Expose, which had been fermenting for three days, burst forth; and the gentleman who knocked out the bung, so to speak, was no other than Mr. Sawyer
, of Ohio
, Mr. Sausage Sawyer
of the Tribune.
was “down” in the Expose for an excess of $281 60, and he rose to a “question of privilege.”
A long and angry debate ensued, first upon the question whether the Expose could be debated at all; and secondly, if it could, what should be done about it. It was decided, after much struggle and turmoil, that it was a proper subject of discussion, and Mr. Turner
, of Illinois
, whose excess
amounted to the interesting sum of $998 40, moved a series of resolutions, of which the following was the most important:
Resolved, That a publication made in the New York Tribune on the day of December, 1848, in which the mileage of members is set forth and commented on, be referred to a Committee, with instructions to inquire into and report whether said publication does not amount, in substance, to an allegation of fraud against most of the members of this House in this matter of their mileage; and if, in the judgment of the Committee, it does amount to an allegation of fraud, then to inquire into it, and report whether that allegation is true or false.
The speech by which Mr. Turner
introduced his resolutions was not conceived in the most amiable spirit, nor delivered with that lofty composure which, it is supposed, should characterize the elocution of a legislator.
These sentences from it will suffice for a specimen:
He now wished to call the attention of the House particularly to these charges made by the editor of the New York Tribune, most, if not all, of which charges he intended to show were absolutely false; and that the individual who made them had either been actuated by the low, groveling, base, and malignant desire to represent the Congress of the nation in a false and unenviable light before the country and the world, or that he had been actuated by motives still more base—by the desire of acquiring an ephemeral notoriety, by blazoning forth to the world what the writer attempted to show was fraud.
The whole article abounded in gross errors and wilfully false statements, and was evidently prompted by motives as base, unprincipled and corrupt as ever actuated an individual in wielding his pen for the public press.
Perhaps the gentleman (he begged pardon), or rather the individual, perhaps the thing, that penned that article was not aware that his (Mr. T.'s) portion of the country was not cut up by railroads and traveled by stage-coaches