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with the regulation of the law to notify the officials of their removal from one residence to another.
These names in last citations are all included in the first claim of 155 votes grounded on their being improperly stricken from the registration list. Their own testimony shows it was the duty of the revising board to strike them off from “ appearing on the lists as residing at a certain place" from which place they themselves admit they had moved. They were not improperly stricken off. The reviser acted properly. The voter neglected to do his duty.
In all the claims of the majority report this neglect of obedience to a reasonable regulation underlies the claim as presented.
There are two claims of mistake in the official count of a few votes, six or eight, but the testimony on which the official return is sought to be contradicted does not rise to the dignity of being seriously considered as evidence. There is a claim that 15 Greenback Labor tickets were rejected on which it is supposed the name of contestant appeared, but on a reference to the record the one witness who testifies to this does not give any positive testimony; it is all guess-work. The witness himself does not appear to be familiar with either the make-up of the ticket or the number who voted them; thinks most of the 15 had contestant's name on. (See his testimony, page 612, as cited in report.)
Regarding as we do that the settlement of the question of the validiy and effect of the registration laws of Saint Louis decides this case in favor of the sitting member, we do not deem it necessary to go into detail of votes. However, there is a claim of 86 votes made under a special registration law, called the “O'Neil act,” which enabled persons never registered to register at the polls; and such a gross abuse was made of this privilege in this cause in the interest of contestant that some reference should be made to this claim in this report.
This act was enforced that election, but on account of these gross abuses had to be repealed. These abuses will be referred to hereafter.
We must say now, without quoting fully from the citations of the majority report, that they show that, as usual, the voters whose names are given had failed to transfer. They actually had been previously registered, and hence, having been once registered, could not avail themselves of the extraordinary privileges of that act. The act is as follows:
AN ACT to provide for the exercise of the right of voting by persons who have failed to register.
Be it enacted by the general assembly of the State of Missouri as follows :
SECTION 1. In all State, county, and municipal elections hereafter held in any city of this State having a population of one hundred thousand inhabitants or more no person shall be deprived of the right of voting at such election by reason of having failed to register : Provided, That in all cities where registration is required by law the party offering to vote, but who from any cause has failed to register before he offers to vote, shall be, on the day of such election, registered by a special registrar of election, appointed by the judges of election for that purpose at each precinct, as a qualified voter, in a book to be kept for that purpose ; and the ballot of such voter shall be received and counted at such election; and such registrar shall return to the registrar of voters of such city the list of such voters so registered within ten days after such election, provided the said registrars shall be sworn as provided for the recorder of voters, and the books shall contain the written or printed oath as required in the regular registration books. Approved March 30, 1877.
Here is a sample of the men who never had registered. John Bellville (Record, page 476) :
Q. How often did you change your residence in the city of Saint Louis 1--A. The Last time that I registered I was living on Ninth street, between Cass avenue and Mullanphy.
Q. Well, you had been previously registered; you so informed the judges, and they woulda't permit you to make a transfer on that day !-A. No, sir; they wouldn't allow me to transfer.
It is not necessary to cite others, as we desire to show some of the abuses under this law in the interest of this contestant which should not be left unconsidered.
It appears from the record that the contestant failing in his proof to make a case, some unscrupulous men in his employ sought to take advantage of the O'Neil act to "manufacture evidence."
A drill class was formed for worthless vagabonds, who, on receipt of 75 cents, would swear that they “never had registered," and that on election day they had offered “to register and to vote" and were refused.
So many of this herd were driven on to one poll that contestee summoned all of its officers, Democrats, Republicans, judges, clerks, United States supervisors, and marshals, and they were all surprised to hear of any charge of unfairness or partiality or improper refusal of a voter at the poll in question.
The testimony of all these officers, of all positions and all parties, will be found in the Record on pages 1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1938, 1939, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1950, 1951.
These men who swore that these vagabonds must have deliberately lied were men of reputation and position in the city of Saint Louis. The United States supervisor had been an officer in the United States Army, and he testifies :
Q. Was there any man that came there that day, black or white, who produced satisfactory evidence that he had been in the city long enough, refused the privilege to register and vote 1-A. None. Q. Did you notice any bias or prejudice on the part of any judge or other officer at that poll toward any voter, white or black ?–A. I did not.
Q. And it was your business to supervise that election ?-A. Yes, sir; a general supervision over all of it.
Yet if we were to believe the vagabonds whose testimony is indi. cated in these formidable tables, and the majority of whom swear they were refused the privilege of registering and voting at this particular poll, you must disregard the oaths of gentlemen-Repablican and Democrat—as respectable as ever appeared on a witness stand.
The record indicates that the witnesses referred to were not only drilled but deliberately, for lucre, perjured themselves.
A confession of this bad work was made by one E. A. Fenton, who had been employed as a canvasser on behalf of contestant in the contest.
William J. Anderson (Record, page 2267):
He further said that it was a good scheme if he could get this part of the work, because he could hide up his own dirty work that him and Lewis done; they could both hide it; he seemed very anxious to hide up what they had done before ; he thought his was a very fine scheme for that.
Record, page 2268 : Q. You gave him a list of the negro witnesses that had been examined in the cause, for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was true or not that they lived where they swore they did.-A. Yes, sir. He informed me that it was not necessary for him to leave his room.
II. Mis. 35-27
Q. He informed you that he did not need to go out of his rooms for that business, because he knew whether they lied or had not lied ?-A. Yes, sir.
Record, page 2268 :
Q. Did he state to you that he could locate all the crooked evidence in behalf of the contestant in this case, Mr. Sessinghaus ?-A. Yes, sir; because, he said, it was not necessary for him to leave his room in pursuit of this object; that he knew just where each one of them lived ; there might be one or two that he didn't know; that he would probably have to work half an hour a day, but in regards to me he said I would have to go right to work and look up witnesses, and serve subpænas on them.
Q. What did he say in regard to playing "hell " with Sessinghaus's case if he was placed on the stand against him ?-A. He told me, I think it was about-yes, it was about two days and a half or three days before he left-he had seen a notification sent to J. T. Šmith by myself and Lewis, that they was going to be witnesses in the Frost case, and he said if he got on the stand and swore against Sessinghaus he would “raise hels.” He said that all the dirty work he knew as much about as anybody would be like to know, and he would “raise hell.” It was about a day, I think, or a day and a half after that, that I met him again; it was on Monday; I can't remember the date of these conversations.
Now it appears from the record, page 2268, that this witness, after it became known that he was subpænaed by contestee, was induced by some agents of the contestant to leave the city, so as to avoid process:
Q. Did he state anything to the effect that if he was paid he would skip the town! -A. Oh, yes; he said if Sessinghaus would put up the most money he would skip.
Record, page 2269: Q. And he did skip ?-A. I think he did skip, sir; I couldn't find him anywhere; I think it was on Monday that I seen him last and had a conversation with him about a quarter past eleven or twelve o'clock; he said that a man named Wiesehausen had told him he wanted to have a conversation with him, and he was going down to the corner of Fifth and Olive; so he walked down town to Fifth and Olive, and went up to Burgess's office, where we generally went and read the papers; he said, when be arrived at Jaccard's (it was just about one o'clock, anyhow it was one o'clock when be started down stairs) that Wiesehausen told him to come back. I don't know whether that was the young man or not (indicating a gentleman present in the room).
Q. Is this the Mr. Wiesehahn that he saw at that place-this gentleman sitting here, who is the agent of Mr. Sessinghaus ?-A. I don't know the gentleman; he told me that the gentleman was connected with the Sessinghaus contest case.
Q. Well, you never saw him after that conversation ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Although you was sent to bring him here?-A. Yes, sir; I bad a subpæda in my pocket for him.
Q. Did he also say that he had got the money from Wiesebahn and then skipped ! Record, page 2270: Q. Well, what did Lewis, one of the employés of Mr. Sessinghaus, tell you in regard to Fulton skipping the town after he got the money from Wiesehahn, if any-A. Lewis told me this: he said I was a fool; he said that there was money paid on the Sessinghaus side, and that he (Fulton) had got it and skipped to Little Rock, Ark.
It further appears that other witnesses familiar with the perjury of most of the 86 were warned that if they testified to what they knew they would be harmed.
Record, page 2295 :
Q. Where did he tell you that be was warned by threats of white men to keep his mouth shut in regard to the manner in which tbis Sessingbaus testimony was worked up ?-A. That was in Reuben Armstrong's saloon-in his place; I was standing there when he came rushing in, and, seeing me there talking with a gentleman, he called me away and took me outside, pointed out this man, and says, "Do you know those men there?” I says, “No; I don't know them.” He says, "You had better be careful; they are following us; one of them was in my room, and said the best thing for him (Lewis) to do was to keep his mouth shut, because there was going to be somebody killed in this Sessinghaus-Frost contest." I just told him to go right over there and ask them what they wanted. I finally went over to the three, and this man Flaherty says, “Yes, that is the man I saw there"
Record, page 2295: Q. Was the man with the blue spot under his eye about there ?-A. Yes, sir; 1:4 was there; he is the man that Lewis pointed out as the man that had come to bis room and warned him of danger.
Q. If Lewis would come down and give away these secrets !-A. If he testified in the Frost side of the case.
Q. When was it that Mr. Fulton told you that there was a deal of slick work done on the part of the Sessioyhaus canvassers, and the reason he ceased to work for them was because they wanted him to do work that was too dirty for him to do 7-A. That was when I met Fulton on the corner of Ninth and Christy avenue, when he told me that I shonld go and see Mr. Donovan.
Record, page 2296 : Q. That he bad quit work for Sessinghaus because they requested him to do a thing that no man, white or black, should do ?-A. He told me there was a great deal of slick work going on, and he qnit because he done dirty work enough, and he didn't inteod to do any more; that was the reason he gave me for quitting Sessinghaus's employ.
Q. When did he inform you that J. T. Smith had done this drilling, and that he bad seen him do it?-A. Well, I think that was in the sanie conversation that we had there. It lasted about half an hour or so.
Jesse Woods (Record, page 2215): Q. Who did he say drilled them ?-A. Well, T. J. Smith. It was Smith, I know that; I know Mr. Smith if I saw him. I am not personally acquainted with him; I know him when I see him.
Q. Wbat do you know in regard to negroes coming upon the stand two or three different times, under different names, and testifying in this case, thereby getting seventyfive cents each appearance?-A. There was seven men come to me who stated that it didn't make any ditference at all about the name; they could just go there and swear and come away and then go back again. They used to get their money on Carr street, between Tenth and Eleventh streets, on the east side; as near as my knowledge can recollect that is what they told me. There was nobody told me nothing else about this; I was not spoken to by any man except these fellows; and they told me where they got their money.
Q. What do you know in regard to negroes coming two or three times on the stand! -À. I don't know any more than I have already stated to you. That is what they told me theirselves; that they come two or three times to get money. They showed me the money they got—six bits to a dollar. I just come again those parties.
Record, page 2216: Q. What did they say, Mr. Woods ?-A. They said they voted under different names, out of that district or in that district, it didn't make any difference. They said they had to say that they wanted to vote for Sessinghaus and they wasn't let, and then they got their six bits for it. I never was up in this office before, gentlemen.
Record, page 2216: Q. Now, did Lewis say anything in regard to these men saved from harm, provided that they wonld do this-give this class of testimony ?-A. Lewis said he said to these men, whom he wanted to go up there, to swear that they wanted to register and vote-these colored men; he said to them that nothing could be done with them. I said this wonldn't do me. I wouldn't go there and swear to a lie; if I did I would criminate myself. I did not believe he could find the poorest colored man in the city that would do that,that is, go on the stand and swear to a lie. But he went on to say that he had taken these men out there, and that he had been given a quarter for bringing each man up. I said that might be done by some colored people, but you could never get me to do it.
Q. You don't seem to get my question ; what did he say about keeping them from any harm for doing this thing!--A. Lewis furthermore said that he told these parties that they could not be hurt if they testified, because these that they testified for would be afraid to hurt them. To me he was going to give the whole plan, if I wanted anything to do with it. I told him I didn't want to know anything about it; didn't want to have anything to do with it.
Q. This is Lewis we are talking about—this man that was employed by the contestant in this case, Mr. Sessinghaus 1-A. Yes, sir; he had been with Mr. Smith, and he and Smith had done this; they were both working for Mr. Sessinghaus's side; they were going to defeat Mr. Frost. I believe he said they had twenty days to Frost's Q. Did he state whether Mr. Smith drilled these witnesses 1-A. Yes, sir; he said they were drilled by Smith somewhere on Carr street, or Biddle street, between Ninth and Tenth streets.
This testimony is of much significance if taken in connection with that given by the officials—men of prominence in the city of Saint Louis—who swore that no one was improperly refused registration on that election day.
This particular election was provided with many safeguards. United States marshals and United States supervisors were appointed to every poll; their duty is plainly stated in the United States statutes. They were all furnished with special instructions by the officers of the United States, and yet in all their reports to the chief marshal and the chief supervisor there is not one single act of improper conduct reported at any poll.
Inasmuch as this district, with one single exception, has always sent a Democratic Representative to Congress, we sought particularly for any grounds that could justify the claim that a Republican could have to representing it. Although there are three thousand pages of testimony, yet the committee itself in all that cannot find sufficient facts to justify the unseating of the contestee without declaring as unconstitu. tional the laws governing these elections.
We find these laws reasonable and valid and never questioned in any court of that State. Hence we must find that contestant's cause should be dismissed, and therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolution :
I. Resolved, That R. Graham Frost was duly elected as a Representative to the Forty-seventh Congress of the United States from the third Congressional district of Missouri, and is entitled to occupy a seat in this House as such.
R. GRAHAM FROST, CONTESTEE.
In the third Congressional district of Missouri. Now comes said R. Graham Frost, by his attorneys, Donovan & Conroy, and moves your honorable body to dismiss the petition of Gustavus Sessinghaus, contestant herein, for the reasons herein set forth
First. The same was not served on contestee within thirty days after the result of the election in said third Congressional district of Missouri had been by the proper authorities determined.
Second. Because the said notice of contest does not specify particularly the grounds upon which contestant relies.
Third. The same does not state facts in such manner or form as constitutes a notice of contest under the law for such cases made and provided.
DONOVAN & CONROY,
Att'yr for Contestee. In matter of contest.
GustavUS SESSINGHAUS, CONTESTANT,
R. GRAHAM FROST, CONTESTEE.
In the third Congressional district of Missouri. Now comes said R. Graham Frost, by his attorneys, Donovan & Conroy, and moves your honorable body to dismiss or strike out the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth,