« AnteriorContinuar »
and by their consequent interference with the between the two governments with reference to administration of justice.
the subject specially suggested by the British Manifestly the Legislature of the Territory government, it was thought that the removal of cannot give to any court whatever the power to the differences growing out of what are generidischarge by habeas corpus persons held by or cally known as the "Alabama" claims was esunder process from the courts created by Con- sential to the restoration of cordial and amicable gress, but complaint is made that persons so held relations between the two governments, and the have been discharged in that way by the pro- assent of this Government to treat on the subject bate courts.
of the fisheries was made dependent on the assent I cannot doubt that Congress will agree with of Great Britain to allow the joint commission, me that such a state of things ought not longer which it had prepared on the questions suggested to be tolerated, and that no class of persons any, by that government, to treat also and settle where should be allowed to treat the laws of the differences growing out of the "Alabama' the United States with open defiance and con claims. tempt.
Great Britain assented to this, and the treaty Apprehensions are entertained that if Congress of Washington proposed a settlement of both adjourns without any action upon this subject classes of questions. turbulence and disorder will follow, rendering Those relating to the Alabama claims and to military interference necessary, a result I should the northwestern water boundary, commonly greatly deprecate. And in view of this and other known as the San Juan question, have been obvious considerations, I earnestly recommend disposed of in pursuance of the terms of the that Congress, at the present session, pass some treaty. act which will enable the district courts of Utah Those relating to the fisheries were made by to proceed with independence and efficiency in the terms of the treaty to depend upon the leg. the administration of law and justice.
islation which the constitutions of the respective U.S. GRANT. governments made necessary to carry those
visions into effect. Calling attention to matters connected
Great Britain and her possessions have on with the Treaty of Washington and their part enacted the necessary legislation. the Fisheries, February 24, 1873.
This Government is now enjoying the advan
tages of those provisions of the treaty which To the Senate and House of Representatives : were the result of the condition of its assent to
In my annual message to Congress at the treat upon the questions which Great Britain opening of the second session of the present Con- had submitted. gress, in December, 1871, I recommended the leg- The tribunal at Geneva has made an award islation necessary on the part of the United in favor of the United States on the Alabama States to bring into operation the articles of the claims, and His Majesty the Emperor of Gertreaty of Washiugton of May 8, 1871, relative many has decided in favor of the contention of to the fisheries, and to other matters touching the United States on the northwestern boundary the relations of the United States toward the line. British North American possessions, to become I cannot urge too strongly the importance of operative so soon as the proper legislation should your early consideration of the legislation that be had on the part of Great Britain and its pos- may be necessary on the part this Government. sessions. . That legislation on the part of Great In addition to the claim that Great Britain Britain and its possessions had not then been may have upon the good faith of this Governhad.
ment to consider the legislation necessary in conHaving, prior to the meeting of Congress in nection with the questions which that governDecember last, received official information of ment presented as the subject of a negotiation the consideration by Great Britain and its pos- which has resulted so favorably to this Governsessions of the legislation necessary on their ment upon the other questions in which the part to bring those articles into operation, I com- United States felt so much interest, it is of immunicated that fact to Congress in my annual portance that the rights of the American fishermessage at the opening of the present session, men, as provided for under the treaty, should be and renewed the recommendation for your early determined before the now approaching fishing adoption of the legislation in the same direction season opens, and that the serious difficulties to necessary on the part of this Government. the fishing interests and the grave questions
The near approach of the end of the session between the two governments that may arise ipduces me again to urgently call attention to therefrom be averted.
U.S. GRANT. the importance of this legislation on the part of Congress.
Calling attention to the condition of It will be remembered that the treaty of
affairs in the State of Louisiana, Washington resulted from an overture on the
February 25, 1873. part of Great Britain to treat with reference to the fisheries on the coast of Her Majesty's pos- To the Senate and House of Representatives : sessions in North America, and other questions Your attention is respectfully iovited to the between them affecting the relations of the condition of affairs in the State of Louisiana. United States toward these possessions. To this Grave complications have grown out of the overture a reply was made on the part of this election there on the 6th of November last, Government that, while appreciating the import- chiefly attributable, it is believed, to an organance of a friendly and complete understanding lized attempt on the part of those controlling the election officers and returns to defeat in that story arrangement that may be made by the par. election the will of a majority of the electors of ties to the controversy, which, of all things, is the State. Different persons are claiming the the most desirable, it will be my duty, so far as executive offices, two bodies are claiming to be it may be necessary for me to act, to adhere to the Legislative Assembly of the State, and the that government heretofore recognized by me. confusion and uncertainty produced in this way To judge of the election and qualification of its fall with paralyzing effect upon all its interests. members is the exclusive province of the Senate,
Controversy arose as soon as the election oc- as it is also the exclusive province of the House curred over its proceedings and results, but I to judge of the election and qualifications of its declined to interfere until suit, involving this members; but as to State offices. filled and held controversy to some extent, was brought in the under State laws, the decisions of the State judicircuit court of the United States, under and by cial tribunals, it seems to me, ought to be revirtue of the act of May 31, 1870, entitled "An spected. act to enforce the right of citizens of the United I am extremely anxious to avoid any appear. States to vote in the several States of the Union, ance of undue interference in State affairs, and if and for other purposes."
Congress differs from me as to what ought to be Finding that resistance was made to judicial done, I respectfully urge its immediate decision process in that suit, without any opportunity, to that effect. Otherwise I shall feel obliged, as and, in my judgment, without any right to re- far as I can by the exercise of legitimate authorview the judgment of the court upon the juris-ity, to put an end to the unhappy controversy dictional or other questions arising in the case, which disturbs the peace and prostrates the busiI directed the United States marshal to enforce ness of Louisiana, by the recognition and support such process, and to use, if necessary, troops for of that government which is recognized and upthat purpose, in accordance with the thirteenth held by the courts of the State. section of said act, which provides that "it shall
U.S. GRANT: be lawful for the President of the United States to employ such part of the land or naval forces Transmitting the Report of the Cen. of the United States, or of the militia, as shall be tennial Commissioners, February necessary to aid in the execution of judicial pro- 25, 1874. cess under this act.”
To the Senate and House of Representatives: Two bodies of persons claimed to be the re- I have the honor berewith to submit the report turning board for the State, and the circuit court of the Centennial Commissioners, and to add a in that case decided that the one to which Lynch word in the way of recommendation. belonged, usually designated by his name, was There have now been international expositions the lawful returning board, and this decision has held by three of the great powers of Europe. It been repeatedly affirmed by the district and the seems fitting that the one hundredth anniversary Supreme Courts of the State. Having no oppor of our independence should be marked by an tunity or power to canvass the votes, and the event that will display to the world the growth exigencies of the case demanding an immediate and progress of a nation devoted to freedom, and decision, I conceived it to be my duty to recog; to the pursuit of fame, fortune, and honors by the nize those persons as elected who received and lowest citizen as well as the highest. A failure held their credentials to office from what then in this enterprise would be deplorable. Success appeared to me to be, and has since been decided can be assured by arousing public opinion to the by the Supreme Court of the State to be, the legal importance of the occasion. returning board.
To secure this end, in my judgment, congresConformably to the decisions of this board a sional legislation is necessary to make the expofull set of State officers has been installed and a sition both national and international. Legislative Assembly organized, constituting, if
The benefits to be derived from a successful not a de jure, at least a de facto government, international exposition are manifold. It will which, since some time in December last, has had necessarily be accompanied by expenses beyond possession of the offices, and been exercising the the receipts from the exposition itself, but they usual powers of government. But opposed to will be compensated for many-fold by the comthis has been another government claiming to mingling of people from all sections of our own control the affairs of the State, and which has, country; by bringing together the people of difto some extent, been pro forma organized. ferent nationalities; by bringing into juxtaposi.
Recent investigation into said election has de- tion, for ready examination, our own and foreign veloped so many frauds and forgeries as to make skill and progress in manufactures, agriculture, it doubtful what candidates received a majority art, science, and civilization. of the votes actually cast, and in view of these facts a variety of action has been proposed. I considered,“ to establish a government in the State of have no specific recommendation to make upon amendment, defeated-year 18, nays 20: the subject; but if there is any practical way of YEAs—Messrs. Anthony, Carpenter, Corbett, Cragin, removing these difficulties by legislation, then I Ferry of Michigan, Frelinghuysen, Gilbert, Hamlin, earnestly request that such action may be taken Howe, Logan, Machen, Osborn, Ramsey, Sawyer, Sher
man, Sprague, Stewart, Wilson-18. at the present session of Congress.
Nays-Messrs. Bayard, Boreman, Casserly, Clayton, It seems advisable that I should state now Conkling, Cooper, Davis, Flanagan,' Hamilton of Mary: what course I shall feel bound to pursue in refer- land, Harlan, Johnston, Kelly, Lewis, Morton, Norwood,
Saulsbury, Stockton, Thurman, TRUMBULL, West-20. ence to the matter in the event of no action by
Mr. Davis moved to reconsider this vote, and March Congress at this time.* Subject to any satisfac- 1 a motion to table the motion to reconsider was lost
-yeas 26, nays 28, and, after further debate, agreed to * No action was taken. In Senate a bill (S. 1621) was-yeas 29, pays 28.
The selection of the site for the exposition seems has received the sanction of a majority of the to me appropriate, from the fact that one hundred legislators chosen by the people to make laws for years before the date fixed for the exposition the their guidance, and I have studiously sought to Declaration of Independence, which launched us find sufficient arguments to justify such assent, into the galaxy of nations as an independent but unsuccessfully. people, emanated from the same spot.
Practically, it is a question whether the measWe have much in our varied climate, soil, min. ure under discussion would give an additional eral products, and skill, of which advantage can dollar to the irredeemable paper currency of the be taken by other nationalities to their profit. country or not, and whether, by requiring threeIn return they will bring to our shores works of fourths of the reserves to be retained by the their skill, and familiarize our people with them, banks, and prohibiting interest to be received to the mutual advantage of all parties.
on the balance, it might not prove a contraction. Let us have a complete success in our Centen- But the fact cannot be concealed that theoretipial Exposition, or suppress it in its infarcy, ac-cally the bill increases the paper circulation knowledging our inability to give it the interna- $100,000,000, less only the amount of reserves tional character to which our self-esteem aspires. restrained from circulation by the provision of
U.S. GRANT. the second section. The measure has been sup
ported on the theory that it would give increased Transmitting the Report of the Civil circulation. It is a fair inference, therefore, that Service Commission, April 18, 1874. if in practice the measure should fail to create To the Senate and House of Representatives :
the abundance of circulation expected of it, the Herewith I transmit the report of the civil friends of the measure, particularly those out of service commission authorized by the act
of Con-Congress, would clamor for such inflation as
would give the expected relief, gress of March 3, 1871, and invite your special attention thereto.
The theory, in my belief, is a departure from If sustained by Congress, I have no doubt the true principles of finance, national interest, narules can, after the experience gained, be so im
tional obligations to creditors, congressional proved and enforced as to still more materially promises
, party pledges, on the part of both benefit the public service and relieve the Execu- political parties, and of personal views and tive, members of Congress, and the heads of De- promises made by me in every annual message
sent to Congress, and in each inaugural address.* partments from influences prejudicial to good administration.
In my annual message to Congress in Decem
ber, 1869, the following passages appear; The rules, as they have heretofore been enforced, have resulted beneficially, as is shown by and not yet referred to, is that of an irredeema
"Among the evils growing out of the rebellion, the opinions of the members of the Cabinet and ble currency. It is an evil which I hope will their subordinates in the Departments, and in receive your most earnest attention. It is a that opinion I concur; but rules applicable to officers who are to be appointed by and with the duty, and one of the highest duties of Governadvice and consent of the Senate are in great change of fixed, unvarying value. This implies
ment, to secure to the citizen a medium of exmeasure impracticable, except in so far as they may be sustained by the action of that body: it can be devised. It should be commenced now,
a return to a specie basis, and no substitute for This must necessarily remain so unless the direct and reached at the earliest practicable moment sanction of the Senate is given to the rules. I advise for the present only such appropria- the debtor class.
consistent with a fair regard to the interests of
Immediate resumption, if tion as may be adequate to continue the work in its present form, and would leave to the practicable, would not be desirable. It would future to determine whether the direct sanction contracts, the premium on gold at the date of
compel the debtor class to pay, beyond their of Congress should be given to rules that may their purchase, and would bring bankruptcy perhaps be devised for regulating the method and ruin to thousands. Fluctuation, however, of selection of appointees, or a portion of them, in the paper value of the measure of all values who need to be confirmed by the Senate. The same amount appropriated last year
(gold) is detrimental to the interests of trade. It would be adequate for the coming year, but I makes the man of business an involuntary gamthink the public interest would be promoted by bler; for in all sales where future payment is to authority in the Executive for allowing a small made, both parties speculate as to what will bo compensation for special service performed be- the value of the currency to be paid and reyond usual office hours under the act of 1871 to such legislation as will insure a gradual return
ceived. I earnestly recommend to you, then, persons already in the service of the Govern. to specie payments and put an immediate stop ment.
to fluctuations in the value of currency."
I still adhere to the views then expressed. Vetoing the Senate Currency Bill,
As early as December 4,4 1865, the House of April 22, 1874.
Representatives passed a resolution, by a vote To the Senate of the United States :
of 144 yeas to 6 nays, concurring “in the views Herewith I return Senate bill No. 617, entitled “An act to fix the amount of United States
* For President Grant's first inaugural, see McPher. notes and the circulation of national banks, and son's Reconstruction, p. 416; first annual, (1869,) p. for other purposes," without my approval. 533; second annual, McPherson's Hand-Book for 1872, In doing so I must express my regret at not p. 19; third
annual, p. 23.
+ This resolution passed December 18. See note being able to give my assent to a measure which I appended.
of the Secretary of the Treasury in relation to | as rapidly as it can be supplied, when the prethe necessity of a contraction of the currency mium on gold reaches a sufficiently low point. with a view to as early a resumption of specie With the amount of United States notes to be payments as the business interests of the country issued, permanently fixed within proper limits, will permit," and pledging “co-operative action and the Treasury so strengthened as to be able to this end as speedily as possible.”
to redeem them in coin on demand, it will then The first act passed by the Forty-First Con- be safe to inaugurate a system of free banking, gress, on the 18th day of March, 1869, was as with such provisions as to make compulsory refollows:
demption of the circulating-notes of the banks * An act to strengthen the public credit of the in coin, or in United States notes, themselves United States.
redeemable and made equivalent to coin. Be it enacted, &c., That in order to remove and for placing the Government in a condition
As a measure preparatory 10 free banking, any doubt as to the purpose of the Government to redeem its notes in coin “at the
earliest practo discharge all its obligations to the public ticable moment," the revenues of the country creditors, and to settle conflicting questions and interpretations of the law, by virtue of which should be increased so as to pay current expensuch obligations have been contracted, it is ses, provide for the sinking fund required by law, hereby provided and declared that the faith of and also a surplus, to be retained in the Treas: the United States is solemnly pledged to the ury, in gold.
I am not a believer in any artificial method payment in coin, or its equivalent of all the obligations of the United States and of all the of making paper money equal to coin when the interest-bearing obligations, except in cases
coin is not owned or held ready to redeem the where the law authorizing the issue of any such promises to pay; for paper money is nothing obligations has expressly provided that the same
more than promises to pay, and is valuable exmay be paid in lawful money, or in other cur
actly in proportion to the amount of coin that rency than gold and silver; but none of the said it can be converted into. While coin is not interest-bearing obligations not already due the country is not convertible into it at par, it be
used as a circulating medium, or the
currency shall be redeemed or paid before maturity, unless at such times as the United States notes other product. The surplus will seek a foreign
comes an article of commerce as much as any shall be convertible into coin at the option of the holder, or unless at such time bonds of the of trade has nothing to do with the question.
market, as will any other surplus. The balance United States bearing a lower rate of interest than the bonds to be redeemed can be sold at
Duties on imports being required in coin *crepar in coin. And the United States also sol- ates a limited demand for gold. About enough emnly pledges its faith to make provision, at To increase this supply I see no way open bat
to satisfy that demand remains in the country. the earliest practical period, for the redemption by the Government hoarding, through the of the United States notes in coin. This act still remains as a continuing pledge the national banks to aid.
means above given, and possibly by requiring of the faith of the United States “to make pro
It is claimed by the advocates of the measure vision, at the earliest practicable moment, for the redemption of the United States notes in herewith returned that there is an unequal discoin."
tribution of the banking capital of the country. A declaration contained in the act of June 30, of the question at first, but on reflection it will
I was disposed to give great weight to this view 1864,† created an obligation that the total amount of United States notes issued or to be be remembered that there still remain four milissued should never exceed four hundred millions lions of dollars of authorized bank-note circula. of dollars. The amount in actual circulation tion, assigned to States having less than their was actually reduced to three hundred and fifty: States having less than their quota of bank circa
quota, not yet taken. † In addition to this the six millions of dollars, † at which point Congress lation have the option of twenty-five millions passed the act of February 4, 1868,8 suspending the further reduction of the currency. The forty. than their proportion. When this is all taken
more to be taken from those states having more four millions have ever been regarded as a reserye, Il to be used only in case of emergency, up, or when specie payments are fully restored, such as has occurred on several occasions, and or are in rapid process of restoration, will be must occur when, from any cause, revenues sud- the time to consider the question of "more car
U. S. GRANT denly fall below expenditures; and such a reserve is necessary, ause the fractional cur
Notes by the Editor. rency, amounting to fifty millions, is redeemable in legal-tender on call. It may be said that such The following record of votes from 1862 to a return of fractional currency for redemption 1868, inclusive, has been prepared in order to is impossible. But let steps be taken for å re- show the precise action of Congress, to which turn to a specie basis, and it will be found that reference is made by the PRESIDENT, in bis vari silver will take the place of fractional currency
ous financial papers.
Note A.-The “ Legal Tender" and tion, p. 412. See note appended.
Sinking Fund” Act, 1862, Thirty† For votes on this, see notes appended.-ED.
Seventh Congress, Second Session. In pursuance of act of April 12, 1866, for which and An Act to authorize the issue of United States votes, see notes appended.- ED. & For votes on this, see notes appended.--Ed.
notes, and for the redemption or funding For argument pro and con, see notes appended.
* For votes on this act see McPherson's Reconstruc
*See note appended.-Ed. See notes appended.-Ex
thereof, and for funding the floating debt of that have been, or may hereafter be, issued unthe United States.
der any former act of Congress, or for United Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Rep. States notes that may be issued under the proresentatives of the United States of America in visions of this act; and all stocks, bonds, and Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the other securities of the United States held by Treasury is hereby authorized to issue, on the individuals, corporations, or associations, within credit of the United States, one hundred and the United States, shall be exempt from taxation fifty millions of dollars of United States notes, by or under State authority. pot bearing interest, payable to bearer, at the SEC. 3. That the United States notes and the Treasury of the United States, and of such de- coupon or registered bonds authorized by this nominations as he may deem expedient, not less act shall be in such form as the Secretary of the than five dollars each: Provided, however, That Treasury may direct, and shall bear the written fifty millions of said potes shall be in lieu of the or engraved signatures of the Treasurer of the demand Treasury notes authorized to be issued United States and the Register of the Treasury, by the act of July seventeen, eighteen hundred and also, as evidence of lawful issue, the imprint and sixty-one; which said demand notes shall of a copy of the seal of the Treasury Department, be taken up as rapidly as practicable, and the which imprint shall be made under the direction notes herein provided for substituted for them: of the Secretary, after the said notes or bonds And provided further, That the amount of the shall be received from the engravers and before two kinds of notes together shall at no time ex- they are issued; or the said notes and bonds shall ceed the sum of one hundred and fifty millions be signed by the Treasurer of the United States, of dollars, and such notes herein authorized shall or for the Treasurer by such persons as may be be receivable in payment of all taxes, internal specially appointed by the Secretary of the duties, excises, debts, and demands of every kind Treasury for that purpose, and shall be counterdue to the United States, except duties on im- signed by the Register of the Treasury, or for ports, and of all claims and demands against the the Register by such persons as the Secretary of Voited States of every kind whatsoever, except the Treasury may specially appoint for that purfor interest upon bonds and notes, which shall be pose; and all the provisions of the act entitled paid in coin, and shall also be lawful money and "An act to authorize the issue of treasury notes," à legal tender in payment of all debts, public and approved the twenty-third day of December, private, within the United States, except duties eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, so far as they on imports and interest as aforesaid. And any can be applied to this act, and not inconsistent holders of said United States notes depositing therewith, are bereby revived and re-enacted; any sum not less than fifty dollars, or some mul- and the sum of three hundred thousand dollars tiple of fifty dollars, with the Treasurer of the is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the United States, or either of the Assistant Treas- Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to enable urers, shall receive in exchange therefor dupli. the Secretary of the Treasury to carry this act cate certificates of deposit, one of which may be into effect. transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, SEC. 4. That the Secretary of the Treasury who shall thereupon issue to the holder an equal may receive from any person or persons, or any amount of bonds of the United States, coupon or corporation, United States notes on deposit for registered, as may by said holder be desired, not less than thirty days, in sums of not less bearing interest at the rate of six per centum than one hundred dollars, with any of the assistper annum, payable semi-annually, and redeem- ant treasurers or designated depositaries of the able at the pleasure of the United States after United States authorized by the Secretary of the five years, and payable twenty years from the Treasury to receive them, who shall issue theredate thereof. And such United States notes for certificates of deposit, made in such form as shall be received the same as coin, at their par the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe, value, in payment for any loans that may be and said certificates of deposit shall bear interest hereafter sold or negotiated by the Secretary of at the rate of five per centum per annum; and the Treasury, and may be re-issued from time any amount of United States notes no deposited to time as the exigencies of the public interests may be withdrawn from deposit at any time shall require.
after ten days' notice on the return of said cerSec. 2. That to enable the Secretary of the tificates: Provided, That the interest on all such Treasury to fund the Treasury notes and float- deposits shall cease and determine at the pleasing debt of the United States, he is hereby au- ure of the Secretary of the Treasury: And prothorized to issue, on the credit of the United vided further, That the aggregate of such deposits States, coupon boods, or registered bonds, to an shall at no time exceed the amount of twenty-five amount not exceeding five hundred millions of millions of dollars. dollars, redeemable at the pleasure of the United Sec. 5. That all duties on imported goods shall States after five years, and payable twenty years be paid in coin, or in notes payable on demand from date, and bearing interest at the rate of six heretofore authorized to be issued and by law per centum per annum, payable semi-annually: receivable in payment of public dues, and the And the bonds herein authorized shall be of coin so paid shall be set apart as a special fund, such denominations, not less than fifty dollars, and shall be applied as follows: as may be determined upon by the Secretary of First. To the payment in coin of the interest the Treasury. And the Secretary of the Treas- on the bonds and notes of the United States. ury may, dispose of such bonds at any time at Second. To the purchase or payment of one the market value thereof, for the coin of the per centum of the entire debt of the United United States, or for any of the Treasury notes (States, to be made within each fiscal year after