No. 1: February 3, 6, and...
 No. 2: February 13, 1912
 No. 3: February 14, 1912
 No. 4: February 15, 1912
 No. 5: February 16, 1912
 No. 6: February 19, 1912
 No. 7: February 20, 1912
 No. 8: February 21, 1912
 No. 9: February 26, 1912
 No. 10: February 27, 1912
 No. 11: February 28, 1912
 No. 12: February 29, 1912
 No. 13: March 1, 1912
 No. 14: March 2, 1912
 No. 15: March 4, 1912
 No. 16: March 6, 1912
 No. 17: March 7, 1912
 No. 18: March 8, 1912

Title: Everglades of Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075640/00001
 Material Information
Title: Everglades of Florida no. 1-42 hearings before the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture, February 3-Aug. 6, 1912
Physical Description: 3 v. (1753, 208 p.) : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Congress. -- House. -- Committee on Expenditures in the Dept. of Agriculture
Moss, Ralph W
Publisher: Govt. Print. Off.,
Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: 1912
Copyright Date: 1912
Subject: Drainage -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Reclamation of land -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Everglades (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Ralph W. Moss, chairman.
General Note: Each no. has special t.p.
General Note: Vol. 3 published 1911.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075640
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 13732338

Table of Contents
        Index 1
        Index 2
    No. 1: February 3, 6, and 10, 1912
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    No. 2: February 13, 1912
        Page 46a
        Page 46b
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
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        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    No. 3: February 14, 1912
        Page 68a
        Page 68b
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
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        Page 109
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        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    No. 4: February 15, 1912
        Page 118a
        Page 118b
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
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        Page 123
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        Page 163
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        Page 165
        Page 166
    No. 5: February 16, 1912
        Page 166a
        Page 166b
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
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        Page 221
        Page 222
    No. 6: February 19, 1912
        Page 222a
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
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    No. 7: February 20, 1912
        Page 254
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        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
    No. 8: February 21, 1912
        Page 302a
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
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        Page 331
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        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
    No. 9: February 26, 1912
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
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    No. 10: February 27, 1912
        Page 396
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    No. 11: February 28, 1912
        Page 432
        Page 433
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    No. 12: February 29, 1912
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    No. 13: March 1, 1912
        Page 602
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    No. 14: March 2, 1912
        Page 643a
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    No. 15: March 4, 1912
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    No. 16: March 6, 1912
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    No. 17: March 7, 1912
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    No. 18: March 8, 1912
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Full Text

The following list is the numbers of
the pages on which the name of John T.Stewar
occurs in this volume.

Page 48


No. 1




FEBRUARY 3, 6, AND 10, 1912



Saturday, February 3, 1912.
The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Ralph W. Moss (chair-
man) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen of the committee, this meeting has
been called, as you know, to give Mr. Clark, of Florida, and Mr. Bath-
rick, of Ohio, an opportunity to appear before the committee and
make such statements as they care to make regarding the Everglades
of Florida and such requests as they desire to present to this com-
mittee in regard to any action which this committee might take in
reference thereto. I take it for granted the committee will be pleased
to hear from Mr. Bathrick. If there is no objection, the committee
will hear what statement you have to make, Mr. Bathrick.
Mr. BATHRICK. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this investigation, as
I understand it, is not to learn all about Florida, but to learn why cer-
tain alleged information secured by the Department of Agriculture
for the purpose of giving facts to people who had requested them from
that department was suppressed, or whether it was really suppressed
or not. In attempting to give the reasons and point the way for this
investigation this morning, and not having any of the data, I will not
attempt to give dates or specific facts, but rather to outline, as I have
said, the reasons for the investigation.
It appears that after certain projects for the draining of the Ever-
glades in Florida were under way that land had been sold by the
State to private individuals, whose purpose was to sell this land to
large or small holders or buyers, with a view to making homes and
farms for them. This resulted in numerous inquiries being sent to
the Department of Agriculture, presumably to Secretary Wilson.
On account of these inquiries, as I understand it, a field force of engi-
neers was sent to Florida to make a scientific investigation into the
question of the feasibility of the drainage of the Everglades. That
field force went to Florida and investigated, after considerable
expense to the Government. The engineer in charge of the force
was Mr. J. O. Wright. He made his reports to the department, and
in the meantime these inquiries from prospective buyers of this land
were coming into the department, and the department made an
excerpt of Mr. -righl;t-' ort, printing it as a circular or bulletin,
e and sent it as a reply -oThStnmiquies. iTo~"Th wo were


selling the land were dissatisfied with this circular, stating it was
unfavorable to their project, and some of these people came to Wash-
ington and interviewed Mr. Elliott, who, I think, was in charge of
the engineering department at that time, and requested him to sup-
press the circular, stating that it was injuring their business. Mr.
Elliott refused to do it. Then they went to Secretary Wilson.
Mr. FLOYD. Was Mr. Elliott the man who made the survey?
Mr. BATHRICK. No; he was in charge of the engineering force of the
Agricultural Department.
The CHAIRMAN. It'was Mr. Elliott who sent Mr. Wright to Florida,
was it not ?
Mr. BATHRICK. Yes, sir. Then the people who were interested in
the Everglades sales, as I understand the allegations, went to Mr. Wil-
son, the Secretary of Agriculture, and saw him; and afterwards this
circular was suppressed.
Mr. MAYs. Had that circular been sent out ?
Mr. BATHRICK. I understand two or three hundred had been sent
out in reply to inquiries. There are other collateral matters that
would be of interest in connection with the investigation; but I think
it will be sufficient to say that the purpose of this investigation is to
learn why this circular was suppressed, and for whose benefit; whether
it was suppressed for the benefit of the people who were selling the
land, or whether it was really unfair to any of these people.
Mr. FLOYD. Now, if I understand you, the complaint is, that after
they had made the survey and gotten out this circular-the complaint
against the department is that they suppressed the circular ?
Mr. FLOYD. The circular that they had voluntarily issued in the
first instance, based upon this report of one of their men who had
investigated the whole situation ?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bathrick,/Mr. Frank Clark of Florida, repre-
sents the district in which a port ese verglade lands are
located ?
Mr. BATHRICK. A very large portion, I understand.
The CHAIRMAN. In appearing here you appear with his consent, as
I understand it ?
Mr. DOUGHTON. And you are making this request jointly with
Mr. Clark?
I Mr. MAYs. I do not think that is exactly a fair question. I think
any information of this kind, such as Mr. Bathrick has, when it is
brought before us by reliable men, we ought to take some notice of it
and see why those things went out.
Mr. BATHRICK. I prefer to let Mr. Clark speak for himself.
Mr. DOUGHTON. Mr. Bathrick, if I understood you correctly, you
said this survey was made by the Corps of Engineers as a result of
inquiries that had come to the department here concerning the Ever-
glade lands there ?
Mr. BATHRICK. That is the way I understand it.
Mr. DOUGHTON. That is the way it started?
Mr. BATHRICK. Yes, sir.
Mr. DOUGHTON. After it was made then the information was sup-
pressed and not sent out ?


Mr. BATHRICK. That is the way I understand it.
Mr. DOUGHTON. Only a very limited number of them?
Mr. BATHRICK. There will he brought into this investigation, if it
is pursued closely, a controversy in regard to the question as to
whether this report that was sent out and suppressed was actually
J. O. Wright's report, or whether it had been revised by the depart-
ment on other information than that furnished by Wright.
Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Bathrick, I had a number of engagements, and
could not be here just at 10 o'clock, and I would like to ask if it
appears that this report contains information which the Department
of Agriculture believes would tend to mislead the country as to the
opportunities for settlers in the Everglades, and if it contains state-
ments which, upon a careful review, are found not to be of such a
character as that the best interests of the country would be served
by their publication, would you then desire an investigation ?
Mr. BATHRICK. I certainly want an investigation of the whole
. Mr. FLOYD. Before you came in, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Bathrick stated
that he wanted an investigation to see why this circular was suppressed
or to see whether it was suppressed.
Mr. HIGGINS. Can you not get that information from the Secretary
of Agriculture ?
Mr. BATHRICK. I have not received it.
Mr. HIGGINS. Have you tried to get it ?
Mr. BATHRICK. The whole question has been so befogged that it
will require an investigation into the merits of one report or the other,
to settle that matter.
Mr. HIGGINs. Have you been to the Secretary of Agriculture?
SMr. BATHRICK. No, I have not; but that proves nothing. Others
have been. You will be entirely satisfied on that score before this is
over with.
Mr. FLOYD. If I understand it, this is merely a preliminary state-
Mr. BATHRICK. That is all. I did not care to go into any detail.
I was trying to outline the matter and show what the purpose of this
investigation was.
Mr. HIGGINS. If you should find, Mr. Bathrick, and become satisfied
that the reason why the report is withheld is because it contains state-
ments and information of a character that would tend to mislead
persons who are seeking settlement in Florida, you then would not
care to pursue the investigation ?
Mr. BATHRICK. Let me understand you.
Mr. HIGGINs. I would be grateful if you would answer my questions
without examining me.
Mr. BATHRICK. I have got to understand the question. You say if
it should be shown that the information sent out was misleading. It
can be misleading in two ways. The information might be objection-
Mr. HIGGINs. I do not want to argue the question, but I would like
to get your point of view.
Mr. BATHRICK. Under the circumstances, my point of view is to
go right on with the investigation.
Mr. HIGGINS. The committee is responsible for that, I suppose.


Mr. BATHRICK. Certainly.
Mr. SLOAN. You speak of this investigation; has there been an
investigation, or has there been one proposed ?
Mr. BATHRICK. I am simply trying to give the committee an out-
line of the reasons for the investigation.
Mr. SLOAN. But your testimony relates to an investigation, as if
there had been one instituted.
Mr. BATHRICK. I do not mean that.
Mr. MAYS. Your statement, then, is that after the department
here had taken the matter up, after information had been sought by
the general public, the department sent its engineers down to Florida
to make this investigation in order to give the people enlightenment,
and you want to know whether they had a right to do it and if this
report was suppressed; and if so, why?
Mr. BATHRICK. I want to know why the Department of Agricul-
ture of the United States-after the Government had spent the
money of the people to get this information, and the people asked
for the information-I want to know why it was suppressed.
Mr. HIGGINS. To come back to my inquiry again, you would not
want the Department of Agriculture to send out a report which
their scientific experts, upon investigation and review, believed would
be misleading to people who were disposed to settle in Florida ?
Mr. BATHRICK. No, I would not.
Mr. FLOYD. As I understand, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Bathrick's propo-
sition is this: The department, after receiving numerous mquiries
concerning those Everglade lands, sent a force of engineers down there
to examine into the question, and they made a report-Mr. Wright
was the man in charge and he made a report-and then the depart-
ment issued a circular which they were sending out for a time in
answer to inquiries for information. Then the owners of the Ever-
glade lands, those who .were promoting the sale of the lands, appealed
to the chief engineer to have that circular suppressed. He refused
to suppress it, and then an appeal was made to the Secretary, and
afterwards it was suppressed, and they want to know why-whether
the information sent out was misleading or whether there was justi-
fication for suppressing it. From this statement of Mr. Bathrick it
seems to be a very reasonable proposition. It is a question as to
whether one theory or another is correct.
Mr. HIGGINS. That is just why I was asking him if he thought it
was in the public interest for the officials in the Department of
Agriculture to circulate a report which, after careful investigation
by the bureaus, it was believed would be misleading. I understand
you do not think so. In other words, you do not take the position,
Mr. Bathrick, that if the Department of Agriculture-I do not mean
one man, I mean the whole department-if the consensus of opinion
in the department is that the report, in its effect, would be misleading
it ought to be circulated?
Mr. BATHRICK. I do not think so.
Mr. HIGGINS. And therefore, if they believed it would be, they
would be justified in withholding it. Of course, we do not want a
bureau circulating misinformation, and if they determine that it
tends to deceive or mislead or misrepresent the actual situation,
of course it is in the public interest not to distribute it.


Mr. BATHRICK. The essence of this investigation is this: After
this information had been circulated, those who were engaged in
selling the land were extremely active in having it suppressed.
The CHAIRMAN. You would consider, Mr. Bathrick, would you
not, that it would be a pertinent question to find out how much public
funds have been spent in this effort to ascertain the data; for instance,
if there had been a considerable amount spent, it would seem as if
the investigation might deal with that, and that the conclusions ought
to be reliable as to that, and that the amount of funds would be an
element to be considered in that direction, would you not ?
The CHAIRMAN. I also understood that one element in the matter
is that it is alleged that this information, after it was received from
the men in the field, was changed by the men in the department; I
understood that would be an element in the investigation.
Mr. BATHRICK. That would be an element in the investigation;
yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any other information any other member
would like to have ?
Mr. SLOAN. Have you gone to the head of the department to
inquire about those things.
Mr. BATHRICK. It is not material whether I have or not, provided
some one else has.
Mr. SLOAN. Do you desire to answer the question ?
MAi. BATHRICK. I-have not.
Mr. SLOAN. Do you know whether Mr. Clark, who, it appears, has
gone to the head of the department and asked for information, has
not had it given to him ?
Mr. BATHRICK. You ask me whether he asked for information
which has not been given to him ?
Mr. SLOAN. Within your knowledge.
Mr. BATHRICK. No; within my knowledge, I do not know. I
know he has been to the department and pursued the matter closely.
The CHAIRMAN. If there be no further questions, we will excuse
Mr. Bathrick, and we thank you for appearing, Mr. Bathrick. Do
you know whether or not Mr. Clark cares for the privilege of appearing
before the committee personally?
Mr. BATHRICK. I think undoubtedly he will, and I will, too.
Thereupon, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., the committee adjourned.

Washington, D. C., February 6, 1912.
The committee met at 11.30 o'clock a. m.
Present: Representatives Moss (chairman), Floyd, Doughton,
Higgins, French, Mays, and Sloan.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee has been called in session this
morning to give Mr. Clark an opportunity to appear before the com-
mittee, and without objection on the part of any member of the
committee, Mr. Clark will now have the opportunity to make a state-


Mr. CLARK. Mr. Chairman, I believe Mr. Bathrick has already
made a statement to the committee. The Everglades of Florida are
principally in the district which I represent. In January, 1910, the
Department of Agriculture sent out a circular letter which purported
to be based upon a report made by one J. O. Wright, in the employ
of the department, and also upon letters written by J. O. Wright
and other engineers m the department, giving inquirers all over the
United States information relative to the Everglades. That circu-
lar letter was distributed somewhat. Just how many copies were
sent out I do not know, but all at once an order was issued suppress-
ing it.
I went over to the department on one occasion with several citizens
of Florida who happened to be from near the Everglades, on the edge,
and I had an interview with Mr. Secretary Wilson. In the presence of
those gentlemen I asked Mr. Wilson why this circular letter was sup-
pressed. I shall not undertake, of course, to detail the whole con-
versation; I am only going to give you the substance. His reply was
that it was suppressed at the instance of persons engaged in selling
Everglade lands, and he said he thought he had done right, and asked
me if I did not think so. I said "I have not seen the circular letter.
If the circular letter told the truth, you did not do right; if the circular
letter did not tell the truth, you did do right." I insisted on seeing a
copy of the circular, which the old gentleman did not showverymuch
disposition to exhibit, but after some considerable insistence he did
send and get a copy of it.
Originaly Mr. Wright and a corps of engineers were sent to Florida
by the department to make a survey of the Everglades and get together
such information as would enable them to give correct information to
inquirers all over the United States. You see, this matter was attract-
ng a great deal of attention; syndicates had bought large quantities
of those lands, and they were exploiting them. They were sending
lurid advertisements all over the country, and it created such an
interest as probably has not been created in any section of the country
since the boom days of some of our western communities. So they
sent these people down for the purpose of securing such information
as presumably would put them in a position to give correct informa-
to in uirers. A survey was the report was made.
hat report was aye or near three year The circular letter,
was 1 nf d--4-t4h epartment-was-issued preliminarily to the
printing of the report. The report was then in the hands of the
printer, they told me, and it would necessarily take some time to get
it out, so they issued this circular letter giving information preliminary
to the appearance of the report.
Now, as I say, that circular letter was suppressed. The purpose
of asking this investigation is to determine, first, at whose instance
this circular letter was suppressed; at whose instance the printing
of this report was delayed for nearly three years; why the circular
letter was suppressed, and why the printing of the report was delayed
for this length of time. Now, I do not hesitate to say, gentlemen,
that a number of syndicates have gotten into this Everglades propo-
sition for the sole purpose of exploiting it, injuring the fair name of


the State of Florida, and swindling innumerable people all over this
country. If the Department of Agriculture has become a party to
that kind of thing, I think the country ought to know it. If the
Department of Agriculture has made itself subservient to the will
of a few land sharks who have been exploiting that property to their
own benefit and to the detriment of those people and to the great
injury of the State of Florida, I think the country ought to know
that. If the Department of Agriculture has not done that, then it
seems to me it is due the Department of Agriculture that they be
given an opportunity to show that they have not done it.
That, in brief, is the whole case, so far as I know it. I want to
say this: I am not opposed-I do not want to be understood as
opposing the drainage of the Everglades of Florida as a project of
internal improvement. The engineers say it is feasible; that it
can be done. They say that land is of very vast value. Of those
things I know absolutely nothing, but I do object must seriously to
a few land sharks getting large holdings in that property and making
representations to the people of the United States and to foreign
lands that are absolutely untrue, statements that I know are false,
and I do object to a great department of this Government being put
in the attitude of, if not participating, at least acquiescing in that
Mr. HIGGINS. May I ask you a question there? The title'to the
Everglades was in the State of Florida, was it not ?
Mr. CLARK. Originally. It was originally in the Government, but
the Government conveyed it to. the State of Florida.
Mr. HIGGINS. So the land companies or other persons that took
title and now have it, got it from the State ?
Mr. CLARK. Yes.
Mr. HIGGINs. Now, if it should appear that this report which was
not circulated contained information which would be calculated to
deceive persons intending to settle in the Everglades as to the oppor-
tunities there, would you then think it ought to be given general
circulation by the Department of Agriculture ?
Mr. CLARK. I think, Mr. Higgins, as I told the Secretary of Agri-
culture, if the report did not contain the truth it ought to be sup-
pressed; if it did state the truth it ought not to be suppressed.
Mr. HIGGINs. You think, then, if it should appear that the report
would tend to mislead prospective settlers, it ought to be withheld ?
Mr. CLARK. No; I do not. I think that if the report by its mis-
statements of fact would tend to mislead the people, it ought not to be
circulated; but if the report stated the facts, no matter what they
were, detrimental or otherwise, they ought to be published, and the
people have a right to know what they are. That is the position I
Mr. MAYS. The report of the engineers, whatever it was, ought to
have been made public ?
Mr. CLARK. Yes.
Mr. HIGGINS. What did you understand, Mr. Clark, became of the
report when it was made ?
Mr. CLARK.. That has been pretty hard to determine, Mr. Higgins,
what became of it.
Mr. HIGGINS. Was it reviewed by heads of bureaus in the depart-


Mr. CLARK. As I understand the situation, Mr. Wright and his
laborers made this report. It was handed in to his superiors.
hey did not agree with some of the conclusions that they reached.
Mr. HIGGINS. Do you know who they were
Mr. CLARK. I think it was Mr. Elliott, and probably Dr. True, the
head of the station-
Mr. HIGGINS. I have heard that Dr. Galloway, head of the Bureau
of Plant Industry, did not concur in its conclusions. Do you know
anything about that ?
Mr. CLARK. No; I do not. I have never interviewed Dr. Galloway
about it at all. I have never had any conversation with him about
this matter.
Mr. HIGGINS. Do you understand, Mr. Clark, that it was referred
to the heads of the different bureaus-for instance, to Prof. Whitney,
Chief of the Bureau of Soils, and Dr. Galloway and others-as to
whether or not they concurred ?
Mr. CLARK. I will tell you what I do understand. I understand
that Mr. Wright made his report, and that report, of course, went to
his chief, who was Dr. Elliott; that Dr. Elliott put his engineers and
others and himself to work upon it, and they did not agree with some
of the deductions and conclusions of Mr. Wright. And I was told by
some of those gentlemen that they did not agree also that in a report
of this" character lurid statements as to the great productiveness of
the land, and so forth, ought to have a place; that they were simply
to present the cold facts from an engineering standpoint to the de-
partment and to send out those facts and not send out a report in
the shape of a magazine article advertising certain interests. And
they claimed that there was certain matter of that kind in it, which
they eliminated.
Now, this matter hung on for nearly three years, until finally Sena-
tor Fletcher introduced a resolution in the Senate for the printing of
this report and certain other papers as a Senate document. It de-
velops that when the proofs were had those proofs were sent to Florida
to Senator Fletcher; that Senator Fletcher called into consultation
with him ex-Gov. Jennings, largely interested in Everglade lands,
and Mr. Wright, at that time in the employ of the drainage people
of the State of Florida at a salary of $5,000 a year; he never received,
I think, over $2,250 here, but when he went to Florida and made this
report this row sprang up and he retired from the department to
accept that position down there. These two gentlemen were called
into consultation. I saw the statement of the clerk of the Senate
Committee on Printing, Mr. Carter, over his own signature, in the
Newspapers, stating that after certain corrections were made at the
iAr instance of these gentlemen the proof was returned and that was
Sprinted as Senate Document No. 89. My contention is, Mr. Chair-
man, that re report fh The Department of Agriculture on this
\ proposition has never been printed. Now, then, they furnished me
Switch a copy which I have, a typewritten copy, which Dr. Elliott, Mr.
Morehouse, and others in the department informed me the depart-
ment is willing to stand for; that they were not willing to stand for
the report in Senate Document No. 89, but they were willing to stand
for this report, and this was the report they wanted printed. That
is all I know about that report.
Mr. HIGGINS. Has that ever been printed


Mr. CLARK. NO, sir.
Mr. HIGGINS. How long ago was that they told you they were
willing to have that printed ?
Mr. CLARK. That was in early December, right after we came up
here to the session of Congress. I went to see the Secretary-
Mr. HIGGINS. Would you be disposed, Mr. Clark, to concur in the
judgment of the Department of Agriculture as to what ought to be
printed and what ought not to be ?
Mr. CLARK. I do not know what you mean by the Department of
Agriculture. I would be willing to concur in the opinion of the
Mr. HIGGINS. I understand they have prepared some statements
which they say-that is, the department says-we will assume the
Secretary; he is the responsible head of the department-
Mr. CLARK. Yes.
Mr. HIGGINS. That he is willing to circulate, with the approval of
-the department. Do you desire to accomplish more than that?
Mr. CLARK. Yes. I want to know at whose instance this circular
letter was. suppressed, and why. I want to know at whose instance
that report was held back for nearly three years without being
printed, and why. That is all.
Mr. HIGGINS. How did Mr. Wright happen to make the investiga-
tion? Was it in Iesponse to legislative authorization or appeals
made to the Secretary ?
Mr. CLARK. Appeals made to the Secretary, I think. I think so.
It seems to me, as I say, that that is all we want now. We are per-
fectly willing for the department to print anything that they wish to
and will stand for and have a finality about it, something definite,
both in Florida and everywhere else.
Mr. HIGGINS. You and I would not disagree, I think, with the pro-
position that the department ought not to circulate as an official
document of the Department of Agriculture something that they did
not fully concur in.
Mr. CLARK. Certainly not, but we want these facts; we want to
know why.
I do not mind stating to you gentlemen a matter that came to my
attention last night. It looks peculiar to me; I do not understand it.
I am not taking any part in the quarrels of the Department of Agri-
culture; they have enough troubles of their own over there. But
this man, J. 0. Wright, in Florida now, in this proposition, shows up
here in Washington on the 19th of January, the very day I left to go
to Florida-it was the day that special train left, although I do not
know that he knew it. But he shows up here at the department.
What is the result ? Last SaturdayMr. Elliott, the chief of this bureau,
who has stood out against these flaming reports of Mr. Wright, and
Mr. Morehouse, his lieutenant, are notified that their services are no
longer needed in the department, and they are fired. Mr. Wright
seems to be a very powerful gentleman.
Mr. HIGGINS. Is it Mr. Wright's report that you want to inquire
particularly about?
Mr. CLARK. Yes; I want to know why it was suppressed, and at
whose instance-and the circular letter.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any further statement which you wish to
make, Mr. Clark ?


Mr. CLARK. I do not think of anything else, Mr. Chairman, unless
you gentlemen desire to ask me something.
Mr. McCABE. If it is proper, I would like to make a statement at
this time for the department.
The CHAIRMAN. You will have the privilege after Mr. Clark is
through. I understand Mr. Clark's appearance here is simply volun-
tary, as a Member of Congress.
Mr. CLARK. My whole purpose is this: I do not want the State of
Florida injured. I have lived there for 29 years-Mr. Mays has lived
there all his life-and I believe that we have in the State of Florida
just as good land as there is on the face of the earth. And I believe
a man can go there who is economical and frugal and make a living
as easily as he can anywhere on the earth and amass a modest com-
petency as soon as he can anywhere else. But we have a lot of these
wild-cat land-shark syndicates who have no interest in the State
except to blight it, to ruin it, and to exploit the land all over the
United States.
Mr. HIGGINS. The State can take care of that situation.
Mr. CLARK. I am not asking Congress to take care of the-situation,
but it appears here that these people have been powerful enough to
go to a great department of this Government and absolutely suppress
documents that ought to go to the people.
Mr. HIGGINS. Would it be in their interest if this Wright report
was a favorable report ? If it was, it would not be in their interest
to have it suppressed.
Mr. CLARK. Originally it was not very favorable in some respects.
The circular letter, Mr. Higgins, was not at all favorable, and the cir-
cular letter, as I can show, was based not only upon his report, but
upon letters that were dictated by J. 0. Wright-his initials are there
at the top of the letter. It was taken absolutely from his report and
from the letters that he dictated in answer to inquirers. The circular
letter told the truth, and yet it was suppressed.
Mr. HIGGINS. Some months ago, Mr. Clark, I received quite a num-
ber of requests from my district for a report made byj the Secretary of
Mr. CLARK. Senate Document No. 89, I guess.
Mr. HIGGINS. On the Everglades. Those requests were all in the
same language, and some of them had a clipping from a circular,
prompted, I have no doubt, by some of these exploitations that have
been going on there.
Mr. CLARK. I will tell you what took place, Mr. Higgins. After
this report was held in the department and not published they gave
out an excerpt to one of these land concerns in Colorado Springs, or the
representative of one of them, and to the representatives of the State
of Florida. These land companies-immediately took that excerpt and
they culled from it those things that they thought might militate
against their schemes. The favorable ones, disconnected from the
others and unexplained and which put it in an altogether different
light, they spread broadcast over the country in these lurid adver-
tisements in the Sunday papers and the magazines. Now, I contend
that the department right then should have come to the front and
said, "Here is this whole report; we want the public to see all of it,
and not these disconnected and disjointed extracts which these people
are using for their own purposes."


Mr. SLOAN. Has the department disclosed to you all the informa-
tion it had at any time, including the original notes of Mr. Wright
and also any edited edition of the matter that Mr. Wright made?
Mr. CLARK. I do not know, Mr. Sloan.
Mr. SLOAN. Have you made a request for anything that has not
been furnished you ?
Mr. CLARK. I do not know what they have.
Mr. SLOAN. Have you had access to the original notes made by
Mr. Wright, based upon his surveys ?
Mr. CLARK. No.
Mr. SLOAN. Have you asked to examine them ?
Mr. CLARK. No, I have not. I have seen what they said was his
original report. I do not know just what they have. I do not know
whether I have seen everything or not.
Mr. SLOAN. Has the department in any wise refused or neglected
to give you access as a Representative to the whole matter up to this
Mr. CLARK. They have not refused; I do not know whether they
have neglected or not.
Mr. SLOAN. And you assume, then, probably,' that all of Mr.
Wright's figures are within your access, do you not ?
Mr. CLARK. Well, I have not got copies of them, you know.
Mr. SLOAN. They could be seen by anybody who was an expert in
those lines ?
Mr. CLARK. I guess so; yes.
Mr. SLOAN. So the public could, if interested, obtain those figures
Mr. CLARK. No; they do not furnish copies, Mr. Sloan.
Mr. SLOAN. They could examine them.
Mr. CLARK. But these prospective purchasers of 10 cares of land
could not come all the way to Washington to examine them.
Mr. SLOAN. Their representative could, however, if he saw fit ?
Mr. CLARK. If he did, he could not do anything else.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Clark, as I understand your position, you are
emphasizing more the neglect, if there is any neglect, with regard to
the entire country than to you personally ?
Mr. CLARK. I have no interest in the matter one way or the other.
I have not a foot of land in Florida to sell.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean if there was any discourtesy or neglect, so
far as the department was concerned, it was not toward you per-
Mr. CLARK. No, sir; but I think there is an injustice to the pur-
chasers all over the country and to the State of Florida as a whole. I
think the department should have kept that circular letter going, and
they should have published that report. We are now asking simply
at whose instance tley suppressed these documents and why they
did it.
The CHAIRMAN. If there be no further questions, we will excuse
Mr. Clark. We are very much obliged to you for your courtesy.
Mr. CLARK. I am very much obliged to you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. McCabe, two members of the committee
made the request that we should close the hearing at 12 o'clock and
have left the room. We can not sit after 12 o'clock, except by
unanimous consent.


Mr. MCCABE. It is two minutes to 12. I should like to make this
brief statement, if I may.
The CHAIRMAN. That would be by unanimous consent. I told Mr.
French we would close at 12 o'clock.
Mr. MCCABE. Mr. Chairman, I want to say at the start that there
is no mystery about this. I want to say that Mr. Clark has been
afforded every opportunity to see every paper in the possession of the
department; that the offer has been repeated more than once; and that
the department has held those papers on my desk for two weeks
awaiting his return, on the promise of his secretary that he would come
down and look at the papers, which he failed to do.
Now, the field work that was done by the department engineers
was done in the winters of 1907 and 1908 in Florida. Mr. Wright
completed his work in April, 1908. He did not complete his report
until the following May, 1909. In February, 1909, the excerpt from
the Wright report that was referred to was prepared by Mr. Wright
at the direction of Mr. Elliott, then the chief of the office of drainage
investigations, and was sent out to one land promoter and to the
trustees of the internal improvement fund of the State of Florida by
Mr. Elliott and over his signature. That was in February, 1909. Mr.
Wright completed and submitted, through Mr. Elliott, his complete
report, including this extract that had been sent out, in May, 1909.
When that report was received by Mr. Elliott, he disagreed with cer-
tain statements that were made there; not, however, particularly
engineering data at that time, but there were some. changes that he
made. He submitted it to the editor of the office of experiment sta-
tions, and the editor suggested a rearrangement of the form of the
report. The suggestions of the editor went more to the form than
to the substance. It was returned to Mr. Wright, and Mr. Wright
said he would not change his report but that Mr. Elliott could change
it if he wanted to. Mr. Elliott went to work and changed the report,
which Mr. Wright had made, and put on the title page, "Report by
J. O. Wright, under the supervision and direction of C. G. lliott,"
and submitted it to the Secretary for publication in June, 1909, and
the Secretary ordered it published. It went down to the Public
Printer in the usual way; it went into the galley proof, and went into
the page proof. Sometime late in August or early September an
engineer, connected in no way with the Government service, who had
seen the excerpt from the Wright report which had been sent out by
Mr. Elliott, called at the department, at the office of drainage investi-
gations, in Mr. Elliott's absence, and called attention to what he
regarded as some errors in this published excerpt. The engineers,
Elliott's assistants, wrote him of the fact and told him the errors
appeared so serious that they believed they should not send the page
proof back to the Government Printer but should hold it up and go
over it. EUiott, according to the statement of one of those engineers,
wired in to go ahead with the publication of the report. This was
the Wright report in its first revision.
The CHRmMAN. Could you tell us who this engineer is
Mr. MCCABE. I can give you all that in a minute. In fact, I will
put all those facts in your possession.


These assistant engineers regarded the errors which they claimed
to have discovered in this report, which had been approved for publi-
cation by the Secretary on the recommendation of Mr. Elliott, and
which had gone as far as the page proof, as so serious that they dis-
regarded Elliott's instructions and held it up. Elliott got back in
September, and as soon as he got back he requested that this page
proof be held up. He went to work on the report, with the assist-
ance of his engineers, and Ife basically rewrote the entire drainage
section of the report, changed the figures, changed the cost, changed
the number of canals, and made practically a new revise of the engi-
neering data. No new investigations had been ordered or made m
the meantime, and he made the change on the same investigations
on which he had previously approved Wright's report when it was
submitted to him. That was in January, 1910. You see, we are
explaining now some of this three years' delay.
Early in January, 1910, Elliott, without the knowledge of the
Secretary, prepared and circulated the circular that Mr. Clark is
interested in knowing why it was suppressed. In that circular
Elliott embodied substantially the information which he had put
into his second revise, or his second guess, matter which differed
radically from that which had been submitted to the Secretary for
publication and which had been approved by the Secretary for
publication, and which of .course the Secretary had never authorized
to be published. This circular was prepared without the Secretary's
knowledge and sent out without his knowledge, and as soon as the
Secretary heard of it he ordered it discontinued. He did not order
it discontinued at the request of any person.
Mr. CLARK. He told me he did.
Mr. MCCABE. May I make this statement without an interruption,
Mr. Clark?
Mr. CLARK. Yes.
Mr. MCCABE. There is not a thing in the record-and I make
this statement advisedly--tat shows that the Secretary ordered
the circular discontinued at the request of anyone. If there were
any requests which caused the discontinuance of the circular, they
were not written requests, because I have combed the files for the
papers, and they are not there. I have not been told by any person,
rom Elliott down, that they were ever advised that the Secretary
had suppressed this at the request of anyone.
There lingers in the minds of some people down there in the depart-
ment that there were originally some people that did not want the
Wright report published, but there is not anything in the written
report to show that. We will probably come to that when we get
into this investigation.
The Secretary ordered the discontinuance of this circular on Feb-
ruary 9, 1910, and the reasons he ordered the discontinuance of the
circular are as follows: In January, 1910, Elliott had submitted his
guess on this proposition and it was in process of going down to the
Public Printer. In that second guess, or third guess-because he
had originally approved the excerpt from the Wright report-
when Elliott's third guess was submitted to the Division of Publica-
tions, they called it to the attention of the Secretary and showed
him how radically it differed from that which had previously been
submitted to him for publication and which he had approved, with


the statement that there had been no further or new investigation
of the matter. The Secretary then submitted the bulletin to the
Bureau of Plant Industry.
The Bureau of Plant Industry has a man, Dr. Goodrich, who has
been connected with the work of the Bureau of Plant Industry
down there for years. He is a scientist of note and reputation.
The Secretary sent the bulletins over to Dr. Galloway, primarily
because TJ' had been down at the Miami station, and he
had seen a shares bringing people down there and showing them
the Government experiment station, which was located on hummock
soil and not on the glades, as being typical of what could be done on
the Everglades, and he knew that Dr. Galloway was familiar with
conditions down there. When he sent it to Dr. Galloway, in February,
1910, Dr. Galloway asked to have the report held until he could
submit it to Dr. Goodrich, and it was submitted to Goodrich when
he returned, about three months later. Goodrich objected to the pub-
lication of the report. He said that portions of it were not predicated
upon facts which were in the possession of the department; that
according to the statements that were made right in the bulletin
the engineering data was confessedly so incomplete that it was
valuable only for office notes or for further investigation, and was
not worthy of publication; a further objection being the positive
statements made in the bulletin submitted by Elliott and Wright,
the department not having enough information upon which to
predicate them.
Mr. Goodrich's statement, approved by the chief of the bureau,
came back to the editor of the department, and the editor of the
department, after a thorough review of the matter, in writing recom-
mended to the Secretary that there be no publication of the bulletin
at all. That was in June, 1910, and the Secretary approved the
Now, in January, 1910, and in February, 1910, the Secretary found
for the first time that Elliott disagreed not only with Wright, but
with his own conclusions, and the State of Florida had already
engaged its engineers and had entered actively upon the work of
draining the Everglades, so it seemed useless for the Secretary to
attempt to do the work over again to see whether Wright was right,
Elliott was right, or the experts of the Bureau of Plant Industry were
Now, one other thing. During all this time the department was
receiving hundreds of inquiries-to be exact, 1,533 inquiries to date-
from men who were considering investing in the Everglades, letters
from small investors, men who were considering buying a 10-acre
plot. Those men were advised that in the opinion of the Secretary
of Agriculture a man should not buy land that he had not personally
seen and examined; furthermore, that the department was not in
possession of information as to the fertility of the soil down there;
that they had made no soil surveys, and the inquirers were referred
to the officials of the State of Florida, with the idea that the officials
of the State of Florida were interested and competent enough to
answer those inquiries.
Now, one other matter. Mr. Clark mentioned, the fact that Mr.
Elliott and Mr. Morehouse had been dismissed, and he coupled with
that, if I quote him correctly, the statement that it seemed strange


that Wright was so powerful that he could come to Washington and
secure that result. I will say this to the committee at this time-that
the dismissal of Mr. Elliott and Mr. Morehouse was not connected in
any way with their actions in the Everglades, and the only reason
that I do not mention the reason why they were dismissed is out of
consideration for them. I suppose Mr. Clark knows why-
Mr. CLARK. May I ask you a question ? Did not Wright prefer the
charges upon which they were dismissed ?
Mr. MCCABE. He did not.
Mr. CLARK. He did not?
Mr. MCCABE. He did not. Mr. Wright furnished some informa-
tion, which, upon investigation, led to it. Do you know why they
were dismissed ?
Mr. CLARK. Yes; I know why you say they were dismissed.
Mr. MCCABE. Why?
Mr. CLARK. I will tell the committee, if you want me to.
Mr. MCCABE. I am answering your question.
Mr. HIGGINS. Suppose, Mr. Clark, you tell the committee why
they were dismissed.
Mr. CLARK. I understand that the charges against these men
were that two years and a half ago, down in North Carolina, when
some transactions were taking place down there, there was a drainage
fund and an irrigation fund. Elliott was at the head of the drainage
fund. It seems that the moneys were exhausted, and Elliott claims
that the drainage fund was not exhausted but the irrigation fund
was exhausted, and that an accountant in the office here-they said
that these drainage people would have to make it up-turned some
of theirs back to make up for the other. They had expended theirs
and arranged to expend the other. They contracted down in North
Carolina with a man by the name of Wilkinson, and this accounting
officer said, "Now, you can do it this way; you can employ Wilkinson
down there and give him a salary or commission of $100 a month, say,
and Mr. Wilkinson can be paid that salary, and that salary can go
not to him but to the liquidation of these debts of the Government";
and not one possible cent, I am informed, did it cost the Government.
There was no sort of peculation in it; it was done simply to straighten
out accounts at the instance of the accountant. It lay there for
two years and a half, and these people did not take any sort of action
until this man Wright came up here after all this came out and made
the complaint and stated the facts, and immediately they fired these
two men.
Mr. MCCABE. I will tell you 'what the facts are. Wright came up
here and went to see one of the department men. In the course of
his conversation with him he said that Elliott was trying to hound
him, that he was trying to injure him, and said that Elliott had better
be careful, because he knew his accounts were crooked. That depart-
ment man, doing his duty, said, "If you know where there are any
crooked accounts in this department, gve me an instance." He said,
"Yes." He gave him the name of a man in North Carolina. The
investigation disclosed these facts, and they are admitted over the
signatures of Elliott and the other man, and there are letters signed
by those men which established all these things.
Mr. CLARK. Do you think Mr. Elliott got any money out of the
Government ?
13287-No. 1-12--2


Mr. McCABE. I will answer that question if the committee wants
me to answer it.
Mr. MAYs. I move Mr. McCabe tell us about it.
Mr. MCCABE. There was an apparent shortage in 1909 in the funds
of the Division of Irrigation and Drainage. There was one appropria-
tion, but there were two divisions, and by an office arrangement they
were to share and share alike. Elliott claims that he had not incurred
any obligation in excess of his allotment. Be that as it may, when
the end of the year came around, the end of the fiscal year, they
found, or thought they found, that they did not have money enough
to pay their outstanding obligations. Whereupon Mr. Elliott and
Mr. Morehouse entered into an arrangement, and said, not only to
Wilkinson, but to a number of other people-two or three more at
least, according to their own story-they said, you gentlemen advance
the money to pay these expenses out of your own pocket.
In the case of .Vilkinson, he advanced the money to pay apay roll.
They said, we will see that you get back the money you advanced,
interest on your money, and something for your trouble, out of next
year's appropriation, entirely disregarding what seemed to be the
fact that Congress had appropriated money for one year and then
money for the next year. It was a kind of friendly arrangement.
The men advanced the money; Wilkinson advanced the money.
They appointed another man out in Oklahoma. He received his
appointment, but he was a postmaster and found that there was a
statute which prevented him from holding, at the same time, a posi-
tion in the Department of Agriculture, so they wrote to him and
asked him to nominate somebody who could receive that money.
He named the assistant cashier of a bank, and he was paid the money
he advanced, and promised some interest on his money and something
for his trouble. The accounts came in, and the dismissed officials
certified those accounts, that these men had rendered service as
Mr. FLOYD. The cashier in Oklahoma-
Mr. MCCABE. Yes.
Mr. FLOYD (continuing). Received the money to pay Wilkinson?
Mr. MCCABE. No; those are two different cases. There were some
other cases.
Mr. FLOYD. The fact is they had rendered no service at all?
Mr. McCABE. They had rendered no service at all. Those men
had certified those vouchers and the department dismissed them and
sent the papers to the Department of Justice for such action as the
Attorney General thought the facts warranted.
Mr. DOUGHTON. Why did not that Department of Agriculture
employee, being in possession of this information, disclose it earlier?
Mr. McCABE. I don't know. Because he got into the row-
Mr. DOUGHTON. It looks as if he was as guilty as they were.
Mr. MCCABE. He certified no vouchers, and he is not in the Gov-
ernment service. He is in the employ of the State of Florida. He
went to work for them in February, 1910.
Mr. CLARK. I just want to make this statement: There may not
be anything in the record about at whose instance Mr. Wilson sup-,
pressed this document, but I will prove by two as good citizens as
there are in the State of Florida or anywhere else, who were with me,
that he did say that. I will swear it myself, and they will swear it.


I will prove by one of them, and possibly the other, that he also said
that he was not running his department for the protection of fools
who bought stuff all over this country without seeing it.
Now, then, gentlemen, I want to ask, too, if you have this investi-
gation-and I understand this is simply for the purpose of deter-
mining whether or not you will have it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the question.
Mr. CLARK. I would like to have you call Congressman Small, of
North Carolina, and let him tell what he knows about Wright, upon
whose testimony these men have been fired from that department.
Mi. MCCABE. Those men have not been fired-
Mr. CLARK. You are the same Mr. McCabe who figured in the
Dr. Wiley case
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir.
Mr. CLARK. Now, then, he brought it to their attention and con-
cealed it for two years and a half, and Mr. Small can tell you about
some of his doings down in North Carolina that I do not think will
make him a very creditable witness before this committee.
Mr. HIGGINs. Whose doings ?
Mr. CLARK. This man Wright. Mr. McCabe has not yet shown to
you gentlemen, I submit, why these documents were suppressed.
And I want to say this: I said in my other statement, and I will
show by the record, that every word that is in that circular letter is
contained in Wright's report, the substance of it, and in the letters
which Wright himself dictated.
Mr. MCCABE. What difference does that make ?
Mr. CLARK. You said a minute or two ago, if I understood you,
that Mr. Elliott got out this letter of his own accord.
Mr. MCCABE. I said he incorporated stuff which was not in the
report which he had submitted to the Secretary for his approval for
Mr. CLARK. It was in the report and in the letters which Wright
Mr. MCCABE. That will be a matter of proof..
Mr. CLARK. I will submit it.
The CHAIRMAN. The House has made a call, and of course the com-
mittee will have to adjourn.
Mr. McCABE. There is one sentence I would like to add. Abso-
lutely every paper in the department bearing on this matter-the origi-
nal reports, Mr. Elliott's first revise, Mr. Elliott's second revise, and
all those things-have been gathered together, and every letter that has
been written is on my desk, and I can furnish them to the committee
in 30 minutes.
Mr. CLARK. The Secretary told me that he had no recollection of
any writings asking suppression, but it seemed to him there was a
Mr. DOUGHTON. I would like to ask if Mr. McCabe has and could
give us the amount of the expense that the Government was at in
making that survey ?
Mr. McCABE. No; I have not.
Mr. CLARK. I can make the statement that the officials made down
there. They told me it was over $11,000.
The CHAIRMAN. You appear here representing the Secretary


Mr. MCCABE. As Solicitor of the department, representing the
Department of Agriculture, by direction of the Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. There were some other questions that I would have
been glad to ask, but we must adjourn. I suggest that the committee
adjourn subject to the call of the chairman, and I will try to arrange
it for the convenience of all parties.
Thereupon, at 12.25 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet
at the call of the chairman.

Washington, D. C., Saturday, February 10, 1912.
The committee met at 10.10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Ralph W. Moss
(chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. When we adjourned our last session, Mr. McCabe
was making his statement, which has not been concluded, and at the
present time an opportunity will be given him to continue, but
before that I should like to ask him a question or two in order that
we may have the record straight. I asked if you appeared here rep-
resenting the Secretary and you answered that you were the Solicitor
of the department and appeared by direction of the Secretary.
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir; that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. After Mr. Bathrick appeared on the stand I be-
lieve that you made the suggestion that before the hearing of Mr.
Bathrick should be published you felt it was due to the Department
of Agriculture that they be given the privilege of making a statement
that might appear in print jointly with Mr. Bathrick's. Was that
your position ?
Mr. MCCABE. Not exactly, Mr. Moss. My position was that at that
time the committee had not determined whether or not it would
conduct an investigation, and my suggestion was that before Mr.
Bathrick's charges were published, or the charges of anyone else, that
the committee should determine whether or not it was going to
conduct an investigation, so that if none were made the charges
would not be published, and the matter left in the air; and I added
to that a request that if the committee decided to make an investiga-
tion the department be given an opportunity to.answer those charges
at the inception of the investigation.
The CHAIRMAN. I have noticed a statement in the press, attributed
to the Secretary, that he did not care to make a statement at this
time, but that if the committee did not give him an opportunity to
appear and present the department's side of the question that he
would make a statement to the press. Is that probably an authentic
statement from the Secretary ?
Mr. MCCABE. I think the Secretary had better answer that, Mr.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, at any time did you receive any intimation
that the department would not be given an opportunity to appear ?
Mr. McCABE. Quite the contrary. I was told that the department
would be given the fullest opportunity.


The CHAIRMAN. Then the statement which you made to the press
recently as solicitor, which refers to the statements that Mr. Bathrick
and Mr. Clark made before this committee, was not inspired by the
fact that you thought maybe the Secretary would not be given an
opportunity of making his statement ?
Mr. McCABE. I was actuated in giving out that statement b the
fact that the New York Sun had published a statement which I did
not regard as fair to the department, and which had been given out
by Mr. Clark and not made,before this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. So that now you are appearing here of your own
volition and with the consent of the committee to present any state-
ment that you care to proffer as representing the attitude of the
department in this matter
Mr. McCABE. Exactly.
The CHAIRMAN. The testimony or statement, so far as you have
given it, is being given to represent the attitude of the Secretary.
as the Secretary read your statement that you made before the
committee ?
Mr. McCABE. I do not think he has had an opportunity.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, so far as the statement you have already
made before this committee is concerned, it has not been referred to
the Secretary?
Mr. MCCABE. I do not think so; I do not think he has had an
opportunity to see them.
The CHAIRMAN. I was going to ask you one or two additional ques-
tions, but as the Secretary has not seen your statement, already made
before the committee, you may now proceed with your statement.
Mr. McCABE. I want to say first, Mr. Chairman, that the Depart-
ment of Agriculture does not or has not questioned the motives or
sincerity of Representative Clark and Representative Bathrick in
demanding this investigation. That man would be hardened indeed
who, for selfish or sinister purposes, would use his high office as a
Representative to prefer such serious charges in which he himself did
not believe. We impute no such thing to Representative Clark or
to Representative Bathrick. We will show, however, beyond the
shadow of a doubt, before this investigation is over, that their charges
of improper acts by the department are absolutely unfounded.
Every paper in the department was offered for the inspection of
Representative Clark, and he had an opportunity to become familiar
with the whole case. That he did not avail himself of the offer is
certainly not the fault of the committee. I want to say that the
investigation and the matter of reporting on the work done by the
department in the Everglades is in no way connected with the dis-
missal of Mr. Morehouse and Mr. Elliott and with the suspension of
Mr. Singleton. The Florida investigations were carried on during
1907 and 1908, of course in Florida, and the misapplication of funds
occurred on account of work done in North Carolina and Oklahoma
in 1909. I want to say further, and I will develop it later, that
while the misapplication of funds occurred in the summer of 1909
the department took action upon it as soon as the attention of the
department was directed to it and as soon as the department knew
of it.
Mr. FLOYD. Will you permit an interruption right there, Mr.
McCabe? Who brought to the attention of the department this
misapplication of funds ?


Mr. McCABE. Mr. Wright. I go into that fully later. The drain-
age work of the Department of Agriculture in the Everglades is
authorized by the various agricultural appropriation acts. So far
as appears in the record the suggestion that the Department of Agri-
culture could be helpful in the drainage work of the Everglades was
made by Mr. Elliott to the governor of Florida in 1905, and, according
to Mr. Elliott's offer, was made to help the State of Florida to develop
the hidden resources-as Mr. Elliott termed it-of the State's wet
lands, and was not undertaken primarily in order to enable the
department to answer inquiries.
The CHAIRMAN. Do I understand that statement to mean that the
negotiations in this matter came from the department and not from
parties in Florida ?
Mr. MCCABE. It came from Mr. Elliott, so far as the record shows.
The CHAIRMAN. And that the service, in the first place, was volun-
teered by the department and not proffered at the first request of any
party in Florida or elsewhere ?
Mr. MCCABE. Was volunteered by Mr. Elliott, and the governor of
Florida then requested it of the Secretary and it was requested by
the Florida Representatives in Congress and it was granted. The
field work in the Everglades was done in 1907 and 1908 and was com-
pleted in April, 1908. From April, 1908, to May, 1909, Mr. Wright
was engaged in the Office of Drainage Investigations in Washington
in the preparation of his report on that work. That was a long time
to be engaged in writing a report. Mr. Elliott says that he repeatedly
urged Mr. Wright to hasten the writing of his report, but that Wright
said that political conditions in Florida had changed and that he did
not think there was any use in making a report.
Mr. SLOAN. Let me ask you a question: Are you speaking from
records that you have or from conversations that you have held ?
Mr. MCCABE. I am speaking of what the department expects to
prove by proper evidence later.
The CHAIRMAN. At the time that Mr. Wright made the observation
that political conditions in Florida had changed, and for that reason
the necessity of concluding his report was obviated, was he in the
employ of the Government ?
Mr. MCCABE. He was.
The CHAIRMAN. Did he make this remark to his superior officer?
Mr. MCCABE. Mr. Elliott claims that he did make that remark to
The CHAIRMAN. And if he did, it was Mr. Wright making it to his
superior officer ?
Mr. MCCABE. Exactly. Mr. Wright, on the contrary, says that he
was delayed in the preparation of the report because of the great
amount of other work which he was required to perform.
The CHAIRMAN. You are making this statement as the representa-
tive of the department. Which one of those statements do you
believe to be true ? The one made by Mr. Elliott or the one made by
Mr. Wright?
Mr. MCCABE. With all due respect to the chairman, I do not think
I should at this time be put in the dual position of being a witness and
of making a statement as to the department's attitude.
Mr. FLOYD. As I understand it, Mr. McCabe is making a preliminary
statement of the department's attitude and what he expects to develop


by proof later, and he should not be required now to vouch for the
statements certain people made.
The CHAIRMAN. My purpose in asking the question is to give him
an opportunity at this point to state which statement the department
believed to be true.
Mr. MCCABE. As I stated, the report was not completed until the
spring of 1909, but in February, 1909, while his report was still incom-
plete, Mr. Wright furnished to Mr. Elliott some material which had
been taken from the report he was preparing, usually referred to as
the "Wright excerpt," and this Wright excerpt was sent by Elliott
to the State of Florida, the proper officials of the State of Florida,
the trustees of the internal improvement fund, and also to a gentle-
man who was engaged in negotiations with the State of Florida for
the purchase of lands from the State.
When in April or May, 1909, Mr. Wright completed his report, he
submitted it to Mr. Elliott, and Mr. Elliott in turn submitted it and
discussed it with Mr. Teele, who is the editor of the office of Experi-
ment Stations-the bureau editor. Both Mr. Elliott and Mr. Teele
criticized the report, Mr. Elliott's criticism going to matters of sub-
stance, and Mr. Teele's criticisms, in the main, going to matters of
form, rearrangement, and so on. That will be developed in detail.
Mr. Elliott then proceeded to revise the report which Mr. Wright
had submitted, and made the title page read:
Report of drainage investigations, etc., prepared by J. O. Wright, under the super-
vision of C. S. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations.
Wright says in his published statements that he did not agree with
the revision which Elliott made at that time, but that he was so anx-
ious for the report to be published that he didn't make any very
strong objections. Be that as it may, the revision of Wright's report,
as made by Elliott, was submitted to the Secretary in July, 1909, for
publication and the Secretary authorized its publication. It was
sent to the Government Printing Office, went into galley proof, came
back to the department, and was read, I think, by Mr. Morehouse,
Mr. Elliott's assistant. Certain typographical changes were made,
but no changes of substance, and it was sent back to the Government
Printing Office and came back in the page proof. It contained the
so-called Wright excerpt which Elliott had sent out to the State of
Florida and which had been sent to this man who was negotiating
with the State of Florida for the purchase of lands.
Mr. FLOYD. Twice you have referred to that without mentioning
the man's name. -. What-was his name -?- -- -
Mr. MCCABE. Henry C. Hall, of Colorado Springs,
After the Wright excerpt had been sent to the State of Florida,
back in February, 1909, the officials of the State of Florida had asked
permission of the Secretary to publish that in an official publication
that they were getting out, and the Secretary gave the permission,
and it was published. In August, 1909, while the page proof was
in the Office of Drainage Investigations, Harold Wheeler, an engineer
with offices in New York City, not connected in any way with the
Government service, and whose connections I do not know, called
at the department and stated that he had seen the Wright excerpt
and alleged that there were many inaccuracies in it and that it was
a report that should not be published. Now, the matter in this


Wright excerpt was still in this page proof, which had been submitted
for publication by Mr. Elliott.
The CHAIRMAN. Just one question there. What was the probable
purpose of this engineer calling attention to this at that time ?
Mr. MCCABE. I do not know.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether he represented any parties
having an interest in this matter ?
Mr. MCCABE. I have stated that I did not know with whom he
was connected.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether or not the suggestion which
this engineer made had any weight with the administration ?
Mr. MCCABE. I think I will develop that later. I think it had
weight with Mr. Morehouse and with Mr. Elliott and with another
assistant in the office. I will develop that later.
At the time that Mr. Wheeler called Mr. Elliott was absent from the
city on official business and Mr. Wheeler met Mr. Morehouse, the
assistant. Mr. Morehouse communicated the fact of Mr. Wheeler's
visit to Mr. Elliott in the field, and Mr. Elliott says that when he was
informed of Mr. Wheeler's visit and of his comments that he wrote or
wired in from the field that the page proof should be held up until his
return. Arthur E. Morgan, who was an assistant in that office at that
time, and who has since left the Government service, says in a letter
to the Secretary that when Mr. Elliott was notified of Wheeler's visit
he replied that they were to go ahead and get out the publication and
not hold it up any longer. If Morgan is correct, Elliott then wanted
his first revision-that was in August, 1909-of Wright's report pub-
lished as it stood, and in the department's files there is no authority
from the Secretary for Elliott to undertake a further revision of the
bulletin which he had previously revised and submitted to the Sec-
retary for publication and whose publication had been approved by
the Secretary.
Mr. Elliott, with the engineers in his office, immediately started in
to make a second revision of his first revision of Wright's report, and
he worked on that from August, 1909, to January 28, 1910. I am
particular about giving the committee these dates, because the ques-
tion of the delay in the printing has been introduced.
In January, 1910, when, as will appear later, Mr. Elliott had prac-
tically completed his second revision, he issued and distributed a cir-
cular summarizing the revision and sent this circular to several
hundred people, all without the authority of the Secretary so far
as the records show. A few days after this circular had been issued
the attention of the Secretary was directed to the circular, and this
was the Secretary's first notification of Mr. Elliott's change of base on
the proposition. As it then appeared, Mr. Elliott had first approved
the Wright excerpt and sent it out over his signature, asquiesced in its
publication by the State of Florida as an official publication, and then
prepared a revised edition of the Wright report, still containing this
matter of the drainage investigations and the drainage plan, and now
was radically changing his position on all of the engineering features
involved. The Secretary ordered the circular discontinued and
ordered that when Elliott had completed his second revision that the
manuscript should be sent to the Secretary for his consideration.
The CHAIRMAN. You speak of the Secretary's attention being
called to it. Are you prepared to state who called his attention to
the publication of this circular ?


Mr. MCCABE. I am not.
Mr. FLOYD. Could you furnish and supply later in the evidence a
copy of these two circulars ?
Mr. MCCABE. I will take occasion to say now, Mr. Floyd, that Mr.
Clark of Florida requested the Secretary's permission to see the
papers in this case and the Secretary directed the inspector and
directed myself to get together all of the papers, to index them, and
to catalogue them after making a thorough search of the files of the
department and then to permit Mr. Clark to see them. We did get
together all of the papers, we did index them, and we did catalogue
them in a very complete way, and Mr. Clark was then notified that he
might come down and see the papers which had been collected. His
secretary came down and said that Mr. Clark had gone to Florida
and asked that the papers be held on my desk until Mr. Clark came
back, when he would come down and look at them; but Mr. Clark did
not come. He elected to go before the committee rather than to
come before the department, and those papers have all been gathered
When the Secretary directed me to get all the papers together I
found the file was incomplete in some respects. For example, Mr.
Elliott's office said they could not produce a copy of Mr. Wright's
original report and the Secretary was on record as writing to people
who had applied to the department for the original Wright report as
saying that it could not be found and the department had no copy
of it. I insisted that Mr. Elliott, or his office, should either produce
a copy of the original Wright report or else account for its disposition,
and some days later they found three copies of the Wright report and
sent them to me, saying that they had been wrapped up in a package
and without being indexed was sent with some other material which
had been taken from Mr. Wright's desk up in a loft somewhere and
had escaped observation.
The point of my telling you this is that all of the papers in the case,
so far as the department has them, are all collected and located,
catalogued and indexed, and are, of course, easily available for the
committee if it desires them.
Mr. FLOYD. The point of the request that I made was simply that
you describe two documents, the first of which was 0. K'd by the
Secretary and its publication authorized, and then the second, which
was a revise of the first by Mr. Elliott, which never had the 0. K. of
the Secretary and in which you stated that he changed substantially
his views on the question. What I wanted you to do was to supply.
the two statements, so that we could be judges of this change of base.
Could you supply copies to be published in connection with your tes-
timony at this point?
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir; I can furnish copies of all three documents.
I will say, Mr. Floyd, that what I expected to do was to introduce at
the proper time, when the committee gave me an opportunity, all of
these papers referred to here as a part of my evidence and by putting
witnesses on the stand to properly identify them.
Mr. FLOYD. I understand, but it impressed me as very material that
we should have those papers. I did not know what papers you have
on your desk. But we can get at that later.
Mr. MCCABE. They will be offered.
When this second revision of Mr. Elliott was submitted to the Sec-
retary, he saw, of course, that it had been radically changed from the


material which a few short months before Mr. Elliott had apparently
carefully revised, 0. K'd, and asked the Secretary to publish, and
which the Secretary had ordered published. It was also apparent
that this second revision of Mr. Elliott's was not predicated on any
new investigations in the field; that it was simply a work over of the
material which had been available at the time that he had submitted
a previous report. The Secretary was advised that the Bureau of
Plant, Industry had done a great deal of work in Florida and that
the experts of the Bureau of Plant Industry, including the chief,
were familiar with the conditions in the Glades. So, having this
conflict on his hands, now called to his attention for the first time in
such definite form, between Mr. Wright and Mr. Elliott and between
Mr. Elliott's opinion in June, 1909, and his opinion in August, 1909,
the Secretary referred this revision of Elliott's to the Chief of the
Bureau of Plant Industry for comment and advice. That was Dr.
B. T. Galloway.
The CHAIRMAN. That had been done after the Secretary had at
one time approved the Wright report as it was at first submitted to
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir. What he sent to Dr. Galloway was Mr.
Elliott's second revision, which he had never approved for publication.
The CHAIRMAN. First, he had approved the first revision of the
Wright report by Mr. Elliott without referring it to the Bureau of
Plant Industry ?
Mr. MCCABE. I think all of the bureaus had an opportunity to
examine the first revision, but I am not prepared to state whether it
was examined or not.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you want to say that the Bureau of Plant
Industry had examined the first revision before it was approved by
the Secretary ?
Mr. MCCABE. No; I think it is extremely probable that the
Bureau of Plant Industry made no critical examination of the first
revision, because it was not apparent then to the Secretary or anyone
else that there was a conflict between the experts in the other bureaus.
It was due to the change of base by Elliott and his disagreeing with
the opinion he held a few months before and to the conflict over the
second revision that caused the Secretary to send it over to the
Bureau of Plant Industry for further examination.
Dr. Galloway said that he would like to have the report examined
by Dr. C. L. Goodrich, the agriculturist in charge of southern work of
.the Bureau of Plant Industry. Dr. Goodrich was away and the report
which I should have stated was submitted to the Secretary in Febru-
ary was held until Dr. Goodrich's return. When Dr. Goodrich
returned he made an examination of the bulletin as finally revised by
Mr. Elliott and his advice to his chief on Mr. Elliott's second revision,
which advice was approved by his chief, was to the effect that the
Everglades proposition was being fostered by politicians and land
promoters, and that therefore all matter of a speculative nature should
be eliminated, lest it should be so used as to mislead prospective
investors in Florida lands. For those reasons he recommended the
elimination from Mr. Elliott's revision of a great deal of matter which
was contained therein, and said that if the bulletin were published
after the matter to which he objected were eliminated, it should be


very clearly stated that the matter was entirely problematical and
that the department had no positive information on the subject.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, just one question there: Did Mr. Goodrich
make any objection to the engineering data ?
Mr. McCABE. He did. The objection he made to the engineering
data was based right on the face of Mr. Elliott's statements in his
second revision, which said plainly that the engineering data wasA
not complete. Dr. Goodrich said it was so incomplete that it was
not worthy of publication in an engineering publication of the Gov-
ernment and was valuable only as office notes for future reference
and further investigation.
The CHAIRMAN. His recommendation, too, was based on personal
knowledge, I believe you stated the other day?
Mr. McCABE. Yes, sir; it was based on his personal knowledge of
agriculture in Florida.
The CHAIRMAN. And also of the methods of land speculators who
were trying to sell that land, was it not ?
Mr. MCCABE. That is what he said. Because of the methods that
were being used down there he said that the scheme was being
fostered by politicians and land promoters, and he advised his
chief, and his chief advised the Secretary, that the speculative matter
which Mr. Elliott had submitted should be eliminated from this
Government report. In June, 1910, after the report of Dr. Good-
rich, as approved by the acting chief, Mr. Powell, and all of the
other papers had been submitted to him, the Chief of the Division
of Publications recommended in writing to the Secretary that the
report should not be printed. This recommendation was by
Arnold, the Editor in Chief of the Department of Agriculture, who
advises the Secretary on every publication which is issued or not
issued from the department. Based on this recommendation and
the recommendation of Dr. Goodrich, on his knowledge of the change
of base on the part of Mr. Elliott, and the difference of opinion
between Mr. Wright, who had done the actual work in the field,
and Mr. Elliott, who was his superior officer, the Secretary ordered
the publication of the report to be stopped.
The department has been in receipt, for the last two or three years,
of many inquiries from people who are interested in Everglade lands.
I do not mean people who own them, but people who were considering
investments there. I think altogether, so far as the search of the
files disclosed, there were something over 1,500 replies sent to these
people. The Secretary personally signed 265 letters, in which he
advised people who asked his advice that no man should purchase any
land until he had seen it or until he had had it investigated by some
one he had confidence in; that the department had no information to
offer on the value of the Everglades lands for agriculture when
drained. The inquiries became so heavy that the Secretary had a
form letter printed, and in that form letter he said that the Depart-
ment of Agriculture had never investigated advertising land com-
panies and was unable to furnish information as to the reliability of
any of them. He said to persons inquiring whether a proposed invest-
ment in land would be wise or unwise that-
The Secretary of Agriculture can return no answer except to say that, in his
judgment, no one should invest money in land anywhere without seeing it first and
studying all the surrounding conditions. This is a general principle applicable


He said, again:
Many specific inquiries are received at this office in regard to the Everglades lands
in Florida. The department has no publication regarding these lands, and refers all
inquirers to the board of trustees of the internal improvement fund, Tallahassee, Fla.,
and the director of the State experiment station, Gainesville, Fla. The department
believes that the drainage of the Everglades is feasible from an engineering standpoint,
but has no opinion to offer as to the value of the lands for agriculture when drained.
The work of draining the Everglades is not under the jurisdiction of the Federal
While this uncertainty on the part of the engineers was resulting in
the delay of the final submission to the Secretary of this proposed
bulletin, it is violating no confidence, since it is published in the news-
papers this morning, to say that the Post Office Department was con-
ducting an investigation as to the use of the mails by certain land
companies, and the Secretary aided in that investigation, furnishing
material that was in the possession of the department.
I think I have explained the delay now, about which Mr. Clark is
concerned, and I have also explained why no report on the Ever-
glades was published, and I wish to briefly summarize the latter.
There was a difference of opinion between Mr. Wright and Mr.
Elliott, a difference of opinion between Mr. Elliott in June and Mr.
Elliott in August, an opinion by an expert in whom the Secretary
had confidence that there was speculative matter in the final revision
submitted by Mr. Elliott, which might mislead investors, possible
investors, in Florida lands. There was the recommendation of the
editor in chief, who advises the Secretary on all publications, that
this report should not be published.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you permit a question there? So far as the
Secretary was advised, had he received any intimation that this
information was placed improperly in the report or that Mr. Wright
was improperly influenced to place it in his report ?
Mr. MCCABE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I was handed a circular, which had been issued, I
believe, by the trustees of the drainage fund, stating that a rumor
to that effect was in circulation and inasmuch as they had given it
circulation, I wanted to ask if the Secretary had received any intima-
tion that Mr. Wright was influenced in any way in inserting this
matter which they didn't think ought to be inserted.
Mr. MCCABE. The Secretary also had in mind in declining to pub-
lish this report the fact that the Everglades were being commercially
exploited, and that any Government publication on the subject would
be seized upon, of course, by these commercial companies, to use to
their advantage if they might do so. With Dr. Goodrich's statement
before him that there was contained in this last revision submitted
by Mr. Elliott speculative matter which would mislead possible
investors in Florida lands, the Secretary knew that a report which
had been made by the department away back in 1891 on the results
of some sugar experiments carried on in Florida on Glade land had
been and was being used to advertise Glade lands by these commercial
companies despite the protests of the department officers who had
been responsible for that report in 1891.
The CHAIRMAN. I was going to ask-if you go back to the origin
of this investigation, which, I understand, came from the depart-
ment-is it not to be reasonably anticipated that if the Government
once began an investigation that this would lead to commercial
activity and possible exploitation of the land


Mr. MCCABE. Presumably so; but Congress lays a duty on the
Secretary in the appropriation act to cooperate on such projects.
Mr. DOUGHTON. When surveys of that kind are made would they
be of any benefit without a published report ? What benefit would
accrue to the country if the report were not published.
Mr. MCCABE. In answer to that question, Mr. Doughton, I will
say that this investigation was.undertaken under the authority of
the appropriation act to help the State of Florida develop the Ever-
glades, as Mr. Elliott put it in his original suggestion, to develop the
hidden resources of the wet lands of the State of Florida, and was not
undertaken primarily for the purpose of enabling the department to
answer inquiries from people who contemplate investment there.
The State of .Florida, about the time that the Secretary became aware
of this acute difference of opinion between the experts in the Office of
Drainage Investigation and before he was advised of the opinion of
the experts of the Bureau of Plant Industry had made up their minds
what they were going to do, had secured Mr. Wright as chief drainage
engineer, and had actively started in to drain the Glades. Now, of
course, the State of Florida.secured in that way whatever information
Mr. Wright might have. He was the man that made that investiga-
tion. Does that answer your question?
Mr. DOUGHTON. Well, I think, in part. What I wanted to get
clear in my mind was whether or not the Government undertook that
work for the purpose of aiding the State of Florida in getting out a
publication or whether the Government cofitemplated the publication
of the result of that work ?
Mr. MCCABE. Both.
Mr. DOUGHTON. And it later appears that the department decided
not to publish it ?
Mr. MCCABE. Because they didn't know what to publish.
The CHAIRMAN. It could not have been foreseen, however, that
the State of Florida would obtain possession of this information by
the appointment of Mr. Wright as State drainage commissioner?
Mr. MCCABE. Not unless one were gifted with a spirit of prophecy.
The CHAIRMAN. But you just made the statement that by the
appointment of Mr. Wright the State of Florida obtained whatever
information he had secured. It could not have been foreseen,
however, that the State of Florida was to come in possession of this
information in that way.
Mr. MCCABE. They had obtained that service months before this
publication was ordered discontinued.
The CHAIRMAN. Coming back to the other point. Do you under-
stand that Mr. Wright's appointment as drainage commissioner of
Florida was in any way based upon his service to the State of Florida
or upon his service to this reclamation project ?
Mr. MCCABE. I have absolutely no information on that. I have
never seen Mr. Wright, to my knowledge, and I have never talked to
anybody in the State of Florida about the matter.
The CHAIRMAN. That is probably true, but still it came about in a
way different from what the department must have expected when the
investigation down there began.
Mr. MCCABE. I am not trying in any way to avoid any part of the
question; it is just denseness on my part in not comprehending it.
The point that I seek to make is this: At the time that the Secretary


ordered the discontinuance of the report on account of this irrecon-
cilable conflict between his experts, the State of Florida was actively
proceeding with the drainage of the Glades.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I understand that and that is very plain; it
was the part about Florida obtaining the information from Mr.Wright.
Mr. McCABE. I did not mean to infer that was the reason that Mr.
Wright was appointed, because I have no information as to why he
was appointed.
Mr. SLOAN. From the time that Mr. Wright made his computations
and returned to the department these data were available to the State
of Florida without the intervention of Mr. Wright or anybody else?
Mr. McCABE. Absolutely.
Mr. SLOAN. Was anybody prevented or discouraged from going to
the department and examining the data which Mr. Wright had made
in Florida and transmitted to the department ?
Mr. MCCABE. Not at all.
Mr. SLOAN. It has been open to anyone all these years ?
Mr. MCCABE. Open to anyone who cared to call at the department
and examine it.
Mr. DOUGHTON. In that form could an ordinary citizen derive any
benefit from it prior to a special report?
Mr. MCCABE. That is, you mean any farmer or prospective in-
Mr. DOUGHTON. Yes. In that condensed form he would not de-
rive much benefit from examining it ?
Mr. SLOAN. The point I wanted to make was this: That when Mr.
Wright was transferred to the service of the State of Florida there
were no special secrets transferred with him, that his whole work has
been prepared and preserved and was open to inspection of any rep-
resentative of the State of Florida without obtaining the services of
Mr. Wright?
Mr. FLOYD. As I understand it, in these drainage projects the
Government cooperates with the State. Now, we have a great many
wet lands in Arkansas, and we have been endeavoring to get them to
make a survey, and they have done some work in that line, not for
publication, but to ascertain the feasibility of making a survey, so
that the state officers will have the advantage of this Government
survey, and I can see how this would be of great value without any
publication whatever as a scientific source of information.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you understand, Mr. McCabe, that when Mr.
Wright went to Florida that he was acting with the State authorities
or acting as an independent officer of the Government?
Mr. MCCABE. The work was done in cooperation with the State of
Mr. FLOYD. Would it not necessarily be done that way? Is not
that what the appropriation is for, to authorize your department to
cooperate with the State of Florida ?
Mr. MCCABE. Absolutely.
Mr. FLOYD. To cooperate with the State authorities in promoting
these drainage projects for the general public, independent of any
special interest ?
Mr. McCABE. Exactly.


The CHAIRMAN. Have you any information as to what assistance
the State of Florida gave Mr. Wright in his work?
Mr. McCABE. I will supply that; I haven't it at hand.
I think that this statement which the department is prepared to
substantiate and prove demonstrates that no sane man acting as
Secretary of Agriculture would have published this report under the
facts as I have disclosed them. Now, I understand that the second
branch of the inquiry-
Mr. HIGGINS. Before you go on to that, what is the practice of the
department with reference to the publication of these investigations?
Mr. MCCABE. The general practice of all investigations of the de-
Mr. HIGGINS. On the matter of drainage, such as this ?
Mr. MCCABE. Why, the report is-Mr. Arnold would be more com-
petent to testify to that than I am; but I will tell you what my
belief is. It does not differ from the treatment accorded to every
bulletin that is submitted for publication; it is sent by the bureau,
directed by the Secretary, to the Division of Publications, of which
Mr. Arnold is chief-
Mr. HIGGINS. Now, you have reference to what we call farmers'
bulletins and matters of that kind. I want to know what the prac-
tice of the department has been heretofore in the publication of
investigations made by the drainage bureau with reference to the
feasibility of undertaking projects in cooperation with the State or
Mr. MCCABE. They publish them.
Mr. HIGGINS. They are published through the Division of Publi-
cations ?
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir. I was about to state that when the Divi-
sion of Publications gets the bulletin there is a brief summary of its
title, its contents, and under contents the various heads, and that is
sent to each chief of bureau. For example, if this were submitted
by the Office of Experiment Stations a card would be sent to the
Chief of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Animal Industry, Forestry,
etc., and they would be asked whether or not they wished to see this
bulletin before it was printed. If they did, it would be sent to them
and any criticisms made by them would be sent back to the Division
of Publications and by that division submitted to the Secretary.
Does that answer your question ?
Mr. HIGGINs. No, sir; not quite.
Mr. MCCABE. Then I do not get your question.
Mr. HIGGINS. I understand these investigations are made by the
drainage bureau. Is that the appropriate name?
Mr. MCCABE. It is the Office of Drainage Investigations. The
bureau organization is the Office of Experiment Stations.
Mr. HIGGINS. I understand the purpose of this investigation is
primarily to determine the feasibihty, from an engineering stand-
point and from an agricultural standpoint, of the development and
undertaking of some drainage work. Is that correct ?
Mr. MCCABE. I think in the main; yes, sir.
Mr. HIGGINS. If that is so, and if they are largely technical in
their nature, would they be of special value to the ordinary man who
is not an engineer and who is not undertaking to expensively drain
these large areas ?


Mr. MCCABE. No; I think not. But if improper speculative mat-
ter were introduced in them they might be very harmful.
Mr. HIGGINS. If they are not of that value, why are they published
at all?
Mr. MCCABE. I presume they are published for the information of
those interested in the subject. There are drainage investigations
going on all over the country, and the department-has a large number
of technical publications.
Mr. HIGGINS. How long was Mr Wright in the employ of the
department before he undertook this work ?
Mr MCCABE I don't know. I have no data in regard to his em-
ployment. I can furnish it, however.
Mr. HIGGINS. Was the investigation as to the Everglades under-
taken by the drainage bureau at the request of the State of Florida,
or in response to some legislative direction ?
Mr. MCCABE. There was authority in the appropriation act, and
has been since the fiscal year 1904, for doing this drainage work, and,
as I stated before you came in, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Elliott, in 1905,
suggested to the State of Florida that the Department of Agriculture
might be helpful to the State in helping them to develop the Glades.
That has been developed in the record, Mr. Higgins.
Mr. FRENCH. I didn't understand that all results of inquiries made
by the drainage division were published.
Mr. MCCABE. No; I think not.
Mr. FRENCH. A great deal of discretion is used there ?
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir.
Mr. FRENCH. And isn't it also true that the inquiries made would
be of great value to States, and particularly to individuals interested'
even if not deemed of such importance as to receive general publicity ?
Mr. MCCABE. Of course in this investigation, which was cooperative,
levels were run across the Glades and muck soundings made, to deter-
mine whether it was rock or silt or muck, and all this information was
in the possession of the State of Florida as the information was
Mr. FRENCH. Then isn't it also true that an inquiry being con-
ducted by the department, even if not conducted far enough for it to
reach final conclusions, might be of tremendous value to States or
persons seeking assistance or aid in obtaining information along the
same line as the department, admitting that conclusions had been
Mr. MCCABE. That was so in this case because the State of Florida,
on the strength of it, started to do this work.
The CHAIRMAN. How long has this drainage bureau been in
Mr. MCCABE. Now, I am ashamed to confess my ignorance on that
point, but I think that the first appropriation was in 1904. Mr.
Zappone is an encyclopedia of information on that subject, and he
could probably tell.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, during this period of something like seven or
eight years there have been several investigations of this kind under-
taken by the department, have there not?
Mr. MCCABE. There have been several; I do not know just how


The CHAIRMAN. So far as you know, is this the only report in which
speculative matter has been included ?
Mr. MCCABE. I do not know; I have not examined all of them.
The CHAIRMAN. So far as you know. You referred to the fact that
Mr. Wright included speculative matter in his report, and I wanted to
know if that was a general complaint in the case of other reports.
Mr. MCCABE. Not to my knowledge.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know, then, if this was the only report in
which speculative matter was included; do you know whether or not
there was any investigation as to how it came about that that matter
was included in this report ?
Mr. MCCABE. I think an examination of the report will disclose how
it was included. It was included by Mr. Wright in his original report.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that, but what led him to include it
Do you regard that he exceeded his authority as an agent of the
Department of Agriculture in putting it in ?
Mr. MCCABE. No; not'in putting it in, because he had to submit
it to his superior. It might be a question as to what I thought.of
his taste in putting it in.
The CHAIRMAN. You feel that having submitted it to the depart-
ment, and the department, upon investigation, having found it to be
improper, that such action lowered his reputation or his standing
with the department as an official?
Mr. MCCABE. I am sure I do not know anything specific about
that. I could answer that question generally by saying that it
The CHAIRMAN. You do not know whether it has been considered
so ?
Mr. McCABE. No, sir.
Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Chairman, can you amplify your idea of the
words "speculative matter" ?
The CHAIRMAN. That is the language Mr. McCabe used himself in
his testimony. He could probably amplify it for you.
Mr. HIGGINS. Well, I will ask Mr. McCabe what he means by spec-
ulative matter."
Mr. MCCABE. In Dr. Goodrich's report to the Secretary asking
that certain matter be omitted from the report if it was to be pub-
lished at all, he referred to certain portions of the report, which will
be placed before the committee, and recommended that they be
omitted, because they were of a speculative character; certain mat-
ter that was not borne out by the facts in the possession of the
Mr. HIGGINS. But what do you expect us to understand by the
term "speculative matter"?
Mr. MCCABE. Statements regarding the possibilities of the Glades
when reclaimed for agriculture, for one thing.
Mr. FRENCH. But not necessarily untrue. They might be true if
they were of that character.
Mr. McCABE. But the department had no.information as to whether
they were true or not.
Mr. HIGGINS. Then when you use that word you mean statements
not based upon scientific investigation-unscientific statements
Mr. McCABE. No, sir; but statements of fact. I would. state it
this way: My impression of it would be that it means statements of
13287-No. 1-12-3


fact that were not positively borne out by the investigations which
had been conducted.
Mr. SLOAN. And which only the future could develop ?
Mr. McCABE. And which only the future could develop; thank you.
Mr. DOUGHTON. I didn't catch it, Mr. McCabe. In what year did
Mr. Elliott make this revision of the Wright report and then revise it
the second time ?
Mr. MCCABE. In 1909.
Mr. DOUGHTON. And he has been with the Government up until
Mr. MCCABE. Up until a few days ago.
Now, I understand that the second subject of inquiry on the part
of this committee is the misapplication of funds in the office of
drainage investigations which resulted in the dismissal of Mr. Elliott
and Mr. Morehouse and the suspension of Mr. Singleton, and at this
point, before proceeding further with this, I want to say that the
committee will recall that I did not introduce this subject. It was
introduced by Mr. Clark; and that I also stated at that time that all
of the facts in the case which were in possession of the department
had been sent to the Department of Justice for such action as the
Attorney General might deem proper under the law and the facts.
Mr. HIGGINS. When was that sent to the Department of Justice?
Mr. MCCABE. I have the exact date here, but I will come to that
Mr. HIGGINS. Was it a matter of a few weeks ago ?
Mr. MCCABE. A matter of a few days ago. The first knowledge
that the department had of these illegal accounts came on January
20, 1912, when Mr. Wright called at the department and called upon
Mr. Zappone, the disbursing officer. In substance-I do not pretend
to quote him exactly-Mr. Wright said to Mr. Zappone that Mr. Elli-
ott was trying to injure his (Wrght's) professional standing, and that
Mr. Elliott was not treating him fairly. He said that he knew of some
crooked or irregular accounts which Mr. Elliott had submitted. Now,
the disbursing officer is the man who pays the accounts, and if the
accounts are not regular and that fact is discovered, the officers of the
Treasury Department, in a cold-blooded way, require the disbursing
officer to advance the amount of money which he paid on the illegal
account. So that naturally the disbursing officer was interested in
Mr. Wright's statement. He called over the inspector of the depart-
ment, Mr. Ashley, and Mr. Ashley conferred with Mr. Wright on this
point and asked him, having made such a statement, to disclose the
names of the people who had been engaged in this transaction.
Mr. Wright said that there were a number of such cases and gave
Mr. Ashley the name of Mr. Wilkinson, of Belhaven, N. C. I think
that was on Saturday. Monday morning, January 22, 1912, the
inspector gathered all the papers of record in the appointment
clerk's and accounts divisions relative to Wilkinson's appointment,
including copies of vouchers executed by Wilkinson and certified to
as correct, one by Elliott and one by Morehouse, that the men had
rendered service and the accounts were correct. On January 22,
1912, the inspector left for Belhaven, N. C., to interview John A.
Wilkinson. On the evening of January 23 and the morning of Jan-
uary 24 the inspector will testify that he interviewed Wilkinson and
that he told the inspector that at Mr. Elliott's written request he


(Wilkinson) had paid a Government pay roll covering services per-
formed in June, 1909, and had received an appointment and pay
thereunder from July 1 to August 7, 1909, $120, to recompense him
for the amount he had paid out on a Government pay roll, and that
he had done no work under this appointment. Wilkinson also said
that he would come to Washington the following week and give the
inspector a written statement, and this the inspector says hd has
not done.
The inspector returned to Washington on the morning of January
25, and as Wilkinson's statement will disclose an apparent violation
of the statutes of the United States, the inspector conferred with the
solicitor and it was agreed that Dr. True, Director of the Office of
Experiment Stations, who is Mr. Elliott's chief and Mr. Morehouse's
chief, should be informed of the facts and the parties involved
interrogated in his presence. On the same day, January 25, the facts
discovered by the inspector were communicated to Dr. True by the
inspector and the solicitor, in the latter's office. Dr. True dis-
claimed any knowledge of the circumstances, which, he said, had
never been brought to his attention.
Mr. Elliott was sent for, and in Dr. True's presence stated that Dr.
True knew all about it. This Dr. True denied. Mr. Elliott then
admitted that he did not know that Wilkinson had done any work
for the department, except to advance certain moneys for payment
for work incurred during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1909. Mr.
Elliott said, in effect, that Wilkinson was appointed to clear up a
portion of the indebtedness incurred by the Office of Drainage
Investigations in June, 1909. When asked why he had certified that
Wilkinson had rendered services, he said that he had rendered some
service by advancing money. Mr. Elliott's attention was then
called to the fact that the voucher read "Services from July 1 to
July 31," and he made no comment on this fact. He said that Mr.
Morehouse, his assistant, was responsible for the arrangement; that
Morehouse had acted upon the advice of Mr. Singleton, the accountant
in the Office of Experiment Stations, and that the arrangement with
Wilkinson was probably not the only one of its kind at that time,
although he didn't recall the details of any other at the moment.
In the presence of the Solicitor and Dr. True, Dr. Allen, who signed
the recommendation-and, let me say, Dr. Allen is the Assistant
Director of the Office of Experiment Stations and was acting director
at the time, in the absence of Dr. True, when this recommendation
was made for Wilkinson's appointment-Mr. Singleton, accountant,
and Dr. Evans, who as acting director had approved both pay vouchers
of Wilkinson, stated that they had no knowledge of any irregularities
in connection with Wilkinson's appointment and payment, and that
this had not been disclosed to them.
Mr. Morehouse, in the presence of the Solicitor and the inspector, at
first protested that Wilkinson's appointment was regular and that he
believed Wilkinson had rendered services and that there was nothing
to distinguish the Wilkinson appointment from that of any other
agent. When informed that the solicitor and the inspector had some
information regarding Wilkinson's appointment and wanted his ver-
sion of the affair, Mr. Morehouse said that an arrangement had been
fnade whereby Wilkinson was to be reimbursed for money advanced


to cover a pay roll in the fiscal year 1909 by means of an appointment
from the 1910 drainage appropriation.
Search of the files on the same day of the Office of Drainage Inves-
tigations by the inspector and Mr. Morehouse failed to disclose any
correspondence with Wilkinson relative to his appointment.
On January 25 Elliott and Morehouse were called on' by the in-
spector to furnish written statements showing the facts connected
with the appointment of Mr. Wilkinson. These statements were re-
ceived by the inspector about 4 p. m., January 26. In his written
statement of January 26 Mr. Elliott said that Wilkinson's duties, as
outlined in the request for his appointment, dated July 17, 1909,
were to assist J. B. Phillips in an advisory capacity in locating cer-
tain lines required in a drainage survey, and that Wilkinson cooper-
ated in drainage work by furnishing labor and team service. He
stated further that the project sheet of July 16 showed that Mr.
Wilkinson had agreed to cooperate by becoming responsible for the
cost of labor and other ordinary expenses required in working out the
Pantego project. This was in North Carolina. In this letter Elliott
admits that the June pay roll was sent to Mr. Wilkinson, who paid it
as a part of the cooperative arrangement, and was later given a com-
mission, under date of July 19, 1909, to take effect July 1, which was
sent out from Elliott's office July 21, 1909. Elliott stated that he
believed Wilkinson performed services during July and part of
August, for which he had received the sum of $120, his duties being
to give practical advice to Mr. Phillips and furnish him occasional
Mr. Morehouse's letter of January 26, 1912, states that the main
facts in the case are contained in Mr. Elliott's statement on the same
subject. He admits that there were no available funds in the 1909
appropriation for irrigation and drainage investigations, and that the
pay roll for the month of June, 1909, for the Pantego project, was
sent to Mr. Wilkinson with the request that he pay it, which he did.
He says this action was clearly within the spirit of the cooperative
On January 27, 1912, the inspector submitted a written report to
the Secretary of Agriculture covering all the facts then known to the
January 27, 1912, the Secretary sent the papers in the case to the
solicitor, stating that it appeared that the appointment of Mr.
Wilkinson and the certificate of Mr. C. G. Elliott on the payment of
the voucher for Wilkinson seemed to be irregular. He instructed the
solicitor to look into the matter, and let him know what responsibility
rested upon the gentlemen named; whether the solicitor thought the
appointment was regular; and asked the solicitor for advice as to
his (the-Secretary's) duty in the premises.
January 27, 1912, the Solicitor advised the Secretary that there was
a conflict between the statements made to him by Mr. Morehouse and
Mr. Elliott and statements to the inspector. The Solicitor stated that
it was apparent in any view of the case that the appropriation for one
fiscal year had been used to eke out an appropriation for the preceding
fiscal year and that the two vouchers in favor of Mr. Wilkinson pre-
sented by him and certified to, one by Mr. Elliott and one by Mr. More-
house, were false vouchers. The Solicitor relied upon section 5438,
Revised Statutes, now section 32 of the penal code and the act of Feb-


ruary 27, 1906 (34 Stat., 48). He told the Secretary that, in his opin-
ion, a violation of both these provisions of law were involved on the
facts stated by the inspector. He informed the Secretary that, in his
opinion, all parties concerned in any way with the appointment of
Wilkinson should be allowed to examine the inspector's report and
called upon for a complete presentation of their side of the case, and
thereafter the facts should be certified through the Attorney General
to the United States attorney for the District of Columbia with request
that the matter be presented to the grand jury for investigation and
proper action.
January 29, 1912, the secretary referred all the papers in the case to
Dr. True, Director Office of Experiment Stations, and asked him for
his written recommendation as to what administrative action should
be taken. The Secretary also called upon Dr. True to send to him the
statements referred to in the SolicitorTs letter to the Secretary.
February 2, 1912, Dr. True informed the Secretary that he had
gone into the matters set forth in the inspector's report quite broadly.
He said that in his opinion substantial justice would be secured by
the following action, which he recommended should be taken: (1)
Proper steps to be taken to secure the refund of the money illegally
paid; (2) that Messrs. Elliott and Morehouse, having admitted that
they caused other persons to sign false vouchers and themselves had
signed such vouchers, though without intent of wrongdoing or per-
sonal gain, be dismissed from the service of the department; (3)
that Mr. F. E. Singleton be suspended pending further investigation.
The admissions referred to by Dr. True were contained in signed state-
ments, furnished through him in accordance with the Secretary's
instructions, by Elliott and Morehouse. Dr. True also furnished to
the Secretary the statement of F. E. Singleton, accountant for the
Office of Experiment Stations, and R. P. Teele, now in the Census
Bureau, who was acting chief of Irrigation Investigations of the
Office of Experiment Stations during the summer of 1909.
In his statement to the Secretary, submitted through Dr. True,
dated January 30, 1912, Mr. Elliott characterized his written state-
ment of January 26 as "evasive and incomplete, because a statement
of the entire facts would involve other transactions of other parties
and the time given for the preparation of the statement was so short
that I could not give proper consideration to pursue any matters
involving others in the department." He coupled this statement with
an expression of his desire to withdraw his former statement.
He said the irregularities in the statement for the closing weeks of
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1909, were presented by the accountant
department as necessities, and that the accountant insisted that the
bills must be cared for and suggested methods by which it could be
done. He said that his division had instructions from the Director
of Experiment Stations to consult the accountant and that members
of his staff had been repeatedly censured for disregarding instructions
the accountant had given in these matters. Mr. Elliott admits that
money was paid out to agents who did nothing for the Government.
He says they received no compensation for services; "what was
classed as a salary and paid to them was only a return of money which
they had previously loaned as an accommodation to help us through
an emergency." Mr. Elliott cites additional instances of irregulari-
ties not before known to the department. He reported that Omey


Fairley was carried on the pay roll in July, 1909, until he received a
sum sufficient to pay his June expense account. Mr. Elliott says:
There was no fraud in this because Fairley did not receive any money on his expense
account and was paid no more than he was justly entitled to.
Regarding the Wilkinson commission, Mr. Elliott says that the
letter to Wilkinson under date of July 21 had been found by Mr.
Morehouse in his desk. The letter was dictated by Mr. Morehouse
and signed by Elliott. In this letter Elliott informed Wilkinson as
In this way you will be entirely reimbursed for the money which you may advance
for the settlement of this account, and interest on same will also be taken care of.
When the account is fully settled your appointment will be canceled.
The Wilkinson commission was to take care of the Fairley pay roll
for June, amounting to $101.40. Mr. Elliott also reports that an
appointment was offered to H. B. Gilstrap, of Chandler, Okla., July
17, 1909, to provide for the Eason pay roll, a balance amounting to
$239.40, or thereabouts. Mr. Elliott advised Gilstrap that he would
be entirely reimbursed for the money he might advance to settle up
the June accounts and any matter of interest on same would also be
taken care of. When it developed that Gilstrap was a postmaster,
Elliott asked him to return his commission and instead a commission
was issued to H. C. Brunt, whose name was furnished by Gilstrap.
Part of the correspondence in this matter was dictated by Elliott and
part by Morehouse. Gilstrap arranged for the funds before the com-
mission was issued to Brunt, who was assistant cashier of the Union
National Bank, Chandler, Okla. Brunt reports the payment of
$269.25. His appointment was canceled on October 7, 1909.
Mr. Elliott disclaimed that he had any knowledge that there was a
law making such transactions a criminal offense until he had read
the Solicitor's letter of January 27, 1912. He claims that these actions
were taken on the advice of the accountant, and that he was given
to understand throughout that such arrangements were not uncom-
mon in emergencies and not regarded as serious breaches of the rules.
He also says that the deficit in the appropriation was caused by other
divisions of the Office of Experiment Stations and that he made this
arrangement in order to avoid a breach of pleasant relations existing
with the other divisions.
In his letter of August 7, 1909, to Mr. Brunt, Mr. Elliott said:
I will be very much pleased if you can arrange to pay Mr. Eason the entire sum due
(about $240). Your salary, of course, will be allowed to run so as to fully reimburse
you for the amount, as well as for the trouble involved in the transaction.
Mr. Brunt's appointment was at the rate of $100 a month.
In his written statement of January 30, 1912, to the Secretary,
through Dr. True, Morehouse requested the privilege of withdrawing
his statement of January 26 as one too hurriedly prepared and mis-
leading. Like Mr. Elliott, he says the deficit was due to the charging
against the allotment for the Division of Drainage Investigations
expenses incurred by other divisions of the Office of Experiment Sta-
tions. Like Mr. Elliott, he says his acts in arranging for the settle-
ment of the June deficit out of the appropriations for the following
fiscal year were done on the advice of Mr. Singleton, in charge of
accounts. He explained the discovery of the correspondence with
Wilkinson regarding his appointment after two searches had been


made in the files, in one of which he participated in company with
the inspector, by stating that they were brought to light after further
search among a miscellaneous pile of matter which had lain for a long
time in his desk. Mr. Morehouse says that he did not give much
consideration to the propriety or regularity of the methods employed
in taking care of the bills; that his chief concern was to get them paid,
so long as he felt that there was no fraud, but that the Government
money was used only to pay legitimate claims.
In his letter of January 31, 1912, to Dr. True, Mr. Singleton, ac-
countant of the Office of Experiment Stations, states that he explained
the condition of the appropriatian to Mr. Teele, acting chief of irriga-
tion, and Mr. Morehouse, acting chief of drainage, but denied that he
had anything to do with the illegal arrangement made for paying the
June accounts of the Office of Drainage Investigations or any knowl-
edge that the unpaid bills were to be taken care of by appointments of
persons with the understanding that no service was contemplated.
In his statement to Dr. True, January 31, 1912, R. P. Teele, for-
merly Acting Chief of the Division of Irrigation Investigations, says he
has no recollection as to who first suggested that the drainage divi-
sion take care of accounts submitted in excess of the appropriation for
irrigation and drainage at the close of the fiscal year 1909. He is
certain that he never suggested any definite plan of adjustment, or
the adjustment af any specific amount, to Mr. Morehouse.
On February 1, 1912, Mr. Elliott tendered his resignation as chief
of drainage investigations to the Secretary, to take effect when
accepted; but canceled and withdrew it later on the same day.
On February 2, 1912, the Solicitor suggested to Dr. True the advisa-
bility of calling upon Messrs. Elliott, Morehouse, and Singleton to
state to Dr. True m writing that afternoon whether any one of them
had, at any time prior to the beginning of the investigation by the
inspector, discussed the matters involved with any of their superior
officers in the Office of Experiment Stations, or whether to their
knowledge the irregular settlement, as made, was known to any such
Elliott, in a letter of February 3, 1912, declined to respond to Dr.
True's request, stating that he was acting on the advice of counsel
not to give at present information of this nature in his possession.
SMr. Morehouse informed Dr. True orally that he had been advised
by counsel that he was within his rights in refusing to make any
further statement.
February 2, 1912, Mr. Singleton stated that he had discussed the
state of the appropriations with the chief clerk of the Office of Experi-
ment Stations.
On February 3, 1912,.the Secretary put into effect Dr. True's recom-
mendations and removed Mr. Elliott and Mr. Morehouse from their
respective positions for the good of the service, to take effect at noon
on the same day, and furloughed Mr. Singleton without pay until
further order, pending further investigation.
It appeared that there was a straight question of veracity between
Mr. Elliott and Mr. Morehouse on the one side and Mr. Singleton on
the other, Elliott and Morehouse claiming that they did this on the
advice of Mr. Singleton, and Singleton saying they did not.
On February 2, 1912, Mr. Singleton, in a second letter to Dr. True,
reiterates at length that he had no knowledge of any irregular adjust-
ment of the. accounts in question.


On February 2, 1912, Mrs. Johnston, chief clerk of the Office of
Experiment Stations, stated that Mr. Singleton spoke to her in gen-
eral terms of an apparent overdraft on the irrigation appropriation
for the fiscal year 1909, and said that he thought an adjustment
could be made from cooperative funds. Mrs. Johnston says that no
details of such adjustment were brought to her attention in any shape
or form, nor were any particular appointments indicated to her
bearing on such adjustment.
Mr. HIGGINS. Who is she?
Mr. MCCABE. Chief clerk in the Office of Experiment Stations-
Dr. True's chief clerk.
In his letter of February 2,, 1912, to Dr. True, Mr. Teele says,
regarding the settlement of accounts at the close of the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1909, that all the accounts paid through the Division
of Irrigation Investigations were reimbursement accounts, and all
but one were taken care of by State authorities under cooperative
agreements. This one account consisted of two items-$46.85 for
W. P. Gregory himself and $30.04 for C. G. Haskell, his assistant.
Gregory paid the Haskell account and was reimbursed therefore, and
for his own account, already mentioned, by salary payments in excess
of the period for which he was actually employed during the first
months of the next fiscal year. Prof. Gregory, of Tulane University,
New Orleans, is a collaborator of the Office of Experiment Stations
in its investigations in rice irrigation, and Mr. Haskell, whose account
Prof. Gregory paid, was and is working under his direction in. the
rice work.
On February 5, 1912, the Secretary of Agriculture transmitted all
of the papers in the case, accompanied by a brief history of the
matter, to the Attorney General, with a statement that the matter was
brought to the latter's attention for submission to the United States
attorney for the District of Columbia, or for such other action as he
might consider proper. The Attorney General was further advised
that the matter was still under investigation in the department, and
that the Attorney General would be promptly informed of any new
developments on the subject.
On February 6, 1912, copies were obtained from the Treasury of
all vouchers for salary payments to Prof. Gregory during the fiscal
year 1910. These copies were transmitted to the Attorney General,
under date of February 7, 1912, by the Secretary, for consideration
with papers previously forwarded on February 5, 1912.
The case of these irregular accounts, as it stands now, so far as the
information of the department goes, briefly is this:


On July 21, 1909, Elliott wrote Mr. John A. Wilkinson, of Bel-
haven, N. C., advising him that the pay roll for Mr. Fairley's party
for June, 1909, amounting to $101.40, had arrived too late to be paid
from the 1909 appropriation and that he was inclosing an appoint-
ment for Mr. Wilkinson as agent, at the rate of $100 per month, to
take effect July 1, 1909; that he would appreciate it exceedingly if
Wilkinson could arrange to pay the Fairley pay roll. Elliott added:
In this way you will be entirely reimbursed for the money which you may advance
for the settlement of this account, and interest on same will also be taken care of.
When the account is fully settled, your appointment will be canceled.


Under this arrangement, in which Wilkinson must have acquiesced,
as he executed the necessary papers and vouchers subsequently,
Wilkinson received $100 for July, 1909, on a voucher certified by
Elliott and approved by Dr. Evans, and $20 in August on a voucher
certified by Morehouse and approved by Dr. Evans.
As a side light to the Wilkinson case there is a letter from Elliott
to J. V. Phillips, assistant drainage engineer, Pungo, N. C. In this
letter Elliott tells Phillips, who is evidently in charge of the Pungo
River project after the 1st of July, 1909, of the arrangement made
with Wilkinson to take care of the June, 1909, pay roll of the Fairley
party, and concludes with the sentence "it will be well to have this
matter treated confidentially."

This case involves the settlement of the June, 1909, expense
account of Omer Fairley, amounting to $119.37.
On July 14, 1909, Morehouse wrote Fairley at Princeton, Mo., to the
effect that, owing to a shortage of funds for the fiscal year 1909, it
would be impossible to pay Fairley's June, 1909, expense account, and
that to reimburse Fairley it was thought best to cancel his furlough,
which was to take effect July 1, 1909, and continue him on the rolls
with pay until August 7, 1909, after which his furlough could begin.
Morehouse inclosed blank vouchers, with the request that he sign and
return them, so thal the whole amount of $120 might be sent him on
August 8, 1909. I want to call the attention of the committee par-
ticularly to this: Morehouse sent Fairley three field-report blanks,
with the request that he sign and return them, with the information
that Fairley's July and August field reports would be taken care of in
the office.
In accordance with this arrangement, Fairley was continued on the
pay rolls of the Office of Drainage Investigations as a scientific
assistant in rural engineering, at $1,200 per annum, from July 1 to
August 17, 1909, inclusive. The July voucher, for $100, was certified
by C. G. Elliott and approved by Dr. Evans. The August voucher,
for $53.33, was certified by A. D. Morehouse and approved by Dr.
It would appear from the records of the department that Fairley
was carried for 10 days longer than it had been the original intention
of carrying him, and that he received $153.33 to compensate him for
the expense account of $119.37.
In this case a Mr. F. G. Eason apparently had charge of the party
engaged on the Deep Fork project m Oklahoma. Eason submitted
a pay roll for his party for June, 1909, amounting to $447.25, and an
expense account amounting to $22.15, a total of $469.40. Morehouse
wrote Eason on July 12, 1909, suggesting that a balance of $230 of
local (cooperative) funds, which Eason had advised Morehouse by
wire was still available, be applied in canceling as much of the June
pay roll already mentioned as possible, leaving an unpaid balance
of about $239.40. Eason was further advised that Mr. H. B. Gil-
strap, of Chandler, Okla., would probably be appointed as an agent


at the rate of $125 a month, and that under such an arrangement it
was probable that Mr. Gilstrap would have no objection to advancing
the money.
On July 17, 1909, Elliott wrote Gilstrap advising him of the
dilemma, inclosing the appointment already referred to and stating,
"In this way you will be entirely reimbursed for the money which you
may advance to settle up the June accounts, and any matter of inter-
est on the same can also be taken care of. When the accounts are
settled, your appointment will be canceled."
Upon receipt of this letter Gilstrap advised Elliott by wire on July
21, 1909, that he was the postmaster at Chandler, Okla., and would
gladly assist if the Post Office Department consented, and suggested
that Elliott have the First Assistant Postmaster General wire the
proper authority. On the same date Elliott sent two telegrams to
Gilstrap, in one of which he requested the return, before execution, of
the Gilstrap appointment, and in the other he requested that Gilstrap
name some one to whom the commission could be granted to perform
duties described in letter of the 17th.
On July 22 Gilstrap wired Elliott:
Furnish commission to H. C. Brunt. Have arranged for funds.
In the meantime W. J. McEathron, under date of July 21, 1909,
in a postscript presumably addressed to Elliott (only the postscript
was furnished by Elliot as an inclosure to his statement of January 30,
1912, and does not indicate thereon the party to whom it was
addressed) stated that he had read Morehouse's letter to Eason
and that Eason had informed him (McEathron) that $230 of the
local fund had been paid to the men and that this was about half
the amount due them. McEathron also called attention to the
fact that Gilstrap would be holding two Government positions if
he were appointed as suggested in the letter to Eason. In a letter
dated July 23, 1909, Gilstrap advised Elliott that Brunt was the
assistant cashier of the Union National Bank in Chandler, Okla.,
and that he (Gilstrap) had arranged with the cashier to furnish the
money required for the pay roll of Mr. Eason's party. Gilstrap
stated further that he was returning the commission, but would
retain the other papers until he knew whether they were necessary
for Mr. Brunt's use.
On July 26, 1909, Morehouse wrote Gilstrap advising him that
They were sending by the same mail to Mr. Brunt a commission
(agent at $100 per month) and that they were referring Mr. Brunt
to Gilstrap for the information contained in the letter of instruc-
tions previously sent Gilstrap. Morehouse concluded by expressing
the fact that they appreciated exceedingly his kindness in the matter
and trusted that he might have occasion to reciprocate.
OIn the same date, July 26, 1909, Morehouse wrote Brunt inclosing
the latter's commission as an agent at $100 a month and referring
Brunt to Gilstrap for additional instructions. Morehouse also inclosed
four salary vouchers with the request that they be signed in blank and
the statement, "We will attend to filling them out here in the office."
Brunt-of course, he was assistant cashier in the bank and probably a
very busy man-executed his commission, which was dated July 23,
1909, but effective July 1, 1909. On August 7, 1909, Elliott wrote
Brunt to the effect that he (Elliott) had just received a letter from


Eason in which it was stated that Eason had not yet received the
money to pay the balance on the June pay roll. After referring to
Gilstrap's letter of July 23, in which Gilstrap had spoken of Brunt as
being willing to enter into the arrangement suggested, Mr. Elliott said:
I wrote you on August 4 acknowledging receipt of the papers which you filled out in
connection with your commission, and I presume that before this letter reaches you
you will have received the $100 for July. I will be pleased if you can arrange to pay
Mr. Eason the entire sum due-about $240. Your salary, of course, will be allowed to
run, so as to fully reimburse you for the amount as well as for the trouble involved in
the transaction.
The papers in this case do not square with each other and it is
believed that further investigation may reveal an indirection which
has not yet come to light. Exact figures can not be given in this case
at this time. But it is believed that we will be ultimately able to
establish the fact that Brunt actually paid out $239.40. The vouchers
in his case show that he received $100 for July, 1909, certified by
Elliott and approved by Dr. Evans; $100 for August, certified by
Morehouse and approved by Dr. Evans; and $63.33 for September,
certified by Morehouse and approved by Dr. True.

The data regarding the Gregory case is incomplete, but it will be
found, so far as the department has it, to be about as follows: It would
seem that Prof. W. B. Gregory was, and is, a collaborator of the Office
of Experiment Stations in its investigations on rice irrigation, and
Mr. C. G. Haskell, to whom further reference will be made later, was
and is working under Prof. Gregory's direction in the rice work,
Gregory had an expense account for June, 1909, for $46.85, and
Haskell had a similar account, amounting to $30.04, making a total of
$76.89. Gregory was employed for portions of the year as a col-
laborator at $7.50 per day. He paid Haskell's expense account above
mentioned and was reimbursed therefore, and for the expense account
of $46.85 due him, Gregory, by being carried in a pay status for a suffi-
cient number of days in excess of the time he was actually employed
during the fiscal year 1910 to cover the paid amounts. The records,
in their present incomplete form, do not show whether he received a
bonus over the actual amount advanced or not.
Now, there is a law which prohibits the creation of deficiencies.
There was a deficiency in June, 1909, in this appropriation. That
law provides for a penalty for any man who creates a deficiency. I
think it is obvious from the statement that I have made here, which
the department is fully prepared to substantiate, that these men
started to cover up the deficiency by telling men on the outside that
if they would advance the funds to pay the June expenses, which
was in the fiscal year 1909, they would be put on the salary roll for
the fiscal year 1910 and continued until they had gotten back the
moneys which they had advanced, with interest, and something for
their trouble. And I think that the statement shows that this was
exactly what they did.
The facts which I have narrated also show that with reasonable
promptness, after the information first came into the possession of
the department, the department acted.
When Mr. Clark was before the committee he seemed to deprecate
the fact that the department had acted on the information furnished


by Mr. Wright, and intimated that before the investigation was over
Mr. Wright would not be held in very high regard. I know nothing
whatever about Mr. Wright or about his character. He is not an
employee of the department at present, nor was the department
concerned with his 'character. It does not make any difference who
brings in information to the Department of Agriculture concerning
crooked accounts. We take the information, and if we find that
crooked accounts have been presented we endeavor to punish the
guilty parties.
The CHAIRMAN. All of these irregularities you have been talking
about accrued out of the expenditure of lump funds, did they not ,
Mr. McCABE. It did.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you state whether Mr. Wilkinson had any
personal interest in this drainage project, or whether the execution of
it would benefit him personally in his own private capacity ?
Mr. MCCABE. My information is that he was interested.
The CHAIRMAN. He was interested. Can you state whether or not
Mr. Gilstrap was personally interested in the matter on which he
was advancing funds for ?
Mr. MCCABE. I do not know that he was.
The CHAIRMAN. Who would have to approve these drainage
projects, such as the one you have referred to in which Mr. Wilkinson
was interested, in order to get them started ?
Mr. MCCABE. They generally arise first through the approval of
some Member of Congress for the district in which it is located. He
comes down to the department and presents the necessities of his
district and states he thinks the department should undertake an
investigation of that place. The engineers of the Office of Drainage
Investigations then make a preliminary survey, and if they recom-
mend that the work be done, then a survey is made.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any information at the present time
as to whether or not the Wilkinson project related to the interests
of any other man except Wilkinson?
Mr. MCCABE. I do not know that it related to the interest of
Wilkinson. I said that my impression was that Wilkinson was
interested in the project.
The CHAIRMAN. I just wanted to know whether this advancement
of funds was to promote private interests, or just to carry along the
work in the interest of all the people.
Mr. McCABE. Well, they were getting it back, and something for
their trouble.
The CHAIRMAN. Would it have been possible for this state of
affairs to exist if the money had not been appropriated in lump sums ?
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir; you can frame your appropriation in any
way that you please, but so long as there are men who will deliber-
ately and willfully execute false vouchers and submit them with all
the appearance of regularity, frauds will be perpetrated.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it your opinion that the temptation and oppor-
tunity is greater when the appropriations are made in lump sums
Mr. McCABE. I do not thik I have ever considered that. I pre-
sume it leaves more to the administrative officer than if the objects
are specifically enumerated.
The CHAIMAN. Isn't it true that these funds for drainage and
irrigation were lumped together


The CHAIRMAN. The appropriation did not allot so much for irri-
gation and so much for other objects. Now, the fact of the money
being lumped in that way, in your judgment, did that lead to any such
result, or tend to lead to it, more than would have been the case if the
drainage funds had been lumped, so much for drainage, and the irri-
gation funds had been lumped, so much for irrigation ?
Mr. McCABE. I do not know as to that; but if Mr. Elliott is right,
that would follow.
The CHAIRMAN. This question is a practical matter. We are going
to have an appropriation bill come up here for consideration in a few
days, and we would like to know which is the best way to appropriate
this money
Mr. McCABE. It has been separated since the 1st of July, 1909.
My personal opinion on the subject of lump-sum appropriations is
this: That it is wise and in the interest of good administration for
Congress to make the appropriations just as specific as possible; but
it is also obvious that where there is a big piece of work to be done,
and the number of men that will be required to do it is unknown, and
the amount of outside assistance that will be needed is unknown, and
the relation between those two things and the amount of work to be
done is unknown, it is impossible to have a statutory roll and expense
The CHAIRMAN. When it develops-if it should develop, that a
project has been undertaken which relates largely to private interests,
that project, I understand, usually comes up on the recommendation
of some Member of Congress ?
Mr. MCCABE. Yes, sir; or on the recommendation of the State
The CHAIRMAN. But, of course, you hold the engineer who makes
the report responsible, rather than the Member of Congress who rec-
ommends it?
Mr. MCCABE. I think we look to both. I think the department has
a right to do that.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the way you do ?
Mr. McCABE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, the Member suggests that he
would like to have the project examined by the department, and then
you send out an engineer to make a report on it. Does the decision
of the department depend on the report of the engineer or the recom-
mendation of the Member of Congress ?
Mr. MCCABE. On both. I do not think that if the engineers were
to' report adversely that the survey would be made. I have never
heard of that being done.
Mr. HIGGINS. I suppose the engineer reports on the engineering
features and the Member of Congress on other features that might be
controlling as to whether or not it should be developed
Mr. McCABE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand adjourned at 12 o'clock
to-day, but before we adjourn I will say that if any member wishes
to have Mr. McCabe continue his statement we will give him an
opportunity to do so Tuesday morning, when the committee will
meet at 10 o'clock; there will be witnesses to appear at that time.
Mr. MCCABE. I have finished my statement, but I want the com-
mittee to give me an opportunity to introduce witnesses to substan-
tiate the evidence.


Mr. FLOYD. That will be done, of course.
Mr. FRENCH. Would it not be a good idea to have this complete
history, referred to as having been indexed and catalogued, presented
for the information of the committee? I think that would be the
most convenient way we could have all these papers for examination.
Mr. FLOYD. That will be a matter to be taken up later. As the
witnesses are introduced all these papers will be submitted, to go in
the evidence.
Mr. McCABE. I will be glad to submit the papers referred to for
examination of any member of the committee, either here or at the
Mr. FRENCH. Well, of course, we don't want to waste any time
examining something we don't want; but, on the other hand I believe
it would be a good deal better to have it brought here in that shape
rather than piecemeal.
Thereupon, at 11.55 a. m., the committee adjourned, to meet at
10 o'clock a. m., Tuesday, February 13, 1912.


No. 2





FEBRUARY 13, 1912



Tuesday, February 13, 1912.
The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Ralph W. Moss (chair-
man) presiding.


The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. You may state your name and position to the
Mr. ZAPPONE. I am Chief of the Division of Accounts and Disburse-
ments, Department of Agriculture.
The CHAIRMAN. We are investigating the drainage operations of
the department in the Everglades, Mr. Zappone, and would like to
have a statement from you, representing the Department of Agri-
culture, giving an entire exhibit of the financial transactions relating
to the investigations that the Department of Agriculture has made
jointly with the State of Florida.
Mr. ZAPPONE. As requested by the committee, I submit herewith
a statement of expenditures incurred by the Department of Agricul-
ture in connection with the Everglades of Florida. The total amount
for the work is $11,017.34. This statement also includes all expenses
for the preparation of the report alleged to have been suppressed by
the Department of Agriculture.
The statement follows:
Statement of expenditures incurred by the Department of Agriculture in connection with
the Everglades of Florida.
[Appropriation: Irrigation and drainage investigations.]
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
January, 1907................................................ $100.00
February, 1907................ .................... ..... 100.00
M arch, 1907 .................................................. 100.00
April, 1907........................................... 70.00
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1907-
Labor.... ................................... $6.00
Supplies...... .................... .............. 60.75
Subsistence .......................................... 52.43
S 119.18
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1907, subsistence .................. 18.55
Reimbursement expenses, March, 1907, storage..................... 2.00
Washington Southern Ry., Washington to Fort Myer............ 31.75
Atlantic Coast Line, Fort Myer to Washington.................. 31.75
Florida East Coast Ry., Pompano to Sanford .................. 6.80
Atlantic Coast Line, Sanford to Fort Myer ..................... 5.95


E. W. Chadwick, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
January, 1907 ............................................... $60.00
February, 1907............................................... 60.00
March, 1907...........................................-.....-. 60.00
April, 1907 ................................................... 40.00
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1907-
Supplies ........................---.........-........-- $3.00
Subsistence...................... -- --......... ...-- 50.19
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1907, subsistence................... 17.83
Washington Southern Ry., Washington to Fort Myer............ 31.75
Florida East Coast Ry., Pompano to Sanford .................. 6.80
Atlantic Coast Line-
Sanford to Fort Myer....................................... 5.95
Fort Myer to Washington................................. 31.75
A. N. Darrow, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C., salary, May,
1907 .... ...... .............................................. 28.00
Paul Funderhide, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
January, 1907 .......... ............................... 50 00
February, 1907............................. ......... 100.00
March, 1907.............. ...... ..... ............... 100.00
April, 1907 .....................................---........... 66. 67
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1907, subsistence................. 17.72
Florida East Coast Ry., Pompano to Sanford .................... 6.80
Atlantic Coast Line-
Sanford to Fort Myers ..................................... 5.95
'Fort Myers to Washington ........... ....... ........... 31.75
H. A. Kipp, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
Salary, April, 1907...... .................................. 6. 67
George F. Pohlers, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
April, 1907........................ ......................... 8. 33
May, 1907..................-----------------........ 12.50
I. S. Singletary, temporary assistant (guide), field headquarters, the
Everglades, Fla.:
February, 1907........................................ 150.00
March, 1907......... ...... ...... .................. ...... 150.00
April, 1907.............. ................................ 40. 00
J. T. Stewart, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
January, 1907......................-------- -------------...... 80.00
February, 1907. ............................................... 150. 00
March, 1907........ ....... ....................... 150. 00
April, 1907. ................................................... 150.00
May 1907............. ... .... .......... ................. 150.00
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1907-
Labor.......... ....... ....-- ... ....... : ..- $151. 17
Supplies..............-. ......................... 8. 60
Subsistence ............ ......................... 95. 60
255. 37
Reimbursement expenses, February, 1907-
Labor .................-... ...-.........91. 67
Teams.......... .. -----....................... 339.50
Supplies. ......................................... 133.20
Subsistence ......................................-------- 227.97
792. 34
Reimbursement expenses, March, 1907-
Labor............... ......-------..............--- 219.00
Supplies. ......... .... ..-................... 32.45
Subsistence ......... .................... .........-. 265.85
517. 30


J. T.





* 49

Stewart, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades,
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1907-
Labor ............. -.................................. $59. 67
Livery.................................................. 36.50
Supplies ............... .......... ... .............. .... 12.85
Subsistence............................................. 97.85
-_-- $206.87
Lake Erie & Western R. R.; Paxton, Ill., to Washington, D. C. (en
route to Fort Myers, Fla.) ................................... 18. 45
Washington Southern Ry.; Washington to Fort Myers............ 31.75
Florida East Coast Line; Pompano to Sanford ................... 6. 80
Atlantic Coast Line; Sanford to Fort Myers ..................... 5.95
Southern Railway Co.; Jacksonville to Washington.............. 22. 65
Wright, supervising drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Ever-
les, Fla.:
alary, November, 190 ........................................... 187. 50
reimbursement expenses, November, 1906; subsistence.............. 54. 77
Washington Southern Ry.; Washington to Tallahasse and return. 43. 50
Pullman Co.; Washington to Jacksonville........................ 5. 50
Atlantic Coast Line; Jacksonville to For Myers and return ...... 18.20
Florida East Coast Ry.; Jacksonville to LWuderl le and return... -- 2. 50
Pullman Co.; Charleston, S. C., to Washington, C ............ 3. 50
ermaster's Department, United States Army; tets ................. 133. 20
s Express Co.; express........................................... 33. 75

Total expenses for fiscal year 1907 ............................... 4,765.54

FISCAL YfAk %ifs.
[Appropriation: Irrigation and drainage investigations.]
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer, field h-eadqu&rters, the Everglades,
November, 1907...........................................
December, 1907 ........................ ................... ...
February, 1908....... ....................................
March, 108........................................................
April, 1908...................................................
May, 1908........ .......................................
Reimbursement expenses, December, 1907-
Cash railroad fare........................................ $13.85
Livery ................................................. 3.00
Subsistence............................................ 35.05
Supplies................................................ 6. 95
Telegraph and telephone ................................ .25
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1908-
Labor....... -----------------------------------. 62. 50
Cash railroad fare........................................ 1.50
Launch hire .................................. ........ 9.00
Subsistence ..................... ...................... 14.05
Field supplies ...................... .................... 19.02
Telegraph af d telephone ................................ .25
Reimbursement expenses, February, 1908:
Labor.......................... ................... 65. 25
Livery ............. ..... ....... .................. ... ... 8.53
Cash railroad fare ....................................... 1.00
Subsistence ........................................... 22.86
FiQld supplies....-----......................... ......... 38. 90
Telegraph and telephone ................................. .25
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1908-labor.....................

$20. 83
125. 00

59. 10




Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades,
Reimbursement expenses, March, 1908-
Subsistence .................. ................------.. $0. 50
Field supplies .............---- .....------................----- 59.79
$60. 29
SReimbursement expenses, March, 1908-freight and express--....-... 13.84
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1908-
Livery ........--............ ... ---- ---............-. 75.00
Cash railroad fare ........................................ 20.90
Subsistence ................................... ..... --- 26.10
Field supplies ................................ .......... 90
Freight and express ..............-..... ....--- ...---- 75
Atlantic Coast Line, Jacksonville to Washington ................ 20. 75
Washington Southern Ry., Washington to Palm Beach,Fla....... 31.90
C. G. Elliott, chief, drainage investigations, headquarters, Washington, D.C.:
December, 1907....................... .. .... ....-----...... 20.00
March, 1908............ -------------------..----------------. 10.00
May, 1908............- .....-.............--...- ....-- .. 20. 00
June, 1908 ...............................----.--.------------- 10. 00
F. M. Fugate, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
December, 1907...........................----------- --------52.50
January, 1908...........................- .......---.......... 75.00
February, 1908..............................---- ..---- --------- 75.00
March, 1908... ....- .... .- ...... ...................... -- ---- 75. 00
April, 1908 ----.............----.-... ---------------------- 42.50
Reimbursement expenses, December, 1907-
Cash railroad fare .................--..-------------. 8.85
Subsistence.-.......------............------- ----------- 30.55
Telegraph and telephone ................................. 25
39. 65
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1908-
Subsistence .......................------------.............. 8.70
Telegraph and telephone ----........--..---.............. .25
Reimbursement expenses, February, 1908-
Subsistence.... ...................---------- 8.30
Telegraph and telephone ................................. 25
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1908-
Cash railroad fare -...........---.....----....--- ...----- 24.45
Subsistence..................-- ....-------- ..---------.. 20.55
Field supplies-------..............-------...--- ..------------------- 1.00
46. 00
Atlantic Coast Line, Jacksonville to Bergaw, N. C............... 13.25
St. Louis & San Francisco Ry., Memphis to West Palm Beach .... 26.40
E. F. Kerin, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla..
December, 1907 ...............-.......----.------------.... 67. 50
January, 1908 ........... ... ............-...--------- ------ 75.00
February, 1908............ ..-- .........--- .....------- 75.00
March, 1908............. .......... ...................... 75.00
April, 1908..--.....----. .....-.....--------.--------------- 42.50
Reimbursement expenses, December, 1907-
Cash railroad fare... ........-..........-...............-- 7.50
Subsistence--........----- ---. --- ------------------ --33.85
Telegraph and telephone .............. .........-----. -25
41. 60
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1908-
Subsistence ...-----.----. .-------------.------------ 6.60
Telegraph and telephone ................................. 25


E. F. Kerin, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.-Continued.
Reimbursement expenses, February, 1908-
Subsistence....... ...................... ................ $8.45
Telegraph and telephone.................................. .25
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1908-
Cash railroad fare.......................................... 9.35
Subsistence............................................. 21.25
Washington Southern Ry., Washington to Palm Beach.......... 31.90
Atlantic Coast Line, Jacksonville to Bergaw, N. C.............. 13.25
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
July, 1907 ......................................... ...----... 12.51
August, 1907.................................................. 2.56
W. W. Weir, drainage engineer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, June, 1908 ............................................... 69.44
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer, headquarters, Washing-
ton, D. C.:
March, 1908...................................... ....... 7.00
April, 1908 .................................................. 14.00
M ay, 1908..................................................... 7.00
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Ever-
glades, Fla.:
January, 1908 .............................................. 187.50
February, 1908 ............................................... 187.50
M arch, 1908................................................... 187.50
April, 1908 ................................................... 187.50
M ay, 1908 ..................................................... 157.30
June, 1908................................................... 150.00
Reimbursement expenses, January, 1908-
Cash railroad fare...................................... $10.45
Livery ...........................----.--.....-----..... 10.00
Subsistence .......................................... 93.12
Telegraph and telephone .............................. .65
114. 22
Reimbursement expenses, February, 1908-
Labor ................................................. 20.75
Livery ................................................ 5.00
Cash railroad fare ................... .................. 6.70
Subsistence............................................ 71.81
Field supplies ......................................... .80
Freight and express .................................... .75
Telegraph and telephone ............................... 60
Reimbursement expenses, March, 1908-
Cash railroad fare. ..................................... 3.00
Livery................................................. 9.00
Subsistence............................................ 35.72
Field supplies ............................. ........... 2.90
Freight and express ................................... 18.00
Telegraph and telephone ............................... .60
Reimbursement expenses, April, 1908-
Cash railroad fares ................... ................. 11.75
Livery.......................... ........ .......... 7.00
Subsistence ............................................ 46.72
Field supplies. ........................................ 1.20
Telegraph and telephone ............................... 1.16


J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer, field headqiurters, the Ever-
glades, Fla.-Continued.
Washington Southern Ry., Washington to Jacksonville .......
Pullman Co., Washington to Jacksonville.....................
Atlantic Coast Line, Sanford to West Palm Beach...............
Flbida Eastast st Ry., West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and
ettutn........................................ ...... ..... ...
Atlantic Coast Line, Port Tampa to Fort Myers...........
Peninsula & Occidental Steamship Co., Knights Key bok' to
Port Tampaf...... ................................
Florida Eat-Coast f1y.-
Miami to Knights Kyy ..................................
West Palm Beach to Miami and return.....................
Atlantic Coast Live-
Fort Myers to Kissitmnee ..............................
Kissimnime to Fort Myefs ..............................
Fort Myetsto Jackstvill ............................
Sotitheth ay., SAsohvllel to Asheville, N. .................
Pullman Co., Jacksonville to Asheville.........................
Southern Ry., Asheville to Washington.......................
G. 3. SthrbhM Co.:
Subsistence aspplies-
Decetmbe, 1907 ........................................
January, 1908. ..............................................
Do............ ............ ..... ...............
February, 1908................ ......................
Match, 1908.......................................
l Worth Mercantile 'o.:
amp btquipmient, Detmanber, 1907................................
1Palm. Beach Transfer Co.:
'Seam hire-
December, 1907 .. ............ ...........................
F britaty, 1908 .................................... .........
Do................ .................................
Frank Gar h t:
Labor, December, 1907 ...........................................
1. 1d. tankiord:
Labor, December, 1907......................... .................
Fowler Bros.:
Boat ahs equipment, February, 1908..............................
H. E. Heitinan Co.:
SubsistBnce supplies-
MI ch, 1908................................................
Aftil, 1908 -..................-..............................

Total expenses for fiscal year 1908 ................................. 4, 712. 63

[Appropriation: Irrigation and drainage investigations.]
Lawrence ett, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.:
Salary4 March, 1909----..--------------------.................---.......
SReimbursement expenses, March, 1909, supplies....................
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer, headquarters, Washing-
ton, D. O.:
Salary, August, 1908 ...............................................
Geo. F. Polier, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Aaguat, 1908.................- ..........................
September, 1908........................ .....................
February, 1909 ................ ............................
March, 1909 .............................. .... .....-------
April, 1909.................. ...............................
Mary E. Holland, stenographer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, June, 1909...............................................










47. 50









Emma C. Alexander, stenographer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
February, 1909.................. ............................
March, 1909..................................................
April, 1909 ................................................
Anna M. Hubard, stenographer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
July, 1908..................................................
August, 1908................... ..........................
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, June, 1909 .......... ............ ....................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer, headquarteis, Washington,
D. C.:
July, 1908 ................ ..................................
February, 1909................. .......................
March, 1909...................................
April, 1909 .................................................
10. 0. Elliott, chief, drainage investigations, headquarters, Washington,
D. C.:
December, 198 ...................... ................ ....
February, 1909............................................
Match, 1'909................................................
April, 1909.................................... ...........
M ay, 1909 .....................................................
June, 1909 .....................................................

Total bxpeafes fo fiscal year 1909 ........................... 779.03

tApkpbpiiAttlAi: Dralniage Irn'e.1garlons."]
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
alaust, ib ...............................................
S tethea r, 109..............................................
October, 1909....................... ..................
November, 1909..............................................
January, 1910...................... ... ..............
Febiu*y, 1914. .............................................
t. Matsden, assaif t office egiAiie, headwaters, Waington, D. C.:
November, 1909.............................................
December, 1909 ................................-.. .....
January, 1910....................... .. .. ............
rebr ary, 1910 ...............................................
C. G. Elliot, dlfie, Allaiagfe investigation, headqnaiters, Washington,
D. C.:
November, 9 ............................. ...............-
December, 1909......................... ...---....-.
January, 1910 ................................... ............
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer, headquarters, Washington,
D. C.:
December, 1909............. .............................
January, 1910............... .............................
Geo. F. Pohlers, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, December, 1909.............................................
N. B. Wade, assistant office engineer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
January, 1910....................................
February, 1910. ................................... .......
Virginia S. Higgins, stenographer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, February, 1910 ...........................................
Mabel A. Shekells, stenographer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, May, 1910............................... ......





10. 00
S3 00

$14. 00


5. O








[Appropriation: Agricultural experiment stations.]
W. H. Beall, editorial supervision .................................... $27.98
T. K. Burrows, editorial supervision ......... ......................... 15.56
[Appropriation: Salaries, Office of Experiment Stations.]
William Henry, proof reader ........................................ 13.33
[Appropriation: Salaries, Division of Publications.]
B. D. Stallings, editorial and proof reading .............................. 25.00
Stanley Searls, editorial and proof reading............................. 30.00
George W. Kennedy, editorial and proof reading ....................... 20.00
[Appropriation: Public printing and binding, Government Printing Office.]
Composition, including changes in proof and electrotyping ............... 235.77

Total expenses for fiscal year 1910 ................................ 754.14
[Appropriation: Drainage investigations.]
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer, headquarters, Washington, D. C.:
Salary, October, 1910............................................. $6.00

Grand total..................... ............................... 11,017.34
Respectfully submitted.
Chief Division of Accounts and Disbursements.
FEBRUARY 10, 1912.
In addition, I submit a separate statement showing the approxi-
mate cost of the preparation of the report on the Everglades of Florida,
alleged to have been suppressed by the Department of Agriculture.
These expenses are also included in the first financial statement,
giving an analysis of all moneys expended in the investigation of the
Everglades of Florida. The approximate cost for the preparation of
the report is $2,471.15.
I certify that the data for both statements has been taken from
the records of the department and is correct to the best of my knowl-
edge and belief.
The statement follows:

Statement showing approximate cost of the preparation of the report on the Everglades of
Florida, alleged to have been suppressed by the Department of Agriculture.
[Appropriation: Irrigation and drainage investigations.]
April, 1907:
H. A. Kipp, drainage engineer ...................................... $6. 67
S J. T. Stewart, drainage engineer (estimated)........................ 75.00
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman .......................................... 8. 33
May, ]907:
S J. T. Stewart, drainage engineer ............... .................. 150.00
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman.......................................... 12. 50
A. N. Darrow, draftsman .......................................... 28.00
Total for fiscal year 1907.............. ...................... 280. 50


[Appropriation: Irrigation and drainage investigations.]
July, 1907,'G. F. Pohlers, draftsman ....................................
August, 1907, G. F. Pohlers, draftsman..................................
December, 1907, C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations............
March, 1908:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations........................
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer.....................
April, 1908:
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer.....................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer (estimated)..............
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer (estimated)........................
May, 1908:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations........................
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer.....................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer .........................
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer..................................
June, 1908:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations.......................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer.........................
W. W. Weir, drainage engineer............................. ......

$12. 51
2. 56


40. 00
157. 30
66. 67

10. 00

Total for fiscal year 1908 ........................................ 651. 48
[Appropriation: Irrigation and drainage investigations.]

July, 1908:
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer........................
Anna M. Hubard, stenographer....................................
August, 1908:
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer....................
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman...........................................
Anna M. Hubard, stenographer.....................................
September, 1908, G. F. Pohlers, draftsman................................
December, 1908, C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations............
February, 1909:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations........................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer.........................
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman................................ ....
Emma C. Alexander, stenographer...................................
March, 1909:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations........................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer................. .......
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer..................................
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman...........................................
Emma C. Alexander, stenographer....................................
April, 1909:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations ........................
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer........................
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman..........................................
Emma C. Alexander, stenographer ...................................
May, 1909, C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations.................
June, 1909:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations........................
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer...................... ............
Mary E. Holland, stenographer......................................


10. 00

20. 00

20. 00

147. 50
28. 00


Total for fiscal year 1909........................................ 779. 0
[Appropriation: Drainage investigations.]
August, 1909, A. D. Morehouse, office engineer.......................... $14.00
September, 1909, A. D. Morehouse, office engineer........................ 12.00
October, 1909, A. D. Morehouse, office engineer......................... 6.00


November, 1909:
C. G. Elliott, chief of drainage investigations ........................ $30.00
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer ................................. 12.00
R. D. Marsden, assistant office engineer ............................ 12.00
December, 1909:
C. G. Eliott, chieff of drainage investtigations....................... 20.00
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer............................ 117.50
R. D. Marden, assistant office eg r .............................. 8.00
G. F. Pohiers, draftsman........................................... 9.00
January, 1910:
C. G. Eliott, chief of dtainae i~~esgations ..................... 30.00
A. D. Morehouse, office e-gitter.................................... 12.00
J. 0. Wright, supervising draintgeengineer ....................... 45.00
R. D. Marsden, assistant office engineer.......................... 15.00
N. B. Wade, assistant office engineer............................... 8.00
February, 1910:
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer........................... ...... 7.00
R. D. Marsden, assistant office engineer ................... .......... 5.00
N. B. Wade, assistant office engineer................................. .00
Virginia S. igg is, stenographe..................................... 1.00
May, 1910, Mabel Shekells, stenographel............................... 3.00
[Appropriation: Agricultural experiment stations.]
. .VH.Beall, editorial supervision....................................... 27.98
T. K. Burrows, editorial supervision.................................... 15.56
I la spVp"l a : fintts, Wida ViS rftoeyrt Whadts.I
Win. Henry, proof reader............................................... 13.33
[Appropriation: Salaries, Division of Publications.]
t. b. Stallings, editorial and proof ftbaitng.............................. 25.00
Stainey Searles, editorial and proof reading ... ....................... 30.00
'George W. Kennedy, editorial and proof reading....................... 20.00
(Appropriation: P#btl pinti*n aan binding, eovernneht Printing Ofde.1
Composition, including changes in proof aad electrotyping ................ 25.77
Total for fiscal year 1910.......................................... 754.14
[Appropriation: Dratmsge Invevstgations.)
October, 1910, A. D. Morehouse, office engineer....................... $6.00

Grand total.......................... .............. 2,471.15
Respectfully submitted.
Chief Division of Accounts and Disebrsements.
FEBRUARY 10, 1912.

Mr. FLOYD. Is that item of $2,471.15 included in the $11,017.34?
Mr. ZAPPONE. It is, as I just stated. I understood the committee
iotild wish a separate statement of the cost of the preparation of the
report alleged to have been suppressed by the department.
The CHAIRA. I wish you would take this statement and give
the name of each individual who appears in the statement, giving the
official title and the total amount received by each person, so we may
get that information at the present time.


Mr. ZAPPONE. The following employees were engaged on. the work:
[Appropriation: "Irrigation and drainage investigation."]
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer; field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla. $585. 98
E. W. Chadwick, agent; field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla........... 367. 27
A. N. Darrow, draftsman; headquarters, Washington, D. C............... 28. 0O
Paul Funderhide, agent; field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.......... 378. 89
H. A. Kipp, drainage engineer; field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla... 6. 67
George F. Pohlers, draftsman; headquarters, Washington, D. C........... 20. 83
I. F. Singletary, temporary assistant (guide); field headquarters, the Ever-
glades, Fla... ............................................ 340. 00
J. T. Stewart, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla.. 2, 537. 48-- --
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Ever-
glades, Fla ................................... .................. 333.47
Quartermaster's Department, U. S. Army, for tents....................... 133.20
Adams Express Co., expressage........................................ 33. 75

Total expenses, fiscal year 1907............................... 4,765. 54
[Appropriation: "Irrigation and drainage investigations."]
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades,
Fla................................................................. $1,340.39
C. G. Elliott, chief, drainage investigations, headquarters, Washington,
D. ............................................................... 60,00
F. M. Fugate, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades. Fla............ 462. 80
E. F.'Kerin, agent, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla............... 467.90
G. F. Pohlers, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C............... 15.07
W. W. Weir, drainage engineer, headquarters, Washington, D. C......... 69.44
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer, headquarters, Washing-
ton D. C...... .. ...... .. ......... 28. 00
J. O. Wright, supervising engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fa. 1, 524.8.&
G. G. Sthrohm Co., subsistence supplies, total amount paid fiscal year 1908. 261.02
Lake Worth Mercantile Co., camp equipment.......................... 11.19
West Palm Beach Transfer Co., team hire ............................... 270.50
Frank Gardner, labor................................................ 47.50
J. G. Lankford, labor.................................................. 15.00
Fowler Bros., boat and equipment.................................... 18.00
H. E. Heitman Co., subsistence supplies........................... 120.94
Total expenses, fiscal year 1908.................................. 4, 712. 63
[Appropriation, "Irrigation and drainage investigations."]
Lawrence Brett, drainage engineer, field headquarters, the Everglades, Fla. $11. 83
S. M. Woodward, supervising drainage engineer, headquarters, Washing-
ton, D. C........................................................... 10.00
George F. Pohlers, draftsman, headquarters, Washington, D. C......... 160. 00
Mary E. Holland, stenographer; headquarters, Washington, D. C.......... 5.70
Emma C. Alexander, stenographer; headquarters, Washington, D. C..... 55.00
Anna M. Hubard, stenographer; headquarters, Washington, D. C......... 15.00
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer; headquarters, Washington, D. C........ 19. 00
J. O. Wright, supervising drainage engineer; headquarters, Washington,
D. C............... ........................................ 417.50
C. G. Elliott, chief, drainage investigations; headquarters, Washington,
D. C .............................................. 85.00
Total expenses, fiscal year 1909.................................. 779.03

[Appropriation, "Drainage Investigations."]
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer; headquarters, Washington, D. C........ $63.00
R. D. Marsden, assistant office engineer; headquarters, Washington, D. C. 40.00
0. G. Elliott, chief, drainage investigations; headquarters, Washingtofn,
D. G.................................................... 80.00
J. O. Wright, supervising engineer; headquarters, Washington, D. C...... 162.50
George F. Pohlers, draftsman; headquarters, Washington, D. C............ 9.00
N. B. Wade, assistant office engineer; headquarters, Washington, D. C... 28.00
Virginia S. Higgins, stenographer; headquarters, Washington, D. ....... 1.00
Mabel A. Shekells, stenographer; headquarters, Washington, D. C........ 3.00
[Appropriation: "Agricultural experiment stations."]
W. H. Beall, editorial supervision.......................... .......... 27.98
T. K. Burrows, editorial supervision................................................. 15.56
[Appropriation: "Salaries, Office of Experiment Stations."]
William Henry, proof reader .......................................... 13. 33
[Appropriation: "Salaries, Division of Publications."]
B. D. Stallings, editorial and proof reading .............................. 25.00
Stanley Searles, editorial and proof reading............................. 30.00
George W. Kennedy, editorial and proof reading ........................ 20.00
[Appropriation: "Public printing and binding, Government Printing Office."]
Composition, including changes in proof and electrotyping................ 235.77
Total expenses, fiscal year 1910 ................................. 754.14
[Appropriation: "Drainage investigations."]
A. D. Morehouse, office engineer; headquarters, Washington, D. C........ $6.00
Grand total of all expenses covering the investigation of the Ever-
glades........................................................ 11,017.34
The CHAIRMAN. Then we would understand that the last expense
incurred on this work was in 1911 ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes; a small expense of $6 as salary to Mr. A. D.
Morehouse, in connection with the preparation of the report.
The CHAIRMAN. And the names you have given are all of those who
appear in connection with the entire drainage matters as carried on
your books ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. According to the records of the department.
The CHAIRMAN. When these vouchers were sent to you for payment,
by whom were they signed and certified ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I have not that information at hand, but it can be
obtained for you.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you could give us the way in which these
vouchers actually came up to you, could you not
Mr. ZAPPONE. Ordinarily the vouchers would be certified by Mr.
Elliott, as Chief of the Division of Drainage, and approved by Dr.
True, the Chief of the Office of Experiment Stations, if those officials
were not absent from the city; in their absence the vouchers would
be certified and approved by the officials who were acting in their
*The CHAIRMAN. Now, was the money which was placed at the
disposal of the work placed in a lump sum; and if so, was so much
appropriated for this particular project ?


Mr. ZAPPONE. The appropriation was allotted by quarters under
the law, and the allotment was made under the general title of
"Irrigation and drainage investigations"; the whole amount ap-
propriated by Congress for that purpose was allotted or subdivided
into four quarters, and any suballotments that may have been made
for the various projects was made in the Office of Experiment Stations.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, as I understand it, you call each one of these
a project, do you not?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is the term commonly used in the department
for its principal activities or lines of important work.
The CHAIRMAN. When the department takes up a project, you place
it under the control of some one individual, do you not ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is the custom.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there a given amount of money allotted for that
particular project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I so understand it.
The CHAIRMAN. And is it under the control of and subject to the
person who has charge of that project ?
The CHAIRMAN. Are you prepared to-day to state how much money
was allotted to this particular project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I can not give it without consulting the records.
The CHAIRMAN. But you can obtain that for the committee ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I can obtain the information for the committee.
Mr. FLOYD. Is this allotment from the lump-sum appropriation
made at the beginning of the project-that is, so much set apart at
the beginning of the project?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Under the law the appropriation must be allotted
on or before July 1-that is, at the beginning of each fiscal year-and
I have no doubt the suballotments are made for the various projects
at the same time in the various bureaus.
Mr. FLOYD. Here is a project that has covered a portion of four
years. Do you set apart at the beginning the whole amount neces-
sary or do you set it apart from year to year ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. From year to year as appropriations are made by
Mr. FLOYD. What you think will be necessary for that fiscal year?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes, sir; only what is necessary for that fiscal year
and in accordance with what Congress has appropriated for that
fiscal year. No one would have the authority to anticipate money
for another fiscal year.
Mr. FLOYD. I understand that, and that is perfectly clear; but in
entering upon a project of this kind, where it would not be possible
to complete it within a year, do you make an estimate of the total
cost of the project-that is, do you estimate in advance what it will
cost to complete it ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I rather fancy that is done by the administrative
officers in the various bureaus, and as the appropriations become
available each year they set aside a certain amount for each project,
and when the estimates of appropriations are submitted to Congress
they will anticipate their needs for the next fiscal year and ask for an
increase if it be found necessary. This would be continued each
fiscal year until the work on the project had been completed.


Mr. FLOYD. Was there any authorization by Congress for this par-
ticular drainage project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Do you have reference o the Everglades ?
Mr. FLOYD. Yes; I refer to the Everglades.
Mr. ZAFPONE. There was no specific language for the Everglades
work, but the language of the law is broad and covers any drainage
project that may be taken up by the department.
Mr. FLOYD. The reason I asked the question is that I saw in one
of the papers yesterday, purporting to give a history of it, statement
to the effect that this drainage project was authorized by Congress,
but it was not my impression that there had ever been any specific
authorization for the drainage project of the Everglades, but that it
was undertaken under the broad policy of the Government to apply
the appropriation for drainage purposes to any feasible project that
the department might see fit.
Mr. ZAPPONE. Congress did not authorize the investigation of the
Everglades in terms, bit it was commenced under the broad language
carried by the appropriation act, which permits of any drainage
project being undertaken by the department that is considered to be
Mr. HIGGINs. Do you have, Mr. Zappone, any determination of the
amount that shall be expended by any given bureau ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. For a particular project?
Mr. HIGGINs. Yes.
Mr. ZAFPFQE. I have not; that is a matter of administration within
the bureau.
Mr. HIGGINS. That is to say, the chiefs of the bureaus, or whoever
has the work in charge, submit their estimates, I presume, to the
Secretary ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. They prepare a statement of the various activities or
important lines of work which they wish to undertake, commonly
known as projects, and submit the statement to the Secretary for his
approval. If it is a project which he has already passed upon it may
not be again submitted, but all new projects are submitted to the
Secretary for his approval.
Mr. HIGGINs. How do you ascertain the amount that has been set
aside for a certain given undertaking or project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. You mean the method of cost keeping ?
Mr. HIGGINs. No; through what officer do you learn the amount
that has been authorized and set aside in a fiscal year for a particular
work ?
Mr. ZAPPQNE. Through the clerk in charge of the accounts in each
bureau, who is called an accountant; he keeps the liabilities incurred
by the various projects and enters up the amounts that are properly
chargeable against them, and when the accounts come in he gives
them an administrative examination and sends them to my office for
Mr. HIGGINS. That is, he formally certifies them to you ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes; they are formally certified by the chief of the
division, are then approved by the chief of bureau, and come to me
for payment. I pay no voucher until it is certified and approved;
I would have no authority to do so.
Mr. HIGGINS. In a work of this kind, that is continuing from year
to year and covering a period of several years, does your office know


at the beginning of the fiscal year how much is to be expended on that
Mr. ZAPPONE. It does not.
Mr. HIGINS. That is, there is no apportionment of the appropria-
tion so that at the beginning of the fiscal year you are advised of the
limitations placed upon that work for that fiscal year ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. The apportionment or allotment is made in the
bureaus, as I explained just before you entered the room.
Mr. HIGGINS. Well, do you get information of that allotment at the
beginning of the fiscal year ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. No; unless it was called for I would have no par-
ticular use for it.
Mr. HIGGINs. How are you able to tell, then, the state of the
appropriation for any given work?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I carry it under the general title of the appropri-
ation, "Irrigation and drainage investigations," in the amount appro-
priated for that year, and as payments are made against it I keep a
proper record of them in my books.
Mr. HIGGINS. That is, the lump-sum appropriation ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes, sir; but I am not familiar with the activities or
projects conducted thereunder.
Mr. HIGGINS. As a matter of practice in your administration, Mr.
Zappone, when an appropriation is exhausted, if such an occasion
should arise, you simply fail to certify ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. We.stop paying the accounts just the moment the
appropriation is exhausted or about to become exhausted.
Mr. HIGGINS. Well, then, in the natural order of the administra-
tion, when that occurred the persons in the employ of the department
engaged on the project would necessarily cease carrying on their work,
would they not?
Mr. ZAPPONE. They would have to cease their work immediately.
Mr. HIGGINS. What has been the fact during the time this work was
carried on, as to whether or not the appropriation for drainage was
exhausted during any of the fiscal years?
Mr. ZAPPONE. At the end of each month I render a financial state-
ment to the chief of each bureau showing the actual amounts that have
been disbursed against the appropriations under the supervision of the
chief of that bureau; similarly the chief of the bureau sends to me at
the end of each month a statement of the liabilities or obligations that
have been incurred against the appropriations for that particular
month. On July 8, 1909, the Chief of the Office of Experiment Sta-
tions submitted to me a financial statement of the liabilities or obli-
gations for the month of June, 1909, in addition to the preceding
months-it is a cumulative statement-and that statement showed
that at that time there was an unexpended balance in this particular
appropriation that we are here discussing, irrigation and drainage, of
$828.86. That statement has been slightly changed, but as a matter
of record over $400 has been turned back to the Treasury to the sur-
plus fund from the appropriation "Irrigation and drainage" for the
fiscal year 1909.
Mr. HIGGINS. Well, that does not quite answer my question, as to
whether or not during all the time this project was being carried on
the appropriation was exhausted.
13287-No. 2-19.--- 2


Mr. ZAPPONE. I am trying to explain, Mr. Higgins, that it was not;
that there was apparently an ample balance under the big lump fund
appropriation for that purpose but as to whether or not it was nearly
exhausted under the project for conducting the Everglades work I
can not answer, because I have not a record of those projects in my
office, nor have I any information in regard to this particular project.
The alleged shortage in the general appropriation had nothing to do
with the Everglades.
Mr. HIGGINS. Well, the only information you would have about any
project would be the amount expended and the amount necessary as
certified by those carrying it on, and would that general rule apply
to all of the activities of the department ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is true under the big lump funds; the accounts
are certified to my office for payment and they are paid, and I keep
a record of the actual disbursements against each lump-fund appropri-
ation, but not against the project; I am not required by the Treasury
officials to do it; that is a matter of administration and is done in the
different bureaus for the purpose of keeping the exact cost of each
important line of work.
Mr. HIGGINS. Of course, as a matter of practice, when the appro-
priation is exhausted and the fiscal year has not expired the activities
for which that appropriation is allotted stop ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. The activities stop. As a rule, long before that the
chief in charge of the project will bring to the attention of the chief
of his bureau the fact that the funds are insufficient to complete the
work, and some part or all of the work will be stopped; in other words
they will live within the amount that has been set aside for the purpose.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, as I understand it, where there are several
projects going on, the question of keeping the expenses of each par-
ticular project within the amount that has been allotted to that pro-
ject is a question of administrative detail and not for you as disbursing
officer ?
Mr. ZAVPONE. That is correct. The liabilities are kept in the bu-
reaus and not in my office.
The CHAIRMAN. Has the chief in charge of any particular project
the power to overstep the amount that has been allotted for that par-
ticular year to that particular project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Not without the permission of the chief of his bureau.
and only then where there are sufficient additional funds for the pur-
The CHAIRMAN. And of course if he should overstep the amount it
would be possible to draw against the funds that have been appro-
priated for the general purpose, but not against the funds allotted to
that particular project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is it; against the funds that had been allotted
to some other project, and such a transfer could only be made with
the approval of the chief of the bureau.
Mr. FLOYD. Then it would be possible, with only a surplus of $400,
as in 1909, for a shortage to arise on some particular project?
Mr. ZAPPONE. It would have been, but
Mr. FLOYD (interposing). There was an excess in the lump-sum
-appropriation if some of the projects did fall short?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes; but that was running very close for a large
lump-sum appropriation, because it was also possible to have a deficit
in any one of the other projects.


Mr. FLOYD. Under the practice of the department the rule is, if I
understand you, to limit the work to the amount actually set apart
for that particular project ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is correct.
Mr. FLOYD. That is the rule and practice of the different bureaus ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Ordinarily what sum is turned back at the close of
the year from the whole drainage division ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I would like permission to insert that, as I do not
want to talk offhand. However, I should say between $1,000 and
The CHAIRMAN. You would not consider that $400, at the close of
1909, was a sum that would attract particular attention by its size
The CHAIRMAN. As a matter of fact, it was a very close margin,
considering the activities of that department, was it not ?
SMr. ZAPPONE. Rather a close margin than otherwise.
Mr. McCABE. As a matter of accounting, Mr. Zappone, if liabilities
against an appropriation have been incurred in excess of that appro-
priation and those liabilities have been paid by funds not appropriated
for the department, might your books show an apparent surplus,
whereas in reality there had been liabilities incurred in excess of the
appropriation ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. My books would show an apparent surplus, because
I would have no knowledge of those liabilities, unless they had been
reported to me. In this particular case they had not been, and my
last statement showed a balance of about $400 over and above all
payments and reported liabilities.
The CHAIRMAN. In fact, is not that a real surplus ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That was a real surplus over and above all outstand-
ing obligations that had been reported to me, and over and above
all payments that had been made or were required to be made in the
The CHAIRMAN. How long do you hold money at the close of a
fiscal year for obligations to mature and come in before you turn that
balance into the Treasury ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Every appropriation is available for three full fiscal
years, the fiscal year for which made and two years thereafter; so it
is possible under the law for me to draw money at any time within
the three years to pay obligations that were incurred within the first
fiscal year; that is, the year for which Congress appropriated the
The CHAIRMAN. As a matter of bookkeeping, is it not true that the
report which you submit reporting the expenditures always shows an
apparent deficit-that is, your books do not exactly balance, because
you have held back some amount to pay accrued liabilities and which
you do not place in your next report ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That my statement shows a deficit ?
The CHAIRMAN. I am now referring particularly to the Weather
Bureau, and I would like to know whether the same is true as to the
drainage work. Is it not true that if you were to take your statement
for the Weather Bureau for the year 1909, showing the total amounts
that have been appropriated and the total amounts you have paid,
that those amounts do not exactly balance in your statement as
printed and submitted ?


Mr. ZAPPONE. They will not balance for the reason that that
printed statement is constantly changing; it may change at any time
within the three years. That statement is made up as of August 31,
if you refer to the book of expenditures that is submitted annually to
this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose there were $50,000 of accrued liabilities
against that particular project, I mean incurred liabilities, and you
are holding back, say, $50,000 to pay those liabilities, you do not
submit in your printed report of the next year any particular state-
ment regarding the payments from the money which has been held
back after the close of the year, do you ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes; in the recapitulation at the end of the data
pertaining to the Weather Bureau, you will find the actual disburse-
ments to August 31, 1909, amounting to so much, and in separate
sentences you will find the outstanding obligations amounting to so
much, and the estimated amount that will be turned back to the
surplus fund of the Treasury amounting to so much. You get it there.
The CHAIRMAN. You say, "estimated"
Mr. ZAPPONE. I say estimated, because expenses for telegraphing
telephoning, freight, express charges, etc., must, of necessity, be
The CHAIRMAN. And you hold that sum for the purpose of meeting
liabilities ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you made a particular practice of doing that
in the drainage department ?
The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, this $400, as you have explained, was
really available for three years to meet any liability that had been
legitimately.incurred during that fiscal year, was it not ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. It was available at any time within the three years
for the payment of expenses incurred within the first fiscal year-that
is, the fiscal year for which Congress appropriated the money.
The CHAIRMAN. So that if at the close of the year your books
showed a $400 surplus that could not be considered a surplus, unless
it was a fact that all liabilities incurred during that year which were
legitimate were actually paid; is that the way we understand it?
Mr. ZAPPONE. You hardly state it as it should be stated.
The CHAIRMAN. You state it as it ought to be stated.
Mr. ZAPPONE. That $400 is available for the payment of any out-
standing obligations or liabilities incurred within the fiscal year for
which the appropriation was made; in other words, if there are any
additional accounts for telegraphing, telephoning, etc., and the
expense was actually incurred in the preceding year, the amount
named would be available for that purpose. The balance that I
speak of is a balance after taking into consideration all of the reported
obligations or liabilities, and, as a rule, such balances are increased
rather than decreased, because in estimating therefore each account-
ant will try to estimate enough to more than cover the expenses rather
than run the risk of having a deficiency.
The CHAIRMAN. But, as a matter of fact, if there was a mistake in
estimating and there had been a legitimate item of expenditure
incurred in the past year, would not that be properly payable out of
the $400?


Mr. ZAPPONE. It would. For the purpose of getting it in the
record, as long as you are speaking about deficiencies, may I insert
the law on that particular subject ?
The CHAIRMAN. To what does that refer?
Mr. ZAPPONE. It refers to the allotments of appropriations and
the incurring of deficiencies; it is a general statute.
The CHAIRMAN. We would be glad to have it inserted.
The statute referred to is as follows:
SEC. 3679. No department of the Government shall expend, in any one fiscal
year, any sum in excess of appropriations made by Congress for that fiscal year, or
involve the Government in any contract or obligation for the future payment of
money in excess of such appropriations unless such contract or obligation is-authorized
by law. Nor shall any department or officer of the Government accept voluntary
service for the Government-or employ personal service in excess of that authorized by
law, except in cases of sudden emergency involving the loss of human life or the
destruction of property. All appropriations made for contingent expenses or other
general purposes, except appropriations made for the fulfillment of contract obligations
expressly authorized by law, or for objects required or authorized by law without
reference to the amounts annually appropriated therefore, shall, on or before the
beginning of each fiscal year, be so apportioned by monthly or other allotments as to
prevent undue expenditures in one portion of the year that may require deficiency or
additional appropriations to complete the service of the fiscal year; and all such appor-
tionments shall be adhered to except when waived or modified in specific cases by the
written order of the head of the executive department or other Government establish-
ment having control of the expenditure, but this provision shall not apply to the
contingent appropriations of the Senate or House of Representatives; and all such
waivers or modifications, together with the reasons therefore, shall be communicated to
Congress in connection with the estimates for any additional appropriations required
on account thereof. Any person violating any provision of this section shall be
summarily removed from office and may also be punished by a fine of not less than
one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not less than one month. * *
(33 Stat., 1257.)
Mr. HIGGINS. Except as the bureau chief certifies to you what the
outstanding commitments and obligations connected with the par-
ticular project are you have no information or can have no informa-
tion ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I have no knowledge of the projects at all; they do
not certify the projects to me.
Mr. HIGGINs. But as to the financial obligations connected with
the project and the commitments, except as they are certified to you,
you have no knowledge whatever ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. None whatever, sir. The commitments in this case
would be the actual vouchers coming over for payment, from the face
of which I would not know whether they referred to the Everglades
project or to some other project.
Mr. HIGGINS. And the only means you would have of knowing the
state of the appropriation would be upon information furnished you
by those having it in charge ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. At the end of each month I would know the actual
disbursements, and a statement would be made to me by the bureau
showing the outstanding obligations or liabilities that had been in-
curred, and by putting the two together I would know the state of
the appropriation.
SMr. HIGGINS. There might be obligations greatly in excess of those
certified to you and you not know of them?
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is possible.
Mr. FLOYD. Now, Mr. Zappone, in connection with the statement
you just made I desire to ask you a question. You said that when


these vouchers are certified over to you you do not know whether they
are connected with the Lverglades project or with some other project.
Then how do you arrive at your conclusions in certifying the total
amount in this particular project if those vouchers do not show ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. You mean the statement that I have just submitted ?
Mr. FLOYD. Yes; that you have submitted this morning.
Mr. ZAPPONE. I went with some of my experts to the Office of
Experiment Stations and got it from their records. Then I checked
it with the records of my office as to amounts actually paid. The data
as to the projects are of record in the Office of Experiment Stations,
and, as stated, I took that part from their books.
Mr. FLOYD. There is nothing in your own records that would enable
you to make that statement ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Not as regards the projects; only as regards.the total
amount disbursed.
The CHAIRMAN. I will ask you on behalf of the committee to pre-
sent at this point, to go in the record, the allotment for each year that
was apportioned to the Everglades project and its distribution during
the months of the year.
Mr. ZAPPONE. I will be glad to do so.
The statement follows:

Yearly allotmentsfor the Florida Everglades projects from the appropriationsfor irrigation
and drainage.
Fiscal year 1907:
July 1, 1906, allotment............................................ $2,000.00
Jan. 31, 1907, allotment increased ................................. 3,000.00
Total allotment ........................ ........................ 5,000.00
Fiscal year 1908:
July 1, 1907, allotment............................................. 5,000.00
Fiscal year 1909:
Oct. 6, 1908, allotment ........................ ...................- 2,000.00
allotment decreased.....---.....:.......................... 1,000.00
Net allotment....................................... 1, 000.00
Fiscal year 1910:
Dec. 22, 1909, allotment ......................................... 1, 000.00
June 16, 1910, allotment decreased.................................. 616.50
Net allotment ................ .. .................. ............. 383. 50
Fiscal year 1911:
-- allotment...-------.................. -...--..-........... 600.00
June 3, 1911, allotment decreased ...-................. .-.......... 594.00
Net allotment .................................... ...... ......... 6.00
The above allotments, increases and decreases in allotments, were taken from the
records in the Division of Drainage Investigations. There were no allotments by
In addition to the above, the following expenses were incurred in connection with
the Everglades project and were charged to other appropriations for the fiscal year
Agricultural experiment stations---................--- -.........-.....-.... $43. 54
Salaries, Office of Experiment Stations..................................... 13.33
Salaries, Division of Publications........................................... 75. 00
Public printing and binding (Government Printing Office)....... .......... 235.77


The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. J. O. Wright present ? If not, I wish to
have the record show that Mr. J. O. Wright's name is called and that
he does not respond to the call of the chairman.
Mr. DAVIS. I desire, with the permission of the committee, to have
my appearance entered in behalf of Messrs. Elliott and Morehouse
and in respect to their interests as they may appear to be affected by
this inquiry.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection on the part of the committee,
Mr. Davis will be recognized.
Mr. CLARK. I would like to make this statement. I expect, of
course, to attend all of the hearings of the committee, and as this
investigation has been begun largely upon statements made by Rep-
resentative Bathrick, of Ohio, and myself, we would like to have an
opportunity, if we wish, during the course of the investigation to
propound some questions to the witnesses and submit some testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection on the part of any member of
the committee ?
Mr. CLARK. I do not think we will go into any regular cross-
examination of witnesses, but occasion may develop where we will
want to ask a question or two.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection, that right will be granted
to Mr. Clark.
Mr. FLOYD. Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that you have the clerk
notify Mr. Clark and Mr. Bathrick of these meetings.
Mr. CLARK. Yes; we would appreciate that.
Senator BRYAN. I would appreciate the same notice, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. You and Senator Fletcher will be notified. *
Mr. CLARK. May I make this suggestion ? Of course, the committee
will take its own course, but it is going to be very essential that I go
to Florida before a great while on a matter of great importance to me
if to nobody else. I hope the committee can arrange to have these
meetings and push this matter as rapidly as the convenience of the
committee will permit.
The CHAIRMAN. There is no question but that the matter will be
forthwith taken up. I take it for granted that Mr. Wright has simply
missed his connections, because he very kindly accepted service of the
Senator BRYAN. That is the fact; he missed his connections at
Jacksonville; otherwise he would have been in the city this morning.
The committee thereupon adjourned to meet Wednesday, Feb-
ruary 14, 1912, at 10 o'clock a. m.



No. 3






FEBRUARY 14, 1912



February 14, 1912-10 a. m.
The committee met this day, Hon. Ralph W. Moss (chairman)
The following members of the committee were also present: Messrs.
Higgins, Floyd, and Doughton.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Mr. HIGGINS. Have we got a quorum ?
The CHAIRMAN. No. If you raise that point, we will wait until Mr.
Floyd comes down.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Zappone, will you please take the stand ?

The witness had been previously sworn.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Zappone, will you state to the committee the
unexpended balance that was in the drainage fund at the close of the
fiscal year 1910.
Mr. ZAPPONE. $4,476.06 on February 13, 1912. Of course that
amount is subject to the payment of any outstanding liabilities that
may still come in.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly give that to me again ?
Mr. ZAPPONE. $4,477.06.
The CHAIRMAN. And now, also, the unexpended balance at the close
of the fiscal year 1911.
Mr. ZAPPONE. $724.84.
The CHAIRMAN. Has any member of the committee any other ques-
tion to ask the witness
There were none.


The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you please give your name, Mr. Wright, to the
stenographer ?
Mr. WRIGHT. James O. Wright.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe at the present time, Mr. Wright, you are
in the employment of the United States Government ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No; I resigned two years ago.


The CHAIRMAN. What position do you hold, Mr. Wright, in any
public service ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I am chief drainage engineer of the State of Florida.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly tell the committee when you
entered the service of the United States Government in the Depart-
ment of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. In 1905; I was residing in New Orleans, and was
engaged by Dr. Meade, Chief of the Department of Drainage, to do
some work in Louisiana. I didn't give my whole time to it. I was
designated as a drainage expert and was paid a per diem for the work
I did. In May, 1906, I moved to Washington, and took a position
here permanently under the supervising drainage engineer.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you entered the service, will you kindly
state to the committee along what lines your education had been
developed ?
Mr. WRIGHT. After getting through school I taught mathematics
in the Indianapolis High School for a number of years. I moved to
La Fayette, Ind., and was city civil engineer of La Fayette, Ind., and
held the position for two years. In the meantime, the outside prac-
tice was so much more profitable than the city office that I declined
to accept city office further. I had an office at La Fayette and fol-
lowed the business of engineering, and very soon turned my atten-
tion to drainage, ignoring every other branch of civil engineering,
except land reclamation, and I have been continuously in that line
of work since 1885.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, practically, your technical training has been
largely along lines of civil engineering and drainage.
Mr. WRIGHT. Altogether; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You entered the service of the Government per-
manently, I believe, in 1906 ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; I passed the civil-service examination and
went in as drainage engineer.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly state to the committee what posi-
tion you held and what your duties were from the time you went into
the Government service in the main until you left it?
Mr. WRIGHT. Well, as I was designated as supervising drainage
engineer, and I had charge of various projects throughout the United
States, particularly in the eastern part of the United States. I was
subject to the orders of the chief and took such projects as he assigned
to me and supervised the work, making examinations and making
The CHAIRMAN. When you entered the service, who was your chief ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Dr. Elliot and Mr. Meade.
The CHAIRMAN. Who later became your chief?
Mr. WRIGHT. D. G. Elliott.
The CHAIRMAN. Who was the chief at the time you resigned from
the service ?
Mr. WRIGHT. D. G. Elliott.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, was your resignation purely voluntary?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly give the date of your resignation ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It became effective on February 15, 1910.
The CHAIRMAN. In order that the matter may be understood, not
that it is important to our investigation, but you consider your pres-


ent position is a better one than you had in the Department of Agri-
culture, and that is the reason you resigned, is it not ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Wright, your present duties have to do
particularly with the Everglades in Florida?
Mr. WRIGHT. Almost exclusively.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you kindly tell the committee what the
Everglades are ?
Mr. WRIGHT. In the peninsula of Florida, about opposite West
Palm Beach, on the East Coast Railroad in the interior, is Lake Oke-
chobee, which covers approximately half a million acres. This lake
receives the drainage from an area of about 7J times its size, lying to
the north and west of the lake. The lake itself has no well-defined
shores except for 25 miles on the east coast, but has a low and marshy
shore on the southeast and the west. During the rainy season the
water from above comes down into the lake; it fills full and overflows
its low, marshy banks, and flows off to the south and east, over an open
prairie-what would out West be called an open prairie-absolutely
void of trees and covered by a tall, dense grass, called saw grass.
This water, having no well-defined channel, just seeps through the
grass around the edge of the lake and flows off in any direction of
least resistance, and in that way reaches the Atlantic Ocean and the
Gulf of Mexico. This land is commonly spoken of and known as the
Mr. FLOYD. About how many million acres in that ?
Mr. WRIGHT. In the Everglades there is probably about 2,500,000
The CHAIRMAN. Do you consider the Big Cypress swamp is a part
of the Everglades, when we speak of it in that way ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. In speaking of the Everglades you do not include
the cypress swamps ?
Mr. WRIGHT. NO, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You include no land except that around Lake
Okechobee ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Then the Everglades would be located southeast
and east of Lake Okechobee ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It extends south, and the western boundary is about
opposite the middle of the lake. Its eastern boundary extends 18 to
20 miles east of the lake.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, originally there was much more swamp land
in the Peninsula of Florida than what is now called the Everglades,
was there not?
Mr. WRIGHT. There was.
The CHAIRMAN. So that in speaking of the Everglades, you are
confining yourself to this one tract, which, I understand, comprises
2,000,000 acres of land.
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, is there any river that flows out of Lake
Okechobee into the Atlantic Ocean, or south?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; there is not.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the present condition, Mr. Wright, of the
Everglades? Is there any farming being conducted in the Everglades
at the present time?


fMr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; in some parts.
The CHAIRMAN. How much of it is actually under cultivation at
this time ?
Mr. WRIGHT. A very small portion.
The CHAIRMAN. How much of the Everglades is actually under
water at this time?
Mr. WRIGHT. Well, I do not know what you would term by just
being under water. Do you mean entirely submerged?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, has too much water for cultivation, and would
have to be further'drained before it could be cultivated at the present
Mr. WRIGHT. All of the Everglades would have to be further
drained except the portion at the lower end on some of the canals
that have been constructed.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, at the present time, we understand that the
Everglades is unreclaimed
Mr. WRIGHT. Unreclaimed.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, Mr. Wright, how long were you in the
Government service before you became connected in any way with
the Everglades, or tell us, rather, the date that you first became
connected with them.
Mr. WRIGHT. I think I became connected with them in July, 1906.
I think I had been in the service here in Washington about two months.
The CHAIRMAN. Had you ever visited the Everglades prior to that
Mr. WRIGHT. No, I never had. I had been down just north of
Lake Okechobee in 1901, in 1902, but I wasn't as far south as the
tract I am telling you now to be the Everglades.
The CHAIRMAN. Up to that time had you given the project of
draining the Everglades any consideration ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Had it ever been called to your attention as an
officer of the Government ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It had not.
The CHAIRMAN. Had it been called to your attention particularly
as a private citizen; had your advice been sought as an engineer?
Mr. WRIGHT. It had not.
The CHAIRMAN. By no one ?
Mr. WRIGHT. By no one.
The CHAIRMAN. Who first suggested to you, in your capacity as
an officer of the Government, the project of the Everglades ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Dr. Meade.
The CHAIRMAN. You will kindly tell the committee just how that
came to your.attention.
Mr. WRIGHT. In July, 1910, I was at work in my office, which was
on the top floor of the old Agricultural Building, at a desk alongside
Mr. Elliot. Dr. Meade came into the office where we were sitting
and stated that the Secretary had authorized the office of draining
investigation to make an examination and prepare- a report on the
drainage of the Everglades.
Mr. HIGGINS. You said 1910.
Mr. WRIGHT. I mean 1906. He talked more directly to Mr. Elliott.
Mr. Elliott commenced at once to offer objections to undertaking the
work. He said it is too large a proposition for the office of draining


investigation to handle, and it was of doubtful utility, and put
up several excuses. Dr. Meade talked to Mr. Elliott in my presence
for quite a little time, and then he turned abruptly to me and said:
"Mr. Wright, is that proposition too big for you to tackle?" I said,
"No; I would be glad to undertake it if you would be glad to have
me do it." He said, "It is up to you." Then he went out and
closed the door.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the only instruction you received from
Mr. Meade?
Mr. WRIGHT. Just at that time, a day or two later, he called me to
his office and we talked about the matter at length, and he told me
he wanted me to undertake that proposition. I said it was not the
right time of the year, the middle of July, to go down in the Ever-
glades to begin work, and I thought that the matter ought to be
deferred until cooler weather; but in the meantime there had been a
great deal of information collected by Army engineers and private
corporations in the State of Florida and other interests, that we
might gather up and sift out and get what was of value and have
ready and get a start on the thing by that kind of work during the
summer, and be prepared to take it up in the fall. He agreed with
me. I employed a draftsman in the office of Mr. Pierce and had him
make a map in large scale of the peninsula of Florida, with the assist-
ance of Mr. Pierce. We went through the Congressional Library
and went over the documents of the Senate and the House of Repre-
sentatives and the reports of the Army engineers, and we found a
great deal that had been written and collected concerning the Ever-
glades. We studied those documents and picked out such facts as
we thought might be of value and recorded the data on this map.
We made notes of the volumes from which the additional informa-
tion, if found desirable, could be obtained. We continued that work
until November.
The CHAIRMAN. Justamoment. Wereyou givenno written instruc-
tions from Mr. Meade ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. At no time ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; I don't remember that I was.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, during the collection of this data with refer-
ence to the project your instructions that you received from your
superior officers were purely verbal?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir. This matter was frequently discussed dur-
ing this interval with Mr. Meade, and in November he authorized me
to go down to Florida to make a personal examination of the terri-
tory and get the physical conditions well in mind and plan the best
way of proceeding with a survey.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, just at that point. Wasn't a stenographer
present to take down your instructions that you received from Mr.
Meade at that time ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Not that I remember.
The CHAIRMAN. You don't know that there was a stenographer
present ?
Mr. WRIGHT: No; there were stenographers in the room; my
stenographer who did my work for me was in the time the conversa-
tion took place. There were four or five working in the same room.


The CHAIRMAN. At the time you received the instructions were you
aware of the fact that it was taken down by a stenographer ?
The CHAIRMAN. If it was taken down, you did not notice it at the
The CHAIRMAN. Or since that time ?
Mr. WRIerr. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. So far as you know, all instructions you received
as to carrying on this work were purely verbal between you and your
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. You speak about going over the work
of the Army engineers. Will you tell the committee at this point
just what surveys you found had been made prior to that time of
Florida, of the Everglades, by the Army engineers?
Mr. WRIGHT. I found that there had been a complete survey from
the Caloosahatchee River, which flows from Lake Okechobee, down
the State to Fort Myers. The course of the river had been mapped
and a line of elevation had been taken. The same thing had been
done, continuing from the north of Lake Okechobee on the Kissimmee
River, and I got those reports from the Army engineers operating, I
think, under Capt. Black, I think, and made a profile of the Caloosa-
hathoee River and also surveys of the Kissimmee River in this con-
nection. Then I found that numerous reports had been made between
the period of 1840 and 1850, when there was a scrap down there be-
tween the Seminole Indians, and the various officers had written letters
describing the condition of the Everglades.
The CHAIRMAN. Were any of those letters based on actual surveys
made by engineers representing the Army ?
Mr. WRIGHT. None of those, except the one I have mentioned, the
survey of the Caloosahatchee River and the survey of the Kissimmee
The CHAIRMAN. Did you find that any plan had been proposed by
the Army engineers for the drainage of the Everglades ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I found no plan. I found a great many suggestions,
they had all said it was feasible to drain the Everglades, and that the
proper way to do it was to cut a number of channels from Lake
Okechobee to the Gulf of Mexico through the rock rim, and grass
surrounding the Everglades.
The CHAIRMAN. After you had made this preliminary study and
had gotten your plan and ideas, but before you had gone to the Ever-
glades, did you hold any further consultation with Mr. Meade, your
superior officer ?
Mr. WRIGHT. We had frequent conferences and talked it over, both
Meade, myself, -and Mr. Elliot went and looked together, talked on
the street about it, and wherever we met, not only on that project, but
on all the projects that we had on hand.
The CHAIRMAN. Did these conferences between you and your
superior officer, your associates in the drainage department, result in
the formation in your mind, or in theirs, of any definite plans for
drainage of the Everglades, before you went to visit the Everglades
personally ?


Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir. We did agree upon one proposition, that it
was a big proposition and a difficult one.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, when did you make your first personal visit ?
Mr. WRIGHT. November, 1906.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, who went with you on that visit, Mr. Wright ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No one at all.
The CHAIRMAN. And whom did you meet when you. went to
Florida; whom did you first meet, if you recall ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I first went to Tallahassee. And called on Gov.
Broward, and told him I had been sent down for this purpose, and that
I wanted to get all of the information that he had collected, the State
of Florida had collected, of any value, pertaining to the drainage of
the Everglades. And he put his clerks at my disposal, and we hunted
up all of the information that he had at that time collected. We dis-
cussed it at length, and I spent about four days, I think, in Tallahassee
with Gov. Broward. I then went to Fort Myers on the west coast, at
the mouth of the Calossahatchee River. I went on a steamboat from
Fort Myers up to Labelle, about two-thirds of the distance up the
lake, that is to the head of navigation at that time. There I employed
a man with a small gasoline boat to take me up Lake Okechobee.
We went up the next day to Lake Hicpochee, which is a smaller
lake just below Lake Okechobee. The wind was so strong that the
boat was not safe to cross the lake in, as it would fill full of water. It
blows a gale down there, and the waves were pretty high, and we had
to go back to Fort Thompson. I got a team and I went out to the
Piney Woods, as far in as I could go along the west border of the
Everglades, and I retraced my steps to Labelle, and returned to
Fort Myers, and went around to Fort Lauderdale, on the east coast.
When I went to Fort Lauderdale I was met there by Gov. Broward.
The State had a dredge working on what is known as the North
New River Canal, and coming from the west of Fort Lauderdale
it is a river. It only extended back at that time 5 or 6 miles. It
was very broad and deep, and known as New River. It extends
back and divides the so-called North Fork of the South Fork that
divides or subdivides in the next mile or two and they are en-
tirely lost. We went up to the dredge that was working there on the
north branch of New River. We took dinner there, I remember it
being Thanksgiving Day. After dinner we went down to the junction
of the river and went up the south branch on the gasoline launch as
far as we could go, and then we had a man with a rowboat or skiff
row us up three-quarters of a mile farther. We had in tow some
small boats they called Glade boats, carrying two men, a very narrow
boat, and moved by a man standing in the stern with a pole and
pushing them. We had two of those Glade boats, and Gov. Broward
and myself went several miles out into the Everglades along what is
now known as the South New River Canal. He went back to Fort
Lauderdale, and I went on down the Miami and went up the Miami
River to the falls, a few miles above Miami. I then returned to
The CHAIRMAN. Now, if you were to make that same journey to-day
what change in the conditions would you find if you would go on the
same journey again? How much has the physical condition of the
country changed ?


Mr. WRIGHT. I could go all the way from Fort Myers to Lake
Okechobee in a large steamboat. I could leave Lake Okechobee in
a boat drawing 3 feet of water, 50 feet wide, if it was necessary, and I
could follow what is known as the North New River Canal for a dis-
tance of about 30 miles from the lake. Or I could go from Fort
Lauderdale; I could go up either the North New River or the South
New River to a point within 21 miles of the head of the river and com-
ing down from the lake. I could go out in the South New River Canal,
and I could leave Miami and get up 16 and 20 miles in the canal from
Miami, and I could go from the lakes-go 20 miles in the other canal.
Those conditions that you would find in going across the country
didn't exist when I made the first trip.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you find any more settlers located in that
section than you would when you were there ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; many of them.
The CHAIRMAN. What cooperation did the State of Florida give
you on this trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT, The first trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. None whatever, except the courtesy to the officer of
the Government and the advice of Gov. Broward.
The CHAIRMAN. Who paid for this launch?
Mr. WRIGHT. That we went up in?
Mr. WRIGHT. From-
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, who paid for your transportation
on that trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. In going from Fort Myers I paid my transportation
up to Labelle, and I think the man who too me up from Labelle,
Mr. Goodnow, would accept nothing for the launch. I think he either
owned a lot of land there or was developing it, and I think he let me
use the launch without charge. On the other side we went in some
boats, I think, that were connected with the State dredge in the
North New River Canal.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you given any courtesy by any man who
owned land, or any corporation owning land, except the launch that
you speak of?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, then, all of your other transportation
charges were paid by the Department of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, when did you leave there and return to
Washington: about when ?
Mr. WRIGHT. About the end of November. We were there to
collect data.
The CHAIRMAN. And you have practically, now, described the
work that you did on that trip, did you not ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And then you returned to Washington ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Whom did you counsel with when you came back ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I counseled with Mr. Meade, and talked with Mr;
Elliot and everybody else about the office, so far as that is concerned.
The CHAIRMAN. Did your first visit to Lake Okechobee and the


Everglades and your conferences with your superior officers result
in the forming in your mind of any definite plans for the drainage
of the Everglades ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It did-not for the drainage proper, but for the
investigation, the method of proceeding with the investigation.
The CHAIRMAN. It did not, then, so far as developing in your mind
any definite plan ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Just for the investigation ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Just for the investigation.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, Mr. Wright, how do you understand
that the cooperation between the Department of Agriculture and the
State of Florida came to take place?
Mr. WRIGHT. I have been told that Gov. Broward and Members
of Congress in Washington had put the case before the Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. Who gave you that information?
Mr. WRIGHT. I had seen Gov. Broward at the office and he told
me, I know, that he had been up to see the Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. I see you put this statement in your report. It
is headed here "Drainage investigation."
[Extract from a report on the drainage of the Everglades in Florida, by J. 0. Wright, supervising drainage
engineer, Feb. 25, 1909.]
At the earnest solicitation of Gov. N. B. Broward and others interested in the recla-
mation of the Everglades of Florida, the Office of Experiment Stations, United States
Department of Agriculture, was authorized to make certain survey and examination
as might be deemed necessary for a report and plans of drainage. For this purpose a
preliminary examination was made in November of 1906, and a field party was organ-
ized and a survey commenced in December of the same year. The chief of the party
was instructed-
It was stated before the committee by Solicitor McCabe, repre-
senting the Department of Agriculture, that this matter came up by
Mr. Elliott writing a letter to Gov. Broward, suggesting the fact that
the Department of Agriculture would be glad to cooperate. Which
of those two understandings is the correct one? Which of those two
statements ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I never heard of Mr. Elliott writing a letter to Gov.
Broward. He may have done so, but I never heard it before.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you told by anyone in the department that
Gov. Broward had written a letter first? Did your authority for
making this statement come from Gov. Broward, or come from your
chiefs in the department ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was known at the office that Gov. Broward and
Maj. Dupre, who was an Army officer stationed at Tallahassee at that
time, for some purpose had made one or two, and possibly more,
visits to the Department of Agriculture, seeking assistance. Gov.
Broward told me that he wanted the department to assist him for
this reason: He said, "I don't care for the saving to the State. I
could hire an engineer; but," he said, "there is a fight on down here,
a political one, in this matter. If I should hire personally an engineer
for making this survey these people would say, 'it is Broward's engi-
neer and Broward's report,' and for that reason I wanted to get the
department, which I know is interested in the matter, to send a man
down here to make an investigation."


The CHAIRMAN. When was that conversation between you and the
governor ?
Mr. WRIGHT. When I was at Tallahassee.
The CHAIRMAN. So that the authority that induced you to make
this statement in your report was this conversation with Gov. Brow-
Mr. WRIGHT. That part of the document, page 130 down to the
end of the second paragraph on page 131, is an introduction that was
written by Mr. Elliott at the time this extract from the report was
given to Henry Gray Hall, of Colorado Springs, and which alsowas
transmitted to the State of Florida. It is not any part of my report.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you indicate to the committee again just
where that is-do I understand "The full report will be completed
at an early date and will give additional information pertaining to
this work"; is that where it ends ?
Mr. WRIGHT. That is where it ends; yes.
The'CHAIRMAN. Then you report, "Immediately north of the Ever-
glades lies Lake Okechobee ?"
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; there I commenced to describe the territory.
The.CHAIRMAN. You wish to say that you are not responsible
for the statement, "At the earnest solicitation of Gov. N. B.
Broward," etc.
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
Mr. FLOYD. You stated that Gov. Broward and the Representatives
in Washington-you mean the Florida Representatives in Washing-
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; the Florida Representatives in Washington.
I have been told so. That their whole influence down there had been
brought to bear to get us to proceed.
Mr. HIGGINS. What was just read is from a report printed, Senate
Document No. 89 ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you and Gov. Broward have any subsequent
talk about this political influence in Florida on the drainage subject.
Mr. WRIGHT. I think we discussed the matter when I was down
there in the winter. Not that year, but the following year; and later
I met Gov. Broward in Baltimore at the drainage convention, and I
met him in Washington City, and he frequently discussed this matter.
The CHAIRMAN. When you were making your report on your return
to your superior officer, did you make any reference to that political
influence that has been spoken of, in Florida?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't remember whether I did or not. I don't
recall. It didn't have any effect on me at all.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand; but I wanted to know if you made
any reference to that that you can recall.
Mr. WRIGHT. I can't recall making any.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall having any conversation between
you and any of your superior officers about the political influence in
Florida in relation to drainage inquiries ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was frequently discussed. We got the Florida
papers, and whenever anything happened down there in a political
way we kept track of things.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you talk it over particularly with any one of
your associates in the Department of Agriculture ?


Mr. WEIGHT. Well, this was after Meade's resignation. It was
usually with Mr. Elliott-the other gentleman in the office there.
It wasn't a matter of any great discussion, you know; but as things
came up, the agricultural library took the Florida Times Union, and
I requested the librarian to send the Times Union to my desk, with
other journals that were sent in there, for my inspection-for me to
look it over for anything particularly referring to the Everglades;
and I often marked it with a pencil and laid it on Mr. Elliott's desk.
The CHAIRMAN. That was talked over in the Department of Agri-
culture; those matters came to your knowledge, that there was such a
thing as political influence in Florida relating to the drainage ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes; that there were two factions in Florida opposing
and advocating this drainage.
The CHAIRMAN. So that it was a matter of common knowledge in
the Department of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think so
The CHAIRMAN. Is there a bureau in the drainage, or the Depart-
ment of Agriculture, to your knowledge, that has a clipping bureau ?
Mr. WRIGHT. We had clippings come to our office.
The CHAIRMAN. Were those clippings paid for by the Department
of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I can't state.
The CHAIRMAN. How did they reach you, Mr. Wright?
Mr. WRIGHT. They usually came by mail. Sometimes they were
accumulated, and frequently put in an envelope and laid on my desk,
and they asked me to go through them and make note of anything
of particular interest to our office.
The CHAIRMAN. Did your office keep the clippings for future use?
Mr. WRIGHT. They were returned, and I presume they were kept
on file in the office.
The CHAIRMAN. It is a common practice in the department, isn't it,
to follow up very carefully press comments on the work that you are
doing ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it is.
The CHAIRMAN. And preserve the clippings ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think so.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you preserve those that are unfavorable?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think those are the most sought.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not know whether these press clippings
were filed for the future use of the department or not ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I have no knowledge at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Did they reach you regularly, so that I under-
stand they were being filed regularly?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; I think regularly. I think a bureau was
making the clippings.
The CHAIRMAN. It came from some agency?
Mr. WRIGHT. I can't say that it came from some agency, but I
think there was an agency-an agency sending in clippings. Fre-
quently a bundle was brought to my table and I was asked to go
over them.
The CHAIRMAN. So that you kept advised as to the state of public
opinion ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Not only on this project, but all projects.


The CHAIRMAN. I understand; but I am particularly inquiring
about this project. Was it open to all of the officers of the depart-
Mr. WRIGHT. I think so.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, we are ready to be told about .your
second visit to the Everglades. When did that take place ?
Mr. WRIGHT. If you will permit me, I think it will be better to
state that I had returned from my first visit, and the matter had-been
talked over and we desired to send an engineering party to Fort
Myers to begin the investigation-begin the survey.
The CHAIRMAN. You use the word "we." To whom do you refer?
Mr. WRIGHT. Dr. Meade, Mr. Elliott, and myself, and the people
who were discussing this proposition.
The CHAIRMAN. At this time was there any definite arrangement
made between the Department of Agriculture and the State of
Florida looking to a division of the expenses of this survey?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir. The Government, as I understood the
department, was paying the entire expense, and the State of Florida
was simply-
The CHARMAN. Getting the benefit ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Getting the benefit; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. This comes under the plan of cooperative experi-
ments, and the cooperation is that Florida was to furnish the land
and you people were to pay the expenses; is that the extent of the
cooperation ?
Mr. WRIGHT. At that time it was; yes, sir. I worked out a plan
of conducting the investigation, and mapped out the work that I
thought the engineers should be required to do, and the general
S method of doing it, and there were four men sent down to Fort
-----Myers, Mr. Stewart-
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Bryan suggested that-
Senator BRYAN. There are some Government lands that would be
beneficially affected by the drainage of the Everglades, are there not
Mr. WRIGHT. You mean in the reservation of the Seminoles?
Senator BRYAN. And other Government lands in and around the
Okechobee, and even above the Okechobee ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't know what land the Government owns down
there. I don't know the ownership of the land. It hasn't troubled
me at all.
Mr. HIGGINS. Was the practice with reference to the drainage of
the Everglades any different from any other drainage investigation
that you were making, so far as State cooperation was concerned?
Mr. WRIGHT. No; I don't recall that I had charge of any project
in which there was this assistance from any .State. There were
projects being carried on by the officials in the Western States in
which there was something of a cooperation, but I had nothing to do
with that.
Mr. HIGGINS. It is not unusual, an exceptional thing, for the Gov-
ernment to do all the work without the cooperation, is it?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was a common thing.
The CHAIRMAN. We are ready to be told about the second trip.
Mr. WRIGHT. I made a plan for carrying on those surveys, and I
recommended that a party of engineers be sent to Fort Myers, and
that they establish bench marks and running a line of levels up the


Caloosahatchie River to Lake Okechobee, and that they follow the
western shore of the lake down to a point known as Fort Shackleford,
or Brown's store, about 22 miles south of the lake. And that another
party of engineers start on the eastern side of the lake and run the
levels up through the Fort Piney Woods, so that we would have a
check and know that we had the absolute elevation of this point at
Brown's store. I then suggested that the line of levels be run directly
across the Everglades due east from Brown's store and that the eleva-
tions be taken and that soundings be taken, determining the depth of
the muck, and that another line of levels be extended south of Brown's
store through the country known as the Big Cypress.
The CHAIRMAN. Was this plan your own exclusively?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it was, largely; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It was not, then, the result of the conferences with
either of your superior officers or any authorities, so far as you
recall now ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was probably discussed, and I gave my reasons for
beginning on the west side, or rather, on the east side. I had good
reasons for taking the course I did. The plan was agreed to.
' The CHAIRMAN. Up to this time, now, had you had any conferences
with the engineers who represented the private owners of the Ever-
glade lands?
Mr. WRIGHT. None whatever.
Mr. HIGGINS. They were not large in number, anyway, were they?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't think so.
The CHAIRMAN. They were larger in ownership than in number
Mr. WRIGHT. I think the State owned practically all of the land in
the Everglades at that time-no; I guess that is not true. I guess
there are some large companies owning land, but I don't know who
owns the land.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you understand that the Everglades when you
were there belonged to the State of Florida ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Not altogether. There were other owners.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you state what proportion of them belonged
to the State of Florida?
Mr. WRIGHT. I should say at least at that time four-fifths, and
possibly more.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you accompany this second expedition?
Mr. CLARK. Won't you fix the date specifically ?
The CHAIRMAN. What date do you refer to, Mr. Wright; what
time, when you say four-fifths of the Everglades belonged to the
State of Florida ?
Mr. WRIGHT. At the time the party was sent to Fort Myers.
The CHAIRMAN. That would be-
Mr. WRIGHT. That would be in the latter part of 1907.
The CHAIRMAN. They went in November, did they not ?
Mr. WRIGHT. They went in November or December.
The CHAIRMAN. I notice you did the work, Mr. Wright, in the
winter months. Was there any particular reason for doing it in the
winter months?
Mr. WRIGHT. The weather is much more agreeable in which to
work and there are fewer mosquitoes.
The CHAIRMAN. Do the water conditions have any effect?


Mr. WRIGal You get on the Everglades better in the winter
months because there is more water and you can use these small glade
boats to get from place to place.
The CHAIRMAN. It has been suggested that the date you gave is
not accurate. You will, of course, observe the record and correct
these dates; that is, if you have misquoted them from memory, you
will correct your testimony, will you not? It has been suggested
that it was in January, 1907, rather than the later part.
Mr. WmrrInr. It was in 1906. I went down there in 1906, and it
was the same year I went down. It was 1906, in December or early
in January, 1907.
The CHAIRMAN. It was in January, 1907. It has been suggested
to mie as being the right time.
Mr. HIoGG s. Do you refer to the quieting of title ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Coming back to your reasons for going in
the winter, isn't there more water at one time of the year than
Mr. WRIGHT. There is more water in November and December and
January. There is more water at the end of November, and then it
gradually decreases until the beginning of the next rainy season.
The CHAIRMAN. Do the insectshave anything to do-are there more
mosquitoes at one time of the year than another, do you know
anything about that?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think there are more mosquitoes in the summer.
They are more troublesome, at least.
The CHAIRMAN. Who was in charge of these assistants when you

Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Stewart.
The CHAIRMAN. What position did he hold in the Department of
Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. He was simply an assistant drainage engineer.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you go there at any- time that this party was
surveying ?
Mr. WIGTwr. Not this year; no, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. How long were they down there before they
returned ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think they returned the following May.
The CHAIRMAN. During that time did they complete all of the work
that you had mapped out for them to do ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Except running a line of levels down the Big Cypress.
The land was so soft that they couldn't get over the land. There
wasn't water enough to carry a boat.
The CHAIRMAN. As a matter of fact, when they made their report,
did they report that they met with any physical hardships in carrying
out the work ?
Mr. WRIGHT. They surely did.
The CHAIRMAN. State some of them if you will, Major.
Mr. WRIGET. After having run the line of levels from Fort Myers
by way of Lake Okechobee and Brown's store, and directly across the
Piney Woods to Brown's store, and picked an elevation that they had
agreed upon, 6.6, two points were selected from which to cross the
Everglades. They provided themselves with three glade boats,
which are long, narrow boats, very light, made of cypress, and pro-
pelled with a pole by a man standing in the stern of the boat, or get-


ting out in front and leading it with a string. These boats were
loaded with provisions and supplies that it was thought necessary in
order to make a trip across the glades. The three engineers who ran
the line of levels, who measured the distance by stadia instead of
chaining it, they made soundings at 500 feet as to the depth of the
bog or muck to the hard material.
After advancing about half way across the Glades, and after getting
a few miles in, they found the little streams of water in the Glades
practically all run north and south and between those there would be
dense areas of saw grass, with very little water in them. They found
that they were able to go up these waterways and find an open area
enabling them to get into the next opening, and by that means keep
the boats along with the surveying party; but when they got half
across the Glades, they found less water, and the openings were full,
and the saw grass was wider and more dense, and it became necessary
to abandon the boats. They cooked what little flour they had up
into cakes and they discarded everything that wasn't absolutely
necessary. The engineer who went across told me when he started
up he had a cup, a plate, a spoon, a knife, and a fork, and when they
started out there all they needed was a spoon. They left their tents
and made a break for the east shore, and they wallowed along through
the muck during the day and when night came they cut saw grass and
laid it in a pile, and laid a flap of tent on it, a portion that they used
in their engineering work, they put up a kind of a tripod, and they
had a mosquito bar that they put over that, and they crawled in at
sundown and went to bed. He said that frequently before they
would get to sleep the grass would sink and the water would be up
around their hips and body, you know. The next morning one man
would cut the grass and gather little twigs and keep up a little fire,
and another man would make breakfast and they would eat and go
on with the daily work.
The CHAIRMAN. Was it ever necessary for them to get under a
mosquito bar to eat their meals to protect them against mosquitoes?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't think so until nighttime.
The CHAIRMAN. Isn't that stated in your report in one place ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't recall; I can't remember all that.
The CHAIRMAN. If a person were to go through the same Ever-
glades as you describe them, what difference would they find, Major,
in making it now from then? How much less difficult would it
make it if you had a line to run extending across the Everglades
Mr. WRIGHT. Well, I had a line run last December. I guess it was,
very recently, from the eastern shore right there through here [indi-
cating] to this point here; I had a line previously run from the west
shore; we connected those lines. The men had much less difficulty,
and there was less water, and they could get through points on the
crosswise canal and have supplies waiting for them there, you know
We didn't have to take a chance getting entirely across before
meeting any assistance.
The CHAIRMAN. When did this party return from there to
Washington ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it was probably in May.
The CHAIRMAN. Did they make a report to you there, or to the
chief of the office ?
13287-No. 3-12-2


Mr. WRIGHT. There were two reports made.
The CHAIRMAN. To whom were they made ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Stewart, the man who was ostensibly in charge
of that field work, engaged a guide named Singletree.
The CHAIRMAN. Why do you speak of him being ostensibly in
Mr. WRIGHT. He was supposed to be in charge, and he didn't
stay in charge.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you explain? You sent him down there to
be in charge. Who was Mr. Stewart?
Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Stewart was in the office of the assistant engi-
neer. We had a number bf young men in the office, Mr. Stewart, Mr.
Brett, Mr. was another man supposed to be in charge of a
The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, you say it was ostensible-was he really
performing his duties there ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I was going to explain what he did. Mr. Brett went
down, I believe, in advance of Mr. Stewart. He established a bench
mark at Fort Myers, and ran a line of levels up the Caloosahatchie
River to Kake Okechobee and down the west side to Fort Shackleford,
and Mr. Stewart went down a few days later, and Mr. Brett ran a line
of levels across the Piney Woods to Fort Shackleford, and Mr. Stewart
himself did not stay very close to either of those points. He engaged
a man named Singletree, who was a surveyor and a woodsman at
Fort Myers, as a guide, and they had a conveyance, and they put in
their time exploring the outlying country in Lee County, lying west
of the Everglades, and also around west of Lake Okechobee. And
when they came back Mr. Stewart did not go across the Glades; Mr.
Brett led a party across the Glades. Mr. Stewart stayed on this side,
and went to the other side after the parties got there. When they
came back Mr. Stewart spent probably 60 days in the office making
up a report. He finally submitted it, bound in morocco covers,
quite a voluminous document, made up largely of photographs and
descriptions of plants and birds and animals and fishes, and his expe-
rience in shooting wild turkeys, and various things that had engaged
their attention during that time. Mr. Brett submitted his field notes
and also his levels and soundings across the Everglades in condensed
form, and he also turned over to me a diary that he kept as he went
across it; each night he would sit down and write a little diary of his
experience that day, you know.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you tell what Mr. Stewart's salary was at
that time ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; I can not; probably $1,600 or $1,800.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, to whom did Mr. Stewart present that
morocco-bound report ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it was presented to Mr. Elliott.
The CHAIRMAN. And the other report was presented to you ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it was.
The CHAIRMAN. So one got a report of drainage and the other got a
report of the gaming resources of the country.
Mr. WRIGHT. Largely so.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, will you state, if you please, Mr. Wright,


Mr. WRIGHT. After Mr. Stewart came back and he got the reports
of the Weather Bureau, copies of the weather reports at Jupiter and
Kissimmee and Fort Myers and Miama, giving the rainfall for a
period of from 9 to 12 years, and the temperature, the wind velocity,
and things of that kind; they were also included in his report.
The CHAIRMAN. Was Mr. Stewart promoted in any way for his
efficiency ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think he resigned and went to Iowa to take charge
of something-Dakota, possibly.
The CHAIRMAN. In the report Mr. Brett submitted to you was any-
thing said about the agricultural possibilities of the Everglades ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No; I don't think there was.
The CHAIRMAN. Now you can tell us, if you please, what use you
made of the report received from the engineer in charge. Did you
formulate a plan upon that ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; I said there was not sufficient data yet to
enable me to form a plan for the drainage of the country. We didn't
have enough engineering information. Too much of it was of gen-
eral character, and there was not enough specific data.
The CHAIRMAN. Not even with the evidence of Mr. Stewart's
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you have any conference with Mr. Elliott or
Mr. Meade in regard to the matter, as to whether it would be sufficient
or insufficient ?
Mr. WRIGHT. In the summer of that year, after Mr. Stewart and
Mr. Brett returned, Dr. Meade resigned and went to Australia. Mr.
Elliott became chief of the office of drainage investigation. I talked
the matter over with Mr. Elliott about future work there and Mr.
Brett said he was willing to go back down there if he could have more
latitude than he had had before. He wouldn't take the chance that
he had taken before, you know, and had to be free to act on his own
judgment, and it was once suggested that Mr. Stewart take one
party down and Mr. Brett take another. I told Mr. Elliott I was not
satisfied with the work Mr. Stewart had done the year before, and I
did not think he ought to be sent back. There was no occasion for
sending two parties down there. One party was sufficient, and I
suggested that the matter was of sufficient importance to justify me
going myself. After considerable discussion along those lines it was
finally agreed that Mr. Brett might go back with a party, and a few
weeks later I might go down and spend as much time as I thought
was necessary in order to become thoroughly conversant with the
conditions in the Everglades.
Mr. MCCABE. Referring to this communication, was there sub-
stantial accord between you and Mr. Elliott on this matter?
Mr. WRIGHT. After some argument.
The CHAIRMAN. Was he objecting to the fact of your going down,
or opposed to sending the party?
Mr. WRIGHT. He was more insistent upon sending Mr. Stewart
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stewart ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall the cause of his placing a higher
value upon Mr. Stewart's report than that of Mr. Brett ?


Mr. WRIGHT. I don't know that there was any reason assigned.
The CHAIRMAN. But finally you and he reached a substantial
agreement that you were also to return with that party ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You will state when this second party, returned.
Mr. WRIGHT. The engineering party, Mr. Brett, Mr. Chadwick-
not Mr. Chadwick-Mr. Brett, I don't remember who accompanied
him now, a young man from Oswego, Kansas, whose name I do not
remember, and another man by the name of Curris, from New York
City, went down in the latter part of November or December to
West Palm Beach. I instructed Mr. Brett to go to West Palm
Beach and make an examination of the territory between the East
Coast Railroad and Lake Okechobee, to try and pick out the best
route for a canal from Lake Okechobee to the Atlantic tidewater,
from some point in the vicinity of West Palm Beach. He went down
there and commenced on that work, and I went down on the 1st of
January and joined him.
The CHAIRMAN. In this interim, during the entire time this project
had been under your consideration, had you given any specific in-
structions, any special study, made any experiment, or thought out
any data in regard to the question of rainfall and evaporation of the
territory ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; I had studied the table; I had records of the
Weather Bureau; we had them in our library and we had gone through
them and made copies of them.
The CHAIRMAN. Prior to this time, going down in January, which
is 1908, is it ?
Mr. WRIGHT. 1908.
The CHAIRMAN. Prior to that time what study had you given to
the problem of evaporation?
Mr. WRIGHT. I had given very little prior to that time.
The CHAIRMAN. Very little ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Very little.
The CHAIRMAN. When you reached there in January, 1908, you
may tell us what you did personally.
Mr. WRIGHT. When I went down in January, 1908, I first went to
West Palm Beach and got in touch with Mr., Brett, who had already
gone down and who was camping in the woods west of West Palm
Beach, and I went with him to some of the low grounds there, and
finally we decided that we would have a line of levels run from the
Caloosahatchee River to Jupiter, which is the shortest route to Lake
Okechobee, to see what the elevation of the ground was, and see if it
would be capable to take the shortest cut for the canal.
I went with Mr. Brett up onto this line, he and the party, and went
across with him. He continued the line, a long line of levels to go on
south from West Palm Beach.down to the Hillsboro River. While
he was doing that, Gov. Broward came down to Miami, where I was,
and said: "Mr. Wright, in order that you may know the value of the
Everglades, I want you to know more about the country along the
coast of Florida, so that you could make a comparison with the land
that is being farmed, that is now settled, and the Everglades, and
in order to do this I think it is necessary that you should spend con-
siderable of your time up and down the coast, along the east coast,
and make excursions into the interior. To do this the State will


furnish you a boat for this purpose, paying for it." I offered some
excuses for not doing it; suggested that I could not stand the
expense, and he said the State would furnish a boat. So he came to
Palm Beach and chartered a boat that drew 26 inches of water and
which was 13 feet wide and about 25 feet long, and provided with a
gasoline engine, and also with sails.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this the first cooperation that you had with the
State of Florida ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; that is the first.
The CHAIRMAN. And this operation was engaging you to inspect
the other parts of Florida rather than the Everglades?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And to look and see particularly as to what agri-
cultural development had taken place there.
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. While you were on that trip, will you tell us, please,
the places that you visited ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I left Palm Beach and went up to Store(?), and I
went up the St. Lucie River to a considerable distance in the direc-
tion of the Everglades, as far as it is possible to go with a boat. I
came on farther north to a place near Sebastian and went to the
Sebastian River, which is another outlet from that river. Then I
returned with this boat and went down south and west to Palm Beach
and went up the Hillsboro River and down to Fort Lauderdale and
went up the canal that was being cut, where the dredges were working,
the north and south New River, and went up those two canals as far
as possible. Then I went down on the Florida Coast Line Canal to
Miami and went up the Miami River. During that period Mr. Brett
had completed his survey, and I turned the boat over to the captain
in charge and Mr. Brett, and told them to take the boat around to
Fort Myers and around the cape and up the west coast, to take the
boat to Fort Myers, far out on the west side, and I went by train.
The CHAIRMAN. Who accompanied you on this trip on the gasoline
Mr. WRIGHT. On the gasoline launch I was accompanied by Mr.
Merchant, a young man at West Palm Beach, who built and owned
the boat. He was chartered to go and run the boat, and another
white man went along as a deck hand and a cook. I don't recall his
name. And my wife was down with me. She went on the trip when
I went north from Palm Beach and back a few days.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there any representative of the State of
Florida with you ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there any representative from any land com-
pany with you ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. How long were you on this trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. On the east coast ?
The CHAIRMAN. On this trip, now, on the Florida launch ?
Mr. WRIGHT. The time I sent it around ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I suppose two weeks or two weeks and a half.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, while you were down on this trip, Maj.
Wright, were you with this surveying party any ?


Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. About how long were you with them ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I was with them before I started on this launch trip,
about-I suppose I was with them two days at a time six or eight
different times. I didn't go out and stay in the camp.
The CHAIRMAN. On this trip you made on the launch, did you make
notes of your observations ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you include any of those notes in your report
you made on this drainage project ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; they didn't have any bearing on the drainage
project. When I got through, I found that I got nothing except as
to the mouths of these streams. Some of them may be valuable as
outlets for canals.
The CHAIRMAN. Did it influence your report in any way that you
can recall?
Mr. WRIGHT. It gave me a better knowledge of the physical condi-
tion of the country: that might have been of advantage to me in that
way. The part of it that was conducted south of West Palm Beach
had quite an advantage.
The CHAIRMAN. There has been some criticism, you recall, Major,
of your report-that it had some speculative matter in it. I just
want to find if you inserted any of that matter that you gathered in
on this trip?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The notes that you made on that trip were not
inserted in your report
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you modify it in any way that you recall?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. After you got back from this trip, how long did
you remain in Florida before you came to Washington ?
Mr. WRIGHT. We took the boat around to Fort Myers about the
1st of March, and we started with the engineering party and myself
to go to Lake Okechobee for the purpose of examining the country
around the lake and make soundings and surveys of the lake. The
first day's run from Fort Myers we reached almost to Fort Thompson.
The next morning we got up to Fort Thompson, and there was a
rapids in the river; for about 1,300 feet the river was very narrow
and came down through the rocks on each side. There was a chan-
nel through the rocks. People advised me that it would be impossi-
ble ever to get to Lake Okechobee with that boat. I told them that
we were going to Lake Okechobee with that boat and make a desper-
ate effort. So we worked all forenoon on these rapids by putting out
anchor and lines and winches, and when noontime dame we had
gotten up within 250 feet of the upper end of the rapids, and the
channel spread out flat and over a solid rock which had about 20
inches of water on and our boat drew 26 inches, and so we put out an
anchor and every fellow pulled and hauled and we found it was
impossible to get our boat over. It looked pretty gloomy and the
men were pretty tired. I told them we would rest-it was on Satur-
day-till Monday morning. I sought out Mr. Goodnow, who lived
nearby, and asked him if I could get a team and a nigger on Monday
morning from him, and he said I could have anything he had. I


went down Sunday in the woods and selected a big tree 16 inches in
The CHAIRMAN. Do you want the word "Sunday" to appear in
the record, Major?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't care; and we did put in Sundays, and I have
claimed while we were out on a trip of that kind-
The CHAIRMAN. Did you charge any extra time?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; I selected a pie tree and cut that tree down,
and got a mule team and put the tree across the channel and had the
boat in front of it. I put stone on the tree, so that it couldn't rise.
Mr. Goodnow had taken the floor out of a cow stable, and I borrowed
the planking from him, and brought them out and set them against
this log and spiked them at the upper end. When I got them spiked
the water had commenced to rise and we went and had dinner, and by
the time we were through we had water enough to float.
The CHAIRMAN. That is one of the difficult engineering problems
that you encountered on your Everglade expedition?
Mr. WRIGHT. That is one of them.
The CHAIRMAN. Give us the result of your investigation of the
Everglades of the Okechobee.
Mr. WRIGHT. Well, I want to state that it took from about Satur-
day to about the following Thursday week to get that boat into Lake
Okechobee. That was not the only difficulty that we encountered,
but by hard work, by wading through water up to our waist and
digging sand, and building dams, and moving obstructions, we all
worked, myself as well as the others, and we succeeded in getting
this boat into Lake Okechobee, our objective point. On reaching the
lake, then-
The CHAIRMAN. Could you take it now from Fort Myers to Lake
Okechobee with more or less difficulty than you did then ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Oh, yes; 8 miles an hour as far as you could go.
Mr. FLOYD. What is the difference due to ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Due to the dredging that has been done there.
Mr. FLOYD. By the Government ?
Mr. WRIGHT. By the State. The State has commenced at this.
Mr. FLOYD. By the State ?
Mr. WRIGHT. By the State itself, the part of our drainage system
that has been completed.
Mr. HIGGINS. At that time the State had done no work there at all ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; no work at all at that time.
Senator BRYAN. What depth of water would you have on the
route now-an average depth all the way?
Mr. WRIGHT. I suppose we would have an average depth of 4 or 5
feet. We took a dredge boat up there 45 feet wide and drawing 6
feet of water without damming.
Mr. HIGGINS. Has the Government done any dredging there?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir. They have done some dredging below Fort
Thompson in a part of the stream that is considered navigable.
It has tidewater in it. Below these rapids the Government has done
some dredging and has had a snagboat cut out some stems and over-
hanging trees. After reaching the lake we used that boat as a house
in which to live. We had a small boat with us that carried three or
four men and we explored every stream or inlet that flowed into this
lake entirely around the lake. We went up the Kissimmee River,


up Taylors Creek, and up Fish Eating Creek, and up all of these
rivers that flow into the lake-Mans River, Little River, Pelican Bay,
and Pelican Lake-and my object in doing that was that there were
several men who had squatted around the lake who were cultivating
the land, and I wanted to see hat kind of crops they were growing
and producing, and interview them. I visited every place around
the lake where. I knew settlement was made, as I wanted to know
what was being done toward developing the country.
I came out after spending some time there, two or three weeks,
and left the men to make soundings of it, and I took the larger boat
with sails and went across various routes, and they gauged them-
selves by the speed they were going, the time, and made soundings,
and took the charts of Lake Okechobee.
The CHAIRMAN. Compare L ke Okechobee with other fresh-water
lakes of the United States. How does it compare in size?
Mr. WRIGHT. Outside of Lake Michigan, it is the largest fresh-
water lake in the United States. You get entirely out of sight of land
when you are in the center of the lake. You can't see shore on either
The CHAIRMAN. The Senator suggests this question: Did you ascer-
tain the elevation of the lake ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; I had done that the year before.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the elevation?
Mr. WRIGHT. The mean elevation for a number of years, it fluc-
tuates, was 20.6 feet above sea level.
The CHAIRMAN. After you had finished your exploration of the
lake did you return then to Washington ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Was any pDrty with you on this exploration of the
lake other than the official members of your party from the Depart-
ment of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Nobody at al, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You returned directly to Washington?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. How far, Mr. Wright, is Lake Okechobee from the
Mr. WRIGHT. The shortest distance from Lake Okechobee to the
Atlantic Ocean is about 30 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you project a plan of cutting any canal along
the shortest line ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the shortest canal that you will have from
Lake Okechobee to reach the tide water ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Forty miles.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, upon your return to Washington whom did
you first consult with as your superior officer ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Elliott.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you have any conference at this time with
Secretary Wilson ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did Secretary Wilson ask you to make any report
to him of this observation?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And you had no conference with him


Mr. WRIGHT. None whatever.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you at any time from this time forward when
you were connected with the Department of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. The only conference I had-the day I was leaving I
called upon the Secretary to bid him good bye.
The CHAIRMAN. The point I wanted to get at is when you first
determined upon the plan for draining the Everglades.
Mr. WRIGHT. When I got back this second winter, I had a map
sketched out showing all of the data that I had collected, and com-
menced then to study that map from my knowledge of the country,
and evolved a plan of draining the Everglades.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, as I understand it, your first definite attempt
to formulate a plan for the drainage of the Everglades came after
your second visit ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What date did you return from that second visit ?
Mr. WRIGHT. About the 1st of May, if I remember it.
Mr. FLOYD. What year ?
Mr. WRIGHT. 1909.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you began the .first serious consideration of
the plan about May, 1909 ?
Mr. WRIGHT. May, 1909.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you tell the committee, if you please, when
the plan first took place in your mind, about when ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was sometime during the summer of 1909. Those
plans grow on a man. They do not all come at a dash; vou make a
trial and fail, and make another trial and fail, and finally you evolve
something. Sometimes it is difficult in getting a thing to suit you.
You make out a plan and it doesn't appeal to you. and you try
another plan and keep it.
Mr. HIGGINS. It is subject to change still, I suppose
Mr. WRIGHT. It has not been changed now; no, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. At this time you are speaking of, when you re-
turned, in May, 1909, had you any of this report prepared ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Wright, will you please turn to page
130-is it May, 1908, or May, 1909
Mr. WRIGHT. 1908; that is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. It is May, 1908, we understand.
Mr. WRIGHT. Let's see, I went down there first in 1906. Then I
went down again the latter part of 1907 or the first part of 1908.
I returned in 1908.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you began on the formulation of your plan
in May, 1908?
Mr. WRIGHT. That is correct; May, 1908. Thank you for the sug-
The CHAIRMAN. Will you tell us how long you worked upon that
plan before you submitted the first draft of that to your superior
officer ? When did you first take your plan to Mr. Elliott ?
Mr. WRIGHT. The completed report, or when the plan was finished ?
The CHAIRMAN. Rather the plan before you made the report. I
presume you first evolved the plan, did you not, in your mind ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.


The CHAIRMAN. Did you complete the plan and report before you
went to Mr. Elliott for criticism and suggestion as to the plan itself ?
Mr. WRIGHT. It was discussed again and again; I don t know how
many times.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you recall at what time'you went to Mr. Elliott,
your superior officer, with the first suggestion as to a plan ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I suppose that sometime in the fall of 1908.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you care to set a date ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I could not.
The CHAIRMAN. What were you doing between the time, May 1,
1908, and the fall of 1908 when you took this plan and discussed it
with your superior officer
Mr. WRIGHT. I was detailed on various projects.
The CHAIRMAN. Name some of them, if you recall them.
Mr. WRIGHT. During that summer I was detailed to accompany
Congressman Small through his congressional district to address a
number of agricultural meetings on the subject of drainage. I was
sent to other meetings and had various other projects on hand. I
can't right of1 recall them from my memory just now; but I had a
great many duties.
Mr. HIGGINS. Had you completed your investigation of the Ever-
glades when you went to the field with Mr. Small?
Mr. WRIGHT. I had completed the field work. I went with him
two different years. I had completed the field work but not the
The CHAIRMAN. Let us take up this trip you had with Congressman
Small-that was a campaign year, 1908 ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I don't know.
The CHAIRMAN. Aren't the Congressmen elected every two years?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. In even-numbered years ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Was that a campaign trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What time were you in North Carolina ?
Mr. WRIGHT. In July or August.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there a campaign in progress at that time for
the election of Members of Congress ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think there was; it is probably true.
The CHAIRMAN. Did Congressman Small accompany you on your
trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Who detailed you on that trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Probably Dr. True.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you receive any written instructions as to
what you were to do on this trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I can't say whether I did or did not.
The CHAIRMAN. Isn't it ordinary when you start out on a project
with a Congressman-I understand from certain statements I see
printed that you made more than one of these trips-isn't it the
usual procedure to be given written instructions from your superior
officers as to what you were expected to do ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir. I am required before starting out to file
what we call an authorization blank. One of those was handed to me


to fill out: Where you are going, for what purpose you are going, and
what probable expenses of your trip will be. These are filled in and
signed before leaving.
The CHAIRMAN. You filled that up, did you?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you make the request to accompany the
Congressman on this trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; he sought the department to detail me to
go, and I was directed either verbally or otherwise to go.
The CHAIRMAN. From where did this authorization come ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it must have come from Dr. True, or some-
times possibly from the Secretary himself.
The CHAIRMAN. Who paid your expenses on this trip ?
Mr. WRIGHT. The department.
The CHAIRMAN. What kind of addresses did you make ?.
Mr. WRIGHT. I made addresses on the subject of drainage.
The CHAIRMAN. Did Congressman Small address some of those
meetings that you addressed?
Mr. WRIGHT. He made introductory remarks. He had a number
detailed to accompany him; he had a man on soils, and a man on plant
industry, on the cultivation of cotton and corn, and he usually had
another man on roads. He usually had about 4 or 5 men in his
party, and he had 13 or 14 counties in his congressional district, and
there were meetings in all of those counties but one, one county in the
eastern part of the State, a fishing county, and he didn't hold one
The CHAIRMAN. I understand there were detailed along with you
some other persons from the Department of Agriculture ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you recall definitely all of them, their names ?
I would like to have them.
Mr. WRIGHT. There was a young man on the trip named Spoon,
from the public roads. Mr. Bonesteel was on a part of one trip, from
the Bureau of Soils. He had to come in and he sent another man
whose name I have forgotten now to take his place. They had a
young man from the Bureau of Plant Industry named Channel, a corn
expert. And another man whose name I have forgotten now, in
charge of farm-demonstration work, and a man on corn and cotton; I
can't remember his name just now.
The CHAIRMAN. Who arranged the places at which you and these
other experts and Congressman Small were to meet?
Mr. WRIGHT. Congressman Small arranged the meetings, and made
the schedule, and furnished them in advance, and had the meetings
thoroughly billed, and sent out, as he told me, 100 letters to his con-
stituents to come in to these meetings?
The CHAIRMAN. Did you see any of those bills?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you state as near as you can recall what
those bills said ?
Mr. WRIGHT. The bills made an announcement that there would
be a farmers' meeting held at the courthouse at a certain county on
a certain date; that he had been fortunate in securing the services
of certain experts, naming them, who would address the people on
certain subjects, maybe giving the name of the person, myself for


instance, on the drainage, and Mr. Spoon on the roads, and asked
them all to come out and be in attendance.
The CHAIRMAN. And who ordinarily called the meetings to order
Mr. WRIGHT. Congressman Small would call the meetings to order
and make an introductory address.
The CHAIRMAN. As you recall, about how long did this introduc-
tory talk of the Congressman continue; how many minutes did it
Mr. WRIGHT. Probably 15, and then he would always tell them
that at the end of the meeting he would have something special to
say to them, and he would talk sometimes 20 or 30 minutes at the
close of the meeting.
The CHAIRMAN. How many of you experts would be on the pro-
gram at one place ?
Mr. WRIGHT. The first year I started out, I think six. I protested
that it made the meetings too long and wore out the people, and I got
him the next year he had a campaign that way to cut the experts
down to four.
Mr. HIGGINs. Did he wait until the election year before he had
those meetings ?
1Mr. WRIGHT. I think he had them annually.
The CHAIRMAN. In reference to cutting down the party to four,
did you have particular regard to the audience or to the public
expense ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I didn't think of the public expense.
The CHAIRMAN. You thought the audience ought to be protected
against so many orators ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think it was discourteous to go and leave the
meeting, and I got tired myself of listening to the same thing over
The CHAIRMAN. Did you ever get tired of hearing Congressman
Small talk?
Mr. WRIGHT. I wouldn't like to state.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there any hall rent, so far as you know ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No; I think not. They were usually held in the
The CHAIRMAN. Public halls ?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir; public halls.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there any expense about the printing of these
Mr. WRIGHT. I think there was; Congressman Small paid them.
But we went from place to place, by public or private conveyance,
and when we got through, if it would cost us $16 for a boat to go from
one meeting to the next, that $16 was divided up pro rata, Congress-
man Small stood his share and each of us experts stood ours. And
it was charged up in our expense account.
Mr. FLOYD. Each one paid one-seventh in a party of six ?
The CHAIRMAN. While we are upon this subject, Major, so that we
won't have to go back over it, what other Congressmen did you accom-
pany during the time that you were connected with the Department
of Agriculture on these trips-promoting agricultural science among
political voters ?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think I accompanied Congressman Godwin, of North
Carolina, and a few addresses in Congressman Terry's (?) district; but

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