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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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EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 11, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a telegram of the 5th of August instant from
Lieutenant-General Sheridan to General Sherman, a letter of the 11th of
the present month from General Sherman to the Secretary of War, and a
letter from the latter of the same date to me, all setting forth the
possible needs of the Army in consequence of existing hostilities.

I would strongly urge upon Congress the necessity for making some
provision for a contingency which may arise during the vacation--for
more troops in the Indian country than it is now possible to send.

It would seem to me to be much more economical and better to authorize
an increase of the present cavalry force by 2,500 privates, but if this
is not deemed advisable, then that the President be authorized to call
out not exceeding five regiments, 1,000 strong each, of volunteers, to
serve for a period not exceeding six months.

Should this latter authority be given, I would not order out any
volunteers unless in my opinion, based upon reports from the scene of
war, I deemed it absolutely necessary, and then only the smallest number
considered sufficient to meet the emergency.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 14, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In affixing my signature to the river and harbor bill, No. 3822,
I deem it my duty to announce to the House of Representatives my
objections to some features of the bill, and the reason I sign it.
If it was obligatory upon the Executive to expend all the money
appropriated by Congress, I should return the river and harbor bill
with my objections, notwithstanding the great inconvenience to the
public interests resulting therefrom and the loss of expenditures from
previous Congresses upon incompleted works. Without enumerating, many
appropriations are made for works of purely private or local interest,
in no sense national. I can not give my sanction to these, and will take
care that during my term of office no public money shall be expended
upon them.

There is very great necessity for economy of expenditures at this
time, growing out of the loss of revenue likely to arise from a
deficiency of appropriations to insure a thorough collection of the
same. The reduction of revenue districts, diminution of special agents,
and total abolition of supervisors may result in great falling off of
the revenue. It may be a question to consider whether any expenditure
can be authorized under the river and harbor appropriation further than
to protect works already done and paid for. Under no circumstances will
I allow expenditures upon works not clearly national.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _August 14, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In announcing, as I do, that I have attached my signature of official
approval to the "Act making appropriations for the consular and
diplomatic service of the Government for the year ending June 30, 1877,
and for other purposes," it is my duty to call attention to a provision
in the act directing that notice be sent to certain of the diplomatic
and consular officers of the Government "to close their offices."

In the literal sense of this direction it would be an invasion of the
constitutional prerogatives and duty of the Executive.

By the Constitution the President "shall have power, by and with the
advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds
of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint, ambassadors, other
public ministers, and consuls," etc.

It is within the power of Congress to grant or withhold appropriation
of money for the payment of salaries and expenses of the foreign
representatives of the Government.

In the early days of the Government a sum in gross was appropriated,
leaving it to the Executive to determine the grade of the officers and
the countries to which they should be sent.

Latterly, for very many years, specific sums have been appropriated
for designated missions or employments, and as a rule the omission by
Congress to make an appropriation for any specific port has heretofore
been accepted as an indication of a wish on the part of Congress which
the executive branch of the Government respected and complied with.

In calling attention to the passage which I have indicated I assume that
the intention of the provision is only to exercise the constitutional
prerogative of Congress over the expenditures of the Government and to
fix a time at which the compensation of certain diplomatic and consular
officers shall cease, and not to invade the constitutional rights of the
Executive, which I should be compelled to resist; and my present object
is not to discuss or dispute the wisdom of failing to appropriate for
several offices, but to guard against the construction that might
possibly be placed on the language used, as implying a right in the
legislative branch to direct the closing or discontinuing of any of the
diplomatic or consular offices of the Government.

U.S. GRANT.

[For message of August 15, 1876, withdrawing objections to Senate bill
No. 779, see p. 388.]

WASHINGTON, _August 15, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to its resolution of the 24th
ultimo, a report from the Secretary of State, with its accompanying
statement.[111]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 111: Aggregate number of civil officers in or connected with
the Department of State from 1859 to 1875, inclusive.]

VETO MESSAGES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 3, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval House bill No.
1561, entitled "An act transferring the custody of certain Indian trust
funds from the Secretary of the Interior to the Treasurer of the United
States," for the reasons set forth in the accompanying communication
from the Secretary of the Interior.

U.S. GRANT.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington, February 7, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 29th ultimo,
transmitting House bill No. 1561 and requesting this Department to
report whether any objections to its becoming a law are known to exist.

In reply I have the honor to state that I am fearful that the act is not
sufficiently definite in terms to accomplish the end desired, namely,
the mere transfer of the custody of said trust funds, enabling this
Department to receive the interest from the custodian and apply it as
heretofore without the intervention of Congress. The nature of the
guardianship and control over the Indians exercised by me as Secretary
and trustee is such as to require this Department to keep an account of
the funds to their credit or held in trust for them, and to receive the
interest on their trust funds promptly when due. I am fearful that this
bill may not allow me to do so, and to guard against any danger of
embarrassment in the transaction of this business I inclose a draft of
a bill[112] which, if substituted for the one already passed, will, it is
believed, obviate the difficulties which may arise if the present bill
should become a law.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. CHANDLER, _Secretary_.

[Footnote 112: Omitted.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 27, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval the bill (H.R.
No. 83) entitled "An act for the relief of James A. Hile, of Lewis
County, Mo.," for the reasons set forth in the accompanying
communication of the Secretary of War.

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, March 25, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return act H.R. 83, with the following report
from the Adjutant-General:

"It appears from the records of this office that James A. Hile, private
Company F, Twenty-first Missouri Volunteers, enlisted July 15, 1861;
deserted June 14, 1862; returned August 2, 1862; was restored to duty
by special order No. 38, headquarters District of Columbus, Department
of Tennessee, dated Columbus, Ky., February 26, 1863. He reenlisted
February 28, 1864, as a veteran volunteer; was tried by general
court-martial for absence without leave from November 25, 1864, to
December 13, 1864, and sentenced to forfeit all pay and allowances for
time absent by general order No. 48, headquarters Second Division,
Sixteenth Army Corps, dated May 22, 1865.

"On the muster-out roll of company dated April 19, 1866, he is reported,
'Deserted March 1, 1866, at Bladen Springs, Ala.'

"This man, in his application to this office for discharge, stated under
oath (affidavit dated July 27, 1870) that he left his command without
leave and returned to his home February 28, 1866, having previously
applied for a furlough, which was refused.

"This man, according to his own statement under oath, did desert as
reported, and if this bill becomes a law it will be an injustice to
every soldier who served honorably with his command until his services
were no longer required by the Government, in addition to falsifying
the record, as the bill directs the record shall be made to show he
is _no deserter_.

"This is only one of many similar cases."

The remarks of the Adjutant-General adverse to the passage of the bill
are concurred in.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALPHONSO TAFT, _Secretary of War_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 31, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

For the reasons set forth in the accompanying communication from the
Secretary of the Treasury, I have the honor to return herewith without
my approval Senate bill No. 489, entitled "An act for the relief of
G.B. Tyler and E.H. Luckett, assignees of William T. Cheatham."

U.S. GRANT.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, _March 30, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT:

Referring to the letter of the 25th instant, written by your direction,
transmitting Senate bill No. 489, "for the relief of G.B. Tyler and B.H.
Luckett, assignees of William T. Cheatham," and requesting my opinion as
to the propriety of its approval by you, I have to say that there are no
data on file in the Department, so far as I can learn, which indicate
that the amount it is proposed by this bill to refund to the assignees
of Mr. Cheatham was wrongfully collected or that the amount should be
refunded.

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in his report to me in reference
to the matter, says:

"The reimbursement to the United States by said Cheatham of the salary
paid to this storekeeper by the collector of internal revenue for the
months of December, 1869, and January, 1870, was in accordance with the
provisions of joint resolution of March 29, 1869 (16 U.S. Statutes at
Large, p. 52), and there appears to be no reason for the refunding by
the United States to the assignees of said Cheatham the salary of this
storekeeper that would not apply with equal force to similar payments by
all other distillers who were operating their distilleries or had
spirits in their warehouses at that time."

The facts above stated are considered by this office valid and serious
objections to the approval of this bill, and they would have been
communicated to the Congressional committee before the passage of the
bill had they called the attention of this office to the subject.

The bill is herewith returned.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B.H. BRISTOW, _Secretary_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 18, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Herewith I return Senate bill No. 172, entitled "An act fixing the
salary of the President of the United States," without my approval.

I am constrained to this course from a sense of duty to my successors in
office, to myself, and to what is due to the dignity of the position of
Chief Magistrate of a nation of more than 40,000,000 people.

When the salary of the President of the United States, pursuant to the
Constitution, was fixed at $25,000 per annum, we were a nation of but
3,000,000 people, poor from a long and exhaustive war, without commerce
or manufactures, with but few wants and those cheaply supplied. The
salary must then have been deemed small for the responsibilities and
dignity of the position, but justifiably so from the impoverished
condition of the Treasury and the simplicity it was desired to cultivate
in the Republic.

The salary of Congressmen under the Constitution was first fixed at
$6 per day for the time actually in session--an average of about one
hundred and twenty days to each session--or $720 per year, or less than
one-thirtieth of the salary of the President.

Congress have legislated upon their own salaries from time to time
since, until finally it reached $5,000 per annum, or one-fifth that of
the President, before the salary of the latter was increased.

No one having a knowledge of the cost of living at the national capital
will contend that the present salary of Congressmen is too high, unless
it is the intention to make the office one entirely of honor, when the
salary should be abolished--a proposition repugnant to our republican
ideas and institutions.

I do not believe the citizens of this Republic desire their public
servants to serve them without a fair compensation for their services.
Twenty-five thousand dollars does not defray the expenses of the
Executive for one year, or has not in my experience. It is not now
one-fifth in value of what it was at the time of the adoption of the
Constitution in supplying demands and wants.

Having no personal interest in this matter, I have felt myself free to
return this bill to the House in which it originated with my objections,
believing that in doing so I meet the wishes and judgment of the great
majority of those who indirectly pay all the salaries and other expenses
of Government.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _May 26, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return herewith without my approval House bill No. 1922, entitled
"An act providing for the recording of deeds, mortgages, and other
conveyances affecting real estate in the District of Columbia."

The objection to affixing my signature to this bill may be found in
the communication addressed to me by the Attorney-General, and which
accompanies this message.

U.S. GRANT.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, _Washington, May 23, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: In reply to your note of the 19th instant, in which you request
me to report whether there are objections to your approval of "An act
providing for the recording of deeds, mortgages, and other conveyances
affecting real estate in the District of Columbia," being House bill No.
1922, I have the honor to state that the bill seems to me objectionable
because of indefiniteness and uncertainty as to the time which it
purports to fix when deeds of trust, mortgages, etc., shall take effect
and be valid as to creditors and subsequent purchasers for valuable
consideration without notice. Although there is no constitutional
objection to the act, yet for the reason above stated I hesitate to
advise its approval.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARDS PIERREPONT, _Attorney-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _June 9, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I return herewith without my approval Senate bill No. 165, entitled
"An act for the relief of Michael W. Brock, of Meigs County, Tenn.,
late a private in Company D, Tenth Tennessee Volunteers."

The objection to affixing my signature to this bill may be found in the
indorsement (which accompanies this message) by the Adjutant-General of
the Army.

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, June 8, 1876_.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

The records of this office show that Michael W. Brock, Company D, Tenth
Tennessee Volunteers, deserted November 24, 1864, due United States for
horse and horse equipments, carbine, saber, and pistol, all complete.

He presented satisfactory evidence of his having left the service by
proper authority, and the charge of desertion has been removed and the
soldier furnished an honorable discharge.

No evidence has been presented to this office to establish that he was
erroneously charged with Government property.

If satisfactory evidence is furnished showing conclusively that this
soldier was erroneously charged with Government property, taken at time
of his reported desertion, the charge will be removed, and in that case
the inclosed act for his relief will be unnecessary.

ED TOWNSEND, _Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _June 30, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I return herewith without my approval Senate bill No. 692, entitled
"An act to amend chapter 166 of the laws of the second session of the
Forty-third Congress."

The objections to affixing my signature to this bill may be found in the
report, which accompanies this message, of the Chief of Engineers of the
Army to the Secretary of War.

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, June 28, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT:

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith Senate bill No. 692, "to amend
chapter 166 of the laws of the second session of the Forty-third
Congress," and beg to invite your attention to the report of the Chief
of Engineers dated the 27th instant, copy inclosed, and for the reasons
stated in said report it is believed the bill should not become a law.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, _June 27, 1876_.

Respectfully returned to the honorable the Secretary of War.

"An act to aid in the improvement of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, in
the State of Wisconsin," approved March 3, 1875, contains the following
clause:

"In case any lands or other property is now or shall be flowed or
injured by means of any part of the works of said improvement heretofore
or hereafter constructed, for which compensation is now or shall become
legally owing, and in the opinion of the officer in charge it is not
prudent that the dam or dams be lowered, the amount of such compensation
may be ascertained in like manner," etc.

The dams referred to in the above clause are at the outlets of Lake
Winnebago, known as the Neenah or Menasha channels of the Lower Fox
River.

The officer of the Department of Justice appointed under the provisions
of the act referred to to represent the interests of the United States
in legal proceedings "for flowage damages hereinbefore described,"
acting apparently under the assumption that because the dams in question
had not been lowered it was the opinion of the officer in charge that
they should not be lowered, has had such surveys, investigations, etc.,
made as were deemed necessary by him to protect the interests of the
United States, and under this action it is understood that, at the
instance of claimants, judges of the circuit court have appointed
commissioners to decide on the amount of compensation due, and the
judges have fixed the rate of compensation the commissioners are to
receive. These commissioners are not appointed at the instance of the
United States.

In this way the awards for damages have already been made to the amount
of $70,000, and ultimately a much larger sum will be claimed to be due
from the United States.

The officer of engineers in charge of the improvement of the Fox and
Wisconsin rivers reports that the dams which have occasioned the flowage
were not constructed by the canal companies, and are not at all
necessary for the purposes of navigation, and so far as that is
concerned could not only be lowered, but entirely dispensed with.

They were built by private parties solely for their own use and profit
and for water-power purposes, and have raised the water level and
caused the flowage, for which they should be held liable.

In view of the preceding facts, and for the additional reason that the
subject of the liability of the United States is now being investigated
by the Department of Justice, it is respectfully suggested that the
inclosed act to amend chapter 166 of the laws of the second session of
the Forty-third Congress (S. 692) should not become a law.

A.A. HUMPHREYS,

_Brigadier-General and Chief of Engineers_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 11, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

For the reasons set forth in the accompanying report of the Secretary of
War, I have the honor to return herewith without my approval House bill
No. 1337, entitled "An act for the relief of Nelson Tiffany."

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT, _June 7, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return House bill No. 1337, "for the relief of
Nelson Tiffany."

The Adjutant-General, to whom the bill was referred, reports as follows:

"Nelson Tiffany, private, Company A, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts
Volunteers, deserted October 10, 1864, and remained absent until April
25, 1865, when he surrendered under the President's proclamation,
thereby acknowledging his desertion.

"If this bill becomes a law, it will not only falsify the records of
this Department, but will be an injustice to every man who served
honorably during the War of the Rebellion."

* * * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 13, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

For the reasons stated in the accompanying report by the Commissioner of
Pensions to the Secretary of the Interior, I have the honor to return
without my approval House bill No. 11, entitled "An act granting a
pension to Eliza Jane Blumer."

U.S. GRANT.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington July 8, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith a bill (H.R. 11) entitled
"An act granting a pension to Eliza Jane Blumer," and to invite your
attention to the inclosed copy of a communication addressed to me on the
7th instant by the Commissioner of Pensions, relating to said bill.

In the opinion of this Department the misdescription of the soldier in
the bill is of such a character as would render it difficult, if not
impossible, to carry the provisions of the bill into effect should it
become a law.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

CHAS. T. GORHAM, _Acting Secretary_.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington, D.C., July 7, 1876_.

The HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith engrossed House bill No. 11,
giving to Eliza Jane Blumer a pension as a widow of Henry A. Blumer,
private of Company A, Forty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, with the
suggestion that if the bill is intended to pension Eliza Blumer, whose
application, No. 46382, on file in this office, has been rejected,
it should designate the soldier as of Company B of said regiment, it
failing to appear from the records of the War Department that he served
in any other company than that last named.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.A. BENTLEY, _Commissioner_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 20, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval House bill No.
2684, entitled "An act to amend sections 3946, 3951, and 3954 of the
Revised Statutes."

It is the judgment of the Postmaster-General, whose report accompanies
this message, that if this bill should become a law in its present form
it would fail to give effect to its provisions. The remedial suggestions
in his report are respectfully recommended to your attention,

U.S. GRANT.

POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, _Washington, D.C., July 19, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,

_Washington, D.C._

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith House bill No. 2684, "to amend
sections 3946, 3951, and 3954 of the Revised Statutes," with the
following objections thereto:

The sections of the Revised Statutes which this bill proposes to amend
were substantially repealed by the twelfth section of the act entitled
"An act making appropriations for the service of the Post-Office
Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1875, and for other
purposes," approved June 23, 1874. The sections of the Revised Statutes
numbered as indicated in the bill were enacted as sections 246 and 251
of the "act to revise, consolidate, and amend the statutes relating to
the Post-Office Department," approved June 8, 1872. These sections were
subsequently embodied in the revision of the statutes.

If the accompanying bill should become a law in its present form, it
would, in my judgment, fail to give effect to its provisions. The bill
is a very important one for the service of the Post-Office Department.
Efforts have been made for four or five years past to induce Congress to
pass just such a law. To break up the vicious system of straw bidding,
this bill would be very valuable, and I regret exceedingly that a
mistake should have been made in the title and enacting clause which
will render its provisions inoperative.

I therefore suggest that the attention of the House in which it
originated shall be called to the defects in the bill explained above;
and to enable that body to understand very fully what, in my judgment,
would be required to perfect it, I would suggest that the title should
read "A bill to amend subsections 246 and 251 of section 12 of an
act entitled 'An act making appropriations for the service of the
Post-Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1875, and for
other purposes,' approved June 23, 1874, and also to amend section 3954
of the Revised Statutes," and that the enacting clause of the bill
should be changed in conformity therewith.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

JAS. N. TYNER, _Postmaster-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 14, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

For the reason stated in the accompanying communication, submitted to me
by the Secretary of War, I have the honor to return herewith without my
approval House bill No. 36, entitled "An act to restore the name of
Captain Edward S. Meyer to the active list of the Army."

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington, D.C., August 4, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return House bill No. 36, "to restore the name
of Captain Edward S. Meyer to the active list of the Army," and beg to
invite your attention to the inclosed report of the Adjutant-General of
this date, stating objections to the approval of the bill.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, _August 4, 1876_.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

Edward S. Meyer served as a private in the Fourth Ohio Volunteers (three
months) from May 4, 1861, to August 18, 1861. He again enlisted as
private, Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, September 10, 1861; was promoted
first lieutenant November 1, 1861, and resigned September 27, 1862. He
was commissioned captain, One hundred and seventh Ohio Volunteers,
November 11, 1862; was wounded at Chancellorsville, Va., May 2, 1863,
and discharged for physical disability January 1, 1865. He was again
mustered into service February 8, 1865, as major, Fifth United States
Veteran Volunteers (Hancock's Corps), and mustered out March 20, 1866.
Was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brigadier-general of
volunteers March 13, 1865.

He was appointed captain, Thirty-fifth United States Infantry, July 28,
1866; became unassigned August 12, 1869; assigned to Nineteenth Infantry
August 5, 1870, and transferred to Ninth Cavalry January 1, 1871.
Retired August 24, 1872.

July 8, 1869, Captain Meyer applied for retirement on account of wounds
received at Chancellorsville May 2, 1863, by which he was incapacitated
for active service. No action was then had on the request, pending
action by Congress reducing the Army.

October 6, 1869, he asked to be placed on waiting orders, being unfit
for duty, and no possibility of improvement without going North. He was
accordingly relieved from duty and ordered home to await orders.

December 18, 1869, he called on the Secretary of War and asked to be
assigned to duty.

January 4, 1870, he again applied to be assigned to duty with some
regiment on the frontier, stating that his wound had healed, etc.,
and asking to withdraw his previous request for retirement. This was
accompanied by a similar request from his father, Mr. S. Meyer, of Ohio.

July 29, 1870, he applied the third time to withdraw application for
retirement and to be assigned to duty. On January 1, 1871, in accordance
with his repeated requests to be assigned to duty, he was assigned to
the Ninth Cavalry, serving in Texas. He joined the regiment, and on
March 4, 1872, he renewed his former request to be ordered before a
retiring board, stating that he found his injuries would not allow him
to remain on duty on the frontier; that his disability was constantly
increasing, etc. The medical director of the department approved the
request, and added that Captain Meyer's wounds certainly unfitted him
for service on the frontier.

April 13, 1872, Senator Sherman joined in requesting retirement of
Captain Meyer. He was ordered before the retiring board and on August
20, 1872, was examined.

The board found Captain Meyer "incapacitated for active service, and
that said incapacity results from a gunshot wound received in his lower
jaw at the battle of Chancellorsville, Va., May 2, 1863," when captain
in One hundred and seventh Ohio Volunteers. He was retired in accordance
with the finding.

March 21 and December 6, 1873, Captain Meyer asked restoration to active
service and reappointment as a captain of cavalry, which application was
disapproved by the General of the Army.

Pending the action on the bill before Congress no reports were called
for as to the official facts of record in the War Department, and no
evidence has been filed in this office showing that he has sufficiently
recovered.

The absence of such evidence and the fact that after one assignment to
active duty he has failed to be sufficiently recovered are submitted as
objections why the bill should not be approved.

E.D. TOWNSEND, _Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 15, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith return House bill No. 4085 without my approval. The repeal of
the clause in the original bill for paving Pennsylvania avenue fixing
the time for the completion of the work by December 1, 1876, is
objectionable in this, that it fixes no date when the work is to be
completed.

Experience shows that where contractors have unlimited time to complete
any given work they consult their own convenience, and not the public
good. Should Congress deem it proper to amend the present bill in such
manner as to fix the date for the completion of the work to be done by
any date between December 1 and the close of my official term, it will
receive my approval.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 15, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

For the reasons stated in the accompanying communication, submitted to
me by the Acting Secretary of the Interior, I have the honor to return
herewith without my approval Senate bill No. 779, entitled "An act to
provide for the sale of a portion of the reservation of the confederated
Otoe and Missouria and the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri tribes of
Indians, in the States of Kansas and Nebraska."

U.S. GRANT.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington, D.C., August 14, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith the bill (S. No. 779) entitled
"An act to provide for the sale of a portion of the reservation of the
confederated Otoe and Missouria and the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri
tribes of Indians, in the States of Kansas and Nebraska," and to invite
your attention to the inclosed copy of a letter this day addressed to me
by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, stating that the bill, in his
opinion, should not become a law.

I fully concur in the opinion expressed by the Commissioner, and for the
reasons stated in his letter do not feel at liberty to recommend your
approval of the bill. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your
obedient servant,

CHAS. T. GORHAM, _Acting Secretary_.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,

_Washington, D.C., August 14, 1876_.

The HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith, in accordance with your verbal
request, a bill entitled "An act to provide for the sale of a portion of
the reservation of the confederated Otoe and Missouria and the Sacs and
Foxes of the Missouri tribes of Indians, in the States of Kansas and
Nebraska," with my views thereon, the same having passed both Houses of
Congress and now awaits the approval of the President.

Your attention is respectfully invited to the act of June 10, 1872 (17
U.S. Statutes at Large, p. 391), which provides for the sale of these
reservations, or a portion of them. The whole of both these reservations
has been surveyed, a portion in accordance with this act of Congress and
the remainder with a view to the allotment of lands to the Indians.

The second section of the bill provides for the appraisement of the
whole reservation, while the third section authorizes the sale of a
portion not exceeding 120,000 acres, a portion of which is in Kansas.

The bill authorizes the sale of that portion lying in Kansas through the
land office located at Beatrice, Nebr. No provision is made for the
relief of such Indians, if any there be, who may have settled upon the
portion authorized to be sold, and who may have made improvements
thereon. Moreover, in fulfillment of treaty obligations, the assent of
the Indians to the operations of the whole bill, and not simply to the
first section, should be required, as in the case of the Menominees (16
U.S. Statutes at Large, p. 410). In my opinion, this bill should not
receive the approval of the President.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.Q. SMITH, _Commissioner_.

[The Senate proceeded, as the Constitution prescribes, to reconsider
the said bill returned by the President of the United States with his
objections, and pending the question, Shall the bill pass, the
objections of the President of the United States to the contrary
notwithstanding? the following message was received:]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 15, 1876_,

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Upon further investigation I am convinced that my message of this date,
withholding my signature from Senate bill No. 779, entitled "An act to
provide for the sale of a portion of the reservation of the confederated
Otoe and Missouria and the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri tribes of
Indians, in the States of Kansas and Nebraska," was premature, and I
request, therefore, that the bill may be returned, in order that I may
affix my signature to it.

U.S. GRANT.

[A motion to refer the last message to the Committee on Privileges
and Elections was, after debate, determined in the negative; and the
question recurring, Shall the bill pass, the objections of the President of
the United States to the contrary notwithstanding? it was determined in
the affirmative--yeas 36, nays 0.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 15, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

For the reasons presented in the accompanying communications, submitted
by the Secretary of War, I have the honor to return herewith without my
approval Senate bill No. 561, entitled "An act for the relief of Major
Junius T. Turner."

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, August 14, 1876_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return Senate bill 561, "for the relief of
Major Junius T. Turner," with copy of the report of the Adjutant-General
of this date, stating objections to the approval of the bill.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_August 14, 1876_.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

The following objections exist to this bill becoming a law:

The bill as passed both Houses awards "such sum as shall equal the
travel pay of a captain of volunteers from Washington, D.C., to San
Francisco, Cal.," whereas at the date of the discharge of Junius T.
Turner he was a private of Company B, California Battalion, Second
Massachusetts Cavalry, and not a commissioned officer.

Aside from this, under the established regulations and rulings of the
Treasury and War Departments, "a soldier, on receiving and accepting
a commission as a company officer, is not entitled to traveling
allowances." A departure from this rule, heretofore adhered to, would
open up a very wide field for similar claims.

Private Junius T. Turner, Second Massachusetts Cavalry, was discharged
by way of favor March 28, 1864, to accept promotion as second
lieutenant, Third Maryland Cavalry, and was mustered as of that grade in
said regiment March 29, 1864.

He was honorably discharged September 7, 1865, as captain, Third
Maryland Cavalry, as set forth in the inclosed official copy of a
letter[113] from this office, dated June 7, 1876, to Hon. C.D. MacDougall,
M.C., of Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives.

E.D. TOWNSEND, _Adjutant-General_.

[Footnote 113: Omitted.]

[The Senate proceeded, as the Constitution prescribes, to reconsider
the said bill returned by the President of the United States with
his objections, and pending the question, Shall the bill pass, the
objections of the President of the United States to the contrary
notwithstanding? it was ordered that the message be referred to the
Committee on Military Affairs. At the next (second) session of the
Forty-fourth Congress the following message was received:]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 12, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

On the eve of the adjournment of the last session of Congress I returned
to the Senate bill No. 561, entitled "An act for the relief of Major
Junius T. Turner," with my objections to its becoming a law. I now
desire to withdraw those objections, as I am satisfied they were made
under a misapprehension of the facts.

U.S. GRANT.

[This message was also referred to the Committee on Military Affairs,
which committee, on February 13, 1877, reported to the Senate a
recommendation that the bill do pass, the objections of the President of
the United States to the contrary notwithstanding. No action was taken.]

PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by the first section of an act entitled "An act to authorize the
President to accept for citizens of the United States the jurisdiction
of certain tribunals in the Ottoman dominions and Egypt, established or
to be established under the authority of the Sublime Porte and of the
Government of Egypt," approved March 23, 1874, it was enacted as
follows:

That whenever the President of the United States shall receive
satisfactory information that the Ottoman Government or that of Egypt
has organized other tribunals on a basis likely to secure to citizens of
the United States in their domains the same impartial justice which they
now enjoy there under the judicial functions exercised by the minister,
consuls, and other functionaries of the United States pursuant to the
act of Congress approved the 22d of June, 1860, entitled "An act to
carry into effect provisions of the treaties between the United States,
China, Persia, and other countries giving certain judicial powers to
ministers and consuls or other functionaries of the United States in
those countries, and for other purposes," he is hereby authorized to
suspend the operations of said acts as to the dominions in which such
tribunals may be organized so far as the jurisdiction of said tribunals
may embrace matters now cognizable by the minister, consuls, or other
functionaries of the United States in said dominions, and to notify the
Government of the Sublime Porte, or that of Egypt, or either of them,
that the United States during such suspension will, as aforesaid, accept
for their citizens the jurisdiction of the tribunals aforesaid over
citizens of the United States which has heretofore been exercised by the
minister, consuls, or other functionaries of the United States.

And whereas satisfactory information has been received by me that the
Government of Egypt has organized other tribunals on a basis likely
to secure to citizens of the United States in the dominions subject
to such Government the impartial justice which they now enjoy there
under the judicial functions exercised by the minister, consul, or other
functionaries of the United States pursuant to the said act of Congress
approved June 22, 1860:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the power and authority conferred upon me by the
said act approved March 23, 1874, do hereby suspend during the pleasure
of the President the operation of the said act approved June 22, 1860,
as to the said dominions subject to the Government of Egypt in which
such tribunals have been organized, so far as the jurisdiction of said
tribunals may embrace matters now cognizable by the minister, consuls,
or other functionaries of the United States in said dominions, except
as to cases actually commenced before the date hereof.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 27th day of March, A.D. 1876, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundredth.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas a joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States was duly approved on the 13th day of March last, which
resolution is as follows:

_Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_, That it be, and is
hereby, recommended by the Senate and House of Representatives to
the people of the several States that they assemble in their several
counties or towns on the approaching centennial anniversary of our
national independence, and that they cause to have delivered on such
day an historical sketch of said county or town from its formation,
and that a copy of said sketch may be filed, in print or manuscript,
in the clerk's office of said county, and an additional copy, in print
or manuscript, be filed in the office of the Librarian of Congress,
to the intent that a complete record may thus be obtained of the
progress of our institutions during the first centennial of their
existence.

And whereas it is deemed proper that such recommendation be brought to
the notice and knowledge of the people of the United States:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do
hereby declare and make known the same, in the hope that the object of
such resolution may meet the approval of the people of the United States
and that proper steps may be taken to carry the same into effect.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 25th day of May,
A.D. 1876, and of the Independence of the United States the one
hundredth.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

The centennial anniversary of the day on which the people of the United
States declared their right to a separate and equal station among the
powers of the earth seems to demand an exceptional observance.

The founders of the Government, at its birth and in its feebleness,
invoked the blessings and the protection of a Divine Providence, and
the thirteen colonies and three millions of people have expanded into
a nation of strength and numbers commanding the position which then was
asserted and for which fervent prayers were then offered.

It seems fitting that on the occurrence of the hundredth anniversary of
our existence as a nation a grateful acknowledgment should be made to
Almighty God for the protection and the bounties which He has vouchsafed
to our beloved country.

I therefore invite the good people of the United States, on the
approaching 4th day of July, in addition to the usual observances with
which they are accustomed to greet the return of the day, further,
in such manner and at such time as in their respective localities and
religious associations may be most convenient, to mark its recurrence
by some public religious and devout thanksgiving to Almighty God for
the blessings which have been bestowed upon us as a nation during the
century of our existence, and humbly to invoke a continuance of His
favor and of His protection.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 26th day of June, A.D. 1876, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the one hundredth.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the Congress of the United States did, by an act approved on the
3d day of March, 1875, authorize the inhabitants of the Territory of
Colorado to form for themselves out of said Territory a State government
with the name of the State of Colorado, and for the admission of such
State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States upon
certain conditions in said act specified; and

Whereas it was provided by said act of Congress that the convention
elected by the people of said Territory to frame a State constitution
should, when assembled for that purpose and after organization, declare
on behalf of the people that they adopt the Constitution of the United
States, and should also provide by an ordinance, irrevocable without
the consent of the United States and the people of said State, that
perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured and that no
inhabitant of said State shall ever be molested in person or property
on account of his or her mode of religious worship, and that the people
inhabiting said Territory do agree and declare that they forever
disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying
within said Territory and that the same shall be and remain at the
sole and entire disposition of the United States, and that the lands
belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said
State shall never be taxed higher than the lands belonging to residents
thereof, and that no taxes shall be imposed by the State on lands or
property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased by
the United States; and

Whereas it was further provided by said act that the constitution
thus formed for the people of the Territory of Colorado should, by an
ordinance of the convention forming the same, be submitted to the people
of said Territory for ratification or rejection at an election to be
held in the month of July, 1876, at which election the lawful voters
of said new State should vote directly for or against the proposed
constitution, and the returns of said election should be made to the
acting governor of the Territory, who, with the chief justice and United
States attorney of said Territory, or any two of them, should canvass
the same, and, if a majority of legal votes should be cast for said
constitution in said proposed State the said acting governor should
certify the same to the President of the United States, together with
a copy of said constitution and ordinances, whereupon it should be the
duty of the President of the United States to issue his proclamation
declaring the State admitted into the Union on an equal footing with
the original States, without any further action whatever on the part
of Congress; and

Whereas it has been certified to me by the acting governor of said
Territory of Colorado that within the time prescribed by said act of
Congress a constitution for said proposed State has been adopted and the
same ratified by a majority of the legal voters of said proposed new
State, in accordance with the conditions prescribed by said act of
Congress; and

Whereas a duly authenticated copy of said constitution and of the
declaration and ordinance required by said act has been received by me:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States of
America, do, in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress
aforesaid, declare and proclaim the fact that the fundamental conditions
imposed by Congress on the State of Colorado to entitle that State to
admission to the Union have been ratified and accepted, and that the
admission of the said State into the Union is now complete.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 1st day of August, A.D. 1876, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and
first.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by Article V of a convention concluded at Washington upon the
30th day of January, 1875, between the United States of America and His
Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands it was provided as follows,
viz:

The present convention shall take effect as soon as it shall have been
approved and proclaimed by His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands
and shall have been ratified and duly proclaimed on the part of the
Government of the United States, but not until a law to carry it into
operation shall have been passed by the Congress of the United States
of America. Such assent having been given and the ratifications of
the convention having been exchanged as provided in Article VI, the
convention shall remain in force for seven years from the date at which
it may come into operation, and, further, until the expiration of twelve
months after either of the high contracting parties shall give notice
to the other of its wish to terminate the same, each of the high
contracting parties being at liberty to give such notice to the other
at the end of the said term of seven years or at any time thereafter.

And whereas such convention has been approved and proclaimed by His
Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands and has been ratified and duly
proclaimed on the part of the United States, and a law to carry the same
into operation has been passed by the Congress of the United States, and
the ratifications of the convention have been exchanged as provided in
Article VI thereof; and

Whereas the Acting Secretary of State of the United States and His
Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Washington
have recorded in a protocol a conference held by them at Washington on
the 9th day of September, 1876, in the following language:

Whereas it is provided by Article V of the convention between the United
States of America and His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands
concerning commercial reciprocity, signed at Washington on the 30th day
of January, 1875, as follows:

"Art. V. The present convention shall take effect as soon as it shall
have been approved and proclaimed by His Majesty the King of the
Hawaiian Islands and shall have been ratified and duly proclaimed on
the part of the Government of the United States, but not until the law
to carry it into operation shall have been passed by the Congress of
the United States of America. Such assent having been given and the
ratifications of the convention having been exchanged as provided in
Article VI, the convention shall remain in force for seven years from
the date at which it may come into operation, and, further, until the
expiration of twelve months after either of the high contracting parties
shall give notice to the other of its wish to terminate the same, each
of the high contracting parties being at liberty to give such notice to
the other at the end of the said term of seven years or at any time
thereafter;" and

Whereas the said convention has been approved and proclaimed by His
Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands, and has been ratified and duly
proclaimed on the part of the Government of the United States; and

Whereas an act was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled, entitled "An act to
carry into effect a convention between the United States of America and
His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands signed on the 30th day of
January, 1875," which was approved on the 15th day of August, in the
year 1876; and

Whereas an act was passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian
Islands entitled "An act to carry into effect a convention between His
Majesty the King and the United States of America signed at Washington
on the 30th day of January; 1875," which was duly approved on the 18th
day of July, in the year 1876; and

Whereas the ratifications of the said convention have been exchanged as
provided in Article VI:

The undersigned, William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State of the
United States of America, and the Hon. Elisha H. Allen, chief justice
of the supreme court, chancellor of the Kingdom, member of the privy
council of state, and His Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary to the United States of America, duly authorized for
this purpose by their respective Governments, have met together at
Washington, and, having found the said convention has been approved and
proclaimed by His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands and has been
ratified and duly proclaimed on the part of the Government of the United
States, and that the laws required to carry the said treaty into
operation have been passed by the Congress of the United States of
America on the one part and by the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian
Islands on the other, hereby declare that the convention aforesaid,
concluded between the United States of America and His Majesty the King
of the Hawaiian Islands on the 30th day of January, 1875, will take
effect on the date hereof.

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States
of America, in pursuance of the premises, do declare that the said
convention has been approved and proclaimed by His Majesty the King
of the Hawaiian Islands and been ratified and duly proclaimed on the
part of the Government of the United States, and that the necessary
legislation has been passed to carry the same into effect, and that the
ratifications of the convention have been exchanged as provided in
Article VI.

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

[SEAL.]

Done in the city of Washington, this 9th day of September, A.D. 1876,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred
and first.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
W. HUNTER,
_Acting Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it has been satisfactorily shown to me that insurrection and
domestic violence exist in several counties of the State of South
Carolina, and that certain combinations of men against law exist in
many counties of said State known as "rifle clubs," who ride up and
down by day and night in arms, murdering some peaceable citizens and
intimidating others, which combinations, though forbidden by the laws of
the State, can not be controlled or suppressed by the ordinary course of
justice; and

Whereas it is provided in the Constitution of the United States that the
United States shall protect every State in this Union, on application of
the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature can not be
convened), against domestic violence; and

Whereas by laws in pursuance of the above it is provided (in the laws of
the United States) that in all cases of insurrection in any State or of
obstruction to the laws thereof it shall be lawful for the President of
the United States, on application of the legislature of such State, or
of the executive (when the legislature can not be convened), to call
forth the militia of any other State or States, or to employ such part
of the land and naval forces as shall be judged necessary, for the
purpose of suppressing such insurrection or causing the laws to be duly
executed; and

Whereas the legislature of said State is not now in session and can not
be convened in time to meet the present emergency and the executive of
said State, under section 4 of Article IV of the Constitution of the
United States and the laws passed in pursuance thereof, has therefore
made due application to me in the premises for such part of the military
force of the United States as may be necessary and adequate to protect
said State and the citizens thereof against domestic violence and to
enforce the due execution of the laws; and

Whereas it is required that whenever it may be necessary, in the
judgment of the President, to use the military force for the purpose
aforesaid, he shall forthwith, by proclamation, command such insurgents
to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective homes within a
limited time:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States,
do hereby make proclamation and command all persons engaged in said
unlawful and insurrectionary proceedings to disperse and retire
peaceably to their respective abodes within three days from this date,
and hereafter abandon said combinations and submit themselves to the
laws and constituted authorities of said State.

And I invoke the aid and cooperation of all good citizens thereof to
uphold the laws and preserve the public peace.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 17th day of October, A.D. 1876, and
of the Independence of the United States one hundred and one.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
JOHN L. CADWALADER,
_Acting Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

From year to year we have been accustomed to pause in our daily pursuits
and set apart a time to offer our thanks to Almighty God for the special
blessings He has vouchsafed to us, with our prayers for a continuance
thereof.

We have at this time equal reason to be thankful for His continued
protection and for the many material blessings which His bounty has
bestowed.

In addition to these favors accorded to us as individuals, we have
especial occasion to express our hearty thanks to Almighty God that by
His providence and guidance our Government, established a century ago,
has been enabled to fulfill the purpose of its founders in offering an
asylum to the people of every race, securing civil and religious liberty
to all within its borders, and meting out to every individual alike
justice and equality before the law.

It is, moreover, especially our duty to offer our humble prayers to the
Father of All Mercies for a continuance of His divine favor to us as a
nation and as individuals.

By reason of all these considerations, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of
the United States, do recommend to the people of the United States to
devote the 30th day of November next to the expression of their thanks
and prayers to Almighty God, and, laying aside their daily avocations
and all secular occupations, to assemble in their respective places of
worship and observe such day as a day of thanksgiving and rest.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 26th day of October, A.D. 1876, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and
first.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, May 20, 1876_.

SIR:[114] The President directs me to say that the several Departments of
the Government will be closed on Tuesday, the 30th instant, to enable the
employees to participate in the decoration of the graves of the soldiers
who fell during the rebellion.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

C.C. SNIFFEN, _Secretary_.

[Footnote 114: Addressed to the heads of the Executive Departments, etc.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, August 10, 1876_.

By direction of the President, General W.T. Sherman and
Brigadier-General M.C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General United States Army,
are appointed members of the commission to examine "the whole subject of
reform and reorganization of the Army of the United States," as provided
by section 4, act approved July 24, 1876, "making appropriations for the
support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1877, and for
other purposes."

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

WASHINGTON, _August 21, 1876_.

It is with extreme pain that the President announces to the
people of the United States the death of the Speaker of the House
of Representatives, the Hon. Michael C. Kerr, of Indiana.

A man of great intellectual endowments, large culture, great probity and
earnestness in his devotion to the public interests, has passed from the
position, power, and usefulness to which he had been recently called.

The body over which he had been selected to preside not being in
session to render its tribute of affection and respect to the memory of
the deceased, the President invites the people of the United States to a
solemn recognition of the public and private worth and the services of a
pure and eminent character.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
JOHN L. CADWALADER,
_Acting Secretary of State_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _November 23, 1876_.

A joint resolution adopted by Congress August 5, 1876, declares that--

Whereas it is ascertained that the hostile Indians of the Northwest are
largely equipped with arms which require special metallic cartridges,
and that such special ammunition is in large part supplied to such
hostile Indians, directly or indirectly, through traders and others in
the Indian country: Therefore,

_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the President of the
United States is hereby authorized and requested to take such measures
as in his judgment may be necessary to prevent such special metallic
ammunition being conveyed to such hostile Indians, and is further
authorized to declare the same contraband of war in such district of
country as he may designate during the continuance of hostilities.

To carry into effect the above-cited resolution, the sale of fixed
ammunition or metallic cartridges by any trader or other person in
any district of the Indian country occupied by hostile Indians, or
over which they roam, is hereby prohibited; and all such ammunition or
cartridges introduced into said country by traders or other persons,
and that are liable in any way or manner, directly or indirectly, to
be received by such hostile Indians, shall be deemed contraband of war,
seized by any military officer and confiscated; and the district of
country to which this prohibition shall apply during the continuance
of hostilities is hereby designated as that which embraces all Indian
country, or country occupied by Indians or subject to their visits,
lying within the Territories of Montana, Dakota, and Wyoming and the
States of Nebraska and Colorado.

U.S. GRANT.

EIGHTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 5, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In submitting my eighth and last annual message to Congress it seems
proper that I should refer to and in some degree recapitulate the events
and official acts of the past eight years.

It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief
Executive without any previous political training. From the age of 17
I had never even witnessed the excitement attending a Presidential
campaign but twice antecedent to my own candidacy, and at but one of
them was I eligible as a voter.

Under such circumstances it is but reasonable to suppose that
errors of judgment must have occurred. Even had they not, differences
of opinion between the Executive, bound by an oath to the strict
performance of his duties, and writers and debaters must have arisen.
It is not necessarily evidence of blunder on the part of the Executive
because there are these differences of views. Mistakes have been made,
as all can see and I admit, but it seems to me oftener in the selections
made of the assistants appointed to aid in carrying out the various
duties of administering the Government--in nearly every case selected
without a personal acquaintance with the appointee, but upon
recommendations of the representatives chosen directly by the people.
It is impossible, where so many trusts are to be allotted, that the
right parties should be chosen in every instance. History shows that no
Administration from the time of Washington to the present has been free
from these mistakes. But I leave comparisons to history, claiming only
that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do
what was right, constitutional, within the law, and for the very best
interests of the whole people. Failures have been errors of judgment,
not of intent.

My civil career commenced, too, at a most critical and difficult time.
Less than four years before, the country had emerged from a conflict
such as no other nation had ever survived. Nearly one-half of the States
had revolted against the Government, and of those remaining faithful
to the Union a large percentage of the population sympathized with the
rebellion and made an "enemy in the rear" almost as dangerous as the
more honorable enemy in the front. The latter committed errors of
judgment, but they maintained them openly and courageously; the former
received the protection of the Government they would see destroyed, and
reaped all the pecuniary advantage to be gained out of the then existing
state of affairs, many of them by obtaining contracts and by swindling
the Government in the delivery of their goods.

Immediately on the cessation of hostilities the then noble President,
who had carried the country so far through its perils, fell a martyr
to his patriotism at the hands of an assassin.

The intervening time to my first inauguration was filled up with
wranglings between Congress and the new Executive as to the best mode
of "reconstruction," or, to speak plainly, as to whether the control
of the Government should be thrown immediately into the hands of those
who had so recently and persistently tried to destroy it, or whether
the victors should continue to have an equal voice with them in this
control. Reconstruction, as finally agreed upon, means this and only
this, except that the late slave was enfranchised, giving an increase,
as was supposed, to the Union-loving and Union-supporting votes. If
_free_ in the full sense of the word, they would not disappoint this
expectation. Hence at the beginning of my first Administration the
work of reconstruction, much embarrassed by the long delay, virtually
commenced. It was the work of the legislative branch of the Government.
My province was wholly in approving their acts, which I did most
heartily, urging the legislatures of States that had not yet done so
to ratify the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution. The country
was laboring under an enormous debt, contracted in the suppression of
rebellion, and taxation was so oppressive as to discourage production.
Another danger also threatened us--a foreign war. The last difficulty
had to be adjusted, and was adjusted without a war and in a manner
highly honorable to all parties concerned. Taxes have been reduced
within the last seven years nearly $300,000,000, and the national debt
has been reduced in the same time over $435,000,000. By refunding
the 6 per cent bonded debt for bonds bearing 5 and 4-1/2 per cent
interest, respectively, the annual interest has been reduced from over
$130,000,000 in 1869 to but little over $100,000,000 in 1876. The
balance of trade has been changed from over $130,000,000 against the
United States in 1869 to more than $120,000,000 in our favor in 1876.

It is confidently believed that the balance of trade in favor of the
United States will increase, not diminish, and that the pledge of
Congress to resume specie payments in 1879 will be easily accomplished,
even in the absence of much-desired further legislation on the subject.

A policy has been adopted toward the Indian tribes inhabiting a large
portion of the territory of the United States which has been humane and
has substantially ended Indian hostilities in the whole land except in a
portion of Nebraska, and Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana Territories--the
Black Hills region and approaches thereto. Hostilities there have grown
out of the avarice of the white man, who has violated our treaty
stipulations in his search for gold. The question might be asked why
the Government has not enforced obedience to the terms of the treaty
prohibiting the occupation of the Black Hills region by whites. The
answer is simple: The first immigrants to the Black Hills were removed
by troops, but rumors of rich discoveries of gold took into that region
increased numbers. Gold has actually been found in paying quantity,
and an effort to remove the miners would only result in the desertion
of the bulk of the troops that might be sent there to remove them. All
difficulty in this matter has, however, been removed--subject to the
approval of Congress--by a treaty ceding the Black Hills and approaches
to settlement by citizens.

The subject of Indian policy and treatment is so fully set forth by the
Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and my
views so fully expressed therein, that I refer to their reports and
recommendations as my own.

The relations of the United States with foreign powers continue on a
friendly footing.

Questions have arisen from time to time in the foreign relations of the
Government, but the United States have been happily free during the past
year from the complications and embarrassments which have surrounded
some of the foreign powers.

The diplomatic correspondence submitted herewith contains information as
to certain of the matters which have occupied the Government.

The cordiality which attends our relations with the powers of the earth
has been plainly shown by the general participation of foreign nations
in the exhibition which has just closed and by the exertions made by
distant powers to show their interest in and friendly feelings toward
the United States in the commemoration of the centennial of the nation.
The Government and people of the United States have not only fully
appreciated this exhibition of kindly feeling, but it may be justly and
fairly expected that no small benefits will result both to ourselves and
other nations from a better acquaintance, and a better appreciation of
our mutual advantages and mutual wants.

Congress at its last session saw fit to reduce the amount usually
appropriated for foreign intercourse by withholding appropriations for
representatives of the United States in certain foreign countries and
for certain consular officers, and by reducing the amounts usually
appropriated for certain other diplomatic posts, and thus necessitating
a change in the grade of the representatives. For these reasons,
immediately upon the passage of the bill making appropriations for
the diplomatic and consular service for the present fiscal year,
instructions were issued to the representatives of the United States at
Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia, and to the consular officers for whom no
appropriation had been made, to close their respective legations and
consulates and cease from the performance of their duties; and in like
manner steps were immediately taken to substitute charges d'affaires
for ministers resident in Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, and
Paraguay.

While thoroughly impressed with the wisdom of sound economy in the
foreign service, as in other branches of the Government, I can not
escape the conclusion that in some instances the withholding of
appropriations will prove an expensive economy, and that the small
retrenchment secured by a change of grade in certain diplomatic posts is
not an adequate consideration for the loss of influence and importance
which will attend our foreign representatives under this reduction. I am
of the opinion that a reexamination of the subject will cause a change
in some instances in the conclusions reached on these subjects at the
last session of Congress.

The Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, whose functions were
continued by an act of the last session of Congress until the 1st day
of January, 1877, has carried on its labors with diligence and general
satisfaction. By a report from the clerk of the court, transmitted
herewith, bearing date November 14, 1876, it appears that within the
time now allowed by law the court will have disposed of all the claims
presented for adjudication. This report also contains a statement of the
general results of the labors of the court to the date thereof. It is a
cause of satisfaction that the method adopted for the satisfaction of
the classes of claims submitted to the court, which are of long standing
and justly entitled to early consideration, should have proved
successful and acceptable.

It is with satisfaction that I am enabled to state that the work of the
joint commission for determining the boundary line between the United
States and British possessions from the northwest angle of the Lake of
the Woods to the Rocky Mountains, commenced in 1872, has been completed.
The final agreements of the commissioners, with the maps, have been duly
signed, and the work of the commission is complete.

The fixing of the boundary upon the Pacific coast by the protocol of
March 10, 1873, pursuant to the award of the Emperor of Germany by
Article XXXIV of the treaty of Washington, with the termination of the
work of this commission, adjusts and fixes the entire boundary between
the United States and the British possessions, except as to the portion
of territory ceded by Russia to the United States under the treaty of
1867. The work intrusted to the commissioner and the officers of the
Army attached to the commission has been well and satisfactorily
performed. The original of the final agreement of the commissioners,
signed upon the 29th of May, 1876, with the original official "lists
of astronomical stations observed," the original official "list of
monuments marking the international boundary line," and the maps,
records, and general reports relating to the commission, have been
deposited in the Department of State. The official report of the
commissioner on the part of the United States, with the report of the
chief astronomer of the United States, will be submitted to Congress
within a short time.

I reserve for a separate communication to Congress a statement of the
condition of the questions which lately arose with Great Britain
respecting the surrender of fugitive criminals under the treaty of 1842.

The Ottoman Government gave notice, under date of January 15, 1874,
of its desire to terminate the treaty of 1862, concerning commerce and
navigation, pursuant to the provisions of the twenty-second article
thereof. Under this notice the treaty terminated upon the 5th day of
June, 1876. That Government has invited negotiations toward the
conclusion of a new treaty.

By the act of Congress of March 23, 1874, the President was authorized,
when he should receive satisfactory information that the Ottoman
Government or that of Egypt had organized new tribunals likely to secure
to citizens of the United States the same impartial justice enjoyed
under the exercise of judicial functions by diplomatic and consular
officers of the United States, to suspend the operation of the act of
June 22, 1860, and to accept for citizens of the United States the
jurisdiction of the new tribunals. Satisfactory information having been
received of the organization of such new tribunals in Egypt, I caused a
proclamation[115] to be issued upon the 27th of March last, suspending
the operation of the act of June 22, 1860, in Egypt, according to the
provisions of the act. A copy of the proclamation accompanies this
message. The United States has united with the other powers in the
organization of these courts. It is hoped that the jurisdictional
questions which have arisen may be readily adjusted, and that this
advance in judicial reform may be hindered by no obstacles.

The necessary legislation to carry into effect the convention respecting
commercial reciprocity concluded with the Hawaiian Islands in 1875
having been had, the proclamation to carry into effect the convention,
as provided by the act approved August 15, 1876, was duly issued upon
the 9th day of September last. A copy thereof accompanies this
message.[116]

The commotions which have been prevalent in Mexico for some time past,
and which, unhappily, seem to be net yet wholly quieted, have led to
complaints of citizens of the United States of injuries by persons in
authority. It is hoped, however, that these will ultimately be adjusted
to the satisfaction of both Governments. The frontier of the United
States in that quarter has not been exempt from acts of violence by
citizens of one Republic on those of the other. The frequency of these
is supposed to be increased and their adjustment made more difficult
by the considerable changes in the course of the lower part of the
Rio Grande River, which river is a part of the boundary between the
two countries. These changes have placed on either side of that
river portions of land which by existing conventions belong to the
jurisdiction of the Government on the opposite side of the river.
The subject of adjustment of this cause of difficulty is under
consideration between the two Republics.

The Government of the United States of Colombia has paid the award
in the case of the steamer _Montijo_, seized by authorities of that
Government some years since, and the amount has been transferred to the
claimants.

It is with satisfaction that I am able to announce that the joint
commission for the adjustment of claims between the United States and
Mexico under the convention of 1868, the duration of which has been
several times extended, has brought its labors to a close. From the
report of the agent of the United States, which accompanies the papers
transmitted herewith, it will be seen that within the time limited by
the commission 1,017 claims on the part of citizens of the United States
against Mexico were referred to the commission. Of these claims 831 were
dismissed or disallowed, and in 186 cases awards were made in favor of
the claimants against the Mexican Republic, amounting in the aggregate
to $4,125,622.20. Within the same period 998 claims on the part of
citizens of the Mexican Republic against the United States were referred
to the commission. Of these claims 831 were dismissed or disallowed, and
in 167 cases awards were made in favor of the claimants against the
United States, amounting in the aggregate to $150,498.41.

By the terms of the convention the amount of these awards is to be
deducted from the amount awarded in favor of our citizens against
Mexico, and the balance only to be paid by Mexico to the United States,
leaving the United States to make provision for this proportion of the
awards in favor of its own citizens.

I invite your attention to the legislation which will be necessary to
provide for the payment.

In this connection I am pleased to be able to express the
acknowledgments due to Sir Edward Thornton, the umpire of the
commission, who has given to the consideration of the large number of
claims submitted to him much time, unwearied patience, and that firmness
and intelligence which are well known to belong to the accomplished
representative of Great Britain, and which are likewise recognized by
the representative in this country of the Republic of Mexico.

Monthly payments of a very small part of the amount due by the
Government of Venezuela to citizens of the United States on account of
claims of the latter against that Government continue to be made with
reasonable punctuality. That Government has proposed to change the
system which it has hitherto pursued in this respect by issuing bonds
for part of the amount of the several claims. The proposition, however,
could not, it is supposed, properly be accepted, at least without the
consent of the holders of certificates of the indebtedness of Venezuela.
These are so much dispersed that it would be difficult, if not
impossible, to ascertain their disposition on the subject.

In former messages I have called the attention of Congress to the
necessity of legislation with regard to fraudulent naturalization and to
the subject of expatriation and the election of nationality.

The numbers of persons of foreign birth seeking a home in the United
States, the ease and facility with which the honest emigrant may, after
the lapse of a reasonable time, become possessed of all the privileges
of citizenship of the United States, and the frequent occasions which
induce such adopted citizens to return to the country of their birth
render the subject of naturalization and the safeguards which experience
has proved necessary for the protection of the honest naturalized
citizen of paramount importance. The very simplicity in the requirements
of law on this question affords opportunity for fraud, and the want of
uniformity in the proceedings and records of the various courts and in
the forms of the certificates of naturalization issued affords a
constant source of difficulty.

I suggest no additional requirements to the acquisition of citizenship
beyond those now existing, but I invite the earnest attention of
Congress to the necessity and wisdom of some provisions regarding
uniformity in the records and certificates, and providing against the
frauds which frequently take place and for the vacating of a record of
naturalization obtained in fraud.

These provisions are needed in aid and for the protection of the honest
citizen of foreign birth, and for the want of which he is made to suffer
not infrequently. The United States has insisted upon the right of
expatriation, and has obtained, after a long struggle, an admission
of the principle contended for by acquiescence therein on the part of
many foreign powers and by the conclusion of treaties on that subject.
It is, however, but justice to the government to which such naturalized
citizens have formerly owed allegiance, as well as to the United States,
that certain fixed and definite rules should be adopted governing such
cases and providing how expatriation may be accomplished.

While emigrants in large numbers become citizens of the United States,
it is also true that persons, both native born and naturalized, once
citizens of the United States, either by formal acts or as the effect of
a series of facts and circumstances, abandon their citizenship and cease
to be entitled to the protection of the United States, but continue on
convenient occasions to assert a claim to protection in the absence of
provisions on these questions.

And in this connection I again invite your attention to the necessity
of legislation concerning the marriages of American citizens contracted
abroad, and concerning the status of American women who may marry
foreigners and of children born of American parents in a foreign
country.

The delicate and complicated questions continually occurring with
reference to naturalization, expatriation, and the status of such
persons as I have above referred to induce me to earnestly direct your
attention again to these subjects.

In like manner I repeat my recommendation that some means be provided
for the hearing and determination of the just and subsisting claims of
aliens upon the Government of the United States within a reasonable
limitation, and of such as may hereafter arise. While by existing
provisions of law the Court of Claims may in certain cases be resorted
to by an alien claimant, the absence of any general provisions governing
all such cases and the want of a tribunal skilled in the disposition of
such cases upon recognized fixed and settled principles, either provides
no remedy in many deserving cases or compels a consideration of such
claims by Congress or the executive department of the Government.

It is believed that other governments are in advance of the United
States upon this question, and that the practice now adopted is entirely
unsatisfactory.

Congress, by an act approved the 3d day of March, 1875, authorized the
inhabitants of the Territory of Colorado to form a State government,
with the name of the State of Colorado, and therein provided for the
admission of said State, when formed, into the Union upon an equal
footing with the original States.

A constitution having been adopted and ratified by the people of that
State, and the acting governor having certified to me the facts as
provided by said act, together with a copy of such constitution and
ordinances as provided for in the said act, and the provisions of
the said act of Congress having been duly complied with, I issued
a proclamation[117] upon the 1st of August, 1876, a copy of which is
hereto annexed.

The report of the Secretary of War shows that the Army has been actively
employed during the year in subduing, at the request of the Indian
Bureau, certain wild bands of the Sioux Indian Nation and in preserving
the peace at the South during the election. The commission constituted
under the act of July 24, 1876, to consider and report on the "whole
subject of the reform and reorganization of the Army" met in August
last, and has collected a large mass of statistics and opinions bearing
on the subject before it. These are now under consideration, and their
report is progressing. I am advised, though, by the president of the
commission that it will be impracticable to comply with the clause of
the act requiring the report to be presented, through me, to Congress
on the first day of this session, as there has not yet been time for
that mature deliberation which the importance of the subject demands.
Therefore I ask that the time of making the report be extended to the
29th day of January, 1877.

In accordance with the resolution of August 15, 1876, the Army
regulations prepared under the act of March 1, 1875, have not been
promulgated, but are held until after the report of the above-mentioned
commission shall have been received and acted on.

By the act of August 15, 1876, the cavalry force of the Army was
increased by 2,500 men, with the proviso that they should be discharged
on the expiration of hostilities. Under this authority the cavalry
regiments have been strengthened, and a portion of them are now in the
field pursuing the remnants of the Indians with whom they have been
engaged during the summer.

The estimates of the War Department are made up on the basis of the
number of men authorized by law, and their requirements as shown by
years of experience, and also with the purpose on the part of the bureau
officers to provide for all contingencies that may arise during the
time for which the estimates are made. Exclusive of engineer estimates
(presented in accordance with acts of Congress calling for surveys and
estimates for improvements at various localities), the estimates now
presented are about six millions in excess of the appropriations for the
years 1874-75 and 1875-76. This increase is asked in order to provide
for the increased cavalry force (should their services be necessary),
to prosecute economically work upon important public buildings, to
provide for armament of fortifications and manufacture of small arms,
and to replenish the working stock in the supply departments. The
appropriations for these last named have for the past few years been
so limited that the accumulations in store will be entirely exhausted
during the present year, and it will be necessary to at once begin to
replenish them.

I invite your special attention to the following recommendations of the
Secretary of War:

First. That the claims under the act of July 4, 1864, for supplies

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