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of approving or disapproving of alllegislative action of the Territory; and the Executive should, with "the advice and consent of the Senate," have the power to appoint the Governor and judicial officers (and possibly some others) of the Territory.
This is the first indication of the aborigines desiring to adopt our form of government, and it is highly desirable that they become self-sustaining, self-relying, christianized, and civilized. If successful in this their first attempt at territorial government, we may hope for a gradual concentration of other Indians in the new Territory. I therefore recommend as close an adherence to their wishes as is consistent with safety.
It might be well to limit the appointment of all territorial officials appointed by the Executive to native citizens of the Territory. If any exception is made to this rule, I would recommend that it should be limited to the judiciary.
It is confidently hoped that the policy now being pursued toward the Indian will fit him for self-government, and make him desire to settle among people of his own race, where he can enjoy the full privileges of civil and enlightened government.
U. S. Grant.
Relative to the Union of the States of Germany, February 1,1871.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The union of the States of Germany into a form of government similar in many respects to that of the American Union is an event that cannot fail to touch deeply the sympathies of the people of the United States.
This union has been brought about by the long-continued, persistent efforts of the people, with the deliberate approval of the governments and people of twenty-four of the German States, through their regularly-constituted representatives.
In it the American people see an attempt to reproduce in Europe some of the best features of our own Constitution, with such modifications as the history and condition of Germany seem to require. The local governments of the several members of the union are preserved, while the powers conferred upon the chief impart strength for the purposes of selfdefense, without authority to enter upon wars of conquest and ambition.
The cherished aspiration for national unity, which for ages has inspired the many millions of people speaking the same language, inhabiting a contiguous and compact territory, but unnaturally separated and divided by dynastic jealousies and the ambition of short-sighted rulers, has been attained j and Germany now contains a population of about thirty-four millions, united, like our own, under one Government for its relations with other Powers, but retaining in its several members the right and power of control of their local interests, habits, and instructions.
The bringing of great masses of thoughtful
and free people under a single Government must tend to make Governments what alone they should be, the representatives of the will and the organization of the power of the people.
The adoption in Europe of the American system of union, under the control and direction of a free people, educated to self-restraint, cannot fail to extend popular institutions and to enlarge the peaceful influence of American ideas.
The relations of the United States with Germany are intimate and cordial; the commercial intercourse between the two countries is extensive, and is increasing from year to year; and the large number of citizens and residents in the United States of German extraction, and the continued flow of emigration thence to this country, have produced an intimacy of personal and political intercourse approaching, if not equal, to that with the country from which the founders of our Government derived their origin.
The extent of these interests, and the greatness of the German union, seem to require that in the classification of the representatives of this Government to foreign Powers there should no longer be an apparent undervaluation of the importance of the German mission, such as is made in the difference between the compensation allowed by law to the minister to Germany and those to Great Britain and France. There would seem to be a great propriety in placing the representative of this Government at Berlin on the same footing with that of its representatives at London and Paris. The union of the several States of Germany under one Government, and the increasing commercial and personal intercourse between the two countries, will also add to the labors and the responsibilities of the legation.
I therefore recommend that the salaries of the minister and of the secretary of legation at Berlin be respectively increased to the same amounts as are allowed to those at London and at Paris. U. S. Grant.
On the Test-Oath, February 15,1871.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I have this day transmitted to the Senate the announcement that Senate bill No. 218, u An act prescribing an oath of office to betaken by persons who participated in the late rebellion, but who are not disqualified from holding office by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States," has become a law in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, without the signature of the President.
If this were a bill for the repeal of the "test oath" required of persons " elected or appointed to offices of honor or trust," it would meet my approval. The effect of the law, however, is to relieve from taking a prescribed oath all those persons whom it was intended to exclude from such offices, and to require it from all others. By this law the soldier who fought and bled for his country is
GRANT S SPECIAL MESSAGES.
to swear to his loyalty before assuming official functions, while the general who commanded hosts for the overthrow of his Government is admitted to place without it. I cannot affix my name to a law which discriminates against the upholder of his Government.
[believe, however, that itisnot wise policy to keep from office by an oath those who are not disqualified by the Constitution and who are .'''th« choice of legal voters; but, while relieving them from an oath which they cannot take, I recommend the release also of those to whom the oath has no application.
U. S. Grant.
Oil the Condition of the lately Insurrectionary States, March 23,1871.
To the Senate and House of Representatives: A condition of affairs now exists in some States of the Union rendering life and property insecure and the carrying of the mails and the collection of the revenue dangerous. The proof that such a condition of affairs exists in some localities is now before the Senate. That the power to correct these evils is beyond the control of the State authorities 1 do not doubt; that the power of the Executive of the' United States, acting within the limits of existing laws, is sufficient for present emergencies, is not clear. Therefore, I urgently recommend such legislation as in the judgment of Congress shall effectually secure life, liberty, and property, and the enforcement of law in all parts of the United States. It may be expedient to provide that such law as shall be passed in pursuance of this recommendation shall expire at the end of the next session of Congress. There is no other subject upon which I would recommend legislation during the present Congress.
U. S. Grant.
Transmitting the Report of the Commissioners appointed to Visit San Domingo, April 5,1871.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I have/the honor to submit herewith to the two Houses of Congress the report of the commissioners appointed in pursuance of joint resolution approved January 12, 1871.
It will be observed that this report more than sustains all that I have heretofore said in regard to the productiveness and healthfulness of the republic of San Domingo, of the unanimity of the people for annexation to the United States, and of their peaceable character.
It is due to the public, as it certainly is to myself, that I should here give all the circumstances which first led to the negotiation of a treaty for the annexation of the republic of San Domingo to the United States.
When I accepted the arduous and responsible position which I now hold, I did not dream of instituting any steps for the acquisition of insular possessions. I believed, however, that our institutions were broad enough to
extend over the entire continent as rapidly as other peoples might desire to bring themselves under our protection. 1 believed further that weshould not permit any independent Government within the limits of North America to pass from a condition of independence to one of ownership or protection under a European Power.
Soon after my inauguration as President, I was waited upon by an agent of President Baez with a proposition to annex the republic of San Domingo to the United States. This gentleman represented the capacity of the island, the desire of the people, and their character and habits, about as they have been described by the commissioners, whose report accompanies this message. He stated further that, being weak in numbers and poor in purse, they were not capable of developing their great resources; that the people had no incentive to industry on account of lack of protection for their accumulations; and that, if not accepted by the United States—with institutions which they loved above those of any other nation—they would be compelled to seek protection elsewhere. To these statements I made no reply, and gave no indication of what I thought of the proposition. In the course of time I was waited upon by a second gentleman from San Domingo, who made the same representations, and who was received in like manner.
In view of the facts which had been laid before me, and with an earnest desire to maintain the "Monroe doctrine," I believed that I would be derelict in my duty if I did not take measures to ascertain the exact wish of the Government and inhabitants of the republic of San Domingo in regard to annexation, and communicate the information to the people of the United States. Under the attending circumstances I felt that if I turned a deaf ear to this appeal I might, in the future, be justly charged with a flagrant neglect of the public interests and an utter disregard of the welfare of a downtrodden race praying for the blessings of a free and strong Government, and for protection in the enjoyment of the fruits of their own industry.
Those opponents of annexation who have heretofore professed to be preeminently the friends of the rights of man I believed would be my most violent assailants if I neglected so clear a duty. Accordingly, after having appointed a commissioner to visit the island, who declined on account of sickness, I selected a second gentleman, in whose capacity, judgment, and integrity I had, and have yet, the most unbounded confidence.
He visited San Domingo, not to secure or hasten annexation, but, unprejudiced and unbiased, to learn all the facts about the Government, the people, and the resources of that republic. He went certainly as well prepared to make an unfavorable report as a favorable one, if the facts warranted it. His report fully corroborated the views of previous commissioners, and upon its receipt I felt that a sense of duty and a due regard for our great national interests required me to negotiate a treaty for the acquisition of the republic of San Domingo.
As soon as it became publicly known that such a treaty had been negotiated, the attention of the country was occupied wir.h allegations calculated to prejudice the merits of the case, and with aspersions upon those whose duty had connected them with it. Amid the public excitement thus created the treaty failed to receive the requisite two-thirds vote of the Senate, and was rejected; but whether the action of that body was based wholly upon the merits of the treaty, or might not have been, in some degree, influenced by such unfounded allegations, could not be known by the people, because the debates of the Senate in secret s°ss:ou are not published.
Under these circumstances I deemed itdue to the office which I hold, and due to the character of the agents who had been charged with the investigation, that such proceedings should be had as would enable the people to know the truth. A commission was therefore constituted, under authority of Congress, con sisting of gentlemen selected with special reference to their high character and capacity for the laborious work intrusted to them, who were instructed to visit the spot and report upon the facts. Other eminent citizens were requested to accompany the commission in order that the people might have the benefit of their views. Students of science and cor respondents of the press, without regard to political opinions, were invited to join the expedition, and their numbers were limited only by the capacity of the vessel.
The mere rejection by the Senate of a treaty negotiated by the President only indicates a difference of opinion between two coordinate departments of the Government, without touching the character or wounding the pride of either. But when such rejection takes place simultaneously with charges openly made of corruption on the part of the President, or those employed by him, the case is different. Indeed, in such case the honor of the nation demands investigation. This has been accomplished by the report of the commissioners herewith transmitted, and which fully vindicates the purity of the motives and action of those who represented the United States in the negotiation.
And now my task is finished, and with it ends all personal solicitude upon the subject. My duty being done, yours begins; and I gladly hand over the whole matter to the judgment of the American people, and of their representatives in Congress assembled. The facts will now be spread before the country, and a decision rendered by that tribunal whose convictions so seldom err, and against whose will I have no policy to enforce. My opinion remains unchanged; indeed, it is confirmed by the report that the interests of our country and of San Domingo alike invite the annexation of that republic.
In view of the difference of opinion upon this subject, I suggest that no action be taken at the present session beyond the printing and general dissemination of the report. Before
the next session of Congress the people will have considered the subject and formed an intelligent opinion concerning it; to which opinion, deliberately made up, it will be the duty of every department of the Government to give heed, and no one will more cheerfully conform to it than myself. It is not only the theory of our Constitution that the will of the people, constitutionally expressed, is the supreme law, but I have ever believed that "all men are wiser than any one man ;" and if the people, upon a full presentation of the facts, shall decide that the annexation of the republic is not desirable, every department of the Government ought to acquiesce in that decision.
In again submitting to Congess a subject upon which public sentiment has been divided, and which has been made the occasion of acrimonious debates in Congress, as well as of unjust aspersions elsewhere, I may, I trust, be indulged in a single remark.
No man could hope to perform duties so delicate and responsibleas pertain to thepresidential office without sometimes incurring the hostility of those who deem their opinions anc wishes treated with insufficient consideration and he who undertakes to conduct the affairs of a great Government as a faithful public servant, if sustained by the approval of his own conscience, may rely with confidence upon the candor and intelligence of a free people, whose best interests he has striven to subserve, and can bear with patience the censure of disappointed men.
m U. S. Grant.
Transmitting the Report of the Civil Service Commission. December 19,1871.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
In accordance with the act of Congress approved March 4, 1871, I convened a commission of eminent gentlemen to devise rules and regulations for the purpose of reforming the civil service. Their labors are now complete, and I transmit herewith their report, together with the rules which they recommend for my action. These rules have been adopted, and will go into effect on the 1st day of January, 1872. .
Under the law referred to, as I interpret it, the authority is already invested in the Executive to enforce these regulations, with full power to abridge, alter, or amend them at his_ option, when changes may be deemed advisable. These views, together with the report of the commissioners, are submitted for your careful consideration as to whether further legislation may be necessary in order to carry out an effective and beneficial civil service reform.
If left to me, without further congressional action, the rules prescribed by the commission, under the reservation already mentioned, will be faithfully executed j but they are not binding, without further legislation, upon my successors.
Being desirous of bringing this subject to the attention of Congress before the approaching recess, I have not time to sufficiently examine the accompanying report to enable me to suggest definite legislative action to insure the support which may be necessary in order to give'* a thorough trial to a policy long needed.
Grant's Special Messages.
I ask for all the strength which Congress can give me to enable me to carry out the reforms in the civil service recommended by the commissioners, and adopted, to take effect, as before stated, on January 1, 1872.
The law which provides for the convening of a commission to devise rules and regulations for reforming the civil service authorizes, I think, the permanent organization of a primary board, under whose general direction all examinations of applicants for public office shall be conducted. There is no appropriation to continue such a board beyond the termination of its present labors. 1 therefore recommend that a proper appropriation be made to continue the services of the present board for another year, and in view of the fact that three members of the board hold positions in the public service which precludesthem from receiving extra compensation under existing laws, that they be authorized to receive a fair compensation for extra services rendered by them in the performance of this duty.
, U. S. Grant.
On Lawlessness In South Carolina, April 19,1812. To the House of Representatives:
In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 25th of January last, I have the honor to submit the following, accompanied by the report of the Attorney General, to whom the resolution was referred.
Representations having been made to me that in certain portions of South Carolina a condition of lawlessness and terror existed, I requested the then Attorney General Akerman to visit that State and after personal examination to report to me the facts in relation to the subject. On the 16th of October last he addressed me a communication from South Carolina, in which he stated that in the counties of Spartanburg, York, Chester, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Lancaster, and Chesterfield there were combinations for the purpose of preventing the free political action of citizens who were friendly to the Constitution and the Government of the United States, and of depriving the emancipated classes of the equal protection of the laws.
"These combinations embrace at least two thirds of the active white men of those counties, and have the sympathy and countenance oTa majority of the other third. They are connected with similar combinations in other counties and States, and no doubt are part of a grand system of criminal associations pervading most of the southern States. The members are bound to obedience and secrecy by oaths which they are taught to regard as of higher obligation than the lawful oaths taken before civil magistrates.
"They are organized and armed. They effect their objects by personal violence, often extending to murder. They terrify witnesses. They control juries in the State courts, and sometimes in the courts of the United States. Systematic perjury is one of the means by which prosecutions of the members are defeated. From information given by officers of the State and of the United States and by credible private citizens, I am justified in affirming that the instances of criminal violence perpetrated by these combinations within the last twelve months in the above-named counties could be reckoned by thousands."
I received information of a similar import from various other sources, among which were the joint select Committee of Congress upon Southern Outrages, the officers of the State, the military officers of the United States on duty in South Carolina, the United States attorney and marshal, and other civil officers of the Government, repentant and abjuring members of those unlawful organizations, persons specially employed by the Department of Justice to detect crimes against the United States, and from other credible persons.
Most, if not all, of this information, except what I derived from the Attorney General, came to me orally, and was to the effect that said counties were under the sway of powerful combinations, properly known as "Ku Klux Klans," the objects of which were, by force and terror, to prevent all political action not in accord with the views of the members, to deprive colored citizens of the right to bear arms, and of the right to a free ballot; to suppress schools in which colored children were taught, and to reduce the colored people to a condition closely akin to that of slavery; that these combinations were organized and armed, and had rendered the local laws ineffectual to protect the classes whom they desired to oppress,' that they had perpetrated many murders, and hundreds of crimes of minor degree, all of which were unpunished; and that witnesses could not safely testify against them unless the more active members were placed under restraint.
U. S. Grant.
On Treatment of Immigrants, May 14,1872.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:
In my message to Congress at the beginning of its present session, allusion was made to the hardships and privations inflicted upon poor immigrants on shipboard and upon arrival on our shores ; and a suggestion was made favoring national legislation for the purpose of effecting a radical cure of the evil.
Promise was made that a special message on this subject would be presented during the present session should information be received which would warrant it. I now transmit to the two Houses of Congress all that has been officially received since that time bearing upon the subject, and recommend that such legislation be had as will secure, first, such room and accommodations on shipboard as are ne cessary for health and comfort, and such privacy and protection as not to compel immigrants to be the unwilling witnesses to so much vice and misery; and, second, legislation to protect them upon their arrival at our seaports from the knaves who are ever ready to despoil them of the little all which they are able to bring with them. Such legislation will be in the interests of humanity, and seem to be fully justifiable. The immigrant is not a citizen of any State or Territory upon his arrival, but comes here to become a citizen of a great republic, free to changehis residence at will, to enjoy the blessing of aprotecting Government, where all are equal before the law, and to add to the national wealth by his industry.
On his arrival he does not know States or corporations, but confides implicitly in the protecting arms of the great, free country of which he has heard so much before leaving his native land. It is a source of serious disappointment and discouragement to those who start with means sufficient to support them comfortably until they can choose a residence and begin employment for a comfortable support to find themselves subject to ill-treatment and every discomfort on their passage here, and at the end of their journey seized upon by professed friends, claiming legal right to take charge of them for their protection, who do not leave them until all their resources are exhausted, when they are abandoned in a strange land, surrounded by strangers, without employment and ignorant of the means of securing it. Under the present system this is the fate of thousands annually, the exposures on shipboard and the treatment on landing driving thousands to lives of vice and shame who, with proper humane treatment, might become useful and respectable members of society.
I do not advise national legislation in affairs that should be regulated by the States, but I see no subject more national in its character than provision for the safety and welfare of the thousands who leave foreign lands to become citizens of this Republic.
When their residence is chosen they may then look to the laws of their locality for protection and guidance.
The mass of immigrants arriving upon our shores, coming as they do on vessels under foreign flags, makes treaties with the nations furnishing these immigrants necessary for their complete protection. For more than two years efforts have been made, on our part, to secure such treaties, and there is now reasonable ground to hope for success. -rj o rtRANT
Veto Message on J. Milton Best's Claim Bill, June 1,1872.
To the Senate of the United States:
I have examined the bill (S. No. 105) entitled "An act for the relief of J. Milton Best,"
and being unable to give it my approval, return the same to the Senate, the House in which it originated, without my signature.
The bill appropriates the sum of $25,000 to compensate Dr. J. Milton Best for the destruction of his dwelling-house and its contents by order of the commanding officer of the United States military forces at Paducah, Kentucky, on the 26th day of March, 1864. It appears that this house was one of a considerable number destroyed for the purpose of giving open range to the guns of a United States fort. On the day preceding the destruction the houses had been used as a cover for rebel troops attacking the fort, and apprehending a renewal of the attack, the commanding officer caused the destruction of the houses. This, then, is a claim for compensation on account of the ravages of war. It cannot be denied that the payment of this claim would invite the presentation of demands for very large sums of money; and such is the supposed magnitude of the claims that may be made against the Government for necessary and unavoidable destruction of property by the Army that I deem it proper to return this bill for reconsideration.
It is a general principle of both international and municipal law that all property is held subject not only to be taken by the Government for public uses, in which case under the Constitution of the United States the owner is entitled to just compensation, but also subject to be temporarily occupied, or even actually destroyed in times of great public danger, and when the public safety demands it, and in this latter case Governments do not admit a legal obligation on their part to compensate the owner. The temporary occupation of, injuries to, and destruction of property caused by actual and necessary military operations, is generally considered to fall within the lastmentioned principle. If a Government makes compensation under such circumstances, it is a matter of bounty rather than of strict legal right.
If it be deemed proper to make compensation for such losses, I suggest for the consideration of Congress whether it would not be better, by general legislation, to provide some means for the ascertainment of the damage in all similar cases, and thus save to claimants the expense, inconvenience, and delay of attendance upon Congress, and, at the same time, save the Government from the dangerof having imposed upon it fictitious or exaggerated claims supported wholly by ex parte proof. If the claimant in this case ought to be paid, so ought all others similarly situated, and that there are many such cannot be doubted. Besides, there are strong reasons for believing that the amount of damage in this case has been greatly over-estimated. If this be true, it furnishes an illustration of the danger of trusting entirely to ex parte testimony in such otters. Tj. S. Grant.
A like bill for the relief of Thomas B. Wallace, of Lexington, Missouri, was also vetoed a day or two later.