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

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and in defiance of the wishes and intentions of the voters of the State.

Misinformed and misjudging as to the nature and extent of this report,
the supporters of McEnery proceeded to displace by force in some
counties of the State the appointees of Governor Kellogg, and on the
13th of April, in an effort of that kind, a butchery of citizens was
committed at Colfax, which in bloodthirstiness and barbarity is hardly
surpassed by any acts of savage warfare.

To put this matter beyond controversy I quote from the charge of Judge
Woods, of the United States circuit court, to the jury in the case of
The United States _vs_. Cruikshank and others, in New Orleans in March,
1874. He said:

In the case on trial there are many facts not in controversy. I proceed
to state some of them in the presence and hearing of counsel on both
sides; and if I state as a conceded fact any matter that is disputed,
they can correct me.

After stating the origin of the difficulty, which grew out of an attempt
of white persons to drive the parish judge and sheriff, appointees of
Kellogg, from office, and their attempted protection by colored persons,
which led to some fighting, in which quite a number of negroes were
killed, the judge states:

Most of those who were not killed were taken prisoners. Fifteen or
sixteen of the blacks had lifted the boards and taken refuge under the
floor of the court-house. They were all captured. About thirty-seven men
were taken prisoners. The number is not definitely fixed. They were kept
under guard until dark. They were led out, two by two, and shot. Most of
the men were shot to death. A few were wounded, not mortally, and by
pretending to be dead were afterwards, during the night, able to make
their escape. Among them was the Levi Nelson named in the indictment.

The dead bodies of the negroes killed in this affair were left unburied
until Tuesday, April 15, when they were buried by a deputy marshal and
an officer of the militia from New Orleans. These persons found
fifty-nine dead bodies. They showed pistol-shot wounds, the great
majority in the head, and most of them in the back of the head. In
addition to the fifty-nine dead bodies found, some charred remains of
dead bodies were discovered near the court-house. Six dead bodies were
found under a warehouse, all shot in the head but one or two, which were
shot in the breast.

The only white men injured from the beginning of these troubles to their
close were Hadnot and Harris. The court-house and its contents were
entirely consumed.

There is no evidence that anyone in the crowd of whites bore any lawful
warrant for the arrest of any of the blacks. There is no evidence that
either Nash or Cazabat, after the affair, ever demanded their offices,
to which they had set up claim, but Register continued to act as parish
judge and Shaw as sheriff.

These are facts in this case as I understand them to be admitted.

To hold the people of Louisiana generally responsible for these
atrocities would not be just, but it is a lamentable fact that
insuperable obstructions were thrown in the way of punishing these
murderers; and the so-called conservative papers of the State not only
justified the massacre, but denounced as Federal tyranny and despotism
the attempt of the United States officers to bring them to justice.
Fierce denunciations ring through the country about office holding and
election matters in Louisiana, while every one of the Colfax miscreants
goes unwhipped of justice, and no way can be found in this boasted land
of civilization and Christianity to punish the perpetrators of this
bloody and monstrous crime.

Not unlike this was the massacre in August last. Several Northern young
men of capital and enterprise had started the little and flourishing
town of Coushatta. Some of them were Republicans and officeholders under
Kellogg. They were therefore doomed to death. Six of them were seized
and carried away from their homes and murdered in cold blood. No one has
been punished, and the conservative press of the State denounced all
efforts to that end and boldly justified the crime.

Many murders of a like character have been committed in individual
cases, which can not here be detailed. For example, T.S. Crawford,
judge, and P.H. Harris, district attorney, of the twelfth judicial
district of the State, on their way to court were shot from their horses
by men in ambush on the 8th of October, 1873; and the widow of the
former, in a communication to the Department of Justice, tells a piteous
tale of the persecutions of her husband because he was a Union man, and
of the efforts made to screen those who had committed a crime which, to
use her own language, "left two widows and nine orphans desolate."

To say that the murder of a negro or a white Republican is not
considered a crime in Louisiana would probably be unjust to a great part
of the people, but it is true that a great number of such murders have
been committed and no one has been punished therefor; and manifestly,
as to them, the spirit of hatred and violence is stronger than law.

Representations were made to me that the presence of troops in Louisiana
was unnecessary and irritating to the people, and that there was no
danger of public disturbance if they were taken away. Consequently early
in last summer the troops were all withdrawn from the State, with the
exception of a small garrison at New Orleans Barracks. It was claimed
that a comparative state of quiet had supervened. Political excitement
as to Louisiana affairs seemed to be dying out. But the November
election was approaching, and it was necessary for party purposes that
the flame should be rekindled.

Accordingly, on the 14th of September D.P. Penn, claiming that he was
elected lieutenant-governor in 1872, issued an inflammatory proclamation
calling upon the militia of the State to arm, assemble, and drive from
power the usurpers, as he designated the officers of the State. The
White Leagues, armed and ready for the conflict, promptly responded.

On the same day the governor made a formal requisition upon me, pursuant
to the act of 1795 and section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution,
to aid in suppressing domestic violence. On the next day I issued my
proclamation[1] commanding the insurgents to disperse within five days
from the date thereof; but before the proclamation was published in New
Orleans the organized and armed forces recognizing a usurping governor
had taken forcible possession of the statehouse and temporarily
subverted the government. Twenty or more people were killed, including a
number of the police of the city. The streets of the city were stained
with blood. All that was desired in the way of excitement had been
accomplished, and, in view of the steps taken to repress it, the
revolution is apparently, though it is believed not really, abandoned,
and the cry of Federal usurpation and tyranny in Louisiana was renewed
with redoubled energy. Troops had been sent to the State under this
requisition of the governor, and as other disturbances seemed imminent
they were allowed to remain there to render the executive such aid as
might become necessary to enforce the laws of the State and repress the
continued violence which seemed inevitable the moment Federal support
should be withdrawn.

Prior to, and with a view to, the late election in Louisiana white men
associated themselves together in armed bodies called "White Leagues,"
and at the same time threats were made in the Democratic journals of the
State that the election should be carried against the Republicans at all
hazards, which very naturally greatly alarmed the colored voters. By
section 8 of the act of February 28, 1871, it is made the duty of United
States marshals and their deputies at polls where votes are cast for
Representatives in Congress to keep the peace and prevent any violations
of the so-called enforcement acts and other offenses against the laws of
the United States; and upon a requisition of the marshal of Louisiana,
and in view of said armed organizations and other portentous
circumstances, I caused detachments of troops to be stationed in various
localities in the State, to aid him in the performance of his official
duties. That there was intimidation of Republican voters at the
election, notwithstanding these precautions, admits of no doubt.
The following are specimens of the means used:

On the 14th of October eighty persons signed and published the following
at Shreveport:

We, the undersigned, merchants of the city of Shreveport, in obedience
to a request of the Shreveport Campaign Club, agree to use every
endeavor to get our employees to vote the People's ticket at the
ensuing election, and in the event of their refusal so to do, or in
case they vote the Radical ticket, to refuse to employ them at the
expiration of their present contracts.

On the same day another large body of persons published in the same
place a paper in which they used the following language:

We, the undersigned, merchants of the city of Shreveport, alive to the
great importance of securing good and honest government to the State,
do agree and pledge ourselves not to advance any supplies or money to
any planter the coming year who will give employment or rent lands to
laborers who vote the Radical ticket in the coming election.

I have no information of the proceedings of the returning board for said
election which may not be found in its report, which has been published;
but it is a matter of public information that a great part of the time
taken to canvass the votes was consumed by the arguments of lawyers,
several of whom represented each party before the board. I have no
evidence that the proceedings of this board were not in accordance with
the law under which they acted. Whether in excluding from their count
certain returns they were right or wrong is a question that depends upon
the evidence they had before them; but it is very clear that the law
gives them the power, if they choose to exercise it, of deciding that
way, and, _prima facie_, the persons whom they return as elected are
entitled to the offices for which they were candidates.

Respecting the alleged interference by the military with the
organization of the legislature of Louisiana on the 4th instant,
I have no knowledge or information which has not been received by
me since that time and published. My first information was from the
papers of the morning of the 5th of January. I did not know that any
such thing was anticipated, and no orders nor suggestions were ever
given to any military officer in that State upon that subject prior
to the occurrence. I am well aware that any military interference by
the officers or troops of the United States with the organization of
the State legislature or any of its proceedings, or with any civil
department of the Government, is repugnant to our ideas of government.
I can conceive of no case, not involving rebellion or insurrection,
where such interference by authority of the General Government ought to
be permitted or can be justified. But there are circumstances connected
with the late legislative imbroglio in Louisiana which seem to exempt
the military from any intentional wrong in that matter. Knowing that
they had been placed in Louisiana to prevent domestic violence and aid
in the enforcement of the State laws, the officers and troops of the
United States may well have supposed that it was their duty to act
when called upon by the governor for that purpose.

Each branch of a legislative assembly is the judge of the election
and qualifications of its own members; but if a mob or a body of
unauthorized persons seize and hold the legislative hall in a tumultuous
and riotous manner, and so prevent any organization by those legally
returned as elected, it might become the duty of the State executive to
interpose, if requested by a majority of the members elect, to suppress
the disturbance and enable the persons elected to organize the house.

Any exercise of this power would only be justifiable under most
extraordinary circumstances, and it would then be the duty of the
governor to call upon the constabulary or, if necessary, the military
force of the State. But with reference to Louisiana, it is to be borne
in mind that any attempt by the governor to use the police force of that
State at this time would have undoubtedly precipitated a bloody conflict
with the White League, as it did on the 14th of September.

There is no doubt but that the presence of the United States troops upon
that occasion prevented bloodshed and the loss of life. Both parties
appear to have relied upon them as conservators of the public peace.

The first call was made by the Democrats, to remove persons obnoxious
to them from the legislative halls; and the second was from the
Republicans, to remove persons who had usurped seats in the legislature
without legal certificates authorizing them to seats, and in sufficient
number to change the majority.

Nobody was disturbed by the military who had a legal right at that time
to occupy a seat in the legislature. That the Democratic minority of the
house undertook to seize its organization by fraud and violence; that in
this attempt they trampled under foot law; that they undertook to make
persons not returned as elected members, so as to create a majority;
that they acted under a preconcerted plan, and under false pretenses
introduced into the hall a body of men to support their pretensions by
force if necessary, and that conflict, disorder, and riotous proceedings
followed are facts that seem to be well established; and I am credibly
informed that these violent proceedings were a part of a premeditated
plan to have the house organized in this way, recognize what has been
called the McEnery senate, then to depose Governor Kellogg, and so
revolutionize the State government.

Whether it was wrong for the governor, at the request of the majority of
the members returned as elected to the house, to use such means as were
in his power to defeat these lawless and revolutionary proceedings is
perhaps a debatable question; but it is quite certain that there would
have been no trouble if those who now complain of illegal interference
had allowed the house to be organized in a lawful and regular manner.
When those who inaugurate disorder and anarchy disavow such proceedings,
it will be time enough to condemn those who by such means as they have
prevent the success of their lawless and desperate schemes.

Lieutenant-General Sheridan was requested by me to go to Louisiana
to observe and report the situation there, and, if in his opinion
necessary, to assume the command, which he did on the 4th instant, after
the legislative disturbances had occurred, at 9 o'clock p.m., a number
of hours after the disturbances. No party motives nor prejudices can
reasonably be imputed to him; but honestly convinced by what he has seen
and heard there, he has characterized the leaders of the White Leagues
in severe terms and suggested summary modes of procedure against them,
which, though they can not be adopted, would, if legal, soon put an
end to the troubles and disorders in that State. General Sheridan was
looking at facts, and possibly, not thinking of proceedings which would
be the only proper ones to pursue in time of peace, thought more of the
utterly lawless condition of society surrounding him at the time of his
dispatch and of what would prove a sure remedy. He never proposed to do
an illegal act nor expressed determination to proceed beyond what the
law in the future might authorize for the punishment of the atrocities
which have been committed, and the commission of which can not be
successfully denied. It is a deplorable fact that political crimes and
murders have been committed in Louisiana which have gone unpunished,
and which have been justified or apologized for, which must rest as a
reproach upon the State and country long after the present generation
has passed away.

I have no desire to have United States troops interfere in the domestic
concerns of Louisiana or any other State.

On the 9th of December last Governor Kellogg telegraphed to me his
apprehensions that the White League intended to make another attack upon
the statehouse, to which, on the same day, I made the following answer,
since which no communication has been sent to him:

Your dispatch of this date just received. It is exceedingly unpalatable
to use troops in anticipation of danger. Let the State authorities be
right, and then proceed with their duties without apprehension of
danger. If they are then molested, the question will be determined
whether the United States is able to maintain law and order within its
limits or not.

I have deplored the necessity which seemed to make it my duty under the
Constitution and laws to direct such interference. I have always refused
except where it seemed to be my imperative duty to act in such a manner
under the Constitution and laws of the United States. I have repeatedly
and earnestly entreated the people of the South to live together in
peace and obey the laws; and nothing would give me greater pleasure than
to see reconciliation and tranquillity everywhere prevail, and thereby
remove all necessity for the presence of troops among them. I regret,
however, to say that this state of things does not exist, nor does its
existence seem to be desired, in some localities; and as to those it may
be proper for me to say that to the extent that Congress has conferred
power upon me to prevent it neither Kuklux Klans, White Leagues, nor
any other association using arms and violence to execute their unlawful
purposes can be permitted in that way to govern any part of this
country; nor can I see with indifference Union men or Republicans
ostracized, persecuted, and murdered on account of their opinions,
as they now are in some localities.

I have heretofore urged the case of Louisiana upon the attention of
Congress, and I can not but think that its inaction has produced great

To summarize: In September last an armed, organized body of men, in the
support of candidates who had been put in nomination for the offices of
governor and lieutenant-governor at the November election in 1872, and
who had been declared not elected by the board of canvassers, recognized
by all the courts to which the question had been submitted, undertook to
subvert and overthrow the State government that had been recognized by
me in accordance with previous precedents. The recognized governor was
driven from the statehouse, and but for his finding shelter in the
United States custom-house, in the capital of the State of which he was
governor, it is scarcely to be doubted that he would have been killed.

From the statehouse, before he had been driven to the custom-house, a
call was made, in accordance with the fourth section, fourth article,
of the Constitution of the United States, for the aid of the General
Government to suppress domestic violence. Under those circumstances, and
in accordance with my sworn duties, my proclamation[91] of the 15th of
September, 1874, was issued. This served to reinstate Governor Kellogg
to his position nominally, but it can not be claimed that the insurgents
have to this day surrendered to the State authorities the arms belonging
to the State, or that they have in any sense disarmed. On the contrary,
it is known that the same armed organizations that existed on the 14th
of September, 1874, in opposition to the recognized State government,
still retain their organization, equipments, and commanders, and can
be called out at any hour to resist the State government. Under these
circumstances the same military force has been continued in Louisiana
as was sent there under the first call, and under the same general
instructions. I repeat that the task assumed by the troops is not a
pleasant one to them; that the Army is not composed of lawyers, capable
of judging at a moment's notice of just how far they can go in the
maintenance of law and order, and that it was impossible to give
specific instructions providing for all possible contingencies that
might arise. The troops were bound to act upon the judgment of the
commanding officer upon each sudden contingency that arose, or wait
instructions which could only reach them after the threatened wrongs
had been committed which they were called on to prevent. It should be
recollected, too, that upon my recognition of the Kellogg government
I reported the fact, with the grounds of recognition, to Congress, and
asked that body to take action in the matter; otherwise I should regard
their silence as an acquiescence in my course. No action has been taken
by that body, and I have maintained the position then marked out.

If error has been committed by the Army in these matters, it has always
been on the side of the preservation of good order, the maintenance of
law, and the protection of life. Their bearing reflects credit upon the
soldiers, and if wrong has resulted the blame is with the turbulent
element surrounding them.

I now earnestly ask that such action be taken by Congress as to leave my
duties perfectly clear in dealing with the affairs of Louisiana, giving
assurance at the same time that whatever may be done by that body in the
premises will be executed according to the spirit and letter of the law,
without fear or favor.

I herewith transmit copies of documents containing more specific
information as to the subject-matter of the resolution.


[Footnote 90: See pp. 276-277.]

[Footnote 91: See pp. 275-277.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 14, 1875_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Senate bill No. 1044, "to provide for the resumption of specie
payments," is before me, and this day receives my signature of approval.

I venture upon this unusual method of conveying the notice of approval
to the "House in which the measure originated" because of its great
importance to the country at large and in order to suggest further
legislation which seems to me essential to make this law effective.

It is a subject of congratulation that a measure has become law which
fixes a date when specie resumption shall commence and implies an
obligation on the part of Congress, if in its power, to give such
legislation as may prove necessary to redeem this promise.

To this end I respectfully call your attention to a few suggestions:

First. The necessity of an increased revenue to carry out the obligation
of adding to the sinking fund annually 1 per cent of the public debt,
amounting now to about $34,000,000 per annum, and to carry out the
promises of this measure to redeem, under certain contingencies, eighty
millions of the present legal-tenders, and, without contingency, the
fractional currency now in circulation.

How to increase the surplus revenue is for Congress to devise, but
I will venture to suggest that the duty on tea and coffee might be
restored without permanently enhancing the cost to the consumers, and
that the 10 per cent horizontal reduction of the tariff on articles
specified in the law of June 6, 1872, be repealed. The supply of tea and
coffee already on hand in the United States would in all probability be
advanced in price by adopting this measure. But it is known that the
adoption of free entry to those articles of necessity did not cheapen
them, but merely added to the profits of the countries producing them,
or of the middlemen in those countries, who have the exclusive trade
in them.

Second. The first section of the bill now under consideration provides
that the fractional currency shall be redeemed in silver coin as rapidly
as practicable. There is no provision preventing the fluctuation in the
value of the paper currency. With gold at a premium of anything over 10
per cent above the currency in use, it is probable, almost certain, that
silver would be bought up for exportation as fast as it was put out, or
until change would become so scarce as to make the premium on it equal
to the premium on gold, or sufficiently high to make it no longer
profitable to buy for export, thereby causing a direct loss to the
community at large and great embarrassment to trade.

As the present law commands final resumption on the 1st day of January,
1879, and as the gold receipts by the Treasury are larger than the
gold payments and the currency receipts are smaller than the currency
payments, thereby making monthly sales of gold necessary to meet current
currency expenses, it occurs to me that these difficulties might be
remedied by authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to redeem
legal-tender notes, whenever presented in sums of not less than $100 and
multiples thereof, at a premium for gold of 10 per cent, less interest
at the rate of 2-1/2 per cent per annum from the 1st day of January,
1875, to the date of putting this law into operation, and diminishing
this premium at the same rate until final resumption, changing the
rate of premium demanded from time to time as the interest amounts to
one-quarter of 1 per cent. I suggest this rate of interest because it
would bring currency at par with gold at the date fixed by law for final
resumption. I suggest 10 per cent as the demand premium at the beginning
because I believe this rate would insure the retention of silver in the
country for change.

The provisions of the third section of the act will prevent combinations
being made to exhaust the Treasury of coin.

With such a law it is presumable that no gold would be called for not
required for legitimate business purposes. When large amounts of coin
should be drawn from the Treasury, correspondingly large amounts of
currency would be withdrawn from circulation, thus causing a sufficient
stringency in currency to stop the outward flow of coin.

The advantages of a currency of a fixed known value would also be
reached. In my opinion, by the enactment of such a law business and
industries would revive and the beginning of prosperity on a firm basis
would be reached.

Other means of increasing revenue than those suggested should probably
be devised, and also other legislation.

In fact, to carry out the first section of the act another mint becomes
a necessity. With the present facilities for coinage, it would take a
period probably beyond that fixed by law for final specie resumption to
coin the silver necessary to transact the business of the country.

There are now smelting furnaces, for extracting the silver and gold from
the ores brought from the mountain territories, in Chicago, St. Louis,
and Omaha--three in the former city--and as much of the change required
will be wanted in the Mississippi Valley States, and as the metals to be
coined come from west of those States, and, as I understand, the charges
for transportation of bullion from either of the cities named to the
mint in Philadelphia or to New York City amount to $4 for each $1,000
worth, with an equal expense for transportation back, it would seem a
fair argument in favor of adopting one or more of those cities as the
place or places for the establishment of new coining facilities.

I have ventured upon this subject with great diffidence, because it is
so unusual to approve a measure--as I most heartily do this, even if
no further legislation is attainable at this time--and to announce the
fact by message. But I do so because I feel that it is a subject of
such vital importance to the whole country that it should receive the
attention of and be discussed by Congress and the people through the
press, and in every way, to the end that the best and most satisfactory
course may be reached of executing what I deem most beneficial
legislation on a most vital question to the interests and prosperity
of the nation.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 20, 1875_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report from a board composed of
one person named by the head of each Executive Department and of the
Department of Agriculture and Smithsonian Institution, for the purpose
of securing a complete and harmonious arrangement of the articles and
materials designed to be exhibited from the Executive Departments of the
Government at the international exhibition to be held in the city of
Philadelphia in the year 1876 for the purpose of celebrating the one
hundredth anniversary of the independence of the United States. The
report gives a statement of what is proposed to be exhibited by each
Department, together with an estimate of the expense which will have
to be incurred. Submitting to Congress the estimate made by the board,
I recommend that Congress make a suitable appropriation to enable the
different Departments to make a complete and creditable showing of the
articles and materials designed to be exhibited by the Government, and
which will undoubtedly form one of the most interesting features of
the exhibition.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 20, 1875_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In my annual message of December 1, 1873, while inviting general
attention to all the recommendations made by the Secretary of War,
your special consideration was invited to "the importance of preparing
for war in time of peace by providing proper armament for our
seacoast defenses. Proper armament is of vastly more importance than
fortifications. The latter can be supplied very speedily for temporary
purposes when needed; the former can not."

These views gain increased strength and pertinence as the years roll
by, and I have now again the honor to call special attention to the
condition of the "armament of our fortifications" and the absolute
necessity for immediate provision by Congress for the procurement of
heavy cannon. The large expenditures required to supply the number of
guns for our forts is the strongest argument that can be adduced for a
liberal annual appropriation for their gradual accumulation. In time of
war such preparations can not be made; cannon can not be purchased in
open market nor manufactured at short notice; they must be the product
of years of experience and labor.

I herewith enclose copies of a report of the Chief of Ordnance and of
a board of ordnance officers on the trial of an 8-inch rifle converted
from a 10-inch smooth-bore, which shows very conclusively an economical
means of utilizing these useless smooth-bores and making them into
8-inch rifles, capable of piercing 7 inches of iron. The 1,294 10-inch
Rodman guns should, in my opinion, be so utilized, and the appropriation
requested by the Chief of Ordnance of $250,000 to commence these
conversions is urgently recommended.

While convinced of the economy and necessity of these conversions, the
determination of the best and most economical method of providing guns
of still larger caliber should no longer be delayed. The experience
of other nations, based on the new conditions of defense brought
prominently forward by the introduction of ironclads into every navy
afloat, demands heavier metal and rifle guns of not less than 12 inches
in caliber. These enormous masses, hurling a shot of 700 pounds, can
alone meet many of the requirements of the national defenses. They must
be provided, and experiments on a large scale can alone give the data
necessary for the determination of the question. A suitable proving
ground, with all the facilities and conveniences referred to by the
Chief of Ordnance, with a liberal annual appropriation, is an undoubted

The guns now ready for trial can not be experimented with without funds,
and the estimate of $250,000 for the purpose is deemed reasonable and is
strongly recommended.

The constant appeals for legislation on the "armament of fortifications"
ought no longer to be disregarded if Congress desires in peace to
prepare the important material without which future wars must inevitably
lead to disaster.

This subject is submitted with the hope that the consideration it
deserves may be given it at the present session.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 25, 1875_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of the commission of
engineers appointed in compliance with the act of Congress approved June
22, 1874, to investigate and report a permanent plan for the reclamation
of the alluvial basin of the Mississippi River subject to inundation.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 26, 1875_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the information of Congress,
a report of the progress made to this date by the United States
Centennial Commission appointed in accordance with the requirements of
the act approved June 1, 1872.


WASHINGTON, _February 1, 1875_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty concluded on the 30th ultimo between this Government and His
Hawaiian Majesty, on the subject of commercial reciprocity. I also
transmit, for the information of the Senate, the papers mentioned in the
subjoined list, relating to the commerce between the United States and
the Hawaiian Islands.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 1, 1875_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to lay before Congress a communication of the Secretary
of War relative to the action taken in issuing certain supplies to the
suffering people in Kansas and Nebraska, in consequence of the drought
and grasshopper plague, and to respectfully request that such action be


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 8, 1875_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Herewith I have the honor to send, in accordance with the resolution of
the Senate of the 3d instant, all the information in my possession not
heretofore furnished relating to affairs in the State of Arkansas.

I will venture to express the opinion that all the testimony shows that
in the election of 1872 Joseph Brooks was lawfully elected governor of
that State; that he has been unlawfully deprived of the possession of
his office since that time; that in 1874 the constitution of the State
was by violence, intimidation, and revolutionary proceedings overthrown
and a new constitution adopted and a new State government established.

These proceedings, if permitted to stand, practically ignore all
rights of minorities in all the States. Also, what is there to prevent
each of the States recently readmitted to Federal relations on certain
conditions changing their constitutions and violating their pledges if
this action in Arkansas is acquiesced in?

I respectfully submit whether a precedent so dangerous to the stability
of State government, if not of the National Government also, should be
recognized by Congress. I earnestly ask that Congress will take definite
action in this matter to relieve the Executive from acting upon
questions which should be decided by the legislative branch of the


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 19, 1875_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Under the requirements of section 6 of the "act for the government of
the District of Columbia, and for other purposes," approved June 20,
1874, I have the honor to submit herewith the report of the board of
audit upon the amount equitably chargeable to the street-railroad
companies pursuant to the charters of said companies or the acts of
Congress relating thereto, together with the reasons therefor.



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 30, 1875_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to return herewith House bill No. 4462, entitled
"An act for the relief of Alexander Burtch," from which I withhold
my approval for the reasons given in the accompanying letter of the
Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, January 28, 1875_.


SIR: I have the honor to return House bill No. 4462, "for the relief of
Alexander Burtch."

It appears from the records of this office that Alexander Burtch,
Company H, First Indiana Artillery, enlisted July 24, 1861, for three
years, reenlisted as a veteran January 1, 1864, and deserted at Fort
Gaines, Ala., September 25, 1865, and was a deserter at large at date
of muster-out of his company, January 10, 1866.

This Department emphatically objects to this bill becoming a law upon
the ground of its great injustice to every soldier who served honorably
until his services were no longer required by the Government.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


_Secretary of War_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 12, 1875_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to return herewith House bill No. 2352, entitled
"An act granting a pension to Lewis Hinely," from which I withhold
my approval for the reasons given in the accompanying letter of the
Secretary of the Interior.


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington, February 11, 1875_.


SIR: I have the honor to return herewith House bill No. 2352, "granting
a pension to Lewis Hinely."

I am informed by the Commissioner of Pensions that the act does not
designate the person for whose benefit it was passed. His true name, as
verified by his own signature to papers on file in the Pension Office,
is Louis Heinlig, and as there were several soldiers in the company and
regiment named in the act whose names are similar to that specified
therein, a correction appears to be necessary in order that the
beneficiary of the act may be properly identified should the bill
become a law.

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

C. DELANO, _Secretary_.

WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1875_.

_To the House of Representatives_:[92]

House bill No. 3341[93] is herewith returned without my approval, for
the reasons, first, that it appropriates from the Treasury a large sum
of money at a time when the revenue is insufficient for current wants
and this proposed further drain on the Treasury. The issue of bonds,
authorized by the bill to a very large and indefinite amount, would
seriously embarrass the refunding operations now progressing, whereby
the interest of the bonded debt of the United States is being largely
reduced. Second, I do not believe that any considerable portion of the
ex-soldiers who, it is supposed, will be beneficiaries of this
appropriation are applicants for it, but, rather, it would result more
in a measure for the relief of claim agents and middlemen who would
intervene to collect or discount the bounties granted by it. The passage
of this bill at this time is inconsistent with the measures of economy
now demanded by the necessities of the country.


[Footnote 92: Pocket veto. This message was written in the President's
room at the Capitol, but failed to reach the House of Representatives
before the final adjournment of Congress. The original is filed at the
Executive Mansion.]

[Footnote 93: "An act to equalize the bounties of soldiers who served in
the late war for the Union."]

[The following messages were sent to the special session of the Senate
convened by proclamation (see p. 324) of February 17, 1875.]


WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1875_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I nominate in the Medical Department, Army of the United States,
Benjamin F. Pope, assistant surgeon, to rank from May 14, 1867.

Note.--October 5, 1870, Assistant Surgeon B.F. Pope, United States Army,
applied for discharge to date December 31, 1870, under section 3, act of
July 15, 1870.

By letter from the Adjutant-General's Office, War Department, November
2, 1870, he was informed he could not be discharged as requested, as the
President had decided staff officers did not come under the provisions
of the act.

Subsequently the President decided that staff officers who applied and
could be spared could go out under the act. Accordingly, Assistant
Surgeon Pope was discharged, on his original application, to date
December 31, 1870, by special order of that date, this because time did
not permit to communicate with him, and the belief that his desire to
leave the service was unchanged.

He drew a year's pay and mileage under the order, came to Washington,
and on May 19, 1871, applied for revocation of the order of discharge on
the ground that, having been officially notified of disapproval, he had
made arrangements to remain in service. Forwarded by the Surgeon-General
recommended. Disapproved by the Secretary of War May 23, 1871.

June 17, 1871, the order of discharge was revoked. Assistant-Surgeon
Pope then refunded the year's pay and mileage and drew pay for
continuous service.


WASHINGTON, _March 9, 1875_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Pursuant to the authority conferred upon me by the joint resolution
of Congress approved on the 17th of June last, due notice was, on the
1st day of July last, given to the Government of Belgium, through
the minister of the United States at Brussels, of the desire of this
Government to terminate the treaty between the United States and His
Majesty the King of the Belgians of the 17th of July, 1858. It being
deemed advisable, however, that another instrument, with provisions more
consonant with the interests of this country, should be entered into
with that Government, I directed that negotiations should be set on
foot for the purpose. They have resulted in the treaty[94] between
the same parties of the 8th instant, which is now transmitted for
the consideration of the Senate with a view to its ratification.


[Footnote 94: Of commerce and navigation.]

WASHINGTON, _March 15, 1875_.

_To the Senate_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 12th of March instant,
I herewith transmit a report[95] from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying correspondence.


[Footnote 95: Stating that the question of indemnity demanded from Spain
for the execution or detention of a portion of the crew of the steamer
_Virginius_ and for the execution of passengers, citizens of the United
States, had been disposed of by an agreement between the two countries,
and transmitting correspondence connected therewith.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 17, 1875_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith communications from the
Secretaries of War and the Interior, in answer to the resolution of the
Senate of the 15th instant, requesting "any information in my possession
in regard to the proposed emigration to the Black Hills country, in the
Sioux Indian Reservation; whether such emigration is with the consent of
the Indian tribes holding said country under the treaty of February 24,
1869, and, if not, what measures will be taken in relation to the same."





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

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

Whereas the legislature of the State of Mississippi, now in session,
have represented to me, in a concurrent resolution of that body, that
several of the legally elected officers of Warren County, in said State,
are prevented from executing the duties of their respective offices by
force and violence; that the public buildings and records of said county
have been taken into the possession of and are now held by lawless and
unauthorized persons; that many peaceable citizens of said county have
been killed, and others have been compelled to abandon and remain away
from their homes and families; that illegal and riotous seizures and
imprisonments have been made by such lawless persons; and, further,
that a large number of armed men from adjacent States have invaded
Mississippi to aid such lawless persons, and are still ready to give
them such aid; and

Whereas it is further represented as aforesaid by said legislature that
the courts of said county can not be held, and that the governor of said
State has no sufficient force at his command to execute the laws thereof
in said county and suppress said violence without causing a conflict of
races and endangering life and property to an alarming extent; and

Whereas the said legislature as aforesaid have made application to me
for such part of the military force of the United States as may be
necessary and adequate to protect said State and the citizens thereof
against the domestic violence hereinbefore mentioned and to enforce the
due execution of the laws; and

Whereas the laws of the United States require that whenever it may be
necessary, in the judgment of the President, to use the military force
for the purposes aforesaid, he shall forthwith, by proclamation, command
such insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective
abodes within a limited time:

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do
hereby command said disorderly and turbulent persons to disperse and
retire peaceably to their respective abodes within five days from the
date hereof, and that they refrain from forcible resistance to the laws
and submit themselves peaceably to the lawful authorities of said county
and State.

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 21st day of December, A.D. 1874,
and of the Independence of the United States the ninety-ninth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.



Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the Senate
should be convened at 12 o'clock on the 5th day of March next to receive
and act upon such communications as may be made to it on the part of the

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States,
have considered it to be my duty to issue this my proclamation,
declaring that an extraordinary occasion requires the Senate of the
United States to convene for the transaction of business at the Capitol,
in the city of Washington, on the 5th day of March next, at 12 o'clock
at noon on that day, of which all who shall at that time be entitled to
act as members of that body are hereby required to take notice.


Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
the 17th day of February, A.D. 1875, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the ninety-ninth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.



Whereas by the eighth section of the act of Congress entitled "An act
for the creation of a court for the adjudication and disposition of
certain moneys received into the Treasury under an award made by the
tribunal of arbitration constituted by virtue of the first article of
the treaty concluded at Washington the 8th of May, A.D. 1871, between
the United States of America and the Queen of Great Britain," approved
June 23, 1874, it is provided--

That the judges of the court created by this act shall convene in
the city of Washington as soon as conveniently may be after their
appointment; and the said court shall exist for one year from the
date of its first convening and organizing; and should it be found
impracticable to complete the work of the said court before the
expiration of the said one year, the President may by proclamation
extend the time of the duration thereof to a period not more than six
months beyond the expiration of the said one year; and in such case
all the provisions of this act shall be taken and held to be the same
as though the continuance of the said court had been originally fixed
by this act at the limit to which it may be thus extended.

And whereas it has been made satisfactorily to appear to me that the
said court convened on the 22d of July, 1874, and that a large portion
of the business of said court still remains undisposed of, and that it
is found impracticable to complete the work of the said court before the
expiration of the said one year from its first convening and organizing:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
provisions of the said eighth section of the act of Congress aforesaid,
do hereby extend the time of the duration of said "Court of
Commissioners of Alabama Claims" for a period of six months from and
after the 22d day of July, A.D. 1875.

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


Done at the city of Washington, this 2d day of June, A.D. 1875, and of
the Independence of the United States the ninety-ninth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.



In accordance with a practice at once wise and beautiful, we have been
accustomed, as the year is drawing to a close, to devote an occasion to
the humble expression of our thanks to Almighty God for the ceaseless
and distinguished benefits bestowed upon us as a nation and for His
mercies and protection during the closing year.

Amid the rich and free enjoyment of all our advantages, we should not
forget the source from whence they are derived and the extent of our
obligation to the Father of All Mercies.

We have full reason to renew our thanks to Almighty God for favors
bestowed upon us during the past year.

By His continuing mercy civil and religious liberty have been
maintained, peace has reigned within our borders, labor and enterprise
have produced their merited rewards; and to His watchful providence we
are indebted for security from pestilence and other national calamity.

Apart from national blessings, each individual among us has occasion to
thoughtfully recall and devoutly recognize the favors and protection
which he has enjoyed.

Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States,
do recommend that on Thursday, the 25th day of November, the people of
the United States, abstaining from all secular pursuits and from their
accustomed avocations, do assemble in their respective places of
worship, and, in such form as may seem most appropriate in their own
hearts, offer to Almighty God their acknowledgments and thanks for all
His mercies and their humble prayers for a continuance of His divine

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 27th day of October, A.D. 1875, and
of the Independence of the United States the one hundredth.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 9, 1875_.

In order to carry out the provisions of the fifth section of the act
of Congress entitled "An act making appropriations for sundry civil
expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876,
and for other purposes," approved March 3, 1875, the board heretofore
appointed to take charge of the articles and materials to be exhibited
by the several Executive Departments, the Smithsonian Institution, and
the Agricultural Department at the International Exhibition of 1876 is
hereby continued under the following regulations and distribution of
duties, viz:

The funds appropriated by the above-named section will be drawn from
the Treasury upon the requisition of the chairman of the board, and be
disbursed as are other public moneys under the existing laws relating
to disbursing officers.

An officer of the Army will be detailed by the Secretary of War as
disbursing officer of the board.

Each representative of an Executive Department and the representatives
of the Smithsonian Institution, of the Agricultural Department, and
the United States Commissioner of Food Fishes will have charge of the
matters pertaining to his respective Department, subject to the general
advisement of the board; and all bills will be paid by the disbursing
officer upon vouchers certified by such representative and countersigned
by the chairman of the board.

The disbursing officer will render monthly accounts current of all
advances to and disbursements by him to the First Auditor of the
Treasury for audit and settlement in the same manner as are other
accounts of disbursing officers of the Government.

Each representative will be held responsible to the head of his
respective Department for all public property of the United States
furnished by the head of such Department or otherwise coming to his
hands for the purposes of the exhibition, and will render proper
accounts of the same to such head of Department until the property
is returned.


_President United States_.



_Treasury Department_:

By direction of the President, the rules and regulations known as the
civil-service rules, etc., governing appointments and promotions under
the Treasury Department are hereby abolished, and hereafter all
appointments will be made as provided for by section 164, Revised
Statutes, enacted June 22, 1874.

You are instructed and directed to transfer all books, papers, records,
and public property in your possession to the chief clerk of the
Department, and notify all sub-boards of the promulgation of this order.

The clerks and other employees now on duty under the direction of the
board of examiners will report to the chief clerk for assignment to
duty. I am, very respectfully,

B.H. BRISTOW, _Secretary_.

[A similar order was, by direction of the President, issued by the heads
of the other Executive Departments.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 25, 1875_.

In pursuance of the fourth section of the act entitled "An act
making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, and for other purposes,"
approved March 3, 1875, a board is hereby appointed, to consist of
Lieutenant-Colonel T.T.S. Laidley, Ordnance Department, United States
Army, president of the board; Commander L.A. Beardslee, United States
Navy; Lieutenant-Colonel Q.A. Gillmore, Engineer Department, United
States Army; David Smith, Chief Engineer, United States Navy; W. Sooy
Smith, civil engineer; A.S. Holly, civil engineer; R.H. Thurston,
civil engineer, who will convene at the Watertown Arsenal, Mass.,
on April 15, 1875, or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the purpose
of determining by actual tests the strength and value of all kinds of
iron, steel, and other metals which may be submitted to them or by them
procured, and to prepare tables which will exhibit the strength and
value of said materials for constructive and mechanical purposes, and
to provide for the building of a suitable machine for establishing such
tests, the machine to be set up and maintained at the Watertown Arsenal.

The funds appropriated for the purposes of these tests will be disbursed
under the Ordnance Department of the Army, and the board will receive
instructions from and make its report to the Chief of Ordnance.

Mr. R.H. Thurston, civil engineer, is designated as secretary of the
board, at an annual compensation of $1,200.

Actual traveling expenses, as provided by law, will be allowed the
members of the board.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, May 24, 1875_.

SIR:[96] The President directs me to say that the several Departments of
the Government will be closed on Saturday, the 29th instant, in order to
enable the employees to participate in the decoration of the graves of
the soldiers who fell during the rebellion.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

O.E. BABCOCK, _Secretary_.

[Footnote 96: Addressed to the heads of the Executive Departments, etc,]

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, _Washington, D.C., July 3, 1875_.

_To Collectors of Customs_:

The importation of breech-loading rifles, and fixed ammunition suitable
therefor, into the Territory of Alaska, and the shipment of such rifles
or ammunition to any port or place in the Territory of Alaska, are
hereby forbidden, and collectors of customs are instructed to refuse
clearance of any vessel having on board any such arms or ammunition
destined for any port or place in said Territory.

If, however, any vessel intends to touch or trade at a port in Alaska
Territory or to pass within the waters thereof, but shall be ultimately
destined for some port or place not within the limits of said Territory,
and shall have on board any such firearms or ammunition, the master or
chief officer thereof will be required to execute and deliver to the
collector of customs at the port of clearance a good and sufficient
bond, with two sureties, in double the value of such merchandise,
conditioned that such arms or ammunition, or any part thereof, shall not
be landed or disposed of within the Territory of Alaska. Such bond shall
be taken for such time as the collector shall deem proper, and may be
satisfied upon proofs similar to those required to satisfy ordinary
export bonds, showing that such arms have been landed at some foreign
port; or, if such merchandise is landed at any port of the United States
not within the limits of the Territory of Alaska, the bond may be
satisfied upon production of a certificate to that effect from the
collector of the port where it is so landed.

CHAS. F. CONANT, _Acting Secretary_.


U.S. GRANT, _President_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 27, 1875_.

In conformity to provisions contained in the river and harbor act
approved March 3, 1875, granting to James B. Eads and his associates
authority to use, for the construction of jetties at the mouth of the
Mississippi River, any materials on the public lands of the United
States that shall be suitable for and may be needed in said works, under
such regulations as the Secretary of War shall prescribe, it is hereby
ordered and directed--

1. That the general supervision of all matters properly appertaining to
the grant therein made is placed in the officer of engineers, Major C.B.
Comstock, detailed by the Secretary of War, under the provisions of the
said act, to report to him "the depth of water and width of channel
secured and maintained from time to time in said channel, together with
such other information as the Secretary of War may direct."

2. _Protection of the interests of the United States so far as the
taking of material is concerned_.--Said Eads and his associates shall,
prior to taking material from any public lands, obtain authority to do
so from the Secretary of War, their applications specifying the kinds
and amounts of material they wish to take from each subdivision of the
public lands; and they shall at once cease from such taking on being
notified that the authority is withdrawn.

3. _Protection of the interests of the United States so far as
structures are concerned._--Said Eads and his associates and contractors
are authorized to erect, at their own expense, such shops, dwellings,
storehouses, and wharves on the military reservation at the mouth of the
Mississippi as may be necessary for the prosecution of the work, and
shall furnish a list and plan showing the location of the same to the
Secretary of War; but these shall be erected in such a way and at such
places as not unnecessarily to interfere with navigation or any other
interest in which the United States is concerned, whereof the Secretary
of War shall be the judge. At his direction any such structure shall be
at once removed.

4. _Protection of James B. Eads's interests_.--No person save said Eads
and his contractors shall erect any building, tent, or other habitation
on the military reservation at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Any
person so doing may be summarily ejected by the United States marshal or
his deputy. But as authority has already been given to James B. Eads by
the Secretary of War to collect the material aforesaid until he should
be furnished with the regulations as now herein given, the said Eads is
authorized to continue collecting materials under that authority until
the 1st day of September, 1875, after which time these regulations will
go into effect.





_Washington, August 2, 1875_.

I. The following order has been received from the President of the
United States:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, July 31, 1875_.

It becomes the painful duty of the President to announce to the people
of the United States the death of Andrew Johnson, the last survivor of
his honored predecessors, which occurred in Carter County, East
Tennessee, at an early hour this morning.

The solemnity of the occasion which called him to the Presidency, with
the varied nature and length of his public services, will cause him to
be long remembered and occasion mourning for the death of a
distinguished public servant.

As a mark of respect for the memory of the deceased, it is ordered that
the Executive Mansion and several Departments of the Government at
Washington be draped in mourning until the close of the day designated
for his funeral, and that all public business be suspended on that day.

It is further ordered that the War and Navy Departments cause suitable
honors to be paid on the occasion to the memory of the illustrious dead.


By the President:
_Acting Secretary of State_.

II. In compliance with the President's instructions, the troops will be
paraded at 10 o'clock a.m. on the day after the receipt of this order at
each military post, when the order will be read to them, and the labors
of that day will thereafter cease.

The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

At dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired, and afterwards at intervals
of thirty minutes, between the rising and setting sun a single gun, and
at the close of the day a national salute of thirty-seven guns.

The officers of the Army will wear crape on the left arm and on their
swords and the colors of the several regiments will be put in mourning
for the period of thirty days.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E.D. TOWNSEND, _Adjutant-General_.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, _Washington, August 2, 1875_.

The President of the United States announces the death of ex-President
Andrew Johnson in the following order:

[For order see preceding page.]

In pursuance of the foregoing order, it is hereby directed that the
ensign at each naval station and of each vessel of the United States
Navy in commission be hoisted at half-mast from sunrise to sunset, and
that a gun be fired at intervals of every half hour from sunrise to
sunset at each naval station and on board of flagships and of vessels
acting singly, on Tuesday, the 3d instant, the day of the funeral, where
this order may be received in time, otherwise on the day after its

The officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will wear the usual badge of
mourning attached to the sword hilt and on the left arm for the period
of thirty days.

DANIEL AMMEN, _Acting Secretary of the Navy_.




_Washington, November 22, 1875_.

I. The following order announces the decease of Henry Wilson,
Vice-President of the United States:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, November 22, 1875_.

It is with profound sorrow that the President has to announce to the
people of the United States the death of the Vice-President, Henry
Wilson, who died in the Capitol of the nation this morning.

The eminent station of the deceased, his high character, his long career
in the service of his State and of the Union, his devotion to the cause
of freedom, and the ability which he brought to the discharge of every
duty stand conspicuous and are indelibly impressed on the hearts and
affections of the American people.

In testimony of respect for this distinguished citizen and faithful
public servant the various Departments of the Government will be closed
on the day of the funeral, and the Executive Mansion and all the
Executive Departments in Washington will be draped with badges of
mourning for thirty days.

The Secretaries of War and of the Navy will issue orders that
appropriate military and naval honors be rendered to the memory of one
whose virtues and services will long be borne in recollection by a
grateful nation.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.

II. On the day next succeeding the receipt of this order at each
military post the troops will be paraded at 10 o'clock a. m. and this
order read to them.

The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

At dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired. Commencing at 12 o'clock
noon seventeen minute guns will be fired, and at the close of the day
the national salute of thirty-seven guns.

The usual badge of mourning will be worn by officers of the Army and the
colors of the several regiments will be put in mourning for the period
of three months.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E.D. TOWNSEND, _Adjutant-General_.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, _Washington, November 23, 1875_.

The President of the United States announces the death of Vice-President
Henry Wilson in the following order:

[For order see preceding page.]

In pursuance of the foregoing order, it is hereby directed that upon the
day following the receipt of this the ensign at each United States naval
station and of each United States naval vessel in commission be hoisted
at half-mast from sunrise to sunset, and that thirteen guns be fired at
sunrise, nineteen minute guns at meridian, and a national salute at
sunset at each United States naval station and on board flagships and
vessels acting singly, at home or abroad.

The officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will wear the usual badge of
mourning for three months.

GEO. M. ROBESON, _Secretary of the Navy_.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 7, 1875_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In submitting my seventh annual message to Congress, in this centennial
year of our national existence as a free and independent people, it
affords me great pleasure to recur to the advancement that has been made
from the time of the colonies, one hundred years ago. We were then a
people numbering only 3,000,000. Now we number more than 40,000,000.
Then industries were confined almost exclusively to the tillage of the
soil. Now manufactories absorb much of the labor of the country.

Our liberties remain unimpaired; the bondmen have been freed from
slavery; we have become possessed of the respect, if not the friendship,
of all civilized nations. Our progress has been great in all the
arts--in science, agriculture, commerce, navigation, mining, mechanics,
law, medicine, etc,: and in general education the progress is likewise
encouraging. Our thirteen States have become thirty-eight, including
Colorado (which has taken the initiatory steps to become a State), and
eight Territories, including the Indian Territory and Alaska, and
excluding Colorado, making a territory extending from the Atlantic to
the Pacific. On the south we have extended to the Gulf of Mexico, and
in the west from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

One hundred years ago the cotton gin, the steamship, the railroad, the
telegraph, the reaping, sewing, and modern printing machines, and
numerous other inventions of scarcely less value to our business and
happiness were entirely unknown.

In 1776 manufactories scarcely existed even in name in all this vast
territory. In 1870 more than 2,000,000 persons were employed in
manufactories, producing more than $2,100,000,000 of products in amount
annually, nearly equal to our national debt. From nearly the whole of
the population of 1776 being engaged in the one occupation of
agriculture, in 1870 so numerous and diversified had become the
occupation of our people that less than 6,000,000 out of more than
40,000,000 were so engaged. The extraordinary effect produced in our
country by a resort to diversified occupations has built a market for
the products of fertile lands distant from the seaboard and the markets
of the world.

The American system of locating various and extensive manufactories
next to the plow and the pasture, and adding connecting railroads
and steamboats, has produced in our distant interior country a result
noticeable by the intelligent portions of all commercial nations. The
ingenuity and skill of American mechanics have been demonstrated at
home and abroad in a manner most flattering to their pride. But for the
extraordinary genius and ability of our mechanics, the achievements of
our agriculturists, manufacturers, and transporters throughout the
country would have been impossible of attainment.

The progress of the miner has also been great. Of coal our production
was small; now many millions of tons are mined annually. So with iron,
which formed scarcely an appreciable part of our products half a century
ago, we now produce more than the world consumed at the beginning of
our national existence. Lead, zinc, and copper, from being articles
of import, we may expect to be large exporters of in the near future.
The development of gold and silver mines in the United States and
Territories has not only been remarkable, but has had a large influence
upon the business of all commercial nations. Our merchants in the last
hundred years have had a success and have established a reputation for
enterprise, sagacity, progress, and integrity unsurpassed by peoples of
older nationalities. This "good name" is not confined to their homes,
but goes out upon every sea and into every port where commerce enters.
With equal pride we can point to our progress in all of the learned

As we are now about to enter upon our second centennial--commencing our
manhood as a nation--it is well to look back upon the past and study
what will be best to preserve and advance our future greatness. From the
fall of Adam for his transgression to the present day no nation has ever
been free from threatened danger to its prosperity and happiness. We
should look to the dangers threatening us, and remedy them so far as
lies in our power. We are a republic whereof one man is as good as
another before the law. Under such a form of government it is of the
greatest importance that all should be possessed of education and
intelligence enough to cast a vote with a right understanding of
its meaning. A large association of ignorant men can not for any
considerable period oppose a successful resistance to tyranny and
oppression from the educated few, but will inevitably sink into
acquiescence to the will of intelligence, whether directed by the
demagogue or by priestcraft. Hence the education of the masses becomes
of the first necessity for the preservation of our institutions. They
are worth preserving, because they have secured the greatest good to
the greatest proportion of the population of any form of government yet
devised. All other forms of government approach it just in proportion
to the general diffusion of education and independence of thought and
action. As the primary step, therefore, to our advancement in all that
has marked our progress in the past century, I suggest for your earnest
consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional
amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several States for
ratification, making it the duty of each of the several States to
establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the
education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their
respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions;
forbidding the teaching in said schools of religious, atheistic, or
pagan tenets; and prohibiting the granting of any school funds or school
taxes, or any part thereof, either by legislative, municipal, or other
authority, for the benefit or in aid, directly or indirectly, of any
religious sect or denomination, or in aid or for the benefit of any
other object of any nature or kind whatever.

In connection with this important question I would also call your
attention to the importance of correcting an evil that, if permitted to
continue, will probably lead to great trouble in our land before the
close of the nineteenth century. It is the accumulation of vast amounts
of untaxed church property.

In 1850, I believe, the church property of the United States which paid
no tax, municipal or State, amounted to about $83,000,000. In 1860 the
amount had doubled; in 1875 it is about $1,000,000,000. By 1900, without
check, it is safe to say this property will reach a sum exceeding
$3,000,000,000. So vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits
of Government without bearing its proportion of the burdens and expenses
of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have
to pay the taxes. In a growing country, where real estate enhances so
rapidly with time, as in the United States, there is scarcely a limit to
the wealth that may be acquired by corporations, religious or otherwise,
if allowed to retain real estate without taxation. The contemplation of
so vast a property as here alluded to, without taxation, may lead to
sequestration without constitutional authority and through blood.

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church
or corporation, exempting only the last resting place of the dead and
possibly, with proper restrictions, church edifices.

Our relations with most of the foreign powers continue on a satisfactory
and friendly footing.

Increased intercourse, the extension of commerce, and the cultivation
of mutual interests have steadily improved our relations with the large
majority of the powers of the world, rendering practicable the peaceful
solution of questions which from time to time necessarily arise, leaving
few which demand extended or particular notice.

The correspondence of the Department of State with our diplomatic
representatives abroad is transmitted herewith.

I am happy to announce the passage of an act by the General Cortes
of Portugal, proclaimed since the adjournment of Congress, for the
abolition of servitude in the Portuguese colonies. It is to be hoped
that such legislation may be another step toward the great consummation
to be reached, when no man shall be permitted, directly or indirectly,
under any guise, excuse, or form of law, to hold his fellow-man in
bondage. I am of opinion also that it is the duty of the United States,
as contributing toward that end, and required by the spirit of the age
in which we live, to provide by suitable legislation that no citizen of
the United States shall hold slaves as property in any other country or
be interested therein.

Chile has made reparation in the case of the whale ship _Good Return_,
seized without sufficient cause upward of forty years ago. Though she
had hitherto denied her accountability, the denial was never acquiesced
in by this Government, and the justice of the claim has been so
earnestly contended for that it has been gratifying that she should have
at last acknowledged it.

The arbitrator in the case of the United States steamer _Montijo_, for
the seizure and detention of which the Government of the United States
of Colombia was held accountable, has decided in favor of the claim.
This decision has settled a question which had been pending for several
years, and which, while it continued open, might more or less disturb
the good understanding which it is desirable should be maintained
between the two Republics.

A reciprocity treaty with the King of the Hawaiian Islands was concluded
some months since. As it contains a stipulation that it shall not take
effect until Congress shall enact the proper legislation for that
purpose, copies of the instrument are herewith submitted, in order that,
if such should be the pleasure of Congress, the necessary legislation
upon the subject may be adopted.

In March last an arrangement was made, through Mr. Cushing, our minister
in Madrid, with the Spanish Government for the payment by the latter to
the United States of the sum of $80,000 in coin, for the purpose of the
relief of the families or persons of the ship's company and certain
passengers of the _Virginius_. This sum was to have been paid in three
installments at two months each. It is due to the Spanish Government
that I should state that the payments were fully and spontaneously
anticipated by that Government, and that the whole amount was paid
within but a few days more than two months from the date of the
agreement, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. In pursuance of the
terms of the adjustment, I have directed the distribution of the amount
among the parties entitled thereto, including the ship's company and
such of the passengers as were American citizens. Payments are made
accordingly, on the application by the parties entitled thereto.

The past year has furnished no evidence of an approaching termination
of the ruinous conflict which has been raging for seven years in the
neighboring island of Cuba. The same disregard of the laws of civilized
warfare and of the just demands of humanity which has heretofore called
forth expressions of condemnation from the nations of Christendom has
continued to blacken the sad scene. Desolation, ruin, and pillage are
pervading the rich fields of one of the most fertile and productive
regions of the earth, and the incendiary's torch, firing plantations and
valuable factories and buildings, is the agent marking the alternate
advance or retreat of contending parties.

The protracted continuance of this strife seriously affects the
interests of all commercial nations, but those of the United States
more than others, by reason of close proximity, its larger trade and
intercourse with Cuba, and the frequent and intimate personal and social
relations which have grown up between its citizens and those of the
island. Moreover, the property of our citizens in Cuba is large, and is
rendered insecure and depreciated in value and in capacity of production
by the continuance of the strife and the unnatural mode of its conduct.
The same is true, differing only in degree, with respect to the
interests and people of other nations; and the absence of any reasonable
assurance of a near termination of the conflict must of necessity soon
compel the States thus suffering to consider what the interests of their
own people and their duty toward themselves may demand.

I have hoped that Spain would be enabled to establish peace in her
colony, to afford security to the property and the interests of our
citizens, and allow legitimate scope to trade and commerce and the
natural productions of the island. Because of this hope, and from an
extreme reluctance to interfere in the most remote manner in the affairs
of another and a friendly nation, especially of one whose sympathy and
friendship in the struggling infancy of our own existence must ever be
remembered with gratitude, I have patiently and anxiously waited the
progress of events. Our own civil conflict is too recent for us not to
consider the difficulties which surround a government distracted by a
dynastic rebellion at home at the same time that it has to cope with a
separate insurrection in a distant colony. But whatever causes may have
produced the situation which so grievously affects our interests, it
exists, with all its attendant evils operating directly upon this
country and its people. Thus far all the efforts of Spain have proved
abortive, and time has marked no improvement in the situation. The armed
bands of either side now occupy nearly the same ground as in the past,
with the difference, from time to time, of more lives sacrificed, more
property destroyed, and wider extents of fertile and productive fields
and more and more of valuable property constantly wantonly sacrificed
to the incendiary's torch.

In contests of this nature, where a considerable body of people who have
attempted to free themselves of the control of the superior government
have reached such point in occupation of territory, in power, and in
general organization as to constitute in fact a body politic; having a
government in substance as well as in name; possessed of the elements
of stability and equipped with the machinery for the administration of
internal policy and the execution of its laws; prepared and able to
administer justice at home, as well as in its dealings with other
powers, it is within the province of those other powers to recognize its
existence as a new and independent nation. In such cases other nations
simply deal with an actually existing condition of things, and recognize
as one of the powers of the earth that body politic which, possessing
the necessary elements, has in fact become a new power. In a word, the
creation of a new state is a fact.

To establish the condition of things essential to the recognition of
this fact there must be a people occupying a known territory, united
under some known and defined form of government, acknowledged by those
subject thereto, in which the functions of government are administered
by usual methods, competent to mete out justice to citizens and
strangers, to afford remedies for public and for private wrongs, and
able to assume the correlative international obligations and capable of
performing the corresponding international duties resulting from its
acquisition of the rights of sovereignty. A power should exist complete
in its organization, ready to take and able to maintain its place among
the nations of the earth.

While conscious that the insurrection in Cuba has shown a strength and
endurance which make it at least doubtful whether it be in the power
of Spain to subdue it, it seems unquestionable that no such civil
organization exists which may be recognized as an independent government
capable of performing its international obligations and entitled to be
treated as one of the powers of the earth. A recognition under such
circumstances would be inconsistent with the facts, and would compel the
power granting it soon to support by force the government to which it
had really given its only claim of existence. In my judgment the United
States should adhere to the policy and the principles which have
heretofore been its sure and safe guides in like contests between
revolted colonies and their mother country, and, acting only upon the
clearest evidence, should avoid any possibility of suspicion or of

A recognition of the independence of Cuba being, in my opinion,
impracticable and indefensible, the question which next presents itself
is that of the recognition of belligerent rights in the parties to the
contest. In a former message to Congress I had occasion to consider this
question, and reached the conclusion that the conflict in Cuba, dreadful
and devastating as were its incidents, did not rise to the fearful
dignity of war. Regarding it now, after this lapse of time, I am unable
to see that any notable success or any marked or real advance on the
part of the insurgents has essentially changed the character of the
contest. It has acquired greater age, but not greater or more formidable
proportions. It is possible that the acts of foreign powers, and even
acts of Spain herself, of this very nature, might be pointed to in
defense of such recognition. But now, as in its past-history, the United
States should carefully avoid the false lights which might lead it into
the mazes of doubtful law and of questionable propriety, and adhere
rigidly and sternly to the rule, which has been its guide, of doing only
that which is right and honest and of good report. The question of
according or of withholding rights of belligerency must be judged in
every case in view of the particular attending facts. Unless justified
by necessity, it is always, and justly, regarded as an unfriendly act
and a gratuitous demonstration of moral support to the rebellion. It is
necessary, and it is required, when the interests and rights of another
government or of its people are so far affected by a pending civil
conflict as to require a definition of its relations to the parties
thereto. But this conflict must be one which will be recognized in the
sense of international law as war. Belligerence, too, is a fact. The
mere existence of contending armed bodies and their occasional conflicts
do not constitute war in the sense referred to. Applying to the existing
condition of affairs in Cuba the tests recognized by publicists and
writers on international law, and which have been observed by nations
of dignity, honesty, and power when free from sensitive or selfish and
unworthy motives, I fail to find in the insurrection the existence of
such a substantial political organization, real, palpable, and manifest
to the world, having the forms and capable of the ordinary functions of
government coward its own people and to other states, with courts for
the administration of justice, with a local habitation, possessing such
organization of force, such material, such occupation of territory,
as to take the contest out of the category of a mere rebellious
insurrection or occasional skirmishes and place it on the terrible
footing of war, to which a recognition of belligerency would aim to
elevate it. The contest, moreover, is solely on land; the insurrection
has not possessed itself of a single seaport whence it may send forth
its flag, nor has it any means of communication with foreign powers
except through the military lines of its adversaries. No apprehension
of any of those sudden and difficult complications which a war upon
the ocean is apt to precipitate upon the vessels, both commercial and
national, and upon the consular officers of other powers calls for the
definition of their relations to the parties to the contest. Considered
as a question of expediency, I regard the accordance of belligerent
rights still to be as unwise and premature as I regard it to be, at
present, indefensible as a measure of right. Such recognition entails
upon the country according the rights which flow from it difficult
and complicated duties, and requires the exaction from the contending
parties of the strict observance of their rights and obligations;
it confers the right of search upon the high seas by vessels of both
parties; it would subject the carrying of arms and munitions of war,
which now may be transported freely and without interruption in the
vessels of the United States, to detention and to possible seizure;
it would give rise to countless vexatious questions, would release the
parent Government from responsibility for acts done by the insurgents,
and would invest Spain with the right to exercise the supervision
recognized by our treaty of 1795 over our commerce on the high seas,
a very large part of which, in its traffic between the Atlantic and
the Gulf States and between all of them and the States on the Pacific,
passes through the waters which wash the shores of Cuba. The exercise of
this supervision could scarce fail to lead, if not to abuses, certainly
to collisions perilous to the peaceful relations of the two States.
There can be little doubt to what result such supervision would before
long draw this nation. It would be unworthy of the United States to
inaugurate the possibilities of such result by measures of questionable
right or expediency or by any indirection. Apart from any question
of theoretical right, I am satisfied that while the accordance of
belligerent rights to the insurgents in Cuba might give them a hope and
an inducement to protract the struggle, it would be but a delusive hope,
and would not remove the evils which this Government and its people are
experiencing, but would draw the United States into complications which
it has waited long and already suffered much to avoid. The recognition
of independence or of belligerency being thus, in my judgment, equally
inadmissible, it remains to consider what course shall be adopted should
the conflict not soon be brought to an end by acts of the parties
themselves, and should the evils which result therefrom, affecting all
nations, and particularly the United States, continue. In such event
I am of opinion that other nations will be compelled to assume the
responsibility which devolves upon them, and to seriously consider the
only remaining measures possible--mediation and intervention. Owing,
perhaps, to the large expanse of water separating the island from the
peninsula, the want of harmony and of personal sympathy between the
inhabitants of the colony and those sent thither to rule them, and want
of adaptation of the ancient colonial system of Europe to the present
times and to the ideas which the events of the past century have
developed, the contending parties appear to have within themselves
no depository of common confidence to suggest wisdom when passion and
excitement have their sway and to assume the part of peacemaker. In this
view in the earlier days of the contest the good offices of the United
States as a mediator were tendered in good faith, without any selfish
purpose, in the interest of humanity and in sincere friendship for both
parties, but were at the time declined by Spain, with the declaration,
nevertheless, that at a future time they would be indispensable. No
intimation has been received that in the opinion of Spain that time has
been reached. And yet the strife continues, with all its dread horrors
and all its injuries to the interests of the United States and of other
nations. Each party seems quite capable of working great injury and
damage to the other, as well as to all the relations and interests
dependent on the existence of peace in the island; but they seem
incapable of reaching any adjustment, and both have thus far failed of
achieving any success whereby one party shall possess and control the
island to the exclusion of the other. Under these circumstances the
agency of others, either by mediation or by intervention, seems to be
the only alternative which must, sooner or later, be invoked for the
termination of the strife. At the same time, while thus impressed I do
not at this time recommend the adoption of any measure of intervention.
I shall be ready at all times, and as the equal friend of both parties,
to respond to a suggestion that the good offices of the United States
will be acceptable to aid in bringing about a peace honorable to both.
It is due to Spain, so far as this Government is concerned, that the
agency of a third power, to which I have adverted, shall be adopted only
as a last expedient. Had it been the desire of the United States to
interfere in the affairs of Cuba, repeated opportunities for so doing
have been presented within the last few years; but we have remained
passive, and have performed our whole duty and all international
obligations to Spain with friendship, fairness, and fidelity, and with
a spirit of patience and forbearance which negatives every possible
suggestion of desire to interfere or to add to the difficulties with
which she has been surrounded.

The Government of Spain has recently submitted to our minister at
Madrid certain proposals which it is hoped may be found to be the basis,
if not the actual submission, of terms to meet the requirements of the
particular griefs of which this Government has felt itself entitled to
complain. These proposals have not yet reached me in their full text.
On their arrival they will be taken into careful examination, and may,
I hope, lead to a satisfactory adjustment of the questions to which
they refer and remove the possibility of future occurrences such as
have given rise to our just complaints.

It is understood also that renewed efforts are being made to introduce
reforms in the internal administration of the island. Persuaded,
however, that a proper regard for the interests of the United States and
of its citizens entitles it to relief from the strain to which it has
been subjected by the difficulties of the questions and the wrongs and
losses which arise from the contest in Cuba, and that the interests of
humanity itself demand the cessation of the strife before the whole
island shall be laid waste and larger sacrifices of life be made, I
shall feel it my duty, should my hopes of a satisfactory adjustment and
of the early restoration of peace and the removal of future causes of
complaint be, unhappily, disappointed, to make a further communication
to Congress at some period not far remote, and during the present
session, recommending what may then seem to me to be necessary.

The free zone, so called, several years since established by the Mexican
Government in certain of the States of that Republic adjacent to our
frontier, remains in full operation. It has always been materially
injurious to honest traffic, for it operates as an incentive to traders
in Mexico to supply without customs charges the wants of inhabitants on
this side of the line, and prevents the same wants from being supplied
by merchants of the United States, thereby to a considerable extent
defrauding our revenue and checking honest commercial enterprise.

Depredations by armed bands from Mexico on the people of Texas near
the frontier continue. Though the main object of these incursions is
robbery, they frequently result in the murder of unarmed and peaceably
disposed persons, and in some instances even the United States
post-offices and mail communications have been attacked. Renewed
remonstrances upon this subject have been addressed to the Mexican
Government, but without much apparent effect. The military force of this
Government disposable for service in that quarter is quite inadequate to
effectually guard the line, even at those points where the incursions
are usually made. An experiment of an armed vessel on the Rio Grande for
that purpose is on trial, and it is hoped that, if not thwarted by the
shallowness of the river and other natural obstacles, it may materially
contribute to the protection of the herdsmen of Texas.

The proceedings of the joint commission under the convention between
the United States and Mexico of the 4th of July, 1868, on the subject of
claims, will soon be brought to a close. The result of those proceedings
will then be communicated to Congress.

I am happy to announce that the Government of Venezuela has, upon
further consideration, practically abandoned its objection to pay
to the United States that share of its revenue which some years
since it allotted toward the extinguishment of the claims of foreigners
generally. In thus reconsidering its determination that Government has
shown a just sense of self-respect which can not fail to reflect credit
upon it in the eyes of all disinterested persons elsewhere. It is to be
regretted, however, that its payments on account of claims of citizens
of the United States are still so meager in amount, and that the
stipulations of the treaty in regard to the sums to be paid and the
periods when those payments were to take place should have been so
signally disregarded.

Since my last annual message the exchange has been made of the
ratification of a treaty of commerce and navigation with Belgium, and
of conventions with the Mexican Republic for the further extension of
the joint commission respecting claims; with the Hawaiian Islands for
commercial reciprocity, and with the Ottoman Empire for extradition; all
of which have been duly proclaimed.

The Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims has prosecuted its
important duties very assiduously and very satisfactorily. It convened
and was organized on the 22d day of July, 1874, and by the terms of the
act under which it was created was to exist for one year from that date.
The act provided, however, that should it be found impracticable to
complete the work of the court before the expiration of the year the
President might by proclamation extend the time of its duration to a
period not more than six months beyond the expiration of the one year.

Having received satisfactory evidence that it would be impracticable
to complete the work within the time originally fixed, I issued a
proclamation[97] (a copy of which is presented herewith) extending the
time of duration of the court for a period of six months from and after
the 22d day of July last.

A report made through the clerk of the court (communicated herewith)
shows the condition of the calendar on the 1st of November last and the
large amount of work which has been accomplished. One thousand three
hundred and eighty-two claims have been presented, of which 682 had been
disposed of at the date of the report. I am informed that 170 cases were
decided during the month of November. Arguments are being made and
decisions given in the remaining cases with all the dispatch consistent
with the proper consideration of the questions submitted. Many of these
claims are in behalf of mariners, or depend on the evidence of mariners,
whose absence has delayed the taking or the return of the necessary

It is represented to me that it will be impracticable for the court to
finally dispose of all the cases before it within the present limit of
its duration. Justice to the parties claimant, who have been at large

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