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18490110-eveningpost - Quite in cbaraeler with thi experiment upon the...
Quite in cbaraeler with thi experiment upon the liberality of the House was tba donation of double pay to the thirty messenger who were the bearers of the electoral rotes to the president of tha Senate. The pay of these messengeri was fixed in 1825 at twenty-five cents a mile for distances travelled by them from their homes to Washington. At that time there were no railroads and very few regularly running steamboats. Travelling was slow and expensive, in 1848 twelve and a half cents a mile was much higher psy than the old rate was in 1823. Congress thought so, and reduced the mileage accordingly. But no sooner had the messengers arrived here, than seeing how such things were done, seeing that members obtained without any difficulty $62,000 more for mileage than they were entitled to, and seeing them one day deliberately voting themselves from five to eight hundred dollars worth of books apiece they called a meeting, at which they resolved that Congress had done a mean and little thing in reducing, six months before they were appointed, the compensation of the electoral messengers, and thus took measures to bring their case before Congress. Mr. Bright introduced a resolution into the Senate doubling their pay. He and other senators thought retrenchment was all very well and very desirable, but this was a very small beginning, and a beginning made at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Granting what they said to be true, it was remark able that not one of them proposed any other begin ning, great or small. To all such logicians, and it is astonishing how numerous they are, would it not be a pertinent question Is not a bad beginning of a good work better than no beginning at all i However, the double pay was promptly voted by the Senate, aad forthwith the resolution was sent to the House, and there, without having beea referred, without an your's consideration, or a doien words of explanation, under th operation of the previous question, this double pay was allowed, by from six to ten ma jority. And so went ten or fifteen thousand dollars. But it could not well be otherwise. How could men with a ton of public books and two hundred dollars of extra mileage sitting heavy on their souls, refuse this petition for so humble a share in the oommon spoil 1 It is a common saying that when rogues tall out ho nest men come by their own. How much more truth ts there in th eonrers of this proposition, namely, that when rogues confederate then the exchequer suf fer. B BY TELEGRAPH. THIRTIETH COffGRKSS Serceuaal BtwaMoa.

Clipped from
  1. The Evening Post,
  2. 10 Jan 1849, Wed,
  3. Page 1

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  • 18490110-eveningpost — mileage

    scott_klein – 26 Dec 2013

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