treasury? And does it not con
Congress, who shall do precisely what Mr. Cor-of opinion upon practical questions will be taken, nect Mr. Corwin with that fraud ? Mr. Speaker, win has done?
and I entertain the fullest confidence that that vote let me ask honorable gentlemen to listen to the
Suppose, Mr. Speaker, that this bill had been will have the happiest effect at home and abroad. reading of the bill, section by section, and then
passed into a law, prior to Mr. Corwin's con- The expression here in committee of abstract opinlet them say if it is not a most fearful censure cast
nection with the Gardiner claim, what would | ions on questions which may never arise, and by the committee upon Mr. Corwin for his con
have been the consequence? Would he not have which certainly will only arise in the remote future, nection with the Gardiner claim:
been indicted under it? Would he not have been is no part of my purpose to-day: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
liable to its pains and penalties? Mr. Corwin is There are affairs now pending in regard to which tives of the United States of America in Congress assem
innocent then, only from the fact, that we have no the action of the Executive, so far as any action Bled, that all transfers and assignments hereafter made of law to punish just such a case as the committee has been had, has been, as I think, and as I shall any claim upon the United States, or any part or share make out against him. But the committee recom- endeavor to prove, ruinous to the interests and thereof, or interest therein, whether absolute or conditional, and whatever may be the consideration therefor; and all
mend the passage of a law making it a misde- fatal to the honor of the nation. Fortunately, our powers of attorney, orders, or other authorities, for receiv- meanor, and punishable with fine and imprison- || foreign policy may yet be changed, or rather, a ing payment of any such claim, or any part or share thereof, ment, to do precisely what Mr. Corwin has done. || foreign policy may be established consistently shall be absolutely null and void, unless the same shall be freely made and executed in the presence of at least two
The truth is, Mr. Speaker, that a stupendous with the faith of treaties and all our obligations, attesting witnesses, after the allowance of such claim, the
fraud has been perpetrated against the Govern. while the public interests are protected and the ascertainment of the amount due, and the issuing of a war
ment. The National Treasury has been robbed ations honor redeemed. The resolution which rant for the payment thereof. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That any officer of the
of nearly $500,000. So barefaced has been the I propose to introduce will announce to the incom
fraud, that the committee informs us that in ing Administration our perfect confidence in it, as United States, or person bolding any place of trust or profit, or discharging any official function, under, or in comection | July, 1852, the United States instituted a chancery | the popular vote in the late election has done on with, any Executive Department of the Government of the suit in the circuit court of the District of Colum- | the part of the people themselves. It is offered not United States, or under the Senate or House of Representa - bia, to enjoin in the hands of Corcoran & Riggs as a war measure, but simply implies that a change tives of the United States, who, after the passage of this act, shall receive any gratuity from any claimant against the
moneys and stocks belonging to G. A. Gardiner, of policy is desired, and that the Executive will United States, or shall act as an agent or attorney for prose
' to the amount of between $90,000 and $100,000; have the support, the earnest and effectual support cuting any claim against the United States, or shall in any and also in the same monih, in the circuit court of Congress. A vole of confidence of this characmanner, or by any ineans otherwise than in the discharge of • of the southern district of New York, to enjoin ter is not without precedent in our history; and it his proper official duties, aid or assist in the prosecution or
• in the hands of the New York Life Insurance support of any such claim or claims, shall be liable to in
is also established firmly in the Government from dictment, as for a misdemeanor, in any court of the United and Trust Company moneys and stocks belong. which many of our usages and laws are derived. States having jurisdiction for the trial of crimes and misde. ‘ing to George A. Gardiner, to the amount of I shall urge this measure upon the Democratic meanors; and, on conviction, shall pay a fine not exceeding | $130,500.". twice the amount of gratuity, fee, or compensation received
party as a peace measure, and one which strikes by the person so convicted, or suffer imprisonment in the
Gardiner, it seems, sir, is to be made to disgorge me as the most important upon which we shall penitentiary not exceeding one year, or both, as the court,
his portion of this fraudulent claim_Gardiner is have to act, in its effects upon our national charin its diecretion, shall adjudge.
subjected to a criminal prosecution-Gardiner, the acter and national interests. The subject of our Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That any Senator or Representative in Congress who, after the passage of this
humble citizen, in all probability will be convict- foreign relations has been introduced by gentlemen act, shall receive any gratuity from any claimant against the
ed, and suffer the exireme penalty of the law. in committee, and questions have been debated United States, or sball, for compensation paid or to be paid, But, sir, what will be, or rather, what ought to be which, although not identical with those which I certain or contingent, act as agent or attorney for prosecu- done with the other parties interested with this think render necessary the vote of confidence of ting any claim or claims against the United States, or shall in any manner or by any means, for such compensation, aid stupendous fraud ?
which I have spoken, are yet cognate questions; or assist in the prosecution or support of any such claim or
The Messrs. Corwin and Waddy Thompson, and as the points to which I attach the greatest claims, shall be liable to indictment, as for a misdemeanor, no matter what might have been their original im- | importance have been almost neglected and docin any court of the United States having jurisdiction for the pressions about this claim, are now fully aware trines inculcated of the worst influence upon the trial of crimes and misdemeanors; and, on conviction, shall pay a fine not exceeding twice the amount of the gratuity or
that it was a naked fraud upon the National State which I represent, in part, I have determined compensation received by the person convicted, or suffer
Treasury. Will they come forward like honest to give my own views of those questions at this imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding one year, or men and refund their portion of the plunder? or time, although I think the subject would have come both, as the court, in its discretion, shall adjudge. SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, 'That the provisions of
will they tighten their grasp upon their ill-gotten up with more propriety and effect upon a resoluthis act, and of the act of July twenty-ninti, eighteen hun. gain?
tion before the House. I shall call the attention dred and forty six, entitled "An act in reintion to the pay- The committee, sir, have reported a bill to pre- l of the committee to the diplomacy of this Government of claims,” shall apply and extend to all claims against vent and punish the recurrence of such transac- ment in the Island of Hayti and the Republic of the United States, whether allowed by special acts of Congress or arising under general laws or treaties, or in any
tions. Will this Congress content itself with the Nicaragua, because there we have incurred the other manner whatever, and every offense against the pro
passage of this bill? Or in case of the neglect or deepest shame and sustained the greatest loss, and visions of this act shall be a misdemeanor.
refusal of Thompson, Corwin & Co. to refund, I because these evils are not without easy remedy;