The New International Encyclopædia/Mulligan Letters

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MULLIGAN LETTERS. A series of letters written by James G. Blaine (q.v.) to Warren Fisher, a business associate, which, it was alleged, proved corrupt connection, on the part of Blaine, with legislation in Congress favoring the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad and the Northern Pacific Railroad. The letters were obtained from Fisher by one James Mulligan, a former clerk of Fisher, who had been called to Washington to testify before a committee of the House of Representatives appointed to investigate the charges against Blaine. Blaine obtained the letters from Mulligan, and on June 5, 1876, read them before the House, after defying the committee to compel him to surrender them. The letters were freely used in the Presidential campaigns of 1876 and 1884 by the opponents of Blaine, who took full advantage of the suspicious sound of several detached sentences. By the adherents of Blaine it was asserted, apparently with good reason, that the letters did not in any way prove corruption or even participation in discreditable business and political transactions on the part of Blaine.