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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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taken by the Army during the war be removed from the offices of the
Quartermaster and Commissary Generals and transferred to the Southern
Claims Commission. These claims are of precisely similar nature to those
now before the Southern Claims Commission, and the War Department
bureaus have not the clerical force for their examination nor proper
machinery for investigating the loyalty of the claimants.

Second. That Congress sanction the scheme of an annuity fund for the
benefit of the families of deceased officers, and that it also provide
for the permanent organization of the Signal Service, both of which were
recommended in my last annual message.

Third. That the manufacturing operations of the Ordnance Department be
concentrated at three arsenals and an armory, and that the remaining
arsenals be sold and the proceeds applied to this object by the Ordnance

The appropriations for river and harbor improvements for the current
year were $5,015,000. With my approval, the Secretary of War directed
that of this amount $2,000,000 should be expended, and no new works
should be begun and none prosecuted which were not of national
importance. Subsequently this amount was increased to $2,237,600, and
the works are now progressing on this basis.

The improvement of the South Pass of the Mississippi River, under James
B. Eads and his associates, is progressing favorably. At the present
time there is a channel of 20.3 feet in depth between the jetties at
the mouth of the pass and 18.5 feet at the head of the pass. Neither
channel, however, has the width required before payments can be made by
the United States. A commission of engineer officers is now examining
these works, and their reports will be presented as soon as received.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy shows that branch of the service
to be in condition as effective as it is possible to keep it with the
means and authority given the Department. It is, of course, not possible
to rival the costly and progressive establishments of great European
powers with the old material of our Navy, to which no increase has been
authorized since the war, except the eight small cruisers built to
supply the place of others which had gone to decay. Yet the most
has been done that was possible with the means at command; and by
substantially rebuilding some of our old ships with durable material and
completely repairing and refitting our monitor fleet the Navy has been
gradually so brought up that, though it does not maintain its relative
position among the progressive navies of the world, it is now in a
condition more powerful and effective than it ever has been in time of

The complete repairs of our five heavy ironclads are only delayed on
account of the inadequacy of the appropriations made last year for the
working bureaus of the Department, which were actually less in amount
than those made before the war, notwithstanding the greatly enhanced
price of labor and materials and the increase in the cost of the naval
service growing out of the universal use and great expense of steam
machinery. The money necessary for these repairs should be provided at
once, that they may be completed without further unnecessary delay and

When this is done, all the strength that there is in our Navy will be
developed and useful to its full capacity, and it will be powerful for
purposes of defense, and also for offensive action, should the necessity
for that arise within a reasonable distance from our shores.

The fact that our Navy is not more modern and powerful than it is has
been made a cause of complaint against the Secretary of the Navy by
persons who at the same time criticise and complain of his endeavors to
bring the Navy that we have to its best and most efficient condition;
but the good sense of the country will understand that it is really due
to his practical action that we have at this time any effective naval
force at command.

The report of the Postmaster-General shows the excess of expenditures
(excluding expenditures on account of previous years) over receipts for
the fiscal year ended June 30, 1876, to be $4,151,988.66.

Estimated expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, are

Estimated revenue for same period is $30,645,165, leaving estimated
excess of expenditure, to be appropriated as a deficiency, of

The Postmaster-General, like his predecessor, is convinced that a
change in the basis of adjusting the salaries of postmasters of the
fourth class is necessary for the good of the service as well as
for the interests of the Government, and urgently recommends that the
compensation of the class of postmasters above mentioned be based upon
the business of their respective offices, as ascertained from the sworn
returns to the Auditor of stamps canceled.

A few postmasters in the Southern States have expressed great
apprehension of their personal safety on account of their connection
with the postal service, and have specially requested that their reports
of apprehended danger should not be made public lest it should result in
the loss of their lives. But no positive testimony of interference has
been submitted, except in the case of a mail messenger at Spartanburg,
in South Carolina, who reported that he had been violently driven away
while in charge of the mails on account of his political affiliations.
An assistant superintendent of the Railway Mail Service investigated
this case and reported that the messenger had disappeared from his post,
leaving his work to be performed by a substitute. The Postmaster-General
thinks this case is sufficiently suggestive to justify him in
recommending that a more severe punishment should be provided for the
offense of assaulting any person in charge of the mails or of retarding
or otherwise obstructing them by threats of personal injury.

"A very gratifying result is presented in the fact that the
deficiency of this Department during the last fiscal year was reduced
to $4,081,790.18, as against $6,169,938.88 of the preceding year. The
difference can be traced to the large increase in its ordinary receipts
(which greatly exceed the estimates therefor) and a slight decrease in
its expenditures."

The ordinary _receipts_ of the Post-Office Department for the past seven
fiscal years have increased at an average of over 8 per cent per annum,
while the increase of _expenditures_ for the same period has been but
about 5.50 per cent per annum, and the _decrease_ of _deficiency_ in the
revenues has been at the rate of nearly 2 per cent per annum.

The report of the Commissioner of Agriculture accompanying this message
will be found one of great interest, marking, as it does, the great
progress of the last century in the variety of products of the soil;
increased knowledge and skill in the labor of producing, saving, and
manipulating the same to prepare them for the use of man; in the
improvements in machinery to aid the agriculturist in his labors,
and in a knowledge of those scientific subjects necessary to a thorough
system of economy in agricultural production, namely, chemistry,
botany, entomology, etc. A study of this report by those interested in
agriculture and deriving their support from it will find it of value in
pointing out those articles which are raised in greater quantity than
the needs of the world require, and must sell, therefore, for less than
the cost of production, and those which command a profit over cost of
production because there is not an overproduction.

I call special attention to the need of the Department for a new
gallery for the reception of the exhibits returned from the Centennial
Exhibition, including the exhibits donated by very many foreign nations,
and to the recommendations of the Commissioner of Agriculture generally.

The reports of the District Commissioners and the board of health are
just received--too late to read them and to make recommendations
thereon--and are herewith submitted.

The international exhibition held in Philadelphia this year, in
commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of American independence,
has proven a great success, and will, no doubt, be of enduring advantage
to the country. It has shown the great progress in the arts, sciences,
and mechanical skill made in a single century, and demonstrated that we
are but little behind older nations in any one branch, while in some we
scarcely have a rival. It has served, too, not only to bring peoples and
products of skill and labor from all parts of the world together, but in
bringing together people from all sections of our own country, which
must prove a great benefit in the information imparted and pride of
country engendered.

It has been suggested by scientists interested in and connected with
the Smithsonian Institution, in a communication herewith, that the
Government exhibit be removed to the capital and a suitable building
be erected or purchased for its accommodation as a permanent exhibit.
I earnestly recommend this; and believing that Congress would second
this view, I directed that all Government exhibits at the Centennial
Exhibition should remain where they are, except such as might be injured
by remaining in a building not intended as a protection in inclement
weather, or such as may be wanted by the Department furnishing them,
until the question of permanent exhibition is acted on.

Although the moneys appropriated by Congress to enable the participation
of the several Executive Departments in the International Exhibition
of 1876 were not sufficient to carry out the undertaking to the full
extent at first contemplated, it gives me pleasure to refer to the
very efficient and creditable manner in which the board appointed from
these several Departments to provide an exhibition on the part of the
Government have discharged their duties with the funds placed at their
command. Without a precedent to guide them in the preparation of such a
display, the success of their labors was amply attested by the sustained
attention which the contents of the Government building attracted during
the period of the exhibition from both foreign and native visitors.

I am strongly impressed with the value of the collection made by the
Government for the purposes of the exhibition, illustrating, as it does,
the mineral resources of the country, the statistical and practical
evidences of our growth as a nation, and the uses of the mechanical arts
and the applications of applied science in the administration of the
affairs of Government.

Many nations have voluntarily contributed their exhibits to the United
States to increase the interest in any permanent exhibition Congress may
provide for. For this act of generosity they should receive the thanks
of the people, and I respectfully suggest that a resolution of Congress
to that effect be adopted.

The attention of Congress can not be too earnestly called to the
necessity of throwing some greater safeguard over the method of
choosing and declaring the election of a President. Under the present
system there seems to be no provided remedy for contesting the
election in any one State. The remedy is partially, no doubt, in the
enlightenment of electors. The compulsory support of the free school
and the disfranchisement of all who can not read and write the English
language, after a fixed probation, would meet my hearty approval. I
would not make this apply, however, to those already voters, but I would
to all becoming so after the expiration of the probation fixed upon.
Foreigners coming to this country to become citizens, who are educated
in their own language, should acquire the requisite knowledge of ours
during the necessary residence to obtain naturalization. If they did not
take interest enough in our language to acquire sufficient knowledge of
it to enable them to study the institutions and laws of the country
intelligently, I would not confer upon them the right to make such
laws nor to select those who do.

I append to this message, for convenient reference, a synopsis of
administrative events and of all recommendations to Congress made by me
during the last seven years. Time may show some of these recommendations
not to have been wisely conceived, but I believe the larger part will
do no discredit to the Administration. One of these recommendations
met with the united opposition of one political party in the Senate
and with a strong opposition from the other, namely, the treaty for
the annexation of Santo Domingo to the United States, to which I will
specially refer, maintaining, as I do, that if my views had been
concurred in the country would be in a more prosperous condition to-day,
both politically and financially.

Santo Domingo is fertile, and upon its soil may be grown just those
tropical products of which the United States use so much, and which are
produced or prepared for market now by slave labor almost exclusively,
namely, sugar, coffee, dyewoods, mahogany, tropical fruits, tobacco,
etc. About 75 per cent of the exports of Cuba are consumed in the United
States. A large percentage of the exports of Brazil also find the same
market. These are paid for almost exclusively in coin, legislation,
particularly in Cuba, being unfavorable to a mutual exchange of the
products of each country. Flour shipped from the Mississippi River
to Havana can pass by the very entrance to the city on its way to a
port in Spain, there pay a duty fixed upon articles to be reexported,
transferred to a Spanish vessel and brought back almost to the point of
starting, paying a second duty, and still leave a profit over what would
be received by direct shipment. All that is produced in Cuba could be
produced in Santo Domingo. Being a part of the United States, commerce
between the island and mainland would be free. There would be no export
duties on her shipments nor import duties on those coming here. There
would be no import duties upon the supplies, machinery, etc., going
from the States. The effect that would have been produced upon Cuban
commerce, with these advantages to a rival, is observable at a glance.
The Cuban question would have been settled long ago in favor of "free
Cuba." Hundreds of American vessels would now be advantageously used in
transporting the valuable woods and other products of the soil of the
island to a market and in carrying supplies and emigrants to it. The
island is but sparsely settled, while it has an area sufficient for the
profitable employment of several millions of people. The soil would have
soon fallen into the hands of United States capitalists. The products
are so valuable in commerce that emigration there would have been
encouraged; the emancipated race of the South would have found there a
congenial home, where their civil rights would not be disputed and where
their labor would be so much sought after that the poorest among them
could have found the means to go. Thus in cases of great oppression and
cruelty, such as has been practiced upon them in many places within the
last eleven years, whole communities would have sought refuge in Santo
Domingo. I do not suppose the whole race would have gone, nor is it
desirable that they should go. Their labor is desirable--indispensable
almost--where they now are. But the possession of this territory would
have left the negro "master of the situation," by enabling him to demand
his rights at home on pain of finding them elsewhere.

I do not present these views now as a recommendation for a renewal of
the subject of annexation, but I do refer to it to vindicate my previous
action in regard to it.

With the present term of Congress my official life terminates. It is not
probable that public affairs will ever again receive attention from me
further than as a citizen of the Republic, always taking a deep interest
in the honor, integrity, and prosperity of the whole land.


[Footnote 115: See pp. 390-391.]

[Footnote 116: See pp. 394-395.]

[Footnote 117: See pp. 392-394.]


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 6, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter (accompanied by
testimony) addressed to me by Hon. John Sherman and other distinguished
citizens, in regard to the canvass of the vote for electors in the State
of Louisiana.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 14, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the 7th instant of the House of
Representatives, asking to be informed whether any, and what,
negotiations have or are being made with the Sioux Indians for their
removal to the Indian Territory, and under what authority the same has
been and is being done, I submit herewith a report received from the
Secretary of the Interior, which contains, it is believed, all the
information in possession of his Department touching the matter of the


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 14, 1876_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 6th instant, requesting
information "as to whether troops of the United States were stationed
at the city of Petersburg, in the State of Virginia, on the 7th of
November, 1876, and, if so, under what authority and for what purpose,"
I submit the inclosed letters from the Secretary of War, to whom the
resolution was referred, together with the report of the General of the
Army and accompanying papers.

These inclosures will give all the information called for by the
resolution, and I confidently believe will justify the action taken.
It is well understood that the presence of United States troops at
polling places never prevented the free exercise of the franchise by
any citizen, of whatever political faith. If, then, they have had any
effect whatever upon the ballot cast, it has been to insure protection
to the citizen casting it, in giving it to the candidate of his unbiased
choice, without fear, and thus securing the very essence of liberty.
It may be the presence of twenty-four United States soldiers, under the
command of a captain and lieutenant, quartered in the custom-house at
Petersburg, Va., on the 7th of November, at a considerable distance from
any polling place, without any interference on their part whatever, and
without going near the polls during the election, _may have secured a
different result from what would have been obtained if they had not
been there_ (to maintain the peace in case of riot) _on the face of
the returns_; but if such is the case it is only proof that in this
one Congressional district in the State of Virginia the legal and
constitutional voters have been able to return as elected the candidate
of their choice.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 22, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter, submitted by the
Secretary of the Interior, from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
accompanied by the report and journal of proceedings of the commission
appointed on the 24th day of August last to obtain certain concessions
from the Sioux Indians, in accordance with the provisions contained in
the Indian appropriation act for the current fiscal year.

I ask your special consideration of these articles of agreement, as
among other advantages to be gained by them is the clear right of
citizens to go into a country of which they have taken possession and
from which they can not be excluded.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _December 22, 1876_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report (and papers which
accompanied it) of the progress of the work committed to their charge,
addressed to me by the commissioners appointed under the act of Congress
approved July 19, 1876, authorizing the repavement of Pennsylvania


WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1876_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

When Congress adjourned in August last the execution of the extradition
article of the treaty of 1842 between the United States and Great
Britain had been interrupted.

The United States had demanded of Her Majesty's Government the surrender
of certain fugitives from justice charged with crimes committed within
the jurisdiction of the United States, who had sought asylum and were
found within the territories of Her British Majesty, and had, in due
compliance with the requirements of the treaty, furnished the evidence
of the criminality of the fugitives, which had been found sufficient to
justify their apprehension and commitment for trial, as required by the
treaty, and the fugitives were held and committed for extradition.

Her Majesty's Government, however, demanded from the United States
certain assurances or stipulations as a condition for the surrender of
these fugitives.

As the treaty contemplated no such conditions to the performance of the
obligations which each Government had assumed, the demand for
stipulations on the part of this Government was repelled.

Her Majesty's Government thereupon, in June last, released two of the
fugitives (Ezra D. Winslow and Charles J. Brent), and subsequently
released a third (one William E. Gray), and, refusing to surrender, set
them at liberty.

In a message to the two Houses of Congress on the 20th day of June last,
in view of the condition of facts as above referred to, I said:

The position thus taken by the British Government, if adhered to, can
not but be regarded as the abrogation and annulment of the article of
the treaty on extradition.

Under these circumstances it will not, in my judgment, comport with
the dignity or self-respect of this Government to make demands upon
that Government for the surrender of fugitive criminals, nor to
entertain any requisition of that character from that Government
under the treaty.

Article XI of the treaty of 1842 provided that "the tenth article [that
relating to extradition] should continue in force until one or the other
of the parties should signify its wish to terminate it, and no longer."

In view, however, of the great importance of an extradition treaty,
especially between two states as intimately connected in commercial and
social relations as are the United States and Great Britain, and in the
hope that Her Majesty's Government might yet reach a different decision
from that then attained, I abstained from recommending any action by
Congress terminating the extradition article of the treaty. I have,
however, declined to take any steps under the treaty toward extradition.

It is with great satisfaction that I am able now to announce to Congress
and to the country that by the voluntary act of Her Majesty's Government
the obstacles which had been interposed to the execution of the
extradition article of the treaty have been removed.

On the 27th of October last Her Majesty's representative at this
capital, under instructions from Lord Derby, informed this Government
that Her Majesty's Government would be prepared, as a temporary measure,
until a new extradition treaty can be concluded, to put in force all
powers vested in it for the surrender of accused persons to the
Government of the United States under the treaty of 1842, without asking
for any engagement as to such persons not being tried in the United
States for other than the offenses for which extradition had been

I was happy to greet this announcement as the removal of the obstacles
which had arrested the execution of the extradition treaty between the
two countries.

In reply to the note of Her Majesty's representative, after referring to
the applications heretofore made by the United States for the surrender
of the fugitives referred to in the correspondence which was laid before
Congress at its last session, it was stated that on an indication of
readiness to surrender these persons an agent would be authorized to
receive them, and I would be ready to respond to requisitions which may
be made on the part of Her Majesty's Government under the tenth article
of the treaty of 1842, which I would then regard as in full force until
such time as either Government shall avail itself of the right to
terminate it provided by the eleventh article, or until a more
comprehensive arrangement can be reached between the two Governments in
regard to the extradition of criminals--an object to which the attention
of this Government would gladly be given, with an earnest desire for a
mutually satisfactory result.

A copy of the correspondence between Her Majesty's representative at
this capital and the Secretary of State on the subject is transmitted

It is with great satisfaction that I have now to announce that Her
Majesty's Government, while expressing its desire not to be understood
to recede from the interpretation which in its previous correspondence
it has put upon the treaty, but having regard to the prospect of
a new treaty and the power possessed by either party of spontaneously
denouncing the old one, caused the rearrest on the 4th instant of Brent,
one of the fugitives who had been previously discharged, and, after
awaiting the requisite time within which the fugitive is entitled to
appeal or to apply for his discharge, on the 21st instant surrendered
him to the agent appointed on behalf of this Government to receive and
to convey him to the United States.

Her Majesty's Government has expressed an earnest desire to rearrest
and to deliver up Winslow and Gray, the other fugitives who had been
arrested and committed on the requisition of the United States, but
were released because of the refusal of the United States to give
the assurances and stipulations then required by Great Britain.
These persons, however, are believed to have escaped from British
jurisdiction; a diligent search has failed to discover them.

As the surrender of Brent without condition or stipulation of any kind
being asked removes the obstacle which interrupted the execution of the
treaty, I shall no longer abstain from making demands upon Her Majesty's
Government for the surrender of fugitive criminals, nor from
entertaining requisitions of that character from that Government under
the treaty of 1842, but will again regard the treaty as operative,
hoping to be able before long to conclude with Her Majesty's Government
a new treaty of a broader and more comprehensive nature.


WASHINGTON, _January 8, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 19th
ultimo, I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State, together
with the papers[118] which accompanied it.


[Footnote 118: Correspondence relative to the Venezuelan mixed commission
held under the convention of April 25, 1866, for the settlement of
claims against Venezuela.]

[For message of January 12, 1877, withdrawing objections to Senate bill
No. 561, see pp. 389-390.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 12, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In reply to a resolution of inquiry dated December 23, 1876, of the
House of Representatives, respecting the expenditure of certain moneys
appropriated by the act of August 14, 1876, for river and harbor
improvements, I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your
information, a report and accompanying papers received from the
Secretary of War, to whom the resolution was referred.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 15, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The joint resolution authorizing the Secretary of War to supply blankets
to the Reform School in the District of Columbia is before me.

I am in entire sympathy with the purpose of the resolution, but
before taking any action upon it I deem it my duty to submit for your
consideration the accompanying letter, received from the Secretary of
War, embodying a report, made in anticipation of the passage of the
resolution, by the Quartermaster-General of the Army, in which, among
other facts, it is stated that--

The appropriation for clothing for the Army for this fiscal year is much
smaller than usual, and the supply of blankets which it will allow us to
purchase is so small that none can properly be spared for other purposes
than the supply of the Army.

If it be thought by Congress worth while to cause the supply of blankets
for the institution referred to to be procured through the War
Department, it is respectfully suggested that provision to meet the
expense be made by special appropriation.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 19, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

At the request of the Attorney-General, I have the honor to transmit
herewith a report in answer to the resolution of the House adopted
on the 1st of August, 1876, relative to certain matters occurring in
the administration of the provisional government of the District of
Columbia, and chiefly affecting the Commissioners and the late board
of audit.


WASHINGTON, _January 20, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Herewith I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying papers, relating to the Court of Commissioners of Alabama


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 22, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 8th
of December last, inquiring whether any increase in the cavalry force of
the army on the Mexican frontier of Texas has been made, as authorized
by the act of July 24, 1876, and whether any troops have been removed
from the frontier of Texas and from the post of Fort Sill, on the Kiowa
and Comanche Reservation, and whether, if so, their places have been
supplied by other forces, I have the honor to transmit a report received
from the Secretary of War.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 22, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

On the 9th day of December, 1876, the following resolution of the House
of Representatives was received, namely:

_Resolved_, That the President be requested, if not incompatible with
the public interest, to transmit to this House copies of any and all
orders or directions emanating from him or from either of the Executive
Departments of the Government to any military commander or civil officer
with reference to the service of the Army, or any portion thereof, in
the States of Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida since the
1st of August last, together with reports by telegraph or otherwise from
either or any of said military commanders or civil officers.

It was immediately or soon thereafter referred to the Secretary of War
and the Attorney-General, the custodians of all retained copies of
"orders or directions" given by the Executive Departments of the
Government covered by the above inquiry, together with all information
upon which such "orders or directions" were given.

The information, it will be observed, is voluminous, and, with the
limited clerical force in the Department of Justice, has consumed the
time up to the present. Many of the communications accompanying this
have been already made public in connection with messages heretofore
sent to Congress. This class of information includes the important
documents received from the governor of South Carolina and sent to
Congress with my message on the subject of the Hamburg massacre; also
the documents accompanying my response to the resolution of the House
of Representatives in regard to the soldiers stationed at Petersburg.

There have also come to me and to the Department of Justice, from time
to time, other earnest written communications from persons holding
public trusts and from others residing in the South, some of which I
append hereto as bearing upon the precarious condition of the public
peace in those States. These communications I have reason to regard as
made by respectable and responsible men. Many of them deprecate the
publication of their names as involving danger to them personally.

The reports heretofore made by committees of Congress of the results of
their inquiries in Mississippi and Louisiana, and the newspapers of
several States recommending "the Mississippi plan," have also furnished
important data for estimating the danger to the public peace and order
in those States.

It is enough to say that these different kinds and sources of evidence
have left no doubt whatever in my mind that intimidation has been used,
and actual violence, to an extent requiring the aid of the United States
Government, where it was practicable to furnish such aid, in South
Carolina, in Florida, and in Louisiana, as well as in Mississippi, in
Alabama, and in Georgia.

The troops of the United States have been but sparingly used, and in no
case so as to interfere with the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
Very few troops were available for the purpose of preventing or
suppressing the violence and intimidation existing in the States above
named. In no case, except that of South Carolina, was the number of
soldiers in any State increased in anticipation of the election, saving
that twenty-four men and an officer were sent from Fort Foote to
Petersburg, Va., where disturbances were threatened prior to the

No troops were stationed at the voting places. In Florida and in
Louisiana, respectively, the small number of soldiers already in the
said States were stationed at such points in each State as were most
threatened with violence, where they might be available as a posse
for the officer whose duty it was to preserve the peace and prevent
intimidation of voters. Such a disposition of the troops seemed to me
reasonable and justified bylaw and precedent, while its omission would
have been inconsistent with the constitutional duty of the President of
the United States "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
The statute expressly forbids the bringing of troops to the polls
"except where it is necessary to keep the peace," implying that to keep
the peace it may be done. But this even, so far as I am advised, has not
in any case been done. The stationing of a company or part of a company
in the vicinity, where they would be available to prevent riot, has been
the only use made of troops prior to and at the time of the elections.
Where so stationed, they could be called in an emergency requiring it by
a marshal or deputy marshal as a posse to aid in suppressing unlawful
violence. The evidence which has come to me has left me no ground to
doubt that if there had been more military force available it would have
been my duty to have disposed of it in several States with a view to the
prevention of the violence and intimidation which have undoubtedly
contributed to the defeat of the election law in Mississippi, Alabama,
and Georgia, as well as in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida.

By Article IV, section 4, of the Constitution--

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a
republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against
invasion, and on application of the legislature, or of the executive
(when the legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence.

By act of Congress (U.S. Revised Statutes, secs. 1034, 1035) the
President, in case of "insurrection in any State" or of "unlawful
obstruction to the enforcement of the laws of the United States by the
ordinary course of judicial proceedings," or whenever "domestic violence
in any State so obstructs the execution of the laws thereof and of the
United States as to deprive any portion of the people of such State" of
their civil or political rights, is authorized to employ such parts
of the land and naval forces as he may deem necessary to enforce the
execution of the laws and preserve the peace and sustain the authority
of the State and of the United States. Acting under this title (69) of
the Revised Statutes United States, I accompanied the sending of troops
to South Carolina with a proclamation[119] such as is therein prescribed.

The President is also authorized by act of Congress "to employ such
part of the land or naval forces of the United States * * * as shall
be necessary to prevent the violation and to enforce the due execution
of the provisions" of title 24 of the Revised Statutes of the United
States, for the protection of the civil rights of citizens, among
which is the provision against conspiracies "to prevent, by force,
intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote
from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner toward or in
favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector
for President or Vice-President or as a member of Congress of the
United States." (U.S. Revised Statutes, sec. 1989.)

In cases falling under this title I have not considered it necessary to
issue a proclamation to precede or accompany the employment of such part
of the Army as seemed to be necessary.

In case of insurrection against a State government or against the
Government of the United States a proclamation is appropriate; but in
keeping the peace of the United States at an election at which Members
of Congress are elected no such call from the State or proclamation by
the President is prescribed by statute or required by precedent.

In the case of South Carolina insurrection and domestic violence against
the State government were clearly shown, and the application of the
governor founded thereon was duly presented, and I could not deny his
constitutional request without abandoning my duty as the Executive of
the National Government.

The companies stationed in the other States have been employed to secure
the better execution of the laws of the United States and to preserve
the peace of the United States.

After the election had been had, and where violence was apprehended by
which the returns from the counties and precincts might be destroyed,
troops were ordered to the State of Florida, and those already in
Louisiana were ordered to the points in greatest danger of violence.

I have not employed troops on slight occasions, nor in any case where
it has not been necessary to the enforcement of the laws of the United
States. In this I have been guided by the Constitution and the laws
which have been enacted and the precedents which have been formed under

It has been necessary to employ troops occasionally to overcome
resistance to the internal-revenue laws from the time of the resistance
to the collection of the whisky tax in Pennsylvania, under Washington,
to the present time.

In 1854, when it was apprehended that resistance would be made in Boston
to the seizure and return to his master of a fugitive slave, the troops
there stationed were employed to enforce the master's right under the
Constitution, and troops stationed at New York were ordered to be in
readiness to go to Boston if it should prove to be necessary.

In 1859, when John Brown, with a small number of men, made his attack
upon Harpers Ferry, the President ordered United States troops to assist
in the apprehension and suppression of him and his party without a
formal call of the legislature or governor of Virginia and without
proclamation of the President.

Without citing further instances in which the Executive has exercised
his power, as Commander of the Army and Navy, to prevent or suppress
resistance to the laws of the United States, or where he has exercised
like authority in obedience to a call from a State to suppress
insurrection, I desire to assure both Congress and the country that it
has been my purpose to administer the executive powers of the Government
fairly, and in no instance to disregard or transcend the limits of the


[Footnote 119: See pp. 396-397.]

WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit, in answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 16th instant,
a report of the Secretary of State, with its accompanying papers.[120]


[Footnote 120: Correspondence with diplomatic officers of the United
States in Turkey relative to atrocities and massacres by Turks in

WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty between the United States and His Majesty the King of Spain, in
relation to the extradition of criminals, signed on the 5th of January,


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 29, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith the proceedings of the commission
appointed to examine "the whole subject of reform and reorganization of
the Army of the United States," under the provisions of the act of
Congress approved July 24, 1876.

The commission report that so fully has their time been occupied by
other important duties that they are not at this time prepared to submit
a plan or make proper recommendations.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 29, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith reports and accompanying papers
received from the Secretaries of State and War, in answer to the
resolution of the House of Representatives of the 9th instant, relative
"to the imprisonment and detention by the Mexican authorities at
Matamoras of John Jay Smith, an American citizen, and also to the
wounding and robbing by Mexican soldiers at New Laredo of Dr. Samuel
Huggins, an American citizen."


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 29, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I follow the example heretofore occasionally permitted of communicating
in this mode my approval of the "act to provide for and regulate the
counting of votes for President and Vice-President, and the decision of
questions arising thereon, for the term commencing March 4, A.D. 1877,"
because of my appreciation of the imminent peril to the institutions of
the country from which, in my judgment, the act affords a wise and
constitutional means of escape.

For the first time in the history of our country, under the Constitution
as it now is, a dispute exists with regard to the result of the election
of the Chief Magistrate of the nation.

It is understood that upon the disposition of disputes touching the
electoral votes cast at the late election by one or more of the States
depends the question whether one or the other of the candidates for
the Presidency is to be the lawful Chief Magistrate. The importance of
having clearly ascertained, by a procedure regulated by law, which of
the two citizens has been elected, and of having the right to this high
office recognized and cheerfully agreed in by all the people of the
Republic, can not be overestimated, and leads me to express to Congress
and to the nation my great satisfaction at the adoption of a measure
that affords an orderly means of decision of a gravely exciting

While the history of our country in its earlier periods shows that
the President of the Senate has counted the votes and declared their
standing, our whole history shows that in no instance of doubt or
dispute has he exercised the power of deciding, and that the two Houses
of Congress have disposed of all such doubts and disputes, although in
no instance hitherto have they been such that their decision could
essentially have affected the result.

For the first time the Government of the United States is now brought to
meet the question as one vital to the result, and this under conditions
not the best calculated to produce an agreement or to induce calm
feeling in the several branches of the Government or among the people
of the country. In a case where, as now, the result is involved,
it is the highest duty of the lawmaking power to provide in advance a
constitutional, orderly, and just method of executing the Constitution
in this most interesting and critical of its provisions. The doing so,
far from being a compromise of right, is an enforcement of right and
an execution of powers conferred by the Constitution on Congress.

I think that this orderly method has been secured by the bill, which,
appealing to the Constitution and the law as the guide in ascertaining
rights, provides a means of deciding questions of single returns through
the direct action of Congress, and in respect to double returns by
a tribunal of inquiry, whose decisions stand unless both Houses of
Congress shall concur in determining otherwise, thus securing a definite
disposition of all questions of dispute, in whatever aspect they may
arise. With or without this law, as all of the States have voted, and
as a tie vote is impossible, it must be that one of the two candidates
has been elected; and it would be deplorable to witness an irregular
controversy as to which of the two should receive or which should
continue to hold the office. In all periods of history controversies
have arisen as to the succession or choice of the chiefs of states, and
no party or citizens loving their country and its free institutions can
sacrifice too much of mere feeling in preserving through the upright
course of law their country from the smallest danger to its peace on
such an occasion; and it can not be impressed too firmly in the hearts
of all the people that true liberty and real progress can exist only
through a cheerful adherence to constitutional law.

The bill purports to provide only for the settlement of questions
arising from the recent elections. The fact that such questions can
arise demonstrates the necessity, which I can not doubt will before long
be supplied, of permanent general legislation to meet cases which have
not been contemplated in the Constitution or laws of the country.

The bill may not be perfect, and its provisions may not be such as would
be best applicable to all future occasions, but it is calculated to meet
the present condition of the question and of the country.

The country is agitated. It needs and it desires peace and quiet
and harmony between all parties and all sections. Its industries are
arrested, labor unemployed, capital idle, and enterprise paralyzed by
reason of the doubt and anxiety attending the uncertainty of a double
claim to the Chief Magistracy of the nation. It wants to be assured that
the result of the election will be accepted without resistance from the
supporters of the disappointed candidate, and that its highest officer
shall not hold his place with a questioned title of right. Believing
that the bill will secure these ends, I give it my signature.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 30, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I desire to call the attention of Congress to the importance of
providing for the continuance of the board for testing iron, steel,
and other metals, which by the sundry civil appropriation act of last
year was ordered to be discontinued at the end of the present fiscal
year. This board, consisting of engineers and other scientific experts
from the Army, the Navy, and from civil life (all of whom, except
the secretary, give their time and labors to this object without
compensation), was organized by authority of Congress in the
spring of 1875, and immediately drafted a comprehensive plan for
its investigations and contracted for a testing machine of 400 tons
capacity, which would enable it to properly conduct the experiments.
Meanwhile the subcommittees of the board have devoted their time to such
experiments as could be made with the smaller testing machines already
available. This large machine is just now completed and ready for
erection at the Watertown Arsenal, and the real labors of the board are
therefore just about to be commenced. If the board is to be discontinued
at the end of the present fiscal year, the money already appropriated
and the services of the gentlemen who have given so much time to the
subject will be unproductive of any results. The importance of these
experiments can hardly be overestimated when we consider the almost
endless variety of purposes for which iron and steel are employed in
this country and the many thousands of lives which daily depend on the
soundness of iron structures. I need hardly refer to the recent disaster
at the Ashtabula bridge, in Ohio, and the conflicting theories of
experts as to the cause of it, as an instance of what might have been
averted by a more thorough knowledge of the properties of iron and the
best modes of construction. These experiments can not properly be
conducted by private firms, not only on account of the expense, but
because the results must rest upon the authority of disinterested
persons. They must therefore be undertaken under the sanction of the
Government. Compared with their great value to the industrial interests
of the country, the expense is very slight.

The board recommend an appropriation of $40,000 for the next
fiscal year, and I earnestly commend their request to the favorable
consideration of Congress. I also recommend that the board be required
to conduct their investigations under the direction of the Secretary of
War, and to make full report of their progress to that officer in time
to be incorporated in his annual report.


WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit, in answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 10th ultimo,
a report of the Secretary of State, with its accompanying papers.[121]


[Footnote 121: Preliminary and final reports of J. Hubley Ashton, agent
of the United States before the United States and Mexican Claims

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 3, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

By the act of Congress approved January 14, 1875, "to provide for the
resumption of specie payments," the 1st of January, 1879, is fixed as
the date when such resumption is to begin. It may not be desirable to
fix an earlier date when it shall actually become obligatory upon the
Government to redeem its outstanding legal-tender notes in coin on
presentation, but it is certainly most desirable, and will prove most
beneficial to every pecuniary interest of the country, to hasten the day
when the paper circulation of the country and the gold coin shall have
equal values.

At a later day, if currency and coin should retain equal values, it
might become advisable to authorize or direct resumption. I believe the
time has come when by a simple act of the legislative branch of the
Government this most desirable result can be attained. I am strengthened
in this view by the course trade has taken in the last two years and by
the strength of the credit of the United States at home and abroad.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, the exports of the United
States exceeded the imports by $120,213,102; but our exports include
$40,569,621 of specie and bullion in excess of imports of the same
commodities. For the six months of the present fiscal year from July 1,
1876, to January 1, 1877, the excess of exports over imports amounted
to $107,544,869, and the import of specie and bullion exceeded the
export of the precious metals by $6,192,147 in the same time. The actual
excess of exports over imports for the six months, exclusive of specie
and bullion, amounted to $113,737,040, showing for the time being the
accumulation of specie and bullion in the country amounting to more than
$6,000,000, in addition to the national product of these metals for the
same period--a total increase of gold and silver for the six months not
far short of $60,000,000. It is very evident that unless this great
increase of the precious metals can be utilized at home in such a way
as to make it in some manner remunerative to the holders it must seek a
foreign market as surely as would any other product of the soil or the
manufactory. Any legislation which will keep coin and bullion at home
will, in my judgment, soon bring about practical resumption, and will
add the coin of the country to the circulating medium, thus securing
a healthy "inflation" of a sound currency, to the great advantage of
every legitimate business interest.

The act to provide for the resumption of specie payments authorizes
the Secretary of the Treasury to issue bonds of either of the
descriptions named in the act of Congress approved July 14, 1870,
entitled "An act to authorize the refunding of the national debt," for
not less than par in gold. With the present value of the 4-1/2 per cent
bonds in the markets of the world, they could be exchanged at par for
gold, thus strengthening the Treasury to meet final resumption and to
keep the excess of coin over demand, pending its permanent use as a
circulating medium, at home. All that would be further required would be
to reduce the volume of legal-tender notes in circulation. To accomplish
this I would suggest an act authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to
issue 4 per cent bonds, with forty years to run before maturity, to be
exchanged for legal-tender notes whenever presented in sums of $50 or
any multiple thereof, the whole amount of such bonds, however, not to
exceed $150,000,000. To increase the home demand for such bonds I would
recommend that they be available for deposit in the United States
Treasury for banking purposes under the various provisions of law
relating to national banks.

I would suggest further that national banks be required to retain a
certain percentage of the coin interest received by them from the bonds
deposited with the Treasury to secure their circulation.

I would also recommend the repeal of the third section of the joint
resolution "for the issue of silver coin," approved July 22, 1876,
limiting the subsidiary coin and fractional currency to $50,000,000.

I am satisfied that if Congress will enact some such law as will
accomplish the end suggested they will give a relief to the country
instant in its effects, and for which they will receive the gratitude of
the whole people.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 9, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

The accompanying memorial is transmitted to Congress at the request of a
committee, composed of many distinguished citizens of New York, recently
appointed to cooperate with a generous body of French citizens who
design to erect in the harbor of New York a colossal statue of "Liberty
Enlightening the World." Very little is asked of us to do, and I hope
that the wishes of the memorialists may receive your very favorable


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 9, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith the catalogues and report of the board on behalf of
the Executive Departments at the International Exhibition of 1876, with
their accompanying illustrations.

The labors performed by the members of the board, as evinced by the
voluminous mass of information found in the various papers from the
officers charged with their preparation, have been in the highest
degree commendable, and believing that the publication of these papers
will form an interesting memorial of the greatest of international
exhibitions and of the centennial anniversary of the independence of
our country, I recommend that they be printed in a suitable form for
distribution and preservation.

The letter of the chairman of the board will give to Congress the
history of its organization, the law and Executive orders under which it
has acted, and the steps which have been taken to preserve the large and
instructive collections made, with a view to their forming a part of a
national museum, should Congress make the necessary appropriations for
such a desirable object.


WASHINGTON, _February 15, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the
13th instant, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying


[Footnote 122: Statements of appropriations and expenditures of the
Department of State from March 4, 1789, to June 30, 1876, inclusive.]

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, bearing date
the 20th instant, with its accompaniments, being the report of the
commissioner of the United States and of the officers of engineers
attached to the commission appointed to determine the boundary line
between the United States and the possessions of Great Britain from the
northwest angle of the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky
Mountains. These reports announce the completion of the labors of this
commission, whereby the entire boundary line between the United States
and the possessions of Great Britain is marked and determined, except
as to that part of the territory of the United States which was ceded
by Russia under the treaty of 1867.


WASHINGTON, _February 24, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith, in answer to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 25th ultimo, a report from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying papers.[123]


[Footnote 123: Correspondence, etc., connected with the agency of A.B.
Steinberger in the Samoan Islands.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 26, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to return herewith Senate bill No. 234, entitled "An
act to allow a pension of $37 per month to soldiers who have lost both
an arm and a leg." Under existing law soldiers who have lost both an
arm and a leg are entitled to draw a monthly pension of $18. As the
object of this bill is to allow them $18 per month for each of these
disabilities, or $36 in all, it is returned simply for an amendment of
title which shall agree with its provisions. When this shall have been
done, I will very gladly give it my immediate approval.


WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution[124] of the Senate of the 27th instant,
I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State, together with
the papers which accompanied it.


[Footnote 124: Directing the Secretary of State to transmit any
communication demanding the payment of moneys claimed to be due the
Dominican Government from the United States.]


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 15, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

For the reasons set forth in the accompanying communication addressed to
the Secretary of the Interior by the Commissioner of the General Land
Office, I have the honor to return herewith without my signature the
bill (H.R. 2041) entitled "An act to amend section 2291 of the Revised
Statutes of the United States, in relation to proof required in
homestead entries."


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington, D.C., January 12, 1877_.


SIR: I have the honor to return herewith enrolled bill H.R. No. 2041,
entitled "An act to amend section 2291 of the Revised Statutes of the
United States, in relation to proof required in homestead entries,"
which accompanied your letter of the 10th instant, requesting to be
informed whether any objection was known to this Department why the same
should not become a law.

The matter was referred to the Commissioner of the General Land Office,
and I transmit herewith a copy of a letter from him suggesting certain
amendments to the second section of said act.

I concur in the recommendations made by the Commissioner.

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

Z. CHANDLER, _Secretary_.



_Washington, D.C., January 11, 1877_.


SIR: I am in receipt, by your reference of yesterday's date, of "An act
to amend section 2291 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, in
relation to proof required in homestead entries," which has passed both
Houses of Congress and now awaits the signature of the President.

The purpose of the act is to enable parties seeking title under the
homestead law to make final proof before a judge or clerk of court in
the county or district where the lands are situated.

Its provisions are in conformity with the views and recommendations of
this office, and I see no objection to them in so far as relates to the
taking of the testimony.

I observe, however, that the second section provides that the proofs,
affidavits, and oaths shall be filed in the office of the register, and
no provision is made for the transmission of either the original papers
or duplicates to this office, in order that patents may properly issue
thereon, the provisions relating to certification for the purposes
of evidence seeming to require that they shall remain on file in the
district office. There is, therefore, no opportunity for the supervisory
control of the Commissioner over entries so made to be exercised under
the statutes, and thus the express requirements of existing law, as well
as the essential harmony of the land system, are interfered with by its
provisions. To remedy this defect in the proposed law I recommend that
the act be returned to the legislative body with the request for an
enactment in lieu of the second section which shall provide for the
regular transmission of the papers to this office, as in other cases, or
the simple striking out of the section altogether, as the provisions of
existing law would then cover the case, and require the same disposal
of this class of entries as obtains under present regulations so far as
relates to the transmission of papers and proof to this office and the
certification of the same by the Commissioner, under seal, for purposes
of evidence.

I observe in section 3, line 4, the omission of the word "he" after the
word "corrupt," which destroys the grammatical construction of the
language and was probably a clerical error.

I return herewith the act referred to.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. WILLIAMSON, _Commissioner_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 23, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return herewith House bill (No. 4350) to abolish the board of
commissioners of the Metropolitan police of the District of Columbia and
to transfer its duties to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia,
without my approval.

It is my judgment that the police commissioners, while appointed by the
Executive, should report to and receive instructions from the District
Commissioners. Under other circumstances than those existing at present
I would have no objection to the entire abolition of the board and
seeing the duties devolved directly upon the District Commissioners.
The latter should, in my opinion, have supervision and control over the
acts of the police commissioners under any circumstances; but as recent
events have shown that gross violations of law have existed in this
District for years directly under the eyes of the police, it is highly
desirable that the board of police commissioners should be continued in
some form until the evil complained of is eradicated and until the
police force is put on a footing to prevent, if possible, a recurrence
of the evil. The board of police commissioners have recently been
charged with the direct object of accomplishing this end.


WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return to the House of Representatives, in which they originated,
two joint resolutions, the one entitled "Joint resolution relating to
congratulations from the Argentine Republic," the other entitled "Joint
resolution in reference to congratulations from the Republic of
Pretoria, South Africa."

The former of these resolutions purports to direct the Secretary of
State to acknowledge a dispatch of congratulation from the Argentine
Republic and the high appreciation of Congress of the compliment thus
conveyed. The other directs the Secretary of State to communicate
to the Republic of Pretoria the high appreciation of Congress of the
complimentary terms in which said Republic has referred to the first
centennial of our national independence.

Sympathizing, as I do, in the spirit of courtesy and friendly
recognition which has prompted the passage of these resolutions, I can
not escape the conviction that their adoption has inadvertently involved
the exercise of a power which infringes upon the constitutional rights
of the Executive.

The usage of governments generally confines their correspondence
and interchange of opinion and of sentiments of congratulation, as
well as of discussion, to one certain established agency. To allow
correspondence or interchange between states to be conducted by or with
more than one such agency would necessarily lead to confusion, and
possibly to contradictory presentation of views and to international

The Constitution of the United States, following the established usage
of nations, has indicated the President as the agent to represent the
national sovereignty in its intercourse with foreign powers and to
receive all official communications from them. It gives him the power,
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties and
to appoint embassadors and other public ministers; it intrusts to him
solely "to receive embassadors and other public ministers," thus vesting
in him the origination of negotiations and the reception and conduct of
all correspondence with foreign states, making him, in the language of
one of the most eminent writers on constitutional law, "the
constitutional organ of communication with foreign states."

No copy of the addresses which it is proposed to acknowledge is
furnished. I have no knowledge of their tone, language, or purport. From
the tenor of the two joint resolutions it is to be inferred that these
communications are probably purely congratulatory. Friendly and kindly
intentioned as they may be, the presentation by a foreign state of any
communication to a branch of the Government not contemplated by the
Constitution for the reception of communications from foreign states
might, if allowed to pass without notice, become a precedent for the
address by foreigners or by foreign states of communications of a
different nature and with wicked designs.

If Congress can direct the correspondence of the Secretary of State
with foreign governments, a case very different from that now under
consideration might arise, when that officer might be directed to
present to the same foreign government entirely different and
antagonistic views or statements.

By the act of Congress establishing what is now the Department of State,
then known as the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary is to
"perform and execute such duties as shall from time to time be enjoined
on or intrusted to him by the President of the United States, agreeably
to the Constitution, relative to correspondence, commissions, or
instructions to or with public ministers or consuls from the United
States, or to negotiations with public ministers from foreign states
or princes, or to memorials or other applications from foreign public
ministers or other foreigners, or to such other matters respecting
foreign affairs as the President of the United States shall assign to
the said Department; and furthermore, the said principal officer [the
Secretary of State] shall conduct the business of the said Department
in such manner as the President of the United States shall from time
to time order or instruct."

This law, which remains substantially unchanged, confirms the view that
the whole correspondence of the Government with and from foreign states
is intrusted to the President; that the Secretary of State conducts such
correspondence exclusively under the orders and instructions of the
President, and that no communication or correspondence from foreigners
or from a foreign state can properly be addressed to any branch or
Department of the Government except that to which such correspondence
has been committed by the Constitution and the laws.

I therefore feel it my duty to return the joint resolutions without my
approval to the House of Representatives, in which they originated.

In addition to the reasons already stated for withholding my
constitutional approval from these resolutions is the fact that
no information is furnished as to the terms or purport of the
communications to which acknowledgments are desired; no copy of the
communications accompanies the resolutions, nor is the name even of the
officer or of the body to whom an acknowledgment could be addressed
given; it is not known whether these congratulatory addresses proceed
from the head of the state or from legislative bodies; and as regards
the resolution relating to the Republic of Pretoria, I can not learn
that any state or government of that name exists.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _January 26, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval Senate bill No.
685, entitled "An act to place the name of Daniel H. Kelly upon the
muster roll of Company F, Second Tennessee Infantry."

The reasons for withholding my signature to this bill may be found in
the accompanying report received from the Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, _January 24, 1877_.


SIR: I have the honor to return herewith Senate bill 685, "to place the
name of Daniel H. Kelly upon the muster roll of Company F, Second
Tennessee Infantry," with the report of the Adjutant-General, as

"The inclosed act directs the Secretary of War to place the name of
Daniel H. Kelly upon the muster roll of Company F, Second Tennessee
Infantry, to date December 1, 1861. There is no record of the
enlistment, service, or death of this man on file in this office, and if
this act becomes a law as it now reads it will be of no benefit to the

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

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 14, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval House bill No.
3367, entitled "An act to remove the charge of desertion from the
military record of Alfred Rouland."

The reasons for withholding my signature may be found in the
accompanying report received from the Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, February 8, 1877_.


SIR: I have the honor to return House bill 3367, "to remove the charge
of desertion from the military record of Alfred Rouland," and inclose
copy of the report of the Adjutant-General, dated the 8th instant, who
recommends that the bill be not approved.

In this connection I would invite attention to reports of the Military
Committees of the House and Senate (House Report No. 461, Forty-fourth
Congress, first session; Senate Report No. 578, Forty-fourth Congress,
second session) in the case, of which copies are herewith.

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

J.D. CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.



_February 8, 1877_.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

This man is reported on the muster-out roll of his company as having
"deserted at Wilmington, N.C., April 16, 1866."

In his petition of December 28, 1874, on file in this office, occurs the
following language:

"I was transferred to the Twenty-eighth Michigan Volunteers, and
performed duty with that regiment from the 28th June, 1865, until the
16th day of April, 1866, when, being in a reduced and weak condition
from continued chills and fever, and being in great fear of smallpox,
which had become very prevalent at Wilmington, N.C., where my company
was then stationed, I left my command without leave and returned to
Michigan." * * *

This man is consequently a deserter in fact, and should this bill,
restoring to an honorable status an admitted deserter, become a law,
it will defeat every end of military discipline and justice, besides
working a great injustice to every soldier who served faithfully and

It is therefore strongly recommended that it be not approved.

E.D. TOWNSEND, _Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 14, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return the House bill No. 3155, entitled "An act to perfect the
revision of the statutes of the United States," without my approval.
My objection is to the single provision which amends section 3823 of
the Revised Statutes.

That section is as follows:

SEC. 3823. The Clerk of the House of Representatives shall select in
Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama,
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas one or more newspapers, not
exceeding the number allowed by law, in which such treaties and laws of
the United States as may be ordered for publication in newspapers
according to law shall be published, and in some one or more of which
so selected all such advertisements as may be ordered for publication
in said districts by any United States court or judge thereof, or by
any officer of such courts, or by any executive officer of the United
States, shall be published, the compensation for which and other terms
of publication shall be fixed by said Clerk at a rate not exceeding
$2 per page for the publication of treaties and laws, and not exceeding
$1 per square of eight lines of space for the publication of
advertisements, the accounts for which shall be adjusted by the proper
accounting officers and paid in the manner now authorized by law in the
like cases.

The bill proposes to amend this section as follows:

By striking out all after the word "in" in the first line to the word
"one" in the third line, and inserting therefor the words "each State
and Territory of the United States."

Prior to 1867 the advertising of the Executive Departments had been
subject to the direction of the heads of those Departments, and had been
published in newspapers selected by them and on terms fixed by them.
In the year 1867 (14 U.S. Statutes at Large, pp. 466, 467), while the
ten States above named were yet unrestricted, and when there existed
a radical difference of opinion between the executive and legislative
departments as to the administration of the Government in those States,
this provision was enacted. Subsequently, during the same year (15 U.S.
Statutes at Large, p. 8), so much of this provision "as relates to the
publication of the laws and treaties of the United States" was extended
to all the States and Territories, leaving the advertisements ordered
by Congress and by the Executive Departments unaffected thereby. The
continuance of this provision after the reconstruction acts had taken
effect and the bringing it forward into the Revised Statutes were
probably through inadvertence.

The existence of this section (3823) of the Revised Statutes seems to
have been ignored by Congress itself in the adoption of section 3941,
authorizing the Postmaster-General to advertise in such newspapers as
he may choose. But the present act, if it should go into effect, would
compel him and the other heads of the Executive Departments, as well
as all the courts, to publish all their advertisements in newspapers
selected by the Clerk of the House of Representatives. It would make
general in its operation a provision which, was exceptional and
temporary in its origin and character. This, in my judgment, would
be unwise, if not also an actual encroachment upon the constitutional
rights of the executive branch of the Government. The person who should
be appointed by law to select all the newspapers throughout the country
to which the patronage of all branches of the Government of the United
States should be given, if not an officer of the United States under
Article II, section 2, clause 2, of the Constitution, would certainly
have powers and duties which have hitherto been regarded as official.

But without reference to the question of its constitutionality, I am
satisfied that this provision would not operate usefully or fairly. I am
constrained, therefore, to withhold from it my approval. I regret that
my objection to this one clause of the act can not be made available
without withholding my approval from the entire act, which is otherwise


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 28, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval Senate bill
No. 691, entitled "An act for the relief of Edward A. Leland." The
reasons for withholding my approval may be found in the accompanying
communication received from the Secretary of the Interior.


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, _Washington, February 27, 1877_.


SIR: I have the honor to return herewith the bill (S. 691) entitled
"An act for the relief of Edward A. Leland," accompanied by a copy of
a letter from the Commissioner of Patents suggesting an objection to
the bill in its present form, and to recommend that it be returned
to Congress for amendment in accordance with the suggestions of the

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Z. CHANDLER, _Secretary_.

_Washington, D.C., February 27, 1877_.

_Secretary of the Interior_.

SIR: In the matter of the enrolled bill (S. 691) extending letters
patent of Edward A. Leland, I have the honor to report that said letters
patent were granted for an improved paint can August 14, 1860, for the
term of fourteen years; that they consequently expired on the 14th day
of August, 1874, whereupon the invention became the property of the

The present act proposes to extend the term of the patent seven years
from said 14th day of August, 1874, and give to it the same effect in
law as if it had been originally granted for the term of twenty-one

It will be seen, therefore, that those who have innocently used and
purchased the invention since the expiration of the letters patent on
the 14th of August, 1874, under the impression that the invention was
the property of the public, will, by the retroactive terms of the bill,
be liable for damages for such use upon suits for infringement.

This hardship is generally, if not always, provided against by a proviso
to such bills, setting forth in terms "that no person shall be held
liable for the infringement of said patent, if extended, for making use
of said invention since the expiration of the original term of said
patent and prior to the date of its extension."

Unless such a proviso is incorporated into the present bill, the
injustice alluded to may be done.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ELLIS SPEAR, _Commissioner of Patents_.




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 2d day of March, A.D. 1877, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the one hundred and first.


By the President:
_Secretary of State_.

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