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WILLIAM W. FLETCHER sworn and examined.

By Mr. BLAIR .
Question. Where do you reside ?-Answer. In North Webster.
Q. How long have you livell there ?-A. From five to six years.

Q. What is your business ?-A. I am the bookkeeper of the establishment, and for the past three years have been the acting superintendent of the works of the H. M. Slater Manufacturing Corporation.

Q. Where is that corporation located ?—A. In the north village where they manufacture, and in the east village where they finish their goods as they are brought in.

Q. Do you know what is the total number of employés in all of those mills ?-A. Yes, sir; I noticed as to that in the month of January. I then counted the pay-rolls in use. I am the bookkeeper and paymaster there. The totals were: In the north and east villages, 692; in the south village, 660 and something-some 1,300 all around.

Q. How are those divided between the sexes; about equally ?-A. About equally. We have children from about fourteen years and all ages from that up.

Q. About how many legal voters are there, in your judgment, employed in all those various departments of the business of that company ?-A. Perhaps between oue aud two hundred ; nearer one hun. dred.

Q. All legal voters -A. Yes, sir; the most of our population are Canadians, very few of whom are voters.

Q. What would you give as a general statement of the political senti. ments of the men in the employ of tbe company who voted ?-A. All the Americans or most of them are Republicans, there being some few Democrats and Butler men. Of the Irish, the majority are Democrats.

Q. Which nationality has the larger number of voting operatives, the American or the Irish ?-A. The American.

Q. About how many Irish voters are there now :-A. I should think twenty or thirty.

Q. The remainder of the voters would be Americans then ?-A. Americans, French, and Germans.

Q. In regard to the French, the few that there are, what are they generally ?-A. Some voted for the Republican party and some for the Democratic.

Q. You are the agent for the cotton company, I understand you ?A. Not strictly. We had no agent or superintendent; I was the acting man on the grounds, and as such had to act as superintendent.

Q. Did you attend the election last fall ?-1. A short time; I was there perhaps after three o'clock an hour or more.

Q. Do you know about what time the election opened ?-A. I think at half past ten or somewhere near that.

Q. Did the voters at your will generally go to the polls on that day? -A. I think they did.

Q. How was it as to any effort being made by you or any other person to influence their votes ?-A. There was not the slightest effort that I know of. The owners did not say a word or ask the question how an overseer or one of the employés was going to vote, so far as I know. No instructions were given to me, and I do not know how many of the men voted. I do know how some voted because many of the men had made up their minds before going to the polls how to vote. I do not think one man changed his mind on election day.

Q. Wbat do you say as to freedom about the mills ? Was any hesita

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tion or concern apparent among the operatives in watching to see whether their superintendent or others were pear at hand to listen or overhear them in conversing ?-A. Not the slightest.

Q. Did they talk as freely on politics as on any other subject :-A. Yes, sir.

Q. How was it as to the election being free! Was it commonly talked of among the operatives in the mill before the election ?-A. They would talk on that as freely as upon any subject. There was no objection to their talking while at work.

Q. How far are these mills of which you were acting as superintendent from the voting place ?-A. Between one and two miles.

Q. In what way did the operatives get from the mills to the voting place ?-a. From the east village these rallying teams were sent over to bring them, and also from the north village. The company had one team that was carrying down anybody who wanted to go, Democrats or Republicans, and it also brought them back. I drove several such loads down.

Q. Did you carry men of both parties ?-A. I did.
Q. And brought them back, men of both parties ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. You made no distinction ?-A. I chose to take up Republicans if I found them, but if those who said they wanted to go to the polls were Democrats, they were free to ride.

Q. And their own party looked carefully after them, did they ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you ever know of any threat being uttered to a voter in consequence of his vote?-A. Not the slightest.

Q. Did you know of a man being discharged in consequence of his rote within the last three years ?-A. No, sir; not one so far as I know of. Being the bookkeeper, I would have known of it if it had happened.

Q. As bookkeeper, do you attend to the business of the mills ?-A. No, sir; only of that of the H. M. Slater Manufacturing Company.

Q. That is, the cotton company ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you recollect a man named J. F. Bonner being discharged ?A. I remember there was such a man.

Q. What was he discharged for!-A. For general worthlessness. He was a man who was not reliable, and his foreman had a good deal to say about him.

Q. Did he make much complaint as to the manner in which Bonner did his work ?-A. Yes, sir; he could not rely upon bim. Q. Was he discharged for any particular cause whatever ?--A. I can.

Not to my knowledge. He was not on my pay-roll. Q. You never heard of politics being mixed up with his discharge at all ?-A. That was thrown out. Yes, sir; I heard it so stated by some of the men, but I never took occasion to investigate it.

Q. That was after his discharge, and it related to that ?—A. It was at the time that Bonner got through work after the town election, a year ago last spring.

Q. If it had relation to the town election you need not say any more about it. What are the particular sentiments of Mr. Slater, the principal owner, who is now in Europe ?--A. I think that in the days of Dan. iel Webster he was an Old Line Wbig, and that when the Republican party came up he had not much sympathy with the radical wing of it, and sometimes, rather than vote the regular Republican ticket, voted the Democratic ticket.


not say:

Q. Do you know how he felt in regard to voting for Mr. Tilden ?--A. I was told that he intended to vote for him.

Q. But for some reason he did not vote ?-A. Yes; he got down there a little late.

Q. Do you know, as a matter of fact, or do you understand that more or less of your operatives voted for General Butler last autumn ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you hear any of them express their intention in that respect ! -A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did they say?-A. They said they intended to vote for him, and no objection was made, so far as I know, to their voting for him.

Q. Did you ever hear any of them complain that they had been interfered with I-A. No, sir.

By the CHAIRMAN : Q. You were at the election as a distributor of tickets, were you ?--A. No, sir; I don't think I distributed any tickets. I drove the team down several times.

Q. You are a Republican -A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you drive the team to the mill, get the men from the mill and take them up ?-A. Yes, sir; and some of the old people in the neighborhood not working in the mill.

Q. Had the men tickets in their possession when tbey left the mill ?A. No, sir.

Q. Where did they get their tickets !-A. At the polls.

Q. Who had charge of the ballot-box when you brought these loads up I-A. I think Mr. Shumway. I staid outside; I didn't go in the hall.

Q. You did not give out any tickets thit day !--A. I might bare doue so; I think not; it was only for a few moments if I did.

Q. This man Bouner was discharged ?-A. Not at this election. He was discharged in the spring, I think, when he got tbrough work

Q. Were you at the polls between twelve and two ?-A. From twelve to one o'clock I was eating my dinner and the horse was in the barn. The borse was barnessed up at about one o'clock and I took a load down, four or five men.

Q. Was Mr. Lavaree at the polls !—A. Portions of the day.

Q. Was Mr. Hilton there ?-A. I think I saw him in the afternoon, not in the forenoon.

Q. Those gentlemen are Republicans like yourself?-A. Yes, sir.

BOSTON, August 19, 1879. WILLIAM W. FLETCHER recalled.

By Mr. BLAIR: Question. State whether or not there were two men named Duffy and Farrell in your employ.-Auswer. There were; they worked at the East Village Cambric Works.

Q. State anything that you know of their voting at the election of November, 1878.-A. As to Mr. Duffy, I will not say that I know any. thing definitely. Farrell was at the north village office to pay bis poll. tax, and when he was payiug I asked bim about bow be was going to vote. I stated that I should vote for Mr. Talbot and he said that he should vote for Mr. Butler. I told him that he had the full privilege to vote as he saw fit, but I hoped he would rote for Mr. Talbot. He answered that his mind was made up, that he should vote for Mr. Butler.

Q. Did he ever tell you afterwards how he did vote?-A. I learned afterwards that he did vote for Mr. Butler. I won't say that he did. He was not discharged nor was there any intimidation as to him, nor was there any toward any one employed on the works or on the premises.

Q. How about Mr. Duffy; had you any conversation with him at all? -A. I won't say that I had.

Q. Did he tell you afterwards that he voted ?-d. He told me afterwards that he voted for Mr. Butler. Q. And you learned that Farrell did also ?— A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you collect the taxes ?-A. I diil.

Q. Are you the tax-collector of the town !-A. A deputy. The tax. collector puts tax bills in the various manufacturing offices and authorizes them to collect the tax; he hands in the receipts for the men. It is the custom for the various corporations, if there is money coming to the men, to take out of their pay for the taxes.

Q. This was how long before the election, that Farrell and 'Duffy caine to you ?-A. This was perhaps two or three weeks. Firrell wished to pay bis tax, knowing that he could pay it at the north village office cheaper than he could at the assessor's. According to our rules, when paid on or about the 25th of July ten per cent. is abated, after that they pay the full tax.

Q. That is, wben they came to you and paid the tax through you, it was less 1-A. It was one dollar and eighty cents.

Q. It was charged to him through his wages ! - A. No; he bronght the money becanse he could get it cbeaper there, and he came on purpose.

Q. You were the acting superintendent at that time?-.1. Yes, sir. Q. And the collector of the taxes ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Men who were employed by the company, who had not paid their taxes, bad to come and pay them through you ?-A. No, sir; they had the privilege of paying them to the collector. That was the proper place.

Q. How was it with Farrell; did he pay them through bis wages ?A. No; he paid the cash. Duffy went and paid them to the collector himself.

Q. Then when the men came to pay their taxes you talked to them about politics !--A. I did.

Q. You advised them to vote for Talbot or not to vote ?--A. I said that I should vote for Talbot, and boped that they would. They had the privilege of doing so.

Q. You were especially careful to tell them that they had the privilege of doing so ?--A. Yes, sir; there was 110 compulsion upon a man on the premises; not a word.

By Mr. MCDONALD : Q. You said you would vote for Talbot. Did you also say that that was the interest of the company, and that it was the interest of the company to defeat Butler !-A. No, sir.

Q. Did you say it would be to the interest of the company that Butler should be defeated !-A. No, sir.

Q. Did you use any argument to persuade them to vote for Talbot ?-A. Only that I thought he was the better man.

Q. Did you say nothing about the political opinions of the two candidates ?--A. I think not.

Q. Did you say nothing about General Butler's financial opinion ?-A. I think I did.

Q. What did you say about that ?-A. That the greenback dollar that we had was not good money; that we hail got down now to about hardpan where you could receive an equivalent for a dollar's worth of goods; that calico was down to six cents per yard instead of being twenty, and everything was in proportion.

Q. What did Butler, as governor of Massachusetts, bare to do with the greenback matter !--A. As he was advocating the greenback heresy we got the impression that he was a sustainer of Greenbackism.

Q. As governor of Massachusetts, would he have anything to do with that ?-A. Not at all, but we thought that that would be very injurious to the traile and business of the country.

Q. Starting on that point, did you not tell the men that you thought that would be very injurious to the trade and business of the country ? A. I think so.

Q. Did you tell them so ?-A. I don't know that I did. I don't know that the owners have said that to the men.

Q. I am not talking about what the owners said, but about what you said when these men came to pay their taxes to quality themselves to vote. Did you not go on and say that that would be very injurious to the manufacturing interest, and that perhaps the mill would have to stop ?-A. I don't know; perhaps I did.

Q. You think not?-A. I think not. We talked for about five or ten minutes.

Q. That was your belief on the subject?-A. I certainly believed so.

Q. Would you not be very apt to express your beliet on the subs. ject :-A. I don't know but that I might have done it.

Q. You believed, then, that the success of the green back theory, or • Blitler's election as tending to make it successful, would be very disas.

trous to the business of the country, and probably compel many of the mills to stop and discharge many of the hands. Did you not believe that ?-A. No, I didn't think they would be compelled to stop, for the reason that this concern has always run through thick and thin.

Q. What concern ? But I am speaking of the effect upon that interest generally. Did you not think that it was going to depress that in: terest very much ?-A. Yes; that was my belief.

Q. Did you not impress that belief upon these men when you took the pains to talk to them when they came there to pay their taxes ?-A. Probably I did say so; I could not say that I did not.

Q. The probabilities are that you did, because the subject of politics was suficiently in your mind at the time to cause you to stop there in the receipt of those taxes, and talk to these men on politics. Would you not, having engaged in that kind of a discussion with them, be apt to use all the arguments that were in your own mind !-A. I dare say I did.

Q. Still you told them that they bad liberty to vote as they pleased ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. That they might go on, if they had a mind to, and vote to bring themselves and everybody else into this common ruin ?-A. Probably I did.

Q. And you thought they were very foolish, stubborn, and self-willed fellows for doing it ?-A. Yes, sir.

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