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Q. Then you think it is a mistake when Mr. McArthur states here that of anybody connected with the Democratic party other than the one who applied for it had come there and asked for it, he would have got it ?-A. That might have been.
Q. Mr. McArthur swears that if anybody else had applied for it, he would have got it; if that is the fact, then you have been mistaken in your judgment !-A. That might be.
Q. And the opinion of the rest of the Democratic party there might be correct, that by going to ask for it they would get it ?-A. Yes, sir ; I know that at the time the committee was appointed they said it would be a good point if he did not give them the use of the ball.
Q. But they wanted the hall 1-A. Certainly.
Q. Would that be your temper as a man, to refuse the use of a ball to others because they were of a political party other than that to which you belonged ? Would not that look to you to be a little narrow ?- A. Yes, it would be parrow; but they do it right along all the same.
Q. This corporation does it ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you ever know any other corporation to do it ?-A. I don't know of any.
Q. This corporation is Republican in its control and management A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were there no tickets in the mill on election day that you know of ?-A. Not in my department. .
Q. Of what nativity are the operatives there !-A. Irish and French.
Q. None of the Frenchmed bad tickets before election day !-A. None that i know of.
Q. There was a French speaker there ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you live in a tenement bonse or bave you your own property ?A. I live in a tenement house.
Q. How many tenement houses are vacant to-day ?-A. I could not say.
Q. There are some ?-A. I could not say.
Q. Do you know whether they were full last October, all of them ?A. I think they were.
By Mr. McDONALD: Q. You say that at this meeting at which it was proposed to request tbe use of this hall, you opposed it because the hall was a private oue. It belongs to a corporation ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. It does not belong to Mr. McArthur nor to Mr. Cbase nor to Mr. Knox, but the property belongs to the corporation. Did you regard that as a Republican corporation ?- 1. I did at the time. Q. It was a Republican corporation ?-A. I supposed so.
Q. And being a Republican corporation, you did not suppose it would let the Democrats have a hall to speak in ?-A. I did not.
By Mr. PLATT: Q. Something has been said about the speaking in a barn. Is there a room fitted up there for meetings ?-A. There is a hall connected with the barn.
Q. And the barn is connected with a hotel or a private dwelling ?A. With a private dwelling.
Q. Do they entertain travelers there ?-A. They .do.
Q. Do you think that a Republican would be likely to get the use of that hall for a meeting ?-A. I don't think he would.
By Mr. BLAIR: Q. How large is that hall ?-A. I should think that 150 could be accommodated in it.
Q. Is it the hall that has been used by the Democracy for holding tbeir meetings ?-A. Yes, sir.
JOSIAH LASELLE sworn and examined.
By Mr. PLATT: Question. Where do you reside ?-Answer. In the town of Northbridge, Whitinsville.
Q. At the election of 1878, did you hold any official position in the town 1-A. The position of the selectman.
Q. Were you chairmail of the board of selectmen ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Give the politics of the members of the board.--A. Three were Re. publicans, two were Deinocrats so called.
Q. When you speak of a Democrat, do you mean an Abbott man or a Butler man !--A. I could not define it. They are recognized as having belonged to the Democratic party.
Q. Do you know William Gagin !--A. I do.
Q. Do you remember when he offered to vote at the election of 1878 ? --A. Yes, sir.
Q. State whether bis vote was challenged.--A. It was.
Q. What was done by the selectmen in reference to that challenge ?-A. The selectmen, upon consultation, agreed that we should make a test of the party challenged, on the ground of inability to write, by requiring him to write his name.
Q. The law requires it, does it not, in a case of challenge?--A. We so understand. We regard it as being one of the things for which a party is liable to be challenged.
Q. What was done upon that challenge being made !-A. The challenge having been made, we requested Mr. Gayin to write his name. Mr. Gagin was standing right in front of the desk which we usually bave at our town meetings. Pen and ink were placed upon the tablet, and he took the pen in hand and proceeded to make sundry characters.
Q. Did he write his name legibly ?-A. After baring so written, the paper was passed under the inspection of each of the five selectmen. It was then asked if that was, in their opinion, conforming to the writing qualification, and each one of the selectien said “ No." The ballot was thereupon rejected.
Q. It was the unanimous opinion of the selectmen ?-A. Yes, sir; the unanimous opinion.
Q. Was what he attempted to write legible ?--A. I could not make out the name of William Gagin by any possible construction.
Q. Look at the name written by the witness, William Gagin, in the presence of the committee. How did that which you then saw compare with the specimen now shown you ?-A. (Looking at the name written by tbe witness, Gagir in the presence of the committee.) This is very plain-“ William G: gin." I saw a specimen like this before. He was duly registered at our spring meeting of the present year. He then appeared before the board of selectmen and there wrote his name and residence and was duly registered.
Q. What did he say at that time ?-A. At that time he came into the rooi where we were assembled, aud, as he had been in my employ years ago, I asked bim, " William, do you come to be registered?" "Yes," he replied; “I am all right now."
Q. He then wrote legibly ?-A. Yes; he sat down and wrote his name, I should think, very much like this; yes, it is the same.
Q. Had he deposited his ballot in the box at the time he was chal. lenged ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Had his name been checked -A. Mr. Whitin, one of the selectmen, says it was not.
Q. Is that gentleman here 1-A. He is.
Q. His rote had not actually been put in the box, and was not taken out after the challenge ?-A. No, sir; I think that the fact is this: that Mr. Gagin, with his usual impetuosity, moved along by the box with his hand and that I stopped him, and said, "Your vote has been challenged."
Q. What is your age?-A. I am fifty-four years old.
Q. What is your business !--A. My business has been for tbe last eighteen years with the Holyoke machine shop, and the last fifteen years with the Whitin machine works.
Q. Who are the other selectmen ?-A. Mr. Wm. H. Whitin is one.
Q. Wbat is his business ?-A. He is the manager of the Whitinsville cotton mills.
Q. Who else 1-A. George M. Blanchard; he has a quarry, and works in stone. Samuel Fowler, jr., also a quarryman and farmer; and George H. Bennett, a farmer.
Q. Are they gentlemen of respectability ?-A. They are so considered.
Q. Were there other challenges that day?-A. There were.
Q. By both parties ?-A. Yes, sir; the first challenge of the day was antecedent to that of Mr. Gagin's. That was the challenge of what was supposed or said—I don't know anytbing about it—to be a Republican vote by Mr. Dean, a leading Democrat of the towo.
Q. Did you not, as far as you were concerned, act in good faith upon the ground that Gagin could not write his name?-A. That was the sole ground.
Q. So far as the others were concerned, do you think that they acted in good faith ?-A. I have no doubt of it.
Q. Do you know whether or not, after tbat time, he practiced at writing his name ?-A. I do not. Within a short time after the challenge, two or three days, perbaps, I met him in passing, and said, " William, it's a shame you should not be able to write your name and qualify your self, a man like you ; and if I were you, before next spring election I should practice writing my name so that I should not be disfranchised for any such reason."
Q. What did be say in reply to that!-A. He said, “I guess I will," or at least he made an assent to it; I think that that was his language, and at the next spring election he wrote legibly enough. He wrote about the same as he writes here.
Q. He states in his affidavit that the vote of the selectmen was two in the affirmative and three in the negative. Was that so ?-A. No, sir; it was unanimous iu reference to every vote taken upon a challenge that day.
Q. You made no such declaration as that !-A. No, sir.
By Mr. MoDONALD : Q. How did his name get upon the registry ?-A. I do not know. I was not a member of the selectmen at that time.
Q. In registering, is it not required that a man shall write his name on the registry ?-A. It was not, I think, prior to 1877. One of the selectmen for the previous year informed me in conversation that they had not insisted upon the writing of the names when making up their registration.
Q. Do you not understand, when you get a copy of the registry, that that is prima facie evidence that the persons whose names are upon it can write their names and read the constitution of the State!-A. It was prima facie evidence of the facts except as to the matter of reading and writing.
Q. Why is it not prima facie evidence of one fact, if it is of another?A. For the reason that at the time the registry was made out, as I have understood from the chairman of the board, it was not since then, a law has been passed requiring the party applying for registration to write bis name.
Q. Did not the constitution as well as the law require that every qualified voter should be able to write his name and read the constitution of the State ?-A. Yes, sir ; but it had not been insisted upon in the registering of voters that they should write and read, and it was not actually made a test.
Q. Was not the registry understood to be a registry of qualified voters ?-A. I presume so, but not as touching the point of a reading and writing capacity
Q. You understood the appearance of the vame of a person on the registry as evidence that he was twenty one years of age ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Why did it furnish evidence of that any more than of any other of the qualifications required by the constitution ?-&. For the reason that the matter of making out a registry is of recent origin.
Q. The purpose of the registry is to register qualitied voters, is it not !-A. I suppose so.
Q. The absence of a voter's name from the registry might not be conclusive evidence that he was not entitled to vote ?- A. No, sir.
Q. But the ap;earance of his name upon the registry would be prima facie evidence of bis qualification to vote, would it not ?--A. Yes, sir. So that if Gagin bad not been challenged, the vote would bave been received.
Q. Did any man, in challenging Gagin, state that he knew that Gagin could not read or write ?-A. He challenged him for his inability to read and write.
Q. Did the cballenger say he could swear positively to that?-A. I could not say positively whether he stated that he could or not.
Q. There was no evidence before the selectmen that Gagin could not read nor write ?--A. No; I remember no evidence of that.
Q. Had you any evidence before you that Gagin could not read nor write other than the effort that he made there ?-A. To that extent, I say, no, sir.
Q. With the pen that you furnished him and with the ink that you had there, he wrote or made marks upon a piece of paper ?-A. He made the attempt to write bis naine, I suppose.
Q. Do you say that you could not form any letters out of what he had put there ?—A. I say that, knowing bis naine, " William Gagin,” I could not decipber any reasonable representation of that name by the cbaracters which he had made.
Q. He said that that was bis name which he had written there!-A. I don't know that he said that.
Q. You told him to write bis name?-A. We told him to write bis name.
Q. Aud be was eagaged in that effort, as you understand !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ever see Horace Greeley's signature -A. I believe I bare.
Q. Could you make anything out of that ?-A. If I had seen Horace Greeley write it, I should have discerned curves and lines sufficient, should have discerned some formality.
Q. If you did not see him write it, do you think that you could make "Horace Greeley” out of it ?-A. I think there are lots of men who could make - Horace Greeley” out of it.
Q. I ask you if you think that you could ?-A. No more than I could make out the 6- William Gagiu,” but here I knew the writer to be William Gagin and attempting to write William Gagin's name.
Q. You say that in the spring he came in and wrote quite legibly ? A. Yes, sir; I think it was quite legible.
Q. You do not know but that he wrote his name at the time it was put upon the registry ?-A. I do not. But it was not obligatory.
Q. Was it not usual to do that?-A. It was not, according to the best of my information.
Q. Did not the persons who registered more usually write their names tban not write them ?-A. I don't think so, for the reason that the course pursued in our town had been this : Little slips of paper were sent to different parties asking them to return them with their names and residences. In some cases these were written by the parties themselves and in some cases by others, as I am informed by the chairman of the board in a previous year; there being then no imperative obligation by law that the parties should do the writing, as there was in 1878.
Q. But the constitution inade it the duty of a man to write his name in order to vote ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You are quite certain that the ballot was not put in the box before this question was raised !-A. I am.
Q. And quite certain that there was no division in the board ?-A. There was no division in the board.
Q. You did not ask him to read, but stopped at this first qualification ?-A. We did not ask bim to read, because we didn't wish to consume the time; that was suflicieut.
Q. After you had asked him to write his name and looked at what he bad put ou the paper, you did not ask him to read !-1. No, sir ; I would say in that connection, that the paper was taken by the board and was in their bands while they were considering it, and that meanwhile Mr. Gagin retired, went off to a remote part of the ball. If the board had decided that that was good writing, we would then have asked the question whether be could read, and I would have put him to the test.
Q. You had a copy of the constitution there on election day?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You were not in bere the other day when he read for the edification of the crowd !-A. No, sir; be read for us in the spring following very well; that is, as well as we could expect of him. He said the ten commandments for us also.
Q. You did not ask hin for the ten commandments on the day of election ?- A. No, sir; he was uncommonly confident of his ability.