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Cole Testimony

Charles A. Cole testified for Bernard Moore and the A&NWTT Company on April 5 and 6, 1898. He worked for the Moore's during the summer of 1897 helping build the White Pass Trail and the wharf, and earning their confidence to the point that he handled Captain William Moore's personal papers for him and supervised the trail crew. His 25 pages of testimony would be extremely important in eventually settling the case in favor of the Moores. 

See the Bigelow Testimony for a map.

CHARLES E. COLE TESTIMONY

[page 133]

Hearing resumed at 1:00 P. M.

Chas. E. Cole, being first duly sworn deposes and says;

Q. Give your age, residence and occupation.

A. Age 41, residence Skaguay, am an employee of Captain Moore and of Bernard Moore.

Q. When did you first arrive at Skaguay.

A. May the 1st 1897.

Q. At that time who was in the possession and occupancy of that 160 acres of land.

Counsel for protestant offers the same objection as that offered to the testimony of witness Morrison.

(Counsel for the protestant at this time objects to any testimony or evidence being at this time introduced on the part of the applicant as to the value of the improvements upon the property in question, as to who has been in possession of the property since 1888, or any portion of that time; also objects to any testimony showing the necessity of the applicant for the land in question and objects to any testimony or evidence being offered, except that which would be in direct rebuttal of any new matter brought out by the witnesses on the part of the protestant; that any other evidence or testimony offered would be and is testimony and evidences that should have been given by the applicant at the time that he made his proof before this Board asking for his patent as a part of his original case.

The objection is overruled for the following reasons: That it is mandatory upon the Board under Rule 41 of the Rules of Practice that no testimony shall be excluded on the ground of any objection thereto and also for the reason that this has been the ruling of this Board in this case, heretofore.

Counsel for protestant excepts to the ruling of the Board.

[page 134]

A. Bernard Moore and his father were there, and the possession was undisputed.

Q. Have you been on the ground continuously from that time until the present time?

A. Until May 23, ’97. I was there continuously, from that time until August 15, ’97, I was on the trail construction. From August 16, until March 28, 1898, with the exception of a few days at intervals I was there continuously.

Q. Do you know the various improvements that have been placed upon the land, and which have been mentioned in the evidence herein as being those of the applicant, now state in whose behalf and for whose benefit those improvements including the wharf, warehouses, saw mill, and other structures on the highlands was placed upon the premises?

A. They were placed there for Bernard Moore’s benefit.

Q. You may state what if any grass or pasture lands was on the premises when you got there in May, 1897?

A. The first of May when I landed there, there was not a vestige of snow or ice anywhere in the valley and in walking from the beach to the mess house I walked through a path that was well worn through fallen grass from the previous year, and my judg­ment would be that the area available for pasturage would approximate 15 or 18 acres. I noticed fresh grass just sprouting at the time.

Q. You may state what you know concerning the clearing that had been made on the land at that time or were made on the land during the summer in behalf of the applicant?

A. In and around the plot of ground where the now store building and mess house stands, I personally worked on clearings. My first work was that of burning brush already accumulated, and I burned eight or ten big piles, some of them half as large as the cook house or mess house. After that for several days

[page 135]

I cleared west of what is known as the Captain’s residence several hundred feet past of what is known as the corner of, well I would judge as far as the Seattle Stove Co., leaving some trees standing at his direction and a wind brake at the rear of his house also at his directions. That in there was growing brush, young spruce. In and all around where the store stands, stable, was already cleared, and immediately in front of the Captain's house, with the exception of here and there a tree purposely left, were evidences of former clearing in the stumps and brush stubble. Back of this, that is north, and adjoining the trai1 or wagon road which had been cut to a 12 ft width, there was several clearings, aggregating in all I should judge 6 or 8 acres, in all of which I have worked. These clearings to which I allude now, are back in the timber, and there were subsequent clearings made after I went on the trail.

Q. Is the row of buildings along the street including Mr. Price’s office and up to the mess house on the land that was cleared?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State if you know whether the knock down house which has been mentioned here, now a portion at least, as the office of Mr. Price and the Skaguay Land and Investment Co., was purchased as a part of the improvements for Moore?

A. The money for that building, when it was first put there, was borrowed of E. O. Sylvester, and a settlement subsequently made for the amount borrowed by Captain William Moore.

Q. Who occupied it in the first place?

A. Harry Holmes, Arthur Heathorne, Tom Corder, all of whom when Captain Moore was present were acting entirely under his instruction.

Q. Holmes was at one time in charge of the store?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And I believe he quit it a defaulter several thousand dollars?

A. Yes sir.

[page 136]

Q. Now you may state what you know about the construction of the log building, I call it the hewn timber building, which 1ies right in there near Price's office.

A. The log building I believe was commenced before I came from the trail, and laid in its first incomplete condition for some time. Later on, some time I think in October, Captain Moore took the matter in hand and started to complete it. The balance of the logs were put up, the rafters put on. Then it was necessary in order to push the construction of the wharf to put all available help on it and the matter was dropped, and such logs as were not needed for the side walls were sawed into for caps to the approach to the wharf, hauled to the beach and used for such. That is as far as I have any knowledge of it until the lock and key went on the door and Messrs. Price, Lovell and Bryant claimed it. The matter I believe is in litigation yet.

Q. You may state what you know concerning the construction of this trail by Captain Moore and all matters connected with it within your knowledge?

(Counsel for protestant objects to the question for the reason that this evidence particularly was gone into by Counsel when he made his proof on the fina1 hearing of his application for patent, and has been rebutted by the protestants, and is not cerrebuttal testimony, for the reason further that it is irrelevant and im­material, except so far as it may go to show improvements upon the 160 acres in controversy.)

Objection overruled, and exception noted.

A. When I first went to work on the road the road for about a quarter of a mile past Fields’ cabin on the west of Skaguay had been practically completed by the men earlier in the spring. From there on I worked until the wagon road ran into a trail, I mean that we narrowed it into a trail, about four and a half miles from the beach. From there on to both Bennett and Too-chi lakes

[page 137]

I had practical charge of the work, under the direction of Captain Moore, who came to us on the tenth of June, on the second raise, and stayed with us until the trail and both its branches were completed, the trai1s forking about 7 miles from Bennett. During this time, I kept the men's time, drew orders on Bernard, Moore for their pay, and we had the assistance of free help of about 15 men for three days on the Bennett branch, provisioning them ourselves. In that time we built something over eighty bridges and pieces of corduroy running all the way from 6 feet to 100 feet in length.

Q. What was the business of the Mr. King who has been mentioned?

A. He was a contractor getting out logs for the mill, built the skid road for the convenience of getting the logs out and I have seen him come to the Captain and Ben during the fall, to get assistance to prevent its obstruction by some lot jumpers. Mr. King's settlement was made with Captain Moore to the amount of $600, his final settlement.

Q. You may state it you know any reasons why the mill did not continue operations in sawing lumber.

A. It was impossible to get a log within reasonable hauling distance in Skaguay without intruding on some piece of property, claimed by an alleged lot owner.

Q. Do you know anything about an attempt to make a contract with some one on the part of this man Hill, the mill man?

A. Yes sir. There is a party who has been to the house several times lately, whose name I forget, with whom Mr. Hill made a contract for logs. The logs to be brought from down the canal. They both admit the contract and the logs are ready for delivery, but neither Captain nor Bernard Moore will accept them.

Q. You may state why other operations in the way of improvements on this 160 acres have not been carried forward?

A. Every inch of the uplands, with the exception of the enclosure of Ben's, and the piece of ground on which Captain's residence

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stands is contested, and it is not possib1e to carry forward intended improvements. The store building stands as it does today in evidence of the manner in which the Moores have been handled in the last 9 or 10 months, and even that they have been ordered out of.

Q. State what you know about Holme and Warden being dismissed?

A. They were both dismissed at the instigation of Captain Moore, after consultation with Bernard, at most of which interviews I have been present.

Q. State whether or not there were other supplies and goods than those in the store belonging to that branch of the business?

A. They were paying a monthly rental of $250 for goods, provisions, feed and miscellaneous merchandise, stored in a tent be­longing, I believe, to the Hepburn Storage Co.

Q. State what, if anything, you know about this man Hill attempt­ing to sell the bunk house and why that wasn't consummated?

A. Some time in December, I think some sort of a contract or sale to or with Dr. Runnalls. Captain Moore, when he heard of it, called Mr. Hill to account and the matter was finally wound up by Mr. Hill paying $100 out of his own pocket to get out of the contract.

Q. Concerning this tract being the only one over which the White Pass can be reached, state what you know concerning the ground and any trail lying on the west side of the Skaguay river? Where, I believe Mr. J.T. Field claims to hold some ground?

A. The only time I was ever over there, 26th day of February, I think. when I went to serve papers on J.T. Field, I crosscutted , struck his trail found him in his cabin at Nausak Bay, I suppose it was his cabin, followed back the trail the entire length of the knoll and came down on the flat. I found what I would consider an entirely practicable trail.

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Q. Have you ever known of Captain Moore or the applicant giving any direction to this man Billinghurst?

A. I remember one time when we were on the trai1 Captain told him to go to Juneau and employ ten or twelve men and send them up just as quick as he could, which he did.

Q. Since you have been in his employ here or Ben, and working under the Captain, who has paid you?

A. The first time I was paid, I drew $12.50, Captain Moore paid me. The second time, some time in the latter part of August, I drew about $300. Bernard Moore paid me in cash. At one time while Mr. Billinghurst was in the Captain’s house, where he al­ways made his headquarters. He gave me thirty dollars, at I think it was Ben's order. Ben was keeping the time at that time, and since that time all payments have been made by Captain Moore.

Q. You may state what, if anything, you know as to contracts being let for foundations, warehouses, and other improvements there, more especially as to who made the contracts with reference to the 160 acres?

A. The first was the contract to Morrison for the foundation to the warehouse. Next I think was the contract for piles with a man named Harkney, to finish the wharf extension; then came the ware­house contract, and later on another contract for a few long piles, and they were all made in the name of Bernard Moore. All settlements were made and cashed by Captain Moore.

Q. You have heard these letters that have been introduced in evidence read, from Billinghurst and Escolme, state what, if any­thing, you know concerning any or all of them, (you may examine them) consultations having been had with Ben or the Captain relating to the matters therein contained?

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A. Geo. Buchanan was supposed to be a practical wharf builder, and when the Captain went on the trail, he left the work in his charge. While we were on the trail, Ben wrote several times regarding the conflict of authority between himself and Hill, and at Captain's request I wrote severa1 times to make sure that the letters didn't miscarry, both to Buchanan and to Ben and to Billinghurst, and I presume the Billinghurst letter is the result of one of these letters, thinking his answer would get to the direct source quicker that way than any other, because for quite a number of days at the time we had no communication. I can see no other reason. I know that Mr. Billinghurst nor Mr. Escolme, neither one, when on the grounds, gave orders, nor in anyway interfered with Captain Moore's management. I have slept in the same room with Billinghurst for weeks at a time and never in any conversation, private or otherwise, heard him attempt to assume any authority over either of the Moores, whatever.

Q. Did you hear the testimony of Mr. Bigelow to the effect as I remember it that there was nothing but British ships landed at the Moore dock?

A. As a matter of fact the only contract the wharf has with a steam- boat line is the Alaska and Washington Steamship Company. They operate the City of Seattle, the Rosalie, the Cleveland, all American boats, and a1so the Pak-shan, which they charter and sail from British ports. They are all included in this contract, and have to land at the Moore dock. Other American boats preferring this dock and landing whenever they have the slightest chance are the Lakme, Del Norte, Signal, south Coast, National City, and with the exception of two of the Dyea ferry boats, all the small craft and ferryboat used the float. Mr. Bigelow said every time he was there was a British boat in. Some time last winter he brought a lady out from Lake Le Barge. Just as Mrs. Church came along I met him on the approach with this lady and a dog team.

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Mrs. Church leaned over and kissed this sick lady, and having bus­iness with the purser of the Seattle I followed them on board where he took this sick woman, and I have since wondered whether I have been mistaken as to whether the Seattle an American or a British boat. There has been but one British boat making regular landings at Moore’s dock, the Danube, the Captain of which is a son- in-law of Captain William Moore.

Q. Are you acquainted with the gentlemen named here as John H. Escolme, E.E. Billinghurst, Reg Hill, Holme, Warden, Heathorne, who have been mentioned in the testimony of the protestants and, if so, state whether they or any of them have any right, title, lien, or encumbrance of any nature, upon the land included within the Ben Moore claim, or any interest other than employees, direct or indirect, in the improvements thereon.

Counsel for protestants objects for the reason that it calls for a conclusion of the witness, and is requiring him to give a legal opinion as to the validity or invalidity of the agreement that has been offered in evidence in this case between Bernard Moore and E. E. Billinghurst, and Captain William Moore, also it is usurp­ing the power that is vested in this Board and the U.S. Land Office to pass upon and determine this case.

The objection is overruled (exception noted) under rules 36, 37 and 41 of the Rules of Practice of the Land Office.

A. I am acquainted with them all. With the exception of Mr. Escolme and Mr. Billinghurst, the others have none, and as regards Mr. Billinghurst whatever claim he might have had from his own admission passes to the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company, in which, I think, Mr. Escolme may have some financial interest.

Q. Do you know whether the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company is an American or an alien corporation?

A. It is an American corporation.

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Q. Where is its principle office?

A. In New York City.

Q. Has it a branch office in the city of Victoria?

A. It has.

Q. Who is in charge of that office in chief for the company and its representative?

A. John H. Escolme.

Q. Has Mr. Billinghurst any connection with the office in Victoria, and if so, in what capacity?  

A. From his letters, conversation, and actions, he is in a subordinate position under Mr. Escolme.

Q. The attention of the witness is directed to "Exhibit A” in the testimony of the Protestant Price et al., and the following question is propounded to him. Is the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company shown on that bill head and the John H. Escolme, whose name is printed thereon, the company and the person to which you are now referring?

A. Yes.

Q. And the John H. Escolme and the E. E. Billinghurst who is claimed to have written the letters, "Exhibits F and G" of protestants testimony, are the identical persons to whom you refer?

A. Yes sir, they are the persons, and the signatures are their signatures.

Q. Something has been said here regarding the meander line of the applicants claim on the water front, and as to the rise and fall of the tide, with reference thereto I will ask you concerning the practicability of floating logs up to the mill as the tides comes in, state what you know about that?

A. It is not possible to float the logs at all tides, the extreme low tides are the ones I refer to as not being possible to float them, but owing to a considerable depression of the creek bed there it is possible to float logs up or down the creek, or from one side to the other of it, on an ordinary tide or high tide. On a

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high tide they can be floated a very short distance outside the creek bed.

Q. The mill itself, as I understand it, stands on a sort of a little island, that is when the tide is full, but is above high water mark, is that the way it is?

A. It is above high water mark.

Q. State whether or not in all the business matters connected with this claim and the improvements thereon, you have had to a very large degree the confidence of both the Captain and his son, the applicant.

A. At all times after a date when I had there long enough to become acquainted with them. That date I think was the tenth of June, 1897, since that time I have consulted with them, arranged and rearranged the old gentleman's private papers, attended to the greater portion of his correspondence, including his family letters, kept his private cash book, helped him in payments, did every thing I could for him. And I know that every dollar of the receipts at present and for several months past has passed through his hands. Every evening everyone in the employ reports to him and turns their money over to him, and he alone has sole charge of the money this includes the wharf receipts and he also makes all disburse­ments. Previous to this time, with exception of about a month, I think, when the Captain went below, when he delegated this authority to Warden, over the entire period that I was with him, Ben kept the time and handled such money as there was to handle. Mr. Shaw keeps the general books under the Captain’s direction. And he also keeps his own (Shaw’s) cash book. A blotter being kept from which we both take our entries, he segregates his and passes them through the ledger to the proper accounts, while my book is simply for the old gentleman's use and shows the running balance from day to day.

Q. You may state if you know, for whom or in whose behalf or interest the captain is rendering these services?

A. Entirely in Bernard's behalf and benefit, at least at no con-

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erence of theirs, can I detect any other reason or motive.

Q. Is that true with reference to the work, management and time the old gentleman had put in on the developments placed on the claim.

A. It is. I suppose, in fact it is understood, that some time the old gentleman will have a home for himself and Bernard’s mother. The plans last spring were to have a home for his mother there and to have her there long before this.

Q. Is the meander line laid down on Mr. Garside’s official map, approximately correct with reference to the ordinary or mean high water mark along the front of the claim?

A. From c1ose observation and at various periods and daily work on the beach I should say it was approximately correct, with reference to the mean high tide line as I understand it.

(Counsel for the protestant renews his motion to strike out all the testimony of the witness for the reason that it is a part of the applicant’s original case, and does not in anywise belong in this case as cerebuttal. Motion is denied and exception allowed.)

Cross Examination:

Q. In speaking of the clearing that was done, I wi11 ask you if you are acquainted with the present lot owned by a man by the name of Morse in which is the News printing office and other tenants, and if  so, about what distance that is from the original cook house?

A. The corner of the lot is perhaps forty feet, something like that.

Q. It not a fact that old man Morse cleared that lot and felled large trees there before erecting his building in the month of September?

A. I don't question but what he may have fallen some trees, but the underbrush had been cleared out, and trees left there pur­posely. I remember the spot well from the fact that we had an

[Page 145]

outhouse there that was in general use by the people of Skaguay at one time.

Q. When you arrived at Skaguay how far would you say driftwood had accumulated, up to about what street on the Frank Reid map?

A. I should say somewhere between Third and Fourth Aves. The driftwood there, the greater portion of it, looked as though it might have been deposited years ago. Not from any recent tide.

Q. Isn’t it a fact that in September and November, l897, that we had tides that came up and floated timbers as far as the corners of Broadway and Fifth Ave.?

A. There was an exceptional tide the 27th day of October, l897, previous to this date there had been a keen strong southerly wind, I have no previous knowledge of the tides.

Q. Was that the only time that tides came up to that point last fall sufficiently deep to float timbers and driftwood?

A. I couldn’t say that there was not but I have no knowledge myself of any other, for this reason, that at all other times I was at work, either around the approach or at the wharf.

Q. What character of grass will grow and thrive on lands soaked with salt water and covered at intervals by salt water?

A. I am not familiar with grasses as to their names and varieties, consequently I can’t tell what kinds or their names. The old grass that was there when I went there in May was affording sufficient food for the cows so that they gave an abundance of milk.

Q. Was it dead?

A. It was dead from the previous year.

Q. Did cattle and stock subsist solely on this?

A. Not entirely, but the other food was not sufficient for them to subsist on either.

Q. Who was this knock down house that you speak of purchased from, and by whom?

A. Holme as representing the company purchased it I believe.

Q. When?

[page 146]

A. I can't remember the exact date, sometime in September, I think.

Q. What company do you speak of as Ho1me representing?

A. The Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company.

Q. Then it was not purchased as part of the improvements for Moore as stated 1n your direct examination?

A. It was.

Q. Which answer do you wish considered as correct? That he purchased this house for the company or purchased it for Moore?

A. From his own account I presume he bought the house, but the capta1n eventually paid for it in the course of business transac­tions.

Q. Did Holme also locate the lot he put it on for Moore or for the company?

A. I don't know whether he located the lot at all only from the notice that is on file in this office.

Q. And the only thing you know with reference to his purchase of this house is from the fact that Captain Moore subsequently paid E.O. Sylvester money that Holme had borrowed from him?

A. Yes sir. It was borrowed tor the purpose of putting up that house and so understood at the time by Mr. Sylvester.

Q. How much was borrowed and how do you know that that was what it was borrowed for.

A. $150. And from the fact that Mr. Warden at the time the money was borrowed went security for it for that purpose.

Q. Who did Holme buy this house of and how much did he pay for it?

A. I don't know.

Q. Is it not a fact that Arthur Heathorne occupied this premises after Holme left in conjunction with a man by the name of Richards or Richardson, that he is an employee of the company recognized Richardson’s right to it, and when I purchased from Richardson, peaceably and quietly gave possession?

A. I don't know whether he recognized the right and I don't know

[page 147]

under what circumstances he gave up possession of it.

Q. Is it not a fact that the expense for labor in getting out logs for the construction of the log house was contracted by this man Holme and is not at this time paid for?

A. The contract for the logs in question I think was made while I was on the trail, and I don't remember having seen any bills presented to the captain, or on file anywhere, for the expense of the same.

Q: Will you say that the labor for getting out these logs has been paid?

A. I do not say it has been paid, neither do I say that it has not been paid.

Q. Is it not a fact that one of company’s teamsters is adversely to both Captain Moore and myself, J. G. Price, claiming a right to this building by reason of putting rafters and sheathing thereon, and not receiving his pay? and placed on the door a second padlock?

A. I understood that a man by the name of Joe Bradley had done such a thing as that. Just what his claims in court may have been I do not know, I was not there.

Q. You state in your direct examination that during the time you was working on the trail with Captain Moore that you kept the men's times and drew orders on Bernard Moore for their pay. Were the orders payable in cash or merchandise?

A. The orders that I drew were simply for the number of days time they had worked, the rate per day, total amount due them, less the amount of merchandise they had either had from the store below or from me on the trai1, signed by myse1f, as to their disposition I know nothing, excepting that the orders are all paid.

Q. You speak of the business relations had with Mr. King as being settled up in full by Captain Moore, just state, when and under

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what circumstances that settlement was had.

A. It was sometime in January or February, I think, my recollec­tion is from seeing the receipt and making the entry in his cash book. 

Q. Isn’t it a fact that this settlement has been made within the last thirty days?

A. I don't know, I tell you I can’t remember the date. My recollection is from seeing the receipt. I think it was the latter part of February, ’98.

Q. Isn’t it a fact that the saw mill closed down about Court time for the reasons that it was intimated the Grand Jury wee about to bring indictments for cutting timber on Government land and was there not at that time plenty Of available timber on the Buchanan claim and north of it, of the same character that this mill company had been using, some of which was felled but not removed?

A. The court proceedings I know nothing whatever of it, and know nothing now of what you have stated. As to the timber a1ready fallen I know the men who were hauling piles in said they had to fight almost every time they brought large piles from the Buchanan claim or any where in easy hauling distance. There has been a gun pulled on the men several times when they were chopping up there and even earlier than that.

Q. When were the gun plays made, about what month?

A. Along in September.

Q. Did you see them?

A. I did not see them. Gilbert Small the foreman in the woods reported it, that was all.

Q. At that time was any part of the Buchanan claim laid out into townsite or claimed as one?

A. It may not have been laid out by a survey, but it was claimed the greater portion of southern half of it was claimed.

Q. At the time the saw mill closed down and up to the present time who had had full and complete control, possession and operation

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of it?

A. Up to the time it closed Mr. Hil1 had the management of it, since that time I have seen him draw money from time to time from Captain Moore to live on.

Q. State if you know during the month of January 1898, who had full and complete control of this saw mill from January up to the present time?

A. Mr. H11l may claim to have absolute control of it, but he can' t start the mill without Captain or Bernard's consent and he gets ten dollars from time to time to buy provisions with. At least that’s what he says he wants, it for.

Q. Who is that money charged to?

A. To Reg Hill in person.

Q. By whom is he employed?

A. It is understood that he is employed by the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company.

Q. Then why isn’t the amounts he draws charged to the company as their employee?

A. He is not working that I know of.

Q. Is it not a fact that during all of the time that saw mill has been up and in operation to the present day, and that the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company, through their man­ager Reg Hill, have had full, complete and absolute possession of this mill with five acres of land adjacent, and that Ben Moore himself has made affidavit to that statement of facts.

A. As far as the absolute control and possession of it I can say no. And as to the latter put of the question I don't know anything about Ben's affidavit in the matter at all, I haven’t looked over any records. And qualifying the first part of the answer I want to add my reason for so answering it is that they can’t open and operate the mill without either Ben's or his father’s consent.

[Page 150]

Q. Then if Ben has made that statement it is incorrect is it?

A. I decline to answer the question for the reason that I know nothing about the statements made. I will answer the ques­tion no.

Q. If Ben Moore has made and filed in the District Court a statement that the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company, by and through their manager, Reg Kill, had during the month of January, and a long time prior thereto, full and complete control and operation of this saw mill in question, together with five acres of land adjoining, would that statement be true or false?

A. As far as possession, exercising any ownership, it would be false, ownership referring to the ground. It is true as far as the management is concerned subject to Captain Moore's supervision.

Q. Would it be necessary at this time in order to transact the business of the mill that the same receive the sanction of Bernard Moore?

A. Yes sir, through his father as Bernard’s manager.

Q. Then Reg Hill and Captain William Moore are joint managers of this mill are they? One acting for the company and the other for Ben?

A. Captain Moore is generally managing everything connected with various industries at Skaguay, representing Bernard Moore as his manager. Mr. Hill will operate the mill in the same manner as Mr. Shaw will conduct the books or I might look after the wharf.

Q. Is it not a fact that Reg Hill as the manager of the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company is exercising control and management over the store and what interest they claim in the log house and my office and all property included within lot 8, block 2?

[page 151]

A. He may be on his judgment and own responsibility.

Q. Has Captain William Moore, or this company, or Mr. Hill, had any attorney in the town of Skaguay, within the 1ast 90 days or four months, that they have advised with and who has conducted any litigation that may have come up there, if so, state who?

A. Attorney Long has looked after some matters. I never was present at any, know nothing of them only what I hear.

Q. Well he has represented the Captain and his interests?

A. Those are matters entirely between he and Mr. Moore, of which I know nothing.

Q. Is it not a fact that in an action in ejectment brought against Captain Moore, Mr. Shaw and this company, that Long representing and advising with the parties had stricken from the pleadings as defendants Captain William Moore and Mr. Shaw, both denying under oath any interest in the premises and answered through the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company, by Reg Hill who verified these statement?

A. I have no knowledge of the matter whatever. The only knowl­edge I have of it is having seen the first papers that were served.

Q. What do you mean when you say that the store building today stands in evidence of the manner in which the Moores have been treated?

A. I mean that that is about as far as a structure could be gotten. That every move wherein a Moore appeared it was always contested.

Q. It couldn’t have been extended east, could it? Wasn't the company’s claimed log house and knock down house in the way? And is there anything in the rear and to the west to prevent an ad­dition?

A. There is a tin shop on the west within about a foot of the store. In the rear there is about 25 feet between that and the

[page 152]

log stable. I always understood that the log stable and blacksmith shop were a part of the improvements of Bernard Moore.

Q. Is tent you speak of there as a storage tent and the storage tent that Bernard Moore in his affidavit speaks of as a storage tent, are they one and the same tent?

A. They are not.

Q. How far was you up Field's trail?

A. I walked from where I found Field sleeping, over the knoll to the level ground.

Q. Was that not a trail leading from that cove where Fields is simply to Skaguay?

A. It leads over the level ground, and I say I was never over that trail further than to the level ground, but have built enough trails to know something about the appearance of ground, and the ground appears to be easy for a trail.

Q. When were these contracts you speak of here entered into wherein Bernard Moore was a party?

A. I don't remember the date some time in the fall of ‘97, and from that time on. Previous to that time we did all of the work by days work, excepting the logging which was what would be con­sidered piece work.

Q. You say they were made in Bernard Moore's name? Were they made in his name as this attempt to prove up is in his name, or were they bona fide for his sole and independent use and benefit?

A. They were bona fide contracts, so far as I know.

Q. Bernard Moore as the only and real person in interest?

A. Yes.

Q. Bernard Moore speaks in his letter dated Aug. 5,'97, addressed to Geo. Buchanan, that he is unable to act or employ men in Juneau, to obtain goods and supplies from Koehler and James, without first hearing from Billinghurst, and winds up by saying it is high time that one of our people came up from below, in view of the fact that you have sworn that William Moore was in the vicinity of the

[page 153]

premises, and has at all times had full and complete control as Ben's manager, I will ask you to take this letter and explain if you can What is meant by al1 things therein referred to connected with this claim?

A. I first heard of the letter today and at that particular time Captain Moore was 25 miles from Skaguay and I presume that accounts for the reason why he didn't write to his father instead of to George. They were on very friendly terms and consulted together frequently, and, as I said, I think in my direct testimony, Buchannan being supposed to be a practical wharf builder was delegated for the time being with the Captain’s powers as regards the local work, and subject to such instructions as he might send him. I wrote him ­every time we had a chance for the Captain.

Q. It the connections and associations with Billinghurst and not with Buchanan that I had reference to?

A. I can't explain another man’s actions or another man’s letters.

Q. In the letter which you have yourself identified as that of John H. Escolme, I will ask if William Clark, therein mentioned, came to Skaguay and in conformity with the terms of this letter took charge at any time of the construction of the dock, or any other of the improvements enumerated in Ben's affidavit?

A. Mr. Clark came to Skaguay before I came from the trail, and remained there but a short time after I came down. He was taken ill and had to go below. He acted in charge the short time that I saw him there, of wharf construction only.

Q. Are any of the horses mentioned in this letter, Bell, Dick, Prince and Maude, any of the horses set out in Ben Moore's affidavit as a part of his stock on these premises?

A. I don't know a horse by name excepting the original two. Some teams have been sold and others bought, so I couldn't say.

The hearing was then adjourned until 9 o'clock a.m. April 6, 1898.

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The hearing was resumed at 9 o'clock a.m. April 6, 1898. Present:

Surveyor-General, Register and Receiver and the parties in in­terest.

Q. You was first employed by Koehler & James were you not?

A. Koehler and James hired me.

Q. State if you know whether they were acting under the directions of the Victoria parties, or Ben Moore?

A. Ned James told me that Capt. Moore was going to build a wharf and cut a trail through there and asked me if I knew anything about wood chopping and I told him I did. And the bargain was closed and I went up next day.

Q. In that conversation and with reference to your employment was anything said with reference to the connection, either direct or remote, that Billinghurst, Escolme or other Victoria parties had in it?

A. Nothing whatever. The first time I heard Billinghurst's name mentioned was perhaps two or three weeks after I had been in Skaguay.

Q. Have you seen the articles of incorporation of the Alaskan and North western Territories Trading Company?

A. Yes, I have as certified to by the Secretary of state of W. Va.

Q. Who were the stockholders and what per cent, if you know, of the capital stock is held by Americans and what per cent by aliens?

A. I don't remember the stockholders names, and I don’t remember the percentage paid on the stock, but I believe the stockholders list as I saw it was of American citizens.

Q. If you know nothing about it give your reasons for believing it?

A. I believe that the secretary of the corporation certifies to that fact. That is my belief.

Q. You have read the secretary’s certificate?

A. I have, in a cursory way.

Q. As much as you are apparently interested in this matter, and being a bright man, will you state that you have read the certificate of the secretary of state of West Virginia certifying that

[Page 155]

the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company is a corporation within that state, and in view of the fact that the contest against Bernard Moore is partially based on the grounds of his relationship and that of land embraced in land survey No.13, with aliens and alien corporations, and yet are unable to state what the secretary certifies to with reference to their citizenship?

A. I haven't seen the articles for incorporation for perhaps six weeks, and my impression is, though I cannot remember the exact wording, that the stock holders as enumerated in the articles were all Americans and I think the counsel will have ample oppor­tunity for examining those papers before very long.

Q. You are very conversant are you not with the present conduct of this case and what is to be the future conduct of it with reference to its management?

A. No, I don't know, not unusually so.

Q. Is Mr. Escolme an American or an Englishman?

A. English born I presume, as to his citizenship, I don't know.

Q. You stated in your direct examination that he had a financial interest in this company, is he a stock holder, if not, what is his financial interest?

A. I said I thought he had a financial interest in it.

Q. Don’t you know that he has?

A. I know simply that he is representing the company’s branch office in Victoria, and my conclusions are drawn from his actions rather than from positive knowledge.

Q. Wasn't you in the court room when Mrs. Leonard was on the stand and stated that she thought Mr. Escolme was a member of this cor­poration, and Judge Delaney admitted as much and again if you do not know positively that he is a member of this corporation?

A. While I might be well satisfied in my own mind, I know nothing tangible that I could make oath to.

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Q. You seem to find tangible and intelligent answers in all matters where it benefits the Moore interest, do you not?

A. I find tangible answers when questions asked me about positive knowledge which I have are asked and where counsel does not try to put words in my mouth.

Q. From the very close confidential and personal relations you have had with Captain William Moore and Bernard Moore since the tenth day of June, 1897, having as you have stated their private and personal papers in your charge, custody and for your inspection, is it not a fact that the real party in interest and the real owner of this 160 acres of land embraced in survey No. 13, Bernard Moore claim, is in fact and in truth that of Captain William Moore, and that Bernard Moore's name was only used for the reason that Captain Moore was not a citizen of the United States, and that William Moore and Bernard Moore have jointly entered into an agreement under seal creating a lien and agreeing to con­vey one-half or other portions of this land upon receipt of pat­ent and upon demand of E.E. Billinghurst?

A. As to Captain Moore's real ownership, no sir. As to the second proposition, I would say that could not be true because Captain Moore was a citizen of the United States to all intents and purposes, except to the right of voting, since the year 1888.

I believe the contract shows for itself there, yes.

Q. You know the contents of that agreement do you, the main fea­tures of it?

A. Yes, the main features of it.

Q. Will you explain to the Board that when E.E. Billinghurst acting for certain undisclosed parties as one part of this contract why was the name of Captain William Moore joined with that of Bernard Moore in creating this contract and form of agreement and lien on this premises?


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A. I know of no other reason except that Captain Moore was to act as Ben's manager.

Redirect Examination.

Q. I understood you to testify that all of the interest vested in Billinghurst by the agreement to which counsel have called your attention have become merged into the Alaskan and North Western Territories Trading Company?

(Objection to the question for the reason that it is a question of law and involves the interpretation of contracts and written instruments.)

Objection is overruled and exception allowed.

A. I believe it has.

[Charles A. Cole, Signature]

  I hereby certify that the foregoing testimony was read by me and corrected in the presence of the witness, and that it was thereby subscribed to by him at my office in Sitka, Alaska, this 6th, day of April, 1898.

[John A. Dudley, Register, Signature]

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