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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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The massacres of French and Russian residents at Tien-Tsin, under
circumstances of great barbarity, was supposed by some to have been
premeditated, and to indicate a purpose among the populace to
exterminate foreigners in the Chinese Empire. The evidence fails to
establish such a supposition, but shows a complicity between the local
authorities and the mob. The Government at Peking, however, seems to
have been disposed to fulfill its treaty obligations so far as it was
able to do so. Unfortunately, the news of the war between the German
States and France reached China soon after the massacre. It would appear
that the popular mind became possessed with the idea that this contest,
extending to Chinese waters, would neutralize the Christian influence
and power, and that the time was coming when the superstitious masses
might expel all foreigners and restore mandarin influence. Anticipating
trouble from this cause, I invited France and North Germany to make
an authorized suspension of hostilities in the East (where they were
temporarily suspended by act of the commanders), and to act together for
the future protection in China of the lives and properties of Americans
and Europeans.

Since the adjournment of Congress the ratifications of the treaty with
Great Britain for abolishing the mixed courts for the suppression of the
slave trade have been exchanged. It is believed that the slave trade is
now confined to the eastern coast of Africa, whence the slaves are taken
to Arabian markets.

The ratifications of the naturalization convention between Great Britain
and the United States have also been exchanged during the recess, and
thus a long-standing dispute between the two Governments has been
settled in accordance with the principles always contended for by the
United States.

In April last, while engaged in locating a military reservation near
Pembina, a corps of engineers discovered that the commonly received
boundary line between the United States and the British possessions
at that place is about 4,700 feet south of the true position of the
forty-ninth parallel, and that the line, when run on what is now
supposed to be the true position of that parallel, would leave the fort
of the Hudsons Bay Company at Pembina within the territory of the United
States. This information being communicated to the British Government,
I was requested to consent, and did consent, that the British occupation
of the fort of the Hudsons Bay Company should continue for the present.
I deem it important, however, that this part of the boundary line should
be definitely fixed by a joint commission of the two Governments, and
I submit herewith estimates of the expense of such a commission on the
part of the United States and recommend that an appropriation be made
for that purpose. The land boundary has already been fixed and marked
from the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Georgian Bay. It should
now be in like manner marked from the Lake of the Woods to the summit
of the Rocky Mountains.

I regret to say that no conclusion has been reached for the adjustment
of the claims against Great Britain growing out of the course adopted
by that Government during the rebellion. The cabinet of London, so far
as its views have been expressed, does not appear to be willing to
concede that Her Majesty's Government was guilty of any negligence,
or did or permitted any act during the war by which the United States
has just cause of complaint. Our firm and unalterable convictions are
directly the reverse. I therefore recommend to Congress to authorize
the appointment of a commission to take proof of the amount and the
ownership of these several claims, on notice to the representative
of Her Majesty at Washington, and that authority be given for the
settlement of these claims by the United States, so that the Government
shall have the ownership of the private claims, as well as the
responsible control of all the demands against Great Britain. It can
not be necessary to add that whenever Her Majesty's Government shall
entertain a desire for a full and friendly adjustment of these claims
the United States will enter upon their consideration with an earnest
desire for a conclusion consistent with the honor and dignity of both
nations.

The course pursued by the Canadian authorities toward the fishermen
of the United States during the past season has not been marked by a
friendly feeling. By the first article of the convention of 1818 between
Great Britain and the United States it was agreed that the inhabitants
of the United States should have forever, in common with British
subjects, the right of taking fish in certain waters therein defined.
In the waters not included in the limits named in the convention (within
3 miles of parts of the British coast) it has been the custom for many
years to give to intruding fishermen of the United States a reasonable
warning of their violation of the technical rights of Great Britain.
The Imperial Government is understood to have delegated the whole or a
share of its jurisdiction or control of these inshore fishing grounds
to the colonial authority known as the Dominion of Canada, and this
semi-independent but irresponsible agent has exercised its delegated
powers in an unfriendly way. Vessels have been seized without notice or
warning, in violation of the custom previously prevailing, and have been
taken into the colonial ports, their voyages broken up, and the vessels
condemned. There is reason to believe that this unfriendly and vexatious
treatment was designed to bear harshly upon the hardy fishermen of the
United States, with a view to political effect upon this Government.
The statutes of the Dominion of Canada assume a still broader and more
untenable jurisdiction over the vessels of the United States. They
authorize officers or persons to bring vessels hovering within 3 marine
miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbors of Canada into
port, to search the cargo, to examine the master on oath touching the
cargo and voyage, and to inflict upon him a heavy pecuniary penalty if
true answers are not given; and if such a vessel is found "preparing
to fish" within 3 marine miles of any of such coasts, bays, creeks, or
harbors without a license, or after the expiration of the period named
in the last license granted to it, they provide that the vessel,
with her tackle, etc., shall be forfeited. It is not known that any
condemnations have been made under this statute. Should the authorities
of Canada attempt to enforce it, it will become my duty to take such
steps as may be necessary to protect the rights of the citizens of the
United States.

It has been claimed by Her Majesty's officers that the fishing vessels
of the United States have no right to enter the open ports of the
British possessions in North America, except for the purposes of shelter
and repairing damages, of purchasing wood and obtaining water; that they
have no right to enter at the British custom-houses or to trade there
except in the purchase of wood and water, and that they must depart
within twenty-four hours after notice to leave. It is not known that any
seizure of a fishing vessel carrying the flag of the United States has
been made under this claim. So far as the claim is founded on an alleged
construction of the convention of 1818, it can not be acquiesced in by
the United States. It is hoped that it will not be insisted on by Her
Majesty's Government.

During the conferences which preceded the negotiation of the convention
of 1818 the British commissioners proposed to expressly exclude the
fishermen of the United States from "the privilege of carrying on trade
with any of His Britannic Majesty's subjects residing within the limits
assigned for their use;" and also that it should not be "lawful for the
vessels of the United States engaged in said fishery to have on board
any goods, wares, or merchandise whatever, except such as may be
necessary for the prosecution of their voyages to and from the said
fishing grounds; and any vessel of the United States which shall
contravene this regulation may be seized, condemned, and confiscated,
with her cargo."

This proposition, which is identical with the construction now put
upon the language of the convention, was emphatically rejected by the
American commissioners, and thereupon was abandoned by the British
plenipotentiaries, and Article I, as it stands in the convention, was
substituted.

If, however, it be said that this claim is founded on provincial or
colonial statutes, and not upon the convention, this Government can not
but regard them as unfriendly, and in contravention of the spirit, if
not of the letter, of the treaty, for the faithful execution of which
the Imperial Government is alone responsible.

Anticipating that an attempt may possibly be made by the Canadian
authorities in the coming season to repeat their unneighborly acts
toward our fishermen, I recommend you to confer upon the Executive the
power to suspend by proclamation the operation of the laws authorizing
the transit of goods, wares, and merchandise in bond across the
territory of the United States to Canada, and, further, should such an
extreme measure become necessary, to suspend the operation of any laws
whereby the vessels of the Dominion of Canada are permitted to enter the
waters of the United States.

A like unfriendly disposition has been manifested on the part of Canada
in the maintenance of a claim of right to exclude the citizens of the
United States from the navigation of the St. Lawrence. This river
constitutes a natural outlet to the ocean for eight States, with an
aggregate population of about 17,600,000 inhabitants, and with an
aggregate tonnage of 661,367 tons upon the waters which discharge into
it. The foreign commerce of our ports on these waters is open to British
competition, and the major part of it is done in British bottoms.

If the American seamen be excluded from this natural avenue to the
ocean, the monopoly of the direct commerce of the lake ports with the
Atlantic would be in foreign hands, their vessels on transatlantic
voyages having an access to our lake ports which would be denied to
American vessels on similar voyages. To state such a proposition is
to refute its justice.

During the Administration of Mr. John Quincy Adams Mr. Clay unanswerably
demonstrated the natural right of the citizens of the United States to
the navigation of this river, claiming that the act of the congress of
Vienna in opening the Rhine and other rivers to all nations showed the
judgment of European jurists and statesmen that the inhabitants of a
country through which a navigable river passes have a natural right to
enjoy the navigation of that river to and into the sea, even though
passing through the territories of another power. This right does not
exclude the coequal right of the sovereign possessing the territory
through which the river debouches into the sea to make such regulations
relative to the police of the navigation as may be reasonably necessary;
but those regulations should be framed in a liberal spirit of comity,
and should not impose needless burdens upon the commerce which has the
right of transit. It has been found in practice more advantageous to
arrange these regulations by mutual agreement. The United States are
ready to make any reasonable arrangement as to the police of the St.
Lawrence which may be suggested by Great Britain.

If the claim made by Mr. Clay was just when the population of States
bordering on the shores of the Lakes was only 3,400,000, it now derives
greater force and equity from the increased population, wealth,
production, and tonnage of the States on the Canadian frontier. Since
Mr. Clay advanced his argument in behalf of our right the principle
for which he contended has been frequently, and by various nations,
recognized by law or by treaty, and has been extended to several other
great rivers. By the treaty concluded at Mayence in 1831 the Rhine was
declared free from the point where it is first navigable into the sea.
By the convention between Spain and Portugal concluded in 1835 the
navigation of the Douro throughout its whole extent was made free for
the subjects of both Crowns. In 1853 the Argentine Confederation by
treaty threw open the free navigation of the Parana and the Uruguay to
the merchant vessels of all nations. In 1856 the Crimean War was closed
by a treaty which provided for the free navigation of the Danube.
In 1858 Bolivia by treaty declared that it regarded the rivers Amazon
and La Plata, in accordance with fixed principles of national law, as
highways or channels opened by nature for the commerce of all nations.
In 1859 the Paraguay was made free by treaty, and in December, 1866,
the Emperor of Brazil by imperial decree declared the Amazon to be open
to the frontier of Brazil to the merchant ships of all nations. The
greatest living British authority on this subject, while asserting the
abstract right of the British claim, says:

It seems difficult to deny that Great Britain may ground her refusal
upon strict _law_, but it is equally difficult to deny, first, that in
so doing she exercises harshly an extreme and hard law; secondly, that
her conduct with respect to the navigation of the St. Lawrence is in
glaring and discreditable inconsistency with her conduct with respect
to the navigation of the Mississippi. On the ground that she possessed
a small domain in which the Mississippi took its rise, she insisted on
the right to navigate the entire volume of its waters. On the ground
that she possesses both banks of the St. Lawrence, where it disembogues
itself into the sea, she denies to the United States the right of
navigation, though about one-half of the waters of Lakes Ontario, Erie,
Huron, and Superior, and the whole of Lake Michigan, through which the
river flows, are the property of the United States.

The whole nation is interested in securing cheap transportation from
the agricultural States of the West to the Atlantic Seaboard. To the
citizens of those States it secures a greater return for their labor; to
the inhabitants of the seaboard it affords cheaper food; to the nation,
an increase in the annual surplus of wealth. It is hoped that the
Government of Great Britain will see the justice of abandoning the
narrow and inconsistent claim to which her Canadian Provinces have urged
her adherence.

Our depressed commerce is a subject to which I called your special
attention at the last session, and suggested that we will in the future
have to look more to the countries south of us, and to China and Japan,
for its revival. Our representatives to all these Governments have
exerted their influence to encourage trade between the United States and
the countries to which they are accredited. But the fact exists that the
carrying is done almost entirely in foreign bottoms, and while this
state of affairs exists we can not control our due share of the commerce
of the world; that between the Pacific States and China and Japan is
about all the carrying trade now conducted in American vessels. I would
recommend a liberal policy toward that line of American steamers--one
that will insure its success, and even increased usefulness.

The cost of building iron vessels, the only ones that can compete with
foreign ships in the carrying trade, is so much greater in the United
States than in foreign countries that without some assistance from the
Government they can not be successfully built here. There will be
several propositions laid before Congress in the course of the present
session looking to a remedy for this evil. Even if it should be at some
cost to the National Treasury, I hope such encouragement will be given
as will secure American shipping on the high seas and American
shipbuilding at home.

The condition of the archives at the Department of State calls for the
early action of Congress. The building now rented by that Department
is a frail structure, at an inconvenient distance from the Executive
Mansion and from the other Departments, is ill adapted to the purpose
for which it is used, has not capacity to accommodate the archives, and
is not fireproof. Its remote situation, its slender construction, and
the absence of a supply of water in the neighborhood leave but little
hope of safety for either the building or its contents in case of the
accident of a fire. Its destruction would involve the loss of the
rolls containing the original acts and resolutions of Congress, of the
historic records of the Revolution and of the Confederation, of the
whole series of diplomatic and consular archives since the adoption of
the Constitution, and of the many other valuable records and papers
left with that Department when it was the principal depository of the
governmental archives. I recommend an appropriation for the construction
of a building for the Department of State.

I recommend to your consideration the propriety of transferring to the
Department of the Interior, to which they seem more appropriately to
belong, all powers and duties in relation to the Territories with which
the Department of State is now charged by law or usage; and from the
Interior Department to the War Department the Pension Bureau, so far
as it regulates the payment of soldiers' pensions. I would further
recommend that the payment of naval pensions be transferred to one of
the bureaus of the Navy Department.

The estimates for the expenses of the Government for the next fiscal
year are $18,244,346.01 less than for the current one, but exceed the
appropriations for the present year for the same items $8,972,127.56.
In this estimate, however, is included $22,338,278.37 for public works
heretofore begun under Congressional provision, and of which only so
much is asked as Congress may choose to give. The appropriation for
the same works for the present fiscal year was $11,984,518.08.

The average value of gold, as compared with national currency, for the
whole of the year 1869 was about 134, and for eleven months of 1870 the
same relative value has been about 115. The approach to a specie basis
is very gratifying, but the fact can not be denied that the instability
of the value of our currency is prejudicial to our prosperity, and tends
to keep up prices, to the detriment of trade. The evils of a depreciated
and fluctuating currency are so great that now, when the premium on gold
has fallen so much, it would seem that the time has arrived when by wise
and prudent legislation Congress should look to a policy which would
place our currency at par with gold at no distant day.

The tax collected from the people has been reduced more than $80,000,000
per annum. By steadiness in our present course there is no reason why in
a few short years the national taxgatherer may not disappear from the
door of the citizen almost entirely. With the revenue stamp dispensed
by postmasters in every community, a tax upon liquors of all sorts and
tobacco in all its forms, and by a wise adjustment of the tariff, which
will put a duty only upon those articles which we could dispense with,
known as luxuries, and on those which we use more of than we produce,
revenue enough may be raised after a few years of peace and consequent
reduction of indebtedness to fulfill all our obligations. A further
reduction of expenses, in addition to a reduction of interest account,
may be relied on to make this practicable. Revenue reform, if it means
this, has my hearty support. If it implies a collection of all the
revenue for the support of the Government, for the payment of principal
and interest of the public debt, pensions, etc., by directly taxing the
people, then I am against revenue reform, and confidently believe the
people are with me. If it means failure to provide the necessary means
to defray all the expenses of Government, and thereby repudiation of
the public debt and pensions, then I am still more opposed to such kind
of revenue reform. Revenue reform has not been defined by any of its
advocates to my knowledge, but seems to be accepted as something which
is to supply every man's wants without any cost or effort on his part.

A true revenue reform can not be made in a day, but must be the work
of national legislation and of time. As soon as the revenue can be
dispensed with, all duty should be removed from coffee, tea, and other
articles of universal use not produced by ourselves. The necessities of
the country compel us to collect revenue from our imports. An army of
assessors and collectors is not a pleasant sight to the citizen, but
that or a tariff for revenue is necessary. Such a tariff, so far as it
acts as an encouragement to home production, affords employment to labor
at living wages, in contrast to the pauper labor of the Old World, and
also in the development of home resources.

Under the act of Congress of the 15th day of July, 1870, the Army has
gradually been reduced, so that on the 1st day of January, 1871, the
number of commissioned officers and men will not exceed the number
contemplated by that law.

The War Department building is an old structure, not fireproof, and
entirely inadequate in dimensions to our present wants. Many thousands
of dollars are now paid annually for rent of private buildings to
accommodate the various bureaus of the Department. I recommend an
appropriation for a new War Department building, suited to the present
and growing wants of the nation.

The report of the Secretary of War shows a very satisfactory reduction
in the expenses of the Army for the last fiscal year. For details you
are referred to his accompanying report.

The expenses of the Navy for the whole of the last year--i.e.,
from December 1, 1869, the date of the last report--are less than
$19,000,000, or about $1,000,000 less than they were the previous year.
The expenses since the commencement of this fiscal year--i.e., since
July 1--show for the five months a decrease of over $2,400,000 from
those of the corresponding months last year. The estimates for the
current year were $28,205,671.37. Those for next year are $20,683,317,
with $955,100 additional for necessary permanent improvements. These
estimates are made closely for the mere maintenance of the naval
establishment as it now is, without much in the nature of permanent
improvement. The appropriations made for the last and current years were
evidently intended by Congress, and are sufficient only, to keep the
Navy on its present footing by the repairing and refitting of our old
ships.

This policy must, of course, gradually but surely destroy the Navy, and
it is in itself far from economical, as each year that it is pursued
the necessity for mere repairs in ships and navy-yards becomes more
imperative and more costly, and our current expenses are annually
increased for the mere repair of ships, many of which must soon become
unsafe and useless. I hope during the present session of Congress to be
able to submit to it a plan by which naval vessels can be built and
repairs made with great saving upon the present cost.

It can hardly be wise statesmanship in a Government which represents a
country with over 5,000 miles of coast line on both oceans, exclusive
of Alaska, and containing 40,000,000 progressive people, with relations
of every nature with almost every foreign country, to rest with such
inadequate means of enforcing any foreign policy, either of protection
or redress. Separated by the ocean from the nations of the Eastern
Continent, our Navy is our only means of direct protection to our
citizens abroad or for the enforcement of any foreign policy.

The accompanying report of the Postmaster-General shows a most
satisfactory working of that Department. With the adoption of the
recommendations contained therein, particularly those relating to a
reform in the franking privilege and the adoption of the "correspondence
cards," a self-sustaining postal system may speedily be looked for, and
at no distant day a further reduction of the rate of postage be
attained.

I recommend authorization by Congress to the Postmaster-General and
Attorney-General to issue all commissions to officials appointed through
their respective Departments. At present these commissions, where
appointments are Presidential, are issued by the State Department.
The law in all the Departments of Government, except those of the
Post-Office and of Justice, authorizes each to issue its own
commissions.

Always favoring practical reforms, I respectfully call your attention to
one abuse of long standing which I would like to see remedied by this
Congress. It is a reform in the civil service of the country. I would
have it go beyond the mere fixing of the tenure of office of clerks
and employees who do not require "the advice and consent of the Senate"
to make their appointments complete. I would have it govern, not the
tenure, but the manner of making all appointments. There is no duty
which so much embarrasses the Executive and heads of Departments as
that of appointments, nor is there any such arduous and thankless labor
imposed on Senators and Representatives as that of finding places for
constituents. The present system does not secure the best men, and often
not even fit men, for public place. The elevation and purification of
the civil service of the Government will be hailed with approval by the
whole people of the United States.

Reform in the management of Indian affairs has received the special
attention of the Administration from its inauguration to the present
day. The experiment of making it a missionary work was tried with a few
agencies given to the denomination of Friends, and has been found to
work most advantageously. All agencies and superintendencies not so
disposed of were given to officers of the Army. The act of Congress
reducing the Army renders army officers ineligible for civil positions.
Indian agencies being civil offices, I determined to give all the
agencies to such religious denominations as had heretofore established
missionaries among the Indians, and perhaps to some other denominations
who would undertake the work on the same terms--i.e. as a missionary
work. The societies selected are allowed to name their own agents,
subject to the approval of the Executive, and are expected to watch over
them and aid them as missionaries, to Christianize and civilize the
Indian, and to train him in the arts of peace. The Government watches
over the official acts of these agents, and requires of them as strict
an accountability as if they were appointed in any other manner.
I entertain the confident hope that the policy now pursued will in a
few years bring all the Indians upon reservations, where they will live
in houses, and have schoolhouses and churches, and will be pursuing
peaceful and self-sustaining avocations, and where they may be visited
by the law-abiding white man with the same impunity that he now visits
the civilized white settlements. I call your special attention to the
report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for full information on
this subject.

During the last fiscal year 8,095,413 acres of public land were disposed
of. Of this quantity 3,698,910.05 acres were taken under the homestead
law and 2,159,515.81 acres sold for cash. The remainder was located with
military warrants, college or Indian scrip, or applied in satisfaction
of grants to railroads or for other public uses. The entries under the
homestead law during the last year covered 961,545 acres more than those
during the preceding year. Surveys have been vigorously prosecuted to
the full extent of the means applicable to the purpose. The quantity of
land in market will amply supply the present demand. The claim of the
settler under the homestead or the preemption laws is not, however,
limited to lands subject to sale at private entry. Any unappropriated
surveyed public land may, to a limited amount, be acquired under the
former laws if the party entitled to enter under them will comply
with the requirements they prescribe in regard to the residence and
cultivation. The actual settler's preference right of purchase is even
broader, and extends to lands which were unsurveyed at the time of his
settlement. His right was formerly confined within much narrower limits,
and at one period of our history was conferred only by special statutes.
They were enacted from time to time to legalize what was then regarded
as an unauthorized intrusion upon the national domain. The opinion that
the public lands should be regarded chiefly as a source of revenue is no
longer maintained. The rapid settlement and successful cultivation of
them are now justly considered of more importance to our well-being than
is the fund which the sale of them would produce. The remarkable growth
and prosperity of our new States and Territories attest the wisdom
of the legislation which invites the tiller of the soil to secure a
permanent home on terms within the reach of all. The pioneer who incurs
the dangers and privations of a frontier life, and thus aids in laying
the foundation of new commonwealths, renders a signal service to his
country, and is entitled to its special favor and protection. These laws
secure that object and largely promote the general welfare. They should
therefore be cherished as a permanent feature of our land system.

Good faith requires us to give full effect to existing grants. The
time-honored and beneficent policy of setting apart certain sections
of public land for educational purposes in the new States should be
continued. When ample provision shall have been made for these objects,
I submit as a question worthy of serious consideration whether the
residue of our national domain should not be wholly disposed of under
the provisions of the homestead and preemption laws.

In addition to the swamp and overflowed lands granted to the States in
which they are situated, the lands taken under the agricultural-college
acts and for internal-improvement purposes under the act of September,
1841, and the acts supplemental thereto, there had been conveyed up to
the close of the last fiscal year, by patent or other equivalent title,
to States and corporations 27,836,257.63 acres for railways, canals, and
wagon roads. It is estimated that an additional quantity of 174,735,523
acres is still due under grants for like uses. The policy of thus aiding
the States in building works of internal improvement was inaugurated
more than forty years since in the grants to Indiana and Illinois, to
aid those States in opening canals to connect the waters of the Wabash
with those of Lake Erie and the waters of the Illinois with those of
Lake Michigan. It was followed, with some modifications, in the grant to
Illinois of alternate sections of public land within certain limits of
the Illinois Central Railway. Fourteen States and sundry corporations
have received similar subsidies in connection with railways completed
or in process of construction. As the reserved sections are rated
at the double minimum, the sale of them at the enhanced price has
thus in many instances indemnified the Treasury for the granted lands.
The construction of some of these thoroughfares has undoubtedly given a
vigorous impulse to the development of our resources and the settlement
of the more distant portions of the country. It may, however, be well
insisted that much of our legislation in this regard has been
characterized by indiscriminate and profuse liberality. The United
States should not loan their credit in aid of any enterprise undertaken
by States or corporations, nor grant lands in any instance, unless the
projected work is of acknowledged national importance. I am strongly
inclined to the opinion that it is inexpedient and unnecessary to bestow
subsidies of either description; but should Congress determine otherwise
I earnestly recommend that the right of settlers and of the public be
more effectually secured and protected by appropriate legislation.

During the year ending September 30, 1870, there were filed in the
Patent Office 19,411 applications for patents, 3,374 caveats, and 160
applications for the extension of patents. Thirteen thousand six hundred
and twenty-two patents, including reissues and designs, were issued,
1,010 extended, and 1,089 allowed, but not issued by reason of the
non-payment of the final fees. The receipts of the office during the
fiscal year were $136,304.29 in excess of its expenditures.

The work of the Census Bureau has been energetically prosecuted. The
preliminary report, containing much information of special value and
interest, will be ready for delivery during the present session. The
remaining volumes will be completed with all the dispatch consistent
with perfect accuracy in arranging and classifying the returns. We shall
thus at no distant day be furnished with an authentic record of our
condition and resources. It will, I doubt not, attest the growing
prosperity of the country, although during the decade which has just
closed it was so severely tried by the great war waged to maintain its
integrity and to secure and perpetuate our free institutions.

During the last fiscal year the sum paid to pensioners, including the
cost of disbursement, was $27,780,811.11, and 1,758 bounty-land warrants
were issued. At its close 198,686 names were on the pension rolls.

The labors of the Pension Office have been directed to the severe
scrutiny of the evidence submitted in favor of new claims and to the
discovery of fictitious claims which have been heretofore allowed. The
appropriation for the employment of special agents for the investigation
of frauds has been judiciously used, and the results obtained have been
of unquestionable benefit to the service.

The subjects of education and agriculture are of great interest to the
success of our republican institutions, happiness, and grandeur as a
nation. In the interest of one a bureau has been established in the
Interior Department--the Bureau of Education; and in the interest of
the other, a separate Department, that of Agriculture. I believe great
general good is to flow from the operations of both these Bureaus if
properly fostered. I can not commend to your careful consideration too
highly the reports of the Commissioners of Education and of Agriculture,
nor urge too strongly such liberal legislation as to secure their
efficiency.

In conclusion I would sum up the policy of the Administration to be a
thorough enforcement of every law; a faithful collection of every tax
provided for; economy in the disbursement of the same; a prompt payment
of every debt of the nation; a reduction of taxes as rapidly as the
requirements of the country will admit; reductions of taxation and
tariff, to be so arranged as to afford the greatest relief to the
greatest number; honest and fair dealings with all other peoples, to the
end that war, with all its blighting consequences, may be avoided, but
without surrendering any right or obligation due to us; a reform in the
treatment of Indians and in the whole civil service of the country;
and finally, in securing a pure, untrammeled ballot, where every man
entitled to cast a vote may do so, just once at each election, without
fear of molestation or proscription on account of his political faith,
nativity, or color.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 29: See pp. 86-89.]

[Footnote 30: See pp. 89-92.]

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

DECEMBER 6, 1870.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

In pursuance of the provisions of the second section of an act approved
June 20, 1864, entitled "An act making appropriations for the consular
and diplomatic expenses of the Government for the year ending June 30,
1865, and for other purposes," I inform Congress that Louis W. Viollier,
a consular clerk, was, on the 26th day of September last, removed from
office for the following causes, namely: For disobedience of orders and
continued absence from duty after orders to proceed to his post.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1870_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I herewith transmit to Congress a report, dated the 5th instant, with
the accompanying papers,[31] received from the Secretary of State, in
compliance with the requirements of the eighteenth section of the act
entitled "An act to regulate the diplomatic and consular systems of the
United States," approved August 18, 1856.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 31: Report of fees collected, etc., by consular officers of
the United States for 1868, and tariff of consular fees prescribed by
the President October 1, 1870.]

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for the surrender of criminals between the
United States of America and the Republic of Guatemala, signed on the
11th day of October last, together with correspondence on the subject,
a list of which is given.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for the extradition of criminals fugitives
from justice between the United States of America and the Republic of
Nicaragua, signed at the city of Nicaragua on the 5th day of June last,
together with correspondence upon the subject, of which a list is
annexed.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty for the extradition of criminals fugitives from
justice between the United States and the Republic of Peru, signed at
Lima on the 12th day of September last. As this treaty contains some
stipulations of an unusual character, the special attention of the
Senate is called to them.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation between
the United States of America and the Republic of Peru, signed at the
city of Lima on the 6th day of September last, together with the
correspondence in relation thereto, a list of which is annexed.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

Referring to my message of the 1st of February last, transmitting to
the Senate, for its consideration with a view to ratification, a treaty
between the United States and the United States of Colombia for the
construction of an interoceanic canal across the Isthmus of Panama or
Darien, signed at Bogota on the 26th of January last, I herewith submit
correspondence upon the subject between the Secretary of State and the
minister of the United States at Bogota, a list of which is hereto
appended.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 8, 1870_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States:_

In answer to its resolution of the 1st of July, 1870, I transmit to the
House of Representatives a report[32] from the Secretary of State.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 32: Stating that the correspondence relative to the arrest and
detention of American fishing vessels in the Straits of Canso by armed
vessels flying the British flag had been communicated to Congress with
the President's annual message on the 5th instant.]

WASHINGTON, _December 8, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to a resolution of the 5th instant, I transmit to the Senate
a report[33] from the Secretary of State.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 33: Stating that the correspondence with the United States
minister at Paris relative to the Franco-Prussian war had been
communicated with the President's annual message on the 5th instant.]

WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I submit to the Senate, for their consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention relating to naturalization between the United
States and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, signed at Vienna on the 20th of
September, 1870, which is accompanied by the papers mentioned in the
subjoined list.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _December 13, 1870_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of June 14, 1870,
a report from the Secretary of State and the papers[34] by which it was
accompanied.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 34: Relating to charges for messages made by the International
Ocean Telegraph Company.]

WASHINGTON, _December 15, 1870_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 9th
of April, 1869, I herewith transmit a report[35] from the Secretary of
State.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 35: Stating that all the correspondence relative to the
condition of affairs in Paraguay believed to be required by the public
interest had been made public.]

WASHINGTON, _December 15, 1870_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 20th
of January last, I herewith transmit a report[36] from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying documents.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 36: Stating that the claim for indemnity in the case of the
ship _Canada_, wrecked on the coast of Brazil in 1865, had been referred
to the British minister as arbiter, and submitting a summary of the
case, correspondence connected with it, and a copy of the award of the
arbiter.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 19, 1870_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:_

I transmit herewith a report[37] of the Secretary of the Treasury,
made in compliance with section 2 of the act approved July n, 1870,
"making appropriations for the consular and diplomatic expenses of the
Government for the year ending June 30, 1871, and for other purposes."

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 37: Transmitting reports of consular agents.]

WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1870_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of
State and the papers[38] by which it was accompanied, in answer to its
resolution of the 7th instant.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 38: Relating to the seizure at Port Hood, Nova Scotia, by a
Canadian revenue cutter, of the schooner _Granada_, of Provincetown,
Mass.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 4, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 12th of December, 1870, a report from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying documents.[39]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 39: Correspondence relative to public documents or libraries
in the care of legations of the United States.]

WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 5th
instant, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.[40]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 40: The last correspondence with Mr. Motley, including
telegraphic dispatches, etc., relative to his recall as minister to the
Court of St. James.]

WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 5th instant, a report from the Secretary of State,
with the accompanying documents.[41]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 41: Correspondence, etc., in 1844 and 1845 relative to the
resources and condition of the Dominican Republic.]

WASHINGTON, D.C., _January 9, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit, for consideration with a view to its ratification, a treaty
of amity, commerce, and consular privileges between the United States
and the Republic of Salvador, signed at the city of San Salvador on the
6th of December last.

A copy of the official correspondence relating to the instrument is also
herewith transmitted.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 11, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In view of a proclamation having been published in newspapers of the
United States purporting to emanate from Cabral, a chieftain who opposed
the constitutional authorities of the Republic of San Domingo, I deem it
but just to communicate to the Senate of the United States the views of
that chieftain and his followers, as voluntarily communicated by him
through the United States minister to the Republic of Hayti in June
last. It will be observed by the letter of Minister Bassett that Cabral
did not wish his views to be made public before the question of
annexation was disposed of, in a way to work prejudice to his interest.
But as the object which Cabral had already in view was to declare to
the treaty-making power of the United States his views and those of his
followers upon the subject of annexation of the Republic of San Domingo,
and as the Senate is a branch of that power, I deem it no breach of
confidence to communicate this letter to the Senate. I ask, however,
that it may be read in executive session and that the request of Cabral
be observed, so that in no case they shall be made public or used
against him until the question of annexation is disposed of.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 11, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I transmit herewith, in reply to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 5th instant, copies of the reports of Captain
George B. McClellan upon the Dominican Republic, made in the year 1854.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 13, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 16th of December, 1870,
requesting to be furnished with information relative to the organization
of disloyal persons in North Carolina having in view resistance of the
United States laws, denial of protection, and the enjoyment of the
rights and liberties secured under the United States, etc., I transmit
herewith abstracts of reports and other papers on file in the War
Department relative to outrages in North Carolina, and also, for the
information of the Senate, those relative to outrages in the other
Southern States. The original reports and papers are too voluminous to
be copied in season to be used by the present Congress, but are easily
accessible for reference, and copies of such papers can be furnished as
the Senate may deem necessary.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _January 16, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of 4th instant,
a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying documents,
relating to the proposed annexation of the Dominican portion of the
island of San Domingo.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 17, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to their resolution of the 16th of December, 1870, I herewith
transmit copies of certain reports received at the War Department
relative to disloyal organizations in the State of North Carolina,
intended to resist the laws or to deprive the citizens of the United
States of the protection of law or the enjoyment of their rights under
the Constitution of the United States. These reports are in addition to
the abstracts of those sent to the Senate on the 13th instant.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 24, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to your resolution of the 21st December, 1870, requesting the
President "to furnish the Senate with the amount of money expended by
the United States for freight and passage to the Pacific Coast by the
way of the Isthmus and Cape Horn during the twelve months now last
past," I herewith transmit reports from the Secretary of the Treasury,
of War, and of the Navy, to whom, respectively, the resolution was
referred.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _January 27, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a report of the
Secretary of State and the papers which accompanied it, concerning
regulations for the consular courts of the United States in Japan.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _January 27, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit, for consideration with a view to its ratification, a treaty
of friendship, commerce, and navigation between the United States and
the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which was signed at Montevideo, it is
presumed, in the course of last month, though the precise date has
inadvertently been omitted.

A copy of the correspondence relating to the instrument is also herewith
transmitted. From this it will be seen that the treaty is substantially
the same as one between the same parties which has already been approved
by the Senate and ratified by the President of the United States, but
the ratifications of which have never been exchanged. If the Senate
should approve the new treaty, it is suggested that their resolution to
that effect should include authority to insert the precise date when
that shall have been ascertained.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 30, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I transmit herewith an official copy of the proceedings of the council
of Indian tribes held at Ocmulgee in December last, which resulted in
the adoption of a declaration of rights and a constitution for their
government, together with a copy of the report of the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs and the views of the Secretary of the Interior thereon.

It would seem highly desirable that the civilized Indians of the country
should be encouraged in establishing for themselves forms of Territorial
government compatible with the Constitution of the United States and
with the previous customs toward communities lying outside of State
limits.

I concur in the views expressed by the Secretary of the Interior,
that it would not be advisable to receive the new Territory with the
constitution precisely as it is now framed. As long as a Territorial
form of government is preserved, Congress should hold the power of
approving or disapproving of all legislative action of the Territory,
and the Executive should, with "the advice and consent of the Senate,"
have the power to appoint the governor and judicial officers (and
possibly some others) of the Territory.

This is the first indication of the aborigines desiring to adopt
our form of government, and it is highly desirable that they become
self-sustaining, self-relying, Christianized, and civilized. If
successful in this their first attempt at Territorial government, we may
hope for a gradual concentration of other Indians in the new Territory.
I therefore recommend as close an adherence to their wishes as is
consistent with safety.

It might be well to limit the appointment of all Territorial officials
appointed by the Executive to native citizens of the Territory. If any
exception is made to this rule, I would recommend that it should be
limited to the judiciary.

It is confidently hoped that the policy now being pursued toward the
Indian will fit him for self-government and make him desire to settle
among people of his own race where he can enjoy the full privileges of
civil and enlightened government.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 7, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

The union of the States of Germany into a form of government similar in
many respects to that of the American Union is an event that can not
fail to touch deeply the sympathies of the people of the United States.

This union has been brought about by the long-continued, persistent
efforts of the people, with the deliberate approval of the governments
and people of twenty-four of the German States, through their regularly
constituted representatives.

In it the American people see an attempt to reproduce in Europe some
of the best features of our own Constitution, with such modifications
as the history and condition of Germany seem to require. The local
governments of the several members of the union are preserved, while
the power conferred upon the chief imparts strength for the purposes
of self-defense, without authority to enter upon wars of conquest and
ambition.

The cherished aspiration for national unity which for ages has
inspired the many millions of people speaking the same language,
inhabiting a contiguous and compact territory, but unnaturally separated
and divided by dynastic jealousies and the ambition of short-sighted
rulers, has been attained, and Germany now contains a population of
about 34,000,000, united, like our own, under one Government for its
relations with other powers, but retaining in its several members the
right and power of control of their local interests, habits, and
institutions.

The bringing of great masses of thoughtful and free people under a
single government must tend to make governments what alone they should
be--the representatives of the will and the organization of the power
of the people.

The adoption in Europe of the American system of union under the control
and direction of a free people, educated to self-restraint, can not fail
to extend popular institutions and to enlarge the peaceful influence of
American ideas.

The relations of the United States with Germany are intimate and
cordial. The commercial intercourse between the two countries is
extensive and is increasing from year to year; and the large number of
citizens and residents in the United States of German extraction and the
continued flow of emigration thence to this country have produced an
intimacy of personal and political intercourse approaching, if not equal
to, that with the country from which the founders of our Government
derived their origin.

The extent of these interests and the greatness of the German Union
seem to require that in the classification of the representatives of
this Government to foreign powers there should no longer be an apparent
undervaluation of the importance of the German mission, such as is
made in the difference between the compensation allowed by law to
the minister to Germany and those to Great Britain and France. There
would seem to be a great propriety in placing the representative
of this Government at Berlin on the same footing with that of its
representatives at London and Paris. The union of the several States of
Germany under one Government and the increasing commercial and personal
intercourse between the two countries will also add to the labors and
the responsibilities of the legation.

I therefore recommend that the salaries of the minister and of the
secretary of legation at Berlin be respectively increased to the same
amounts as are allowed to those at London and Paris.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 7, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to that part of your resolution of the 4th of January last
requesting copies of "instructions to the commander of our naval
squadron in the waters of the island [of San Domingo] since the
commencement of the late negotiations, with the reports and
correspondence of such commander," I herewith transmit a report, with
accompanying papers, received from the Secretary of the Navy.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 8, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I transmit herewith an extract of a paper addressed to the President,
the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs by
the committee of Friends on Indian affairs having charge of the northern
superintendency, in relation to a desire of certain Indian tribes to
sell a portion of the lands owned by them, with a view of locating on
other lands that they may be able to purchase, together with the report
of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs thereon and a letter of the
Secretary of the Interior Department approving the report of the
Commissioner.

I submit the draft of a bill which has been prepared, and which it is
believed will effect the object desired by the committee, and request
the consideration thereof by Congress.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1871_.

_To the Senate:_

The British minister accredited to this Government recently, in
compliance with instructions from his Government, submitted a proposal
for the appointment of a "joint high commission," to be composed of
members to be named by each Government, to hold its session at
Washington, and to treat and discuss the mode of settling the different
questions which have arisen out of the fisheries, as well as those which
affect the relations of the United States toward the British possessions
in North America.

I did not deem it expedient to agree to the proposal unless the
consideration of the questions growing out of the acts committed by
the vessels which have given rise to the claims known as the "Alabama
claims" were to be within the subject of discussion and settlement by
the commission. The British Government having assented to this, the
commission is expected shortly to meet. I therefore nominate as such
commissioners, jointly and separately, on the part of the United States:

Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State.

Robert C. Schenck, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to
Great Britain.

Samuel Nelson, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United
States.

Ebenezer R. Hoar, of Massachusetts.

George H. Williams, of Oregon.

I communicate herewith the correspondence which has passed on this
subject between the Secretary of State and the British minister.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 10, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I submit herewith, for the information of Congress, the second annual
report of the Board of Indian Commissioners to the Secretary of the
Interior.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 13, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I transmit herewith, in answer to the resolution of the House of the 6th
instant, copies of the correspondence between the governor of the State
of California and the President of the United States in the month of
October, 1868, relative to the use of the military forces of the
National Government in preserving the peace at the approaching State
election.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 15, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I have this day transmitted to the Senate the announcement that Senate
bill No. 218, "An act prescribing an oath of office to be taken by
persons who participated in the late rebellion, but who are not
disqualified from holding office by the fourteenth amendment to the
Constitution of the United States," has become a law in the manner
prescribed by the Constitution, without the signature of the President.

If this were a bill for the repeal of the "test oath" required of
persons "elected or appointed to offices of honor or trust," it would
meet my approval. The effect of the law, however, is to relieve from
taking a prescribed oath all those persons whom it was intended to
exclude from such offices and to require it from all others. By this
law the soldier who fought and bled for his country is to swear to
his loyalty before assuming official functions, while the general who
commanded hosts for the overthrow of his Government is admitted to place
without it. I can not affix my name to a law which discriminates against
the upholder of his Government.

I believe, however, that it is not wise policy to keep from office by an
oath those who are not disqualified by the Constitution, and who are the
choice of legal voters; but while relieving them from an oath which they
can not take, I recommend the release also of those to whom the oath has
no application.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 17, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to your resolution of the 19th of December last, requesting
the President "to furnish the Senate with the entire cost of
transportation of mails and freights of every description to the Pacific
Coast, also to all intermediate points west of the Missouri River, from
the annexation of California to July 1, 1864; and also the expenses of
the War Department and Indian Bureau during the same period in guarding
the overland route from the Missouri River to California against Indians
and Mormons, and the cost of the Indian service on the same line,
including in all cases freights and all other expenditures," I transmit
herewith reports received from the Secretary of the Interior, the
Secretary of War, and the Postmaster-General.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and Great Britain,
concluded at Washington on the 23d instant, supplemental to the
convention between the two countries concluded May 13, 1870, concerning
the citizenship of citizens or subjects of either country emigrating to
the other.

The conclusion of the supplemental convention now submitted was found to
be expedient in view of the stipulation contained in Article II of the
before-named convention of May 13, 1870, that the two Governments should
agree upon the manner in which the renunciation within the periods
specified, by naturalized citizens and subjects of either country, of
their naturalization should be effected.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 2d
instant, a report of the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.[42]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 42: Correspondence from the United States legation at
Constantinople relative to restrictions on the passage of the straits of
the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus by the ships of other nations.]

WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of February
1, 1871, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.[43]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 43: Dispatches, etc., from the United States minister to the
Court of Brazil relative to the Paraguayan war, the culture of cotton in
Brazil, trade with Brazil, etc.]

VETO MESSAGES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 4, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I herewith return without my approval House bill No. 1395, entitled "An
act for the relief of Charles Cooper, Goshorn A. Jones, Jerome Rowley,
William Hannegan, and John Hannegan," for the following reasons:

The act directs the discontinuance of an action at law said to be now
pending in the United States district court for the northern district
of Ohio for the enforcement of the bond executed by said parties to the
United States, whereas in fact no such suit is pending in the district
court, but such a suit is now pending in the circuit court of the United
States for the sixth circuit and northern district of Ohio.

Neither the body of said act nor the proviso requires the obligors in
said bond, who are released from all liability to the United States on
account thereof, to abandon or release their pretended claim against the
Government.

Since these parties have gone to Congress to ask relief from liability
for a large sum of money on account of the failure of the principals in
the bond to execute their contract, it is but just and proper that they
at the same time should abandon the claim heretofore asserted by them
against the Government growing out of the same transaction.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 7, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I hereby return without my approval Senate resolution No. 92, entitled
"A resolution for the relief of certain contractors for the construction
of vessels of war and steam machinery," for the following reasons:

The act of March 2, 1867 (14 U.S. Statutes at Large, p. 424), directs
the Secretary of the Navy--

to investigate the claims of all contractors for building vessels of
war and steam machinery for the same under contracts made after the 1st
day of May, 1861, and prior to the 1st day of January, 1864; and said
investigation to be made upon the following basis: He shall ascertain
the additional cost which was necessarily incurred by each contractor
in the completion of his work by reason of any changes or alterations
in the plans and specifications required, and delays in the prosecution
of the work occasioned by the Government, which were not provided for
in the original contract; but no allowance for any advance in the price
of labor or material shall be considered unless such advance occurred
during the prolonged time for completing the work rendered necessary by
the delay resulting from the action of the Government aforesaid, and
then only when such advance could not have been avoided by the exercise
of ordinary prudence and diligence on the part of the contractor. * * *

The present joint resolution transfers the investigation to the Court of
Claims, and repeals "so much of said act as provides against considering
any allowance in favor of any such parties for any advance in the price
of labor or material, unless such advance could have been avoided
by the exercise of ordinary diligence and prudence on the part of the
contractor." It seems to me that the provision thus repealed is a very
reasonable one. It prevents the contractor from receiving any allowance
for an advance in the price of labor and material when he could have
avoided that advance by the exercise of ordinary prudence and diligence.
The effect of the repeal will be to relieve contractors from the
consequences of their own imprudence and negligence. I see no good
reason for thus relieving contractors who have not exercised ordinary
prudence and diligence in their business transactions.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 28, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I herewith return without my approval House bill No. 2566, entitled
"An act for the relief of Henry Willman, late a private in the Third
Regiment of Indiana Cavalry," for the following reasons:

The records of the War Department show that Henry Willman was mustered
into the military service April 4, 1862, and that he was mounted on a
private horse. It appears from evidence presented by himself that his
horse died May 18, 1862; that he remounted himself on June 8, 1862, and
so continued mounted till October 1, 1862, when his horse was killed by
the enemy, and that he was not afterwards mounted upon a private horse.

Upon presenting a claim against the United States for the legal value
of the two horses lost by him in the public service, the claim, after
investigation, was allowed; but it being discovered that he had
erroneously been paid for the use and risk of a private horse from May
18 to June 8, 1862, and from October 1, 1862, to April 30, 1864, during
which periods he had no horse in the public service, the amount so
overpaid was offset against his claim, leaving the latter fully
liquidated and the claimant indebted to the United States in an amount
not yet refunded.

The person named in the act is not, in law or equity, entitled to the
relief therein provided, and has no unsatisfied demands against the
United States.

U.S. GRANT.

PROCLAMATION.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas satisfactory evidence was given to me on the 17th day of this
month by the Government of Portugal that the discriminating duties
heretofore levied in the ports of Portugal on merchandise imported in
vessels of the United States into said ports from other countries than
those of which said merchandise was the growth, production, or
manufacture have been abolished:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by an act of Congress
of January 7, 1824, and by an act in addition thereto of May 24, 1828,
do hereby declare and proclaim that the discriminating duties heretofore
levied in ports of the United States upon merchandise imported in
Portuguese vessels from countries other than those of which such
merchandise is the growth, produce, or manufacture shall be, and are
hereby, suspended and discontinued, this suspension or discontinuance to
take effect on and after the said 17th day of this month and to continue
so long as the reciprocal exemption of merchandise belonging to citizens
of the United States from such discriminating duties shall be granted in
the ports of Portugal.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 25th day of February, A.D. 1871,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the
ninety-fifth.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

[NOTE.--The Forty-second Congress, first session, met March 4, 1871, in
accordance with the act of January 22, 1867.]

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, in compliance with its resolution of the
14th instant, a report from the Secretary of State, making known that
official notice has been received at the Department of State of the
ratification by the legislature of one, and only one, additional
State--to wit, that of New Jersey--of the fifteenth amendment to the
Constitution of the United States since the 30th of March, 1870, the
date of his certificate that three-fourths of the whole number of States
in the United States had ratified that amendment and that it had become
valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution of the
United States.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 23, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

A condition of affairs now exists in some of the States of the Union
rendering life and property insecure and the carrying of the mails and
the collection of the revenue dangerous. The proof that such a condition
of affairs exists in some localities is now before the Senate. That
the power to correct these evils is beyond the control of the State
authorities I do not doubt; that the power of the Executive of the
United States, acting within the limits of existing laws, is sufficient
for present emergencies is not clear.

Therefore I urgently recommend such legislation as in the judgment of
Congress shall effectually secure life, liberty, and property and the
enforcement of law in all parts of the United States.

It may be expedient to provide that such law as shall be passed in
pursuance of this recommendation shall expire at the end of the next
session of Congress.

There is no other subject upon which I would recommend legislation
during the present session.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _March 28, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 16th instant, I
transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the papers[44] which
accompanied it.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 44: Reports, communications, etc., relative to the
International Statistical Congress held at The Hague in 1869.]

WASHINGTON, _March 30, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit, for consideration with a view to its ratification, a treaty
of commerce and navigation between the United States and the Kingdom of
Italy, signed at Florence on the 26th of last month.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 31, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to your resolution of the 17th instant, requesting, "if not
incompatible with the public service, the report recently made by a
board of officers of the Engineer Department on the condition of the
Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Miss., with such remarks, suggestions,
or recommendations as may be made by the Chief Engineer of the Army,"
I herewith transmit a report, dated 28th instant, with accompanying
papers, received from the Secretary of War.

U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 5, 1871_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives:_

I have the honor to submit herewith to the two Houses of Congress the
report of the commissioners appointed in pursuance of joint resolution
approved January 12, 1871.

It will be observed that this report more than sustains all that I have
heretofore said in regard to the productiveness and healthfulness of the
Republic of San Domingo, of the unanimity of the people for annexation
to the United States, and of their peaceable character.

It is due to the public, as it certainly is to myself, that I should
here give all the circumstances which first led to the negotiation of a
treaty for the annexation of the Republic of San Domingo to the United
States.

When I accepted the arduous and responsible position which I now hold,
I did not dream of instituting any steps for the acquisition of insular
possessions. I believed, however, that our institutions were broad
enough to extend over the entire continent as rapidly as other peoples
might desire to bring themselves under our protection. I believed
further that we should not permit any independent government within the
limits of North America to pass from a condition of independence to one
of ownership or protection under a European power.

Soon after my inauguration as President I was waited upon by an agent of
President Baez with a proposition to annex the Republic of San Domingo
to the United States. This gentleman represented the capacity of
the island, the desire of the people, and their character and habits
about as they have been described by the commissioners whose report
accompanies this message. He stated further that, being weak in numbers
and poor in purse, they were not capable of developing their great
resources; that the people had no incentive to industry on account of
lack of protection for their accumulations, and that if not accepted by
the United States--with institutions which they loved above those of any
other nation--they would be compelled to seek protection elsewhere.
To these statements I made no reply and gave no indication of what I
thought of the proposition. In the course of time I was waited upon by
a second gentleman from San Domingo, who made the same representations,
and who was received in like manner.

In view of the facts which had been laid before me, and with an earnest
desire to maintain the "Monroe doctrine," I believed that I would be
derelict in my duty if I did not take measures to ascertain the exact
wish of the Government and inhabitants of the Republic of San Domingo in
regard to annexation and communicate the information to the people of
the United States. Under the attending circumstances I felt that if I
turned a deaf ear to this appeal I might in the future be justly charged
with a flagrant neglect of the public interests and an utter disregard
of the welfare of a downtrodden race praying for the blessings of a free
and strong government and for protection in the enjoyment of the fruits
of their own industry.

Those opponents of annexation who have heretofore professed to be
preeminently the friends of the rights of man I believed would be my
most violent assailants if I neglected so clear a duty. Accordingly,
after having appointed a commissioner to visit the island, who declined
on account of sickness, I selected a second gentleman, in whose
capacity, judgment, and integrity I had, and have yet, the most
unbounded confidence.

He visited San Domingo, not to secure or hasten annexation, but,
unprejudiced and unbiased, to learn all the facts about the Government,
the people, and the resources of that Republic. He went certainly as
well prepared to make an unfavorable report as a favorable one, if the
facts warranted it. His report fully corroborated the views of previous
commissioners, and upon its receipt I felt that a sense of duty and a
due regard for our great national interests required me to negotiate a
treaty for the acquisition of the Republic of San Domingo.

As soon as it became publicly known that such a treaty had been
negotiated, the attention of the country was occupied with allegations
calculated to prejudice the merits of the case and with aspersions upon
those whose duty had connected them with it. Amid the public excitement
thus created the treaty failed to receive the requisite two-thirds vote
of the Senate, and was rejected; but whether the action of that body was
based wholly upon the merits of the treaty, or might not have been in
some degree influenced by such unfounded allegations, could not be known
by the people, because the debates of the Senate in secret session are
not published.

Under these circumstances I deemed it due to the office which I hold
and due to the character of the agents who had been charged with the
investigation that such proceedings should be had as would enable the
people to know the truth. A commission was therefore constituted, under
authority of Congress, consisting of gentlemen selected with special
reference to their high character and capacity for the laborious work
intrusted to them, who were instructed to visit the spot and report
upon the facts. Other eminent citizens were requested to accompany the
commission, in order that the people might have the benefit of their
views. Students of science and correspondents of the press, without
regard to political opinions, were invited to join the expedition,
and their numbers were limited only by the capacity of the vessel.

The mere rejection by the Senate of a treaty negotiated by the
President only indicates a difference of opinion between two coordinate
departments of the Government, without touching the character or
wounding the pride of either. But when such rejection takes place
simultaneously with charges openly made of corruption on the part of the
President or those employed by him the case is different. Indeed, in
such case the honor of the nation demands investigation. This has been
accomplished by the report of the commissioners herewith transmitted,
and which fully vindicates the purity of the motives and action of those
who represented the United States in the negotiation.

And now my task is finished, and with it ends all personal solicitude
upon the subject. My duty being done, yours begins; and I gladly hand
over the whole matter to the judgment of the American people and of
their representatives in Congress assembled. The facts will now be
spread before the country, and a decision rendered by that tribunal
whose convictions so seldom err, and against whose will I have no policy
to enforce. My opinion remains unchanged; indeed, it is confirmed by the
report that the interests of our country and of San Domingo alike invite
the annexation of that Republic.

In view of the difference of opinion upon this subject, I suggest that
no action be taken at the present session beyond the printing and
general dissemination of the report. Before the next session of Congress
the people will have considered the subject and formed an intelligent
opinion concerning it, to which opinion, deliberately made up, it will
be the duty of every department of the Government to give heed; and no
one will more cheerfully conform to it than myself. It is not only the
theory of our Constitution that the will of the people, constitutionally
expressed, is the supreme law, but I have ever believed that "all men
are wiser than any one man;" and if the people, upon a full presentation
of the facts, shall decide that the annexation of the Republic is not
desirable, every department of the Government ought to acquiesce in that
decision.

In again submitting to Congress a subject upon which public sentiment
has been divided, and which has been made the occasion of acrimonious
debates in Congress, as well as of unjust aspersions elsewhere, I may,
I trust, be indulged in a single remark.

No man could hope to perform duties so delicate and responsible as
pertain to the Presidential office without sometimes incurring the
hostility of those who deem their opinions and wishes treated with
insufficient consideration; and he who undertakes to conduct the affairs
of a great government as a faithful public servant, if sustained by the
approval of his own conscience, may rely with confidence upon the candor
and intelligence of a free people whose best interests he has striven to
subserve, and can bear with patience the censure of disappointed men.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _April 5, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit confidentially, for the information and consideration of the
Senate, a copy of a dispatch of the 25th of February last relative to
the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, addressed to the Department of
State by Henry A. Pierce, minister resident of the United States at
Honolulu. Although I do not deem it advisable to express any opinion or
to make any recommendation in regard to the subject at this juncture,
the views of the Senate, if it should be deemed proper to express them,
would be very acceptable with reference to any future course which there
might be a disposition to adopt.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _April 11, 1871_.

_To the House of Representatives:_

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their resolution
of March 31, 1871, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.[45]

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 45: Dispatches from the United States minister at Florence
relative to the occupation of Rome by the King of Italy.]

[The following messages were sent to the special session of the Senate
convened by proclamation (see pp. 133-134) of April 20, 1871.]

WASHINGTON, _May 10, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty between the United States and Great Britain for the settlement
of pending questions between the two countries, signed at Washington on
the 8th instant by the commissioners of the United States and Great
Britain, respectively.

Copies of the powers and instructions to the commissioners on the part
of the United States and the protocols of the conferences are also
transmitted.

U.S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, _May 15, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 10th
instant, a report[46] from the Secretary of State and the papers which
accompanied it.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 46: Relating to claims of the subjects of foreign nations
growing out of the War of the Rebellion.]

WASHINGTON, _May 17, 1871_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 15th instant, I transmit
herewith a report [47] from the Secretary of State.

U.S. GRANT.

[Footnote 47: Relating to claims under the treaty of Washington of May 8
1871.]

PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

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 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
force as shall be judged necessary for the purpose of suppressing such
insurrection or of causing the laws to be duly executed; and

Whereas I have received information that combinations of armed men,
unauthorized by law, are now disturbing the peace and safety of the
citizens of the State of South Carolina and committing acts of violence
in said State of a character and to an extent which render the power of
the State and its officers unequal to the task of protecting life and
property and securing public order therein; 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 has therefore made application to me 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 the domestic
violence hereinbefore mentioned and to enforce the due execution of
the laws; and

Whereas the laws of the United States require 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
abodes within a limited time:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do
hereby command the persons composing the unlawful combinations aforesaid
to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within
twenty days from this date.

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 24th day of March, A.D. 1871, and
of the Independence of the United States the ninety-fifth.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the Senate
should be convened at 12 o'clock on Wednesday, the 10th day of May next,
to receive and act upon such communications as may be made to it on the
part of the Executive:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States,
have considered it to be my duty to issue this my proclamation,
declaring that an extraordinary occasion requires the Senate of the
United States to convene for the transaction of business at the Capitol,
in the city of Washington, on Wednesday, the 10th day of May next, at 12
o'clock on that day, of which all who shall at that time be entitled to
act as members of that body are hereby required to take notice.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
the 20th day of April, A.D. 1871, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the ninety-fifth.

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION

The act of Congress entitled "An act to enforce the provisions of
the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States,
and for other purposes," approved April 20, A.D. 1871, being a law of
extraordinary public importance, I consider it my duty to issue this my
proclamation, calling the attention of the people of the United States
thereto enjoining upon all good citizens, and especially upon all public
officers, to be zealous in the enforcement thereof, and warning all
persons to abstain from committing any of the acts thereby prohibited.

This law of Congress applies to all parts of the United States and
will be enforced everywhere to the extent of the powers vested in the
Executive. But inasmuch as the necessity therefor is well known to have
been caused chiefly by persistent violations of the rights of citizens
of the United States by combinations of lawless and disaffected persons
in certain localities lately the theater of insurrection and military
conflict, I do particularly exhort the people of those parts of the
country to suppress all such combinations by their own voluntary efforts
through the agency of local laws and to maintain the rights of all
citizens of the United States and to secure to all such citizens the
equal protection of the laws.

Fully sensible of the responsibility imposed upon the Executive by the
act of Congress to which public attention is now called, and reluctant
to call into exercise any of the extraordinary powers thereby conferred
upon me except in cases of imperative necessity, I do, nevertheless,
deem it my duty to make known that I will not hesitate to exhaust the
powers thus vested in the Executive whenever and wherever it shall
become necessary to do so for the purpose of securing to all citizens
of the United States the peaceful enjoyment of the rights guaranteed
to them by the Constitution and laws.

It is my earnest wish that peace and cheerful obedience to law may
prevail throughout the land and that all traces of our late unhappy
civil strife may be speedily removed. These ends can be easily reached
by acquiescence in the results of the conflict, now written in our
Constitution, and by the due and proper enforcement of equal, just, and
impartial laws in every part of our country.

The failure of local communities to furnish such means for the
attainment of results so earnestly desired imposes upon the National
Government the duty of putting forth all its energies for the protection
of its citizens of every race and color and for the restoration of peace
and order throughout the entire country.

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

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of May, A.D. 1871, and of
the Independence of the United States the ninety-fifth.

[SEAL.]

U.S. GRANT.

By the President:
HAMILTON FISH,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

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