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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant by James D. Richardson

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expense in preparing their claims and obtaining the evidence in their
support, suggests a short extension, to enable the court to dispose of
all of the claims which have been presented.

I recommend the legislation which may be deemed proper to enable the
court to complete the work before it.

I recommend that some suitable provision be made, by the creation of
a special court or by conferring the necessary jurisdiction upon some
appropriate tribunal, for the consideration and determination of the
claims of aliens against the Government of the United States which have
arisen within some reasonable limitation of time, or which may hereafter
arise, excluding all claims barred by treaty provisions or otherwise. It
has been found impossible to give proper consideration to these claims
by the Executive Departments of the Government. Such a tribunal would
afford an opportunity to aliens other than British subjects to present
their claims on account of acts committed against their persons or
property during the rebellion, as also to those subjects of Great
Britain whose claims, having arisen subsequent to the 9th day of April,
1865, could not be presented to the late commission organized pursuant
to the provisions of the treaty of Washington.

The electric telegraph has become an essential and indispensable agent
in the transmission of business and social messages. Its operation on
land, and within the limit of particular states, is necessarily under
the control of the jurisdiction within which it operates. The lines on
the high seas, however, are not subject to the particular control of any
one government.

In 1869 a concession was granted by the French Government to a company
which proposed to lay a cable from the shores of France to the United
States. At that time there was a telegraphic connection between the
United States and the continent of Europe (through the possessions
of Great Britain at either end of the line), under the control of an
association which had, at large outlay of capital and at great risk,
demonstrated the practicability of maintaining such means of
communication. The cost of correspondence by this agency was great,
possibly not too large at the time for a proper remuneration for so
hazardous and so costly an enterprise. It was, however, a heavy charge
upon a means of communication which the progress in the social and
commercial intercourse of the world found to be a necessity, and the
obtaining of this French concession showed that other capital than that
already invested was ready to enter into competition, with assurance of
adequate return for their outlay. Impressed with the conviction that the
interests, not only of the people of the United States, but of the world
at large, demanded, or would demand, the multiplication of such means
of communication between separated continents, I was desirous that the
proposed connection should be made; but certain provisions of this
concession were deemed by me to be objectionable, particularly one
which gave for a long term of years the exclusive right of telegraphic
communication by submarine cable between the shores of France and the
United States. I could not concede that any power should claim the right
to land a cable on the shores of the United States and at the same time
deny to the United States, or to its citizens or grantees, an equal
right to land a cable on its shores. The right to control the conditions
for the laying of a cable within the jurisdictional waters of the United
States, to connect our shores with those of any foreign state, pertains
exclusively to the Government of the United States, under such
limitations and conditions as Congress may impose. In the absence of
legislation by Congress I was unwilling, on the one hand, to yield to
a foreign state the right to say that its grantees might land on our
shores while it denied a similar right to our people to land on its
shores, and, on the other hand, I was reluctant to deny to the great
interests of the world and of civilization the facilities of such
communication as were proposed. I therefore withheld any resistance
to the landing of the cable on condition that the offensive monopoly
feature of the concession be abandoned, and that the right of any cable
which may be established by authority of this Government to land upon
French territory and to connect with French land lines and enjoy all the
necessary facilities or privileges incident to the use thereof upon as
favorable terms as any other company be conceded. As the result thereof
the company in question renounced the exclusive privilege, and the
representative of France was informed that, understanding this
relinquishment to be construed as granting the entire reciprocity and
equal facilities which had been demanded, the opposition to the landing
of the cable was withdrawn. The cable, under this French concession,
was landed in the month of July, 1869, and has been an efficient and
valuable agent of communication between this country and the other
continent. It soon passed under the control, however, of those who
had the management of the cable connecting Great Britain with this
continent, and thus whatever benefit to the public might have ensued
from competition between the two lines was lost, leaving only the
greater facilities of an additional line and the additional security in
case of accident to one of them. But these increased facilities and this
additional security, together with the control of the combined capital
of the two companies, gave also greater power to prevent the future
construction of other lines and to limit the control of telegraphic
communication between the two continents to those possessing the lines
already laid. Within a few months past a cable has been laid, known as
the United States Direct Cable Company, connecting the United States
directly with Great Britain. As soon as this cable was reported to be
laid and in working order the rates of the then existing consolidated
companies were greatly reduced. Soon, however, a break was announced in
this new cable, and immediately the rates of the other line, which had
been reduced, were again raised. This cable being now repaired, the
rates appear not to be reduced by either line from those formerly
charged by the consolidated companies.

There is reason to believe that large amounts of capital, both at home
and abroad, are ready to seek profitable investment in the advancement
of this useful and most civilizing means of intercourse and
correspondence. They await, however, the assurance of the means and
conditions on which they may safely be made tributary to the general

As these cable telegraph lines connect separate states, there are
questions as to their organization and control which probably can be
best, if not solely, settled by conventions between the respective
states. In the absence, however, of international conventions on the
subject, municipal legislation may secure many points which appear to me
important, if not indispensable for the protection of the public against
the extortions which may result from a monopoly of the right of
operating cable telegrams or from a combination between several lines:

I. No line should be allowed to land on the shores of the United States
under the concession from another power which does not admit the right
of any other line or lines, formed in the United States, to land and
freely connect with and operate through its land lines.

II. No line should be allowed to land on the shores of the United States
which is not, by treaty stipulation with the government from whose
shores it proceeds, or by prohibition in its charter, or otherwise to
the satisfaction of this Government, prohibited from consolidating or
amalgamating with any other cable telegraph line, or combining therewith
for the purpose of regulating and maintaining the cost of telegraphing.

III. All lines should be bound to give precedence in the transmission of
the official messages of the governments of the two countries between
which it may be laid.

IV. A power should be reserved to the two governments, either conjointly
or to each, as regards the messages dispatched from its shores, to fix a
limit to the charges to be demanded for the transmission of messages.

I present this subject to the earnest consideration of Congress.

In the meantime, and unless Congress otherwise direct, I shall not
oppose the landing of any telegraphic cable which complies with and
assents to the points above enumerated, but will feel it my duty to
prevent the landing of any which does not conform to the first and
second points as stated, and which will not stipulate to concede to this
Government the precedence in the transmission of its official messages
and will not enter into a satisfactory arrangement with regard to its

Among the pressing and important subjects to which, in my opinion,
the attention of Congress should be directed are those relating to
fraudulent naturalization and expatriation.

The United States, with great liberality, offers its citizenship
to all who in good faith comply with the requirements of law. These
requirements are as simple and upon as favorable terms to the emigrant
as the high privilege to which he is admitted can or should permit.
I do not propose any additional requirements to those which the law now
demands; but the very simplicity and the want of unnecessary formality
in our law have made fraudulent naturalization not infrequent, to
the discredit and injury of all honest citizens, whether native or
naturalized. Cases of this character are continually being brought to
the notice of the Government by our representatives abroad, and also
those of persons resident in other countries, most frequently those who,
if they have remained in this country long enough to entitle them to
become naturalized, have generally not much overpassed that period,
and have returned to the country of their origin, where they reside,
avoiding all duties to the United States by their absence, and claiming
to be exempt from all duties to the country of their nativity and of
their residence by reason of their alleged naturalization. It is due to
this Government itself and to the great mass of the naturalized citizens
who entirely, both in name and in fact, become citizens of the United
States that the high privilege of citizenship of the United States
should not be held by fraud or in derogation of the laws and of the good
name of every honest citizen. On many occasions it has been brought to
the knowledge of the Government that certificates of naturalization are
held and protection or interference claimed by parties who admit that
not only they were not within the United States at the time of the
pretended naturalization, but that they have never resided in the United
States; in others the certificate and record of the court show on their
face that the person claiming to be naturalized had not resided the
required time in the United States; in others it is admitted upon
examination that the requirements of law have not been complied with;
in some cases, even, such certificates have been matter of purchase.
These are not isolated cases, arising at rare intervals, but of common
occurrence, and which are reported from all quarters of the globe. Such
occurrences can not, and do not, fail to reflect upon the Government
and injure all honest citizens. Such a fraud being discovered, however,
there is no practicable means within the control of the Government
by which the record of naturalization can be vacated; and should the
certificate be taken up, as it usually is, by the diplomatic and
consular representatives of the Government to whom it may have been
presented, there is nothing to prevent the person claiming to have been
naturalized from obtaining a new certificate from the court in place of
that which has been taken from him.

The evil has become so great and of such frequent occurrence that I can
not too earnestly recommend that some effective measures be adopted to
provide a proper remedy and means for the vacating of any record thus
fraudulently made, and of punishing the guilty parties to the

In this connection I refer also to the question of expatriation and the
election of nationality.

The United States was foremost in upholding the right of expatriation,
and was principally instrumental in overthrowing the doctrine of
perpetual allegiance. Congress has declared the right of expatriation
to be a natural and inherent right of all people; but while many other
nations have enacted laws providing what formalities shall be necessary
to work a change of allegiance, the United States has enacted no
provisions of law and has in no respect marked out how and when
expatriation may be accomplished by its citizens. Instances are brought
to the attention of the Government where citizens of the United States,
either naturalized or native born, have formally become citizens or
subjects of foreign powers, but who, nevertheless, in the absence
of any provisions of legislation on this question, when involved in
difficulties or when it seems to be their interest, claim to be citizens
of the United States and demand the intervention of a Government which
they have long since abandoned and to which for years they have rendered
no service nor held themselves in any way amenable.

In other cases naturalized citizens, immediately after
naturalization, have returned to their native country; have become
engaged in business; have accepted offices or pursuits inconsistent with
American citizenship, and evidence no intent to return to the United
States until called upon to discharge some duty to the country where
they are residing, when at once they assert their citizenship and call
upon the representatives of the Government to aid them in their unjust
pretensions. It is but justice to all _bona fide_ citizens that no doubt
should exist on such questions, and that Congress should determine by
enactment of law how expatriation may be accomplished and change of
citizenship be established.

I also invite your attention to the necessity of regulating by law the
status of American women who may marry foreigners, and of defining more
fully that of children born in a foreign country of American parents
who may reside abroad; and also of some further provision regulating
or giving legal effect to marriages of American citizens contracted in
foreign countries. The correspondence submitted herewith shows a few
of the constantly occurring questions on these points presented to the
consideration of the Government. There are few subjects to engage the
attention of Congress on which more delicate relations or more important
interests are dependent.

In the month of July last the building erected for the Department
of State was taken possession of and occupied by that Department.
I am happy to announce that the archives and valuable papers of the
Government in the custody of that Department are now safely deposited
and properly cared for.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury shows the receipts
from customs for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1874, to have
been $163,103,833.69, and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1875,
to have been $157,167,722.35, a decrease for the last fiscal year of
$5,936,111.34. Receipts from internal revenue for the year ending the
30th of June, 1874, were $102,409,784.90, and for the year ending June
30, 1875, $110,007,493.58; increase, $7,597,708.68.

The report also shows a complete history of the workings of the
Department for the last year, and contains recommendations for reforms
and for legislation which I concur in, but can not comment on so fully
as I should like to do if space would permit, but will confine myself
to a few suggestions which I look upon as vital to the best interests
of the whole people--coining within the purview of "Treasury;" I mean
specie resumption. Too much stress can not be laid upon this question,
and I hope Congress may be induced, at the earliest day practicable,
to insure the consummation of the act of the last Congress, at its
last session, to bring about specie resumption "on and after the 1st of
January, 1879," at furthest. It would be a great blessing if this could
be consummated even at an earlier day.

Nothing seems to me more certain than that a full, healthy, and
permanent reaction can not take place in favor of the industries and
financial welfare of the country until we return to a measure of values
recognized throughout the civilized world. While we use a currency not
equivalent to this standard the world's recognized standard, specie,
becomes a commodity like the products of the soil, the surplus seeking
a market wherever there is a demand for it.

Under our present system we should want none, nor would we have any,
were it not that customs dues must be paid in coin and because of the
pledge to pay interest on the public debt in coin. The yield of precious
metals would flow out for the purchase of foreign productions and leave
the United States "hewers of wood and drawers of water," because of
wiser legislation on the subject of finance by the nations with whom
we have dealings. I am not prepared to say that I can suggest the best
legislation to secure the end most heartily recommended. It will be a
source of great gratification to me to be able to approve any measure
of Congress looking effectively toward securing "resumption."

Unlimited inflation would probably bring about specie payments more
speedily than any legislation looking to redemption of the legal-tenders
in coin; but it would be at the expense of honor. The legal-tenders
would have no value beyond settling present liabilities, or, properly
speaking, repudiating them. They would buy nothing after debts were all

There are a few measures which seem to me important in this connection
and which I commend to your earnest consideration:

A repeal of so much of the legal-tender act as makes these notes
receivable for debts contracted after a date to be fixed in the act
itself, say not later than the 1st of January, 1877. We should then have
quotations at real values, not fictitious ones. Gold would no longer be
at a premium, but currency at a discount. A healthy reaction would set
in at once, and with it a desire to make the currency equal to what it
purports to be. The merchants, manufacturers, and tradesmen of every
calling could do business on a fair margin of profit, the money to be
received having an unvarying value. Laborers and all classes who work
for stipulated pay or salary would receive more for their income,
because extra profits would no longer be charged by the capitalists to
compensate for the risk of a downward fluctuation in the value of the

Second. That the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized to redeem, say,
not to exceed $2,000,000 monthly of legal-tender notes, by issuing in
their stead a long bond, bearing interest at the rate of 3.65 per cent
per annum, of denominations ranging from $50 up to $1,000 each. This
would in time reduce the legal-tender notes to a volume that could be
kept afloat without demanding redemption in large sums suddenly.

Third. That additional power be given to the Secretary of the Treasury
to accumulate gold for final redemption, either by increasing revenue,
curtailing expenses, or both (it is preferable to do both); and I
recommend that reduction of expenditures be made wherever it can be done
without impairing Government obligations or crippling the due execution
thereof. One measure for increasing the revenue--and the only one I
think of--is the restoration of the duty on tea and coffee. These duties
would add probably $18,000,000 to the present amount received from
imports, and would in no way increase the prices paid for those articles
by the consumers.

These articles are the products of countries collecting revenue from
exports, and as we, the largest consumers, reduce the duties they
proportionately increase them. With this addition to the revenue, many
duties now collected, and which give but an insignificant return for the
cost of collection, might be remitted, and to the direct advantage of
consumers at home.

I would mention those articles which enter into manufactures of all
sorts. All duty paid upon such articles goes directly to the cost of the
article when manufactured here, and must be paid for by the consumers.
These duties not only come from the consumers at home, but act as a
protection to foreign manufacturers of the same completed articles in
our own and distant markets.

I will suggest or mention another subject bearing upon the problem of
"how to enable the Secretary of the Treasury to accumulate balances."
It is to devise some better method of verifying claims against the
Government than at present exists through the Court of Claims,
especially those claims growing out of the late war. Nothing is more
certain than that a very large percentage of the amounts passed and
paid are either wholly fraudulent or are far in excess of the real
losses sustained. The large amount of losses proven--on good testimony
according to existing laws, by affidavits of fictitious or unscrupulous
persons--to have been sustained on small farms and plantations are not
only far beyond the possible yield of those places for any one year,
but, as everyone knows who has had experience in tilling the soil and
who has visited the scenes of these spoliations, are in many instances
more than the individual claimants were ever worth, including their
personal and real estate.

The report of the Attorney-General, which will be submitted to Congress
at an early day, will contain a detailed history of awards made and of
claims pending of the class here referred to.

The report of the Secretary of War, accompanying this message, gives a
detailed account of Army operations for the year just passed, expenses
for maintenance, etc., with recommendations for legislation to which I
respectfully invite your attention. To some of these I invite special

First. The necessity of making $300,000 of the appropriation for the
Subsistence Department available before the beginning of the next fiscal
year. Without this provision troops at points distant from supply
production must either go without food or existing laws must be
violated. It is not attended with cost to the Treasury.

Second. His recommendation for the enactment of a system of annuities
for the families of deceased officers by voluntary deductions from the
monthly pay of officers. This again is not attended with burden upon the
Treasury, and would for the future relieve much distress which every old
army officer has witnessed in the past--of officers dying suddenly or
being killed, leaving families without even the means of reaching their
friends, if fortunate enough to have friends to aid them.

Third. The repeal of the law abolishing mileage, and a return to the old

Fourth. The trial with torpedoes under the Corps of Engineers, and
appropriation for the same. Should war ever occur between the United
States and any maritime power, torpedoes will be among if not the most
effective and cheapest auxiliary for the defense of harbors, and also in
aggressive operations, that we can have. Hence it is advisable to learn
by experiment their best construction and application, as well as

Fifth. A permanent organization for the Signal-Service Corps. This
service has now become a necessity of peace as well as war, under the
advancement made by the present able management.

Sixth. A renewal of the appropriation for compiling the official records
of the war, etc.

The condition of our Navy at this time is a subject of satisfaction.
It does not contain, it is true, any of the powerful cruising ironclads
which make so much of the maritime strength of some other nations, but
neither our continental situation nor our foreign policy requires that
we should have a large number of ships of this character, while this
situation and the nature of our ports combine to make those of other
nations little dangerous to us under any circumstances.

Our Navy does contain, however, a considerable number of ironclads of
the monitor class, which, though not properly cruisers, are powerful and
effective for harbor defense and for operations near our own shores.
Of these all the single-turreted ones, fifteen in number, have been
substantially rebuilt, their rotten wooden beams replaced with iron,
their hulls strengthened, and their engines and machinery thoroughly
repaired, so that they are now in the most efficient condition and ready
for sea as soon as they can be manned and put in commission.

The five double-turreted ironclads belonging to our Navy, by far the
most powerful of our ships for fighting purposes, are also in hand
undergoing complete repairs, and could be ready for sea in periods
varying from four to six months. With these completed according to the
present design and our two iron torpedo boats now ready, our ironclad
fleet will be, for the purposes of defense at home, equal to any force
that can readily be brought against it.

Of our wooden navy also cruisers of various sizes, to the number of
about forty, including those now in commission, are in the Atlantic, and
could be ready for duty as fast as men could be enlisted for those not
already in commission. Of these, one-third are in effect new ships, and
though some of the remainder need considerable repairs to their boilers
and machinery, they all are, or can readily be made, effective.

This constitutes a fleet of more than fifty war ships, of which fifteen
are ironclad, now in hand on the Atlantic coast. The Navy has been
brought to this condition by a judicious and practical application of
what could be spared from the current appropriations of the last few
years and from that made to meet the possible emergency of two years
ago. It has been done quietly, without proclamation or display, and
though it has necessarily straitened the Department in its ordinary
expenditure, and, as far as the ironclads are concerned, has added
nothing to the cruising force of the Navy, yet the result is not the
less satisfactory because it is to be found in a great increase of real
rather than apparent force. The expenses incurred in the maintenance of
an effective naval force in all its branches are necessarily large, but
such force is essential to our position, relations, and character, and
affects seriously the weight of our principles and policy throughout the
whole sphere of national responsibilities.

The estimates for the regular support of this branch of the service for
the next year amount to a little less in the aggregate than those made
for the current year; but some additional appropriations are asked for
objects not included in the ordinary maintenance of the Navy, but
believed to be of pressing importance at this time. It would, in my
opinion, be wise at once to afford sufficient means for the immediate
completion of the five double-turreted monitors now undergoing repairs,
which must otherwise advance slowly, and only as money can be spared
from current expenses. Supplemented by these, our Navy, armed with the
destructive weapons of modern warfare, manned by our seamen, and in
charge of our instructed officers, will present a force powerful for
the home purposes of a responsible though peaceful nation.

The report of the Postmaster-General herewith transmitted gives a full
history of the workings of the Department for the year just past. It
will be observed that the deficiency to be supplied from the General
Treasury is increased over the amount required for the preceding year.
In a country so vast in area as the United States, with large portions
sparsely settled, it must be expected that this important service will
be more or less a burden upon the Treasury for many years to come. But
there is no branch of the public service which interests the whole
people more than that of cheap and rapid transmission of the mails to
every inhabited part of our territory. Next to the free school, the
post-office is the great educator of the people, and it may well receive
the support of the General Government.

The subsidy of $150,000 per annum given to vessels of the United States
for carrying the mails between New York and Rio de Janeiro having ceased
on the 30th day of September last, we are without direct mail facilities
with the South American States. This is greatly to be regretted, and
I do not hesitate to recommend the authorization of a renewal of that
contract, and also that the service may be increased from monthly to
semi-monthly trips. The commercial advantages to be gained by a direct
line of American steamers to the South American States will far outweigh
the expense of the service.

By act of Congress approved March 3, 1875, almost all matter, whether
properly mail matter or not, may be sent any distance through the mails,
in packages not exceeding 4 pounds in weight, for the sum of 16 cents
per pound. So far as the transmission of real mail matter goes, this
would seem entirely proper; but I suggest that the law be so amended as
to exclude from the mails merchandise of all descriptions, and limit
this transportation to articles enumerated, and which may be classed as
mail matter proper.

The discovery of gold in the Black Hills, a portion of the Sioux
Reservation, has had the effect to induce a large emigration of miners
to that point. Thus far the effort to protect the treaty rights of the
Indians to that section has been successful, but the next year will
certainly witness a large increase of such emigration. The negotiations
for the relinquishment of the gold fields having failed, it will be
necessary for Congress to adopt some measures to relieve the
embarrassment growing out of the causes named. The Secretary of the
Interior suggests that the supplies now appropriated for the sustenance
of that people, being no longer obligatory under the treaty of 1868, but
simply a gratuity, may be issued or withheld at his discretion.

The condition of the Indian Territory, to which I have referred in
several of my former annual messages, remains practically unchanged.
The Secretary of the Interior has taken measures to obtain a full report
of the condition of that Territory, and will make it the subject of a
special report at an early day. It may then be necessary to make some
further recommendation in regard to legislation for the government of
that Territory.

The steady growth and increase of the business of the Patent Office
indicates in some measure the progress of the industrial activity of the
country. The receipts of the office are in excess of its expenditures,
and the office generally is in a prosperous and satisfactory condition.

The report of the General Land Office shows that there were 2,459,601
acres less disposed of during this than during the last year. More than
one-half of this decrease was in lands disposed of under the homestead
and timber-culture laws. The cause of this decrease is supposed to be
found in the grasshopper scourge and the droughts which prevailed so
extensively in some of the frontier States and Territories during that
time as to discourage and deter entries by actual settlers. The cash
receipts were less by $690,322.23 than during the preceding year.

The entire surveyed area of the public domain is 680,253,094 acres, of
which 26,077,531 acres were surveyed during the past year, leaving
1,154,471,762 acres still unsurveyed.

The report of the Commissioner presents many interesting suggestions in
regard to the management and disposition of the public domain and the
modification of existing laws, the apparent importance of which should
insure for them the careful consideration of Congress.

The number of pensioners still continues to decrease, the highest number
having been reached during the year ending June 30, 1873. During the
last year 11,557 names were added to the rolls, and 12,977 were dropped
therefrom, showing a net decrease of 1,420. But while the number of
pensioners has decreased, the annual amount due on the pension rolls has
increased $44,733.13. This is caused by the greatly increased average
rate of pensions, which, by the liberal legislation of Congress, has
increased from $90.26 in 1872 to $103.91 in 1875 to each invalid
pensioner, an increase in the average rate of 15 per cent in the three
years. During the year ending June 30, 1875, there was paid on account
of pensions, including the expenses of disbursement, $29,683,116, being
$910,632 less than was paid the preceding year. This reduction in amount
of expenditures was produced by the decrease in the amount of arrearages
due on allowed claims and on pensions the rate of which was increased by
the legislation of the preceding session of Congress. At the close of
the last fiscal year there were on the pension rolls 234,821 persons, of
whom 210,363 were army pensioners, 105,478 being invalids and 104,885
widows and dependent relatives; 3,420 were navy pensioners, of whom
1,636 were invalids and 1,784 widows and dependent relatives; 21,038
were pensioners of the War of 1812, 15,875 of whom were survivors and
5,163 were widows.

It is estimated that $29,535,000 will be required for the payment of
pensions for the next fiscal year, an amount $965,000 less than the
estimate for the present year.

The geological explorations have been prosecuted with energy during the
year, covering an area of about 40,000 square miles in the Territories
of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, developing the agricultural and
mineral resources and furnishing interesting scientific and
topographical details of that region.

The method for the treatment of the Indians adopted at the beginning
of my first term has been steadily pursued, and with satisfactory and
encouraging results. It has been productive of evident improvement in
the condition of that race, and will be continued, with only such
modifications as further experience may indicate to be necessary.

The board heretofore appointed to take charge of the articles and
materials pertaining to the War, the Navy, the Treasury, the Interior,
and the Post-Office Departments, and the Department of Agriculture,
the Smithsonian Institution, and the Commission of Food Fishes, to be
contributed, under the legislation of last session, to the international
exhibition to be held at Philadelphia during the centennial year 1876,
has been diligent in the discharge of the duties which have devolved
upon it; and the preparations so far made with the means at command
give assurance that the governmental contribution will be made one of
the marked characteristics of the exhibition. The board has observed
commendable economy in the matter of the erection of a building for
the governmental exhibit, the expense of which it is estimated will not
exceed, say, $80,000. This amount has been withdrawn, under the law,
from the appropriations of five of the principal Departments, which
leaves some of those Departments without sufficient means to render
their respective practical exhibits complete and satisfactory. The
exhibition being an international one, and the Government being a
voluntary contributor, it is my opinion that its contribution should be
of a character, in quality and extent, to sustain the dignity and credit
of so distinguished a contributor. The advantages to the country of a
creditable display are, in an international point of view, of the first
importance, while an indifferent or uncreditable participation by the
Government would be humiliating to the patriotic feelings of our people
themselves. I commend the estimates of the board for the necessary
additional appropriations to the favorable consideration of Congress.

The powers of Europe almost without exception, many of the South
American States, and even the more distant Eastern powers have
manifested their friendly sentiments toward the United States and the
interest of the world in our progress by taking steps to join with us
in celebrating the centennial of the nation, and I strongly recommend
that a more national importance be given to this exhibition by such
legislation and by such appropriation as will insure its success. Its
value in bringing to our shores innumerable useful works of art and
skill, the commingling of the citizens of foreign countries and our
own, and the interchange of ideas and manufactures will far exceed any
pecuniary outlay we may make.

I transmit herewith the report of the Commissioner of Agriculture,
together with the reports of the Commissioners, the board of audit,
and the board of health of the District of Columbia, to all of which
I invite your attention.

The Bureau of Agriculture has accomplished much in disseminating useful
knowledge to the agriculturist, and also in introducing new and useful
productions adapted to our soil and climate, and is worthy of the
continued encouragement of the Government.

The report of the Commissioner of Education, which accompanies the
report of the Secretary of the Interior, shows a gratifying progress in
educational matters.

In nearly every annual message that I have had the honor of transmitting
to Congress I have called attention to the anomalous, not to say
scandalous, condition of affairs existing in the Territory of Utah, and
have asked for definite legislation to correct it. That polygamy should
exist in a free, enlightened, and Christian country, without the power
to punish so flagrant a crime against decency and morality, seems
preposterous. True, there is no law to sustain this unnatural vice; but
what is needed is a law to punish it as a crime, and at the same time to
fix the status of the innocent children, the offspring of this system,
and of the possibly innocent plural wives. But as an institution
polygamy should be banished from the land.

While this is being done I invite the attention of Congress to another,
though perhaps no less an evil--the importation of Chinese women, but
few of whom are brought to our shores to pursue honorable or useful

Observations while visiting the Territories of Wyoming, Utah, and
Colorado during the past autumn convinced me that existing laws
regulating the disposition of public lands, timber, etc., and probably
the mining laws themselves, are very defective and should be carefully
amended, and at an early day. Territory where cultivation of the soil
can only be followed by irrigation, and where irrigation is not
practicable the lands can only be used as pasturage, and this only where
stock can reach water (to quench its thirst), can not be governed by the
same laws as to entries as lands every acre of which is an independent
estate by itself.

Land must be held in larger quantities to justify the expense of
conducting water upon it to make it fruitful, or to justify utilizing
it as pasturage. The timber in most of the Territories is principally
confined to the mountain regions, which are held for entry in small
quantities only, and as mineral lands. The timber is the property of the
United States, for the disposal of which there is now no adequate law.
The settler must become a consumer of this timber, whether he lives upon
the plain or engages in working the mines. Hence every man becomes
either a trespasser himself or knowingly a patron of trespassers.

My opportunities for observation were not sufficient to justify me in
recommending specific legislation on these subjects, but I do recommend
that a joint committee of the two Houses of Congress, sufficiently large
to be divided into subcommittees, be organized to visit all the mining
States and Territories during the coming summer, and that the committee
shall report to Congress at the next session such laws or amendments
to laws as it may deem necessary to secure the best interests of the
Government and the people of these Territories, who are doing so much
for their development.

I am sure the citizens occupying the territory described do not wish to
be trespassers, nor will they be if legal ways are provided for them to
become owners of these actual necessities of their position.

As this will be the last annual message which I shall have the honor of
transmitting to Congress before my successor is chosen, I will repeat or
recapitulate the questions which I deem of vital importance which may be
legislated upon and settled at this session:

First. That the States shall be required to afford the opportunity of a
good common-school education to every child within their limits.

Second. No sectarian tenets shall ever be taught in any school supported
in whole or in part by the State, nation, or by the proceeds of any tax
levied upon any community. Make education compulsory so far as to
deprive all persons who can not read and write from becoming voters
after the year 1890, disfranchising none, however, on grounds of
illiteracy who may be voters at the time this amendment takes effect.

Third. Declare church and state forever separate and distinct, but each
free within their proper spheres; and that all church property shall
bear its own proportion of taxation.

Fourth. Drive out licensed immorality, such as polygamy and the
importation of women for illegitimate purposes. To recur again to the
centennial year, it would seem as though now, as we are about to begin
the second century of our national existence, would be a most fitting
time for these reforms.

Fifth. Enact such laws as will insure a speedy return to a sound
currency, such as will command the respect of the world.

Believing that these views will commend themselves to the great
majority of the right-thinking and patriotic citizens of the United
States, I submit the rest to Congress.


[Footnote 97: See pp. 324-325.]


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 6, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 27th of February last,
requesting the President to institute inquiries as to the proper place
for the establishment of a branch mint at some point in the Western
States or in the Mississippi Valley, I transmit herewith the report, and
accompanying papers, of the Director of the Mint, who was charged with
the duty of making the inquiries called for by said resolution.


WASHINGTON, _January 21, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 17th instant, a report from the Secretary of State,
with accompanying documents.[98]


[Footnote 98: Correspondence with Spain relative to Cuba.]

WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 22d
of January instant, I herewith transmit a report[99] from the Secretary
of State.


[Footnote 99: Stating that no correspondence had taken place during the
year 1875 with any European Government other than Spain relative to

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 3, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 19th of January
instant, requesting the examination, with a view to ascertaining their
suitableness for the purposes of a mint, of the building and grounds
situated in Columbus, Ohio, known as the "Capital University," and
proposed to be donated to the United States by F. Michel, of said city,
I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of the Director of the
Mint, accompanied by a diagram of the building and lot.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the 6th of January of the House of
Representatives, requesting to be informed "of the number of Indian
agents, regular and special, clerks, and other employees in the Indian
service, except those on duty in the office of the Secretary of the
Interior, and the amounts paid to each as salaries and expenses," I have
the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a report, dated the 31st
ultimo, from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, together with the
statements therein referred to.


WASHINGTON, _February 8, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to the resolution[100] of that body
of the 18th ultimo, a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying papers.


[Footnote 100: Calling for correspondence with any government or its
representatives relative to the centennial celebration to be held in

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 28, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I lay before you herewith a communication from the Secretary of the
Interior, of date 26th instant, upon the subject of the deficiency of
supplies at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebr.

This matter has already been presented to you by the Secretary, and the
House of Representatives has requested an investigation by a military
officer of the cause of this deficiency. I have taken proper steps to
comply with this request of the House, but the present need of supplies
is not disputed. A prolonged delay in furnishing provisions to these
Indians will cause great distress and be likely to provoke raids on
white settlements, and possibly lead to general outbreak and

I therefore deem it proper to invite your attention to the importance of
early and favorable action upon the estimates heretofore and herewith

These estimates and the views of the Secretary in regard to this
emergency meet with my full concurrence, and I recommend that the
appropriations asked for be made at the earliest day practicable.


WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
21st ultimo, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State,
and accompanying papers,[101] together with a report from the Secretary
of the Treasury.


[Footnote 101: Correspondence relative to the mode of transferring to the
United States the Alabama indemnity of $15,500,000, and correspondence
and papers showing the payment of the indemnity, the form of receipt
given therefor, and the disposition of the indemnity.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 6, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th of January last,
requesting a "statement of the number of military arrests made in the
Territory of Alaska during the past five years, together with the date
of each, the charge on which made in each case, the names of the persons
arrested, and the period and character of the imprisonment of each in
that Territory before trial or surrender to the civil authorities for
trial," I have the honor to submit herewith the report of the Acting
Secretary of War.


WASHINGTON, _March 10, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a metric convention between the United States and certain foreign
governments, signed at Paris on the 20th of May, 1875, by Mr. E.B.
Washburne, the minister of the United States at that capital, acting on
behalf of this Government, and by the representatives acting on behalf
of the foreign powers therein mentioned.

A copy of certain papers on the subject, mentioned in the subjoined
list, is also transmitted for the information of the Senate.


WASHINGTON, _March 22, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution[102] of the House of Representatives of the 23d
of February ultimo, I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State
and the papers which accompany it.


[Footnote 102: Calling for information or facts relative to the charges
against George F. Seward, United States minister to China.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 23, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
3d of February last, requesting the President "to require a competent,
experienced military officer of the United States to execute the duties
of an Indian agent so far as to repair to the Red Cloud Agency, and, in
his discretion, other Sioux agencies, with instructions to inquire into
the causes of" the exhaustion of the appropriation for the subsistence
and support of the Sioux Indians for the present fiscal year; "as also
his opinion as to whether any further and what amount should be
appropriated for the subsistence and support of said Indians for the
remainder of the current fiscal year," I have the honor to transmit
herewith the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt, of the Ninth Cavalry,
who was charged by the Secretary of War with the duty of making the
inquiries called for by said resolution.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 24, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th of January
last, requesting to be furnished "with a statement of the number of
military arrests made in the Territory of Alaska during the past five
years, together with the date of each, the charge on which made in each
case, the names of the persons arrested, and the period and character of
the imprisonment of each in that Territory before trial or surrender to
the civil authorities for trial," I have the honor to transmit herewith
the report of the Secretary of War.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 27, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In further answer to the resolution of the House of the 6th of January
last, with regard to certain expenditures and employees in the Indian
service, except those on duty in the office of the Secretary of the
Interior, etc., I have the honor to transmit to you a supplementary
report received from the Secretary of the Interior, respecting and
explaining a clerical error to be found in that portion of the statement
of the Interior Department which relates to the expenditures of the
Board of Indian Commissioners, and to ask its consideration in
connection with the papers which accompanied my message of the 3d of
February last.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 27, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication received from
the chairman of the board on behalf of the United States Executive
Departments, containing in detail the operations of the board and
setting forth the present embarrassments under which it is now laboring
in the endeavor to conduct the participation of the Government in the
Centennial Exhibition, and showing very clearly the necessity of
additional funds to carry out the undertaking in a creditable manner.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 3, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, a
communication from the Secretary of the Interior of this date, upon the
urgent necessities of the Pawnee Indians.

This tribe has recently been removed to the Indian Territory, and is
without means of subsistence except as supplied by the Government. Its
members have evinced a disposition to become self-supporting, and it
is believed that only temporary aid will be required by them. The sums
advanced by the United States for this purpose it is expected will be
refunded from the proceeds of the sale of the Pawnee Reservation in

The present destitute condition of these Indians would seem to call
for immediate relief, and I recommend the subject to your early and
favorable consideration.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 6, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th of January
last (partial answers having been transmitted on the 6th and 24th
ultimo), calling for a statement of "the number of military arrests in
the Territory of Alaska during the past five years," etc., I have the
honor to submit herewith a report, with accompanying papers, received
from the Secretary of War.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 19, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith to Congress the final report
of the board of audit constituted by section 6 of the "act for the
government of the District of Columbia, and for other purposes,"
approved June 20, 1874, and abolished by the joint resolution approved
March 14, 1876, and to call your attention to the statements therein


WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1876_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith, for the information of Congress, a report of
the president of the Centennial Commission upon the ceremonies to be
observed at the opening of the exhibition on the 10th instant. It will
be observed that an invitation is therein extended to Senators and
Representatives to be present on that occasion.


[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]

WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1876_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of the Senate with a view to
its ratification by that body, a treaty between the United States and
Mexico, concluded on the 29th ultimo.


WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of 15th March last, a report[103] from the
Secretary of State and accompanying papers.


[Footnote 103: Explanatory of the object, intent, and character of the
power conferred upon A. B. Steinberger, special agent to the Samoan or
Navigators Islands, and transmitting correspondence relative to the
object, operation, and result of his agency.]

WASHINGTON, _May 4, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have given very attentive consideration to a resolution of the House
of Representatives passed on the 3d of April, requesting the President
of the United States to inform the House whether any executive offices
acts, or duties, and, if any, what, have within a specified period been
performed at a distance from the seat of Government established by law,

I have never hesitated and shall not hesitate to communicate to
Congress, and to either branch thereof, all the information which the
Constitution makes it the duty of the President to give, or which my
judgment may suggest to me or a request from either House may indicate
to me will be useful in the discharge of the appropriate duties confided
to them. I fail, however, to find in the Constitution of the United
States the authority given to the House of Representatives (one branch
of the Congress, in which is vested the legislative power of the
Government) to require of the Executive, an independent branch of the
Government, coordinate with the Senate and House of Representatives,
an account of his discharge of his appropriate and purely executive
offices, acts, and duties, either as to when, where, or how performed.

What the House of Representatives may require as a right in its demand
upon the Executive for information is limited to what is necessary for
the proper discharge of its powers of legislation or of impeachment.

The inquiry in the resolution of the House as to where executive acts
have within the last seven years been performed and at what distance
from any particular spot or for how long a period at any one time, etc.,
does not necessarily belong to the province of legislation. It does not
profess to be asked for that object.

If this information be sought through an inquiry of the President as to
his executive acts in view or in aid of the power of impeachment vested
in the House, it is asked in derogation of an inherent natural right,
recognized in this country by a constitutional guaranty which protects
every citizen, the President as well as the humblest in the land, from
being made a witness against himself.

During the time that I have had the honor to occupy the position of
President of this Government it has been, and while I continue to occupy
that position it will continue to be, my earnest endeavor to recognize
and to respect the several trusts and duties and powers of the
coordinate branches of the Government, not encroaching upon them nor
allowing encroachments upon the proper powers of the office which the
people of the United States have confided to me, but aiming to preserve
in their proper relations the several powers and functions of each of
the coordinate branches of the Government, agreeably to the Constitution
and in accordance with the solemn oath which I have taken to "preserve,
protect, and defend" that instrument.

In maintenance of the rights secured by the Constitution to the
executive branch of the Government I am compelled to decline any
specific or detailed answer to the request of the House for information
as to "any executive offices, acts, or duties, and, if any, what, have
been performed at a distance from the seat of Government established by
law, and for how long a period at any one time and in what part of the
United States."

If, however, the House of Representatives desires to know whether during
the period of upward of seven years during which I have held the office
of President of the United States I have been absent from the seat of
Government, and whether during that period I have performed or have
neglected to perform the duties of my office, I freely inform the House
that from the time of my entrance upon my office I have been in the
habit, as were all of my predecessors (with the exception of one, who
lived only one month after assuming the duties of his office, and one
whose continued presence in Washington was necessary from the existence
at the time of a powerful rebellion), of absenting myself at times from
the seat of Government, and that during such absences I did not neglect
or forego the obligations or the duties of my office, but continued to
discharge all of the executive offices, acts, and duties which were
required of me as the President of the United States. I am not aware
that a failure occurred in any one instance of my exercising the
functions and powers of my office in every case requiring their
discharge, or of my exercising all necessary executive acts, in whatever
part of the United States I may at the time have been. Fortunately, the
rapidity of travel and of mail communication and the facility of almost
instantaneous correspondence with the offices at the seat of Government,
which the telegraph affords to the President in whatever section of the
Union he may be, enable him in these days to maintain as constant and
almost as quick intercourse with the Departments at Washington as may be
maintained while he remains at the capital.

The necessity of the performance of executive acts by the President of
the United States exists and is devolved upon him, wherever he may be
within the United States, during his term of office by the Constitution
of the United States.

His civil powers are no more limited or capable of limitation as to the
place where they shall be exercised than are those which he might be
required to discharge in his capacity of Commander in Chief of the Army
and Navy, which latter powers it is evident he might be called upon to
exercise, possibly, even without the limits of the United States. Had
the efforts of those recently in rebellion against the Government been
successful in driving a late President of the United States from
Washington, it is manifest that he must have discharged his functions,
both civil and military, elsewhere than in the place named by law as the
seat of Government.

No act of Congress can limit, suspend, or confine this constitutional
duty. I am not aware of the existence of any act of Congress which
assumes thus to limit or restrict the exercise of the functions of the
Executive. Were there such acts, I should nevertheless recognize the
superior authority of the Constitution, and should exercise the powers
required thereby of the President.

The act to which reference is made in the resolution of the House
relates to the establishing of the seat of Government and the providing
of suitable buildings and removal thereto of the offices attached to the
Government, etc. It was not understood at its date and by General
Washington to confine the President in the discharge of his duties and
powers to actual presence at the seat of Government. On the 30th of
March, 1791, shortly after the passage of the act referred to, General
Washington issued an Executive proclamation having reference to the
subject of this very act from Georgetown, a place remote from
Philadelphia, which then was the seat of Government, where the act
referred to directed that "all offices attached to the seat of
Government" should for the time remain.

That none of his successors have entertained the idea that their
executive offices could be performed only at the seat of Government is
evidenced by the hundreds upon hundreds of such acts performed by my
predecessors in unbroken line from Washington to Lincoln, a memorandum
of the general nature and character of some of which acts is submitted
herewith; and no question has ever been raised as to the validity of
those acts or as to the right and propriety of the Executive to exercise
the powers of his office in any part of the United States.


_Memorandum of absences of the Presidents of the United States from the
national capital during each of the several Administrations, and of
public and executive acts performed during the time of such absences_.

President Washington was frequently absent from the capital; he appears
to have been thus absent at least one hundred and eighty-one days during
his term.

During his several absences he discharged official and executive duties;
among them--

In March, 1791, he issued a proclamation, dated at Georgetown, in
reference to running the boundary for the territory of the permanent
seat of the Government.

From Mount Vernon he signed an official letter to the Emperor of
Morocco, and from the same place the commission of Oliver Wolcott as
Comptroller of the Treasury and the proclamation respecting the whisky
insurrection in Pennsylvania; also various sea letters, the proclamation
of the treaty of 1795 between the United States and Spain, the Executive
order of August 4, 1792, relative to the duties on distilled spirits,

When at Germantown he signed the commission of John Breckenridge as
attorney of the United States for Kentucky, and that of engineer of the
United States Mint.

He proposed to have Mr. Yrujo officially presented, as envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from Spain, to him at Mount
Vernon; but although Mr. Yrujo went there for the purpose, the ceremony
of presentation was prevented by Mr. Yrujo's having accidentally left
his credentials.

President John Adams was absent from the capital during his term of
four years, on various occasions, three hundred and eighty-five days.
He discharged official duties and performed the most solemn public acts
at Quincy in the same manner as when at the seat of Government. In 1797
(August 25) he forwarded to the Secretary of State a number of passports
which he had signed at Quincy. He issued at Quincy commissions to
numerous officers of various grades, civil and military. On the 28th of
September, 1797, he forwarded to the Secretary of State a commission for
a justice of the Supreme Court, signed in blank at Quincy, instructing
the Secretary to fill it with the name of John Marshall if he would
accept, and, if not, Bushrod Washington. He issued a proclamation
opening trade with certain ports of St. Domingo, and signed warrants
for the execution of two soldiers and for a pardon.

President Jefferson was absent from the seat of Government during
his two terms of office seven hundred and ninety-six days, more than
one-fourth of the whole official period. During his absence he signed
and issued from Monticello seventy-five commissions, one letter to the
Emperor of Russia, and nine letters of credence to diplomatic agents of
the United States accredited to other governments.

President Madison was absent from the seat of Government during his two
Presidential terms six hundred and thirty-seven days. He signed and
issued from Montpelier during his absence from the capital seventy-one
commissions, one proclamation, and nine letters of credence to
ministers, accrediting them to foreign governments, and, as it appears,
transacted generally all the necessary routine business incident to the
Executive office.

President Monroe was absent from the capital during his Presidential
service of eight years seven hundred and eight days, independent of
the year 1824 and the two months of 1825, for which period no data
are found. He transacted public business wherever he happened to be,
sometimes at his farm in Virginia, again at his summer resort on the
Chesapeake, and sometimes while traveling. He signed and issued from
these several places, away from the capital, numerous commissions to
civil officers of the Government, exequaturs to foreign consuls, letters
of credence, two letters to sovereigns, and thirty-seven pardons.

President John Q. Adams was absent from the capital during his
Presidential term of four years two hundred and twenty-two days. During
such absence he performed official and public acts, signing and issuing
commissions, exequaturs, pardons, proclamations, etc. Referring to his
absence in August and September, 1827, Mr. Adams, in his memoirs, volume
8, page 75, says: "I left with him [the chief clerk] some blank
signatures, to be used when necessary for proclamations, remission of
penalties, and commissions of consuls, taking of him a receipt for the
number and kind of blanks left with him, with directions to return to me
when I came back all the signed blanks remaining unused and to keep and
give me an account of all those that shall have been disposed of. This
has been my constant practice with respect to signed blanks of this
description. I do the same with regard to patents and land grants."

President Jackson was absent from the capital during his Presidential
service of eight years five hundred and two days. He also performed
executive duties and public acts while absent. He appears to have signed
and issued while absent from the capital very many public papers,
embracing commissions, letters of credence, exequaturs, pardons, and
among them four Executive proclamations. On the 26th of June, 1833, he
addressed a letter from Boston to Mr. Duane, Secretary of the Treasury,
giving his views at large on the removal of the "deposits" from the
United States Bank and placing them in the State banks, directing that
the change, with all its arrangements, should be, if possible, completed
by the 15th September following, and recommending that Amos Kendall
should be appointed an agent of the Treasury Department to make the
necessary arrangements with the State banks. Soon after, September 23,
a paper signed by the President and purporting to have been read to the
Cabinet was published in the newspapers of the day. Early in the next
session of Congress a resolution passed the Senate inquiring of the
President whether the paper was genuine or not and if it was published
by his authority, and requesting that a copy be laid before that body.
The President replied, avowing the genuineness of the paper and that it
was published by his authority, but declined to furnish a copy to the
Senate on the ground that it was purely executive business, and that the
request of the Senate was an undue interference with the independence of
the Executive, a coordinate branch of the Government. In January, 1837
(26th), he refused the privilege to a committee under a resolution of
the House of Representatives to make a general investigation of the
Executive Departments without specific charges, on the ground, among
others, that the use of the books, papers, etc., of the Departments for
such purpose would interfere with the discharge of the public duties
devolving upon the heads of the different Departments, and necessarily
disarrange and retard the public business.

President Van Buren was absent from the capital during his Presidential
term one hundred and thirty-one days. He discharged executive duties
and performed official and public acts during these absences. Among the
papers signed by President Van Buren during his absence from the seat of
Government are commissions (one of these being for a United States judge
of a district court), pardons, etc.

President Tyler was absent from the capital during his Presidential term
one hundred and sixty-three days, and performed public acts and duties
during such absences, signing public papers and documents to the number
of twenty-eight, in which were included commissions, exequaturs, letters
of credence, pardons, and one proclamation making public the treaty of
1842 between the United States and Ecuador.

President Polk was absent from the capital during his Presidential term
thirty-seven days, and appears to have signed but two official public
papers during such absence.

President Taylor was absent from the capital during the time he served
as President thirty-one days, and while absent signed two commissions,
three "full powers," two exequaturs, and the proclamation of August 11,
1849, relative to a threatened invasion of Cuba or some of the Provinces
of Mexico.

President Fillmore was absent from the capital during the time he served
as President sixty days. During such absence he signed pardons,
commissions, exequaturs, etc.

President Pierce was absent from the capital in all during his
Presidential term fifty-seven days. The several periods of absence which
make up this aggregate were each brief, and it does not appear that
during these absences the President signed any public official
documents, except one pardon.

President Buchanan was absent from the capital during his Presidential
term fifty-seven days, and the official papers which he is shown to have
signed during such absence are three exequaturs and one letter of

In addition to the public documents and papers executed by the several
Presidents during their absences from the seat of Government, constant
official correspondence was maintained by each with the heads of the
different Executive Departments.

WASHINGTON, _May 15, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 10th
ultimo, I transmit herewith a report and accompanying papers upon the
subject[104] from the Secretary of State.


[Footnote 104: Course pursued to enforce the provisions of the convention
with Venezuela of April 25, 1866, and the payment of adjudicated claims
under act approved February 25, 1873.]

WASHINGTON, _May 16, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th
instant, requesting information as to payments by the Government of
Venezuela on account of claims of citizens of the United States under
the convention of the 25th of April, 1866, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.


WASHINGTON, _May 19, 1876_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 27th
March last, a report[105] from the Secretary of State and an accompanying


[Footnote 105: Relating to amount of money in the custody of the
Department of State to the credit of the awards of the mixed commission
under the treaty with Venezuela of April 25, 1866.]

WASHINGTON, _May 31, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit, in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 22d instant, a report of the Secretary of State, with its
accompanying papers[106].


[Footnote 106: Relating to the steps taken for the protection of American
citizens in the Ottoman dominions.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _June 7, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit the report of the board appointed to test iron,
steel, and other metals, in accordance with the provisions of section 4
of "An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the
Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, and for other
purposes," approved March 3, 1875.

This board is to determine by actual tests the strength and value of all
metals, and to prepare tables which will exhibit their strength and
value for all constructions.

The accompanying memorials and resolutions of scientific associations,
colleges, and schools strongly advocate the continuation of this board,
which is national in its character and general in its investigations.

The board asks for an appropriation of $50,000 for the ensuing year, and
that any unexpended balances remaining on hand on the 30th of June,
1876, may be reappropriated.

This recommendation is submitted for favorable action, in the belief
that the labors of the board will, in the benefits accruing to important
industrial interests, more than repay to the country at large any money
that may be so expended.


WASHINGTON, _June 10, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 30th day of March last, a report from the
Secretary of State, with accompanying papers, which presents the
correspondence and condition of the question[107] up to the day of
its date.


[Footnote 107: The refusal of Great Britain to surrender certain fugitive
criminals in accordance with the extradition clause of the treaty of
August 9, 1842.]

WASHINGTON, _June 14, 1876_.

_To the Senate_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 26th April ultimo,
I herewith transmit a report[108] from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents.


[Footnote 108: Relating to claims before and judgments rendered by the
Alabama Claims Commission arising from captures by the rebel cruiser

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _June 17, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

The near approach of a new fiscal year and the failure of Congress
up to this time to provide the necessary means to continue all the
functions of Government make it my duty to call your attention to the
embarrassments that must ensue if the fiscal year is allowed to close
without remedial action on your part.

Article I, section 9, of the Constitution declares:

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of
appropriations made by law.

To insure economy of expenditure and security of the public treasure
Congress has from time to time enacted laws to restrain the use of
public moneys, except for the specific purpose for which appropriated
and within the time for which appropriated; and to prevent contracting
debts in anticipation of appropriate appropriations, Revised Statutes,
section 3679, provides:

No Department of the Government shall expend in any one fiscal year any
sum in excess of appropriations made by Congress for that fiscal year,
or involve the Government in any contract for the future payment of
money in excess of such appropriations.

Section 3732 provides:

No contract or purchase on behalf of the United States shall be made
unless the same is authorized by law or is under an appropriation
adequate to its fulfillment, except in the War and Navy Departments,
for clothing, subsistence, forage, fuel, quarters, or transportation,
which, however, shall not exceed the necessities of the current year.

Section 3678, as follows:

All sums appropriated for the various branches of expenditure in the
public service shall be applied solely to the objects for which they
are respectively made, and for no others.

Section 3690, that--

All balances of appropriations contained in the annual appropriation
bills, and made specifically for the service of any fiscal year, and
remaining unexpended at the expiration of such fiscal year, shall only
be applied to the payment of expenses properly incurred during that year
or to the fulfillment of contracts properly made within that year; and
balances not needed for such purposes shall be carried to the surplus
fund. This section, however, shall not apply to appropriations known as
permanent or indefinite appropriations.

The effect of the laws quoted, taken in connection with the
constitutional provision referred to, is, as above stated, to prohibit
any outlay of public money toward defraying even the current and
necessary expenses of Government after the expiration of the year for
which appropriated, excepting when those expenses are provided for by
some permanent appropriation, and excepting in the War and Navy
Departments, under section 3732.

The number of permanent appropriations are very limited, and cover but
few of the necessary expenditures of the Government. They are nearly
all, if not quite all, embraced in sections 3687, 3688, and 3689 of
the Revised Statutes. That contained in section 3687 is applicable to
_expenses of collecting the revenue from customs_, that in section 3688
to the payment of interest on the _public debt_, and that in section
3689 to various objects too numerous to detail here.

It will be observed that while section 3679, quoted above, provides
that _no_ Department shall in any one fiscal year involve the Government
in any contract for the future payment of money in excess of the
appropriation for that year, section 3732, also quoted above, confers,
by clear implication, upon the heads of the War and Navy Departments
full authority, even in the absence of any appropriation, to purchase
or contract for clothing, subsistence, forage, fuel, quarters, or
transportation not exceeding the necessities of the current year. The
latter provision is special and exceptional in its character, and is to
be regarded as excluded from the operation of the former more general
one. But if any of the appropriation bills above enumerated should fail
to be matured before the expiration of the current fiscal year, the
Government would be greatly embarrassed for want of the necessary
funds to carry on the service. Precluded from expending money not
appropriated, the Departments would have to suspend the service so
far as the appropriations for it should have failed to be made.

A careful examination of this subject will demonstrate the embarrassed
condition all branches of the Government will be in, and especially the
executive, if there should be a failure to pass the necessary
appropriation bills before the 1st of July, or otherwise provide.

I commend this subject most earnestly to your consideration, and urge
that some measure be speedily adopted to avert the evils which would
result from nonaction by Congress. I will venture the suggestion, by
way of remedy, that a joint resolution, properly guarded, might be
passed through the two Houses of Congress, extending the provisions
of all appropriations for the present fiscal year to the next in
all cases where there is a failure on the 1st of July to supply such
appropriation; each appropriation so extended to hold good until
Congress shall have passed a corresponding appropriation applicable to
the new fiscal year, when all moneys expended under laws enacted for
this fiscal year shall be deducted from the corresponding appropriation
for the next.

To make my ideas on this subject more clear, I have caused to be drawn
up a joint resolution embodying them more fully.


JOINT RESOLUTION to provide for defraying temporarily the ordinary and
necessary expenses of the public service.

Whereas the ordinary and necessary expenses of the public service in its
various branches, comprising among others the expenses which especially
pertain to the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the
Government, to the consular and diplomatic service, to the postal
service, to the support of the Army, and to the maintenance of the Navy,
are generally met by annual appropriations which expire at the end of
the current fiscal year; and

Whereas no public funds will be available to defray these expenses as
the same shall accrue after that period unless appropriations shall have
been previously made therefor by law; and

Whereas, to avoid the great embarrassment to the public service that
might otherwise ensue, it is expedient to make provision for defraying
temporarily such of these expenses as would be unprovided for in case
some one of the usual annual appropriation bills designed to provide
therefor should fail to be matured by the end of the fiscal year now
current: Therefore,

_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That in case any of the
following appropriation bills for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1877,
shall not have passed by the commencement of such year, so that the
funds to be appropriated thereby may then be available for
expenditure--that is to say, the bill providing for the legislative,
executive, and judicial expenses; the bill providing for the consular
and diplomatic expenses; the bill providing for the service of the
Post-Office Department; the bill providing for the support of the Army,
and the bill providing for the naval service--the appropriation act for
the current fiscal year corresponding in its general description and
object to such appropriation bill shall extend to the fiscal year next
ensuing until such appropriation bill is enacted and takes effect, to
the end that the provisions of such appropriation act which apply to the
ordinary and necessary expenses of the public service for the current
fiscal year shall in like manner be applicable to similar expenses which
may accrue during the period intervening between the end of the current
fiscal year and the time when such appropriation bill for the next
ensuing fiscal year shall be enacted and take effect.

WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

By the tenth article of the treaty between the United States and
Great Britain signed in Washington on the 9th day of August, 1842, it
was agreed that the two Governments should, upon mutual requisitions
respectively made, deliver up to justice all persons who, being
charged with certain crimes therein enumerated, committed within the
jurisdiction of either, should seek an asylum or be found within the
territories of the other.

The only condition or limitation contained in the treaty to the
reciprocal obligation thus to deliver up the fugitive was that it should
be done only upon such evidence of criminality as, according to the laws
of the place where the fugitive or person so charged should be found,
would justify his apprehension and commitment for trial if the crime or
offense had there been committed.

In the month of February last a requisition was duly made, in
pursuance of the provisions of the treaty, by this Government upon that
of Great Britain for the surrender of one Ezra D. Winslow, charged with
extensive forgeries and the utterance of forged paper, committed within
the jurisdiction of the United States, who had sought an asylum
and was found within the territories of Her Britannic Majesty and was
apprehended in London. The evidence of the criminality of the fugitive
was duly furnished and heard, and, being found sufficient to justify his
apprehension and commitment for trial if the crimes had been committed
in Great Britain, he was held and committed for extradition.

Her Majesty's Government, however, did not deliver up the fugitive
in accordance with the terms of the treaty, notwithstanding every
requirement thereof had been met on the part of the United States, but,
instead of surrendering the fugitive, demanded certain assurances or
stipulations not mentioned in the treaty, but foreign to its provisions,
as a condition of the performance by Great Britain of her obligations
under the treaty.

In a recent communication to the House of Representatives, and in answer
to a call from that body for information on this case, I submitted the
correspondence which has passed between the two Governments with
reference thereto. It will be found in Executive Document No. 173 of the
House of Representatives of the present session, and I respectfully
refer thereto for more detailed information bearing on the question.

It appears from the correspondence that the British Government bases its
refusal to surrender the fugitive and its demand for stipulations or
assurances from this Government on the requirements of a purely domestic
enactment of the British Parliament, passed in the year 1870.

This act was brought to the notice of this Government shortly after
its enactment, and Her Majesty's Government was advised that the
United States understood it as giving continued effect to the existing
engagements under the treaty of 1842 for the extradition of criminals;
and with this knowledge on its part, and without dissent from the
declared views of the United States as to the unchanged nature of the
reciprocal rights and obligations of the two powers under the treaty,
Great Britain has continued to make requisitions and to grant surrenders
in numerous instances, without suggestion that it was contemplated to
depart from the practice under the treaty which has obtained for more
than thirty years, until now, for the first time, in this case of
Winslow, it is assumed that under this act of Parliament Her Majesty may
require a stipulation or agreement not provided for in the treaty as a
condition to the observance by her Government of its treaty obligations
toward this country.

This I have felt it my duty emphatically to repel.

In addition to the case of Winslow, requisition was also made by this
Government on that of Great Britain for the surrender of Charles J.
Brent, also charged with forgery, committed in the United States, and
found in Great Britain. The evidence of criminality was duly heard and
the fugitive committed for extradition.

A similar stipulation to that demanded in Winslow's case was also asked
in Brent's, and was likewise refused.

It is with extreme regret that I am now called upon to announce to
you that Her Majesty's Government has finally released both of these
fugitives, Winslow and Brent, and set them at liberty, thus omitting to
comply with the provisions and requirements of the treaty under which
the extradition of fugitive criminals is made between the two

The position thus taken by the British Government, if adhered to, can
not but be regarded as the abrogation and annulment of the article of
the treaty on extradition.

Under these circumstances it will not, in my judgment, comport with the
dignity or self-respect of this Government to make demands upon that
Government for the surrender of fugitive criminals, nor to entertain any
requisition of that character from that Government under the treaty.

It will be a cause of deep regret if a treaty which has been thus far
beneficial in its practical operation, which has worked so well and
so efficiently, and which, notwithstanding the exciting and at times
violent political disturbances of which both countries have been the
scene during its existence, has given rise to no complaints on the part
of either Government against either its spirit or its provisions, should
be abruptly terminated.

It has tended to the protection of society and to the general interests
of both countries. Its violation or annulment would be a retrograde step
in international intercourse.

I have been anxious and have made the effort to enlarge its scope and
to make a new treaty which would be a still more efficient agent for
the punishment and prevention of crime. At the same time, I have felt
it my duty to decline to entertain a proposition made by Great Britain,
pending its refusal to execute the existing treaty, to amend it by
practically conceding by treaty the identical conditions which that
Government demands under its act of Parliament. In addition to the
impossibility of the United States entering upon negotiations under
the menace of an intended violation or a refusal to execute the terms
of an existing treaty I deemed it inadvisable to treat of only the one
amendment proposed by Great Britain while the United States desires an
enlargement of the list of crimes for which extradition may be asked,
and other improvements which experience has shown might be embodied in
a new treaty.

It is for the wisdom of Congress to determine whether the article
of the treaty relating to extradition is to be any longer regarded as
obligatory on the Government of the United States or as forming part
of the supreme law of the land. Should the attitude of the British
Government remain unchanged, I shall not, without an expression of the
wish of Congress that I should do so, take any action either in making
or granting requisitions for the surrender of fugitive criminals under
the treaty of 1842.

Respectfully submitted.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 8, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report[109] from General W.T.
Sherman [J.D. Cameron, Secretary of War], together with the most
recent reports received from Brigadier-General A.H. Terry, as a response
to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th instant, a copy of which is
attached to this message.


[Footnote 109: Relating to hostile demonstrations of the Sioux Indians
and the disaster to the forces under General Custer.]

WASHINGTON, _July 13, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 1st ultimo, a report[110] from the Secretary of
State upon the subject.


[Footnote 110: Stating that no correspondence has taken place with Great
Britain relative to the sequestration of the lands and property in New
Zealand claimed by William Webster, an American citizen.]

WASHINGTON, _July 19, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to the
resolution of the House of Representatives of the 1st of April last, on
the subject of commercial intercourse with Mexico and Central America.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 31, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the
Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1877, is so defective
in what it omits to provide for that I can not announce its approval
without at the same time pointing out what seems to me to be its
defects. It makes but inadequate provision for the service at best,
and in some instances fails to make any provision whatever.

Notably among the first class is the reduction in the ordinary annual
appropriations for the Revenue-Cutter Service, to the prejudice of the
customs revenue.

The same may be said of the Signal Service, as also the failure to
provide for the increased expense devolved upon the mints and assay
offices by recent legislation, and thus tending to defeat the objects of
that legislation.

Of this class also are public buildings, for the protection,
preservation, and completion of which there is no adequate
appropriation, while the sum of $100,000 only is appropriated for the
repairs of the different navy yards and stations and the preservation of
the same, the ordinary and customary appropriations for which are not
less than $1,000,000.

A similar reduction is made in the expenses for armories and arsenals.

The provision for the ordinary judicial expenses is much less than the
estimated amount for that important service, the actual expenditures of
the last fiscal year, and the certain demands of the current year.

The provision for the expenses of the surveys of public lands is less
than one-half of the usual appropriation for that service and what are
understood to be its actual demands.

Reduction in the expenditures for light-houses, beacons, and fog
stations is also made in similar proportion.

Of the class for which no appropriation is made, among the most
noticeable, perhaps, is that portion of the general expenses of the
District of Columbia on behalf of the United States, as appropriated in
former years, and the judgments of the Court of Claims. The failure to
make a reasonable contribution to the expenses of the nation's capital
is an apparent dereliction on the part of the United States and rank
injustice to the people here who bear the burdens, while to refuse or
neglect to provide for the payment of solemn judgments of its own courts
is apparently to repudiate. Of a different character, but as prejudicial
to the Treasury, is the omission to make provision to enable the
Secretary of the Treasury to have the rebel archives and records of
captured and abandoned property examined and information furnished
therefrom for the use of the Government.

Finally, without further specification of detail, it may be said that
the act which in its title purports to make provision for a diverse and
greatly extended civil service unhappily appropriates an amount not more
than 65 per cent of its ordinary demands.

The legislative department establishes and defines the service, and
devolves upon the Executive Departments the obligation of submitting
annually the needful estimates of expenses of such service. Congress
properly exacts implicit obedience to the requirements of the law
in the administration of the public service and rigid accountability
in the expenditures therefor. It is submitted that a corresponding
responsibility and obligation rest upon it to make the adequate
appropriations to render possible such administration and tolerable such
exaction. Anything short of an ample provision for a specified service
is necessarily fraught with disaster to the public interests and is a
positive injustice to those charged with its execution.

To appropriate and to execute are corresponding obligations and duties,
and the adequacy of the former is the necessary measure of the
efficiency of the execution.

In this eighth month of the present session of Congress--nearly one
month of the fiscal year to which this appropriation applies having
passed--I do not feel warranted in vetoing an absolutely necessary
appropriation bill; but in signing it I deem it a duty to show where
the responsibility belongs for whatever embarrassments may arise in
the execution of the trust confided to me.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 31, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In response to the resolution of the Senate of July 20, 1876, calling
upon the President to communicate to the Senate, if in his opinion not
incompatible with the public interest, any information in regard to the
slaughter of American citizens at Hamburg, S.C., I have the honor to
submit the following inclosures, to wit:

No. 1. Letter of the 22d of July, 1876, from Governor D.H. Chamberlain,
of South Carolina, to me.

No. 2. My reply thereto.

No. 3. Report of Hon. William Stone, attorney-general of South Carolina.

No. 4. Report of General H.W. Purvis, adjutant and inspector general of
South Carolina.

No. 5. Copy of evidence taken before a coroner's jury investigating
facts relating to the Hamburg massacre.

No. 6. Printed copy of statement by M.C. Butler, of South Carolina.

No. 7. Printed letter from the same to the editors of the Journal of

No. 8. Copy of letter from Governor Chamberlain to the Hon. T.J.

No. 9. An address to the American people by the colored citizens of
Charleston, S.C.

No. 10. An address by a committee appointed at a convention of leading
representatives of Columbia, S.C.

No. 11. Copy of letter of July 15, 1876, from the district attorney of
Mississippi to the Attorney-General of the United States.

No. 12. Letter from same to same.

No. 13. Copy of report of a grand jury lately in session in Oxford,

These inclosures embrace all the information in my possession touching
the late disgraceful and brutal slaughter of unoffending men at the town
of Hamburg, S.C. My letter to Governor Chamberlain contains all the
comments I wish to make on the subject. As allusion is made in that
letter to the condition of other States, and particularly to Louisiana
and Mississippi, I have added to the inclosures letters and testimony in
regard to the lawless condition of a portion of the people of the latter

In regard to Louisiana affairs, murders and massacres of innocent men
for opinion's sake or on account of color have been of too recent date
and of too frequent occurrence to require recapitulation or testimony
here. All are familiar with their horrible details, the only wonder
being that so many justify them or apologize for them.

But recently a committee of the Senate of the United States visited the
State of Mississippi to take testimony on the subject of frauds and
violence in elections. Their report has not yet been made public, but I
await its forthcoming with a feeling of confidence that it will fully
sustain all that I have stated relating to fraud and violence in the
State of Mississippi.


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