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but was the official organ deputed by the citi. | Interview with New York Bankers. Lens to present them to him.
April 17-A committee of New York bankers, He then remarked that in the memorial wel
capitalists, and merchants presented to the PRESI. deplored the passage of the original legal tender, acts, and he did not like that; that the war could
DENT a petition signed by twenty-five hundred
names, without distinction of party, asking him not have been successfully carried on without
to veto the Senate bill. The following was the them, that the country had approved them, and he did not think it right that we should come to
PRESIDENT'S reply: ask a favor of him and at the same time censure
The PRESIDENT, in reply, said he had watched his administration. I replied that neither I nor
the progress of this bill through Congress with
more interest than he had any other measure the citizens of Boston asked any favor at his
before that body since he had been President. hands; that they desired the right thing to be
He had at all times been entirely free in the exdone; that they had expressed their views of
pression of his views, and was always opposed what the right was and presented them to him; that they did not claim infallibility, and that he
to expansion without redemption, and in favor
of free banking, accompanied with such legislawould act on his own judgment. He then said that Massachusetts and Rhode
tion as would carry out the pledges of Congress Island had more than their share of bank circu.
and the party in the direction of a resumption lation. To which I replied: "Take the excess
of specie payments, but he had to look at this
matter a little different from the views of this away from them, for I will not ask for Massa
committee. They show very well what they chusetts anything which I would not ask for any
want, and may imagine-as he might were he State in the Union; I have a letter from one
a citizen of New York—that the whole country bank president in Boston expressing a willing.
want what they do. The chairman of a similar ness to relinquish the circulation.” The PRESIDENT said he should not have al
committee from Boston called on him yesterday. luded to this subject had it not been for the
If he ever could be in favor of inflation, it would
be from the effects of such arguments as that gencriticisms on his administration contained in the
tleman advocated against it; but that position paper. I then said to him that the matters on which
was unlike the one of this committee from New we had thus far conversed were collateral, and
York. The gentleman from Boston, in behalf had no bearing on the questions at issue, which
of those whom he represented, started out with
a condemnation of what he, the PRESIDENT, had were these two: Shall the public faith be preserved?
always believed to be right. Speaking as if he Shall we have a fixed standard of value, or
were wrong, they opposed the parchase of United
States bonds with a surplus from the United enter upon a sea of irredeemable paper money? That if the legal tender issues should be in
States Treasury; and if he had asked the Boston
committee what he should do, he would have creased in a time of peace, with no public exigency, it would be a precedent for any and every
kept such surplus in the Treasury until there future Congress to enlarge them at will, and
was not a green back in circulation. These bonds without limit. That I should like to ask him
were purchased at his own direction. Another one question: Whether it would not meet his
argument was used in the Boston memorial, views to keep the limit of three hundred and
that the issue of green backs was of doubtful
legality, and was to be deplored, and had been fifty-six millions of legal tender notes as now established by law, to pass an act of indemnity
sustained by a bare majority of one, of the Sufor the existing over issue of twenty-six millions,
preme Court, as a war measure. In conclusion,
the PRESIDENT repeated that his views on this and provide that as soon as the working balance in the Treasury should exceed ten or fifteen mil
question were already known as against inflalions, the excess of twenty-six millions should
tion, and as opposed to breaking away from the be retired and canceled with the surplus. That,
redemption of pledges. with the addition to this of proper provision for rédemption, on demand, of bank circulation, that
Correspondence with Senator Jones might be increased, and that the country be sup
of Nevada. plied with all the currency which it desired, and
UNITED STATES SENATE CHAMBER, for which it could give security
WASHINGTON, June 4, 1874. He remarked that we were now coming toward To the President: an accord; that he was not in favor of expansion, I was so deeply impressed by the clearness and and he wished to add that he did not intend to wisdom of the financial views (some of which tell me what he should do with the bill.
you had fortunately reduced to writing) recently I replied that I had not asked him that question, expressed by you in a conversation in which I nor did I intend to do so; that if I had done so had the honor, with a few others, to be a parI should bave expected a reply which would ticipant, that I cannot dismiss them from my have deterred me from asking another question. mind. The great diversity of ideas upon this
I then said: “I have executed my commission subject, and the fact that public opinion con:and will not detain you longer in the press of cerning the same is still in process of formation your occupations." Í bade him good morning, lead me to believe that the publication of these and the interview closed by his saying, "I am views would be productive of great good. I glad to have seen you."
venture therefore to request of you that I have Yours, respectfully,
a copy of the written memorandum to which I WILLIAM GRAY, Chairman. have alluded, with your permission, that it may Boston, April 21, 1874.
I be made public.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your a fixed day, say July 1, 1876, the currency issued obedient servant,
John P. JONES. by the United States should be redeemed in coin THE PRESIDENT'S REPLY.
on presentation to any assistant treasurer, and EXECUTIVE MANSION,
that all currency so redeemed should be canceled WASHINGTON, D. C., June 4, 1874.
and never be reissued. To effect this it would be DEAR SIR: Your note of this date, requesting
necessary to authorize the issue of bonds payable
in gold, bearing such interest as would command & copy of a memorandum which I had prepared,
par in gold, to be put out by the treasury only expressive of my views upon the financial question, and which you, with others, had heard
in such sums as should from time to time be
needed for the purpose of redemption. Such read, is received, but at too late an hour to com.
legislation would insure a return to sound finanply to-night. I will, however, take great plea
cial principles in two years, and would, in my sure in furnishing you a copy in the morning asing
judgment, work less hardship to the debtor in. soon as I can bave it copied.
terest than is likely to come from putting off It is proper that I should state that these
the day of final reckoning. views were reduced to writing, because I had
It must be borne in mind, too, that the creditor been consulted on this question, not only by
Tyylinterest had its day of disadvantage also, when some members of the conference committee, but
our present financial system was brought in by by many other members of Congress. To avoid
the supreme needs of the nation at the time. I any and all possibility of misunderstanding, I
would further provide that from and after the deemed this course both justifiable and proper.
date fixed for redemption, n'o bill, whether of naWith this explanation, I inclose you herewith
tional banks or of the United States, returned to the memorandum referred to.
the treasury to be exchanged for new bills, should Very respectfully,
U. S. Grant.
be replaced by bills of less denomination than Hon. J. P. Jones, United States Senate.
ten dollars; and that, in one year after resumpMemorandum of Views entertained on the sub- tion, all bills of less than five dollars should be
ject of desirable Legislation on Finance. withdrawn from circulation, and in two years all I believe it a high and plain duty to return bills of less than ten dollars should be withdrawn. to a specie basis at the earliest practical day, not The advantage of this would be strength given only in compliance with legislative and party to the country against time of depression resultpledges, but as a step indispensable to national | ing from war, failure of crops, or any other cause, lasting prosperity. I believe further that the by keeping always in the hands of the people a time has come when this can be done, or at least large supply of the precious metals. With all begun, with less embarrassment to every branch smaller transactions conducted in coin, many of industry than at any future time, after resort millions of it would be kept in constant use, and has been had to unstable and temporary expe- of course prevented from leaving the country. dients to stimulate unreal prosperity and specu- Undoubtedly a poorer currency will always drive lation on basis other than coin, the recognized the better out of circulation. With paper a medium of exchange throughout the commercial legal tender, and at a discount, gold and silver world. The particular mode selected to bring become articles of merchandise as much as wheat about a restoratiou of the specie standard is not or cotton. The surplus will find the best marof so much consequence as that some adequate ket it can. plan be devised, the time fixed when currency With small bills in circulation there is no use shall be exchanged for coin at par, and the plan for coin except to keep it in the vaults of banks adopted rigidly adhered to.
to redeem circulation. During periods of great It is not probable that any legislation sug. speculation and apparent prosperity there is gested by me would prove acceptable to both little demand for coin, and then it will flow out branches of Congress, and indeed, full discussion to a market when it can be made to earn somemight shake my own faith in the details of any thing, which it cannot do while lying idle. plan I might propose. I will, however, venture Gold, like anything else, when not needed beto state the general features of the action which comes a surplus, and, like every other surplus, it seems to me advisable in the financial platform seeks a market where it can find one. By giving on which I would stand, any departure from active employment to coin, however, its presence which would be in a spirit of concession and can, it seems to me, be secured, and the panics harmony in deference to conflicting opinions. and depressions which have occurred periodically
First. I would like to see the “legal.tender | in times of nominal specie payments, if they canclause,” so-called, repealed, the repeal to take not be wholly prevented, can at least be greatly effect at a future time, say July 1, 1875. This mitigated. Indeed, I question whether it would would cause all contracts made after that date have been found necessary to depart from the for wages, sale, &c., to be estimated in coin. It standard of specie in the trying day which gave would correct our notions of values. The specie birth to the first legal tender act had the country dollar would be the only dollar known as the taken the ground of “no small bills" as early as measure of equivalents. When debts afterwards | 1850. contracted were paid in currency, instead of call. Again, I would provide an excess of revenue ing the paper dollar a dollar, and quoting gold over current expenditures. I would do this by at so much premium, we should think and speak rigid economy and by taxation where taxation of paper as at so much discount. This alone can best be borne. Increased revenue would would aid greatly in bringing the two curren- work a constant reduction of debt and interest, cies nearer together at par.
and would provide coin to meet demands on the Second. I would like to see a provision that at Treasury for the redemption of its notes, thereby
diminishing the amount of bonds needed for that The President responded by saying that he purpose. All taxes, after resumption begins, was glad to meet them. He had always endeap. should be paid in coin or United States notes. ored to secure for the colored men all the rights
This would force redemption on the national which should accompany en franchisement. Cerbanks.
taip rights are still withheld, but he hoped that With measures like these, or measures which ere long they would find themselves in posseswould work out such results, I see no danger in sion of all the privileges which belong to free authorizing free banking without limit.
men. He said he did not know what Congress
| would do in the matter, but he thought it likely Interview with a Delegation from that that body would, at its present session, pass South Carolina.
a civil rights bill, and that if such a bill is de. [From the National Republican, March 28, 1874.) feated it will probably be because an extreme THE PRESIDENT, in response, said that he very measure is urged by some person who claims to
ch deplored the condition of affairs in South be a particular friend of the colored man. Carolina, and that he had occasion in the past to speak with reference to a somewhat similar con On the Duties of “Decoration Day." dition of affairs in Louisiana; but since the gov
EXECUTIVE MANSION, ernment of the State was complete, independent,
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 19, 1874. and sovereign, he could not undertake to say that DEAR CAPTAIN: I have your favor to me of either the administrative or the legislative de- the 10th inst., and have laid it before the PRESIpartment of the General Government would avail DENT, as you requested. He approves of the in effecting any change. Much of the existing resolution inviting the co-operation of those who condition was, perhaps, due to a sentiment stim-were opposed to us during the laie war in the ulated by the gentlemen present. They had, by decoration of the graves of those who heroically their inaction, possibly stimulated the formation fell on both sides; and believes that the time of the very party of which complaint was made. has come when every evidence of such a feeling Still, the cause belonged to the results, the pas- of fraternal interest should be encouraged, and sions the natural offshoots of war, and he did advantage taken of every opportunity to bury not fail to recognize the cogency of the argu- deeper any animosity born of the late war that ments submitted.
may yet be lingering. It was not prudent, however, for him to take Very respectfully, your obedient servant, official action in the premises immediately, or to
Wm. H. CROOR commit himself to any line of policy.
To Capt. W. C. SPENCER, Baltimore, Md. In conclusion, the President said that, speaking from an individual standpoint, he had occa Relative to the Louisiana Sufferers. sion to feel much chagrin at one of the speeches
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, that had been made in the tax-payers' conven
STATE OF LOUISIANA, tion of South Carolina, because it contained much
NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 17, 1874. that was false, and it had abstracted somewhat
| President U.S. GRANT: from the general sympathy which otherwise he
The unprecedented rise in the Mississippi, aided might have freely expressed.
by violent local storms, has caused a most disasSeveral members of the delegation here fol
trous overflow. Six or seven of the largest parlowed with statements that the speech referred
ishes of the State are already under water, and to had not been made as represented on the floor
thousands of people, white and black, are withof the convention, but had been garbled by the
out food and shelter, and in danger of starvation. partisan press of the State, and made to subserve
The emergency is so great that I feel constrained à purpose for which it was not designed The disclaimers of the delegation, generally love
to appeal to you directly, asking the General
wy Government, if possible, to extend to these poor and generously made, apparently mollified the
people the same relief that was given to the PRESIDENT, and the body left, if not with al
scarcely more disastrous calamity at Chicago. promise for their future, at least with hopes that
W. P. KELLOGG, something may yet be done for their State.
Governor of Louisianche On “Civil Rights."
EXECUTIVE MANSION, 1872, DECEMBER 10—The Louisiana delegation
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 17, 1874, to the National Civil Rights Convention visited Governor W. P. KELLOGG, New Orleans, La.: PRESIDENT GRAnt in a body, and were intro- Your dispatch of this date asking aid for the duced by Senator West. In presenting the dele sufferers by the disastrous overflow of the lower gation the Senator remarked that its members Mississippi is received. Congress being in ses. embraced many of the intelligent working re- sion at this time, I do not feel authorized to order publicans in the State. He then introduced Col. Government aid, as I did in the case of suffering onel James Lewis, who proceeded to address the from yellow fever at Shreveport and Memphis President, and said the delegation came to pay last summer, and in the case of the burning of their respects and thank him on behalf of the Chicago two years ago, without authority of colored people of Louislana for the care and pro- Congress. I will, however, send your dispatch tection they have received from him since his to the Louisiana delegation, and if a resolution presidential term commenced. He hoped that is passed by Congress authorizing it I will exert he might long enjoy the blessing of good health, every authorized means to avert suffering from and that the colored men might continue to re- the disaster which has overtaken the citizens of ceive his kind consideration and care.
U. S. GRANT.
PRESIDENT GRANT'S SPECIAL AND VETO MESSAGES. Vetoing the Bill for the Relief of the General Craft, by whose immediate command the
East Tennessee University, January property in question was destroyed, there was a 29, 1873.
large rebel force in the neighborhood who were To the Senate of the United States :
using the salt works, and had carried away a I have the honor to return herewith Senate considerable quantity of salt, and were preparbill number 490, entitled "An act for the relief ing to take more, as soon as the necessary transof the East Tennessee University," without my portation could be procured; and he further approval.
states that the leaders of the rebellion calculated This claim, for which $18,500 are appropriated upon their supply of salt to come from these out of the moneys of the United States, arises in works,” and that in his opinion their destruction part for the destruction of property by troops in was a military necessity. I understand him to time of war, and therefore the same objections say, in effect, that the salt works were captured attach to it as were expressed in my message of
from the rebels, that it was impracticable to hold June 1, 1872, returning the Senate bill awarding
them, and that they were demolished, so as to $25,000 to J. Milton Best.
be of no further use to the enemy. If the precedent is once established that the I cannot agree that the owners of property Government is liable for the ravages of war, the destroyed under such circumstances are entitled and of demands upon the public Treasury cannot to compensation therefor from the United States. be forecast.
Whatever other view may be taken of the subThe lovalty of the people of the section in ject, it is incontrovertible that these salt works which the university is located, under circum
Ecated under cirem were destroyed by the Union army while engaged stances of personal danger and trials, thus en
in regular military operations, and that the sole
in titling them to the most favorable construction object of their destruction was to weaken, cripple. of the obligation of the Government toward them. I or defeat the armies of the so-called Southern is admitted; and nothing but regard for my duty
Confederacy. to the whole people, in opposing a principle which. I am greatly apprehensive that the allowance if allowed, will entail greater burdens upon the
of this claim could and would be construed into whole than the relief which will be afforded to a
the recognition of a principle binding the United
States to pay for all property which their miliinduce me to return it with objections.
tary forces destroyed in the late war for the Recognizing the claims of these citizens to Union. No liability by the Government to pay sympathy, and the most favorable consideration for property destroyed by the Union forces in of their claims by the Government, I would
conducting a battle or siege has yet been claimed; heartily favor a donation of the amount appro
but the precedent proposed by this bill leads priated by this bill for their relief.
directly and strongly in that direction, for it is U. S. Grant.
difficult, upon any ground of reason or justice,
to distinguish between a case of that kind and NOTE.—A bill (S. 110) passed both Houses of the one under conside
the one under consideration. Had General Craft Congress at the late session, and became a law,
and his command destroyed the salt works by appropriating eighteen thousand and five hun
shelling out the enemy found in their actual ocdred dollars, "in full compensation for aid given
cupancy, the case would not have been different by and on behalf of said East Tennessee Uni
in principle from the one presented in this bill. versity to the army of the United States in the What possible difference can it make in the rights late war of the rebellion.”—EDITOR.
of owners or the obligations of the Government
whether the destruction was in driring the enemy Vetoing the Bill for the Relief of Suf- out or in keeping them out of the possession of ferers from the Destruction of the
the salt works? Manchester (Kentucky) Salt Works,
This bill does not present a case where private February 11, 1873.
property is taken for public use in any sense of
the Constitution. It was not taken from the To the Senate of the United States : I return herewith, without my approval, Senate thene med no the Governm
owners, but from the enemy; and it was not bill No. 161, entitled “An act for the relief of Its destruction was one of the casualties of war.
then used by the Government, but destroyed. those suffering from the destruction of salt works and
and, though not happening in actual conflict, near Manchester, Kentucky, pursuant to the
was perhaps as disastrous to the rebels as would order of Major General Carlos Buell.” All the objections made by me to the bill for
Jhave been a victory in battle. the relief of J. Milton Best,* and also of the East
Owners of property destroyed to prevent the Tennessee University, apply with equal force to
spread of a conflagration, as a general rule, are this bill.
not entitled to compensation therefor; and for
reasons equally strong the necessary destruction According to the official report of Brigadier
i report of brigadier of property found in the hands of the public For this message, see McPherson's Hand-Book of enemy, and constituting a part of their military Politics for 1872, p. 32.
| supplies, does not entitle the owner to indemnity
from the Government for damages to him in that the territorial Legislature with power which way.
would enable it, by creating judicatures of its I fully appreciate the hardship of the case, and own, or increasing the jurisdiction of courts apwould be glad if my convictions of duty allowed pointed by territorial authority, although recog. me to join in the proposed relief. But I cannot nized by Congress, to take the administration of consent to the doctrine which is found in this the law out of the hands of the judges appointed bill, as it seems to me, by which the national | by the President or to interfere with their action. Treasury is exposed to all claims for property Several years of unhappy experience make it injured or destroyed by the armies of the United apparent that, in both of these respects the TerStates in the late protracted and destructive war ritory of Utah requires special legislation by in this country.
U. S. GRANT. Congress. Public opinion in that Territory, pro
duced by circumstances too notorious to require Calling the attention of Congress to further notice, makes it necessary, in my opinion,
the condition of affairs in Utah in order to prevent the miscarriage of justice, and Territory, February 14, 1873. to maintain the supremacy of the laws of the
United States and of the Federal Government, To the Senate and House of Representatives : to provide that the selection of grand and petit
I consider it my duty to call the attention of jurors for the district courts, if not put under the Congress to the condition of affairs in the Terri-control of Federal officers, shall be placed in the tory of Utah, and to the dangers likely to arise, hands of persons entirely independent of those if it continues during the coming recess, from a who are determined not to enforce any act of threatened conflict between the Federal and ter-Congress obnoxious to them, and also to pass ritorial authorities.
some act which shall deprive the probate courts, No discussion is necessary in regard to the or any court created by the territorial Legislageneral policy of Congress respecting the Terri. ture, of any power to interfere with or impede tories of the United States, and I only wish now the action of the courts held by the United States to refer to so much of that policy as concerns judges. their judicial affairs and the enforcement of law I am convinced that, so long as Congress leaves within their borders.
the selection of jurors to the local authorities, it No material differences are found in respect to will be futile to make any effort to enforce laws these matters in the organic acts of the Territo- not acceptable to a majority of the people of the ries, but an examination of them will show that Territory, or which interferes with local preju. it has been the invariable policy of Congress to dices or provides for the punishment of polyg. place and keep their civil and criminal jurisdic- amy, or any of its affiliated vices or crimes. tion, with certain limited exceptions, in the I presume that Congress, in passing upon this hands of persons nominated by the President subject, will provide all reasonable and proper and confirmed by the Senate, and that the gen. safeguards to secure honest and impartial jurors, eral administration of justice should be as pre whose verdicts will command confidence, and be scribed by congressional enactment. Sometimes a guarantee of equal protection to all good and the power given to the territorial Legislatures law-abiding citizens, and at the same time make has been somewhat larger and sometimes some- it understood that crime cannot be committed what smaller than the powers generally conferred with impunity. I have before said that, while Never, however, have powers been given to a the laws creating the several Territories have territorial Legislature inconsistent with the idea generally contained uniform provisions in respect that the general judicature of the Territory was to the judiciary, yet Congress has occasionally to be under the direct supervision of the National varied these provisions in minor details, as the Government.
circumstances of the Territory affected seem to Accordingly, the organic law creating the Ter- demand, and in creating the Territory of Utah ritory of Utah, passed September 9, 1850, pro-Congress evidently thought that circumstances vided for the appointment of a supreme court, there might require judicial remedies not necesthe judges of which are judges of the district sary in other Territories; for, by section nine of courts, a clerk, a marshal, and an attorney, and the act creating that Territory, it is provided to these Federal officers is confided jurisdiction that a writ of error may be brought from the in all important matters; but, as decided recently decision of any judge of the Supreme or District by the Supreme Court, the act requires jurors to Courts of the Territory to the Supreme Court of serve in these courts to be selected in such man. the United States upon any writ of habeas corner as the territorial Legislature sees fit to prepus, involving the question of personal freescribe. It has undoubtedly been the desire of dom-a provision never inserted in any other Congress, so far as the same might be compatible territorial act except that creating the Territory with the supervisory control of the territorial of New Mexico. government, to leave the minor details connected. This extraordinary provision shows that Con. with the administration of law to regulation by gress intended to mold the organic law to the local authority; but such a desire ought not to peculiar necessities of the Territory, and the leg. govern when the effect will be, owing to the islation which I now recommend is in full harpeculiar circumstances of the case, to produce a mony with the precedent thus established. conflict between the Federal and the territorial Iam advised that United States courts in Utah authorities, or to impede the enforcement of law, have been greatly ernbarrassed by the action of or in any way to endanger the peace and good the territorial Legislature in conferring criminal order of the Territory.
jurisdiction and the power to issue writs of hab. Evidently it was never intended to entrust leas corpus on probate courts in the Territory,