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to color or race. I feel well assured that it will be better to trust the rights, privileges, and immunities of the citizen to tribunals thus established, and presided over by competent and impartial judges, bound by fixed rules of law and evidence, and where the right of trial by jury is guaranteed and secured, than to the caprice or judgment of an officer of the Bureau, who it is possible may be entirely ignorant of the principles that underlie the just administration of the law. There is danger, too, that conflict of jurisdiction will frequently arise between the civil courts and these military tribunals, each having concurrent jurisdiction over the person and the cause of action—the one judicature administered and controlled by civil law, the other by the military. How is the conflict to be settled, and who is to determine between the two tribunals when it arises? In my opinion, it is wise to guard against such conflict by leaving to the courts and juries the protection of all civil rights and the redress of all civil grievances.

The fact can not be denied that since the actual cessation of hostilities many acts of violence, such, perhaps, as had never been witnessed in their previous history, have occurred in the States involved in the recent rebellion. I believe, however, that public sentiment will sustain me in the assertion that such deeds of wrong are not confined to any particular State or section, but are manifested over the entire country, demonstrating that the cause that produced them does not depend upon any particular locality, but is the result of the agitation and derangement incident to a long and bloody civil war. While the prevalence of such disorders must be greatly deplored, their occasional and temporary occurrence would seem to furnish no necessity for the extension of the Bureau beyond the period fixed in the original act.

Besides the objections which I have thus briefly stated, I may urge upon your consideration the additional reason that recent developments in regard to the practical operations of the Bureau in many of the States show that in numerous instances it is used by its agents as a means of promoting their individual advantage, and that the freedmen are employed for the advancement of the personal ends of the officers instead of their own improvement and welfare, thus confirming the fears originally entertained by many that the continuation of such a Bureau for any unnecessary length of time would inevitably result in fraud, corruption, and oppression. It is proper to state that in cases of this character investigations have been promptly ordered, and the offender punished whenever his guilt has been satisfactorily established.

As another reason against the necessity of the legislation contemplated by this measure, reference may be had to the "civil-rights bill,” now a law of the land, and which will be faithfully executed so long as it shall remain unrepealed and may not be declared unconstitutional by courts of competent jurisdiction. By that act it is enacted

That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;

and such citizens, of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall have the same right in every State and Territory in the United States to make and enforce contracts; to sue, be parties, and give evidence; to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties, and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.

By the provisions of the act full protection is afforded through the district courts of the United States to all persons injured, and whose privileges, as thus declared, are in any way impaired; and heavy penalties are denounced against the person who willfully violates the law. I need not state that that law did not receive my approval; yet its remedies are far more preferable than those proposed in the present bill—the one being civil and the other military.

By the sixth section of the bill herewith returned certain proceedings by which the lands in the "parishes of St. Helena and St. Luke, South Carolina," were sold and bid in, and afterwards disposed of by the tax commissioners, are ratified and confirmed. By the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh sections provisions by law are made for the disposal of the lands thus acquired to a particular class of citizens. While the quieting of titles is deemed very important and desirable, the discrimination made in the bill seems objectionable, as does also the attempt to confer upon the commissioners judicial powers by which citizens of the United States are to be deprived of their property in a mode contrary to that provision of the Constitution which declares that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." As a general principle, such legislation is unsafe, unwise, partial, and unconstitutional. It may deprive persons of their property who are equally deserving objects of the nation's bounty as those whom by this legislation Congress seeks to benefit. The title to the land thus to be portioned out to a favored class of citizens must depend upon the regularity of the tax sales under the law as it existed at the time of the sale, and no subsequent legislation can give validity to the right thus acquired as against the original claimants. The attention of Congress is therefore invited to a more mature consideration of the measures proposed in these sections of the bill.

In conclusion I again urge upon Congress the danger of class legislation, so well calculated to keep the public mind in a state of uncertain expectation, disquiet, and restlessness and to encourage interested hopes and fears that the National Government will continue to furnish to classes of citizens in the several States means for support and maintenance regardless of whether they pursue a life of indolence or of labor, and regardless also of the constitutional limitations of the national authority in times of peace and tranquillity.

The bill is herewith returned to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, for its final action.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 28, 1866.

To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return, without my approval, the bill entitled "An act erecting the Territory of Montana into a surveying district, and for other purposes."

The bill contains four sections, the first of which erects the Territory into a surveying district and authorizes the appointment of a surveyorgeneral; the second constitutes the Territory a land district; the third. authorizes the appointment of a register and receiver for said district; and the fourth requires the surveyor-general to

select and survey eighteen alternate odd sections of nonmineral timber lands within said district for the New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company, incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, which lands the said company shall have immediate possession of on the payment of $1.25 per acre, and shall have a patent for the same whenever, within two years after their selection, they shall have furnished evidence satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior that they have erected and have in operation on the said lands iron works with a capacity for manufacturing 1,500 tons of iron per annum: Provided, That the said lands shall revert to the United States in case the above-mentioned iron works be not erected within the specified time: And provided, That until the title to the said lands shall have been perfected the timber shall not be cut off from more than one section of the said lands.

To confer the special privileges specified in this fourth section appears to be the chief object of the bill, the provisions of which are subject to some of the most important objections that induced me to return to the Senate with my disapproval the bill entitled "An act to enable the New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company to purchase a certain amount of the public lands not now in market." That bill authorized the same corporation to select and survey in the Territory of Montana, in square form, twenty-one sections of land, three of which might contain coal and iron ore, for which the minimum rate of $1.25 per acre was to be paid. The present bill omits these sections of mineral lands, and directs the surveyor-general to select and survey the timber lands; but it contains the objectionable feature of granting to a private mining and manufacturing corporation exclusive rights and privileges in the public domain which are by law denied to individuals. The first choice of timber land in the Territory is bestowed upon a corporation foreign to the Territory and over which Congress has no control. The surveyor-general of the district, a public officer who should have no connection with any purchase of public land, is made the agent of the corporation to select the land, the selections to be made in the absence of all competition; and over 11,000 acres are bestowed at the lowest price of public lands. It is by

no means certain that the substitution of alternate sections for the compact body of lands contemplated by the other bill is any less injurious to the public interest, for alternate sections stripped of timber are not likely to enhance the value of those reserved by the Government. Be this as it may, this bill bestows a large monopoly of public lands without adequate consideration; confers a right and privilege in quantity equivalent to seventy-two preemption rights; introduces a dangerous system of privileges to private trading corporations; and is an unjust discrimination in favor of traders and speculators against individual settlers and pioneers who are seeking homes and improving our Western Territories. Such a departure from the long-established, wise, and just policy which has heretofore governed the disposition of the public funds [lands] can not receive my sanction. The objections enumerated apply to the fourth section of the bill. The first, second, and third sections, providing for the appointment of a surveyor-general, register, and receiver, are unobjectionable if any necessity requires the creation of these offices and the additional expenses of a new surveying land district. But they appear in this instance to be only needed as a part of the machinery to enable the "New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company" to secure these privileges; for I am informed by the proper Department, in a communication hereto annexed, that there is no public necessity for a surveyorgeneral, register, or receiver in Montana Territory, since it forms part of an existing surveying and land district, wherein the public business is, under present laws, transacted with adequate facility, so that the provisions of the first, second, and third sections would occasion needless expense to the General Government.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

PROCLAMATIONS.

ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

To all whom it may concern:

An exequatur, bearing date the 13th day of October, 1864, having been issued to Esteban Rogers, recognizing him as consul ad interim of the Republic of Chile for the port of New York and its dependencies and declaring him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as are allowed to consuls by the law of nations or by the laws of the United States and existing treaty stipulations between the Government of Chile and the United States; but as it is deemed advisable that the said Esteban Rogers should no longer be permitted to continue in the exercise of said functions, powers, and privileges:

These are therefore to declare that I no longer recognize the said

Esteban Rogers as consul ad interim of the Republic of Chile for the port of New York and its dependencies and will not permit him to exercise or enjoy any of the functions, powers, or privileges allowed to a consular officer of that nation; and that I do hereby wholly revoke and annul the said exequatur heretofore given and do declare the same to be absolutely null and void from this day forward.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and the seal of the United States of America to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at Washington, this 12th day of February, A. D. 1866, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninetieth.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:

[SEAL.]

WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

To all whom it may concern:

An exequatur, bearing date the 7th day of October, 1864, having been issued to Claudius Edward Habicht, recognizing him as consul of Sweden and Norway at New York and declaring him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as are allowed to consuls by the law of nations or by the laws of the United States and existing treaty stipulations between the Government of Sweden and Norway and the United States; but as it is deemed advisable that the said Claudius Edward Habicht should no longer be permitted to continue in the exercise of said functions, powers, and privileges:

These are therefore to declare that I no longer recognize the said Claudius Edward Habicht as consul of Sweden and Norway at New York and will not permit him to exercise or enjoy any of the functions, powers, or privileges allowed to a consular officer of that nation; and that I do hereby wholly revoke and annul the said exequatur heretofore given and do declare the same to be absolutely null and void from this day forward.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and the seal of the United States of America to be hereunto affixed.

Secretary of State.

Given under my hand, at Washington, the 26th day of March, A. D. 1866, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninetieth.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State.

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