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SAN FRANCISCO, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1903.
PRICE FITE CENTS.
POSTAL INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN INDICTMENT
AND THE DISMISSAL OF EX-INSPECTOR J. W. ERWIN
TRAVELERS NEED NO LONGER
FEAR HONOLULU INSPECTION
rH E: indictment. \.re-.
W. Erwin, assistant superin
tendent of the free 'delivery
system in this city,' charges
him zvith conspiracy to- de
fraud the United States by
using undue influence to se
cure ''the by the
Postofficc Department of a
patented device for announc
ing the time of 'the next
Erwin' s Reply.
ii tfO say that 'I am sur
". -J> -'prisedbcyond meas
ure expresses it mildly.
Knmving my complete inno
cence. I have never for a mo
ment' considered the possi
bility of such action. I have
had no opportunity to con
sult zvith friends or to secure
legal advice, and so must be
excused from making any
statement in connection zvith
Commander's Start for His Dash for.
North Pole Will Be Made
t . on July 1.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11.— Orders grant
ing three years' leave of absence to Com
mander Peary of. the . navy, beginning
April 1 next, were issued to-day. ,* He • is
nowon duty at the \Bureau of Yards and
Docks.' Ha will ' start ' for bis dash • for
the north pole July 1 next." " ;;¦ .-•:; '
ORDERS ISSUED GIVING
PEARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE
A South Sea lifeboat went out to a dis
tressed bark off Weymouth. There were
no signs of life on, the , vessel and it is
supposed that her crew was drowned.
A Lloyds dispatch from Cowes, Isle of
Wight, reports that the American steam
yacht Enchantress was badly damaged in
the English Channel.
The breakwater of the new harbor in
course of construction at Dover has been
entirely swept away, Involving a loss of
many thousands of pounds sterling. The
channel steamers from France arrived
late this morning after perilously rid
ing out the storm for .six or seven hours.
Many lifeboat rescues were made and
several fatalities and many accidents
were recorded. Much wreckage is being
washed up all around the coast.
From Dungeness It is reported that a
Ketches crew, numbering eight men,
were all drowned.
At South Sea several bodies have, been
washed up. Poole, Whltestable and Ports
mouth all report wrecks and fatalities.
A derelict yacht has been towed into
Portsmouth. The fate of her crew is not
Much damage has been done at Bath
A vessel Is in distress off the Goodwin
Sands, where the lightship is adrift.
The lifeboats have been busy all along
the coast. The hop crops have suffered
For some time telegraphic communica
tion was completely stopped and the land
lines are still In terrible shape. The tel
egraph companies report that the wires
and poles are down everywhere. Great
numbers of fine trees in the parks of Lon
don and other cities were torn uji by the
roots or stripped of their branches, and
the list of minor damages and casualties
Is amazing. In adUltion to the deaths
from' drowning reports from Inland give
many fatalities resulting from various
causes Incident to the storm.
Dispatches from France and Germany
indicate that widespread damage has been
caused by the storm on sea and land.
Telephone communication between Lon
don and Paris had not yet been restored
and there is much delay In telegraphic
dispatches owing">to the damage to the
continental land lines.
The suburbs of the metropolis are lit
tered with trees and branches which have
been blown down. The tents of the First
Army Corps, which was under canvas
preparatory to taking part in the maneu
vers, were almost blown to pieces. It
is possible that the whole force may be
recalled from Aldershot.
TELEGRAPH LINES DOWN.
All the coast towns suffered more or
less, and the agricultural sections In the
Interior report Incalculable damage, ow
ing, to the late harvest. The beautiful
hop gardens of Kent have been ' ruined
and in many places the valleys of the
Thames and the Severn , are submerged,
quantities of sheep and cattle being
LONDON, Sept. 13.— Stories of disasters
caused by Thursday's storm occupy col
umns of the morning papers. More than
fifty lives were lost and some sixty
wrecks are reported. Damage In this line
alone will amount to thousands of pounds
sterling. An enormous number of tele
graph and telephone wires are still down
throughout the United Kingdom.
While the details of the havoc wrought
by the storm are necessarily incomplete
reports come In from all parts of the
United Kingdom showing that the devas
tation was general. All sorts of vessels
were caught In the gale and many found
ered, several with their entire crews. A
great number cf minor craft is believed
to be lost and the bodies washing ashore
continue' to swell the terrible list of
;The gale sprang up with sudden fury
from the southwest, aiid the,. wind' blew
with a velocity, at .times, reaching fifty
miles an hojjr, ian^htetSSftUni'tfcJ several
hours^ v, -,-\ . >'" /. ¦'¦ -¦¦•**•. ¦ '-'* V^'s- -:« •¦'¦.
Special Dispatch to The Call.
Bodies Washing Ashore Con
tinue to Swell List of
Coast Towns and Agri
Storm's Ruin Over
LIVES GO OUT
Continued on Page 2, Column 5.
But until It reaches a position in which
its-character and future, course can be
definitely discovered the commanders of
vessels sailing now to the southward will
be cautioned. Thus far no shipwrecks are
reported off our coast.
But the northwestward advance of the
storm which was indicated on Thursday
night' and even this morning has been
temporarily, retarded. Over the ocean
area from the Carolina and Georgia
coasts eastward to the meridian of Ber
muda, as to-night's reports show, the
barometeric' pressures were rather
strengthened* than weakened" and conse
quently the cyclone cannot at once over
come this bank of high pressure in its
effort and directly recurve toward Cape
Hatteras. It will therefore have to wait un
til this aerial obstruction in. its path is re
moved before the track to the northward
is cleared, and the storm may lose some
of its present energy and possibly It may
be diverted from its original northwester
As its front impurged on the western
margin of the gulf stream a northeast
wind at Jupiter (on the Southeast Florida
coast) rose in the morning to a velocity
of thirty-two miles an hour and presum
ably continued to rise all day, though un
fortunately no telegraphic report 'could
be obtained from that important station
at New York, which apparently indicates
that the telegraphic wires on the adjacent
Florida coast were carried away by the
storm. It therefore appeared necessary
to extend the - storm warnings as far
north as Charleston.
NEW YORK, Sept. 11.— Although still
making violent movements of its vortex
in the vicinity of Nassau, the West In
dian cyclone which stealthily reached the
Bahamas on Thursday, apparently in
creased in intensity to-day and main
tained, though very slowly, its approach
to our shores. -
Special Dispatch' to The Cail.
A large number of distinguished of
ficials met Assistant Secretary Arm
strong. Including Colonel John P. Irish,
Naval Officer of the Port; Chauncey St.
John, Deputy Surveyor of the Port; Spe
cial Agent George E. Channlng of the
treasury and many heads of departments.
Dr. Rupert Blue of the Marine Hospital
presented the physicians under his charge
and was complimented by Assistant Sec
retary Armstrong on his efficient work in
After some little time had been spent
in meeting officials, the Assistant Secre
tary of the Treasury settled down to
work. The conference was executive, and
those who took part in It were John D.
Spreckels of the Oceanic Steamship Com
pany, R. P. Scbwerln of the Pacific Mail
Company, W. H. Ayery of the Toyo KlBen
Kalsha Company, Collector of the Port
of Honolulu E. R. Stackable, Surveyor
ness for two days and I expect to learn
many things that will be of great value to
me when I return to Washington. Neither
Collector Stranahan of New York nor
Assistant Treasurer Fish of that city is
here on business. They are spending
their vacation and will not take part with
me in any investigations I shall make.
"The question as to the manner of ex
amination of baggage of passengers; com
ing from the Orient, via Honolulu, to San
Francisco, is the principal reason of my
visit to this city. It Is the earnest hope
of the Secretary of the Treasury that as
little inconvenience to passengers as pos
sible be caused, but at the same time due
vigilance must be exercised to protect the
revenues of the Government. I am not
going to hold an investigation, but sim
ply a conference, and we hope to arrive at
a conclusion that will be satisfactory to
all parties concerned." •
BECEIVED AT CUSTOM-HOUSE.
At 11 o'clock yesterday morning Assist
ant Secretary Armstrong was' the cyno
sure of all eyes »t the* Custom-house. On
his arrival at the Federal building,
escorted bju Acting Collector Hamilton
and Surveyor. of the Port Spear, the dis
tinguished Washington official was con
ducted to the rooms of the Collector of
the Port. Colonel Stratton being unable
to be present owing to illness, the honors
were done by Hamilton. ,
In speaking of his visit to San Fran
cisco, the Assistant Secretary said:
"I am on my vacation trip v and this Is
try first journey to California. I am tak
ing the opportunity to familiarise myself
with the many details of the customs ser
vice on* this coast bo that I shall be in a
better position to handle various matters
&¦ they come before zne in the future.
"I ma colas to devote myself to busi-
SEEKS MUCH INFORMATION.
When the Portland express arrived at
Oakland mole yesterday morning it car
ried the private car of President Fish of
the Illinois Central Railroad Company, in
which Hamilton Fish. Assistant United
States Treasurer, of New York, had
crossed the continent; His guests were
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Ann
strong, Collector of the Port of New York
N. N. Stranahan. Hamilton Fish Jr. and
George Parsons Jr.
The distinguished visitors were met on
their arrival by Acting Collector W. B.
Hamilton and Colonel J. Spear, Surveyor
of the Port.
The party of visitors proceeded to the
Palace Hotel, where quarters had been
reserved for them, and Assistant Secre
tary of the Treasury Armstrong was
greeted by many Federal officials.
rival had oorfcrred with a num
ber cf prominent Federal and steamship
officials and Fettled the vexed question as
to how the baggage of passengers from
the Orient and Hawaii should be ex
amined. The complaints of travelers and
transportation companies regarding a re
cently adopted but temporarily suspend
ed system of baggage examination at
Honolulu have been heeded and the
Many complaints have been made as to
the examination of baggage at Honolulu
and an order from the Secretary* of the
Treasury mat all baggage on Oriental
Fteamships should be examined at Hono
lulu and not on arrival in San Francisco
caused no end of complications.
The crfier was suspended a few days
ago, but Collector Stackable of the Port
of Honolulu came on to San Francisco
In order to meet Assistant Secretary Arm
titrong and urge Kls eide of the question.
FIRST ASSISTANT SECRE
TARY OF THE TREASURY
ROBERT B. ARMSTRONG ar
rived in the city yesterday and
within forty minutes of his ar-
Treasury Officials Find Way to Administer Customs
Laws Without Annoyance to Passengers.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY. COLLECTOR OF THE
PORT AT HONOLULU. AND PROMINENT LOCAL CUSTOMS OFFI
CIALS, WHO HELD AN IMPORTANT CONFERENCE IN THIS CITY.
Continued on Paje . 2, Column 1. '
Continued on Page 2, Column 3.
" Continued on Page 3, Column 1,
The Fielding was about twelve miles
distant from the Island of Gonalves when
the boat was sighted. Captain King, who
wa3 In command, took a long survey of
the object through his binoculars, and
When nearlns Port au Prince on her
outward voyage the Fielding ran near a
dark object bobbing over the seas. and.
heading for it. found it to be an over
turned small schooner, with seven men
and a woman clinging to it and striving
with the little strength that was left la
them to hold on to Its slippery bottom.
How they managed to do so is a mira
cle. The coasting schooner to which they
belonged had struck a rock, had partly
filled and then suddenly "turned turtle."
The crew of seventeen persons had all
managed to get upon the bottom of the
overturned craft. There ensued days of
starvation and thirst, in which nine of
the seventeen died, and then on the fifth
day came -the thrilling rescue of eight
PROVIDENCE, R. I., Sept. 1L— One of
the most grewsome of sea tragedies was
told to-day when the schooner W. S.
Fielding reached port from West Indian
Special Dispatch to The Call.
'"I am' glad that the officers of the
Postofflce Department, with which I have
been, connected for more- than sixteen
years, still * have sufficient confidence in
me to make" public the fact of my indict
ment before the papers could be served
on me. .They are correct In assuming
that I wilf be found when wanted.
"I have had; no opportunity to consult
Sept. ll.-James W.
, »^r Erwin. returned to his home at
' Jl '.^ 2628 Benvenue avenue this even-
• ing after a week's stay with his
• .'family at Capitola. He saiil he
had received no official advice concerning
his indictment and dismissal from the
"I don't know what to think about it
all..- It is terrible to blast a man's name in
this way without a hearing. I do not
know what I am accused of and as for
being dismissed from the service I cannot
believe such a thing is possible except
that such work has been done because of
the recent trouble in the department
"I" am very tired and have been sick
with Ptomaine poisoning for a week and
have just arrived at home, but I have
started here to write a statement and
without knowing how it sounds 1 wish
you would run it as it Is."
-Erwin then furnished the following
statement written by himself:
" "I have iust returned Thome after a
week's absence and the only knowledge
I have that an indictment has been re
turned against me for conspiring to de
fraud the United States Government is
derived from the ! newspapers. To. say
that I am surprised beyond measure ex
presses it mildly. Knowing my complete
innocence, I- have never for a moment
considered the possibility of such action.
Special Dispatch to The Call.
Daniel S. ' Richardson, ¦ president of the
California company, came to 'Washington
accompanied by Erwin to introduce , the
device. Erwin was then serving as post
office inspector. He introduced Richard
son to Beavers, Machen, -Heath and
others at the department. , Jne thousand
shares of the company's* stock are said
to have been distributed to the 'Postofflce
Department employes, who took' it under
assumed names. \ , ¦ .. v ¦ ¦' ¦:
Sensational statements concerning the
connection of former Assistant Postmas
ter General Heath with the Postal Device
and Improvement Company of San Fran
cisco are made in the testimony submitted
to the, Grand Jury within the last few
weeks. One thousand shares of stock of
the San Francisco company, are alleged
to have been distributed among postofflce
officials to obtain the; adoption by the
department of the device • for registering
on letter boxes the time or the next mail
collection. •¦'¦ . • ¦¦'¦¦¦s*i\\.
¦ '•. "Washington Grand- Jury, last
Tuesday and made public, by 1 fstrict At
torney Morgan H. Beach to-day. Six per
sons In all were Indicted: .Additional In
dictments ,were returned against George
W. Beavers, superintendent of division of
salaries and allowances, and against Au
gust W. Machen, \ former superintendent
of free delivery. .The new names are: j
James W. Erwin of California, "former
postofflce inspector; Isaac S. McGlehan of
New York, George H. Huntlngton of New
York, Eugene W.' Sheble of Toledo,. Ohio.
Postmaster General Payne has forwarded
to " Erwin his dismissal from the ." postal
'mm y q ASHINGTON. Sept ll.-Four
Mm Tf new names - are dragged lntk
'm Jf *J the postofflce scandal In' Iri-
' dlctments : returned j by the
Special Dispatch to The Call.
PROMINENT LOCAL. POSTAL.
OFFICIAL INDICTED BY THE
WASHINGTON GRAND JURY.
VOLUME XClV-NO. 104.
The San Francisco Call