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MAJORITY REPORT

OF TIIE

SPECIAL COMMITTEE

ON

HOLDEN ELECTION CASE.

PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

FEBRUARY, 1878.

MAJORITY REPORT.

To the Hon. House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island :

The undersigned, a majority of your Committee appointed at your May Session of the General Assembly to consider the allega. tions contained in the Memorial of. William F. Tucker, et als., electors of Charlestown, and into the validity of the election of Charles Holden, Esquire, returned as a member of your Honorable House from Charlestown, respectfully report, that pursuant to notice to the parties they met them, with their respective counsel, at Carolina Mills, in Charlestown, on the 8th day of June, on the 5th day of July, and on the 4th day of September. They met them again at Kingston on the 20th day of August; and met them again in Providence on the 21st and 29th days of January, at which meetings they examined forty-five witnesses, whose tes. timony was reduced to writing and which is herewith returned to your honorable body.

Your Committee further report that at the said meetings they fully heard the arguments of counsel learned in the law upon the questions of law and fact involved in the issues before them.

In reference to the charge of bribery contained in the memorial, your Committee find that there has been no evidence presented to them which warrants the conclusion that the result of this election was in any way influenced by any corrupt offer or giving of money to any elector to influence his vote at the said election. They therefore find the sitting member not guilty of this charge.

In reference to the second allegation contained in the said memorial, the undersigned beg leave to refer somewhat to the evidence in detail before stating their conclusions thereon:

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you, I will."

William F. Tucker, one of the memorialists, says, “ Mr. Holden called me aside and said he wished to speak to me. He said he understood that I calculated to vote against him. I made the reply that I did. 'My God,' says he, “if you vote against me I will turn you out of that house in twenty days.'

“I was living in a house at Shannock Mills belonging to my brother, Welcome C. Tucker. He (Holden) held a mortgage on that house."

Tucker further says, “I went into the hall when we were vo. ting and I said, in the presence of the citizens, Mr. Holden being present at that time, 'He says if I vote against him he will turn me out of that house in twenty days, and he says, 'God damn

'” In reply to a question, “ Did he do anything afterwards, after the election?" witness further said, “Mr. Holden foreclosed the mortgage upon this property and advertised it for sale.”

This witness further stated that his name was on the voting list; that he voted, and voted against Mr. Holden.

Weeden J. Tucker testified that he heard a part of a conversa. tion between William F. Tucker and Mr. Holden, in the town house on election day. “Mr. Tucker told Mr. Holden that he would not vote for him any how; then Mr. Holden said, “ By God Almighty, I will turn you out of the house in twenty days,' and used rather hard language.”

Charles D. Ennis swears that Mr. Holden said to Tucker, " if you don't vote for me I will turn you out of that house in twenty days," and Tucker replied, “Go ahead.”

John F. Kenyon, a qualified voter in Charlestown at the spring election, swore that Holden asked him to vote for him, and he said that “1 should be sorry if I did not support him.” He also heard Holden say that he (Tucker) promised to support him. Mr. Tucker said, “You are a pretty man to represent the town of Charlestown,” and said he couldn't vote for him, and Mr. Holden said, “By God Almighty I will turn you out of that house in twenty days."

Edwin C. Brown testified that there was a Union Store Com. pany at Carolina Mills, composed of twenty or more persons, who owed Mr. Holden a note. He thinks four or five of the persons liable on the note were voters in Charlestown, but does not re. member how many. Joseph B. Tucker, Henry Green, Jason P. Greene, and E. C. Brown, were members, but he did not know whether more of voters were members or not. Before election he had a conversation with Mr. Holden a number of times about it. “Holden asked me if I was going to caucus, and I said I was not, and he said he was, and said if he got it (the nomination) it would help him in this matter (the law suit); that he had got where his money would not do him any good. He said if he got the nomination he was going to see them all to see who his

Charles A. Larkin said to me that Mr. Holder said if any of them stockholders that owned stock voted against him he should do something, I do not remember what, and said he threatened Joseph Tucker more than the rest. I forget the exact language, but something of that kind, that he should punch us all.” He met Holden as he was going to depot. Holden asked if I was going to the caucus. I said, I don't know; think I shall; and he said he should get the nomination if he could, because that would help him more than his money, and said, “if I get the nomination I am going round to see them all,' and I said, “if you get the nomination I will not vote against you.'

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