Getting the Message Through: A Branch History of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

p. 58, on Howgate’s embezzlements from the Signal Corps and his various periods as a fugitive: This time [1881] Howgate eluded capture for thirteen years. He was finally seized in New York City in 1894, where he had been posing as a rare book dealer….

Not surprisingly, Hazen [Chief, Signal Office] assigned an officer to duty as examiner of accounts in the wake of the scandal. Howgate had spent a great deal of the embezzled money on his mistress, but he also used some of it to finance Arctic exploration, an area in which the Signal Corps became involved as part of the International Polar Year (1882-1883), the forerunner of what is now known as the International Geophysical Year. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned scientific endeavor became a new source of controversy and even scandal for the Signal Corps.