Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents by James D. Richardson

Part 11 out of 14

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

language, intent, and theory of the Constitution, and thus place the
executive department beyond the reach of usurpation, and remove from the
legislative and judicial departments every temptation to combine for the
absorption of all the powers of government.

It has occurred to me that in the event of such a vacancy the duties of
President would devolve most appropriately upon some one of the heads of
the several Executive Departments, and under this conviction I present
for your consideration an amendment to the Constitution on this subject,
with the recommendation that it be submitted to the people for their
action.

Experience seems to have established the necessity of an amendment
of that clause of the Constitution which provides for the election of
Senators to Congress by the legislatures of the several States. It would
be more consistent with the genius of our form of government if the
Senators were chosen directly by the people of the several States.
The objections to the election of Senators by the legislatures are
so palpable that I deem it unnecessary to do more than submit the
proposition for such an amendment, with the recommendation that it
be opened to the people for their judgment.

It is strongly impressed on my mind that the tenure of office by
the judiciary of the United States during good behavior for life is
incompatible with the spirit of republican government, and in this
opinion I am fully sustained by the evidence of popular judgment upon
this subject in the different States of the Union.

I therefore deem it my duty to recommend an amendment to the
Constitution by which the terms of the judicial officers would be
limited to a period of years, and I herewith present it in the hope that
Congress will submit it to the people for their decision.

The foregoing views have long been entertained by me. In 1845, in the
House of Representatives, and afterwards, in 1860, in the Senate of the
United States, I submitted substantially the same propositions as those
to which the attention of Congress is herein invited. Time, observation,
and experience have confirmed these convictions; and, as a matter of
public duty and a deep sense of my constitutional obligation "to
recommend to the consideration of Congress such measures as I deem
necessary and expedient," I submit the accompanying propositions, and
urge their adoption and submission to the judgment of the people.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

JOINT RESOLUTION proposing amendments to the Constitution of the
United States.

Whereas the fifth article of the Constitution of the United States
provides for amendments thereto in the manner following, viz:

"The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it
necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the
application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States,
shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which in either case
shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution
when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States
or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode
of ratification may be proposed by the Congress: _Provided_, That no
amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner
affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first
article, and that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of
its equal suffrage in the Senate:"

Therefore,

_Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of both Houses
concurring_), That the following amendments to the Constitution of the
United States be proposed to the legislatures of the several States,
which, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States,
shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution:

"That hereafter the President and Vice-President of the United States
shall be chosen for the term of six years, by the people of the
respective States, in the manner following: Each State shall be divided
by the legislature thereof in districts, equal in number to the whole
number of Senators and Representatives to which such State may be
entitled in the Congress of the United States; the said districts to
be composed of contiguous territory, and to contain, as nearly as may
be, an equal number of persons entitled to be represented under the
Constitution, and to be laid off for the first time immediately after
the ratification of this amendment; that on the first Thursday in August
in the year 18--, and on the same day every sixth year thereafter, the
citizens of each State who possess the qualifications requisite for
electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures shall
meet within their respective districts and vote for a President and
Vice-President of the United States; and the person receiving the
greatest number of votes for President and the one receiving the
greatest number of votes for Vice-President in each district shall
be holden to have received one vote, which fact shall be immediately
certified by the governor of the State to each of the Senators in
Congress from such State and to the President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Congress of the United
States shall be in session on the second Monday in October in the year
18--, and on the same day in every sixth year thereafter; and the
President of the Senate, in the presence of the Senate and House of
Representatives, shall open all the certificates, and the votes shall
then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes for
President shall be President, if such number be equal to a majority of
the whole number of votes given; but if no person have such majority,
then a second election shall be held on the first Thursday in the month
of December then next ensuing between the persons having the two highest
numbers for the office of President, which second election shall be
conducted, the result certified, and the votes counted in the same
manner as in the first, and the person having the greatest number of
votes for President shall be President. But if two or more persons shall
have received the greatest and an equal number of votes at the second
election, then the person who shall have received the greatest number of
votes in the greatest number of States shall be President. The person
having the greatest number of votes for Vice-President at the first
election shall be Vice-President, if such number be equal to a majority
of the whole number of votes given; and if no person have such majority,
then a second election shall take place between the persons having the
two highest numbers on the same day that the second election is held for
President, and the person having the highest number of the votes for
Vice-President shall be Vice-President. But if there should happen to
be an equality of votes between the persons so voted for at the second
election, then the person having the greatest number of votes in the
greatest number of States shall be Vice-President. But when a second
election shall be necessary in the case of Vice-President and not
necessary in the case of President, then the Senate shall choose a
Vice-President from the persons having the two highest numbers in the
first election, as now prescribed in the Constitution: _Provided_,
That after the ratification of this amendment to the Constitution the
President and Vice-President shall hold their offices, respectively, for
the term of six years, and that no President or Vice-President shall be
eligible for reelection to a second term."

Sec. 2. _And be it further resolved_, That Article II, section I,
paragraph 6, of the Constitution of the United States shall be amended
so as to read as follows:

"In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death,
resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of said
office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President; and in the case of
the removal, death, resignation, or inability both of the President and
Vice-President, the powers and duties of said office shall devolve on
the Secretary of State for the time being, and after this officer, in
case of vacancy in that or other Department, and in the order in which
they are named, on the Secretary of the Treasury, on the Secretary of
War, on the Secretary of the Navy, on the Secretary of the Interior, on
the Postmaster-General, and on the Attorney-General; and such officer,
on whom the powers and duties of President shall devolve in accordance
with the foregoing provisions, shall then act as President until the
disability shall be removed or a President shall be elected, as is or
may be provided for by law."

Sec. 3. _And be it further resolved_, That Article I, section 3, be
amended by striking out the word "legislature," and inserting in lieu
thereof the following words, viz: "Persons qualified to vote for members
of the most numerous branch of the legislature," so as to make the third
section of said article, when ratified by three-fourths of the States,
read as follows, to wit:

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from
each State, chosen by the persons qualified to vote for the members of
the most numerous branch of the legislature thereof, for six years, and
each Senator shall have one vote."

Sec. 4. _And be it further resolved_, That Article III, section I, be
amended by striking out the words "good behavior," and inserting the
following words, viz: "the term of twelve years." And further, that said
article and section be amended by adding the following thereto, viz:
"And it shall be the duty of the President of the United States, within
twelve months after the ratification of this amendment by three-fourths
of all the States, as provided by the Constitution of the United States,
to divide the whole number of judges, as near as may be practicable,
into three classes. The seats of the judges of the first class shall be
vacated at the expiration of the fourth year from such classification,
of the second class at the expiration of the eighth year, and of the
third class at the expiration of the twelfth year, so that one-third may
be chosen every fourth year thereafter."

The article as amended will read as follows:

Article III.

Sec. I. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one
Supreme Court and such inferior courts as the Congress from time to time
may ordain and establish. The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior
courts, shall hold their offices during the term of twelve years, and
shall at stated times receive for their services a compensation which
shall not be diminished during their continuance in office; and it shall
be the duty of the President of the United States, within twelve months
after the ratification of this amendment by three-fourths of all the
States, as provided by the Constitution of the United States, to divide
the whole number of judges, as near as may be practicable, into three
classes. The seats of the judges of the first class shall be vacated at
the expiration of the fourth year from such classification; of the
second class, at the expiration of the eighth year; and of the third
class, at the expiration of the twelfth year, so that one-third may be
chosen every fourth year thereafter.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 18, 1868_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution adopted by the House of Representatives
on the 13th instant, requesting "copies of all instructions, records,
and correspondence connected with the commission authorized to negotiate
the late treaty with the Great and Little Osage Indians, and copies of
all propositions made to said commission from railroad corporations or
by individuals," I transmit the accompanying communications from the
Secretary of the Interior, together with the papers to which they have
reference.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 20, 1868_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in compliance with its resolution of the 9th
instant, a report from the Secretary of State, communicating a copy of
a paper received by me this day, purporting to be a resolution of the
senate and house of representatives of the State of Alabama ratifying
the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States known
as Article XIV.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 24, 1868_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, inclosing a
report of a board of naval officers appointed in pursuance of an act of
Congress approved May 19, 1868, to select suitable locations for powder
magazines.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 27, 1868_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 24th instant, the accompanying report[69] from the
Secretary of State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 69: Relating to absence from his post of the consul at Panama.]

VETO MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 25, 1868_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have considered, with such care as the pressure of other duties has
permitted, a bill entitled "An act to amend an act entitled 'An act to
amend the judiciary act, passed the 24th of September, 1789.'" Not being
able to approve all of its provisions, I herewith return it to the
Senate, in which House it originated, with a brief statement of my
objections.

The first section of the bill meets my approbation, as, for the purpose
of protecting the rights of property from the erroneous decision of
inferior judicial tribunals, it provides means for obtaining uniformity,
by appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, in cases which have
now become very numerous and of much public interest, and in which such
remedy is not now allowed. The second section, however, takes away the
right of appeal to that court in cases which involve the life and
liberty of the citizen, and leaves them exposed to the judgment of
numerous inferior tribunals. It is apparent that the two sections were
conceived in a very different spirit, and I regret that my objections
to one impose upon me the necessity of withholding my sanction from the
other.

I can not give my assent to a measure which proposes to deprive
any person "restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the
Constitution or of any treaty or law of the United States" from
the right of appeal to the highest judicial authority known to our
Government. To "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our
posterity" is one of the declared objects of the Federal Constitution.
To assure these, guaranties are provided in the same instrument, as well
against "unreasonable searches and seizures" as against the suspensions
of "the privilege of the writ of _habeas corpus_, * * * unless when, in
cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it." It
was doubtless to afford the people the means of protecting and enforcing
these inestimable privileges that the jurisdiction which this bill
proposes to take away was conferred upon the Supreme Court of the
nation. The act conferring that jurisdiction was approved on the 5th day
of February, 1867, with a full knowledge of the motives that prompted its
passage, and because it was believed to be necessary and right. Nothing
has since occurred to disprove the wisdom and justness of the measures,
and to modify it as now proposed would be to lessen the protection of
the citizen from the exercise of arbitrary power and to weaken the
safeguards of life and liberty, which can never be made too secure
against illegal encroachments.

The bill not only prohibits the adjudication by the Supreme Court
of cases in which appeals may hereafter be taken, but interdicts its
jurisdiction on appeals which have already been made to that high
judicial body. If, therefore, it should become a law, it will by its
retroactive operation wrest from the citizen a remedy which he enjoyed
at the time of his appeal. It will thus operate most harshly upon those
who believe that justice has been denied them in the inferior courts.

The legislation proposed in the second section, it seems to me, is not
in harmony with the spirit and intention of the Constitution. It can
not fail to affect most injuriously the just equipoise of our system
of Government, for it establishes a precedent which, if followed, may
eventually sweep away every check on arbitrary and unconstitutional
legislation. Thus far during the existence of the Government the Supreme
Court of the United States has been viewed by the people as the true
expounder of their Constitution, and in the most violent party conflicts
its judgments and decrees have always been sought and deferred to with
confidence and respect. In public estimation it combines judicial wisdom
and impartiality in a greater degree than any other authority known to
the Constitution, and any act which may be construed into or mistaken
for an attempt to prevent or evade its decision on a question which
affects the liberty of the citizens and agitates the country can
not fail to be attended with unpropitious consequences. It will be
justly held by a large portion of the people as an admission of the
unconstitutionally of the act on which its judgment may be forbidden or
forestalled, and may interfere with that willing acquiescence in its
provisions which is necessary for the harmonious and efficient execution
of any law.

For these reasons, thus briefly and imperfectly stated, and for others,
of which want of time forbids the enumeration, I deem it my duty to
withhold my assent from this bill, and to return it for the
reconsideration of Congress.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 20, 1868_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return without my signature a bill entitled "An act to admit the State
of Arkansas to representation in Congress."

The approval of this bill would be an admission on the part of the
Executive that the "Act for the more efficient government of the rebel
States," passed March 2, 1867, and the acts supplementary thereto were
proper and constitutional. My opinion, however, in reference to those
measures has undergone no change, but, on the contrary, has been
strengthened by the results which have attended their execution. Even
were this not the case, I could not consent to a bill which is based
upon the assumption either that by an act of rebellion of a portion
of its people the State of Arkansas seceded from the Union, or that
Congress may at its pleasure expel or exclude a State from the Union,
or interrupt its relations with the Government by arbitrarily depriving
it of representation in the Senate and House of Representatives. If
Arkansas is a State not in the Union, this bill does not admit it as
a State into the Union. If, on the other hand, Arkansas is a State
in the Union, no legislation is necessary to declare it entitled
"to representation in Congress as one of the States of the Union." The
Constitution already declares that "each State shall have at least one
Representative;" that the Senate "shall be composed of two Senators from
each State," and "that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived
of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

That instrument also makes each House "the judge of the elections,
returns, and qualifications of its own members," and therefore all that
is now necessary to restore Arkansas in all its constitutional relations
to the Government is a decision by each House upon the eligibility of
those who, presenting their credentials, claim seats in the respective
Houses of Congress. This is the plain and simple plan of the
Constitution; and believing that had it been pursued when Congress
assembled in the month of December, 1865, the restoration of the States
would long since have been completed, I once again earnestly recommend
that it be adopted by each House in preference to legislation, which I
respectfully submit is not only of at least doubtful constitutionality,
and therefore unwise and dangerous as a precedent, but is unnecessary,
not so effective in its operation as the mode prescribed by the
Constitution, involves additional delay, and from its terms may be taken
rather as applicable to a Territory about to be admitted as one of the
United States than to a State which has occupied a place in the Union
for upward of a quarter of a century.

The bill declares the State of Arkansas entitled and admitted to
representation in Congress as one of the States of the Union upon the
following fundamental condition:

That the constitution of Arkansas shall never be so amended or changed
as to deprive any citizen or class of citizens of the United States of
the right to vote who are entitled to vote by the constitution herein
recognized, except as a punishment for such crimes as are now felonies
at common law, whereof they shall have been duly convicted under laws
equally applicable to all the inhabitants of said State: _Provided_,
That any alteration of said constitution, prospective in its effect,
may be made in regard to the time and place of residence of voters.

I have been unable to find in the Constitution of the United States any
warrant for the exercise of the authority thus claimed by Congress.
In assuming the power to impose a "fundamental condition" upon a State
which has been duly "admitted into the Union upon an equal footing with
the original States in all respects whatever," Congress asserts a right
to enter a State as it may a Territory, and to regulate the highest
prerogative of a free people--the elective franchise. This question is
reserved by the Constitution to the States themselves, and to concede
to Congress the power to regulate the subject would be to reverse the
fundamental principle of the Republic and to place in the hands of the
Federal Government, which is the creature of the States, the sovereignty
which justly belongs to the States or the people--the true source of all
political power, by whom our Federal system was created and to whose
will it is subordinate.

The bill fails to provide in what manner the State of Arkansas is to
signify its acceptance of the "fundamental condition" which Congress
endeavors to make unalterable and irrevocable. Nor does it prescribe the
penalty to be imposed should the people of the State amend or change the
particular portions of the constitution which it is one of the purposes
of the bill to perpetuate, but as to the consequences of such action
leaves them in uncertainty and doubt. When the circumstances under which
this constitution has been brought to the attention of Congress are
considered, it is not unreasonable to suppose that efforts will be made
to modify its provisions, and especially those in respect to which this
measure prohibits any alteration. It is seriously questioned whether the
constitution has been ratified by a majority of the persons who, under
the act of March 2, 1867, and the acts supplementary thereto, were
entitled to registration and to vote upon that issue. Section 10 of
the schedule provides that--

No person disqualified from voting or registering under this
constitution shall vote for candidates for any office, nor shall be
permitted to vote for the ratification or rejection of the constitution
at the polls herein authorized.

Assumed to be in force before its adoption, in disregard of the law of
Congress, the constitution undertakes to impose upon the elector other
and further conditions. The fifth section of the eighth article provides
that "all persons, before registering or voting," must take and
subscribe an oath which, among others, contains the following clause:

That I accept the civil and political equality of all men, and agree
not to attempt to deprive any person or persons, on account of race,
color, or previous condition, of any political or civil right,
privilege, or immunity enjoyed by any other class of men.

It is well known that a very large portion of the electors in all the
States, if not a large majority of all of them, do not believe in or
accept the political equality of Indians, Mongolians, or negroes with
the race to which they belong. If the voters in many of the States of
the North and West were required to take such an oath as a test of their
qualification, there is reason to believe that a majority of them would
remain from the polls rather than comply with its degrading conditions.
How far and to what extent this test oath prevented the registration of
those who were qualified under the laws of Congress it is not possible
to know, but that such was its effect, at least sufficient to overcome
the small and doubtful majority in favor of this constitution, there
can be no reasonable doubt. Should the people of Arkansas, therefore,
desiring to regulate the elective franchise so as to make it conform to
the constitutions of a large proportion of the States of the North and
West, modify the provisions referred to in the "fundamental condition,"
what is to be the consequence? Is it intended that a denial of
representation shall follow? And if so, may we not dread, at some future
day, a recurrence of the troubles which have so long agitated the
country? Would it not be the part of wisdom to take for our guide the
Federal Constitution, rather than resort to measures which, looking only
to the present, may in a few years renew, in an aggravated form, the
strife and bitterness caused by legislation which has proved to be
so ill timed and unfortunate?

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 25, 1868_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In returning to the House of Representatives, in which it originated,
a bill entitled "An act to admit the States of North Carolina, South
Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to representation
in Congress," I do not deem it necessary to state at length the reasons
which constrain me to withhold my approval. I will not, therefore,
undertake at this time to reopen the discussion upon the grave
constitutional questions involved in the act of March 2, 1867, and
the acts supplementary thereto, in pursuance of which it is claimed,
in the preamble to this bill, these States have framed and adopted
constitutions of State government. Nor will I repeat the objections
contained in my message of the 20th instant, returning without my
signature the bill to admit to representation the State of Arkansas,
and which are equally applicable to the pending measure.

Like the act recently passed in reference to Arkansas, this bill
supersedes the plain and simple mode prescribed by the Constitution
for the admission to seats in the respective Houses of Senators and
Representatives from the several States. It assumes authority over six
States of the Union which has never been delegated to Congress, or is
even warranted by previous unconstitutional legislation upon the subject
of restoration. It imposes conditions which are in derogation of the
equal rights of the States, and is founded upon a theory which is
subversive of the fundamental principles of the Government. In the case
of Alabama it violates the plighted faith of Congress by forcing upon
that State a constitution which was rejected by the people, according to
the express terms of an act of Congress requiring that a majority of the
registered electors should vote upon the question of its ratification.

For these objections, and many others that might be presented, I can not
approve this bill, and therefore return it for the action of Congress
required in such cases by the Federal Constitution.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 20, 1868_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have given to the joint resolution entitled "A resolution excluding
from the electoral college the votes of States lately in rebellion which
shall not have been reorganized" as careful examination as I have been
able to bestow upon the subject during the few days that have intervened
since the measure was submitted for my approval.

Feeling constrained to withhold my consent, I herewith return the
resolution to the Senate, in which House it originated, with a brief
statement of the reasons which have induced my action. This joint
resolution is based upon the assumption that some of the States whose
inhabitants were lately in rebellion are not now entitled to
representation in Congress and participation in the election of
President and Vice-President of the United States.

Having heretofore had occasion to give in detail my reasons for
dissenting from this view, it is not necessary at this time to repeat
them. It is sufficient to state that I continue strong in my conviction
that the acts of secession, by which a number of the States sought to
dissolve their connection with the other States and to subvert the
Union, being unauthorized by the Constitution and in direct violation
thereof, were from the beginning absolutely null and void. It follows
necessarily that when the rebellion terminated the several States which
had attempted to secede continued to be States in the Union, and all
that was required to enable them to resume their relations to the Union
was that they should adopt the measures necessary to their practical
restoration as States. Such measures were adopted, and the legitimate
result was that those States, having conformed to all the requirements
of the Constitution, resumed their former relations, and became entitled
to the exercise of all the rights guaranteed to them by its provisions.

The joint resolution under consideration, however, seems to assume that
by the insurrectionary acts of their respective inhabitants those States
forfeited their rights as such, and can never again exercise them except
upon readmission into the Union on the terms prescribed by Congress.
If this position be correct, it follows that they were taken out of the
Union by virtue of their acts of secession, and hence that the war waged
upon them was illegal and unconstitutional. We would thus be placed in
this inconsistent attitude, that while the war was commenced and carried
on upon the distinct ground that the Southern States, being component
parts of the Union, were in rebellion against the lawful authority of
the United States, upon its termination we resort to a policy of
reconstruction which assumes that it was not in fact a rebellion, but
that the war was waged for the conquest of territories assumed to be
outside of the constitutional Union.

The mode and manner of receiving and counting the electoral votes
for President and Vice-President of the United States are in plain
and simple terms prescribed by the Constitution. That instrument
imperatively requires that "the President of the Senate shall, in the
presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the
certificates, and the votes shall then be counted." Congress has,
therefore, no power, under the Constitution, to receive the electoral
votes or reject them. The whole power is exhausted when, in the presence
of the two Houses, the votes are counted and the result declared.
In this respect the power and duty of the President of the Senate are,
under the Constitution, purely ministerial. When, therefore, the joint
resolution declares that no electoral votes shall be received or counted
from States that since the 4th of March, 1867, have not "adopted a
constitution of State government under which a State government shall
have organized," a power is assumed which is nowhere delegated to
Congress, unless upon the assumption that the State governments
organized prior to the 4th of March, 1867, were illegal and void.

The joint resolution, by implication at least, concedes that these
States were States by virtue of their organization prior to the 4th of
March, 1867, but denies to them the right to vote in the election of
President and Vice-President of the United States. It follows either
that this assumption of power is wholly unauthorized by the Constitution
or that the States so excluded from voting were out of the Union by
reason of the rebellion, and have never been legitimately restored.
Being fully satisfied that they were never out of the Union, and that
their relations thereto have been legally and constitutionally restored,
I am forced to the conclusion that the joint resolution, which deprives
them of the right to have their votes for President and Vice-President
received and counted, is in conflict with the Constitution, and that
Congress has no more power to reject their votes than those of the
States which have been uniformly loyal to the Federal Union.

It is worthy of remark that if the States whose inhabitants were
recently in rebellion were legally and constitutionally organized and
restored to their rights prior to the 4th of March, 1867, as I am
satisfied they were, the only legitimate authority under which the
election for President and Vice-President can be held therein must be
derived from the governments instituted before that period. It clearly
follows that all the State governments organized in those States under
act of Congress for that purpose, and under military control, are
illegitimate and of no validity whatever; and in that view the votes
cast in those States for President and Vice-President, in pursuance
of acts passed since the 4th of March, 1867, and in obedience to the
so-called reconstruction acts of Congress, can not be legally received
and counted, while the only votes in those States that can be legally
cast and counted will be those cast in pursuance of the laws in force in
the several States prior to the legislation by Congress upon the subject
of reconstruction.

I can not refrain from directing your special attention to the
declaration contained in the joint resolution, that "none of the
States whose inhabitants were lately in rebellion shall be entitled to
representation in the electoral college," etc. If it is meant by this
declaration that no State is to be allowed to vote for President and
Vice-President _all_ of whose inhabitants were engaged in the late
rebellion, it is apparent that no one of the States will be excluded
from voting, since it is well known that in every Southern State there
were many inhabitants who not only did not participate in the rebellion,
but who actually took part in the suppression, or refrained from giving
it any aid or countenance. I therefore conclude that the true meaning of
the joint resolution is that no State a _portion_ of whose inhabitants
were engaged in the rebellion shall be permitted to participate in the
Presidential election, except upon the terms and conditions therein
prescribed.

Assuming this to be the true construction of the resolution, the
inquiry becomes pertinent, May those Northern States a portion of
whose inhabitants were actually in the rebellion be prevented, at the
discretion of Congress, from having their electoral votes counted? It is
well known that a portion of the inhabitants of New York and a portion
of the inhabitants of Virginia were alike engaged in the rebellion; yet
it is equally well known that Virginia, as well as New York, was at all
times during the war recognized by the Federal Government as a State
in the Union--so clearly that upon the termination of hostilities it
was not even deemed necessary for her restoration that a provisional
governor should be appointed; yet, according to this joint resolution,
the people of Virginia, unless they comply with the terms it prescribes,
are denied the right of voting for President, while the people of
New York, a portion of the inhabitants of which State were also in
rebellion, are permitted to have their electoral votes counted without
undergoing the process of reconstruction prescribed for Virginia. New
York is no more a State than Virginia; the one is as much entitled to
representation in the electoral college as the other. If Congress has
the power to deprive Virginia of this right, it can exercise the same
authority with respect to New York or any other of the States. Thus the
result of the Presidential election may be controlled and determined
by Congress, and the people be deprived of their right under the
Constitution to choose a President and Vice-President of the United
States.

If Congress were to provide by law that the votes of none of the States
should be received and counted if cast for a candidate who differed in
political sentiment with a majority of the two Houses, such legislation
would at once be condemned by the country as an unconstitutional and
revolutionary usurpation of power. It would, however, be exceedingly
difficult to find in the Constitution any more authority for the passage
of the joint resolution under consideration than for an enactment
looking directly to the rejection of all votes not in accordance with
the political preferences of a majority of Congress. No power exists
in the Constitution authorizing the joint resolution or the supposed
law--the only difference being that one would be more palpably
unconstitutional and revolutionary than the other. Both would rest upon
the radical error that Congress has the power to prescribe terms and
conditions to the right of the people of the States to cast their votes
for President and Vice-President.

For the reasons thus indicated I am constrained to return the joint
resolution to the Senate for such further action thereon as Congress
may deem necessary.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 25, 1868_

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Believing that a bill entitled "An act relating to the Freedmen's
Bureau, and providing for its discontinuance," interferes with the
appointing power conferred by the Constitution upon the Executive, and
for other reasons, which at this late period of the session time will
not permit me to state, I herewith return it to the Senate, in which
House it originated, without my approval.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas in the month of July, A.D. 1861, in accepting the condition
of civil war which was brought about by insurrection and rebellion in
several of the States which constitute the United States, the two Houses
of Congress did solemnly declare that that war was not waged on the
part of the Government in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose
of conquest or subjugation, nor for any purpose of overthrowing or
interfering with the rights or established institutions of the States,
but only to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution of the
United States and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality,
and rights of the several States unimpaired, and that so soon as those
objects should be accomplished the war on the part of the Government
should cease; and

Whereas the President of the United States has heretofore, in the spirit
of that declaration and with the view of securing for it ultimate and
complete effect, set forth several proclamations offering amnesty and
pardon to persons who had been or were concerned in the aforenamed
rebellion, which proclamations, however, were attended with prudential
reservations and exceptions then deemed necessary and proper, and which
proclamations were respectively issued on the 8th day of December, 1863,
on the 26th day of March, 1864, on the 29th day of May, 1865, and on the
7th day of September, 1867; and

Whereas the said lamentable civil war has long since altogether ceased,
with an acknowledgment by all the States of the supremacy of the Federal
Constitution and of the Government thereunder, and there no longer
exists any reasonable ground to apprehend a renewal of the said civil
war, or any foreign interference, or any unlawful resistance by any
portion of the people of any of the States to the Constitution and laws
of the United States; and

Whereas it is desirable to reduce the standing army and to bring to a
speedy termination military occupation, martial law, military tribunals,
abridgment of the freedom of speech and of the press, and suspension
of the privilege of _habeas corpus_ and of the right of trial by jury,
such encroachments upon our free institutions in time of peace being
dangerous to public liberty, incompatible with the individual rights of
the citizen, contrary to the genius and spirit of our republican form
of government, and exhaustive of the national resources; and

Whereas it is believed that amnesty and pardon will tend to secure a
complete and universal establishment and prevalence of municipal law
and order in conformity with the Constitution of the United States,
and to remove all appearances or presumptions of a retaliatory or
vindictive policy on the part of the Government attended by unnecessary
disqualifications, pains, penalties, confiscations, and
disfranchisements, and, on the contrary, to promote and procure complete
fraternal reconciliation among the whole people, with due submission to
the Constitution and laws:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of
the United States, do, by virtue of the Constitution and in the
name of the people of the United States, hereby proclaim and declare,
unconditionally and without reservation, to all and to every person
who, directly or indirectly, participated in the late insurrection or
rebellion, excepting such person or persons as may be under presentment
or indictment in any court of the United States having competent
jurisdiction upon a charge of treason or other felony, a full pardon
and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States or of
adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of
all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except also as to any
property of which any person may have been legally divested under the
laws of the United States.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have
caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, the 4th day of July, A.D. 1868, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of Congress entitled "An act to admit the States of
North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
to representation in Congress," passed on the 25th day of June, 1868,
it is declared that it is made the duty of the President, within ten
days after receiving official information of the ratification by the
legislature of either of said States of a proposed amendment to the
Constitution known as article fourteen, to issue a proclamation
announcing that fact; and

Whereas the said act seems to be prospective; and

Whereas a paper purporting to be a resolution of the legislature of
Florida adopting the amendment of the thirteenth and fourteenth articles
of the Constitution of the United States was received at the Department
of State on the 16th of June, 1868, prior to the passage of the act of
Congress referred to, which paper is attested by the names of Horatio
Jenkins, jr., as president _pro tempore_ of the senate, and W.W. Moore
as speaker of the assembly, and of William L. Apthoop, as secretary of
the senate, and William Forsyth Bynum, as clerk of the assembly, and
which paper was transmitted to the Secretary of State in a letter dated
Executive Office, Tallahassee, Fla., June 10, 1868, from Harrison Reed,
who therein signs himself governor; and

Whereas on the 6th day of July, 1868, a paper was received by the
President, which paper, being addressed to the President, bears date of
the 4th day of July, 1868, and was transmitted by and under the name of
W.W. Holden, who therein writes himself governor of the State of North
Carolina, which paper certifies that the said proposed amendment, known
as article fourteen, did pass the senate and house of representatives of
the general assembly of North Carolina on the 2d day of July instant,
and is attested by the names of John H. Boner, or Bower, as secretary
of the house of representatives, and T.A. Byrnes, as secretary of the
senate; and its ratification on the 4th of July, 1868, is attested by
Tod R. Caldwell, as lieutenant-governor, president of the senate, and
Jo. W. Holden, as speaker house of representatives:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States of America, in compliance with and execution of the act of
Congress aforesaid, do issue this proclamation, announcing the fact of
the ratification of the said amendment by the legislature of the State
of North Carolina in the manner hereinbefore set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have
caused the seal of the United States to be hereto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 11th day of July, A.D. 1868, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of Congress entitled "An act to admit the States of
North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
to representation in Congress," passed the 25th day of June, 1868,
it is declared that it is made the duty of the President, within ten
days after receiving official information of the ratification by the
legislature of either of said States of a proposed amendment to the
Constitution known as article fourteen, to issue a proclamation
announcing that fact; and

Whereas on the 18th day of July, 1868, a letter was received by the
President, which letter, being addressed to the President, bears date of
July 15, 1868, and was transmitted by and under the name of R.K. Scott,
who therein writes himself governor of South Carolina, in which letter
was inclosed and received at the same time by the President a paper
purporting to be a resolution of the senate and house of representatives
of the general assembly of the State of South Carolina ratifying the
said proposed amendment, and also purporting to have passed the two said
houses, respectively, on the 7th and 9th of July, 1868, and to have been
approved by the said R.K. Scott, as governor of said State, on the 15th
of July, 1868, which circumstances are attested by the signatures of
D.T. Corbin, as president _pro tempore_ of the senate, and of F.J.
Moses, jr., as speaker of the house of representatives of said State,
and of the said R.K. Scott, as governor:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States of America, in compliance with and execution of the act of
Congress aforesaid, do issue this my proclamation, announcing the fact
of the ratification of the said amendment by the legislature of the
State of South Carolina in the manner hereinbefore set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have
caused the seal of the United States to be hereto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 18th day of July, A.D. 1868, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of Congress entitled "An act to admit the States of
North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
to representation in Congress," passed on the 25th day of June, 1868,
it is declared that it is made the duty of the President, within ten
days after receiving official information of the ratification by the
legislature of either of said States of a proposed amendment to the
Constitution known as article fourteen, to issue a proclamation
announcing that fact; and

Whereas a paper was received at the Department of State on the 17th day
of July, 1868, which paper, bearing date of the 9th day of July, 1868,
purports to be a resolution of the senate and house of representatives
of the State of Louisiana in general assembly convened ratifying the
aforesaid amendment, and is attested by the signature of George E.
Bovee, as secretary of state, under a seal purporting to be the seal
of the State of Louisiana:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States of America, in compliance with and execution of the act of
Congress before mentioned, do issue this my proclamation, announcing the
fact of the ratification of the said amendment by the legislature of the
State of Louisiana in the manner hereinbefore set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have
caused the seal of the United States to be hereto affixed,

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 18th day of July, A.D. 1868, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of Congress entitled "An act to admit the States of
North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
to representation in Congress," passed the 25th day of June, 1868,
it is declared that it is made the duty of the President, within ten
days after receiving official information of the ratification by the
legislature of either of said States of a proposed amendment to the
Constitution known as article fourteen, to issue a proclamation
announcing that fact; and

Whereas a letter was received this day by the President, which letter,
being addressed to the President, bears date of July 16, 1868, and was
transmitted by and under the name of William H. Smith, who therein
writes himself governor of Alabama, in which letter was inclosed and
received at the same time by the President a paper purporting to be a
resolution of the senate and house of representatives of the general
assembly of the State of Alabama ratifying the said proposed amendment,
which paper is attested by the signature of Charles A. Miller, as
secretary of state, under a seal purporting to be the seal of the State
of Alabama, and bears the date of approval of July 13, 1868, by William
H. Smith, as governor of said State:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States of America, in compliance with and execution of the act of
Congress before mentioned, do issue this my proclamation, announcing the
fact of the ratification of the said amendment by the legislature of the
State of Alabama in the manner hereinbefore set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have
caused the seal of the United States to be hereto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of July, A.D. 1868, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of Congress entitled "An act to admit the States of
North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
to representation in Congress," passed the 25th day of June, 1868,
it is declared that it is made the duty of the President, within ten
days after receiving official information of the ratification by the
legislature of either of said States of a proposed amendment to the
Constitution known as article fourteen, to issue a proclamation
announcing that fact; and

Whereas a paper was received at the Department of State this 27th day of
July, 1868, purporting to be a joint resolution of the senate and house
of representatives of the general assembly of the State of Georgia,
ratifying the said proposed amendment and also purporting to have passed
the two said houses, respectively, on the 21st of July, 1868, and to
have been approved by Rufus B. Bullock, who therein signs himself
governor of Georgia, which paper is also attested by the signatures of
Benjamin Conley, as president of the senate, and R.L. McWhorters, as
speaker of the house of representatives, and is further attested by the
signatures of A.E. Marshall, as secretary of the senate, and M.A.
Hardin, as clerk of the house of representatives:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States of America, in compliance with and execution of the act of
Congress before mentioned, do issue this my proclamation, announcing the
fact of the ratification of the said amendment by the legislature of the
State of Georgia in the manner hereinbefore set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have
caused the seal of the United States to be hereto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 27th day of July, A.D. 1868, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

In the year which is now drawing to its end the art, the skill, and the
labor of the people of the United States have been employed with greater
diligence and vigor and on broader fields than ever before, and the
fruits of the earth have been gathered into the granary and the
storehouse in marvelous abundance. Our highways have been lengthened,
and new and prolific regions have been occupied. We are permitted to
hope that long-protracted political and sectional dissensions are at no
distant day to give place to returning harmony and fraternal affection
throughout the Republic. Many foreign states have entered into liberal
agreements with us, while nations which are far off and which heretofore
have been unsocial and exclusive have become our friends.

The annual period of rest, which we have reached in health and
tranquillity, and which is crowned with so many blessings, is by
universal consent a convenient and suitable one for cultivating personal
piety and practicing public devotion.

I therefore recommend that Thursday, the 26th day of November next, be
set apart and observed by all the people of the United States as a day
for public praise, thanksgiving, and prayer to the Almighty Creator and
Divine Ruler of the Universe, by whose ever-watchful, merciful, and
gracious providence alone states and nations, no less than families and
individual men, do live and move and have their being.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 12th day of October, A.D. 1868,
and of the Independence of the United States the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

EXECUTIVE ORDER.

WASHINGTON, _December 17, 1867_.

It is desired and advised that all communications in writing intended
for the executive department of this Government and relating to public
business of whatever kind, including suggestions for legislation,
claims, contracts, employment, appointments, and removals from office,
and pardons, be transmitted directly in the first instance to the head
of the Department to which the care of the subject-matter of the
communication properly belongs. This regulation has become necessary
for the more convenient, punctual, and regular dispatch of the public
business.

By order of the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

_Secretary of State_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 104.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, December 28, 1867_.

By direction of the President of the United States, the following orders
are made:

I. Brevet Major-General E.O.C. Ord will turn over the command of the
Fourth Military District to Brevet Major-General A.C. Gillem, and
proceed to San Francisco, Cal., to take command of the Department of
California.

II. On being relieved by Brevet Major-General Ord, Brevet Major-General
Irvin McDowell will proceed to Vicksburg, Miss., and relieve General
Gillem in command of the Fourth Military District.

III. Brevet Major-General John Pope is hereby relieved of the command
of the Third Military District, and will report without delay at the
Headquarters of the Army for further orders, turning over his command
to the next senior officer until the arrival of his successor.

IV. Major-General George G. Meade is assigned to the command of
the Third Military District, and will assume it without delay. The
Department of the East will be commanded by the senior officer now
on duty in it until a commander is named by the President.

V. The officers assigned in the foregoing orders to command of military
districts will exercise therein any and all powers conferred by acts of
Congress upon district commanders, and also any and all powers
pertaining to military-department commanders.

* * * * *

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 10.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, February 12, 1868_.

The following orders are published for the information and guidance of
all concerned:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., February 12, 1868_.

General U.S. GRANT,

_Commanding Armies of the United States, Washington, D.C._

GENERAL: You will please issue an order creating a military division, to
be called the Military Division of the Atlantic, to be composed of the
Department of the Lakes, the Department of the East, and the Department
of Washington, and to be commanded by Lieutenant-General William T.
Sherman, with his headquarters at Washington.

Until further orders from the President, you will assign no officer to
the permanent command of the Military Division of the Missouri.

Respectfully, yours,

ANDREW JOHNSON.

Major-General P.H. Sheridan, the senior officer in the Military Division
of the Missouri, will temporarily perform the duties of commander of the
Military Division of the Missouri, in addition to his duties of department
commander.

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., February 21, 1868_.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,

_Washington, D.C._

SIR: By virtue of the power and authority vested in me as President by
the Constitution and laws of the United States, you are hereby removed
from office as Secretary for the Department of War, and your functions
as such will terminate upon the receipt of this communication.

You will transfer to Brevet Major-General Lorenzo Thomas,
Adjutant-General of the Army, who has this day been authorized and
empowered to act as Secretary of War _ad interim_, all records, books,
papers, and other public property now in your custody and charge.

Respectfully, yours,

ANDREW JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., February 21, 1868_.

Brevet Major-General LORENZO THOMAS,

_Adjutant-General United States Army, Washington, D.C._

SIR: The Hon. Edwin M. Stanton having been this day removed from office
as Secretary for the Department of War, you are hereby authorized and
empowered to act as Secretary of War _ad interim_, and will immediately
enter upon the discharge of the duties pertaining to that office.

Mr. Stanton has been instructed to transfer to you all the records,
books, papers, and other public property now in his custody and charge.

Respectfully, yours,

ANDREW JOHNSON.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 17.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, March 28, 1868_.

By direction of the President of the United States, Major-General W.S.
Hancock is relieved from command of the Fifth Military District and
assigned to command of the Military Division of the Atlantic, created
by General Orders, No. 10, of February 12, 1868.

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., May 28, 1868_.

The chairman of the committee of arrangements having requested that
an opportunity may be given to those employed in the several Executive
Departments of the Government to unite with their fellow-citizens in
paying a fitting tribute to the memory of the brave men whose remains
repose in the national cemeteries, the President directs that as far as
may be consistent with law and the public interests persons who desire
to participate in the ceremonies be permitted to absent themselves from
their duties on Saturday, the 30th instant.

By order of the President:

WM. G. MOORE,

_Secretary_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., June 1, 1868_.

Major-General John M. Schofield having been appointed, by and with the
advice and consent of the Senate, Secretary for the Department of War,
is hereby relieved from the command of the First Military District,
created by the act of Congress passed March 2, 1867.

Brevet Major-General George Stoneman is hereby assigned, according
to his brevet rank of major-general, to the command of the said First
District and of the Military Department of Virginia.

The Secretary of War will please give the necessary instructions to
carry this order into effect.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 25.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, June 1, 1868_.

I. The following order of the President has been received from the War
Department:

WASHINGTON, _June 2, 1868_.

The President with deep regret announces to the people of the United
States the decease, at Wheatland, Pa., on the 1st instant, of his
honored predecessor James Buchanan.

This event will occasion mourning in the nation for the loss of an
eminent citizen and honored public servant.

As a mark of respect for his memory, it is ordered that the Executive
Departments be immediately placed in mourning and all business be
suspended on the day of the funeral.

It is further ordered that the War and Navy Departments cause suitable
military and naval honors to be paid on this occasion to the memory of
the illustrious dead.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

II. In compliance with the instructions of the President and of the
Secretary of War, on the day after the receipt of this order at each
military post the troops will be paraded at 10 o'clock a.m. and the
order read to them, after which all labors, for the day will cease.

The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

At dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired, and afterwards, at intervals
of thirty minutes between the rising and setting sun, a single gun, and
at the close of the day a national salute of thirty-seven guns.

The officers of the Army will wear crape on the left arm and on their
swords and the colors of the several regiments will be put in mourning
for the period of six months.

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

SPECIAL ORDER.

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

_Washington, June 3, 1868_.

The death of ex-President James Buchanan is announced in the following
order of the President of the United States:

[For order see preceding page.]

In pursuance of the foregoing order, it is hereby directed that thirty
minute guns be fired at each of the navy-yards and naval stations on
Thursday, the 4th instant, the day designated for the funeral of the
late ex-President Buchanan, commencing at noon, and on board the
flagships in each squadron upon the day after the receipt of this order.
The flags at the several navy-yards, naval stations, and marine barracks
will be placed at half-mast until after the funeral, and on board all
naval vessels in commission upon the day after this order is received.

GIDEON WELLES,

_Secretary of the Navy_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 33.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, June 30, 1868_.

By direction of the President of the United States, the following orders
are made:

I. Brevet Major-General Irvin McDowell is relieved from the command of
the Fourth Military District, and will report in person, without delay,
at the War Department.

II. Brevet Major-General Alvan C. Gillem is assigned to the command of
the Fourth Military District, and will assume it without delay.

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No 44.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, July 13, 1868_.

By direction of the President, Brigadier and Brevet Major-General Irvin
McDowell is assigned to the command of the Department of the East.

The headquarters of the department will be transferred from Philadelphia
to New York City.

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 55.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, July 28, 1868_.

The following orders from the War Department, which have been approved
by the President, are published for the information and government of
the Army and of all concerned:

The commanding generals of the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Military
Districts having officially reported that the States of Arkansas, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida have
fully complied with the acts of Congress known as the reconstruction
acts, including the act passed June 22, 1868, entitled "An act to admit
the State of Arkansas to representation in Congress," and the act passed
June 25, 1868, entitled "An act to admit the States of North Carolina,
South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to
representation in Congress," and that, consequently, so much of the act
of March 2, 1867, and the acts supplementary thereto as provides for the
organization of military districts, subject to the military authority of
the United States, as therein provided, has become inoperative in said
States, and that the commanding generals have ceased to exercise in said
States the military powers conferred by said acts of Congress: Therefore
the following changes will be made in the organization and command of
military districts and geographical departments:

I. The Second and Third Military Districts having ceased to exist, the
States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
will constitute the Department of the South, Major-General George G.
Meade to command. Headquarters at Atlanta, Ga.

II. The Fourth Military District will now consist only of the State of
Mississippi, and will continue to be commanded by Brevet Major-General
A.C. Gillem.

III. The Fifth Military District will now consist of the State of Texas,
and will be commanded by Brevet Major-General J.J. Reynolds.
Headquarters at Austin, Tex.

IV. The States of Louisiana and Arkansas will constitute the Department
of Louisiana, Brevet Major-General L.H. Rousseau is assigned to the
command. Headquarters at New Orleans, La. Until the arrival of General
Rousseau at New Orleans, Brevet Major-General Buchanan will command the
Department.

V. Brevet Major-General George Crook is assigned, according to his
brevet of major-general, to command the Department of the Columbia,
in place of Rousseau, relieved.

VI. Brevet Major-General E.R.S. Canby is reassigned to command the
Department of Washington.

* * * * *

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

Under and in pursuance of the authority vested in the President of the
United States by the provisions of the second section of the act of
Congress approved on the 27th day of July, 1868, entitled "An act to
extend the laws of the United States relating to customs, commerce, and
navigation over the territory ceded to the United States by Russia, to
establish a collection district therein, and for other purposes," the
port of Sitka, in said Territory, is hereby constituted and established
as the port of entry for the collection district of Alaska provided for
by said act; and under and in pursuance of the authority vested in him
by the fourth section of said act the importation and use of firearms,
ammunition, and distilled spirits into and within the said Territory,
or any portion thereof, except as hereinafter provided, is entirely
prohibited, under the pains and penalties specified in said last-named
section; _Provided, however_, That under such regulations as the
Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, in accordance with law, such
articles may, in limited quantities, be shipped coastwise from United
States ports on the Pacific coast to said port of Sitka, and to that
port only in said Territory, on the shipper giving bonds to the
collector of customs at the port of shipment, conditioned that such
articles will on their arrival at Sitka be delivered to the collector of
customs, or the person there acting as such, to remain in his possession
and under his control until sold or disposed of to such persons as
the military or other chief authority in said Territory may specially
designate in permits for that purpose signed by himself or a subordinate
duly authorized by him.

Done at the city of Washington, this 22d day of August, A.D. 1868,
and of the Independence of the United States the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON,

_President_.

SPECIAL ORDERS, ORDERS, No. 219.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, September 12, 1868_.

* * * * *

18. By direction of the President, Brevet Major-General L.H. Rousseau,
brigadier-general, commanding Department of Louisiana, is hereby
assigned to duty according to his brevet rank of major-general. This
order to take effect when General Rousseau assumes command.

19. By direction of the President, paragraph 12 of Special Orders, No.
70, May 23, 1868, from this office, assigning Brevet Major-General R.C.
Buchanan, colonel First United States Infantry, to duty according to
his brevet rank of major-general, is hereby revoked, and he is hereby
assigned to duty according to his brevet rank of brigadier-general,
in order that he may command the District of Louisiana. This order to
take effect when General Rousseau assumes command of the Department of
Louisiana.

By command of General Grant:

J.C. KELTON,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 82.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, October 10, 1868_.

The following order has been received from the President, and by his
direction is published to the Army:

The following provisions from the Constitution and laws of the United
States in relation to the election of a President and Vice-President
of the United States, together with an act of Congress prohibiting all
persons engaged in the military and naval service from interfering in
any general or special election in any State, are published for the
information and government of all concerned:

[Extract from Article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.]

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States
of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years,
and, together with the Vice-President, chosen for the same term, be
elected as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may
direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and
Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress; but
no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or
profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

[Extract from Article XII, amendment to the Constitution of the United
States.]

The electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot
for President and Vice-President, one of whom at least shall not be an
inhabitant of the same State with themselves. They shall name in their
ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the
person voted for as Vice-President; and they shall make distinct lists
of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as
Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they
shall sign and certify and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government
of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The
President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House
of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then
be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes for President
shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number
of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from
the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list
of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall
choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the
President the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from
each State having one vote. A quorum for this purpose shall consist of
a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of
all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of
Representatives shall not choose a President, whenever the right of
choice shall devolve upon them, before the 4th day of March next
following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the
case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

[Extract from "An act relative to the election of a President and
Vice-President of the United States, and declaring the officer who shall
act as President in case of vacancies in the offices both of President
and Vice-President," approved March 1, 1792.]

Sec. 1. _Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
of the United States of America in Congress assembled_, That * * *
electors shall be appointed in each State for the election of a
President and Vice-President of the United States * * * in every
fourth year succeeding the last election, which electors shall be
equal to the number of Senators and Representatives to which the
several States may by law be entitled at the time when the President
and Vice-President thus to be chosen should come into office:
_Provided always_, That where no apportionment of Representatives
shall have been made after any enumeration at the time of choosing
electors, then the number of electors shall be according to the
existing apportionment of Senators and Representatives.

["An act to establish a uniform time for holding elections for electors
of President and Vice-President in all the States of the Union,"
approved January 23, 1845.]

_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the electors of President
and Vice-President shall be appointed in each State on the Tuesday next
after the first Monday in the month of November of the year in which
they are to be appointed: _Provided_, That each State may by law provide
for the filling of any vacancy or vacancies which may occur in its
college of electors when such college meets to give its electoral vote:
_And provided also_, When any State shall have held an election for the
purpose of choosing electors, and shall fail to make a choice on the day
aforesaid, then the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in
such manner as the State shall by law provide.

[Extracts from "An act relative to the election of a President and
Vice-President of the United States, and declaring the officer who shall
act as President in case of vacancies in the offices both of President
and Vice-President," approved March 1, 1792.]

Sec. 2. _And be it further enacted_, That the electors shall meet and
give their votes on the said first Wednesday in December, at such place
in each State as shall be directed by the legislature thereof; and the
electors in each State shall make and sign three certificates of all the
votes by them given, and shall seal up the same, certifying on each that
a list of the votes of such State for President and Vice-President is
contained therein, and shall, by writing under their hands or under the
hands of a majority of them, appoint a person to take charge of and
deliver to the President of the Senate, at the seat of Government,
before the first Wednesday in January then next ensuing, one of the said
certificates; and the said electors shall forthwith forward by the
post-office to the President of the Senate, at the seat of Government,
one other of the said certificates, and shall forthwith cause the other
of the said certificates to be delivered to the judge of that district
in which the said electors shall assemble.

Sec. 3. _And be it further enacted_, That the executive authority of
each State shall cause three lists of the names of the electors of such
State to be made and certified, and to be delivered to the electors on
or before the said first Wednesday in December, and the said electors
shall annex one of the said lists to each of the lists of their votes.

Sec. 4. _And be it further enacted_, That if a list of votes from any
State shall not have been received at the seat of Government on the said
first Wednesday in January, that then the Secretary of State shall send
a special messenger to the district judge in whose custody such list
shall have been lodged, who shall forthwith transmit the same to the
seat of Government.

Sec. 5. _And be it further enacted_, That Congress shall be in session
on the second Wednesday in February, 1793, and on the second Wednesday
in February succeeding every meeting of the electors, and the said
certificates, or so many of them as shall have been received, shall then
be opened, the votes counted, and the persons who shall fill the offices
of President and Vice-President ascertained and declared agreeably to
the Constitution.

Sec. 6. _And be it further enacted_, That in case there shall be no
President of the Senate at the seat of Government on the arrival of the
persons intrusted with the list of the votes of the electors, then such
persons shall deliver the lists of votes in their custody into the
office of the Secretary of State, to be safely kept and delivered over
as soon as may be to the President of the Senate.

* * * * *

Sec. 8. _And be it further enacted_, That if any person appointed to
deliver the votes of the electors to the President of the Senate shall,
after accepting of his appointment, neglect to perform the services
required of him by this act, he shall forfeit the sum of $1,000.

[Extract from "An act making compensation to the persons appointed by
the electors to deliver the votes for President and Vice-President,"
approved February 11, 1825.]

_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the person appointed by
the electors to deliver to the President of the Senate a list of the
votes for President and Vice-President shall be allowed, on delivery of
said list, 25 cents for every mile of the estimated distance by the most
usual route from the place of meeting of the electors to the seat of
Government of the United States, going and returning.

[Extract from "An act relative to the election of a President and
Vice-President of the United States, and declaring the officer who shall
act as President in case of vacancies in the offices both of President
and Vice-President," approved March 1, 1792.]

Sec. 12. _And be it further enacted_, That the term of four years for
which a President and Vice-President shall be elected shall in all cases
commence on the 4th day of March next succeeding the day on which the
votes of the electors shall have been given.

["An act to prevent officers of the Army and Navy, and other persons
engaged in the military and naval service of the United States, from
interfering in elections in the States," approved February 25, 1865.]

_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That it shall not be lawful
for any military or naval officer of the United States, or other person
engaged in the civil, military, or naval service of the United States,
to order, bring, keep, or have under his authority or control any troops
or armed men at the place where any general or special election is
held in any State of the United States of America, unless it shall be
necessary to repel the armed enemies of the United States or to keep the
peace at the polls. And that it shall not be lawful for any officer of
the Army or Navy of the United States to prescribe or fix, or attempt
to prescribe or fix, by proclamation, order, or otherwise, the
qualifications of voters in any State of the United States of America,
or in any manner to interfere with the freedom of any election in any
State or with the exercise of the free right of suffrage in any State of
the United States. Any officer of the Army or Navy of the United States,
or other person engaged in the civil, military, or naval service of the
United States, who violates this section of this act shall for every
such offense be liable to indictment as for a misdemeanor in any court
of the United States having jurisdiction to hear, try, and determine
cases of misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall pay a fine not
exceeding $5,000 and suffer imprisonment in the penitentiary not less
than three months nor more than five years, at the discretion of the
court trying the same; and any person convicted as aforesaid shall,
moreover, be disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit,
or trust under the Government of the United States: _Provided_, That
nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent any
officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines from exercising the right of
suffrage in any election district to which he may belong, if otherwise
qualified according to the laws of the State in which he shall offer
to vote.

Sec. 2. _And be it further enacted_, That any officer or person in
the military or naval service of the United States who shall order or
advise, or who shall, directly or indirectly, by force, threat, menace,
intimidation, or otherwise, prevent or attempt to prevent any qualified
voter of any State of the United States of America from freely
exercising the right of suffrage at any general or special election
in any State of the United States, or who shall in like manner compel
or attempt to compel any officer of an election in any such State to
receive a vote from a person not legally qualified to vote, or who shall
impose or attempt to impose any rules or regulations for conducting such
election different from those prescribed by law, or interfere in any
manner with any officer of said election in the discharge of his duties,
shall for any such offense be liable to indictment as for a misdemeanor
in any court of the United States having jurisdiction to hear, try, and
determine cases of misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall pay a
fine of not exceeding $5,000 and suffer imprisonment in the penitentiary
not exceeding five years, at the discretion of the court trying the
same; and any person convicted as aforesaid shall, moreover, be
disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit, or trust under
the Government of the United States.

By command of General Grant:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
_Washington City, November 4, 1868_.

By direction of the President, Brevet Major-General E.R.S. Canby is
hereby assigned to the command of the Fifth Military District, created
by the act of Congress of March 2, 1867, and of the Military Department
of Texas, consisting of the State of Texas. He will, without unnecessary
delay, turn over his present command to the next officer in rank and
proceed to the command to which he is hereby assigned, and on assuming
the same will, when necessary to a faithful execution of the laws,
exercise any and all powers conferred by acts of Congress upon district
commanders and any and all authority pertaining to officers in command
of military departments.

Brevet Major-General J.J. Reynolds is hereby relieved from the command
of the Fifth Military District.

J.M. SCHOFIELD,

_Secretary of War_.

FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _December 9, 1868_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Upon the reassembling of Congress it again becomes my duty to call your
attention to the state of the Union and to its continued disorganized
condition under the various laws which have been passed upon the subject
of reconstruction.

It may be safely assumed as an axiom in the government of states that
the greatest wrongs inflicted upon a people are caused by unjust and
arbitrary legislation, or by the unrelenting decrees of despotic rulers,
and that the timely revocation of injurious and oppressive measures is
the greatest good that can be conferred upon a nation. The legislator or
ruler who has the wisdom and magnanimity to retrace his steps when
convinced of error will sooner or later be rewarded with the respect and
gratitude of an intelligent and patriotic people.

Our own history, although embracing a period less than a century,
affords abundant proof that most, if not all, of our domestic troubles
are directly traceable to violations of the organic law and excessive
legislation. The most striking illustrations of this fact are furnished
by the enactments of the past three years upon the question of
reconstruction. After a fair trial they have substantially failed and
proved pernicious in their results, and there seems to be no good reason
why they should longer remain upon the statute book. States to which the
Constitution guarantees a republican form of government have been
reduced to military dependencies, in each of which the people have been
made subject to the arbitrary will of the commanding general. Although
the Constitution requires that each State shall be represented in
Congress, Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas are yet excluded from the
two Houses, and, contrary to the express provisions of that instrument,
were denied participation in the recent election for a President and
Vice-President of the United States. The attempt to place the white
population under the domination of persons of color in the South has
impaired, if not destroyed, the kindly relations that had previously
existed between them; and mutual distrust has engendered a feeling of
animosity which, leading in some instances to collision and bloodshed,
has prevented that cooperation between the two races so essential to the
success of industrial enterprise in the Southern States. Nor have the
inhabitants of those States alone suffered from the disturbed condition
of affairs growing out of these Congressional enactments. The entire
Union has been agitated by grave apprehensions of troubles which might
again involve the peace of the nation; its interests have been
injuriously affected by the derangement of business and labor, and the
consequent want of prosperity throughout that portion of the country.

The Federal Constitution--the _magna charta_ of American rights, under
whose wise and salutary provisions we have successfully conducted all
our domestic and foreign affairs, sustained ourselves in peace and in
war, and become a great nation among the powers of the earth--must
assuredly be now adequate to the settlement of questions growing out of
the civil war, waged alone for its vindication. This great fact is made
most manifest by the condition of the country when Congress assembled in
the month of December, 1865. Civil strife had ceased, the spirit of
rebellion had spent its entire force, in the Southern States the people
had warmed into national life, and throughout the whole country a
healthy reaction in public sentiment had taken place. By the application
of the simple yet effective provisions of the Constitution the executive
department, with the voluntary aid of the States, had brought the work
of restoration as near completion as was within the scope of its
authority, and the nation was encouraged by the prospect of an early
and satisfactory adjustment of all its difficulties. Congress, however,
intervened, and, refusing to perfect the work so nearly consummated,
declined to admit members from the unrepresented States, adopted
a series of measures which arrested the progress of restoration,
frustrated all that had been so successfully accomplished, and, after
three years of agitation and strife, has left the country further from
the attainment of union and fraternal feeling than at the inception of
the Congressional plan of reconstruction. It needs no argument to show
that legislation which has produced such baneful consequences should
be abrogated, or else made to conform to the genuine principles of
republican government.

Under the influence of party passion and sectional prejudice, other acts
have been passed not warranted by the Constitution. Congress has already
been made familiar with my views respecting the "tenure-of-office bill."
Experience has proved that its repeal is demanded by the best interests
of the country, and that while it remains in force the President can not
enjoin that rigid accountability of public officers so essential to an
honest and efficient execution of the laws. Its revocation would enable
the executive department to exercise the power of appointment and
removal in accordance with the original design of the Federal
Constitution.

The act of March 2, 1867, making appropriations for the support of the
Army for the year ending June 30, 1868, and for other purposes, contains
provisions which interfere with the President's constitutional functions
as Commander in Chief of the Army and deny to States of the Union
the right to protect themselves by means of their own militia. These
provisions should be at once annulled; for while the first might, in
times of great emergency, seriously embarrass the Executive in efforts
to employ and direct the common strength of the nation for its
protection and preservation, the other is contrary to the express
declaration of the Constitution that "a well-regulated militia being
necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to
keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

It is believed that the repeal of all such laws would be accepted by
the American people as at least a partial return to the fundamental
principles of the Government, and an indication that hereafter the
Constitution is to be made the nation's safe and unerring guide. They
can be productive of no permanent benefit to the country, and should not
be permitted to stand as so many monuments of the deficient wisdom which
has characterized our recent legislation.

The condition of our finances demands the early and earnest
consideration of Congress. Compared with the growth of our population,
the public expenditures have reached an amount unprecedented in our
history.

The population of the United States in 1790 was nearly 4,000,000 people.
Increasing each decade about 33 per cent, it reached in 1860 31,000,000,
an increase of 700 per cent on the population in 1790. In 1869 it is
estimated that it will reach 38,000,000, or an increase of 868 per cent
in seventy-nine years.

The annual expenditures of the Federal Government in 1791 were
$4,200,000; in 1820, $13,200,000; in 1850, forty-one millions; in 1860,
sixty-three millions; in 1865, nearly thirteen hundred millions; and
in 1869 it is estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury, in his last
annual report, that they will be three hundred and seventy-two millions.

By comparing the public disbursements of 1869, as estimated, with those
of 1791, it will be seen that the increase of expenditure since the
beginning of the Government has been 8,618 per cent, while the increase
of the population for the same period was only 868 per cent. Again,
the expenses of the Government in 1860, the year of peace immediately
preceding the war, were only sixty-three millions, while in 1869, the
year of peace three years after the war, it is estimated they will be
three hundred and seventy-two millions, an increase of 489 per cent,
while the increase of population was only 21 per cent for the same
period.

These statistics further show that in 1791 the annual national expenses,
compared with the population, were little more than $1 per capita, and
in 1860 but $2 per capita; while in 1869 they will reach the extravagant
sum of $9.78 per capita.

It will be observed that all these statements refer to and exhibit the
disbursements of peace periods. It may, therefore, be of interest to
compare the expenditures of the three war periods--the war with Great
Britain, the Mexican War, and the War of the Rebellion.

In 1814 the annual expenses incident to the War of 1812 reached their
highest amount--about thirty-one millions--while our population slightly
exceeded 8,000,000, showing an expenditure of only $3.80 per capita.
In 1847 the expenditures growing out of the war with Mexico reached
fifty-five millions, and the population about 21,000,000, giving only
$2.60 per capita for the war expenses of that year. In 1865 the
expenditures called for by the rebellion reached the vast amount of
twelve hundred and ninety millions, which, compared with a population
of 34,000,000, gives $38.20 per capita.

From the 4th day of March, 1789, to the 30th of June, 1861, the entire
expenditures of the Government were $1,700,000,000. During that period
we were engaged in wars with Great Britain and Mexico, and were involved
in hostilities with powerful Indian tribes; Louisiana was purchased from
France at a cost of $15,000,000; Florida was ceded to us by Spain for

Book of the day: