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creased was one thousand two hundred and sixty-three, at an annual amount of increase of forty-three thousand nine hundred and forty-six dollars and twentyfive cents. The total amount awarded to army invalids during the year thus appears to be one million eight hundred thousand seven hundred and sixty-four dollars and forty-five cents.
During the same period twenty-seven thousand and seventy-six original applications of widows and dependent relatives of officers and soldiers of the army were allowed, at an aggregate rate of two million seven hundred and forty-three thousand seven hundred and eleven dollars and seventeen cents per annum. The increased allowance to such persons was two hundred and ninety-nine dollars and ten cents; so that the sum required to meet pension claims of this description allowed during the past year is two million seven hundred and fortyfour thousand and ten dollars and twenty-seven cents.
The whole number of new army pensioners of all classes added to the rolls during the year ending June 30, 1866, was, accordingly, forty-nine thousand seven hundred and twenty-one, and requiring for their payment four million five hundred thousand five hundred and twenty-three dollars and thirty-seven cents per annum. The number dropped from the rolls during the same period, on account of death or other causes, was nine thousand three hundred and fortytwo, whose annual allowance amounted to eight hundred and eighty thousand one hundred and seventy-three dollars and sixty-two cents.
On the 30th of June last there were on the pension rolls fifty-four thousand six hundred and twenty invalids, whose yearly rate of pensions was four million one hundred and twenty-eight thousand seven hundred and eighteen dollars and fifteen cents; and sixty-nine thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine widows and dependent relatives, at a yearly rate of seven million two hundred and eighty-four thousand four hundred and four dollars and eleven cents--making a total of one hundred and twenty-four thousand five hundred and nine army pensioners, at an annual aggregate of eleven million four hundred and thirteen thousand one hundred and twenty-two dollars and twenty-six cents.
Including payments to pension agents, the amount paid during the year to revolutionary pensioners was two hundred and fifty-two thousand two hundred and four dollars and thirty-eight cents; to army invalid pensioners, three million eight hundred and fifteen thousand eight hundred and five dollars and four cents; and to widows and dependent relatives, (not revolutionary,) nine million one hundred and nine thousand four hundred and thirty-six dollars and seventy cents—giving the total sum of thirteen million one hundred and seventy-seven thousand four hundred and forty-six dollars and twelve cents.
During the year, two hundred and thirty-eight original applications for navy invalid pensions were allowed, at an aggregate amount of eighteen thousand nine hundred and two dollars and fifty cents per annum. Twenty-five such pensions heretofore allowed were increased at an aggregate annual rate of nine bundred and seventeen dollars. Two hundred and eighteen original applications of widows and dependent relatives of officers and seamen were allowed, at an aggregate of thirty-two thousand nine hundred and seventy-six
per annum. The total number of navy invalid pensioners on the
rolls at the close of the fiscal year was one thousand and thirty-two, at an aggregate annual rate of seventy-two thousand six bundred and ten dollars and five cents. The number of widows and dependent relatives was one thousand one hundred and eighty-one, at an aggregate annual rate of one hundred and eighty-eight thousand seven hundred and forty-two dollars—making the whole number of naval pensioners, of all classes, two thousand two hundred and thirteen, requiring for their annual payment two hundred and sixty-one thousand three hundred and fifty-two dollars and five cents.
The total number of pensioners of all classes, army and navy, on the rolls June 30, 1866, was one hundred and twenty-six thousand seven hundred and twenty-two, and the amount paid pensioners, including expenses of disbursements during the last fiscal year, was thirteen million four hundred and fifty-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-six dollars and forty-three cents. This amount includes ninety-nine thousand two hundred and thirty-seven dollars and fifteen cents paid to one thousand and forty-three pensioners residing in the States whose inhabitants were lately in rebellion.
From the date of the executive proclamation declaring the inhabitants of any State to be in a state of insurrection against the United States, the names of all pensioners residing in such State were stricken from the rolls. Intercourse with them was, by the laws of war, the legislation of Congress, and the President's proclamation in pursuance thereof, suspended so long as such condition of hostility continued, but the right of such pensioners as remained loyal to the United States was saved by the act of February 4, 1862. Their names, on making the required proof of continued loyalty, are accordingly restored to the rolls. Mr. Attorney General Speed, whose opinion on the subject was taken by my predecessor, held that the restored pensioner was entitled to the arrears of the pension which had accrued since the last payment to him prior to the rebellion, and the practice of the government has been in conformity to that opinion.
The navy pension fund, accruing from the condemnation and the sale of prizes, and invested in bonds of the United States, amounts to eleven million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The interest of this investment is more than double the amount necessary to pay the navy pensions. There is also an uninvested surplus of two hundred and five thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight dollars and thirty-five cents.
During the past year four hundred and six bounty-land warrants were issued for sixty-three thousand eight hundred and sixty acres of land.
The Commissioner of Pensions represents that a considerable number of ad. ditional clerks is indispensable to the prompt and efficient transaction of the business of his office. The bill to reorganize the clerical force of this department, recommended by my predecessor, and passed by the Senate at the last session, would have afforded a partial remedy; but the changes made in the pension laws subsequent to its introduction render its provisions inadequate to the present and increasing wants of the service. The cases during the last year exceeded by twenty-five per cent. those disposed of during that which preceded
it. The labor of the office during the current year has increased in a much greater ratio, and is nearly if not quite twofold greater than has ever devolved upon it for the same length of time since its organization. Notwithstanding this imperative necessity for a well-organized force, several years have elapsed since any permanent addition to it was made. The authority to employ temporary clerks of the first class has been given, but it secures only the services of mere copyists. The business of the bureau must fall in arrear when insufficient means are furnished for transacting it. No delay, other than that which is unavoidable, should be suffered to occur in awarding the pensions provided by the country for those who have such strong claims upon its justice and gratitude. The case is respectfully presented to Congress, who can alone furnish the remedy, and whose early favorable action is specially and earnestly invoked.
The voluminous report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs exhibits in detail the condition of this difficult and important branch of the public service. The numerous treaties recently negotiated with various Indian tribes have greatly augmented the labors of the department, and the constant pressure of emigration into the Indian territory produces conflicts of interest which require judicious management to adjust and control. The Commissioner sets forth the terms and stipulations of those treaties. The Indian tribes of the southwest have resumed their former friendly relations with the government, and it is hoped that they will succeed in fully adjusting the differences which have heretofore existed among them in consequence of the different attitudes they were induced to assume towards the United States during the rebellion.
There are before the Senate some important treaties with the Indian tribes in Utah, Kansas, and Dakota, to which the attention of that body is respectfully invited. Several treaties recently negotiated with Indian tribes in the northwest will be submitted to you at an early day, to be laid before the Senate for its consideration and action. It is believed that, should they be ratified and faithfully executed, peaceful relations will be established with powerful tribes occupying a vast extent of country, who have recently been in hostility to the government.
The Commissioner suggests the necessity of further negotiations with some of the Indians in Kansas, with a view to their removal from that State; and also with the Indian tribes in Idaho, New Mexico, and Dakota, for their removal to and settlement upon reservations to be set apart for their exclusive occupancy and use. These suggestions will receive the early and careful consideration of the department. Collisions and hostility have been of less frequent occurrence between the whites and the Indians during the past year, than has been generally believed. Occasionally, depredations have been committed, and raids made upon emigrants and settlers; but these are believed to have been greatly exaggerated, either by the fears of the inexperienced and timid, or the cupidity and selfishness of interested and designing speculators. Peace appears to have been the rule, and hostilities the exception, between the Mississippi river and the Rocky mountains.
It has been the settled policy of the government to establish the various tribes
upon suitable reservations and there protect and subsist them until they can be taught to cultivate the soil and sustain themselves. It is no doubt the best, if not the only, policy that can be pursued to preserve them from extinction.
Numerous recommendations looking to the amelioration of the condition of these wards of the government, are contained in the Commissioner's report, and will no doubt receive the attention of Congress.
During the year ending September 30, 1866, there were fourteen thousand and thirty-nine applications for patents. Eight thousand seven hundred and sixteen patents (including reissues and assigns) were issued; fourteen hundred and fifteen applications were allowed, but patents have not issued thereon by reason of the non-payment of the final fees ; twenty-five hundred and seventy-nine caveats were filed, and fifty-five extensions of patents were granted.
During the same period the receipts were four hundred and sixty thousand four hundred and sixteen dollars and eighty cents, and the expenditures three hundred and forty-three thousand six hundred and ninety-seven dollars and seventy-three cents, leaving a balance of one hundred and sixteen thousand seven hundred and nineteen dollars and seven cents, which, added to one hundred and eleven thousand five hundred and seventy-eight dollars and nineteen cents, the balance on hand September 30, 1865, makes the amount now in the treasury to the credit of the patent fund two hundred and seventy-eight thousand two hundred and ninety-seven dollars and seventy-six cents.
The last annual report of this department alluded to the law regulating appeals in cases arising in the Patent Office. I am unable to perceive any stronger reason for granting an appeal to one of the justices of the supreme court of this District from the decision of the Commissioner of Patents, than from that of the Commissioner of Pensions disallowing a pension claim, or from that of the Commissioner of the General Land Office on a contested right of pre-emption. The decision of the judge does not have any more conclusive effect than the ruling of the executive officer. If adverse to the applicant, a patent does not issue. But if in his favor, even in interference cases, it is not a final determination of the questions in controversy. Congress has declared that it shall not preclude the right to contest the patent in any court in which its validity may come in question. If sued by the holder of an elder patent who was a party to the whole proceedings, the successful applicant cannot set up the decision awarding him a patent as a defence to the action. Such a decision is not, in its essential characteristics, a judicial act, and caunot be assimilated to the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, which may be pleaded as an estoppel where the identical question is directly involved between the same parties in a subsequent guit. The duty incident to this special trust should not be imposed upon the judge, and there is a manifest impropriety in giving him a supervisory control over the action of an executive bureau. The judicial and executive departments of the government are distinct and independent, and the officers of each should be confined to their appropriate sphere of action.
The applicant for a patent, before he can prosecute an appeal to the judge, must pay into the office the sum of twenty-five dollars for his use.
required on each successive appeal from the primary examiner to the exam. iners in chief, and from the latter to the head of the bureau, constitutes a part of the patent fund and is not paid to those officers. They receive a fixed compensation, without regard to the cases submitted to them. The amount of the judge's emoluments for this special service depends upon the number of appeals to him, and that may be increased or diminished by the character of his decisions. He is thus placed in a position which no judicial officer should be compelled to occupy.
The act of March 3, 1849, establishing this department directed “the Secretary of the Interior to exercise and perform all the acts of supervision and appeal in regard to the office of Commissioner of Patents theretofore exercised by the Secretary of State.” Subsequent legislation has not changed the connection then created. The Commissioner being thus subordinate to and under the control of this department, should, as is now required of the other officers who sustain the same relation to it, submit to the Secretary a detailed report of the condition and operations of his bureau. The act of 1837, directing him to report to Congress, was passed when the Patent Office was under the supervision of the Secretary of State, who makes no annual report to the President of the United States for transmission to that body. The reason for the present exceptional regulation no longer exists, and I recommend that Congress order the Commissioner to make his annual report to the Secretary of the Interior.
On the 6th instant the Union Pacific railroad was completed to a point twentythree miles west of the hundredth meridian of longitude, being two hundred and seventy miles distant from Omaha. The want of a railroad connection from Omaha eastward has retarded the transportation of the iron and equipments of the road and compelled the company to rely upon shipments by the Missouri river, at such times as the state of the navigation permitted. The difficulty will be removed by the construction of the railway from Clinton to Council Bluffs, which, it is believed, will be completed next spring.
The company have constructed all their depot buildings at Omaha. The arrangement and extent of their grounds and permanent fixtures are on a scale adapted to our vast and increasing traffic between the western and eastern shores of the continent. The road has been built of such excellent materials, and in so substantial a manner, as to elicit repeated expressions of commendation from the government directors and commissioners. There can be no better evidence of the fidelity with which the company have met the requirements of Congress than the fact that the commissioners have in no instance refused to accept any portion of the road presented to them for examination.
The company have not filed a map showing the permanent location of the road beyond a point three hundred miles west of Omaha. Surveying parties bave been actively engaged in ascertaining the most direct and practicable route, taking Julesburg, on the South Platte, at the mouth of Lodge Pole creek, about three hundred and seventy-five miles west of Omaha, as a starting point, and have furnished a statement of the comparative distances, quantities, and gradients of three lines-one via Cache la Poudre and Antelope pass, one via Camp