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and the personal efforts of Mr. Oakes Ames, many men of capital were induced to embark in the enterprise, and to take stock in the Union Pacific Company and also in the Credit Mobilier Company. Among them were the firm of S. Hooper & Co., of Boston, the leading member of which, Mr. Samuel Hooper, was then and is now a member of the House; Mr. John B. Alley, then a member of the House from Massachusetts, and Mr. Grimes, then
cuted, it was expected by those interested that by reason of the enormous prices agreed to be paid for the work very large profits would be derived from building the road, and very soon the stock of the Credit Mobilier was understood by those holding it to be worth much more than its par value. The stock was not in the market and had no fixed market value, but the holders of it, in December, 1867, considered it worth at least double the par value,
a Senator from the State of Iowa. Not-and in January and February, 1868, three or four times the par value, but it does not appear that these facts were generally or publicly known, or that the holders of the stock desired they should be.
withstanding the vigorous efforts of Mr. Ames and others interested with him, great difficulty was experienced in securing the required capital.
In the spring of 1867 the Credit Mobilier Company voted to add 59 per cent. to their capital stock, which was then two and a half millions of dollars; and to cause it to be readily taken each subscriber to it was entitled to receive as a bonus an equal amount of first mortgage bonds of the Union Pacific Company. The old stockholders were entitled to take this increase, but even the favorable terms offered did not induce all the old stockholders to take it, and the stock of the Credit Mobilier Company was never considered worth its par value until after the execution of the Oakes Ames contract hereinafter mentioned.
The foregoing statement the committee think gives enough of the historic details, and condition and value of the stock, to make the following detailed facts intelligible.
Mr. Oakes Ames was then a member of the House of Representatives, and came to Washington at the commencement of the session, about the beginning of December, 1867. During that month Mr. Ames entered into contracts with a considerable number of members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives, to let them have shares of stock in the Credit Mobilier Company at par, with interest thereon from the first day of the previous July. It does not appear that in any instance he asked any of these persons to pay a higher price than the par value and interest, nor that Mr. Ames used any special effort or urgency to get these persons to take it. In all these negotiations Mr. Ames did not enter into any details as to the value of the stock or the amount of dividend that might be expected upon it, but stated generally that it would be good stock, and in several instances said he would guarantee that they should get at least 10 per cent. on their money.
Some of these gentlemen, in their con
On the 16th day of August, 1867, a contract was executed between the Union Pacific Railroad Company and Oakes Ames, by which Mr. Ames contracted to build six hundred and sixty-seven miles of the Union Pacific road at prices ranging from $42,000 to $96,000 per mile. amounting in the aggregate to $17,000,000. Before the contract was entered into it was understood that Mr. Ames was to transfer it to seven trustees, who were to execute it, and the profits of the contract were to be divided among the stockholders in the Credit Mobilier Company, who should comply with certain conditions set out in the instru-versations with Mr. Ames, raised the quesment transferring the contract to the trus- tion whether becoming holders of this tees. The Ames contract and the trans- stock would bring them into any embarfer to trustees are incorporated in the evi- rassment as members of Congress in their dence submitted, and therefore further re- legislative action. Mr. Ames quieted such cital of their terms is not deemed neces- suggestions by saying it could not, for the Union Pacific had received from Congress all the grants and legislation it wanted, and they should ask for nothing more. In some instances those members who contracted for stock paid to Mr. Ames the money for the price of the stock, par and interest; in others, where they had not the money, Mr. Ames agreed to carry the stock for them until they could get the money or it should be met by the dividends.
Substantially, all the stockholders of the Credit Mobilier complied with the conditions named in the transfer, and thus became entitled to share in any profits said trustees might make in executing the con
All the large stockholders in the Union Pacific were also stockholders in the Credit Mobilier, and the Ames contract and its transfer to trustees were ratified by the Union Pacific, and received the assent of the great body of stockholders, but not of all.
Mr. Ames was at this time a large stockholder in the Credit Mobiler, but he did not intend any of these transactions to be
After the Ames contract had been exe-sales of his own stock, but intended to ful
At this time there were about six hundred and fifty shares of the stock of the company, which had for some reason been placed in the name of Mr. T. C. Durant, one of the leading and active men of the
fill all these contracts from stock belong- | This purpose is clearly avowed in his leting to the company. ters to McComb, copied in the evidence. He says he intends to place the stock "where it will do most good to us." again, "we want more friends in this Congress. In his letter to McComb, and also in his statement prepared by counsel, he gives the philosophy of his action, to wit, That he has found there is no difficulty in getting men to look after their own property. The committee are also satisfed that Mr. Ames entertained a fear that, when the true relations between the Credit Mobilier Company and the Union Pacific became generally known, and the means by which the great profits expected to be made were fully understood, there was danger that congressional investigation and action would be invoked.
Mr. Ames claimed that a portion of this stock should be assigned to him to enable him to fulfill engagements he had made for stock. Mr. Durant claimed that he had made similar engagements that he should be allowed stock to fulfill. Mr. McComb, who was present at the time, claimed that he had also made engagements for stock which he should have stock given him to carry out. This claim of McComb was refused, but after the stock was assigned to Mr. Ames, McComb insisted that Ames should distribute some of the stock to his (McComb's) friends, and named Senators Bayard and Fowler, and Representatives Allison and Wilson, of
It was finally arranged that three hundred and forty-three shares of the stock of the company should be transferred to Mr. Ames to enable him to perform his engagements, and that number of shares were set over on the books of the company to Oakes Ames, trustee, to distinguish it from the stock held by him before. Mr. Ames at the time paid to the company the par of the stock and interest from the July previous, and this stock still stands on the books in the name of Oakes Ames, trustee, except thirteen shares which have been transferred to parties in no way connected with Congress. The committee do not find that Mr. Ames had any negotiation whatever with any of these members of Congress on the subject of this stock prior to the commencement of the session of December, 1867, except Mr. Scofield, of Pennsylvania, and it was not claimed that any obligation existed from Mr. Ames to him as the result of it.
In relation to the purpose and motives of Mr. Ames in contracting to let members of Congress have Credit Mobilier stock at par, which he and all other owners of it considered worth at least double that sum, the committee, upon the evidence taken by them and submitted to the House, cannot entertain doubt. When he said he did not suppose the Union Pacific Company would ask or need further legislation, he stated what he believed to be true. But he feared the interests of the road might suffer by adverse legislation, and what he desired to accomplish was to enlist strength and friends in Congress who would resist any encroachment upon or interference with the rights and privileges already secured, and to that end wished to create in them an interest identical with his own.
The members of Congress with whom he dealt were generally those who had been friendly and favorable to a Pacific Railroad, and Mr. Ames did not fear or expect to find them favorable to movements hostile to it; but he desired to stimulate their activity and watchfulness in opposition to any unfavorable action by giving them a personal interest in the success of the enterprise, especially so far as it affected the interest of the Credit Mobilier Company. On the 9th day of December, 1867, Mr. C. C. Washburn, of Wisconsin, introduced in the House a bill to regulate by law the rates of transportation over the Pacific Railroad.
Mr. Ames, as well as others interested in the Union Pacific road, was opposed to this, and desired to defeat it. Other measures apparently hostile to that company were subsequently introduced into the House by Mr. Washburn of Wisconsin, and Mr. Washburne of Illinois. The committee believe that Mr. Ames, in his distributions of stock, had specially in mind the hostile efforts of the Messrs. Washburn, and desired to gain strength to secure their defeat. The reference in one of his letters to "Washburn's move" makes this quite apparent.
The foregoing is deemed by the committee a sufficient statement of facts as to Mr. Ames, taken in connection with what will be subsequently stated of his transactions with particular persons. Mr. Ames made some contracts for stock in the Credit Mobilier with members of the Senate. In public discussions of this subject the names of members of both Houses have been so connected, and all these transactions were so nearly simultaneous, that the committee deemed it their duty to obtain all evidence in their power, as to all persons then members of either House, and to report the same to the House. Having done this, and the House having directed that evidence transmitted to the Senate, the committee consider their own power and duty, as well as that of the House, fully performed, so
MR. JAMES G. BLAINE, OF MAINE. Among those who have in the public press been charged with improper participation in Credit Mobilier stock is the present Speaker, Mr. Blaine, who moved the resolution for this investigation. The committee have, therefore, taken evidence in regard to him. They find from it that Mr. Ames had conversation with Mr. Blaine in regard to taking ten shares of the stock, and recommended it as a good investment. Upon consideration Mr. Blaine concluded not to take the stock, and never did take it, and never paid or received anything on account of it; and Mr. Blaine never had any interest, direct or indirect, in Credit Mobilier stock or stock of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.
MR. HENRY L. DAWES, OF MASSACHUSETTS. Mr. Dawes had, prior to December, 1867, made some small investments in railroad bonds through Mr. Ames. In December, 1867, Mr. Dawes applied to Mr. Ames to purchase a thousand-dollar bond of the Cedar Rapids road, in Iowa. Mr. Ames informed him that he had sold them all, but that he would let him have for his thousand dollars ten shares of Credit Mobilier stock, which he thought was better than the railroad bond. In answer to inquiries by Mr. Dawes Mr. Ames said the Credit Mobilier Company had the contract to build the Union Pacific road, and thought they would make money out of it, and that it would be a good thing; that he would guarantee that he should get 10 per cent. on his money, and that if at any time Mr. Dawes did not want the stock he would pay back his money with 10 per cent. interest. Mr. Dawes made some further inquiry in relation to the stock of Mr. John B. Alley, who said he thought it was good stock, but not as good as Mr. Ames thought, but that Mr. Ames's guarantee would make it a perfectly safe investment.
Mr. Dawes thereupon concluded to purchase the ten shares, and on the 11th of January he paid Mr. Ames $800, and in a few days thereafter the balance of the price of this stock, at par and interest from July previous. In June, 1868, Mr. Ames received a dividend of 60 per cent. in money on this stock, and of it paid to Mr. Dawes $400, and applied the balance of $200 upon accounts between them. This $400 was all that was paid over to Mr. Dawes as a dividend upon this stock. At some time prior to December, 1868, Mr. Dawes was informed that a suit had been commenced in the courts of Pennsylvania by former owners of the charter of the Credit Mobilier, claiming that those then claiming and using it had no right to do so. Mr. Dawes thereupon informed Mr. Ames that as there was a litigation about the matter he did not desire to keep the stock. On the 9th of December, 1868, Mr. Ames and Mr. Dawes had a settlement of their matters in which Mr. Dawes was allowed for the money he paid for the stock with 10 per cent. interest upon it, and accounted to Mr. Ames for the $400 he had received as a dividend. Mr. Dawes received no other benefit under the contract than to get 10 per cent. upon his money, and after the settlement had no further interest in the stock.
MR. GLENNI W. SCOFIELD, OF PENN-
In 1866 Mr. Scofield purchased some Cedar Rapids bonds of Mr. Ames, and in that year they had conversations about Mr. Scofield taking stock in the Credit Mobilier Company, but no contract was consummated. In December, 1867, Mr. Scofield applied to Mr. Ames to purchase more Cedar Rapids bonds, when Mr. Ames suggested he should purchase some Credit Mobilier stock, and explained generally that it was a contracting company to build the Union Pacific road; that it was a Pennsylvania corporation, and he would like to have some Pennsylvanians in it; that he would sell it to him at par and interest, and that he would guarantee he should get 8 per cent. if Mr. Scofield would give him half the dividends above that. Mr. Scofield said he thought he would take $1,000 of the stock; but before anything further was done Mr. Scofield was called home by sickness in his family. On his return, the latter part of January, 1868, he spoke to Mr. Ames about the stock, when Mr. Ames said he thought it was all sold, but he would take his money and give him a receipt, and get the stock for him if he could. Mr. Scofield thereupon paid Mr. Ames $1,041, and took his receipt therefor.
Not long after Mr. Ames informed Mr. Scofield he could have the stock, but could
not give him a certificate for it until he | December, 1867, Mr. Ames agreed with could get a larger certificate dividend. Mr. Kelley to sell him ten shares of Credit Mr. Scofield received the bond dividend of Mobilier stock at par and interest from 80 per cent., which was payable January 3, July 1, 1867. Mr. Kelley was not then 1868, taking a bond for $1,000 and paying prepared to pay for the stock, and Mr. Mr. Ames the difference. Mr. Ames re- Ames agreed to carry the stock for him ceived the 60 per cent. cash dividend on until he could pay for it. On the third the stock in June, 1868, and paid over to day of January, 1868, there was a dividend Mr. Scofield $600, the amount of it. of 80 per cent. on Credit Mobilier stock in Union Pacific bonds. Mr. Ames received the bonds, as the stock stood in his name, and sold them for 97 per cent. of their face. In June, 1868, there was a cash dividend of 60 per cent., which Mr. Ames also received. The proceeds of the bonds sold, and the cash dividends received by Mr. Ames, amounted to $1,376. The par value of the stock and interest thercon from the previous July amounted to $1,047 ; so that, after paying for the stock, there was a balance of dividends due Mr. Kelley of $329. On the 23d day of June, 1868, Mr. Ames gave Mr. Kelley a check for that sum on the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives, and Mr. Kelley received the money thereon.
Before the close of that session of Congress, which was toward the end of July, Mr. Scofield became, for some reason, disinclined to take the stock, and a settlement was made between them, by which Mr. Ames was to retain the Credit Mobilier stock and Mr. Scofield took a thousand dollars Union Pacific bond and ten shares of Union Pacific stock.
The committee find that Mr. Kelley then understood that the money he thus received was a balance of dividends due him after paying for the stock.
All the subsequent dividends upon the stock were either in Union Pacific stock or bonds, and they were all received by Mr. Ames. In September, 1868, Mr. Kelley received from Mr. Ames $750 in money, which was understood between
MR. JOHN A. BINGHAM, OF OHIO. In December, 1867, Mr. Ames advised Mr. Bingham to invest in the stock of the Credit Mobilier, assuring him that it would return him his money with profitable divi- | them to be an advance to be paid out of dends. Mr. Bingham agreed to take dividends. There has never been any adtwenty shares, and about the 1st of Febru-justment of the matter between them, and ary, 1868, paid to Mr. Ames the par value there is now an entire variance in the tesof the stock, for which Mr. Ames executed timony of the two men as to what the to him some receipt or agreement. Mr. transaction between them was, but the Ames received all the dividends on the committee are unanimous in finding the stock, whether in Union Pacific bonds, or facts above stated. The evidence reported stock, or money; some were delivered to to the House gives some subsequent conMr. Bingham and some retained by Mr. versations and negotiations between Mr. Ames. The matter was not finally ad- Kelley and Mr. Ames on this subject. The justed between them until February, 1872, committee do not deem it material to refer when it was settled, Mr. Ames retaining to it in their report. the twenty shares of Credit Mobilier stock, and accounting to Mr. Bingham for such dividends upon it as Mr. Bingham had not already received. Mr. Bingham was treated as the real owner of the stock from the time of the agreement to take it, inception of the check for $329. He agreed December, 1867, to the settlement in Feb- with Mr. Ames to take ten shares of Credit ruary, 1872, and had the benefit of all the Mobilier stock, but did not pay for the dividends upon it. Neither Mr. Ames nor same. Mr. Ames received the 80 per cent. Mr. Bingham had such records of their dividend in bonds and sold them for 97 dealing as to be able to give the precise per cent., and also received the 60 per cent. amount of those dividends. cash dividend, which together paid the price of the stock and interest, and left a balance of $329. This sum was paid over to Mr. Garfield by a check on the Sergeantat-Arms, and Mr. Garfield then understood this sum was the balance of dividends after paying for the stock. Mr. Ames received
MR. JAMES ▲. Garfield, oF OHIO. The facts in regard to Mr. Garfield, as found by the committee, are identical with the case of Mr. Kelley to the point of re
The precise basis of the settlement does not appear, neither Mr. Ames nor Mr. Scofield having any full date in reference to it; Mr. Scofield thinks that he only received back his money and interest upon it, while Mr. Ames states that he thinks Mr. Scofield had teu shares of Union Pacific stock in addition. The committee do not deem it specially important to settle this difference of recollection. Since that settlement Mr. Scofield has had no interest in the Credit Mobilier stock and derived no benefit therefrom.
MR. WILLIAM D. KELLEY, OF PENNSYL
The committee find from the evidence that in the early part of the second session of the Fortieth Congress, and probably in
all the subsequent dividends, and the com- | business in the extraordinary dividends mittee do not find that, since the payment they were receiving as to render the inof the $329, there has been any communi- vestment itself suspicious, and that this cation between Mr. Ames and Mr. Garfield was one of the motives of their action. on the subject until this investigation began. Some correspondence between Mr. Garfield and Mr. Ames, and some conversations between them during this investi-in gation, will be found in the reported testi
The committee have not been able to find that any of these members of Congress have been affected in their official action consequence of their interest in Credit Mobilier stock.
It has been suggested that the fact that none of this stock was transferred to those with whom Mr. Ames contracted was a
The committee do not find that Mr. Ames, in his negotiations with the persons above named, entered into any detail of circumstance from which a sense of improthe relations between the Credit Mobilier | priety, if not corruption, was to be inferCompany and the Union Pacific Company, red. The committee believe this is capable or gave them any specific information as of explanation without such inference. to the amount of dividends they would be The profits of building the road, under the likely to re cive further than has been al- Ames contract, were only to be divided ready aed. They all knew from him, or among such holders of Credit Mobilier otherwise, that the Credit Mobilier was a stock as should come in and become parcontracting company to build the Union tics to certain conditions set out in the Pacific road, but it does not appear that contract of transfer to the trustees, so that any of them knew that the profits and a transfer from Mr. Ames to new holders dividends were to be in stock and bonds of would cut off the right to dividends from that company. the trustees, unless they also became parThe Credit Mobilier Company was a ties to the agreement; and this the comState corporation, not subject to congres-mittee believe to be the true reason why sional legislation, and the fact that its profits were expected to be derived from building the Union Pacific road did not, apparently, create such an interest in that company as to disqualify the holder of Credit Mobilier stock from participating in any legislation affecting the railroad company. In his negotiations with these members of Congress, Mr. Ames made no suggestion that he desired to secure their favorable influence in Congress in favor of the railroad company, and whenever the question was raised as to whether the ownership of this stock would in any way interfere with or embarrass them in their action a members of Congress, he assured them it would not.
no transfers were made.
The committee are also of opinion that there was a satisfactory reason for delay on Mr. Ames's part to close settlements with some of these gentlemen for stock and bonds he had received as dividends upon the stock contracted to them. In the fall of 1868 Mr. McComb commenced a suit against the Credit Mobilier Company, and Mr. Ames and others, claiming to be entitled to two hundred and fifty shares of the Credit Mobilier stock upon a subscription for stock to that amount. That suit is still pending. If McComb prevailed in that suit, Mr. Ames might be compelled to surrender so much of the stock assigned to him as trustee, and he was not therefore anxious to have the stock go out of his hands until that suit was terminated. It ought also to be stated that no one of the present members of the House above named appears to have had any knowledge of the dealings of Mr. Ames with other members.
The committee, therefore, do not find, as to the members of the present House above named, that they were aware of the object of Mr. Ames, or that they had any other purpose in taking this stock than to make a profitable investment. It is apparent that those who advanced their money to pay for their stock present more the appearance of ordinary investors than those who did not, but the committee do not feeling with Mr. Ames, had any corrupt moat liberty to find any corrupt purpose or tive or purpose himself, or was aware that knowledge founded upon the fact of non- Mr. Ames had any, nor did either of them payment alone. suppose he was guilty of any impropriety or even indelicacy in becoming a purchaser of this stock. Had it appeared that these gentlemen were aware of the enormous dividends upon this stock, and how they were to be earned, we could not thus acquit them. And here as well as anywhere,
It ought also to be observed that those gentlemen who surrendered their stock to Mr. Ames before there was any public excitement upon the subject, do not profess to have done so upon any idea of impropriety in holding it, but for reasons affecting the value and security of the invest- the committee may allude to that subject. ment. But the committee believe that Congress had chartered the Union Pacific they must have felt that there was some- road, given to it a liberal grant of lands, thing so out of the ordinary course of and promised a liberal loan of Government
The committee do not find that either of the above-named gentlemen, in contract