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WASHINGTON, July 17, 1866.

To the House of Representatives:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of yesterday, requesting information relative to proposed international movements in connection with the Paris Universal Exposition for the reform of systems of coinage, weights, and measures, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, July 17, 1866.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I herewith transmit to Congress a report, dated 12th instant, with the accompanying papers, received from the Secretary of State, in compliance with the requirements of the eighteenth section of the act entitled "An act to regulate the diplomatic and consular systems of the United States," approved August 18, 1856. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, July 20, 1866.

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, certain articles of agreement made at the Delaware Agency, Kans., on the 4th instant between the United States and the Delaware Indians.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, July 20, 1866.

To the Senate:

I herewith submit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a treaty negotiated at the city of Washington, D. C., on the 19th instant, between the United States, represented by Dennis N. Cooley, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Elijah Sells, superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern superintendency, and the Cherokee Nation of Indians, represented by its delegates, James McDaniel, Smith Christie, White Catcher, L. H. Benge, J. B. Jones, and Daniel H. Ross.

The distracted condition of the Cherokee Nation and the peculiar relation of many of its members to this Government during the rebellion presented almost insuperable difficulties to treating with them. The treaty now submitted is a result of protracted negotiations. Its stipulations are, it is believed, as satisfactory to the contracting parties and furnish as just provisions for the welfare of the Indians and as strong guaranties for the maintenance of peaceful relations with them as under the circumstances could be expected.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 24, 1866.

To the Senate of the United States:

I hereby transmit, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a treaty concluded on the 15th of November, 1865, between the United States and the confederate tribes and bands of Indians of middle Oregon, the same being amendatory and supplemental to the treaty with said Indians of the 25th of June, 1855. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 24, 1866.

To the House of Representatives:

The following "Joint resolution, restoring Tennessee to her relations in the Union," was last evening presented for my approval:

Whereas in the year 1861 the government of the State of Tennessee was seized upon and taken possession of by persons in hostility to the United States, and the inhabitants of said State, in pursuance of an act of Congress, were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the United States; and

Whereas said State government can only be restored to its former political relations in the Union by the consent of the lawmaking power of the United States; and

Whereas the people of said State did, on the 22d day of February, 1865, by a large popular vote, adopt and ratify a constitution of government whereby slavery was abolished and all ordinances and laws of secession and debts contracted under the same were declared void; and

Whereas a State government has been organized under said constitution which has ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery, also the amendment proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress, and has done other acts proclaiming and denoting loyalty: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That the State of Tennessee is hereby restored to her former proper practical relations to the Union, and is again entitled to be represented by Senators and Representatives in Congress.

The preamble simply consists of statements, some of which are assumed, while the resolution is merely a declaration of opinion. It comprises no legislation, nor does it confer any power which is binding upon the respective Houses, the Executive, or the States. It does not admit to their seats in Congress the Senators and Representatives from the State of Tennessee, for, notwithstanding the passage of the resolution, each House, in the exercise of the constitutional right to judge for itself of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members, may, at its discretion, admit them or continue to exclude them. If a joint resolution of this kind were necessary and binding as a condition precedent to the admission of members of Congress, it would happen, in the event of a veto by the Executive, that Senators and Representatives could only be admitted to the halls of legislation by a two-thirds vote of each of the Houses.

Among other reasons recited in the preamble for the declaration contained in the resolution is the ratification by the State government of Tennessee of "the amendment to the Constitution of the United States

abolishing slavery, also the amendment proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress." If, as is also declared in the preamble, "said State government can only be restored to its former political relations in the Union by the consent of the lawmaking power of the United States," it would really seem to follow that the joint resolution which at this late day has received the sanction of Congress should have been passed, approved, and placed on the statute books before any amendment to the Constitution was submitted to the legislature of Tennessee for ratification. Otherwise the inference is plainly deducible that while, in the opinion of Congress, the people of a State may be too strongly disloyal to be entitled to representation, they may nevertheless, during the suspension of their "former proper practical relations to the Union," have an equally potent voice with other and loyal States in propositions to amend the Constitution, upon which so essentially depend the stability, prosperity, and very existence of the nation.

A brief reference to my annual message of the 4th of December last will show the steps taken by the Executive for the restoration to their constitutional relations to the Union of the States that had been affected by the rebellion. Upon the cessation of active hostilities provisional governors were appointed, conventions called, governors elected by the people, legislatures assembled, and Senators and Representatives chosen to the Congress of the United States. At the same time the courts of the United States were reopened, the blockade removed, the custom-houses reestablished, and postal operations resumed. The amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery forever within the limits of the country was also submitted to the States, and they were thus invited to and did participate in its ratification, thus exercising the highest functions pertaining to a State. In addition nearly all of these States, through their conventions and legislatures, had adopted and ratified constitutions "of government whereby slavery was abolished and all ordinances and laws of secession and debts contracted under the same were declared void.” So far, then, the political existence of the States and their relations to the Federal Government had been fully and completely recognized and acknowledged by the executive department of the Government; and the completion of the work of restoration, which had progressed so favorably, was submitted to Congress, upon which devolved all questions pertaining to the admission to their seats of the Senators and Representatives chosen from the States whose people had engaged in the rebellion.

All these steps had been taken when, on the 4th day of December, 1865, the Thirty-ninth Congress assembled. Nearly eight months have elapsed since that time; and no other plan of restoration having been proposed by Congress for the measures instituted by the Executive, it is now declared, in the joint resolution submitted for my approval, “that the State of Tennessee is hereby restored to her former proper practical relations to the Union, and is again entitled to be represented by Senators

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and Representatives in Congress." Thus, after the lapse of nearly eight months, Congress proposes to pave the way to the admission to representation of one of the eleven States whose people arrayed themselves in rebellion against the constitutional authority of the Federal Government.

Earnestly desiring to remove every cause of further delay, whether real or imaginary, on the part of Congress to the admission to seats of loyal Senators and Representatives from the State of Tennessee, I have, notwithstanding the anomalous character of this proceeding, affixed my signature to the resolution. My approval, however, is not to be construed as an acknowledgment of the right of Congress to pass laws preliminary to the admission of duly qualified Representatives from any of the States. Neither is it to be considered as committing me to all the statements made in the preamble, some of which are, in my opinion, without foundation in fact, especially the assertion that the State of Tennessee has ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United States proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress. No official notice of such ratification has been received by the Executive or filed in the Department of State; on the contrary, unofficial information from the most reliable sources induces the belief that the amendment has not yet been constitutionally sanctioned by the legislature of Tennessee. The right of each House under the Constitution to judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members is undoubted, and my approval or disapproval of the resolution could not in the slightest degree increase or diminish the authority in this respect conferred upon the two branches of Congress.

In conclusion I can not too earnestly repeat my recommendation for the admission of Tennessee, and all other States, to a fair and equal participation in national legislation when they present themselves in the persons of loyal Senators and Representatives who can comply with all the requirements of the Constitution and the laws. By this means harmony and reconciliation will be effected, the practical relations of all the States to the Federal Government reestablished, and the work of restoration, inaugurated upon the termination of the war, successfully completed. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, July 25, 1866.

To the Senate of the United States:

I nominate Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant to be General of the Army of the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON,

WASHINGTON, July 26, 1866.

To the House of Representatives:

In answer to two resolutions of the House of Representatives of the 23d instant, in the following words, respectively

Resolved, That the House of Representatives respectfully request the President of

the United States to urge upon the Canadian authorities, and also the British Government, the release of the Fenian prisoners recently captured in Canada;

Resolved, That this House respectfully request the President to cause the prosecutions instituted in the United States courts against the Fenians to be discontinued, if compatible with the public interest

I transmit a report on the subject from the Secretary of State, together with the documents which accompany it.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

VETO MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, February 19, 1866.

To the Senate of the United States:

I have examined with care the bill, which originated in the Senate and has been passed by the two Houses of Congress, to amend an act entitled "An act to establish a bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees," and for other purposes. Having with much regret come to the conclusion that it would not be consistent with the public welfare to give my approval to the measure, I return the bill to the Senate with my objections to its becoming a law.

I might call to mind in advance of these objections that there is no immediate necessity for the proposed measure. The act to establish a bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees, which was approved in the month of March last, has not yet expired. It was thought stringent and extensive enough for the purpose in view in time of war. Before it ceases to have effect further experience may assist to guide us to a wise conclusion as to the policy to be adopted in time of peace.

I share with Congress the strongest desire to secure to the freedmen the full enjoyment of their freedom and property and their entire independence and equality in making contracts for their labor, but the bill before me contains provisions which in my opinion are not warranted by the Constitution and are not well suited to accomplish the end in view.

The bill proposes to establish by authority of Congress military jurisdiction over all parts of the United States containing refugees and freedmen. It would by its very nature apply with most force to those parts of the United States in which the freedmen most abound, and it expressly extends the existing temporary jurisdiction of the Freedmen's Bureau, with greatly enlarged powers, over those States "in which the ordinary course of judicial proceedings has been interrupted by the rebellion." The source from which this military jurisdiction is to emanate is none other than the President of the United States, acting through the War Department and the Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. The agents to carry out this military jurisdiction are to be selected either from the Army or from civil

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