From the Lancaster (Pa.) Daily Intelligencer, 7/9/1887, p. 2, c. 2
A GREAT hubbub is attempted to be raised over the fact that Miss Van Lew, of Virginia, formerly postmistress at Richmond, has been reduced from a $1,200 clerkship to be a laborer at $720. It is alleged she was a devoted friend of the Union cause in the days of the late rebellion, in reward for which Grant gave her the Richmond post office. It is said that Vilas reduced her without cause. Here is the other side of the story: Under a Republican administration she lost the postoffice at Richmond, and Postmaster General Gresham appointed her to a clerkship in the postoffice department. Gen. Gresham left, and Mr. Hatton succeeded him. At the time Mr. Hatton went out his subordinates had recommended the dismissal of Miss Van Lew, who was represented as possessing few qualities of usefulness, but Mr. Hatton lightly informed the officer who thus reported that he would leave Miss Van Lew to a Democratic postmaster general to be dismissed.” It was found that during the last year of the last administration Miss Van Lew lost more than 250 days by absence and that it had been reported that her absence was really no loss to the government, as she had been employed upon work that was of no possible use after it was done. She had been carried upon the rolls in the stamp division, by reason of her incompetency, with the performance of work necessary to be done, it was decided to transfer her at a reduced salary to the roll of skilled laborers on the dead letter office roll. The postmaster general says that this charge was not suggested or urged by new officers of the department, but that it was made upon the recommendation of officers long connected with the department. Mark how plain a tale sets the Republican vilifiers down.