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has gone into the papers, and that is quite enough. The witness has a perfect right to make his statement here, but he should not read it just as a minister reads his sermon. He is a witness here and should testify and answer questions, and is not supposed to come here and read statements to the committee.
Mr. CURTIS. - Now. Mr. Chairman, there is no need of anybody getting excited or angry. It does not do any good. When I first came here I made a statement as to the proper way to proceed, taking the ground that the charges should be presented in writing, the same as in any other investigation ever held in City Hall. If that had been done we should have known what we had to meet and the case would have been tried and finished long ago. Those were the remarks I made, that my brother Brandeis has quoted back at me, and I did suppose that Mrs. Lincoln was going to present charges in writing. Consequently I made no objection when the lady appeared here and started as follows: Gentlemen, you have summoned me to appear before you as a witness, and I am told I am at liberty to put my testimony in writing." She called it "testimony." Those are her own words. Now, all we ask is to have the same rights that were accorded the prosecution. Her statement, prepared in writing and which she herself called "testimony," appeared in the "Evening Transcript" of the day she read it, before it was read here. I don't blame her for that and offer no objection to that, but I say that those charges were so minute and varied that the only way to do is to meet it as she gave it. There is a ruling which I can turn to where Chairman Hallstram stated that the defence would have the same rights accorded to it as the prosecution. Now, I have no reason to think that we will not have those rights. It is a matter of little importance to us whether Dr. Cogswell reads that or whether we read the whole thing in form of a question. There is no need of getting angry or shouting or talking to the galleries. Let us talk sense.
Mr. BRANDEIS. To show, Mr. Curtis, that you did not consider that testimony, but charges, read your own statement on page 18.
Mr. PROCTOR. You have considered it testimony and have called it such.
Mr. CURTIS. The lady appeared here and we were talking about an entirely different question. We were talking about trying this case on charges at that time, and when this lady started she said, "You have summoned me to appear before you as a witness, and I am told that I am at liberty to put my testimony in writing." Now, gentlemen, remember that she called it testimony herself. She read that statement in writing, and we cross-examined here afterwards, and I will say now to my Brother Brandeis that even Dr. Cogswell has made his statement I have no doubt the same privilege will be accorded to him in that respect that was accorded to us. He can cross-examine the witness. We will treat Brother Brandeis just as fairly as we have been treated, and we expect the same treatment that he has had. That is all we ask.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Now, Mr. Curtis, will you read what you said in regard to that on page 18, after it was over?
Mr. CURTIS. I would also like to say this in passing, that after Mrs. Lincoln had made this statement in writing Mr. Brandeis proceeded and opened the case.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Yes, because I considered them specifications and charges.
Mr. CURTIS Well, I never knew why you did it and never have been able to find out until now. Now, let us follow out that same analogy. After she had read her statement and we had cross-examined her, he then opened the case. I never heard of it being done before in that way, and I have opened some cases. But assuming that he claims that she filed her charges here and now Dr. Cogswell files an
answer to the charges. Mr. Brandeis has made his opening statement and Mr. Reed has made his, and I suppose we are on an equal footing. I suppose that this is no time for arguing. I assume that the committee will treat us fairly and I am not going to say anything more.
Ald. LOMASNEY. The counsel seems to think that the whole thing hinges on Mrs. Lincoln. Now, McCaffrey was on the stand a great deal longer than Mrs. Lincoln, and he had nothing written down.
Mr. PROCTOR. He couldn't put his in writing.
Ald. LOMASNEY. I don't know what anybody could do, but certainly the only person who did put anything in writing was Mrs. Lincoln, and I remember distinctly that certain people started to read documents, and it was objected to on the ground that an original document was required. Several people started to read in the course of evidence and it was distinctly objected to on the ground that that was not the proper way to do it. Now, I see no reason why it should be allowed now.
Mr. PROCTOR. - This is an original document.
Mr. CURTIS. — I find that in commencing a statement I did call it
testimony; that I have referred to it in both ways here.
You were not quite
Mr. CURTIS. I beg pardon, if you please. I am willing to argue against both of the gentlemen, of course. I think I able to. I find that on page 18 I did use the word "charges," and later on, farther down on the same page, I stated as follows: If other witnesses are to take the stand I might just as well cross-examine every witness to-day as to lay the question of Mrs. Lincoln's testimony over to the following day." So I used the word "charges," and I used the word "testimony." She, herself, called it testimony. As I have said it is the fact, and I don't think the lady or anybody else will contradict it, that she did read her testimony. There was no objection to it on our part; we raised none, and it appeared that night in the Transcript." Nobody will deny that. I have it at the office in a scrap book; and I don't think Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln will object to Dr. Cogswell having the same opportunity.
Mr. LINCOLN. - I should, most decidedly.
Mr. CURTIS Very well, Mr. Lincoln does object. Now, the charges cover a long period of time and go into minute details, and what the committee are after is an answer to them. It seems only fair and just that we should have the same rights that have been accorded to the other side. They certainly can have no fear. They can have this and can cross-examine Dr. Cogswell upon it, the same as I have Mrs. Lincoln. They can get it from the stenographer and can cross-examine the doctor upon it, or I will give them a copy in typewriting.
Mr. RILEY.-Mr. Chairman
Ald. LEE. — Is there any time limit on this?
Mr. RILEY. I will not be long. If Mr. Curtis' memory is so bad now when he is young I wonder what it will be by and by, when he grows older?
Mr. RILEY. Now, this is what he said, and it is in cold print.
What page, please, Mr. Riley ?
Yes, I have just referred to that
Mr. RILEY.- Listen: "I understood that the witness at that time was not testifying, but that she did read charges that she proposed to make against the management of the institutions at Long Island, which charges were to be the basis of the hearing on Long Island.” There is Mr. Curtis' positive assertion that he understood she was not giving testimony, but reading charges. Now, then, in regard to the attempt to foist upon this committee a written statement, undoubtly the joint
production of the witness and the counsel who appear upon the other side, a thing they have brooded over for about eight months, it would be absurd to allow anything of the kind. Incidentally there came into this investigation one statement of Dr. Cogswell's, made in reply to the visitors, and I think you will agree with me that a more impudent and more insolent statement has rarely been put in cold type in the English language by any paid official of this or any other city. What is the purpose of bringing anybody upon the stand to testify under oath and to hand to him a statement which the witness and his counsel and others have prepared? Is that the purpose of putting a witness on the stand or is it to answer questions that are propounded to him? Any man fit to be outside an insane asylum knows that the purpose of putting the witness upon the stand is to have him listen to questions and then answer them by word of mouth, unless he is a dummy.
Ald. LEE.- What is the ruling of the Chair?
Mr. CURTIS.— I would like to read one thing more and I am done.
Mr. RILEY. There seems to be nothing on your side but reading. Mr. CURTIS. — That doesn't bother me at all. I am going to read the chairman's ruling, but I desire to preface that by remarking that there is no evidence that the counsel have prepared that statement and Dr. Cogswell will be on the stand under oath and I will or Mr. Reed will ask him the question whether or not he prepared it. It is no use for me to deny preparing it, because I am not under oath. Now, what the chairman said, I suppose, is authority, and the chairman's ruling was as follows: " I don't see why you (that is, myself) should ask this committee to delay the hearing of any other witnesses simply on account of this one witness (referring to Mrs. Lincoln). I take the ground that the witness who has just testified " so he he calls it "has testified quite at length, and it would take, perhaps, some little study to find out upon what points you would wish to cross-examine her; but I don't see why you should delay, or ask the committee to delay, the calling of any other witness." The Chair called it "testifying. I don't know what it was. Mr. PROCTOR This statement of Dr. Cogswell's, it is perfectly plain, must be either true or false. If it is true this committee wants it; if it is false you cannot get my brother Riley or my brother Brandeis to admit or acknowledge that they could not detect him in it. Therefore there can be no possible prejudice to anybody by his reading the statement, and that seems to be so obvious a fact that he ought to be allowed to do it.
Mr. RILEY. Oh, no.
Ald. LEE. — I move that we adjourn, Mr. Chairman.
(The hearing was adjourned at 10.12 o'clock P.M. to Tuesday, November 27, at 4 o'clock P.M.)
TUESDAY, November 27, 1894.
The hearings were resumed in the Aldermanic Chamber, Alderman HALLSTRAM presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order.
(At the request of Mr. Reed, Dr. Charles H. Cogswell took the stand.)
Mr. REED Are you ready to make your statement, doctor? Dr. COGSWell. -I am.
What is that?
I asked the doctor to proceed with his statement.
That is what I thought you would say.
I will when I am told by the chairman to do (Commencing to read ;)
Mr. RILEY. Oh, no, no; you are not going to read that.
The CHAIRMAN. read, doctor?
Dr. COGSWEll. It is a statement of facts and figures that I have put together to get as near as I can to throwing a little light on the "dark spot down there." It is composed of statistics and facts and some few statements that I wish to make to the committee in my own behalf, and against some things that have been said about me in relation to the institution, and some facts in regard to the institution itself. I thought it would be the shortest way to get in the same amount of testimony, and that it would take less time to present it in this form; and I understood at the beginning that I was to be allowed to do so. That was the understanding with which the first testimony was put in here. It was written, and I understood the chairman to say that I should be allowed to do the same thing.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this statement which you have prepared in answer to certain other statements which have been made during the course of this investigation?
- Yes, sir, it is.
And this statement contains nothing outside of that line of inquiry?
Dr. COGSWell. No, sir, it does not.
It deals directly with the things that have been said here, and that is all.
What is this statement that you are about to
Mr. RILEY. The best way is by sworn oral testimony. That is the way we are dealing with things in this investigation. The CHAIRMAN. The Chair understands that if he reads a statement he includes it as a part of his sworn testimony.
Oh, yes; there is no question about that.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Riley, the Chair thinks that this matter has been argued on both sides at the last meeting, and that it remains for the committee now to say whether Dr. Cogswell shall be permitted to read the statement or not.
Mr. RILEY. - I suppose the last meeting was terminated somewhat abruptly, and I presume that the committee do not want to proceed, of course, in darkness. We propose that the defence shall be conducted just as our side has been conducted - by calling witnesses and putting questions to them orally and receiving answers orally. Now, if you noticed one of Saturday's newspapers, the Herald," it undoubtedly calls to your mind very vividly the tactics the defence is pursuing. They put a witness on the stand, then Dr. McCollom, and they asked him to read a written statement prepared some two or three years ago. I said to you then, in objection, that you ought not to allow it. In the first place, written statements do not constitute testimony. If this case is to be tried upon statements, you don't want any witnesses at all here. All anybody has to do who is interested or thinks he is in the investigation, is to write out, or get some lawyer to write out, a statement, and send it to you, and then, when you get all the statements together you can retire to your room and read them and make up your report. That is not the way this investigation has gone on. You remember some months ago one of our witnesses attempted to read a statement, and upon an objection from the other side you prevented him from doing so, and so he went on and gave his testimony orally. Now, in reference to Dr. McCollom's statement, I said then in objecting that it was a statement wholly unauthorized by the Commissioners, although he thought he had been sent down to the island by them. I said then and they are here now and can easily contradict me if I am wrong that when he made - why not call things by their right names? — when be made that whitewashing report, it so incensed the Commissioners that two of them voted not to receive it, and so it was rejected. That statement was then pigeon-holed by the doctor or somebody, and was produced here the other night. After pointing out to you the absurdity of receiving it in evidence, I took occasion to say that I knew the purpose for which they presented it; that it was for the purpose of getting it into the newspapers, even if they had to pay so much a line for it and my prediction was verified on Saturday morning, for there you have it in black and white. (Laying a copy of last Saturday's Herald" on the chairman's desk.) Now, the lawyers on the other side, three of
Well, go ahead, then.