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.Affairs of the Post Office Department.
[23d CoNg. 1st SEss.
mous sum of $20,150 was allowed, are not indicated in any report made to Congress. In the report of the 18th of April, 1832, the contract is set down at $14,950, and nothing is any where said to to the public of increased service or increased compensation. The extra amount thus paid on this contract, without legal warrant or adequate consideration, during its continuance four years, is 80,600 dollars, besides the $3,150 a year paid for the express mail on the same line. In the above case, it will be perceived that the contract is, in the aggregate, for eleven mail routes; so interweaving and complicating the transaction as to render it exceedingly difficult to unravel it, and to find whether the bids at which the routes were struck off are the most favorable for the Department; and still more difficult is it to ascertain the reality of any alleged improvements, and their actual value, if they exist. The same objection occurs in numerous cases. Improvements are said to be made by expediting on one route, changing the schedule on another, and ordering additional trips on a third; so that a single contract is, in this manner, rendered so complex as to require the labor of several days to reduce it to its elements, and ascertain its true condition. E. Porter & Co. are contractors for carrying the mail from Staunton, in Virginia, to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, three times a week, in four-horse post coaches, from the 1st of January, 1831, to the 31st of December, 1834, at an annual compensation of $7,566. On this contract, legal and regular in its inception, are ingrafted extra allowance compensation for extension and private contracts to the enormous yearly sum of $18,156. The two largest of the items which compose this extra sum, namely, $2,000 for extending a steamboat mail between Guyandotte, Virginia, and Cincinnati, Ohio; and $11,000 a year for extending the steamboat mail to Louisville, is, in the opinion of your committee, not only an unnecessary and extravagant expenditure of the public funds, but is an act wholly unauthorized by law. Every one acquainted with the situation of the country, and the course of business between those points, will be at once satisfied that it is unnecessary. It is wholly im. material whether the mail be carried between those points in a two-horse coach or in a steamboat, provided it be carried safely; and the lines on which it was carried before the establishment of this route were ample for that purpose. . No one travels in stages from Guyandotte to Qincinnati, or from Cincinnati to Louisville; and the aid of the Department is not necessary to keep up a constant and regular communication by steamboats between them. The establishment of this line was therefore unnecessary, either for the transportation of the mail or the accommodation of passengers. It was also against law. The general act of the 3d day of March, 1825, reducing into one the several acts regulating the Post Office Department, in its first section, enacts that the Postmaster General “shall provide for the carriage of the mail on all post routes that are or may be established by law.” This clause contains his whole general authority for contracting for the transportation of the mail, and this does not authorize the setting up of this line of steamboats, inasmuch as the Ohio river between these points is not a legal mail route. But the authority here exercised may be supposed to be conferred by the fifth section of the act, which provides “that the Postmaster General be authorized to have the mail carried in any steamboat, or other vessel which shall be used as a packet in any of the waters of the United States, on such terms and conditions as shall be considered expedient, provided that he does not pay more than three cents for each letter, and not more than one-half cent for each newspaper conveyed in such mail.” But it is perfectly clear to your committee that this provision of law was never intended to authorize, and does not authorize, the establish
ment of a steamboat line by contract for the purpose of carrying the mail; the whole frame and language of the section forbids it. “The Postmaster General is authorized to have the mail carried in any steamboat which shall be used as a packet.” He may avail himself of such means of transportation when he finds it already existing, but he is not authorized to incur the expense of providing it. The law also provides that he shali not pay more than three cents for each letter, nor more than half a cent for each newspaper so carried—a restriction wholly inconsistent with the supposition that he had power to get up steamboat lines by contract for the transportation of the mail. And the reason that this is not permitted is obvious: the expense of getting up a steamboat line, by contract, for the transportation of the mail, is enormously disproportioned to the object; while, at the same time, the Department may avail itself most advantageously of an existing line of packets for the cheap and expeditious transportation of the mail. The fifth section of the act, above referred to, is a transcript of the third section of the act of the 27th of February, 1815. And while the last-named act was in force, it was thought expedient by the Department to contract for carrying the mail srom New Orleans to Louisville by steamboats; but, as the power was not supposed to be conferred by that law, a special act was passed on the 2d March, 1819, authorizing such contract, with the express proviso that the whole expense of sending the mail in steamboa's should not exceed that of transporting the same by land. In the steamboat contracts made by the present Postmaster General, not the slightest attention is paid to the restrictions in either of the above-named statutes, and the sum paid for the transportation of the mail from Cincinnati to Louisville consumes greatly more than half the nett revenue received by the Department in both those cities. There is another transaction with the same individual which is liable to the same and still stronger objections. It seems that a person by the name of Rhodes under. took to carry the mail from New Orleans to Mobile, but failed, and gave up the contract. Afterwards, Messrs. Stockton and Stokes, James Reeside, and Avery and Porter, undertook to carry the mail on the same route, three times a week, in steamboats, for $25,000 a year. They also failed to comply, and their contract was also given up. Edwin Porter then undertook, by private agreement with the Department, to carry the mail daily on that route, in steamboats, for four years, at $40,000 a year; which agreement is still subsisting. Within the last year, there were 150 failures on this improved line, for which the contractor says he is fined on the books of the Department $5,800; yet no part of this sum appears to have been retained out of his pay; on the contrary, he was permitted to overdraw very largely, and his draft for $20,000, accepted by the Postmaster General, and not yet paid,
was discounted some time since at New Orleans, to enable
him to raise money to go on with the contract, which was likely to fail by the unskilfulness and inefficiency of his agent. This contractor (Edwin Porter) is also the borrower of large sums of money of Obadiah B. Brown— $3,500 early in the year 1832, and $4,500 in November, 1833; making an aggregate loan of $8,000. The waste of money on this contract is enormous. The nett proceeds of all the postages in the city of New Or. leans, and the town of Mobile, are hardly sufficient to sustain it. The law has been violated by entering into a contract to get up a steamboat line for the transportation of the mail, without any regard to legal restrictions. It was violated by the Department when it entered into a contract for the transportation of the mail without an advertisement inviting public competition. And there is another feature in this and some other cases which your committee have examined, which, in their opinion, is deserving of the most decisive condemnation: it is the blend
ing and connecting the fiscal affairs of the Department with those of individual contractors. Thus, while advancing its funds, and lending its credit to this individual to enable him to repair his errors and carry on his contract, the Department itself did, in several cases, call in the aid of other contractors to assist it in raising money to pay its ordinary and current expenses. Two instances of this kind are stated in the testimony of James Reeside. About two years ago, he drew a draft of $6,000, at the request of the IJepartment, and for its use, and got it negotiated at the Western Bank of Philadelphia; and some time last winter he “arranged” $10,000 through the assistant postmaster at New York, for the use of the Department. No other cases of the like kind are distinctly in evidence before the committee, but, from general information, they believe the practice to have prevailed to a considerable extent. Your committee condemn this practice most decisively. In their opinion, it is placing the Department in an improper and injurious connexion with individuals. As a matter of mere prude ce, independently of the question of power, it should neither venture its own money or plight its credit, to sustain any individual, much less should it ask pecuniary assistance of its contractors, to enable it to keep up its redit. Those contractors should be required to do their duty, and they should be asked for mething more. Favors are expected to be reciprocal; and if the Department ask and receive them, it cannot deny them when something is asked in return. But the Department has placed itself in this undignified relation with its contractors. It has become the acceptor for one to enable him to sustain his credit and carry on his colt ct; and it has become the debtor to another for his name, to enable it to raise money to answer its own pressing necessities. The relations in which it is thus involved are partly the cause and partly the consequence of its present insolvent condition. The individuals who, variously connected and combined, hold extravagant private contracts, and who receive extra allowances, which exhaust the revenues of whole St tes, are the same who lend their credit to keep up the credit of the Department—who furnish funds to pay off the debts and relieve the embaarassments of its chief officer—who advance large sums of money to enable another of its officers to purchase real estate “at a reduced price,” and who send presents of choice wines to furnish the tables of both. William Smith is the contractor for carrying the mail from Washington city to Lynchburg, (document 138, page 157,) 200 miles, three times a week, in four-horse post coaches, at the yearly compensation of - $6,000 00 IIe was allowed for two changes of schedule, the propriety and utility of which is not
shown, $800 and $300, - - - 1,100 00 For a daily mail from Washington to Warrenton, fifty-two miles, - - - 1,200 00 A daily mail from Warrenton to Orange courthouse, forty-four miles, - - - 1,600 And a daily mail from Orange court-house to Lynchburg, 106 miles, - - - 4,000 00 Making an extra allowance, yearly, of . 7,900 00 The four additional trips per week were relinquished on the 1st December, 1833, in consequence of the insolvency of the Department, and there was deducted from the extra allowance - - - - 4,900 00 Leaving for no known increase of service, the yearly allowance of - - - 3,000 00 If we admit the change of schedule to be a meritorious cause for the allowance of - 1,100 00
The contractor is, in that case, released from all his additional trips, for which he was allowed $6,800, and his compensation is re
duced, in consequence of it, but $4,900; leaving him an additional yearly allowance of - - - - - - 1,900 00 For which no service whatever is rendered. There is also an extra allowance of $97.5 made to William Smith (document 138, page 166) for an extension of his line from Dobson’s cross-roads to Lexington, North Carolina. Prior to this arrangement, this mail went on the route from Dobson’s cross-roads to Salem, and from Salem to Lexington, which increased his distance only seven miles, passing, through a very flourishing town. This extension, as it is called, was therefore wholly use. less, except so far as it served the convenience of the contractor, and enabled him to draw off upon his newlyadjusted line the passengers which had theretofore gone upon the old line of Peck and Wellford. It does not touch a single post office in the twenty-five miles which is not also passed on the regular mail route established by law. The extra allowances made on this route of William Smith, (doument 119 of 1830 and 1831,) from Washington until it unites with the route of Peck and Wellford, at Lexington, North Carolina, was $8,875, as stated in the report of the 3d of March, 1834. The true sum is believed to be larger, but taking that to be the actual amount, the eactra allowances exceed the whole nett proceeds of postages on that line from Alexandria, where it first diverges from the line of Stockton & Co. to Lexington, where it unites with the line of Peck and Wellford, by more than $2,000, including all the postages of the large towns of Warren, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg. E. P. Johnson is the contractor for carrying the mail on several routes in Indiana, numbered 11, 17, 19, 23, 24, 25, 27, and 41, from the 1st of January, 1830, to the 31st of December, 1833, at a yearly compensation of $3,300. There are no less than eighteen different modifications and additions to this single contract, for which he receives in the aggregate, yearly, $14,502 18, in addition to what he receives by contract—amounting in the four years to $58,008 72; and all this by private arrangement, without advertisement or competition. The nett amount of postages received in the State of Indiana, according to the report of the Postmaster General of the 28th of February, 1831, was $9,609 67, failing short by $4,892 51 of paying the yearly extra allowance on this single contract. The increase of the postages during the continuance of the contract will not, in all probability, bring up the receipts to a sum sufficient to discharge these extra allowances in the four years by the nett proceeds of postages for the same four years in the whole State. * E. P. Johnson, John Hutchins, Joseph H. Hough, William Henny, and J. C. Chiles, are stated in the report of the Postmaster General of the 18th of April, 1832. (document 212, page 22,) as contractors for carrying the mail from Maysville to Louisville daily; from Frankfort to Nashville three times a week; from Louisvillets Nashville six times a week, and from Lexington to Bean station six times a week, in four-horse post coaches, at the annual compensation of $37,760. Your committee called for the bids pursuant to which this contract was made, and they find those that are marked accepted as follows: 1731. From Maysville to Louisville daily, in four-horse post coaches, one hundred and forty miles; also, from Lea:ington to Frankfort, thirty miles: E. P. Johnson's bid, (“accepted and executed,”) - - From Frankfort, Kentucky, to Nashville, Tennessee, three times a week, in four-horse post coaches, two lium
$4,500 00 1740.
* Nos. 1731, 1740, 1741, 1742, and 1746.
So it appears that John Gray is paid three thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars and fifty-five cents for carrying the mail from Bowling Green to Nashville, on the same route on which it is carried by E. P. Johnson & Co. as above. James F. Robinson contracted to carry the mail daily, in four-horse post coaches, from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Georgetown, Kentucky, seventy-two miles, in fourteen hours, at a yearly compensation of 1,000 dollars. His schedule was so changed that he was required to run through in twelve hours, instead of fourteen, making part of the trip in the night; for which he was allowed the additional yearly compensation of 3,000 dollars. It is not perceived by your committee that the change of a schedule was at all essential to the public interest. One among the many contracts of Avery, Tompkins, & Co., and others who are connected with them, and whose contracts are interlaced with theirs, is taken as a specimen of another very large class of cases—a leading feature of which is complication and confusion. The annual report of the Postmaster General of the 25th of February, 1831, states that E. Porter, James Reeside, John H. Avery, Isaac Tompkins, D. A. Saltmarsh, Charles P. Mallett, John McLean, and Sidney Porter, are contractors on routes 1901, 1902, 1903, 2047, 2101, 2102, 2104, 2105, 2254, 2255, 2352, 2353, in stages and steamboats, at 67,950 dollars yearly. The Postmaster General, in his report 6f 3d March, 1834, (document 138, p. 144,) states that Avery, Tomp. kins, & Co., are contractors on routes Nos. 1903 and 2101, at a compensation of 24,000 dollars; and they receive, for divers improvements on routes Nos. 1903, 2101, and 2102, which are all included in the grand aggregate of contracts above named, and also for improvements on 2107, which is not included in it, an extra allowance yearly Wol. X. —D d
of 13,500 dollars. Thus first grouping, and then dividing into smaller groups, and confounding one group of contracts with another, until it becomes impracticable to trace and reduce to their elements their multiform transactions. After several other extras for improvements which result in daily mails, with increased expedition on these routes, and an increased allowance of 11,000 dollars a year, there occurs this extraordinary allowance: “For running, besides a tri-weekly line in a four-horse wagon, so as to exclude passengers, and ensure the regular arrival of the mail during the winter season, they were allowed, from December 1, 1832, an additional compensation, at the annual rate of 2,500 dollars.” Thus, after paying these individuals a large compensation by contract for carrying the mail, and giving them further large extra allowances for carrying it, they are paid 2,500 dollars a year further extra, for carrying it in a wagon. In examining the proportions which the money paid for the transportation of the mail bears to the receipts for postages in particular districts of country, and even in whole States, the disproportion is in some cases remarkable. The extra allowances of E. P. Johnson, on one single contract, as has been shown, consume the whole revenue of Indiana. The extra allowances of contractors in Virginia fall short but three hundred and thirty-five dollars, of swallowing up the whole revenue received by the Department in that State. In North Carolina, the extra allowances fall short of the nett receipts for postages six hundred dollars. In Alabama, the extra allowances are to the nett proceeds for postages as two to one. The whole nett proceeds of postages in Virginia, as appears by the Postmaster General’s report of the 28th of February, 1831, was $79,26291. The whole cost for transportation in that State, by the contracts of October, 1831, and allowances and extra allowances made to contractors, is 233,959 dollars: falling short but 3,829 dollars of three to one. The whole nett receipts in Alabama were 22,678 dollars. The cost of transportation within it is reported at 157,566 dollars: being something more than five to one. These estimates are subject to variation equal to the increase of postages in those States from January, 1830, until the contracts took effect, and the extra allowances were made. When those corrections are made, the disproportion between the nett receipts for postages, and the expenditures in those States, though lessened, will still be enormous. The law contemplates that on new routes, and consequently in new States, a considerable expenditure should be allowed over and above the amount of receipts; but even where the money is fairly and judiciously applied for the benefit of the public, there is a limit beyond which such expenditure is not permitted to pass without the consent of Congress. By the thirty-ninth section of the act of 1825, reducing into one the acts regulating the Post Office Department, it is provided “that it shall be the duty of the Postmaster General to report annually to Congress every post route which shall not, after the second year from its establishment, have produced onethird of the expenses of carrying the mail on the same.” If this provision of law had been attended to, the aggregate of the routes in Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama, ought to have been reported as unproductive routes; and Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, would but just have escaped its provisions; the expenditure in each of these last-named States being more than double the amount of receipts. There are two States which lie side by side, nearly equal in population, extent of territory, and in the reve23d CoNg. 1st Sess.]
.Affairs of the Post Office Department.
Your committee find no good reason for this disproportion of expenditure in these two States. Mr. Jefferson, in his letter to Nathaniel Macon, of May 14th, 1801, says, that “a very early recommendation had been given to the Postmaster General to employ no printer, foreigner, or revolutionary tory, in any of his offices.” His reason for the exclusion of the printer from any connexion with the Post Office Department is obvious; and if we would preserve the press from corruption, and prevent it from exerting a corrupting influence over the community, that recommendation ought to be esteemed as a precept, and religiously observed in the present and in all future times. But this admonition has passed unnoticed, or is disregarded, by those who now conduct the affairs of this Department, Large sums of money appear to have been expended in such a manner, that the obvious tendency of the expenditure is, to extend the influence of the Department over the public press, and through that press over the people. William Smith, whose extra allowance, as stated in the Blue Book, (pp. 256 and 258,) amounts to 11,129 dollars a year, is the proprietor of an efficient party press in Culpeper county, Virginia. Horatio Hill, said to be the conductor of a violent party press in the State of New Hampshire, is a contractor to carry the mail on no less than fisteen mail routes; and instead of extra allowances, his contracts are noted in the margin “with NEwsPAPER PRIv1LEGE,” which we understand to mean the privilege of carrying and distributing newspapers at pleasure on his mail routes. Hay and Bennett were contractors for carrying the mail from Bellefonte to Meadville, in the State of Pennsylvania, from the 1st of January, 1828, to the 31st of December, 1831. On the 5th of January, 1830, they obtained an extra allowance of 500 dollars a year for increased expedition, and it is said that Bennett thereupon purchased an opposition press in Meadville, and arrayed it at once on the side of the administration. At the lettings in October, 1830, this route was advertised to run through in two days and seven hours. E. Platt & Co. bid for it at 1,980 dollars; Moore, Libo, & Co. at 2,450 dollars; and Benjamin Bennett at “350 dollars, pt. 525 $700,” in broken bids, equal, it is believed, to 1,575 dollars for the whole route. The bid of Benjamin Bennett is marked accepted, and the acceptance erased, and that of J. B. Bennett (the owner of the press) is accepted at 3,500 dollars, through in two days. But the schedule, which appears to have been made out at the time of executing the contracts, states that, on account of the unusual freshets and destruction of bridges, and other material changes in the road since the 15th of October, 1831, it is agreed to run the mail through in two days and a half each way, making five hours longer time than it was fixed at by the advertisement, and proposed for by the other bidders. Supposing the bid of Benjamin Bennett to be fictitious, or made by arrangement, merely to enable the Department the better to transfer the con
tract to J. B. Bennett, there is still a difference between the next lower and valid bid, and that at which it was struck off, of 1,520 dollars a year, equal in four years to 6,080 dollars, which appears to be the extra expense in. curred by the Department to place this contract in the hands of a newspaper editor. The “incidental expenses,” comprehending the secret. service fund of the Department, present an interesting subject for consideration. No law appropriates money for those expenses. Congress exercises no control over them. The Postmaster General, at his mere discretion, selects the objects of his patronage, which he dispenses from the revenue derived from postages, and is guided by that discretion alone in fixing the amount of that pa. tronage. He may employ one printer and one travelling agent, or one hundred of each at his pleasure; and he may pay each of them as much as he pleases. If, by the improper exercise of this and his other unrestrained powers, the Department becomes bankrupt, then, by the construction which he bestows on the constitution, he (not Congress alone) may borrow any amount of money, on the credit of the nation, to supply the deficiency. Subjoined is a statement of these incidental expenses from the year 1790, prepared by a clerk, at the request of the committee, accompanied by a view of the “contingent expenses,” and of the sums appropriated by law for the salaries of the officers of the Department, which must not be confounded with the “incidental expenses.” By this the Senate will perceive that, from a sum less than two thousand dollars, these expenses, under former ad
ministrations, gradually increased for many years, there
being an average annual addition of about one thousand dollars. In 1829, they had swelled to the sum of 56,471 dollars, exceeding the sum expended in any former year; and in the year commencing July 1, 1832, embracing the period of the last presidential election, they amounted to about 88,000 dollars, being a sudden increase of near 20,000 dollars over the corresponding expenditures of any former year. Of these expenses, no detailed account is required to be rendered to Congress—no report of the various items which form their aggregate amount is published. The money to defray them constitutes what may be emphati. cally called the secret-service fund. The fund commonly so called, which is placed in the hands of the President to defray the contingent expenses of foreign intercourse, is not so properly entitled to the appellation. That fund is limited in its amount by the will of Congress, whose approbation is requisite to its existence. This fund is unlimited by aught but the will of him who uses it, and is as free from the control of law as if it were the treasure of an independent government. That fund is also limited by the acts of appropriation to a certain object. This has just so many objects as the Postmaster General may select. Whatever expenses he chooses to consider as “incidental” to his Department, he pays; and the only account which he renders for it is confined to a line in his annual report, thus: “The incidental expenses for last year were 87,701 dollars.” The consequence of this state of things is, that, while the secret-service fund in the hands of the President is 30,000 dollars, the fund expended during the current year by the Postmaster General for the “incidental expenses” of his Department has now increased, as appears by the estimate in his last annual report, to thrice that sum. At an early day of the present session, one of your com. mittee drew the attention of the Senate to this subject, by a resolution calling for an account of these expenses for the period intervening between the 30th of September, 1831, and the 30th September, 1833. Months elapsed before any answer was given to the resolution, although, as will be seen by reference to the length of the report of the Postmaster General on this subject, hereto annex.
ed, the whole of it might have been transcribed from the Post Office books, by a tolerable clerk, in one day. When, after repeated inquiries for this paper, it was at length, for the first time, communicated to the Senate, it appear. ed in secret session, in company with another paper giving an account marked “confidential.” On the last paper, over which the veil of secrecy still hangs, your committee make no comment; but to the paper on which the injunction of secrecy does not rest, they invite the atten. tion of the Senate. While examining this document with a view to the correction of the abuses which it disclosed, the attention of your committee was arrested by the extent of official patronage to printers which it develops, and the amount of that patronage as exhibited in the “Blue Book.” The resolution of Congress, of the 14th of July, 1832, directed that there should be included in the next (present) edition of this book a correct list of all printers in any way employed by any department or officer of the Govern. ment, within the period between the 30th of September, 1831, and the 30th of September, 1833, with the compen. sation allowed to each. The resolution of Congress, to enable the Secretary of State to comply with it, enjoins it upon the “several heads of departments directing or incurring the expense, to cause the list, and the matter thereby required to be added, to be lodged in the Depart. ment of State.” The document in the Blue Book, (pages 182, 3, and '4,) entitled “List of all printers employed by the Post Office Department between the 30th of Sep. tember, 1831, and the 30th of September, 1833, with the compensation of each,” is the official paper furnished in obedience to this resolution, and is the first publication of any portion of the incidental expenses that has ever been made in obedience to the requisitions of law. The object of the resolution was to interpose the check of public opinion to arrest the abuse of official patronage to printers, no other check having been provided. To the end, also, that this patronage might not be abused, without detection, by employing the owners of the press, in any other way than in printing, it is provided that the list to be furnished should embrace all printers in any way employed, with the compensation to each, no matter for what allowed. If a printer be a mail contractor, it was intended by the resolution that the fact should appear. If any one of those who control the public press enjoys for years a monopoly in supplying the Department with articles to the great profit of the contractor, the fact was designed to be shown, in order that the public might judge of the extent and influence of the Executive patronage over the press so controlled. But, so far from accomplishing this, or any other proper object of this part of the resolution, it has been the means of eliciting a report from the Post Office Department precisely adapt. ed to mislead the public, in reference to the whole subiect. J On the list of printers in the Blue Book, True & Greene, proprietors and printers of the Boston Statesman, are thus stated to be employed: True & Greene, for printing blanks, - $6,692 75 For advertising proposals, - - 206 50
Total compensation reported in the Blue Book, $6,899 25
But the exhibit now made by the account of the Departmaent, hereto appended, shows that they have been employed during the whole time, (as the present Postmaster General had in fact before employed them,) in furnishing paper, printed blanks, and twine, to the amount of $29,907 75. See the account for the following items: 1832. January 25. True & Greene's compensation for furnishing blanks, paper, and twine, to various post offices in New
York and elsewhere, from 1st October to
31st December, 1831, inclusive, - $3,944 10 May 9. True & Greene's compensation for furnishing paper and twine, &c., from the 1st of January to the 31st of March, 1832, inclusive, - - - - 2,144 35 August 27. True & Greene, do. for blanks, paper, and twine, to 30th June, 1832, - 2,824 10 Dec’r 15. True & Greene, do, for blanks, paper, and twine, from 1st July to the 30th September, 1832, - - - 2,455 05 1833. March 23. True & Greene, do. for blanks, paper, and twine, from 1st October, 1832, to 31st December, 1832, - 2,164 85 April 23. True & Greene, do. for blanks, paper, and twine, from 1st October, 1832, to 15th April, 1833, - - - 3,727 23 July 24. True & Greene, for paper, blanks, and twine, from 1st October, 1832, to 30th September, 1833, - - - 3,022 12 October 16. True & Greene, for blanks, paper, and twine, from 1st April to 1st October, 1833, - - - - 9,625 95 Real compensation, - - - $29,907 75
So that the sum paid for the printed blanks alone exceeds the sums published in the Blue Book, by 9,564 dollars. Secondly. It appears that the only evidence upon which these large sums were paid, is the certificate of Nathaniel Greene, the postmaster at Boston. He is the brother of Charles G. Greene, of the firm of True and Greene. He undertakes to certify, in all cases, that blanks, paper, and twine, were furnished to the various postmasters “in New York and elsewhere,” of the quality stated in these vouchers. He is the same person who edited “ the Boston Statesman,” before that press was transferred to its present proprietors, and, from the information we have, it appears to us, that the postmaster himself was interested in it at the time of granting his certificates. This is but one of a class of cases presented by “the incidental expenses,” and we think it proper to remark, that, profitable as such contracts are, there is no competition admitted for them; no advertisement, or other notice invites other persons to enter the lists in rivalry with the favored newspaper editor upon whom such compensation is to be bestowed. Established in a city where its patronage from other sources than Executive favor was probably not very great, the press of “the Boston Statesman” appears by the vouchers and receipts, to have been sustained in the year 1832, when the last presidential election occurred, by the employment of its proprietors in rendering services to the amount of nearly sixteen thousand dollars, which were paid out of the revenues of this