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SAM J. NICHOLS PLEADS DRUNKENNESS
WHEN ANSWERING DICTOGRAPH TESTIMONY
Says that He Was so Drunk that He did not Know
What he Was Talking About. Might have said
all that the Dictograph Quoted Him as
Saying, but does not Re
Columbia. July IS.?That be was
In an Intoxicated condition, such that
he knew little of the Interview, be
tween himself and E. S. Reed, the
detective, alius H. N. Porter, the Chi
cago attorney, that some of the state
ments made by him. as recorded by
the dictagraph, were ridiculous;
strong denials of certain testimony,
as recorded by the dlstagraph; denial
of any intentions of offering a bribe
to Governor Blease for the pardon of
Gus DeFord; a denial that the wit
ness had done a big "pardon busi
ness" with the governor; a denial
that he was a delegate to the Balti
more convention and Instructed for
Harmon, but a statement that if he
said this, it was while under the in
fluence of Scotch whiskey; charges
that the dictagraph testimony taken
from Mr. Nichols In Spartanburg,
Baltimore and Washington hotels
had been contorted by Its transcrib
ing stenographer: a denial that he
had wired Reed to come to Spartan
burg to close out the pardon deal
and the Introduction of a telegram
received by Sam J, Nichols, purport
ing to be from Reed, that he had
sent a New York draft to Nichols
for $20.000 for closing out this deal,
and the charge that this message was
false were features of the testimony
produced by Sam J. Nichols, of Spar
tanburg, before the dispensary Inves
tigation committee here this morn
Chairman Carlisle said he had re
quested Reed, the detective, to ap
pear here today, but Reed was not
present. The committee was In ses
sion for three hours and a large
crowd heard the testimony.
Called to Order.
Senator Carlisle, the chairman of
the Investigating committee, did not
arrive here from Spartanburg until
noon and the proceedings began at
Samuel J. Nichols, the Spartan
burg attorney, went on the stand
then and told of his side of the al
leged deal, which Detective Reed
claimed to have made with him to
buy the pardon of James Johnson,
the notorious yeggman. Nichols,
with an array of prominent attorneys,
was here to go on the stand. Several
people from different parts of the
state are present.
The library at the state house was
well iilled with spectators when the
dispensary investigating committee
assembled today at noon to hear the
testimony of Sam J. Nichols, who
was charged in Detective Reed's tes
timony with having been employed
by him in the alleweil scheme to buy
a pardon for James Johnson, alias
('.us DeFord, the notorious safe crack
Mr. Nichols was present with his
attorneys, his lather, Judge George
W. Nichols and Ralph K. Carson, ('.
I?. Sanders. W. M. Jones. ('. P. Sims,
Robert T. c.antt, of Spartanburg; J.
G. Hughes, of Union; W. S. Nelson, of
Columbia and C. C. Wyche. of
All of the Investigating committee
were present except \V. L. Daniels,
I'rior to opening the public session,
the Investigating committee held a
short executive session. They filed in
the library at 12:30 and took their
Carlisle called the meeting to order
at 12:26 and announced that It was
called chiefly to hear the testimony
of S. J. Nichols. Mr. Nichols gave
the names of C. P. Sanders and W. M.
Jones as counsel, who would ap
pear for him today.
Reed Won't Come.
Chairman Carlisle read into the
record the statement that he had at
the request of Mr. Nichols requested
Folder to have E. S. Heed, the de
tective, present at the hearing today.
He also read into the record Felder's
reply that Reed had left Atlanta for
Chicago, but that it' he were there he
would not come into South Carolina
W. M. Jones, of counsel for Nich
i ols, asked questions of Nichols to
show that Heed, the detective. had
come to Spartanburg posing as a Chi
cago lawyer, win) wanted to repre
sent the man Deford in tin? South
Reed, Nichols said, hail been sent
to him by a Spartanburg hackman.
"Mr. Porter" was referred to C. I'.
Sims, of Spartanburg. Nichols went
Into the details of certain arrange
ments as made between "Porter,"
Sims and himself, as to representing
DeFord, and accounts of which have
already been published.
Iiifei iii-baii Oeui.
Nichols related certain things
about the conversation with "Porter,"
In the Hotel Finch. Nichols cor
robated certain testimony that had
been taken by the dictagraph. He
explained that, he went into the "In
terurban" case and said he had told
Reed it had been reported that he
had been paid $30,000 for the sign
ing of the Incorporating act. He said
he had told Reed this was a "damn
lie." He said he had told the gov
ernor his refusal to sign the bill
would hurt the Piedmont section, but
he had paid the governor nothing, and
he had not even received a fee from
the Southern Power company, which
he represented, for his work in con
nection with the intemurban fran
?U Is a Lie."
Nichols corroborated the testimony
taken by the dictagraph that he said
it was a He that Blease had received
Nichols: said he had borne much
of the governor's campaign expenses
I' in 1910, and he proposed to do this
again. There was applause from the
large crowd gathered. Nichols said
when he went into Reed's room at
the Hotel Finch there were two
quarts of Scotch whiskey ou the
dresser, that he got drunk and that
now he can't say what took place;
that whiskey ha9 a peculiar effect
over him, and that the dictagraph
testimony does not represent his
"sane moments" or the facts in the
Ho said he didn't kno wwhat con
dition he was In when he left for
Baltimore, but thought the dictagraph
told the truth when It said he was
drunk. He said this whiskey affected
him as none had ever done before
and was, after he sobered, unusually
Drunk on Train.
He was asked if he thought the
whiskey was drugged. He said he
couldn't say. Nichols said he did not
know he was on his way to Balti
more until he woke up on the Pull
man in company with flrends, T. B.
Pearce, L. J. Jennings and Charles P.
Calvert. Nichols said he never was
offered any bribe by anybody for any
Nichols said If he told the dicta
graph he was a delegate to Balti
more, instructed for Harmon. he
must certainly have been drunk, for
he was no delegate at all. There
was laughter on the part of all pres
ent when this statement was made.
Net er Represented Green.
Nichols denied that he had ever
represented one Green In securing a
pardon. Nichols told of joining the
campaign party In Barnwell and said
he went there with the intention of
asking the governor if he would con
sider any pardons before the election.
He said, however, that when he found
the governor so busy, he did not men
tion the matter.
The witness said when he saw the
newspaper story that Felder had said
Nichols had wired Heed to come to
Spartanburg and get the pardon, he
went to the Blackville ofllce and
"Things do not look good. Come
to Spartanburg at once," and he said
he was then "cold sober.
He introduced the original mes
sage In evidence, and said he had not
wired Reed anything else.
Mr. Nichols said he spent last Sun
day here with Governor Blease, and
the first he knew of any reported
"crookedness" he read It in the
Sunday morning papers. He said
when be got to Spartanburg he found
Porter's answer from Chicago to the
"Though, in truth," he Bald, "Por
ter was in Augusta. This wire was
introduced and is as follows:
"Chicago July 13, 1912.
"Sain .1. Nichols, Spartanburg, S. C.
"Your wire received today, Take
it for granted papers ready. Am
mailing New York drafl twenty
thousand, as agreed. Wire Immediate
ly if paper is issued today.
"HENBY N. POBTER."
The witness said he had been told
the stenographer who took the rec
ords of the dictagraph was Tom
"Can not a stenographer easily
change the notes so as to mlsreport
statements?" asked Attorney Jones.
Mr. Nichols replied he thought he
could. Chairman Carlisle stated, for
Mr. Jones, that the stenographer had
never sworn to his notes as submitted
to the committee. The witness said
the name of a man who is alleged to
have had a fight with Mr. Hear on,
editor of the Spartanburg Herald, as
mentioned in the testimony, was
wrongly reported, as were other
names of Spartanburg people men
I ttoned In the dictagraph records. At
one place in tue dictagraph record
Nichols had referred to the governor
as necessarily sharing in the "profits"
of the pardon, but the witness said
he ev'dently was referring to Sims
and not to the governor. Mr. Jones
said the stenographer had here and
in other places put In the word "gov
ernor" to make the record miscarry.
\n Attack on Hums.
Mr. Nichols read from a magazine,
the American Federatlonlst, a state
ment from George W. Wicker sham,
attorney general of the United States,
to show that W. J. Burns "stacked
the cards," using Burns' own words,
and had used improper methods in
the investigation of certain cases in
the Country. The attorney general,
this article said. had reported on
Burns' work, characterizing certain of
Burns' reports In a government in
vestigation as "evasive."
Mr. Jones said he had a letter tend
ing to show that the dictagraph, as
used in the Lorimer case, was unre
liable, and he said this will be Intro
duced if the writer of the letter, an
official in Washington and a friend of
Nichols would give consent for Its
use. This will be Introduced later, If
As to the Bribes.
On a question of C. P. Sanders, of
his counsel, Mr. Nichols said he
never made any agreement to recolve
any money for Governor Blease and
he did not think the governor would
have received any such bribe, If it
should be offered. In all this testl
monye Mr. Nichols was questioned by
W. M. Jones, of Spartanburg, one of
The Campaign Fund.
Nichols said he had made no
statement to his knowledge, and "if
he did it was when he was under the
Influence of whiskey," that he?would
accept any n--?ne.v / >r use In connec
tion with Gov^Vjetol'ease's campaign.
I (Co ?** ^'-^ven.)
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Call on N. B. DIAL, President, E. P. MINTER or B. A. SULLIVAN
A Letter from a Fortunate Holder of an "Elective Policy" J
Containing the Disability Clause: ,
Greenwood, S. C., October 24ih, 1911.
Southeastern Life Insurance Company,
Greenville, S. C.
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CARLOS R. MOSELEY, General Agent
Phone No. 7 and 222. Laurens, South Caroli