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bought groceries of a hardware dealer at Albany, named Davidson, that town whence came Mr. Weed's clerk. He did not know what was Davidson's trade, nor did he know exactly what he was going to buy; but Davidson proposed to sell him something which Mr. Cummings believed to be some kind of provisions, and he bought it. He did not know for how much, whether over 20001, or not. He never saw the articles and had no knowledge of their quality. It was out of the question that he should have such knowledge, as he naïvely remarks. His clerk Humphreys saw the articles. He presumed they were brought from Albany, but did not know. He afterwards bought a ship,-or two or three ships. He inspected one ship "by a mere casual visit:" that is to say, he did not examine her boilers; he did not know her tonnage, but he took the word of the seller for everything. He could not state the terms of the charter, or give the substance of it. He had had no former experience in buying or chartering ships. He also bought 75,000 pair of shoes at only 25 cents, or one shilling a pair, more than their proper price. He bought them of a Mr. Hall, who declares that he paid Mr. Cummings nothing for the job, but regarded it as a return for certain previous favours conferred by him on Mr. Cummings in the occasional loans of 1001. or 2001.

At the end of the examination it appears that Mr. Cummings still held in his hand a slight balance of 28,0001., of which he had forgotten to make mention in the body of his own evidence. “This item seems to have been overlooked by him in his testimony,” says the report. And when the report was made nothing had yet been learned of the destiny of this small bal

Then the report gives a list of the army supplies miscellaneously purchased by Mr. Cummings :-280 dozen pints of ale at 98. 6d. a dozen; a lot of codfish and herrings; 200 boxes of cheeses and a large assortment of butter; some tongues; straw hats and linen "pants;" 23 barrels of pickles; 25 casks of Scotch ale, price not stated; a lot of London porter, price not stated; and some Hall carbines of which I must say a word more further on. It should be remembered that no requisition had come from the army for any of the articles named; that the purchase of herrings and straw hats was dictated solely by the discretion of Cummings and his man Humphreys,-or, as is more probable, by the fact that some other person had such articles by him for sale; and that the government had its own established officers for the supply of things properly ordered


by military requisition. These very same articles also were apparently procured, in the first place, as a private speculation, and were made over to the government on the failure of that speculation. “Some of the above articles," says the report,

were shipped by the 'Catiline,' which were probably loaded on private account, and not being able to obtain a clearance was in some way, through Mr. Cummings, transferred over to the government, -Scotch ale, London porter, selected herrings, and all.” The italics as well as the words are taken from the report.

This was the confidential political friend of the Secretary-atWar, by whom he was intrusted with 400,000l. of public money! 28,000l. had not been accounted for when the report was made, and the army supplies were bought after the fashion above named. That Secretary-at-War, Mr. Cameron, has

. since left the Cabinet; but he has not been turned out in disgrace; he has been nominated as minister to Russia, and he world has been told that there was some difference of opinion between him and his colleagues respecting slavery! Mr. Cameron in some speech or paper declared on his leaving the Cabinet that he had not intended to remain long as Secretary-atWar. This assertion, I should think, must have been true.

And now about the Hall carbines, as to which the gentlemen on this Committee tell their tale with an evident delight in the richness of its incidents which at once puts all their readers in accord with them. There were altogether some five thousand of these, all of which the government sold to a Mr. Eastman in June, 1861, for 148. each, as perfectly useless, and afterwards bought in August for 4l. 88. each, about 45. a carbine having been expended in their repair in the mean time. But as regards 790 of these now famous weapons, it must be explained they had been sold by the government as perfectly useless, and at a nominal price, previously to this second sale made by the government to Mr. Eastman. They had been so sold, and then, in April, 1861, they had been bought again for the government by the indefatigable Cummings for 31. each. Then they were again sold as useless for 148. each to Eastman, and instantly rebought on behalf of the government for 41. 88. each. Useless for war purposes they may have been, but as articles of commerce it must be confessed that they were very serviceable.

This last purchase was made by a man named Stevens on behalf of General Fremont, who at that time commanded the army of the United States in Missouri. Stevens had been em

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ployed by General Fremont as an agent on the behalf of government, as is shown with clearness in the report, and on hearing of these muskets telegraphed to the General at once. “I have 5000 Hall's rifled cast-steel muskets, breech-loading, new, at 22 dollars." General Fremont telegraphed back instantly, “I will take the whole 5000 carbines ... I will pay all extra charges .". And so the purchase was make. The muskets, it seems, were not absolutely useless even as weapons of

“ Considering the emergency of the times," a competent witness considered them to be worth “10 or 12 dollars." The government had been as much cheated in selling them as it had in buying them. But the nature of the latter transaction is shown by the facts that Stevens was employed, though irresponsibly employed, as a government agent by General Fremont; that he bought the muskets in that character himself, making on the transaction 1l. 188. on each musket; and that the same man afterwards appeared as an aide-de-camp on General Fremont's staff. General Fremont had no authority himself to make such a purchase, and when the money was paid for the first instalment of the arms, it was so paid by the special order of General Fremont himself out of moneys intended to be applied to other purposes. The money was actually paid to a gentleman known at Fremont's head-quarters as his special friend, and was then paid in that irregular way because this friend desired that that special bill should receive immediate payment. After that who can believe that Stevens was himself allowed to pocket the whole amount of the plunder ?

There is a nice little story of a clergyman in New York who sold for 401. and certain further contingencies, the right to furnish 200 cavalry horses; but I should make this too long if I told all the nice little stories. As the frauds at St. Louis were, if not in fact the most monstrous, at any rate the most monstrous which have as yet been brought to the light, I cannot finish this account without explaining something of what was going on at that western Paradise in those halcyon days of General Fremont.

General Fremont, soon after reaching St. Louis, undertook to build ten forts for the protection of that city. These forts have since been pronounced as useless, and the whole measure has been treated with derision by officers of his own army. But the judgment displayed in the matter is a military question with which I do not presume to meddle. Even if a general be wrong in such a matter, his character as a inan is not disgraced by such error. But the manner of building them was the affair


with which Mr. Van Wyck's committee had to deal. It seems that five of the forts, the five largest, were made under the orders of a certain Major Kappner at a cost of 12,0001., and that the other five could have been built at least for the same sum. Major Kappner seems to have been a good and honest public servant, and therefore quite unfit for the superintendence of such work at St. Louis. . The other five smaller forts were also in progress. The works on them having been continued from 1st September to 25th September, 1861; but on the 25th September General Fremont himself gave special orders that a contract should be made with a man named Beard, a Californi. àn, who had followed him from California to St. Louis. This contract is dated the 25th of September. But nevertheless the work specified in that contract was done previous to that date, and most of the money paid was paid previons to that date. The contract did not specify any lump sum, but agreed that the work should be paid for by the yard and by the square foot. No less a sum was paid to Beard for this work—the cormorant Beard, as the report calls him—than 24,2001., the last payment only, amounting to 40001., having been made subsequent to the date of the contract. 20,2001. was paid to Beard before the date of the contract! The amounts were paid at five times, and the last four payments were made on the personal order of General Fremont. This Beard was under no bond, and none of the officers of the government knew anything of the terms under which he was working. On the 14th of October General Fremont was ordered to discontinue these works, and to abstain from making any further payments on their account. But, disobeying this order, he directed his Quartermaster to pay a further sum of 40001. to Beard out of the first sums he should receive from Washington, he then being out of money. This however was not paid. “It must be understood,” says the report, “that every dollar ordered to be paid by General Fremont on account of these works was diverted from a fund specially appropriated for another purpose.” And then again,

' “The money appropriated by Congress to subsist and clothé and transport our armies was then, in utter contempt of all law and of the army regulations, as well as in defiance of superior authority, ordered to be diverted from its lawful purpose and turned over to the cormorant Beard. While he had received 170,000 dollars (24,2001.) from the Government, it will be seen from the testimony of Major Kappner that there had only been paid to the honest German labourers, who did the work on the first five forts built under his directions, the sum of 15,500 dol

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lars (31001.), leaving from 40,000 to 50,000 dollars (80001. to 10,0001.) still due; and while these labourers, whose families were clamoring for bread, were besieging the Quartermaster's department for their pay, this infamous contractor Beard is found following up the army and in the confidence of the MajorGeneral, who gives him orders for large purchases, which could only have been legally made through the Quartermaster's de partment.” After that, who will believe that all the money ”

, went into Beard's pocket ? Why should General Fremont have committed every conceivable breach of order against his govern. ment, merely with the view of favouring such a man as Beard ?

The collusion of the Quartermaster MʻInstry with fraudulent knaves in the purchase of horses is then proved. M'Instry was at this time Fremont's Quartermaster at St. Louis. I cannot go through all these. A man of the name of Jim Neil comes out in beautiful pre-eminence. No dealer in horses could get to the Quartermaster except through Jim Neil, or some such go-between. The Quartermaster contracted with Neil and Neil with the owners of horses; Neil at the time being also military inspector of horses for the Quartermaster. He bought horses as cavalry horses for 241. or less, and passed them himself as artillery horses for 30l. In other cases the military inspectors were paid by the sellers to pass horses. All this was done under Quartermaster M'Instry, who would himself deal with none but such as Neil. In one instance, one Elleard got a contract from M'Instry, the profit of which was 8000l. But there was a man named Brady. Now Brady was a friend of M'Instry's, who scenting the carrion afar off, had come from Detroit, in Michigan, to St. Louis. M‘Instry himself had also come from Detroit. In this case Elleard was simply directed by M'Instry to share his profits with Brady, and consequently paid to Brady 40001., although Brady gave to the business neither capital nor labour. He simply took the 40001. as the Quartermaster's friend. This Elleard, it seems, also gave a carriage and horses to Mrs. Fremont. Indeed Elleard seems to have been a civil and generous fellow. Then there is a man named Thompson, whose case is very amusing. Of him the Committee thus speaks :-“ It must be said that Thompson was not forgetful of the obligations of gratitude, for, after he got through with the contract, he presented the son of Major MʻInstry with a riding pony. That was the only mark of respect,” to use his own words, “ that he showed to the family of Major M'Instry.”

General Fremont himself desired that a contract should be

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