Newspaper Page Text
TJLE TIMES, WASjIXN'&TON', SUNDAY, DECEMBEB 19, 1897.
WESTERN 11 II! LUGK
Government Will Give It a Bonus
oHIoro Than $258,000.
FORESTALLS COURT DECISION1
Coiiffrct. Mny Ak Why the Nation'.,
'Highls Were Waived One-Sided
Stipulation Precedes Judgment
Assistant At:oritej- General Denies
.Tlmt He Is Hespotislble -Genesis
of 31i. Jleutl.'s Hei-tirt -Mr- Fay
Thinks the Nation Ought to le
Glad That, His Company Didn't
Ask fo $800,000 More.
Gongress will be usked by L-jul3 U. r.-adt,
.Assistant Attorney General of the United
States. after ttie holiday recess, to pass
a .(special appropriation of ?2o8,8GC.-4,
for the benefit of the Western Union Tele
graph Company. This Christmas present
ofnioro than a quarter of a lr.illioa dollars
has a history, the termination of whirh by
Mr. Pradt, has, to say the. least, a peeul;ar
and remarkable aspect, Ina smuch as it fore
stalls a possible, if not probable, action
of the Court of Claims.
Early In August last First Assistant Post
master General Heath made a report, to Ihe
Court of Claims as referee, in the case of
me icu umuii leiegrapu voniimny
against the United States. This case m
volvedaclalm ol theteleirratihcumn.iMVfor
compensation lor the transmission of tel -
grams during the administration urPest
master General Wanamaker- Mr- Wana
maker fixed a rate for payment of such
telegrams, which the company was unwil
ling -to accept, the details of which were
published in The Times when Air- Heath
filed his report
Accordingly all telegrams of the Gov
ernment during that jeiio.1 were received
under protest ami sent. After Mr. Wana
maker went out of office, four years later
a new tate was fixed, and the compa.iy
weiiCU the Court of Claims and asked .in
allowance covering the difference 10
tween what it had received and what ;t
would have received had the old rat? not
Ijeon changed by Mr. Wanamaker.
The matter was referred to Charles O.
Shepherd and William II. Browne as
referees, representing the Government and
the company, but they failed to agree.
Mr- Heath was subsequently-appointed sole
referee and began work ,lune US. In his
report to the Court of Claims he says in
I find that the amount whirh would he
due lor tlie telegraph serice rendered by
tlie claimant to the defendant for the
period embraced in the clnimatir's r edition
iii,i tLin 4. -,..... -o -,oro..-.
rates of toll Tor telegraph service lixed
or Agriculture, Wilson S. Bute, Post mas
ter General. repeeti.ely. aggregates :s2ob,
SG9.84. Tlie gross amount or iLetcriice
rendered bytne Western Union Telegraph
Company during this period was i',iO.
170.18. The payments made by the
Government through its various executive
departments to tne Western L'nion Tele
grapn Company during this period a mounts
to &.51,G00.;t4, leaving, as stated abov,o
a lialance of ?i:ryt8Jl.S.l due for services
rendered. Tlie total number of telegrams
involved in the audit is 1,739,500. It
will tnus occur to tne court mat me total
amount or materials placed in my hands
to be searched and used in this audit was
very large- There were more than three
wagonloads of telegrams alone. Tlie re
biduum of the information contained in the
vast amount of raw material would almost
make an additional wagonload .
This report -was duly filed with 'he
Court or Claims, and in due time would
have licet adjudicated had not Hu
peculiar haste of Assistant Attorney Gen
eral Pradt have prevented such a result.
In this litigation was involved a verj
uice point of law as to the power claiiael
by the PoM master General to arbitrarily
flx lates that sliould be paid telegraph
Coiliimnes for the transmission of Govern
ment messages. The statute under which
Mr: Wann maker acted and ,ipon which,
almost entirely, the result of the case de
pended, -ivas the act of July Jl, 1605 sec
tions and 4, which read as follows:
And be it further euacted, That tele
graphic communication between the de
partments of the Government of the
United States and their officers and
agents shall, in their transmission over the
Hues of any of said companies, have
priority over all other business, and shall
be sent at rates to be annually fixed by
tlie Postmaster General.
And be it further enacted, That berore
any telegraph company shall exercise anj
uf the powers or privileges conferred by
thls act, such company shall file their
written acceptance with tlie Postmaster
General of tlie restrictions and obligations
required by this act.
The contention of the teiocrapli com
pany in the suit was that the rates "fixed
by Postmaster General Wanamaker was in
adequate.a nd that au! hi.ii' v is vested in
tlie Posttnaster General andorthi act a fore
said to fix any rate other than one .u'jject
to review by the judiciary. It was not,
tiuUl Mr. Wanamaker nsiide a cut in the
rates that the Government had been payliiT
that the telegraph company over questioned
the power ot tlie Postmaster General to
fixther-ite.--, and this power tins Postmaster
Genorai alwa.s claimed and quoted when
regulating tlie tolls. For an example the
order of Don M. Dickinson, Postmaster Gen
eral, in making telegraph tolls, is quoted as
Tostoffioe Department. V."asilnRton, H.C..
June 29. IfcbS. Pursuant to tlie authority
vested In the Postmaster General by the
act of Congress, entitled "An act to aid in
the construction of telegraph lines, ami
to secure to the Government the use of the
samefor ostaI,militarjand other purposes,''
npproved July 1M, 16G5, and bj- the Re
vised Statutes of the United States, title
L.X.V.1 hereby- fix the rates at wlilcli such
communications as the said statutes pre
scribe inot including those passing over
circuits established bv the chief siirnal
officer of the Army), shall be sent during
the fiscal year beginning July 1, 18SS, and
terminating June . '10, iaS9, iy the several
companies within the erfectof said statutes,
Audtnen follows thi rates.
Postmaster General Wanamaker followed
theexampleof Mr. Dickinson and hisprede
cessors in fixing rates, but he did not
except the Signal Service business, and
when the Tales were found to be too low
to suit the telegraph company it first
denied the right of Hie Postmaster General
to fix arbitrarily the rates, and secon-J,
to fix tlie rates for the Signal Service busi
ness. If the rates had leen the same as
in preceding years, the telegraph company
Trould not have questioned the power or
the PostmaMer General. Tlie question as
to tliis right was the important one for
the court to decide, and subsequent devel-
It Costs You Nothing
To Test Its Wonderful Merit.
JDr. Kilmer's Suramp-lliwt Is the d!s:ov
cry of ihe eurfjient physician and scientist
and ttf fHBli Ik not n-oo"nmeded for every
thing. It is distinctly a kidney and
bladder remedy r5 -cr o -wenuvr- ,
fUv Hiceewful In qwcfcU' curing er.-n ' f.1 o !' "7s .aI'l)(''R ' his re
the".nM Mln caes of the.- .iiM. j $3 tUa'Eii'm'li'ic
derstlKit ifv wHiu.mvoit-.M.4:derftd petition in tins case from the leremlanis
merits yo mmr 1 ami.J' bottle smI lo Ult' claliuantk- sums amounting in the
n back of baue IMU both et i tK&aWatKff Sh
absobitul free by mail. Mention roe lars and eighty-four vents l?2rrs,SGl.S4),
Sunday Tlwe8 Hd tnul ynr .jddrM nHl1 U' parties by their respective at
inr i:n,m.rtc lUB-imniinn S" Y !,r,l,,.vs avjiig Mlpulatnl and agreed that
to r. Jvlimer -t uj., iHiunarn'.ou. .. . the rt'ivirt or said referee be canlTnnel and
This liberal offor appearing In this piper ; judgment entered in counniiitv therewith,
is a gnnrautes of genuineness. The i """ "l"al KUC' Judgment shall not in any
.,.. K,,s , Kir i.iiifucbL ., ! wiy cttp or lir the United States in any
regular fcl'-es iie sou. u urugijis, p.i Mibscqueut suit, should an v be broughtwitll
fifty cents and one dollar. reference to any other telegraphic service,
swe Cue dentifrice
-. "- ESSEVTIfll-
,, Is a!! that is required for
the proper core of the teeth,
in that It combines a perfect
wash with a perfect powder,
and gives both in one pack
age for one price.
A sample of the liquid tor Ihrco cents.
P, Q. Box 247, X Y. City.
HALL A ItUCKEL
Now York Proprietors London
opmentsshow that the telegraph company
feared to leave this decision to the court,
apprehending that the Postmaster Gener
al's course would 1)3 upheld. If this
issue had been tried it is possible, if not
proliable, that tlie court might have sus
tained nit action o." the Postmaster General,
anil in that event there would have been
no judgment against the United States.
. If t!i2 Postr aster General had the power
under (lit law io fix tlu rates that he did
designate then the telegrapli company In
receiving those rates which amounted, ac
cording ihe referee's statement, to more
than S'100,000 ,as received all it is en
titled U-. Instead of walling for a de
cision or trie court the Western Union
j .telegraph company, through its
lorney. .lohn C. Fnv. enters into neim.
nations with Postmaster Gary and the
I jV".fm'?" pener,,r? .rncc' wl,lc1' resulted
..uj.j iniu .1 Mipuiauon oeiiig entered
iti'.o oy trie ijowrnment, represented by
Assistant Attorney General Pradt and -Mr.
Fay on b;liniror the company, which reads
fetaies. through its Postmaster General,
and the claimant, that the rates for tele
graphing for tlie United States hereafter
reTerred to, should be accepted by tlie
claimant for services rendered for tne en
suing year, provided the same rates Were
allowed Tor the period embraced in this
suit, and whereas ths Hon. V. S. Dissell,
Postmaster General, on the 27th day of
-March, lbl, certified to the Attorney
General that said rates were reasonable
anil just, aud by agreement between the
claimant and the United States, this cause
was referred to have ascertained the
amount that would become due at the
rates set out in the orders or the Hon.
Postmaster ueneral V. jj. Dlssellnud lion.
J. Sterling Morton; and whereas Percy
C Heath, esq., sole referee, filed herein
on the 1st day of September, 1&97, his
report, certifying that tliere was due to
the claimant, under said Order of reference
trie sum of two hundred and firtj'-elght
thousand, eight hundred and sixty-nine
dollars and eighty-four cents ($::5S.
SSG9.84I, and wn.Teas the Hon. James A.
Gary, Postmaster General, has certified
tnat said i.um is reasonable and just and
that the Postotfice Department does not
question Its correctness.
It is,therefore,stlpuIatedand agreed that
the report of said rereree bucxm firmed, and
judgment in accordance therewith may
be entered in ravor ot tne claimant.
And it is further -stipulated that such
judgment shall not in any way estop or
bar the United States in any subsequent
suit, should any he brought with relerenee
to any other telegraphic service, front
contending or nleadmg that the action of
the Postmaster General Infixing rates for
telegraphic service rendered the United
States was, or is, irreviewable bj-tho judi
ciarv, but such question shall be decided
irretpective of anything in this stipulation,
or in these proceedings contained.
(Signed.) LOUIS A. PKADT,
Assistant Attorney General.
JOHN C. FAY, Attorney for Claimant.
The Ktitals in this stipulation appeir
to be m the nature of an excuse or
apology for consenting that a Judgment
be entered against tlie United States in
favor of the Western Union Telegraph
Company for more than a quarter of a
million doiiars without first giving the
court an opportunity to decide the im
portant legal question at issue, and
thereby del ermine whether the company
is entitled to the money or not. There
appears to be no reason for such ttn-.-een.ly
haste in the settlement of the
case, for a decision would soon 1m e
been rendered by the court and the
mooted question forever settled. The
deO'iou. too, might hae saved the Gov
ernment S2uS,C0(). a si.m certainly suf
ficient lv large to, under the circuni-
utanccs, warrant the (lowrnment in
waiting lor a decision. The lafct clause
in the stipulation indicates and ex
pressly sets forth the belief that the
Government bad a good case, and pro
idcs that tho oitlement of the present
one sliall not he deemed a precedent in
the future and estop the Go eminent
from clahr.hig that the ad or tl.e Pcst
ters of this kind. K the Assistant A
niaster General is irrcUewable in mat
ters or this kind. If the Assistant At
torney Genera' deemed this reservation
so important why did ho not wait until
the court decided the point?
The stipulators undertake to justify their
action in consenting to this large judg
ment against the Government on the
ground that Postmaster General Hissell
in fixing the rates for telegraphic serv
ice during his own term agreed that the
sail is latc-s should bo allowed for the pe
riod embraced in this suit. It would be
hiteresthii. to know y what authority or
law Postmaster General Rissell made anj
such agreement, or assumed to sit in re
vi2w upon or re-fix the rates for the term
of his predecessor, and especially while the
legality of those rates was a question pend
ing beforethe court.
A further excuse assigned for this gen
erous donation to the Western Union Tele
grnph Company is that the referee has
riled a report (which report is based on
the Bisscll rate) showing due the claimant
the sum or S25tj.S69.84, und that Post
mast'.T General James A. Gary has certl
lied that said sum is reasonable and just,
and that the Postofflcc Department does
not questiun its correctness.
Uy what authority of law does the
present Postmaster Generalasstime to pass
upon tins reasonableness or justness of the
rater. Ilxed by Postmaster General Wana
maker, and increase them for service dur
ing Mr. V-'anatnaker's tetm, to the Bissell
The Fitst Assistant Postmaster General
is the first, referee whose report the Post
rrjee Department does not question the
correctness of. It could hardly be ex
pected that the department would ques
tion the correctness of its own report.
Congress will be asked rn appropriate the
sum which Mr. Pradt has certified is
due tlu rornpany. Perhanps, Congress, be
fore paving this judgment, may take the
trouble to make an investigation and
ascertain why the suit was muttiallv unf
iled cur of court, and Jtidgm-nt entered
againM the Government for more thaa a
quarter .C a million of dollar.
The Judgment of the court follows.
In tin; Court of Halms. The Western Union
Telegraph Company vs. uJC United
State. So. 1G.7-11. Ardor.
In th? Court of Claims- The Western Union
Telegraph Company, claimant, vs.
, The United States. So 10,7-11.
, oA'."-''ali atout tlie U7th day of March.
1&9-1. during tiii pendency or this suit, an
agreement was made between the lmiiiwi
f. I ' appearing that this cause was re
. I f"l. l ' ry S. Heath, esq., on the
d , 24th day of June. 197. as refenV,and the
n" rriww naving reported on the 1st dav
j from contending or pleading that the action
or tlie Postmaster General in fixing rates
I Tor telegraphic serclce rendered the United
States, was, or is, irrevicwablo by the
Judiciary, but such question shall be de
cided irrespective of anything in this stipu
. Iations, or in these proceedings contained,''
' Now, therefore, it is hereby ordered, ad-
I judged and decreed that taid report In
all things be confirmed, and the claliiliint,
tlie Western Union Telegraph CoiAnany,
do have and recover ofanu from the United
States the sum of two hundred and fifty
I eiglit thousand eight hundred and sixty
nine dollars and eighty-four cents (S25S,-
Mr John C. Fay, attorney for the
Western Union Telegraph. Compan; fu
this peculiar case, was called on by a
representative or The Times, and ask-id if
he desired tc make any statement
concerning the facts Just related. He was
handed the slot y, which he read with inter
est, before making any remarks. Mr. Fay
is an ideal attorney for such a corporation
as the Western Union Telegraph Company.
II i iHofnldermaiiic proportlons.good nnl.urjd
to Jo!liiies.s, a pleasant and convincing
law, and a quick and accurate reader of
human i nture. He is just the kind m a
man that one- might expect a great ;oro.ira
tlon would employ to settle a case, far
while he undoubtedly is an able lawyer in
trying a casa, the Judgment for.ued or
him by The Times is that- he is more
of tin adept iu obtaining the best jr a
hnrgain in mt.kinssett lenient s. After having
read the story Mr. Fay gave his iuterv'ewer
a long sharp look and inquired what object
The Times had In publishing the- history or
the case and Its Eettlei .it.
He was told that The Times was de
sirous of learning why the case was settled
out of court, and wlij-, whan there was
such a i. important issus for the court to
decide, a decision which might prove
adverse to the telegraph company, A sslst
arul Attorney General Pradt had waived
the Government's contention Instead of let
ting the court of claims decide It.
Casting another scrutinizing look at his
Interviewer, Mr. Fay, In the most pleasa it
niauuei Imaginable, said:
''Immediately after Postmaster Go lonl
Wanamaker undertook to fix the rates Tor
the compnuy below the cost to the n
pany of the salaries of the operators who
transmitted the messages, the company
made a piotest, for the rate established
was equivalent lo the confiscation by the
Government of tlie property- of the com
pany. The first rate Postmaster General
Wanamaker fixed was one mill a word ror
all distances, that is, it wah- to cost tl e
Government but one cent for a message
Of ten words to Sail Francisco, an exaction
which Is pretty nearly larceny."
' Alter three or four months, Mr. Wana
maker undertook to fix a higher rate, I lit
he did not fix the rate high enough to
pay cost o' transmission. Suit was -begun
by the company while Mr. Wnnalnakir
was iu otrice, and we took considerable
evidence and riled it. Mr. Wanamaker was
called upon to meet that evidence, and to
show that his rates were reasonable. This
he failed to do, but he filed a demurrer
and set up the plea that the Postmaster
Genet a 1 had a right, under the law, to
fix arbitrary rates. The question was
argued and tne Judges expressed from the
bench irom time to time opinions that the
Postmaster General was wrong in his
"V'eie these expressions of opinion in
th' nature of decisions?"
"No: they were merely utterances lur
ing the argument, widen indicated how
the judges telt on the question. "
Continuing, Mr. Fay said: "Assistant
Attorney Gencial Cotton had the case for
the Government, and he became so con
vinced that the demurrer would notta.id
that he withdrew it. The case went far
enough, however, to satisry all that the
Government had no case and that the
judges would decide against it. Anotner
contentlon was that the telegraph act
only applied to such lines as had been
aided by grants from the Government,
and that nc such aid had evei been given
the Western Union Company "
Mr. Fay called attention to the lirst
petition of the court, which he presented
in connection with this case, and quoted as
"And your petitioner further avers that
no authority is vested in the Postmaster
General under the terms of the act afore
said to fix the rates of compensation over
any ot the non-aided lines of your petitioner,
nor tc- arbitrarily and finally fix any rate
upon any of their aided linef, if any ex
ist, othtr than a fair and reasonable rate,
and one subject to review by the judicial
department of the United States, add pry
attempt (to fix rates in any other nuiiu;r)
would infringe the constitutional righr.s or
your petitioner, ami would be an attempt
to deprive j-our petitioner ot property with
out due process of law."'
Laying aside the pamphlet from which
he had just read, Mr. Fay said in his
most -plausible manner: "You see by that
the Postmaster General couldn't fix the
rate below the proper figure. Mint he
sliould make a rate that would be just."
"The contention of The Times is not
so much that Mr. Wanamaker's rile was
a proper one, as that the Attorney Gen
eral should have waited for the -ouit
to have rendered a de'ciskm in tl.e .ise,"
suggested The Times man.
"The suggestion to settle the case did
not coir e Irom me. It originated with the
Assistant Attorney General, who suggest
ed to us that we should not press the
question of the right of the Postmaster
General to fix the rate. The waiver came
from PostmasterGeneraHJissell, who want
ed it put in for the protection of the Gov
ernment against future cases.''
"Would it not have been better to
have had the court determine the q-t.-s-tion
once and for all time as to the power
or the Postmaster General to fix rates?"
"So far as the company was concerned
we would have preferred if,, but it was to
the advai-ie of the Government not lo
have the point settled. If the decision
had been against the. Government, and it
no doubt would have been, we would have
obtained Judgment for more thanSOOO.OOO.
If it had been iu favor of the Govern
ment we would have received $160,001)."'
"Tilt; case v.-as settled for a little more
"And the Western "Union Company. was
confident or winning it?"
"Then don't you think the Western
Union Telegraph Company was uuusually
geneious in making the Government a
piesent or about $6-12,000, which it
virtually did by permitting the case to be
settled as Mr. Pradt arranged It?"
"I think that the settlement was the
wisest thing for a Government officer to
have done. He could not afford to lose
this case and we had the right with us.
Tlie average toll per message is 30.5 rents;,
the average costis244l CenU; the average
toll under Postmaster General. Wana
maker was 1G cents, therefore by that
rate the company lost S cents on each
message stmt. In addition to this the late
he fixed for the special circuit for the
weather service was only alwtit 75 per
cent of the actual .salaries of the operators
alone, and much less when wc co.tsider
all the investments, etc. Judges are bound
to look at the moral cliaracter of a ult
lu rendering a decision, and that would
have had Its influence. It was better not
to have tlie judges pasi on fine spun
justice when it would work an injury
and to wait until a similar case tliat will
not work nn injury comes up. Then the
disputed point ran be settled In the court
without injustice to anyone. I hope,
however, that The Times will not ,irlnt
till? article, for it is severe on -Mr. Pnw.t,
whpii. as a matter of fact, the details of
the settlement were arranged by Post
master General Bissell, Attorney General
Olney ana myself. The present Depart-
mentof Justice, after examining the cse,
came to the oneltfSitmliat the proposed
settlement was a preper.one to carry out."
"Hut that does QioJ explain why the
company should have 'been so anxious
to settle and sacrifice more than a half
million of dollars, if the company had a
"Yes; ?: had a- good case," said .Mr.
Fay, evasively, and after a few further
words of i social qharacfer, the Interview
ended, and the representative of Tlie
Times. was not made any wiser front it as
to why Assistant Attorney General Pradt
failed to make the 'courts responsible for
paying the claims tt this telegraph com
pany, or why the company, if it had a cer
tain case, as lr- professed, should have
accepted $256,000, when it could ha.-c
obra'ned ?9 00,000. . remaps Congress
may ascertain these facts when called
upon to make an appropriation for the
judgment tiled by the consent of Mr.
When the- stipulation was presented to
the court properly signed, and the Judges
were informed that jthu case had been
S2ttled, an order was issued as follows:
Assistant Attornay General Louis A
Pradt wus visited by a Times repre
sentative, and asked to give his reasons
for consenting to a settlement of the
cas out of court. Instead or permitting
the courts to decide the points at Issue
Mr. Pradt, without hesitation, did so,
and in so tfoing cast the responsibility
on the shoulders orTtfig Pbstoficu Depart
ment. He made no attempt to disguise
his contribution to the compromise or
the case, which permitted the telegrapli
company to file a judgment for more
than $258,000 against the Government,
but explained that his acts were almost
perfuncltrv, nidi that he merely was in
strumental in consummating an arrange
ment that had already l.-een effected by
the Postmaster General and the telegraph
compai.y. Mr. Pradt said, among other
"Postmaster General Bissell, by letters
to this department, set forth his lievsor
the matter saying that the rates which
the telegrapli company was willing to
settle Tor were reasonable and Just. My
predecessor. Mr. Dodge, pursuant to that
correspondence and with a view to ex
pediting matters entered Into a stipulation
for reference to determine tlie amo-int of
business the telegraph company had done,
the referees to he paid by the claimant.
Under tin present aindlnistration by mutual
consent the referees who had completed
their work, were discharged and Ferry
Heath, Fhst Assistant Postmaster Gen
eral, was agreed upon as sole referee, to
complete the work and make a report.
"After his report was made this deparl
mentaddresscdaniiiquir3t. the Postmaster
General to ascertain if the report was
satisfactory to him, and whether or not
the case of the Postoffice Department
should he contested. The Postmaster Gen
eral, Mr. Gary, replied that ths report ias
satisfactory and that he had no desire
to have it contested.
"The claim originally arose out of Post
master General Wannmalcer's action in re
fusing tc. fix rales tffa,t'tfie telegraph com
pany considered ren'sonn'ble. He insisted
that he had the right to exercise discre
tion uccording to his views He fixed urate
or one mill a word, which made It Impos
sible for the company to perform the serv
ice. The suit brought by the company was
regarded by this department as depending
largely, If not wholly, on the desires and
wishes of the Post Office Department, and
as the J'ostOrrioi Dcpartm-ntdldnotdeslre
to have thequestlonof unlimited discretion
of the Postii aster Gbjjeigll disposed or at
this time, and satisfied tqnt the report .wis
Just, a stipulation for Judgment was made
reciting all these facts according to the
report aud providing mat the disposition
of the case sliould be without prejudice to
lire Government to'atf'Hnytime raise the
legal question involved.
"I Could not see how "there was any hope
to sustain Mr. Wanamaker's contention
because I did not think It was good law.
The claim of the telegrapli company was
a matter of reasonableness- and Justice
and was so considered by PostmisterGen
eral Bissell and others, and I did lot see
Why thcconipanyshould not getlts -noney.
The settlement of .the case works no
Injury to anyone. The Government simply.
pays lor the service it received I eld pot
see any way to win , and I felt it my duty
to do as I did. I do not fill a position
like that of an attorney Tor a corpora
tion, who is expected to prevont, if poss.
We, payment of just claims. In ,uy jx..si
tion I am nked to state honest :'a ts,
and not to contest just claims for the pur
pose of settling a question of law."
"Do yonknow whether the Judges jn the
bench ever expressed any opinion as lo
the point at issue -the right of the Post
master General to make arbitrary rates.'"
Mr. Pradt was aslced.
''So Tar is I 1 1 ow tie matter was never
discussed in cofit," he replied.
Mr. Fay, t he a t torney for the com pa ny, :n
his IntvUew, said that the Judges had
expressed opinions favorable to tie com
pany. Mr. Pradt was asked what would
be done with the judgment for more
than a quarter of a million dollars, and he
replied that the attorney for the telegraph
company will lae it certified and pre
sented at the Treasury. There it ,vill
not he paid, because no approbation ex
ists Tor such expenditure, aud the Secre
tary of the Tieasury will certify It to Co in
gress, which will be asked to appropriate
funds to satisfy the judgment.
Englishmen Are Trying to
New York, Dec. 25. There Iseerypns
pect today t ha tllaiuinersteiu'sOlynipia will
pass ii.to the hands or an English syndicate
Representatives of this big an isem?nt
syndicate, which already controls several
or the largest music halls fu London, are
here, and that the place will pass into their
hands is practically assured.
The negotiations hac been progressing
with much privacy, and clover busio-iss di
plomacy on both sides; butwb.cn the Eng
lish visitors and Mr-.JIanunerstelit and his
legal rcprcsentative,Mr. Wise, of Wise A
LichteiiRtein, arose from i.pioliaclcoii cct
Ing yesterday, tlie matter was as good as
settled. j .
The gentlemen who have done the nego
tiating for their Loiidpu principals have
advanced tl.eir view' of the situation skill
fully; I ut they have been met with equal
cleverness on the pact of Mr. Hammer
stein, who is by no .means a bad hand at
driving a bargain. ,
Mr. Ilaiiiiiierslein,twlio is a keen ob
server of the business end.of an amusement
scheme, has long been convinced that it is
Impossible, to run a tremendous affair like
this ?i,U00,000 music, hall and theater
unless it were coiulucteiCby a largely cap
italized corporation, ready, financially, to
tide over the tinprdhtalfle periods which
occur eveiynow anil' then.
On both sides thcrc-'seems to be n dis
losltion to carry it through without hair
splitting over minor details, and the formal
ngrecmciit will doubtless be shortly an
nounced. Tin. plan is not only to take Olympia
Musio Kali, but the entire building, and
produrn In it the ballets that have" made
the Leicester Square housj famous, and
send oxer in quick succession the best peo
ple from the London stage, together with
a fair projxirtion of American stars.
Fine Collection of Curios.
A magnificent collection or curios is
now on exhibition at A. Heitmuller's new
store, 1218 F street. Besides some very
fine paintings, old prints and articles of
vertu, there are a number of strange
Instruments of torture that carry one's
imagination back to the Dark Ages. It
is an exhibition well, worth seeing and
should not bo missed. ' 16
Leading Newspapers Declare (lie
End Is Not Far Off.
READY TO R&1XQUISH CUBA
No TJs,e in Prolonging a YV"ur "In
Which, Without Profit or Glory,
Wo Have Heon Filling nn 7Jn
gmteiul Land With the Corpses
oi' Our Heroes."
Madrid , Dec. 25.-Sllvela's omlnojs
words concerning the unavoidable loss of
Cuba by Spain arc beginning to reso.i-id
with a powerful echo in many of the lead
ing Spanish newspapers It is no longer
the opposition organs which alone discuss.
th6 advisability of folvlng the conflict by
relinquishing the Island. To El Im
parclal's demand that "an arrogant so
lution be retched at once-, because, how
ever painful, It will never, be so in com
parison wit'i the prolongation of a war
in which, without prorit or glory, wc
have been for three years filling an .m
graterul land with, the corpses of our
heroes." El Dia, a ministerial organ, h ning
a largeclrculation among the higher cl.i -vs,
all over Spain, answers:
"It would be closing tho eyes to evi
dence not to see that the existing sorrows
have rendered the Spanish nation impatient.
There is no reason why we should be as
tonished at what El Imparcial says, for
the feeling to which it lias given ex
pression !;- certainly the wish of the na
tion. There Is a limit 'to everything, and
the limit to our colonial conflict Is not
so distant as many believe. Spain's fa
tigue, the blood that has been shed, our
decadent finances, the humiliations which
the United States has imposed upon us.
the absolute lack of ability in the leaders
of our army, all these reasons combined
cause the end to be fast approaching."
Referring to the refusal by the Cub-m
leaders, flutz, Itlvera, and Pacallao, to
accept liberty upon condition that fiey
sliould not again take arms against Spain,
El Xa clonal, Romero Robledo's prgan, iys
that they should be shot.
MEWS. FROM ALEXANDRIA
John Iiewis; a Colored Boy, Per
Imps Mortally Wounded.
Shooting by Arthur Shirley-, Who
Claims Jt Was Accidental Kye-
lViiiiesses Think Differently.
Alexandria. Dec. 25. Arthur Shirley,
colore!, h- locked up at police "headquarter
charged with shooting John Lewis, also
colored, and his vicliin is lying at the
Alexandria Infirmary in a precarious con
dition, and Dr. Purvis, the attending
physician, .does not think there are any
hopes ifor his recovery. Shirley is about
twenty-lour years ot age, while Lewis i
a youth or not more than fourteen. The
ctateireuts of the cause which led to th?
shooting differ; Shirley, when seen in his
cell by a Times reporter, talked freely
of tlis occurrence, and protested inno
cence ot Intending to shoot Lewis. The
prisoner stated that he had been cele I
brathig Christmas by liring a pistol, aim
when he reached Royal and Pendleton
streets, he discharged the weapon. At
this point Lewis, Ed. Elsey and several
other colored boys were engaged ii
"pitching pennies," and as he was in
the act of firing the pistol a second time
EIs2ygrabbedhl3hutid,anU the weapon dis
charged the ball Striking Lewis In the
head. After the wounded hoy had been re
moved to his home, near the scene of
the tr.ir.edy, Shirley states that he went
to his Own- home and concealed the pistol
under his led, where it was subsequ?ntly
fouud l.y Folk-emaii Atkinson.
Elsey and a young man named Wood,
who witnessed the shooting, claim that
it was deliberate and without just cause,
and it will doubtless require an iri7;.stiga
tioii by the police court to bring out the
true facts in the case. As soon as the
snooting was reported Policemen Knight
and Lyles hurried to the scene, and Were
not long in landing Shirley at the police
station. Dr. I'urvis, upon learning of the
serious condition of the wounded boy, or
dered that he be removed to the Infirnia.y,
where an examination was 'made by Drs.
Purvis, Snowden and Thomas W. Gibso.i.
It was fcuml that the ball had entered at
the back of the head, on the left side,
shattered tlu skull and penetrated the
brain. The luillet had split, and the phy
sicians succeeded in removing a small por
tion, the other part having passed into the
head, leavjngaii ugly wound through which
the brain oozed. Lewis has not regained
consciousness since, the shooting.
Dr. Purvis stated tonight that the pa
tient was in a very serious condition.
His brain, his left arm anil both legs are
paralyzed. Shirley's pistol contained two
empty shells The other four chambers
were empty. Shirley has a police record,
but has never been arrested before on a
serious charge. Lewis has been regarded
as an industrious and honest boy.
The bedy of William II. Hrown, colored,
who died In New York yesterday, was
brought to this city tonight for burial.
Beverley Walker, colored, was arrested
this evening and locked up at the police
station for breaking a large glass In the
show window of Mr- II. Wilde, on North
Royal stieet. Walker was very lnin;:,
and protests that he did tlie best he could
to avoid the accident.
Richaid Carson Smith died at the home
of his sister, Miss Eliza W. Smith, SIS
King street today. He v.is a well-known
citizen, and was eighty-three years or age.
Mr. Smith was a fon or the late Rev.
Hugh Smith, His death was diii; to
Marshall Jones, tb little son or Dr. T.
.Marshall Jones, was quite iiainrully in
jured today by the discharge of a cannon,
which had been overcharged. The little
follow -ns struck in the face and rendered
unconscious. He wasattsnde:! by his father.
Orficfc Knight today recovered a valuable
pair of gloves which had been lost by a
The teachers of the Second Presbyterian
Sunday-School will meet tomorrow morn
ing and eleat officers for the ensuing year
The funeral of the late Mrs. Mary A.
Entwisle will take place toinorrov artor
noon at 3 o'clock fromXo. J108 South Fair
Mr. and-Mrs- Taker,. of Beverley, Mass..
and Mr. and X:s- Fillton, ut Ellicott City;
Md.. are visiting Mis.-Ma'itlia Carlln, jiir
Mr. J. Harvey Cicighton, of Nov.' York,
is spending the liolidays with his parents
in this city.
Mr. Walter G- Rogers has cone to Augusta
county to spend- the holidays.
Christmas was celebrated in tills .city
today m true old Virginia style. All 1
business was suspended, and tb2
made one of joy. The churches
denominations held special services
well arranged musical programs were ren
dered by well trained cnoirs. The small
buy Mas given the freedom of the city,
and the boom oT the cannon and the firing
of crackers were heard on every street.
The I. O- U. X. Club and the Pachelor Cl.ib
kept "open lirusej" and handioinely enter
tained fieir friends.
AT THE HOTELS.
Mr. James Humphreys, of Puree!!, I.
T., is in Washington as one of "a dele
gation representing .the wiiite. settlers in
the territory, who wish to obtain title
to the Jand theyJlve-on. -He is at the
National Hotel. The position of the
white people or the Territory is a most
unique one. Nothing quite like it has
ever occurred before in trie History or tne
world, perhaps. There are a 00,000 white
settlers, and they have built towns, with
hundreds or rine buildings, churches,
libraries, theaters and business blocks.
Not one man in the entire a 00,000 owns
the land on which he has built. Any
or all or them might 'to surrirrraril y ex
pelled from the territory by tne Govern
ment, though this" Is" hardly possible.
Mr. Humphreys sad to a, leporter for
The Times last night:
"The -rive civilized tribes' of Indians
as they are called, the Chlckasaws, Choc
taws, Creeks, Seminoles and Cherokees,
own all the land in the territory iu ree
as wards of the Unitelrst-ftes the land
is divided among jLhefiye nations. For
several years settlers liave been going into
the territory by invitation from trie In
dians. As their number has increased ami
the railroads have been allowed to pass
through the territory towns have, iu a
way, become necessary, and hare been
built at first with no idea of nermanencr-
Ithas all been without the cousS'nt orthe
law, but without the, strit'ggnc oi'ijxjsition
of the law either. The extent or this in
vasion Is not realized, by. outsiders. The
towns, some of them, have 7,000 inhabi
tants. "There is at lease $15,000,000 In im
proved property In the Territory, owned
by whites, which, of course, does not count
in the value of the land. Tn.-re are seven
daily newspapers, and a bundled weeklies.
It is quite a ritatj us rar as this material
advancement goes.-In every other way it
is nil. There is no government for the
whites except the United states court.
Tliere is no government, no legislation,
no delegate to Congress.
"With me are Mr. Sam Powell, of
Wagoner, und Mr. 8. T. tdedsoe, of Ard
tnore. We represent .this, people without
a country, and are here to make an ap
peal to Congress. "Uriefly,' we wish to
have Congress extinguish the Indians
title to the town sttes. We are willing
to pay the Indians for their property.
The Indians are not so friendly to our wish
as we would like. The people who are. iu
the government of the nations object.
There arc two or three reasons for their
opposition. I do not believe they are
sufficient, however." -
So fax the delegation has not been
eminently successful. Congressmen hesi
tate long Jn taking awayrrom the Indians
this almost last spot iu the United Mates
that they can call tuaicuwn It seemslike
driving them to the ocean, penning them
hi, and finally shoving- them overboard.
W. F. Hyncs, of Denver, Col.,"fs irrthc
city representing several railroad and other
organizations Who wantradroad legislation.
He has been here, during oilier recent
sessions and each time has almost suc
ceeded. This time he is most hopeful
He is -at the Raleigh.
Mr. Hynes iepresents-the Brotherhoods
ot Locomotive Lnginscrs and Locomotive
Firemen, tne Order of Railway Conductors,
the Hrotiwrhood of Railway Trainmen,
and the Order of Railroad Telegraphers.
The measures he Is- figlitiug for -.are-"the
contempt of court bill," "the commission
bill," and 'the railroad arbitration bill."
Mr. Hynes said last night:
"'1 i.e iiev.i-.-,ify mr iiie ....lutmot ol ccurt
bill arises out or tl c pet uhar laws concern
ing railroads iu the bauds of rcceiters
Wnen an employe of a road in the hands ora
receiver differs with the receiver in any
way he is iu contempt or court. There
is no jury trial for this offense. The Judge
simply sends hint to Jail if he nm fit- I
hae known it to happen frequently. One
bill provides for a juiy trial iu seen cases
'Tne cominbsiou bill tcoplc are lamiliar
with it, but there is tnelitUe natter iu its
history that may be new to most. The bill
provides lor a coi:iin:.Sicn often Congress
men audniiie other members to bechosen by
the President, who shall arbitrate all dif
ferences between corporations and their
employes. Railroad1:, coal miners and all
other great corporations would come under
"During the last Congress the bill was
pas-ed by Ixjth the Senate and House, but
did not receive the signature of J 'resident;
Cleveland. On March -J, 1697, at the
Capitol, Mr. Cleveland sas in his room with
some of the railroad people and with -Mr.
e arnsie- i ij.ou iutr .ii.ium.i urui.ic
finished their pleading with him to sign,
lie held his p;n in his hand, dipped it in
th' ink two or three times, listened to Mr
Carlisle, looked out or the window, and
finally laid down the pen as the clock
struck 12. There was nothing in his face
to show what h. tnougnt. The arbitration
bill Is similar in purpose to the commis
sion bill, but covers tne troubles of rail
roads only. I have talkpd lo many
Congressmen. They all are iriemily and
several ot them have promised to cham
pion the measures, one or two of them
actively. I have very strong hopes that
the bills will bco.ui laws at ibis session."
Rev. Thomas Harrison, of Roston, the
original "boy preacher," is at the Riggs.
He is a man with a remarkable history.
He looks thirty years old. Ileis or sleuner
build ami under the average height. In
reality he is past forty. Twenty years
ago Mr. Harrison preaened at J-ounury
Church here. It was the beginning or his
career. He was very youthful looking at
that time and as it was before boy won
ders had ceased to be wonders, and as
he was a most eloquent preacher he had
a great success. Since that time he has
been holding revival .meetings almost,
without cessation. lie lias been over a
large part of the country. He held meet
ings twice with Dr. Tahiiage at the Drook
Ivn Tabernacle that were wonderfully
successful. During these twenty years
he has converted between 50,000 aud
Mr. Harrison is returning to his home
in lSoston from Chattanooga., where ho
has hem holding ineL-tiiigslorseveralwecks.
He had oOO converts In that city. Next
week he ljcgins in New lork. Mr. Harri
son has not been in Washington since his
first visit, but Will quite probably he
here next year. He lias receive I an invi
tation from one of tlie largest ot the
Methodist churches in the city.
sjnlvtnio.. Ar...v.-. Curl-tinas.
The service at the Salvation Army head
quarters last, night was largely attended
Tlu; hall was decorated with evergreen.
The foature or the service was an earnest
and forcible address by. Mr. Hughes, one
f the converts of the New York branch
of the Army.
(Frm the Springrield Republican.
Rev. Dr. James W, Purtmni, pastor of
Tiin'ry Haplist Church. Ill Sow iork, hu
rr.tiin.ed the clteck of S50 sent him by the
Tamni.i..: Hall organization in the ass-? ably
district where the chinch Is situated, .is
a com i Unit ion "for the deserving mmr,"
OH tht giound th tt Tammany Is a vlcrous
organization. Dr. Purnam Is very severe,
and communis to the Tammany agent
those Iilbiical quotations
0, full of all subtlety and all mischief,
thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all
righteousness, wilt thou not ceasa to per
vert the light ways of the Lord7 Acts
Ti-- money perish with thee. Acts
lr iM.rurnamliad been a Hebrew w.Vii
Use chfuircn of Israel went out or Egypt,
he would never have consented to the spoil
ing of the Egyptians which marked :he
A Hello of tlie'Hiirsct
(From the Chicago Record.)
'What i: horse sense, Uncle Jim'."'
'Idni-'t know cx.Vttry.b ict man oughtn't
to trust hirus.df on a bicycle unless he
has got it."
SSlDIES TAUNTING HUSBAND
Mrs. Pever Poisons Her Four
Children and Herself.
HE LEFT HER IN ANGER
Over the Bodies of Her Little Oes
mid in tlie Agony of Heath Shu
Assails 31 1. Peyer When He He.
turriK Ilorne Homestie Uiihuppl
ness Ends lu a Tragedy. .
Park River, N. D-, Dec- 25 The cul
minating scene In a long series of quarrels. .
between Jacob Peyer and his wife was
enacted last night when the woman
forced strychnine down the throtfs of "
her four little -children, and then, hys
terical and cursing, swallowed tome of
the poison herself.
The children died with scarclya tremor,
but the woman suffered horribly. She
lived long enough to see her husband' -while
conscious, though iiuaiie, and went
out or the world taunting him over the
bodies or tteir lifeless children. -
Peyer Is a farmer, a prosperous ne,
living near Park River. He b very hot
tempered, but when he married i.ne of ,
the prettiest girls in tlie black Hilte, he
hail met Ids match. The two lived to
gether ten years, ami most of the time
one or both were unhappy.
After the maimer of their kind they
quarrejei. violently and made up quickly.
The woman many times threatened to
destroy herself, and later made threats to
destroy the children, of whom her husband
was pasoonj- tely fond- They fought a '
wordy war yesterday over some trivial
thing- and tlie neighbors heard loud voices
In the Peyer house and the cries of
frightened children Peyer left tlie ho lie
in his fit or anger and went tj town- A
farmhand, two hours later, heard moans
coming from the kitchen of the houue
and forced the door.
Trn children were stretched on the floor
dead, the woivan by their Hide, tearing at
herself in agony until tte blood came.
YOUTH ATTEMPTS SUICIDE
Could Not Stand tlie Remorse oi -His
Charles Morrison Drlrr'i; Laudanum
Bec;eUc Thinks He Has Hisf-
ignited His Family.
Charies C Morrison, a clerk in Scinl'.'
cigar store. No. -IU Penn.sylvanlR avenue
northwest, attempted suicide last .night'
by taking laudatiuin- The dose was otT
fatal &nd now tii young man is glad Utalv
the stonach pump was hi vented. .,
Charles is but eighteen years old .itt-h .
lives with his mother at No. 72S Sii.h ;
street scutheasf:- He hns always bee.r re
garded as a mode! young man. Hisfrle.ids
thought !:.- h:d no bad habits, exceps t.i it.
he sometimes smoked, but that wa parrio-v-able.
b?c-u. lie worked in a cigar 4ore4.
He sccrce knew tne taste of liquor Basil
Thai o-vcidng he left borne and- came, ,
down town with some friends, intent jftou'
having a good time, but it was one if
those where the aftermath is a heid
achc, remorse and r. dark brown Jasre
lu the mouth. Charlie took a drink itlt
the boys, he took many, and hat mu-le
him a man in his own eyes. When lie
went home early Christmas it.ornlng- he
reeled and staggered. Parental discourse
iipor the subject of intoxicants and tern
pcrnuci lectures had no effect ujioh him
that night, hut it w.-is with shame and
regret that lie came downstairs Christni.s
morning after all the reioalnd-r of the
family had breakfasted and gone aviy-
nis ii. older mildly censured hirn for bis
condition the previous night. Her .vjrds
made birr feel keenly his conduct. Ho
fancied that he had disgraced Ills rainllr.
Whet, he came down town yesterday
afternooi his employer and customers wk
came it. the store observed that CharJfe
looked sad and melancholy. It was trne
he did not reel gwd, for he had a head
ache and in i appetite for Christmas tur
key: bu mentally he was most torture!.
He stood it for awhile, and then went
to a drup store and purclwsed an wince
of laudarum. saying that he wanted it fbr
the toothache. The druggist, soring ki.s
wan face, thought the youth was sufrer
ing from an afflicted molar, and gae
him tho- drug.
Tluii Charlie Wi-nt back to the Hitre
swallor. ed thepol-on and nn nou need what,
he had dene, and specified his purpo-e ud
desire tc end his life. Just as the drig
was beginning to have its effeot :wi.i
Charlij had to be walked around to keep
awake, a policeman rroui No. 0 station
cam by and sent in a c-Ml for an ambu
lance? am' the youth was ivmox-ed to the '
Emergency Hospital, when the stomatflt
pump soon relieved him. Half an Siir
the physicians worked upon CbarHn iiAd
then lie vasf-ut or dunger.aad xr.-nt .
forgiven, glad that he wa aiffe, imi
firmly resolved lo l-ecome a tptup?riA-e
orator, pos- as a horrible exou-piu, awl
relate his own experience.
STKPs IN FHO.VT OF AN KvPIt 4$SL
Joint lit t-toii 31. els Heath "jlir
Johu Peston. t weHtj-four yemrs od, va
st rue; I; an englm" tlie ifctftifwr md
Ohio Railroad, Hear TiIhMuI. ytMertay
morning arid almost Ifenittiy IrtMeO. in
ton lived at Fourth ami I tiett aftrf
east, and was acctMtfwmrd t rVMng out
on a fhifling engine to tfee NMMwlhott6
where hi w.i empored. lit Mt home
alMMit 7 o'clock in the m.xnitng. ami njwn
reaching Trinidad stepped I nun ttta lcc
motive dbvrtiy In fro4 of engine No. 130
lu charge or EiigliHrer Pilzgnth!, which Vfai
coinlnp in with an expn- trai. He wus
throvfi- cifMlderutHtf distance, .ttul wn
dead when a.stitftce reached UUm. -
The Ivody wuk piuced mi a freight train
and lrt light to the New Jersey awie
mnrgu - Coroner Carr, ali2z lHvestigntiig
the circumi'tancvs, gave a certificate or
Edward Peterson Hadly Cut.
During a drunken men's right on Eright
wood avenue, near Marshall street north
west, yesterday evening, Edwinl Peter
son, of No. Sol II street northwe.-t, was
severely stabbed In the fa.e hy an un
known colored man. The wound extended
across ll.o- man's forehead and down hi
right cheek, exposing the bone. After
the cutting the negro tied and the police
were able to learn but little- regarding the"
atratr. Policeman Girard treated the-,
man and bound up his wounds until he .
rouhl be removed to Freedman's Hospital,
ne wdl recover. Late last night Peter
son's assailant had not been captured.
Do yen know that yon win have
The 3toiiiini, Kvenliijs und 5uml.y
Times tlie only t'OMPIJETE news,
paper rmhlilud In Washington
served to joii by carrier for fiftj
cents a mouth?