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SEPTEMBER 22, 1881. 


•* . 


For the fourth time in the history of the Republic its Chief 
Magistrate has been removed by death. All hearts are filled with 
grief and horror at the hideous crime which has darkened our land ; 
and the memory of the murdered President, his protracted suffer- 
ings, his unyielding fortitude, the example and achievements of his 
life, and the pathos of his death will forever illumine the pages of 
our history. 

For the fourth time the oflScer elected by the people and ordained 
by the Constitution to fill a vacancy so created is called to assume 
the Executive Chair. The wisdom of our fathers, foreseeing even 
the most dire possibilities, made sure that the Government should 
never be imperilled because of the uncertainty of human life. Men 
may die but the fabrics of our free institutions remain unshaken. 
No higher or more assuring proof could exist of the strength and 
permanance of popular government than the fact that, though the 
chosen of the people be struck down, his constitutional successor is 
peacefully installed, without shock or strain, except the sorrow 
which mourns the bereavement. All the noble aspirations of my 
lamented predecessor which found expression in his life, the meas- 
ures devised and suggested during his brief administration to correct 
abuses, to enforce economy, to advance prosperity, and to promote the 
general welfare, to insure domestic security and maintain friendly 
and honorable relations with the nations of the earth, will be gar- 
nered in the hearts of the people, and it will be my earnest endeavor 
to profit and to see that the nation shall profit by his example and 

Prosperity blesses our country, our fiscal policy is fixed by law, is 
well grounded and generally approved. No threatening issue mars 
our foreign intercourse, and the wisdom, integrity, and thrift of our 



people may be trusted to continue undisturbed the present assured 
career of peace, tranquillity, and welfare. The gloom and anxiety 
which have enshrouded the country must make repose especially 
welcome now. No demand for speedy legislation has been heard ; 
no adequate occasion is apparent for an unusual session of Congress. 
The Constitution defines the functions and powers of the Executive 
as clearly as those of either of the other two departments of the 
Government, and he must answer for the just exercise of the discre- 
tion it permits and the perfonnance of the duties it imposes. Sum- 
moned to these high duties and responsibilities, and profoundly 
conscious of their magnitude and gravity, I assume the trust im- 
posed by the Constitution, relying for aid on Divine guidance and 
the virtue, patriotism, and intelligence of the American people. 




SEPTEMBKR 22, 1881. 





Whereas, in His inscrutable wisdom, it has pleased God to remove 
from us the illustrious head of the Nation, James A. Garfield, late 
President of the United States ; and 

Whereas, it is fitting that the deep grief which fills all hearts 
should manifest itself with one accord toward the throne of Infinite 
Grace, and that we should bow before the Almighty and seek from 
Him that consolation in our affliction and that sanctification of our 
loss which He is able and willing to vouchsafe ; 

Now, therefore, in obedience to sacred duty and in accordance 
with the desire of the people, I, Chester A. Arthur, President 
of the United States of America, do hereby appoint Monday, next, 
the twenty-sixth day of September — on which day the remains of 
our honored and beloved dead will be consigned to their last resting- 
place on earth — ^to be observed throughout the United States as a 
day of humiliation and mourning ; and I earnestly recommend all 
the people to assemble on that day in their respective places of 
divine worship, there to render alike their tribute of sorrowful sub- 
mission to the will of Almighty God and of reverence and love for 
the memory and character of our late Chief Magistrate. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington the twenty-second day of Sep- 
tember, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and eighty-one, 
and of the Independence of the United States of America the one 
hundred and sixth. 


By the President: 

James G. Blaine, 

Secretary of State. 



Special session of the Senate October id, i88i, 

SEPTEMBER 23, 1881. 





Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the 
Senate should be convened at an early day to receive and act upon 
such communications as may be made to it on the part of the Exec- 

Now, therefore, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United 
States, have considered it to be my duty to issue this, my proclama- 
tion, 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 Monday, the tenth day of 
October next, at twelve o'clock 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 Wash- 
ington, the twenty-third day of September, in the year of our Lord 
one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence 
of the United States the one hundred and sixth. 


By the President: 

James G. Blaine, 

Secretary of State. 




OCTOBER 19, 1881. 



Upon this soil, one hundred years ago, our forefathers brought to 
a successful issue their heroic struggle for independence. Here and 
then was established, and as we trust made forever secure upon this 
continent that principle of government which is the very foundation 
of our political system — the sovereignty of the people. 

The resentments that attended and for a time survived the clash 
of arms have long since ceased to animate our breasts. It is with 
no feeling of exultation over a defeated foe that we summon up to- 
day remembrance of the events that have made holy the ground 
whereon we tread. Surely no such unworthy sentiment could find 
harbor in our hearts, profoundly thrilled as they are by the expres- 
sions of sorrow and sympathy which our national bereavement has 
lately evoked from the people of England and from their august 

It is well that we have gathered here to refresh our souls with the 
contemplation of the unfaltering patriotism, the sturdy zeal, the sub- 
lime faith which achieved the results we now commemorate ; for so, 
if we learn aright the lesson of the hour, shall we be incited to trans- 
mit to the generations that shall follow, the precious legacy which 
our fathers transmitted to us — the love of liberty protected by law. 

Of the historic scene that was here enacted no feature was more 
prominent, and none more inspiring than the participation of our 
gallant allies from across the . sea. It was their presence that gave 
fresh and vigorous impulse to the hopes of our countrymen when 
well nigh disheartened by a long series of disasters. It was their 
noble and generous aid, extended in the darkest period of the strug- 
gle, that sped the coming of our triumph and made the capitulation 
at Yorktown possible a century ago. To their descendants and rep- 
resentatives who are present as the honored guests of the Nation, it 



L -■ 




It has long been the pious custom of our people, with the closing 
of the year, to look back upon the blessings brought to them in the 
changing course of the seasons, and to return solemn thanks to the 
All-giving Source from Whom they flow. And although at this 
period, when the falling leaf admonishes us that the time of our 
sacred duty is at hand, our Nation still lies in the shadow of a great 
bereavement, and the mourning which has filled our hearts still 
finds its sorrowful expression toward the God before Whom we but 
lately bowed in grief and supplication, yet the countless benefits 
which have showered upon us during the past twelvemonth call for 
our fervent gratitude, and make it fitting that we should rejoice with 
thankfulness that the Lord, in His infinite mercy, has most signally 
favored our country and our people. Peace without and prosperity 
within have been vouchsafed to us; no pestilence has visited our 
shores; the abundant privileges of freedom which our fathers left us 
in their wisdom are still our increasing heritage; and if, in parts of 
our vast domain, sore afiiiction has visited our brethem in their 
forest homes, yet even this calamity has been tempered and in a 
manner sanctified by the generous compassion for the sufferers which 
has been called forth throughout our land. For all these things, it 
is meet that the voice of the Nation should go up to God in devout 

Wherefore I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, 
do recommend that all the people observe Thursday, the twenty-fourth 
day of November instant, as a day of National Thanksgiving and 
Prayer, by ceasing, so far as may be, from their secular labors, and 
meeting in their several places of worship, there to join in ascribing 



honor and praise to Almighty God, Whose goodness has been 
so manifest in our history and in our lives, and offering earnest 
prayers that His bounties may continue to us and to our children. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused t;he 
seal of the United States to be aflBxed. 

Done at the city of Washington this fourth day of November in 
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one, 
and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and 


By the President: 

James G. Blaine, 

Secretary of State, 




DECEMBER 6, 1881. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives of the 

United States: 

An appalling calamity has befallen the American people since 
their chosen representatives last met in the halls where you are now 
assembled. We might else recall with unalloyed content the rare 
prosperity with which throughout the year the nation has been 
blessed. Its harvests have been plenteous; its varied industries 
have thriven; the health of its people has been preserved; it has 
maintained with foreign Governments the undisturbed relations of 
amity and peace. For these manifestations of His favor, we owe to 
Him who holds our destiny in His hands the tribute of our grateful 

To that mysterious exercise of His will, which has taken from us 
the loved and illustrious citizen who was but lately the head of the 
nation, we bow in sorrow and submission. 

The memory of his exalted character, of his noble achievements, 
and of his patriotic life will be treasured forever as a sacred possess- 
ion of the whole people. 

The announcement of his death drew from foreign Governments 
and peoples tributes of sympathy and sorrow which history will 
record as signal tokens of the kinship of nations and the federation 
of mankind. 

The feeling of good-will between our own Government and that 
of Great Britain was never more marked than at present. In recog- 
nition of this pleasing fact, I directed, on the occasion of the late 
centennial celebration at Yorktown, that a salute be given to the 
British flag. 

Save for the correspondence to which I shall refer hereafter in 
relation to the proposed canal across the Isthmus of Panama, little 



has occurred worthy of mention in the diplomatic relations of the 
two countries. 

Early in the year the Fortune Bay claims were satisfactorily set- 
tled by the British Government paying in full the sum of ;^i5,ooo, 
most of which has been already distributed. As the terms of the 
settlement included compensation for injuries suiBfered by our fisher- 
men at Aspee Bay, there has been retained from the gross award a 
5um which is deemed adequate for those claims. 

The participation of Americans in the exhibitions at Melbourne 
and Sydney will be approvingly mentioned in the reports of the 
two exhibitions, soon to be presented to Congress. They will dis- 
close the readiness of our countrymen to make successful competi- 
tion in distant fields of enterprise. 

Negotiations for an International Copyright Convention are in 
Tiopeful progress. 

The surrender of Sitting Bull and his forces upon the Canadian 
frontier has allayed apprehension, although bodies of British Indians 
still cross the border in quest of sustenance. Upon this subject a 
correspondence has been opened, which promises an adequate under- 
standing. Our troops have orders to avoid meanwhile all collisions 
with alien Indians. 

The presence at the Yorktown celebration of representatives oi 
the French Republic and descendants of Lafayette and of his gallant 
compatriots who were our allies in the Revolution, has served to 
strengthen the spirit of good-will which has always existed between 
the two nations. 

You will be furnished with the proceedings of the Bi-metallic 
Conference held during the summer at the city of Paris. No accord 
was reached, but a valuable interchange of views was had, and the 
conference will next year be renewed. 

At the Electrical Exhibition and Congress also held at Paris, this 
country was creditably represented by eminent specialists who, in 
the absence of an appropriation, generously lent their efficient aid 
at the instance of the State Department. While our exhibitors in 
this almost distinctively American field of achievement have won 
several valuable awards, I recommend that Congress provide for the 


repayment of the personal expenses incurred, in the public interest, 
by the honorary commissioners and delegates. 

No new questions respecting the status of our naturalized citizens 
in Germany have arisen during the year, and the causes of com- 
plaint, especially in Alsace and Lorraine, have practically ceased 
through the liberal action of the Imperial Government in accepting 
our often-expressed views on the subject. The application of the 
treaty of 1868 to the lately acquired Rhenish provinces has received 
very earnest attention, and a definite and lasting agreement on this 
point is confidently expected. The participation of the descendants 
of Baron von Steuben in the Yorktown festivities, and their subse- 
quent reception by their American kinsmen, strikingly evinced the 
ties of good-will which unite the German people and our own. 

Our intercourse with Spain has been friendly. An agreement 
concluded in February last fixes a term for the labors of the Spanish 
and American Claims Commission. The Spanish Government has 
been requested to pay the late awards of that commission, and will, 
it is believed, accede to the request as promptly and courteously as 
on former occasions. 

By recent legislation onerous fines have been imposed upon Ameri- 
can shipping in Spanish and colonial ports for slight irregularities 
in manifests. One case of hardship is specially worthy of attention. 
The bark ** Masonic," bound for Japan, entered Manila in distress, 
and is there sought to be confiscated under Spanish revenue laws for 
an alleged shortage in her trans-shipped cargo. Though efforts for 
her relief have thus far proved unavailing, it is expected that the 
whole matter will be adjusted in a friendly spirit. 

The Senate resolutions of condolence on the assassination of the 

Czar Alexander II were appropriately communicated to the Russian 

Government, which in turn has expressed its sympathy in our late 

national bereavement. It is desirable that our cordial relations with 

Russia should be strengthened by proper engagements, assuring to 

peaceable Americans who visit the Empire tlie consideration which 

is due to them as citizens of a friendly state. This is especially 

needful with respect to American Israelites, whose classification with 

the native Hebrews has evoked energetic remonstrances from this 




A supplementary consular agreement with Italy has been sanc- 
tioned and proclaimed, which puts at rest conflicts of jurisdiction in 
the case of crimes on shipboard. 

Several important international conferences have been held in 
Italy during the year. At the Geographical Congress of Venice, the 
Beneficence Congress of Milan, and the Hygienic Congress of Turin, 
this country was represented by delegates from branches of the pub- 
lic service, or by private citizens duly accredited in an honorary 
capacity. It is hoped that Congress will give such prominence to 
the results of their participation as they may seem to deserve. 

The abolition of all discriminating duties against such colonial 
productions of the Dutch East Indies as are imported hither from 
Holland has been already considered by Congress. I trust that at 
the present session the matter may be favorably concluded. 

The insecurity of life and property in many parts of Turkey has 
given rise to correspondence with the Porte, looking particularly to 
the better protection of American missionaries in the empire. The 
condemned murderer of the eminent missionary Dr. Justin W. Par- 
sons has not yet been executed, although this Government has re- 
peatedly demanded that exemplar^' justice be done. 

The Swiss Government has again solicited the good offices of our 
diplomatic and consular agents for the protection of its citizens in 
countries where it is not itself represented. This request has, within 
proper limits, been granted. 

Our agents in Switzerland have been instructed to protest against 
the conduct of the authorities of certain communes in permitting 
the emigration to this country of criminals and other 'Objectionable 
persons. Several such persons, through the cooperation of the Com- 
missioners of Emigration at New York, have been sent back by the 
steamers which brought them. A continuance of this course may 
prove a more effectual remedy than diplomatic remonstrance. 

Treaties of commerce and navigation, and for the regulation of 
consular privileges, have been concluded with Roumania and Servia 
since their admission into the family of European states. 

As is natural with contiguous states having like institutions and 
like aims of advancement and development, the friendship of the 
United States and Mexico has been constantly maintained. This 


Govermnent has lost no occasion of encouraging the Mexican Gov- 
ernment to a beneficial realization of the mutual advantages which 
will result from more intimate commercial intercourse, and from 
the opening of the rich interior of Mexico to railway enterprise. I 
deem it important that means be provided to restrain the lawless- 
ness unfortunately so common on the frontier, and to suppress the 
forays of the reservation Indians on either side of the Rio Grande. 

The neighboring states of Central America have preserved internal 
peace, and their outward relations toward us have been those of inti- 
mate friendship. There are encouraging signs of their growing dis- 
position to subordinate their local interests to those which are com- 
mon to them by reason of their geographical relations. ^ 

The boundary dispute between Guatemala and Mexico has aJBTordecT 
this Government an opportimity to exercise its good offices for pre- 
venting a rupture between those states, and for procuring a peace- 
able solution of the question. I cherish strong hope that in view 
of our relations of amity with both countries our friendly counsels 
may prevail. 

A special envoy of Guatemala has brought to me the condolences 
of his Government and people on the death of President Garfield. 

The Costa Rican Government lately framed an engagement with 
Colombia for settling by arbitration the boundary question between 
those countries, providing that the post of arbitrator should be of- 
fered successively to the King of the Belgians, the King of Spain, 
and the President of the Argentine Confederation. The King of 
the Belgians has declined to act, but I am not as yet advised of the 
action of the King of Spain. As we have certain interests in the 
disputed territory which are protected by our treaty engagements 
with one of the parties, it is important that the arbitration should 
not, without our consent, aiffect our rights, and this Government has 
accordingly thought proper to make its views known to the parties 
to the agreement, as well as to intimate them to the Belgian and 
Spanish Governments. 

The questions growing out of the proposed interoceanic water- 
way across the Isthmus of Panama are of grave national importance. 
This Government has not been unmindful of the solemn obligations 
imposed upon it by its compact of 1846 with Colombia, as the inde- 


pendent and sovereign mistress of the territory crossed by the canal, 
and has sought to render them effective by fresh engagements with 
the Colombian Republic looking to their practical execution. The 
negotiations to this end, after they had reached what appeared to be 
a mutually satisfactory solution here, were met in Colombia by a 
disavowal of the powers which its envoy had assumed, and by a 
proposal for renewed negotiation on a modified basis. 

Meanwhile this Government learned that Colombia had proposed 
to the European powers to join in a guarantee of the neutrality of 
the proposed Panama Canal — a guarantee which would be in direct 
contravention of our obligation as the sole guarantor of the integ- 
rity of Colombian territory and of the neutrality of the canal itself. 
My lamented predecessor felt it his duty to place before the European 
powers the reasons which make the prior guarantee of the United 
States indispensable, and for which the interjection of any foreign 
guarantee might be regarded as a superfluous and unfriendly act. 

Foreseeing the probable reliance of the British Government on the 
provisions of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty of 1850, as affording room 
for a share in the guarantees which the United States covenanted 
with Colombia four years before, I have not hesitated to supplement 
the action of my predecessor by proposing to Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment the modification of that instrument and the abrogation of such 
clauses thereof as do not comport with the obligations of the United 
States toward Colombia, or with the vital needs of the two friendly 
parties to the compact. 

This Government sees with great concern the continuance of the 
hostile relations between Chili, Bolivia, and Peru. An early peace 
between these republics is much to be desired, not only that they 
may themselves be spared further misery and bloodshed, but because 
their continued antagonism threatens consequences which are, in 
my jud<^ment, dangerous to the interests of republican government 
on this continent, and calculated to destroy the best elements of our 
free and peaceful civilization. 

As in the present excited condition of popular feeling in these 
countries there has been serious misapprehension of the position of 
the United States, and as separate diplomatic intercourse with each 
throuj^li independent ministers is sometimes subject, owing to the 


want of prompt reciprocal communication, to temporary misunder- 
standing, I have deemed it judicious, at the present time, to send a 
special envoy, accredited to all and each of them, and furnished with 
general instructions, which will, I trust, enable him to bring these 
powers into friendly relations. 

The Government of Venescuela maintains its attitude of warm 
friendship, and continues with great regularity its payment of the 
monthly quota of the diplomatic debt. Without suggesting the 
direction in which Congress should act, I ask its attention to the 
pending questions aflfecting the distribution of the sums thus far 

The relations between Venezuela and France, growing out of the 
same debt, have been for some time past in an unsatisfactory state, 
and this Government, as the neighbor and one of the largest creditors 
of Venezuela, has interposed its influence with the French Govern- 
ment with the view of producing a friendly and honorable adjust- 

I regret that the commercial interests between the United States 
and Brazil, from which great advantages were hoped a year ago, 
have suffered from the withdrawal of the American lines of com- 
munication between the Brazilian ports and our own. 

Through the efforts of our minister resident at Buenos Ayres and 
the United States minister at Santiago, a treaty has been concluded 
between the Argentine Republic and Chili, disposing of the long- 
pending Patagonian boundary question. It is a matter of congratu- 
lation that our Government has been afforded the opportunity of 
successfully exerting its good influence for the prevention of disa- 
greements between these republics of the American continent. 

I am glad to inform you that the treaties lately negotiated with 
China have been duly ratified on both sides, and the exchange made 
at Peking. Legislation is necessary to carr>' their provisions into 
effect. The prompt and friendly spirit with which the Chinese 
Government, at the request of the United States, conceded the modi- 
fication of existing treaties, should secure careful regard for the 
interests and susceptibilities of that Government in the enactment of 
any laws relating to Chinese immigration. 

Those clauses of the treaties which forbid the participation of 


citizens or vessels of the United States in the opium trade will 
doubtless receive your approval. They will attest the sincere inter- 
est which our people and Government feel in the commendable eflforts 
of the Chinese Government to put a stop to this demoralizing and 
destructive traffic 

In relation both to China and Japan, some changes are desirable 
in our present system of consular jurisdiction. I hope at some future 
time to lay before you a scheme for its improvement in the entire 

The intimacy between our own country and Japan, the most 
advanced of the eastern nations, continues to be cordial. I am 
advised that the Emperor contemplates the establishment of full 
constitutional government and that he has already summoned a 
parliamentary congress for the purpose of effecting the change. 
Such a remarkable step toward complete assimilation with the west- 
em system cannot fail to bring Japan into closer and more beneficial 
relationship with ourselves as the chief Pacific power. 

A question has arisen in relation to the exercise in that country 
of the judicial functions conferred upon our ministers and consuls. 
The indictment, trial, and conviction in the consular court at Yoko- 
hama of John Ross, a merchant-seaman on board an American ves- 
sel, have made it necessary for the Government to institute a careful 
examination into the nature and methods of this jurisdiction. 

It appeared that Ross was regularly shipped under the flag of the 
United States, but was by birth a British subject. My predecessor 
felt it his duty to maintain the position that, during his service as a 
regularly shipped seaman on board an American merchant vessel, 
Ross was subject to the laws of that service and to the jurisdiction 
of the United States consular authorities. 

I renew the recommendation which has been heretofore urged by 
the Executive upon the attention of Congress, that after the reduc- 
tion of such amount as may be found due to American citizens, the 
balance of tlie indemnity funds heretofore obtained from China and 
Japan, and which are now in the hands of the State Department, 
be returned to the Governments of those countries. 

The King of Hawaii, in the course of his homeward return after 
a journey around the world, has lately visited this country. While 


our relations with that kingdom are friendly, this Government has 
viewed with concern the eflforts to seek replenishment of the dimin- 
ishing population of the islands from outward sources, to a degree 
which may impair the native sovereignty and independence, in 
which the United States was among the first to testify a lively 

Relations of unimpaired amity have been maintained throughout 
the year with the respective Governments of Austria-Hungary, Bel- 
gium, Denmark, Hayti, Paraguay and Uruguay, Portugal, and Swe- 
den and Norway. This may also be said of Greece and Ecuador, 
although our relations with those states have for some years been 
severed by the withdrawal of appropriations for diplomatic repre- 
sentatives at Athens and Quito. It seems expedient to restore those 
missions, even on a reduced scale,- and I decidedly recommend such 
a course with respect to Ecuador, which is likely, within the near 
future, to play an important part among the nations of the Southern 

At its last extra session the Senate called for the text of the Geneva 
Convention for the relief of the wounded in war. I trust that this 
action foreshadows such interest in the subject as will result in the 
adhesion of the United States to that humane and commendable 

I invite your attention to the propriety of adopting the new Code 
of International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions on the high 
seas, and of conforming the domestic legislation of the United States 
thereto, so that no confusion may arise from the application of con- 
flicting rules in the case of vessels of different nationalities meeting 
in tidal waters. These international rules differ but slightly from 
our own. They have been adopted by the Navy Department for the 
governance of the war ships of the United States on the high seas 
and in foreign waters; and, through the action of the State Depart- 
ment in disseminating the rules, and in acquainting shipmasters 
with the option of conforming to them without the jurisdictional 
waters of the United States, they are now very generally known and 

The State Department still continues to publish to the country 
the trade and manufacturing reports received from its officers abroad. 


The success of this course warrants its continuance, and such appro- 
priation as may be required to meet the rapidly-increasing demand 
for these publications. With special reference to the Atlanta Cotton 
Exposition, the October number of the reports was devoted to a val- 
uable collection of papers on the cotton-goods trade of the world. 

The International Sanitary Conference, for which, in 1879, Con- 
gress made provision, assembled in this city early in January last, 
and its sessions were prolonged until March. Although it reached 
no specific conclusions aflfecting the future action of the participant 
powers, the interchange of views proved to be most valuable. The 
full protocols of the sessions have been already presented to the 

As pertinent to this general subject I call your attention to the 
operations of the National Board of Health. Established by act of 
Congress approved March 3, 1879, its sphere of duty was enlarged 
by the act of June 2 in the same year. By the last-named act the 
board was required to institute such measures as might be deemed 
necessary for preventing the introduction of contagious or infectious 
diseases from foreign countries into the United States or from one 
State into another. 

The execution of the rules and regulations prepared by the board 
and approved by my predecessor has done much to arrest the prog- 
ress of epidemic disease, and has thus rendered substantial servdce 
to the nation. 

The International Sanitary Conference, to which I have referred, 
adopted a form of a bill of health to be used by all vessels seeking 
to enter the ports of the countries whose representatives participated 
in its deliberations. This form has since been prescribed by the 
National Board of Health and incorporated with its rules and regu- 
lations, which have been approved by me in pursuance of law. 

The health of the people is of supreme importance. All measures 
looking to their protection against the spread of contagious diseases, 
and to the increase of our sanitary knowledge for such purposes, 
deserve attention of Congress. 

The report of the vSecretary of the Treasury presents in detail a 
hirfilv satisfactory exhibit of the state of the finances and the con- 
dition of the various branches of the public ser\^ice administered by 
that Department. 


The ordinary revenues from all sources for the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1881, were: 

From customs $198,159,676 02 

From internal revenue : 135)264,385 51 

From sales of public lands 2,201,863 17 

From tax on circulation and deposits of national 

banks '. 8,116,115 72 

From repayment of interest by Pacific Railway 

Companies 810,833 80 

From sinking fund for Pacific Railway Companies 805,180 54 

From customs fees, fines, penalties, &c 1,225,514 86 

From fees — consular, letters patent, and lands 2,244,983 98 

From proceeds of sales of Government property... 262,174 00 

From profits on coinage 3,468,485 61 

From revenues of the District of Columbia 2,016,199 23 

From miscellaneous sources 6,206,880 13 

Total ordinary receipts 360,782,292 57 

The ordinary expenditures for the same period were: 

For civil expenses $17,941,177 19 

For foreign intercourse 1)093,954 92 

For Indians 6,514,161 09 

For pensions 5^)059,279 62 

For the military establishment, including river and 

harbor improvements and arsenals 40, 466, 460 55 

For the naval establishment, including vessels, ma- 
chinery, and improvements at navy-yards 15,686,671 66 

For miscellaneous expenditures, including public 
buildings, light-houses, and collecting the rev- 
enue 41,837,280 57 

For expenditures on account of the District of Co- 
lumbia 3)543)912 03 

For interest on the public debt — 82,508,741 18 

For premium on bonds purchased 1,061,248 78 

Total ordinary expenditures 260,712,887 59 

Leaving a surplus revenue of 100,069,404 98 


Which was applied as follows: 

To the redemption of — 

Bonds for the sinking fund $74,371,200 00 

Fractional currency for the sinking fund 109,001 05 

Loan of February, 1861 7,418,000 00 

Ten-forties of 1864 2,016,150 00 

Five-twenties of 1862 18,300 00 

Five-twenties of 1864 3)400 00 

Five-twenties of 1865 37)30o cx> 

Consols of 1865 143,150 00 

Consolsof 1867 959>i50 00 

Consolsof i858 337>4oo 00 

Texan indemnity stock 1,000 00 

Old demand, compound-interest, and other notes .. 18,330 00 

And to the increase of cash in the Treasury i4j 637,023 93 

100,069,404 98 

The requirements of the sinking fund for the year amounted to 
$90,786,064.02, which sum included a balance of $49,817,128.78, 
not provided for during the previous fiscal year. The sum of 
$74,480,201.05 was applied to this fund, which left a deficit of 
$16,305,873.47. The increase of the revenues for 1881 over those 
of the previous year was $29,352,901.10. It is estimated that the 
receipts during the present fiscal year will reach $400,000,000, and 
the expenditures $270,000,000, leaving a surplus of $130,000,000 
applicable to the sinking fund and the redemption of the public debt 

I approve the recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
that provision be made for the early retirement of silver certificates, 
and that the act requiring their issue be repealed. They were issued 
in pursuance of the policy of the Government to maintain silver at 
or near the gold standard, and were accordingly made receivable for 
all customs, taxes, and public dues. About sixty-six millions of 
them are now outstanding. They form an unnecessary addition to 
the paper currency, a sufficient amount of which may be readily 
supplied by the national banks. 

In accordance with the act of February 28, 1878, the Treasury 
Department has, monthly, caused at least two millions in value of 


silver bullion to be coined into standard silver dollars. One hundred 
and two millions of these dollars have been already coined, while 
only about thirty-four millions are in circulation. 

For the reasons which he specifies, I concur in the Secretary's 
recommendation that the provision for coinage of a fixed amount 
each month be repealed, and that hereafter only so much be coined 
as shall be necessary to supply the demand. 

The Secretary advises that the issue of gold certificates should not 
for the present be resumed, and suggests that the national banks 
may properly be forbidden by law to retire their currency except 
upon reasonable notice of their intention so to do. Such legislation 
would seem to be justified by the recent action of certain banks on 
the occasion referred to in the Secretary's report. 

Of the fifteen millions of fractional currency still outstanding, only 
about eighty thousand has been redeemed the past year. The sug- 
gestion that this amount may properly be dropped from future state- 
ments of the public debt seems worthy of approval. 

So, also, does the suggestion of the Secretary as to the advisability 
of relieving the calendar of the United States courts in the south- 
em district of New York, by the transfer to another tribunal of the 
numerous suits there pending against collectors. 

The revenue from customs for the past fiscal year was $198,- 
159,676.02, an increase of $11,637,611.42 over that of the year pre- 
ceding. $138,098,562.39 of this amount was collected at the port 
of New York, leaving $50,251,113.63 as the amount collected at all 
the other ports of the country. Of this sum, $47,977,137.63 was 
collected on sugar, melado, and molasses ; $27, 285, 624. 78 on wool and 
its manufactures; $21,462,534.34 on iron and steel, and manufactures 
thereof; $19,038,665.81 on manufactures of silk; $10,825,115.21 on 
manufactures of cotton; and $6,469,643.04 on wines and spirits; 
making a total revenue from these sources, of $133,058,720.81. 

The expenses of collection for the past year were $6,419,345.20, 
an increase over the preceding year of $387,410.04. Notwithstand- 
ing the increase in the revenue from customs over the preceding 
year, the gross value of the imports, including free goods, decreased 
over twenty-five millions of dollars. The most marked decrease 
was in the value of unmanufactured wool, $14,023,682, and in that 


of scrap and pig iron, $12,810,671. The value of imported sugar, 
on the other hand, showed an increase of $7,457,474; of steel rails, 
$4,345,521; of barley, $2,154,204; and of steel in bars, ingots, &c., 

Contrasted with the imports during the last fiscal year, the exports 
were as follows: 

Domestic merchandise ^ $883,925,947 

Foreign merchandise 18,451,399 

Total 902,377,346 

Imports of merchandise 642,664,628 

Excess of exports over imports of merchandise 259,712,718 

Aggregate of exports and imports 1,545,041,974 

Compared with the previous year, there was an increase of $66,- 
738,688 in the value of exports of merchandise, and a decrease of 
$25,290,118 in the value of imports. The annual average of the 
excess of imports of merchandise over exports thereof, for ten years 
previous to June 30, 1873, ^^ $104,706,922; but for the last six 
years there has been an excess of exports over imports of merchan- 
dise amounting to $1, 180,668, 105, an annual average of $196, 778,017. 
The specie value of the exports of domestic merchandise was 
$376,616,473 in 1870, and $883,925,947 in 1881, an increase of 
$507,309,474, or 135 percent. The value of imports was $435,958,408 
in 1870, and $642,664,628 in 1881, an increase of $206,706,220, or 
47 per cent. 

During each year from 1862 to 1879, inclusive, the exports of spe- 
cie exceeded the imports. The largest excess of such exports over 
imports was reached during the year 1864, when it amounted to 
$92,280,929. But during the year ended June 30, 1880, the imports 
of coin and bullion exceeded the exports by $75,891,391 ; and 
during the last fiscal year the excess of imports over exports was 

In the last annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury the 
attention of Congress was called to the fact that $469,651,050 in five 
per centum bonds and ^203,573,750 in six per centum bonds would 
become redeemable during the year, and Congress was asked to 


authorize the refunding of these bonds at a lower rate of interest. 
The bill for such refunding having failed to become a law, the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, in April last, notified the holders of the 
$195,690,400 six per centum bonds then outstanding, that the bonds 
would be paid at par on the first day of July following, or that they 
might be ** continued" at the pleasure of the Government, to bear 
interest at the rate of three and one-half per centum per annum. 

Under this notice $178,055,150 of the six per centum bonds were 
continued at the lower rate, and $17,635,250 were redeemed. 

In the month of May a like notice was given respecting the re- 
demption or continuance of the $439,841,350 of five per centum 
bonds then outstanding, and of these, $401,504,900 were continued 
at three and one-half per centum per annum, and $38,336,450 

The six per centum bonds of the loan of February 8, 1861, and 
of the Oregon war debt, amounting together to $14,125,800, having 
matured during the year, the Secretary of the Treasury gave notice 
of his intention to redeem the same, and such as have been pre-^ 
sented have been paid from the surplus revenues. There have also 
been redeemed at par $16,179,100 of the three and one-half per 
centum ** continued" bonds, making a total of bonds redeemed, or 
which have ceased to bear interest during the year, of $123,969,650. 

The reduction of the annual interest on the public debt through 
these transactions is as follows: 

By reduction of interest to three and one-half per 

cent $10,473,952 25 

By redemption of bonds ^ 6,352,340 oa 

Total 16,826,292 25 

The three and one-half per centum bonds, being payable at the 
pleasure of the Government, are available for the investment of , 
surplus revenue without the payment of premiums. 

Unless these bonds can be funded at a much lower rate of interest 
than they now bear, I agree with the Secretar\^ of the Treasury that 
no legislation respecting them is desirable. 

It is a matter for congratulation that the business of the country 
has been so prosperous during the past year as to yield by taxation 


a large surplus of income to the Government If the revenue laws 
remain unchanged this surplus must, year by year, increase, on 
account of the reduction of the public debt and its burden of interest, 
and because of the rapid increase of our population. In 1866, just 
prior to the institution of our internal-revenue system, our popula- 
tion but slightly exceeded 30,000,000; by the census of 1880 it is 
now found to exceed 50,000,000. It is estimated that even if the 
annual receipts and expenditures should continue as at present the 
entire debt could be paid in ten years. 

In view, however, of the heavy load of taxation which our people 
have already borne, we may well consider whether it is not the part 
of wisdom to reduce the revenues, even if we delay a little the pay- 
ment of the debt. 

It seems to me that the time has arrived when the people may 
justly demand some relief from their present onerous burden, and 
that by due economy in the various branches of the public service, 
this may readily be aflforded. 

I therefore concur with the Secretary in recommending the aboli- 
tion of all internal-revenue taxes, except those upon tobacco in its 
various forms, and upon distilled spirits and fermented liquors; and 
except also the special tax upon the manufacturers of, and dealers 
in,, such articles. The retention of the latter tax is desirable as af- 
fording the officers of the Government a proper supervision of these 
articles for the prevention of fraud. I agree with the Secretary of 
the Treasury, that the law imposing a stamp tax upon matches, pro- 
prietary articles, playing cards, checks, and drafts, may with propri- 
ety be repealed, and the law also by which banks and bankers are 
assessed upon their capital and deposits. There seems to be a gen- 
eral sentiment in favor of this course. 

In the present condition of our revenues the tax upon deposits is 
especially unjust. It was never imposed in this country until it was 
demanded by the necessities of war, and was never exacted, I believe, 
in any other countr}', even in its greatest exigencies. Banks are 
required to secure their circulation by pledging with the Treasurer 
of the United States bonds of the General Government The interest 
upon these bonds, which at the time when the tax was imposed was 
6 per cent., is now, in most instances, 3^ per cent. Besides, the 


entire circulation was originally limited by law and no increase was 
allowable. When the existing banks had practically a monopoly of 
the business, there was force in the suggestion, that for the franchise 
to the favored grantees the Government might very properly exact a 
tax on circulation; but for years the system has been free, and the 
amount of circulation regulated by the public demand. 

The retention of this tax has been suggested as a means of reim- 
bursing the Government for the expense of printing and furnishing 
the circulating notes. If the tax should be repealed it would cer- 
tainly seem proper to require the national banks to pay the amount 
of such expense to the Comptroller of the Currency. 

It is perhaps doubtful whether the immediate reduction of the rate 
of taxation upon liquors and tobacco is advisable, especially in view 
of the drain upon the Treasury which must attend the payment of 
arrears of pensions. A comparison, however, of the amount of taxes 
collected imder the varying rates of taxation which have at different 
times prevailed, suggests the intimation that some reduction may 
soon be made without material diminution of the revenue. 

The tariff laws also need revision ; but, that a due regard may be 
paid to the conflicting interests of our citizens, important changes 
should be made with caution. If a careful revision cannot be made 
at this session, a commission such as was lately approved by the 
Senate and is now recommended by the Secretary of the Treasur>' 
would doubtless lighten the labors of Congress whenever this subject 
shall be brought to its consideration. 

The accompanying report of the Secretary of War will make 
known to you the operations of that Department for the past year. 

He suggests measures for promoting the efficiency of the Army 
without adding to the number of its officers, and recommends the 
legislation necessary to increase the number of enlisted men to thirty 
thousand, the maximum allowed by law. 

This he deems necessary to maintain quietude on our ever-shifting 
frontier; to preserve peace and suppress disorder and marauding in 
new settlements; to protect settlers and their property against In- 
dians, and Indians against the encroachments of intruders; and to 
enable peaceable immigrants to establish homes in the most remote 
parts of our country. 


The Amiy is now necessarily scattered over such a vast extent of 
territory that, whenever an outbreak occurs^ reinforcements must be 
hurried from many quarters, over great distances, and always at 
heavy cost for transportation of men, horses, wagons, and supplies. 

I concur in the recommendations of the Secretary for increasing 
the Army to the strength of thirty thousand enlisted men. 

It appears by the Secretary's report that in the absence of disturb- 
ances on the fixmtier the troops have been actively employed in col- 
lecting the Indians hitherto hostile, and locating them on their 
proper reservations; that Sitting Bull and his adherents are now 
prisoners at Port Randall; that the Utes have been moved to their 
new reservation in Utah; that during the recent outbreak of the 
Apaches it was necessary to reinforce the garrisons in Arizona by 
troops withdrawn from New Mexico; and that some of the Apaches 
are now held prisoners for trial, while some have escaped, and the 
majority of the tribe are now on their reservation. 

There is need of legislation to prevent intrusion upon the lands 
set apart for the Indians. A large military force, at great expense, 
is now required to patrol the boundary line between Kansas and the 
Indian Territory. The only punishment that can at present be in- 
flicted is the forcible removal of the intruder and the imposition of 
a pecuniary fine, which, in most cases, it is impossible to collect. 
There should be a penalty by imprisonment in such cases. 

The separate organization of the Signal Service is urged by the 
Secretary of War, and a full statement of the advantages of such per- 
manent organization is presented in the report of the Chief Signal 
OflGicer. A detailed account of the useful work performed by the 
Signal Corps and the Weather Bureau, is also given in that report. 

I ask attention to the statements of the Secretary of War regard- 
ing the requisitions frequently made by the Indian Bureau upon tlie 
Subsistence Department of the Army for the casual support of bands 
and tribes of Indians whose appropriations are exhausted. The War 
Department should not be left, by reason of inadequate provision 
for the Indian Bureau, to contribute for the maintenance of Indians. 

The report of the Chief of Engineers furnishes a detailed account 
of the operations for the improvement of rivers and harbors. 

I commend to your attention the suggestions contained in this 


report in regard to the condition of our fortifications, especially our 
coast defenses, and recommend an increase of the strength of the 
Engineer Battalion, by which the efficiency of our torpedo system 
would be improved. 

I also call your attention to the remarks upon the improvement of 
the South Pass of the Mississippi River, the proposed free bridge 
over the Potomac River at Georgetown, the importance of complet- 
ing at an early day the north wing of the War Department building, 
and other recommendations of the Secretary of War which appear 
in his report. 

The actual expenditures of that Department for the fiscal year 
ending June 30, 1881, were $42,122,201.39. The appropriations for 
the year 1882 were $44,889,725.42. The estimates for 1883 are 

The report of the Secretary of the Navy exhibits the condition of 
that branch of the service, and presents valuable suggestions for its 
improvement. I call your especial attention also to the appended 
report of the Advisory Board, which he convened to devise suitable 
measures for increasing the efficiency of the Navy, and particularly 
to report as to the character and number of vessels necessary to place 
it upon a footing commensurate with the necessities of the Govern- 

I cannot too strongly urge upon you my conviction that every 
consideration of national safety, economy, and honor imperatively 
demands a thorough rehabilitation of our Navy. 

With a full appreciation of the fact that compliance with the 
suggestions of the head of that Department and of the Advisory 
Board must involve a large expenditure of the public moneys, I 
earnestly recommend such appropriations as will accomplish an end 
which seems to me so desirable. 

Nothing can be more inconsistent with true public economy than 
withholding the means necessar>- to accomplish the objects intrusted 
by the Constitution to the national legislature. One of those ob- 
jects, and one which is of paramount importance, is declared by our 
fundamental law to be the provision for the ^^ common defense.'' 
Surely nothing is more essential to the defense of the United States 

and of all our people than the efficiency of our Navy. 


We have for many years maintained with foreign Governments the 
relations of honorable peace, and that such relations may be perma- 
nent is desired by every patriotic citizen of the Republic. 

But if we heed the teachings of history we shall not forget that in 
the life of every nation emergencies may arise when a resort to arms 
can alone save it from dishonor. 

No danger from abroad now threatens this people, nor have we 
any cause to distrust the friendly professions of other Governments. 

But for avoiding as well as for repelling dangers that may threaten 
us in the future, we must be prepared to enforce any policy which 
we think wise to adopt. 

We must be ready to defend our harbors against aggression, to pro- 
tect, by the distribution of our ships of war over the highways of 
commerce, the varied interests of our foreign trade, and the persons 
and property of our citizens abroad, to maintain everywhere the 
honor of our flag, and the distinguished position which we may 
rightfully claim among the nations of the world. 

The report of the Postmaster-General is a gratifying exhibit of 
the growth and efficiency of the postal ser\dce. 

The receipts from postage and other ordinary' sources during the 
past fiscal year were $36,489,816.58. The receipts from the money- 
order business were $295,581.39, making a total of $36,785,397.97. 
The expenditure for the fiscal year was $39,251,736.46. The deficit 
supplied out of the general Treasury was $2,481,129.35, or 6^^^y per 
cent, of the amount expended. The receipts were $3,469,918.63 in 
excess of those of the previous year, and $4,575,397.97 in excess of 
the estimate made two years ago, before the present period of busi- 
ness prosperity had fairly begun. 

The whole number of letters mailed in this countr>' in the last 
fiscal year exceeded one thousand millions. 

The registry system is reported to be in excellent condition, having 
been remodeled during the past four years, wdth good results. The 
amount of registration fees collected during the last fiscal year was 
$712,882.20, an increase over the fiscal year ending June 30, 1877, 

of $345, 443- 40- 

The entire number of letters and packages registered during the 

year was 8,338,919, of which only 2,061 were lost or destroyed in 



The operations of the money-order system are multiplying yearly 
under the impulse of immigration, of the rapid development of the 
newer States and Territories, and the consequent demand for addi- 
tional means of intercommunication and exchange. 

During the past year, 338 additional money-order oflSces have been 
established, making a total of 5,499 in operation at the date of this 

During the year the domestic money orders aggregated in value 


A modification of the system is suggested, reducing the fees for 

money orders not exceeding $5 from ten cents to five cents, and 

making the maximum limit $100 in place of $50. 

Legislation for the disposition of unclaimed money orders in the 
possession of the Post-OflSce Department is recommended, in view 
of the fact that their total value now exceeds one million dollars. 

The attention of Congress is again invited to the subject of estab- 
lishing a system of savings depositories in connection with the Post- 
Office Department. 

The statistics of mail transportation show that during the past 
year railroad routes have been increased in length 6,249 iiiil^s, and 
in cost $1,114,382, while steamboat routes have been decreased in 
length 2,182 miles, and in cost $134,054. The so-called star routes 
have been decreased in length 3,949 miles, and in cost $364,144. 

Nearly all of the more expensive routes have been superseded by 
railroad service. The cost of the star service must therefore rapidly 
decrease in the Western States and Territories. 

The Postmaster-General, however, calls attention to the constantly 
increasing cost of the railway mail service as a serious diflSculty in 
the way of making the Department self-sustaining. 

Our postal intercourse with foreign countries has kept pace with 
the growth of the domestic service. Within the past year several 
coimtries and colonies have declared their adhesion to the Postal 
Union. It now includes all those which have an organized postal 
service, except Bolivia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and the British 
colonies in Australia. 

As has been already stated, great reductions have recently been 
made in the expense of the star-route service. The investigations 



of the Department of Justice and the Post-Office Department have 
resulted in the presentation of indictments against persons formerly 
connected with that ser\'ice, accusing them of offenses against the 
United States. I have enjoined upon the officials who are charged 
with the conduct of the cases ou the part of the Government and 
upon the eminent counsel who, before my accession to the Presi- 
dency, were called to their assistance, the duty of prosecuting with 
the utmost vigor of the law all persons who may be found chargeable 
with frauds upon the postal ser\'ice. 

The Acting Attoraey-General calls attention to the necessitj- of 
modifying the present system of the courts of the United States — a 
necessity due to the large increase of business, especially in the 
Supreme Court. Litigation in our Federal tribunals became greatly 
expanded after the close of the late war. So long as tliat expansion 
might be attributable to the abnormal condition in which the com- 
munity found itself immediately after the return of peace, prudence 
required that no change be made in the constitution of our judicial 

But it has now become apparent that an inmiense increase of liti- 
gation has directly resulted from tho woiidcrt'ul growth and develop- 
ment of the country. There is no ground for belief that the business 
of the United States courts will ever be less in volume than at pres- 
ent. Indeed, that it is likely to be much greater is generally recog- 
nized by the bench and bar. 

In view of the fact that Congress has already given much consid- 
eration to this subject, I make no suggestion as to detail, but express 
the hope that your deliberations may result in such legislation as 
will give early relief to our overburdened courts. 

The Acting Attorney-General also calls attention to the disturb- 
ance of the public tranquillity during the past year in the Territory 
of Arizona. A band of armed desperadoes, known as "Cow Boys," 
probably numbering from fifty to one hundred men, have been 
engaged for months in committing acts of lawlessness and brutality 
which the local authorities have been unable to repress. The dep- 
redations of these "Cow Boys" have also extended into Mexico, 
which the marauders reach from the Arizona frontier. With e\'ery 
disposition to meet the exigencies of the case, I am embarrassed by 


lack of authority to deal with them effectually. The punishment of 
crimes committed within Arizona should ordinarily, of course, be 
left to the Territorial authorities. But it is worthy consideration 
whether acts which necessarily tend to embroil the United States 
with neighboring Governments should not be declared crimes against 
the United States. Some of the incursions alluded to may perhaps 
be within the scope of the law (Revised Statutes, section 5286) for- 
bidding *' military expeditions or enterprises" against friendly 
states ; but in view of the speedy assembling of your body, I have 
preferred to await such legislation as in your wisdom the occasion 
may seem to demand. 

It may, perhaps, be thought proper to provide that the setting on 
foot within our own territory, of brigandage and armed marauding 
expeditions against friendly nations and their citizens, shall be pun- 
ishable as an offense against the United States. 

I will add that in the event of a request from the Territorial gov- 
ernment for protection by the United States against *^ domestic vio- 
lence," this Government would be powerless to render assistance. 

The act of 1795, chapter 36, passed at a time when Territorial 
governments received little attention from Congress, enforced this 
duty of the United States only as to the State governments. But 
the act of 1807, chapter 39, applied also to Territories. This law 
seems to have remained in force until the revision of the statutes, 
when the provision for the Territories was dropped. I am not ad- 
vised whether this alteration was intentional or accidental, but, as 
it seems to me that the Territories should be offered the protection 
which is accorded to the States by the Constitution, I suggest legis- 
lation to that end. 

It seems to me, too, that whatever views may prevail as to the 
policy of recent legislation by which the Army has ceased to be a 
part of the posse comitatiis^ an exception might well be made for 
permitting the militar>' to assist the civil Territorial authorities in 
enforcing the laws of the United States. This use of the Army 
would not seem to be within the alleged evil against which that leg- 
islation was aimed. From sparseness of population and other 
circumstances it is often quite impracticable to summon a civil posse 


in places where officers of justice require assistance, and where a 
military force is within easy reach. 

The report of the Secretary of the Interior, with accompanying 
documents, presents an elaborate account of the business of that 
Department. A summary of it would be too extended for this place, 
I ask your careful attention to the report itself. 

Prominent among the matters which challenge the attention of 
Congress at its present session is the management of our Indian 
aflfairs. While this question has been a cause of trouble and embar- 
rassment from the infancy of the Government, it is but recently that 
any eflFort has been made for its solution, at once serious, determined, 
consistent, and promising success. 

It has been easier to resort to convenient makeshifts for tiding over 
temporary difficulties than to grapple with the great permanent prob- 
lem, and, accordingly, the easier course has almost invariably been 

It was natural, at a time when the national territory seemed almost 
illimitable and contained many millions of acres far outside the 
bounds of civilized settlements, that a policy should have been 
initiated which more than aught else has been the fruitful source of 
our Indian complications. 

I refer of course to the policy of dealing with the various Indian 
tribes as separate nationalities, of relegating them by treaty stipula- 
tions to the occupancy of immense reser\^ations in the West, and of 
encouraging them to live a savage life, undisturbed by any earnest 
and well-directed efforts to bring them under the influences of civili- 

The unsatisfactory results which have sprung from this policy are 
becoming apparent to all. 

As the white settlements have crowded the borders of the reser\^a- 
tions, the Indians, sometimes contentedly and sometimes against 
their will, have been transferred to other hunting-grounds, from 
which they have again been dislodged whenever their new-found 
homes have been desired by the adventurous settlers. 

These removals, and the frontier collisions by which thev have 
often been preceded, have led to frequent and disastrous conflicts 
between the races. 


It is profitless to discuss here which of them has been chiefly 
responsible for the disturbances whose recital occupies so large a 
space upon the pages of our history. 

We have to deal with the appalling fact that though thousands of 
lives have been sacrificed, and hundreds of millions of dollars 
expended in the attempt to solve the Indian problem, it has until 
within the past few years seemed scarcely nearer a solution than it 
was half a century ago. But the Gk)vemment has of late been cau- 
tiously but steadily feeling its way to the adoption of a policy which 
has already produced gratifying results, and which, in my judgment, 
is likely, if Congress and the Executive accord in its support, to 
relieve us ere long from the difficulties which have hitherto beset us. 

For the success of the efibrts now making to introduce among the 
Indians the customs and pursuits of civilized life, and gradually to 
absorb them into the mass of our citizens, sharing their rights and 
holden to their responsibilities, there is imperative need for legisla- 
tive action. 

My suggestions in that regard will be chiefly such as have been 
already called to the attention of Congress, and have received to some 
extent its consideration: 

First I recommend the passage of an act making the laws of the 
various States and Territories applicable to the Indian reservations 
within their borders, and extending the laws of the State of Arkansas 
to the portion of the Indian Territory not occupied by the five civil- 
ized tribes. 

The Indian should receive the protection of the law. He should 
be allowed to maintain in court his rights of person and property. 
He has repeatedly begged for this privilege. Its exercise would be 
very valuable to him in his progress toward civilization. 

Second. Of even greater importance is a measure which has been 
frequently recommended by my predecessors in office, and in further- 
ance of which several bills have been from time to time introduced 
in both Houses of Congress. The enactment of a general law per- 
mitting the allotment in severalty, to such Indians, at least, as desire 
it, of a reasonable quantity of land secured to them by patent, and 
for their own protection made inalienable for twenty or twenty-five 


years, is demanded for their present welfare and their pennaueiit 

In return for such considerate action on the part of the Govern- 
ment, there is reason to believe that the Indians in large numbers 
would be persuaded to sever their tribal relations and to engage at 
once ill agricultural pursuits. Many of them realize the fact that 
their Iiuuting days are over, and that it i.s now for their best interests 
to conform their manner of life to the new order of things. By no 
greater inducement than the assurance of penuanent title to the soil 
can they be led to engage in the occupation of tilling it. 

The well-attested reports of their increasing interest in husbandrj' 
justify the hope and belief that the enactment of such a statute as I 
recommend would be at once attended with ffratif>-ing results. A 
resort to the allotment system would have a direct and powerful 
influence in dissolving the tribal bond, which is so promiuent a 
feature of savage life, and which tends so strongly to perpetuate it. 

Third. I advise a liberal appropriation for the support of Indian 
schools, because of my confident belief that such a course is con- 
sistent with the wisest economy. 

Even among the most uncultivated Indian tribes there is reported 
to be a general and m^nt desire on the part of the chiefs and older 
members for the education of their cliildren. It is unfortunate, in 
view of this fact, that during the past year the means which have 
been at the command of the Interior Department for the purpose of 
Indian instruction have proved to be utterly inadequate.. The suc- 
cess of the schools which are in operation at Hampton, Carlisle, and 
Forest Grove should not only encourage a more generous provision 
for the support of those institutions, but should prompt the estajj- 
lishment of others of a similar character. 

They are doubtless much more potent for good than the day 
schools upon the reservation, as the pupils are altogether separated 
from the surroundings of savage life, and brought into constant con- 
tact with civilization. 

There are many other phases of this subject which are of great 
interest, but which cannot be included within the becoming limits 
of this communication; they are discussed ably in the reports of the 
Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 


For many years the Executive, in his annual message to Congress, 
has urged the necessity of stringent legislation for the suppression of 
polygamy in the Territories, and especially in the Territory of Utah. 
The existing statute for the punishment of this odious crime, so re- 
volting to the moral and religious sense of .Christendom, has been 
persistently and contemptuously violated ever since its enactment. 
Indeed, in spite of commendable efforts on thq part of the authori- 
ties who represent the United States in that Territory, the law has 
in very rare instances been enforced, and, for a cause to which refer- 
ence will presently be made, is practically a dead letter. 

The fact that adherents of the Mormon church, which rests upon 
polygamy as its comer-stone, have recently been peopling in large 
numbers Idaho, Arizona, and other of our Western Territories, is 
well calculated to excite the liveliest interest and apprehension. It 
imposes upon Congress and the Executive the duty of arraying 
against this barbarous system all the power which, under the Con- 
stitution and the law, they can wield for its destruction. 

Reference has been already made to the obstacles which the United 
States oflScers have encountered in their efforts to punish violations 
of law. ^Prominent among these obstacles is the difficulty of procur- 
ing legal evidence sufficient to warrant a conviction even in the case 
of the most notorious offenders. 

Your attention is called to a recent opinion of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, explaining its judgment of reversal in the case 
of Miles, who had- been convicted of bigamy in Utah. The court 
refers to the fact that the secrecy attending the celebration of mar- 
riages in that Territory makes the proof of polygamy ver>' difficult; 
and the propriety is suggested of modifying the law of evidence 
which now makes a wife incompetent to testify against her husband. 

This suggestion is approved. I recommend also the passage of an 
act providing that in the Territories of the United States the fact 
that a woman has been married to a person charged with bigamy 
shall not disqualify her as a witness upon his trial for that offense. 
I further recommend legislation by which any person solemnizing a 
marriage in any of the Territories shall be required, under stringent 
penalties for neglect or refusal, to file a certificate of such marriage 
in the supreme court of the Territory. 

1^ lAlTEBS All|> MBSSMBS. 

Doubtless Cotigrass may ^fvise otiier ptacticaUe meastties for 
diviatmg thie cUfficttltifis wliidi liave hitherto attended the effinls to 
si3^I»:ess this iaiquity. I assure you ci my detennined pufpose to 
CKyc^ptmte with you in any lawful aud discreet measmes which may 
be proposed to tibat ea4 

Although our system of govenmiait does not contem^te that 
the nation sdiould provide or support a system for the educatimi ci 
our people, no measures calculated to pcomote that graeral intdili* 
genoe and virtue upon which the perpetuity of our institii^ions so 
greatly dq>endS| have ever been r^;arded with indiffer^Kse hy Con- 
gress or the Bncutive. 

A large portion <tf the public domain has been, from time to timet 
4evcrt«d to the promotion of education. 

* 1!liere iuinow a q>ecial reason why, by setting apart the p t oceeda 
dTits saks of puMic lands, or by some other course, tiie QofvemmexA 
diotdd aid the wosik of education. Many who now ^terebe the r%ht 
of suffi!age are unable to read the ballot which they cast Upott 
many who had just emeij^^ed from a condition of slavery, weie sud- 
denly devolved the responsibilities of dtiasenship in tbaA jfot&m of 
the country most impoverished by war. I have been pleased to 
learn from the report of the Commissioner of Education that there 
has lately been a commendable increase of interest and eflfort for their 
instruction; but all that can be done by local legislation and private 
generosity should be supplemented by such aid as can be constitu- 
tionally afforded by the National Gk)vemment. 

I would suggest that if any fund be dedicated to this purpose it 
may be wisely distributed in the different States according to the 
ratio of illiteracy, as by this means those localities which are most 
in need of such assistance will reap its special benefits. 

The report of the Commissioner of Agriculture exhibits the results 
of the experiments in which that Department has been engaged dur- 
ing the past year, and makes important suggestions in reference to 
the agricultural development of the country. 

The steady increase of our population, and the consequent addition 
to the number of those engaging in the pursuit of husbandry, are 
giving to this Department a growing dignity and importance. The 
Commissioner's suggestions touching its capacity for greater useful- 


ness deserve attention, as it more and more commends itself to the 
interests which it was created to promote. 

It appears from the report of the Commissioner of Pensions that, 
since i860, 789,063 original pension claims have been filed; 450,949 
of these have been allowed and inscribed on the pension-roll; 72,539 
have been rejected and abandoned, being 13+ per cent, of the whole 
number of claims settled. 

There are now pending for settlement 265,575 original pension 
claims, 227,040 of which were filed prior to July i, 1880. These, 
when allowed, will involve the payment of arrears from the date of 
discharge in case of an invaKd, and from date of death or termina- 
tion of a prior right in all other cases. 

From all the data obtainable it is estimated that 15 per cent, of the 
number of clainjip now pending will be rejected or abandoned. This 
would show the probable rejection of 34,040 cases, and the probable 
admission of about 193,000 claims, all of which involve the payment 
of arrears of pensions. 

With the present force employed, the number of adjudications 
remaining the same and no new business intervening, this number 
of claims (193,000) could be acted upon in a period of six years; and 
taking January i, 1884, as a near period from which to estimate in 
each case an average amount of arrears, it is found that every case 
allowed would require, for the first payment upon it, the sum of 
$1,350. Multiplying this amount by the whole number of probable 
admissions gives $250,000,000 as the sum required for first pay- 
ments. This represents the sum which must be paid upon claims 
which were filed before July i, 1880, and are now pending, and 
entitled to the benefits of the arrears act. From this amount 
($250,000,000) may be deducted from ten to fifteen millions, for 
cases where, the claimant dying, there is no person who, under 
the law, would be entitled to succeed to the pension, leaving 
$235,000,000 as the probable amount to be paid. 

In these estimates, no account has been taken of the 38,500 cases 
filed since June 30, 1880, and now pending, which must receive 
attention as current business, but which do not involve the payment 
of any arrears beyond the date of filing the claim. Of this number 
it is estimated that 86 per cent, will be allowed. 


As has been stated, with the present force of the Pension Bnreau, 
675 clerks, it is estimated that it will take six years to dispose of the 
claims now pending. 

It is stated by the Commissioner of Pensions that by an addition 
of 250 clerks (increasing the adjudicating force rather than the 
mechanical) double the amount of work could be accomplished, so 
that these cases could be acted upon within three years. 

Aside from the considerations of justice which may be urged for 
a speedy settlement of the claims now on the files of the Pension 
Office, it is no less important on the score of economy, inasmuch as 
fully one-third of the clerical force of the office is now whplly occu- 
pied in giving attention to correspondence with the thousands of 
claimants whose cases have been on the files for the past eighteen 
years. The fact that a sum so enormous must be expended by the 
Government to meet demands for arrears of pensions, is an admoni- 
tion to Congress and the Executive to give cautious consideration to 
any similar project in the future. The great temptation to the pre- 
sentation of fictitious claims aflforded by the fact that the average sum 
obtained upon each application is $1,300, leads me to suggest the 
propriety of making some special appropriation for the prevention of 

I advise appropriations for such internal improvements as the wis- 
dom of Congress may deem to be of public importance. The neces- 
sity of improving the navigation of the Mississippi River justifies a 
special allusion to that subject. I suggest the adoption of some 
measure for the removal of obstructions which now impede the navi- 
gation of that great channel of commerce. 

In my letter accepting the nomination for the Vice-Presidency, I 
stated that in my judf>;ment ''no man should be the incumbent of 
an office, the duties of which he is for any cause unfit to perform; 
who is lacking in the ability, fidelity, or integrity which a proper 
administration of such office demands. This sentiment would 
doubtless meet with general acquiescence, but opinion has been 
widely divided upon the wisdom and practicabilit\' of the various 
reformatory schemes which have been suggested and of certain pro- 
posed regulations governing appointments to public office. 

"The efficienc}' of such regulations has been distrusted, mainly 


because they have seemed to exalt mere educational and abstract 
tests above general business capacity and even special fitness for the 
particular work in hand. It seems to me that the rules which should 
be applied to the management of the public service, may properly 
conform in the main to such as regulate the conduct of successful 
private business: 

*' Original appointments should be based upon ascertained fitness. 

*'The tenure of office should be stable. 

''Positions of responsibility should, so far as practicable, be filled 
by the promotion of worthy and efficient officers. 

''The investigation of all complaints and the punishment of all 
official misconduct should be prompt and thorough." 

The views expressed in the foregoing letter are those which will 
govern my administration of the Executive Office. They are doubt- 
less sharecj by all intelligent and patriotic citizens, however diver- 
gent in their opinions as to the best methods of putting them into 
practical operation. 

For example, the assertion that "original appointments should be 
based upon ascertained fitness ' ' is not open to dispute. 

But the question how in practice such fitness can be most effect- 
ually ascertained, is one which has for years excited interest and dis- 
cussion. The measure, which, with slight variations in its details, 
has lately been urged upon the attention of Congress and the Exec- 
utive, has as its principal feature the scheme of competitive exami- 
nation. Save for certain exceptions, which need not here be speci- 
fied, this plan would allow admission to the service only in its low- 
est grade, and would accordingly demand that all vacancies in higher 
positions should be filled by promotion alone. In these particulars 
it is in conformity with the existing civil-service system of Great 
Britain. And indeed the success which has attended that system in 
the country of its birth is the strongest argument which has been 
urged for its adoption here. 

The fact should not, however, be overlooked that there are cer- 
tain features of the English system which have not generally been 
received with favor in this countr}', even among the foremost advo- 
cates of civil-service reform. 


Among them are : 

1. A tenure of office which is substantially a life-tenure. 

2. A limitation of the maximum age at which au applicant can 
enter the service, whereby all men in miSdle life or older, are, with 
some exceptions, rigidly excluded. 

3. A retiring allowance upon going out of office. 

These three elements are as important factors of the problem as 
any of the others. To eliminate them from the English system 
would effect a most radical change in its theory and practice. 

The avowed purxjose of that system is to induce the educated 
young men of the countrj- to devote their lives to public employ- 
ment by an assurance that having once entered npon it they need 
never leave it, and that after voluntary retirement they shall be the 
recipients of an annual pension. That this system as an entirety 
has proved very successful in Great Britain seems to be generally 
conceded even by those who once opposed its adoption. 

To a statute which should incorporate all its essential features, I 
should feel bound to give my approval. But whether it would be 
for the best interests of the public to fix upon an expedient for 
immediate and extensive appHcatiou, which embraces certain feat- 
ures of tie English system but excludes or ignores others of equal 
importance, may be seriously doubted, even by those who are im- 
pressed, as I am myself, with the grave importance of correcting 
the evils which inhere in the present methods of appointment. 

If, for example, the English rule which shuts out persons above 
the age of twenty-five years from a large number of public employ- 
ments is not to be made an essential part of our own system, it is 
questionable whether the attainment of the highest number of marks 
at a competitive examination should be the criterion by which all 
applications for appointment should be put to test. And under 
similar conditions, it may also be questioned, whether admission to 
the service should be strictly limited to its lowest ranks. 

There are very many characteristics which go to make a model 
civil servant. Prominent among them are probity, industry, good 
sense, good habits, good temper, patience, order, courtesy, tact, self- 
reliance, manly deference to superior officers and manly considera- 
tion for inferiors. The absence of these traits is not supplied by 


wide knowledge of books or by promptitude in answering questions, 
or by any other quality likely to be brought to light by competitive 

To make success in such a contest, therefore, an indispensable 
condition of public employment, would very likely result in the 
practical exclusion of the older applicants, even though they might 
possess qualifications far superior to their younger and more brilliant 

These suggestions must not be regarded as evincing any spirit of 
opposition to the competitive plan, which has been to some extent 
successfully employed already, and which may hereafter vindicate 
the claim of its most earnest supporters. But it ought to be seri- 
ously considered whether the application of the same educational 
standard to persons of mature years and to young men fresh from 
school and college would not be likely to exalt mere intellectual 
proficiency above other qualities of equal or greater importance. 

Another feature of the proposed system is the selection by promo- 
tion of all officers of the Government above the lowest grade, except 
such as would fairly be regarded as exponents of the policy of the 
Executive and the principles of the dominant party. 

To aflford encouragement to faithful public servants by exciting in 
their minds the hope of promotion, if they are found to merit it, is 
much to be desired. 

But would it be wise to adopt a rule so rigid as to permit no other 
mode of supplying the intermediate walks of the service ? 

There are many persons who fill subordinate positions with great 
credit, but lack those qualities which are requisite for higher posts 
of duty; and, besides, the modes of thought and action of one whose 
service in a govenunental bureau has been long continued are often 
so cramped by routine procedure as almost to disqualify him from 
instituting changes required by the public interests. An infusion of 
new blood, from time to time, into the middle ranks of the sen^ice 
might be very beneficial in its results. 

The subject under discussion is one of grave importance. The 
evils which are complained of cannot be eradicated at once ; the 
work must be gradual. 


The present English system is a growth of years, and was not 
created by a single stroke of executive or legislative action. 

Its beginnings are found in an order in council, promulgated in 
1855, and it was after patient and cautious scrutiny of its workings 
that fifteen years later it took its present shape. 

Five years after the issuance of the order in council, and at a time 
when resort had been had to competitive examinations as an experi- 
ment much more extensively than has yet been the case in this coun- 
try, a select committee of the House of Commons made a report to 
that house, which, declaring its approval of the competitive plan, 
deprecated, nevertheless, any precipitancy in its general adoption as 
likely to endanger its ultimate success. 

During this tentative period the results of the two methods of 
pass examination and competitive examination were closely watched 
and compared. It may be that before we confine ourselves upon this 
important question within the stringent bounds of statutory enact- 
ment, we may profitably await the result of further inquiry and 

The submission of a portion of the nominations to a central board 
of examiners selected solely for testing the qualifications of appli- 
cants may, perhaps, without resort to the competitive test, put an 
end to the mischiefs which attend the present system of appointment, 
and it may be feasible to vest in such a board a wide discretion to 
ascertain the characteristics and attainments of candidates in those 
particulars which I have already referred to as being no less impor- 
tant than mere intellectual attainment. 

If Congress should deem it advisable at the present session to 
establish competitive tests for admission to the service, no doubts 
such as have been suggested shall deter me from giving the meas- 
ure my earnest support. 

And I urgently recommend, should there be a failure to pass any 
other act upon this subject, that an appropriation of $25,000 per 
year may be made for the enforcement of section 1753 of the Revised 

With the aid tlin.^ afforded nie, I sliall strive to execute the pro- 
visions of that law according to its letter and spirit. 

I am unwilling, in jnstice to the present civil servants of the 


Government, to dismiss this subject without declaiing my dissent 
from the severe and almost indiscriminate censure with which they 
have been recently assailed. That they are as a class indolent, 
inefficient, and corrupt, is a statement which has been often made 
and widely credited. But when the extent, variety, delicacy, and 
importance of their duties are considered, the great majority of the 
employes of the Government are in my judgment deserving of high 

The continuing decline of the merchant marine of the United 
States is greatly to be deplored. In view of the fact that we furnish 
so large a proportion of the freights of the commercial world and 
that our shipments are steadily and rapidly increasing, it is cause of 
surprise that not only is our navigation interest diminishing, but it 
is less than when our exports and imports were not half so large as 
now, either in bulk or value. There must be some peculiar hin- 
derance to the development of this interest, or the enterprise and 
energy of American mechanics and capitalists would have kept this 
country at least abreast of our rivals in the friendly contest for ocean 
supremacy. The substitution of iron for wood and of steam for sail 
have wrought great revolutions in the carrying trade of the world ; 
but these changes could not have been adverse to America if we had 
given to our navigation interests a portion of the aid and protection 
which have been so wisely bestowed upon our manufactures. I 
commend the whole subject to the wisdom of Congress, with the 
suggestion that no question of greater magnitude or farther-reaching 
importance can engage their attention. 

In 1875 ^h^ Supreme Court of the United States declared uncon- 
stitutioual the statutes of certain States which imposed upon ship- 
owners or consignees a tax of one dollar and a half for each passenger 
arriving from a foreign country, or, in lieu thereof, required a bond 
to indemnify the State and local authorities against expense for the 
future relief or support of such passenger. Since this decision the 
expense attending the care and supervision of immigrants has fallen 
on the States at whose ports they have landed. As a large majority 
of such immigrants, immediately upon their arrival, proceed to the 
inland States and the Territories to seek permanent homes, it is 

manifestly unjust to impose upon the State whose shores they first 

reach, tlie burden which it now bears. For this reason, r.nd because 
of the national importance of the subject, I recommend legislation 
regarding the supervision and transitorj' care of immigrants at the 
ports of debarkation. 

I regret to state that the people of Alaska have reason to complain 
that they are as yet unprovided with any form of government by 
which life or property can I>e protected. While the extent of its 
population does not justify the application of the costly machinery 
of Territorial administration, tliere is immediate necessity for con- 
stituting such a form of government as will promote the education 
of the people and secure the administration of justice. 

The Senate, at its last session, passed a bill providing for the con- 
struction of a building for the Library' of Congress, but it failed to 
become a law. The provision of suitable protection for this great 
collection of books, and for the copyright department connected witli 
it, has become a subject of national importance and should receive 
prompt attention. 

The report of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, 
herewith transmitted, will inform yon fully of the condition of the 
affairs of the District. 

The}' urge the vital importance of legislation for the reclamatiou 
and improvement of the marshes and for the establishment of the 
harbor lines along the Potomac River front. 

It is represented that in their present condition these marshes 
seriously affect the health of the residents of the adjacent parts of 
the city; and that they greatly mar the general aspect of the park 
in which stands the Washington Monument. This improvement 
would add to that park and to the park south of the Executive Man- 
sion a large area of valuable land, and would transform what is now 
believed to be a dangerous nuisance into an attractive landscape 
extending to the river front. 

They recommend the removal of the steam railway lines from the 
surface of the streets of the city, and the location of the necessary 
depots in such places as may be convenient for the public accommo- 
dation; and they call attention to the deficiency of the water supply, 
which seriously affects the material prosperity of the city and the 
health and comfort of its inhabitants. 


I commend these subjects to your feivorable consideration. 

The importance of timely legislation with respect to the ascertain- 
ment and declaration of the vote for Presidential electors was sharply 
called to the attention of the people more than four years ago. 

It is to be hoped that some well-defined measure may be devised 
before another national election, which will render unnecessary a 
resort to any expedient of a temporary character, for the determina- 
tion of questions upon contested returns. 

Questions which concern the very existence of the Government 
and the liberties of the people were suggested by the prolonged 
illness of the late President, and his consequent incapacity to per- 
form the functions of his office. 

It is provided by the second article of the Constitution, in the 
fifth clause of its first section, that * ' in case of the removal of the 
President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to 
discharge the powers and duties of said office, the same shall devolve 
on the Vice-President'' 

What is the intendment of the Constitution in its specification of 
*' inability to discharge the powers and duties of said office," as one 
of the contingencies which calls the Vice-President to the exercise of 
Presidential functions? 

Is the inability limited in its nature to long-continued intellectual 
incapacity, or has it a broader import? 

What must be its extent and duration? 

How must its existence be established? 

Has the President, whose inability is the subject of inquiry, any 
voice in determining whether or not it exists, or is the decision of 
that momentous and delicate question confided to the Vice-President, 
or is it contemplated by the Constitution that Congress should pro- 
vide by law precisely what should constitute inability, and how and 
by what tribunal or authority it should be ascertained? 

If the inability proves to be temporary in its nature, and during 
its continuance the Vice-President lawfully exercises the functions 
of the iExecutive, by what tenure does he hold his office? 

Does he continue as President for the remainder of the four years' 


Or would the elected President, if his inability should cease in the 
interval, be empowered to resume his office? 

And if having such lawful authority be should exercise it, would 
the Vice-President be thereupon empowered to resume his powers 
and duties as such? 

I cannot doubt that these important questions will receive your 
early and thoughtful consideration. 

Deeply impressed with the gravity of the responsibilities which 
have so unexpectedly devolved upon me, it will be my constant pur- 
pose to co-operate with you in sudi measures as will promote the 
glory of the country and the prosperity of its people. 







MARCH I 8, 1882. 


part of section four of article four of the Constitution which pro- 
vides that the United States shall, on application of the legislature 
or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), pro- 
tect each of the States against domestic violence. 

Executive Mansion, Mai-ch i8, 1882. 





APRIL 4, 1882. 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

After careful consideration of Senate bill No. 71, entitied "An act 
to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese, ' ' I here- 
with return it to the Senate, in which it originated, with my objec- 
tions to its passage. 

A nation is justified in repudiating its treaty obligations only when 
they are in conflict with great paramount interests. Even then all 
possible reasonable means for modifying or changing those obliga- 
tions by mutual agreement should be exhausted before resorting to 
the supreme right of refusal to comply with them. 

These rules have governed the United States in their past inter- 
course with other powers as one of the family of nations. I am per- 
suaded that if Congress can feel that this act violates the faith of the 
nation, as pledged to China, it will concur with me in rejecting this 
particular mode of regulating Chinese immigration, and will en- 
deavor to find another which shall meet the expectations of the people 
of the United States without coming in conflict with the rights of 

The present treaty relations between that power and the United 
States spring from an antagonism which arose between our para- 
mount domestic interests and our previous relations. 

The treaty commonly known as the Burlingame Treaty conferred 
upon Chinese subjects the right of voluntary emigration to the 
United States for the purposes of curiosity or trade, or as permanent 
residents, and was in all respects reciprocal as to citizens of the 
United States in China. It gave to the voluntary emigrant coming 
to the United States the right to travel there or to reside there, with 
all the privileges, immunities, or exemptions enjoyed by the citizens 
or subjects of the most favored nation. 


Under the operation of this treaty it was found that the institu- 
tions of the United States and the character of its people and their 
means of obtaining a livelihood might be seriously affected by the 
unrestricted introduction of Chinese labor. Congjess attempted to 
alleviate this condition by legislation, but the act which it passed 
proved to be in violation of our treaty obligations, and, being 
returned by the President with his objections, failed to become a law. 

Diplomatic relief was then sought. A new treaty was concluded 
with China. Without abrogating the Burlingame treaty, it was 
agreed to modify it so far that the Government of the United States 
might regulate, limit, or suspend the coming of Chinese laborers to 
the United States, or tlieir residence therein; but that it should not 
absolutely prohibit them, and that the limitation or suspensioo 
should be reasonable, and should apply only to Chinese who might 
go to the United States as laborers, other classes not being included 
in the limitations. This treaty is unilateral, not reciprocal. It is 
a concession from China to the United States, in limitation of the 
rights which she was enjoying under the BurHugame treaty. It 
leaves us by our own act to determine when and how we will enforce 
those limitations. China may therefore fairly have a right to expect 
that in enforcing them we will take good care not to overstep the 
grant and take more than has been conceded to us. 

It is but a year since this new treaty, under the operation of the 
Constitution, became part of the supreme law of the land ; and the 
present act is the first attempt to exercise the more enlarged powers 
which it relinquishes to the United States. 

In its first article the United States is empowered to decide 
whether the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States, or their 
residence therein, affects or threatens to affect our interests, or to 
endanger good order, either within the whole country or in any part 
of it. The act recites that "in the opinion of the Government of 
the United States the coming of Chinese laborers to this country 
endangers the good order of certain localities thereof. ' ' But the act 
itself is much broader than the recital. It acts upon residence as 
well as immigration, and its provisions are effective throughout the 
United States. I think it may fairly be accepted as an expression 
of the opinion of Congress that the coming of such laborers to the 


United States, or their residence here, affects our interests, and 
endangers good order throughout the country. On this point I 
should feel it my duty to accept the views of Congress. 

The first article further conveys the power upon this Government 
to regulate, limit, or suspend, but not actually to prohibit, the com- 
ing of such laborers to, or their residence in, the United States. 
The negotiators of the treaty have recorded with unusual fullness 
their understanding of the sense and meaning with which these 
words were used. 

As to the class of persons to be affected by the treaty, the Amer- 
icans inserted in their draft a provision that the words ''Chinese 
laborers'' signify all immigration other than that for ''teaching, 
trade, travel, study, and curiosity." The Chinese objected to this 
that it operated to include artizans in the class of laborers whose 
immigration might be forbidden. The Americans replied that they 
"could" not consent that artizans shall be excluded from the class 
of Chinese laborers, for it is this very competition of skilled labor, in 
the cities where the Chinese labor immigration concentrates, which 
has caused the embarrassment and popular discontent. In the sub- 
sequent negotiation5 this definition dropped out, and does not appear 
in the treaty. Article II of the treaty confers the rights, privileges, 
immunities, and exemptions which are accorded to citizens and sub- 
jects of the most favored nation upon Chinese subjects proceeding 
to the United States as teachers, students, merchants, or from curi- 
osity. The American commissioners report that the Chinese Gov- 
ernment claimed that in this article they did, by exclusion, provide 
that nobody should be entitled to claim the benefit of the general 
provisions of the Burlingame treaty but those who might go to the 
United States in those capacities, or for those purposes. I accept 
this as the definition of the word "laborers," as used in the treaty. 

As to the power of legislating respecting this class of persons, the 
new treaty provides that we "may not absolutely prohibit" their 
coming or their residence. The Chinese commissioners gave notice 
in the outset that they would never agree to a prohibition of volun- 
tary emigration. Notwithstanding this the United States commis- 
sioners submitted a draft in which it was provided that the United 
States might "regulate, limit, suspend, or prohibit" it. The 


■ Chinese refused to accept tliis. The Americans replied that they 
were "willing to consult the wishes of the Chinese Government in 
preserving the principle of free intercourse between the people of 
the two countries, as established by existing treaties, provided that 
the right of the United States Government to use its discretion in 
guarding against any possible evils of immigration of Chinese 
laborers is distinctly recognized. Therefore, if such concession 
remo^'es all difficulty on the part of the Chinese commissioners (but 
only in that case), the United States commissioners will agree to 
remove the word "prohibit" from their article, and to use the 
words ' ' regulate, limit, or suspend. ' ' The Chinese reply to this can 
only be inferred from the fact that in the place of an agreement, as 
proposed by our commissioners, that we might prohibit the coming 
or residence of Chinese laborers, there was inserted in the treaty an 
agreement that we might not do it- 

The remaining words "regulate, limit, and suspend," first appear 
in the American draft. When it was submitted to the Chinese they 
said, "We infer that of the phrases regulate, limit, suspend, or pro- 
hibit, the first is a general expression referring to the others." "We 
are entirely ready to negotiate with your Excellencies to the end 
that a limitation either in point of time or of numbers may be fixed 
upon the emigration of Chinese laborers to the United States." At 
a subsequent interview they said, that "by limitation in number 
they m^nt, for example, that the United States having, as they 
supposed, a record of the number of immigrants in each year, as well 
as the total number of Chinese now there, that no more should be 
allowed to go in any one year in future than either the greatest 
number which had gone in any year in the past, or that the total 
number should never be allowed to exceed the number now there. 
As to limitation of time they meant, for example, that Chinese 
should be allowed to go in alternate years, or every third year, or, 
for example, that they should not be allowed to go for two, three, 
or five years." At a subsequent conference the Americans said, 
" The Chinese commissioners have in their project explicitly recog- 
nized the right of the United States to use some discretion, and 
have proposed a limitation as to time and number. This is the 
right to regulate, limit, or suspend." 


In one of the conferences the Chinese asked the Americans 
whether they could give them any idea of the laws which would 
be passed to carry the powers into execution. The Americans 
answered that this could hardly be done, ''that the United States 
Government might never deem it necessary to exercise this power. 
It would depend upon circumstances. If Chinese immigration con- 
centrated in cities where it threatened public order, or if it confined 
itself to localities where it was an injury to the interests of the 
American people, the Government of the United States would 
undoubtedly take steps to prevent such accumulations of Chinese. 
If, on the contrary, there was no large immigration, or if there 
were sections of the country where such immigration was clearly 
beneficial, then the legislation of the United States, under this 
power, would be adapted to such circumstances. For example, 
there might be a demand for Chinese labor in the South, and a sur- 
plus of such labor in California, and Congress might legislate in 
accordance with these facts. In general, the legislation would be 
in view of, and depend upon the circumstances of the situation at 
the moment such legislation became necessary. ' ' The Chinese com- 
missioners said this explanation was satisfactory; that they had not 
intended to ask for a draft of any special act, but for some general 
idea how the power would be exercised. What had just been said 
gave them the explanation which they wanted. 

With this entire accord as to the meaning of the words they were 
about to employ, and the object of the legislation which might be 
had in consequence, the parties signed the treaty, in Article I of 
which "the Government of China agrees that the Government of 
the United States may regulate, limit, or suspend such coming or 
residence, but may not absolutely prohibit it. The limitation or 
suspension shall be reasonable, tod shall apply only to Chinese who 
may go to the United States as laborers, other classes not being 
included in the limitations. Legislation taken in regard to Chinese 
laborers will be of such a character only as is necessary to enforce 
the regulation limitation or suspension of immigration.'' 

The first section of the act provides that ' ' from and after the expi- 
ration of sixty days next after the passage of this act, and until the 
expiration of twenty years next after the passage of this act, the 

coiniug of Chinese laborers be, and the same is hereby, suspended, 
and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese 
laborer to come, or having so come after the expiration of said sixty 
days, to remain within the United States." 

The examination which I have made of the treaty, and of the 
declarations which its negotiators have left on record of the meaning 
of its language, leaves no doubt in my mind that neither contract- 
ing party in concluding the treaty of 1880 contemplated the passage 
of an act prohibiting iinraigration for twenty years, which is nearly 
a generation, or thought that such a period would be a reasonable 
suspension or limitation, or intended to change the provisions of the 
Burlingame treaty to that extent. I regard this provision of the act 
as a breach of our national faith; and being unable to bring myself 
in harmony with the views of Congress on this vital point, the 
honor of the country constrains me to retxim the act with this objec- 
tion to its passage. 

Deeply convinced of the necessity of some legislation on this sub- 
ject, and concurring fully with Congress in many of the objects 
which are sought to be accomplished, I avail myself of the opportu- 
nity to point out some other features of the present act which, in 
my opinion, can be inodilled to adyaiilagc. 

The classes of Chinese who still enjoy the protection of the 
Burlingame treaty are entitled to the privileges, immunities, and 
exemptions accorded to citizens and subjects of the most favored 
nation. We have treaties with many powers which permit their 
citizens and subjects to reside within the United States and carry on 
business under the same laws and regulations which are enforced 
against citizens of the United States. I think it may be doubted 
whether provisions requiring personal registration and the taking 
out of passports which are not imposed upon natives can be required 
of Chinese. Without expressing an opinion on that point, I may 
invite the attention of Congress to the fact that the system of per- 
sonal registration and passports is undemocratic and hostile to the 
spirit of our institutions. I doubt the wisdom of putting an enter- 
ing wedge of this kind into our laws. A nation like the United 
States, jealous of the liberties of its citizens, may well hesitate be- 
fore it incorporates into its polity a system which is fast disap- 


pearing in Europe before the progress of liberal institutions. A 
wide experience has shown how futile such precautions are, and 
how easily passports may be borrowed, exchanged, or even forged 
by persons interested to do so. 

If it is nevertheless thought that a passport is the most convenient 
way for identifying the Chinese entitled to the protection of the 
Burlingame treaty, it may still be doubted whether they ought to 
be required to register. It is certainly our duty under the Burlin- 
game treaty to make their stay in the United States, in the operation 
of general laws upon them, as nearly like that of our own citizens 
as we can consistently with our right to shut out the laborers. No 
good purpose is served in requiring them to register. 

My attention has been called by the Chinese minister to the fact 
that the bill as it stands makes no provision for the transit across the 
United States of Chinese subjects now residing in foreign countries. 
I think that this point may well claim the attention of Congress in 
legislating on this subject 

I have said that good faith requires us to suspend the immigration 
of Chinese laborers for a less period than twenty years; I now add 
that good policy points in the same direction. 

Our intercourse with China is of recent date. Our first treaty 
with that power is not yet forty years old. It is only since we 
acquired California and established a great seat of commerce on the 
Pacific that we may be said to have broken down the barriers which 
fenced in that ancient monarchy. The Burlingame treaty naturally 
followed. Under the spirit which inspired it, many thousand Chi- 
nese laborers came to the United States. No one can say that the 
country has not profited by their work. They were largely instru- 
mental in constructing the railways which connect the Atlantic with 
the Pacific. The States of the Pacific slope are full of evidences of 
their industry. Enterprises profitable alike to the capitalist and to 
the laborer of Caucasian origin would have lain dormant but for 
them. A time has now come when it is supposed that they are not 
needed, and when it is thought by Congress and by those most ac- 
quainted with the subject that it is best to tr>' to get along without 
them. There may, however, be other sections of the country where 

this species of labor may be advantageously employed without inter- 


fering with the laborers of our own race. In making the proposed 
experiment, it may be the part of wisdom as well as of good faith to 
fix the lengtli of the experimental period with reference to this fact. 

Experience has shown that the trade of the East is the key to 
national wealth and influence. The opening of China to the com- 
merce of the whole world has benefited no section of it more than 
the States of our own Pacific slope. The State of California, and 
its great maritime port especially, have reaped enormous advantages 
from this source. Blessed with an exceptional climate, enjoying an 
unrivaled harbor, with the riches of a great agricultural and mining 
State in its rear, and the wealth of the whole Union pouring into it 
over its lines of railway, San Francisco has before it an incalculable 
future, if our friendly and amicable relations with Asia remain undis- 
turbed. It needs no argument to show that the policy which we 
now propose to adopt must have a direct tendency to repel Oriental 
nations from us, and to drive their trade and commerce into more 
friendly lands. It may be that the great and paramount interest of 
protecting our labor from Asiatic competition may justify us in a 
permanent adoption of this policy. But it is wiser, in the first place, 
to make a shorter experiment, with a view hereafter of maintaining 
permanently only such features as time and experience may com- 

I transmit herewith copies of the papers relating to the recent 
treaty with China, which accompanied the confidential message of 
President Hayes to the Senate of the loth January, 1881, and also 
a copy of a memorandum respecting the act herewith returned, which 
was handed to the Secretary of State by the Chinese minister in 


Executive Mansion, 

Washingion^ April ^, 1882. 



APRIL I 7, I 882. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives : 

I transmit herewith a letter, dated the 29th iiltimo, from the Sec- 
retary of War, inclosing copy of a communication from the Missis- 
sippi River Commission, in which the Commission recommends that 
an appropriation may be made of $1,010,000 for ''closing existing 
gaps in levees, ' ' in addition to the like sum for which an estimate 
has already been submitted. 

The subject is one of such importance that I deem it proper to 
recommend early and favorable consideration of the recommenda- 
tions of the Commission. Having possession of and jurisdiction over 
the river. Congress, with a view of improving its navigation and 
protecting the people of the valley from floods, has for years caused 
surveys of the river to be made, for the purpose of acquiring knowl- 
edge of the laws that control it and of its phenomena. By act 
approved June 28, 1879, ^^^ Mississippi River Commission was 
created, composed of able engineers. Section 4 of the act provides 
that '4t shall be the duty of said Commission to take into consider- 
ation and mature such plan or plans and estimates as will correct 
permanently, locate and deepen the channel, and protect the banks 
of the Mississippi River; improve and give safety and ease to the 
navigation thereof; prevent destructive floods; promote and facili- 
tate commerce, trade, and the postal service." 

The constitutionality of a law making appropriations in aid of 
these objects cannot be questioned. While the report of the Com- 
mission submitted and the plans proposed for the river's improve- 
ment seem justified as well on scientific principles as by experience 
and the approval of the people most interested, I desire to leave it to 
the judgment of Congress to decide upon the best plan for the per- 



manent and complete improvement of the navigation of the river, 
and for the protection of the valley. 

The immense. losses and widespread suffering of the people dwell- 
ing near the river induce me to urge upon Congress the propriety- ot 
;itot only makhig an appropriation to close the gaps in the levees 
lOccasioned by the recent floods, as recommended by the Commission, 
'but that Congress should inaugurate measures for tlie permanent 
■toiprovement of the navigation of the river and security of the 
■valley. It may be that such a system of improvement would as it 
progressed require the appropriation of twenty or thirty millions of 
dollars; even such an expenditure, extending as it must over several 
years, cannot be regarded as extrav^^nt in view of the immense 
interest involved. The safe and convenient navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi is a matter of concern to all sections of the country; but to 
the Northwest with its immense harvests needing chief transporta- 
tion to the sea, and to tlie inhabitants of the river valley whose 
lives and property depend upon the proper construction of the safe- 
guards which protect them from the floods, it is of vital importance 
that a well-matured and comprehensive plan for improvement should 
be put into operation with as little delay aa possible. The cotton 
product of the region subject to the devastating floods is a source of 
wealth to the nation and of great importance in keeping the balances 
of trade in our favor. 

It may not be inopportune to mention that this Government has 
imposed and collected some seventy millions of dollars by a tax on 
cotton, in the production of which the population of the Lower Mis- 
sissippi is largely engaged, and it does not seem inequitable to return 
a portion of this tax to those who contributed it, particularly as such 
an action will also result in an important gain to the country at 
large, and especially so to the great and rich States of the Northwest 
and the Mississippi Valley- 

Executive Mansion, April ly^ 1882. 




APRIL I 8, 1882. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a note ad- 
dressed by the minister plenipotentiary of Mexico to the Secretary 
of State, proposing the conclusion of a convention between the two 
countries for defining the boundary between the United States and 
Mexico from the Rio Grande westward to the Pacific Ocean, by the 
erection of durable monuments. I also lay before Congress a letter 
on the same subject with its accompaniment, from the Secretary of 
War, to whom the proposition was referred by the Secretary of State 
for the expression of his views thereon. 

I deem it important that the boundary line between the two coun- 
tries, as defined by existing treaties and already once surveyed, 
should be run anew and defined by suitable permanent monuments. 
By so doing uncertainty will be prevented as to jurisdiction in crim- 
inal and municipal affairs, and questions be averted which may at 
any time in the near future arise with the growth of population on 
the border. 

Moreover, I conceive that the willing and speedy assent of the 
Government of the United States to the proposal thus to determine 
the existing stipulated boundary with permanence and precision will 
be in some sense an assurance to Mexico that the unauthorized sus- 
picion which of late years seems to have gained some credence in 
that republic that the United States covets and seeks to annex 
neighboring territory is without foundation. That which the United 
States seeks, and which the definite settlement of the boundary in 
the proposed manner will promote, is a confiding and friendly feeling 
between the two nations, leading to advantageous commerce and 
closer commercial relations. 


I have to suggest that, in accepting this proposal, suitable pro- 
vision be made for an adequate military force on the frontier to 
protect the surveying parties from hostile Indians, The troops 
so employed will, at the same time, protect ihe settlers on the 
border and help to prevent marauding on botJi sides by the nomadic 


I Executive Mansion, 




APRIL I 8, 1882. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

I send herewith a copy of the circular invitation extended to all 
the independent countries of North and South America to partici- 
pate in a general congress, to be held in the city of Washington on 
the 22d of November next, for the purpose of considering and dis- 
cussing the methods of preventing war between the nations of 

In giving this invitation I was not unaware that there existed 
differences between several of the republics of South America which 
would militate against the happy results which might otherwise be 
expected from such an assemblage. The differences indicated are 
such as exist between Chili and Peru, between Mexico and Guate- 
mala, and between the States of Central America. 

It was hoped that these differences would disappear before the 
time fixed for the meeting of the congress. This hope has not been 

Having observed that the authority of the President to convene 
such a congress has been questioned, I beg leave to state that the 
Constitution confers upon the President the power, by and with the 
advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, and that this 
provision confers the power to take all requisite measures to initiate 
them, and to this end the President may freely confer with one or 
several commissioners or delegates from other nations. The con- 
gress contemplated by the invitation could only effect any valuable 
result by its conclusions eventually taking the form of a treaty of 
peace between the States represented ; and, besides, the invitation to 
the States of North and South America is merely a preliminary act 
of which constitutionality or the want of it can hardly be affirmed. 

It has been suggested that while the International Congress would 




have no power to affect the rights of nationalities there represented, 
still Congress might be unwilling to subject the existing treaty 
rights of the United States on the Isthmus and elsewhere on the 
continent to be clouded and rendered uncertain by the expression of 
the opinions of a congress composed largely of interested parties. 

I am glad to have it in my power to refer to the Congress of the 
United States, as I now do, the propriety of convening the suggested 
International Congress, that I may thus be informed of its views, 
which it wil! be my pleasure to carry out. Inquiry having been 
made by some of the republics invited whether it is intended that 
this International Congress shall convene, it is important that Con- 
gress should, at as early a day as is convenient, inform me, by reso- 
lution or otherwise, of its opinion in the premises. My action will 
be in harmony with such expression. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April i8, 1882. 





APRIL 26, 1882. 




To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

By recent information, received from oflScial and other sources, I 
am advised that an alarming state of disorder continues to exist 
within the Territory of Arizona, and that lawlessness has already 
gained such head there as to require a resort to extraordinary means 
to repress it 

The governor of the Territory, under date of the 31st ultimo, 
reports that violence and anarchy prevail, particularly in Cochise 
County, and along the Mexican border; that robbery, murder, and 
resistance to law have become so common as to cease causing 
surprise; and that the people are greatly intimidated and losing 
confidence in the protection of the law. I transmit his communi- 
cation herewith, and call especial attention thereto. 

In a telegram from the General of the Army, dated at Tucson, 
Arizona, on the nth instant, herewith transmitted, that oflScer states 
that he hears of lawlessness and disorders, which seem well attested, 
and that the civil officers have not sufficient force to make arrests 
and hold the prisoners for trial, or punish them when convicted. 

Much of this disorder is caused by armed bands of desperadoes 
known as cowboys, by whom depredations are not only committed 
within the Territory, but it is alleged predatory incursions made 
therefrom into Mexico. In my message to Congress at the begin- 
ning of the present session, I called attention to the existence of 
these bands, and suggested that the setting on foot, within our own 
Territor)', of brigandage and armed marauding expeditions against 
friendly nations and their citizens be made punishable as an ofiFense 
against the United States. I renew this suggestion. 

To effectually repress the lawlessness prevailing within the Ter- 
ritory, a prompt execution of the process of the courts and vigorous 
7* 97 


enforcement of the laws against offenders are needed. This the 
civil authorities there are unable to do, without the aid of other 
means and forces than they can now avail themselves of 

To meet the present exigencies, the governor asks that provision 
be made by Congress to enable him to employ and maintain, tem- 
porarily, a volunteer militia force, to aid the civil authorities, the 
members of which force to be invested with the same powers and 
authority as are conferred by the laws of the Territory upon peace 
officers thereof. 

On the ground of economy, as well as effectiveness, however, it 
appears to me to be more advisable to permit the co-operation with 
the civil authorities of a part of the Army as a posse comitatus. 

Believing that this, in addition to such use of the Arm>- as may- 
be made imder the powers already conferred by section 5298, Revised 
Statutes, would be adequate to secure the accomplishment of the 
ends in view, I again call the attention of Congress to the expedi- 
ency of so amending section 15 of the act of June iS, 1878, chapter 
263, as to allow the militarj- forces to be employed as a posse comi- 
tatus to assist the civil authorities within a Territory to execute the 
laws therein. This use of the Army, as I have in my former mes- 
sage observed, would not seem to be within the alleged evil against 
which that legislation was aimed. 


Executive Mansion, April 26, 1882. 




MAY 3, 1882. 






Whereas it is provided in the laws of the United States that 
*' whenever, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, or 
assemblages of persons, or rebellion against the authority of the 
Government of the United States, it shall become impracticable, in 
the judgment of the President, to enforce, by the ordinary course of 
judicial proceedings, the laws of the United States within any State 
or Territory, it shall be lawful for the President to call forth the 
militia of any or all the States, and to employ such parts of the land 
and naval forces of the United States as he may deem necessary to 
enforce the faithful execution of the laws of the United States, or to 
suppress such rebellion, in whatever State or Territory thereof the 
laws of the United States may be forcibly opposed, or the execution 
thereof forcibly obstructed ' ' ; 

And whereas it has been made to appear satisfactorily to me, by 
information received from the governor of the Territory of Arizona, 
and from the General of the Army of the United States, and other 
reliable sources, that in consequence of unlawful combinations of 
evil-disposed persons who are banded together to oppose and obstruct 
the execution of the laws, it has become impracticable to enforce, 
by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, the laws of the 
United States within that Territory, and that the laws of the United 
States have been therein forcibly opposed and the execution thereof 
forcibly resisted; 

And whereas the laws of the United States require that whenever 
it may be necessar>% in the judgment of the President, to use the 
military forces for the purpose of enforcing the faithful execution of 
the laws of the United States, he shall forthwith, by proclamation, 



command such insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their 
respective abodes, witliin a limited time: 

Now, therefore, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United 
States, do hereby admonish all good citizens of the United Stntes, 
and especially of the Territory of Arizona, against aiding, counte- 
nancing, abetting, or taking part in any such unlawful proceedings, 
and I do hereby warn all persons engaged in or connected wit]; said 
obstruction of the laws, to disperse and retire peaceably to their 
respective abodes on or before noon of the fifteenth day of May. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington this third day of May, in the year 
of our Lord eighteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independ- 
ence of the United States the one hundred and sixth. 


By the President ; 

Frbd'k T. Frelinghuysen, 

Secretary of State. 



JULY I, 1882. 




To THE House of Representatives 

OF THE United States: 

Herewith I return House bill No. 2744, entitled *'An act to regu- 
late the carriage of passengers by sea,'' without my approval. In 
doing this, I regret that I am not able to give my assent to an act 
which has received the sanction of the majority of both houses of 

The object proposed to be secured by the act is meritorious and 
philanthropic. Some correct and accurate legislation upon this sub- 
ject is undoubtedly necessary. Steamships that bring large bodies 
of emigrants must be subjected to strict legal enactments, so as to 
prevent the passengers from being exposed to hardship and sufiering; 
and such legislation should be made as will give them abundance of 
space and air and light, protecting their health by afibrding all 
reasonable comforts and conveniences, and by providing for the 
quantity and quality of the food to be furnished, and all of the other 
essentials of roomy, safe, and healthful accommqdations in their 
passage across the sea. 

A statute providing for all this is absolutely needed, and in the 
spirit of humane legislation must be enacted. The present act by 
most of its provisions will obtain and secure this protection for such 
passengers, and were it not for some serious errors contained in it, 
would be most willingly approved by me. 

My objections are these: In the first section, in lines from 13 to 
24 inclusive, it is provided ''that the compartments or spaces," &c., 
''shall be of sufficient dimensions to allow for each and any passen- 
ger," &c., ''a hundred cubic feet, if the compartment or space is 
located on the first deck next below the uppermost deck of the vessel, ' ' 
&c., "or one hundred and twenty cubic feet for each passenger," 


&c., "if the compartment or space is located on the second deck 
below the uppermost deck of the vessel," &c. "It shall not be 
lawful to carry or bring passengers on any deck otlier than the two 
^ decks mentioned," &c. 

Nearly all of the new, and most of the improved ocean steamers, 
have a spar-deck, which is above the main deck. The main deck 
was, in the old style of steamers, the only uppermost deck. The 
spar-deck .is a comparatively new feature of the large and costly 
steamships, and is now practically the uppermost deck; below this 
spar-deck is the main deck. Because of the misuse of the words 
" uppennost deck " instead of the use of the words "main deck," by , 
this act, the result will be to exclude nearly all of the large steamships 
from carrying passengers anywhere but on the main deck and on the 
deck below, which is the steerage-deck, and to leave the orlop, or 
lower deck, heretofore used for passengers, useless and unoccupied 
by passengers. This objection, which is now presented in connec- 
tion with others that will be presently explained, will, if this act is 
enforced as it is now phrased, render useless for passenger traffic and 
expose to heavy loss all of the great ocean steam lines; and it will 
also hinder emigration, as there will not be ships enough that could 
accept these conditions to carry all who may now wish to come. 

The use of the new and the hitherto unknown term "uppermost 
deck" creates this difficulty, and I cannot consent to have an abuse 
of terms like this to operate thus injuriously to these large fleets of 
ships. The passengers will not be benefited by such a statute, but 
emigration will be hindered, if not for a while almost prevented, for 

Again, the act in the first section, from line 31 to line 35 inclusive, 
provides: "And such passengers shall not be carried or brought in 
any between-decks, nor in any compartment, ' ' &c. , ' ' the clear height 
of which is less than seven feet. " Between the decks of all ships are 
the beams; they are about a foot in width. The legal method of 
ascertaining tonnage for the purpose of taxation is to measure be- 
tween the beams from the floor to the ceiling. If this becomes a 
law, the space required would be 8 feet from floor to ceiling; and 
this is impracticable, for in all ships the spaces between decks are 
adjusted in proportion to the dimensions of the ship; and if these 


spaces between decks are changed so as not to correspond in their 
proportions with the dimensions of the vessel the ship will not work 
well in the sea, her sailing qualities will be injured, and she will be 
rendered unfit for service. 

It is only in great ships of vast tonnage that the height between 
decks can be increased. All the ordinary-sized ships are necessarily 
constructed with 7 feet space in the interval between the beams from 
the floor to the ceiling. To adopt this act, with this provision, would 
be to drive out of the service of transporting passengers most of all 
the steamships now in such trade, and no practical good obtained by 
it, for really, with the exception of the narrow beam, the space be- 
tween the decks is now 7 feet. The purpose of the space commanded 
by the act is to obtain sufficient air and ventilation, and that is act- 
ually now given to the passenger by the 7 feet that exists in all of 
these vessels between floor and ceiling. 

There is also another objection that I must suggest. In section 
12, from line 14 to line 24, it is provided: *' Before such vessel shall 
be cleared or may lawfully depart, &c., the master of said vessel 
shall furnish, &c., a correct list of all passengers who have been or 
are intended to be taken on board the vessel, and shall specify," 
&c. This provision would prevent the clearing of the vessel. 
Steam vessels start at an appointed hour, and with punctuality. 
Down almost to the ver>' hour of their departure new passengers, 
other than those who have engaged their passage, constantly come 
on board. If this provision is to be the law they must be rejected, 
for the ship cannot, without incurring heavy penalties, take passen- 
gers whose names are not set forth on the list required before such 
vessel shall be cleared. They should be allowed to take such new 
passengers upon condition that they would furnish an additional list 
containing such persons' names. There are other points of objec- 
tion of a minor character that might be presented for consideration 
if the bill could be reconsidered and amended, but the three that I 
have recited are conspicuous defects in a bill that ought to be a code 
for such a purpose, clear and explicit, free from all such objections. 
The practical result of this law would be to subject all of the com- 
peting lines of large ocean steamers to great losses. By restricting 
their carrying accommodations it would also stay the current of em- 



igration that it is our policy to encourage as well as to protect A 
good bill, correctly phrased, and expressing and naming in plain, 
well-known technical terms the proper and usual places and decks, 
where passengers are and ought to be placed and carried, will receive 
my prompt and immediate assent as a public necessity and blessing. 
L Executive Mansion, July /, 1882. 






JULY 20, 1882. 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

I transmit herewith to the Senate for its consideration, with a 
view to ratification, a convention between the United States and 
Mexico, providing for the reopening and retrying of the claims of 
Benjamin Weil and La Abra Silver Mining Company against Mex- 
ico, which was signed on the 13th instant. 

A report of the Secretar>' of State with its accompanying corre- 
spondence, transmitted to the Senate this day in response to the 
resolution of December 21, 1881, will show the antecedents of the 
negotiation which resulted in the accompanying convention. In 
view of the accumulation of testimony presented by Mexico relative 
to these two claims, I have deemed it proper to avail myself of the 
authority given to the Executive by the Constitution, and of which 
authority the act of Congress of June 18, 1878, is declarative, to 
eflFect a rehearing of these cases. I therefore empowered the Secre- 
tary of State to negotiate with the minister of Mexico a convention 
to that end. 

The more important correspondence preliminary to the treaty is 
herewith transmitted. 

It will be seen by the stipulations of the treaty that the rehearing 
will have no retroactive effect as to payments already distributed, 
that the bona fide interests of third parties are simply secured, and 
that the Government of the United States is fully guarded against 
any liability resulting from the rehearing. 


Executive Mansion, July 20^ 1882. 




AUGUST I, 1882. 

^* 113 


To THE House of Representatives: 

Having watched with much interest the progress of House bill 
No. 6242, entitled **An act making appropriations for the construc- 
tion, repair, and preservation of certain works on rivers and harbors, 
and for other purposes,'' and having, since it was received, care- 
fully examined it, after mature consideration I am constrained to 
return it herewith to the House of Representatives, in which it 
originated, without my signature, and with my objections to its 

Many of the appropriations in the bill are clearly for the general 
welfare, and most beneficent in their character. Two of the objects 
for which provision is made were by me considered so important 
that I felt it my duty to direct to them the attention of Congress. 
In my annual message in December last I urged the vital impor- 
tance of legislation for the reclamation of the marshes and for the 
establishment of the harbor lines along the Potomac iEront. In 
April last, by special message, I recommended an appropriation for 
the improvement of the Mississippi River. It is not necessary that 
I say that, when my signature would make the bill appropriating 
for these and other valuable national objects a law, it is with great 
reluctance and only under a sense of duty that I withhold it 

My principal objection to the bill is that it contains appropriations 
for purposes not for the common defense or general welfare, and 
which do not promote commerce among the States. These pro- 
visions, on the contrary, are entirely for the benefit of the particular 
localities in which it is proposed to make the improvements. I 
regard such appropriation of the public money as beyond the powers' 
given by the Constitution to Congress and the President 

I feel the more bound to withhold my signature from the bill 
because of the peculiar evils which manifestly result from this 



infraction of the Constitution. Appropriations of this nature, to be 
devoted purely to local objects, tend to an increase in number and 
in amount. As the citizens of one State find that money, to raise 
which they in common with the whole countrj' are taxed, is to be 
exf)ended for local improvements in another State, they demand 

■ similar benefits for themselves; and it is not unnatural that they 
should seek to indemnify themselves for such use of the public 
funds by securing appropriations for similar improvements in their 
own neighborhood. Thus as the bill becomes more objectionable it 
secures more support, This result is invariable, and necessarily 
follows a neglect to observe the constitutional limitations imposed 
upon the law-making power. 

The appropriations for river and harbor improvements have, under 
the influences to which I have alluded, increased year by year, out 
of proportion to the progress of the country, great as that has been. 
In 1870 the aggregate appropriation was ^^3,975,900; in 1875, 
$6,648,517.50; in 1S80, $8,976,500; and in 1881, $11,451,300; while 
by the present act there is appropriated $18,743,875. 

I While feeling every disposition to leave to the Legislature the 
responsibility of determining what amount should be appropriated 
for the purposes of the bill — so long as the appropriations are con- 
fined toobjects indicated by the grant of power — I cannot escape the 
conclusion that, as a part of the law-making power of the Govern- 
ment, the duty devolves upon me to withhold my signature from a 
bill containing appropriations which, in my opinion, greatly exceed 
in amount the needs of the countrj' for the present fiscal year. It 
being the usage to provide money for these purposes by annual ap- 
propriation bills, the President is in efiect directed to expend so 
large an amount of money within so brief a period that the expendi- 
ture cannot be made economically and advantageously. 

The extravagant expenditure of public money is an evil not to be 
measured by the value of that money to the people who arc taxed 
for it. They sustain a greater injury in the demoralizing effect pro- 
duced upon those who are intrusted with official duty through all 
the ramifications of Government. 

These objections could be removed and every constitutional pur- 
pose readily attained should Congress enact that one-half only of 


the aggregate amount provided for in the bill be appropriaied for 
expenditure during the fiscal year, and that the sum so appropriated 
be expended only for such objects named in the bill as the Secretary 
of War under the direction of the President shall determine; pro- 
vided that in no case shall the expenditure for any one purpose 
exceed the sum now designated by the bill for that purpose. 

I feel authorized to make this suggestion because of the duty 
imposed upon the President by the Constitution ''to recommend to 
the consideration of Congress such measures as he shall judge 
necessary and expedient," and because it is my earnest desire that 
the public works which are in progress shall suffer no injur>'. 
Congress will also convene again in four months, when this whole 
subject will be open for their consideration. 


Executive Mansion, August /, 1882. 


BOSTON, OCTOBER ii, 1882. 



I can scarcely trust myself to utter in this historic hall, whose 
walls have so oft resounded with the eloquence of orators and states- 
men, the words by which I must attest my gratitude for your cordial 
and enthusiastic welcome. 

If I looked within myself to find its cause, I should indeed be op- 
pressed by a sense of my own undeserving. But I well know that 
the flattering demonstrations with which this day has been crowded 
are attributable in but small measure to the prompting of personal 
regard. They but serve to give voice to the unstinted loyalty- of 
Boston and Massachusetts to the Government of the United States. 
They betoken the respect which is entertained by the people of 
this grand old Commonwealth and of this magnificent city for the 
Federal authority which they themselves have aided to constitute. 
It is in this spirit that I accept and thank you for your gracious 








Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : 

It is fortunately in accord with the proprieties of this occasion, 
no less than my own inclination, that I should confine within nar- 
row limits my acknowledgment of your flattering salutation. I am 
deeply moved by the warmth of your greeting; it is but a fresh dis- 
play of that splendid hospitality which since I came within the 
borders of Massachusetts has everywhere obstructed my way with 
demonstrations of courtesy and respect. 

I trust that neither my gratitude nor my sympathy with the pur- 
poses which have turned our reverent footsteps hitherward to-day 
will be measured by my poor endeavor to give them expression. 
The character and genius of that illustrious man whose life moved 
grandly among so many fields of eminence, in commemoration of 
whose birth a hundred years ago we have gathered to-day amid the 
beautiful scenes where he found rest from the fret and worr\' of life, 
have for more than a generation been the theme of discussion and 

I shall not attempt to labor in the field over which so many flash- 
ing sickles have swept and which has so long been crowded with 
illustrious gleaners. But I may perhaps be permitted to declare 
my approval of what has been accomplished by this society for the 
object for which it is founded. It is asserted upon what I suppose 
to be trustworthy authority that Mr. Webster expressed the wish 
near the close of his life that for aiding to transmit his fame to 
future generations of his countr>'men, for kindling in their hearts 
the flames of patriotism, for arousing their devotion to the princi- 
ples of constitutional government, there should be disseminated far 
and wide among them such recorded efforts of his genius as seemed 
most worthy to be thus preserved. Many of the loftiest and most 



inspiring of Mr, Webster's utterances have long been as familiar as 
household words in the mouth of every school-boy in the land, but 
it is doubtless true that many others, scarcely less dignified in spirit, 
masterly in reasoning, and splendid in diction, are comparatively 

In all that you have hitherto done, in all that you may henceforth 
do, to secure the result which Mr. Webster wished to bring about 
by the collection and circulation of all his works which have per- 
manence — and which of them has not — I assure you of my earnest 
Sympathy. Not one of the rising generation of our countrymen 
who seeks to be instructed in those political doctrines which are the 
basis of our Federal Government, to acquaint himself with the Cou- 
stitution of his country and the origin, progress, and significance of 
its institutions, can by any other course so surel>-, so speedily attain 
that end as by resorting to that great storehouse of eloquence and 
wisdom, the published writings of Daniel Webster. And so, gen- 
tiemen of the Webster Historical Society, I bid you God-speed in 
this and in all other work which you have set yourselves to 

Let me once more tender my thanks to you for your hospitality 
and express the hope that this noble Commonwealth, its cities, its 
villages, its hamlets, and all that dwell within its borders may be 
blessed by the abiding presence of prosperity and peace. 




OCTOBER 25, 1882. 





In conformity with a custom the annual observance of which is 
justly held in honor by this people, I, Chester A. Arthur, Presi- 
dent of the United States, do hereby set apart Thursday, the thirtieth 
day of November next, as a day of public thanksgiving. 

The blessings demanding our gratitude are numerous and varied. 
For the peace and amity which subsist between this Republic and 
all the nations of the world; for the freedom from internal discord 
and violence ; for the increasing friendship between the different 
sections of the land; for liberty, justice, and constitutional govern- 
ment; for the devotion of the people to our free institutions and their 
cheerful obedience to mild laws ; for the constantly increasing 
strength of the Republic while extending its privileges to fellow men 
who come to us; for the improved means of internal communication, 
and the increased facilities of intercourse with other nations; for the 
general prevailing health of the year; for the prosperity of all our 
industries, the liberal return for the mechanic's toil, affording a 
market for the abundant harvests of the husbandman; for the preser- 
vation of the national faith and credit; for wise and generous pro- 
vision to effect the intellectual and moral education of our youth; 
for the influence upon the conscience of a restraining and transform- 
ing religion; and for the joys of home; for these, and for many other 
blessings, we should give thanks. 

Wherefore, I do recommend that the day above designated be 
observed throughout the country as a Day of National Thanksgiving 
and Prayer, and that the people, ceasing from their daily labors and 
meeting in accordance with their several forms of worship, draw 
near to the Throne of Almighty God, offering to Him praise and 
9* 129 


gratitude for the manifold goodness which He has vouchsafed to us 
and praying that His blessings and His mercies may continue. 

And I do further recommend that the day thus appointed be made 
a special occasion for deeds of kindness and charity to the suffering 
and the needy, so that all who dwell within* the land may rejoice 
and be glad in this season of national thanksgiving. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington this twenty-fifth day of October, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight}--two, 
and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and 


By the President : 

I'red'k T. Fbelinghuysen, 

Secretary of State. 





DECEMBER 4> 1882. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives 

OF THE United States: 

It is provided by the Constitution that the President shall from 
time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the 
Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he 
shall judge necessary and expedient. 

In reviewing the events of the year which has elapsed since the 
commencement of your sessions, I first call your attention to the 
gratifying condition of our foreign affairs. Our intercourse with 
other powers has continued to be of the most friendly character. 

Such slight differences as have arisen during the year have been 
already settled or are likely to reach an early adjustment. The ar- 
rest of citizens of the United States in Ireland under recent laws 
which owe their origin to the disturbed condition of that country 
has led to a somewhat extended correspondence with the Govern- 
ment of Great Britain. A disposition to respect our rights has been 
practically manifested by the release of the arrested parties. 

The claim of this nation in regard to the supervision and control 
of any inter-oceanic canal across the American Isthmus has continued 
to be the subject of conference. 

It is likely that time will be more powerful than discussion in 
removing the divergence between the two nations whose friendship 
is so closely cemented by the intimacy of their relations and the 
community of their interests. 

Our long-established friendliness with Russia has remained un- 
shaken. It has prompted me to proffer the earnest counsels of this 
Government that measures be adopted for suppressing the proscrip- 
tion which the Hebrew race in that country has lately suffered. It 
has not transpired that any American citizen has been subjected to 


arrest or injury, but our courteous remoustrance has nevertlieless 

been courteously received. There is reason to believe that the time 
is not far distant when Russia will be able to secure toleration to all 
faiths withiu her borders. 

At an international convention held at Paris in 1880, and attended 
by representatives of the United States, an agreement was reached 
in respect to the protection of trade-marks, patented articles, and the 
rights of manufacturing finns and corporations. The formulating 
into treaties of the recommendations thus adopted is receiving the 
attention which it merits. 

The protection of submarine cables is a subject now under con- 
sideration by an international conference at Paris. Believing that 
it is clearly the true policy of this Government to favor the neutral- 
ization of this means of intercourse, I requested our minister to 
France to attend the convention as a delegate. I also designated 
two of our eminent scientists to attend as our representatives at 
the meeting of an international committee at Paris, for considering 
the adoption of a common unit to measure electric force. 
[ In view of the frequent occurrence of conferences for the consider- 
ation of important matters of common interest to civilized nations, I 
respectfully suggest that the Executive be invested by Congress 
with discretionary powers to send delegates to such conventions, 
and that provision be made to defray the expenses incident thereto. 

The difference between the United States and Spain as to the 
effect of a judgment and certificate of naturalization has not yet been 
adjusted ; but it is hoped and believed that negotiations now in 
progress will result in the establishment of the position which seems 
to this Government so reasonable and just. 

I have already called the attention of Congress to the fact that in 
the ports of Spain and its colonies onerous fines have lately beeu 
imposed upon vessels of the United States for trivial technical of- 
enses against local regulations. Efforts for the abatement of these 
exactions have thus far proved unsuccessful. 

I regret to inform you also that the fees demanded by Spanish 
consuls in American ports are in some cases so large, when com- 
pared with the value of the cargo, as to amount in effect to a con- 


siderable export duty, and that our remonstrances in this regard 
have not as yet received the attention which they seem to deserve. 

The German Government has invited the United States to par- 
ticipate in an international exhibition of domestic cattle, to be held 
at Hamburg in July, 1883. If this country is to be represented, it 
is important that, in the early days of this session, Congress should 
make a suitable appropriation for that purpose. 

The death of Mr. Marsh, our late minister to Italy, has evoked 
from that Government expressions of profound respect for his exalted 
character and for his honorable career in the diplomatic service of 
his country. The Italian Government has raised a question as to 
the propriety of recognizing in his dual capacity the representative 
of this country recently accredited both as secretary of legation and 
as consul-general at Rome. He has been received as secretary, but 
his exequatur as consul-general has thus far been withheld. 

The extradition convention with Belgium, which has been in 
operation since 1874, has been lately supplanted by another. The 
Senate has signified its approval, and ratifications have been duly 
exchanged between the contracting countries. To the list of extra- 
ditable crimes has been added that of the assassination or attempted 
assassination of the chief of the state. 

Negotiations have been opened with Switzerland looking to a set- 
tlement by treaty of the question whether its citizens can renounce 
their allegiance and become citizens of the United States without 
obtaining the consent of the Swiss Government. 

I am glad to inform you that the immigration of paupers and 
criminals from certain of the cantons of Switzerland has substan- 
tially ceased and is no longer sanctioned by the authorities. 

The consideration of this sutject prompts the suggestion that the 
act of August 3, 1882, which has for its object the return of foreign 
convicts to their own countr>^, should be so modified as not to be 
open to the interpretation that it affects the extradition of criminals 
on preferred charges of crime. 

The Ottoman Porte has not yet assented to the interpretation 
which this Government has put upon the treaty of 1830 relative to 
its jurisdictional rights in Turkey. It may well be, however, that 
this difference will be adjusted by a general revision of the system 


of jurisdiction of the United States in the countries of the East — a 
subject to which your attention has been already called by the Sec- 
retar>- of State. 

In the interest of justice towards China and Japan, I trust that the 
question of the return of the indemnity fund to the Governments of 
those countries will reach, at the present session, the satisfactorj- 
solution which I have already recommended, and which has recently 
been foreshadowed by Congressional discussion. 

The treaty lately concluded with Corea awaits the action of the 

During the late disturbance in Egypt the timely presence of Amer- 
ican vessels served as a protection to the persons and property of 
many of our own citizens and of citizens of other countries, whose 
Governments have expressed their thanks for this assistance. 

The recent legislation restricting immigration of laborers from 
China has given rise to the question whether Chinese proceeding to 
or from another country may lawfully pass through our own. 

Construing the act of May 6, 1883, in connection with the treaty 
of November 7, 1880, the restriction would seem to be limited to 
Chinese immigrauts coming to the United Stales as laborers, and 
would not forbid a mere transit across our territory. I ask the atten- 
tion of Congress to the subject for such action, if any, as may be 
deemed advisable. 

This Government has recently hai occasion to manifest its interest 
in the Republic of Liberia by seeking to aid the amicable settlement 
of the boundary dispute now pending between that republic and the 
British possession of Sierra, Leone. 

The reciprocity treaty with Hawaii will become terminable after 
September 9, 1883, on twelve months' notice by either party. While 
certain provisions of that compact may have proved onerous, its 
existence has fostered commercial relations which it is important to 
preser\'e. I suggest, therefore, that early consideration be given to 
such modifications of the treaty as seem to be demanded by the 
interests of our people. 

In view of our increasing trade with both Hayti and Santo Do- 
mingo I advise that provision be made for diplomatic intercourse 


with the latter, by enlarging the scope of the mission at Port au 

I regret that certain claims of American citizens against the Gov- 
ernment of Hayti have thus far been urged unavailingly. 

A recent agreement with Mexico provides for the crossing of the 
frontier by the armed forces of either country in pursuit of hostile 
Indians. In my message of last year I called attention to the prev- 
alent lawlessness upon the borders and to the necessity of legislation 
for its suppression. I again invite the attention of Congress to the 

A partial relief from these mischiefs has been sought in a conven- 
tion, which now awaits the approval of the Senate, as does also 
another touching the establishment of the international boundary 
between the United States and Mexico. If the latter is ratified, the 
action of Congress will be required for establishing suitable com- 
missions of survey. The boundary dispute between Mexico and 
Guatemala, which led this Government to proffer its friendly coun- 
sels to both parties, has been amicably settled. 

No change has occurred in our relations with Venezuela. I again 
invoke your action in the matter of the pending awards against that 
republic to which reference was made by a special message from the 
Executive at your last session. 

An invitation has been received from the Government of Venezu- 
ela to send representatives in July, 1883, to Caracas, for participating 
in the centennial celebration of the birth of Bolivar, the founder of 
South American independence. In connection with this event it is 
designed to commence the erection at Caracas of a statue of Wash- 
ington, and to conduct an industrial exhibition which will be open 
to American products. I recommend that the United States be rep- 
resented, and that suitable provision be made therefor. 

The elevation of the grade of our mission in Central America to 
the plenipotentiary rank, which was authorized by Congress at its 
late session, has been since effected. 

The war between Peru and Bolivia on the one side and Chili on 
the other began more than three years ago. On the occupation by 
Chili in 1880 of all the littoral territory of Bolivia, negotiations for 
peace were conducted under the direction of the United States. The 


allies refused to concede any territory, but Chili hassince becomt.- mas- 
ter of the wholecoast of both countries and of the capital of Peru. A 
year since, as yott have already been advised by correspondence trans- 
mitted to you in January last, this Government sent a special mission 
to the belligerent powers to express the hope that Chili would be dis- 
posed to accept a money indemnity for the expenses of the war and 
to relinquish her demand for a portion of the territorj- of her antag- 

This recommendation, which Chili declined to follow, this Gov- 
ernment did not assume to enforce; nor can it be enforced without 
resort to measures which would be in keeping neither with the tem- 
per of our people nor with the spirit of our institutions. 

The power of Peru no longer extends over its whole territory, and, 
in the event of our interference to dictate peace, would need to be 
supplemented by the armies and navies of the United States. Such 
interference would almost inevitably lead to the establishment of a 
protectorate — a result utterly at odds with our past policy, injurious 
to our present interests, and full of embarrassments for the future. 

For effecting the termination of hostilities upon terms at once just 
to the victorious nation and generous to its adversaries, this Gov- 
ernment has spared no efforts save such as might involve the com- 
plications which I have indicated. 

It is greatly to be deplored that Chili seems resolved to exact such 
rigorous conditions of peace and indisposed to submit to arbitration 
the terms of an amicable settlement. No peace is likely to be lasting 
that is not sufficiently equitable and just to command the approval 
of other nations. 

About a year since, invitations were extended to the nations of 
this continent to send representatives to a peace congress to assemble 
at Washington in November, 1882. The time of meeting was fixed 
at a period then remote, in the hope, as the invitation itself declared, 
that in the mean time the disturbances between the South American 
republics would be adjusted. As that expectation seemed unlikely 
to be realized, I asked in April last for an expression of opinion 
from the two houses of Congress as to the advisability of holding 
the proposed convention at the time appointed. This action was 
prompted in part by doubts which mature reflection had su^ested 


whether the diplomatic usage and traditions of the Government did 
not make it fitting that the Executive should consult the represent- 
atives of the people before pursuing a line of policy somewhat novel 
in its character, and far-reaching in its possible consequences. In 
view of the fact that no action was taken by Congress in the prem- 
ises and that no provision had been made for necessary expenses, I 
subsequently decided to postpone the convocation, and so notified 
the several Governments which had been invited to attend. 

I am unwilling to dismiss this subject without assuring you of my 
support of any measures the wisdom of Congress may devise for the 
promotion of peace on this continent and throughout the world, and 
I trust that the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civ- 
ilized peoples, all international differences shall be determined with- 
out resort to arms by the benignant processes of arbitration. 

Changes have occurred in the diplomatic representation of sev- 
eral foreign powers during the past year. New ministers from the 
Argentine Republic, Austria-Hungary, Brazil, Chili, China, France, 
Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Russia have presented their 
credentials. The missions of Denmark and Venezuela at this capital 
have been raised in grade. Switzerland has created a plenipoten- 
tiary mission to this Government, and an embassy from Madagascar 
and a minister from Siam will shortly arrive. 

Our diplomatic intercourse has been enlarged by the establish- 
ment of relations with the new Kingdom of Servia, by the creation 
of a mission to Siam, and by the restoration of the mission to Greece. 
The Shah of Persia has expressed his gratification that a charge 
d'affaires will shortly be sent to that country, where the rights of 
our citizens have been hitherto courteously guarded by the repre- 
sentatives of Great Britain. 

I renew my recommendation of such legislation as will place the 
United States in harmony with other maritime powers with respect 
to the international rules for the prevention of collisions at sea. 

In conformity with your joint resolution of the 3d of August last, 
I have directed the Secretary of State to address foreign Govern- 
ments in respect to a proposed conference for considering the subject 
of the universal adoption of a common prime meridian to be used 
in the reckoning of longitude and in the regulation of time through- 

out the civilized world. Their replies will, in due time, be laid 
before you, 

Au agreement was reached at Paris in 1875 between the principal 
powers for the interchange of official publications through the 
medium of their respective foreign departments. 

The admirable system which has been built up by the enterprise 
of the Smithsonian Institution affords a practical basis for our co- 
operation in this scheme, and an arrangement has been effected by 
which that institution will perform the necessary labor, under the 
direction of the Department of State. A reasonable compensatiou 
therefor should be provided by law. 

A clause in the act making appropriations for the diplomatic and 
consular service contemplates the reorganization of botli branches of 
such service on a salaried basis, le-iving fees to inure to the benefit 
of the Treasury. I cordially favor such a project, as likely to correct 
abuses in the present system. The Secretary of State will present 
to you at an early day a plan for such reorganization. 

A full and interesting exhibit of the operations of the Treasury 
Department is afforded by the report of the Secretary. 

It appears that the ordinary revenues from all sources for the fis- 
cal year ended June 30, 1882, were a^ follows : 

From customs $220,410,730 25 

From interna] revenue - 146,497,595 45 

From sales of public lands 4,753,140 37 

From tax on circulation and deposits of national 

banks 8,956,794 45 

From repayment of interest by Pacific Railway 

Companies 840>554 37 

From sinking fund for Pacific Railway Companies.. 796,271 42 

From customs fees, fines, penalties, &c 1,343,348 00 

From fees — consular, letters patent, and lands 2,638,990 97 

From proceeds of sales of Government property.. 3i4i959 85 

From profits on coinage, bullion deposits, and 

assays 4,116,693 73 

From Indian trust funds 5,705,243 22 

From deposits by individuals for sur\'eying public 

)and> 2,052,306 36 


From revenues of the District of Columbia $i, 715, 176 41 

From miscellaneous sources 3»383,445 43 

Total ordinary receipts 403)525,250 28 

The ordinary expenditures for the same period were — 

For civil expenses $18,042,386 42 

For foreign intercourse 1)307,583 19 

For Indians 9)736,747 40 

For pensions 61,345,193 95 

For the military establishment, including river 

and harbor improvements, and arsenals 43,570,494 19 

For the naval establishment, including vessels, 

machinery, and improvements at navy-yards.... 15,032,046 26 
For miscellaneous expenditures, including public 
buildings, light-houses, and collecting the reve- 
nue 34)539)237 50 

For expenditures on account of the District of 

Columbia 3)33^)543 §7 

For interest on the public debt 71,077,206 79 

V Total ordinary expenditures 257,981,439 57 

Leaving a surplus revenue of 145,543,810 71 

Which, with an amount drawn from the cash 

balance in the Treasury of. 20,737,694 84 

Making 166,281,505 55 

Was applied to the redemption — 

Of bonds for the sinking fund 60,079,150 00 

Of fractional currency for the sinking fund 58,705 55 

Of loan of July and August, 1861 62,572,050 00 

Of loan of March, 1863 4,472,900 00 

Of funded loan of 1881 37,194,450 00 

Of loan of 1858 1,000 00 

Of loan of February, 1861 303,000 00 

Of five-twenties of 1862 2,100 00 

Of five-twenties of 1864 7)4oo 00 

Of five-twenties of 1865 6,500 00 


Of ten-forties of 1864 $254,550 00 

Of consols of 1865 86,450 00 

Of consols of 1867 408,250 00 

Of consols of 1868 141,400 00 

Of Oregon war debt 675,250 00 

Of old demand, compound-interest, and other 

notes 18,350 00 

166,281,505 55 

The foreign commerce of the United States during the last fiscal 
year, including imports and exports of merchandise and specie, was 
as follows : 

Exports: Merchandise $750,542,257 

Specie 49,417,479 

Total 799,959,736 

Imports: Merchandise 724,639,574 

Specie 42,472,390 

■ Total 767,111,964 

Excess of exports over imports of merchandise 25,902,683 

This excess is less than it has been before for any of the previous 
six years, as appears by the following table: 

During the year there have been organized 171 national banks, 
and of those institutions there are now in operation 2,269, a larger 
number than ever before. The value of their notes in active circu- 
lation on July I, 1882, was $324,656,458. 


I commend to your attention the Secretary's views in respect to 
the likelihood of a serious contraction of this circulation, and to the 
modes by which that result may, in his judgment, be averted. 

In respect to the coinage of silver dollars and the retirement of 
silver certificates I have seen nothing to alter but much to confirm 
the sentiments to which I gave expression last year. 

A comparison between the respective amounts of silver-dollar circu- 
lation on November i, 1881, and on l^'ov ember i, 1882, shows a slight 
increase of a million and a half of dollars. But during the interval 
there had been in the whole number coined an increase of twenty- 
six millions. Of the one hundred and twenty-eight millions thus 
far minted, little more than thirty-five millions are in circulation. 
The mass of accumulated coin has grown so great that the vault 
room at present available for storage is scarcely sufficient to contain 
it It is not apparent why it is desirable to continue this coinage, 
now so enormously in excess of the public demand. 

As to the silver certificates, in addition to the grounds which 
seemed last year to justify their retirement may be mentioned the 
effect which is likely to ensue from the supply of gold certificates, 
for whose issuance Congress recently made provision, and which 
are now in active circulation. 

You cannot fail to note with interest the discussion by the Secre- 
tary as to the necessity of providing by legislation some mode of 
freeing the Treasury of an excess of assets, in the event that Con- 
gress fails to reach an early agreement for the reduction of taxation. 

I heartily approve the Secretary's recommendation of immediate 
and extensive reductions in the annual revenues of the Government. 

It will be remembered that I urged upon the attention of Congress 
at its last session the importance of relieving the industry and enter- 
prise of the country from the pressure of unnecessary taxation. It 
is one of the tritest maxims of political economy that all taxes are 
burdensome, however wisely and prudently imposed. And though 
there have always been among our people wide differences of senti- 
ment as to the best methods of raising the national revenues, and, 
indeed, as to the principles upon which taxation should be based, 
there has been substantial accord in the doctrine that only such taxes 
ought to be levied as are necessary for a wise and economical admin- 

istration of the Government. Of late the public revenues have far 
exceeded that limit, and unless checked by appropriate legislation 
such excess will continue to increase from year to year. For the 
fiscal year ended June 30, 1881, the surplus revenue amounted to one 
hundred millions of dollars; for the fiscal year ended on the 30th of 
June last the surplus was more thau one hundred and forty-five 

The report of the Secretary shows what disposition has been made 
of these moneys. They have not only answered the requirements 
of the sinking fund, but have aflforded a large balance applicable to 
other reductions of the public debt. 

But I renew the expression of m\- conviction that such rapid extin- 
guishment of the national indebtedness as is now taking place is by 
no means a cause for congratulation; it is a cause rather for serious 

If it continues, it must ^eedily be followed by one of the evil 
results so clearly set forth in the report of the Secretary. 

Either the surplus must lie idle in the Treasury, or the Government 
will be forced to buy, at market rates, its bonds not then redeema- 
ablc, and which, under such circumstances, cannot fail to command 
an enormous premium, or the swollen revenues will be devoted to 
extravagant expenditure, which, as experience has taught, is ever 
the bane of an overflowing treasury. 

It was made apparent in the course of the animated discussions 
which this question aroused at the last session of Congress that the 
policy of diminishing the revenue by reducing taxation commanded 
the general approval of the members of both houses. 

I regret that because of conflicting views as to the best methods 
by which that policy should be made operative none of its benefits 
have as yet been reaped. 

In fulfillment of what I deem my constitutional duty, but with 
little hope that I can make valuable contribution to this vexed ques- 
tion, I shall proceed to intimate briefly my own views in relation 
to it. 

Upon the showing of our financial condition at the close of the 
last fiscal year, I felt justified in recommending to Congress the 
abolition of all intenial-revenue taxes except those upon tobacco in 


its various forms and upon distilled spirits and fermented liquors; 
and except also the special tax upon the manufacturers of and dealers 
in such articles. 

I venture now to suggest that, unless it shall be ascertained that 
the probable expenditures of the Government for the coming year 
have been underestimated, all internal taxes, save those which relate 
to distilled spirits, can be prudently abrogated. 

Such a course, if accompanied by a simplification of the machinery 
of collection, which would then be easy of accomplishment, might 
reasonably be expected to result in diminishing the cost of such 
collection by at least two millions and a half of dollars, and in the 
retirement from oflBce of from fifteen hundred to two thousand 

The system of excise duties has never commended itself to the 
favor of the American people, and has never been resorted to except 
for supplying deficiencies in the Treasury when, by reason of special 
exigencies, the duties on imports have proved inadequate for the 
needs of the Government. The sentiment of the country doubtless 
demands that the present excise tax shall be abolished as soon as 
such a course can be* safely pursued. 

It seems to me, however, that, for various reasons, so sweeping a 
measure as the total abolition of internal taxes would for the present 
be an unwise step. 

Two of these reasons are deserving of special mention : 

First, it is by no means clear that even if the existing system of 
duties on imports :s continued without modification, those duties 
alone will yield suflBcient revenue for all the needs of the Govern- 
ment It is estimated that one hundred millions of dollars will be 
required for pensions during the coming year, and it may well be 
doubted whether the maximum annual demand for that object has 
yet been reached. Uncertainty upon this question would alone jus- 
tify, in my judgment, the retention for the present of that portion 
of the system of internal revenue which is least objectionable to the 

Second, a total abolition of excise taxes would almost inevitably 
prove a serious if not an insurmountable obstacle to a thorough 

revision of the tariff and to any considerable reduction in import 

The present tariff system is in many respects unjust. It makes 
unequal distributions both of its burdens and its benefits. This fact 
was practically recognized by a majority of each house of Congress 
in the passage of the act creating the Tariff Commission. The re- 
port of that Commission will be placed before you at tlie beginning 
of this session, and will, I trust, afford you such information as to 
the condition and prospects of the various commercial, agricultural, 
manufacturing, mining, and other interests of the countrj- and con- 
tain such suggestions for statutory revision as will practically aid 
your action upon this important subject. 

The revenue from customs for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1879, 
amounted to $137,000,000. 

It has in the three succeeding years reached, first, $186,000,000; 
then,$i98, 000, 000; and final!y,as has been already stated, $2 30, 000, 000, 

The income from this source for the fiscal year which will end on 
June 30, 1883, will doubtless be considerably in excess of the sum 
last mentioned. 

If the tax on domestic spirits is to be retained, it is plain there- 
fore that large reductions from the customs revenue are entirely 
feasible. While recommending this reduction I am far from advis- 
ing the abandonment of the policy of so discriminating in the adjust- 
ment of details as to afford aid and protection to domestic labor. But 
the present system should be so revised as to equalize the public 
burden among all classes and occupations, and bring it into closer 
harmony with the present needs of industry. 

Without entering into minute detail, which, under present circum- 
stances, is quite unnecessarj', I recommend an enlargement of the 
free list so as to include within it the numerous articles which yield 
inconsiderable revenue, a simplification of the complex and incon- 
sistent schedule of duties upon certain manufactures, particularly 
those of cotton, iron, and steel, and a substantial reduction of the 
duties upon those articles, and upon sugar, molasses, silk, wool, and 
woolen goods. 

If a general revision of the tariff shall be found to be impracticable 
at this session, I express the hope that at least some of the moi^ 


conspicuous inequalities of the present law may be conecled before 
your final adjournment. One of them is specially referred to by the 
Secretary. In view of a recent decision of the Supreme Court, the 
necessity of amending the law by which the Dutch standard of color 
is adopted as the test of the saccharine strength of sugars is too 
obvious to require comment 

From the report of the Secretary of War it appears that the only 
outbreaks of Indians during the past year occurred in Arizona and 
in the southwestern part of New Mexico. They were promptly 
quelled, and the quiet which has prevailed in all other parts of the 
country has permitted such an addition to be made to the military 
force in the region endangered by the Apaches that there is littlie 
reason to apprehend trouble in the future. 

Those parts of the Secretary's report which relate to our sea-coast 
defenses and their armament suggest the gravest reflections. Our 
existing fortifications are notoriously inadequate to the defense of 
the great harbors and cities for whose protection they were built. 

The question of providing an armament suited to our present 
necessities has been the subject of consideration by a board, whose 
report was transmitted to Congress at the last session. Pending the 
consideration of that report, the War Department has taken no steps 
for the manufacture or conversion of any heavy cannon, but the 
Secretary expresses the hope that authority and means to begin that 
important work will be soon provided. I invite the attention of 
Congress to the propriety of making more adequate provision for 
arming and equipping the militia than is aflforded by the act of 1808, 
which is still upon the statute-book. The matter has already been 
the subject of discussion in the Senate, and a bill which seeks to 
supply the deficiencies of existing laws is now upon its calendar. 

The Secretary of War calls attention to an embarrassment grow- 
ing out of the recent act of Congress making the retirement of offi- 
cers of the Army compulsory at the age of sixty-four. The act of 
1878 is still in force, which limits to four hundred the number of 
those who can be retired for disability or upon their own applica- 
tion. The two acts, when construed -together, seem to forbid the 
relieving, even for absolute incapacity, of oflBcers who do not fall 
within the purview of the later statute, save at such times as there 


chance to be less than four hiindred names on the retiied lisL 
There are now four hundred and twenty. It is not likely that Con- 
gress intended this result, and I concur with the Secretary, that the 
law ought to be amended. 

The grounds that impelled me to witlihold my signature from the 
bill entitled ' 'An act making appropriations for the construction, 
repair, and preservation of certain works on rivers and harbors," 
which became a law near the close of your last session, prompt me 
to express the hope that no similar measure will be deemed neces- 
sary during the present session of Congress, Indeed, such a measure 
would now be open to a serious objection in addition to that which 
was lately urged upon your attention. I am informed by the Secre- 
tary of War that the greater portion of the sum appropriated foi 
the various items specified in that act remains unexpended. 

Of the new works which it authorized, expenses have been in- 
curred upon two only, for which the total appropriation was $2io,- 
ooo. The present available balance is disclosed by the following 

Amount of appropriation by act of August 2, 1882 518,738,875 

Amount of appropriation by act of June 19, 1882 io,ocx> 

Amount of appropriation for payments to J. B. Eads ... 304,000 
Unexpended balance of former appropriations 4, 738, 263 

Less amount drawn from Treasury' between July i, 1882, 
and November 30, 1 882 6, 056, 194 

It is apparent by this exhibit that, so far as concerns most of the 
items to which the act of August 2, 1882, relates, there can be no 
need of further appropriations until after the close of the present 
session. If, however, any action should seem to be necessary in 
respect to particular objects, it will be entirely feasible to provide 
for those objects by appropriate legislation. It is possible, for ex- 
ample, that a delay until the assembling of the next Congress to 
make additional provision for the Mississippi River improvements 
might be attended with serious consequences. If such should ap- 


pear lo be the case, a just bill relating to that subject would com- 
mand my approval. 

This leads me to pflFer a suggestion which I trust will commend 
itself to the wisdom of Congress. Is it not advisable that grants of 
considerable sums of money for diverse and independent schemes of 
internal improvement should be made the subjects of separate and 
distinct legislative enactments? It will scarcely be gainsaid, even 
by those who favor the most liberal expenditures for such purposes 
as are sought to be accomplished by what is commonly called the 
river and harbor bill, that the practice of grouping in such a bill 
appropriations for a great diversity of objects, widely separated, 
either in their nature or in the locality with which they are con- 
cerned, or in both, is one which is much to be deprecated unless it 
is irremediable. It inevitably tends to secure the success of the bill 
as a whole, though many of the items, if separately considered, could 
scarcely fail of rejection. By the adoption of the course I have 
recommended, every member of Congress, whenever opportunity 
should arise for giving his influence and vote for meritorious appro- 
priations, would be enabled so to do without being called upon to 
sanction others undeserving his approval. So also would the Exec- 
utive be afforded thereby full opportunity to exercise his constitu- 
tional prerogative of opposing whatever appropriations seemed to 
him objectionable, without imperiling the success of others which 
commended themselves to his judgment. 

It- may be urged in opposition to these suggestions that the num- 
ber of works of internal improvement which are justly entitled to 
governmental aid is so great as to render impracticable separate 
appropriation bills therefor, or even for such comparatively limited 
number as make disposition of large sums of money. This objec- 
tion may be well founded, and, whether it be or not, the advantages 
which would be likely to ensue from the adoption of the course I 
have recommended may perhaps be more effectually attained by 
another, which I respectfully submit to Congress as an alternative 

It is provided by the constitutions of fourteen of our States that 
the Executive may disapprove any item or items of a bill appro- 
priating money; whereupon the part of the bill approved shall V^ 


law, and the part disapproved shall fail to become law, unless 
repassed according to the provisions prescribed for the passage of 
bills over the veto of the Executive, The States wherein some 
such provision as the foregoing is a part of the fundamental law 
are, Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Min- 
nesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Texas, and West Virginia. I commend to your careful considera- 
tion the question whether an amendment of the Federal Constitution 
in the particular indicated would not afford the best remedy for what 
is often a grave embarrassment both to members of Congress and to 
the Executive, and is sometimes a serious public mischief. 

The report of the Secretary of the Navy states the movements of 
the various squadrons during the year, in home and foreign waters, 
where our officers and seamen, with such ships as we possess, have 
continued to illustrate the high 'character and eotcellent discipline of 
the naval organization. 

On the 2ist of December, 1881, information was received that the 
exploring steamer Jeaunette had been crushed and abandoned in the 
Arctic Ocean. The officers and crew, after a journey over the ice, 
embarked in three boats for the coast of Siberia. One of the parties, 
under the command of Chief Engineer George W. Melville, reached 
the land, and, falling in with the natives, was saved. Another, 
under Lieutenant- Commander De Long, landed in a barren region 
near the mouth of the Lena River. After six weeks had elapsed all 
but two of the number had died from fatigue and starvation, ■ No 
tidingo have been received from tlie party in the third boat, under 
. the command of Lieutenant Chipp, but a long and fruitless inves- 
tigation leaves little doubt that all its members perished at sea. As 
a slight tribute to their heroism I give in this communication the 
names of the gallant men who sacrificed their lives on this expedi- 
tion: Lieutenant-Commander George W. De Long, Surgeon James 
M. Ambler, Jerome J. Collins, Hans Halmer Erichsen, Heinrich H, 
Kaacke, George W. Boj'd, Walter Lee, Adolph Dressier, Carl A. 
GCrtz, Nelse Iversou, the cook Ah Sam, and the Indian Alexy. 
The officers and men in the missing boat were Lieutenant Charles 
W. Chipp, commanding; William Dunbar, Alfred Sweetinan, Wal- 


ter Sharvell, Albert C. Kuehne, Edward Star, Henry D. Warren, 
and Peter E. Johnson. 

Lieutenant Giles B. Harber and Master William H. Scheutze are 
now bringing home the remains of Lieutenant De Long and his 
comrades, in pursuance of the directions of Congress. 

The Rodgers, fitted out for the relief of the Jeannette, in accord- 
ance with the act of Congress of March 3, 1881, sailed from San 
Francisco June 16, under the command of Lieutenant Robert M. 
Berry. On November 30 she was accidentally destroyed by fire, 
while in winter quarters in Saint Lawrence Bay, but the oflELcers 
and crew succeeded in escaping to the shore. Lieutenant Berry 
and one of his oflELcers, after making a search for the Jeannette along 
the coast of Siberia, fell in with Chief Engineer Melville's party, 
and returned home by way of Europe. The other oflficers and the 
crew of the Rodgers were brought from Saint Lawrence Bay by the 
whaling steamer North Star. Master Charles F. Putnam, who had 
been placed in charge of a depot of supplies at Cape Serdze, return- 
ing to his post from Saint Lawrence Bay across the ice in a blinding 
snow-storm, was carried out to sea and lost, notwithstanding all 
efforts to rescue him. 

It appears by the Secretary's report that the available naval force 
of the United States consists of thirty-seven cruisers, fourteen sin- 
gle-turreted monitors, built during the rebellion, a large number of 
smooth-bore guns and Parrott rifles, and eighty-seven rifled cannon. 

The cruising vessels should be gradually replaced by iron or steel 
ships, the monitors by modem armored vessels, and the armament 
by high-power rifled guns. 

The reconstmction of our Navy, which was recommended in my 
last message, was begun by Congress authorizing, in its recent act, 
the construction of two large unarmored steel vessels of the character 
recommended by the late Naval Advisory Board, and subject to the 
final approval of a new advisory board to be organized as provided 
by that act. I call your attention to the recommendation of the 
Secretary and the board, that authority be given to construct two 
more cruisers of smaller dimensions, and one fleet dispatch vessel, 
and that appropriations be made for high-power rifled cannon, for 
the torpedo service, and for other harbor defenses. 


Pending the consideratiou by Congress of the policy to be here- 
after adopted in conducting the eight large navy-yards and their 
expensive establishments, the Secrctarj' advocates the reduction of 
expenditures therefor to the lowest possible amounts. 

For the purpose of affording the ofEcers and seamen of the Navy 
opportunities for exercise and discipline in their profession, under 
appropriate control and direction, the Secretary- advises that the 
Light-House Ser\'ice and Coast Survey be transferred, as now organ- 
ized, from the Treasury to the Navy Department; and he also sug- 
gests, for the reasons wliich he assigns, that a similar transfer may 
wisely be made of the cruising revenue vessels. 

The Secretary forcibly depicts the intimate connection and inter- 
dependence of the Navy and the commercial marine, and invites 
attention to the continued decadence of the latter and the corre- 
sponding transfer of our growing commerce to foreign bottoms. 

This subject is one of the utmost importance to the national wel- 
fare. Methods of reviving American ship-building and of restoring 
the United States flag in the ocean carrying trade should receive the 
, immediate attention of Congress. We have mechanical skill and 
abundant material for the manufacture of modem iron steamships 
in fair competition with our commercial rivals. Our disadvantage 
in building ships is the greater cost of labor, and in sailing them, 
higher taxes, and greater interest on capital, while the ocean high- 
ways are already monopolized by our formidable competitors. These 
obstacles should in some way be overcome, and for our rapid com- 
munication with foreign lands we sliould not continue to depend 
wholly upon vessels built in the yards of other countries and sailing 
under foreign flags. With no United States steamers on the prin- 
cipal ocean lines or in any foreign ports, our facilities for extending 
our commerce are greatly restricted, while the nations which build 
and sail the ships and carry the mails and passengers obtain thereby 
conspicuous advantages in increasing their trade. 

The report of the Postmaster-General gives evidence of the satis- 
factory condition of that Department, and contains many valuable 
data and accompanying suggestions which cannot fail to be of in- 

The information which it affords that the receipts for the fiscal' 


year have exceeded the expenditures must be very gratifying to Con- 
gress and to the people of the country. 

As matters which may fairly claim particular attention, I refer 
you to his observations in reference to the advisability of changing 
the present basis for fixing salaries and allowances, of extending the 
money-order system, and of enlarging the functions of the postal 
establishment so as to put under its control the telegraph system of 
the country, though from this last and most important recommen- 
dation I must withhold my concurrence. 

A t the last session of Congress several bills were introduced into 
the House of Representatives for the reduction of letter postage to 
the rate of two cents per half ounce. 

I have given much study and reflection to this subject, and am 
thoroughly persuaded that such a reduction would be for the best 
interests of the public. 

It has been the policy of the Government from its foundation to 
defray, as far as possible, the expenses of carrying the mails by a 
direct tax in the form of postage. It has never been claimed, how- 
ever, that this service ought to be productive of a net revenue. 

As has been stated already, the report of the Postmaster-General 
shows that there is now a very considerable surplus in his Depart- 
ment, and that henceforth the receipts are likely to increase at a 
much greater ratio than the necessary expenditures. Unless some 
change is made in the existing laws the profits of the postal servdce 
will in a very few years swell the revenues of the Government many 
millions of dollars. The time seems auspicious, therefore, for some 
reduction in the rates of postage. In what shall that reduction 
consist ? 

A review of the legislation which has been had upon this subject 
during the last thirty years discloses that domestic letters constitute 
the only class of mail matter which has never been favored by a sub- 
stantial reduction of rates. I am convinced that the burden of 
maintaining the service falls most unequally upon that class, and 
that more than any other it is entitled to present relief. 

That such relief may be extended without detriment to other pub- 
lic interests will be discovered upon reviewing the results of former 


Immediately prior to the act of 1845, the postage upon a letier 
composed of a single sheet was as follows: 

If conveyed Cents. 

30 miles or less 6 

Betw-een ;^o and 80 miles 10 

Between 80 and 150 mites iz}4 

Between 150 and 4cx> miles 18 J^ 

Over 400 miles . 25 

By the act of 1845 the postage upon a single letter conveyed for 
any distance under -300 miles was fixed at five cents, and for any 
greater distance at ten cents. 

By the act of 1851 it was provided that a single letter, if prepaid. 
■ should be carried any distance not exceeding three thousand miles 
for three cents and any greater distance for six cents. 

It will be noticed that both of these reductions were of a radical 
character and relatively quite as important as that which is now 

In each case there ensued a temporary loss of revenue, but a sud- 
den and large influx of business, which substantially repaired that 
loss within three years. 

Unless the experience of past legislation in this country and else- 
where goes for naught, it may be safely predicted that the stimulus 
of 33^ per centum reduction in the tax for carriage would at once 
increase the number of letters consigned to the mails. 

The advantages of secrecy would lead to a very general substitu- 
tion of sealed packets for postal cards and open circulars, and in 
divers other ways the ^'olume of first-class matter would be enor- 
mously augmented. Such increase amounted in England, in the 
first year after the adoption of penny postage, to more than 125 per 
cent ' 

As a result of careful estimates, the details of which cannot be 
here set out, I have become convinced that tlie deficiency for the 
first year after the proposed reduction would not exceed 7 per cent, 
of the expenditures, or $3,000,000, while the deficiency after the 
reduction of 1S45 was more than 14 per cent., and after that of 1851 
was 37 per cent. 


Another interesting comparison is aflforded by statistics furnished 
me by the Post-Office Department. 

The act of 1845 was passed in face of the fact that there existed a 
deficiency of more than $30,000. That of 1851 was encouraged by 
the slight surplus of $132,000. The excess of revenue in the next 
fiscal year is likely to be $3,500,000. 

If Congress should approve these suggestions it may be deemed 
desirable to supply to some extent the deficiency which must for a 
time result, by increasing the charge for carrying merchandise, 
which is now only sixteen cents per pound. But even without such 
an increase I am confident that the Receipts under the diminished 
rates would equal the expenditures after the lapse of three or four 

The report of the Department of Justice brings anew to your 
notice the necessity of enlarging the present system of Federal 
jurisprudence so as effectually to answer the requirements of the 
ever-increasing litigation with which it is called upon to deal. 

The Attorney-General renews the suggestions of his predecessor 
that in the interests of justice better provision than the existing 
laws afford should be made in certain judicial districts for fixing the 
fees of witnesses and jurors. 

In my message of December last I referred to pending criminal 
proceedings growing out of alleged frauds in what is known as the 
star-route service of the Post-OflBce Department, and advised you 
that I had enjoined upon the Attorney -General and associate counsel, 
to whom the interests of the Government were intrusted, the duty of 
prosecuting with the utmost vigor of the law all persons who might 
be found chargeable with those offenses. A trial of one of these 
cases has since occurred. It occupied for many weeks the attention 
of the supreme court of this District, and was conducted with great 
zeal and ability. It resulted in a disagreement of the jury, but the 
cause has beei; again placed upon the calendar and will shortly be 
retried. If any guilty persons shall finally escape punishment for 
their offenses it will not be for lack of diligent and earnest efforts on 
the part of the prosecution. 

I trust that some agreement may be reached which will speedily 



enable Congress, with the concurrence of the Executive, to afford 
the commercial community the benefits of a national bankrupt law. 

The report of the Secretarj' of the Interior, with its accompanying 
documents, presents a full statement of the varied operations of that 
Department. In respect to Indian affairs nothing has occurred 
Which has changed or seriously modified the views to which I de- 
voted much space in a fonner communication to ConE;ress, I renew 
the recommendations therein contained as to extending to the In- 
dian the protection of the law, allotting land in severalty to such as 
desire it, and making suitable provision for the education of youth. 
Such provision, as the Secretary forcibly maintains, will prove una- 
vailing uuless it is broad enough to include all those who are able 
and willing to make use of it, and should not solely relate to intel- 
lijectual training, but also to instructiou in such manual labor and 
iple industrial arts as can be made practically available. 

Among other important subjects which are included within the 
Secretary's report, and which will doubtless furnish occasion for 
Congressional action, may be mentioned the neglect of the railroad 
companies to which large grants of land were made by the acts of 
1862 and 1864 to take title thereto, and their consequent inequitable 
exemption from local taxation. 

No survey of our material condition can fail to suggest inquiries 
as to the moral and intellectual progress of the people. 

The Census returns disclose an alarming state of illiteracy in cer- 
tain portions of the country- where the provision for schools Is grossly 
inadequate. It is a momentous question for the decision of Congress 
whether immediate and substantial aid should not be extended by 
the General Government for supplementing the efforts of private 
beneficence and of State and Territorial legislation in behalf of edu- 

The regulation of inter-state commerce has already been the sub- 
ject of your deliberations. One of the incidents of the marvelous 
extension of the railway system of the country has been the adop- 
tion of such measures by the corporations which own or control the 
roads as has tended to impair the advantages of healthful competi- 
tion and to make hurtful discriminations in the adjustment of 


These inequalities have been corrected in several of the States by 
appropriate legislation, the eflFect of which is necessarily restricted 
to the limits of their own territory. 

So far as sucii mischiefs aflfect commerce between the States, or 
between any one of the States and a foreign country, they are sub- 
jects of national concern, and Congress alone can aflFord relief. 

The results which have thus far attended the enforcement of the 
recent statute for the suppression of polygamy in the Territories are 
reported by the Secretary of the Interior. It is not probable that 
any additional legislation in this regard will be deemed desirable 
until the eflfect of existing laws shall be more closely observed and 

I congratulate you that the commissioners under whose supervis- 
ion those laws have been put in operation are encouraged to believe 
that the evil at which they are aimed may be suppressed without 
resort to such radical measures as in some quarters have been 
thought indispensable for success. 

The close relation of the General Government to the Territories 
preparing to be great States may well engage your special attention. 
It is there that the Indian disturbances mainly occur and that polyg- 
aiuy has found room for its growth. I cannot doubt that a careful 
survey of Territorial legislation would be of the highest utility. 
Life and property would become more secure. The liability of out- 
breaks between Indians and whites would be lessened. The public 
domain would be more securely guarded and better progress be made 
in the instruction of the young. 

Alaska is still without any form of civil government. If means 
were provided for the education of its people and for the protection 
of their lives and property the immense resources of the region 
would invite permanent settlements and open new fields for industry 
and enterprise. 

The report of the Commissioner of Agriculture presents an ac- 
count of the labors of that Department during the past year, and in- 
cludes information of much interest to the general public. 

The condition of the forests of the country and the wasteful man- 
ner in which their destruction is taking place give cause for serious 
apprehension. Their action in protecting the earth's surface, in 
modifying the €.\:tremes of climate, aIidmT^^o\'a^l\TL<^^x^^^^^s^2^^ 


the flow of Springs and streams is now well understood, and iheir 
importance in relation to the growth and prosperity of the country 
cannot be safely disregarded. They are fast disappearing before 
destructive fires and the legitimate requirements of our increasing 
population, and their total extinction cannot be loug delayed unless 
better methods than now prevail shall be adopted for their protection 
and cultivation. The attention of Congress is invited to the necessity 
■ .■of additional legislation to secure the preservation of the valuable 
forests still remaining on the public domain, especially in the ex- 
treme Western States and Territories, where the necessity for their 
preservatioa is greater than in less mountainous regions, and where 
the prevailing dryness of the climate renders their restoration, if 
they are once destroyed, well nigh impossible. 

The communication which I made to Congress at its first session 
in December last contained a somewhat full statement of my senti- 
ments in relation to the principles and rules which ought to govern 
appointments to public service. 

Referring to the various plans which had theretofore been the 
subject of discussion in the National Legislature (plans which in the 
main were modeled upon the system which obtains in Great Britain, 
but which lacked certain of the prominent features whereby that 
system is distinguished), I felt bound to intimate my doubts whether 
they, or any of them, would afford adequate remedy for the evils 
which they aimed to correct. 

I declared, nevertheless, that if the proposed measures should 
prove acceptable to Congress, they would receive the unhesitating 
support of the Executive. 

Since these suggestions were submitted for your consideration 
there has been no legislation upon the subject to which they relate, 
but there has meanwhile been an increase in the public interest in 
that subject, and the people of the country, apparently without dis- 
tinction of party, have in various ways, and upon frequent occasions, 
given expression to their earnest wish for prompt and definite action. 
In my judgment, such action should no longer be postponed. 

I may add that my own sense of its pressing importance has been 
quickened by observation of a practical phase of the matter, to 
which attention has more than once been called by my predecessors. 


The civil list now comprises about one hundred thousand persons, 
far the larger part of whom must, under the terms of the Constitu- 
tion, be selected by the President either directly or through his own 

In the early years of the administration of the Government, the 
personal direction of appointments to the civil service may not have 
been an irksome task for the Executive; but, now that the burden 
has increased fully a hundred-fold, it has become greater than he 
ought to bear, and it necessarily diverts his time and attention from 
the proper discharge of other duties no less delicate and responsible, 
and which, in the very nature of things, cannot be delegated to 
other hands. 

In the judgment of not a few who have given study and reflection 
to this matter, the nation has outgrown the provisions which the 
Constitution has established for filling the minor offices in the pub- 
lic service^ 

But whatever may be thought of the wisdom or expediency of 
changing the fundamental law in this regard, it is c^tain that much 
relief may be afforded, not only to the President and to the heads of 
the Departments, but to Senators and Representatives in Congress, 
by discreet legislation. They would be protected in a great measure 
by the bill now pending before the Senate, or by any other which 
should embody its important features, from the pressure of personal 
importunity and from the labor of examining conflicting claims and 
pretensions of candidates. 

I trust that before the close of the present session some decisive 
action may be taken for the correction of the evils which inhere in 
the present methods of appointment, and I assure you of my hearty 
co-operation in any measures which are likely to conduce to that end. 

As to the most appropriate term and tenure of the official life of 
the subordinate employes of the Government, it seems to be generally 
agreed that, whatever their extent or character, the one should be 
definite and the other stable, and that neither should be regulated 
by zeal in the service of party or fidelity to the fortunes of an in- 

It matters little to the people at large what competent person is 


at the head of this Departmeut or of that Bureau, if they feel assured 
that the removal of one and the accession of another will not involve 
the retirement of honest and faithful subordinates, whose duties are 
purely administrative and have no legitimate connection with the 
triumph of any political principles or the success of any political 
party or faction. It is to this latter class of officers that the Senate 
bill, to which I have already referred, exclusively applies. 

While neither that bill nor any other prominent scheme for im- 
proving the civil service concerns the higher grade of officials, who 
are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, I feel 
bound to correct a prevalent misapprehension as to the frequency 
with which the present Executive has displaced the incumbent of 
an office and appointed another in his stead. 

It has been repeatedly alleged that he has in this particular sig- 
nallj' departed from the course which has been pursued under recent 
administrations of the Government. The facts are as follows : 

The whole number of Executive appointments during the four 
years immediately preceding Mr. Garfield's accession to the Presi- 
f dency was 2,696. 

Of this number 244, or 9 per cent. , involved the removal of pre- 
vious incumbents. 

The ratio of removals to the whole number of appointments was 
much the same during each of those four years. 

In the first year, with 790 appointments, there were 74 removals, 
or 9,3 per cent. ; in the second, with 917 appointments, there were 
85 removals, or 8. 5 per cent. ; in the third, with 480 appointments, 
there were 48 removals, or 10 per cent.; in the fourth, with 429 
appointments, there were 37 removals, or 8.6 per cent In the four 
months of President Garfield's administration there were 390 ap- 
pointments and 89 removals, or 22,7 per cent. Precisely the same 
number of removals (89) has taken place in the fourteen months 
which have since elapsed, but they constitute only 7.8 per cent, of 
the whole number of appointments (1,118) within that period, and 
less than a.6 of the entire list of officials (3,459), exclusive of the 
Army and Navy, which is filled by Presidential appointment. 

I declare iny approval of such legislation as may be found neces- 


sary for supplementing the existing provisions of law in relation to 
political assessments. 

In July last I authorized a public announcement that employds of 
the Government should regard themselves as at liberty to exercise 
their pleasure in making or refusing to make political contributions, 
and that their action in that regard would in no manner aflfect their 
official status. 

In this announcement I acted upon the view which I had always 
maintained and still maintain, that a public officer should be as ab- 
solutely free as any other citizen to give or to withhold a contribu- 
tion for the aid of the political party of his choice. It has, however, 
been urged, and doubtless not without foundation in fact, that by 
solicitation of official superiors and by other modes such contribu- 
tions have at times been obtained from persons whose only motive 
for giving has been the fear of what might befall them if they refused. 
It goes without saying that such contributions are not voluntary, 
and in my judgment their collection should be prphibited by law. 
A bill which will eflfectually suppress them will receive my cordial 

I hope that however numerous and urgent may be the demands 
upon your attention, the interests of this District will not be for- 

The denial to its residents of the great right of suffi-age in all its 
relation to national, State, and municipal action imposes upon Con- 
gress the duty of aflfording them the best administration which its 
wisdom can devise. 

The report of the District Commissioners indicates certain meas- 
ures whose adoption would seem to be very desirable. I instance 
in particular those which relate to arrears of taxes, to steam rail- 
roads, and to assessments of real property. 

Among the questions which have been the topic of recent debate 
in the halls of Congress none are of greater gravity than those relat- 
ing to the ascertainment of the vote for Presidential electors and 
the intendment of the Constitution in its provisions for devolving 
Executive functions upon the Vice-President when the President 
suflfers from inability to discharge the powers and duties of his 




I Irust that no embarrassments may result from a failure to deter- 
mine these questions before another national election. 

The closing year has been replete with blessings for which we 
owe to the Giver of all Good our reverent acknowledgment For 
the uninterrupted harmony of our foreign relations, for the decay of 
sectional animosities, for the exuberance of our harvests and the 
triumphs of our mining and manufacturing industries, for the preva- 
lence of health, the spread of intelligence and the conservation of 
the public credit, for the growth of the country in all the elements 
of national greatness — for these and countless other blessings — we 
should rejoice and be glad. I trust that, under the inspiration of 
this great prosperity, our counsels may be harmonious, and that the 
dictates of prudence, patriotism, justice, and economy may lead to 
the adoption of measures in which the Congress and the Executive 
may heartily unite. 


WASHiNtJTON, December 4, iSHz. 





*i JANUARY 26, 1883. 



To THE House of Representatives: 

It is hereby announced to the house of Congress in which it orig- 
inated that the joint resolution (H. Res. 190) ** to refer certain claims 
to the Court of Claims ' ' has been permitted to become a law under 
the constitutional provision. 

Its apparent purpose is to allow certain bankers to sue in the 
Court of Claims for the amount of internal-revenue tax collected 
from them without lawful authority, upon showing aa matter of 
excuse for not having brought their suits within the time limited 
by law that they had entered into an agreement with the district 
attorney, which was in substance that they should be relieved of 
that necessity. 

I cannot concur in the policy of setting aside the bar of the statute 
in those cases on such ground, but I h^ve not deemed it necessary 
to return the joint resolution with my objections for reconsideration. 


Executive Mansion, January 26^ i88j. 






FEBRUARY 3, 1883, 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

I transmit to the Senate for consideration, with a view to ratifica- 
tion, the treaty of commerce which was signed in duplicate January 
20, 1883, by commissioners on the part of the United States and 
Mexico, with accompanying^ papers. 

The attention of the Senate is called to the statement in the third 
protocol as to the insertion of the word ''steel" in item No. (35) 66 
of the list appended to article 2 of the treaty. No further informa- 
tion as to the possible correction therein referred to has yet reached 
me; but as the session of the Senate will soon terminate, I deem it 
advisable to transmit the treaty as signed, in the hope that its ratifi- 
cation may be assented to. 

While the treaty does not contain all the provisions desired by the 
United States, the difficulties in the way of a full and complete set- 
tlement of matters of common interest to the two countries were 
such as to make me willing to approve it as .an important step 
towards a desirable result, not doubting that, as time shall show the 
advantages of the system thus inaugurated, the Government will be 
able by supplementary agreements to insert the word ** steel" and 
to perfect what is lacking in the instrument. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington^ February j^ 1883. 





MARCH I, 1883. 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

Having approved the act recently passed by Congress ' * to regulate 
and improve the civil service of the United States, ' ' I deem it my 
duty to call your attention to the provision for the emplojonent of a 
''chief examiner" contained in the third section of the act, which 
was the subject of consideration at the time of its approval. 

I am advised by the Attorney-General that there is great doubt 
whether such examiner is not properly an officer of the United States 
because of the nature of his employment, its duration, emolument, 
and duties. If he be such, the provision for his employment (which 
involves an appointment by the Commission) is not in conformity 
with section 2, article 2 of the Constitution. Assuming this to be 
the case, the result would be that the appointment of the chief 
examiner must be deemed to be vested in the President, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, since in such case the appoint- 
ment would not be otherwise provided for by law. Concurring in 
this opinion, I nominate Silas W. Burt, of New York, to be chief 
examiner of the Civil Service Commission. 


Executive Mansion, March /, 1883. 





JUNE 9, 1883. 



Executive Mansion, 

Washington^ June p, /<?<?J. 

My Dear Sir: I trust that my delay in answering your com- 
munication touching the proposed Southern Exposition at Louis- 
ville in August next has not been misinterpreted. It is in nowise 
attributable to lack of interest in the great undertaking to which 
you have invited my attention. That undertaking, on the contrary, 
richly deserves approval. It commands and will receive my per- 
sonal and efficient encouragement. It seems to me, indeed, that its 
importance to the whole country, and especially to the South, can 
scarcely be overestimated. 

Such exhibitions have come to be among the most marked feat- 
ures and the most instructive agents of our modern civilization; 
for they enhance the dignity of labor, and show to both labor and 
capital how inextricably their interests are interwoven. They ele- 
vate the standard of industrial attainment and give fresh and endur- 
ing impetus to inventive genius and skill. No time was ever more 
auspicious than the present for such an enterprise nor could it find 
a home in any more fitting spot than that which has been chosen 
for it. You are not misled by enthusiasm; you but speak ''the 
words of truth and soberness'' when you say that the South has 
entered upon a new era, in which, as I believe, it is destined to dis- 
play, in the development of its marvelous resources, such zeal and 
energ\' as have never yet been exhibited in any region of our coun- 
\xy at any period of our national life. 

The proposed exhibition will disclose how vast a field the South 
now offers for every phase of industrial effort, in the mine, the field, 
the factory, ever>'where, indeed, where art and skill can find room 
for employment ; and the influences of this noble undertaking will 

12* 177 


by no means be limited to its more material consequences. It will 
assist in quenching the spirit of sectional antagonism, already, by 
God's blessing, well nigh extinct. It will bring the people of the 
land into more intimate acquaintance and sympathy ; it will bind 
them together in closer devotion to the sentiment which now dwells 
in every patriotic breast, "One Union, one Constitution, one des- 
tiny. ' ' 

I am truly yours, 

J. M. Wright, Esq., 

firsf I 'ice-President^ General Manager^ &c. , Louhville, A'y. 




AUGUST 2, I 883. 



I count myself fortunate that I am within the borders of this 
beautiful city of the South on a day which must be henceforth 
famous in its history. For a great undertaking, an undertaking of 
national interest and importance, enters here and now upon its 
career. I congratulate the promoters and managers of this Expo- 
sition that, even at the very threshold of its existence it gives 
abundant pledges of success. The zeal and enthusiasm which they 
have displayed in their labors of preparation ; the frequent tidings 
of encouragement and cheer by which those labors have been light- 
ened and made glad ; the splendid triumphs of American genius, 
activity, and skill that are arrayed within these walls ; the presence 
of the eager multitudes who throng these hospitable streets ; all are 
tokens that the enterprise here inaugurated will be crowned with 
brilliant, far-reaching, enduring results. 

It will multiply the aims of industry, better its operations, and 
elevate its standard of attainment. By suggesting new wants it 
will incite new activities. It will disclose natural resources as yet 
almost unexplored, and point the way to their prompt ^d profitable 
development. In countless ways it will promote the arts of peace 
and help to bring about the works of peace, proclaiming harmony 
and good- will and brotherly kindness throughout all the land unto 
all the inhabitants thereof 

I now declare that the Southern Exposition is open, and may God 
speed the fulfillment of all its lofty and ennobling purposes ! 






SEPTEMBER lo, 1883. 





Whereas by the eighth section of an act entitled '*An act to en- 
courage the holding of a World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial 
Exposition in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-four, ' ' approved 
February lo, 1883, it was enacted as follows: 

''That whenever the President shall be informed by the said 
board of management that provision has been made for suitable 
buildings, or the erection of the same, for the purposes of said exhi- 
bition, the President shall, through the Department of State, make 
proclamation of the same, setting forth the time at which the exhi- 
bition will open and the place at which it will be held, and such 
board of management shall communicate to the diplomatic repre- 
sentatives of all nations copies of the same and a copy of this act 
together with such regulations as may be adopted by said board of 
management for publication in their respective countries." 

And whereas the duly constituted board of managers of the afore- 
said World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition has in- 
formed me that provision has been made for the erection of suitable 
buildings for the purposes of said Exposition: 

Now, therefore, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United 
States of America, by authority of and in fulfillment of the require- 
ments of said act approved February 10, 1883, do hereby declare and 
make known that the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial 
Exposition will be opened on the first Monday in December, 1884, 
at the city of New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana, and will there 
be holden continuously until the 31st day of May, 1885. 



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

Done at the city of Washington this tenth day of September, one 
thousand eight hundred and eight>--three, and of the Independence 
of the United States the one hundred and eighth, 


By the President : 

Fred'k T. Frelinghi'ysen. 

Secretary oj State. 







I heartily join with you in paying tribute to the memory of that 
distinguished citizen of Rhode Island whose name yonder structure 
is henceforth privileged to bear. So long as it shall endure it will, 
in some degree, serve to perpetuate the fame of a soldier faithful to 
his trusts, whose courage found its only rival in his modesty; of a 
statesman whose every act was prompted by the loftiest patriotism, 
and of an earnest, sincere, and manly gentleman who abounded in 
all courtesy, who scorned all deceit, and who never failed to follow 
in the path of duty whithersoever it led. 






OCTOBER 26, 1883. 





In furtherance of the custom of this people at the closing of each 
year to engage, upon a day set apart for that purpose, in a special 
festival of praise to the Giver of all good, I, Chester A. Arthur, 
President of the United States, do hereby designate Thursday, the 
twenty-ninth day of November next, as a day of national thanks- 

The year which is drawing to an end has been replete with 
evidences of Divine goodness. 

The prevalence of health, the fulness of the harvests, the stability 
of peace and order, the growth of fraternal feeling, the spread of 
intelligence and learning, the continued enjoyment of civil and 
religious liberty — all these and countless other blessings are cause 
for reverent rejoicing. 

I do therefore recommend that on the day above appointed the 
people rest from their accustomed labors, and meeting in their sev- 
eral places of worship, express their devout gratitude to God that 
He hath dealt so bountifully with this nation and pray that His 
grace and favor abide with it forever. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be aflSxed. Done at the city of Wash- 
ington this 26th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousancj 
eight hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the 
United States the one hundred and eighth. 


By the President: 

Fred'k T. Frelinghuysen, 

Secretary of State, 
13* ^^^ 





NOVEMBER 26, 1883, 



The President said: 

Mr. President and fellow-citizens, it is fitting that other lips than 
mine should give voice to the sentiments of pride and patriotism 
which this occasion cannot fedl to inspire in every heart. To myself 
has been assigned but a slight and formal part in the day's exercises, 
and I shall not exceed its becoming limits. I have come to this 
historic spot where the first President of the Republic took oath to 
preserve, protect, and defend its Constitution, simply to accept in 
behalf of the Government this tribute to his memory, hong may 
the noble statue you have here set up stand where you have placed 
it, a monument alike to your own generosity and public spirit, and 
to the wisdom and virtue and genius of the immortal Washington! 





DECEMBER 4, 1883. 





DECEMBER 4, 1883. 



To THE Congress of the United States : 

At the threshold of your deliberations I congratulate you uix>n 
the favorable aspect of the domestic and foreign aflfeiirs of this Gov- 

Our relations with other countries continue to be upon a friendly 

With the Argentine Republic, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, 
Hayti, Italy, Santo Domingo, and Sweden and Norway no incident 
has occurred which calls for special comment. The recent opening 
of new lines of telegraphic communication with Central America 
and Brazil permitted the interchange of messages of friendship with 
the Governments of those countries. 

During the year there have been perfected and proclaimed consular 
and commercial treaties with Serbia and a consular treaty with 
Roumania, thus extending our intercourse with the Danubian coun- 
tries, while our Eastern relations have been put upon a wider basis 
by treaties with Corea and Madagascar. The new boundary-survey 
treaty with Mexico, a trades-mark convention and a supplementary 
treaty of extradition with Spain, and conventions extending the 
duration of the Franco-American Claims Commission have also 
been proclaimed. 

Notice of the termination of the fisheries articles of the Treaty of 
Washington was duly given to the British Government, and the 
reciprocal privileges and exemptions of the treaty will accordingly 
cease on July i, 1885. The fisheries industries, pursued by a nu- 
merous class of our citizens on the northern coasts, both of the 
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, are worthy of the fostering care of 
Congress. Whenever brought into competition with the like in- 


dustries of other countries, our fishermen, as well as our manufact- 
urers of fishing appTiances and preparers of fish products, have 
maintained a foremost place. I suggest that Congress create a 
commission to consider the general question of our rights in the 
fisheries and the means of opening to our citizens, under just and 
enduring conditions, the richly stocked fishing waters and sealing 
grounds of British North America. 

Question has arisen touching the deportation to the United States 
from the British Islands, by governmental or municipal aid, of per- 
sons unable there to gain a liWng and equally a burden on the com- 
munity here. Such of these persons as fall under Uie pauper class 
as defined by law have been sent back in accordance with the pro- 
visions of our statutes. Her Majesty's Goverumeut has insisted that 
precautions have been taken before shipment to prevent these objec- 
tionable visitors from coming hither without guarantee of support 
by their relatives in this countrj'. The action of the British authori- 
ties in applying measures for relief has, however, in so many cases 
I proved ineffectual, and especiall)' so in certain recent instances of 
I needy emigrants reaching our territor>* through Canada, that a 
revision of our legislation upon this subject may be deemed advisable. 
Correspondence relative to the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty has been con- 
tinued and will be laid before Congress. 

The legislation of France against the importation of prepared 
swine products from the United States has been repealed. That 
result is due no less to the friendly representations of tliis Govern- 
ment than to a growing conviction in France that the restriction 
was not demanded by any real danger to health. 

Germany still prohibits the introduction of all swine products 
from America. I extended to the Imperial Government a friendly 
invitation to send experts to the United States to inquire whether 
the use of those products was dangerous to health. This invitation 
was declined. I have believed it of such importance however that 
the exact facts should be ascertained and promulgated that I have 
appointed a competent commission to make a thorough investiga- 
tion of the subject. Its members have shown their public spirit by 


accepting their trust without pledge of compensation, but I trust 
that Congress will see in the national and international bearings of 
the matter a suflBcient motive for providing at least for reimburse- 
ment of such expenses as they may necessarily incur. 

The coronation of the Czar at Moscow aflForded to tnis Gk)vemment 
an occasion for testifying its continued friendship by sending a spe- 
cial envoy and a representative of the Navy to attend the ceremony. 

While there have arisen during the year no grave questions aflFect- 
ing the status in the Russian Empire of American citizens of other 
faith than that held by the national church, this Government re- 
mains firm in its conviction that the rights of its citizens abroad 
should be in no wise aflfected by their religious belief. 

It is understood that measures for the removal of the restrictions 
which now burden our trade with Cuba and Puerto Rico are under 
consideration by the Spanish Government. 

The proximity of Cuba to the United States and the peculiar 
methods of administration which there prevail necessitate constant 
discussion and appeal on our part from the proceedings of the insular 
authorities. I regret to say that the just protests of this Govern- 
ment have not as yet produced satisfactory results. 

The commission appointed to decide certain claims of our citizens 
against the Spanish Government, after the recognition of a satisfac- 
tor\' rule as to the validity and force of naturalization in the United 
States, has finally adjourned. Some of its awards, though made 
more than two years ago, have not yet been paid. Their speedy 
payment is expected. 

Claims to a large amount which were held by the late commission 
to be without its jurisdiction have been diplomatically presented to 
the Spanish Government. As the action of the colonial authorities, 
which has given rise to these claims, was admittedly illegal, full rep- 
aration for the injur\' sustained by our citizens shouldbe no longer 

The case of the Masonic has not yet reached a settlement. The 
Manila court has found that the proceedings of which this Govern- 
ment has complained were unauthorized, and it is hoped that the 



Government of Spain will not withhold the speedy reparation which 
its sense of justice should impel it to offer for the unusual severity 
and unjust action of its subordinate colonial officers in the case of 
this vessel, 

I The Helvetian Confederation has proposed the inauguration of a 
1 class of international treaties for the referment to arbitration of grave 
questious between nations. This Government has assented to the 
proposed negotiation of such a treaty with Switzerland. 

Under the Treaty of Berlin, liberty of conscience and civil rights 
are assured to all strangers in Bulgaria. As the United States have 
no distinct conventional relations with that country and are not a 
party to the treaty, they should in my opinion maintain diplomatic 
representation at Sofia for the improvement of intercourse and the 
proper protection of the many American citizens who resort *o Chat 
country as missionaries and teachers. I suggest that I be given 
authority to establish an agency and consulate-general at the Bul- 
garian capital. 

The United States are now ■ partidpating in a revision of the 
tariffs of the Ottoman Empire. They have assented to the applica- 
tion of a license tax to foreigners doing business in Turkey but have 
opposed the oppressive storage tax upon petroleum entering the 
ports of that country. 

The Government of the Khedive has proposed that the authority 
of the mixed -judicial tribunals in Egypt be extended so as to cover 
citizens of the United States accused of crime, who are uow triable 
before consular courts. This Government is not indisposed to ac- 
cept the change, but believes that its terms should be submitted 
for criticism to the commission appointed to revise thewhole subject. 

At no time in our national liistorj' has there been more manifest 
need of close and lasting relations with a neighboring state than 
now exists with respect to Mexico. The rapid influx of our capital 
and enterprise into that country shows, by what has already been 
accomplislied, the vast reciprocal advantages which must attend the 
progress of its internal development. The treaty of commerce and 


navigation of 1848 has been terminated by the Mexican Govern- 
ment, and in the absence of conventional engagements the rights of 
our citizens in Mexico now depend upon the domestic statutes of 
that Republic. There have been instances of harsh enforcement of 
the laws against our vessels and citizens in Mexico, and of denial of 
the diplomatic resort for their protection. Th^ initial step toward 
a better understanding has been taken in the negotiation by the 
commission authorized by Congress of a treaty which is still before 
the Senate awaiting its approval. 

The provisions for the reciprocal crossing of the frontier by the 
troops in pursuit of hostile Indians have been prolonged for another 
year. The operations of the forces of both Governments against 
these savages have been successful, and seveial of their most dan- 
gerous bands have been captured or dispersed by the skill and valor 
of United States and Mexican soldiers fighting in a common cause. 

The convention for the resurvey of the boundary from the Rio 
Grande to the Pacific, having been ratified and exchanged, the pre- 
liminar}'^ reconnaissance therein stipulated has been effected. It 
now rests with Congress to make provision for completing the sur- 
vey and relocating the boundary monuments. 

A convention was signed with Mexico on July 13, 1882, providing 
for the rehearing of the cases of Benjamin Weil and the Abra Silver 
Mining Company, in whose favor awards were made by the late 
American and Mexican Claims Commission. That convention still 
. awaits the consent of the Senate. Meanwhile because of those 
charges of fraudulent awards which have made a new commission 
necessar}', the Executive has directed the suspension of payments of 
the distributive quota received from Mexico. 

Our geographical proximity to Central America and our political 
and commercial relations with the states of that country justify, in 
my judgment, such a material increase of our consular corps as will 
place at each capital a consul-general. 

The contest between Bolivia, Chile, and Peru has passed from the 
stage of strategic hostilities to that of negotiation, in which the 
counsels of this Government have been exercised. The demands of 
Chile for absolute cession of territory have been maintained and 

accepted by the party of General Iglesias to the extent of concluding 
a treaty of peace with the Govemoient of Chile in general conformity 
with the terms of the protocol signed in May last between the 
Chilean commander and General Iglesias. As a result of the con- 
clusion of this treaty, General Iglesias hasbeen formally recognized 
by Chile as President of Peru, and his Govertiment installed at Lima 
which has been evacuated by the Chileans. A call has been issued 
by General Iglesias for a representative assembly, to be elected on 
the 13th of January, and to meet at Lima on the 1st of March next. 
Meanwhile the provisional government of General Iglesias has ap- 
plied for recognition to the principal powers of America and Europe. 
When the will of the Peruvian people shall be manifested I shall 
not hesitate to recognize the Government approved by them. 

Diplomatic and naval representatives of this Government attended 
at Caracas the centennial celebration of the birth of the illustrious 
f Bolivar. At the same time the inauguration of the statue of Wash- 
B in the Venezuelan capital testified to the veneration in which 
nory is there held. 

) at its last session authorized the Executive to propose 
to Venezuela a reopening of the awards of the Mixed Commission 
of Caracas. The departure from this countr>' of the Venezuelan 
minister has delayed the opening of negotiations for reviving the 
commission. This Government holds that until the establishment 
of a treaty upon this subject the Venezuelan Government must con- 
tinue to make the payments provided for in the convention of 1866. 

There is ground for believing that the dispute growing out of the 
unpaid obligations due from \'encznela to France will be satisfac- 
torily adjusted. The French cabinet has proposed a basis of settle- 
ment which meets my approval, but as it involves a recasting of the 
annual quotas of the foreign debt it has been deemed advisable to 
submit the proposal to the judgment of the cabinets of Berlin, Co- 
penhagen, The Hague, London, and Madrid. 

At the recent coronation of His Majesty King Kalakaua this Gov- 
ernment was represented both diplomatically and by the formal visit 
of a vessel ol war. 

The question of terminating or modifying the existing reciprocity 
treaty with Hawaii is now before Congress. I am convinced that 


the charges of abuses and frauds under that treaty have been ex- 
aggerated, and I renew the suggestion of last year's message that 
the treaty be modified wherever its provisions have proved onerous 
to legitimate trade between the two countries. I am not disposed 
to favor the entire cessation of the treaty relations which have fos- 
tered good-will between the countries and contributed toward the 
equality of Hawaii in the family of nations. 

In pursuance of the policy declared by this Government of extend- 
ing our intercourse with the Eastern nations, legations have during 
the past year been established in Persia, Siam, and Corea. It is 
probable that permanent missions of those countries will ere long be 
maintained in the United States. A special embassy from Siam is 
now on its way hither. 

Treaty relations with Corea were perfected by the exchange at 
Se6ul, on the 19th of May last, of the ratifications of the lately con- 
cluded convention, and envoys from the King of Tah Chosun have 
visited this country and received a cordial welcome. Corea, as yet 
unacquainted with the methods of Western civilization, now invites 
the attention of those interested in the advancement of our foreign 
trade, as it needs the implements and products which the United 
States are ready to supply. We seek no monopoly of its commerce 
and no advantages over other nations, but as the Chosunese, in 
reaching for a higher civilization, have confided in this Republic, we 
cannot regard with indifference any encroachment on their rights. 

China, by the payment of a money indemnity, has settled certain 
of the long-pending claims of our citizens, and I have strong hopes 
that the remainder will soon be adjusted. 

Questions have arisen touching the rights of American and other 
foreign manufacturers in China under the provisions of treaties 
which permit aliens to exercise their industries in that country. On 
this specific point our own treaty is silent, but under the operation 
of the most-favored-nation clause, we have like privileges with those 
of other powers. While it is the duty of the Government to see 
that our citizens have the full enjoyment of every benefit secured 
by treaty, I doubt the expediency of leading in a movement to con- 
strain China to admit an interpretation which we have only an in- 


direct treaty right to exact The transference to China of American 
capital for the eniployinent there of Cliinese labor would in effect 
inaugurate a competition for the control of markets now supplied 
by our home industries. 

There is good reason to believe that the law restricting the im- 
migration of Chinese has been violated, intentionally or otherwise, 
by the officials of China upon whom is devolved the duty of certify- 
ing that the immigrants belong to the excepted classes. 

Measures have been taken to ascertain the facts incident to this 
supposed infraction, and it is belie\'ed that the Government of China 
will co-operate with the United States in securing the faithful ob- 
servance of the law. 

The same considerations which prompted Congress at its last ses- 
sion to return to Japan the Simouoseki indemnity seem to me to 
require at its hands like action in respect to the Canton indemnity 
fund, now amounting to $300,000. 

The question of the general revision of the foreign treaties of Japan 
has been considered in an international conference held at Tokio, 
but without definite result as yet. This Government is disposed to 
concede the requests of Japan to determine its own tariff duties, to 
provide such proper judicial tribunals as may commend themselves 
to the Western Powers for the trial of causes to which foreigners are 
parties, and to assimilate the terms and duration of its treaties to 
those of other civilized States. 

Through our, ministers at London and at Monrovia, this Govern- 
ment has endeavored to aid Liberia in its differences with Great 
Britain touching the northwestern boundary- of that republic. There 
is .1 prospect of adjustment of the dispute by the adoption of the 
Mannali River as the Hue. This arrangement is a compromise of 
the conflicting territorial claims, and takes from Liberia no country 
over which it has maintained effective jurisdiction. 

The rich and populous valley of the Congo is being opened to 
■commerce by a society called the International African Association, 
jf which the King of the Belgians is the president and a citizen 01 


the United States the chief executive oflSicer. Large tracts of terri- 
tory have been ceded to the association by native chiefs, roads have- 
been opened, steamboats placed on the river, and the nuclei of states 
established at twenty-two stations under one flag which offers free- 
dom to commerce and prohibits the slave trade. The objects of the 
society are philanthropic. It does not aim at permanent political 
control but seeks the neutrality of the valley. The United States 
cannot be indifferent to this work nor to the interests of their citi- 
zens involved in it. It may become advisable for us to co-operate 
with other commercial powers in promoting the rights of trade and 
residence in the Congo Valley free from the interference or political 
control of any one nation. 

In view of the frequency of invitations from foreign Governments 
to participate in social and scientific congresses for the discussion of 
important matters of general concern, I repeat the suggestion of my 
last message, that provision be made for the exercise of discretionary 
power by the Executive in appointing delegates to such convoca- 
tions. Able specialists are ready to serve the national interests in 
such capacity' without personal profit or other compensation than 
the defrayment of expenses actually incurred, and this a compara- 
tively small annual appropriation would suffice to meet. 

I have alluded in my previous messages to the injurious and vexa- 
tious restrictions suffered by our trade in the Spanish West Indies. 
Brazil, whose natural outlet for its great national staple, coffee, is in 
and through the United States, imposes a heavy export duty upon 
that product. Our petroleum exports are hampered in Turkey and 
in other Eastern ports by restrictions as to storage and by onerous 
taxation. For these mischiefs adequate relief is not always afforded 
by reciprocity treaties like that with Hawaii or that lately negotiated 
with Mexico and now awaiting the action of the Senate. Is it not ad- 
visable to provide some measure of equitable retaliation in our rela- 
tions with Governments which discriminate against our own? If, for 
example, the Executive were empowered to apply to Spanish vessels 
and cargoes from Cuba and Puerto Rico the same rules of treatment 
and scale of penalties for technical faults which are applied to our 


vessels and cargoes in the Antilles, a resort to that course might not 
be barren of good results. 

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury gives a full and in- 
teresting exhibit of the financial condition of the country. 
It shows that the ordinarj* revenues from all 

sources for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1883, 

amounted to 8398,287,581 95 

Whereof there was received — 

From customs $2 1 4, 706, 496 93 

From internal revenue 144,720,368 98 

From sales of public lands... 7i955.864 42 

From tax on circulatiou and 

deposits of uatioual banks.. 9,111,008 85 

From profits on coinage, bull- 
ion deposits, and assays 4,460,205 17 

From other sources ^7t333^^37 ^ 


Total 398,287,561 95 

For the same period the ordinary expenditures 

For civil expenses $22,343,285 76 

For foreign intercourse 2,419,275 24 

For Indians 7,362,590 34 

For pensions 66,012,573 ^4 

For the military establishment, including river 

and harbor improvements and arsenals 48,911,382 93 

For the naval establishment, including vessels, 

machinery, and improvements at navy-yards.. 15,283,437 17 
For miscellaneous expenditures, including pub- 
lic buildings, light-houses, and collecting the 

revenue 40,098,43a 73 

For expenditures on account of the District of 

Columbia 3,817,028 48 

For interest on the public debt 59,160,131 25 

Total 365,408.137 54 


Leaving a surplufi revenue of $132,879,444 41 

Which, with an amount drawn from the cash 

balance in the Treasury of 1,299,312 55 

Making '. 134,178,756 96 

Was applied to the redemption — 

Of bonds for the sinking-fund 44,850,700 00 

Of fractional currency for the sinking-fund 46,556 96 

Of funded loan of 1881, continued at 3^ per 

cent 65,380,250 00 

Of loan of July and August, 1861, continued at 

3 >^ per cent 20,594,600 00 

Of funded loan of 1907 1,418,850 00 

Of funded loan of 1881 719,150 00 

Of loan of February, 1861 18,000 00 

Of loan of July and August, 1861 266,600 00 

Of loan of March, 1863 116,850 00 

Of loan of July, 1882 47,650 00 

Of five-twenties of 1862 10,300 00 

Of five-twenties of 1864 7,050 00 

Of five-twenties of 1865 9,600 00 

Of ten-forties of 1864 i33,550 00 

Of consols of 1865 40,800 00 

Of consols of 1867 235,700 00 

Of consols of 1868 154,650 00 

Of Oregon-war debt 5,450 00 

Of refunding certificates 109,150 00 

Of old demand, compound-interest, and other 

notes 13,300 00 

Total 134,178,756 96 



The revenue for the present fiscal year, actual and estimated, is 
as follows: 


I Tol 


ended Scptcm- 
b.r 3», ,88,, 

Pm Ibe ninla. 




.»,Mj.D7S te 
"■93».63S '7 
l.iW.Boo 88 

^,*96 J8 

f]0,l.l>, 46 
.T»,4«> 3. 

...37. ■8? Sj 

tiJ7.SW,«« 31 
J.C*J.J«4 83 

■.47S.W= 4« 

.,436.«« - 
>«7,<1T 77 


From iiil« of public Undi... 


From dcpoBlBfoiMirvej-ing public Unds 



M.9«.<1.7 "J 


The actual and estimated expenses for the same period are: 

Foi the quEiter | For the Rnnlo. 
ended Septcm- In( Ifam qiKT- 

lishmcnl , including f wtlfiiii 

Total receipts, actual and estimated $343,000,000 00 

Total expenditures, actual and estimated 258,000,000 00 

Estimated amotiut due the sinking-fund . 
Leaving a balance of 

05,000,000 00 
45.816,741 07 

39,183,258 93 


If the revenue for the fiscal year which will end on June 30, 1885, 
be estimated upon the basis of existing laws, the Secretary is of the 
opinion that for that year the receipts wifl exceed by $60,000,000 
the ordinary expenditures including the amount devoted to the 

Hitherto the surplus as rapidly as it has accumulated has been 
devoted to the reduction of the national debt 

As a result the only bonds now outstanding which are redeemable 
at the pleasure of the Government are the three per cents, amounting 
to about $305,000,000. 

The four and one-half per cents, amounting to $250,000,000, and 
the $737,000,000 four per cents are not payable until 1891 and 1907, 

If the surplus shall hereafter be as large as the Treasury estimates 
now indicate, the three per cent bonds may all be redeemed at least 
four years before any of the four and one-half per cents can be called 
in. The latter at the same rate of accumulation of surplus can be 
paid at maturity and the moneys requisite for the redemption of the 
four per cents will be in the Treasury many years before those obli- 
gations become payable. 

There are cogent reasons however why the national indebtedness 
should not be thus rapidly extinguished. Chief among them is the 
fact that only by excessive taxation is such rapidity attainable. 

In a communication to the Congress at its last session I recom- 
mended that all excise taxes be abolished except those relating to 
distilled spirits and that substantial reductions be also made in the 
revenues from customs. A statute has since been enacted h^ which 
the annual tax and tariflf receipts of the Government have been cut 
down to the extent of at least fifty or sixty millions of dollars. 

While I have no doubt that still further reductions may be wisely 
made I do not advise the adoption at this session of any measures 
for large diminution of the national revenues. The results of the 
legislation of the last session of the Congress have not as yet become 
suflBciently apparent to justify any radical revision or sweeping modi- 
fications of existing law. 

In the interval which must elapse before the eflfects of the act of 
March 3, 1883, can be definitely ascertained a portion at least of the 


surplus revenues may be wisely applied to the long- neglected duty of 
rehabilitating our Navy and providing coast defenses for the protec- 
tion of our harbors. This is a matter to which I shall again advert. 

Immediately associated with the financial subject just discussed is 
the important question what legislation is needed regarding the na- 
tional currency. 

The aggregate amount of bonds now on deposit in the Treasury to 
support the national-bank circulation is about $350,000,000. Nearly 
$200,000,000 of this amount consists of three per cents, which, as 
already stated, are payable at the pleasure of the Government and 
are likely to be called in within less than four years unless meantime 
the surplus revenues shall be diminished. 

The probable effect of such an extensive retirement of the securi- 
ties which are the basis of the national-bank circulation would be 
such a contraction of the volume of the currency as to produce grave 
commercial embarrassments. 

How can this danger be obviated? The most effectual plan, and 
one whose adoption at the earliest practicable opportunity I shall 
heartily approve, has already been indicated. 

If the revenues of the next four years shall be kept substantially 
commensurate with the expenses, the volume of circulation will not 
be likely to suffer any material disturbance. 

But if, on the other hand, there shall be great delay in reducing 
taxation, it will become necessary- either to substitute some other 
fonn of currency in place of the national-bank notes or to make 
important changes in the laws by which their circulation is now 

In my judgment the latter course is far preferable. I commend 
to your attention the very interesting and thoughtful suggestions 
upon this subject which appear in the Secretary's report. 

Tlie objections which he urges against the acceptance of any other 
securities than the obligations of the Goveniment itself as a founda- 
tion for national-bank circulation seem to nic insuperable. 

For a\-erting the threatened contraction two courses have been 
suggested, either of which is probably feasible. One is the issuance 
of new bonds, having many years to run, bearing a low rate of inter- 
est, and exchangeable upon specified terms for those now outstaiid' 


ing. The other course, which commends itself to my own judgment 
as the better, is the enactment of a law repealing the tax on circula- 
tion and permitting the banks to issue notes for an amount equal to 
90 per cent, of the market value instead of as now the face value of 
their deposited bonds. I agree with the Secretary in the belief that 
the adoption of this plan would aflFord the necessary relief. 

The trade-dollar was coined for the purpose of traffic in countries 
where silver passed at its value as ascertained by its weight and fine- 
ness. It never had a legal-tender quality. Large numbers of these 
coins entered, however, into the volume of our currency. By com- 
mon consent their circulation in domestic trade has now ceased, and 
they have thus become a disturbing element They should not be 
longer permitted to embarrass our currency system. I recommend 
that provision be made for their reception by the Treasury and the 
mints, as bullion, at a small percentage above the current market 
price of silver of like fineness. 

The Secretary of the Treasury advises a consolidation of certain 
of the customs districts of the country, and suggests that the Presi- 
dent be vested with such power in relation thereto as is now given 
him in respect to collectors of internal revenue by section 3 141 of 
the Revised Statutes. The statistics upon this subject which are 
contained in his report furnish of themselves a strong argument in 
defense of his views. 

At the adjournment of Congress the number of internal-revenue 
collection districts was 126. By Executive order dated June 25, 
1883, I directed that certain of these districts be consolidated. The 
result has been a reduction of one-third their number, which at 
present is but 83. 

From the report of the Secretary of War it will be seen that in 
only a single instance has there been any disturbance of the quiet 
condition of our Indian tribes. A raid from Mexico into Arizona 
was made in March last by a small party of Indians, which was pur- 
sued by General Crook into the mountain regions from which it had 
come. It is confidently hoped that serious outbreaks will not again 

occur and that the Indian tribes which have for so many years dis- 
turbed the West will hereafter remain in peaceable submission. 

I again call your attention to the present condition of our ex- 
tended seacoast, upon which are so many large cities whose wealth 
and importance to the country would in time of war invite attack 
from modem afmored ships against which our existing defensive 
works could give no adequate protection. Those works were built 
before the introduction of modem heavy rifled guns into maritime 
warfare, and if they are not put in an efficient condition we may 
easily be subjected to humiliation by a hostile power greatly inferior 
to ourselves. As germane to this subject, I call your attention to 
the importance of perfecting our submarine-torpedo defenses. The 
board authorized by the last Congress to report upon the method 
which 'should be adopted for the manufacture of heavy ordnance 
adapted to modem warfare has visited the principal iron and steel 
works in this country and in Europe. It is hoped that its report 
will soon be made, and that Congress will thereupon be disposed to 
provide suitable facilities and plant for the manufacture of such 
guns as are now imperatively needed. 

On several occasions during the past year officers of the Army 
have at the request of the State authorities visited their militia 
encampments for inspection of the troops. From the reports of 
these officers I am induced to believe that the encouragement of the 
State militia organizations by the National Government would be 
followed by very gratifying results, and would afford it in sudden 
emergencies the aid of a large body of volunteers educated in the 
performance of militan.' duties. 

The Secretary of the Navy reports that under the authority of the 
acts of August 5, 1882, and March 3, 18S3, the work of strengthen- 
ing our Navy by the construction of modem vessels has been aus- 
piciously begun. Three cruisers are in process of construction — the 
Chicago, of 4,500 tons displacement, and the Boston and Atlanta, 
each of 2,500 tons. They are to be built of steel, with the tensile 
strength and ductility prescribed by law, and in the combination of 
speed, endurance, and armament are expected to compare favorably 
with the best unamiored war vessels of other nations. A fourth 


vessel, the Dolphin, is to be constructed of similar material and is 
intended to serve as a fleet dispatch boat. 

The double-turreted monitors Puritan, Amphitrite, and Terror 
have been launched on the Delaware River and a contract has been 
made for the supply of their machinery. A similar monitor, the 
Monadnock, has been launched in California. 

The Naval Advisory Board and the Secretary recommend the com- 
pletion of the monitors, the construction of four gunboats, and also 
of three additional steel vessels like the Chicago, Boston, and Dolphin. 

As an important measure of national defense the Secretary urges 
also the immediate creation of an interior coast-line of water-ways 
across the Peninsula of Florida, along the coast from Florida to 
Hampton Roads, between the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware 
River, and through Cape Cod. , , 

I feel bound to impress upon the attention of Congress the neces- 
sity of continued progress in the reconstruction of the Navy. The 
condition of the public treasury, as I have already intimated, makes 
the present an auspicious time for putting this branch of the service 
in a state of efficiency. 

It is no part of our policy to create and maintain a Navy able to 
cope with that of the other great powers of the world. 

We have no wish for foreign conquest, and the peace which we 
have long enjoyed is in no seeming danger of interruption. 

But that our naval strength should be made adequate for the de- 
fense of our harbors, the protection of our commercial interests, and 
the maintenance of our national honor, is a proposition from which 
no patriotic citizen can withhold his assent. 

The report of the Postmaster-General contains a gratifying exhibit 
of the condition and prospects of the interesting branch of the public 
service committed to his care. 

It appears that on June 30, 1883, the whole number of post-offices 
was 47,863, of which 1,632 were established during the previous 
fiscal year. The number of offices operating under the system of 
free delivery was 154. 

At these latter offices the postage on local matter amounted to 
$4,195,230.52, a sum exceeding by $1,021,894.01 the entire cost of 
the carrier service of the country. 


The rate of postage on drop letters passing through these offices 
is now fixed by law at two cents per half ounce or fraction thereof. 
In offices where the carrier system has not been established the rate 
is only half as large. 

It will be remembered that in 1863, when free delivery was first 
established by law, the uniform single-rate postage upon local let- 
ters was one cent; and so it remained until 1872, when in those 
cities where carrier service was established it was increased in order 
to defray the expense of such service. 

It seems to me that the old rate may now with propriety be re- 
stored, and that, too, even at the risk of diminishing for a time, at 
least, the receipts from postage upon local letters. 

I can see no reason why that particular of mail matter should 
be held accountable for the entire cost of not only its own collection 
and delivery but the collection and deliver}' of all other classes; and 
I am confident, after full consideration of the subject, that the re- 
duction of rate would be followed by such a growing accession of 
business as to occasion but slight and temporarj' loss to the reve- 
r nues of the Post-Office. The Postmaster-General devotes much of 
hi.s report to the consideration, iu its various aspects, of the rela- 
tions of the Government to the telegraph. Such reflection as I 
have been able to give to this subject since my last annual message 
has not led nie to change the views which I there expressed in dis- 
senting from the recommendation of the then Postmaster-General 
that the Government assume the same control over the telegraph 
which it has always exercised over the mail. 

Admitting that its authority in the premises is as ample as has 
ever been claimed for it, it would not, in my judgment, be a wise 
use of that authority to purchase or a.ssunie the control of existing 
telegraph lines, or to construct others with a view of entering into 
general competition with private enterprise. 

The objections which may be justly urged against cither of those 
project-^, and indeed against any system which would require an 
enormous increase in the civil-ser\'icc list, do not, however, apply 
to some of the plans which have lately provoked public comment 
and discussion. It has been claimed, for example, that Congress 
miiylit wisely authorize the Postmaster-General to contract with 


some private persons or corporation for the transmission of mes- 
sages, or of a certain class of messages, at specified rates and under 
Government supervision. Various isuch schemes, of the same gen- 
eral nature but widely differing in their special characteristics, have 
been suggested in the public prints, and the arguments by which 
they have been supported and opposed have doubtless attracted your 

It is likely that the whole subject will be considered by you at the 
present session. 

In the nature of things it involves so many questions of detail 
that your deliberations would probably be aided slightly, if at all, 
by any particular suggestions which I might now submit. 

I avow my belief, however, that the Government should be author- 
ized by law to exercise some sort of supervision over interstate tele- 
graphic communication, and I express the hope that for attaining 
that end some measure may be devised which will receive your 

The Attorney-General criticises in his report the provisions of 
existing law fixing the fees of jurors and witnesses in the Federal 
courts. These provisions are chiefly contained in the act of Febru- 
ary 26, 1853, though some of them were introduced into that act 
from statutes which had been passed many years previous. It is 
manifest that such compensation as might, when these laws were 
enacted, have been just and reasonable would in many instances be 
justly regarded at the present day as inadequate. I concur with the 
Attorney-General in the belief that the statutes should be revised 
by which these fees are regulated. 

So, too, should the laws which regulate the compensation of dis- 
trict attorneys and marshals. They should be paid wholly by sala- 
ries, instead of in part by fees, as is now the case. 

The change would prove to be a measure of economy, and would 
discourage the institution of needless and oppressive legal proceed- 
ings, which, it is to be feared, have in some instances been conducted 
for the mere sake of personal gain. 

Much interesting and varied information is contained in the report 
of the Secretary of the Interior. 

I parlicularly call your attention to his presentation of certain 
phases of the Indian question, to his recommendations for the repeal 
of the pre-emption and timber-cnlture acts, and for more stringent 
legislation to prevent frauds under the pension laws. The statutes 
■which prescribe the definitions and punishnients of crimes relating 
to pensions could doubtless be made more effectiv'e by certain amend- 
ments and additions which are pointed out in the Secretary's report. 

I have previously referred to the alarming state of illiteracy in 
certain portions of the coimtry, and again submit for the considera- 
tion of Congress whether some Federal aid should not be extended 
to public primary education wherever adequate provision therefor 
has not already been made. 

The Utah Commission has submitted to the Secretary of the In- 
terior its second annual report. As a result of its labors in supervis- 
ing the recent election in that Territory, pursuant to the act of 
March 22, 1882, it app)ears that persons by that act disqualified, to 
the number of about 12,000, were excluded from the- polls. This 
feet, however, affords little cause for congratulation, and I fear that 
it is far from indicating any real and substantial progress toward the 
extirpation of polygamy. All the members-elect of the legislature 
arc Monnons. There is grave reason to believe that they are in 
sympathy with the practices that this Goveniment is seeking to 
suppress, and that its efforts in that regard will be more likely to 
encounter their opposition than to receive their encouragement and 
support. Even if this view should happily be erroneous, the law 
under which the Comnii.ssioners have been acting should be made 
more effective by the incorporation of some such stringent amend- 
ments as they recounuend, and as were iuchided in bill Xo. 2238 on 
the Calendar of the Senate at its last session. 

I am convinced, however, that polygani}- has become so strongly 
intrenched in the Tcriitory of Utah that it is profitless to attack it 
with any but the stoutest weapons which constitutional legislation 
can fashion. I favor therefore the repeal of the act upon which the 
existing government dejwnds, the assumption by the national legis- 
lature of the entire political control of the Territory, and tlic estab- 
li.shiiicnt of a commission with such powers and duties as shall be 
delegated to it by law. 


The Department of Agriculture is accomplishing much in the 
direction of the agricultural development of the country, and the 
report of the Commissioner giving the results of his investigations 
and experiments will be found interesting and valuable. 

At his instance a convention of those interested in the cattle in- 
dustry" of the country was lately held at Chicago. The prevalence 
of pleuro-pneumonia and other contagious diseases of animals was 
one of the chief topics of discussion. A committee of the conven- 
tion will invite your co-operation in investigating the causes of these 
diseases and providing methods for their prevention and cure. 

I trust that Congress will not fail at its present session to put 
Alaska under the protection of law. Its people have repeatedly re- 
monstrated against our neglect to aflford them the maintenance and 
protection expressly guaranteed by the terms of the treaty whereby 
that Territory was ceded to the United States. For sixteen years 
they have pleaded in vain for that which they should have received 
without the asking. 

They have no law for the collection of debts, the support of edu- 
cation, the conveyance of property, the administration of estates or 
the enforcement of contracts ; none indeed for the punishment of 
criminals except such as offend against certain customs, commerce 
and navigation acts. 

The resources of Alaska, especially in fur, mines, and lumber, are 
considerable in extent and capable of large development, while its 
geographical situation is one of political and commercial importance. 

The promptings of interest, therefore, as well as considerations of 
honor and good faith, demand the immediate establishment of civil 
government in that Territory. 

Complaints have lately been numerous and urgent that certain cor- 
porations, controlling in whole or in part the facilities for the interstate 
carriage of persons and merchandise over the great railroads of the 
country, have resorted in their dealings with the public to divers 
measures unjust and oppressive in their character. 

In some instances the State governments have attacked and sup- 
pressed these evils, but in others they have been unable to afford 
adequate relief because of the jurisdictional limitations which are 
imposed upon them by the Federal Constitution. 


The question how far the National Government may lawfully in- 
terfere in the premises, and what, if any, supervision or control it 
ought to exercise, is one whicli merits 5'our careful consideration. 

While we cannot fail to rect^nize the importance of the vast rail- 
way systems of tlie country and their great and beneficent influences 
upon the development of our material wealth, we should, on the 
other hand, remember that no individual and no corporation ought 
to be invested with absolute power over the interest of any other 
citizen or class of citizens. The right of these railway corporations 
to a fair and profitable return upon their investments, and to reason- 
able freedom in their regulations, must be recognized ; but it seems 
only just that, so far as its constitutional authority will permit. Con- 
gress should protect the people at large in their interstate traffic 
against acts of injustice which the State governments are powerless 
to prevent. 

In my last annual message I called attention to tlie necessity of 
protecting by suitable legislation the forests situated upon the pub- 
lic domain. In many portions of the West the pursuit of general 
agricitltnre is only made practicable by resort to irrigation, while 
successful irrigation would itself be impossible without the aid af- 
forded by forests in contributing to the regularity and constancy of 
the supph- of water. 

During the past year severe suffering and great loss of property 
have been occasioned by profuse floods followed by periods of un- 
usually low water in many of the great rivers of the country. 

These irregularities were in great measure caused by the removal 
from about the sources of the streams in question of the timber by 
which the water supply had been nourished and protected. 

The preser\-ation of such portions of the forests on the national 
domain as essentially contribute to the equable flow of important 
water-courses is of the highest consequence. 

Important tributaries of the Missouri, the Columbia, and the 
Sa.'ikatchewan rise in the mountain region of Montana, near the 
northern boundary of the United States, between the Blackfeet and 
Flathead Indian reservations. This region is unsuitable for settle- 
ment, but upon the rivers which flow from it depends the future 


agricultural development of a vast tract of country. The attention 
of Congress is called to the necessity of withdrawing from public 
sale this part of the public domain and establishing there a forest 

The industrial exhibitions which have been held in the United 
States during the present year attracted attention in many foreign 
countries where the announcement of those enterprises had been 
made public through the foreign agencies of this Government. 
The Industrial Exhibition at Boston and the Southern Exposition 
at Louisville were largely attended by the exhibitors of foreign 
countries, notwithstanding the absence of any professed national 
character in those undertakings. 

The Centennial Exposition to be held next year at New Orleans, 
in commemoration of the centenary of the first shipment of cotton 
from a port of the United States bids fair to meet with like gratify- 
ing success. Under the act of Congress of the loth of February, 
1883, declaring that exposition to be national .and international in 
its character, all foreign Governments with which the United States 
maintain relations have been invited to participate. 

The promoters of this important undertaking have already received 
assurances of the lively interest which it has excited abroad. 

The report of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia is 
herewith transmitted. I ask for it your careful attention, especially 
for those portions which relate to assessments, arrears of taxes, and 
increase of water supply. 

The Commissioners who were appointed under the act of January 
16, 1883, entitled **An act to regulate and improve the civil service 
of the United States," entered promptly upon the discharge of their 

A series of rules, framed in accordance with the spirit of the statute, 
was approved and promulgated by the President. 

In some particulars wherein they seemed defective those rules 
were subsequently amended. It will be perceived that they dis- 
countenance any political or religious tests for admission to those 
offices of the public service to which the statute relates. 


The act is limited in its original application if the classified 
clerksiiips in the several Executive Departments at Wiishington 
(numbering about 5,600) and to similar positions in customs districts 
and post-offices where as many as fifty persons are employed. 

A classification of these positions analogous to that existing in 
» the Washington offices was duly made before the law went into 
J effect 

Eleven customs districts and twenty-three post-offices were thus 
' brought under the immediate operation of the statute. 

The annual report of the Ci\*il Service Commission which will 
soon be submitted to Congress will doubtless afford the means of a 
[ more definite judgment than I am now prepared to express as to the 
I merits of the new system. I am persuaded that its effects have thus 
far proved beneficial. Its practical methods appear to be adequate 
for the ends proposed, and there has been no serious difficulty in 
carrying them into effect. Since the i6th of July last no person, 
so far as I am aware, has been appointed to the public service in the 
classified portions thereof at any of the Departments, or at any of 
the post-offices and customs districts above uamed, except those 
certified by the Commission to bo the most competent on the basis 
of the examinations held in conformity to the rules. 

At the time when the present Executive entered upon his office 
his death, removal, resignation, or inability to di.scharge his duties 
would have left the Govenimeut without a constitutional head. 

It is possible of course that a similar contingency may again arise 
unless the wisdom of Congress shidl provide against its recurrence. 

The Senate at its last session, after full consideration, passed an 
act relating to this subject which will now, I trust, commend itself 
to the approval of both bouses of Congress. 

The clause of the Constitution upon which must depend any law 
regulating the Presidential succession presents also for solution other 
questions of paramount importance. 

These questions relate to the proper interpretation of the phrase 
" inability to discharge the powers and duties of said office," our 
organic law provichng that, when the President shall suffer from 
such inability, the Presidential office sliai! devolve upon tlie Vice- 


President, who must himself under like circumstances give place to 
such officer as Congress may by law appoint to act as President. 

I need not here set forth the numerous and interesting inquiries 
which are suggested by these words of the Constitution. They were 
fully stated in my first communication to Congress and have since 
been the subject of frequent deliberations in that body. 

It is greatly to be hoped that these momentous questions will find 
speedy solution, lest emergencies may arise when longer delay will 
be impossible, and any determination, albeit the wisest, may furnish 
cause for anxiety and alarm. 

For the reasons fully stated in mv last annual message I repeat 
my recommendation that Congress propose an amendment to that 
provision of the Constitution which prescribes the formalities fo^ the 
enactment of laws, whereby, in respect to bills for the appropriation 
of public moneys, the Executive may be enabled, while giving his 
approval to particular items, to interpose his veto as to such others 
as do not commend themselves to his judgment. 

The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution confers the rights 
of citizenship upon all persons bom or naturalized in the United 
States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. It was the special 
purpose of this amendment to insure to members of the colored race 
the full enjoyment of civil and political rights. 

Certain statutory provisions intended to secure the enforcement 
of those rights have been recently declared unconstitutional by the 
Supreme Court. 

Any legislation whereby Congress may lawfully supplement the 
guaranties which the Constitution aflfords for the equal enjoyment 
by all the citizens of the United States of every right, privilege, and 
immunity of citizenship will receive my unhesitating approval. 


Washington, December 4^ f88j, 








DECEMBER 21, 1883. 





Whereas both houses of Congress did, on the twentieth instant, 
request the commemoration on the twenty-third instant of the one 
hundredth anniversary of the surrender, by George Washington, at 
Annapolis, of his commission as commander-in-chief of the patriot 
forces of America; and 

Whereas it is fitting that this memorable act, which not only sig- 
nalized the termination of the heroic struggle of seven years for 
independence, but also manifested Washington's devotion to the 
great principle that ours is a civic Government of and by the people, 
should be generally observed throughout the United States: 

Now, therefore, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United 
States, do hereby recommend that either by appropriate exercises in 
connection with the religious services of the twenty-third instant, 
or by such public observances as may be deemed proper on Monday, 
the twenty-fourth instant, this signal event in the history of Ameri- 
can liberty be commemorated; and, further, I hereby direct that at 
12 o'clock noon on Monday next the national salute be fired from 
all the forts throughout the country. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done this twenty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord 
one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independ- 
ence of the United States the one hundred and eighth. 


By the President : 

Fred'k T. Frelinghuysen, 

Secretary of State. 




JANUARY 8, 1884. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a communi- 
cation from the Secretary of War submitting the annual report of 
the Mississippi River Commission. 

I take this occasion to invite the early attention of Congress to 
the continuation of the work on the Mississippi River, which is 
being carried on under the plans of the Commission. My sense of 
the importance of the improvement of this river, not only to the 
people of the Northwest, but especially to the inhabitants of the 
Lower Mississippi Valley, has already been expressed in a special 
communication to the last Congress. The harvests of grain and 
cotton produced in the region bordering upon the Mississippi are so 
vast as to be of national importance, and the project now being exe- 
cuted for their cheap transportation should be sufficiently provided 

The Commission report that the results due to the still uncom- 
pleted works have been remarkable, and g^ve the highest encourage- 
ment for expecting the ultimate success of the improvement 

The act of August 2, 1882, appropriated $4,123,000 for the work 
on that part of the river below Cairo. The estimates of the Com- 
mission already transmitted to Congress call for $3,000,000 for the 
continuation of the work below Cairo ; and it appears from their 
report that all of the last appropriation available for active operations 
has been exhausted, and that there is urgently needed an immediate 
appropriation of $1,000,000 to continue the work without loss of 
time, in view of the approach of the flood season with its attendant 
dangers. I therefore recommend to Congress the early passage of a 
separate bill on this subject. 


Executive Mansion, January <?, 1884. 




JANUARY 8, I 884. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

I submit a communication from the governor of the State of 
Illinois, with a copy of an act of the general assembly of that State, 
tendering to the United States the cession of the Illinois and Mich- 
igan Canal, upon condition that it shall be enlarged and maintained 
as a national water-way for commercial purposes. 

The proposed cession is an element of the subject which Congress 
had under consideration in directing, by the act of August 2, 1882, 
a survey for a canal from a point on the Illinois River at or near the 
town of Hennepin, by the most practicable route, to the Mississippi 
River at or above the city of Rock Island, the canal to be not less 
than seventy feet wide at the water line, and not less than seven 
feet in depth of water, and with capacity for vessels of at least two 
hundred and eighty tons burden ; and also a survey of the Illinois 
and Michigan Canal, and an estimate of the cost of enlarging it to 
the dimensions of the proposed canal between Hennepin and the 
Mississippi River. 

The surveys ordered in the above act have been completed, and 
the report upon them is included in the last Annual Report of the 
Secretary of War, and a copy is herewith submitted. It is esti- 
mated in the report that by the enlargement of the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal, and the construction of the proposed canal, by the 
shortest route, between Hennepin and the Mississippi River, a direct 
and convenient thoroughfare for vessels of two hundred and eighty 
tons burden may be opened from the Mississippi River to Lake 
Michigan, at a cost of $8,110,286.65, and that the annual charge 
for maintenance would be $138,600. 

It appears from these papers that the estimated yield of corn, 
wheat, and oats for 1882, in the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, 


Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebaska, was more than a thousand million 
bushels. Jt is claimed that if the cheap water transportation route 
which is now continuous from the Atlantic Ocean to Chicago is ex- 
tended to the Upper Mississippi by such a canal a great benefit in 
the reduction of freight charges would result to the people of the 
Upper Mississippi Valley, whose productions I have only partly 
noted, not only upon their own shipments, but upon the articles of 
commerce used by them which are now taken from the Eastern 
States by water only as far as Chicago. 

As a matter of great interest, especially to the citizens of that part 
of the country, I commend the general subject to your consideration. 

Executive Mansion, January 8, 18S4. 





JANUARY 17, 1884. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives : 

I transmit, for the consideration of Congress, a communication 
from the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy on the 
subject of an expedition for the relief of Lieut A. W. Greely and his 
party, composing what is known as the '*Lady Franklin Bay Expe- 
dition," which was sent to the Arctic regions in 1881, under the 
provisions of the acts of Congress approved May i, 1880, and March 
3, 1881. 

In the plans for the relief of this party, as arranged with Lieuten- 
ant Greely, it was contemplated that an e£Fort would be made to 
communicate with him and furnish him any needed assistance in 
1882, and again in 1883. Subsequently, legislation was enacted 
which required the expedition of 1883 to bring that party home. 
It was a part of the arrangement that if communication should not 
be made with him on or before the ist of September, 1883, ^^ should, 
with his party, abandon his station at Lady Franklin Bay not later 
than the above-mentioned date, and proceed southward, and would 
find a well-supplied relief-station at the entrance to Smith's Sound, 
a point where it would not be difficult to reach him during a part of 
each year. 

The expeditions of 1882 and 1883 were sent ; but neither one of 
them was able to communicate with Lieutenant Greely, and the last 
one failed to accomplish any part of its object beyond leaving a very 
small quantity of stores in the neighborhood of the entrance to 
Smith's Sound. 

The situation of Lieutenant Greely and his party, under these cir- 
cumstances, is one of great peril, and in presenting the preliminary 
views of the Board appointed by me to take into consideration an 
16* 241 


expedition for their relief, I urgently recommend prompt action by 
Congress to enable the recommendations of the Secretary of Wai 
and the Secretary of the Navy to be carried out without delay. 

Executive Mansion, 

January ly^ 1S84. 

> Executive Mansio.n, December ij, i88j. 

The following-named officers of the Army and Navy will consti- 
tute a Board to consider an expedition to be sent for the relief of 
Lieutenant Greely and his party, composing what is known as the 
I^dy Franklin Bay Expedition, and to recommend to the Secretaries 
of War and tht Navy, jointly, the stejjs the Board may consider 
necessary to be taken for the equipment and transportation of the 
relief expedition, and to suggest such plan for its control and con- 
duct, and for the organization of its personnel^ as may seem to them 
best adapted to accomplish its purpose: 

Brigadier-General William B. Hazen, Chief Signal Officer. United 
States Army. 
Captain James A, Greer, United States Navy. 
Lieu tenant- Commander B. H. McCalla, United States Navy. 
Captain George W, Davis, Fourteenth Infantrj-, United States 

The Board will niuet in Washington, 1). C, on the 20th instant. 




FEBRUARY 14, 1884. 





Whereas by a memorandum of an agreement executed at Madrid 
on the thirteenth day of February, A. D. one thousand eight hun- 
dred and eighty-four, by and between the duly authorized agents 
and representatives of the Government of the United States of 
America and of the Government of His Majesty the King of Spain, 
satisfactory evidence has been given to me that the Government of 
that country has abolished the discriminating customs duty hereto- 
fore imposed upon the products of, and articles proceeding from, the 
United States of America, imported into the islands of Cuba and 
Porto Rico, said abolition to take eflfect on and after the first day of 
March next : 

Now, therefore, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United 
States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by section 
four thousand two hundred and twenty-eight of the Revised Statutes, 
do hereby declare and proclaim that, on and after the said first day 
of March next, so long as the products of, and articles proceeding 
from, the United States, imported into the islands of Cuba and Porto 
Rico, shall be exempt from discriminating customs duties, any such 
duties on the products of, and articles proceeding from Cuba and 
Porto Rico under the Spanish flag, shall be suspended and discon- 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be affixed. 



Done at tlie city of Washington this fourteenth day of February, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four, 
and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and 

[seal.] CHESTER A. 

By the President: 

Fred'k T. Frelinghdysen, 

Secretary of State. 





FEBRUARY 21, 1884. 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State of the 21st 
instant whereby your honorable body, and through you the people 
of the United States may become apprised of the generous contri- 
bution made by Her Britannic Majesty's Government towards the 
efforts for the relief of Lieutenant Greely's Arctic exploring party 
by presenting to the United States the Arctic steamship Alert 

Executive Mansion, 

February 21 y 1884. 




FEBRUARY 29, 1884, 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

In compliance with the act of Congress approved January i6, 
1883, entitled **An act to regulate and improve the civil service of 
the United States, ' ' the Civil Service Commission has made to the 
President its first annual report 

That report is herewith transmitted, together with communica- 
tions from the heads of the several Executive Departments of the 
Government, respecting the practical working of the law under 
which the Commission has been acting. 

Upon the good results which that law has already accomplished I 
congratulate Congress and the people, and I avow my conviction 
that it will henceforth prove to be of still more signal benefit to the 
public service. 

I heartily commend the zeal and fidelity of the Commissioners 
and their suggestions for further legislation, and I advise the mak- 
ing of such an appropriation as shall be adequate for their needs. 

Executive Mansion, 

February -?p, 1884.. 





FEBRUARY 29, 1884. 



To THE House of Representatives: 

I transmit herewith for the consideration of Congress a report of 
the Secretary of State, accompanying a report made by the Commis- 
sion lately designated by me to examine and report upon the asserted 
unhealthfulness of the swine products of this country. The views 
and conclusions of the Commission deserve the most careful consid- 
eration of Congress, to the end that, if any path be legitimately open 
for removing the prohibition which closes important foreign markets 
to those products, it may be followed and appropriate legislation 

I earnestly recommend that Congress provide for reimbursing the 
expenses incurred by the Commissioners in this praiseworthy serv- 
ice, and I should be glad also if some remunerative recognition of 
their public-spirited action in accepting the onerous and responsible 
duties imposed on them were to suggest itself to Congress. At all 
• events, in view of the conflicting theories touching the origin and 
propagation of trichiniasis and the means of isolating and extirpat- 
ing it among domestic swine, and considering the important bearing 
which precise knowledge on these points would have on the com- 
mercial aspects of the matter, I recommend provision for special 

research in this direction. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington^ February ^p, 1884., 






MARCH II, 1884. 



The Senate of the United States : 

I submit herewith for the consideration of the Senate, with a view 
to obtaining its advice and consent thereto, a draft of a proclamation 
whereby the United States accede and adhere to an International 
Convention for the protection of industrial property, signed at Paris, 
March 20, 1883, and in explanation of the purport of that conven- 
tion and the proposed mode of eflfecting the adhesion of the United 
States thereto, I subjoin a report of the Secretary of State. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington^ March 11 y 1884. 




MARCH 26, 1884. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

In my annual message I impressed upon Congress the necessity of 
continued progress in the reconstruction of the Navy. The recom- 
mendations in this direction of the Secretary of the Nav>' and of the 
Naval Advisory Board were submitted by me, unaccompanied by 
specific expressions of approval. I now deem it my duty to advise 
that appropriations be made at the present session toward designing 
and commencing the construction of at least the three additional 
steel cruisers and the four gun-boats thus recommended, the cost 
of which, including their armament, will not exceed $4,283,000, of 
which sum one-half should be appropriated for the next fiscal year. 

The Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, and Dolphin have been designed 
and are being built with care and skill, and there is every reason 
to believe that they will prove creditable and serviceable modem 
cruisers. Technical questions concerning the details of these or of 
additional vessels cannot wisely be settled except by experts ; and 
the Naval Advisory Board organized by direction of Congress, under 
the act of August 5, 1882, and. consisting of three line oflBcers, a 
naval constructor, and a naval engineer, selected **with reference 
only to character, experience, knowledge, and skill," and a naval 
architect and a marine engineer from civil life, **of established 
reputation and standing as experts in naval or marine construc- 
tion, " is an appropriate authority to decide finally all such ques- 
tions. I am unwilling to see the gradual reconstruction of our na- 
val cruisers, now happily begun in conformity with modem require- 
ments, delayed one full year for any unsubstantial reason. 

Whatever conditions Congress may see fit to impose in order to 
secure judicious designs and honest and economical construction 
will be acceptable to me ; but to relinquish or postpone the policy 
already deliberately declared will be, in my judgment, an act of na- 
tional imprudence. 


Appropriations should also be made without delay for finishing 

the four double-turreted monitors, the Puritan, Amphitrite, Terror, 
and Moiiadnock, and for procuring their armament and that of the 
Miantonomoh. Their hulls are built, and their niachiner\' is under 
contract and approaching completion, except that of the Monadnock 
■on the Pacific coast. This should also be built, and the armor and 
heavy guns of all should be procured at the earliest practicable 

The total amount appropriated up to this time for the four vessels 
is $3,546,941.41. A sum not exceeding $3,838,769.62, including 
$866,725 for four powerful rifled cannon and for the remainder of 
the ordnance outfit, will complete and equip them for service. Of 
the sum required only two millions need be appropriated for the 
next fiscal year. It is not expected that one of the monitors will 
be a match for the heaviest broadside iron-dads which certain 
other Governments have constructed at a cost of four or five mill- 
ions each. But thej' will be armored vessels of an approved and 
useful tj-pc, presenting limited surfaces for the shot of an enemy, 
and possessed of such sea-going capacity and offensive power as 
fully to answer our immediate necessities. Their completion hav- 
ing been determined upon in the recent legislation of Congress, no 
time should be lost in accomplishing the necessary object. 

The (jun Foundry Board, appointed by direction of Congress, 
con.'iisting of three Army and three Navy officers, has submitted its 
report, duly transmitted on the 20th day of February, 18S4, recom- 
mending that the Government should promote the production at 
private .steel works of the required material for heavy cannon, and 
that two Government factories, one for the .'Vnny and one for the 
Navy, should be established for the fabrication of gtms from such 
material. -'\u early consideration of the report is recommended, 
together with such action as will enable the Government to con- 
struct its ordnance upon its own territory and so to provide the 
armaments demanded by considerations which concern the national 
safet)' and honor. 


Ex!':ct"Ti\'i: Man-.-^idn, 

.\fatr/! >6, 1SS4. 



APRIL 2, 1884. 




To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

I transmit to Congress a communication from the Secretary of 
War, embodying the views of the President of the Mississippi River 
Commission upon a report from Major Stickney, of the Engineer 
Corps, in relation to the protection of existing levees from destruc- 
tion by the floods in the lower part of the Mississippi River. It ap- 
pears that there is an urgent need of an appropriation of $100,000 to 
be used for this purpose, and that an enormous destruction of prop- 
erty may be thereby averted. 

I recommend an immediate appropriation of the sum required for 

the purpose, to be expended under the direction of the Mississippi 

River Commission. 

Executive Mansion, 

April 2. 1884. 






APRIL 9, 1884. 





Whereas it has been brought to the notice of the President of the 
United States that in the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial 
Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and 
Mines, to be held in the city of New Orleans, commencing Decem- 
ber I, 1884, for the purpose of celebrating the one hundredth anni- 
versary of the production, manufacture, and commerce of cotton, it 
is desirable that from the Executive Departments of the Government 
of the United States in which there may be articles suitable for the 
purpose intended, there should appear such articles and materials as 
will, when presented in a collection exhibition, illustrate the func- 
tions and administrative faculties of the Government in time of 
peace, and its resources as a war power, and thereby serve to dem- 
onstrate the nature of our institutions and their adaptation to the 
wants of the people : Now, for the purpose of securing a complete 
and harmonious arrangement of the articles and materials designed 
to be exhibited from the Executive Department of the Government, 
it is ordered that a Board, to be composed of one person to be named 
by the head of each of the Executive Departments which may have 
articles and materials to be exhibited, and also of one person to 
be named in behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, and one to be 
named in behalf of the Department of Agriculture, and one to be 
named in behalf of the Bureau of Education, be charged with the 
preparation, arrangement, and safe-keeping of such articles and ma- 
terials as the heads of the several Departments and the Commis- 
sioner of Agriculture, the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, 
and the Commissioner of Education may respectively decide, shall 
be embraced in the collection; that one of the persons thus named, 

18» 273 • 

to be designated by the President, shall be diairman of such Boaidy! 
and that the Board appoint from their number such other officers as 
they may think necessary; and that the said Board when organized 
shall be authorized, under the direction of the President, to confer 
with the executive officers of the World's Industrial Cotton Centen- 
nial Exhibition in relation to snch matters connected with the sub- 
ject as may pertain to the respective Departments having articles 
and materials on exhibition; and that the names of the persons thus 
selected by the beads of the several Departments, the Commissioner 
of Agriculture, the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, and the 
Commissioner of Education, shall be submitted to the President for 

Done at the city of Washington this ninth day of April, one thou- 
sand eight hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the 
United States the one hundred and eighth. 


By the President: 

Frbd'k T. Frelinghia'sen, 

Secretary of State. 




APRIL I I, 1884. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

The condition of our sea-coast defenses and their armament has 
been brought to the attention of Congress in my annual messages, 
and I now submit a special estimate of the Chief of Ordnance, United 
States Army, transmitted by the Secretary of War, for a permanent 
annual appropriation of $1,500,000 to provide the necessary arma- 
ment for our fortifications. 

This estimate is fotmded upon the report of the Gtm Foundry 
Board, recently transmitted, to which I have heretofore invited the 
early attention of Congress. 

In presenting this estimate I do not think it necessary to enumer- 
ate the considerations which make it of the highest importance 
that there should be no unnecessary delay in entering upon the 
work, which must be commensurate with the public interests to be 
guarded and which will take much time. 


Executive Mansion, 

April II y 1884. 





JUNE 9, 1884. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a letter and 
its accompanying estimate, submitted by the Board charged with 
preparing a Departmental exhibit for the World's Industrial and 
Cotton Centennial Exposition, to be held at New Orleans, beginning 
December i, 1884. This Board was appointed by Executive order, 
of May 13, 1884, and is composed of representatives of the several 
Executive Departments, the Department of Agriculture, and the 
Smithsonian Institution. It is charged with the important and re- 
sponsible duty of making arrangements for a complete and harmon- 
ious collection of the articles and materials deemed desirable to place 
on exhibition in illustration of tl^e resources of the country, its 
methods of governmental administration, and its means of offense 
and defense. 

The Board submits an estimate calling for an appropriation of 
$588, OCX) to accomplish the desired end. That amount is distributed 
among the Departments as shown in the table. The War, Navy, 
and Interior Departments call for the largest share, representing, as 
they do, the national defenses by land and sea, the progress of naval 
architecture and ordnance, the geological survey and mineral wealth 
of the Territories, the treatment of the Indians and the education of 
the masses, all of which admit of varied and instructive exhibits. 
The Smithsonian Institution, having under its general care the Na- 
tional Museum and the Fish Commission, is prepared to make a 
display second in interest to none of modem days. The remaining 
Departments can present instructive and interesting exhibits, which 
will attract popular attention and convey an idea of their extensively 
ramified duties, and of the many points where they beneficially affect 
the life of the people, as a nation and as individuals. 


The exhibit of the Government at the Centennial Exhibition held 
at Philadelphia iu 1876 was admitted to be one of the most attractive 
features of that great national undertaking, and a valuable addition 
to it. From men of intelligence and scientfic attainments at home 
and abroad it received the highest encomiums, showing the interest 
it awakened among those whose lives are given to the improvement 
of tlie social and material condition of the people. 

The reproduction of such a display now on a more instnicti\'e plan 
is rendered possible by the advancement of science and invention 
during the eight years that have passed since the Philadelphia ex- 
hibit was collected. 

The importance, purposes, and benefits of the New Orleans Ex- 
hibition are continental in their scope. Standing at the threshold 
of the almost unopened markets of Spanish and Portuguese America, 
New Orleans is a natural gateway to tlieir trade, and tlie Exhibition 
offers to the people of Mexico and Central and South America an 
adequate knowledge of our farming implements, metal manufact- 
ures, cotton and woolen goods, and the like necessities of existence 
' in respect to which those countries are either deficient or supplied 
to a limited extent. The breaking do\^Ti of the barriers which still 
separate us from the Republics of America, whose productions so 
entirely complement our own, will aid greatly in removing the dis- 
parity of commercial intercourse, under which less than 10 percent, 
of our exports goes to American countries. 

I trust that Congress will realize the urgency of this recommenda- 
tion :md make its appropriation immediately available, so that the 
Board may lose no time in undertaking the extensive preparations 
necessary to spread a more intimate knowledge of our governmental 
institutions and national resources among the people of our country- 
and of neigliboriug states, in a way to command the respect due it 
in the family of nations. 


Executive Mansiox. 

Jiuic <;. iS8f. 




JUNE 21, 1884 





To THE Senate: 

I have permitted House bill No. 4689, entitled ' 'An act for the 
relief of Eliza W. Patterson, ' ' to become a law by withholding action 
upon it for ten days after it was presented to me. 

The affairs and interests of the District of Columbia are committed 
to Congress as its Legislature. I do not question the constitutional 
right of Congress to pass a law relieving the family of an oflScer, in 
view of the services he had rendered his country, from the burdens 
of taxation, but I submit to Congress that this just gift of the nation 
to the family of such faithful officer should come from the national 
Treasury rather than from that of this District, and I therefore recom- 
mend that an appropriation be made to reimburse the District for 
the amotmt of t^xes which would have been due to it had this act 

not become a law. 


Executive Mansion, 

June 21^ 1884. 




JULY 2, 1884. 



To THE House of Representatives: 

After careful consideration of the bill entitled ' 'An act for the 
relief of Fitz-John Porter, ' ' I herewith return it with my objections 
to that house of Congress in which it originated. Its enacting 
clause is in terms following: 

'*That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to nomi- 
nate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to ap- 
point Fitz-John Porter, late a major-general of the United States 
volunteers, and a brevet brigadier-general and colonel of the Army, 
to the position of colonel in the Army of the United States, of 
the same grade and rank held by him at the time of his dismissal 
from the Army by sentence of court-martial, promulgated January 
27, 1863," &c. 

It is apparent that should this bill become a law it will create a 
new oflSice, which can be filled by the appointment of the particular 
individual whom it specifies, and can not be filled otherwise; or it 
may be said with perhaps greater precision of statement that it will 
create a new ofiice upon condition that the particular person desig- 
nated shall be chosen to fill it. Such an act, as it seems to me, is 
either unnecessary and ineffective, or it involves an encroachment 
by the legislative branch of the Government upon the authorit}^ of 
the Executive. As the Congress has no power under the Constitu- 
tion to nominate or appoint an officer, and cannot lawfully impose 
upon the President the duty of nominating or appointing to office 
any particular individual of its own selection, this bill, if it can 
fairly be construed as requiring the President to make the nomina- 
tion and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, the 
appointment which it authorizes, is in manifest violation of the 
Constitution. If such be not its just interpretation, it must be re- 
garded as a mere enactment of advice and counsel, which lacks in 
19* 289 




the very nature of things the force of positive law, and can serve no 
useful purpose upon the statute-books. 

Xhere are other causes that deter me from giving this bill the sanc- 
tion of my approval. The judgment of the court-martial by which 
I more than twenty years since General Fitz-Johu Porter was tried and 
' convicted was pronounced by a tribunal composed of nine general 
officers of distinguished character and abilily. Its investigation of 
the charges of which it found the accused guilty was thorough and 
conscientious, and its findings and sentence were in due course of 
I law approved by Abraham Lincoln, then President of the United 
States. Its legal competency, its jurisdiction of the accused and of 
the subject of the accusation, and the substantial regularitj- of all its 
proceedings, are matters which have never been brought in question. 
Its judgment, therefore, is final and conclusive in its character. 

The Supreme Court of the United States lias recently declared 
that a court-martial such as this was is the organism provided by law 
and clothed with the duty of administering justice in this class of 
cases. Its judgments, when approved, rest on the same basis and are 
M-$urrouuded by the same considerations wliich give conclusiveness to 
the judpnents of other legal tribunals, including as well the lowest 
as the highest. It follows, accordingly, that when a lawfully consti- 
tutt-d cmirt-inarlial hiis duly ck'clarcd its findings and its sentence, 
and iIr' same have been duly approved, neither the President nor 
tlic C'liigress lias any power lo scl them aside. The existence of 
siicJi ])o\ver is not openly asserted, nor perhaps is it necessarily im- 
plied, in the provisions of the bill which is before me, but when its 
enacting clauses are read in the light of the recitations of its pream- 
ble it will be seen that it seeks in efiect IJie practical annuhneiit of 
the findings and IJic sentence of a coini)etent court-martial. 

A coiK-hision at variance with these findings has been reached after 
ird consisting of lluee oflicers of the Arniv. 
.aied in pursuance of any stattitory authorit\-, 
:-oni]n.] the attendance of witnesses or to pro- 
iicli could ha\e been lawfully enforced. The 
d it in tJKJr report to tlie Secretary of War, 
slate that in their opinion "justice requires 
IS luav be necessary to auntil and set aside the 


igatiou b>- a i)OLi 

Til is 1 

:ioa]-d was not crt 

and w 

r,-. powerless lo ( 


■e a judgment wl 


s who constitute. 


March uj. iS;,^, 

* ■'■■ 

sueli action ; 


findings and sentence of the court-martial in the case of Maj. Gen. 
Fitz-John Porter, and to restore him to the positions off which that 
sentence deprived him, such restoration to take eflFect from the date 
of his dismissal from the service." 

The provisions of the bill now under consideration are avowedly 
based on the assumption that the findings of the court-martial have 
been discovered to be erroneous. But it will be borne in mind that 
the investigation which is claimed to have resulted in this discovery 
was made many years after the events to which that evidence related, 
and under circumstances that made it impossible to reproduce the 
evidence on which they were based. 

It seems to me that the proposed legislation would establish a dan- 
gerous precedent, calculated to imperil in no small measure the bind- 
ing force and effect of the judgments of the various tribunals estab- 
lished under our Constitution and laws. 

I have already, in the exercise of the pardoning power with which 
the President is vested by the Constitution remitted the continuing 
penalty which had made it impossible for Fitz-John Porter to hold 
any office of trust or profit under the Government of the United 
States. But I am unwilling to give my sanction to any legislation 
which shall practically annul and set at naught the solemn and de- 
liberate conclusions of the tribunal by which he was convicted and 
of the President by whom its findings were examined and approved. 


Executive Mansion, 

July 2^ 1884. 





NOVEMBER 7, 1884. 





The season is nigh when it is the yearly wont of this people to 
observe a day appointed for that purpose by the President, as an 
especial occasion for thanksgiving unto God: 

Now, therefore, in recognition of this hallowed custom, I, Chester 
A. Arthur, President of the United States, do hereby designate as 
such day of general thanksgiving, Thursday the 27th day of this 
present November. 

And I do recommend that throughout the land, the people ceas- 
ing from their accustomed occupations, do then keep holiday at their 
several homes and their several places of worship, and with heart 
and voice pay reverent acknowledgment to the Giver of all good 
for the countless blessings wherewith He hath visited this nation. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of the United States to be aflSxed. 

Done at the city of Washington this seventh day of November, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four, 
and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and 


By the President: 
Fred'k T. Freunghuysen, 

Secretary of State. 





DECEMBER i, i 884. 



To THE Congress of the United States: 

Since the close of your last session the American people, in the 
exercise of their highest right of suffrage, have chosen their Chief 
Magistrate for the four years ensuing. 

When it is remembered that at no period in the country's history 
has the long political contest which customarily precedes the day of 
the national election been waged with greater fervor and intensity, 
it is a subject of general congratulation that after the controvers}* at 
the polls was over, and while the slight preponderance by which the 
issue had been determined was as yet unascertained, the public peace 
suffered no disturbance, but the people ever>^where patiently and 
quietly awaited the result. 

Nothing could more strikingly illustrate the temper of the Amer- 
ican citizen, his love of order, and his loyalty to law — nothing could 
more signally demonstrate the strength and wisdom of our political 

Eight years have passed since a controversy concerning the result 
of a national election sharply called the attention of the Congress to 
the necessity of providing more precise and definite regulations for 
counting the electoral vote. \ 

It is of the gravest importance that this question be solved before 
conflicting claims to the Presidency shall again distract the country, 
and I am persuaded that, by the people at large, any of the measures 
of relief thus far proposed would be preferred to continued inaction. 

Our relations with all foreign powers continue to be amicable. 

With Belgium a convention has been signed whereby the scope 
of present treaties has been so enlarged as to secure to citizens of 




I either countp,' within the jurisdiction of the othe; equal rights and 
privnleges in the acquisition and alienation of property. A trade- 
marks treaty has also been concluded. 

The war between Chili and Peru is at an end. For the arbitra- 
tion of the claims of American citizens who during its continuance 
suffered through the acts of the Chilian authorities a convention 
will soon be negotiated. 

The state of hostilities between France and China coutiiiues to be 
an embarrassing feature of our Eastern relations. The Chinese 
Government has promptly adjusted and paid the claims of American 
citizens whose property was destroyed in the recent riots at Canton. 
1 renew the recommendation of my last annual message, that the 
Canton indemnity fund be returned to China, 

The true interpretation of the recent treaty with that country, 
permitting the restriction of Chinese immigration, is likely to be 
again the subject of your deliberations. It may be seriously ques- 
tioned whether the statute passed at the last session does not violate 
■ ■ the treaty rights of certain Chinese who left this country with return 
certificatce valid under the old law and who now seem to be debar- 
red from relaiiding for lack of the certificates required by the new. 

Tliu rccont purchase by citizens of the United States of a large 
trading fifct heretofore under the Chinese flag has considerably en- 
hanced our commercial importance in the East. In view of the 
large number of vessels built or piirchased by American citizens in 
other comitries and exchisively employed in legitimate traffic be- 
tween foreign ports nnder the recognized protection of our flag, it 
might be well to provide a uniform rule for their registration and 
documentation, so that the bona fuic property rights of our citizens 
therein shall be duly evidenced and properly guarded. 

Pursuant to the advice of the Senate at the last session, I recog- 
nized the flag of the International Association of the Congo as that 
of a friendly Government, avoiding in so doing any prejudgment of 
conflicting territorial claims in that region. Sub;.eqnently, in e.\e- 
ciition of the expressed wish of the Congress, I appointed a com- 
mercial agent for the Congo Basin. 


The importance of the rich prospective trade of the Congo Valley 
has led to the general conviction that it should be open to all nations 
upon equal terms. At an international conference for the considera- 
tion of this subject called by the Emperor of Germany, and now in 
session at Berlin, delegates are in attendance on behalf of the United 
States. Of the results of the conference you will be duly advised. 

The Government of Corea has generously aided the eflforts of the 
United States minister to secure suitable premises for the use of the 
legation. As the conditions of diplomatic intercourse with Eastern 
nations demand that the legation premises be owned by the repre- 
sented power, I advise that an appropriation be made for the acqui- 
sition of this property by the Government. The United States 
already possess valuable premises at Tangier as a gift from the Sul- 
tan of Morocco. As is stated hereafter, they have lately received a 
similar gift from the Siamese Government. The Government of 
Japan stands ready to present to us extensive grounds at Tokio 
whereon to erect a suitable building for the legation, court-house, 
and jail ; and similar privileges can probably be secured in China 
and Persia. The owning of such premises would not only effect a 
large saving of the present rentals but would permit of the due as- 
sertion of extraterritorial rights in those countries, and would the 
better serve to maintain the dignity of the United States. 

The failure of Congress to make appropriation for our representa- 
tion at the autonomous court of the Khedive has proved a serious 
embarrassment in our intercourse with Egypt ; and in view of the 
necessar\- intimacy of diplomatic relationship due to the participa- 
tion of this Government, as one of the treaty powers, in all matters 
of administration there affecting the rights of foreigners, I advise 
the restoration of the agency and consulate-general at Cairo on its 
former basis. I do not conceive it to be the wish of Congress that 
the United States should withdraw altogether from the honorable 
position they have hitherto held with respect to the Khedive, or that 
citizens of this Republic residing or sojourning in Egypt should here- 
after be without the aid and protection of a competent representative. 

With France, the tiaditional cordial relationship continues. The 
colossal statue of Liberty enlightening the World, the generous gift 

I of the people of France, is expected to reach New York in May next. 
I suggest that Congressional action be taken iu recognition of the 
spirit which has prompted this gift, and in aid of the timely com- 
pletion of the pedestal upon which it is to be placed. 

Our relations with Germany, a country which contributes to our 
own some of the best elements of citizenship, continue to be cordial. 
The United States have extradition treaties with several of the Ger- 
man states, but by reason of the confederation of those states under 
the Injperial rule, the application of such treaties is not as unifonn 
and comprehensive as the interests of the Iwo countries require. 1 
propose, therefore, to open negotiationa for a single convention of 
extradition to embrace all the territory of the Empire. 

It affords me pleasure to say that our intercourse with Great Brit- 
V Bin continues to be of a most friendly character. 

The Government of Hawaii has indicated its willin'gness to con- 
tinue for seven years the provisions of the existing reciprocity treaty. 
• Such continuance, in view of the relations of that country to the 
American system of States, shonld in my judgment be favored. 

The revolution in Hayti asjainst the established Government has 
It'rniiii^Ui'il- Whilrit was in [iio-rfss it bccanicj necessary to enforce 
our iifiitraiiiy laws h\ in.-^tiuuin;.; iiruccL-dings a^'ainst individual? 
;incl \i,-<--cls rli.ii-cd with llicir i^rriIl.^'^.■nn.■nt. These prosecution^ 
wcn.-iii all casts Miccvs-^fnl. 

Much aiixiily lias lately Ik-cu displayed by various European 
Goveniuieiils, and especially by tlie ("kivernment of Italy, for the 
abiililiim uf our iui]wrt duties upon wiuks of art. It is well to con- 
sider wIkiIkt tliL- jirestul (liscriuiinatioii in favor of the production.^ 
of AiiKriean anisi.s abroad is not likeh' to result, as they 
scL'Ui very j.;cnerally to believe it may, in the ]iractical exclusion of 
our painters and seulptors from the rich fields for observation, .study, 
and labor which they have hitherlu enjoyed. 

There 1-- pmspeet llial llie Inu^^-iKiidin;; revision of the foreign 
iTk-atie-. nf J.t]iaii luav be coneliided at a new eoiilercncc to be held 
at 'i'okio. Wliile tlii-^ C.owrniDeiit t"u!l>' reco<^uizcs the equal ai'd 


independent station of Japan in the community of nations, it would 
not oppose the general adoption of such terms of compromise as 
Japan may be disposed to oflfer in furtherance of a uniform policy of 
intercourse with Western nations. 

During the past year the increasing good-will between our own 
Government and that of Mexico has been variously manifested. 
The treaty of commercial reciprocity concluded January 20, 1883, 
has been ratified, and awaits the necessary tariflf legislation of Con- 
gress to become effective. This legislation will, I doubt not, be 
among the first measures to claim your attention. 

A full treaty of commerce, navigation, and consular rights is much 
to be desired, and such a treaty I have reason to believe that the 
Mexican Government stands ready to conclude. 

Some embarrassment has been occasioned by the failure of Con- 
gress at its last session to provide means for the due execution of the 
treaty of July 29, 1882, for the resurvey of the Mexican boundary 
and the relocation of boundary monuments. 

With the Republic of Nicaragua a treaty has been concluded 
which authorizes the construction by the United States of a canal, 
railway, and telegraph line across the Nicaraguan territory. 

By the terms of this treaty sixty miles of the river San Juan, as 
well as Lake Nicaragua, an inland sea forty miles in width, are to 
constitute a part of the projected enterprise. 

This leaves for actual canal construction seventeen miles on the 
Pacific side and thirty-six miles on the Atlantic. To the United 
States, whose rich territor>' on the Pacific is for the ordinary pur- 
poses of commerce practically cut off* from communication by water 
with the Atlantic ports, the political and commercial advantages of 
such a project can scarcely be overestimated. 

It is believed that when the treaty is laid before you the justice 
and liberality of its provisions will command universal approval at 
home and abroad. 

The death of our representative at Russia while at his post at St. 
Petersburg afforded to the Imperial Government a renewed opportu- 
nity to testify its sympathy in a manner befitting the intimate friend- 
liness which has ever marked the intercourse of the two countries. 


The course of this Go\'eminent in raising its representation at 
Bangkok to the diplomatic rank has evoked from Siam evidences of 
wann friendship and augurs well for our enlarged intercourse. The 
Siamese Govenmient has presented to the United States a commodi- 
ous mansion and grounds for the occupancy of the legation, and I 
suggest that by joint resolution Congress attest its appreciation of 
this generous gift. 

This Government has more than once been called upon of late to 
take action in fulfillmeut of its international obligations toward 
Spain. Agitation in the island of Cuba hostile to the Spanish Crown 
having been fomented by persons abusing the sacred rights of hos- 
pitility which our territory affords, the officers of this Government 
have been instructed to exercise vigilance to prevent infractions of 
our neutrality laws at Key West and at other points near the Cuban 
coast. I am happy to say that in the only instance where these pre- 
cantionarj- measures were successfully eluded, the offenders when 
found in our territory were subsequently tried and convicted. 

The growing need of close relationship of intercourse and traffic 
"between the Spanish Antilles and their natural market in the United 
States led to the adoption, in January last, of a commercial agree- 
iiK'tit lookini^ to tliat end. This agreement has since been siiper- 
SLciwl by a more carufully framed and comprehensive convention, 
which 1 shall suljiiiit to the Senate for approval. It has been the 
aim of iliis negotiation to open such a favored reciprocal exchange 
of productions carried under tJie lla^ of either country, as to make 
the intercourse Ijetwecii Cuba and I'orto Kico and ourselves .-^carceh- 
nnercial movement between our domestic 
iio\al of the burdens on shippinjr in tlu- 
iii tile past our ship-owners and sliijj-uia-^- 
sc lo cninplain. 

comeutiou lias for a time postponed the 
nis <•( our citizens which were declared to 
he without the jari'^dictioii of the late Spanish -.American Claim'; 
Conmiission, and which are tlKTufore remitted to diplomatic chan- 
nels for adjustment. The -jn'ccb settlement c)f these claims will iiow 
Ix- m-'^L-a h\- this C.ntTniiient, 

k-s. iutii 

■nate than tlie com 

port., ai 

1(1 to insure a ren' 


Indies, of whicli i 

tei-s hav. 

L> so oflcu had call^ 

The n 

e^olialioii .jf this 


ion iif certain claii 


Negotiations for a treaty of commercial reciprocity with the Do- 
minican Republic have been successfully concluded, and the result 
will shortly ie laid before the Senate. 

Certain questions between the United States and the Ottoman 
Empire still remain unsolved. Complaints on behalf of our citizens 
are not satisfactorily adjusted. The Porte has sought to withhold 
from our commerce the right of favored treatment to which we are 
entitled by existing conventional stipulations, and the revision of 
the tariffs is unaccomplished. 

The final disposition of pending questions with Venezuela has not 
as yet been reached, but I have good reason to expect an early set- 
tlement, which will provide the means of re-examining the Caracas 
awards in conformity with the expressed desire of Congress, and 
which will recognize the justice of certain claims preferred against 

The Central and South American Commission appointed by au- 
thority of the act of July 7, 1884, will soon proceed to Mexico. It 
has been furnished with instructions which will be laid before you. 
They contain a statement of the general policy of the Government 
for enlarging its commercial intercourse with American States. 
The commissioners have been actively preparing for their roepon- 
sible task by holding conferences in the principal cities with mer- 
chants and others interested in Central and South American trade. 

The International Meridian Conference, lately convened in Wash- 
ington upon the invitation of the Government of the United States, 
was composed of representatives from twenty-five nations. The 
conference concluded its labors on the ist of November, having 
with substantial unanimity agreed upon the meridian of Greenwich 
as the starting point whence longitude is to be computed through 
one hundred and eighty degrees eastward and westward, and upon 
the adoption, for all purposes for which it may be found convenient, 
of a universal day which shall begin at midnight on the initial 
meridian and whose hours shall be counted from zero up to twenty- 



The formal report of the transactions of lliis coiifereuce will be 
' hereafter transmitted to the Congress. 

This Govenimenl is in frequent receipt of iuvitatioiis from foreign 
states to participate in international exhibitions, often of great inter- 
est and importance. Occupying as we do an advanced position in 
the world's production, and aiming to secure a profitable share for 
our industries in the general competitive markets, it is a matter of 
serious concern that the want of means for participation in these 
exhibitions should so often exclude our producers from advantages 
enjoyed by those of other countries. During the past year the atten- 
tion of Congress was drawn to the formal invitations in this regard 
tendered by the Governments of England, Holland, Belgium, Ger- 
many, and Austria. The Executive has in some instances appointed 
honorary commissioners. This is, however, a most unsatisfactory- 
expedient, for without some provision to meet the necessary- working 
expenses of a commission it can effect little or nothing in behalf of 
exhibitors. An international inventions exhibition is to be held in 
London next May. This will cover a field of special importance, in 
' which our country holds a foremost rank, but the Executive is at 
present powerless to organize a proper representation of our vast 
nalioual interests in this direction. 

! have in scvlt;i1 previous niessaj^es referred to this subject. It 
sec-nis to nic tliat a statnU-, i,'iviuij lu the Kxecntive general discre- 
tionary authority to accept -such invitations, and to appoint honorary 
commissi oners, without salar\-, and placing at the disposal of the 
Secretary of Stale a sma!! fund for defraying their reasonable ex- 
penses, would be of great ]nibUc utility. 

This Crovernnieut has received official notice tiiat the Revised 
IiUeriiational Regulations for preventing collisions at sea have been 
adopted by all the loading maritime powers except the United 
Stales, and came into force on the ist of September last. For the 
due protection of our shipping interests, the provisions of our stat- 
utes should at once be brought into confoniiity with these Regula- 

The question of securing to authors, composers, and artists copy- 
right privileges in this cotuitrj- in return for reciprocal rights 


abroad is one that may justly challenge your attention. It is true 
that conventions will be necessary for fully accomplishing this re- 
sult, but until Congress shall by statute fix the extent to which 
foreign holders of copyright shall be here privileged, it has been 
deemed inadvisable to negotiate such conventions. For this reason 
the United States were not represented at the recent conference at 

I recommend that the scope of the neutrality laws of the United 
States be so enlarged as to cover all patent acts of hostility com- - 
mitted in our territory and aimed against the peace of a friendly 
nation. Existing statutes prohibit the fitting out of armed expedi- 
tions and restrict the shipment of explosives, though the enactments 
in the latter respect were not framed with regard to international 
obligations, but simply for the protection of passenger travel. All 
these statutes were intended to meet special emergencies that had 
already arisen. Other emergencies have arisen since, and modem 
ingenuity supplies means for the organization of hostilities without 
open resort to armed vessels or to filibustering parties. 

I see no reason why overt preparations in this country for the 
commission of criminal acts, such as are here under consideration, 
should not be alike punishable, whether such acts are intended to be 
committed in our own country or in a foreign country with which 
we are at peace. 

The prompt and thorough treatment of this question is one which 
intimately concerns the national honor. 

Our existing naturalization laws also need revision. Those sec- 
tions relating to persons residing within the limits of the United 
States in 1795 and 1798 have now only a historical interest. Sec- 
tion 2172, recognizing the citizenship of the children of naturalized 
parents, is ambiguous in its terms and partly obsolete. There are 
special provisions of law favoring the naturalization of those who 
serve in the Army or in merchant vessels, while no similar privileges 
are granted those who serve in the Navy or the Marine Corps. 

''An uniform rule of naturalization," such as the Constitution 
contemplates, should, among other things, clearly define the status 
of persons bom within the United States subject to a foreign power 


(section 1992} and of minor children of fathers who have declared 
their intention to become citizens but have failed to perfect their 
naturalization. It might be wise to provide for a central bureau of 
registry, wherein should be filed authenticated transcripts of e\er>" 
record of naturalization in the several Federal and State courts, and 
to make provision also for the vacation or cancellation of snch record 
in cases where fraud had been practiced upon the court by the appli- 
cant himself or where he had renounced or forfeited his acquired cit- 
izenship, A just and uniform law in this respect would strengthen 
the hands of the Government iu protecting its citizens abroad, and 
would pave the way for the conclusion of treaties of naturalization 
with foreign countries. 

The legislation of the last session effected in the diplomatic and 
consular service certain changes and reductions which have been 
productive of embarrassment. The population and commercial 
activity of our countr>' are steadily on the increase, and are gi^ang 
rise to new, varying, and often delicate relationships with othei 
countries. Our foreign establishment now embraces nearly double 
the area of operations that it occupied twenty years ago. The con- 
finement of such a service within the limits of expenditure then 
established is not, it seems to me, in accordance with true econom>'. 
A community of sixty millions of people should be adequately rep- 
reseutetl in its iiilerconrsc with foreif;u nations. 

A project for thu' rcorgnniKation of the consular service and for 
rcc;islin<; the scheme of c\tr:itcrriton'al jurisdiction is now before 
you. If lliL- limits of a short session will not allow of its full con- 
sideration, I trust that you will not fail to make suitable prov-ision 
for the present needs of the service. 

It has been customary to define iu the appropriation acts the rank 
of each diplomatic office to which a salar\- is attached. I suggest 
that this course be abandoned and that it be left to the President, 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, to fix from time to time 
the diplomatic grade of the representatives of this Government 
abroad as may seem advisable, pro\-ision being definitelj- made, 
howevLT, as now for the amount of salar,' attached to the respective 


The condition of our finances and the operations of the various 
branches of the public service which are connected with the Treas- 
ury Department are very fully discussed in the report of the Secre- 

It appears that the ordinary revenues for the fiscal year ended 
June 30, 1884, were — 

From customs $195,067,489 76 

From internal revenue 121,586,072 51 

From all other sources 3i>866,307 65 

Total ordinary revenues 348,519,869 92 

The public expenditures during the same period were — 

For civil expenses $22,312,907 71 

For foreign intercourse .• 1,260,766 37 

For Indians 6,475,999 29 

For pensions 55,429,228 06 

For the military establishment, including river 

and harbor improvements and arsenals 39) 429, 603 36 

For the naval establishment, including vessels, 

machinery, and improvements at navy-yards ... 17,292,601 44 
For miscellaneous expenditures, including public 
buildings, light-houses, and collecting the rev- 
enue 43)939»7io 00 

For expenditures on account of the District of 

Columbia 3,407,049 62 

For interest on the public debt 54)578,378 48 

For the sinking fimd 46,790,229 50 

Total ordinary expenditures 290,916,473 83 

Leaving a surplus of 57,603,396 09 

As compared with the preceding fiscal year there was a net de- 
crease of over $21,000,000 in the amount of expenditures. The 
aggregate receipts were less than those of the year previous by about 
$54,000,000. The falling ofi* in revenue from customs made up 
nearly $20,000,000 of this deficiency, and about $23,000,000 of the 
remainder was due to the diminished receipts from internal taxation. 


The Secretary estunates the total receipts for the fiscal year which 
will end June 30, 1S85, at $330,000,000, and the total exi>enditures 
at 3290,620,201.16, in which siim are included the interest on the 
debt and the amount payable to the sinking fund. This would 
leave a surplus for the entire year of about $39,000,000, 

The value of exports from the United States to foreign countries 
during the year ending June 30, 1884, was as follows: 

Domestic merchandise $724,964,852 

Foreign merchandise ,, I5i548i757 

Total merchandise 740,513,609 

Specie 67,133,383 

Total exports of merchandise and specie 807,646,992 

The cotton and cotton manufactures included in tliis statement 
were valued at $208,900,415; the breadstuffs at $162,544,715; the 
provisions at $114,416,547, and the mineral oils at $47,103,248- 

During the same period the imports were as follows: 

y.Merchaadise $^71697,693 

Gold and silver 37,426,26; 

1'otai 705.133,955 

More ihan (">; per cenl. of tlic entire value of imported merchan- 
dise consisted <•( the foHowiuj; articles: 

Su,i;aranil molasses $103,884,274 

Wool and woolen manufactures 53,542,292 

Silk and iK mauit fact ores 49,949,138 

Coffee 49,686,705 

Iron ami steel ami uiaiiufaeUires thereof 41,464,51)9 

Clieniicals 38,464,965 

h'Jax, lienip, jnle, ami like siihstanees. ami manufactures 

t'l^''^-"!" 33>463.3C|S 

Coliun ami iiiamifactiires of cotton 30,454,476 

Hides and skins other than fnr-skins 22,350,906 

I concur witli tiie Secret.n y .if llie 'rreasur\- in recommending^ the 
iunnediate suspension of the coinage of sll'.'er dollars and of the 


issuance of silver certificates. This is a matter to which, in former 
communications, I have more than once invoked the attention of 
the National Legislature. 

It appears that annually for the past six years there have been 
coined, in compliance with the requirements of the act of February 
28, 1878, more than twenty-seven million silver dollars. The num- 
ber now outstanding is reported by the Secretary to be nearly one 
hundred and eighty-five million, whereof but little more than forty 
million, or less than 22 per cent, are in actual circulation. The 
mere existence of this fact seems to me to furnish of itself a cogent 
argument for the repeal of the statute which has made such fact 

But there are other and graver considerations that tend in the 
same direction. 

The Secretary avows his convict on that unless this coinage and 
the issuance of silver certificates be suspended, silver is likely at no 
distant day to become our sole metallic standard. The commercial 
disturbance and the impairment of national credit that would be thus 
occasioned can scarcely be overestimated. 

I hope that the Secretary's suggestions respecting the withdrawal 
from circulation of the one-dollar and two-dollar notes will receive 
your approval. It is likely that a considerable portion of the silver 
now encumbering the vaults of the Treasury might thus find its way 
into the currency. 

While trade-dollars have ceased, for the present at least, to be an 
element of active disturbance in our currency system, some provision 
should be made for their surrender to the Government. In view of 
the circumstances under which they were coined and of the fact that 
they have never had a legal-tender quality, there should be offered 
for them only a slight advance over their bullion value. 

The Secretar>', in the course of his report, considers the propriety 
of beautifying the designs of our subsidiar\' silver coins and of so 
increasing their weight that they may bear their due ratio of value 
to the standard dollar. His conclusions in this regard are cordially 

In my annual message of 1882, I recommended the abolition of 
all excise taxes except those relating to distilled spirits. This rec- 


ommendation is now renewed. In case these taxes shall be abol 
ished, the revenues that will still remain to the Government will, 

in my opinion, not only suffice to meet its reasonable expenditures, 
but will afford a surplus large enough to permit such tariff reduction 
as may seem to be advisable, when the results of recent revenue laws 
and commercial treaties shall have shown in what quarters those 
reductions can be most judiciously effected. 

One of the gravest of the problems which appeal to the wisdom 
of Congress for solution is the ascertainment of the most effective 
means for increasing our foreign trade and thus relieving the de- 
pression under which our industries are now languishing. The 
Secretary of the Treasurj' ad\-ises that the duty of investigating tliis 
subject be intrusted in the first instance to a competent commission. 
Wliile fully recognizing the considerations that may be urged against 
this course, I am nevertheless of the opinion that, upon the whole, 
no other would be likely to effect speedier or better results. 

That portion of the Secretar>''s report which concerns the condi- 
tion of our shipping interests cannot fail to command your attention. 
f Me emphatically recommends that as an incentive to the investment 
of American capita! in Auicrican steamships, the Government shall 
by liberal payments for mail transportation, or otherwise, tend its 
active assistanct- tu individual cnlcrprisf. and declares his belief that 
unless that course he jdirsucd our foreitpi carn-ing trade must re- 
main, as it is to-daj', almost exclusively in the hands of foreijpiers. 

One jiliase of this subject is now especially prominent, in \'iew of 
the repeal by the act of June ;6, 1SS4, of all statutory provisions 
arbiinirilv euiupelliu'; .\nierican vessL-ls lo carry the mails to and 
from the I'liitvd Slater. As it is necessary to make provision to 
eonipeiisate llie nwucrs ul" such vessels for iDerforming that service 
after .\pril. I'SSs. it is )iupi.-d that the wliole subject will receive 
earh eonsideraliuu that will lead to the enaciiiiL'ut of such measures 
for the iv\ival of mir uicrchaut marine as the wisdom of Cou^tcss 
ma> devise. 

Tlie three per cent, bonds of the Governiiient to the amount of 
more tlian $ifxi,(xxxo'.)' 1 have, since my last annual message, been 
reileenied by the Treasury. The bonds uf that issue still outstand- 
ing amount to little over $200,o<.)0,ooo, abont one-fourth of which 


will be retired through the operations of the sinking fund during 
the coming year. As these bonds still constitute the chief basis for 
the circulation of the national banks, the question how to avert the 
contraction of the currency, caused by their retirement, is one of 
constantly increasing importance. 

It seems to be generally conceded that the law governing this 
matter exacts from the banks excessive security, and that, upon their 
present bond deposits, a larger circulation than is now allowed may 
be granted with safety. I hope that the bill which passed the Sen- 
ate at the last session, permitting the issue of notes equal to the face 
value of the deposited bonds, will commend itself to the approval of 
the House of Representatives. 

In the expenses of the War Department the Secretary reports a 
decrease of more than $9,000,000. Of this reduction $5,600,000 was 
effected in the expenditures for rivers and ha:rbors, and $2,700,000 
in expenditures for the Quartermaster's Department. 

Outside of that Department the annual expenses of all the Army, 
bureaus proper (except possibly the Ordnance Bureau) are substan- 
tially fixed charges, which can not be materially diminished without 
a change in the numerical strength of the Army. The expenditures 
in the Quartermaster's Department can readily be subjected to ad- 
ministrative discretion, and it is reported by the Secretary of War 
that as a result of exercising such discretion, in reducing the num- 
ber of draught and pack animals in the Army, the annual cost of 
supplying and caring for such animals is now $1,108,085.90 less 
than it was in 1881. 

The reports of military commanders show that the last year has 
been notable for its entire freedom from Indian outbreaks. 

In defiance of the President's proclamation of July i, 1884, certain 
intruders sought to make settlements in the Indian Territory. They 
were promptly removed by a detachment of troops. 

During the past session of Congress a bill to provide a suitable 
fire-proof building for the Army Medical Museum and the library 
of the Surgeon-General's Office received the approval of the Senate. 
A similar bill, reported favorably to the House of Representatives 
by one of its committees, is still pending before that body. It is 


■hoped that during the coming session the measure niaj- become a 
law, and tliat thereafter immediate steps may be taken to secure a 
place of safe deposit for these valuable collections, now in a state of 

The funds with which the works for the improvement of rivers 
and harbors were prosecuted during the past year were derived from 
the appropriations of the act of August 2, 1882, together with such 
few balances as were on hand from previous appropriations. The 
balance in the Treasury subject to requisition July i, 18S3, was 
$10,021,649,55. The amount appropriated during the fiscal year 
1S84 was $1,319,634.62, and the amount drawn from the Treasury 
during the fiscal year was $8,228,703.54, leaving a balance of 
$3,112,580.63 in the Treasury subject to requisition July i, 1884. 

The Secretary of War submits the report of the Chief of Engi- 
neers as to the practicability of protecting our important cities on 
the sea-board by fortifications and other defenses able to repel 
modern methods of attack. The time has now come when such 
defenses can be prepared with confidence tliat they ^viU not p^o^tr 
•rtive ; and, when the possible result of delay in making such 
preparation is seriously considered, delay seems inexcusable. For 
the most important cities — those whose destruction or capture would 
be a national liuiiiiliatiou — adequate defenses, inchisive of guns, ina> 
Ik? uiadu by the j^nidual expenditure of ?6o,ooo,ooo, a sum much 
less than a victorious enemy could levy as a contribution. An ajj- 
pruprialion of about ouc-tcuth of that amount is asked to begin 
the work, and I concur with tlie Secretary of War in urging that it 
be i;mulcd. 

Till.' War DL'p:iitini.'nl is proceed iii;^ will] ihe conversion of lO- 
iucli smootli-bore y;nns into S-iiicli liflcs, by lining the former with 
tuhe.^ of fori^ed steel or of coiled wmught-iron. Fifty f^uns will be 
thus converted within the year. This, however, does not obviate 

tllL- lKTC<Mt> 

„r p„„-i,li 

"K in 

iL'iins lor till 

coiistniclion of guns of the 

l,:al,C-.[ IHAV 

L-r, bolli f.ii 

- Ur- 

]niri)osc< of 

coast defense and for the 

ariiKiiiicnt of 

■ war ^x■ss^■l 

TlK- rc,,ur 

K.f theOui 

1 l-'n 

iimlci-v ]■.,:•■: 

), appointed April 2. 1S83, 

in ir.ii ■.■■aiii-. 

■ot"llR- :k-1i 

-1" M: 

iroli ,;, 1,SS;„ ^ 

va.- Iraiisiiiiued to L'oiiii;rcss 

ill a 1 

iiessn.i,'^- of ] 


larviS, i.«|. 

Inniynressaseof March 


26, 1884, 1 called attention to the recommendatiou of the Board that 
the Government should encourage the production at private steel 
works of the required material for heavy cannon, and that two Gov- 
ernment factories, one for the Army and one for the Navy, should 
be established for the fabrication of guns from such material. No 
action having been taken, the Board was subsequently reconvened 
to determine more fully the plans and estimates necessary for car- 
rying out its recommendation. It has received information which 
indicates that there are responsible steel manufacturers in this 
country who, although not provided at present with the necessary 
plant, are willing to construct the same and to make bids for con- 
tracts with the Government for the supply of the requisite material 
for the heaviest guns adapted to modem warfare, if a guaranteed 
order of sufficient magnitude, accompanied by a positive appropri- 
ation extending over a series of years, shall be made by Congress. 
All doubts as to the feasibility of the plan being thus removed, I 
renew my recommendation that such action be taken by Congress 
as will enable the Government to construct its own ordnance upon 
its own territory, and so to provide the armaments demanded by 
considerations of national safety and honor. 

The report of the Secretary of the Navy exhibits the progress 
which has been made on the new steel cruisers authorized by the 
acts of August 5, 1882, and March 3, 1883. Of the four vessels 
under contract, one, the Chicago, of 4,500 tons, is more than half 
finished; the Atlanta, of 3,000 tons, has been successfully launched, 
and her machiner>' is now fitting; the Boston, also of 3,000 tons, is 
ready for launching, and the Dolphin, a dispatch steamer of 1,500 
tons, is ready for delivery. 

Certain adverse criticisms upon the designs of these cruisers are 
discussed by the Secretary, who insists that the correctness of the 
conclusions reached by the Advisory Board and by the Department 
has been demonstrated by recent developments in ship-building 

The machiner>' of the double-turreted monitors Puritan, Terror, 
and Amphitrite, contracted for under the act of March 3, 1883, is in 
process of construction. No work has been done during the past 


year ou their armor for lack of the necessary appropriations. A 
fourth mouitor, the Monadnock, still remains unfinished at the navy- 
yard in California. It is recommended that early steps be taken to 
complete these vessels and lo provide also an armament for the mon- 
I itoi Miantonomoh. 

F The recommendations of the Naval Advisory- Board, ajjproved by 

the Department, comprise the construction of one steel cniiser of 

4,5iXJ tons, one crniser of 3,000 tons, two heavily-armed gunboats, 

. one light cruising gunboat, one dispatch-vessel armed with Hotch- 

I kiss cannon, one armored ram, and three torpedo boats. The gen- 

P era] designs, all of which are calculated to meet the existing wants 

of the ser\'jce, are now well advanced, and the construction of the 

vessels can be undertaken as soon as yon shall grant the necessary 

. authority. 

■ The act of Congress approved August 7, 1882, authorized the 

■ •temoval to the United States of the bodies of Lieuteuant-Com- 
niaandeT George W. De Long and his companions of the Jeannctte 
t Expedition. This removal has been successfully accomplished by 
Klfienteiiants Harber and Schuetze. The remains were taken from 

their grave in the T,eiia Delta in March, 1S83, and were retained at 
Yakutsk until the following winter, the season being too far ad- 
vaiiCL'd lo admit of their iiiiim-diale Inmspurtatioii. Tlu'v arrived 
at \\-\v York l-Vbniary :'o, 1SS4, where lliey wi.-re received with 
suitable honors. 

In jHirsuauce of the joint ru^ulutiun of Congress ap])roved Keb- 
niar> i,^, iS8.(. a na\-iil expcditiuii was fitted out for the relief of 
IJi^ut. A. W. C.rech , Viiited States Army, and of the party who had 
been eii:,>a,L;ed uuikr his eonimaiid in scientific obstTvatious at Lady 
Franklin Ikiv. 'I'Jic fleet consisted of IJie steam scaler Thetis, pur- 
chased in Knylaud, tlie lUar, purchased at St. Ji)hn's, Newfoundland, 
and the .\lert. which was -encroush- provided bv the British Gov- 
ernment. I'repaialions fnr tile CNpcdlliou were promptly made by 
the .SecretaiA- of the X:i\;,-, with the active co-operation of the Sccre- 
tar> of \Var. Coiinuaiuier Crcorgc W. Coffin was jilaced in com- 
mand of llio .\krt, and I^ieut, William II. F.niory in command of 
the Bear. The Thetis was intrusted to Commander Winfield S. 


Schley, to whom also was assigned the superintendence of the en- 
tire expedition. 

Immediately upon its arrival at Upemavik, the fleet began the 
dangerous navigation of Melville Bay, and in spite of evety obstacle 
reached Littleton Island on June 22, a fortnight earlier than any 
vessel had before attained that point On the same day it crossed 
over to Cape Sabitie, where Lieutenant Greely and the other sur- 
vivors of his party were discovered. After taking on board the living 
and the bodies of the dead, the relief ships sailed for St. John's, 
where they arrived on July 17. They were appropriately received 
at Portsmouth, N. H., on August i, and at New York on August 8. 
One of the bodies was landed at the former place. The others were 
put on shore at Governor's Island, and, with the exception of one 
which was interred in the National Cemetery, were forwarded thence 
to the destinations indicated by friends. The organization and con- 
duct of this Relief Expedition reflects great credit upon all who 
contributed to its success. 

In this, the last of the stated messages that I shall have the honor 
to transmit to the Congress of the United States, I cannot too 
strongly urge upon its attention the duty of restoring our Navy as 
rapidly as possible to the high state of eflSciency which formerly 
characterized it. As the long peace that has lulled us into a sense 
of fancied security may at any time be disturbed, it is plain that the 
policy of strengthening this arm of the service is dictated by con- 
siderations of wise economy, of just regard for our future tranquillity, 
and of tnie appreciation of the dignity and honor of the Republic. 

The report of the Postmaster-General acquaints you with the pres- 
ent condition and needs of the postal service. 

It discloses the gratifying fact that the loss of revenue from the 
reduction in the rate of letter-postage recommended in my message 
of December 4, 1882, and effected by the act of March 3, 1883, has 
been much less than was generally anticipated. My recommenda- 
tion of this reduction was based upon the belief that the actual fall- 
ing oflf in receipts from letter-postages for the year immediately suc- 
ceeding the change of rate would be $3,000,000. It has proved to 
be only $2,275,000. 


I This ii. a trustworthy indicattoa that the revenue will soon te 
I restored to its former volume by the natural increase of sealed coi 
I respoudence. 

f I confidently repeat, therefore, the recommendation of my last 

b annual message that the single-rate postage upon drop letters be 

^ reduced to one cent wherever the payment of two cents is now 

required by law. The double rate is only exacted at offices where 

the carrier system is in operation, and it appears that* at those offices 

the increase in the tax upon local letters defrays the cost not oiily 

i of its own collection and delivery, but of the collection and delivery 

I of all other mail matter. This is an inequality that ought no longer 

I to exist 

I approve the recommendation of the Postmaster-General that the 
imit of weight in the rating of first-class matter should be one ounce 
instead of one-half ounce as it now is. In view of the statistics fur- 
nished by the Department it may well be doubted whether the change 
L would result in any loss of revenue; that it would greatly promote 
I the convenience of the public is beyond dispute, 
^^ The free-delivery system has been lately applied to five cities, and 
the total number of offices in which it is now in operation is one 
hundred and fifty-nine. Experience shows that its adoption, under 
projjer conditions, is equally an accommodation to the public and 
an advantage to the postal service. It is more than self-sustaining, 
and for the reasons urged by the Postmaster-General may properly 
be exit; 11 [led. 

In the opinion of that officer it is important to provide means 
whcreb)' t."vceptional dispatch in dealing with letters in free-del iverj' 
ofiiccs may be secured by payment of extraordinary postage. This 
scheme might be made effective by employment of a special stamp 
whose cost should be commensurate with the expense of the extra 

In some of the large cities private express companies have under- 
taken to outstrip the Government niail-carricrs by affording, for the 
prompt iransniission of letters, belter facilities than have hitherto 
been at the command of the Post-Office. 

It has always been the policy of the Government to discourage 
such enterprises, and in no better mode can that policy be main- 


tained than in supplying the public with the most eflficient mail 
service that, with due regard to its own best interests, can be fur- 
nished for its accommodation. 

The Attorney-General renews the recommendation contained in 
his report of last year touching the fees of witnesses and jurors. 

He favors radical changes in the fee bill, the adoption of a system 
by which attorneys and marshals of the United States shall be com- 
pensated solely by salaries, and the erection by the Government of 
a penitentiarv' for the confinement of offenders against its laws. 

Of the varied governmental concerns in charge of the Interior 
Department, the report of its Secretary presents an interesting 
summar>'. Among the topics deserving particular attention I refer 
you to his observations respecting our Indian aflfairs, the pre-emption 
and timber-culture acts, the failure of railroad companies to take 
title to lands granted by the Government, and the operations of the 
Pension Office, the Patent Office, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau 
of Education. 

Allusion has been made already to the circumstance that, both as 
between the different Indian tribes and as between the Indians and 
the whites, the past year has been one of unbroken peace. 

In this circumstance the President is glad to find justification for 
the policy of the Government in its dealing with the Indian ques- 
tion, and confirmation of the views which were fully expressed in 
his first communication to the Forty-seventh Congress. ' 

The Secretary urges anew the enactment of a statute for the 
punishment of crimes committed on the Indian reservations, and 
recommends the passage of the bill now pending in the House of 
Representatives for the purchase of a tract of 18,000 square miles 
from the Sioux reservation. Both these measures are worthy of 

I concur with him also in advising the repeal of the pre-emption 
law, the enactment of statutes resolving the present legal complica- 
tions touching lapsed grants to railroad companies, and the funding 
of the debt of the several Pacific railroads under such guaranty as 
shall effectually secure its ultimate payment. 

The report of the Utah Commission will be read with interest. 


It discloses the results of recent legislation looking to the preven- 
tion and punishment of polygamy in that Territon'. I still believe 
I that if that abominable practice can be suppressed by law it can 
only be by the niost radical legislation consistent with the restraints 
of the Constitution. 

I again recommend, therefore, that Congress assume absolute po- 
litical control of the Territory of Utah, and provide for the appoint- 
ment of commissioners, with such governmental powers as in its 
judgment may justly and wisely be put into their hands. 

I In the course of this communication reference has more thau once 
been made to the policy of this Government as regards the exten- 
sion of our foreign trade. It seems proper to declare the genera! 
principles that should, in my opinion, underlie our national efforts 
in this direction. 

The main conditions of the problem may be thus stated: | 

We are a people apt in mechanical pursuits and fertile in inven- 
tion; we cover a vast extent of territory rich in agricultural prod- 
ucts and in nearly all the raw materials necessary for successful 
manufacture; we have a system of productive establishments more 
than sufficient to supply our own demands; the wages of labor are 
nowhcff dsc so great; the scale of living of our artisan classes is 
such as tends to secure their personal comfort and the develoi>nient 
of those higher moral and intellectual qualities that go to the mak- 
ing of good citizens. Our system of lax and tariff legislation is 
yielding ■■) revenue which is in excess of the present needs of the 

Tlicse are the elements from which it is sought to devise a scheme 
by which, without nnfavuralily changing the condition of the \vork- 
iii,s,nnan, our merchant marine shall be raised from its enfeebled con- 
dition and new markets provided for the sale, beyond our borders, 
of the manifold fruits of our industrial enterprises. 

The jiroblcni is complex, and ean be solved by no single measure 
of innovation or reform. 

The countries of the .\inerican continent and the adjacent islands 
are U'V ilic Tiiited .Stales llu- natural iiiarts of supply and demand. 
Il is Irom llieiu thai we slimild obtain what we do not produce or do 


not produce in sufficiency, and it is to them that the surplus proc^uc- 
tions of our fields, our mills, and our workshops should flow, under 
conditions that will equalize or favor them in comparison with for- 
eign competition. 

Four paths of policy seem to point to this end. 

First, a series of reciprocal commercial treaties with the countries 
of America which shall foster between us and them an unhampered 
movement of trade. The conditions of these treaties should be the 
free admission of such merchandise as this country does not produce, 
in return for the admission free or under a favored scheme of duties, 
of our own products — the benefits of such exchange to apply only to 
goods carried under the flag of the parties to the contract ; the remo- 
val, on both sides, from the vessels so privileged of all tonnage dues 
and national imposts so that those vessels may ply unhindered be- 
tween our ports and those of the other Contracting parties, though 
without infringing on the reserved home coasting trade ; the remo- 
val or reduction of burdens on the exported products of those coun- 
tries coming within the benefits of the treaties ; and the avoidance 
of the technical restrictions and penalties by which our intercourse 
with those countries is at present hampered. 

Secondly, the establishment of the consular service of the United 
States on a salaried footing, thus permitting the relinquishment of 
consular fees not only as respects vessels under the national flag, but 
also as respects vessels of the treaty nations carrying goods entitleS 
to the benefits of the treaties. 

Thirdly, the enactment of measures to favor the construction and 
maintenance of a steam carrying marine under the flag of the United 

Fourthly, the establishment of an uniform currency basis for the 
countries of America, so that the coined products of our mines may 
circulate on equal terms throughout the whole system of common- 
wealths. This would require a monetary union of America, whereby 
the output of the bullion-producing countries and the circulation of 
those which yield neither gold nor silver could be adjusted in con- 
fonnity with the population, wealth, and commercial needs of each. 

As many of the countries furnish no bullion to the common stock, 


the surplus production of our mines and mints might tlins be uti! 
ized and a step taken toward the general remonetization of silver. 

To the accomplishment of these ends, so far as they can be at- 
tained by separate treaties, the negotiations already concluded and 
now in progress liave been directed, and the favor which this en- 
larged policy has thus far received warrants the belief that its oper- 
ations will ere long embrace all, or nearly all, the countries of this 
It is by no means desirable, however, that the policy under con- 
H sideration should be applied to these countries alone. The healthful 
V enlargement of our trade with Europe, Asia, and Africa should be 
sought by reducing tariff burdens on such of their wares as neither 
we nor the other American States are fitted to produce, and thus 
enabling ourselves to obtain in return a better market for our sup- 
plies of food, of raw umteriais, and of the manufactures in which we 

It seems to me that many of the embarrassing elements in the 
great national conflict between protection and free trade may thus 
^_iK turned to good account — that the revenue may be reduced so as 
no longer to overtax the people, that protective duties may be re- 
tained without becoming burdensome, that our shipping interests 
mnv be judiciously encouraged, the currency fixed on firm bases, 
and above all such an unity of interests established among the stales 
of l!ic American system as will be of great and ever increasing ad- 
v:inta;;-e to them ail. 

.Vll treaties in the line of this policy wliieli have been negotiated 
or are in process of negotiation contain a provision deemed to be re- 
quisite under the clause of the Coustitutioii limiting to tlie House of 
Representatives the authority to originate bills for raising revenue. 

On the 29tli uf I"ebruary last I Irausiuitled to the Congress the 
first annual report of the Civil Service Commission, together with 
coinunniicalions from the heads of the several Executive Depart- 
ments of the Governmeul, respecting the practical workings of the 
law under which the Comiiiissioii had been acting. The good re- 
sults therein foreshadowed have been more than realized. 

The svstem has fully answered the expectations of its friends in 


securing competent and faithful public servants and in protecting 
the appointing officers of the Government from the pressure of per- 
sonal importunity and from the labor of examining the claims and 
pretensions of rival candidates for public employment. 

The law has had the unqualified support of the President and of 
the heads of the several Departments, and the members of the Com- 
mission have performed their duties with zeal and fidelity. Their 
report will shortly be submitted, and will be accompanied by such 
recommendations for enlarging the scope of the existing statute as 
shall commend themselves to the Executive and the Commissioners 
charged with its administration. 

In view of the general and persistent demand throughout the 
commercial community for a national bankrupt law, I hope that the 
differences of sentiment which have hitherto prevented its enact- 
ment may not outlast the present session. 

The pestilence which for the past two years has been raging in 
the countries of the East recently made its appearance in European 
ports with which we are in constant communication. 

The then Secretary of the Treasury, in pursuance of a proclama- 
tion of the President, issued certain regulations restricting, and for 
a time prohibiting, the importation of rags and the admission of 
baggage of immigrants and of travelers arriving from infected quar- 
ters. Lest this course may have been without strict warrant of law, 
I approve the recommendation of the present Secretary that the 
Congress take action in the premises, and I also recommend the 
immediate adoption of such measures as will be likely to ward off 
the dreaded epidemic, and to mitigate its severity in case it shall 
unhappily extend to our shores. 

The annual report of the Commissioners of the District of Co- 
lumbia reviews the operations of the several departments of its 
municipal government. I ask your careful consideration of its sug- 
gestions in respect to legislation — especially commending such as 
relate to a revision of the civil and criminal code, the performance 
of labor by persons sentenced to imprisonment in the jail, the con- 
struction and occupation of wharves along the river front, and the 
erection of a suitable building for District offices. 



I recommend that, in recognition of the eminent services of 
Ulysses S. Grant, late General of the Annies of the United States 
and twice President of this nation, the Congress confer upon him a 
suitable pension. 

Certain of the measures that seem to me necessary' and expedient 
I have now, in obedience to the Constitution, recommended for your 

As respects others of no less importance, I shall content myself 
with renewing the recommendations already made to the Congress, 
without restating the grounds upon which such recommendations 
were based. 

The preservation of forests on the public domain, the granting 
of Government aid for popular education, the amendment by the 
Federal Constitution so as to make eflFective the disapproval by the 
President of particular items in appropriation bills, the enactment 
of statutes in regard to the filling of vacancies in the Presidential 
office, and the determining of vexed questions respecting Presiden- 
tial inabilit)- are measures which may justly receive your serious 

As the time draws nigh when I am to retire from the public 
service, I Ciuinut refrain from exprcs.sing" to the members of the 
National Legislature with whom I have been brought into personal 
and official intercourse my sincere appreciation of their unfailing 
courtei^y and of tlieir liarnioiiious co-operation with the Exccuti\e 
ill so many measures calculated lo promote the best interests of the 

And to niv fcliow-cilizens generally I acknowledge a deep sense 
of oblii^.iliou fur the support wliicli lliey have accorded me in inv ad- 
mini-^tnUioii of tin- Ivxecutive Department of this Goveniment. 


\V.\siiin(;tux, Dcc-mbcr i, iSSp 




DECEMBER 9, 1884. 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of the Senate, with a 
view to obtaining its advice thereon and consent thereto, a Conven- 
tion for commercial reciprocity between the United States and the 
Dominican Republic, which was signed in this Capital on the fourth 

This Convention aims to carry out the principles which, as ex- 
plained in my last annual message to the Congress, should, it is 
conceived, control all commercial arrangements entered into with 
our neighbors of the American system with whom trade must be 
conducted by sea. Santo Domingo is the first of the independent 
Republics of the Western Hemisphere with which an engagement 
of this character has been concluded, and the precedent now set will 
command your fullest attention, as affecting like future negotiations. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington^ December g^ 1884,. 








DECEMBER lo, 1884. 



To THE Senate op the United States: 

I transmit herewith, for consideration by the Senate with a view 
to advising and consenting to its ratification, a convention for com- 
mercial reciprocity between the United States and Spain, providing 
for an intimate and favored exchange of products with the islands of 
Cuba and Porto Rico, which convention was signed at Madrid on the 
i8th ultimo. 

The negotiations for this convention have been in progress since 
April last, in pursuance of the understanding reached by the two 
Governments on the 2d of January, 1884, ^^ ^^^ improvement of 
commercial relations between the United States and the Spanish 
Antilles, by the eighth article of which both Governments engaged 
**to begin at once negotiations for a complete treaty of commerce 
and navigation between the United States of America and the said 
provinces of Cuba and Porto Rico." Although this clause was by 
common consent omitted from the substitutionary agreement of Feb- 
ruary 13, 1884 (now in force until replaced by this convention being 
carried into effect), the obligation to enter upon such a negotiation 
was deemed to continue. With the best desire manifest on both 
sides to reach a common accord, the negotiation has been necessarily 
protracted, owing to the complexity of the details to be incorporated 
in order that the convention might respond to the national policy of 
intercourse with the neighboring communities of the American sys- 
tem, which is outlined in my late annual message to the Congress, 
in the following words: 

**The conditions of these treaties should be the free admission of 
such merchandise as this country does not produce, in return for 
the admission free, or under a favored scheme of duties, of our own 
products — the benefits of such exchange to apply only to goods 



carried under the flag of the parties to the contract ; the removal, 
on both sides, from the vessels so privileged of all tonnage dues and 
national imposts so that those vessels may ply unhindered between 
our ports and those of the other contracting parties, though without 
infringing on the reserved home coasting trade; the removal or re- 
duction of burdens on the exported products of those countries com- 
ing within the benefits of the treaties, and the avoidance of the tech- 
nical restrictions and penalties by which our intercourse with those 
countries is at present hampered." 

A pentsal of the convention now submitted will suffice to show 
how fully it carries out the policy of intercourse thus announced. 
I commend it to you in the confident expectation that it will receive 
your sanction. 

It does not seem necessary to my present purpose to enter into 
detailed consideration of the many immediate and prospective ad- 
vantages which will flow from this convention to our productions 
and our shipping interests. ■ 

f Executive Mansion, ^^^B^^^IB^^^^^^B 

IVaskuigton, December lo, 1884. 



DECEMBER lo, 1884. 



To THE Senate of the United States: 

I transmit herewith to the Senate for consideration with a view 
to ratification, a treaty signed on the first of December with the 
Republic of Nicaragua, providing for the construction of an inter- 
oceanic canal across the territory of that State. 

The negotiation of this treaty was entered upon under a convic- 
tion that it was imperatively demanded by the present and future 
political and material interests of the United States. 

The establishment of water communication between the Atlantic 
and Pacific coasts of the Union is a necessity, the accomplishment 
of which, however, within the territory of the United States is a 
physical impossibility. While the enterprise of our citizens has 
responded to the duty of creating means of speedy transit by rail 
between the two oceans, these great achievements are inadequate to 
supply a most important requisite of national union and prosperity. 

For all maritime purposes, the States upon the Pacific are more 
distant from those upon the Atlantic than if separated by either 
ocean alone. Europe and Africa are nearer to New York, and Asia 
nearer to California, than are these two great States to each other 
by sea. Weeks of steam voyage, or months under sail, are con- 
sumed in the passage around the Horn, with the disadvantage of 
traversing tempestuous waters, or risking the navigation of the 
Straits of Magellan. 

A nation like ours cannot rest satisfied with such a separation of 
its mutually dependent members. We possess an ocean border 
of considerably over ten thousand miles on the Atlantic and Gulf of 
Mexico, and, including Alaska, of some ten thousand miles on the 
Pacific. Within a generation the western coast has developed into 
an empire, with a large and rapidly-growing population, with vast 





but partially developed resources. At the present rate of increase, 
the end of the centur>- will see us a commonwealth of perhaps nearly 
one hundred millions of inhahitants, of which the West should have 
a considerably larger and richer proportion than now. Fomiing 
one nation in interests and aims, the East and the West are more 
widely disjoined for all purposes of direct and economical inter- 
course by water, and of national defense against maritime aggres- 
sion, than are most of the colonies of other powers from their 
mother country. 

The problem of establishing such water communication has long 
attracted attention. Mauj' projects have been formed and sur\'eys 
have been made of all possible available routes. As a knowledge of 
the trne topical conditions of the Isthmus was gained, insuperable 
difficulties in one case and another became evident, until by a pro- 
cess of elimination only two routes remained within range of profit- 
able achievement, one by way of Panama, and the other across 

The treaty now laid before you provides for such a waterway, 
jflirough the friendly territory of Nicaragua. 

I invite your special attention to the provisions of the convention 
itself as best evidencing its scope. 

From respect to tlic indepeiulcnt sovcrcignt)- of the Republic, 
tliniui^h wliost co-opt-raliou the project can alone be realized, the 
sti])u]ati<>iis of the treaty look to the fullest recognition and protec- 
tion uf Niearatjiuiu right-; in the premises. Tlie United States liavc 
iio inulive or desire for territorial acquisition or political coiitiol 
beyond their present borders, and nonesuch is contemplated bv this 
treaty. The two CJovorunieuts unite in framing this scheme as the 
sole means by which the wurk, as indispensable to the one as to the 
iilliev, can be acconipli>hed nnder .such circmiistances as to pre\'ent 
alike the possilDilily of conilict between them and of interference 
from ^vi^ 

Tin- canal is jiriniarily ;i domestic means of water coniiuuiiicaticm 
bei\\\eii llii- Allanlic and Pacific shores of the two countries which 
unite for its construction, tlie one contributing the territory and the 
other fniiiishiiii; the money iliercfor. Recognizing the advantages 
wliicli llie world's connnerce ninst derive from the work, appreci- 


ating the benefit of enlarged use to the canal itself by contributing 
to its maintenance and by yielding an interest return on the capital 
invested therein, and inspired by the belief that any great enterprise 
which inures to the general benefit of the world is in some sort a 
trust for the common advancement of mankind, the two Govern- 
ments have by this treaty provided for its peaceable use by all na- 
tions on equal terms, while reserving to the coasting trade of both 
countries (in which none but the contracting parties are interested) 
the privilege of favoring tolls. 

T^he treaty provides for the construction of a railway and tele- 
graph line, if deemed advisable, as accessories to the canal, as both 
may be necessary for the economical construction of the work and 
probably in its operation whe;n completed. 

The terms of the treaty as to the protection of the canal, while 
scrupulously confirming the sovereignty of Nicaragua, amply secure 
that State and the work itself from possible contingencies of the 
future which it may not be within the sole power of Nicaragua to 

From a purely commercial point of view the completion of such 
a waterway opens a most favorable prospect for the future of our 
countr>'. The nations of the Pacific coast of South America will, 
by its means, be brought into close connection with our Gulf States. 
The relation of those American countries to the United States is 
that of a natural market, from which the want of direct communi- 
cation has hitherto practically excluded us. By piercing the Isth- 
mus, the heretofore inseparable obstacles of time and sea distance 
disappear, and our vessels and productions will enter upon the 
world's competitive field with a decided advantage of which they 
will avail themselves. 

When to this is joined the large coasting trade between the 
Atlantic and Pacific States which must necessarily spring up, it 
is evident that this canal affords, even alone, an efficient means of 
restoring our flag to its fonner place on the seas. 

Such a domestic coasting trade would arise immediately, for even 

the fishing vessels of both seaboards, which now lie idle in the winter 

months, could then profitably carr>' goods between the Eastern and 

the Western States. 


The political effect of the canal will be to knit closer the States 
now depending upon railway corporations for all commercial and 
personal intercourse, and it will not only cheapen the cost of trans- 
portation but will free individuals from the possibility of unjust dis- 

It will bring the European grain markets of demand within easy 
distance of our Pacific States, and will give to the manufacturers on 
tlie Atlantic seaboard economical access to the cities of China, thus 
breaking down the barrier which separates the principal manufact- 
uring centers of the United States from tlie markets of the vast 
population of Asia, and placing tlic Eastern States of the Union for 
all purposes of trade midway between Europe and Asia. In point 
of time the gain for sailing vessels would be great, amounting from 
New York to Sau Francisco to a saving of seventy-five days, to Hong- 
Kong of twenty-seven daj'S, to Shanghai of thirty-four days, and to 
Callao of fifty-two days. 

Lake Nicaragua is about 90 miles long and 40 mites in greatest 
width; the water is fresh and affords abundant depth for vessels of 
■the deepest diauglit. Several islands give facilities for establishing 
co^iHng stations, Mlpplv depots, harbors, and places for ri.'pair'i. The 
advaiita^^t- of this vast inland harbor is evident, 

Tlu- l.iki.' is J JO fill :il>o\i,' lidc-watcr. Six locks, or five iutcrme 
iliaii- kvt I,-, ari' r<.i|iiiri,il for the I'acific end of the canal. On the 
Ailaiuii,- --idf lull Tivi- locks, (ir iVmr iiilfnuL'diate levels, are proposed. 
'1'Irm-' lock^. woulil, ill practici.'. nonioro limit the number of vessels 
pa.-siii;^ Unon^li llic faiial than would iIr- shv^h- tide-lock on the 
Tacilk' iiid, which i-- ii<.>.x-.>ar\' l<. any l^wu or sca-kvvi route. 

,V\ciiiiTii and a li.ilf niik-s nf ^aiial lie ht-twcoii the Pacific and 
tlR- lakr, 'riir di-.lauci. aLio^s llic lake is 56 miles, and a dam at 
ihi- iii.iaiii n!" i1r- San Ca,iln> la irihularv of the San Juan), raising 
tlu- w.iU-r U-vl1 \'j fra, ].racliL-ally extends tlic lake 63 miles to that 
pi,inL ]i\ a clianiie! fiuiii <,!>•> to i.2i«t feel wide, with an alnindant 
<ki>th nf water. 

l-'roiii ihe iiinnih of ihe San Cario.s (where the canal will leave 
Ihe vSaii Jiiaii) to Uk' liarkor of Cievlowii the distance is 36 miles, 
wJiieii it i~- liuped ni.n I'v new ■iiii-\-e\s be sJiorlcncd 10 miles. 

The lotal c.iiial e.xe.ivaliuii would lhn> Ik- from 43;:^ to 53 Ij miles. 


and the lake and river navigation, amounting to 119 miles by the 
present survey, would be somewhat increased if the new surveys 
are successful. 

From New York to San Francisco by this route, for sailing ves- 
sels, the time is ten days shorter than by the Panama route. 

The purely pecuniary prospects of the canal as an investment are 
subordinate to the great national benefits to accrue from it; but it 
seems evident that the work, great as its cost may appear, will be a 
measure of prudent economy and foresight if undertaken simply to 
afford our own vessels a free waterway, for its far-reaching results 
will, even within a few years in the life of a nation, amply repay 
the expenditure by the increase of national prosperity. Further, 
the canal would unquestionably be immediately remunerative. It 
offers a shorter sea voyage with more continuously favoring winds 
between the Atlantic ports of America and Europe and the coun- 
tries of the east than any other practicable route; and with lower 
tolls, by reason of its lesser cost, the Nicaragua route must be the 
interoceanic highway for the bulk of the world's trade between 
the Atlantic and the Pacific. 

So strong is this consideration that it offers an abundant guarantee 
for the investment to be made, as well as for the speedy payment of 
the loan of four millions which the treaty stipulates shall be made 
to Nicaragua for the construction of internal improvements to serve 
as aids to the business of the canal. 

I might suggest many other considerations in detail, but it seems 
unnecessary' to do so. Enough has been said to more than justify 
the practical utility of the measure. I therefore commit it to the 
Congress in the confident expectation that it will receive approval, 
and that by appropriate legislation means may be provided for in- 
augurating the work without delay after the treaty shall have been 

In conclusion, I urge the justice of recognizing the aid which has 
recently been rendered in this matter by some of our citizens. The 
efforts of certain gentlemen connected with the American company 
which received the concession from Nicaragua (now terminated and 
replaced by this international compact) accomplished much of the 
preliminary labors leading to the conclusion of the treaty. 

You may liave occasion to examine the matter of their services, 
when such further information as you may desire will be furnished 

I may add that the canal can be constructed by the able Engineer 
Corps of our Army, under their thorough system, cheaper and better 
than any work of such magnitude can in any other way be built, 
Executive Mansion, 

IfasAifigton, December lo, i88f. 




DECEMBER i6, 1884. 



In the name of the people of the Republic, I congratulate the citi- 
zens of the Southwest in their advancing prosperity as manifested 
by the great International Exposition now about to open. 

The interest of the nation in that section of our commonwealth 
has found expression in many ways and notably in appropriations 
for the improvement of the Mississippi and in the national loan to 
promote the present Exposition. 

Situated as it is, at the gateway of the trade between the United 
States and Central and South America, it will attract the attention 
of the people of the neighboring nations of the American system 
and they will learn the importance of availing themselves of our 
products as we will of theirs, and thus, not only good feeling but a 
profitable intercourse between the United States, the States of Cen- 
tral and South America, will be promoted. 

The people also of our own country, thus brought closer together, 
will find, in this Exposition of competitive industries, motives for 
strengthening the bonds of brotherhood. 

Railroads, telegraph lines, and submarine cables have drawn much 
nearer the nations of the earth, and an assembly like this of the rep- 
resentatives of diflferent nations is promotive of good- will and peace, 
while it advances the material welfare of all. The United States 
extend, to those from foreign countries who visit us on this occa- 
sion, a cordial welcome. 

And now, at the Executive Mansion in Washington, in the pres- 
ence of the assembled representatives of the friendly nations of the 
world, of the President of the Senate, of the Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the 
Supreme Court, of a Committee from each House of Congress and 
of the Members of my Cabinet, I again, and in th^,ir name, congrat- 



ulate the promoters of the" Exposition upon the auspicious inaugu- 
ration of an enterprise which promises such far-reaching results. 

With my best wishes for the fulfilhneut of all its great purposes, 
1 now declare that the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial 
, Exposition is open. 

ExECUTi\'K Mansion. 

iVaikingiorty December 16, 1884. 




FEBRUARY 3, 1885. 



To THE Senate: 

I take especial pleasure in laying before Congress the generous 
oflFer made by Mrs. Grant to give to the Government, in perpetual 
trust, the swords and military and civil testimonials lately belonging 
to General Grant. A copy of the deed of trust, and of a letter ad- 
dressed to me by Mr. William H. Vanderbilt, which I transmit 
herewith, will explain the nature and motives of this offer. 

Appreciation of General Grant's achievements and recognition of 
his just fame have in part taken the shape of numerous mementos 
and gifts, which, while dear to him, possess for the nation an ex- 
ceptional interest. These relics, of great historical value, have 
passed into the hands of another whose considerate action has re- 
stored the collection to Mrs. Grant as a life trust, on the condition 
that at the death of General Grant, or sooner at Mrs. Grant's option, 
it should become the property of the Government, as set forth in the 
accompanying papers. In the exercise of the option thus given her, 
Mrs. Grant elects that the trust shall forthwith determine, and asks 
that the Government designate a suitable place of deposit and a re- 
sponsible custodian for the collection. 

The nature of this gift and the value of the relics which the gen- 
erosity of a private citizen, joined to the high sense of public regard 
which animates Mrs. Grant, have thus placed at the disposal of the 
Government, demand full and signal recognition, on behalf of the 
nation, at the hands of its representatives. I therefore ask Congress 
to take suitable action to accept the trust and to provide for its secure 
custody, at the same time recording the appreciative gratitude of the 
people of the United States to the donors. 

In this connection, I may pertinently advert to the pending legis- 
lation of the Senate and House of Representatives, looking to a 



national recognition of General Grant's eminent services by pro- 
viding the means for his restoration to the Army on the retired list. 
That Congress, by taking such action, will gi\'e expression to the 
almost universal desire of the people of this nation, is evident, and 
I earnestly urge the passage of au act similar to Senate bill Ko, 
2530, which, while not interfering with the Constitutional prerog- 
ative of appointment, will enable the President in his discretion to 
nominate General Grant as General upon the retired list. 

Executive Mansion, 

February j, 188^. 





FEBRUARY ii, 1885. 



To THE Senate and House of Representatives: 

In compliance with the act of Congress approved January i6, 1883, 
entitled * * An act to regulate and improve the civil service of the 
United States," the Civil Service Commission has made to the Pres- 
ident its second annual report. 

That report is herewith transmitted. 

The Commission is in the second year of its existence. The 

President congratulates the country upon the success of its labors, 

commends the subject to the favorable consideration of Congress, 

and asks for an appropriation to continue the work. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington^ February 11^ 1885. 



11. , 

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