in his shop; the inspectors would see sperm oil
in horse fat, two whole boxes of tin plates in the two halves of one box that had been sawed in two and fitted with an extra side each, pure “Banca” or “Lamb
and flag” tin in ingots of an equal mixture of tin and lead; and the benevolent navy agent, on a “divy” of fifteen per cent., would order of his pal the other ninety per cent. at open market prices, and throw in all additional orders that fortune might put it in his way to give out!
And this was what I found in New York.
The contractors were all convicted; arrests and removals were plentiful in the Brooklyn yard
; Navy Agent Henderson
was, December, 1864, indicted eight times by the grand jury, gave bail in thirty-two thousand dollars, was tried and escaped because the government could not prove whether it was H. . Stover or his book-keeper who had paid him (Henderson) the fifteen per cent. commission in the transaction, which was the subject of the indictment we had elected to try.
We proved the general agreement, the payments in gross of fifteen per cent. on all Stovers' open purchase orders, the deposit of the money in Henderson
's bank, and its deduction each time from Stover
's. But the Secretary
had confidingly accepted Stover
as State's witness, and was cheated when the pinch came!
The other seven indictments were not tried.
One experiment with such witnesses was enough.
Things were bad enough at New York, but, if anything, worse at Philadelphia
Discovery was brought about by an honest dealer, named Barstow
, sending to the Navy Department, for examination, four cases of thirty-two ounce sheathing copper, that he had bought, in good faith, of a responsible firm, but which was of the kind rolled at the Washington Navy Yard
The copper was easily traced back to one Harris
, keeper of a sailors' boarding-house, and a man of bad repute at the time.
He was arrested by General Cadwallader
, for account of the Secretary of the Navy
, and lodged in Fort Mifflin.
A political striker named Anthony Hale
-“Tony” Hale-employed as a boss carter in the yard, was next arrested, and then one thing brought on another until, before I was through, thirty-one prisoners were in military custody.
The arrests were effected by Mr. Benjamin Franklin
, chief of detective police, whose services the Mayor
placed at my disposal.
A more untiring and faithful officer I never encountered than Mr. Franklin
Besides the man Harris
, the prisoners were the Naval Constructor
, first assistant engineer
, timber inspector, master plumber, caulker, joiner, blacksmith, laborer and painter, the clerk of the yard, his chief clerk and check clerk, three clerks of the storekeeper, the master caulker's clerk, a quarterman