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.Affairs of the Post Office Department.
the whole length of post roads was 115,000 miles; in 1830, he reported them to be 115,176 miles; in 1832, he reported them to be only 104,467 miles; and in 1833, he reported them to be 119,916 miles. The facts appear to be as follows: the late Postmaster General, in his last report, November, 1828, reported the length of post roads to be 114,536 miles. This must have embraced the new routes which had been established by the law of the preceding Congress, as it exhibited an increase of 9,200 miles greater than the statistical account of the Department showed for the preceding year. The present Postmaster General, in his first report of November, 1829, assumed the last report of his predecessor as the basis of his statement. He did not question its correctness. He had estimated an addition of between four and five hundred miles in putting into operation a few additional routes within the year; making the total amount 115,000 miles. In 1830, he predicated his report on the same presumption, that the last report of the late Postmaster General was correct, and reported an increase of 176 miles, which had been added by the establishment of a few routes, to furnish the seats of justice of some new counties, which had been established in some of the States within that period; and by varying some of the old routes, so as to increase their distance, for the purpose of giving a mail to new settlements, or growing neighborhoods. This gave the number of 115,176 miles in 1830. In the mean time, he had caused ... to be made, in which the names of the several offices on each route are given, the distance one from another, and the total length of each route; the length having been ascertained from the postmasters on each route, in consequence of circulars addressed to them by the Postmaster General. In 1832, he took the sum total of all these routes from the route-books, showing the whole length of all the post roads to be only 104,467 miles. The discrepancies which they (the Messrs. Bradleys) speak of, appear to have been occasioned by the estimate which had been made in the report of the late Postmaster General; and the diminution from 115,176 to 104,467, is produced by the present Postmaster General’s correction, in giving the true amount of mail trans. portation, ascertained in the manner heretofore stated. The route-books are in the Department open to inspec. tion, and if any errors exist in them, they are subject to correction. Between the report of 1832 and that of 1833, the new routes established by the law of 1832 were brought into operation, which added more than 15,000 miles to the length of post roads, and increased the total amount to 119,916 miles. The Messrs. Bradleys state that they have endeavored to ascertain the length of post roads in seven States and one Territory, by examining the advertisements for proposals, and when the distances are not advertised, by measuring the distances on the map; and in the result they have found a difference, or what they assert to be an error, of 4,195 miles. This is what might have been expected, when comparing their imperfect and uncertain method of calculating, with the correct method of the Department. They do not inform us what States and Territory they took, nor whether they included the new routes which went into operation in 1833; nor do they furnish us with any detail of the routes, with the length of each, as the Department has done. We have been furnished by the Department with a detail of all the routes, and the length of each, which certainly is the most satisfactory statement that can be given; but the Messrs. Bradleys state, that in seven States and one Territory, they have found an error, without pretending to have etamined the whole of the several routes in detail as stated on the route-books, and without pointing out where the error lies. Every route in those States, and that Territory, which may have been subsequently established, or which is not included in the advertisement Wol. X. —E e
which they examined, must have been excluded from their calculation: and their admeasurement on the map must have been exceedingly imperfect, while the data on which the report of the Postmaster General is founded is clear and unexceptienable. They next proceed to show that the increase in the transportation of the mail has not been so great as reported by the Postmaster General. They state that, by the last report of the late Postmaster General, the annual transportation of the mail was shown to be 13,709,039 miles. On reference to that report of 17th November, 1828, we find him to say, that on the first of July, 1823, the transportation of the mail was—
In stages, - - - 4,489,744 miles. On horseback, - - 5,511,496 “ Since that time, there has been added— In stages, - - - 1,949,850 “ On horseback, - - 1,658,949 “
We find, by the addition of these
sums, that the mail was transported in 1828, - - 13,610,039 miles. And not, as they state, - - 13,709,039 miles. This was taken by the Postmaster General as the basis on which he calculated the increase of 1829, '30, and '31. The document before referred to, (marked 18,) gives a statement of the length of each route, with the manner and frequency of transportation, showing the annual amount of transportation on each route. The sum total of these different routes, as they stood on the 1st of July, 1832, is 23,632,330 miles, the annual amount of the transportation of the mail at that time. The increase between that time and the 1st of July, 1833, occasioned by putting the new routes into operation, and by many improvements on the old routes, is stated to have amounted to upwards of three millions; making the total annual amount of transportation on the 1st of July, 1833, equal to 26,854,485 miles. To disprove the correctness of this statement, the Messrs. Bradleys report that they have examined the advertisements, and calculated from them the annual amount of transportation, and to this added the amount stated in the report of extra allowances, made to the Senate on the 3d of March last, which they assume to be the total amount of annual transportation. The incorrectness of their method must be obvious to every person who will make but a slight examination of the subject. Besides the inaccuracy of their distances, especially such as they ascertain by measuring the map, there are, and always have been, mail routes in operation, which are not in the advertisements. Some will be omitted in the advertisements by accident. Some additional routes will every year be required to supply new county seats of justice. But what will make a much greater difference is, that the advertisements invite proposals for improvements, such as running more frequently, extending routes to greater lengths, and other services to increase the transportation of the mail; also, the greater portion of steamboat routes are not advertised. The improved bids are frequently accepted, by means of which great alterations are made between the advertisements and the contracts, which will not be brought into view, either by examining the advertisements, or the report of extra allowances; because they are not contained either in the one or the other. Routes are sometimes advertised to run but once a week, and are contracted for to run three times a week. They are sometimes advertised to run three times a week, and are contracted for to run daily. They are sometimes advertised to run daily, and are contracted for to run twice a day. So, we find the route from New York to Philadelphia was advertised to run once a day; but the contract was made for it to run twice a day. The route from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, was advertised to run once a day; but the contract was 23d Cong. 1st SEss.]
Affairs of the Post Office Department.
made for it to run twice a day. The route from Philadelphia to Pottsville was advertised to run once a day; but the contract was made for it to run twice a day. The route from Reading to Harrisburg was advertised to run once a day; but the contract was made to run twice a day. The contracts for these four routes alone provide for the annual transportation of the mail 338,360 miles more than what could be embraced in the estimate of the Messrs. Bradleys. They are not in the advertisement, for they are covered by improved bids; and they are not contained in the report of extra allowances, because they are provided for in the original contract... Thus it appears, that the report of the Messrs. Bradleys must be very erroneous; but the document furnished by the Department, showing the whole in detail, is so perfectly clear, that it presents no difficulty; and if there exists in the calculation a single error, it furnishes the data by which it may be detected. In their report, the Messrs. Bradleys complain that they had not access to the archives of the Department. On this point, we are not aware of any just cause for complaint. The Postmaster General did refuse to suffer the books and documents of his Department to go out of the hands of those by whom they are ordinarily kept, except they were in charge of the committee, or some mem. ber of it; but he always showed the greatest readiness to furnish the committee, or any one of its members, so far as our knowledge extends, with any and every part of the archives of his office, whenever called for. He of. fered them a room in his office, which the committee accepted; and whenever any member of the committee was present, he always permitted the books and documents to be taken into that room, and there examined at pleasure, with or without the presence of any of the offi. cers of the Department, by the Messrs. Bradleys, or by any other person whom the committee thought proper to employ. In the whole course of the investigation, the inquiry whether any gift, or gratuity, or favor, had been received by any officer of the Department, from any contractor, (which might warrant the conclusion that it might have had any effect upon the public conduct of the officer,) was never lost sight of; and the result in our minds was, that nothing appeared which would justify a suspicion unfavorable to the Department or any of its officers. It was suggested to the committee, that the Postmaster General had been furnished with money by contractors to whom extra allowances had been made. The committee subpoenaed and brought before them all the contractors who were supposed to have any knowledge of the transaction referred to; and from all the testimony it appeared that Colonel R. M. Johnson had been bound as surety or endorser for Major Barry—that when payment was demanded, it was not convenient for either of them to raise the money—that Colonel Johnson, without the agency or knowledge of Major Barry, procured the sum of fifteen hundred dollars on a temporary loan from a friend of his, who was a contractor—that this friend, in making up the sum required, was aided, to the amount of 500 dollars, by another contractor—that Major Barry, some time afterwards, paid the money to Colonel Johnson, who repaid it to the person from whom he had received it. The contractor swears that it was never a subject of conversation or reference between him and the Postmaster General; nor did he, in consideration of it, ever receive any favor or indulgence whatever. As the whole of this transaction appears to have been without the agency or knowledge of the Postmaster General, it cannot furnish ground for a suspicion of any thing wrong on his part. The committee deemed it their duty to investigate every case where it was known that any member of the Department had had any dealings with any contractor, especially if the least intimation was given of a suspicion of
anything improper. A letter was received by the com. mittee from a citizen of Pennsylvania, charging, upon hearsay evidence, that of an extra allowance of 10,000 dollars on the contract of Reeside and Slaymaker, in which Mr. Tomlinson was also interested, Messrs. Reeside, Slaymaker, and Tomlinson, received each 3,000 dollars, and that the other 1,000 had been received by Mr. Brown, the chief clerk of the Department. We, therefore, took testimony of all the witnesses to whom we had been referred in said letter; and the charge was not sustained by evidence, but was fully disproved. A loan of money was made by Messrs. Slaymaker and Reeside to Mr. Brown, which has been in part repaid, and part remains still unpaid; but it appears, on the clearest testimony, to be a loan of money on interest, and does not furnish grounds for suspicion of anything improper. It also appeared that Mr. Brown had, sometime before this loan, made a loan on interest to Mr. Porter, a contractor, of several thousand dollars; and afterwards made an additional loan to Mr. Porter. If it should seem extraordinary, that he should borrow money on interest, while he had money loaned out at interest, the explanation is found in the circumstance that he acted as the agent of the late Doctor Jackson, and had received his money to the amount of several thousand dollars before his death; that he has continued to act as the agent for his widow and his orphan children, and has been in the habit of receiving their money to the present time, which he keeps at interest, as a distinct fund for their benefit; and that it was of this fund that he made the loan to Mr. Porter; but that the money which he borrowed, was to purchase property for his own individual benefit. These are all transactions of private character, having no relation to official conduct; but, as they were brought to view in the course of the examination of witnesses, we have thought it proper to state them, for the purpose of showing that every thing which might, by possibility, have a connexion with official relations, has been carefully scrutinized. There is nothing substantiated in the transaction in relation to Mr. Brown, which can justify a suspicion of impropiety. James Reeside, is a contractor for carrying the mail on many different routes, and to a very great extent. In most of the contracts which bear his name, he is associated with others who are very largely interested with him. The committee have inquired into all his existing contracts. On all the routes in which he is interested, the mail is carried in stages or in steamboats; and their whole extent is 1,932 miles in length, which is more than all the post roads in the United States amounted to in 1791. On these routes the mail is transported annually 1,743,910 miles. For this service, the present compensation is 119,810 dollars per year, equal to six cents and eighttenths of a cent per mile. On 90 miles of these roads, the mail is transported three times a day; on 526 miles twice a day; on 881 miles daily; and on 435 miles, three times a week. If, where it is transported inore than once a day, he should be allowed no compensation for the setvice beyond once a day, the compensation would amount to nine cents and seven-tenths of a cent per mile. We have also compared the compensation which Mr. Beeside now rece ves, with what he received under his contracts made in 1827, under the late Pos' master General. 1 t appears that he then transported the mail 391,194 miles per annum, at an annual compensation of $43,733 68, equal to eleven cents and two-tenths of a cent per mile. Under those contracts the mail was transported over 573 miles of post road, on 90 miles of which it was carried twice a day for six days in each week. If in that case there had been no compensation allowed for the service beyond once a day, the compensation would amount to thirteen cents per mile. We have pursued these investigations to arcertain whether there is any ground for suspicion,
that special favors have been extended to Mr. Reeside under the present administration of that Department; and it does not appear that the slighest ground for such a sus. picion exists. He performs the services at a much lower rate than under the former administration, and it does not appear that he has ever received compensation, but for services rendered fully equivalent to the same. An investigation was instituted before the committee, to ascertain whether he, Mr. Reeside, had not afforded to the Postmaster General such pecuniary aid, from which an inference might be drawn, that he might thereby become the object of special favor with the Department. Upon an examination into this subject, it appeared that the family of the Postmaster General was in Philadelphia, and had been there for some time, attending to his sick son, who was under the care of a physician of that place. That the Postmaster General, when on a visit to his family at Philadelphia, concluded to remove his family, including his son, from that place, at an earlier period than had been intended, and to enable him to discharge the demands against him, obtained from Mr. Reeside 1,000 dollars, upon an acceptance of short date, which was paid when it fell due. From this transaction, we are wholly unwilling to draw any unfavorable inference. In it we can discern nothing but the performance of a kind office, for which praise, rather than censure is due. The committee examined carefully into all cases where complaints were made, or where any suspicion was intimated of favoritism having been extended by the Department to any contractor, or of any improper exercise of the discretion of the Postmaster General in granting allowances. Every such case became the subject of rigid scrutiny: and not a single instance of alleged abuse has been omitted by the committee. The route between Baltimore, Maryland, and Cham. bersburg, Pennsylvania, seventy-seven miles, on which James Reeside is contractor, was among those which were examined by the committee. It appeared that the proposal of James Reeside to transport the mail on this route was accepted at 1,900 dollars a year; and that under his contract he received at the rate of 3,495 dollars a year from the commencement of the service under his contract, January 1, 1832, till the 31st December, 1833, when it was reduced to 1,900 dollars. On investigation, it was found that his proposal contained two propositions: the first to carry the mail daily, in four-horse post coaches, as advertised, which was to leave Baltimore daily at 4 A. M., and arrive at Chambersburg the same day by 9 P. M., 17 hours; leave Chambersburg every day at 2 A. M., and arrive at Baltimore the same day by 8 P. M., 18 hours; and to perform the service for 1,900 dollars per annum. The other proposition was to leave Baltimore daily, after the arrival of the steamboat from Philadelphia, and ar. rive at Chamsberburg same day, in time to connect with the mail from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, for the annual compensation of 3,495 dollars. The steamboat at that time left Philadelphia in the afternoon, and arrived at Baltimore at an early hour the next morning; and the mail from Philadelphia for Pittsburg passed through Chambersburg about six o'clock in the afternoon. The last proposition required a very considerable increase of expedition, and would gain an entire day between Baltimore and Pittsburg, of which this route is a part. The proposal of James Reeside was the only one offered for the route, and was accepted on the first proposition at 1,900 dollars. The acceptance was made in October, 1831, the contract to take effect from the 1st day of January following. On the 29th of December, 1831, the Postmaster General appears to have directed him to perform the service stipulated in his proposition for 3,495 dollars; and there is endorsed on the contract in the handwriting of Thomas B. Addison, the clerk employed in preparing and filing contracts, “Alteration made this
29th December, 1831.” Some of the members of the committee were induced to suspect that this endorsement had been made at a recent date; but on the examination on oath of three clerks, Mr. Addison, by whom the endorsement was made; Mr. Dundas, who was then the corresponding clerk for this division; and Mr. Childs, who is the present corresponding clerk of this division; the fact was clearly established, that the endorsement is not of recent date, but was made at the time of the date which it bears. The route from Hagerstown, Maryland, to McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, on which Mr. Reeside is contractor, was also a subject of examination. The distance is stated to be 26 miles, and it was advertised to run three times a week, in four-horse"post coaches. For this route there were several proposals, the lowest of which was 250 dollars, (a sum wholly inadequate to the service,) except that of Mr. Reeside, which was as follows: “We do agree to carry the mail on route No. 1,231, from Hagerstown to McConnellsburg, via Welch Run and Mercers. burg, as advertised, for the yearly compensation of 40 dollars, or we will carry the same so as to connect the mail at each place, with the great Eastern and Western mails, daily in four-hourse post coaches, for the yearly compensation of ninety-nine dollars, ninety-nine dollars.” This bid was accepted, and the contract appears to have been immediately filled at 40 dollars, and put into the hands of Mr. Reeside to be executed. It is alleged both by Mr. Reeside and the Postmaster General, that Mr. Reeside stated verbally to the Postmaster General, after the route had been assigned to him, and before the commencement of the service, that there was a mistake in his proposal; that the person who wrote out his proposal for him, must have mistaken his figures, and filled it with sums for which he never intended to perform the service. He alleged that the words “daily in four-horse post coaches,” as used in his bid, were intended by him to apply to equally to both propositions; that he intended to propose nothing less than a daily mail; but to perform the service agreeably to the schedule advertised, for fourteen hundred dollars; or to give such increased expedition as would perfect the connexions, for nineteen hundred and ninety-nine dollars; that the inconsiderable sum named would show that there must have been a mistake, and that the writing of the words “ninety-nine dollars, ninety-nine dollars,” with this repetition, made it obvious that there must have been an error. The Postmaster General informed him in answer to this statement, that as the route was intended to connect two daily routes, it would be necessary for him to run it daily; and and that the question for correcting the alleged error in writing the proposal, should be a subject for future consideration. There is on the files of the Department, a paper which appears to have been written after the service commenced, of which the following is a copy: “Mr. Reeside says that the bid was put in by mistake, as will appear from the small sum. He intended to have made it 1,400 dollars, and to run daily, and so marked with his pencil; but the clerk who copied it for him, mistook his pencil-mark, supposing the 1 was belonging to his dollar sign, and the 0 at the right hand he overlooked, or considered it merely a point. The Postmaster General gave him a verbal order to run daily, and reserved for consideration the correction of the error. He has run, from the beginning of the year, daily. Shall he be allowed to correct the error, and receive 1,400 dollars? His distance is increased 10 miles. No other bid.” On this statement is written, in the handwriting of the Postmaster General, “Granted.” Such are the facts in this case. It is stated by the Postmaster General, that the increase of distance was occasioned by his going by way of Green Castle, five miles each way, which increased his daily travel ten miles. That the words “no other
bid,” are erroneous; that the error must have arisen from the circumstance that three other proposals of Mr. Reeside were written on the same paper with this, to neither of which was there any other bid than his; and that it must have been under the impression that this was one of them, that this part of the note was made. The alIowance of 1,400 dollars was made him for running it daily, with the increased distance of five miles each way, till the close of the last year, when it was reduced to a tri-weekly mail, and the compensation reduced to 700 dollars. This is 450 dollars a year more than the lowest bid, but with an increase of five miles distance each way, and to be performed in the same time that would have been allowed without the increased distance. The Postmaster General further states, that as soon as he discovered the fact (which was not until this investigation commenced) that there were other bids on the route, he informed the contractor that the amount of allowance would be a subject of reconsideration; and that it would be regulated according to the other proposals, and to take effect from the beginning of the contract. The full amount of allowance is far from what appears extravagant when compared with what is paid for equal services on other routes; and if, when compared with the proposals of other responsible bidders on the same route, the allowance shall appear to be greater than what the contractor is fairly entitled to, the Postmaster General has the power, as he has declared his intention, to reduce it to the proper amount. The contract made by the Department with Dr. John T. Temple, for transporting the mail between Chicago, Illinois, and Green Bay, in the Territory of Michigan, has also been a subject of investigation. It appears that Doctor Temple was formerly a clerk in the General Post Office, and that he resigned his situation as such about the first of March, 1833, to take effect from the close of that month. The route from Chicago to Green Bay was established by the law of 1832; but in advertising the routes established by that law, this route was omitted, and one which had not been provided for by law, from Detroit, by Mackinac, to Green Bay, was advertised. This error appears to have arisen from the circumstance that the person who prepared the advertisements had not the means of referring to the law as it finally passed, it having been necessary to prepare the advertisements before the law was published. Two proposals, however, were received by the Department for transporting the mail on the route from Chicago to Green Bay. One by Alexander Irwin and John P. Arndt, to carry the mail once in two weeks for 3,000 dollars a year, from the 1st January, 1833, for the period of three years. Their proposal is dated “Green Bay, September 5, 1832.” The other was by Asahel Savery, of White Pigeon, who was then present at the Department, dated 10th November, 1832, proposing to carry the mail once in two weeks for 3,000 dollars a year, from the 1st April, 1833, to the 31st December, 1835; or, if the Postmaster General should require it to be carried once a week, he proposed to perform the service for the additional sum of 500 dollars a year. Colonel Savery was already the contractor for carrying the mail from Detroit to Chicago, and his proposal was accepted to transport the mail between Chicago and Green Bay, once a week, from the 1st April, 1833, for the yearly compensation of 3,500 dollars. On the 19th of January, 1833, Colonel Savery addressed a letter to the Postmaster General, stating, that as the route had not been advertised, he had not travelled over it preparatory to making his bid, but had supposed the distance to be but two hundred miles, over a prairie country, unobstructed by diffi. cult streams of water; but he had since learned that the distance was two hundred, and fifty miles, principally through uninhabited woodlands, interrupted by several
water-courses, which would require him to keep boats to enable him to perform the service. He, therefore, earnestly requested the Postmaster General to add a thousand or fifteen hundred dollars to his annual allowance, as a matter of equity. He proposed to submit the subject to Governor Cass, who, he supposed, had travelled over the route. The matter was accordingly referred to Governor Cass; but he returned it to the Department without giving an opinion, having never travelled over the route. The contract was made on the 22d of February with Colonel Savery for 4,500 dollars a year, to commence the first of April following. On the 28th of Feb. ruary, one week after the contract was made, it was as: signed by Savery to John T. Temple, and the assignment approved by the Postmaster General. The other proposal was for 3,000 dollars, once in two weeks. Had it been accepted, the Postmaster General could not have required them to have increased to once a week for less than 6,000 dollars. The contract was made with Savery, once a week, for 4,500 dollars. Dr. Temple had determined to resign his situation as a clerk in the General Post Office, and remove to Chicago, and did actually resign and leave the Department for Chicago, besore the contract commenced. It appears that he had desired to obtain this contract before he left the Department, and had received a promise of Savery to transfer it to him in case he should obtain it; but it does not appear that this was known to the Postmaster General, or to any other person in the Department having any agency in making the contract with Savery; nor does it appear that the hope or expectation of Dr. Temple to obtain this contract, had any influence whatever in the giving of it to Col. Savery, or in regulating the compensation to be allowed for the service. Notwithstanding this, it would be highly proper that there should be a legal prohibition against any per. son engaged in the Department becoming interested in mail contracts, or acting as agents for contractors in any manner whatever. The contract for transporting the mail on the route be. tween Bellefonte and Meadville, in Pennsylvania, has also been examined. This was formerly a two-horse stage line, under contract to Hays and Bennett, to be performed three times a week, through in two and a half days, at 2,700 dollars a year. Their contract expired on the 31st December, 1831. In June, 1831, the route was adver. tised for proposals to renew it in the same way; that is, in two-horse stages, three times a week; the trip to be performed each way in two days and a half. John and Benjamin Bennett proposed to perform the service through in two days, in four-horse post coaches, for 3,500 dollars a year. There were two other proposals received for this, both to run as advertised, viz. E. Platt & Co. for 1,980 dollars a year, and Moore, Libo, & Co. for 2,450 dollars a year. The bid of Platt & Co. was accepted, This route constitutes a part of the most direct line from Philadelphia and Harrisburg to Erie, the northern Part of Ohio, and Michigan. The lines with which it connects at both ends are four-horse coach lines. There were many applications to the Postmaster General from persons of the highest intelligence and respectability, calling for the improvement of this into a four-horse post-coach line. The Postmaster General at length determined so to improve it. Fifty per cent. on a two-horse stage line is estimated by the Department as the pro rata increase for improvement to a four-horse coach line. The proposal, therefore, of Mr. Bennett, was lower than any other, except that of Platt & Co. But Platt & Co. voluntarily withdrew their proposal, as appears from the documents on file in the General Post Office; and there appears to have been good reason why the Postmaster General should have permitted them to do so. The proposal of the Bennetts was then accepted, and a con ract made with them to perform the service three times a week in four-horse [23d Cong. 1st SEss.
.Affairs of the Post Office Department.
post coaches. They also stipulated to run through each way in two days, instead of two days and a half. Their contract is dated October 15th, 1831, but it does not appear to have been signed by them till the 29th March, 1832. On the contract, the following note appears: “On account of unusual freshets and destruction of bridges, that is, Sugar-creek bridge, Franklin bridge, with material other changes on the road since the 15th October, 1831, to the 29th March, 1832, we agree to run the mail in two days and a half each way from Bellefonte to Meadville, and back; and it is understood that as soon as the bridges are rebuilt, we shall adopt the foregoing schedule mentioned on the within contract. No delay will be occasioned at Meadville, in consequence of the last-mentioned schedule.” “The above statement is just and true. “DANIEL ANDREWS, P. M.” In consequence of this statement, certified by the postmaster at Meadville, they were permitted to take the additional time, two and a half instead of two days, while the bridges were gone, and the roads out of repair. It is stated at the Department, that the contractors claimed additional compensation, in consequence of the increased distance and expense to which they were subjected by the loss of the bridges and injury of the roads; but this was denied them. The additional time, however, seems to have been very properly allowed. John Bennett has since deceased, and Benjamin Bennett is fulfilling the contract. Avery, Tompkins, and Saltmarsh, are contractors for transporting the mail on several routes; among which are the routes from Petersburg, Virginia, by Warrenton, North Carolina, and Raleigh, to Fayetteville, twe hundred and three miles, constituting a part of the main daily line between the Northern and Southern States, to New Orleans. These routes are involved in their contract with other routes, which do not belong to the main Southern mail line, at a round sum for the whole, without defining the proportion which belongs to each separate route. One of their contracts is for carrying four times a week, in four-horse post coaches, between Petersburg and Warrenton, eighty-five miles; for running four times a week between Warrenton and Raleigh, fifty-seven miles, in fourhorse post coaches; for running daily between Raleigh and Fayetteville, sixty-one miles, in four-horse post coaches; for running three times a week between Halifax and Raleigh, eighty-six miles, in four-horse post coaches; and for the whole of these five routes, they were to receive 24,000 dollars a year. Another is for running three times a week between Nashville and Tarborough, North Carolina, twenty-eight miles, in two-horse stages, at 450 dol. lars a year; and for running once a week on horseback, between Enfield and Tarborough, twenty-four miles, at seventy dollars a year. These contracts all bear date Oc. tober 20, 1830; to commence January 1, 1831, and to continue four years. From the first of the above routes they were required to run a cross-mail, diverging from the main route at Diamond Grove, nine miles, to Gholsonville, for which an additional allowance was made of 150 dollars a year. The routes from Petersburg to Warrenton, and from Warrenton to Raleigh, one hundred and forty-two miles, were afterwards directed to be run daily, instead of four times a week, and to be so expedited as to gain a half of an hour each way. The route from Nashville to Tarborough, twenty-eight miles, was directed to be run in fourhorse post coaches, instead of two-horse stages. The route from Enfield to Tarborough, twenty-four miles, was directed to be performed three times a week in four-horse post coaches, instead of once a week on horseback. For these several improvements, the contractors were allowed an additional compensation at the rate of 9,000 dollars a year. Whether this allowance was greater than what law
and equity would warrant, is a proper subject of inquiry; a pro rata allowance for three additional trips per week between Petersburg and Raleigh, via Warrenton, provided no more is allowed for carrying the great mail on the main line than for collateral mail lines, would amount to about 7,000 dollars, without increase of expedition. This would leave 2,000 dollars applicable to the improvement of the route from Nashville to Tarborough, twenty-eight miles, from a two-horse stage to a four-horse post-coach line, and for the establishment of a four-horse post-coach line three times a week from Enfield to Tarborough, twenty-four miles, instead of a horse mail once a week, and for the increase of expedition. There is no rule by which a pro rata can be established between a horseroute and a coach-route, nor for an increase of expedition. The contractors furnished satisfactory evidence to the Department that the improvement increased their expense equal to the allowance which was made, and there is no cause to doubt it. From the 1st of April, 1832, it was deemed advisable by the Postmaster General to give such further expedition to the great Southern mail as to bring it into Washington at nine o'clock at night, instead of five the next morning, so as to connect it with the morning instead of the afternoon steamboat at Baltimore for Philadelphia: in doing this, the contractors were required so to expedite as to give one hour between Fayetteville and Petersburg. In the second section of their contract it was stipulated that the Postmaster General may alter the times of arrival and departure fixed by said schedule, and alter the route; he making an adequate compensation for any extra expense which may be occasioned thereby. In conformity with this stipulation, the increased expedition was ordered. The contractors furnished evidence to show that it required two additional teams, or eight horses and two drivers, and that the expense amounted to 2,000 dollars. This sum was therefore allowed them by the Postmaster General, and it appears to have been no more than justice and the terms of their contract required. The road between Petersburg and Raleigh, 142 miles, is stated to be unusually bad during the winter season; and the great weight to which the mails had grown, rendered it impracticable for it to be carried through in proper time in coaches. To secure its regular and rapid transportation, the contractors, from December 1832, established a line of covered wagons, in which the great mail was carried, to run daily during the winter, so as entirely to exclude passengers; and in addition to this, they ran a line of coaches three times a week, by which the intermediate and smaller offices might be supplied with the way mail. This was running ten times instead of seven times a week. For this service the Postmaster General allowed them 2,500 dollars. The service appears to have been important to keep up without interruption the regular communication between the North and South during the winter, when these roads are said to be extremely difficult to pass. Evidence satisfactory to the Postmaster General is filed in the Department to show that the allowance made was but a reasonable equivalent for the expense to which the service subjected the contrac'Ors. A contract was made with James F. Robinson, dated 15th October, 1831, to transport the mail, from January 1, 1832, to December 31, 1835, between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Georgetown, Kentucky, 72 miles, daily, in fourhorse post coaches, for 1,000 dollars a year. After this contract was made, and before the service under it commenced, such increased expedition was given to the great Western mail as to carry it from Washington city, and from Baltimore to Cincinnati, in two days less time than under the former contracts, and to arrive at Cincinnati at 6 o'clock in the evening. To give to Kentucky the full benefit of
this expedition, it was deemed necessary to direct the