Publication information
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Source: Sun
Source type: newspaper
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “The Government’s Detectives”
Author(s): R., C. A.
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 10 October 1901
Volume number: 69
Issue number: 40
Pagination: 6

R., C. A. “The Government’s Detectives.” Sun [New York] 10 Oct. 1901 v69n40: p. 6.
full text
Secret Service; George F. Foster; Samuel R. Ireland; John E. Wilkie; Secret Service (criticism); McKinley assassination (personal response).
Named persons
Calvin S. Brice; John G. Carlisle; George F. Foster; Lyman J. Gage; Albert Gallaher [misspelled below]; William P. Hazen; Samuel R. Ireland; C. A. R.; Theodore Roosevelt; Frank A. Vanderlip; John E. Wilkie.
It is uncertain if Foxy Quiller (misspelled below) is intended to mean the comic opera Foxy Quiller or that work’s title character.


The Government’s Detectives

     To THE EDITOR OF THE SUNSir: The Washington public has read with no small amount of interest the contributions of one of your subscribers on the question of the work of the Secret Service men at Buffalo. I know nothing whatever of Detective Gallagher, except that he is from Chicago and said to be a protégé of Secretary Gage. We of Washington do know of Detective George Foster and Detective Sam Ireland. Foster is a politician from Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He served in a menial position in the Ohio Legislature and came to Washington to accept a position under the sergeant-at-arms of the House in the Fifty-second Congress. The Upper Sandusky man had charge of the negroes whose duty it was to clean the House side of the building. He was what might be termed the boss janitor and gave excellent satisfaction. With the advent of a Republican Congress, Foster, being a Democrat, was compelled to look elsewhere for employment and through the good offices of Senator Brice a place was made for him in the Secret Service of the Treasury Department. George Foster is a good fellow and is fully up to the Upper Sandusky standard of intelligence and cleverness, but he never had any experience as a detective beyond keeping an espionage on the scrubbers at the Capitol and occasionally assisting the Town Marshal at Upper Sandusky.
     Detective Sam Ireland is known to Washington as a professional story teller [sic] and entertainer. He has an immense fund of stories and is no slouch of an actor. Perhaps the best joke in his répertoire is his story of his appointment to a place in the Secret Service. Ireland is a Kentuckian and, like Foster, was a Democrat in politics at the time of his appointment. He has Mr. Carlisle to thank for his elevation to his place among the sleuths of the Government service, and, notwithstanding Ireland’s penchant for telling funny things, he was in his present position for almost one entire month before he took his friends into his confidence and permitted them to share the humor of the thing.
     Chief Wilkie, the successor of Mr. Hazen, who really made a creditable showing during his incumbency of the position, was a Chicago newspaper man and, like Mr. Vanderlip, who recently quit the Government service by request, is a protégé of Secretary Gage. Wilkie is a great sleuth in his annual reports and has “Foxey Quiller” beaten to a standstill. It may be that the President’s life could not have been saved by more efficient espionage, but it is quite certain that when he took his chances with the crowds at the Buffalo Exposition he was not protected by the sort of detective talent the Chief Executive of the United States should have on such occasions. I have never been a great admirer of the system of civil service reform as it is administered by our Government, but believe the spoilsmen should be kept out of the Secret Service. It is a too important branch of the Government service to be trifled with in an Upper Sanduskyish manner. Is it not the duty of President Roosevelt to see to it that the abuses in this department are corrected?

C. A. R.     

     WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 30.



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