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

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ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _December 18, 1865_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the requirements of the third section of the act
approved March 3, 1865, I transmit herewith a communication from the
Secretary of War, with the accompanying report and estimates of the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 18, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to the resolution adopted by the Senate on the 12th instant,
I have the honor to state that the rebellion waged by a portion of the
people against the properly constituted authority of the Government of
the United States has been suppressed; that the United States are in
possession of every State in which the insurrection existed, and that,
as far as it could be done, the courts of the United States have been
restored, post-offices reestablished, and steps taken to put into
effective operation the revenue laws of the country.

As the result of the measures instituted by the Executive with the view
of inducing a resumption of the functions of the States comprehended in
the inquiry of the Senate, the people of North Carolina, South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee have
reorganized their respective State governments, and "are yielding
obedience to the laws and Government of the United States" with more
willingness and greater promptitude than under the circumstances could
reasonably have been anticipated. The proposed amendment to the
Constitution, providing for the abolition of slavery forever within the
limits of the country, has been ratified by each one of those States,
with the exception of Mississippi, from which no official information
has been received, and in nearly all of them measures have been adopted
or are now pending to confer upon freedmen the privileges which are
essential to their comfort, protection, and security. In Florida and
Texas the people are making commendable progress in restoring their
State governments, and no doubt is entertained that they will at an
early period be in a condition to resume all of their practical
relations with the General Government.

In "that portion of the Union lately in rebellion" the aspect of affairs
is more promising than, in view of all the circumstances, could well
have been expected. The people throughout the entire South evince a
laudable desire to renew their allegiance to the Government and to
repair the devastations of war by a prompt and cheerful return to
peaceful pursuits, and abiding faith is entertained that their actions
will conform to their professions, and that in acknowledging the
supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States their
loyalty will be unreservedly given to the Government, whose leniency
they can not fail to appreciate and whose fostering care will soon
restore them to a condition of prosperity. It is true that in some of
the States the demoralizing effects of the war are to be seen in
occasional disorders; but these are local in character, not frequent in
occurrence, and are rapidly disappearing as the authority of civil law
is extended and sustained. Perplexing questions are naturally to be
expected from the great and sudden change in the relations between the
two races; but systems are gradually developing themselves under which
the freedman will receive the protection to which he is justly entitled,
and, by means of his labor, make himself a useful and independent member
in the community in which he has a home.

From all the information in my possession and from that which I have
recently derived from the most reliable authority I am induced to
cherish the belief that sectional animosity is surely and rapidly
merging itself into a spirit of nationality, and that representation,
connected with a properly adjusted system of taxation, will result in
a harmonious restoration of the relation of the States to the National
Union.

The report of Carl Schurz is herewith transmitted, as requested by the
Senate. No reports from the Hon. John Covode have been received by the
President. The attention of the Senate is invited to the accompanying
report from Lieutenant-General Grant, who recently made a tour of
inspection through several of the States whose inhabitants participated
in the rebellion.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 20, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 19th instant, requesting
that the President, if not inconsistent with the public service,
communicate to the Senate the "report of General Howard of his
observations of the condition of the seceded States and the operation of
the Freedmen's Bureau therein," I have to state that the report of the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
was yesterday transmitted to both Houses of Congress, as required by the
third section of the act approved March 3, 1865.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 21, 1865_.

_To the Senate_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant,
respecting the occupation by the French troops of the Republic of Mexico
and the establishment of a monarchy there, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 5, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th ultimo,
requesting information in regard to any plans to induce the immigration
of dissatisfied citizens of the United States into Mexico, their
organization there with the view to create disturbances in the United
States, and especially in regard to the plans of Dr. William M. Gwin and
M.F. Maury, and to the action taken by the Government of the United
States to prevent the success of such schemes, I transmit a report from
the Acting Secretary of State and the papers by which it was
accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 5, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have received the following preamble and resolution, adopted by the
Senate on the 21st ultimo:

Whereas the Constitution declares that "in all criminal prosecutions
the accused shall enjoy the right of a speedy and public trial by an
impartial jury of the State or district wherein the crime shall have
been committed;" and

Whereas several months have elapsed since Jefferson Davis, late
president of the so-called Confederate States, was captured and confined
for acts notoriously done by him as such, which acts, if duly proved,
render him guilty of treason against the United States and liable to the
penalties thereof; and

Whereas hostilities between the Government of the United States and the
insurgents have ceased, and not one of the latter, so far as is known to
the Senate, is now held in confinement for the part he may have acted in
the rebellion except said Jefferson Davis: Therefore,

_Resolved_, That the President be respectfully requested, if compatible
with the public safety, to inform the Senate upon what charges or for
what reasons said Jefferson Davis is still held in confinement, and why
he has not been put upon his trial.

In reply to the resolution I transmit the accompanying reports from the
Secretary of War and the Attorney-General, and at the same time invite
the attention of the Senate to that portion of my message dated the 4th
day of December last which refers to Congress the questions connected
with the holding of circuit courts of the United States within the
districts where their authority has been interrupted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 5, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 18th ultimo, requesting information in regard to steps taken by the
so-called Emperor of Mexico or by any European power to obtain from the
United States a recognition of the so-called Empire of Mexico, and what
action has been taken in the premises by the Government of the United
States, I transmit a report from the Acting Secretary of State and the
papers by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 10, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 8th
instant, asking for information in regard to the alleged kidnaping in
Mexico of the child of an American lady, I transmit a report from the
Acting Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _January 12, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a communication addressed to me by Messrs. John
Evans and J.B. Chaifee as "United States Senators elect from the State
of Colorado," together with the accompanying documents.

Under authority of the act of Congress approved the 21st day of
March, 1864, the people of Colorado, through a convention, formed a
constitution making provision for a State government, which, when
submitted to the qualified voters of the Territory, was rejected.

In the summer of 1865 a second convention was called by the executive
committees of the several political parties in the Territory, which
assembled at Denver on the 8th of August, 1865. On the 12th of that
month this convention adopted a State constitution, which was submitted
to the people on the 5th of September, 1865, and ratified by a majority
of 155 of the qualified voters. The proceedings in the second instance
for the formation of a State government having differed in time and mode
from those specified in the act of March 21, 1864, I have declined to
issue the proclamation for which provision is made in the fifth section
of the law, and therefore submit the question for the consideration and
further action of Congress.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _January 20, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, the several treaties[5] with the Indians of the Southwest
referred to in the accompanying communication from the Secretary of
the Interior.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 5: With the confederated tribes of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne
Indians, concluded October 14, 1865; with the Apache, Cheyenne, and
Arapahoe tribes, respectively, concluded October 17, 1865; with the
several bands of the Comanche tribe, concluded October 18, 1865.]

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _January 20, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, the several treaties with bands of the Sioux Nation of Indians
which are referred to in the accompanying communication from the
Secretary of the Interior.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 20, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, the treaties with the Omaha and Winnebago Indians referred to
in the accompanying communication from the Secretary of the Interior.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant,
requesting information in regard to a negotiation for the transit of
United States troops in 1861 through Mexican territory, I transmit a
report from the Acting Secretary of State and the papers by which it
was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Empire of
Japan for the reduction of import duties, which was signed at Yedo the
28th of January, 1864.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the Empire of Japan and the
Governments of the United States, Great Britain, France, and Holland,
providing for the payment to said Governments of the sum of $3,000,000
for indemnities and expenses, which was signed by the respective parties
at Yokohama on the 22d of October, 1864.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 17th instant,
requesting the President "to communicate to the Senate, if in his
opinion not inconsistent with the public interest, any letters from
Major-General Sheridan, commanding the Military Division of the Gulf,
or from any other officer of the Department of Texas, in regard to the
present condition of affairs on the southeastern frontier of the United
States, and especially in regard to any violation of neutrality on the
part of the army now occupying the right bank of the Rio Grande,"
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War, bearing date
the 24th instant.

Concurring in his opinion that the publication of the correspondence
at this time is not consistent with the public interest, the papers
referred to in the accompanying report are for the present withheld.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
22d instant, requesting the communication of any correspondence or other
information in regard to a demonstration by the Congress of the United
States of Colombia, or any other country, in honor of President Juarez,
of the Republic of Mexico, I transmit herewith a report from the Acting
Secretary of State, with the papers by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 8th
instant, asking for information in regard to the reported surrender of
the rebel pirate vessel called the _Shenandoah_, I transmit a report
from the Acting Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Believing that the commercial interests of our country would be promoted
by a formal recognition of the independence of the Dominican Republic,
while such a recognition would be in entire conformity with the settled
policy of the United States, I have with that view nominated to the
Senate an officer of the same grade with the one now accredited to the
Republic of Hayti; and I recommend that an appropriation be made by
Congress toward providing for his compensation.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 1, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
10th ultimo, requesting information in regard to the organization in the
city of New York of the "Imperial Mexican Express Company" under a grant
from the so-called Emperor of Mexico, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the papers by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The accompanying correspondence is transmitted to the Senate in
compliance with its resolution of the 16th ultimo, requesting the
President, "if not inconsistent with the public interest, to communicate
to the Senate any correspondence which may have taken place between
himself and any of the judges of the Supreme Court touching the holding
of the civil courts of the United States in the insurrectionary States
for the trial of crimes against the United States."

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 30th ultimo, requesting
the President, "if not incompatible with the public interests, to
communicate to the Senate a copy of the late report of Major-General
Sherman upon the condition of the States in his department, in which he
has lately made a tour of inspection," I transmit herewith a copy of a
communication, dated December 22, 1865, addressed to the Headquarters of
the Army by Major-General Sherman, commanding the Military Division of
the Mississippi.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
10th ultimo, requesting the President of the United States, "if not
incompatible with the public interest, to communicate to the House
any report or reports made by the Judge-Advocate-General or any other
officer of the Government as to the grounds, facts, or accusations upon
which Jefferson Davis, Clement C. Clay, jr., Stephen R. Mallory, and
David L. Yulee, or either of them, are held in confinement," I transmit
herewith reports from the Secretary of War and the Attorney-General,
and concur in the opinion therein expressed that the publication of
the papers called for by the resolution is not at the present time
compatible with the public interest.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit, for the consideration of Congress, a correspondence between
the Secretary of State and the minister of France accredited to this
Government, and also other papers, relative to a proposed international
conference at Constantinople upon the subject of cholera.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 5, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit the accompanying report from the Secretary of War, in answer
to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th ultimo,
requesting information in regard to the distribution of the rewards
offered by the Government for the arrest of the assassins of the late
President Lincoln.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 5, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 27th ultimo, I
transmit, herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, together
with the reports of the assistant commissioners of the Freedmen's Bureau
made since December 1, 1865.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 6, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolutions of the Senate of the 5th of January and
27th of February last, requesting information in regard to provisional
governors of States, I transmit reports from the Secretary of State and
the Secretary of War, to whom the resolutions were referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 6, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon, a
treaty with the Utah, Yampah-Ute, Pah-Vant, San-Pete-Ute, Tim-p-nogs,
and Cum-um-bah bands of the Utah Indians, referred to in the
accompanying papers from the Secretary of the Interior.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 6, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
12th of January last, requesting information in regard to provisional
governments of certain States, I transmit a report from the Secretary
of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 6, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th
ultimo, requesting certain information in relation to President Benito
Juarez, of Mexico, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit, for the consideration of the Senate, a copy of a letter of
the 21st ultimo from the governor of the Territory of Colorado to the
Secretary of State, with the memorial to which it refers, relative to
the location of the Pacific Railroad.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 12, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit, for your consideration, a copy of two communications from
the minister of the United States at Paris, in regard to a proposed
exhibition of fishery and water culture, to be held at Arcachon, near
Bordeaux, in France, in July next.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 15, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 5th instant, upon the
subject of the supposed kidnaping of colored persons in the Southern
States for the purpose of selling them as slaves in Cuba, I transmit a
report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 19, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives dated
January 5, 1866, requesting information as to the number of men and
officers in the regular and volunteer service of the United States,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, with the papers by which
it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
11th of December last, requesting information upon the present condition
of affairs in the Republic of Mexico, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the papers by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made with the Great and Little Osage Indians on the 29th
September, 1865, together with the accompanying papers.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon, a
treaty made with the Woll-pah-pe tribe of Snake Indians on the 12th of
August, 1865, together with the accompanying papers.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 26, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a memorial of the legislature of Alabama,
asking an extension of time for the completion of certain railroads in
said State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 30, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate,
a treaty negotiated with the Shawnee Indians, dated March 1, 1866,
with supplemental article, dated March 14, 1866, with accompanying
communications from the honorable Secretary of the Interior and
Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 3, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report by the Secretary of War, in compliance with
the Senate resolution of the 7th March, 1866, respecting the improvement
of the Washington City Canal, to promote the health of the metropolis.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 3, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, dated the
22d ultimo, together with a letter addressed to him by the governor of
Alabama, asking that the State of Alabama may be allowed to assume and
pay in State bonds the direct tax now due from that State to the United
States, or that delay of payment may be authorized until the State can
by the sale of its bonds or by taxation make provision for the
liquidation of the indebtedness.

I concur in the opinion of the Secretary of the Treasury "that it is
desirable that the State of Alabama and the other Southern States should
be allowed to assume and pay their proportion of the direct taxes now
due," and therefore recommend the necessary legislation by Congress.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 4, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a report from the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying papers, relative to the claim on this Government of the
owners of the British vessel _Magicienne_, and recommend an
appropriation for the satisfaction of the claim, pursuant to the award
of the arbitrators.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 5, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit communications from the Secretary of the Treasury
and the Postmaster-General, suggesting a modification of the oath of
office prescribed by the act of Congress approved July 2, 1862. I fully
concur in their recommendation, and as the subject pertains to the
efficient administration of the revenue and postal laws in the Southern
States I earnestly commend it to the early consideration of Congress.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 6, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a supplemental
article to the Pottawatomie treaty of November 15, 1861, concluded on
the 29th ultimo, together with the accompanying communications from the
Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 7, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Interior, with the
accompanying papers, in reference to grants of land made by acts of
Congress passed in the years 1850, 1853, and 1856 to the States of
Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana, to aid in
the construction of certain railroads. As these acts will expire by
limitation on the 11th day of August, 1866, leaving the roads for
whose benefit they were conferred in an unfinished condition, it is
recommended that the time within which they may be completed be extended
for a period of five years.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 11, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 27th ultimo,
in relation to the seizure and detention at New York of the steamship
_Meteor_, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State and
the papers by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 13, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a
treaty concluded with the Bois Forte band of Chippewa Indians on the
7th instant, together with the accompanying communications from the
Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 13, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 10th
instant, requesting information in regard to the rights and interests
of American citizens in the fishing grounds adjacent to the British
Provinces, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the
resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 20, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the Senate's resolution of the 8th January, 1866, I
transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War of the 19th
instant, covering copies of the correspondence respecting General
Orders, No. 17,[6] issued by the commander of the Department of
California, and also the Attorney-General's opinion as to the question
whether the order involves a breach of neutrality toward Mexico.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 6: Instructing commanders on the southern frontiers within the
Department of California "to take the necessary measures to preserve the
neutrality of the United States with respect to the parties engaged in
the existing war in Mexico, and to suffer no armed parties to pass the
frontier from the United States, nor suffer any arms or munitions of war
to be sent over the frontier to either belligerent," etc.]

WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 20, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 2d
instant, requesting information respecting the collection of the remains
of officers and soldiers killed and buried on the various battlefields
about Atlanta, I transmit herewith a report on the subject from the
Secretary of War.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 21, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a communication of this date from the Secretary
of War, covering a copy of the proceedings of a board of officers in
relation to brevet appointments in the Regular Army, requested in the
Senate's resolution of the 18th April, 1866.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 23, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention which was signed at Tangier on the 31st of
May last between the United States and other powers on the one part and
the Sultan of Morocco on the other part, concerning the administration
and maintenance of a light-house on Cape Spartel.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 23, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 16th
instant, requesting information relative to the proposed evacuation of
Mexico by French military forces, I transmit a report from the Secretary
of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., April 24, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I submit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, the accompanying
communication from the Secretary of the Interior, in relation to the
Union Pacific Railroad Company, eastern division.

It appears that the company were required to complete 100 miles of
their road within three years after their acceptance of the conditions
of the original act of Congress. This period expired December 22, 1865.
Sixty-two miles had been previously accepted by the Government. Since
that date an additional section of 23 miles has been completed.
Commissioners appointed for that purpose have examined and reported
upon it, and an application has been made for its acceptance.

The failure to complete 100 miles of road within the period prescribed
renders it questionable whether the executive officers of the Government
are authorized to issue the bonds and patents to which the company would
be entitled if this as well as the other requirements of the act had
been faithfully observed.

This failure may to some extent be ascribed to the financial condition
of the country incident to the recent civil war. As the company appear
to be engaged in the energetic prosecution of their work and manifest a
disposition to comply with the conditions of the grant, I recommend that
the time for the completion of this part of the road be extended and
that authority be given for the issue of bonds and patents on account of
the section now offered for acceptance notwithstanding such failure,
should the company in other respects be thereunto entitled.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 28, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a
treaty this day concluded with the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations of
Indians.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 25th
instant, requesting information in regard to the rebel debt known as the
cotton loan, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom
the resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 2, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 23d
ultimo, I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, from which it
will be perceived that it is not deemed compatible with the public
interests to communicate to the House the report made by General Smith
and the Hon. James T. Brady of their investigations at New Orleans, La.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 4, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th
of March, 1866, requesting the names of persons worth more than $20,000
to whom special pardons have been issued, and a statement of the amount
of property which has been seized as belonging to the enemies of the
Government, or as abandoned property, and returned to those who claimed
to be the original owners, I transmit herewith reports from the
Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of
War, and the Attorney-General, together with a copy of the amnesty
proclamation of the 29th of May, 1865, and a copy of the warrants issued
in cases in which special pardons are granted. The second, third, and
fourth conditions of the warrant prescribe the terms, so far as property
is concerned, upon which all such pardons are granted and accepted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _May 4, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Referring to my message of the 12th of March last, communicating
information in regard to a proposed exposition of fishery and water
culture at Arcachon, in France, I communicate a copy of another dispatch
from the minister of the United States in Paris to the Secretary of
State, and again invite the attention of Congress to the subject.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th ultimo,
I transmit herewith a report from Benjamin C. Truman, relative to the
condition of the Southern people and the States in which the rebellion
existed.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _May 9, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a correspondence between the Secretary
of State and the acting charge d'affaires of the United States at
Guayaquil, in the Republic of Ecuador, from which it appears that the
Government of that Republic has failed to pay the first installment of
the award of the commissioners under the convention between the United
States and Ecuador of the 25th November, 1862, which installment was due
on the 17th of February last.

As debts of this character from one government to another are justly
regarded as of a peculiarly sacred character, and as further diplomatic
measures are not in this instance likely to be successful, the
expediency of authorizing other proceedings in case they should
ultimately prove to be indispensable is submitted to your consideration.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 10, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, in
answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d
instant, requesting information concerning discriminations made by the
so-called Maximilian Government of Mexico against American commerce,
or against commerce from particular American ports.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _May 11, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to that part
of the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 7th instant
which calls for information in regard to the clerks employed in the
Department of State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _May 16, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of the correspondence between the
Secretary of State and Cornelius Vanderbilt, of New York, relative to
the joint resolution of the 28th of January, 1864, upon the subject of
the gift of the steamer _Vanderbilt_ to the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, May 7, 1866_.

Hon. SCHUYLER COLFAX,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith a communication of the
Secretary of War, inclosing one from the Lieutenant-General, relative
to the necessity for legislation upon the subject of the Army.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 17, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In further response to the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 7th instant, calling for information in regard to clerks employed in
the several Executive Departments, I transmit herewith reports from the
Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Interior and the
Postmaster-General.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 22, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, made in
compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
7th instant, calling for information in respect to clerks employed in
the several Executive Departments of the Government.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 22, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th
ultimo, requesting a collation of the provisions in reference to
freedmen contained in the amended constitutions of the Southern States
and in the laws of those States passed since the suppression of the
rebellion, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the
resolution was referred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 24, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Postmaster-General, made in answer
to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 14th instant,
calling for information relative to the proposed mail steamship service
between the United States and Brazil.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 25, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
21st instant, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War,
with the accompanying papers, in reference to the operations of the
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _May 30, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

With sincere regret I announce to Congress that Winfield Scott, late
Lieutenant-General in the Army of the United States, departed this life
at West Point, in the State of New York, on the 29th day of May instant,
at 11 o'clock in the forenoon. I feel well assured that Congress will
share in the grief of the nation which must result from its bereavement
of a citizen whose high fame is identified with the military history of
the Republic.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 30, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, covering a
supplemental report to that already made to the House of
Representatives, in answer to its resolution of the 21st instant,
requesting the reports of General Steedman and others in reference to
the operations of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 5, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Republic of
Venezuela on the subject of the claims of citizens of the United States
upon the Government of that Republic, which convention was signed by the
plenipotentiaries of the parties at the city of Caracas on the 25th of
April last.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 9, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Acting Secretary of the Interior,
communicating the information requested by a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 21st ultimo, in relation to the removal of the
Sioux Indians of Minnesota and the provisions made for their
accommodation in the Territory of Nebraska.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 9, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a call of the Senate, as expressed in a resolution
adopted on the 6th instant, I transmit a copy of the report of the Board
of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy for the year 1866.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 11, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 10th
ultimo, calling for information relative to the claims of citizens of
the United States against the Republic of Venezuela, I transmit a report
from the Secretary of State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 11, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

It is proper that I should inform Congress that a copy of an act of the
legislature of Georgia of the 10th of March last has been officially
communicated to me, by which that State accepts the donation of lands
for the benefit of colleges for agriculture and the mechanic arts, which
donation was provided for by the acts of Congress of the 2d of July,
1862, and 14th of April, 1864.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 11, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I communicate and invite the attention of Congress to a copy of joint
resolutions of the senate and house of representatives of the State
of Georgia, requesting a suspension of the collection of the
internal-revenue tax due from that State pursuant to the act of Congress
of the 5th of August, 1861.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 13, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 11th
instant, requesting information concerning the provisions of the laws
and ordinances of the late insurgent States on the subject of the rebel
debt, so called, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the
document by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 14, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 28th
of May, requesting information as to what progress has been made in
completing the maps connected with the boundary survey under the treaty
of Washington, with copies of any correspondence on this subject not
heretofore printed, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State
and the documents which accompanied it.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 15, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant,
calling for information in regard to the departure of troops from
Austria to Mexico, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and
the documents by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 16, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a report from the Acting Secretary of the
Interior, furnishing, as requested by a resolution of the Senate of the
25th ultimo, information touching the transactions of the executive
branch of the Government respecting the transportation, settlement,
and colonization of persons of the African race.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 18, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 11th
instant, requesting information in regard to the dispatch of military
forces from Austria for service in Mexico, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State on the subject.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 20, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
21st ultimo, requesting information as to the collection of the direct
tax in the States whose inhabitants participated in the rebellion, I
transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, accompanied
by a report from the Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 22, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I submit to Congress a report of the Secretary of State, to whom was
referred the concurrent resolution of the 18th instant, respecting a
submission to the legislatures of the States of an additional article to
the Constitution of the United States. It will be seen from this report
that the Secretary of State had, on the 16th instant, transmitted to the
governors of the several States certified copies of the joint resolution
passed on the 13th instant, proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

Even in ordinary times any question of amending the Constitution must be
justly regarded as of paramount importance. This importance is at the
present time enhanced by the fact that the joint resolution was not
submitted by the two Houses for the approval of the President and that
of the thirty-six States which constitute the Union eleven are excluded
from representation in either House of Congress, although, with the
single exception of Texas, they have been entirely restored to all their
functions as States in conformity with the organic law of the land, and
have appeared at the national capital by Senators and Representatives,
who have applied for and have been refused admission to the vacant
seats. Nor have the sovereign people of the nation been afforded an
opportunity of expressing their views upon the important questions which
the amendment involves. Grave doubts, therefore, may naturally and
justly arise as to whether the action of Congress is in harmony with
the sentiments of the people, and whether State legislatures, elected
without reference to such an issue, should be called upon by Congress
to decide respecting the ratification of the proposed amendment.

Waiving the question as to the constitutional validity of the
proceedings of Congress upon the joint resolution proposing the
amendment or as to the merits of the article which it submits through
the executive department to the legislatures of the States, I deem it
proper to observe that the steps taken by the Secretary of State, as
detailed in the accompanying report, are to be considered as purely
ministerial, and in no sense whatever committing the Executive to an
approval or a recommendation of the amendment to the State legislatures
or to the people. On the contrary, a proper appreciation of the letter
and spirit of the Constitution, as well as of the interests of national
order, harmony, and union, and a due deference for an enlightened public
judgment may at this time well suggest a doubt whether any amendment to
the Constitution ought to be proposed by Congress and pressed upon the
legislatures of the several States for final decision until after the
admission of such loyal Senators and Representatives of the now
unrepresented States as have been or as may hereafter be chosen in
conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 22, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In further answer to recent resolutions of the Senate and House of
Representatives, requesting information in regard to the employment of
European troops in Mexico, I transmit to Congress a copy of a dispatch
of the 4th of this month addressed to the Secretary of State by the
minister of the United States at Paris.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 22, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
18th instant, calling for information in regard to the arrest and
imprisonment in Ireland of American citizens, I transmit herewith
a report from the Secretary of State on the subject.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, _June 23, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Interior,
communicating in part the information requested by a resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 23d of April last, in relation to
appropriations and expenditures connected with the Indian service.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 28, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy and the
accompanying copy of a report and maps prepared by a board of examiners
appointed under authority of the joint resolution approved June 1, 1866,
"to examine a site for a fresh-water basin for ironclad vessels of the
United States Navy."

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 28, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith reports from the heads of the several Executive
Departments, made in answer to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 4th instant, requesting information as to whether
any of the civil or military employees of the Government have assisted
in the rendition of public honors to the rebel living or dead.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 7, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The accompanying report of the Secretary of the Treasury is transmitted
to the Senate in compliance with its resolution of the 20th ultimo,
calling for a statement of the expenditures of the United States for the
various public works of the Government in each State and Territory of
the Union and in the District of Columbia from the year 1860 to the
close of the year 1865.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 7, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a
treaty concluded with the Seminole Nation of Indians on the 21st day of
March, 1866, together with the accompanying communications from the
Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 7, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a
treaty concluded with the Creek Nation of Indians on the 14th day of
June, 1866, together with the accompanying communications from the
Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 17, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of yesterday,
requesting information relative to proposed international movements in
connection with the Paris Universal Exposition for the reform of systems
of coinage, weights, and measures, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 17, 1866_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to Congress a report, dated 12th instant, with the
accompanying papers, received from the Secretary of State, in compliance
with the requirements of the eighteenth section of the act entitled "An
act to regulate the diplomatic and consular systems of the United
States," approved August 18, 1856.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 20, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, certain
articles of agreement made at the Delaware Agency, Kans., on the 4th
instant between the United States and the Delaware Indians.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 20, 1866_.

_To the Senate_:

I herewith submit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a treaty
negotiated at the city of Washington, D.C., on the 19th instant, between
the United States, represented by Dennis N. Cooley, Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, and Elijah Sells, superintendent of Indian affairs for
the southern superintendency, and the Cherokee Nation of Indians;
represented by its delegates, James McDaniel, Smith Christie, White
Catcher, L.H. Benge, J.B. Jones, and Daniel H. Ross.

The distracted condition of the Cherokee Nation and the peculiar
relation of many of its members to this Government during the rebellion
presented almost insuperable difficulties to treating with them. The
treaty now submitted is a result of protracted negotiations. Its
stipulations are, it is believed, as satisfactory to the contracting
parties and furnish as just provisions for the welfare of the Indians
and as strong guaranties for the maintenance of peaceful relations with
them as under the circumstances could be expected.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 24, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I hereby transmit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a treaty
concluded on the 15th of November, 1865, between the United States and
the confederate tribes and bands of Indians of middle Oregon, the same
being amendatory and supplemental to the treaty with said Indians of the
25th of June, 1855.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 24, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The following "Joint resolution, restoring Tennessee to her relations in
the Union," was last evening presented for my approval:

Whereas in the year 1861 the government of the State of Tennessee was
seized upon and taken possession of by persons in hostility to the
United States, and the inhabitants of said State, in pursuance of an act
of Congress, were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the
United States; and

Whereas said State government can only be restored to its former
political relations in the Union by the consent of the lawmaking power
of the United States; and

Whereas the people of said State did, on the 22d day of February, 1865,
by a large popular vote, adopt and ratify a constitution of government
whereby slavery was abolished and all ordinances and laws of secession
and debts contracted under the same were declared void; and

Whereas a State government has been organized under said constitution
which has ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United
States abolishing slavery, also the amendment proposed by the
Thirty-ninth Congress, and has done other acts proclaiming and denoting
loyalty: Therefore,

_Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States in Congress assembled_, That the State of Tennessee is hereby
restored to her former proper practical relations to the Union, and is
again entitled to be represented by Senators and Representatives in
Congress.

The preamble simply consists of statements, some of which are assumed,
while the resolution is merely a declaration of opinion. It comprises no
legislation, nor does it confer any power which is binding upon the
respective Houses, the Executive, or the States. It does not admit to
their seats in Congress the Senators and Representatives from the State
of Tennessee, for, notwithstanding the passage of the resolution, each
House, in the exercise of the constitutional right to judge for itself
of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members, may, at
its discretion, admit them or continue to exclude them. If a joint
resolution of this kind were necessary and binding as a condition
precedent to the admission of members of Congress, it would happen, in
the event of a veto by the Executive, that Senators and Representatives
could only be admitted to the halls of legislation by a two-thirds vote
of each of the Houses.

Among other reasons recited in the preamble for the declaration
contained in the resolution is the ratification by the State government
of Tennessee of "the amendment to the Constitution of the United States
abolishing slavery, also the amendment proposed by the Thirty-ninth
Congress." If, as is also declared in the preamble, "said State
government can only be restored to its former political relations in the
Union by the consent of the lawmaking power of the United States," it
would really seem to follow that the joint resolution which at this late
day has received the sanction of Congress should have been passed,
approved, and placed on the statute books before any amendment to the
Constitution was submitted to the legislature of Tennessee for
ratification. Otherwise the inference is plainly deducible that while,
in the opinion of Congress, the people of a State may be too strongly
disloyal to be entitled to representation, they may nevertheless, during
the suspension of their "former proper practical relations to the
Union," have an equally potent voice with other and loyal States in
propositions to amend the Constitution, upon which so essentially depend
the stability, prosperity, and very existence of the nation.

A brief reference to my annual message of the 4th of December last will
show the steps taken by the Executive for the restoration to their
constitutional relations to the Union of the States that had been
affected by the rebellion. Upon the cessation of active hostilities
provisional governors were appointed, conventions called, governors
elected by the people, legislatures assembled, and Senators and
Representatives chosen to the Congress of the United States. At the same
time the courts of the United States were reopened, the blockade
removed, the custom-houses reestablished, and postal operations resumed.
The amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery forever within the
limits of the country was also submitted to the States, and they were
thus invited to and did participate in its ratification, thus exercising
the highest functions pertaining to a State. In addition nearly all of
these States, through their conventions and legislatures, had adopted
and ratified constitutions "of government whereby slavery was abolished
and all ordinances and laws of secession and debts contracted under the
same were declared void." So far, then, the political existence of the
States and their relations to the Federal Government had been fully and
completely recognized and acknowledged by the executive department of
the Government; and the completion of the work of restoration, which had
progressed so favorably, was submitted to Congress, upon which devolved
all questions pertaining to the admission to their seats of the Senators
and Representatives chosen from the States whose people had engaged in
the rebellion.

All these steps had been taken when, on the 4th day of December, 1865,
the Thirty-ninth Congress assembled. Nearly eight months have elapsed
since that time; and no other plan of restoration having been proposed
by Congress for the measures instituted by the Executive, it is now
declared, in the joint resolution submitted for my approval, "that the
State of Tennessee is hereby restored to her former proper practical
relations to the Union, and is again entitled to be represented by
Senators and Representatives in Congress." Thus, after the lapse of
nearly eight months, Congress proposes to pave the way to the admission
to representation of one of the eleven States whose people arrayed
themselves in rebellion against the constitutional authority of the
Federal Government.

Earnestly desiring to remove every cause of further delay, whether real
or imaginary, on the part of Congress to the admission to seats of loyal
Senators and Representatives from the State of Tennessee, I have,
notwithstanding the anomalous character of this proceeding, affixed
my signature to the resolution. My approval, however, is not to be
construed as an acknowledgment of the right of Congress to pass laws
preliminary to the admission of duly qualified Representatives from any
of the States. Neither is it to be considered as committing me to all
the statements made in the preamble, some of which are, in my opinion,
without foundation in fact, especially the assertion that the State of
Tennessee has ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United
States proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress. No official notice of such
ratification has been received by the Executive or filed in the
Department of State; on the contrary, unofficial information from the
most reliable sources induces the belief that the amendment has not yet
been constitutionally sanctioned by the legislature of Tennessee. The
right of each House under the Constitution to judge of the elections,
returns, and qualifications of its own members is undoubted, and my
approval or disapproval of the resolution could not in the slightest
degree increase or diminish the authority in this respect conferred
upon the two branches of Congress.

In conclusion I can not too earnestly repeat my recommendation for the
admission of Tennessee, and all other States, to a fair and equal
participation in national legislation when they present themselves in
the persons of loyal Senators and Representatives who can comply with
all the requirements of the Constitution and the laws. By this means
harmony and reconciliation will be effected, the practical relations of
all the States to the Federal Government reestablished, and the work of
restoration, inaugurated upon the termination of the war, successfully
completed.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 25, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I nominate Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant to be General of the Army
of the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 26, 1866_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to two resolutions of the House of Representatives of the 23d
instant, in the following words, respectively--

_Resolved_, That the House of Representatives respectfully request the
President of the United States to urge upon the Canadian authorities,
and also the British Government, the release of the Fenian prisoners
recently captured in Canada;

_Resolved_, That this House respectfully request the President to cause
the prosecutions instituted in the United States courts against the
Fenians to be discontinued, if compatible with the public interest--

I transmit a report on the subject from the Secretary of State, together
with the documents which accompany it.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

VETO MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1866_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have examined with care the bill, which originated in the Senate and
has been passed by the two Houses of Congress, to amend an act entitled
"An act to establish a bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees,"
and for other purposes. Having with much regret come to the conclusion
that it would not be consistent with the public welfare to give my
approval to the measure, I return the bill to the Senate with my
objections to its becoming a law.

I might call to mind in advance of these objections that there is no
immediate necessity for the proposed measure. The act to establish a
bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees, which was approved in
the month of March last, has not yet expired. It was thought stringent
and extensive enough for the purpose in view in time of war. Before it
ceases to have effect further experience may assist to guide us to a
wise conclusion as to the policy to be adopted in time of peace.

I share with Congress the strongest desire to secure to the freedmen
the full enjoyment of their freedom and property and their entire
independence and equality in making contracts for their labor, but the
bill before me contains provisions which in my opinion are not warranted
by the Constitution and are not well suited to accomplish the end in
view.

The bill proposes to establish by authority of Congress military
jurisdiction over all parts of the United States containing refugees and
freedmen. It would by its very nature apply with most force to those
parts of the United States in which the freedmen most abound, and it
expressly extends the existing temporary jurisdiction of the Freedmen's
Bureau, with greatly enlarged powers, over those States "in which the
ordinary course of judicial proceedings has been interrupted by the
rebellion." The source from which this military jurisdiction is to
emanate is none other than the President of the United States, acting
through the War Department and the Commissioner of the Freedmen's
Bureau. The agents to carry out this military jurisdiction are to be
selected either from the Army or from civil life; the country is to be
divided into districts and subdistricts, and the number of salaried
agents to be employed may be equal to the number of counties or parishes
in all the United States where freedmen and refugees are to be found.

The subjects over which this military jurisdiction is to extend in every
part of the United States include protection to "all employees, agents,
and officers of this bureau in the exercise of the duties imposed" upon
them by the bill. In eleven States it is further to extend over all
cases affecting freedmen and refugees discriminated against "by local
law, custom, or prejudice." In those eleven States the bill subjects any
white person who may be charged with depriving a freedman of "any civil
rights or immunities belonging to white persons" to imprisonment or
fine, or both, without, however, defining the "civil rights and
immunities" which are thus to be secured to the freedmen by military
law. This military jurisdiction also extends to all questions that may
arise respecting contracts. The agent who is thus to exercise the office
of a military judge may be a stranger, entirely ignorant of the laws of
the place, and exposed to the errors of judgment to which all men are
liable. The exercise of power over which there is no legal supervision
by so vast a number of agents as is contemplated by the bill must, by
the very nature of man, be attended by acts of caprice, injustice, and
passion.

The trials having their origin under this bill are to take place without
the intervention of a jury and without any fixed rules of law or
evidence. The rules on which offenses are to be "heard and determined"
by the numerous agents are such rules and regulations as the President,
through the War Department, shall prescribe. No previous presentment is
required nor any indictment charging the commission of a crime against
the laws; but the trial must proceed on charges and specifications. The
punishment will be, not what the law declares, but such as a
court-martial may think proper; and from these arbitrary tribunals there
lies no appeal, no writ of error to any of the courts in which the
Constitution of the United States vests exclusively the judicial power
of the country.

While the territory and the classes of actions and offenses that are
made subject to this measure are so extensive, the bill itself, should
it become a law, will have no limitation in point of time, but will form
a part of the permanent legislation of the country. I can not reconcile
a system of military jurisdiction of this kind with the words of the
Constitution which declare that "no person shall be held to answer
for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or
indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval
forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or
public danger," and that "in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall
enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the
State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed." The
safeguards which the experience and wisdom of ages taught our fathers
to establish as securities for the protection of the innocent, the
punishment of the guilty, and the equal administration of justice are
to be set aside, and for the sake of a more vigorous interposition in
behalf of justice we are to take the risks of the many acts of injustice
that would necessarily follow from an almost countless number of agents
established in every parish or county in nearly a third of the States of
the Union, over whose decisions there is to be no supervision or control
by the Federal courts. The power that would be thus placed in the hands
of the President is such as in time of peace certainly ought never to be
intrusted to any one man.

If it be asked whether the creation of such a tribunal within a State is
warranted as a measure of war, the question immediately presents itself
whether we are still engaged in war. Let us not unnecessarily disturb
the commerce and credit and industry of the country by declaring to the
American people and to the world that the United States are still in a
condition of civil war. At present there is no part of our country in
which the authority of the United States is disputed. Offenses that may
be committed by individuals should not work a forfeiture of the rights
of whole communities. The country has returned, or is returning, to a
state of peace and industry, and the rebellion is in fact at an end.
The measure, therefore, seems to be as inconsistent with the actual
condition of the country as it is at variance with the Constitution of
the United States.

If, passing from general considerations, we examine the bill in detail,
it is open to weighty objections.

In time of war it was eminently proper that we should provide for
those who were passing suddenly from a condition of bondage to a state
of freedom. But this bill proposes to make the Freedmen's Bureau,
established by the act of 1865 as one of many great and extraordinary
military measures to suppress a formidable rebellion, a permanent branch
of the public administration, with its powers greatly enlarged. I have
no reason to suppose, and I do not understand it to be alleged, that
the act of March, 1865, has proved deficient for the purpose for which
it was passed, although at that time and for a considerable period
thereafter the Government of the United States remained unacknowledged
in most of the States whose inhabitants had been involved in the
rebellion. The institution of slavery, for the military destruction of
which the Freedmen's Bureau was called into existence as an auxiliary,
has been already effectually and finally abrogated throughout the whole
country by an amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and
practically its eradication has received the assent and concurrence of
most of those States in which it at any time had an existence. I am not,
therefore, able to discern in the condition of the country anything to
justify an apprehension that the powers and agencies of the Freedmen's
Bureau, which were effective for the protection of freedmen and refugees
during the actual continuance of hostilities and of African servitude,
will now, in a time of peace and after the abolition of slavery, prove
inadequate to the same proper ends. If I am correct in these views,
there can be no necessity for the enlargement of the powers of the
Bureau, for which provision is made in the bill.

The third section of the bill authorizes a general and unlimited grant
of support to the destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen, their
wives and children. Succeeding sections make provision for the rent or
purchase of landed estates for freedmen, and for the erection for their
benefit of suitable buildings for asylums and schools, the expenses to
be defrayed from the Treasury of the whole people. The Congress of the
United States has never heretofore thought itself empowered to establish
asylums beyond the limits of the District of Columbia, except for the
benefit of our disabled soldiers and sailors. It has never founded
schools for any class of our own people, not even for the orphans of
those who have fallen in the defense of the Union, but has left the care
of education to the much more competent and efficient control of the
States, of communities, of private associations, and of individuals.
It has never deemed itself authorized to expend the public money for
the rent or purchase of homes for the thousands, not to say millions,
of the white race who are honestly toiling from day to day for their
subsistence. A system for the support of indigent persons in the United
States was never contemplated by the authors of the Constitution; nor
can any good reason be advanced why, as a permanent establishment,
it should be founded for one class or color of our people more than
another. Pending the war many refugees and freedmen received support
from the Government, but it was never intended that they should
thenceforth be fed, clothed, educated, and sheltered by the United
States. The idea on which the slaves were assisted to freedom was that
on becoming free they would be a self-sustaining population. Any
legislation that shall imply that they are not expected to attain a
self-sustaining condition must have a tendency injurious alike to their
character and their prospects.

The appointment of an agent for every county and parish will create an
immense patronage, and the expense of the numerous officers and their
clerks, to be appointed by the President, will be great in the
beginning, with a tendency steadily to increase. The appropriations
asked by the Freedmen's Bureau as now established, for the year 1866,
amount to $11,745,000. It may be safely estimated that the cost to be
incurred under the pending bill will require double that amount--more
than the entire sum expended in any one year under the Administration of
the second Adams. If the presence of agents in every parish and county
is to be considered as a war measure, opposition, or even resistance,
might be provoked; so that to give effect to their jurisdiction troops
would have to be stationed within reach of every one of them, and thus a
large standing force be rendered necessary. Large appropriations would
therefore be required to sustain and enforce military jurisdiction in
every county or parish from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. The condition
of our fiscal affairs is encouraging, but in order to sustain the
present measure of public confidence it is necessary that we practice
not merely customary economy, but, as far as possible, severe
retrenchment.

In addition to the objections already stated, the fifth section of the
bill proposes to take away land from its former owners without any
legal proceedings being first had, contrary to that provision of the
Constitution which declares that no person shall "be deprived of life,
liberty, or property without due process of law." It does not appear
that a part of the lands to which this section refers may not be owned
by minors or persons of unsound mind, or by those who have been faithful
to all their obligations as citizens of the United States. If any
portion of the land is held by such persons, it is not competent for
any authority to deprive them of it. If, on the other hand, it be found
that the property is liable to confiscation, even then it can not be
appropriated to public purposes until by due process of law it shall
have been declared forfeited to the Government.

There is still further objection to the bill, on grounds seriously
affecting the class of persons to whom it is designed to bring relief.
It will tend to keep the mind of the freedman in a state of uncertain
expectation and restlessness, while to those among whom he lives it will
be a source of constant and vague apprehension.

Undoubtedly the freedman should be protected, but he should be protected
by the civil authorities, especially by the exercise of all the
constitutional powers of the courts of the United States and of the
States. His condition is not so exposed as may at first be imagined.
He is in a portion of the country where his labor can not well be
spared. Competition for his services from planters, from those who
are constructing or repairing railroads, and from capitalists in his
vicinage or from other States will enable him to command almost his own
terms. He also possesses a perfect right to change his place of abode,
and if, therefore, he does not find in one community or State a mode of
life suited to his desires or proper remuneration for his labor, he can
move to another where that labor is more esteemed and better rewarded.
In truth, however, each State, induced by its own wants and interests,
will do what is necessary and proper to retain within its borders all
the labor that is needed for the development of its resources. The laws
that regulate supply and demand will maintain their force, and the wages
of the laborer will be regulated thereby. There is no danger that the
exceedingly great demand for labor will not operate in favor of the
laborer.

Neither is sufficient consideration given to the ability of the freedmen
to protect and take care of themselves. It is no more than justice to
them to believe that as they have received their freedom with moderation
and forbearance, so they will distinguish themselves by their industry
and thrift, and soon show the world that in a condition of freedom they
are self-sustaining, capable of selecting their own employment and
their own places of abode, of insisting for themselves on a proper
remuneration, and of establishing and maintaining their own asylums and
schools. It is earnestly hoped that instead of wasting away they will by
their own efforts establish for themselves a condition of respectability
and prosperity. It is certain that they can attain to that condition
only through their own merits and exertions.

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