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The following witnesses attended

Mr. Bright,
Mr. Fremont.

The Committee adjourned to Monday next at half-past 9 o'clock, A.M.

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UNITED STATES SENATE, SELECT COMMITTEE OF APRIL 17, 1850.

Monday, June 24, 1850.
The Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
PRESENT— The Honorable Mr. Pearce, Chairman.

Mr. Phelps,
Mr. Rusk,
Mr. Bell,
Mr. Shields,
Mr. Soule.

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The following witnesses attended :

Mr. Bright,
Mr. Dodge, of Wisconsin,
Mr. Brown,
Mr. Hall,
Mr. Ashe.

Mr. Bright, summoned at the request of Mr. Benton, having been previously sworn, testified as follows:

Examined by Mr. Benton.

Question. Do you know of any attempt on the part of Mr. Foote to prevent Mr. Benton from being appointed on any committee at the commencement of the present session, and if so, will you please state what he said and did, and what answer, if any, he gave for such attempts?

This question was ruled out by the Committee as irrelevant.

Question. Did you ever hear Mr. Foote say that the democratio party was not large enough to hold both him and Mr. Benton, or anything to that effect?

This question was ruled out by the Committee as irrelevant.

Mr. Bright was then discharged by the Committee.

Mr. Hall, summoned at the request of Mr.Benton, being duly sworn testified as follows :

Examined by Mr. Benton.

Question 1. Did you ever hear Mr. Foote say Mr. Benton was & coward, and would not fight a duel, or did you hear him say anything about provoking a challenge from Mr. Benton, or giving him a challenge, and if so, why a duel was wanted with Mr. Benton, and why he did not, at once, give a challenge ; and do you know from Mr. Foote himself, that he went armed to " defendhimself against Mr. Benton, and what rea. son he had to believe that Mr. Benton would attack him anywhere, and especially in the Senate chamber?

Answer. As to the last part of the interrogatory, I think two days after the disorder in the Senate, Mr. Foote had a conversation with me, in the course of which I remarked that I thought it unfortunate for him that he had left his seat; that I believed his enemies might say that he was actuated by fear. He replied that that could not be, for he could prove that he had determined, some time before, that he would do just as he did, if attacked, and that he could prove this by General Edny

. This is all I ever heard Mr. Foote say about being attacked by Mr. Benton, or about carrying arms to defend himself against Mr. Benton, or about having any reason to believe that Mr. Benton would attack him anywhere. To the rest of the question I answer No.

Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, summoned at 'the request of Mr. Footi, being duly sworn according to law, testified as follows:

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Examined by Mr. Foote.

the room.

Question 1. Do you recollect an interview between Mr. Benton and Mr. Foote, in this chamber, some weeks after the last session of Congress, in which a conversation occurred between them; if so, be kind enough to state particulars ?

Answer. I recollect such a conversation. I chanced to be in this room sitting near the fireplace with Mr. Foote, when Mr. Benton entered

We both rose and saluted him. Some conversation ensued of a friendly character which I could not detail. Mr. Benton made some allusion, in a playful way, to some difficulty he had had with some other person, Mr. Foote responded in pretty much the same spirit, and after some unimportant conversation, Mr. Benton walked away. There was some reference to past differences, they both seemed to regret it, and both seemed to think that they had little or no cause for it. ... Question 2. Did you witness the disorder in the Senate on the 17th of April last? If so, state what you saw or heard on that occasion ?

Answer. I was present on that occasion ; I was standing by the desk of Mr. Sturgeon, in nearly a line with Mr. Benton and Mr. Foote. I saw them both at the same instant. Knowing Mr. Foote and his manner of speaking as well as I do, I do not think there was anything offensive or designed to be offensive in his remarks and general manner, though

I can conceive that persons less familiar with him might have thought differently. Mr. Benton rose hastily from his seat, during the progress of Mr. Foote's speech, and stepped out into the aisle back of him, and inmedi. ately turned towards Mr. Foote. It was at that moment that it first occurred to me, that Mr. Benton intended violence towards Mr. Foote. He ad. vanced rapidly towards him. Mr. Dodge of Wisconsin, and perhaps others, pursued Mr. Benton, and laid their hands upon him, before he had reached the position Mr. Foote had occupied. In the meantime Mr. Foote had changed his position into the area in front of the Vice President's chair, where, for some seconds, I lost sight of him. My attention was directed more particularly to Mr. Benton, who was then near his own desk. When I turned my eye towards Mr. Foote, he was surrounded by some Senators. I did not see the pistol at all, or know that it had been exhibited, until I heard it charged by some one, and admitted by Mr. Foote.

Question 3. Did you see the pistol at all ? if so, in what position was it held ?

Answer. I did not see it at all.

Question 4. Have you known Mr. Foote long and intimately ? if so, do you conceive, from your knowledge of his character, that it would be possible for him to plan and execute a scheme of assassination, or to take any unfair and unmanly advantage of an adversary in a fight?

Answer. I have known Mr. Foote since 1833 or 1834, and I have known him intimately for the last twelve or fourteen years. I do not think him capable of planning or executing any scheme of assassination; nor do I think he would take an unmanly advantage in a fight. I have known him engaged in several personal difficulties, and never heard him charged with acting unfairly, or in violation of the rules of honor.

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Cross-examined by Mr. Benton.

Question 1. Will you state what Mr. Foote's manner or language I was?

Answer. His manner was that of one excited in debate, and his lannguage was such as was reported in the Union and Intelligencer. In reading it at the time, I saw no remarkable discrepancy.

Question 2. Did he stamp with his feet, and point at Mr. Benton, and did he talk loud, and was he addressing himself to Mr. Benton ?

Answer. I think he did stamp the floor with his foot once or twice, if not oftener. He spoke in a loud tone. I do not think he pointed at Mr. Benton, or, at least, not so as to attract my attention. I do not think he addressed himself to Mr. Benton. He alluded to a certain Senator ; that allusion was to Mr. Benton, beyond all question.

Question 3. Did you consider that a proper way of addressing a per* son standing in the relation of Mr. Foote towards Mr. Benton ?

Answer. Considering the whole scene in the Senate that day, I did not think Mr. Foote's speech and manner should have been objected to. How far my sympathy with Mr. Foote might have influenced my judgment, I will not undertake to say. Question 4. Did he talk at him?

9-Sen. Dọc. 170.

Answer. I thought he did.

Question 5. Did you hear Mr. Foote say he expected to be shot or stabbed, and would not be cornered ?

Answer. I think he used some such expression after he left his seat and as he was returning to it.

Question 6. Did you hear Mr. Foote say whether he had been informed that Mr. Benton intended to attack him, and had been advised by friends to arm himself, and if so, who gave the information, and who gave the advice?

Answer. I heard Mr. Foote say nothing in reference to it, except what occurred in the Senate chamber.

Question 7. Did Mr. Benton use any gesture, or make any menace as he came towards Mr. Foote?

Answer. I do not think he did.

Question 8. Can you fix the time in the session when that interview took place of which you spoke—whether at the beginning, middle, or latter end ?

Answer. I cannot fix the day; but it was, I think, a few days after the opening of the session.

Question 9. Are you certain that it was at the session before the last that this interview took place ?

Answer. It was at the last session of the last Congress : the short

one.

Question 10. Do you know of any quarrel or reconciliation between Mr. Benton and Mr. Foote prior to this session of Congress ?

Answer. I do not.

Question 11. Do you know that Mr. Benton ever exchanged an angry word with Mr. Foote?

Answer. I do not.

Question 12. What was the difference" alluded to by Mr. Foote in that interview.

Answer. I understood it to be in relation to something that occurred towards the close of the previous question, of which I had no personal knowledge.

Question 13. What words did Mr. Benton use in alluding hat " difference ?"

Answer. I have already stated that I could not undertake to detail the conversation.

Mr. Brown was then discharged by the Committee.

The Hon. Mr. Dodge, of Wisconsin, summoned at the request of Mr. Foote, being duly sworn, according to law, testified as follows :

Examined by Mr. Foote.

Question 1. You spoke formerly of having been near Mr. Benton when he advanced from his seat and went towards the seat of Nr. Foote. Do you recollect of hearing him say, immediately on his return to his own seat, that he would have cut off Mr. Foote's ears had he not left his seat, or words to that effect ?

Answer. I did not hear him say so.

Question 2. What did he say immediately on returning to his own seat ?

Answer. I do not recollect his words.

Ecamined Mr. Pearce.

Question 1. Do you recollect saying anything to Mr. Benton when you took him by the arm ? If so, what was it, and what was his reply ?

Answer. I took hold of Mr. Benton when he was advancing towards Mr. Foote's seat. Mr. Benton said, “ don't stop me,” I said, Benton don't compromit yourself or the Senate."

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Cross-examined by Mr. Benton.

Question 1. Did Mr. Benton have a knife, or any instrument with which he could cut off ears, even if he had been so disposed ?

Answer. Nothing of the arm kind. I felt his pockets, and Mr. Bradbury also examined him carefully, and nothing was found.

The Hon. Mr. Dodge of Wisconsin was then discharged by the Com

mittee.

The Hon. Mr. Ashe of North Carolina, summoned at the request of Mr. Foote, being duly sworn according to law, testified as follows :

Examined by Mr. Foote.

Question 1. I believe you witnessed the affair in the Senate on the 17th day of April. I shall not request you to state all that you saw and heard on that occasion ; but confine my inquiry to a single point. Did you see the position in which Mr. Foote held his pistol ? If so, what was that position ?

Answer. I have not a very distinct recollection, but, I think, it was held with the muzzle towards the floor.

The Hon. Mr. Ashe of North Carolina was then discharged by the

Committee.

The Committee then adjourned to Thursday next, at 10 o'clock, A. M.

JAMES J. DICKENS,

Clerk to the Select Committee.

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