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the national tkibune: Washington, B. a, decembeb 17, i88i.
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gffie Mafiaiml t
The validity of the public debt of the United States,
authorjzed by law, including debts incurred for payment of
pensions and bounties f3r services in suppressing insurrec
tion or rebellion, shall not ee questioned." sec. 4, art.
xiv, constitution of the united states.
Entered at the Wuhingttm Citj Pott-Office as fecond-clus matter.
WASHINGTON, D. C, DECEMBER 17, 1881.
History Repeating Itself.
The introduction in the House on Tuesday of
a bill to repeal the Arrears of Pension Act re
minds us of a somewhat similar piece of lcgisVa
tion which was actually perfected in March,
1865, by the passage of an act "withholding pen
sions from ex-soldiers 17110, owing to wwunds,
had been discharged the service and subsequently
given clerkships under the Government. This
law was repealed the next year, but the poverty
of the country was so great that the pension
moneys withheld were not paid over, nor was
any provision to that end made until 1S79.
Since 1865 nearly if not quite one-half of ihe
national debt has been aid, in addition to some
two thousand millions uf dollais interest money to
the bondholders, and yet the peor-rich men of
the United States, though vastly better off than
ever before, are not satisfied. They want their
taxes reduced. They rendered no service during
the war except to coin money out of the agony
and blood of our brave soldiery and from the
tears of widows and orphans, and now, inspired
by the patriotic spirit of gain and the desire for
bettering their conditions, they are determined
to save themselves from further outlay if they
have to sacrifice the soldiers who made their
fortunes for them in so doing. The bank tax
and the tax on bank checks must be repealed,
they say, and in order to meet the falling off in
revenue consequent upon such proposed legisla
tion they suggest that the Arrears of Pension
Act be repealed also.
In other words, they propose to rob the Gov
ernment of a material portion of its revenue, and
next to make up for the theft by robbing the ex
soldiers of their pensions a sort of double steal,
as it were.
Homes for Disabled Soldiers.
49e are in receipt of numerous communications
Complaining of the food, and, in some instances,
the treatment dealt out to the inmates of the
various homes for disabled soldiers in the coun
try, "We have ro personal knowledge of the grounds
upon which such complaints are based, but are
of the opinion that there may be, and probably
is, too much of the military martinetism on the
part of the officials. Upon the food question
there can be no excuse for serving an inferior
quality ; and it would be wise for Congress to
take some steps to inquire into the matter fully.
The Nation does not wish to be disgraced by ill
treatment, of any character, administered to those
who became disabled in their country's service.
"We take occasion to say, for the benefit of all
having claims pending before the Pension Office,
that the Commissioner is making every effort to
dispose of cases so soon as the last proofs called
for have been filed. Owing to want of a suffi
cient clerical force action is considerably delayed,
the usual time between receipt of testimony and
examination being from four to six months, some
times more. Allowances are, however, being
granted daily, and we hope that Congress will at
the present session take steps to increase the
working force to meet the requirements of the
business of the Department.
In order to give everybody a chance to take
The National Tribune the subscription price
has been fixed until the 1st day of January at
the rate of One Dollar per annum, single copy.
Acting upon the suggestions contained in
President Arthur's message, bills have been in
troduced into Congress providing for the repeal
of the tax upon national banks and the stamp
tax upon bank checks.
Complaints are received from Kansas and other
Western States and Territories to the effect that
men whose homes are devastated and stock raid
ed therefrom by bands of Sioux, Arrapahoes, and
other Indians, are unable to obtain redress.
In many instances the sufferers are not only
deprived of their property, but of their wives
and children, and are compelled to live upon
the charity of others, while the noble red man
is fed and protected by the Government.
We hope Congress will look to it that these
early settlers these men whose all has been
swept away shall receive early and liberal
restitution. Its present apathetic attitude can
not be commended.
Salaries of Postmasters.
"We have yet to learn why the several Postmasters-General,
from the time of the passage of
the following, have failed to comply therewith.
We refer to Section 8, of the Act of June 12,
1866, which reads as follows :
Sec. 8. "And be it further enacted, That the act
entitled 'An act to establish salaries for post
masters, and for other purposes,' approved July
1864, be amended by adding the following:
"Provided, That when the quarterly returns of
any postmaster of third, fourth, or fifth class,
show that the salary allowed is 10 per cent, less
than it would be on a basis of commissions under
the act of 1854, fixing the compensation, then
the Postmaster-General shall review and readjust
under provisions of said section."
In our opinion, the terms as thus set forth are
plain, and seemingly incapable of being miscon
strued; and yet, the Post-Office Department sees
fit to ignore them. The injustice done postmas
ters of the grades named is appparent, and should
The Department has had the temerity to dis
obey this law, which is laid down in mandatory
terms, and we are of the opinion that Congress
should take proper measures this session to see
to it that it be disobeyed no longer, but that its
provisions be at once carried out.
WORDS FITLY SPOKEN,
"Fully one-fourth of the pension claims, allow
ed have been fraudulent," remarks a newspaper
that is not in the habit of lying as i regular di
version. There is not a parcticle of evidence on
which to base such an assertion. If even one in
fifty of the allowed claims has been fraudulent,
the number of convictions for the perpetration of
these frauds is surprisingly small. There has
been too much cry for the quantity of wool
shown. The Pension Bureau has the best facil
ities for detection, arrest, trial, and conviction of
all who attempt frauds on it. But such proceed
ings are of very infrequent occurrence, and we
are compelled to believe that most of the clamor
about pension frauds is mere idle talk. Catch
the rascals, and their existence will be demon
strated. National Republican.
THE SOUTH AMERICAN REPUBLICS,
The dispatches sent by Secretary Blaine to our
ministers at Peru and Chili, in respect to the
adjustment of an honorable treaty of peace be
tween the two republics, have been made public.
The dispatch sent to Minister Christiancy and
the letter of instructions given to Gen. Hurlbut,
recognize fully the rights of Chili acquired by
conquest, and concede, while deprecating such a
step, that failing of obtaining a satisfactory in
demnity from Peru for the expenses of the war,
she is entitled to claim a cession of some part of
her territory. To such a cession the Peruvians
strongly object, and Gen. Hurlbut is advised to
discuss with the provisional government of Cal
deron, which had been recognized by Minister
Christiancy, to ascertain whether it might not be
possible for Peru to meet the indemnity demanded
by Chili, " at home or abroad, singly or with the
assistance of friendly powers, which will furnish
the necessary indemnity or supply the required
Trial of the Assassin.
The Guiteau trial is still dragging its slow
length along, but. owing to the opening of Con
gress, interest in the proceedings has somewhat
A Faitliful Officer.
Commissioner Dudley, of the Pension Bureau, is
doing his very best to dispose of the vast amount
of business awaiting his personal attention.
During the usual office hours he finds, however,
little time in which to consider important cases,
and therefore each night takes home with him
a basketful of claims and examines them
while other officials are visiting places of amuse
ment or enjoying their slumbers. It is not
an infrequent occurrence for him to devote six
teen or eighteen hours out of the twenty-four
to the public service, and we sincerely hope that
Congress will take proper steps to aid him in
As the case stands at present, it appears that the discharge of his duties, so that he may be
Let us have a committee of both Houses of
Congress to investigate the alleged frauds upon
the Pension Office.
Were it not so pitiful it would be amusing to
observe the efforts being made by the money
kings of the country to deprive the pensioners of
the scanty sums grudgingly paid out to them by
Politicians make fair promises, but when
snugly in office are not apt at remembering.
The ex-soldiers should not forget this fact. It
will do no harm to keep an eye -upon the Sena
tors and Members whom they helped elect to
A bill has been introduced in the House of
Representatives to repeal the Arrears of Pension
Act. Had the honorable member who conceived
the brilliant idea of such a measure been living
when the Ten Commandments were promulgated,
his political sagacity would doubtless have been
crystalized in a bill for their immediate revoca
tion. The ex-soldiers of the country will do wisely
if they watch closely the course of legislation so
far as' it relates to their own interests. There
will be another election one of these days, and it
is desirable for them to know for whom to cast
their ballots. They will none of them feel like
assisting in returning to Congress a man who,
by his vote, had previously aided in defeating
any measure for their relief; hence we say, watch
the course of legislation, and mark well how
each Senator and member votes.
In 1865, poverty being the principal excuse,
Congress cut off the pensions of honorably dis
charged wounded soldiers holding clerkships un
der the Government, and almost simultaneously
passed an act appropriating $25,000 for the pur
chase of a so-called historical painting by a
fourth-class artist. The amount of pension
money saved about paid for the picture.
In 1881 it is proposed to make the xiensioners
of the country offset, by the amounts due them,
the revenues received from taxes on national
banks and bank checks. The Arrears Act is to
be repealed simultaneously with the laws under
which the banks and rich men of the country
have been compelled to contribute to the national
One Dollar sent us before January 1st se
cures The National Tribune for one year.
but one result can be arrived at the conviction
of the accused.
The very latitude allowed him by Judge' Cox
has drawn the rope closer and closer about the
neck of the great criminal. If Guiteau is con
victed, he will have himself to blame more than
any other person ; and if he escapes, it will not
be through anything he has done, nor on account
of his supposed insanity, but rather because the
Government is not fittingly represented by its
prosecuting officers. Thus far, Corkhill and
company have shown themselves unable to cope
t with the opposing counsel, Mr. Scoville, when
dealing with either the law or facts of the case;
and he makes no pretentions to being a criminal
lawyer. Besides, the legal trinity have belittled
the Government they represent by attempted
stage effects, and smart sayings, allowable, per
haps, in a concert hall, but by no means proper
in a court of justice. Worst of all, their efforts
at being witty and sharp have been almost inva
riably the means of heaping ridicule upon them
selves. Guiteau is a murderer, and ought to
hang. He is no fool, however, but it seems his
prosecutors have not yet fully realized the fact,
else they would conduct the case differently.
relieved froni the extraordiKary pressure
which he is at present subjected.
All that the ex-soldiers of the country need
to secure the passage of the bill to equalize
bounties and other equally meritorious and just
measures is unity of purpose and action. Let
them remember that by their votes they can in
many instances control the election of members
of Congress, and, remembering this, support no
candidate who will not pledge himself to be true
to their interests, and, having given the pledge,
keep it to the letter.
A considerable hullabaloo has been raised
over the condition of our navy. To judge from
present indications we ought, in a short time, to
have war vessels enough to sweep the seas, cap
turing or destroying the combined fleets of the
world. In spite of this, however, we venture the
assertion that no decided steps will be taken by
the present Congress to carry into effect the rec
ommendations of the Naval Advisory Board. A
few patriotic speeches will doubtless be made,
and appropriations be granted sufficient to patch
up a few worn-out or obsolete cruisers nothing
more. Meantime the River and Harbor Bill will
fare sumptuously, as usual, and streams unknown
on the county maps will be credited with sums
equal to the building of a first-class gun-boat.
A reading of the titles to some of the bills
introduced in Congress will satisfy every ex
soldier of the importance of keeping fully posted
concerning matters of legislation which may
affect his interests one way or the other.
It is the duty of the General Government to
furnish defense to each of the several States,
and to protect the citizens thereof against inva
sions and aggressions from the savage tribes
inhabiting our borders.
Having failed in this regard to afford such
defense and protection, numerous depredations
have been committed by hostile Indians on the
frontier, resulting in the loss of life and prop
erty; and while it is impossible to restore the
dead to life, it is possible for Congress to cause
some restitution to be made for the loss of
property so captured, stolen, or destroyed.
By sending us One Dollar before January 1st,
you can have The National Tribune for one
year (52 numbers) sent to any address, postage
During the session of Congress The National
Tribune will watch out for all measures relative
to pensions, bounties, &c, and keep its readers
fully posted upon all matters of legislation cal
culated to affect their interests and rights.
Give The National Tribune yur united
and hearty support, and we will do our part
towards securing the passage of the act to
equalize bounties and all other just measures for
ROUGH ON BLISS.
I saw last night a photograph copy of a letter
procured by the indefatigable Dr. Baxter, of
Washington, from Dr. Boynton, the homoeopathic
doctor around the late President. It said in
"On the 8th of August, while in the Presi
dent's bed-chamber, in the presence of his wife,
he said to me that he never at any time made
a request that Dr. Bliss be his attending physi
cian, that position having been occupied by Dr.
Baxter for several years, and that he had no
recollection during his present illness of having
sent for Dr. Bliss, and did not know how he
happened to be in the case."
The letter is countersigned on back October
24, or since the President's death, in the hand
writing of Mrs. Garfield, saying :
"I have read this letter, and it is true to my
distinct recollection. Lugretia Garfield."
As Dr. Bliss swore the other day that the
President had called him into the case, he is
met by this flat denial. Cincinnati Enqyirer.
SUNDAY-SCHOOL CIVIL SERVICE.
The Post-Office Department is issuing the fol
lowing to Government officials: The Golden
Text Civil Service " There are very many char
acteristics which go to make a model civil ser
vant. Prominent among tliem are probity, in
dustry, good sense, good habits, good temper,
patience, order, courtesy, tact, self-reliance, man
ly deference to superior officers and manly consid
eration for inferiors." President Arthur's Message.
BILLS IN CONGRESS.
During Monday's session of the Senate a large
number of bills were introduced. The most im
portant were as follows: To increase the facilities
for a better adjudication of pension claims; to
continue the court commissioners of Alabama
claims ; for the relief of the crews of the moni
tors engaged in the naval engagement with the
ramMerrimac; to enable national banks to ex
tend their corporate existence; to reduce the
license fees of marine pilots, in accordance with
the recommendations of the supervising inspector
of steam vessels; to amend the statutes with
reference to bigamy; to donate cannon for the
Army of the Cumberland Garfield msnument to
be erected in Pittsburg ; to provide for a scien
tific exploration of the Territory of Alaska; to
create from the sales of public lands a public edu
Under the call of States (as of a Monday) the
following bills, &c, were introduced and referred:
By Mr. Hcrndon For the settlement of the
Nicaraguan claims. By Mr. Hewitt To repeal
the internal revenue tax on matches, bank-
checks, snuff, cigars, and spirits distilled from
apples and other fruits. Also, for the better pro
tection of citizens against frivolous prosecution.
Also, to amend the Arrears of Pension Act.
By Mr. Shelley To equalize homesteads. Also,
to graduate and reduce the price of public lands
to actual settlers. Also, several other bills
amendatory of or relative to the homestead and
pre-emption acts. By Mr. Page To restrict
Chinese immigration. Also, for the protection of
labor in the United States and to regulate iniini
gratisn. Both of these bills are designed to
carry into effect the Chinese treaty by prohibit
ing the immigration of Chinese laborers, except
such as reside in tnis country at the date of the
treaty. The class which is specially exempted
from their provisions are merchants, business
men, students, and government agents. Also, ap
propriating money for a home for indigent and
disabled soldiers and sailors in California. By Mr.
Wait To facilitate appeals from decisions of the
Commissioner of Patents. By. Mr. Phelps As
serting the constitutional prerogative of the
House of Representatives to originate all reve
nue measures, and providing for the revision of
the tariff and internal revenue laws of the United
States. Also, for the importation free of duty of
all material or manufacture produced abroad
necessary in the construction or equipment or
repair of any vessel built, equipped, or repaired
in the United States, engaged in. either foreign
or domestic trade. Also, making the Patent Office
a separate Department. Also, for the appoint
ment of a commission of colored men to inquire
into the intellectual condition of the colored
people of the South. Also, making the trade
dollar a legal tender. Also, abolishing the exist
ing tax on deposits in savings banks. Also, to
repeal tax on bank checks. By Mr. Stephens
Relative to the metric system of weights and meas
ures. Also, for the coinage of the " Stella " and the
goloid dollar. By Mr. Speer To prevent general
legislation by means of appropriation bills. By
Mr. Marsh Authorizing the taxation by States
of the United States legal-tender notes. By
Mr. Henderson Providing for a board of com
missioners of inter-state commerce. By Mr.
Thomas To equalize bounties. Also, to tax the
manufacture of oleomargarine. By M. Sherwin
EQUALIZATION OF BOUNTIES,
In view of the introduction in the House on
Tuesday of a bill to equalize bounties we repro
duce the unanswerable speech delivered in the
Senate upon an exactly similarmeasure by the late
Senator Oliver P. Morton, of Indiana. Mr. Mor
ton said :
" This bill to equalize bounties, in my opinion,
has been very greatly exaggerated. The amount
required for the equalization of bounties, I think,
will not be nearly so large as has been represented
and in fact is commonly understood. I think I
have had an exaggerated notion myself upon
" What is the principle of this bill, and when
understood who can resist the justice of it for
one moment? The Government by three or
four bounty laws established the principle of
paying bounties at the rate of $100 a year.
That is the starting-point. I wish to state dis
tinctly that the Government established the
principle of paying bounties at the rate of
$100 a year, $50 for six months, 200 for two
years, and $300 for three years. But it turned
out that owing to the construction of the laws
and the rules established by the War Depart
ment many honorably discharged soldiers did
not receive their bounty at all. Under the rule
adopted, if the soldier served five months out of
six but was discharged from wounds or other
cause, he lost the bounty. So if he served two
years and six months, he only got $200 for the
time instead of $250. In other words, to get the
bounty he must serve out the full term. If he
was discharged for misconduct, if he was a de
serter, or if he was a shirk, the case is different;
but this bill only applies to honorably discharged
soldiers. It takes as a basis the rate of bounty
provided by law, the rate of $100 a year, but pro
vides that he shall be paid by the month and not
by the year, so that if he served two vears and
six months and was then discharged from sick
ness contracted in the service or on account of
wounds received in battle, he would receive
bounty for two years and 3ix months, and would
not lose the last six months' bounty because he
did not serve out the remaining six months.
"Now I want to know who can resist the
justice of that. It is a simple question of abso
lute, downright justice. Suppose you hire a man
to work on your farm at the rate of $200 a year;
he works for you faithfully for six months and
then dies, perhaps on account of disease con
tracted in your service, and you should refuse
to pay him the six months he has worked be
cause he has not worked out the whole term
then vgu have got the case exactly. It is a
simple proposition to pay a bounty for the time
served according to the principle established by
the Government for the full term. The Govern
ment says, ' We will pay you $100 a year, but
under the construction given to the law you
must serve the year out.' We say that is not
right. If you serve six months, then you get
six months' pay, or if you become sick or faU from
wounds or were killed in battle, you should have
the benefit of it alive, or your family if dead.
The principle of justice is so absolute and down
right, that it seems to me that nobody can
"Mr. President, justice to the soldiers cannot al
ways be deferred. Itmust and will triumph some
time. If it does not come this Congress, it
will come at some other Congress. It is apart of
the war debt, as much so as the 5-20 bonds or the
10-40 bonds. It is founded on the same princi
ple of justice. It is an obligation resting upon
this nation, and if it takes $20,000,000, or $50,000,
008, can make no difference. It is a debt this
nation honestly owes and ought to be paid. In
other words, let the bounty be equalized; put all
honorably-discharged soldiers upon the same
basis ; pay them at the same rate. They are en
titled to it. The justice of it no man can dispute,
and that is all that this bill contemplates. I am
for it. I vote for it with all my heart"
NEW POSTj G. A. R.
The veterans of Wood county, Wisconsin, are
taking steps to organize another Post of the Grand
Army of the Republic at Grand Rapids.
Among the proposed charter members we find
the names of Messrs.R. P. Bronson, L. W. Burt,
W. H. Cochron, M. J. McRaith, J. E. Ingraham,
A. J. Casy, W. H. Brown, F. N. Fenant, H. H.
Lord, G. B. McMullin, H. M. Atwood, G. J. Jack
son, W. H. Getts, John Pehl, H. E. Blackmers,
E. H. Ticknor, C. O. Warren, Joseph L. Cotey,
A. C. Doud, D. D. Demaires, D. E. Carey, L.
Krowmor, Geo. R. Gardner, J. W. Cochron, D. W.
Compton, B. F. Runyon, Andrew Turnbolt, and
We are especially pleased to see such a revival
of interest in the Grand Army the grandest
army in the world save one, that of our dead com
rades and trust the new Post will grow and
flourish until its membership shall have been
called to join their brothers gone before, where
good fellowship prevails and every enlistment is
AN OLD SOLDIERS' REUNION.
The Reunion of the Fifty-third and One hun
dred and thirty-first Regiments of Pennsylvania
Volunteers took place at Milton on the 13th.
Public and private buildings were decorated
with flags and the mottoes of the regiments. In
the morning there was a parade, and in the after
noon addresses were delivered by a number of
prominent gentlemen. At night a business meet
ing was held at Henry Wilson Post.
OUR CARRYING TRADE,
From a recent comparative statement of the
carrying trade of the world it appears that, omit
ting vessels of less than 50 tons measurement,
Europe possesses 42 tons to every 1,00 inhabit
ants, America 40, and Australia 79, while Asia
To apportion the Representatives in Congress 1 and Africa have only 2 tons per thousand. Liver
according to the tenth census. It ,fixes the ! pool ranks as the most important port in the
number of Representatives at 322. Also, to ' world, with a tonnage of 2,047,373 ; London
regulate the exportation of oleomargarine. By J stands second, with 2,330,688 tons; Glasgow
Mr. Townshend In relation to the admission ef 1 third, with 1,432,364, and New York fourth, with
Territories as States in the Union. It prohibits
their admission until their population is equal
to that required in a congressional district.
Also, fixing the time for the assembling of Con
gress on the first Monday in November. Also,
to regulate inter-state commerce. By Mr. Mor
rison To reduce existing tariff duties on im
ported goods ten per cent. Also, to supply the
appraisement of goods, wares, and merchandise
imported into the United States and subject to
ad valorem duties. By Mr. Springer For the
appraisement of telegraph lines, property and
effects, and to secure information concerning the
postal telegraph in other countries.
The United States cannot well afford to be
unjust to those who put down the rebellion
against the Government.
Subscribe to The National Tribune, th
soldier's advocate and friend.
1,153,676 tons. The nine leading ports of Great
Britain have a tonnage of 8,724,123, and the first
four ports of the United States a tonnage of
1,976,940. Great Britain and Ireland possess a
tonnage of nearly 12,000,000, and including the
colonial vessels the British flag covers 14,000,000
of the total existing tonnage of the world, which
is estimated to be 27,000,000. The United States
twenty years ago carried 66 per cent, of their
foreign trade in their own vessels, but now only
something like 18 per cent.
Colonel E. B. Montague, an ex-confederate, who
commanded a brigade at the close of the late war
in General Pickett's command, is in this city.
In conversation last night he said that Rev. F.
D. Power, lately elected Chaplain of the House,
was a private in his command. Post.
But the Rey. F. D. P. says, in his letter plead
ing the baby act, that he was not old enough to
enter the army. There's a mistake somewhere,