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Messages and Papers of Rutherford B. Hayes by James D. Richardson

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of the commission which had been appointed to enter upon negotiations
with the Imperial Government of China on subjects of great interest
to the relations of the two countries enabled the commissioners
to proceed at once upon their mission. The Imperial Government was
prepared to give prompt and respectful attention to the matters
brought under negotiation, and the conferences proceeded with such
rapidity and success that on the 17th of November last two treaties
were signed at Peking, one relating to the introduction of Chinese
into this country and one relating to commerce. Mr. Trescot, one of
the commissioners, is now on his way home bringing the treaties, and
it is expected that they will be received in season to be laid before
the Senate early in January.

Our minister in Japan has negotiated a convention for the reciprocal
relief of shipwrecked seamen. I take occasion to urge once more
upon Congress the propriety of making provision for the erection of
suitable fireproof buildings at the Japanese capital for the use of
the American legation and the court-house and jail connected with
it. The Japanese Government, with great generosity and courtesy, has
offered for this purpose an eligible piece of land.

In my last annual message I invited the attention of Congress to the
subject of the indemnity funds received some years ago from China and
Japan. I renew the recommendation then made that whatever portions of
these funds are due to American citizens should be promptly paid
and the residue returned to the nations, respectively, to which they
justly and equitably belong.

The extradition treaty with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which has
been for some time in course of negotiation, has during the past year
been concluded and duly ratified.

Relations of friendship and amity have been established between the
Government of the United States and that of Roumania. We have sent
a diplomatic representative to Bucharest, and have received at this
capital the special envoy who has been charged by His Royal Highness
Prince Charles to announce the independent sovereignty of Roumania. We
hope for a speedy development of commercial relations between the two

In my last annual message I expressed the hope that the prevalence of
quiet on the border between this country and Mexico would soon become
so assured as to justify the modification of the orders then in force
to our military commanders in regard to crossing the frontier, without
encouraging such disturbances as would endanger the peace of the two
countries. Events moved in accordance with these expectations, and the
orders were accordingly withdrawn, to the entire satisfaction of our
own citizens and the Mexican Government. Subsequently the peace of the
border was again disturbed by a savage foray under the command of
the Chief Victoria, but by the combined and harmonious action of the
military forces of both countries his band has been broken up and
substantially destroyed.

There is reason to believe that the obstacles which have so long
prevented rapid and convenient communication between the United States
and Mexico by railways are on the point of disappearing, and that
several important enterprises of this character will soon be set on
foot, which can not fail to contribute largely to the prosperity of
both countries.

New envoys from Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, and
Nicaragua have recently arrived at this capital, whose distinction and
enlightenment afford the best guaranty of the continuance of friendly
relations between ourselves and these sister Republics.

The relations between this Government and that of the United States of
Colombia have engaged public attention during the past year, mainly by
reason of the project of an interoceanic canal across the Isthmus of
Panama, to be built by private capital under a concession from
the Colombian Government for that purpose. The treaty obligations
subsisting between the United States and Colombia, by which we
guarantee the neutrality of the transit and the sovereignty and
property of Colombia in the Isthmus, make it necessary that the
conditions under which so stupendous a change in the region embraced
in this guaranty should be effected--transforming, as it would, this
Isthmus from a barrier between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans into a
gateway and thoroughfare between them for the navies and the merchant
ships of the world--should receive the approval of this Government, as
being compatible with the discharge of these obligations on our part
and consistent with our interests as the principal commercial power
of the Western Hemisphere. The views which I expressed in a special
message to Congress in March last in relation to this project I
deem it my duty again to press upon your attention. Subsequent
consideration has but confirmed the opinion "that it is the right and
duty of the United States to assert and maintain such supervision and
authority over any interoceanic canal across the isthmus that connects
North and South America as will protect our national interest."

The war between the Republic of Chile on the one hand and the allied
Republics of Peru and Bolivia on the other still continues. This
Government has not felt called upon to interfere in a contest that is
within the belligerent rights of the parties as independent states.
We have, however, always held ourselves in readiness to aid in
accommodating their difference, and have at different times reminded
both belligerents of our willingness to render such service.

Our good offices in this direction were recently accepted by all the
belligerents, and it was hoped they would prove efficacious; but I
regret to announce that the measures which the ministers of the United
States at Santiago and Lima were authorized to take with the view to
bring about a peace were not successful. In the course of the war some
questions have arisen affecting neutral rights. In all of these the
ministers of the United States have, under their instructions, acted
with promptness and energy in protection of American interests.

The relations of the United States with the Empire of Brazil continue
to be most cordial, and their commercial intercourse steadily
increases, to their mutual advantage.

The internal disorders with which the Argentine Republic has for some
time past been afflicted, and which have more or less influenced its
external trade, are understood to have been brought to a close. This
happy result may be expected to redound to the benefit of the foreign
commerce of that Republic, as well as to the development of its vast
interior resources.

In Samoa the Government of King Malietoa, under the support and
recognition of the consular representatives of the United States,
Great Britain, and Germany, seems to have given peace and tranquillity
to the islands. While it does not appear desirable to adopt as a whole
the scheme of tripartite local government which has been proposed, the
common interests of the three great treaty powers require harmony in
their relations to the native frame of government, and this may be
best secured by a simple diplomatic agreement between them. It would
be well if the consular jurisdiction of our representative at Apia
were increased in extent and importance so as to guard American
interests in the surrounding and outlying islands of Oceanica.

The obelisk generously presented by the Khedive of Egypt to the city
of New York has safely arrived in this country, and will soon be
erected in that metropolis. A commission for the liquidation of the
Egyptian debt has lately concluded its work, and this Government, at
the earnest solicitation of the Khedive, has acceded to the provisions
adopted by it, which will be laid before Congress for its information.
A commission for the revision of the judicial code of the
reform tribunal of Egypt is now in session in Cairo. Mr. Farman,
consul-general, and J.M. Batchelder, esq., have been appointed as
commissioners to participate in this work. The organization of the
reform tribunals will probably be continued for another period of five

In pursuance of the act passed at the last session of Congress,
invitations have been extended to foreign maritime states to join in
a sanitary conference in Washington, beginning the 1st of January. The
acceptance of this invitation by many prominent powers gives promise
of success in this important measure, designed to establish a system
of international notification by which the spread of infectious or
epidemic diseases may be more effectively checked or prevented. The
attention of Congress is invited to the necessary appropriations for
carrying into effect the provisions of the act referred to.

The efforts of the Department of State to enlarge the trade and
commerce of the United States, through the active agency of consular
officers and through the dissemination of information obtained from
them, have been unrelaxed. The interest in these efforts, as developed
in our commercial communities, and the value of the information
secured by this means to the trade and manufactures of the country
were recognized by Congress at its last session, and provision was
made for the more frequent publication of consular and other reports
by the Department of State. The first issue of this publication has
now been prepared, and subsequent issues may regularly be expected.
The importance and interest attached to the reports of consular
officers are witnessed by the general demand for them by all classes
of merchants and manufacturers engaged in our foreign trade. It is
believed that the system of such publications is deserving of the
approval of Congress, and that the necessary appropriations for its
continuance and enlargement will commend itself to your consideration.

The prosperous energies of our domestic industries and their immense
production of the subjects of foreign commerce invite, and even
require, an active development of the wishes and interests of
our people in that direction. Especially important is it that our
commercial relations with the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South
America, with the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico, should be
direct, and not through the circuit of European systems, and should
be carried on in our own bottoms. The full appreciation of the
opportunities which our front on the Pacific Ocean gives to commerce
with Japan, China, and the East Indies, with Australia and the island
groups which lie along these routes of navigation, should inspire
equal efforts to appropriate to our own shipping and to administer by
our own capital a due proportion of this trade. Whatever modifications
of our regulations of trade and navigation may be necessary or useful
to meet and direct these impulses to the enlargement of our exchanges
and of our carrying trade I am sure the wisdom of Congress will be
ready to supply. One initial measure, however, seems to me so clearly
useful and efficient that I venture to press it upon your earnest
attention. It seems to be very evident that the provision of regular
steam postal communication by aid from government has been the
forerunner of the commercial predominance of Great Britain on all
these coasts and seas, a greater share in whose trade is now the
desire and the intent of our people. It is also manifest that the
efforts of other European nations to contend with Great Britain for a
share of this commerce have been successful in proportion with their
adoption of regular steam postal communication with the markets whose
trade they sought. Mexico and the States of South America are anxious
to receive such postal communication with this country and to aid in
their development. Similar cooperation may be looked for in due time
from the Eastern nations and from Australia. It is difficult to see
how the lead in this movement can be expected from private interests.
In respect of foreign commerce quite as much as in internal trade
postal communication seems necessarily a matter of common and public
administration, and thus pertaining to Government. I respectfully
recommend to your prompt attention such just and efficient measures as
may conduce to the development of our foreign commercial exchanges and
the building up of our carrying trade.

In this connection I desire also to suggest the very great service
which might be expected in enlarging and facilitating our commerce on
the Pacific Ocean were a transmarine cable laid from San Francisco to
the Sandwich Islands, and thence to Japan at the north and Australia
at the south. The great influence of such means of communication on
these routes of navigation in developing and securing the due share of
our Pacific Coast in the commerce of the world needs no illustration
or enforcement. It may be that such an enterprise, useful, and in the
end profitable, as it would prove to private investment, may need to
be accelerated by prudent legislation by Congress in its aid, and
I submit the matter to your careful consideration.

An additional and not unimportant, although secondary, reason for
fostering and enlarging the Navy may be found in the unquestionable
service to the expansion of our commerce which would be rendered by
the frequent circulation of naval ships in the seas and ports of all
quarters of the globe. Ships of the proper construction and equipment
to be of the greatest efficiency in case of maritime war might be made
constant and active agents in time of peace in the advancement and
protection of our foreign trade and in the nurture and discipline of
young seamen, who would naturally in some numbers mix with and improve
the crews of our merchant ships. Our merchants at home and abroad
recognize the value to foreign commerce of an active movement of our
naval vessels, and the intelligence and patriotic zeal of our naval
officers in promoting every interest of their countrymen is a just
subject of national pride.

The condition of the financial affairs of the Government, as shown by
the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, is very satisfactory. It
is believed that the present financial situation of the United States,
whether considered with respect to trade, currency, credit, growing
wealth, or the extent and variety of our resources, is more favorable
than that of any other country of our time, and has never been
surpassed by that of any country at any period of its history. All our
industries are thriving; the rate of interest is low; new railroads
are being constructed; a vast immigration is increasing our
population, capital, and labor; new enterprises in great number are
in progress, and our commercial relations with other countries are

The ordinary revenues from all sources for the fiscal year ended June
30, 1880, were--

From customs.......................................... $186,522,064.60
From internal revenue.................................. 124,009,373.92
From sales of public lands............................... 1,016,506.60
From tax on circulation and deposits of national banks... 7,014,971.44
From repayment of interest by Pacific Railway companies.. 1,707,367.18
From sinking fund for Pacific Railway companies............ 786,621.22
From customs fees, fines, penalties, etc................. 1,148,800.16
From fees--consular, letters patent, and lands........... 2,337,029.00
From proceeds of sales of Government property.............. 282,616.50
From profits on coinage, etc............................. 2,792,186.78
From revenues of the District of Columbia................ 1,809,469.70
From miscellaneous sources............................... 4,099,603.88

Total ordinary receipts................................ 333,526,610.98

The ordinary expenditures for the same period were--

For civil expenses..................................... $15,693,963.55
For foreign intercourse.................................. 1,211,490.58
For Indians.............................................. 5,945,457.09
For pensions (including $19,341,025.20 arrears of pensions)
........................................................ 56,777,174.44
For the military establishment, including river and harbor
improvements and arsenals............................... 38,116,916.22
For the naval establishment, including vessels, machinery,
and improvements at navy-yards.......................... 13,536,984.74
For miscellaneous expenditures, including public buildings,
light-houses, and collecting the revenue................ 34,535,691.00
For expenditures on account of the District of Columbia.. 3,272,384.63
For interest on the public debt......................... 95,757,575.11
For premium on bonds purchased........................... 2,795,320.42

leaving a surplus revenue of $65,883,653.20, which, with an amount
drawn from the cash balance in Treasury of $8,084,434.21, making
$73,968,087.41, was applied to the redemption--

Of bonds for the sinking fund.......................... $73,652,900.00
Of fractional currency..................................... 251,717.41
Of the loan of 1858......................................... 40,000.00
Of temporary loan.............................................. 100.00
Of bounty-land scrip............................................ 25.00
Of compound-interest notes.................................. 16,500.00
Of 7.30 notes of 1864-65..................................... 2,650.00
Of one and two year notes.................................... 3,700.00
Of old demand notes............................................ 495.00

Total................................................... 73,968,087.41

The amount due the sinking fund for this year was $37,931,643.55.
There was applied thereto the sum of $73,904,617.41, being
$35,972,973.86 in excess of the actual requirements for the year.

The aggregate of the revenues from all sources during the fiscal
year ended June 30, 1880, was $333,526,610.98, an increase over the
preceding year of $59,699,426.52. The receipts thus far of the current
year, together with the estimated receipts for the remainder of the
year, amount to $350,000,000, which will be sufficient to meet the
estimated expenditures of the year and leave a surplus of $90,000,000.

It is fortunate that this large surplus revenue occurs at a period
when it may be directly applied to the payment of the public debt soon
to be redeemable. No public duty has been more constantly cherished
in the United States than the policy of paying the nation's debt as
rapidly as possible.

The debt of the United States, less cash in the Treasury and exclusive
of accruing interest, attained its maximum of $2,756,431,571.43
in August, 1865, and has since that time been reduced to
$1,886,019,504.65. Of the principal of the debt, $108,758,100 has been
paid since March 1, 1877, effecting an annual saving of interest of
$6,107,593. The burden of interest has also been diminished by the
sale of bonds bearing a low rate of interest and the application of
the proceeds to the redemption of bonds bearing a higher rate. The
annual saving thus secured since March 1, 1877, is $14,290,453.50.
Within a short period over six hundred millions of 5 and 6 per
cent bonds will become redeemable. This presents a very favorable
opportunity not only to further reduce the principal of the debt, but
also to reduce the rate of interest on that which will remain unpaid.
I call the attention of Congress to the views expressed on this
subject by the Secretary of the Treasury in his annual report, and
recommend prompt legislation to enable the Treasury Department to
complete the refunding of the debt which is about to mature.

The continuance of specie payments has not been interrupted or
endangered since the date of resumption. It has contributed greatly
to the revival of business and to our remarkable prosperity. The fears
that preceded and accompanied resumption have proved groundless. No
considerable amount of United States notes have been presented for
redemption, while very large sums of gold bullion, both domestic and
imported, are taken to the mints and exchanged for coin or notes. The
increase of coin and bullion in the United States since January 1,
1879, is estimated at $227,399,428.

There are still in existence, uncanceled, $346,681,016 of United
States legal-tender notes. These notes were authorized as a war
measure, made necessary by the exigencies of the conflict in which
the United States was then engaged. The preservation of the nation's
existence required, in the judgment of Congress, an issue of
legal-tender paper money. That it served well the purpose for which
it was created is not questioned, but the employment of the notes as
paper money indefinitely, after the accomplishment of the object for
which they were provided, was not contemplated by the framers of the
law under which they were issued. These notes long since became, like
any other pecuniary obligation of the Government, a debt to be paid,
and when paid to be canceled as mere evidence of an indebtedness
no longer existing. I therefore repeat what was said in the annual
message of last year, that the retirement from circulation of United
States notes with the capacity of legal tender in private contracts is
a step to be taken in our progress toward a safe and stable currency
which should be accepted as the policy and duty of the Government and
the interest and security of the people.

At the time of the passage of the act now in force requiring the
coinage of silver dollars, fixing their value, and giving them
legal-tender character it was believed by many of the supporters of
the measure that the silver dollar which it authorized would speedily
become, under the operations of the law, of equivalent value to the
gold dollar. There were other supporters of the bill, who, while
they doubted as to the probability of this result, nevertheless were
willing to give the proposed experiment a fair trial, with a view to
stop the coinage if experience should prove that the silver dollar
authorized by the bill continued to be of less commercial value than
the standard gold dollar.

The coinage of silver dollars under the act referred to began in
March, 1878, and has been continued as required by the act. The
average rate per month to the present time has been $2,276,492. The
total amount coined prior to the 1st of November last was $72,847,750.
Of this amount $47,084,450 remain in the Treasury, and only
$25,763,291 are in the hands of the people. A constant effort has been
made to keep this currency in circulation, and considerable expense
has been necessarily incurred for this purpose; but its return to the
Treasury is prompt and sure. Contrary to the confident anticipation of
the friends of the measure at the time of its adoption, the value
of the silver dollar containing 412-1/2 grains of silver has
not increased. During the year prior to the passage of the bill
authorizing its coinage the market value of the silver which it
contained was from 90 to 92 cents as compared with the standard gold
dollar. During the last year the average market value of the silver
dollar has been 88-1/2 cents.

It is obvious that the legislation of the last Congress in regard to
silver, so far as it was based on an anticipated rise in the value
of silver as a result of that legislation, has failed to produce the
effect then predicted. The longer the law remains in force, requiring,
as it does, the coinage of a nominal dollar which in reality is not
a dollar, the greater becomes the danger that this country will be
forced to accept a single metal as the sole legal standard of value in
circulation, and this a standard of less value than it purports to be
worth in the recognized money of the world.

The Constitution of the United States, sound financial principles,
and our best interests all require that the country should have as its
legal-tender money both gold and silver coin of an intrinsic value,
as bullion, equivalent to that which upon its face it purports to
possess. The Constitution in express terms recognizes both gold and
silver as the only true legal-tender money. To banish either of these
metals from our currency is to narrow and limit the circulating medium
of exchange to the disparagement of important interests. The United
States produces more silver than any other country, and is directly
interested in maintaining it as one of the two precious metals which
furnish the coinage of the world. It will, in my judgment, contribute
to this result if Congress will repeal so much of existing legislation
as requires the coinage of silver dollars containing only 412-1/2
grains of silver, and in its stead will authorize the Secretary of the
Treasury to coin silver dollars of equivalent value, as bullion, with
gold dollars. This will defraud no man, and will be in accordance with
familiar precedents. Congress on several occasions has altered the
ratio of value between gold and silver, in order to establish it more
nearly in accordance with the actual ratio of value between the two

In financial legislation every measure in the direction of greater
fidelity in the discharge of pecuniary obligations has been found
by experience to diminish the rates of interest which debtors are
required to pay and to increase the facility with which money can
be obtained for every legitimate purpose. Our own recent financial
history shows how surely money becomes abundant whenever confidence
in the exact performance of moneyed obligations is established.

The Secretary of War reports that the expenditures of the
War Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1880, were
$39,924,773.03. The appropriations for this Department for the current
fiscal year amount to $41,993,630.40.

With respect to the Army, the Secretary invites attention to the fact
that its strength is limited by statute (U.S. Revised Statutes,
sec. 1115) to not more than 30,000 enlisted men, but that provisos
contained in appropriation bills have limited expenditures to the
enlistment of but 25,000. It is believed the full legal strength is
the least possible force at which the present organization can be
maintained, having in view efficiency, discipline, and economy. While
the enlistment of this force would add somewhat to the appropriation
for pay of the Army, the saving made in other respects would be more
than an equivalent for this additional outlay, and the efficiency of
the Army would be largely increased.

The rapid extension of the railroad system west of the Mississippi
River and the great tide of settlers which has flowed in upon new
territory impose on the military an entire change of policy. The
maintenance of small posts along wagon and stage routes of travel
is no longer necessary. Permanent quarters at points selected, of a
more substantial character than those heretofore constructed, will be
required. Under existing laws permanent buildings can not be erected
without the sanction of Congress, and when sales of military sites
and buildings have been authorized the moneys received have reverted
to the Treasury and could only become available through a new
appropriation. It is recommended that provision be made by a general
statute for the sale of such abandoned military posts and buildings as
are found to be unnecessary and for the application of the proceeds
to the construction of other posts. While many of the present posts
are of but slight value for military purposes, owing to the changed
condition of the country, their occupation is continued at great
expense and inconvenience, because they afford the only available
shelter for troops.

The absence of a large number of officers of the line, in active duty,
from their regiments is a serious detriment to the maintenance of
the service. The constant demand for small detachments, each of which
should be commanded by a commissioned officer, and the various details
of officers for necessary service away from their commands occasion
a scarcity in the number required for company duties. With a view to
lessening this drain to some extent, it is recommended that the law
authorizing the detail of officers from the active list as professors
of tactics and military science at certain colleges and universities
be so amended as to provide that all such details be made from the
retired list of the Army.

Attention is asked to the necessity of providing by legislation for
organizing, arming, and disciplining the _active_ militia of the
country, and liberal appropriations are recommended in this behalf.
The reports of the Adjutant-General of the Army and the Chief of
Ordnance touching this subject fully set forth its importance.

The report of the officer in charge of education in the Army shows
that there are 78 schools now in operation in the Army, with an
aggregate attendance of 2,305 enlisted men and children. The Secretary
recommends the enlistment of 150 schoolmasters, with the rank and
pay of commissary-sergeants. An appropriation is needed to supply the
judge-advocates of the Army with suitable libraries, and the Secretary
recommends that the Corps of Judge-Advocates be placed upon the same
footing as to promotion with the other staff corps of the Army. Under
existing laws the Bureau of Military Justice consists of one officer
(the Judge-Advocate-General), and the Corps of Judge-Advocates of
eight officers of equal rank (majors), with a provision that the
limit of the corps shall remain at four when reduced by casualty
or resignation to that number. The consolidation of the Bureau of
Military Justice and the Corps of Judge-Advocates upon the same
basis with the other staff corps of the Army would remove an unjust
discrimination against deserving officers and subserve the best
interests of the service.

Especial attention is asked to the report of the Chief of Engineers
upon the condition of our national defenses. From a personal
inspection of many of the fortifications referred to, the Secretary
is able to emphasize the recommendations made and to state that their
incomplete and defenseless condition is discreditable to the country.
While other nations have been increasing their means for carrying on
offensive warfare and attacking maritime cities, we have been dormant
in preparation for defense. Nothing of importance has been done toward
strengthening and finishing our casemated works since our late civil
war, during which the great guns of modern warfare and the heavy armor
of modern fortifications and ships came into use among the nations;
and our earthworks, left by a sudden failure of appropriations some
years since in all stages of incompletion, are now being rapidly
destroyed by the elements.

The two great rivers of the North American continent, the Mississippi
and the Columbia, have their navigable waters wholly within the limits
of the United States, and are of vast importance to our internal and
foreign commerce. The permanency of the important work on the South
Pass of the Mississippi River seems now to be assured. There has been
no failure whatever in the maintenance of the maximum channel during
the six months ended August 9 last. This experiment has opened a
broad, deep highway to the ocean, and is an improvement upon the
permanent success of which congratulations may be exchanged among
people abroad and at home, and especially among the communities of
the Mississippi Valley, whose commercial exchanges float in an
unobstructed channel safely to and from the sea.

A comprehensive improvement of the Mississippi and its tributaries is
a matter of transcendent importance. These great waterways comprise
a system of inland transportation spread like network over a large
portion of the United States, and navigable to the extent of many
thousands of miles. Producers and consumers alike have a common
interest in such unequaled facilities for cheap transportation.
Geographically, commercially, and politically, they are the strongest
tie between the various sections of the country. These channels of
communication and interchange are the property of the nation.
Its jurisdiction is paramount over their waters, and the plainest
principles of public interest require their intelligent and careful
supervision, with a view to their protection, improvement, and the
enhancement of their usefulness.

The channel of the Columbia River for a distance of about 100 miles
from its mouth is obstructed by a succession of bars, which occasion
serious delays in navigation and heavy expense for lighterage and
towage. A depth of at least 20 feet at low tide should be secured
and maintained to meet the requirements of the extensive and growing
inland and ocean commerce it subserves. The most urgent need, however,
for this great waterway is a permanent improvement of the channel at
the mouth of the river.

From Columbia River to San Francisco, a distance of over 600 miles,
there is no harbor on our Pacific coast which can be approached
during stormy weather. An appropriation of $150,000 was made by the
Forty-fifth Congress for the commencement of a breakwater and harbor
of refuge, to be located at some point between the Straits of Fuca and
San Francisco at which the necessities of commerce, local and general,
will be best accommodated. The amount appropriated is thought to be
quite inadequate for the purpose intended. The cost of the work, when
finished, will be very great, owing to the want of natural advantages
for a site at any point on the coast between the designated limits,
and it has not been thought to be advisable to undertake the work
without a larger appropriation. I commend the matter to the attention
of Congress.

The completion of the new building for the War Department is urgently
needed, and the estimates for continuing its construction are
especially recommended.

The collections of books, specimens, and records constituting the Army
Medical Museum and Library are of national importance. The library
now contains about 51,500 volumes and 57,000 pamphlets relating to
medicine, surgery, and allied topics. The contents of the Army Medical
Museum consist of 22,000 specimens, and are unique in the completeness
with which both military surgery and the diseases of armies are
illustrated. Their destruction would be an irreparable loss, not only
to the United States, but to the world. There are filed in the Record
and Pension Division over 16,000 bound volumes of hospital records,
together with a great quantity of papers, embracing the original
records of the hospitals of our armies during the civil war. Aside
from their historical value, these records are daily searched for
evidence needed in the settlement of large numbers of pension and
other claims, for the protection of the Government against attempted
frauds, as well as for the benefit of honest claimants. These valuable
collections are now in a building which is peculiarly exposed to the
danger of destruction by fire. It is therefore earnestly recommended
that an appropriation be made for a new fireproof building, adequate
for the present needs and reasonable future expansion of these
valuable collections. Such a building should be absolutely fireproof;
no expenditure for mere architectural display is required. It is
believed that a suitable structure can be erected at a cost not to
exceed $250,000.

I commend to the attention of Congress the great services of the
Commander in Chief of our armies during the war for the Union, whose
wise, firm, and patriotic conduct did so much to bring that momentous
conflict to a close. The legislation of the United States contains
many precedents for the recognition of distinguished military merit,
authorizing rank and emoluments to be conferred for eminent services
to the country. An act of Congress authorizing the appointment of
a Captain-General of the Army, with suitable provisions relating to
compensation, retirement, and other details, would, in my judgment,
be altogether fitting and proper, and would be warmly approved by the

The report of the Secretary of the Navy exhibits the successful and
satisfactory management of that Department during the last fiscal
year. The total expenditures for the year were $12,916,639.45, leaving
unexpended at the close of the year $2,141,682.23 of the amount of
available appropriations. The appropriations for the present fiscal
year, ending June 30, 1881, are $15,095,061.45, and the total
estimates for the next fiscal year, ending June 30, 1882, are
$15,953,751.61. The amount drawn by warrant from July 1, 1880, to
November 1, 1880, is $5,041,570.45.

The recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy that provision be made
for the establishment of some form of civil government for the people
of Alaska is approved. At present there is no protection of persons or
property in that Territory except such as is afforded by the officers
of the United States ship _Jamestown_. This vessel was dispatched to
Sitka because of the fear that without the immediate presence of the
national authority there was impending danger of anarchy. The steps
taken to restore order have been accepted in good faith by both white
and Indian inhabitants, and the necessity for this method of restraint
does not, in my opinion, now exist. If, however, the _Jamestown_
should be withdrawn, leaving the people, as at present, without the
ordinary judicial and administrative authority of organized local
government, serious consequences might ensue.

The laws provide only for the collection of revenue, the protection of
public property, and the transmission of the mails. The problem is to
supply a local rule for a population so scattered and so peculiar in
its origin and condition. The natives are reported to be teachable and
self-supporting, and if properly instructed doubtless would advance
rapidly in civilization, and a new factor of prosperity would be added
to the national life. I therefore recommend the requisite legislation
upon this subject.

The Secretary of the Navy has taken steps toward the establishment
of naval coaling stations at the Isthmus of Panama, to meet the
requirements of our commercial relations with Central and South
America, which are rapidly growing in importance. Locations eminently
suitable, both as regards our naval purposes and the uses of commerce,
have been selected, one on the east side of the Isthmus, at Chiriqui
Lagoon, in the Caribbean Sea, and the other on the Pacific coast, at
the Bay of Golfito. The only safe harbors, sufficiently commodious, on
the Isthmus are at these points, and the distance between them is less
than 100 miles. The report of the Secretary of the Navy concludes with
valuable suggestions with respect to the building up of our merchant
marine service, which deserve the favorable consideration of Congress.

The report of the Postmaster-General exhibits the continual growth and
the high state of efficiency of the postal service. The operations
of no Department of the Government, perhaps, represent with greater
exactness the increase in the population and the business of the
country. In 1860 the postal receipts were $8,518,067.40; in 1880 the
receipts were $33,315,479.34. All the inhabitants of the country are
directly and personally interested in having proper mail facilities,
and naturally watch the Post-Office very closely. This careful
oversight on the part of the people has proved a constant stimulus
to improvement. During the past year there was an increase of 2,134
post-offices, and the mail routes were extended 27,177 miles, making
an additional annual transportation of 10,804,191 miles. The
revenues of the postal service for the ensuing year are estimated
at $38,845,174.10, and the expenditures at $42,475,932, leaving a
deficiency to be appropriated out of the Treasury of $3,630,757.90.

The Universal Postal Union has received the accession of almost all
the countries and colonies of the world maintaining organized postal
services, and it is confidently expected that all the other countries
and colonies now outside the union will soon unite therewith, thus
realizing the grand idea and aim of the founders of the union of
forming, for purposes of international mail communication, a single
postal territory, embracing the world, with complete uniformity
of postal charges and conditions of international exchange for all
descriptions of correspondence. To enable the United States to do its
full share of this great work, additional legislation is asked by the
Postmaster-General, to whose recommendations especial attention is

The suggestion of the Postmaster-General that it would be wise to
encourage, by appropriate legislation, the establishment of American
lines of steamers by our own citizens to carry the mails between our
own ports and those of Mexico, Central America, South America, and of
transpacific countries is commended to the serious consideration of

The attention of Congress is also invited to the suggestions of the
Postmaster-General in regard to postal savings.

The necessity for additional provision to aid in the transaction of
the business of the Federal courts becomes each year more apparent.
The dockets of the Supreme Court and of the circuit courts in the
greater number of the circuits are encumbered with the constant
accession of cases. In the former court, and in many instances in
the circuit courts, years intervene before it is practicable to bring
cases to hearing.

The Attorney-General recommends the establishment of an intermediate
court of errors and appeals. It is recommended that the number of
judges of the circuit court in each circuit, with the exception of the
second circuit, should be increased by the addition of another
judge; in the second circuit, that two should be added; and that an
intermediate appellate court should be formed in each circuit, to
consist of the circuit judges and the circuit justice, and that in the
event of the absence of either of these judges the place of the absent
judge should be supplied by the judge of one of the district courts
in the circuit. Such an appellate court could be safely invested with
large jurisdiction, and its decisions would satisfy suitors in many
cases where appeals would still be allowed to the Supreme Court.
The expense incurred for this intermediate court will require a
very moderate increase of the appropriations for the expenses of the
Department of Justice. This recommendation is commended to the careful
consideration of Congress.

It is evident that a delay of justice, in many instances oppressive
and disastrous to suitors, now necessarily occurs in the Federal
courts, which will in this way be remedied.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior presents an elaborate
account of the operations of that Department during the past year. It
gives me great pleasure to say that our Indian affairs appear to be in
a more hopeful condition now than ever before. The Indians have made
gratifying progress in agriculture, herding, and mechanical pursuits.
Many who were a few years ago in hostile conflict with the Government
are quietly settling down on farms where they hope to make their
permanent homes, building houses and engaging in the occupations of
civilized life. The introduction of the freighting business among them
has been remarkably fruitful of good results, in giving many of
them congenial and remunerative employment and in stimulating their
ambition to earn their own support. Their honesty, fidelity, and
efficiency as carriers are highly praised. The organization of a
police force of Indians has been equally successful in maintaining law
and order upon the reservations and in exercising a wholesome moral
influence among the Indians themselves. I concur with the Secretary
of the Interior in the recommendation that the pay of this force be
increased, as an inducement to the best class of young men to enter

Much care and attention has been devoted to the enlargement of
educational facilities for the Indians. The means available for this
important object have been very inadequate. A few additional boarding
schools at Indian agencies have been established and the erection
of buildings has been begun for several more; but an increase of the
appropriations for this interesting undertaking is greatly needed to
accommodate the large number of Indian children of school age. The
number offered by their parents from all parts of the country for
education in the Government schools is much larger than can be
accommodated with the means at present available for that purpose. The
number of Indian pupils at the normal school at Hampton, Va., under
the direction of General Armstrong, has been considerably increased,
and their progress is highly encouraging. The Indian school
established by the Interior Department in 1879 at Carlisle, Pa., under
the direction of Captain Pratt, has been equally successful. It has
now nearly 200 pupils of both sexes, representing a great variety
of the tribes east of the Rocky Mountains. The pupils in both these
institutions receive not only an elementary English education, but
are also instructed in housework, agriculture, and useful mechanical
pursuits. A similar school was established this year at Forest Grove,
Oreg., for the education of Indian youth on the Pacific Coast. In
addition to this, thirty-six Indian boys and girls were selected
from the Eastern Cherokees and placed in boarding schools in North
Carolina, where they are to receive an elementary English education
and training in industrial pursuits. The interest shown by Indian
parents, even among the so-called wild tribes, in the education of
their children is very gratifying, and gives promise that the results
accomplished by the efforts now making will be of lasting benefit.

The expenses of Indian education have so far been drawn from the
permanent civilization fund at the disposal of the Department of the
Interior, but the fund is now so much reduced that the continuance
of this beneficial work will in the future depend on specific
appropriations by Congress for the purpose; and I venture to express
the hope that Congress will not permit institutions so fruitful of
good results to perish for want of means for their support. On the
contrary, an increase of the number of such schools appears to me
highly advisable.

The past year has been unusually free from disturbances among the
Indian tribes. An agreement has been made with the Utes by which they
surrender their large reservation in Colorado in consideration of
an annuity to be paid to them, and agree to settle in severalty
on certain lands designated for that purpose, as farmers, holding
individual title to their land in fee-simple, inalienable for a
certain period. In this way a costly Indian war has been avoided,
which at one time seemed imminent, and for the first time in the
history of the country an Indian nation has given up its tribal
existence to be settled in severalty and to live as individuals under
the common protection of the laws of the country.

The conduct of the Indians throughout the country during the past
year, with but few noteworthy exceptions, has been orderly and
peaceful. The guerrilla warfare carried on for two years by Victoria
and his band of Southern Apaches has virtually come to an end by the
death of that chief and most of his followers on Mexican soil. The
disturbances caused on our northern frontier by Sitting Bull and his
men, who had taken refuge in the British dominions, are also likely
to cease. A large majority of his followers have surrendered to our
military forces, and the remainder are apparently in progress of

I concur with the Secretary of the Interior in expressing the earnest
hope that Congress will at this session take favorable action on
the bill providing for the allotment of lands on the different
reservations in severalty to the Indians, with patents conferring
fee-simple title inalienable for a certain period, and the eventual
disposition of the residue of the reservations for general settlement,
with the consent and for the benefit of the Indians, placing the
latter under the equal protection of the laws of the country. This
measure, together with a vigorous prosecution of our educational
efforts, will work the most important and effective advance toward the
solution of the Indian problem, in preparing for the gradual merging
of our Indian population in the great body of American citizenship.

A large increase is reported in the disposal of public lands for
settlement during the past year, which marks the prosperous growth of
our agricultural industry and a vigorous movement of population toward
our unoccupied lands. As this movement proceeds, the codification
of our land laws, as well as proper legislation to regulate the
disposition of public lands, become of more pressing necessity, and I
therefore invite the consideration of Congress to the report and the
accompanying draft of a bill made by the Public Lands Commission,
which were communicated by me to Congress at the last session. Early
action upon this important subject is highly desirable.

The attention of Congress is again asked to the wasteful depredations
committed on our public timber lands and the rapid and indiscriminate
destruction of our forests. The urgent necessity for legislation to
this end is now generally recognized. In view of the lawless character
of the depredations committed and the disastrous consequences which
will inevitably follow their continuance, legislation has again and
again been recommended to arrest the evil and to preserve for the
people of our Western States and Territories the timber needed for
domestic and other essential uses.

The report of the Director of the Geological Survey is a document
of unusual interest. The consolidation of the various geological and
geographical surveys and exploring enterprises, each of which has
heretofore operated upon an independent plan, without concert, can
not fail to be of great benefit to all those industries of the country
which depend upon the development of our mineral resources. The labors
of the scientific men, of recognized merit, who compose the corps
of the Geological Survey, during the first season of their field
operations and inquiries, appear to have been very comprehensive,
and will soon be communicated to Congress in a number of volumes.
The Director of the Survey recommends that the investigations carried
on by his bureau, which so far have been confined to the so-called
public-land States and Territories, be extended over the entire country,
and that the necessary appropriation be made for this purpose. This
would be particularly beneficial to the iron, coal, and other mining
interests of the Mississippi Valley and of the Eastern and Southern
States. The subject is commended to the careful consideration of

The Secretary of the Interior asks attention to the want of room in
the public buildings of the capital, now existing and in progress of
construction, for the accommodation of the clerical force employed and
of the public records. Necessity has compelled the renting of private
buildings in different parts of the city for the location of public
offices, for which a large amount of rent is annually paid, while the
separation of offices belonging to the same Department impedes the
transaction of current business. The Secretary suggests that the
blocks surrounding Lafayette Square on the east, north, and west be
purchased as the sites for new edifices for the accommodation of the
Government offices, leaving the square itself intact, and that if such
buildings were constructed upon a harmonious plan of architecture
they would add much to the beauty of the national capital, and would,
together with the Treasury and the new State, Navy, and War Department
building, form one of the most imposing groups of public edifices in
the world.

The Commissioner of Agriculture expresses the confident belief that
his efforts in behalf of the production of our own sugar and tea have
been encouragingly rewarded. The importance of the results attained
have attracted marked attention at home and have received the special
consideration of foreign nations. The successful cultivation of our
own tea and the manufacture of our own sugar would make a difference
of many millions of dollars annually in the wealth of the nation.

The report of the Commissioner asks attention particularly to the
continued prevalence of an infectious and contagious cattle
disease known and dreaded in Europe and Asia as cattle plague, or
pleuro-pneumonia. A mild type of this disease in certain sections
of our country is the occasion of great loss to our farmers and of
serious disturbance to our trade with Great Britain, which furnishes
a market for most of our live stock and dressed meats. The value of
neat cattle exported from the United States for the eight months ended
August 31, 1880, was more than $12,000,000, and nearly double the
value for the same period in 1879--an unexampled increase of export
trade. Your early attention is solicited to this important matter.

The Commissioner of Education reports a continued increase of public
interest in educational affairs, and that the public schools generally
throughout the country are well sustained. Industrial training
is attracting deserved attention, and colleges for instruction,
theoretical and practical, in agriculture and mechanic arts, including
the Government schools recently established for the instruction
of Indian youth, are gaining steadily in public estimation. The
Commissioner asks special attention to the depredations committed on
the lands reserved for the future support of public instruction, and
to the very great need of help from the nation for schools in the
Territories and in the Southern States. The recommendation heretofore
made is repeated and urged, that an educational fund be set apart from
the net proceeds of the sales of the public lands annually, the
income of which and the remainder of the net annual proceeds to
be distributed on some satisfactory plan to the States and the
Territories and the District of Columbia.

The success of the public schools of the District of Columbia, and
the progress made, under the intelligent direction of the board
of education and the superintendent, in supplying the educational
requirements of the District with thoroughly trained and efficient
teachers, is very gratifying. The acts of Congress, from time to time,
donating public lands to the several States and Territories in aid
of educational interests have proved to be wise measures of public
policy, resulting in great and lasting benefit. It would seem to be a
matter of simple justice to extend the benefits of this legislation,
the wisdom of which has been so fully vindicated by experience, to the
District of Columbia.

I again commend the general interests of the District of Columbia
to the favorable consideration of Congress. The affairs of the
District, as shown by the report of the Commissioners, are in a very
satisfactory condition.

In my annual messages heretofore and in my special message of December
19, 1879, I have urged upon the attention of Congress the necessity of
reclaiming the marshes of the Potomac adjacent to the capital, and I
am constrained by its importance to advert again to the subject. These
flats embrace an area of several hundred acres. They are an impediment
to the drainage of the city and seriously impair its health. It is
believed that with this substantial improvement of its river front the
capital would be in all respects one of the most attractive cities
in the world. Aside from its permanent population, this city is
necessarily the place of residence of persons from every section of
the country engaged in the public service. Many others reside here
temporarily for the transaction of business with the Government.

It should not be forgotten that the land acquired will probably be
worth the cost of reclaiming it and that the navigation of the river
will be greatly improved. I therefore again invite the attention of
Congress to the importance of prompt provision for this much needed
and too long delayed improvement.

The water supply of the city is inadequate. In addition to the
ordinary use throughout the city, the consumption by Government is
necessarily very great in the navy-yard, arsenal, and the various
Departments, and a large quantity is required for the proper
preservation of the numerous parks and the cleansing of sewers. I
recommend that this subject receive the early attention of Congress,
and that in making provision for an increased supply such means be
adopted as will have in view the future growth of the city. Temporary
expedients for such a purpose can not but be wasteful of money,
and therefore unwise. A more ample reservoir, with corresponding
facilities for keeping it filled, should, in my judgment, be
constructed. I commend again to the attention of Congress the subject
of the removal from their present location of the depots of the
several railroads entering the city; and I renew the recommendations
of my former messages in behalf of the erection of a building for the
Congressional Library, the completion of the Washington Monument, and
of liberal appropriations in support of the benevolent, reformatory,
and penal institutions of the District.



WASHINGTON, _December 9, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for the establishment, on fixed and uniform
bases, of the exercise of the right of protection in Morocco, and for
the settlement of certain questions connected therewith, between His
Excellency the President of the United States of America; His Majesty
the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia; His Majesty the Emperor of
Austria, King of Hungary; His Majesty the King of the Belgians;
His Majesty the King of Denmark; His Majesty the King of Spain; His
Excellency the President of the French Republic; Her Majesty the Queen
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; His Majesty the
King of Italy; His Majesty the Sultan of Morocco; His Majesty the King
of the Netherlands; His Majesty the King of Portugal and the Algarves,
and His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, signed at Madrid on the
3d day of July last.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 13, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

The accompanying documents, received from the Commissioner of
Agriculture, are transmitted to the Senate in reply to the resolution
of the 7th instant, relating to contagious diseases of cattle.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, January 5, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

I transmit, for the consideration of the Senate with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States of America
and the Empire of Japan, providing for the reimbursement of certain
specified expenses which may be incurred by either country in
consequence of the shipwreck on its coasts of the vessels of the


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 5, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States:_

In response to the resolution of the Senate of June 21, 1879, I
herewith transmit reports[42] received from the Secretary of the
Interior and the Secretary of War.


[Footnote 42: Transmitting statements of the number of soldiers and
civilians killed and wounded, number of Indians killed, value of
property destroyed, and expenses incurred by the United States in
certain Indian wars from 1865 to 1879.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, January 10, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of the Senate, two
treaties[43] signed at Peking on the 17th of November, 1880, by
the commissioners plenipotentiary of the United States and China,
respectively, together with a letter of the Secretary of State in
relation thereto, and accompanying papers.


[Footnote 43: (1) Regulation of Chinese immigration into the United
States (2) commercial intercourse and judicial procedure.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, January 10, 1881_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I submit herewith, for the information of the House of
Representatives, copies of correspondence with the Department of State
relating to an invitation extended by the French Republic to this
Government to send one or more delegates to represent it at an
international congress of electricians to be held at Paris on the 15th
day of September, 1881. It appears from the same correspondence that
an international exhibition of electricity is to be held at the palace
of the Champs Elysees, in Paris, from August 15, 1881, to the 15th
of November following, and it is therefore suggested by the French
authorities that it might be well to invest the delegates selected to
take part in the international congress with the additional character
of commissioners to the international exhibition of electricity.

In view of the important scientific, industrial, and commercial
interests designed to be promoted by the proposed international
congress of electricians and exhibition of electricity, I submit the
subject to your favorable consideration and recommend that a suitable
appropriation be made to enable this Government to accept the
foregoing invitation by appointing one or more delegates to attend the
congress in question.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, January 18, 1881_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to submit herewith the report of the Public
Lands Commission, embracing the history and a codification of the
public-land laws; and I desire earnestly to invite the attention of
Congress to this important subject.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, January 20, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate a letter from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying papers, in relation to the recent effort of
the Government of the United States to bring about peace between Chile
and Peru and, Bolivia.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 1, 1881_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the request of a large number of intelligent
and benevolent citizens, and believing that it was warranted by the
extraordinary circumstances of the case, on the 18th day of December,
1880, I appointed a commission consisting of George Crook and Nelson
A. Miles, brigadier-generals in the Army; William Stickney, of
the District of Columbia, and Walter Allen, of Massachusetts,
and requested them to confer with the Ponca Indians in the Indian
Territory, and, if in their judgment it was advisable, also with that
part of the tribe which remained in Dakota, and "to ascertain the
facts in regard to their removal and present condition so far as was
necessary to determine the question as to what justice and humanity
required should be done by the Government of the United States, and to
report their conclusions and recommendations in the premises."

The commission, in pursuance of these instructions, having visited the
Ponca Indians at their homes in the Indian Territory and in Dakota
and made a careful investigation of the subject referred to them, have
reported their conclusions and recommendations, and I now submit their
report, together with the testimony taken, for the consideration of
Congress. A minority report by Mr. Allen is also herewith submitted.

On the 27th of December, 1880, a delegation of Ponca chiefs from the
Indian Territory presented to the Executive a declaration of their
wishes, in which they stated that it was their desire "to remain on
the lands now occupied by the Poncas in the Indian Territory" and "to
relinquish all their right and interest in the lands formerly owned
and occupied by the Ponca tribe in the State of Nebraska and the
Territory of Dakota;" and the declaration sets forth the compensation
which they will accept for the lands to be surrendered and for the
injuries done to the tribe by their removal to the Indian Territory.
This declaration, agreeably to the request of the chiefs making it, is
herewith transmitted to Congress.

The public attention has frequently been called to the injustice and
wrong which the Ponca tribe of Indians has suffered at the hands of
the Government of the United States. This subject was first brought
before Congress and the country by the Secretary of the Interior in
his annual report for the year 1877, in which he said:

The case of the Poncas seems entitled to especial
consideration at the hands of Congress. They have always been
friendly to the whites. It is said, and, as far as I have been
able to learn, truthfully, that no Ponca ever killed a
white man. The orders of the Government have always met with
obedient compliance at their hands. Their removal from their
old homes on the Missouri River was to them a great hardship.
They had been born and raised there. They had houses there in
which they lived according to their ideas of comfort. Many
of them had engaged in agriculture and possessed cattle and
agricultural implements. They were very reluctant to leave all
this, but when Congress had resolved upon their removal they
finally overcame that reluctance and obeyed. Considering
their constant good conduct, their obedient spirit, and the
sacrifices they have made, they are certainly entitled to
more than ordinary care at the hands of the Government, and I
urgently recommend that liberal provision be made to aid them
in their new settlement.

In the same volume the report of E.A. Howard, the agent of the Poncas,
is published, which contains the following:

* * * * *

I am of the opinion that the removal of the Poncas from the
northern climate of Dakota to the southern climate of the
Indian Territory at the season of the year it was done will
prove a mistake, and that a great mortality will surely follow
among the people when they shall have been here for a time and
become poisoned with the malaria of the climate. Already the
effects of the climate may be seen upon them in the _ennui_
that seems to have settled upon each and in the large number
now sick.

It is a matter of astonishment to me that the Government
should have ordered the removal of the Ponca Indians from
Dakota to the Indian Territory without having first made
some provision for their settlement and comfort. Before their
removal was carried into effect an appropriation should have
been made by Congress sufficient to have located them in their
new home, by building a comfortable house for the occupancy
of every family of the tribe. As the case now is, no
appropriation has been made by Congress, except for a sum but
little more than sufficient to remove them; no houses have
been built for their use, and the result is that these people
have been placed on an uncultivated reservation to live in
their tents as best they may, and await further legislative

* * * * *

These Indians claim that the Government had no right to move
them from their reservation without first obtaining from them
by purchase or treaty the title which they had acquired
from the Government, and for which they rendered a valuable
consideration. They claim that the date of the settlement of
their tribe upon the land composing their old reservation is
prehistoric; that they were all born there, and that their
ancestors from generations back beyond their knowledge were
born and lived upon its soil, and that they finally acquired
a complete and perfect title from the Government by a treaty
made with the "Great Father" at Washington, which they claim
made it as legitimately theirs as is the home of the white man
acquired by gift or purchase.

* * * * *

The subject was again referred to in similar terms in the annual
report of the Interior Department for 1878, in the reports of the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs and of the agent for the Poncas, and in
1879 the Secretary of the Interior said:

That the Poncas were grievously wronged by their removal from
their location on the Missouri River to the Indian Territory,
their old reservation having, by a mistake in making the Sioux
treaty, been transferred to the Sioux, has been at length and
repeatedly set forth in my reports, as well as those of the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. All that could be subsequently
done by this Department in the absence of new legislation to
repair that wrong and to indemnify them for their losses
has been done with more than ordinary solicitude. They were
permitted to select a new location for themselves in the
Indian Territory, the Quapaw Reserve, to which they had first
been taken, being objectionable to them. They chose a tract of
country on the Arkansas River and the Salt Fork northwest of
the Pawnee Reserve. I visited their new reservation personally
to satisfy myself of their condition. The lands they now
occupy are among the very best in the Indian Territory in
point of fertility, well watered and well timbered, and
admirably adapted for agriculture as well as stock raising. In
this respect their new reservation is unquestionably superior
to that which they left behind them on the Missouri River.
Seventy houses have been built by and for them, of far better
quality than the miserable huts they formerly occupied in
Dakota, and the construction of a larger number is now in
progress, so that, as the agent reports, every Ponca family
will be comfortably housed before January. A very liberal
allowance of agricultural implements and stock cattle has been
given them, and if they apply themselves to agricultural work
there is no doubt that their condition will soon be far more
prosperous than it has ever been before. During the first
year after their removal to the Indian Territory they lost
a comparatively large number of their people by death, in
consequence of the change of climate, which is greatly to
be deplored; but their sanitary condition is now very much
improved. The death rate among them during the present year
has been very low, and the number of cases of sickness
is constantly decreasing. It is thought that they are now
sufficiently acclimated to be out of danger.

* * * * *

A committee of the Senate, after a very full investigation of the
subject, on the 31st of May, 1880, reported their conclusions to the
Senate, and both the majority and minority of the committee agreed
that "a great wrong had been done to the Ponca Indians." The majority
of the committee say:

* * * * *

Nothing can strengthen the Government in a just policy to the
Indians so much as a demonstration of its willingness to do
ample and complete justice whenever it can be shown that it
has inflicted a wrong upon a weak and trusting tribe. It is
impossible for the United States to hope for any confidence to
be reposed in them by the Indians until there shall be shown
on their part a readiness to do justice.

The minority report is equally explicit as to the duty of the
Government to repair the wrong done the Poncas. It says:

* * * * *

We should be more prompt and anxious because they are weak
and we are strong. In my judgment we should be liberal to the
verge of lavishness in the expenditure of our money to improve
their condition, so that they and all others may know that,
although, like all nations and all men, we may do wrong, we
are willing to make ample reparation.

The report of the commission appointed by me, of which General
Crook was chairman, and the testimony taken by them and their
investigations, add very little to what was already contained in the
official reports of the Secretary of the Interior and the report of
the Senate committee touching the injustice done to the Poncas by
their removal to the Indian Territory. Happily, however, the evidence
reported by the commission and their recommendations point out
conclusively the true measures of redress which the Government of the
United States ought now to adopt.

The commission in their conclusions omit to state the important facts
as to the present condition of the Poncas in the Indian Territory, but
the evidence they have reported shows clearly and conclusively
that the Poncas now residing in that Territory, 521 in number, are
satisfied with their new homes; that they are healthy, comfortable,
and contented, and that they have freely and firmly decided to adhere
to the choice announced in their letter of October 25, 1880, and
in the declaration of December 27, 1880, to remain in the Indian
Territory and not to return to Dakota.

The evidence reported also shows that the fragment of the Ponca
tribe--perhaps 150 in number--which is still in Dakota and Nebraska
prefer to remain on their old reservation.

In view of these facts I am convinced that the recommendations of the
commission, together with the declaration of the chiefs of December
last, if substantially followed, will afford a solution of the Ponca
question which is consistent with the wishes and interests of
both branches of the tribe, with the settled Indian policy of the
Government, and, as nearly as is now practicable, with the demands of

Our general Indian policy for the future should embrace the following
leading ideas:

1. The Indians should be prepared for citizenship by giving to their
young of both sexes that industrial and general education which
is required to enable them to be self-supporting and capable of
self-protection in a civilized community.

2. Lands should be allotted to the Indians in severalty, inalienable
for a certain period.

3. The Indians should have a fair compensation for their lands not
required for individual allotments, the amount to be invested, with
suitable safeguards, for their benefit.

4. With these prerequisites secured, the Indians should be
made citizens and invested with the rights and charged with the
responsibilities of citizenship.

It is therefore recommended that legislation be adopted in relation to
the Ponca Indians, authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to secure
to the individual members of the Ponca tribe, in severalty, sufficient
land for their support, inalienable for a term of years and until the
restriction upon alienation may be removed by the President. Ample
time and opportunity should be given to the members of the tribe
freely to choose their allotments either on their old or their new

Full compensation should be made for the lands to be relinquished, for
their losses by the Sioux depredations and by reason of their removal
to the Indian Territory, the amount not to be less than the sums named
in the declaration of the chiefs made December 27, 1880.

In short, nothing should be left undone to show to the Indians that
the Government of the United States regards their rights as equally
sacred with those of its citizens.

The time has come when the policy should be to place the Indians as
rapidly as practicable on the same footing with the other permanent
inhabitants of our country.

I do not undertake to apportion the blame for the injustice done to
the Poncas. Whether the Executive or Congress or the public is chiefly
in fault is not now a question of practical importance. As the Chief
Executive at the time when the wrong was consummated, I am deeply
sensible that enough of the responsibility for that wrong justly
attaches to me to make it my particular duty and earnest desire to
do all I can to give to these injured people that measure of redress
which is required alike by justice and by humanity.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, February 2, 1881_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith, for consideration and appropriate action by
Congress, a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, in relation to the
proposed establishment of naval stations of the United States on the
American Isthmus. In this paper the current testimony of prominent
officers of this Government for a long series of years, as to the
feasibility and necessity of establishing such stations and the great
advantage to flow therefrom to the naval and commercial interests
of the United States, is clearly set forth, and the considerations
adduced can not but commend themselves, I am confident, to the careful
attention of Congress. Convinced of the wisdom and propriety of the
suggestions thus presented, I recommend to Congress the appropriation
of the sum named by the Secretary of the Navy, to be at his disposal
at once, for expenditure as soon as suitable arrangements can be made
to the proposed end.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 4, 1881_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy,
with reference to the dispatch of a vessel for the relief of the
_Jeannette_ polar expedition, and commend the recommendations of the
Secretary to the prompt and favorable action of Congress.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 14, 1881_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit the final report addressed to me by the
commissioners appointed under the act of Congress approved July 19,
1876, authorizing the repavement of that part of Pennsylvania avenue
lying between the Treasury Department and the Capitol Grounds.


WASHINGTON, _February 17, 1881_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State, in response to
the resolution addressed to him by the House of Representatives of the
31st of January ultimo, on the subject of international action for the
restoration of silver to full use as money.

The prospect of an early international conference, promising valuable
results in accordance with the interests of this country, is such that
I recommend to the immediate attention of Congress an appropriation
providing for the proper representation of this Government at such


WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of 15th of June, 1880,
requesting the Secretary of State to report to that body at its next
regular session what changes, if any, of the laws regulating the
management of the Department of State, or of the divisions and the
bureaus thereof, are necessary or would be beneficial in promoting the
efficiency or economy of its administration or management, and also to
make report concerning the mode of keeping the departmental accounts,
the checks and safeguards upon expenditures, and the administrative
or clerical changes for the better which may suggest themselves as
expedient, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State
upon the subjects embraced in that resolution so far as they touch the
Department of State.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 25, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of the Senate with a view
to advising and consenting to the ratification thereof, a convention
for the extradition of criminals, between the United States of America
and the United States of Colombia, signed at Bogota on the 3d of
January, 1881. I also transmit certain correspondence touching the
negotiation of said convention.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, February 25, 1881._

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for its consideration with a view
to ratification in due course, a convention supplementary to the
consular convention of May 8, 1878, between the United States of
America and His Majesty the King of Italy, concluded in the city of
Washington on the 24th of February, 1881.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 28, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a copy of proclamation[44] for the convening of an
extra session of the Senate of the United States at the Capitol, in
the city of Washington, on the 4th day of March next, at noon.


[Footnote 44: See pp. 639-640.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 28, 1881_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a copy of a letter addressed to the chairman of
the Civil Service Commission on the 3d of December last, requesting
to be furnished with a report upon the result in the post-office
and custom-house in the city of New York of the application of the
civil-service rules requiring open competitive examinations for
appointments and promotions, together with the report of Hon. Dorman
B. Eaton, the chairman of the Commission, in response.

The report presents a very gratifying statement of the results of
the application of the rules referred to in the two largest and most
important local offices in the civil service of the Government. The
subject is one of great importance to the people of the whole country.
I would commend the suggestions and recommendation of the chairman of
the Commission to the careful consideration of Congress.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, February 28, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the
20th ultimo, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying


[Footnote 45: Correspondence relative to the sending to the United
States by foreign governments of criminals, paupers, and insane

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 3, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to inform the Senate that Hon. Benjamin Harrison,
Senator elect from the State of Indiana, has resigned his office as a
member of the Commission for the Improvement of the Mississippi River,
and the same has been accepted to take effect March 3, 1881.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 3, 1881_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to inform the Senate that Hon. John Sherman, Senator
elect from the State of Ohio, has resigned the position of Secretary
of the Treasury, and that said resignation has been accepted to take
effect at the close of the present day.



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 3, 1881_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

Having considered the bill entitled "An act to facilitate the
refunding of the national debt," I am constrained to return it to the
House of Representatives, in which it originated, with the following
statement of my objections to its passage:

The imperative necessity for prompt action and the pressure of public
duties in this closing week of my term of office compel me to refrain
from any attempt to make a full and satisfactory presentation of the
objections to the bill.

The importance of the passage at the present session of Congress of a
suitable measure for the refunding of the national debt which is
about to mature is generally recognized. It has been urged upon the
attention of Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury and in my last
annual message. If successfully accomplished, it will secure a large
decrease in the annual interest payment of the nation, and I earnestly
recommend, if the bill before me shall fail, that another measure for
this purpose be adopted before the present Congress adjourns.

While, in my opinion, it would be unwise to authorize the Secretary of
the Treasury, in his discretion, to offer to the public bonds bearing
3-1/2 per cent interest in aid of refunding, I should not deem it my
duty to interpose my constitutional objection to the passage of the
present bill if it did not contain, in its fifth section, provisions
which, in my judgment, seriously impair the value and tend to the
destruction of the present national banking system of the country.
This system has now been in operation almost twenty years. No safer or
more beneficial banking system was ever established. Its advantages
as a business are free to all who have the necessary capital. It
furnishes a currency to the public which for convenience and security
of the bill holder has probably never been equaled by that of any
other banking system. Its notes are secured by the deposit with the
Government of the interest-bearing bonds of the United States.

The section of the bill before me which relates to the national
banking system, and to which objection is made, is not an essential
part of a refunding measure. It is as follows:

SEC. 5. From and after the 1st day of July, 1881, the 3 per
cent bonds authorized by the first section of this act shall
be the only bonds receivable as security for national-bank
circulation or as security for the safe-keeping and prompt
payment of the public money deposited with such banks; but
when any such bonds deposited for the purposes aforesaid shall
be designated for purchase or redemption by the Secretary
of the Treasury, the banking association depositing the same
shall have the right to substitute other issues of the bonds
of the United States in lieu thereof: _Provided_, That no bond
upon which interest has ceased shall be accepted or shall be
continued on deposit as security for circulation or for
the safe-keeping of the public money; and in case bonds so
deposited shall not be withdrawn, as provided by law, within
thirty days after the interest has ceased thereon, the banking
association depositing the same shall be subject to the
liabilities and proceedings on the part of the Comptroller
provided for in section 5234 of the Revised Statutes of the
United States: _And provided further_, That section 4 of the
act of June 20, 1874, entitled "An act fixing the amount of
United States notes, providing for a redistribution of the
national-bank currency, and for other purposes," be, and the
same is hereby, repealed, and sections 5159 and 5160 of the
Revised Statutes of the United States be, and the same are
hereby, reenacted.

Under this section it is obvious that no additional banks will
hereafter be organized, except possibly in a few cities or localities
where the prevailing rates of interest in ordinary business are
extremely low. No new banks can be organized and no increase of the
capital of existing banks can be obtained except by the purchase and
deposit of 3 per cent bonds. No other bonds of the United States can
be used for the purpose. The one thousand millions of other bonds
recently issued by the United States, and bearing a higher rate of
interest than 3 per cent, and therefore a better security for the bill
holder, can not after the 1st of July next be received as security
for bank circulation. This is a radical change in the banking law. It
takes from the banks the right they have heretofore had under the law
to purchase and deposit as security for their circulation any of the
bonds issued by the United States, and deprives the bill holder of the
best security which the banks are able to give by requiring them
to deposit bonds having the least value of any bonds issued by the

The average rate of taxation of capital employed in banking is more
than double the rate of taxation upon capital employed in other
legitimate business. Under these circumstances, to amend the banking
law so as to deprive the banks of the privilege of securing their
notes by the most valuable bonds issued by the Government will, it is
believed, in a large part of the country, be a practical prohibition
of the organization of new banks and prevent the existing banks from
enlarging their capital. The national banking system, if continued at
all, will be a monopoly in the hands of those already engaged in it,
who may purchase the Government bonds bearing a more favorable rate of
interest than the 3 per cent bonds prior to next July.

To prevent the further organization of banks is to put in jeopardy the
whole system, by taking from it that feature which makes it, as it
now is, a banking system free upon the same terms to all who wish
to engage in it. Even the existing banks will be in danger of being
driven from business by the additional disadvantages to which they
will be subjected by this bill. In short, I can not but regard
the fifth section of the bill as a step in the direction of the
destruction of the national banking system.

Our country, after a long period of business depression, has just
entered upon a career of unexampled prosperity.

The withdrawal of the currency from circulation of the national
banks, and the enforced winding up of the banks in consequence, would
inevitably bring serious embarrassment and disaster to the business
of the country. Banks of issue are essential instruments of modern
commerce. If the present efficient and admirable system of banking is
broken down, it will inevitably be followed by a recurrence to other
and inferior methods of banking. Any measure looking to such a result
will be a disturbing element in our financial system. It will destroy
confidence and surely check the growing prosperity of the country.

Believing that a measure for refunding the national debt is not
necessarily connected with the national banking law, and that any
refunding act would defeat its own object if it imperiled the national
banking system or seriously impaired its usefulness, and convinced
that section 5 of the bill before me would, if it should become a
law, work great harm, I herewith return the bill to the House of
Representatives for that further consideration which is provided for
in the Constitution.





Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the
Senate should be convened at 12 o'clock on the 4th of March next to
receive and act upon such communications as may be made to it on the
part of the Executive:

Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, 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 the 4th day of March
next, at 12 o'clock at noon 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.


Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
the 28th day of February, A.D. 1881, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the one hundred and fifth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, February 22, 1881_.


In view of the well-known fact that the sale of intoxicating liquors
in the Army of the United States is the cause of much demoralization
among both officers and men, and that it gives rise to a large
proportion of the cases before general and garrison courts-martial,
involving great expense and serious injury to the service--

_It is therefore directed_, That the Secretary of War take suitable
steps, as far as practicable consistently with vested rights, to
prevent the sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage at the camps,
forts, and other posts of the Army.


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