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

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this day forward.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and
the seal of the United States of America to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand at the city of Washington, this 19th day of
December, A.D. 1866, and of the Independence of the United States
of America the ninety-first.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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

ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

_To all whom it may concern_:

An exequatur, bearing date the 22d day of March, 1866, having been
issued to Gerhard Janssen, recognizing him as consul of Oldenburg for
New York and declaring him free to exercise and enjoy such functions,
powers, and privileges as are allowed to consuls by the law of nations
or by the laws of the United States and existing treaty stipulations
between the Government of Oldenburg and the United States, and the said
Janssen having refused to appear in the supreme court of the State of
New York to answer in a suit there pending against himself and others on
the plea that he is a consular officer of Oldenburg, thus seeking to use
his official position to defeat the ends of justice, it is deemed
advisable that the said Gerhard Janssen should no longer be permitted to
continue in the exercise of said functions, powers, and privileges.

These are therefore to declare that I no longer recognize the said
Gerhard Janssen as consul of Oldenburg for New York and will not permit
him to exercise or enjoy any of the functions, powers, or privileges
allowed to consuls of that nation; and that I do hereby wholly revoke
and annul the said exequatur heretofore given and do declare the same
to be absolutely null and void from this day forward.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and
the seal of the United States of America to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand at Washington, this 26th day of December, A.D. 1866,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-first.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas satisfactory evidence has been received by me from His Imperial
Majesty the Emperor of France, through the Marquis de Montholon, his
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, that vessels belonging
to citizens of the United States entering any port of France or of its
dependencies on or after the 1st day of January, 1867, will not be
subjected to the payment of higher duties on tonnage than are levied
upon vessels belonging to citizens of France entering the said ports:

Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by an act of
Congress of the 7th day of January, 1824, entitled "An act concerning
discriminating duties of tonnage and impost," and by an act in addition
thereto of the 24th day of May, 1828, do hereby declare and proclaim
that on and after the said 1st day of January, 1867, so long as vessels
of the United States shall be admitted to French ports on the terms
aforesaid, French vessels entering ports of the United States will be
subject to no higher rates of duty on tonnage than are levied upon
vessels of the United States in the ports thereof.

In testimony 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 28th day of December, A.D. 1866,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-first.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, in virtue of the power conferred by the act of Congress
approved June 22, 1860, sections 15 and 24 of which act were designed by
proper provisions to secure the strict neutrality of citizens of the
United States residing in or visiting the Empires of China and Japan, a
notification was issued on the 4th of August last by the legation of the
United States in Japan, through the consulates of the open ports of that
Empire, requesting American shipmasters not to approach the coasts of
Suwo and Nagato pending the then contemplated hostilities between the
Tycoon of Japan and the Daimio of the said Provinces; and

Whereas authentic information having been received by the said legation
that such hostilities had actually commenced, a regulation in
furtherance of the aforesaid notification and pursuant to the act
referred to was issued by the minister resident of the United States in
Japan forbidding American merchant vessels from stopping or anchoring at
any port or roadstead in that country except the three opened ports,
viz, Kanagawa (Yokohama), Nagasaki, and Hakodate, unless in distress or
forced by stress of weather, as provided by treaty, and giving notice
that masters of vessels committing a breach of the regulation would
thereby render themselves liable to prosecution and punishment and also
to forfeiture of the protection of the United States if the visit to
such nonopened port or roadstead should either involve a breach of
treaty or be construed as an act in aid of insurrection or rebellion:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States of America, with a view to prevent acts which might
injuriously affect the relations existing between the Government of the
United States and that of Japan, do hereby call public attention to the
aforesaid notification and regulation, which are hereby sanctioned and
confirmed.

In testimony 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 January, A.D. 1867, and
of the Independence of the United States the ninety-first.

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 the Congress of the United States of the 24th of
May, 1828, entitled "An act in addition to an act entitled 'An act
concerning discriminating duties of tonnage and impost' and to equalize
the duties on Prussian vessels and their cargoes," it is provided that,
upon satisfactory evidence being given to the President of the United
States by the government of any foreign nation that no discriminating
duties of tonnage or impost are imposed or levied in the ports of the
said nation upon vessels wholly belonging to citizens of the United
States or upon the produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported in the
same from the United States or from any foreign country, the President
is thereby authorized to issue his proclamation declaring that the
foreign discriminating duties of tonnage and impost within the United
States are and shall be suspended and discontinued so far as respects
the vessels of the said foreign nation and the produce, manufactures, or
merchandise imported into the United States in the same from the said
foreign nation or from any other foreign country, the said suspension
to take effect from the time of such notification being given to the
President of the United States and to continue so long as the reciprocal
exemption of vessels belonging to citizens of the United States and
their cargoes, as aforesaid, shall be continued, and no longer; and

Whereas satisfactory evidence has lately been received by me from
His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands, through an official
communication of His Majesty's minister of foreign relations under date
of the 10th of December, 1866, that no other or higher duties of tonnage
and impost are imposed or levied in the ports of the Hawaiian Islands
upon vessels wholly belonging to citizens of the United States and upon
the produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported in the same from the
United States and from any foreign country whatever than are levied on
Hawaiian ships and their cargoes in the same ports under like
circumstances:

Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States of
America, do hereby declare and proclaim that so much of the several acts
imposing discriminating duties of tonnage and impost within the United
States are and shall be suspended and discontinued so far as respects
the vessels of the Hawaiian Islands and the produce, manufactures,
and merchandise imported into the United States in the same from the
dominions of the Hawaiian Islands and from any other foreign country
whatever, the said suspension to take effect from the said 10th day
of December and to continue thenceforward so long as the reciprocal
exemption of the vessels of the United States and the produce,
manufactures, and merchandise imported into the dominions of the
Hawaiian Islands in the same, as aforesaid, shall be continued on the
part of the Government of His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands.

In testimony 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, the 29th day of January, A.D. 1867, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-first.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the Congress of the United States did by an act approved on
the 19th day of April, 1864, authorize the people of the Territory
of Nebraska to form a constitution and State government and for the
admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the
original States upon certain conditions in said act specified; and

Whereas said people did adopt a constitution conforming to the
provisions and conditions of said act and ask admission into the Union;
and

Whereas the Congress of the United States did on the 8th and 9th days
of February, 1867, in mode prescribed by the Constitution, pass a
further act for the admission of the State of Nebraska into the Union,
in which last-named act it was provided that it should not take effect
except upon the fundamental condition that within the State of Nebraska
there should be no denial of the elective franchise or of any other
right to any person by reason of race or color, excepting Indians not
taxed, and upon the further fundamental condition that the legislature
of said State, by a solemn public act, should declare the assent of
said State to the said fundamental condition and should transmit to
the President of the United States an authenticated copy of said act
of the legislature of said State, upon receipt whereof the President,
by proclamation, should forthwith announce the fact, whereupon said
fundamental condition should be held as a part of the organic law of
the State, and thereupon, and without any further proceeding on the
part of Congress, the admission of said State into the Union should
be considered as complete; and

Whereas within the time prescribed by said act of Congress of the 8th
and 9th of February, 1867, the legislature of the State of Nebraska did
pass an act ratifying the said act of Congress of the 8th and 9th of
February, 1867, and declaring that the aforenamed provisions of the
third section of said last-named act of Congress should be a part of
the organic law of the State of Nebraska; and

Whereas a duly authenticated copy of said act of the legislature of the
State of Nebraska has been received by me:

Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States of
America, do, in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress
last herein named, declare and proclaim the fact that the fundamental
conditions imposed by Congress on the State of Nebraska to entitle that
State to admission to the Union have been ratified and accepted and that
the admission of the said State into the Union is now complete.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 1st day of March, A.D. 1867, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-first.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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

[Note.--The Fortieth Congress, first session, met March 4, 1867,
in accordance with the act of January 22, 1867, and on March 30, in
accordance with the concurrent resolution of March 29, adjourned to
July 3. The Senate met in special session April 1, in conformity to the
proclamation of the President of the United States of March 30, and on
April 20 adjourned without day. The Fortieth Congress, first session,
again met July 3, and on July 20, in accordance with the concurrent
resolution of the latter date, adjourned to November 21; again met
November 21, and on December 2, 1867, in accordance with the concurrent
resolution of November 26, adjourned without day.]

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

MARCH 11, 1867.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 28th of
July last, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.[18]

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 18: Correspondence since March 4, 1857, touching the claim to
military service asserted by France and Prussia in reference to persons
born in those countries, but who have since become citizens of the
United States.]

WASHINGTON CITY, _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded this day between the United States and the chiefs and
headmen of the Kickapoo tribe of Indians.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior and a copy of a letter of the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, explanatory of said treaty, are also
herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded in this city on the 15th instant [ultimo] between the
United States and the Stockbridge and Munsee tribes of Indians.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior of the 25th instant [ultimo]
and a copy of a communication from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of
the 19th instant [ultimo], explanatory of the said treaty, are also
herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded in this city on the 23d instant [ultimo] between the
United States and the following tribes of Indians, viz: The Senecas,
the confederated Senecas and Shawnees, the Quapaws, the Ottawas, the
confederated Peorias, Kaskaskias, Weas and Piankeshaws, and the Miamis.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior of the 26th instant [ultimo]
and a copy of a letter of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the 25th
instant [ultimo], explanatory of said treaty, are also herewith
transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded on the 2d March, 1866, between the United States and
the Shawnee tribe of Indians of Kansas.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior of the 6th instant and a copy
of a communication from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the 2d
instant, explanatory of the said treaty, are also herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded on the 27th instant [ultimo] between the United
States and the Pottawatomie tribe of Indians.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior of the 28th instant [ultimo]
and a copy of a communication from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of
the 27th instant [ultimo], explanatory of the said treaty, are also
herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon
a treaty concluded in this city on the 13th instant [ultimo] between the
United States and the Kansas or Kaw tribe of Indians.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior of the 25th instant [ultimo]
and a copy of a communication of the 19th instant [ultimo] from the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, explanatory of said treaty, are also
herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON CITY, _March 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty this day concluded between the United States and the Cherokee
Nation of Indians, providing for the sale of their lands in Kansas,
known as the "Cherokee neutral lands."

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior and accompanying copy of a
letter from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of this date, in relation
to the treaty, are also herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 14, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, in further
answer to the resolution[19] of the House of Representatives of the 24th
of January last.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 19: Requesting information "in relation to a removal of the
Protestant Church or religious assembly meeting at the American embassy
from the city of Rome by an order of that Government."]

WASHINGTON, _March 15, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in further answer to their resolution of the
31st of January last, a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents.[20]

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 20: Dispatch from the United States consul at Geneva, with an
inclosure, refuting charges against his moral character, etc.]

WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their resolution
of the 18th instant, a report[21] from the Secretary of State, with its
accompanying papers.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 21: Relating to trials in Canada of citizens of the United
States for complicity in the Fenian invasion of that country.]

WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 18th instant, a report[22]from the Secretary of State,
with an accompanying paper.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 22: Relating to the withdrawal of French troops from the
Mexican Republic.]

WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 15th
instant, reports[23] from the Secretary of State and the Secretary of
the Treasury, with accompanying papers.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 23: Relating to the fees of consular agents within the
districts of salaried consuls, etc.]

WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 7th
instant, relative to the arrest, imprisonment, and treatment of American
citizens in Great Britain or its Provinces, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State on the subject.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 21, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded on the 19th of March, 1867, between the United States
and the Chippewa tribe of Indians of the Mississippi.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior and a copy of a letter of Hon.
Lewis V. Bogy, special commissioner, of the 20th instant, explanatory of
the said treaty, are also herewith transmitted.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 30, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In giving my approval to the joint resolution providing for the expenses
of carrying into full effect an act entitled "An act to provide for the
more efficient government of the rebel States," I am moved to do so for
the following reason: The seventh section of the act supplementary to
the act for the more efficient government of the rebel States provides
that the expenses incurred under or by virtue of that act shall be paid
out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. This
provision is wholly unlimited as to the amount to be expended, whereas
the resolution now before me limits the appropriation to $500,000. I
consider this limitation as a very necessary check against unlimited
expenditure and liabilities. Yielding to that consideration, I feel
bound to approve this resolution, without modifying in any manner any
objections heretofore stated against the original and supplemental acts.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _March 30, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty between the United States and His Majesty the
Emperor of all the Russias upon the subject of a cession of territory by
the latter to the former, which treaty was this day signed in this city
by the plenipotentiaries of the parties.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

PROCLAMATION.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the Senate
should be convened at 12 o'clock on Monday, the 1st day of April next,
to receive and act upon such communications as may be made to it on the
part of the Executive.

Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, have
considered it to be my duty to issue this my proclamation, declaring
that an extraordinary occasion requires the Senate of the United States
to convene for the transaction of business at the Capitol, in the city
of Washington, on Monday, the 1st day of April next, at 12 o'clock on
that day, of which all who shall at that time be entitled to act as
members of that body are hereby required to take notice.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
the 30th day of March, A.D. 1867, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the ninety-first.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

[The following messages were sent to the special session of the Senate.]

WASHINGTON, _March 28, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 20th
instant, a report[24] from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 24: Relating to the exequatur of the consul of the Grand Duchy
of Oldenburg residing at New York.]

WASHINGTON, _April 12, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 10th
instant, calling for information relative to prisoners of war taken by
belligerents in the Mexican Republic, a report from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying papers.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _April 13, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 28th of January
last, requesting certain information in regard to governors,
secretaries, and judges of Territories, I transmit herewith reports[25]
from the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Interior, and the
Attorney-General.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 25: Relating to the absence of Territorial officers from their
posts of duty.]

WASHINGTON, _April 15, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 13th
instant, a report[26] from the Secretary of State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 26: Relating to the absence of Governor Alexander Cumming from
the Territory of Colorado since his appointment as governor.]

WASHINGTON, _April 16, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith reports from the heads of the several Executive
Departments, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 11th
instant, requesting "copies of any official opinions which may have been
given by the Attorney-General, the Solicitor of the Treasury, or by any
other officer of the Government on the interpretation of the act of
Congress regulating the tenure of office, and especially with regard to
appointments by the President during the recess of Congress."

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[The following messages were sent to the Fortieth Congress, first session.]

WASHINGTON, _July 5, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for commercial reciprocity between the
United States and His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands, which
convention was signed by the plenipotentiaries of the parties in the
city of San Francisco on the 21st day of May last.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 5, 1867_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a convention between the United States
and the Republic of Venezuela for the adjustment of claims of citizens
of the United States on the Government of that Republic. The
ratifications of this convention were exchanged at Caracas on the 10th
of April last. As its first article stipulates that the commissioners
shall meet in that city within four months from that date, the
expediency of passing the usual act for the purpose of carrying the
convention into effect will, of course, engage the attention of
Congress.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 6, 1867_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a treaty between the United States and
His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the ratifications of which
were exchanged in this city on the 20th day of June last.

This instrument provides for a cession of territory to the United States
in consideration of the payment of $7,200,000 in gold. The attention of
Congress is invited to the subject of an appropriation for this payment,
and also to that of proper legislation for the occupation and government
of the territory as a part of the dominion of the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 6, 1867_.

_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, Great Britain,
France, the Netherlands, and Japan, concluded at Yedo on the 25th of
June, 1866.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 8, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Attorney-General, additional to
the reports submitted by him December 31, 1866, and March 2, 1867, in
reply to a resolution of the House of Representatives of December 10,
1866, requesting "a list of names of all persons engaged in the late
rebellion against the United States Government who have been pardoned by
the President from April 15, 1865, to this date; that said list shall
also state the rank of each person who has been so pardoned, if he has
been engaged in the military service of the so-called Confederate
government, and the position if he shall have held any civil office
under said so-called Confederate government; and shall also further
state whether such person has at any time prior to April 14, 1861, held
any office under the United States Government, and, if so, what office,
together with the reasons for granting such pardon, and also the names
of the person or persons at whose solicitation such pardon was granted."

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 9, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
5th of July, requesting the President "to inform the House what States
have ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United States
proposed by concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, June
16, 1866," I transmit a report from the Secretary of State.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 10, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with so much of the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 8th instant as requests information in regard to
certain agreements said to have been entered into between the United
States, European and West Virginia Land and Mining Company and certain
reputed agents of the Republic of Mexico, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the papers accompanying it.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 11, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
3d instant, requesting me to transmit all the official correspondence
between the Department of State and the Hon. Lewis D. Campbell, late
minister to Mexico, and also that with his successor, I communicate a
report from the Secretary of State and the papers accompanying it.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 12, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant,
requesting me to transmit "all the official correspondence between the
Department of State and the Hon. Lewis D. Campbell, late minister
of the United States to the Republic of Mexico, from the time of his
appointment, also the correspondence of the Department with his
successor," I communicate herewith a report on the subject from the
Secretary of State, from which it appears that the correspondence
called for by the Senate has already been communicated to the House
of Representatives.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 15, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith reports from the Secretary of War and the
Attorney-General, containing the information called for by the
resolution of the Senate of the 3d instant, requesting the President "to
communicate to the Senate copies of all orders, instructions, circular
letters, or letters of advice issued to the respective military officers
assigned to the command of the several military districts under the act
passed March 2, 1867, entitled 'An act to provide for the more efficient
government of the rebel States,' and the act supplementary thereto,
passed March 23, 1867; also copies of all opinions given to him by the
Attorney-General of the United States touching the construction and
interpretation of said acts, and of all correspondence relating to the
operation, construction, or execution of said acts that may have taken
place between himself and any of said commanders, or between him and the
General of the Army, or between the latter and any of said commanders,
touching the same subjects; also copies of all orders issued by any of
said commanders in carrying out the provisions of said acts or either of
them; also that he inform the Senate what progress has been made in the
matter of registration under said acts, and whether the sum of money
heretofore appropriated for carrying them out is probably sufficient."

In answer to that portion of the resolution which inquires whether the
sum of money heretofore appropriated for carrying these acts into effect
is probably sufficient, reference is made to the accompanying report
of the Secretary of War. It will be seen from that report that the
appropriation of $500,000 made in the act approved March 30, 1867, for
the purpose of carrying into effect the "Act to provide for the more
efficient government of the rebel States," passed March 2, 1867, and the
act supplementary thereto, passed March 23, 1867, has already been
expended by the commanders of the several military districts, and that,
in addition, the sum of $1,648,277 is required for present purposes.

It is exceedingly difficult at the present time to estimate the probable
expense of carrying into full effect the two acts of March last and the
bill which passed the two Houses of Congress on the 13th instant. If the
existing governments of ten States of the Union are to be deposed and
their entire machinery is to be placed under the exclusive control and
authority of the respective district commanders, all the expenditures
incident to the administration of such governments must necessarily be
incurred by the Federal Government. It is believed that, in addition to
the $2,100,000 already expended or estimated for, the sum which would
be required for this purpose would not be less than $14,000,000--the
aggregate amount expended prior to the rebellion in the administration
of their respective governments by the ten States embraced in the
provisions of these acts. This sum would no doubt be considerably
augmented if the machinery of these States is to be operated by the
Federal Government, and would be largely increased if the United States,
by abolishing the existing State governments, should become responsible
for liabilities incurred by them before the rebellion in laudable
efforts to develop their resources, and in no wise created for
insurrectionary or revolutionary purposes. The debts of these States,
thus legitimately incurred, when accurately ascertained will, it is
believed, approximate $100,000,000; and they are held not only by our
own citizens, among whom are residents of portions of the country which
have ever remained loyal to the Union, but by persons who are the
subjects of foreign governments. It is worthy the consideration of
Congress and the country whether, if the Federal Government by its
action were to assume such obligations, so large an addition to our
public expenditures would not seriously impair the credit of the nation,
or, on the other hand, whether the refusal of Congress to guarantee
the payment of the debts of these States, after having displaced or
abolished their State governments, would not be viewed as a violation of
good faith and a repudiation by the national legislature of liabilities
which these States had justly and legally incurred.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 18, 1867_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant,
requesting me to furnish to that body copies of any correspondence on
the files of the Department of State relating to any recent events in
Mexico, I communicate a report from the Secretary of State, with the
papers accompanying it.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 18, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with that part of the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 8th instant which requests me to transmit to
the House of Representatives any official correspondence or other
information relating to the capture and execution of Maximilian and
the arrest and reported execution of Santa Anna in Mexico, I inclose
herewith a report from the Secretary of State, from which it appears
that the correspondence called for by the House of Representatives has
already been communicated to the Senate of the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _July 20, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have received a resolution adopted by the House of Representatives
on the 8th instant, inquiring "whether the publication which appeared
in the National Intelligencer and other public prints on the 21st of
June last, and which contained a statement of the proceedings of the
President and Cabinet in respect to an interpretation of the acts of
Congress commonly known as the reconstruction acts, was made by the
authority of the President or with his knowledge and consent," and
"whether the full and complete record or minute of all the proceedings,
conclusions, and determinations of the President and Cabinet relating to
said acts of Congress and their interpretation is embraced or given in
said publication," and also requesting that "a true copy of the full
and complete record or minute of such proceedings, conclusions, and
determinations in regard to the interpretation of said reconstruction
acts" be furnished to the House.

In compliance with the request of the House of Representatives, I have
to state that the publication to which the resolution refers was made
by proper authority, and that it comprises the proceedings in Cabinet
relating to the acts of Congress mentioned in the inquiry, upon which,
after taking the opinions of the heads of the several Executive
Departments of the Government, I had announced my own conclusions. Other
questions arising from these acts have been under consideration, upon
which, however, no final conclusion has been reached. No publication in
reference to them has, therefore, been authorized by me; but should it
at any time be deemed proper and advantageous to the interests of the
country to make public those or any other proceedings of the Cabinet,
authority for their promulgation will be given by the President.

A correct copy of the record of the proceedings, published in the
National Intelligencer and other newspapers on the 21st ultimo, is
herewith transmitted, together with a copy of the instructions based
upon the conclusions of the President and Cabinet and sent to the
commanders of the several military districts created by act of Congress
of March 2, 1867.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

IN CABINET, _June 18, 1867_.

Present: The President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of
the Treasury, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the
Postmaster-General, the Attorney-General, the Acting Secretary of
the Interior.

The President announced that he had under consideration the two opinions
from the Attorney-General as to the legal questions arising upon the
acts of Congress commonly known as the reconstruction acts, and that in
view of the great magnitude of the subject and of the various interests
involved he deemed it proper to have it considered fully in the Cabinet
and to avail himself of all the light which could be afforded by the
opinions and advice of the members of the Cabinet, to enable him to see
that these laws be faithfully executed and to decide what orders and
instructions are necessary and expedient to be given to the military
commanders.

The President said further that the branch of the subject that seemed to
him first in order for consideration was as to the instructions to be
sent to the military commanders for their guidance and for the guidance
of persons offering for registration. The instructions proposed by the
Attorney-General, as set forth in the summary contained in his last
opinion, will therefore be now considered.

The summary was then read at length.

The reading of the summary having been concluded, each section was then
considered, discussed, and voted upon as follows:

1. The oath prescribed in the supplemental act defines all the
qualifications required, and every person who can take that oath is
entitled to have his name entered upon the list of voters.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who votes "nay."

2. The board of registration have no authority to administer any other
oath to the person applying for registration than this prescribed
oath, nor to administer any oath to any other person touching the
qualifications of the applicant or the falsity of the oath so taken
by him.

No provision is made for challenging the qualifications of the applicant
or entering upon any trial or investigation of his qualifications,
either by witnesses or any other form of proof.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who votes "nay."

3. As to citizenship and residence:

The applicant for registration must be a citizen of the State and of the
United States, and must be a resident of a county or parish included in
the election district. He may be registered if he has been such citizen
for a period less than twelve months at the time he applies for
registration, but he can not vote at any election unless his citizenship
has then extended to the full term of one year. As to such a person, the
exact length of his citizenship should be noted opposite his name on the
list, so that it may appear on the day of election, upon reference to
the list, whether the full term has then been accomplished.

Concurred in unanimously.

4. An unnaturalized person can not take this oath, but an alien who has
been naturalized can take it, and no other proof of naturalization can
be required from him.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who votes "nay."

5. No one who is not 21 years of age at the time of registration can
take the oath, for he must swear that he has then attained that age.

Concurred in unanimously.

6. No one who has been disfranchised for participation in any rebellion
against the United States or for felony committed against the laws of
any State or of the United States can take this oath.

The actual participation in a rebellion or the actual commission of a
felony does not amount to disfranchisement. The sort of disfranchisement
here meant is that which is declared by law passed by competent
authority, or which has been fixed upon the criminal by the sentence of
the court which tried him for the crime.

No law of the United States has declared the penalty of disfranchisement
for participation in rebellion alone; nor is it known that any such law
exists in either of these ten States, except, perhaps, Virginia, as to
which State special instructions will be given.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who dissents as to the
second and third paragraphs.

7. As to disfranchisement arising from having held office followed by
participation in rebellion:

This is the most important part of the oath, and requires strict
attention to arrive at its meaning. The applicant must swear or affirm
as follows:

"That I have never been a member of any State legislature, nor held any
executive or judicial office in any State, and afterwards engaged in an
insurrection or rebellion against the United States or given aid or
comfort to the enemies thereof; that I have never taken an oath as a
member of Congress of the United States, or as an officer of the United
States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or
judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United
States, and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the
United States or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Two elements must concur in order to disqualify a person under these
clauses: First, the office and official oath to support the Constitution
of the United States; second, engaging afterwards in rebellion. Both
must exist to work disqualification, and must happen in the order of
time mentioned.

A person who has held an office and taken the oath to support the
Federal Constitution and has not afterwards engaged in rebellion is not
disqualified. So, too, a person who has engaged in rebellion, but has
not theretofore held an office and taken that oath, is not disqualified.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who votes "nay."

8. Officers of the United States:

As to these the language is without limitation. The person who has at
any time prior to the rebellion held any office, civil or military,
under the United States, and has taken an official oath to support the
Constitution of the United States, is subject to disqualification.

Concurred in unanimously.

9. Militia officers of any State prior to the rebellion are not subject
to disqualification.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who votes "nay."

10. Municipal officers--that is to say, officers of incorporated cities,
towns, and villages, such as mayors, aldermen, town council, police, and
other city or town officers--are not subject to disqualification.

Concurred in unanimously.

11. Persons who have prior to the rebellion been members of the Congress
of the United States or members of a State legislature are subject to
disqualification, but those who have been members of conventions framing
or amending the constitution of a State prior to the rebellion are not
subject to disqualification.

Concurred in unanimously.

12. All the executive or judicial officers of any State who took an
oath to support the Constitution of the United States are subject
to disqualification, including county officers. They are subject to
disqualification if they were required to take as a part of their
official oath the oath to support the Constitution of the United States.

Concurred in unanimously.

13. Persons who exercised mere employments under State authority are
not disqualified; such as commissioners to lay out roads, commissioners
of public works, visitors of State institutions, directors of State
institutions, examiners of banks, notaries public, commissioners to
take acknowledgments of deeds.

Concurred in unanimously; but the Secretary of State, the Secretary of
the Treasury, and the Secretary of War express the opinion that lawyers
are such officers as are disqualified if they participated in the
rebellion. Two things must exist as to any person to disqualify him from
voting: First, the office held prior to the rebellion, and, afterwards,
participation in the rebellion.

14. An act to fix upon a person the offense of engaging in rebellion
under this law must be an overt and voluntary act, done with the intent
of aiding or furthering the common unlawful purpose. A person forced
into the rebel service by conscription or under a paramount authority
which he could not safely disobey, and who would not have entered such
service if left to the free exercise of his own will, can not be held
to be disqualified from voting.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who votes "nay" as the
proposition is stated.

15. Mere acts of charity, where the intent is to relieve the wants of
the object of such charity, and not done in aid of the cause in which he
may have been engaged, do not disqualify; but organized contributions
of food and clothing for the general relief of persons engaged in the
rebellion, and not of a merely sanitary character, but contributed to
enable them to perform their unlawful object, maybe classed with acts
which do disqualify. Forced contributions to the rebel cause in the form
of taxes or military assessments, which a person was compelled to pay or
contribute, do not disqualify; but voluntary contributions to the rebel
cause, even such indirect contributions as arise from the voluntary loan
of money to the rebel authorities or purchase of bonds or securities
created to afford the means of carrying on the rebellion, will work
disqualification.

Concurred in unanimously.

16. All those who in legislative or other official capacity were engaged
in the furtherance of the common unlawful purpose, where the duties of
the office necessarily had relation to the support of the rebellion,
such as members of the rebel conventions, congresses, and legislatures,
diplomatic agents of the rebel Confederacy, and other officials whose
offices were created for the purpose of more effectually carrying on
hostilities or whose duties appertained to the support of the rebel
cause, must be held to be disqualified; but officers who during the
rebellion discharged official duties not incident to war, but only such
duties as belong even to a state of peace and were necessary to the
preservation of order and the administration of law, are not to be
considered as thereby engaging in rebellion or as disqualified. Disloyal
sentiments, opinions, or sympathies would not disqualify, but where a
person has by speech or writing incited others to engage in rebellion he
must come under the disqualification.

All vote "aye" except the Secretary of War, who dissents to the second
paragraph, with the exception of the words "where a person has by speech
or by writing incited others to engage in rebellion he must come under
the disqualification."

17. The duties of the board appointed to superintend the elections.

This board, having the custody of the list of registered voters in the
district for which it is constituted, must see that the name of the
person offering to vote is found upon the registration list, and if such
proves to be the fact it is the duty of the board to receive his vote if
then qualified by residence. They can not receive the vote of any person
whose name is not upon the list, though he may be ready to take the
registration oath, and although he may satisfy them that he was unable
to have his name registered at the proper time, in consequence of
absence, sickness, or other cause.

The board can not enter into any inquiry as to the qualifications of
any person whose name is not on the registration list, or as to the
qualifications of any person whose name is on that list..

Concurred in unanimously.

18. The mode of voting is provided in the act to be by ballot. The board
will keep a record and poll book of the election, showing the votes,
list of voters, and the persons elected by a plurality of the votes cast
at the election, and make returns of these to the commanding general of
the district.

Concurred in unanimously.

19. The board appointed for registration and for superintending the
elections must take the oath prescribed by the act of Congress approved
July 2, 1862, entitled "An act to prescribe an oath of office."

Concurred in unanimously.

IN CABINET, _June 20, 1867_.

Present: The same Cabinet officers as on the 18th, except the Acting
Secretary of the Interior.

The President announced to the Cabinet that after full deliberation he
concurred with the majority upon the sections of the summary upon which
the Secretary of War expressed his dissent, and that he concurred with
the Cabinet upon those sections approved by unanimous vote; that as it
appeared the military commanders entertained doubts upon the points
covered by the summary, and as their action hitherto had not been
uniform, he deemed it proper, without further delay, to communicate in
a general order[27] to the respective commanders the points set forth
in the summary.

[Footnote 27: See Executive order of June 20, 1867, pp. 552-556.]

VETO MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, _March 23, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have considered the bill entitled "An act supplementary to an act
entitled 'An act to provide for the more efficient government of the
rebel States,' passed March 2, 1867, and to facilitate restoration,"
and now return it to the House of Representatives with my objections.

This bill provides for elections in the ten States brought under the
operation of the original act to which it is supplementary. Its details
are principally directed to the elections for the formation of the State
constitutions, but by the sixth section of the bill "all elections"
in these States occurring while the original act remains in force are
brought within its purview. Referring to these details, it will be found
that, first of all, there is to be a registration of the voters. No one
whose name has not been admitted on the list is to be allowed to vote at
any of these elections. To ascertain who is entitled to registration,
reference is made necessary, by the express language of the supplement,
to the original act and to the pending bill. The fifth section of the
original act provides, as to voters, that they shall be "male citizens
of the State, 21 years old and upward, of whatever race, color, or
previous condition, who have been residents of said State for one
year." This is the general qualification, followed, however, by many
exceptions. No one can be registered, according to the original act,
"who may be disfranchised for participation in the rebellion"--a
provision which left undetermined the question as to what amounted to
disfranchisement, and whether without a judicial sentence the act
itself produced that effect. This supplemental bill superadds an oath,
to be taken by every person before his name can be admitted upon the
registration, that he has "not been disfranchised for participation in
any rebellion or civil war against the United States." It thus imposes
upon every person the necessity and responsibility of deciding for
himself, under the peril of punishment by a military commission if
he makes a mistake, what works disfranchisement by participation in
rebellion and what amounts to such participation. Almost every man--the
negro as well as the white--above 21 years of age who was resident in
these ten States during the rebellion, voluntarily or involuntarily, at
some time and in some way did participate in resistance to the lawful
authority of the General Government. The question with the citizen to
whom this oath is to be proposed must be a fearful one, for while the
bill does not declare that perjury may be assigned for such false
swearing nor fix any penalty for the offense, we must not forget that
martial law prevails; that every person is answerable to a military
commission, without previous presentment by a grand jury, for any charge
that may be made against him, and that the supreme authority of the
military commander determines the question as to what is an offense
and what is to be the measure of punishment.

The fourth section of the bill provides "that the commanding general of
each district shall appoint as many boards of registration as may be
necessary, consisting of three loyal officers or persons." The only
qualification stated for these officers is that they must be "loyal."
They may be persons in the military service or civilians, residents of
the State or strangers. Yet these persons are to exercise most important
duties and are vested with unlimited discretion. They are to decide what
names shall be placed upon the register and from their decision there is
to be no appeal. They are to superintend the elections and to decide all
questions which may arise. They are to have the custody of the ballots
and to make return of the persons elected. Whatever frauds or errors
they may commit must pass without redress. All that is left for the
commanding general is to receive the returns of the elections, open the
same, and ascertain who are chosen "according to the returns of the
officers who conducted said elections." By such means and with this
sort of agency are the conventions of delegates to be constituted.

As the delegates are to speak for the people, common justice would seem
to require that they should have authority from the people themselves.
No convention so constituted will in any sense represent the wishes of
the inhabitants of these States, for under the all-embracing exceptions
of these laws, by a construction which the uncertainty of the clause as
to disfranchisement leaves open to the board of officers, the great body
of the people may be excluded from the polls and from all opportunity of
expressing their own wishes or voting for delegates who will faithfully
reflect their sentiments.

I do not deem it necessary further to investigate the details of this
bill. No consideration could induce me to give my approval to such an
election law for any purpose, and especially for the great purpose of
framing the constitution of a State. If ever the American citizen should
be left to the free exercise of his own judgment it is when he is
engaged in the work of forming the fundamental law under which he is to
live. That work is his work, and it can not properly be taken out of his
hands. All this legislation proceeds upon the contrary assumption that
the people of each of these States shall have no constitution except
such as may be arbitrarily dictated by Congress and formed under the
restraint of military rule. A plain statement of facts makes this
evident.

In all these States there are existing constitutions, framed in the
accustomed way by the people. Congress, however, declares that these
constitutions are not "loyal and republican," and requires the people to
form them anew. What, then, in the opinion of Congress, is necessary to
make the constitution of a State "loyal and republican"? The original
act answers the question: It is universal negro suffrage--a question
which the Federal Constitution leaves exclusively to the States
themselves. All this legislative machinery of martial law, military
coercion, and political disfranchisement is avowedly for that purpose
and none other. The existing constitutions of the ten States conform to
the acknowledged standards of loyalty and republicanism. Indeed, if
there are degrees in republican forms of government, their constitutions
are more republican now than when these States, four of which were
members of the original thirteen, first became members of the Union.

Congress does not now demand that a single provision of their
constitutions be changed except such as confine suffrage to the white
population. It is apparent, therefore, that these provisions do not
conform to the standard of republicanism which Congress seeks to
establish. That there may be no mistake, it is only necessary that
reference should be made to the original act, which declares "such
constitution shall provide that the elective franchise shall be enjoyed
by all such persons as have the qualifications herein stated for
electors of delegates." What class of persons is here meant clearly
appears in the same section; that is to say, "the male citizens of said
State 21 years old and upward, of whatever race, color, or previous
condition, who have been resident in said State for one year previous
to the day of such election."

Without these provisions no constitution which can be framed in any one
of the ten States will be of any avail with Congress. This, then, is the
test of what the constitution of a State of this Union must contain to
make it republican. Measured by such a standard, how few of the States
now composing the Union have republican constitutions! If in the
exercise of the constitutional guaranty that Congress shall secure to
every State a republican form of government universal suffrage for
blacks as well as whites is a _sine qua non_, the work of reconstruction
may as well begin in Ohio as in Virginia, in Pennsylvania as in North
Carolina.

When I contemplate the millions of our fellow-citizens of the South
with no alternative left but to impose upon themselves this fearful
and untried experiment of complete negro enfranchisement--and white
disfranchisement, it may be, almost as complete--or submit indefinitely
to the rigor of martial law, without a single attribute of freemen,
deprived of all the sacred guaranties of our Federal Constitution, and
threatened with even worse wrongs, if any worse are possible, it seems
to me their condition is the most deplorable to which any people can be
reduced. It is true that they have been engaged in rebellion and that
their object being a separation of the States and a dissolution of the
Union there was an obligation resting upon every loyal citizen to treat
them as enemies and to wage war against their cause.

Inflexibly opposed to any movement imperiling the integrity of the
Government, I did not hesitate to urge the adoption of all measures
necessary for the suppression of the insurrection. After a long and
terrible struggle the efforts of the Government were triumphantly
successful, and the people of the South, submitting to the stern
arbitrament, yielded forever the issues of the contest. Hostilities
terminated soon after it became my duty to assume the responsibilities
of the chief executive officer of the Republic, and I at once endeavored
to repress and control the passions which our civil strife had
engendered, and, no longer regarding these erring millions as enemies,
again acknowledged them as our friends and our countrymen. The war had
accomplished its objects. The nation was saved and that seminal
principle of mischief which from the birth of the Government had
gradually but inevitably brought on the rebellion was totally
eradicated. Then, it seemed to me, was the auspicious time to commence
the work of reconciliation; then, when these people sought once more our
friendship and protection, I considered it our duty generously to meet
them in the spirit of charity and forgiveness and to conquer them even
more effectually by the magnanimity of the nation than by the force of
its arms. I yet believe that if the policy of reconciliation then
inaugurated, and which contemplated an early restoration of these people
to all their political rights, had received the support of Congress,
every one of these ten States and all their people would at this moment
be fast anchored in the Union and the great work which gave the war all
its sanction and made it just and holy would have been accomplished.
Then over all the vast and fruitful regions of the South peace and its
blessings would have prevailed, while now millions are deprived of
rights guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen and after nearly
two years of legislation find themselves placed under an absolute
military despotism. "A military republic, a government founded on mock
elections and supported only by the sword," was nearly a quarter of a
century since pronounced by Daniel Webster, when speaking of the South
American States, as "a movement, indeed, but a retrograde and disastrous
movement, from the regular and old-fashioned monarchical systems;" and
he added:

If men would enjoy the blessings of republican government, they must
govern themselves by reason, by mutual counsel and consultation, by a
sense and feeling of general interest, and by the acquiescence of the
minority in the will of the majority, properly expressed; and, above
all, the military must be kept, according to the language of our bill of
rights, in strict subordination to the civil authority. Wherever this
lesson is not both learned and practiced there can be no political
freedom. Absurd, preposterous is it, a scoff and a satire on free forms
of constitutional liberty, for frames of government to be prescribed by
military leaders and the right of suffrage to be exercised at the point
of the sword.

I confidently believe that a time will come when these States will again
occupy their true positions in the Union. The barriers which now seem so
obstinate must yield to the force of an enlightened and just public
opinion, and sooner or later unconstitutional and oppressive legislation
will be effaced from our statute books. When this shall have been
consummated, I pray God that the errors of the past may be forgotten and
that once more we shall be a happy, united, and prosperous people, and
that at last, after the bitter and eventful experience through which the
nation has passed, we shall all come to know that our only safety is in
the preservation of our Federal Constitution and in according to every
American citizen and to every State the rights which that Constitution
secures.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 10, 1867_.[28]

The first session of the Fortieth Congress adjourned on the 30th day
of March, 1867. This bill,[29] which was passed during that session,
was not presented for my approval by the Hon. Edmund G. Ross, of the
Senate of the United States, and a member of the Committee on Enrolled
Bills, until Monday, the 1st day of April, 1867, two days after the
adjournment. It is not believed that the approval of any bill after
the adjournment of Congress, whether presented before or after such
adjournment, is authorized by the Constitution of the United States,
that instrument expressly declaring that no bill shall become a law the
return of which may have been prevented by the adjournment of Congress.
To concede that under the Constitution the President, after the
adjournment of Congress, may, without limitation in respect to time,
exercise the power of approval, and thus determine at his discretion
whether or not bills shall become laws, might subject the executive and
legislative departments of the Government to influences most pernicious
to correct legislation and sound public morals, and--with a single
exception, occurring during the prevalence of civil war--would be
contrary to the established practice of the Government from its
inauguration to the present time. This bill will therefore be filed
in the office of the Secretary of State without my approval.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[Footnote 28: Pocket veto. Was never sent to Congress, but was deposited
in the Department of State.]

[Footnote 29: Joint resolution placing certain troops of Missouri on an
equal footing with others as to bounties.]

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 19, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I return herewith the bill entitled "An act supplementary to an act
entitled 'An act to provide for the more efficient government of the
rebel States,' passed on the 2d day of March, 1867, and the act
supplementary thereto, passed, on the 23d day of March, 1867," and will
state as briefly as possible some of the reasons which prevent me from
giving it my approval.

This is one of a series of measures passed by Congress during the last
four months on the subject of reconstruction. The message returning the
act of the 2d of March last states at length my objections to the
passage of that measure. They apply equally well to the bill now before
me, and I am content merely to refer to them and to reiterate my
conviction that they are sound and unanswerable.

There are some points peculiar to this bill, which I will proceed at
once to consider.

The first section purports to declare "the true intent and meaning,"
in some particulars, of the two prior acts upon this subject.

It is declared that the intent of those acts was, first, that the
existing governments in the ten "rebel States" "were not legal State
governments," and, second, "that thereafter said governments, if
continued, were to be continued subject in all respects to the military
commanders of the respective districts and to the paramount authority
of Congress."

Congress may by a declaratory act fix upon a prior act a
construction altogether at variance with its apparent meaning, and
from the time, at least, when such a construction is fixed the original
act will be construed to mean exactly what it is stated to mean by the
declaratory statute. There will be, then, from the time this bill may
become a law no doubt, no question, as to the relation in which the
"existing governments" in those States, called in the original act "the
provisional governments," stand toward the military authority. As those
relations stood before the declaratory act, these "governments," it is
true, were made subject to absolute military authority in many important
respects, but not in all, the language of the act being "subject to the
military authority of the United States, as hereinafter prescribed."
By the sixth section of the original act these governments were made
"in all respects subject to the paramount authority of the United
States."

Now by this declaratory act it appears that Congress did not by the
original act intend to limit the military authority to any particulars
or subjects therein "prescribed," but meant to make it universal. Thus
over all of these ten States this military government is now declared to
have unlimited authority. It is no longer confined to the preservation
of the public peace, the administration of criminal law, the
registration of voters, and the superintendence of elections, but
"in all respects" is asserted to be paramount to the existing civil
governments.

It is impossible to conceive any state of society more intolerable than
this; and yet it is to this condition that 12,000,000 American citizens
are reduced by the Congress of the United States. Over every foot of the
immense territory occupied by these American citizens the Constitution
of the United States is theoretically in full operation. It binds all
the people there and should protect them; yet they are denied every
one of its sacred guaranties.

Of what avail will it be to any one of these Southern people when
seized by a file of soldiers to ask for the cause of arrest or for the
production of the warrant? Of what avail to ask for the privilege of
bail when in military custody, which knows no such thing as bail? Of
what avail to demand a trial by jury, process for witnesses, a copy of
the indictment, the privilege of counselor that greater privilege, the
writ of _habeas corpus_?

The veto of the original bill of the 2d of March was based on two
distinct grounds--the interference of Congress in matters strictly
appertaining to the reserved powers of the States and the establishment
of military tribunals for the trial of citizens in time of peace.
The impartial reader of that message will understand that all that
it contains with respect to military despotism and martial law has
reference especially to the fearful power conferred on the district
commanders to displace the criminal courts and assume jurisdiction to
try and to punish by military boards; that, potentially, the suspension
of the _habeas corpus_ was martial law and military despotism. The act
now before me not only declares that the intent was to confer such
military authority, but also to confer unlimited military authority over
all the other courts of the State and over all the officers of the
State--legislative, executive, and judicial. Not content with the
general grant of power, Congress, in the second section of this bill,
specifically gives to each military commander the power "to suspend or
remove from office, or from the performance of official duties and
the exercise of official powers, any officer or person holding or
exercising, or professing to hold or exercise, any civil or military
office or duty in such district under any power, election, appointment,
or authority derived from, or granted by, or claimed under any so-called
State, or the government thereof, or any municipal or other division
thereof."

A power that hitherto all the departments of the Federal Government,
acting in concert or separately, have not dared to exercise is here
attempted to be conferred on a subordinate military officer. To him,
as a military officer of the Federal Government, is given the power,
supported by "a sufficient military force," to remove every civil
officer of the State. What next? The district commander, who has thus
displaced the civil officer, is authorized to fill the vacancy by the
detail of an officer or soldier of the Army, or by the appointment of
"some other person."

This military appointee, whether an officer, a soldier, or "some
other person," is to perform "the duties of such officer or person so
suspended or removed." In other words, an officer or soldier of the Army
is thus transformed into a civil officer. He may be made a governor,
a legislator, or a judge. However unfit he may deem himself for such
civil duties, he must obey the order. The officer of the Army must, if
"detailed," go upon the supreme bench of the State with the same prompt
obedience as if he were detailed to go upon a court-martial. The
soldier, if detailed to act as a justice of the peace, must obey as
quickly as if he were detailed for picket duty.

What is the character of such a military civil officer? This bill
declares that he shall perform the duties of the civil office to which
he is detailed. It is clear, however, that he does not lose his position
in the military service. He is still an officer or soldier of the Army;
he is still subject to the rules and regulations which govern it, and
must yield due deference, respect, and obedience toward his superiors.

The clear intent of this section is that the officer or soldier
detailed to fill a civil office must execute its duties according to the
laws of the State. If he is appointed a governor of a State, he is to
execute the duties as provided by the laws of that State, and for the
time being his military character is to be suspended in his new civil
capacity. If he is appointed a State treasurer, he must at once assume
the custody and disbursement of the funds of the State, and must perform
those duties precisely according to the laws of the State, for he is
intrusted with no other official duty or other official power. Holding
the office of treasurer and intrusted with funds, it happens that he is
required by the State laws to enter into bond with security and to take
an oath of office; yet from the beginning of the bill to the end there
is no provision for any bond or oath of office, or for any single
qualification required under the State law, such as residence,
citizenship, or anything else. The only oath is that provided for in the
ninth section, by the terms of which everyone detailed or appointed to
any civil office in the State is required "to take and to subscribe the
oath of office prescribed by law for officers of the United States."
Thus an officer of the Army of the United States detailed to fill a
civil office in one of these States gives no official bond and takes
no official oath for the performance of his new duties, but as a civil
officer of the State only takes the same oath which he had already taken
as a military officer of the United States. He is, at last, a military
officer performing civil duties, and the authority under which he acts
is Federal authority only; and the inevitable result is that the Federal
Government, by the agency of its own sworn officers, in effect assumes
the civil government of the State.

A singular contradiction is apparent here. Congress declares these local
State governments to be illegal governments, and then provides that
these illegal governments shall be carried on by Federal officers, who
are to perform the very duties imposed on its own officers by this
illegal State authority. It certainly would be a novel spectacle if
Congress should attempt to carry on a _legal_ State government by the
agency of its own officers. It is yet more strange that Congress
attempts to sustain and carry on an _illegal_ State government by the
same Federal agency.

In this connection I must call attention to the tenth and eleventh
sections of the bill, which provide that none of the officers or
appointees of these military commanders "shall be bound in his action by
any opinion of any civil officer of the United States," and that all the
provisions of the act "shall be construed liberally, to the end that all
the intents thereof may be fully and perfectly carried out."

It seems Congress supposed that this bill might require construction,
and they fix, therefore, the rule to be applied. But where is the
construction to come from? Certainly no one can be more in want of
instruction than a soldier or an officer of the Army detailed for a
civil service, perhaps the most important in a State, with the duties of
which he is altogether unfamiliar. This bill says he shall not be bound
in his action by the opinion of any civil officer of the United States.
The duties of the office are altogether civil, but when he asks for an
opinion he can only ask the opinion of another military officer, who,
perhaps, understands as little of his duties as he does himself; and as
to his "action," he is answerable to the military authority, and to the
military authority alone. Strictly, no opinion of any civil officer
other than a judge has a binding force.

But these military appointees would not be bound even by a judicial
opinion. They might very well say, even when their action is in conflict
with the Supreme Court of the United States, "That court is composed of
civil officers of the United States, and we are not bound to conform our
action to any opinion of any such authority."

This bill and the acts to which it is supplementary are all founded upon
the assumption that these ten communities are not States and that their
existing governments are not legal. Throughout the legislation upon this
subject they are called "rebel States," and in this particular bill they
are denominated "so-called States," and the vice of illegality is
declared to pervade all of them. The obligations of consistency bind a
legislative body as well as the individuals who compose it. It is now
too late to say that these ten political communities are not States of
this Union. Declarations to the contrary made in these three acts are
contradicted again and again by repeated acts of legislation enacted by
Congress from the year 1861 to the year 1867.

During that period, while these States were in actual rebellion, and
after that rebellion was brought to a close, they have been again and
again recognized as States of the Union. Representation has been
apportioned to them as States. They have been divided into judicial
districts for the holding of district and circuit courts of the United
States, as States of the Union only can be districted. The last act on
this subject was passed July 23, 1866, by which every one of these ten
States was arranged into districts and circuits.

They have been called upon by Congress to act through their legislatures
upon at least two amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
As States they have ratified one amendment, which required the vote
of twenty-seven States of the thirty-six then composing the Union.
When the requisite twenty-seven votes were given in favor of that
amendment--seven of which votes were given by seven of these ten
States--it was proclaimed to be a part of the Constitution of the United
States, and slavery was declared no longer to exist within the United
States or any place subject to their jurisdiction. If these seven States
were not legal States of the Union, it follows as an inevitable
consequence that in some of the States slavery yet exists. It does not
exist in these seven States, for they have abolished it also in their
State constitutions; but Kentucky not having done so, it would still
remain in that State. But, in truth, if this assumption that these
States have no legal State governments be true, then the abolition of
slavery by these illegal governments binds no one, for Congress now
denies to these States the power to abolish slavery by denying to them
the power to elect a legal State legislature, or to frame a constitution
for any purpose, even for such a purpose as the abolition of slavery.

As to the other constitutional amendment, having reference to suffrage,
it happens that these States have not accepted it. The consequence is
that it has never been proclaimed or understood, even by Congress, to be
a part of the Constitution of the United States. The Senate of the
United States has repeatedly given its sanction to the appointment of
judges, district attorneys, and marshals for every one of these States;
yet, if they are not legal States, not one of these judges is authorized
to hold a court. So, too, both Houses of Congress have passed
appropriation bills to pay all these judges, attorneys, and officers of
the United States for exercising their functions in these States. Again,
in the machinery of the internal-revenue laws all these States are
districted, not as "Territories," but as "States."

So much for continuous legislative recognition. The instances cited,
however, fall far short of all that might be enumerated. Executive
recognition, as is well known, has been frequent and unwavering. The
same maybe said as to judicial recognition through the Supreme Court of
the United States. That august tribunal, from first to last, in the
administration of its duties _in banc_ and upon the circuit, has never
failed to recognize these ten communities as legal States of the Union.
The cases depending in that court upon appeal and writ of error from
these States when the rebellion began have not been dismissed upon any
idea of the cessation of jurisdiction. They were carefully continued
from term to term until the rebellion was entirely subdued and peace
reestablished, and then they were called for argument and consideration
as if no insurrection had intervened. New cases, occurring since the
rebellion, have come from these States before that court by writ of
error and appeal, and even by original suit, where only "a State" can
bring such a suit. These cases are entertained by that tribunal in the
exercise of its acknowledged jurisdiction, which could not attach to
them if they had come from any political body other than a State of the
Union. Finally, in the allotment of their circuits made by the judges at
the December term, 1865, every one of these States is put on the same
footing of legality with all the other States of the Union. Virginia
and North Carolina, being a part of the fourth circuit, are allotted to
the Chief Justice. South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and
Florida constitute the fifth circuit, and are allotted to the late Mr.
Justice Wayne. Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas are allotted to the sixth
judicial circuit, as to which there is a vacancy on the bench.

The Chief Justice, in the exercise of his circuit duties, has recently
held a circuit court in the State of North Carolina. If North Carolina
is not a State of this Union, the Chief Justice had no authority to hold
a court there, and every order, judgment, and decree rendered by him in
that court were _coram non judice_ and void.

Another ground on which these reconstruction acts are attempted to be
sustained is this: That these ten States are conquered territory; that
the constitutional relation in which they stood as States toward the
Federal Government prior to the rebellion has given place to a new
relation; that their territory is a conquered country and their citizens
a conquered people, and that in this new relation Congress can govern
them by military power.

A title by conquest stands on clear ground; it is a new title acquired
by war; it applies only to territory; for goods or movable things
regularly captured in war are called "booty," or, if taken by individual
soldiers, "plunder."

There is not a foot of the land in any one of these ten States which
the United States holds by conquest, save only such land as did not
belong to either of these States or to any individual owner. I mean such
lands as did belong to the pretended government called the Confederate
States. These lands we may claim to hold by conquest. As to all other
land or territory, whether belonging to the States or to individuals,
the Federal Government has now no more title or right to it than
it had before the rebellion. Our own forts, arsenals, navy-yards,
custom-houses, and other Federal property situate in those States we
now hold, not by the title of conquest, but by our old title, acquired
by purchase or condemnation for public use, with compensation to
former owners. We have not conquered these places, but have simply
"repossessed" them.

If we require more sites for forts, custom-houses, or other public use,
we must acquire the title to them by purchase or appropriation in the
regular mode. At this moment the United States, in the acquisition of
sites for national cemeteries in these States, acquires title in the
same way. The Federal courts sit in court-houses owned or leased by the
United States, not in the court-houses of the States. The United States
pays each of these States for the use of its jails. Finally, the United
States levies its direct taxes and its internal revenue upon the
property in these States, including the productions of the lands within
their territorial limits, not by way of levy and contribution in the
character of a conqueror, but in the regular way of taxation, under the
same laws which apply to all the other States of the Union.

From first to last, during the rebellion and since, the title of each of
these States to the lands and public buildings owned by them has never
been disturbed, and not a foot of it has ever been acquired by the
United States, even under a title by confiscation, and not a foot of
it has ever been taxed under Federal law.

In conclusion I must respectfully ask the attention of Congress to the
consideration of one more question arising under this bill. It vests in
the military commander, subject only to the approval of the General of
the Army of the United States, an unlimited power to remove from office
any civil or military officer in each of these ten States, and the
further power, subject to the same approval, to detail or appoint any
military officer or soldier of the United States to perform the duties
of the officer so removed, and to fill all vacancies occurring in those
States by death, resignation, or otherwise.

The military appointee thus required to perform the duties of a
civil office according to the laws of the State, and, as such, required
to take an oath, is for the time being a civil officer. What is his
character? Is he a civil officer of the State or a civil officer of the
United States? If he is a civil officer of the State, where is the
Federal power under our Constitution which authorizes his appointment by
any Federal officer? If, however, he is to be considered a civil officer
of the United States, as his appointment and oath would seem to
indicate, where is the authority for his appointment vested by the
Constitution? The power of appointment of all officers of the United
States, civil or military, where not provided for in the Constitution,
is vested in the President, by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, with this exception, that Congress "may by law vest the
appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the
President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of Departments."
But this bill, if these are to be considered inferior officers within
the meaning of the Constitution, does not provide for their appointment
by the President alone, or by the courts of law, or by the heads of
Departments, but vests the appointment in one subordinate executive
officer, subject to the approval of another subordinate executive
officer. So that, if we put this question and fix the character of this
military appointee either way, this provision of the bill is equally
opposed to the Constitution.

Take the case of a soldier or officer appointed to perform the office
of judge in one of these States, and, as such, to administer the
proper laws of the State. Where is the authority to be found in the
Constitution for vesting in a military or an executive officer strict
judicial functions to be exercised under State law? It has been again
and again decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that acts
of Congress which have attempted to vest _executive_ powers in the
_judicial_ courts or judges of the United States are not warranted by
the Constitution. If Congress can not clothe _a judge_ with merely
_executive_ duties, how can they clothe _an officer_ or _soldier_ of the
Army with _judicial_ duties over citizens of the United States who are
not in the military or naval service? So, too, it has been repeatedly
decided that Congress can not require a State officer, executive or
judicial, to perform any duty enjoined upon him by a law of the United
States. How, then, can Congress confer power upon an executive officer
of the United States to perform such duties in a State? If Congress
could not vest in a judge of one of these States any judicial authority
under the United States by direct enactment, how can it accomplish the
same thing indirectly, by removing the State judge and putting an
officer of the United States in his place?

To me these considerations are conclusive of the unconstitutionality
of this part of the bill now before me, and I earnestly commend their
consideration to the deliberate judgment of Congress.

Within a period less than a year the legislation of Congress has
attempted to strip the executive department of the Government of some
of its essential powers. The Constitution and the oath provided in it
devolve upon the President the power and duty to see that the laws are
faithfully executed. The Constitution, in order to carry out this power,
gives him the choice of the agents, and makes them subject to his
control and supervision. But in the execution of these laws the
constitutional obligation upon the President remains, but the power
to exercise that constitutional duty is effectually taken away. The
military commander is as to the power of appointment made to take the
place of the President, and the General of the Army the place of the
Senate; and any attempt on the part of the President to assert his own
constitutional power may, under pretense of law, be met by official
insubordination. It is to be feared that these military officers,
looking to the authority given by these laws rather than to the letter
of the Constitution, will recognize no authority but the commander of
the district and the General of the Army.

If there were no other objection than this to this proposed legislation,
it would be sufficient. Whilst I hold the chief executive authority of
the United States, whilst the obligation rests upon me to see that all
the laws are faithfully executed, I can never willingly surrender that
trust or the powers given for its execution. I can never give my assent
to be made responsible for the faithful execution of laws, and at the
same time surrender that trust and the powers which accompany it to any
other executive officer, high or low, or to any number of executive
officers. If this executive trust, vested by the Constitution in the
President, is to be taken from him and vested in a subordinate officer,
the responsibility will be with Congress in clothing the subordinate
with unconstitutional power and with the officer who assumes its
exercise.

This interference with the constitutional authority of the executive
department is an evil that will inevitably sap the foundations of our
federal system; but it is not the worst evil of this legislation. It is
a great public wrong to take from the President powers conferred on him
alone by the Constitution, but the wrong is more flagrant and more
dangerous when the powers so taken from the President are conferred upon
subordinate executive officers, and especially upon military officers.
Over nearly one-third of the States of the Union military power,
regulated by no fixed law, rules supreme. Each one of the five district
commanders, though not chosen by the people or responsible to them,
exercises at this hour more executive power, military and civil, than
the people have ever been willing to confer upon the head of the
executive department, though chosen by and responsible to themselves.
The remedy must come from the people themselves. They know what it is
and how it is to be applied. At the present time they can not, according
to the forms of the Constitution, repeal these laws; they can not remove
or control this military despotism. The remedy is, nevertheless, in
their hands; it is to be found in the ballot, and is a sure one if
not controlled by fraud, overawed by arbitrary power, or, from apathy
on their part, too long delayed. With abiding confidence in their
patriotism, wisdom, and integrity, I am still hopeful of the future, and
that in the end the rod of despotism will be broken, the armed heel of
power lifted from the necks of the people, and the principles of a
violated Constitution preserved.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _July 19, 1867_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

For reasons heretofore stated in my several veto messages to Congress
upon the subject of reconstruction, I return without my approval the
"Joint resolution to carry into effect the several acts providing for
the more efficient government of the rebel States," and appropriating
for that purpose the sum of $1,000,000.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by the Constitution of the United States the executive power is
vested in a President of the United States of America, who is bound by
solemn oath faithfully to execute the office of President and to the
best of his ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of
the United States, and is by the same instrument made Commander in Chief
of the Army and Navy of the United States and is required to take care
that the laws be faithfully executed; and

Whereas by the same Constitution it is provided that the said
Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in
pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges
in every State shall be bound thereby; and

Whereas in and by the same Constitution the judicial power of the United
States is vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as
Congress may from time to time ordain and establish, and the aforesaid
judicial power is declared to extend to all cases in law and equity
arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and the
treaties which shall be made under their authority; and

Whereas all officers, civil and military, are bound by oath that they
will support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign
and domestic, and will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and

Whereas all officers of the Army and Navy of the United States, in
accepting their commissions under the laws of Congress and the Rules and
Articles of War, incur an obligation to observe, obey, and follow such
directions as they shall from time to time receive from the President or
the General or other superior officers set over them according to the
rules and discipline of war; and

Whereas it is provided by law that whenever, by reason of unlawful
obstructions, combinations, or assemblages of persons or rebellion
against the authority of the Government of the United States, it shall
become impracticable, in the judgment of the President of the United

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