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RELATING TO THE
To the Congress of the United States:
In discharge of a constitutional duty, and following a well established precedent in the Executive office, I herewith transmit to the Congress at its re-assembling, certain information concerning the state of the Union, together with such recommendations for legislative consideration, as appear necessary and expedient.
Our Government has consistently maintained its relations of friendship toward all other powers, and of neighborly interest toward those whose possessions are contiguous to our own. Few questions have arisen during the past year with other governments, and none of those are beyond the reach of settlement in friendly counsel.
We are as yet without provision for the settlement of claims of citizens of the United States against Chile for injuries during the late war with Peru and Bolivia. The mixed commissions, organized under claims conventions, concluded by the Chilean government with certain European states, have developed an amount of friction which we trust can be avoided in the convention which our representative at Santiago is authorized to negotiate.
The cruel treatment of inoffensive Chinese, has, I regret to say, been repeated in some of the far western states and territories, and acts of violence against those people, beyond the power of the local constituted authorities to prevent, and difficult to punish, are reported even in distant Alaska. Much of this violence can be traced to race prejudice and competition of labor, which cannot, however, justify the oppression of strangers whose safety is guaranteed by our treaty with China equally with the most favored nations.
In opening our vast domain to alien elements, the purpose of our law-givers was to invite assimilation, and not to provide an arena for endless antagonisms. The paramount duty of maintaining public order and defending the interests of our own people, may require the adoption of measures of restriction, but they should not tolerate the oppression of individuals of a special race. I am not without assurance that the government of China, whose friendly disposition towards us I am most happy to recognize, will meet us half way in