Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/859

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
837
SKETCH OF DAVID AMES WELLS.

elaborate report on the existing revenue resources and condition of the country, submitted to Congress through Secretary McCulloch, and with his hearty indorsement, in December, 1867, nevertheless found great favor, and, embodied in a bill, with slight modifications, came very near being successful. The Senate passed it by a vote of 27 to 10. In the House it failed, in the closing hours of the session, by a very few votes—and not by a direct vote, but on a motion to suspend the rules, take the bill from out the Committee of the Whole, and "put it on its passage," This motion, which required a two-thirds vote, was defeated—106 in the affirmative to 64 in the negative. It was thus made evident that, could the bill as it came from the Senate have been brought directly before the House, it would have passed by a large majority, and probably have quieted for years all tariff agitation.

When the office of Special Commissioner expired by limitation in 1870, President Grant, giving the personal dislike of the Secretary of the Treasury at that time—Mr. Boutwell—to the Commissioner as a reason, refused to reappoint Mr. Wells in case of a renewal of his office. On his retirement in July, 1870, a large number of members of both Houses of Congress, without distinction of party, united in a letter headed by Messrs. Sumner, Trumbull, Carpenter, Henry Wilson, Buckingham, Anthony, Thurman, Schurz, Bayard, Edmunds, Fenton, and others, on the part of the Senate, and Messrs. Blaine, Garfield, Logan, Allison, Cox, Hooper, B. F. Butler, Kerr, Dawes, Eugene Hale, Banks, Poland, Oakes Ames, Niblack, Randall, Brooks, Beck, J. A. Griswold, James Brooks, A. A. Sargent, J. F. Wilson, F. Wood, Noah Davis, D, W. Voorhees, W. H. Barnura, and others, on the part of the House—of which the following is an extract: "The undersigned, members of the Forty-first Congress, who have been cognizant of your labors as Special Commissioner of the Revenue, take the occasion of your retirement from public duties to express to you their appreciation of the work you have accomplished, and the great ability with which you have discharged the duties of your office. How much soever they may perhaps have differed with you touching the matter of your conclusions upon particular points, they desire nevertheless to bear testimony to the great value of your work, and to the honesty and the faithful and untiring zeal which have characterized your whole public career." At the same time a committee of citizens of different States, members of both parties, presented to Mr, Wells several testimonials of great value; one of which, a superb bronze statuette, some thirty inches high, representing "Labor," in the form of a fully-developed workman, leaning upon his sledge-hammer, bears upon a silver plate the following inscription: