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New York dispatch. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1863-1899, November 06, 1864, Image 10

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ind Assistant Aldermen all met together, now
that the law separates the two Boards, and has
taken the Mayor out of them as a portion of the
1 egislative power, applies to either Board when
convened. In the case to which I refer,
it was decided that when the Aidermen act as
the Board of Aidermen they act as the Common
Couuncil, and when the Councilmen act as the
Board of Councilmen, they act as. the Common
Council. And it was judicially settled that the
Common Council were convened for all public
duties whenever the Board of Aidermen or the
Board of Councihnen met.
Aiderman HARDY—Is that case reported ’
Mr. WHITING—Yes: I believe it was re
ported. If not in tlie books, I can find it in the
minutes or upon the records of the Common
Mr. GRAHAM—The decision simply is, that the
two Boards need not sit in one chamber to con
stitute the Common Council, but that they must
both concur in the same action.
Aiderman HARDY—That is a very important
point as to the jurisdiction of tills Committee.
Mr. WHITING—If the Committee come to the
conclusion that they are improperly ap
pointed, and that they must have the ac
( tlon of the Board of Councilmen, then the
' ' investigation must be suspended until the Conn
cilmeu appoint a Committee, and it must
fo through the form of a resolution, passed by
oth Boards, and approved by His Honor the
Mayor. If that is the view Of the Committee, a
Joint Committee of both Boards shouldbe ap
pointed, unless the Committee come to the
conclusion that the whole proceedings ought to
be dismissed.
That case was this: In the widening of all
streets, it is the duty of the Common Council to
pay awards for land taken, within three or four
months of their confirmation, and the owner,
should he find it necessary to sue, must make a
demand upon the Common Council for his award
twenty days prior to the commencement of his
suit. It was objected, upon the argument of this
case, that this demand was not made by the
Common Council, and the answer was that, in
asmuch as the Common Council had been
separated into two Boards, and the Mayor had
been taken out of it, and the language of the
Statute was, “ demand being made of
the Common Council convened,” that
the. demand of the Common Council was
rendered unnecessary, and that, pro tanto, there
had been a repeal of the Act by conferring the
power of auditing all accounts upon the Comp
troller, and that a demand upon the Comptroller
was sufficient. The Court held, upon the argu
ment, that the demand upon the Comptroller
was Insufficient, and that a demand upon either
Board was sufficient. Deciding that, the Court
dismissed the plaintiffs case, and it afterwards
went on to.a settlement. That is judicially de
And I have considered that any demand re
quired to be made upon the Common Council
convened was a good demand if made upon
either Board when it was convened—in fact, that
a demand upon one Board was a demand upon
the Common Council in Common Council con
vened. I think that this disposes of this criticism
upon the Statute at once. But aside from that,
I apprehend that, from the nature of a corpora
tion like this, the very language of the Statute
would show that the appointment of a com
mittee by either Board, to investigate any
matter legitimately before them, would be the
appointment of a Committee of the Common
Council under the’language of this Act. Now.
the legislators knew that the Common Council
was divided into two Boards, and they meant to
confer this power upon either under the term
Common Council. “Whenever the Common
Council of any city within this State shall have
appointed a Committee of members of their
body upon any subject or matter within the juris
diction of such Common Council.” Is not this
within the Jurisdiction of the Common Council ?
Have not the Common Council appointed this
Committee? Has not the law regulated the
mode of proceeding of the two Boards ? Is not
the act of either the act of the Common Council ?
Though you are now never convened as you were
formerly, yet before your acts become complete
both Boards must act upon them, and therefore,
a reference by either Board ■would be a reference
of the Common Council.
The only question here would be a question of
jurisdiction. Ido not understand my learned
friend to go to the extent of claiming that you
have no jurisdiction. <
Mr. GRAHAM—I do not concede that now. I
meant to say that it was not necessary for me to
raise the question of Jurisdiction at present. I
may have to do so hereafter.
Mr. WHITING—I hope that my learned friend
will not he driven to that, because I hope, for
the credit of the city, I hope, for the character of
the city, I hope, for the character of the Common
Council, that Mr. Boole will be able to show that
he is entirely innocent of any impropriety. If
he is, it ought to be known. If he is not, ought
he to claim the right to retain his office, and
spend the money of the public at this frightful
rate, imposing upon us taxes which are unen
durable, in addition to those of the General
Government, when God knows that bread is at a
sufficient price, and meat can scarcely be
obtained by the common laborer? Let me
tell him and his friends that, up to
this period of time, we have strong sus
picions that the leakage of that office alone
would be enough to clean the streets, without
the ordinary, appropriation. I say again, that if
the Committee think that the Mayor ought to
specify more particularly the particulars of this
eighth charge, we have no objection, but it will
become necessary for us to go into [the office of
the City Inspector’s Department." It may be
necessary for us to get at the books of that office
in order to do this. It may be necessary for us
to get at some of the private records of that
office, and how are we to put the specifications
in shape unless we are aided by what we gather
from this testimony ?
Now, upon this subject of suspension, I would
discuss it if I thought it was before this Com
mittee. If the Committee think they are called
. upon in this investigation to determine the pow
er of the Mayor to suspend, I will discuss it; but
it appears to me that it would be going into an
investigation which this Committee is not author
ized to go into. That the power of removal
has been taken away, I am willing
to concede. It is not attempted
to be exercised by the Mayor. He has not got it.
But the question of the power of suspension is
not before the Committee. If, after the report
of this Committee, and after this investigation
shall be had, the Board of Aidermen who have
referred this subject to you, having, as I say, by
the very reference, assumed that they have the
power to make tl»s investigation, shall come to
the conclusion that they have no authority to
take any further action upon the subject, then
thev can remove this suspension of the Mayor,
‘■'eman, Mr. Boole, will be re-
hey have any such want of
rtiere neither the power of
power of removal exists, the
as, 6? the very constitution of
wer to make investigation in
remuuu io tue conduct of all its subordinate of
ficers, whether conferred upon them by express
law or not. It is not necessary that the Board
should have the power of removal or of suspen
sion, to have the power to investigate. Every
public body has that power incident to its crea
tion—a general power, the power to make
Inquiry into the delinquencies of any sub
ordinate officer. Now, I admit that that
power would not authorize them to bring
witnesses before them and swear them,
under the pains and penalties of perjury,
still they have power to make Investigation. I
say that whenever complaint is made by such
poor, Ignorant men as these that there are offices
for sale, if the knowledge of the fact is brought
home to the City Inspector and he fails to inves
tigate it—although he does not handle the money
—he is delinquent to his duty, and the Common
Council have a right, through a Committee, to
investigate it, and if they come to the conclusion
that it is so, they have a right to put their seal of
condemnation upon it.
I say, therefore, that whether this power was
or was not conferred upon you of compelling
witnesses to appear before you and compelling
them to swear, and to swear under all the sanc
tions and all the penalties of law, you would
have an opportunity to make the investigation.
If you could not do it under oath, you could make
it without oath. Otherwise what is the condition
of this government ? Why, if the man who holds
office turns round the moment he is in, sells the
appointments within his gift and plunders the
public, I say that he is more guilty thawhe who
plunders on the highway.
What is society; what is government ? Is it
for the protection of the public, or for the de
struction of the public? How longthe city will
bear this, I do not know. We have gone on
from seven until we have reached fifteen millions
of taxes per year. Fifteen millions of taxes, in
the City of New York, for its municipal affairs I
Every official rides in his coach, no matter how
subordinate his office may be—from the top to
the bottom. Every man uses the public paper;
the sums which the City of New York pays for
paper are enormous. I have not any doubt that,
if an investigation were to be made," it would be
found that the Common Council takes out of the
city treasury over one hundred thousand dollars
profit upon stationery; and if this is to go on,
the sooner we close up the Common Council the
better, and get rid of it altogether.
I submit that we have here made this charge
sufficiently plain and in form to give notice to
the other side exactly what the character of this
charge is. We have given them the speciflca
■ tions and the names of a number of witnesses.
■ Now, says my learned friend, “ suppose you
H prove all that is contained in these affidavits.
■ What then? Must not this Committee discharge
■ Mr. Boole?” That is not the question.
■lf the facts are not proved before the
■ Committee, they will not take these ex parte
■ affidavits as evidence of anything. But if my
■ learned friend means to admit that the state
■ ments made in these affidavits are true, if he will
■ admit before this Committee all that is contained
■in them, and then permit us to show in addition
■ that the knowledge of these facts was brought
■ to Mr. Boole, that these witnesses complained to
■ him that they did not receive their pay, and Mr.
■ Boole turned round to them and said, “You are
■ swindled;” and when they said in reply, “We
have been swindled by your subordinates,” he
takes no notice of it, but keeps those subordi
nates in office ; I say he will then be convicted
before the public. If the Committee will take
these affidavits and permit us to add this other
statement, we are ready to argue it upon this
demurrer. Now, it does seem to me one of two
things, either Mri Boole must meet this manfully,
or attempt to avoid it by some technicality. If
. he means to open up 'this whole matter,’ if he
means to say that he has nothing to conceal, and
that he desires his character reinstated in this
community, then let him at once permit this in
vestigation to go on, and if any harm has been
done him, the parties who have undertaken it
will make him the amplest reparation. But if
the investigation is to be stifled by these techni
calities, so let it be. The Mayor will have' the
consolation of having performed his duty, and
the people of the city will have the consolation
of knowing that while they are ridden in this
way, while they are plundered in this way, there
is no remedy.
Alderman OTTIWELL—I simply desire to state
that, while this Committee are prepared to give
their entire time and attention to the subject
matter before them, and since the Counsel on
both sides are very anxious that we should de
fine our position, i take this opportunity to say
that this Committee will not sit here and hear
any flings against the Common Council. The
Common Council are not on trial. We are sim
ply to sit here and hear charges against Mr. F. I.
A. Boole, and we propose to confine ourselves to
that question.
Mr. GRAHAM—I certainly have said nothing
against the Common Council.
Mr. WHITING—I do not understand that I
said anything that could be so construed.
Alderman RYERS—I understood the Judge to
say distinctly that he had no doubt that, if the
thing could be investigated, it would appear
that the Common Council made 8100,000 profit
on stationery.
Mr. WHITING—What I said was, that tlie par
ties who supplied the stationery made a profit
of SIOO,OOO. Far be it from my intention, dispo
sition, or will, to make a charge against the Com
mon Council.
Mr. GRAHAM—I certainly mean to make no
charges against the Common Council. The
first interview I ever had with my friend Mr.
Boole was upon being retained 'to defend
him in common with other members of the Com
mon Council for giving out a lease of land to the
Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum. They were
Indicted for a good act. To the credit of this
city, and to the credit of the administration of
criminal justice in tills city, the indictment was
never prosecuted. There is an instance in which
an attempt was made to make an offense out of
a religious, a morally righteous act, though it
may have contravened the strict letter of one
of the statutes of this State. So far, therefore,
as my experience of the Common Council, has
gone, It is favorable. I have onother occasions
represented members of the Board of Aidermen,
and of the Board of Councilmen also. I would,
therefore, be untrue to my own knowledge, if,
yielding to the clamors which are rife, I should
make an attack upon that body, simply because
it is fashionable.
It has become a part of the common law of this
State to charge every member of the Common
Council, and every officer appointed by the Com
mon Council of tins city with every crime known
or unknown to the Decalogue; and tke more
wicked the charge, and the more willfully and
wantonly false it is, the more it is attended to by
public clamor, and the greater respect
it seems to receive from the community.
I maintain that the Common Council
of this city is a respectable body, and
that its appointees to office are also respectable ;
and if a body can indorse those whom they appoint
to office, then, if the Common Council ot this city
is a respectable body, they indorse Mr. Boole as a
respectable man. That is the ground I occupy
before this Committee this day—to ask them
■whether Mr. Boole shall be dragged to the bar
of this tribunal to answer to a charge which is
not preferred upon testimony that covers all the
facts necessary to make out any offense against
him, but which is preferred upon testimony that
is intrinsically false and unworthy of unbelief; to
ask whether it is not fair to require, first, that
the charge shall be made as plain as the sun now
shining, and it is now shining with much less
than its usual splendor—to ask that It be made
as plain only as the sun now shines—to ask
whether they will not avow, at the start, that in
conducting any examination they will adhere to
thje rules of testimony that prevail in Courts of
law, and not permit a man to be deprived of his
reputation or official character by testimony
which would not be received on a trial for the lar
ceny of $5. And I move to make the charge
against Mr. Boole so definite that there can be
no ambiguity in reference to it.
Secondly, I ask for an avowal by the Com
mittee that that charge shall ibe investigated
according to rules of law, one of which rules is,
that no man shall be robbed of anything by de
clarations of third parties made in his absence.
One of the grounds presented in reply is, that
this pamphlet contains charges and specifications
against Mr. Boole. I read from page two. What
is the charge there contained ? The charge is
that when these pseudo or spurious appointees
went to Mr. Boole for the purpose of being re
cognized by him as officers, he refused to recog
nize them or to pay them as officers. And that
is a charge against us! When the men whom
Wiegand and Dohrement had defrauded out of
their money went to the City Inspector for the
purpose of getting him to put them on the pay
rolls, so that they might rob the city, he refused
to do it. And that is the charge against his in
tegrity ! And this Committee are asked to in
dorse the action of the Mayor of this city, in
consideration of the refusal of the City Inspector
to do this dishonest thing! They were “dis
missed by that official with the answer that he
knew nothing of the matter, and that they (the
complainants) were not employed by him.” What
more could he have told them ?
Mr. WHITING—Read the rest.
Mr. GRAHAM —“But the abuses still continued,
and more offices were sold, without any effort on
the part of the City Inspector, either to correct
the evil complained of, or to investigate into the
abuses.” Have you anything to do with the pri
vate moral character of the parties whom you
appoint to office ? If they are faithful public
officers, does not your jurisdiction over them
end there ? Suppose Mr. Boole goes out and ob
tains money on false pretenses. So long as that
does not retro-act upon his official character,
you cannot take notice of it. And even if he
commits a crime, he will not be displaced until
he is convicted of it. Are you required to take,
notice of official misconduct only, or will you
assume to stand sponsors for the private moral
behavior of all officers who are subordinate to
you ? It would be just as proper to say that the
Corporation are responsible for the private con
duct of every Aldermen, though he may cheat
ids neighbor, as that Mr. Boole is responsible for
the private character of his subordinate. What
Mr. Boole does as an official, you have to do
with only. What he does as a private member
of society is subject alone to the laws of society.
The complaint against Mr. Boole is that-he
would not connive at the plunder of the City
Treasury, and that is apparent upon the very
face of the memorial used by the Mayor. If Mr.
Boole had recognized these men, had drawn
these warrants upon the city which they wanted
him to draw, he -would have done that injustice
to tlie taxpayers which the gentleman has been
speaking of; while, at the same time, these men
would not have been here to pursue him. The
question is this. Did he right In refusing to re
cognize these men, and would not you have in
sisted upon his displacement if he had not?
What more can an innocent man say when ap
proached as he was upon this occasion ? When
a person comes and says, “ 80-and-so has ap
pointed me an officer in your Department;” “So
and-so has done so-and-so.” what more can you
say than that “ So-and-so had no authority trom
me.” “If he has •obtained your money,” you
say, “he has obtained it by false pretenses; go
to the law for your remedy.”
If, therefore, we take the charges upon their
face, that is an end of this proceeding, because the
complaint here is that Mr. Boole would not re
cognize the dupes of Wiegand and Dohrement
—that he would not appoint them to offices to
which he never meant to appoint them and
never had appointed them.
What charge is Mr. Boole to be tried upon ?
Did he connive at the sale of the offices, or did
he refuse to inquire into the charges preferred
before him ? If the latter, it is a charge that is
wholly foreign to your Jurisdiction; he had
nothing to do with the character of his subordi
nates. If they were convicted of a felony, they
would be thereby made incapable of holding
office. But if he is going to turn observer of the
private life of the persons attached to his Depart
ment, the streets will go unswept.
A great many years ago, I had tlie honor to
represent, before a committee of the Board of
Aidermen, a gentleman who Contested the right
to sit here as Aiderman of the Tenth Ward of this
city. He was subsequently elected, although he
was not then admitted. He contested the «eat
with Aiderman Purser. On that occasion, I was
opposed by my own brother as counsel. The ac
tion in that case was superinduced by a memo
rial, signed by, I think, fifty voters of the
Ward, who represented that Aiderman Purser
had got his election by fraud at the polls. The
counsel opposed to me made a motion before the
committee to dismiss the matter on the ground
that the memorial was not sustained by oath ;
and his argument was this: that Aiderman Pur
ser had received the certificate of election, and
that that certificate was furnished to him by men
worn as Inspectors of Election to perform their
di.ty, and that the law presumed, in the absence
of equally solemn testimony, that it was true, and
that-jou could not arraign their certificate by the
mere assertion of parties under oath. The ground
I relied upon was this: That when a peer was
tried in ffreat Britain, he was tried upon the
honor of a peer, and that the honor of an Ame
rican citizen was quite as good as that of British
peer. It did not so strike the Committee, and
they ruled tliatthe memorial must be supported
by oath, for the Inspectors had acted under oath,
and their certificate could not be attacked by
anything which was. not under oath.
Now, here is a sworn officer of the law. He is
sworn by the same oath that binds any one of
you, and the law presumes that he performs his
oath as religiously as any monk ever performed
a vow. The question for you is this: Will you
entertain, in spite of that presumption 1 of the
law, against a sworn officer, wicked charges of
this kind, unless they are presented in a form
that seems, at all events, to be respectable? Are
these charges presented in a respectable form?
Let me refer this Committee to a single passage
.of this wicked pamphlet (for I call it so). This
Mr. Schaufell (I refer to page 9) —a gentleman
who made two affidavits exonerating Mr. Boole,
whichin this affidavit he swears were false, says:
“This deponent now utterly and positively
swears and declares that the affidavit bearing date
April 13” (and he had also made one on the 15th.
in which he charges Mr. Carr with trying to
bribe him into false swearing)—“was made
without this deponent’s knowledge or consent,
and that it is entirely false from beginning to
end; and this deponent further declares that, if
he was made to swear to the same, it was during
a time when he was out of his usual understand
ing, and at a time when the said Chambers, to
gether with others, had been drinking heavily,
as he distinctly recollects the said Chambers
ordering several bottles of wine and lager
bier, and the whole party being ptetty merry.”
How do you know butthey will put him into this
mesmeric sleep again, and bring him to swear
against Mr. Boole, as he has sworn he swore
against Mr. Carr ? Are you going to put on trial
upon such evidence as this a sworn officer under
the law, who, when he was appointed to office,
was requested by the very body of which you
are a Committee not to dissolve his connection
with them, because his experience was valuable
to them—are you going to strike down a man
like this ? The very first step you take is an im
peachment ofMr. Boole. The very fact that yon
consider these charges respectable enough to be
looked at is an impeachment. All that we ask is
that they shall be sufficiently respectable to
just ify the temporary stigma that must rest upon
him and his department, until they emerge from it
by your decision. Therefore, if you are going to
try Mr. Boole upon what they charge upon him,
then you are going to try him upon the charge of
doing his duty. He could have done nothing
Now, in reference to the argument submitted
by my learned friend as to the jurisdiction of
your Committee, this law of 1860 from which I
read was made to repeal the law of 1855. You
will find it in the Laws of 1855, page
24. You will perceive that in 1855 either
Board of the Common Council was authorized
to appoint a Committee with such powers as are
now contended for. The provision is this: “The
Clerk of either Board of the Common Council,
or his deputy, may issue subpoenas and compel
the attendance of witnesses before any Commit
tee of such Board.” Then, false swearing before
a committee appointed by either Board is by sec
tion four declared to be a’ criminal offense, pun
ishable as such. Now, the Legislature, for some
good reason, repealed that law. They thought
a Committee to exercise this jurisdiction should
not be appointed by either Board, but by both
Boards. Hence, in 1860, they say that a Commit
tee, not appointed by the Board of Aldermen or
the Board of Conncilmen of the city, but by the
Common Council, shall have the powers which
are conferred by that statute of 1860. Aud when
we refer to the Laws of 1857 for the definition
of “Common Council,” we find (I read from page
874) that the Legislature there tell us what the
Common Council is: “The legislative power of
the said Corporation shall be vested in a Board
of Aidermen and a Board of Councilmen, who,
together, shall form the Common Council of the
City of New York.”
Now, I do not care whether Judge Allen or any
other Judge has undertaken to repeal that sta
tute —that is the law of this State. The question
is this: Whether you -will defer to an unreported
Judgment of any Judge, or whether you will take
the law which is written so plainly that “he who
runs may read.” I submit that Common Council
is a term known to the statutes of this State, and
defined in such away as that there can be no mis
take about it; and the very reason why this was
passed was, that either Board could then appoint
these Committees, and the Legislature thought
it unwise and changed the law. lam perfectly
willing to admit that the parties need not sit in
the same room.. They may sit in different cham
bers, but they must concur in the action of the
Common Council ? Now, our learned friend in
sists that, for the purpose of making a demand
for money upon the Common Council, it was
held that a demand upon either Board was suffi
cient. The Committee will perceive that that
decision arose out of the extremity of the case,
because you never could get the Common Coun
cil convened for that purpose. Hence the prin
ciple was sacrificed in that particular instance.
But your own common sense will tell you that it
could never have been as stated by our antagon
ist. I deny that this Committee can repeal this
law which says that this Common Council of the
city of New York shall consist, first, of the Board
of Aidermen, and, secondly, of the Board of
Councilmen. who together shall form the Com
mon Council of New York city.
Now, another consideration, and I have done.
The counsel says that Mr. Boole is responsible,
when these things were brought to his notice,
for not removing tlie parties from office against
whom they were alleged. Now, when the charge
is made in that form, we will meet it. All we
ask now is that the Committee decide—that they
tell us, before tlie witnesses are produced,
whether they mean to charge Mr. Boole directly
with conniving at the sale of offices, or merely
with refusing to investigate charges presented
to him. It is a very common practice to obtain
money in this community precisely in the mode
in which Wiegand and Dohrement are shown to
have obtained it. The learned counsel opposed
knows the case of The People v. Ranney—where
Ranney advertised for parties to whom he said
he could give employment; and when they ap
plied he told them he would give them so much
a month for laboring in the State of New Jersey,
and as security for their integrity thev must
give him a hundred dollars in advance. He kept
them along a week or two at $5 a week, and af
ter payin'* them about $lO each, discharged
them, pocketing the S9O. Although convicted
in an inferior Court, the decision was reversed
on the ground that it was not a crime.
Aiderman HARDY—There has been a law
passed since, making that a crime. It was pass
ed on account of this very case of Ranney.
Mr. GRAHAM—That is precisely tne attitude
of Wiegand and Dohrement. Unless there is
such a statute, they did not commit a crime;
they only committed a fraud, aud you are asked,
instead of permitting Mr. Boole to attend to his
duties as City Inspector, to require him to erect
himself into a criminal Court and try his various
employes for any frauds which may be charged
against them. The question is, is there anything
alleged here against Mr. Boole in his official
character, or any person for whom he is responsi
ble officially ? and are these allegations made in
such a form as to render them respectable ? For
I submit that the very approach to this investi
gation is an impeachment of the parties at whom
t is aimed; because it is, for the time being, pub
lishing to the city the fact that you believe these
preliminary papers sufficient to authorize an in
vestigation ; whereas, if you read these papers
and confine the testimony to them, you must be
satisfied that the charges cannot be 'sustained.
But the smallest boon we can ask is that you
tell us in advance to what we are to respond.
Innocence needs this protection more than guilt;
because guilt can always summon from the
purlieus of vice and crime perjured witnesses
enough to shield it. It is the innocent man who
falls beneath these surprises. The guilty is
always armed with his defense, because he goes
surrounded with those who will make his de
fense on any occasion. It is when you call a
man like this before a Court organized as this is,
or any other Court having jurisdiction—an in
nocent man, who reposes in the consciousness of
his innocence as it is implanted in his own
bosom, and who is permitted to enjoy it, if I
may so speak, under his own vine and ills own
figtree—it is when such a man as this is placed in
such a position, that It is required that all the
ceremonies of the law should be observed. Such
men have no false testimony to produce. Let
them know, then, in advance, what they are to
be charged with—what they are to defend them
selves against. Grant them this poor boon. It
is one required only for the protection of the in
nocent. and never for the shield of the guilty.
Mr. WHITING—I do not intend to say any
thing further than that my friend stopped read
ing at the word “abuses,” I will read the rest:
“The undersigned had every reason to believe,
and do still believe, that their appointment of
‘Special Street Inspector’ was made with the
knowledge and consent of said Citv Inspector,
and that they were and still are legally attached
to the City Inspector’s Department,”
With regard to the suggestion—very eloquent
undoubtedly—in reference to page 9, I submit
that the argument, of my learned friend,
eloquent as it is, is not now to be addressed to
the Committee ; but after we have got the testi
mony, then, if the shield of eloquence is to be
interposed between the City Inspector and his
official delinquencies, he will have the benefit of
In regard to the charges being made under oath,
I need only say that these are charges made under
oath ; charges *made by the head of the City
Government are made on his responsibility.
These charges are made under the oath of his
office, and, therefore, very properly before the
Mr. GRAHAM [reads] —“ The undersigned had
every reason to believe, and do still believe, that
their appointment of Special Street Inspector,
was made with the knowledge and consent of
said City Inspector.” There is no Judge who
would not pronounce that an Insufficient affida
vit. Let them tell you why they believe that
Mr. Boole connived at thete things. In a matter
of this kind, if you receive iuch allegations, which
one of you is safe 1 ? If on Monday, some
body should present a memorial against
you, and swear that he has reason to believe
that you have been committing a crime while
you have been an Aiderman, is that sufficient to
asperse the character of a man who is sworn to
observe the laws of the city and the ordinances ot
the City Government ? Are you going to believe
that Mr. Boole has violated his oath in these par
ticulars because somebody told you that he be
lieves he has, without telling you the grounds of
his belief ?
Now, in the next paragraph, Alfred Dusen
berry, W. R. W. Chambers and others are men-
tioned. If this proceeding is aimed at Alfred
Dusenberry, let the Committee resolve it into a
charge against him. Our objection is this: That
you must not try this whole department because
you suppose there is one black sheep in the flock.
You may just as well call the Comptroller of this
ci[y, and say, “We think that you have been
making money;” there are people who charge
that upon him, and who make similar charges
against anyone who fills a public office. Is be
lief enough to set you in motion ? All we ask
you is that, if they have any grounds for the
belief they set them forth, so that those grounds
can be judged of, whether thev are sufficient to
weigh against the official oatir of Mr. Book 1 ; and
if he is exculpated, let them make the charges
against those who are on trial. It would be un
worthy of men to say to any man, “If you
dijiiFt commit a burglary on such a night, you
did a murder. We don’t know what you did,'but
you did something which you should not to have
done.” As the schoolmaster tells tlie offending
boy, “The guilt is in your face,” “we cannot tell
whether you committed a robbery—whether you
walked ihto a man’s house and robbed
his safe or ravished his daughter, but we
know by your looks that you have done
something.” If Mr, Gunther or anybody else has
any charge to make, let them do what they can
to sustain it; but do not permit them to explode
a bombshell in this room which will strike down
some one, it seems to be no matter whether de
servedly or not.
Mr. WHITING—It abundantly appears that
they were furnished with official badges of that
Mr. GRAHAM—And the Governor was satisfied
that they were counterfeited by those who sold
this official favor.
Aiderman HARDY—I would ask the counsel
for the City Inspector whether he intends to raise
the question of jurisdiction.
Mr. GRAHAM—Not now.
Alderman HARDY—If it is submitted as a
question, the Committee will adjourn to consider
Mr. GRAHAM—The Committee can consider
the matter for themselves. They pass upon the
question of right, whether they are appointed in
such manner as to bind the witnesses by the
oaths administered to them. It is my duty to
my client, under my oath, to raise the question.
I have told him that he cannot consent to arbi
trate his rights at all—that either this is a com;
pulsory body, and can act upon him against his
wUI, or that it cannot act upon him at all.
Mr. WHITING—I wish to make this sugges
tion. I understand that the Councilmen have
also appointed a Committee, and if the Com
mittee should have any doubt upon the subject,
the two might act together.
Aiderman HARDY—That would not cure it.
There must be a n ew resolution constituting a
Joint committee.
Mr. WHITING—I wish to say that upon that
point I am not prepared to argue the question
fully, if tlie Committee should have any question
as to their Jurisdiction.
Alderman HARDY—I should feel very, unwill
ing, as one member of tills Committee, to go into
an investigation without sufficient power. If we
go into this, we Intend to go into it thoroughly.
The Committee have requested me to mention
to the counsel on both sides that, in case they do
decide to go on, the question of removal or sus-.
pension will not come up at present; also, that
the City Inspector having desired that the charges
be made more specific, we consider that it would
be well that they should be put in specific and
definite shape.
Mr. WHITING—I will make them as specific as
Mr. GRAHAM—That you can do. Your own
common sense drew the articles in Judge Mer
ritt’s case. When will the Committee decide the
question of jurisdiction ?
Aiderman HARDY—Probably on Monday.
The Committee then adjourned to Thursday,
the 3d proximo, at 10 o’clock, a. m.
The Special Committee on Retrenchment and
Reform of the Board of Aldermen have author
ized the following letter to be sent to Hon. John
Graham, Counsel to the City Inspector in the
matter of the Mayor's charges against that
Clerk to the Committee.
Office of Clerk of Common Council, )
No. 8 City Hall, r
New York, Nov. 1, 1864. )
Hon. John Graham,
Counsel to the City Inspector:
Dear Sir:
I am directed to inform you that the Special
Committee of the Board of Aidermen having in
charge the communication of His Honor the
Mayor, in reference to alleged malpractices in
the City Inspector’s office, have, in accordance
with the requests and suggestions of their re
spective counsel, concluded upon the following
Ist. That the Committee have not, and dq not,
as at present constituted, assume any power to
compel the attendance either of the Mayor, City
Inspector, or witnesses, to give testimony unless
by their voluntary action.
2d. That all evidence can only be obtained or
received by the voluntary appearanceof the wit
nesses either in sustaining or rebutting the
3cj. That this Committee agree with the coun
sel that evidence received under an oath ad
ministered by this Committee, as at present
constituted, would not make the person taking
such oath subject to any legal responsibility.
4th. That the power of this Committee only
extends to the taking of such statements as may
be voluntarily madeby the witness, and report
ing such facts as may be developed back to the
Board of Aidermen for their consideration and
In view of the above preliminary decision of
the Committee, they desire to 'be informed
whether you desire to proceed, or if it is the
wish of yourself and the City Inspector that the
Committee should have fuller powers. Should
you deem it important and necessary to require a
differently constituted Committee, they believe
it to be their duty to report such facts to the
Common Council, and recommend the appoint
ment of such Committee. An early Considera
tion and reply is respectfully requested.
, Clerk Special Committee.
Chamber of the Board of Aldermen, 1
November 3, 1864, J-
• 10 o’clock. A. M. )
The Special Committee on Retrenchment and
Reform of the Board of Aidermen met pur
suant to adjournment.
Present—Aidermen John Hardy, John D. Otti
well and Lewis R. Ryers.
Mr. WHITING—If the Committee please, I
was honored with a copy of a note by Mr. Gra
ham of the Ist of November, which copy I re
ceived on the 2d. I wrote a note then to the
Clerk of the Board, desiring to know whether
the future action of the Committee would de
pend upon the course that Mr. Graham and his
client should pursue, or whether the Committee
would make a report to the Board of Aidermen,
and procure from them, if they thought proper,
the appointment of a joint committee, so that the
jurisdiction I supposed to be necessary for the
further investigation of this matter should be
conferred. On the part of His Honor the Mayor,
I beg to say that if this Committee have no juris
diction—and no-power to proceed and compel the
attendance of witnesses—we will have no means
of being able to prove the truth of the allega
tions contained in the Mayor’s reasons for the
suspension of Mr. Boole. If the Committee can
not furnish us with compulsory process to com
pel the attendance of witnesses here, I see no
good to arise out of an attempted investigation
by the introduction of persons who may volun
tarilwattend and voluntarily answer questions
or n/t, as they please. And if the Committee,
therefore, is powerless in both of these regards,
what use would there be in continuing tins ex
amination ? It may be that Mr. Graham aud his
client will say, as many men might say,
on a question of this kind, “ Why, we are ready
to go on with such witnesses as will voluntarily
appear, and have the advantage of the examina
tion and cross-examination, so that hereafter we
may contradict them by showing that they
stated, when not under oath, something differ
ent from what they stated under oath.”
The Committee indulged Mr. Graham in re
marks repeatedly that his client was to be over
whelmed by perjured witnesses. Certainly they
would not be perjured witnesses if the Commit
tee had no power to administer an oath. I beg
to say that Mr. Graham is mistaken. He un
doubtedly avers what he has received from his
client, and avers these charges as truths; and ho
avers that his client is so entirely innocent that
he is willing to meet the truth, and that the only
thing he fears is falsehood and perjury. If that
is so, the City Inspector ought to join us in an '
application to this Committee, and through this
Committee to the Common Council, for the ap
pointment of a joint committee, who can exam
ine witnesses under the responsibility of an
oath. However, that may be a matter of judg
ment, a matter of propriety, or a matter of test
on the part of the City Inspector. I believe
that the Mayor is controlled by a ‘single view of
subserving the public interests, and presenting
those claims to the Board for the purpose ofinves
tigation. One of the purposes of these gentlemen
who present this complaint in reference to the
sale of these offices is, that they may receive
their compensation from the Corporation, under
the claim that their appointments are good ones.
If their appointments are good ones, they are
entitled to their pay. If their appointments are
in violation of law, and have been made by the
City Inspector, he would be personally responsi
Now, I said that among tlie testimony we should
introduce tor the purpose of showing that the
City Inspector was guilty, we should introduce
the badges of office authorized by the Citv In
spector. My learned friend, on the other hand,
pronounced that those badges were forgeries,
and that the Governor had so decided. lam
authorized to say that the Governor decided no
such thing; but I am instructed to say that we
stand here’ prepared to show that they are badges
of office, and are held by those very men to this
day, and they wUI be brought into Court. Then,
if they are attacked as forgeries, the question
arises who forged them ’ I don’t mean to say
that the City Inspector forged them, but if that
is to be his shield of protection against the pos
session of these badges of office, then we must
ferret it out and ascertain who it was that com
mitted these offenses. We can show that the
City Inspector’s attention was called to the fact,
and there was no pretense at that time that they
were forgeries; and if it is now pretended that
they were, I deny that it is proved before the
Governor, or that he has so decided.
I forbear saying anything further with regard
to the charges contained in the reasons given by
His Honor the Mayor for the suspension of Mr.
Boole. I regret that, at this particular season
of the year—although all seasons should be sum
mer for the administration of justice and the fer
reting out of truth—yet the calamitv under
■which our country labors forbids that this prose
cution should be carried on with the same zeal
as in more peaceful times. Under the decision
which the Committee has come to, it appears to
me it would be an idle farce for my brother Gra
ham to say “Go on, gentlemen; we will hear all
you have got to say.” I agree with my brother
Graham that if the Committee have the power
then we ought to proceed; if not, then we ought
not. I repeat that it would redound to the
honor of the city, as well as to the honor of the
office of the City Inspector, that tnis investiga
tion should go on—as, indeed, it would redound
to the disgrace of the city, if this Corporation
fail to furnish a proper Committee that can
make a proper investigation. It would be worse
. than idle for him or me to proceed without such
a committee. Owing to this letter of the Com
mittee, and not having received any instructions
either through, the Committee or from its organ, I
have merely come to say, that I could not consent
to a long investigation by voluntary witnesses,
from whom although we can get a large propor
tion of the truth, yet an important part of it
would rest on the testimony of unwilling wit
nesses, and we must have the power to enforce
their attendance and the administration of an
oath; and as both these points are decided by
the Committee to be not within their power,
I submit that an investigation would be
worse than useless. For these reasons, I should
withdraw from such an investigation. But I
hope and trust that this Committee, in reporting
back the considerations which lead them to
believe they have no power to conduct an in
vestigation under the sanctity of an oath, wili
ask the Board to appoint a Joint Committee in
connection with the Board of Councilmen. If
such be the opinion of the Committee, I hope
they will ask for the appointment of a Joint
Committee, not in the ordinary’ terms of asking
for it, but that they will ask for the appointment,
because the great ends of public Justice require
such an appointment. These charges are serious in
their character: they are grave in their nature. If
untrue, they should be disproved ; if tree, they
should be compelled to be proved. If untrue,
they should be entirely overthrown for the pro
tection of this officer; for I concede that the
very fact of the appointment of an officer of this
kind confers upon him the respectability of pub
lic sanction. But we all know that from the
crown of the head to the sole of the foot tills
country is burdened with putrifying sores in the
appointment ofmen to public station; and until
tlie public will cease shutting their eyes to an
investigation, then, and not till then, will the
community be informed whether their public
officers fail to perforin their duties. I suggest
that it would be an entire failure of public duty to
refuse to appoint a Joint Committee to make a
proper Investigation of these charges. I trust,
therefore, that this Committee wili deem it to be
within their province, and also within the line of
their duty, to report to the Board of Aidermen,
and that the result of their report will be the
appointment of a Joint Committee who shall
have power to make a report, full and fair, and
complete, so that Mr. Boole shall stand acquit
ted, if he is acquitted, and so that the commu
nity maybe satisfied that there is still a remedy
to be found in the Common Council.
I have been called upon by a gentleman of this
city who says he furnishes the stationery for the
Board, who labored under the impression that I
had charged him with doing something improper.
I repeated to him what I thought 1 had said,
and what I intended to say, which seemed to
satisfy him; but I repeated that I thought a
large amout of money had been wasted by the
Board tor stationery. I may be wrong; if so, I
hope to be righted. This is merely one of a thou
sand of such details,and I repeated it only in pass
ing. The Common Council know that preceding
Common Councils have been charged plainly and
publicly with corruption. The public press,
which is the great lever of public opinion, has
given to this city an unenviable character in that
respect, which will not be improved if this Com
mittee decide that they have no power to make
.an investigation, and do not ask that power of
the Common Council.
I aih an humble citizen and one who has had
the honor to represent a portion of my fellow
citizens in this Board and in this very place.
During the course of my administration, there
was but one man found capable of being seduced
by a bribe. I hope that an attempt will be
made to reinstate the character of the Common
Council, which will almost indubitably be re
stored whenever there is found to be an attempt
to ferret out and punish corruption and malfeas
ance in office, no matter -where it maybe.
1 wish to apologize to mv learned friend if I
should be compelled to withdraw before he has
concluded his remarks, for, owing to the letter,
I supposed that nothing would be done now, and
made other engagements for to-day.
Mr. GRAHAM—I had the honor of addressing
a communication to the Committee.
Aiderman HARDY—Does Mr. Whiting choose
to see the communication of Mr. Graham ’
Mr. WHITING—No sir.
Mr. GRAHAM—I do not know that I can add
anything to what I then said. It is proper, how
ever, for me to make some response to the very
potent and eloquent address of the counsel who
has just spoken to the Committee. We deem it
all-important that we should have a legal Com
mittee in this place.because we arraign in the very
start of the Inquiry the motives of the Mayor,
and we mean to arraign those motives. We be
lieve that they are purely political; we believe
that this is a political persecution, got up for
the purpose of bringing this Department under
the direction and control of the Mayor ; we be
lieve that he has promised the patronage of this
Department to his political. partisans. We be
lieve that this prosecution is got up to execute
that promise, and we expect to put him upon
the stand and swear him, and we want a com
mittee who can compel him to . come upon the
Mr. WHITING—May I ask whether this is
proper ?
Mr. GRAHAM-—That is a part of our defense.
I have a right to state the grounds I assume be
fore the Committee.
Mr. WHITING—I have confined myself to the
question before the Committee—the want of
Mr. GRAHAM—You have said that there was
not the least feeling on the part of the Mayor.
Aiderman HARDY—I understand that both
parties desire the power to compel the attend
ance of witnesses.
Mr. GRAHAM—The counsel has extolled the
Mayor to the seventh heaven, and his remarks
will all go out before the-public in print. I do
not know the Mayor even by sight, certainly I
do not know him to speak to him, and I have no
feeling one way or the other in this matter, but
from the statements' made to me I am satisfied
that this is an interested prosecution of this
Department, and that the principal motive for it
is that it covers a large patronage,and the inten
tion is, if possible, to bring this within the power
and control of the gentleman who is at the bot
tom of this prosecution.
And while we mean to furnish a viper wit
every chance it wants' to bite upon a file, we
nevertheless want a Committee appointed that
can compel the attendance of any witness we
may desire, and subject, if he does not speak the
truth, to all those penalties which the law de
nounces against the commission of perjury. I
have advised Mr. Boole from the start not to
arbitrate this matter. These charges are in
their nature grave, not against him, but against
his Department. He is sought to be Involved
Indirectly in them, and I have never yet been
able to advise a client to agree to a Board of Ar
bitration to sit upon the question whether he
has been guilty of a crime or not. We have laws
that create crimes; we have laws that denounce
punishments ,for crimes; we have statutes that
erect Courts to try parties for the perpetration
of those crimes; we have statutes that describe
all the proceedings to secure to parties arraigned
under those circumstances a trial by their peers.
I have therefore advised all who rest upon me
for counsel not to consent to an arbitration af
fecting their rights. In this Committee, in the
gentlemen composing this Committee, we have
the fullest confidence. We only regret that
they have not all the powers we would desire
them to have. We know they have intelligence;
we know they have honesty; we saw enough on
the last meeting to be satisfied that they have
firmness. This is not to deprive them of their
commissions, because if a committee should be
appointed by the Common Council to investigate
this matter, we hope the gentlemen of this Com
mittee will be returned upon that Committee,
and'that they will be invested with those powers
which alone can contribute to a salutary and
wholesome investigation of these charges.
Our reasons, therefore, for desiring this mat
ter to stop here are a fair offset to those urged
on behalf of the Mayor. If he wants a commit
tee who can compel the attendance of witnesses
in his behalf, we want a committee who can
send those who testify before them, if they per
jure themselves, where in the ordinary adminis
tration they can be sent for punishment.
Now, the counsel has said that I have charged
perjury upon some of the witnesses, at all events,
who are to be examined for the purpose of
sustaining these charges. He has spoken about
it as though that information came from the
gentleman whose interests I represent. That is
not so. I read a printed pamplet containing the
affidavits upon which this proceeding is found
ed, and I was convinced from the reading that
there was perjury at the very root of this matter.
One witness swears that two affidavits which he
previously made were false, and he swears that
he was thrown into a kind of mesmeric sleep by
lager bier for the purpose of extracting these
Sunday Edition
affidavits from him. And I rather think, if we
have an opportunity of placing His Honor the
Mayor upon the stand as a witness, it will appear
(for the Committee must have observed tills
singular coincidence, that the affidavits have
come entirely from Germans), that there has
been some jealousy on the part of the Mayor
against Mr. Boole, for invading the domain of
sauerkraut and lager bier.
The charges which 1 made, I made upon
my own responsibility, and simply from
the perusal of those uflldivits themselves.
The Committee have only to read them
to be satisfied that if that is the kind of testimony
upon which we are to be assailed, then there is
no man in this community who is safe.
Now, in reference to the remark of my learned
antagonist, that Mr. Boole himself should jein
in the application to the Common Council to ap
point a proper Committee. I say, as I said o'n
the previous occasion, that an honest man relies
upon the sense of honesty which is within his
own bosom, and so long as he is at peace with
himself and his Maker he cares not what the
outside world think of him. The great point
with an honest man is, to be at peace with him
self, for when he is at peace with himself he is at
peace with the Almighty, and if the devils roar
around him and persecute him, that is all that an
honest man has a right to expect; because, if we
believe the admonitions of the good book, we are
taught to believe that those that are at peace
with the other world are at war with this.
The gentlemen I represent. do enjoy con
victions of their own honesty, and they do not
mean to Join in any application which will be a
questioning of it ; for, if they think they are so
rotten that their tumors want incising and
probing, they must employ other counsel than I
am. I start in professional engegemeuts with
the belief that the client I represent is an honest
man. I never entered upon even the defense of
a criminal when I was able to believe that he
was guilty of the charge. The learned counsel
for Mr. Boole, who is one of the most prominent
advocates at the criminal bar <-f this country,
and who, as a prosecuting officer, has never had
a superior, if he has had an equal, will tell you
that it would be a damper upon counsel if they
came into Court to exert themselves in behalf of
those who they know were guilty.
I assume that the gentlemen are innocent of
these charges; I assume, as a matter of sound
ethics, as a matter of sound morals, that they
are honest men and innocent of these charges,
and I am unwilling that they should compromise
either themselves or me by assenting to any
application for an investigation which, as I
stated on tlie previous meeting, the very moment
it is entered upon, is an impeachment of charac
ter of the gentleman against whom it is directed.
It would be absurd for this Committee to move
for the appointment of a Committee to investi
gate their official acts, for the purpose of show
ing that when they go out of office they leave a
shining record behind. If they leave office satis
fied that they have discharged their own duties,
that is better than the applause of the world.
The one you cannot be robbed of; the other, it
has been truly said, is ‘‘oft gained without a
merit and lost without a fault.”
Now, in reference to the badges, I think the
gentlemen misapprehend me; I am not aware
lhat I said that we would be able to show
throughout that those badges were forged or
counterfeited. But, suppose some of them were
real badges, does that prove anything against
the City Inspector ’ You have only to read the
affidavits to see that the two parties who figured
in the matter had every opportunity to purloin
from this department its genuine badges; their
relations to it were of that character which gave
them such access as would enable them to pur
loin genuine badges. Whether they had badges
forged or distributed real badges improperly ob
tained is immaterial; there is not the least evi
dence that the gentleman here charged hadthe
slightest connection with that business.
Now, in reference to the wail that he raised
on the last occasion, and the very eloquent wail
which he has uttered on this occasion in refer
ence to the burdens oi taxpayers; I deny that
these burdens fall upon the' taxpayers. They
nominally fall upon the taxpayers, but who pay
the taxes in. this community ? Rich men do not
pay the taxes. They put into their purses the
drops of sweat that gather upon the brows of
poor men; they wring the taxes from the poor.
That is my motto. It is inscribed upon mv ban
ner, and lam proud to move under it. Tlie rich
men do not pay the taxes, except as they gather
them from the poor, and it would be much more
creditable to raise this wail in behalf of those
who really suffer than in behalf of those who get
rich eut of the taxes; for there is not a rich man
who pays into the coffer of the Government the
real amount which he extracts from the poor
man; they even make an extravagant per cent
age upon the taxes which they extract from the
If the people want to know where my sympa
thies are, I will tell you where they are; they are
with the poor, and against the rich. I drew this
in with my mother’s milk; it is a part of my edu
cation; it is as deep dyed into me as is the hue
of the .Ethiopian dyedinto him, that the rich do
not do justice to the poor. So far, therefore, as
any effort is made to raise any sympathy before
this Committee in behalf of tlie taxpayers, I beg
leave to dissent from that effort; it would be
more proper for the counsel and myself to take
the side of those who pay the taxes—the poor
people; and whatever arguments we address to
this or any other body, to address them in behalf
of those who really suffer when the public money
is squandered or diverted from the purposes for
which they wore designed.
As I said in the commencement of my re
marks, I do not know that I can add anything to
what I have embodied in the letter which I have
addressed to the Committee, and with this I
leave the subject.
Mr. WHITING—I do not disagree with my
learned friend in what he has said in regard to
the taxpayers, and it was on behalf of the real
taxpayers that I would wail, and that I wail
now, and that 1 have wailed for the last fifteen
years, and have made grave efforts to convince
the hard-fisted laborer and mechanic, the hod
carrier who works for his seven shillings a day,
that he pays the taxes—with a view of opening
his eyes to the necessity of looking.at hi's ballot
before he deposits it.
I agree that the taxes are paid by tlie product
ive labor of the country; and my appeal was
made in behalf of that very class. The gentle
man’s position has been no better than mine,
because I have earned by my own labor my daily
bread ever since I was twelve years of age. I
began a laborer, tmd I have been a laborer from
that day to this, and every penny that has gone
into my pocket has been the result of mv own
But I have seen the widow,whose husband has
gone to an early and unexpected grave, present
herself to borrow money to enable her to pay the
taxes on a house scarcely sufficient to shelter her
and her children from the weather; I have seen
them turned into the street from a little house
on a lot twenty feet by sixty because they could
not pay the exorbitant taxes for improvement
upon it. I have stood in this room and at
tempted to procure Iwr relief from such an as
sessment. It is in behalf of such that I stand
here to-day to prevent the accumulation of these
public burdens.
But I differ with my friend in his classification
of the rich and the poor. If he is so rich that the
devils can play around him at their will, he is in
much better condition than I am, for my inten
tion is. that if I can see , or hear, or feel them
around me, to destroy them as rapidly as I can.
One of the objects of this investigation would be
to find out whether there are any such devils
here, and whether any relief is to be sought.
But who is the complainant here ’ Who arc
the very men whose names are upon this paper
making this complaint ? They are the poor men
of this city out of whose labor the taxes are to
be paid; poor men, who, getting a little money,
have been induced to part with it, thinking that
they might get an office by which they could
support their families easier arid better.
If Mr. Boole has not permitted this, why should
he attempt to put out this investigation, to put out
this little light that we wish to put on a bushel so
that the Committee may see it ? Why is it that
he wishes to smother it ? Why is it that he will
not Fjoin in the application for a Joint Commit
tee ?
I do not think the gentleman would defend a
man whom he believed to be guilty, but his faith
is so powerful that it takes in every man who
comes in to employ him, because he tells him
that he is innocent, and my learned friend be
lieves it all. I do not know whether I have
ever defended a man in my life whom I believed
guilty, but I have been appointed by the Court
to defend prisoners ; it was my duty, and I have
defended them when, although I did not know
that they were guilty, yet I had some little
qualms of conscience about it.
1 recollect when myself and Mr. Henry M.
Western were employed to defend a man charged
with arson in the first degree. He told us that
he was not guilty. He was charged with arson
in setting fire to the house of a gentleman who
was then a member of this Board. He went on
to tell such a story as to satisfy us that he was
not guilty of arson, but that he was guilty of
burglary. We told him that he could be
tried for the crime of arson in the first degreaffor
which he could be executed, or he might be tried
for burglary. He asked the penalty for
burglary. We told him imprisonment for
life. •• Oh,” said he, “ for God’s sake,
have me convicted of arson in the first
degree.” “ But,” said I, “ that will hang you.”
He answered “Hang me, before imprisonment
for Ute.” Said I, “Deliberate upon that three or
four weeks.” He did, and he was still of the same 1
opinion. He was tried for arson and we acquitted
him, but he was afterwards convicted of bur
glary, and went to the State Prison for life ; 1 do
riot know whether he is alive now or not. ,In 1
that case we had to defend the gu,lty man.
I say that to court an investigation, whatever j
the learned gentleman may think about it, does
not imply guilt. Whenever public clamor 1
charges a minister with a moral obliquity in his 1
official station, he asks for a council ofinqulry to 1
clear him from reproach. So in the army, ah
officer, when public rumor charges him with
having failed to do his duty, he asks for a court
ofinqulry. So, too, with any public officer, with
a Mayor, with an Aiderman, if public clamor
charges him with dereliction of duty, with
failure in the performance of his pubUc duties,
with cupidity, with rapacity, with being guilty I
of aU sorts of offenses, why that officer, if he J
were an honest man, world seek a court of in
quiry ; but if not innocent, of course he ■would
not; he would crush it as quickly as possible, to
preserve the little remnant of reputation that he
might have left.
I do not mean to quarrel with the course that
my friend speaks of. it is his right; it is a part
ot his professional duty to advise his client. I
make no objection to his advice. I agree with
him that it the Committee have no jurisdiction
they ought not to proceed.
With regard to his Honor the Mayor, I do not
stand here to laud him or to praise him, nor
have I come here t o bury him. I ask a fair and
full investigation. If the Mayor shall fall under
that investigation, let him foil, if he shall rise
from that investigation pure and unspotted, he
he wili rise from it.'
And. with regard to these charges, made by
my learned friend, that the Mayor desires to
make political capital out of it, and that he
means to call his Honor the Mayor here, I hope
that he will have an opportunity' to call him and
examine him and cross-examine him to my
learned friend's heart’s content, /.nd if it should,
upon the examination, turn out that Mr. Boole
had sent a message to his Honor the Mayor
offering him the patronage of that Department
if he would withdraw these charges—suppose it
should turn out so; I do not; say it is so—how
then would Mr. Boole stand ? And if his Honor
the Mayor accepted the offer, how would his
Honor the Mayor stand ? Both of them would
be justly chargeable with failure toperform their
official duties.
So far as my communication with the Mayor is
concerned, it has been of the slightest character.
He simply sent for me to appear for .him before
this Committee. I asked linn if he’ would not
appear. He said, “If lam wanted as a witness,
I can be sent for.” I have not received from
him even the names of the witnesses by whom
any of these charges could be sustained; and
the only evidence I have had to speak from lias
been that printed report. I have carefully
abstained from saying anything against the
character of Mr. Boole." I have only spoken of
it as public rumor lias spoken of’ it. If Mr.
Boole will not join in the application, I cannot
kelp it. Nor am I desirous that he should. I
do not believe that the Committee care one pin
whether he should or not. The Committee
have their duty to perform. They, having come
to a conclusion in regard to their jurisdiction,
will report it to tlie Board of Aidermen, and ask
them to appoint a Joint Committee, in order
that this investigation may proceed. That is all
there is in it.
I do not stand here to laud or abuse any man.
I do stand here, however, in limine, to pro
tect these gentlemen from the charge pf having
sworn to what is untrue. The criticism to which
these affidavits have been subjected would be
easily answered. They arc Germans, and do not
understand the English language; and it may ■
turn out that the interpreter did not interpret
faithfully the second affidavit, in which case the
apparent inconsistency between the first affida
vit and the second would be very clear. I have
looked at some of the original affidavits, and I
find that the affidavit and the jurat of the Com
missioner are all drawn in tlie same handwriting.
The man who swore to it eannot read it, and he
lias sworn to it under the impression that it was'
read to him correctly. 1 agree with my learned
friend that if a man swears to one thing to-day
and another to-morrow he is entirely unworthy
of credit. lam the last man in the world to ask
credence for a witness who is shown to be un
worthy of credit. These are things to be ad
dressed to the Comjnittee after the testimony is
taken. Then the Committee can determine whe
ther a man is worthy of credit or not. But my
experience is that a large majority of men, how
ever abandoned they may be in private life, gen
erally swear to the truth, because then it ceases
to be a question between them and their fellow
men, and becomes a question between their con
sciences and their God. And there are very few
who do not believe in a hereafter; they would
rather take the chance of being punished
here than of being punished hereafter,
where there is no appeal. The wicked nourish;
but when the death-bed scene comes, when he
is called upon to yield up that spirit which
God has given him for useful purposes, he may
depend'upon it that, if it is not clean and clear
of spot, the devils will be around him at the
time that he takes his departure.
Mr. GRAHAM—One observation of my learned
opponent requires an answer. The file I have
referred to will have no office to perform. There
are no teeth to be worn out. They a|e already
either struck out or worn off. If we suppose
the Counsel spoke from instructions, he must
have spoken from instructions from the Mayor
in reference to Mr.' Boole.
Nqw, tlie learned Counsel merely repeats what?’’
has been stated to him; but there is no person
who believes the truth of an insinuation of that
description. Docs any person who knows Mr.
Boole—a man who rose from as obscure an origin
as any person I know of, and who has passed
through positions of prominence until he has
reached that which he now holds—is there any
person who knows, who believes, that he would
go on Ins knees to the Mayor of this city ?
So far as Mr. Boole is concerned, I am authorized
to say this: that, so far from having tendered
the patronage of his office to any person
whom the Mayor might recommend, he would
not give the Mayor himself the appointment of a
street-sweeper. He not only would not appoint
to that humble office any person to oblige the
Mayor, but, should the Mayor come to his sober
second thought, and, considering how far his
dimensions fiul short of his present office, make
application for so humble a position, he would
not be able to obtain for himself the position of a
street-sweeper from this department.
We all understand the meaning of an imputa
tion like that. The more indirect it is made,
the more direct it is. The learned counsel did
not come out and say, “ I expect to prove that
Mr. Boole has been bn his knees to the Mayor,
and has made an offer to him, which shows that
he is unworthy of his office;” but he says,
“Suppose,” as though it were a hypothetical
case. Tlie plain English of that is this: “ The
Mayor and his minions tell me that
the City Inspector of this city has humbled
himself, has gone on his bended knees to the
Mayor of this city, and has tendered him the
very thing which we say he wants; and yet the
Mayor is so persistent in his efforts to drag the
truth to light that he could not be corrupted
even by so alluring an offer as that.” I repeat,
therefore, again—and lam authorized to say it
—that all insinuations of that description,
let them come from whom they may, are false,
and they are kpown to be false by all who know
the two men. Let those who know the City In
spector of tliis city and the present Mavor of this
city compare the two men. The one "is worthy
of originating the slander, but the character of
tlie other gives the lie to it the very moment it *
is uttered.
The learned Counsel made one remark which
struck me as singularly beautiful. It should be
true. He said that justice should always flourish
in perpetual summer. It should be so. There
ought to be no change of season in the admin
istration of Justice. In our physical or calendar
year we have the changes of the seasons. We
have the genial spring; we have the gladdening
summer ;we have tlie unwelcome tall; we have
the remorseless winter. The misfortune of this
proceeding is that it has planted its tree in the
fall, the season which has been ordained to strip
the trees of their foliage ; and it is for that rea
son that it stands before the public gaze, a tree
without any leaves upon it.
Aiderman HARDY—I would state, on behqlf ■■
of this Special Committee, that the Committee
adhere to the views taken in their preliminary
decision, that their powers are. at best, doubt
ful—that tlie year is so far advanced that it
would not be proper to enter into an Investiga
tion which might prove to be without force or
effect. The Committee desire that it should bo
carried on thoroughly, and without any doubtful
powers ; they will, therefore, report to the Com
mon Council that they are satisfied that they
have not an undoubted power to summon wit
nesses and examine them under oatli; that they
believe that a Joint Committee should be ap
pointed, and that they request the appointment
of such Committee ; and that, as soon as that
Committee is appointed, it should go on. The
Committee cannot say whether they will bo
upon that Committee ; that is beyond their con
The Committee then adjourned.
[The following letter is the reply of John Gra
ham, Esq., Counsel to the City Inspector, to the
note (see Tbaxscbipt of Nov. 2d) of the Com
mittee,-announcing their preliminary decision:]
New York, November 2, 1864.
To the Special Committee of the Board of Aider
men having in charge the Communication of
the Mayor, in reference to the City Inspector's
office :
In answer to your communication of the Ist
instant, anntoncing your decision upon the
question of jflnr jurisdiction over the communi
cation of the Mayor in the matter alluded to,
I beg to say that I have advised Mr. Boole to
avail himself of that decision, and not to consent
to any proceeding impeaching his integrity as a
public officer, or as an individual. No one' could
desire a committee better constituted, on the
score of intelligence and honesty, than your
selves ; but still that is onD- one safeguard.
Those I represent are entitled® another, equally
important—the assurance that the testimony
will be given under proper moral and legal sanc
tions. There would be no security in the one
without the other.
You will please not underetandme as request
ing you to re tody appointing you,
that a commi' foned by the
Common Cc only 'legal
method) to ons of the
Mayor. Ist’ , at a peru
sal'of the a se charges
are founded it not to be

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