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this arrangement was made, so as to apply to all other dutiable articles received in the mails from foreign countries.

The reports of the Secretary of the Interior and of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, setting forth the present state of our relations with the Indian tribes on our territory, the measures taken to advance their civilization and prosperity, and the progress already achieved by them, will be found of more than ordinary interest. The general conduct of our Indian population has been so satisfactory that the occurrence of two disturbances, which resulted in bloodshed and destruction of property, is all the more to be lamented.

The history of the outbreak on the White River Ute Reservation, in western Colorado, has become so familiar by elaborate reports in the public press that its remarkable incidents need not be stated here in detail. It is expected that the settlement of this difficulty will lead to such arrangements as will prevent further hostile contact between the Indians and the border settlements in western Colorado.

The other disturbance occurred at the Mescalero Agency, in New Mexico, where Victoria, at the head of a small band of marauders, after committing many atrocities, being vigorously chased by a military force, made his way across the Mexican border and is now on foreign soil.

While these occurrences, in which a comparatively small number of Indians were engaged, are most deplorable, a vast majority of our Indian population have fully justified the expectations of those who believe that by humane and peaceful influences the Indian can be led to abandon the habits of savage life and to develop a capacity for useful and civilized occupations. What they have already accomplished in the pursuit of agricultural and mechanical work, the remarkable success which has attended the experiment of employing as freighters a class of Indians hitherto counted among the wildest and most intractable, and the general and urgent desire expressed by them for the education of their children may be taken as sufficient proof that they will be found capable of accomplishing much more if they continue to be wisely and fairly guided. The “Indian policy” sketched in the report of the Secretary of the Interior, the object of which is to make liberal provision for the education of Indian youth, to settle the Indians upon farm lots in severalty, to give them title in fee to their farms, inalienable for a certain number of years, and when their wants are thus provided for to dispose by sale of the lands on their reservations not occupied and used by them, a fund to be formed out of the proceeds for the benefit of the Indians, which will gradually relieve the Government of the expenses now provided for by annual appropriations, must commend itself as just and beneficial to the Indians, and as also calculated to remove those obstructions which the existence of large reservations presents to the settlement and development of the country. I therefore earnestly recommend the enactment of a law enabling the Government to give Indians a title in fee, inalienable for twenty-five years, to the farm lands assigned to them by allotment. I also repeat the recommendation made in my first annual message, that a law be passed admitting Indians who can give satisfactory proof of having by their own labor supported their families for a number of years, and who are willing to detach themselves from their tribal relations, to the benefit of the homestead act, and to grant them patents containing the same provision of inalienability for a certain period.

The experiment of sending a number of Indian children of both sexes to the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, in Virginia, to receive an elementary English education and practical instruction in farming and other useful industries, has led to results so promising that it was thought expedient to turn over the cavalry barracks at Carlisle, in Pennsylvania, to the Interior Department for the establishment of an Indian school on a larger scale. This school has now 158 pupils, selected from various tribes, and is in full operation. Arrangements are also made for the education of a number of Indian boys and girls belonging to tribes on the Pacific Slope in a similar manner, at Forest Grove, in Oregon. These institutions will commend themselves to the liberality of Congress and to the philanthropic munificence of the American people.

Last spring information was received of the organization of an extensive movement in the Western States, the object of which was the occupation by unauthorized persons of certain lands in the Indian Territory ceded by the Cherokees to the Government for the purpose of settlement by other Indian tribes.

On the 26th of April I issued a proclamation[40] warning all persons against participation in such an attempt, and by the cooperation of a military force the invasion was promptly checked. It is my purpose to protect the rights of the Indian inhabitants of that Territory to the full extent of the executive power; but it would be unwise to ignore the fact that a territory so large and so fertile, with a population so sparse and with so great a wealth of unused resources, will be found more exposed to the repetition of such attempts as happened this year when the surrounding States are more densely settled and the westward movement of our population looks still more eagerly for fresh lands to occupy. Under such circumstances the difficulty of maintaining the Indian Territory in its present state will greatly increase, and the Indian tribes inhabiting it would do well to prepare for such a contingency. I therefore fully approve of the advice given to them by the Secretary of the Interior on a recent occasion, to divide among themselves in severalty as large a quantity of their lands as they can cultivate; to acquire individual title in fee instead of their present tribal ownership in common, and to consider in what manner the balance of their lands may be disposed of by the Government for their benefit. By adopting such a policy they would more certainly secure for themselves the value of their possessions, and at the same time promote their progress in civilization and prosperity, than by endeavoring to perpetuate the present state of things in the Territory.

The question whether a change in the control of the Indian service should be made was in the Forty-fifth Congress referred to a joint committee of both Houses for inquiry and report. In my last annual message I expressed the hope that the decision of that question, then in prospect, would “arrest further agitation of this subject, such agitation being apt to produce a disturbing effect upon the service as well as on the Indians themselves.” Since then, the committee having reported, the question has been decided in the negative by a vote in the House of Representatives.

For the reasons here stated, and in view of the fact that further uncertainty on this point will be calculated to obstruct other much-needed legislation, to weaken the discipline of the service, and to unsettle salutary measures now in progress for the government and improvement of the Indians, I respectfully recommend that the decision arrived at by Congress at its last session be permitted to stand.

The efforts made by the Department of the Interior to arrest the depredations on the timber lands of the United States have been continued, and have met with considerable success. A large number of cases of trespass have been prosecuted in the courts of the United States; others have been settled, the trespassers offering to make payment to the Government for the value of the timber taken by them. The proceeds of these prosecutions and settlements turned into the Treasury far exceed in amount the sums appropriated by Congress for this purpose. A more important result, however, consists in the fact that the destruction of our public forests by depredation, although such cases still occur, has been greatly reduced in extent, and it is probable that if the present policy is vigorously pursued and sufficient provision to that end is made by Congress such trespasses, at least those on a large scale, can be entirely suppressed, except in the Territories, where timber for the daily requirements of the population can not, under the present state of the law, be otherwise obtained. I therefore earnestly invite the attention of Congress to the recommendation made by the Secretary of the Interior, that a law be enacted enabling the Government to sell timber from the public lands without conveying the fee, where such lands are principally valuable for the timber thereon, such sales to be so regulated as to conform to domestic wants and business requirements, while at the same time guarding against a sweeping destruction of the forests. The enactment of such a law appears to become a more pressing necessity every day.

My recommendations in former messages are renewed in favor of enlarging the facilities of the Department of Agriculture. Agriculture is the leading interest and the permanent industry of our people. It is to the abundance of agricultural production, as compared with our home consumption, and the largely increased and highly profitable market abroad which we have enjoyed in recent years, that we are mainly indebted for our present prosperity as a people. We must look for its continued maintenance to the same substantial resource. There is no branch of industry in which labor, directed by scientific knowledge, yields such increased production in comparison with unskilled labor, and no branch of the public service to which the encouragement of liberal appropriations can be more appropriately extended. The omission to render such aid is not a wise economy, but, on the contrary, undoubtedly results in losses of immense sums annually that might be saved through well-directed efforts by the Government to promote this vital interest.

The results already accomplished with the very limited means heretofore placed at the command of the Department of Agriculture is an earnest of what may be expected with increased appropriations for the several purposes indicated in the report of the Commissioner, with a view to placing the Department upon a footing which will enable it to prosecute more effectively the objects for which it is established.

Appropriations are needed for a more complete laboratory, for the establishment of a veterinary division and a division of forestry, and for an increase of force.

The requirements for these and other purposes, indicated in the report of the Commissioner under the head of the immediate necessities of the Department, will not involve any expenditure of money that the country can not with propriety now undertake in the interests of agriculture.

It is gratifying to learn from the Bureau of Education the extent to which educational privileges throughout the United States have been advanced during the year. No more fundamental responsibility rests upon Congress than that of devising appropriate measures of financial aid to education, supplemental to local action in the States and Territories and in the District of Columbia. The wise forethought of the founders of our Government has not only furnished the basis for the support of the common-school systems of the newer States, but laid the foundations for the maintenance of their universities and colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts. Measures in accordance with this traditional policy, for the further benefit of all these interests and the extension of the same advantages to every portion of the country, it is hoped will receive your favorable consideration.

To preserve and perpetuate the national literature should be among the foremost cares of the National Legislature. The library gathered at the Capitol still remains unprovided with any suitable accommodations for its rapidly increasing stores. The magnitude and importance of the collection, increased as it is by the deposits made under the law of copyright, by domestic and foreign exchanges, and by the scientific library of the Smithsonian Institution, call for building accommodations which shall be at once adequate and fireproof. The location of such a public building, which should provide for the pressing necessities of the present and for the vast increase of the nation’s books in the future, is a matter which addresses itself to the discretion of Congress. It is earnestly recommended as a measure which should unite all suffrages and which should no longer be delayed.

The joint commission created by the act of Congress of August 2, 1876, for the purpose of supervising and directing the completion of the Washington National Monument, of which commission the President is a member, has given careful attention to this subject, and already the strengthening of the foundation has so far progressed as to insure the entire success of this part of the work. A massive layer of masonry has been introduced below the original foundation, widening the base, increasing the stability of the structure, and rendering it possible to carry the shaft to completion. It is earnestly recommended that such further appropriations be made for the continued prosecution of the work as may be necessary for the completion of this national monument at an early day.

In former messages, impressed with the importance of the subject, I have taken occasion to commend to Congress the adoption of a generous policy toward the District of Columbia. The report of the Commissioners of the District, herewith transmitted, contains suggestions and recommendations, to all of which I earnestly invite your careful attention. I ask your early and favorable consideration of the views which they express as to the urgent need of legislation for the reclamation of the marshes of the Potomac and its Eastern Branch within the limits of the city, and for the repair of the streets of the capital, heretofore laid with wooden blocks and now by decay rendered almost impassable and a source of imminent danger to the health of its citizens. The means at the disposal of the Commissioners are wholly inadequate for the accomplishment of these important works, and should be supplemented by timely appropriations from the Federal Treasury.

The filling of the flats in front of the city will add to the adjacent lands and parks now owned by the United States a large and valuable domain, sufficient, it is thought, to reimburse its entire cost, and will also, as an incidental result, secure the permanent improvement of the river for the purposes of navigation.

The Constitution having invested Congress with supreme and exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, its citizens must of necessity look to Congress alone for all needful legislation affecting their interests; and as the territory of this District is the common property of the people of the United States, who equally with its resident citizens are interested in the prosperity of their capital, I can not doubt that you will be amply sustained by the general voice of the country in any measures you may adopt for this purpose.

I also invite the favorable consideration of Congress to the wants of the public schools of this District, as exhibited in the report of the Commissioners. While the number of pupils is rapidly increasing, no adequate provision exists for a corresponding increase of school accommodation, and the Commissioners are without the means to meet this urgent need. A number of the buildings now used for school purposes are rented, and are in important particulars unsuited for the purpose. The cause of popular education in the District of Columbia is surely entitled to the same consideration at the hands of the National Government as in the several States and Territories, to which munificent grants of the public lands have been made for the endowment of schools and universities.


[Footnote 40: See pp. 547-548.]


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 19, 1879_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a draft of a bill submitted by the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, entitled “A bill to provide for the reclamation of the marshes in the harbors of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, and for other purposes,” together with the accompanying letter of the president of the board requesting its transmission to Congress.

The bill embraces a plan for the reclamation of the marshes of the Potomac River and its Eastern Branch within the limits of the city of Washington, and is carefully framed with a view to economy in the prosecution of the work. The attention of Congress is again invited to the urgent need of legislation for this important work, which has been so long delayed.

The improvement contemplated is essential to the health of those who reside, whether permanently or temporarily, at the capital, and to the safe and convenient navigation of the waters in its vicinity by vessels employed in the service of the Government and for the purposes of commerce. It is a measure of more than local benefit. The capital of the nation should be relieved from every disadvantage which it is practicable to remove, and should possess every attraction with which it can be invested by the intelligent and fostering care of those who are intrusted with its immediate supervision. The people of the country will sustain and approve the efforts of their representatives in the discharge of this responsibility.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 7, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to a resolution of the Senate of December 3, 1879, requesting the President of the United States to inform the Senate whether payments have been made to the Ute Indians in accordance with the fourth article of an agreement made with said Indians September 3, 1873, I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Interior and accompanying papers.


WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d of December, 1879, relative to the consulate at Hongkong, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with its accompanying papers.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 14, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor herewith to transmit the final report of the board for testing iron, steel, and other metals, with the accompanying papers. These papers constitute the remainder of the reports made by the board, which were transmitted by me to the House of Representatives on the 15th of June, 1878 (House Ex. Doc. No. 98, Forty-fifth Congress, second session).

The United States testing machine at Watertown Arsenal, constructed for the board, is reported as being of great value in the determination of data and the solution of problems of interest to the people of the whole country, and the special attention of Congress is called to the necessity of an appropriation to enable the War Department to make use of it. An estimate of $20,000 for the purpose was submitted to Congress in the last Book of Estimates (see p. 82), and an appropriation of that sum is respectfully recommended.

The act of July 31, 1876 (19 U.S. Statutes at Large, ch. 246, p. 119), made an appropriation for completing the experiments in testing iron, steel, and other metals, and provided that the board should be discontinued from and after the expenditure of the amount appropriated. In accordance with this legislation, the board ceased to exist on the 30th of June, 1879.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, January 21, 1880_.

_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 French Republic for the settlement of certain claims of the citizens of either country against the other.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 26, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 21st instant, requesting the Commissioner of Agriculture to furnish all information which he may have in his possession bearing upon the culture of the sugar beet, etc., the accompanying letter and report, received from the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture for this purpose, are herewith transmitted.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 5, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d instant, requesting the Commissioner of Agriculture to forward any facts or statistics in his office on the subject of forestry not heretofore published from his Department, the following report, received from the Commissioner, upon this subject is hereby transmitted.


WASHINGTON, _February 16, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th instant, calling for any information which I may have received of the proceedings of the International Polar Congress convened in Hamburg, Germany, October 1, 1879, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State on the subject.


WASHINGTON, _February 16, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th of January, 1880, calling for information in relation to claims before the American-Spanish Claims Commission and the proceedings of the commission, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State upon the subject.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 24, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit a communication from the Attorney-General, with reference to the requisite appropriation for the current fiscal year for the compensation, of the marshals of the United States, including their reimbursement for necessary expenditures in the discharge of their official duties.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 25, 1880_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a preliminary report and a draft of a bill submitted by the Public Lands Commission authorized by the act of Congress approved March 3, 1879.

The object of the report and of the bill accompanying it is of such importance that I respectfully commend it to the prompt and earnest consideration of Congress.


WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 27th ultimo, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with its papers, relating to the claim of Max. Bromberger against the Government of Mexico.


WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to ratification, a treaty between the Government of the United States and His Highness Sultan Abdallah, King of Johanna, concerning commercial intercourse with that independent East African island, concluded at Johanna Town on the 4th day of October, 1879.

For your better understanding of the subject, I transmit also the correspondence of Commodore Shufeldt with the Navy Department, which accompanied the treaty, describing the condition and resources of the island of Johanna and narrating the progress of the negotiation, which was undertaken under the general instructions of the Department of State.


WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1880_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I deem it proper to invite the attention of Congress to the subject of the unsettled claims of Spanish inhabitants of East Florida during the years of 1812 and 1813, generally known as the “East Florida claims,” the settlement of which is provided for by a stipulation found in Article IX of the treaty of February, 1819, between the United States and Spain. The provision of the treaty in question which relates to the subject is the following:

The United States will cause satisfaction to be made for the injuries, if any, which by process of law shall be established to have been suffered by the Spanish officers and individual Spanish inhabitants by the late operations of the American army in Florida.

The act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1823 (3 U.S. Statutes at Large, p. 768), to carry into effect the ninth article of the treaty in question, provided for the examination and judicial ascertainment of the claims by the judges of the superior courts established at St. Augustine and Pensacola, and also made provision for the payment by the Secretary of the Treasury of such claims as might be reported to him by the said judges, upon his being satisfied that such claims were just and equitable; and a subsequent act, approved the 26th of June, 1834 (6 U.S. Statutes at Large, p. 569), gave further directions for the payment, and also provided for the hearing and determination by the judge of the superior court of St. Augustine of such claims as had not then been already heard and determined. Under these acts of Congress I understand that all claims presented to the judges in Florida were passed upon and the result of the proceedings thus had reported to the Secretary of the Treasury. It also appears that in the computation of damages the judges adopted a rule of 5 per cent per annum on the ascertained actual loss from the date of that loss to the time of the rendition of their finding, and that the Secretary of the Treasury in 1836, when the first reports were presented to him, not deeming this portion of the claims covered by the 5 per cent rule just and equitable within the meaning of the treaty and the acts of Congress, refused to pay it, but did continue to pay the ascertained amounts of actual loss. The demand for payment of this rejected item has been pressed at various times and in various ways up to the present time, but Mr. Woodbury’s successors in the Treasury Department have not felt at liberty to review that ruling.

Under these circumstances I have thought it proper to lay the subject before Congress for its consideration and such action as may be deemed necessary. The history of the proceedings already had in regard to the matter is of record in the Treasury Department, and will be furnished by the Secretary of the Treasury should Congress desire it.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 8, 1880_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State and the accompanying papers, in response to the resolution adopted by the Senate on the 11th day of February last, requesting copies of all correspondence between this Government and any foreign government since February, 1869, respecting a ship canal across the isthmus between North America and South America, together with copies of any _projet_ of treaties respecting the same which the Department of State may have proposed or submitted since that date to any foreign power or its diplomatic representative.

In further compliance with the resolution of the Senate, I deem it proper to state briefly my opinion as to the policy of the United States with respect to the construction of an interoceanic canal by any route across the American Isthmus.

The policy of this country is a canal under American control. The United States can not consent to the surrender of this control to any European power or to any combination of European powers. If existing treaties between the United States and other nations or if the rights of sovereignty or property of other nations stand in the way of this policy–a contingency which is not apprehended–suitable steps should be taken by just and liberal negotiations to promote and establish the American policy on this subject consistently with the rights of the nations to be affected by it.

The capital invested by corporations or citizens of other countries in such an enterprise must in a great degree look for protection to one or more of the great powers of the world. No European power can intervene for such protection without adopting measures on this continent which the United States would deem wholly inadmissible. If the protection of the United States is relied upon, the United States must exercise such control as will enable this country to protect its national interests and maintain the rights of those whose private capital is embarked in the work.

An interoceanic canal across the American Isthmus will essentially change the geographical relations between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States and between the United States and the rest of the world. It would be the great ocean thoroughfare between our Atlantic and our Pacific shores, and virtually a part of the coast line of the United States. Our merely commercial interest in it is greater than that of all other countries, while its relations to our power and prosperity as a nation, to our means of defense, our unity, peace, and safety, are matters of paramount concern to the people of the United States. No other great power would under similar circumstances fail to assert a rightful control over a work so closely and vitally affecting its interest and welfare.

Without urging further the grounds of my opinion, I repeat, in conclusion, that it is the right and the 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 interests. This, I am quite sure, will be found not only compatible with but promotive of the widest and most permanent advantage to commerce and civilization.


[A similar message was sent to the House of Representatives, in answer to a resolution of that body of February 10.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 9, 1880_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Interior, containing an agreement signed by the chiefs and headmen of the Ute Indians now present at the seat of Government. The stipulations of this agreement appear to me so reasonable and just and the object to be accomplished by its execution so eminently desirable to both the white people of the United States and the Indians that it has my cordial approval, and I earnestly commend it to Congress for favorable consideration and appropriate legislative action.


WASHINGTON, _March 9, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to ratification, a convention between the United States and His Majesty the King of the Belgians, defining the rights, immunities, and privileges of consular officers, concluded this day at Washington.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 9, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report, dated on the 9th instant, from the Secretary of State, with the accompanying papers, in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 25th ultimo, requesting the President to transmit to that body, if not deemed incompatible with the public interest, copies of such dispatches as have recently been received by the Secretary of State from the consul-general at Shanghai upon the subject of slavery in China and those portions of the penal code of China which forbid expatriation.


WASHINGTON, _March 12, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of March 2, 1880, requesting the Secretary of State to communicate to the House certain information in relation to the publication and circulation of commercial reports, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with its accompanying papers.


WASHINGTON, _March 29, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 29th of January, 1880, calling for information in relation to the awards of the mixed commission organized under the provisions of the treaty of April 25, 1866, between the United States and Venezuela, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State upon the subject.


WASHINGTON, _April 12, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In response to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 12th of February last, on the subject of negotiations concerning the immigration of Chinese to the United States, I transmit a report of the Secretary of State, to whom the matter was referred.


WASHINGTON, _April 15, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In response to the resolution of the Senate of the 27th of February last, concerning the action had by the Executive with respect to the investigation of certain cases in which awards were made by the late United States and Mexican Commission, I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State, to whom the matter was referred.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, D.C., April 16, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The board for testing iron, steel, and other metals, appointed under the authority of “An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, and for other purposes,” contracted with Mr. A.H. Emery, of New York, for a testing machine, to be paid out of the appropriation made for the purpose. That machine has been completed and accepted, and is now in position at the Watertown Arsenal, Mass. It is spoken of by the members composing the late board as the most perfect and reliable machine in the world, embodying new mechanical principles and combinations not heretofore used in any other constructions.

In designing, perfecting, and making this machine the contractor has expended large sums of money over and above the contract price, besides giving years of labor, for which he has received no compensation. He now appeals to Congress for relief, and the papers herewith exhibit a case that calls for Congressional action. It is respectfully submitted to the House of Representatives, recommending speedy and favorable consideration.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 22, 1880_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to inform Congress that Mr. J. Randolph Coolidge, Dr. Algernon Coolidge, Mr. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, and Mrs. Ellen Dwight, of Massachusetts, the heirs of the late Joseph Coolidge, jr., desire to present to the United States the desk on which the Declaration of Independence was written. It bears the following inscription in the handwriting of Thomas Jefferson:

Thomas Jefferson gives this writing desk to Joseph Coolidge, jr., as a memorial of his affection. It was made from a drawing of his own, by Ben. Randall, cabinetmaker of Philadelphia, with whom he first lodged on his arrival in that city in May, 1776, and is the identical one on which he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Politics, as well as religion, has its superstitions. These, gaining strength with time, may one day give imaginary value to this relic for its association with the birth of the great charter of our independence.

Monticello, _November 18, 1825_.

The desk was placed in my possession by Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, and is herewith transmitted to Congress with the letter of Mr. Winthrop expressing the wish of the donors “to offer it to the United States, so that it may henceforth have a place in the Department of State in connection with the immortal instrument which was written upon it in 1776.”

I respectfully recommend that such action be taken by Congress as may be deemed appropriate with reference to a gift to the nation so precious in its history and for the memorable associations which belong to it.


WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 14, 1880_.

_President of the United States_.

MY DEAR SIR: I have been privileged to bring with me from Boston, as a present to the United States, a very precious historical relic. It is the little desk on which Mr. Jefferson wrote the original draft of the Declaration of Independence.

This desk was given by Mr. Jefferson himself to my friend, the late Joseph Coolidge, of Boston, at the time of his marriage to Jefferson’s granddaughter, Miss Randolph, and it bears an autograph inscription of singular interest, written by the illustrious author of the Declaration in the very last year of his life.

On the recent death of Mr. Coolidge, whose wife had died a year or two previously, the desk became the property of their children, Mr. J. Randolph Coolidge, Dr. Algernon Coolidge, Mr. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, and Mrs. Ellen Dwight, who now desire to offer it to the United States, so that it may henceforth have a place in the Department of State in connection with the immortal instrument which was written upon it in 1776.

They have done me the honor to make me the medium of this distinguished gift, and I ask permission to place it in the hands of the Chief Magistrate of the nation in their name and at their request.

Believe me, dear Mr. President, with the highest respect, very faithfully, your obedient servant,


WASHINGTON, _May 13, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, in response to their resolution of the 24th of March last, in relation to the fulfillment of the ninth article of the treaty of 1819 between the United States and Spain, a report of the Secretary of State on the correspondence asked for by the resolution, with its accompanying documents, and in connection therewith a previous report from the Secretary of State and an opinion of the Attorney-General on the subject of the East Florida claims.


WASHINGTON, _May 17, 1880_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th ultimo, calling for copies of the correspondence with the Government of Great Britain in regard to the alleged outrage upon American fishermen at Fortune Bay, in the Province of Newfoundland, I transmit herewith the correspondence called for and a report from the Secretary of State on the subject.

In transmitting this correspondence and the report I respectfully ask the immediate and careful attention of Congress to the failure of accord between the two Governments as to the interpretation and execution of the fishery articles of the treaty of Washington, as disclosed in this correspondence and elucidated by the exposition of the subject by the Secretary of State.

I concur in the opinions of this report as to the measures proper to be taken by this Government in maintenance of the rights accorded to our fishermen by the British concession of the treaty and in providing for suitable action toward securing an indemnity for the injury these interests have already suffered.

Accordingly, I recommend to Congress the adoption of these measures, with such attendant details of legislation as in the wisdom of Congress shall seem expedient.


[The same message was sent to the Senate, in answer to a resolution of that body of April 28.]

WASHINGTON, _May 24, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to ratification, the accompanying convention for the extradition of criminals, concluded between the United States and the Government of His Majesty the King of the Netherlands on the 22d instant.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _May 25, 1880_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Interior, with reference to the agreement made with the chiefs of the Ute Indians recently in Washington, a copy of which was submitted to Congress on the 9th of March last.

The special and immediate attention of Congress to the imminent danger attending the postponement of appropriate legislation to carry into effect the stipulations of this agreement is earnestly solicited.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _June 5, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In response to a resolution of the Senate of the 31st ultimo, requesting the President “to communicate to the Senate whether any supervisor or supervisors of the census appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate have been removed from office by him or with his consent,” etc., I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Interior.




_To the House of Representatives_:

After mature consideration of the bill entitled “An act making appropriations to supply certain deficiencies in the appropriations for the service of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880, and for other purposes,” I return it to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, with my objections to its passage.

The bill appropriates about $8,000,000, of which over $600,000 is for the payment of the fees of United States marshals and of the general and special deputy marshals earned during the current fiscal year, and their incidental expenses. The appropriations made in the bill are needed to carry on the operations of the Government and to fulfill its obligations for the payment of money long since due to its officers for services and expenses essential to the execution of their duties under the laws of the United States. The necessity for these appropriations is so urgent and they have been already so long delayed that if the bill before me contained no permanent or general legislation unconnected with these appropriations it would receive my prompt approval. It contains, however, provisions which materially change, and by implication repeal, important parts of the laws for the regulation of the United States elections. These laws have for several years past been the subject of vehement political controversy, and have been denounced as unnecessary, oppressive, and unconstitutional. On the other hand, it has been maintained with equal zeal and earnestness that the election laws are indispensable to fair and lawful elections, and are clearly warranted by the Constitution. Under these circumstances, to attempt in an appropriation bill the modification or repeal of these laws is to annex a condition to the passage of needed and proper appropriations, which tends to deprive the Executive of that equal and independent exercise of discretion and judgment which the Constitution contemplates.

The objection to the bill, therefore, to which I respectfully ask your attention is that it gives a marked and deliberate sanction, attended by no circumstances of pressing necessity, to the questionable and, as I am clearly of opinion, the dangerous practice of tacking upon appropriation bills general and permanent legislation. This practice opens a wide door to hasty, inconsiderate, and sinister legislation. It invites attacks upon the independence and constitutional powers of the Executive by providing an easy and effective way of constraining Executive discretion. Although of late this practice has been resorted to by all political parties when clothed with power, it did not prevail until forty years after the adoption of the Constitution, and it is confidently believed that it is condemned by the enlightened judgment of the country. The States which have adopted new constitutions during the last quarter of a century have generally provided remedies for the evil. Many of them have enacted that no law shall contain more than one subject, which shall be plainly expressed in its title. The constitutions of more than half of the States contain substantially this provision, or some other of like intent and meaning. The public welfare will be promoted in many ways by a return to the early practice of the Government and to the true rule of legislation, which is that every measure should stand upon its own merits.

I am firmly convinced that appropriation bills ought not to contain any legislation not relevant to the application or expenditure of the money thereby appropriated, and that by a strict adherence to this principle an important and much needed reform will be accomplished.

Placing my objection to the bill on this feature of its frame, I forbear any comment upon the important general and permanent legislation which it contains, as matter for specific and independent consideration.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _June 15, 1880_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

After mature consideration of the bill entitled “An act regulating the pay and appointment of deputy marshals,” I am constrained to withhold from it my approval, and to return it to the Senate, in which it originated, with my objections to its passage.

The laws now in force on the subject of the bill before me are contained in the following sections of the Revised Statutes:

SEC. 2021. Whenever an election at which Representatives or Delegates in Congress are to be chosen is held in any city or town of 20,000 inhabitants or upward, the marshal for the district in which the city or town is situated shall, on the application in writing of at least two citizens residing in such city or town, appoint special deputy marshals, whose duty it shall be, when required thereto, to aid and assist the supervisors of election in the verification of any list of persons who may have registered or voted; to attend in each election district or voting precinct at the times and places fixed for the registration of voters, and at all times or places when and where the registration may by law be scrutinized and the names of registered voters be marked for challenge; and also to attend, at all times for holding elections, the polls in such district or precinct.

SEC. 2022. The marshal and his general deputies, and such special deputies, shall keep the peace and support and protect the supervisors of election in the discharge of their duties, preserve order at such places of registration and at such polls, prevent fraudulent registration and fraudulent voting thereat, or fraudulent conduct on the part of any officer of election, and immediately, either at the place of registration or polling place, or elsewhere, and either before or after registering or voting, to arrest and take into custody, with or without process, any person who commits, or attempts or offers to commit, any of the acts or offenses prohibited herein, or who commits any offense against the laws of the United States; but no person shall be arrested without process for any offense not committed in the presence of the marshal or his general or special deputies, or either of them, or of the supervisors of election, or either of them; and for the purposes of arrest or the preservation of the peace the supervisors of election shall, in the absence of the marshal’s deputies, or if required to assist such deputies, have the same duties and powers as deputy marshals; nor shall any person, on the day of such election, be arrested without process for any offense committed on the day of registration.

SEC. 2023. Whenever any arrest is made under any provision of this title, the person so arrested shall forthwith be brought before a commissioner, judge, or court of the United States for examination of the offenses alleged against him; and such commissioner, judge, or court shall proceed in respect thereto as authorized by law in case of crimes against the United States.

SEC. 2024. The marshal or his general deputies, or such special deputies as are thereto specially empowered by him in writing, and under his hand and seal, whenever he or either or any of them is forcibly resisted in executing their duties under this title, or shall by violence, threats, or menaces be prevented from executing such duties or from arresting any person who has committed any offense for which the marshal or his general or his special deputies are authorized to make such arrest, are, and each of them is, empowered to summon and call to his aid the bystanders or _posse comitatus_ of his district.

SEC. 2028. No person shall be appointed a supervisor of election or a deputy marshal under the preceding provisions who is not at the time of his appointment a qualified voter of the city, town, county, parish, election district, or voting precinct in which his duties are to be performed.

SEC. 5521. If any person be appointed a supervisor of election or a special deputy marshal under the provisions of title “The elective franchise,” and has taken the oath of office as such supervisor of election or such special deputy marshal, and thereafter neglects or refuses, without good and lawful excuse, to perform and discharge fully the duties, obligations, and requirements of such office until the expiration of the term for which he was appointed, he shall not only be subject to removal from office with loss of all pay or emoluments, but shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year, or by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500, or by both fine and imprisonment, and shall pay the costs of prosecution.

SEC. 5522. Every person, whether with or without any authority, power, or process, or pretended authority, power, or process, of any State, Territory, or municipality, who obstructs, hinders, assaults, or by bribery, solicitation, or otherwise interferes with or prevents the supervisors of election, or either of them, or the marshal or his general or special deputies, or either of them, in the performance of any duty required of them, or either of them, or which he or they, or either of them, may be authorized to perform by any law of the United States, in the execution of process or otherwise, or who by any of the means before mentioned hinders or prevents the free attendance and presence at such places of registration, or at such polls of election, or full and free access and egress to and from any such place of registration or poll of election, or in going to and from any such place of registration or poll of election, or to and from any room where any such registration or election or canvass of votes, or of making any returns or certificates thereof, may be had, or who molests, interferes with, removes, or ejects from any such place of registration or poll of election, or of canvassing votes cast thereat, or of making returns or certificates thereof, any supervisor of election, the marshal or his general or special deputies, or either of them, or who threatens, or attempts or offers so to do, or refuses or neglects to aid and assist any supervisor of election, or the marshal or his general or special deputies, or either of them, in the performance of his or their duties, when required by him or them, or either of them, to give such aid and assistance, shall be liable to instant arrest without process, and shall be punished by imprisonment not more than two years, or by a fine of not more than $3,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and shall pay the cost of the prosecution.

The Supreme Court of the United States, in the recent case of _Ex parte_ Siebold and others, decided at the October term, 1879, on the question raised in the case as to the constitutionality of the sections of the Revised Statutes above quoted, uses the following language:

These portions of the Revised Statutes are taken from the act commonly known as the enforcement act, approved May 31, 1870, and entitled “An act to enforce the right of citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of this Union, and for other purposes,” and from the supplement to that act, approved February 28, 1871. They relate to elections of members of the House of Representatives, and were an assertion on the part of Congress of a power to pass laws for regulating and superintending said elections and for securing the purity thereof and the rights of citizens to vote thereat peaceably and without molestation.

It must be conceded to be a most important power, and of a fundamental character. In the light of recent history and of the violence, fraud, corruption, and irregularity which have frequently prevailed at such elections, it may easily be conceived that the exertion of the power, if it exists, may be necessary to the stability of our form of government.

The greatest difficulty in coming to a just conclusion arises from mistaken notions with regard to the relations which subsist between the State and National Governments. * * *

It seems to be often overlooked that a national constitution has been adopted in this country, establishing a real government therein, operating upon persons and territory and things, and which, moreover, is, or should be, as dear to every American citizen as his State government is. Whenever the true conception of the nature of this Government is once conceded, no real difficulty will arise in the just interpretation of its powers; but if we allow ourselves to regard it as a hostile organization, opposed to the proper sovereignty and dignity of the State governments, we shall continue to be vexed with difficulties as to its jurisdiction and authority. No greater jealousy is required to be exercised toward this Government in reference to the preservation of our liberties than is proper to be exercised toward the State governments. Its powers are limited in number and clearly defined, and its action within the scope of those powers is restrained by a sufficiently rigid bill of rights for the protection of its citizens from oppression. The true interests of the people of this country require that both the National and State Governments should be allowed, without jealous interference on either side, to exercise all the powers which respectively belong to them according to a fair and practical construction of the Constitution. State rights and the rights of the United States should be equally respected. Both are essential to the preservation of our liberties and the perpetuity of our institutions. But in endeavoring to vindicate the one we should not allow our zeal to nullify or impair the other. * * *

The true doctrine, as we conceive, is this, that while the States are really sovereign as to all matters which have not been granted to the jurisdiction and control of the United States, the Constitution and constitutional laws of the latter are, as we have already said, the supreme law of the land, and when they conflict with the laws of the States they are of paramount authority and obligation. This is the fundamental principle on which the authority of the Constitution is based, and unless it be conceded in practice as well as theory the fabric of our institutions, as it was contemplated by its founders, can not stand. The questions involved have respect not more to the autonomy and existence of the States than to the continued existence of the United States as a government to which every American citizen may look for security and protection in every part of the land. * * *

Why do we have marshals at all if they can not physically lay their hands on persons and things in the performance of their proper duties? What functions can they perform if they can not use force? In executing the process of the courts must they call on the nearest constable for protection? Must they rely on him to use the requisite compulsion and to keep the peace while they are soliciting and entreating the parties and bystanders to allow the law to take its course? This is the necessary consequence of the positions that are assumed. If we indulge in such impracticable views as these, and keep on refining and re-refining, we shall drive the National Government out of the United States and relegate it to the District of Columbia, or perhaps to some foreign soil. We shall bring it back to a condition of greater helplessness than that of the old Confederation.

The argument is based on a strained and impracticable view of the nature and powers of the National Government. It must execute its powers or it is no government. It must execute them on the land as well as on the sea, on things as well as on persons. And to do this it must necessarily have power to command obedience, preserve order, and keep the peace; and no person or power in this land has the right to resist or question its authority so long as it keeps within the bounds of its jurisdiction.

I have deemed it fitting and proper to quote thus largely from an important and elaborate opinion of the Supreme Court because the bill before me proceeds upon a construction of the Constitution as to the powers of the National Government which is in direct conflict with the judgment of the highest judicial tribunal of our country.

Under the sections of the present law above quoted officers of the United States are authorized, and it is their duty in the case of Congressional elections, to keep the peace at the polls and at the places of registration; to arrest immediately any person who is guilty of crimes against the United States election laws; to protect all officers of elections in the performance of their duties; and whenever an arrest is made to bring the person so arrested before a commissioner, judge, or court of the United States for examination of the offenses alleged against him. “Such special deputy marshals as are specially empowered thereto by the marshal in writing,” if forcibly resisted, may call to their aid the bystanders or _posse comitatus_. It is made a crime punishable with fine or imprisonment to hinder, assault, or otherwise interfere with the marshal or “his special deputies,” or to threaten or to attempt so to do. If any person appointed such special deputy marshal has taken the oath of office and thereafter neglects or refuses to fully discharge the duties of such office, he is punishable not only by removal from office, but by fine and imprisonment. The functions of the special deputy marshals now provided for by law being executive, they are placed under the authority of the well-known chief executive officer of the courts of the United States. They are in fact, and not merely in name, the deputies of the marshal, and he and his bondsmen are responsible for them. A civil force for the execution of the law is thus instituted in accordance with long-established and familiar usage, which is simple, effective, and under a responsible head. The necessity for the possession of these powers by appropriate officers will not be called in question by intelligent citizens who appreciate the importance of peaceable, orderly, and lawful elections. Similar powers are conferred and exercised under State laws with respect to State elections. The executive officers of the United States under the existing laws have no other or greater power to supervise and control the conduct of the Congressional elections than the State executive officers exercise in regard to State elections.

The bill before me changes completely the present law by substituting for the special deputy marshals of the existing statutes new officers hitherto unknown to the law, and who lack the power, responsibility, and protection which are essential to enable them to act efficiently as executive officers.

The bill under consideration is as follows:

_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled_, That from and after the passage of this act the pay of all deputy marshals for services in reference to any election shall be $5 for each day of actual service, and no more.

SEC. 2. That all deputy marshals to serve in reference to any election shall be appointed by the circuit court of the United States for the district in which such marshals are to perform their duties in each year; and the judges of the several circuit courts of the United States are hereby authorized to open their respective courts at any time for that purpose; and in case the circuit courts shall not be open for that purpose at least ten days prior to a registration, if there be one, or, if no registration be required, then at least ten days before such election, the judges of the district courts of the United States are hereby respectively authorized to cause their courts to be opened for the purpose of appointing such deputy marshals, who shall be appointed by the said district courts; and the officers so appointed shall be in equal numbers from the different political parties, and shall be well-known citizens, of good moral character, and actual residents of the voting precincts in which their duties are to be performed, and shall not be candidates for any office at such election; and all laws and parts of laws inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed: _Provided_, That the marshals of the United States for whom deputies shall be appointed by the court under this act shall not be liable for any of the acts of such deputies.

It will be observed that the deputy marshals proposed by the bill before me are distinctly different officers from the special deputies of the marshal, as such officers are now provided for in the statutes. This bill does not connect the new officers with the existing laws relating to special deputy marshals so as to invest the proposed deputy marshals with the same powers, to impose upon them the same duties, and to give them the same protection by means of the criminal laws. When new officers are created, distinct in character and appointed by different authority, although similar in name to officers already provided for, such officers are not held by similar responsibilities to the criminal law, do not possess the same powers, and are not similarly protected unless it is expressly so provided by legislation.

The so-called deputy marshals provided for in this bill will have no executive head. The marshal can neither appoint nor remove them. He can not control them, and he is not responsible for them. They will have no authority to call to their aid, if resisted, the _posse comitatus_. They are protected by no criminal statutes in the performance of their duties. An assault upon one of these deputies with the intent to prevent a lawful election will be no more than an ordinary assault upon any other citizen. They can not keep the peace. They can not make arrests when crimes are committed in their presence. Whatever powers they have are confined to the precincts in which they reside. Outside of the precincts for which they are appointed the deputy marshals of this bill can not keep the peace, make arrests, hold prisoners, take prisoners before a proper tribunal for hearing, nor perform any other duty. No oaths of office are required of them, and they give no bond. They have no superior who is responsible for them, and they are not punishable for neglect of duty or misconduct in office. In all these respects this bill makes a radical change between the powers of the United States officers at national elections and the powers uniformly possessed and exercised by State officers at State elections. This discrimination against the authority of the United States is a departure from the usage of the Government established by precedents beginning with the earliest statutes on the subject, and violates the true principles of the Constitution. The Supreme Court, in the decision already referred to, says:

It is argued that the preservation of peace and good order in society is not within the powers confided to the Government of the United States, but belongs exclusively to the States. Here again we are met with the theory that the Government of the United States does not rest upon the soil and territory of the country. We think that this theory is founded on an entire misconception of the nature and powers of that Government. We hold it to be an incontrovertible principle that the Government of the United States may, by means of physical force, exercised through its official agents, execute on every foot of American soil the powers and functions that belong to it. This necessarily involves the power to command obedience to its laws, and hence the power to keep the peace to that extent.

This power to enforce its laws and to execute its functions in all places does not derogate from the power of the State to execute its laws at the same time and in the same places. The one does not exclude the other, except where both can not be executed at the same time. In that case the words of the Constitution itself show which is to yield. “This Constitution and all laws which shall be made in pursuance thereof * * * shall be the supreme law of the land.”

In conclusion it is proper to say that no objection would be made to the appointment of officers to act with reference to the elections by the courts of the United States, and that I am in favor of appointing officers to supervise and protect the elections without regard to party; but the bill before me, while it recognizes the power and duty of the United States to provide officers to guard and scrutinize the Congressional elections, fails to adapt its provisions to the existing laws so as to secure efficient supervision and protection. It is therefore returned to the Senate, in which it originated, for that further consideration which is contemplated by the Constitution.





Whereas it has become known to me that certain evil-disposed persons have within the territory and jurisdiction of the United States begun and set on foot preparations for an organized and forcible possession of and settlement upon the lands of what is known as the Indian Territory, west of the State of Arkansas, which Territory is designated, recognized, and described by the treaties and laws of the United States and by the executive authorities as Indian country, and as such is only subject to occupation by Indian tribes, officers of the Indian Department, military posts, and such persons as may be privileged to reside and trade therein under the intercourse laws of the United States; and

Whereas those laws provide for the removal of all persons residing and trading therein without express permission of the Indian Department and agents, and also of all persons whom such agents may deem to be improper persons to reside in the Indian country; and

Whereas, in aid and support of such organized movement, it has been represented that no further action will be taken by the Government to prevent persons from going into said territory and settling therein, but such representations are wholly without authority:

Now, therefore, for the purpose of properly protecting the interests of the Indian nations and tribes, as well as of the United States, in said Indian Territory, and of duly enforcing the laws governing the same, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States, do admonish and warn all such persons so intending or preparing to remove upon said lands or into said Territory without permission of the proper agent of the Indian Department against any attempt to so remove or settle upon any of the lands of said Territory; and I do further warn and notify any and all such persons who may so offend that they will be speedily and immediately removed therefrom by the agent, according to the laws made and provided, and that no efforts will be spared to prevent the invasion of said Territory, rumors spread by evil-disposed persons to the contrary notwithstanding; and if necessary the aid and assistance of the military forces of the United States will be invoked to carry into proper execution the laws of the United States herein referred to.

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 12th day of February, A.D. 1880, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and fourth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.



At no period in their history since the United States became a nation has this people had so abundant and so universal reasons for joy and gratitude at the favor of Almighty God or been subject to so profound an obligation to give thanks for His loving kindness and humbly to implore His continued care and protection.

Health, wealth, and prosperity throughout all our borders; peace, honor, and friendship with all the world; firm and faithful adherence by the great body of our population to the principles of liberty and justice which have made our greatness as a nation, and to the wise institutions and strong frame of government and society which will perpetuate it–for all these let the thanks of a happy and united people, as with one voice, ascend in devout homage to the Giver of All Good.

I therefore recommend that on Thursday, the 25th day of November next, the people meet in their respective places of worship to make their acknowledgments to Almighty God for His bounties and His protection and to offer to Him prayers for their continuance.

In witness 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 1st day of November, A.D. 1880, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and fifth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.



Whereas satisfactory evidence has been given to me by the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of China that no discriminating duties of tonnage or imposts are imposed or levied in the ports of that nation upon vessels wholly belonging to citizens of the United States, or upon the produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported in the same:

Therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority in me vested by law, do hereby declare and proclaim that the foreign discriminating duties of tonnage and impost within the United States are and shall be suspended and discontinued so far as respects the vessels of China and the produce, manufactures, and merchandise imported therein into the United States from China, or from any other foreign country, so long as the exemption aforesaid on the part of China of vessels belonging to citizens of the United States and their cargoes shall be continued and no longer.

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 23d day of November, A.D. 1880, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.


[From the Evening Star, Washington, D.C., May 27, 1880.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, D.C., May 27, 1880_.

DEAR SIR:[41] I am directed by the President to say that the several Departments of the Government will be closed on Saturday, the 29th instant, in remembrance of those who fell in defense of the nation, and to enable the employees to participate in the commemorative ceremonies of the day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

_Private Secretary_.

[Footnote 41: Addressed to the heads of the Executive Departments, etc.]


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 6, 1880_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I congratulate you on the continued and increasing prosperity of our country. By the favor of Divine Providence we have been blessed during the past year with health, with abundant harvests, with profitable employment for all our people, and with contentment at home, and with peace and friendship with other nations. The occurrence of the twenty-fourth election of Chief Magistrate has afforded another opportunity to the people of the United States to exhibit to the world a significant example of the peaceful and safe transmission of the power and authority of government from the public servants whose terms of office are about to expire to their newly chosen successors. This example can not fail to impress profoundly thoughtful people of other countries with the advantages which republican institutions afford. The immediate, general, and cheerful acquiescence of all good citizens in the result of the election gives gratifying assurance to our country and to its friends throughout the world that a government based on the free consent of an intelligent and patriotic people possesses elements of strength, stability, and permanency not found in any other form of government.

Continued opposition to the full and free enjoyment of the rights of citizenship conferred upon the colored people by the recent amendments to the Constitution still prevails in several of the late slaveholding States. It has, perhaps, not been manifested in the recent election to any large extent in acts of violence or intimidation. It has, however, by fraudulent practices in connection with the ballots, with the regulations as to the places and manner of voting, and with counting, returning, and canvassing the votes cast, been successful in defeating the exercise of the right preservative of all rights–the right of suffrage–which the Constitution expressly confers upon our enfranchised citizens.

It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear. They prefer that no section of the country should be united in solid opposition to any other section. The disposition to refuse a prompt and hearty obedience to the equal-rights amendments to the Constitution is all that now stands in the way of a complete obliteration of sectional lines in our political contests. As long as either of these amendments is flagrantly violated or disregarded, it is safe to assume that the people who placed them in the Constitution, as embodying the legitimate results of the war for the Union, and who believe them to be wise and necessary, will continue to act together and to insist that they shall be obeyed. The paramount question still is as to the enjoyment of the right by every American citizen who has the requisite qualifications to freely cast his vote and to have it honestly counted. With this question rightly settled, the country will be relieved of the contentions of the past; bygones will indeed be bygones, and political and party issues, with respect to economy and efficiency of administration, internal improvements, the tariff, domestic taxation, education, finance, and other important subjects, will then receive their full share of attention; but resistance to and nullification of the results of the war will unite together in resolute purpose for their support all who maintain the authority of the Government and the perpetuity of the Union, and who adequately appreciate the value of the victory achieved. This determination proceeds from no hostile sentiment or feeling to any part of the people of our country or to any of their interests. The inviolability of the amendments rests upon the fundamental principle of our Government. They are the solemn expression of the will of the people of the United States.

The sentiment that the constitutional rights of all our citizens must be maintained does not grow weaker. It will continue to control the Government of the country. Happily, the history of the late election shows that in many parts of the country where opposition to the fifteenth amendment has heretofore prevailed it is diminishing, and is likely to cease altogether if firm and well-considered action is taken by Congress. I trust the House of Representatives and the Senate, which have the right to judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their own members, will see to it that every case of violation of the letter or spirit of the fifteenth amendment is thoroughly investigated, and that no benefit from such violation shall accrue to any person or party. It will be the duty of the Executive, with sufficient appropriations for the purpose, to prosecute unsparingly all who have been engaged in depriving citizens of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

It is not, however, to be forgotten that the best and surest guaranty of the primary rights of citizenship is to be found in that capacity for self-protection which can belong only to a people whose right to universal suffrage is supported by universal education. The means at the command of the local and State authorities are in many cases wholly inadequate to furnish free instruction to all who need it. This is especially true where before emancipation the education of the people was neglected or prevented, in the interest of slavery. Firmly convinced that the subject of popular education deserves the earnest attention of the people of the whole country, with a view to wise and comprehensive action by the Government of the United States, I respectfully recommend that Congress, by suitable legislation and with proper safeguards, supplement the local educational funds in the several States where the grave duties and responsibilities of citizenship have been devolved on uneducated people by devoting to the purpose grants of the public lands and, if necessary, by appropriations from the Treasury of the United States. Whatever Government can fairly do to promote free popular education ought to be done. Wherever general education is found, peace, virtue, and social order prevail and civil and religious liberty are secure.

In my former annual messages I have asked the attention of Congress to the urgent necessity of a reformation of the civil-service system of the Government. My views concerning the dangers of patronage, or appointments for personal or partisan considerations, have been strengthened by my observation and experience in the Executive office, and I believe these dangers threaten the stability of the Government. Abuses so serious in their nature can not be permanently tolerated. They tend to become more alarming with the enlargement of administrative service, as the growth of the country in population increases the number of officers and placemen employed.

The reasons are imperative for the adoption of fixed rules for the regulation of appointments, promotions, and removals, establishing a uniform method having exclusively in view in every instance the attainment of the best qualifications for the position in question. Such a method alone is consistent with the equal rights of all citizens and the most economical and efficient administration of the public business.

Competitive examinations in aid of impartial appointments and promotions have been conducted for some years past in several of the Executive Departments, and by my direction this system has been adopted in the custom-houses and post-offices of the larger cities of the country. In the city of New York over 2,000 positions in the civil service have been subject in their appointments and tenure of place to the operation of published rules for this purpose during the past two years. The results of these practical trials have been very satisfactory, and have confirmed my opinion in favor of this system of selection. All are subjected to the same tests, and the result is free from prejudice by personal favor or partisan influence. It secures for the position applied for the best qualifications attainable among the competing applicants. It is an effectual protection from the pressure of importunity, which under any other course pursued largely exacts the time and attention of appointing officers, to their great detriment in the discharge of other official duties, preventing the abuse of the service for the mere furtherance of private or party purposes, and leaving the employee of the Government, freed from the obligations imposed by patronage, to depend solely upon merit for retention and advancement, and with this constant incentive to exertion and improvement.

These invaluable results have been attained in a high degree in the offices where the rules for appointment by competitive examination have been applied.

A method which has so approved itself by experimental tests at points where such tests may be fairly considered conclusive should be extended to all subordinate positions under the Government. I believe that a strong and growing public sentiment demands immediate measures for securing and enforcing the highest possible efficiency in the civil service and its protection from recognized abuses, and that the experience referred to has demonstrated the feasibility of such measures.

The examinations in the custom-houses and post-offices have been held under many embarrassments and without provision for compensation for the extra labor performed by the officers who have conducted them, and whose commendable interest in the improvement of the public service has induced this devotion of time and labor without pecuniary reward. A continuance of these labors gratuitously ought not to be expected, and without an appropriation by Congress for compensation it is not practicable to extend the system of examinations generally throughout the civil service. It is also highly important that all such examinations should be conducted upon a uniform system and under general supervision. Section 1753 of the Revised Statutes authorizes the President to prescribe the regulations for admission to the civil service of the United States, and for this purpose to employ suitable persons to conduct the requisite inquiries with reference to “the fitness of each candidate, in respect to age, health, character, knowledge, and ability for the branch of service into which he seeks to enter;” but the law is practically inoperative for want of the requisite appropriation.

I therefore recommend an appropriation of $25,000 per annum to meet the expenses of a commission, to be appointed by the President in accordance with the terms of this section, whose duty it shall be to devise a just, uniform, and efficient system of competitive examinations and to supervise the application of the same throughout the entire civil service of the Government. I am persuaded that the facilities which such a commission will afford for testing the fitness of those who apply for office will not only be as welcome a relief to members of Congress as it will be to the President and heads of Departments, but that it will also greatly tend to remove the causes of embarrassment which now inevitably and constantly attend the conflicting claims of patronage between the legislative and executive departments. The most effectual check upon the pernicious competition of influence and official favoritism in the bestowal of office will be the substitution of an open competition of merit between the applicants, in which everyone can make his own record with the assurance that his success will depend upon this alone.

I also recommend such legislation as, while leaving every officer as free as any other citizen to express his political opinions and to use his means for their advancement, shall also enable him to feel as safe as any private citizen in refusing all demands upon his salary for political purposes. A law which should thus guarantee true liberty and justice to all who are engaged in the public service, and likewise contain stringent provisions against the use of official authority to coerce the political action of private citizens or of official subordinates, is greatly to be desired.

The most serious obstacle, however, to an improvement of the civil service, and especially to a reform in the method of appointment and removal, has been found to be the practice, under what is known as the spoils system, by which the appointing power has been so largely encroached upon by members of Congress. The first step in the reform of the civil service must be a complete divorce between Congress and the Executive in the matter of appointments. The corrupting doctrine that “to the victors belong the spoils” is inseparable from Congressional patronage as the established rule and practice of parties in power. It comes to be understood by applicants for office and by the people generally that Representatives and Senators are entitled to disburse the patronage of their respective districts and States. It is not necessary to recite at length the evils resulting from this invasion of the Executive functions. The true principles of Government on the subject of appointments to office, as stated in the national conventions of the leading parties of the country, have again and again been approved by the American people, and have not been called in question in any quarter. These authentic expressions of public opinion upon this all-important subject are the statement of principles that belong to the constitutional structure of the Government.

Under the Constitution the President and heads of Departments are to make nominations for office. The Senate is to advise and consent to appointments, and the House of Representatives is to accuse and prosecute faithless officers. The best interest of the public service demands that these distinctions be respected; that Senators and Representatives, who may be judges and accusers, should not dictate appointments to office.

To this end the cooperation of the legislative department of the Government is required alike by the necessities of the case and by public opinion. Members of Congress will not be relieved from the demands made upon them with reference to appointments to office until by legislative enactment the pernicious practice is condemned and forbidden.

It is therefore recommended that an act be passed defining the relations of members of Congress with respect to appointment to office by the President; and I also recommend that the provisions of section 1767 and of the sections following of the Revised Statutes, comprising the tenure-of-office act of March 2, 1867, be repealed.

Believing that to reform the system and methods of the civil service in our country is one of the highest and most imperative duties of statesmanship, and that it can be permanently done only by the cooperation of the legislative and executive departments of the Government, I again commend the whole subject to your considerate attention.

It is the recognized duty and purpose of the people of the United States to suppress polygamy where it now exists in our Territories and to prevent its extension. Faithful and zealous efforts have been made by the United States authorities in Utah to enforce the laws against it. Experience has shown that the legislation upon this subject, to be effective, requires extensive modification and amendment. The longer action is delayed the more difficult it will be to accomplish what is desired. Prompt and decided measures are necessary. The Mormon sectarian organization which upholds polygamy has the whole power of making and executing the local legislation of the Territory. By its control of the grand and petit juries it possesses large influence over the administration of justice. Exercising, as the heads of this sect do, the local political power of the Territory, they are able to make effective their hostility to the law of Congress on the subject of polygamy, and, in fact, do prevent its enforcement. Polygamy will not be abolished if the enforcement of the law depends on those who practice and uphold the crime. It can only be suppressed by taking away the political power of the sect which encourages and sustains it.

The power of Congress to enact suitable laws to protect the Territories is ample. It is not a case for halfway measures. The political power of the Mormon sect is increasing. It controls now one of our wealthiest and most populous Territories. It is extending steadily into other Territories. Wherever it goes it establishes polygamy and sectarian political power. The sanctity of marriage and the family relation are the corner stone of our American society and civilization. Religious liberty and the separation of church and state are among the elementary ideas of free institutions. To reestablish the interests and principles which polygamy and Mormonism have imperiled, and to fully reopen to intelligent and virtuous immigrants of all creeds that part of our domain which has been in a great degree closed to general immigration by intolerant and immoral institutions, it is recommended that the government of the Territory of Utah be reorganized.

I recommend that Congress provide for the government of Utah by a governor and judges, or commissioners, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate–a government analogous to the provisional government established for the territory northwest of the Ohio by the ordinance of 1787. If, however, it is deemed best to continue the existing form of local government, I recommend that the right to vote, hold office, and sit on juries in the Territory of Utah be confined to those who neither practice nor uphold polygamy. If thorough measures are adopted, it is believed that within a few years the evils which now afflict Utah will be eradicated, and that this Territory will in good time become one of the most prosperous and attractive of the new States of the Union.

Our relations with all foreign countries have been those of undisturbed peace, and have presented no occasion for concern as to their continued maintenance.

My anticipation of an early reply from the British Government to the demand of indemnity to our fishermen for the injuries suffered by that industry at Fortune Bay in January, 1878, which I expressed in my last annual message, was disappointed. This answer was received only in the latter part of April in the present year, and when received exhibited a failure of accord between the two Governments as to the measure of the inshore fishing privilege secured to our fishermen by the treaty of Washington of so serious a character that I made it the subject of a communication to Congress, in which I recommended the adoption of the measures which seemed to me proper to be taken by this Government in maintenance of the rights accorded to our fishermen under the treaty and toward securing an indemnity for the injury these interests had suffered. A bill to carry out these recommendations was under consideration by the House of Representatives at the time of the adjournment of Congress in June last.

Within a few weeks I have received a communication from Her Majesty’s Government renewing the consideration of the subject, both of the indemnity for the injuries at Fortune Bay and of the interpretation of the treaty in which the previous correspondence had shown the two Governments to be at variance. Upon both these topics the disposition toward a friendly agreement is manifested by a recognition of our right to an indemnity for the transaction at Fortune Bay, leaving the measure of such indemnity to further conference, and by an assent to the view of this Government, presented in the previous correspondence, that the regulation of conflicting interests of the shore fishery of the provincial seacoasts and the vessel fishery of our fishermen should be made the subject of conference and concurrent arrangement between the two Governments.

I sincerely hope that the basis may be found for a speedy adjustment of the very serious divergence of views in the interpretation of the fishery clauses of the treaty of Washington, which, as the correspondence between the two Governments stood at the close of the last session of Congress, seemed to be irreconcilable.

In the important exhibition of arts and industries which was held last year at Sydney, New South Wales, as well as in that now in progress at Melbourne, the United States have been efficiently and honorably represented. The exhibitors from this country at the former place received a large number of awards in some of the most considerable departments, and the participation of the United States was recognized by a special mark of distinction. In the exhibition at Melbourne the share taken by our country is no less notable, and an equal degree of success is confidently expected.

The state of peace and tranquillity now enjoyed by all the nations of the continent of Europe has its favorable influence upon our diplomatic and commercial relations with them. We have concluded and ratified a convention with the French Republic for the settlement of claims of the citizens of either country against the other. Under this convention a commission, presided over by a distinguished publicist, appointed in pursuance of the request of both nations by His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, has been organized and has begun its sessions in this city. A congress to consider means for the protection of industrial property has recently been in session in Paris, to which I have appointed the ministers of the United States in France and in Belgium as delegates. The International Commission upon Weights and Measures also continues its work in Paris. I invite your attention to the necessity of an appropriation to be made in time to enable this Government to comply with its obligations under the metrical convention.

Our friendly relations with the German Empire continue without interruption. At the recent International Exhibition of Fish and Fisheries at Berlin the participation of the United States, notwithstanding the haste with which the commission was forced to make its preparations, was extremely successful and meritorious, winning for private exhibitors numerous awards of a high class and for the country at large the principal prize of honor offered by His Majesty the Emperor. The results of this great success can not but be advantageous to this important and growing industry. There have been some questions raised between the two Governments as to the proper effect and interpretation of our treaties of naturalization, but recent dispatches from our minister at Berlin show that favorable progress is making toward an understanding in accordance with the views of this Government, which makes and admits no distinction whatever between the rights of a native and a naturalized citizen of the United States. In practice the complaints of molestation suffered by naturalized citizens abroad have never been fewer than at present.

There is nothing of importance to note in our unbroken friendly relations with the Governments of Austria-Hungary, Russia, Portugal, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and Greece.

During the last summer several vessels belonging to the merchant marine of this country, sailing in neutral waters of the West Indies, were fired at, boarded, and searched by an armed cruiser of the Spanish Government. The circumstances as reported involve not only a private injury to the persons concerned, but also seemed too little observant of the friendly relations existing for a century between this country and Spain. The wrong was brought to the attention of the Spanish Government in a serious protest and remonstrance, and the matter is undergoing investigation by the royal authorities with a view to such explanation or reparation as may be called for by the facts.

The commission sitting in this city for the adjudication of claims of our citizens against the Government of Spain is, I hope, approaching the termination of its labors.

The claims against the United States under the Florida treaty with Spain were submitted to Congress for its action at the late session, and I again invite your attention to this long-standing question, with a view to a final disposition of the matter.

At the invitation of the Spanish Government, a conference has recently been held at the city of Madrid to consider the subject of protection by foreign powers of native Moors in the Empire of Morocco. The minister of the United States in Spain was directed to take part in the deliberations of this conference, the result of which is a convention signed on behalf of all the powers represented. The instrument will be laid before the Senate for its consideration. The Government of the United States has also lost no opportunity to urge upon that of the Emperor of Morocco the necessity, in accordance with the humane and enlightened spirit of the age, of putting an end to the persecutions, which have been so prevalent in that country, of persons of a faith other than the Moslem, and especially of the Hebrew residents of Morocco.

The consular treaty concluded with Belgium has not yet been officially promulgated, owing to the alteration of a word in the text by the Senate of the United States, which occasioned a delay, during which the time allowed for ratification expired. The Senate will be asked to extend the period for ratification.

The attempt to negotiate a treaty of extradition with Denmark failed on account of the objection of the Danish Government to the usual clause providing that each nation should pay the expense of the arrest of the persons whose extradition it asks.

The provision made by Congress at its last session for the expense