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PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

RELATING TO THE

IMPEACHMENT OF WM. W. BELKNAP,

LATE SECRETARY OF WAR.

THURSDAY, March 2, 1876.

have done, they yet protested against being examined ; and that they

would only consent to be so examined after an order made specially Mr. CLYMER, of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Committee on Ex- to that end by the court. The court was kind enough to take time for penditures in the War Department, submitted to the House the fol- deliberation, and determined that if it needed them hereafter it would lowing report:

send for them. He concluded by asking that the House would takesuch The Committee on Expenditures in the War Depurtment would respectfully re-action upon the question as it might deem necessary, right, and just. port:

After discussion, the following preamble and resolutions, offered That they found at the very threshold of their investigation such unquestioned evidence of the malfeasance in office by General William W. Belknap, then Secre- by Mr. LAMAR, of Mississippi, were adopted by a vote of 132 ayes tary of War, that they find it to be their duty to lay the same before the House. against 75 nays, 82 members of the House not voting:

They further report that this day at eleven o'clock a. m. a letter of the President of the United States was presented to the committee accepting the resignation of

Whereas the Speaker of this House did, on the 20th of December, 1875, appoint the Secretary of War, which is hereto attached, together with a copy of his letter of the following Committee on Expenditures in the

War Department to wit: 'HIESTER resignation, which the President informs the committee was accepted about ten CLYMER, WILLIAM M. ROBBINS, JOSEPH C. S. BLACKBURN, LYMAN K. BASS, LORENZO o'clock and twenty minutes this morning. They therefore unanimously report and DANFORD ; and whereas thereafter, on the 14th of January, 1876, this House adopted demand that the said William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, be dealt with the following resolution: according to the laws of the land, and to that end submit herewith the testimony in

Resolved, That the several committees of this House having in charge matters the case taken, together with the several statements and exhibits thereto attached, pertaining to appropriations, foreign affairs, Indian affairs, military affairs, naval and also a rescript of the proceedings of the committee had during the investiga: Claims, and war claims be, and they are hereby, instructed

to inquire, so far as the tion of this subject. And they submit the following resolutions, which they recommend shall be adopted :

same may properly be before their respective committees, into any errors, abuses Resolved, That William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, be impeached of high or frauds that may exist in the administration and execution of existing laws affect

ing said branches of the public service, with a view to ascertain what change and Resolved, That the testimony in the case of William W. Belknap, late Secretary that the Committees on Expenditures in the State Department, in the

Treasury

reformation can be made so as to promote integrity, economy, and efficiency therein ; of War, bé referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, with instructions to pre Department, in the War Department, in the Navy Department, in the Post-Office pare and report without unnecessary delay suitable articles of impeachment of Department, in the Interior Department, in the Department of Justice, and on said William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War. Resolved, That a committee of five members of this House be appointed and in.

Public Buildings, be, and they are hereby, instructed to proceed at once, as restructed to proceed immediately to the bar of the Senate, and there impeach Will. quired by the rules of the House, to examine into the state of the accounts and iam W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, in the name of the House of Representa expenditures of the respective Departments submitted to them, and to examine tives and of all the people of the United States of America, of high crimes and and report particularly whether the expenditures of the respective Departments misdemeanors while in office, and to inform that body that formal articles of im.

are justified by law ; whether the claims from time to time satisfied and discharged peachment will in due time be presented, and to request

the Senate to take such by the respective Departments are supported by sufficient vouchers, establishing order in the premises as they deem appropriate.

their justness both as to their character and amount; whether such claims have

been discharged out of funds appropriated therefor, and whether all moneys have Mr. CLYMER read the evidence and the accompanying papers, been disbursed in conformity with appropriation laws; whether any, and what, exhibits, and statements in the case. He then demanded the previous provisions are necessary to be adopted to provide more perfectly for the proper question upon the adoption of the resolutions.

application of the public moneys and to secure the Government from demands After an hour's debate, in which Mr. ROBBINS of North Carolina, retrenchment can be made in the expenditures of the several Departments, with

unjust in their character or extravagant in their amount; whether any, and what, Mr. Bass of New York, Mr. HOAR of Massachusetts, Mr. BLACKBURN out detriment to the public service; whether any, and what, abuses at any time of Kentucky, Mr. DANFORD of Ohio, and Mr. Kasson of Iowa par- exist in the failure to enforce the payment of moneys which may be due to the ticipated, the resolutions were unanimously adopted.

United States from public defaulters or others, and to report from time to time The Speaker appointed as the committee called for in the second the several Departments and the accountability of their officers; whether any

such provisions and arrangements as may be necessary to add to the economy of resolution, Mr. CLYMER, Mr. ROBBINS of North Carolina, Mr. BLACK- offices belonging to the branches or Departments, respectively, concerning whoso BURN, Mr. Bass, and Mr. DANFORD.

expenditures it is their duty to inquire, have become useless or unpecessary; and to report from time to time on the expediency of modifying or abolishing the same; also to examine into the pay and emoluments of all officers under the laws of the United States and to report from time to time such a reduction or increase thereof as a just economy and the public service may require. And for the purpose of en

abling the several committees to fully comprehend the workings of the various TUESDAY, March 7, 1876.

branches or Departments of Government, respectively, the investigations of said

committees may cover such period in the past as each of said committees may deem Mr. CLYMER rose to a question of privilege. The evening pre- interests, in the exposing of frauds or abuses of any kind that may exist in said

necessary for its own guidance or information or for the protection of the public vious, he stated, a subpæna, issued by the supreme court of the Dis- Departments; and said committees are authorized to send for persons and papers, trict of Columbia holding a criminal court for this District, was served and may report by bill or otherwise. upon him, and he believed upon the other gentlemen who are mem- investigate and inquire into all matters set forth in the foregoing resolutions in

Resolved further, That the Committee on Public Expenditures be instructed to bers of the Committee on Expenditures in the War Department. The the legislative departments of the Government, except in so far as the Senate is exone served upon him was a duces tecum, commanding him to bring clusively concerned, particularly in reference to the public printing and binding, with him certain papers and to testify with relation to charges pend- and shall have the same authority that is conferred upon the other committees ing in that court against the late Secretary of War.

aforesaid." Mr. CLYMER proceeded to state that that morning, accompanied mittee on Expenditures in the War Department did enter upon an examination

And whereas in the discharge of the duties imposed by said order the said Comby the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. ROBBINS) and the gun into the said accounts of said Department and into the administration thereof, and tleman from Kentucky, [Mr. BLACKBURN,] he appeared before that did send for persons and papers to investigate certain acts of William W. Belknap, court, and, by the permission of the president judge, he made, on be- Late Secretary of War, on which being reported to this House by said committee it half of himself and the committee, a statement. He said that in meanors; and whereas the supreme court of the District of Columbia, by process

has taken action to impeach the said William W. Belknap of high crimes and misdeobedience to the law they appeared at the bar to obey any order the bearing date March 6, 1876, has commanded HIESTER CLYMER to bring all papers, court might make; that as a member of the committee of the House documents, records, checks, and contracts in your possession, or in the possession of he felt that it wonld be prejudicial to the best interests of the coun- ment, in relation to the charge against said defendant of accepting a bribe or bribes

the Committee of the House of Representatives on Expenditures in the War Departtry to compel them to state what had transpired in the room of the while Secretary of War of the United States, and to attend the said court immedi. committee of which they were members; that he believed that it ately to testify on behalf of the United States, and not depart from the court with would not only close the mouths of all witnesses, but would in many out leave of the court or district attorneys:” and whereas the mandate of said court cases drive them from the land. He said furthermore that, while not is a breach of the privileges of this House :

Resolved, That the said committee and the members thereof are hereby directed pleading their privileges as members of this House, as they night I to disregard said mandate until the further order of this House.

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 1876.

MONDAY, April 3, 1876. Mr. KNOTT, of Kentucky, chairman of the Committee on the Ju

Mr. KNOTT called up the resolutions which he had reported on the diciary, to whom was refered the resolution of the House directing 30th ultimo froin the Committee on the Judiciary, and the first one, them to prepare suitable articles of impeachment against William W. with the accompanying articles and specifications, was adopted withBelknap, late Secretary of War, submitted the following report, ac-out debate and without a division. The second resolution was companied by a resolution, which was adopted without a division: amended as follows, and adopted : The Committee on the Judiciary would respectfully report that, in pursuance of York; WILLIAM P. LYNDE, of Wisconsin ; JOHN A. MCMAHON, of Ohio, GEORGE

Resolved, That Messrs. J. PROCTOR KNOTT, of Kentucky; Scott LORD, of New the instrucions of the House, they have prepared articles of impeachment against A. JENKS, of Pennsylvania; WILLIAM A.'WHEELER, of New York; and GEORGE William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, for high crimes and misdemeanors in F. Hoar, of Massachusetts, be, and they are hereby, appointed managers on the office, but that, since preparing the same, they have

been informed and believe that part of this House to conduct the impeachment exhibited against William W. BelCaleb P. Marsh, upon whose testimony before the Committee on Expenditures in knap, late Secretary of War of the United States. the War Department, and referred to them by the House, said articles were framed, has gone beyond the jurisdiction of the Government of the United States, and that Mr. WHEELER asked to be excused from service as a manager. probably his attendance as a witness before the Senate sitting as a court of impeach- His request wos granted, and on his motion the vacancy occasioned ment cannot be procured; and that they are also informed and believe that other evi- by his resignation was filled with the name of his colleague, Mr. clenco may be procured sufficient to convict said William W. Belknap of high crimes and misdemeanors in office as Secretary of War. They therefore recommend

LAPHAM. the adoption of the following resolution:

At the request of Mr. KNOTT the name of Mr. LORD, of New York, Resolved, That the resolution instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to pre-was placed at the head of the list of managers. pare articles of impeachment against William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, for high crimes and misdemeanors in office, be recommitted to said committee with

Mr. CLYMER offered the following resolutions; which were modipower to take furthej proof, to send for persons and papers, to sit during the ses

fied and adopted : sions of the House, and to report at any time.

Resolved, That the articles agreed to by this House to be exhibited in the name Your committee, impressed with the importance of securing the fullest indemnity of themselves and of all the people of the United States against William W. Belto such witnesses as may be required to testify in behalf of the Government before knap, late Secretary, of War, in maintenance of their impeachment against him of either House of Congress, or any committee of either House, or before the Senate high crimes and misdemeanors in office be carried to the Senate by the managers sitting as a court of impeachment, would also recommend the immediate passage appointed to conduct said impeachment. of the accompanying bill, entitled "A bill to protect witnesses who shall be re- Resolred, That a message be sent to the Senate to inform them that this House quired to testify in certain cases.” They would further recommend that the ac- have appointed Mr. SCOTT LORD, of New York; Mr. J. PROCTOR KNOTT, of Kencompanying bill, entitled “A bill in relation to witnesses,” be introduced, printed, tucky; Mr. WILLIAM P. LYNDE, of Wisconsin; Mr. JOHN A. MCMAHON, of Ohio; and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, with leave to report thereon at Mr. GEORGE A. JENKS, of Pennsylvania; Mr. ELBRIDGE G. LAPHAM, of New York ; any time.

and Mr. GEOROE F. Hoar, of Massachusetts, managers to conduct the impeachment

against William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, and have directed the said Mr. KNOTT also reported from the Committee on the Judiciary the managers to carry to the Senate the articles agreed upon by this House to be exfollowing bill; which was discussed and passed by a vote of 200 yeas bibited in maintenance of their impeachment against said William W. Belknap, against 80 nays, 82 members of the House not voting:

and that the Clerk of the House do go with said message. A bill (H. R. No. 2572) to protect witnesses who shall be required to testify in cer

tain cases. Be it enacted, &c., That whenever any person shall be required to testify against his protest before either House of Congress or any committee thereof, or the Senate

TUESDAY, April 4, 1876. sitting as a court of impeachment, and shall so testify under protest, he shall not thereafter be held to answer criminally in any court of justice, or subject to any

Mr. WHEELER, Speaker pro tempore, directed that business would penalty or forfeiture, on account of any fact

or act concerning which he shall be so be suspended to receive a report from the managers on the part of the required to testify: Provided, That nothing herein-contained shall be so construed House of the impeachment of W. W. Belknap, late Secretary of War. as to relieve any person from liability to impeachment.

The managers appointed by the House to conduct the impeachment of W. W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, appeared at the bar of the House, when

Mr. LORD said: Mr. Speaker, the managers of impeachment beg

leave to report to the House that the articles of impeachment preTHURSDAY, March 30, 1876.

pared by the House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, Mr. KNOTT rose, he said, to make a privileged report. The Com- late Secretary of War, have been exhibited and read to the Senate, mittee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the resolu- and the presiding officer of that body stated to the managers that tion of the House directing them to prepare and report articles in sup- the Senate would take order in the premises, due notice of which

ort of the impeachment of William W. Belknap, late Secretary of would be given to the House of Representatives.
War, for high crimes and misdemeanors in office, had directed him to
report such articles and an accompanying resolution for the action of
the House. He asked that the report be printed and recommitted,
and he gave notice that he should call it up for action at a conveni-

MONDAY, April 17, 1876. ent hour on the day after the next. He presumed it would be unnec

The following resolution was received from the Senate: essary to occupy the time of the House in reading those lengthy articles. He moved that they be printed for the use of the House and

IN SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, April 17, 1876. recommitted to the committee.

Ordered, That the Secretary inform the House of Representatives that the SenThe motion was agreed to.

ate is sitting in its Chamber and ready to proceed with the trial of the impeach

ment of William W. Belknap, and that seats are provided for the accommodation The report was as follows:

of the members. The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the resolution After discussion, the House voted, on motion of Mr. HOAR, of Masof the House directing them to prepare and report articles in support of the im: sachusetts, that it would at one o'clock precisely resolve itself into misdemeanors in office, respectfully report the following articles and accompanying the Ex-Secretary of War in the Senate Chamber, accompanied by the peachment of William W. Belknap,

late Secretary of War, for hígh crimes and Committee of the whole, and as such committee attend the trial of resolutions for the action of the House:

Resolved, That the following articles be adopted and presented to the Senate, in Clerk and the Speaker. maintenance and support of the impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors in

Accordingly (at one o'clock p. m.) the House, as in Committee of the office of William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War: Articles exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America, in the Speaker and Clerk, followed the managers of the House to the Sen

Whole, preceded by its chairman, Mr. RANDALL, and accompanied by William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, in maintenance and support of their ate Chamber. On the return of the Committee of the Whole, (at one impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors while in said office. o'clock and thirty-five minutes,) the Speakerhaving resumed the chair, [These articles will be found on pages 2 and 3.]

Mr. RANDALL made the following report:

Mr. Speaker, the House as in Committee of the Whole, pursuant to Resolved, That seven managers be appointed by ballot to conduct the impeachment exhibited against William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War of the

United order, accompanied the managers on the part of the House to the SenStates.

ate to be present at the opening of the impeachment trial of William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War.

Later in the day, a message was received from the Senate announc

ing that the Senate had adopted a resolution setting the time for the SATURDAY, April 1, 1876.

trial of William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War, upon articles of

impeachment exhibited against him by the House of Representatives, Mr. Hunton, of Virginia, a member of the Committee on the Ju- and transmitted to the House a copy of the plea of the said Belknap. diciary, stated that the chairman of that committee, [Mr. KNOTT,] Mr. HOAR, one of the managers, asked unanimous consent that tho who was unavoidably detained from the House that day on the busi- communication from the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment ness of the House, had requested him to give notice he will call up and the copy of the plea of the Secretary of War be referred to the the articles of impeachment of the late Secretary of War on Monday nanagers on the part of the House. There was no objection, and it next immediately after the morning hour.

was so ordered.

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