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And now it also appears that Hill and Barton, (printers Bryan and Lesph and Co., for ditto in of the New Hampshire Patriot,) were allowed, during New York, 10th September, 1832 441 90 the same period when True and Greene were employed, James Stryker, for ditto, in New York, $7,543 26 “ for blanks, paper, and twine," of which 29th November, 1832
416 10 $4,238 83 was for printing blanks, though the sums ap- James Wright, for publishing in pearing in the Blue Book, as paid to them, amount only “Sandy Hill Herald,” New York, to $:,494 36.
proposals for carrying the mail in Horatio Hill also bad mail contracts for which he re- New York, 12th July, till Septemceived 6,272 dollars, with “newspaper privilege,” as we
413 10 have seen, though the Blue Book does not notice the fact in the list of printers; and Hill and Abbott appear
$1,636 35 also on the list of mail contractors, both for Maine and New Hampshire, with Hill and Morse, T. S. Abbott and It will be seen, by reference to the account now furCo., Hill and Crane, and Bibbitt and Hill.
nished by the Department, that while the Globe weekly, During the same period, Shadrach Penn, who is the semi-weekly, and daily, was publishing these very "mail printer and proprietor of the Louisville Public Advertiser, proposals” for the whole Union; and while the Albany was employed to furnish blanks, paper, and iwine, to the Argus and the Courier and Enquirer were publishing amount of $9,566 36, although in the Blue Book his name the same for the State of New York, and transmitting appears on the list of printers, as in any way employed them to every part of the State from which a bid could by the Department, only for the sum of $2,297 91. Other be expected, these four papers, some of them scarcely sums were paid within the same period to other persons, circulating through a single county in the interior, and
paper and twine," amounting to $24,562 61. The published two or three times a week, were kept up at sums allowed during these two years, as appears by the an expense of $1,636 35 for two months' printing of the vouchers and accounts for printed blanks, paper, and mail proposals for the whole State. For these and other twine, (not including the large sums paid to other editors similar expenditures, now brought to light by the docufor printing "mail proposals,''), amount to more than ment annexed, we can perceive no precedents in the seventy thousand dollars.
former history of the Department. The account now exhibited by the Department shows The year 1832 was also distinguished by the amount of that Francis P. Blair, editor of the Globe, received, from expenses incurred for the services of sundry agents and the 30th of December, 1831, to the 26th of October, secret emissaries who were put in motion at an expense 1833, inclusive, the sum of $21,634 90. He appears in of nearly ten thousand dollars for that year. These trips the Blue Book for only $14,371 57. But as the Depart- of investigation do not all appear on the face of the acment, on the application of the committee, sent us only count. The sum of $6,005 is credited for sums paid to a part of the vouchers for this account, and deferred S. Gouverneur, the postmaster at New York. From an sending the rest until it is now too late to examine them endorsement on one of the vouchers to support this in time for this report, we cannot say how far the official charge, it appears that he has received credit on the statement in the register is correct or incorrect. The books of the Department for that amount, by him paid, rates at which this printer is employed are enormous, for the incidental expenses of his office, from wbich we and, in our opinion, are not to be justified by reference infer that, by the direction of the Department, he made to any thing which has occurred in the past history of this these payments, and was allowed them on settlement for Department. We herewith submit a specimen of the postages. Mr. Gouverneur is not responsible for these rates paid him for advertising; and accompanying the payments ordered by the Department. Among the re. same is a statement of the rates and sums allowed for ceipts is one of P. S. Loughborough, travelling agent, printing advertisements in July, 1830. The sum allowed for one hundred dollars paid him the 4th day of June, for printing these advertisements is, it will be seen, about 1832; and seven of Barnabas Bates, another traveller, for four times the amount then paid for them. (See the $1,253 cash, paid him as “special agent," between the statements marked X.)
1st of August and the 12th of December, 1832, incluDuring the interesting period between the 1st of July sive. and the 30th of December, 1832, the “incidental expen- Mr. Barnabas Bates, in October, 1833, presented an ses” were $22,958 07. Within that time $13,673 31 account, of which the following is a literal copy: was paid for printing to the editors and printers of news- “ General Post Office, papers, besides $5,166 15 for other articles by them sup.
“ To B. Bates, Special Agent, Dr. plied. Of the sum so paid to printers, Francis P. Blair "1833. April 30. received $8,386 50 " for printing proposals for carrying To services from July 1, 1832, to date, 304 the mail from the 20th of July, 1832, to the 11th Octo. days, at $3 per diem,
$912 00 ber, 1832,” a period of two months and twenty-two days. Do do expenses during the same, $2 50 760 00 The period immediately preceding the presidential elec. Do do steamboat and stage fare, do 184 00 tion was the time selected for paying from this Department to this single editor about one hundred and sixteen
$1,856 00 dollars for every day bis paper issued from the press. At the same time the mail proposals" appeared not only So that Mr. Barnabas Bates set a good price on his in the city prints, and otbers having extensive circulation travels, and although, by an endorsement, it appears that in different parts of the country, but in the most obscure Mr. C. K. Gardner, the first Assistant Postmaster Genecountry papers, some of which, having consumed the ali- ral, doubted about the allowance of 50 cents of the $2 50 ment they ted on, bave since perished for the want of it. per diem for “expenses," in addition to the “per diem We present a few examples, and inquire for what pos- for services," and the “steamboat and stage fare;" yet, sible purpose, except that of supporting a party press, on putting the question endorsed on the voucher "shall | while an excited political canvass was proceeding in the additional fitty cents be allowed under the circumthe State of New York, were the following expenditures stances?” the Postmaster General underwrites—"allos. made?
ed;" and on the 15th of October, 1833, Mr. Bates gives 1832. Mack and Andrews, for publishing
a receipt for a credit allowed him on account for the proposals for carrying the United
whole amount of 1,856 dollars. The most curious port of States mail in N. York, Oct. 31, 1832 $365 25 1 this matter, however, is, that the Department has directe
ed Mr. Gouverneur to pay these agents for travelling, as he admits to be erroneous; that others, especially those it appears they did, as i special agents,” in New York of the 18th of April, 1832, and the 3d of March, 1834, and New England, and then covered and concealed the are inconsistent with each other; and that reliance cannot charge under the name of " incidental expenses of the be placed on the truth and accuracy of the communicaPost Office at the city of New York.” By the returns fortions made by the Department. the first quarter of 1833, it also appears that P.S. Lough- 3. Resolved, That it is fully proved, that a practice preborough, who receives an annual salary from the Treasu- vails in the Post Office Department, of granting contracts ry of the United States of sixteen hundred dollars as on bids which vary from the advertisement, and of chang“general agent” of the Post Office Department, was ing and altering contracts in material respects after they paid in addition thereto the sum of $2,467 66 as “special have been accepted; and that this practice prevents all agent," for expenses in travelling in Virginia, New York, fair competition among persons wishing to make contracts, and the Western States, per order of the Postmaster is calculated to give undue advantage to favorites, and is General, from 1st November, 1831, tu 31st December, in violation of law. 1832, making the whole sum paid that officer during that 4. Resolved, That it appears that an individual, who period $4,067 66. During the same period, it will be made a contract for the transportation of the mail, was seen from the account that other agents received $4,099 required to give it up for no other reason than that it 40, which, with the payment to Bates, made by Gouver- might be given to another desirous of having it; and that neur, make $9,510 66 for travelling agents in about one the act of the Department in requiring such surrender, year. It is in evidence before the committee by 0. B. and in effecting the transfer, was illegal and unjust. Brown, that Mr. Loughborough started on another trip 5. Resolved, That it appears that proposals for carrying of investigation about four weeks ago.
the mail on the route from Chicago to Green Bay, were Finally, the incidental expenses from the 1st of July, withheld from advertisement; that the contract therefor 1829, to the 1st of July, 1834, by the returns made for was given in another's name, but really to one of the the first four years, and the Postmaster Generals esti- clerks in the Department; that the compensation propos mates for the last, amount to the sum of $357,579 04; sed in the bid was raised without any increase of service, thus exceeding the incidental expenses of the five years and the transaction is a direct breach of law. previous to the 1st of January, 1829, by the sum of one 6. Resolved, That extra allowances have been granted hundred and sixty thousand five hundred and forty-one to contractors, without any increase of duty or service on dollars. The necessity for legal restraint in this matter, their part; and that, in other cases, extra allowances have we think too apparent to require further comment; and been made which are unreasonable, extravagant, and out we now dismiss tbis part of the subject.
of all proportion with the increase of service. On the wbole, your committee have found the affairs of 7. Resolved, That the Postmaster General has estabthe Department in a state of utter derangement, resulting, lished steamboat lines for the transportation of the mail as it is believed, from the uncontrolled discretion exerci- by private contract at an enormous expense, and without sed by its officers over its contracts and its funds; and their authority of law. habitual evasion, and in some instances, their total disre- 8. Resolved, That the public credit has been pledged gard of the laws which bave been provided for their re- for the benefit of individual contractors; and that con. straint. And your committee see no means within the tractors have been solicited and induced to aid with their power of Congress of extricating it from its present con- personal credit the business of the Department; and that dition, and restoring it to healthy and efficient action, all such transactions are unjustifiable and improper. without providing by law a more strict system for its gove 9. Resolved, That it does appear that mail lines have ernment; prescribing to its officers more special rules been established to run more frequently than once a day, for the performance of their several duties; taking from and at a very heavy expense, when no adequate public them, as far as possible, all discretion, where the accept-object required such provision. ance of a contract or the disbursement of money is con- 10. Resolved, That pecuniary transactions of a very cerned; establishing a more strict system of accounta- irregular nature, are proved to have taken place between bility, and enforcing an observance of the laws by penal the contractors and some of the chief officers of the Post enactment.
Office Department. Should Congress advance out of the treasury for the 11. Resolved, that the Post Office Department is now support of the Department, the sum of money asked for deeply in debt; ils affairs in disorder; its accounts and by the Postmaster General, or even the whole amount of reports irregular and unsatisfactory; that it is justly the its debts, it is not probable, while under the management subject of public complaint, and demands a radical reform. of its present officers, with no other means than now exist 12. Resolved, That the incidental expenses and secret. to control and restrain them, that its debts would be service money of the Department have increased, are inliquidated, or its efficiency restored. Under this im- creasing, and ought to be diminished. pression and belief, your commitiee cannot recommend 13. Resolved, That it does appear that an agreement the appropriation of any money to relieve the wants of was entered into between two companies of mail conthe Department until there be some further guarantee for tractors, the express object of which was to put down all its proper and judicious application.
opposition lines of coaches, and all competition in the Your committee, reserving the right to make a further transportation of passengers on their respective mail report on these subjects hereafter, respectfully recom- routes; that said agreement was drawn by an officer of mend the adoption of the following resolutions:
the Department, and entered into at his pressing instance, 1. Resolved, That it is proved and admitted that large and that it was sanctioned by the Postmaster General; sums of money have been borrowed at different banks and that such agreement, so sanctioned, is an interference by the Postmaster General, in order to make up the defi. with the honest pursuits of the free citizens of these ciency in the means of carrying on the business of the United States; that it tends to establish an odious and opPost Office Department, without authority given by any pressive monopoly, and is an unjust invasion of private law of Congress; and that, es Congress alone possesses rights. the power to borrow money on the credit of the United 14. Resolved, That it does appear that mail contractors States, all such contracts for loans by the Postmaster have received large extra allowances, and have, about General, are illegal and void.
the time of receiving such allowance, become the pro2. Resolved, That several reports of the Postmaster prietors or conductors of newspaper presses of a parGeneral contain statements which, in subsequent papers, I tisan character. It also appears that a newspaper editor
23d Cong. 1st Sess.]
Affairs of the Post Office Department.
in the State of New Hampshire is a contractor for carry. Add to this the deficit existing July 1, 1833 195,208 40 ing the mail on numerous routes, “with newspaper privilege;" and that every such act or artifice tending to unite And the total deficit on the 1st January, the press with the Post Office Department, is a danger- 1834, would be
$316,484 50 ous abuse, and ought to be corrected.
The retrenchments which were to take effect from the IN SENATE, June 9, 1834.
1st of January, of the current year, ought to bave reMr. Gnundy presented the following paper as contain- duced this deficit below the sum of 300,000 dollars by ing the views of the minority of the committee, which the 1st of April. The condition of the Department apwas ordered to be appended to, and printed with the re-pears to have been at that time, as nearly as we can asport of the majority.
certain, as follows: The undersigned, two of the five members composing Due to contractors, as per document No. 2, for services the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, to prior to January 1st, 1834
$190,000 00 which was referred the resolution of the Senate of the Ditto from January 1st, to April 1st, 1834 445,000 00 29th March last, directing an examination to be made into the present condition of the Post Office Department, Total to April 1st, 1834
$635,000 00 differing essentially in their views from the majority of Due to banks for loans and over-drafts, 11th the committee, consider it their duty to present a state- April, 1834
451,599 48 ment of the result of their inquiries, which it is believed is fully sustained by the testimony taken, and by the Total amout due
$1,086,599 48 books and documents of the Department.
Due to the Department, on 1st April, from The committee were agreed in the opinion, that it was postmasters and available, a duty which they owed, no less to the Postmaster Gene To January 1st, 1834
$300,000 ral himself, than to the public, to give all the branches From January 1st, to April 1st,
$800,000 00 of that Department as thorough an examination as prac- 1834,
The first and leading point which attracted attention, Balance against the Department to April 1st, was its financial condition. The report of the Postmas- 1834,
286,599 48 ter General of November 30th, 1832, showed an expen. To this must be added the interest, payable diture, for the year ending 30th June, of that year, ex- to the 1st of May, 1834, as per document ceeding the amount of revenue for the same period, by No. 3, amounting to
5,510 00 $7,530 18. It also showed an increase, in the amount of mail transportation, within the same period, at the And the whole deficit is
$292,109 48 rate of 8,156,329 miles, equal to upwards of a million of miles more than half of the whole annual trans- In the above estimate of 300,000 dollars, due to the portation of the mail in 1829. It also showed a surplus Department on the 1st of April last, of postages which of available funds at the disposal of the Department, to accrued prior to the 1st of January, there is no possibilithe amount of $202,811 40. The report of the Post- ty of testing its accuracy by any other estimate, because master General of November 30, 1833, showed that the it is not an estimate of ihe postages that accrued from the expenses for transportation of the mail, prior to the 1st | 1st of October to the 31st of December, 1833, the July, 1829, had been $64,248 76 more than had been greater portion of which had been collected before the reported; and, that the expenses for the same object from 1st of April, but it embraces all the remaining balances the 1st of July, 1829, to the 1st of July, 1832, bad been due to the Department on the 1st of April, of all the $141,407 31, making together an expense of $205,656 07 postages which bad accrued from the beginning of the beyond the amount which had been reported to the lat. Government, so far as they are believed to be available. ter period. This exceeded the sum reported as a surplus It must be obvious, therefore, that no correct estimate on that day, and left an actual deficit, on the 1st of July, can be made of their amount, without going over every 1832, of $2,844 67 beyond the whole amount of availa- account, many thousands in number, striking the balance ble funds, including all postages which had accrued of each, and adding these balances together. This we prior to that day. The same report showed an increase have not done, and the labor which it would require is in the transportation of the mail, within the year ending so great as to render it impracticable at this time. the 30th June, 1833, at the annual rate of 3,229,464 It is also proper to observe, that of the 500,000 dola miles; and an excess of expenditure beyond the revenue lars, estimated as the proceeds of the quarter ending on of the Department, to the amount of $195,208 40. The the 31st of March, 1834, a part had been paid over by report also exhibited the annual expense of transporta deposites to the credit of the Department, before the tion to be, at the time of making the report $2,033,289 42, termination of that quarter; but so far as they had been and the incidental expenses of the Department about thus paid over, they bad been applied to the payment of $90,000, making together the aggregate expense, for the claims against the Department; so that if their payment in year which will end the 30th June, 1834, $2,123,289 42, part lessened the amount due to the Department, their while the nett proceeds of postages, for the year ending application lessened in the same degree the amount due the 30th June, 1833, was but $1,790,254 65. This ex from the Department. cess of expense must necessarily have continued to the It should here be noticed, that many of the postmas. close of the year 1833, from wbich period the retrench- ters, in the most productive post offices, are required, by ments were to commence, which the Postmaster General the regulations of the Department, to deposite to its stated in his report to have been directed. Taking the credit in bank, a portion of the proceeds of their offices report for a basis on wbich to raise the calculation, and before the close of the quarter. Some of these make the expenses of the Department will have been, from their deposites weekly, some monthly, and some sot till July 1, 1833, to December 31, 1833, $1,061,644 71 after the end of the quarter. Of the postage collected Tbe nett proceeds of postages for the same
at the several post offices, it is estimated that about oneperiod, as nearly as can be ascertained are 941,368 61 half, or a little more than one-half, is deposited in banks,
and the remainder is drawn by drafts on postmasters in Leaving a deficit for the half year, ending
favor of contractors. Of the amount deposited in banks, 31st December, 1833, of
$120,276 101 it is estimated that about one.balf is deposited before the Affairs of the Post Office Department.
[23d Cong. 1st Sess.
close of the quarter; so that the amount thus deposited animadversion. The other Departments of the Governof the current proceeds, before the close of a quarter, ment are organized with sub-officers, holding their ap. is estimated at about one-fourth of the whole proceeds of pointments from the Executive, who superintend the difthe quarter, and is available by the Department to the ferent branches, and share the responsibility. The Post payment of transportation, for services rendered during Office Department was but small in the beginning, and the preceding quarter, the compensation for services has grown rapidly into its present magnitude and imporfor transportation rendered in one quarter being payable tance. To this circumstance it is probably owing that it in the next. This, however, does not affect the means has hitherto been left without proper organization. The of the Department for meeting its engagements, because individual who may happen to be at its head, is held rethe same means recur by the current deposites, to an sponsible for every thing; though its business is so multiamount, at least equal, in every successive quarter. It farious and extended that no individual can possibly suwould only produce this result: that if the Department perintend all its branches. It was formerly the case that were to close its operations, and wind up its business, at all its funds were at the disposal of a single person, withthe termination of any quarter, it would be found about out any check whatever upon him, or even the meaus of one month behindband in its resources, beyond what it knowing whether the surplus funds were in deposite, or would be if its operations continued. These current pay. diverted from their legitimate object. The present inments have always been relied upon by the Department, cumbent has established a rule wbich is calculated to and while it continues its operations, they can never fail. prevent abuse. No moneys can now pass into the bands They do not, therefore, sensibly affect the statement of of an individual, without the concurrence of at least two the present condition of the Department.
officers of the Department. If it be a payment for trans. By the last report of the late Postmaster General, 17th portation, it requires the requisition of the principal payNovember, 1828, the annual transportation of the mail, at clerk, and a check signed by the treasurer and by an that time, was 13,610,039 miles. From the reports of Assistant Postmaster General, before the money can be the present Postmaster General, which report is corrobo- drawn. it for any other purpose, it requires the requi. rated by a statement of all the mail routes, with their dis sition of the Postmaster General himself, or an account tances, and the frequency of transportation on each, it ap- audited by one officer, and approved by another, and a pears that the annual amount of transportation of the mail, check in either case to be signed by both these officers, on the 1st July, 1832, was 23,625,021 miles; and on the before the money can be drawn. This we conceive to 1st July, 1833, it appears to have been further increased be a very salutary improvement in the financial operations to 26,854,485 miles, nearly double the amount of what it of the Department, and well calculated to prevent abuses; was when the present incumbent took charge of the De. but as it is only a regulation of the Postmaster General, partment. It also appears, from the report of the Postmas- it is subject change at his pleasure. He has indeed ter General to the Senate, of the 3d of March last, that given to the system all the effect which he has the power the whole amount of allowances to contractors for extra of doing; but to give it permanency, so as to constitute services, by which this great increase of transportation a perpetual and effectual barrier against abuse, we are of was mainly effected, was $485,662 41 per annum. To opinion that it should have the saction of law; and that the this sum should be added the expense of carrying into officers exercising these powers should hold their offices, effect the law of the 15th of June, 1832, establishing as in other departments, not at the pleasure of the person additional post routes, which is estimated in the report of who may fill the place of the head of the Department, 3d of Blarch, (last page,) at $125,341 88. On those new but of the President and Senate. routes, no revenue of any considerable amount could be The last report of the late Pustmaster General showed expected for some time, especially for the first one or that the expenditures for the year ending the 1st of July, two years.
1828, exceeded the revenues of the Department upwards The allowances for these extra services (all taken 10- of 25,000 dollars. Between that time and the following gether) appear to be quite within the bounds of modera- March, when he left the Department, the contracts had tion, when compared with the amount of additional ser. been made for the new routes, established by the law of vices rendered; and taken in connexion with the expense 1828, involving a very considerable of expense. The of establishing the new mail routes, required by the law present Postmaster General took charge of the Depariof 1832, and ihe loss of revenue occasioned by the ex ment in April, 1829, and his first report showed that the lension of the franking privilege to members of Congress, expenses of the Department for the year ending July 1st, throughout the year, and the circumstance of the expen- 1829, were nearly 75,000 dollars more than all its revses in 1829 being much greater than the revenues of the enues for the same period. Thus it appears that the Department, the present deficit is fully accounted for. course of administering the Department which produced These extra services were designed for no other end than the deficit in its means, began as early as 1827, or the the benefit of the community. At the earnest solicita- commencement of 1828, and has continued from that petion of many citizens, urged in most cases by members riod to the close of the last year. To meet the exigenof Congress, and others high in public confidence, cies of the se, the Post General resorted to loans from the facilities were granted by the Postmaster General, banks, on which he had paid interest prior to the 1st of and have been enjoyed by the community. In his great April last, $14,570 42, and the further amount which ac. desire to satisfy the wishes of every section of the coun. crued to the 1st May, was $5,510, making together the try, and to render the Department as extensively useful sum of $20,080 42 interest to the 1st of May, 1834, as as possible, he has gone too far, because he has exceeded per document No. 4. These loans were made on the the moneyed means of his Department. But be appears, faith and credit of the Post Office Department, and not for the reasons assigned in his report which has been of the Treasury; yet, while the moneys of the Treasury communicated to the Senate, to have been unapprized of are abundant, it does not seem to comport with good the exact condition of the financial concerns of the Deo economy for one department of the Government to be partment, till the deficiency actually appeared. He paying interest to banks for the use of money, while then made the investigation, which resulted in disclosing money is deposited in banks by another department of the cause, and applied the corrective with as much the Government without interest. The committee there. promptness as the public interest would admit.
fore applied by letter to the Postmaster General for a The want of a more perfect organization of the Post statement of his opinion of the amount which would reOffice Department by law, is calculated to produce em- lieve his Department from pecuniary embarrassment. In barrassment, and often to subject its head to unmerited answer to this inquiry, he stated that if, of the moneys
formerly paid by tbat Department into the Treasury, the reporting, a disagreement will exist whenever a modifi. sum of 450,000 dollars could now be placed at the dis. cation of the contract shall be made subsequent to the posal of his Department, it would effect the desired relief, acceptance of the proposal. and that he should be able to restore it to the Treasury in This practice, however, we consider erroneous, and the following instalments, without injury to the successful are pleased to see that it is changed in the report of conadministration of the Department.
tracis made to the present session of Congress, in which, On the 1st of July, 1835,
$150,000 not the proposals accepted, but the contracts according On the 1st of July, 1836,
150,000 to the changes and modifications afterwards made are reOn the 1st of March, 1837,
150,000 ported; this is proper and necessary to enable Congress
to have a full and correct view of the contracts and en$450,000 gagements made by the Department.
The Postmaster General, in bis report of Nevember We therefore recommend the passage of a law author- 30, 1832, stated the annual transportation of the mail to ing the measure, to the amount and on the conditions be 23,625,021 miles, making an increase from 1829 of thus stated by the Postmaster General.
9,925,021 miles. A suspicion had been intimated of the The Postmaster General has been in the habit of re. correctness of this statement; and on an investigation of porting annually to Congress the contracts made for trans- the subject, the following appeared to be the facts: porting the mail, with the name of each contractor, and The late Postmaster General, in his last report, No. the annual amount of compensation stipulated in the con- vember, 1828, stated, that on the 1st July, 1823, the antract. In comparing the contracts made in the fall of | nual transportation of the mail was, 1831 with the report of the Postmaster General made to In stages,
4,489,744 miles, Congress in the beginning of 1832, it was found that in On horseback,
5,511,496 some cases the contracts, as they are in actual operation, That there had been added, from that do not agree with that report, An inquiry was instituted time to July 1, 1828, in stages, 1,949,850 into the cause of this disagreement; and we were informed On horseback,
1,658,949 that when proposals are received for the advertised contracts, they are registered in a book called the “Propo- This made the annual transportation of sal Book;" that when these bids are «lecided by the Post- the mail on 1st July, 1828,
13,610,039 miles. master General, the word "accepted” is written against the name of the person to wliom a route is assigned; that The committee procured a list of all the post routes as this is regarded virtually as the contract, though some they were in operation on the 1st of July, 1832, with the times the written instrument is not executed for months length of each, the manner of performance, and the freafter; that from this proposal book the report for Congress quency with which the mails were then transported, is made out, the name of the person copied, and the sum (Document No. 18,) from which it appears that the annual at which the proposal was accepted; that sometimes mod. transportation of the mail on the 1st of July, 1832, was ifications are subsequently made in the contracts, even 23,632,330 miles; and that the increase to that period before the services under them commence; and that in from the 1st of July, 1828, was 10,022,291 miles, exclusuch cases there will appear a disagreement, as above sive of the additional extent occasioned by the underslated. Upon further examination, we found that such estimate hereafter pointed out. The report of 1832, had been the practice of the Department under former made the whole amount of the annual transportation to administrations; and as a proof of it, we stale a few simi- be 23,625,021 miles, which is 7,309 miles less than the lar cases which we have noted from a comparison made result of the calculation now made. This mode of asby ourseives, of the contracts made by the Postmaster certaining the amount of the annual transportation was General in the fall of 1828, with his report to Congress, deemed less liable to error, than any that could be resortin the beginning of 1829. They are as follows: ed to. Besides, a further security for its correctness is
Eli Ensign is reported as having contracted to trans. furnished by the fact, that the length of each route is port the mail between Hudson and Pittsfield for 700 dol. given, and the number of times the mail is transported lars a year; but his contract made in 1828 is for 1,000 dol- thereon; so that any error contained in it may be easily lars. Thomas J. Magee is reported as having contracted detected. The fact of a discrepancy between the report to carry the mail on several routes for 10,225 dollars a of 1832 and the calculation now made, to the small amount year; but his contract made in 1828 is for 11,843 dollars of 7,309 miles in so many millions, affords strong evia year. Russell Case is reported as having contracted to dence of its general accuracy, and especially when it is carry the mail between Utica and Ithaca for 950 dollars a considered that the calculation now made and exhibited year; but the contract was made with Parker and Co. in exceeds the amount then reported. The idea that the 1828 for 1,425 dollars a year. Eli Ensign is reported as report of 1832, from any motive, placed the annual transhaving contracted to carry the mail be:ween Bridgeport portation of the mail beyond the true amount, is disprop. and Bennington for 1,100 dollars a year; but his contract ed by the fact, that it falls short of it by a calculation now made in 1828 is for 1,250 dollars a year. He is also re-made, from the most unerring data that can be obtained. ported as having contracted to carry the mail between In this place we would state, that the committee emHartford and Albany for 1,000 dollars a year, but bis con ployed Dr. Phineas Bradley, one of the late Assistant tract made in 1828 is for 1,500 dollars a year. Pettis, Day, Postmaster Generals, who called to his assistance his bro& Co. are reported as having contracted to carry the mail ther, Abraham Bradley, the other late Assistant Post. between Boston and Windsor, and between Windsor and master General, to aid them in their investigations. It Burlington, for 3,000 dollars a year; but their contract was supposed that the long experience of these gentlemade in 1828 is for 4,400 dollars a year. Hiram Plum- men in the Department would enable them to prosecute mer is reported as having contracted to carry the mail some branches of the inquiry with more facility and sucbetween Boston and Dover for 800 dollars a year; but his cess than could otherwise be done. The report of the contract made in 1828 is for 1,250 dollars a year. In all result of their inquiries has been furnished the committhese cases, the report to Congress is made to agree tee, and in comparing it with the reports of the Depart. with the proposal book, though the contracts are differ. ment, we discover a considerable discrepancy, for which ently executed. The fact is therefore established, that we can readily account. the report of 1832 was made in conformity with the an. The Messrs. Bradleys observe in their report that the cient usage of the Department; and under this mode of Postmaster General reported, in November, 1829, that