Messages and Papers of Rutherford B. Hayes
by
James D. Richardson

Part 1 out of 6







Produced by Juliet Sutherland, David Garcia and the Online Distributed
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A COMPILATION OF THE MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS

BY JAMES D. RICHARDSON




Rutherford B. Hayes

March 4, 1877, to March 4, 1881




Rutherford B. Hayes


Rutherford B. Hayes was born in Delaware: Ohio, October 4, 1822.
His father had died in July, 1822, leaving his mother in modest
circumstances. He attended the common schools, and began early the
study of Latin and Greek with Judge Sherman Finch, of Delaware.
Prepared for college at an academy at Norwalk, Ohio, and at a school
in Middletown, Conn. In the autumn of 1838 entered Kenyon College,
at Gambier, Ohio. Excelled in logic, mental and moral philosophy,
and mathematics, and also made his mark as a debater in the literary
societies. On his graduation, in August, 1842, was awarded the
valedictory oration, with which he won much praise. Soon afterwards
began the study of law in the office of Thomas Sparrow, at Columbus,
Ohio, and then attended a course of law lectures at Harvard
University, entering the law school August 22, 1843, and finishing his
studies there in January, 1845. As a law student he had the advantage
of friendly intercourse with Judge Story and Professor Greenleaf, and
also attended the lectures of Longfellow on literature and of Agassiz
on natural science, pursuing at the same time the study of French and
German. In May, 1845, was admitted to practice in the courts of Ohio
as an attorney and counselor at law. Established himself first at
Lower Sandusky (now Fremont), where in April, 1846, he formed a law
partnership with Ralph P. Buckland, then a Member of Congress. In the
winter of 1849-50 established himself at Cincinnati. His practice at
first being light, continued his studies in law and literature, and
also became identified with various literary societies, among them
the literary club of Cincinnati, where he met Salmon P. Chase, Thomas
Ewing, Thomas Corwin, Stanley Matthews, Moncure D. Conway, Manning F.
Force, and others of note. December 30, 1852, married Miss Lucy Ware
Webb, daughter of Dr. James Webb, a physician of Chillicothe, Ohio. In
January, 1854, formed a law partnership with H.W. Corwine and William
K. Rogers. In 1856 was nominated for the office of common pleas judge,
but declined. In 1858 was elected city solicitor by the city council
of Cincinnati to fill a vacancy, and in the following year was
elected to the same office at a popular election, but was defeated
for reelection in 1861. After becoming a voter he acted with the Whig
party, voting for Henry Clay in 1844, for General Taylor in 1848, and
for General Scott in 1852. Having from his youth cherished antislavery
feelings, he joined the Republican party as soon as it was organized,
and earnestly advocated the election of Fremont in 1856 and of Lincoln
in 1860. At a great mass meeting held in Cincinnati immediately
after the firing on Fort Sumter was made chairman of a committee on
resolutions. His literary club formed a military company, of which he
was elected captain. June 7, 1861, was appointed by the governor of
Ohio major of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers. September 19, 1861,
was appointed by General Rosecrans judge-advocate of the Department
of the Ohio. October 24, 1861, was promoted to the rank of
lieutenant-colonel. In the battle of South Mountain, September 14,
1862, distinguished himself by gallant conduct in leading a charge and
in holding a position at the head of his troops after being severely
wounded in his left arm. October 24, 1862, was appointed colonel
of the Twenty-third Ohio. In July, 1863, while with the army in
southwestern Virginia, caused an expedition of two regiments and a
section of artillery under his command to be dispatched to Ohio for
the purpose of checking the raid of the Confederate general John
Morgan, and aided materially in preventing the raiders from recrossing
the Ohio River and in compelling Morgan to surrender. In the spring
of 1864 commanded a brigade in General Crook's expedition to cut the
principal lines of communication between Richmond and the Southwest.
Distinguished himself by conspicuous bravery at the head of his
brigade in storming a fortified position on the crest of Cloyd
Mountain. Commanded a brigade in the first battle of Winchester. Took
a creditable part in the engagement at Berryville, and at the second
battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864, performed a feat of great
bravery. Leading an assault upon a battery on an eminence, he found in
his way a morass over 50 yards wide. Being at the head of his brigade,
he plunged in first, and, his horse becoming mired at once, he
dismounted and waded across alone under the enemy's fire. Signaled his
men to come over, and when about 40 had joined him he rushed upon the
battery and captured it after a hand-to-hand fight. At Fishers Hill,
September 22, 1864, being then in command of a division, executed a
brilliant flank movement over mountains and through woods, took many
pieces of artillery, and routed the enemy. At the battle of Cedar
Creek, October 19, 1864, his conduct attracted so much attention that
his commander, General Crook, commended him, saying, "Colonel, from
this day you will be a brigadier-general." The commission reached him
a few days afterwards. March 13, 1865, received the rank of brevet
major-general "for gallant and distinguished services during the
campaign of 1864 in West Virginia, and particularly at the battles of
Fishers Hill and Cedar Creek, Virginia." In August, 1864, while in the
field, was nominated for Congress and elected. After the war, returned
to civil life, and took his seat in Congress December 4, 1865. Voted
with his party on questions connected with the reconstruction of the
Southern States; supported a resolution declaring the sacredness of
the public debt and denouncing repudiation, and also one commending
President Johnson for declining to accept presents and condemning the
practice; opposed a resolution favoring an increase of pay of members
of Congress; introduced in a Republican caucus resolutions declaring
that the only mode of obtaining from the States lately in rebellion
irreversible guaranties was by constitutional amendment, and that
an amendment basing representation upon voters instead of population
ought to be acted upon without delay. In August, 1866, was renominated
for Congress by acclamation, and was reelected. Supported the
impeachment of President Johnson. In June, 1867, was nominated for
governor of Ohio, and at the election defeated Judge Allen G. Thurman.
In June, 1869, was again nominated for governor, and at the election
defeated George H. Pendleton. At the expiration of his term as
governor declined to be a candidate for the United States Senate
against John Sherman. In 1872 was again nominated for Congress, but at
the election was defeated. Declined the office of assistant treasurer
of the United States at Cincinnati. In 1873 established his home at
Fremont with the intention of retiring from public life. In 1875 was
again nominated for governor of Ohio, and at the election defeated
William Allen. Was nominated for President of the United States at
the national Republican convention at Cincinnati on June 16, 1876. The
Democrats selected as their candidate Samuel J. Tilden, of New York.
The result of the election became the subject of acrimonious dispute.
Each party charged fraud upon the other, and both parties claimed to
have carried the States of Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida.
To avoid a deadlock, which might have happened if the canvass of
the electoral votes had been left to the two Houses of Congress
(the Senate having a Republican and the House of Representatives a
Democratic majority), an act, advocated by members of both parties,
was passed to refer all contested cases to a commission composed of
five Senators, five Representatives, and five Justices of the Supreme
Court, the decision of this commission to be final unless set aside
by a concurrent vote of the two Houses of Congress. The commission,
refusing to go behind the certificates of the governors, decided in
each contested case by a vote of 8 to 7 in favor of the Republican
electors, beginning with Florida on February 7, and on March 2 Mr.
Hayes was declared duly elected President of the United States. Was
inaugurated March 5, 1877. At the expiration of his term returned to
his home at Fremont, Ohio. Was the recipient of various distinctions.
The degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Kenyon College, Harvard
University, Yale College, and Johns Hopkins University. Was made
senior vice-commander of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion,
commander of the Ohio commandery of the same order, first president
of the Society of the Army of West Virginia, and president of the
Twenty-third Regiment Ohio Volunteers Association. Was president of
the trustees of the John F. Slater education fund; one of the trustees
of the Peabody education fund; president of the National Prison
Reform Association; an active member of the National Conference
of Corrections and Charities; a trustee of the Western Reserve
University, at Cleveland, Ohio, of the Wesleyan University, of
Delaware, Ohio, of Mount Union College, at Alliance, Ohio, and of the
Ohio State University. He died at Fremont, Ohio, January 17, 1893, and
was buried there.




INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

FELLOW-CITIZENS: We have assembled to repeat the public ceremonial,
begun by Washington, observed by all my predecessors, and now a
time-honored custom, which marks the commencement of a new term of
the Presidential office. Called to the duties of this great trust,
I proceed, in compliance with usage, to announce some of the leading
principles, on the subjects that now chiefly engage the public
attention, by which it is my desire to be guided in the discharge of
those duties. I shall not undertake to lay down irrevocably principles
or measures of administration, but rather to speak of the motives
which should animate us, and to suggest certain important ends to
be attained in accordance with our institutions and essential to the
welfare of our country.

At the outset of the discussions which preceded the recent
Presidential election it seemed to me fitting that I should fully make
known my sentiments in regard to several of the important questions
which then appeared to demand the consideration of the country.
Following the example, and in part adopting the language, of one of my
predecessors, I wish now, when every motive for misrepresentation has
passed away, to repeat what was said before the election, trusting
that my countrymen will candidly weigh and understand it, and that
they will feel assured that the sentiments declared in accepting the
nomination for the Presidency will be the standard of my conduct in
the path before me, charged, as I now am, with the grave and difficult
task of carrying them out in the practical administration of the
Government so far as depends, under the Constitution and laws, on the
Chief Executive of the nation.

The permanent pacification of the country upon such principles and
by such measures as will secure the complete protection of all its
citizens in the free enjoyment of all their constitutional rights is
now the one subject in our public affairs which all thoughtful and
patriotic citizens regard as of supreme importance.

Many of the calamitous effects of the tremendous revolution which
has passed over the Southern States still remain. The immeasurable
benefits which will surely follow, sooner or later, the hearty and
generous acceptance of the legitimate results of that revolution have
not yet been realized. Difficult and embarrassing questions meet us
at the threshold of this subject. The people of those States are
still impoverished, and the inestimable blessing of wise, honest,
and peaceful local self-government is not fully enjoyed. Whatever
difference of opinion may exist as to the cause of this condition of
things, the fact is clear that in the progress of events the time has
come when such government is the imperative necessity required by all
the varied interests, public and private, of those States. But it must
not be forgotten that only a local government which recognizes and
maintains inviolate the rights of all is a true self-government.

With respect to the two distinct races whose peculiar relations to
each other have brought upon us the deplorable complications and
perplexities which exist in those States, it must be a government
which guards the interests of both races carefully and equally.
It must be a government which submits loyally and heartily to the
Constitution and the laws--the laws of the nation and the laws of
the States themselves--accepting and obeying faithfully the whole
Constitution as it is.

Resting upon this sure and substantial foundation, the superstructure
of beneficent local governments can be built up, and not otherwise.
In furtherance of such obedience to the letter and the spirit of the
Constitution, and in behalf of all that its attainment implies, all
so-called party interests lose their apparent importance, and party
lines may well be permitted to fade into insignificance. The question
we have to consider for the immediate welfare of those States of the
Union is the question of government or no government; of social order
and all the peaceful industries and the happiness that belong to it,
or a return to barbarism. It is a question in which every citizen of
the nation is deeply interested, and with respect to which we ought
not to be, in a partisan sense, either Republicans or Democrats, but
fellow-citizens and fellow-men, to whom the interests of a common
country and a common humanity are dear.

The sweeping revolution of the entire labor system of a large portion
of our country and the advance of 4,000,000 people from a condition
of servitude to that of citizenship, upon an equal footing with their
former masters, could not occur without presenting problems of the
gravest moment, to be dealt with by the emancipated race, by their
former masters, and by the General Government, the author of the
act of emancipation. That it was a wise, just, and providential
act, fraught with good for all concerned, is now generally conceded
throughout the country. That a moral obligation rests upon the
National Government to employ its constitutional power and influence
to establish the rights of the people it has emancipated, and to
protect them in the enjoyment of those rights when they are infringed
or assailed, is also generally admitted.

The evils which afflict the Southern States can only be removed or
remedied by the united and harmonious efforts of both races, actuated
by motives of mutual sympathy and regard; and while in duty bound and
fully determined to protect the rights of all by every constitutional
means at the disposal of my Administration, I am sincerely anxious to
use every legitimate influence in favor of honest and efficient
local _self_-government as the true resource of those States for the
promotion of the contentment and prosperity of their citizens. In
the effort I shall make to accomplish this purpose I ask the cordial
cooperation of all who cherish an interest in the welfare of the
country, trusting that party ties and the prejudice of race will be
freely surrendered in behalf of the great purpose to be accomplished.
In the important work of restoring the South it is not the political
situation alone that merits attention. The material development
of that section of the country has been arrested by the social and
political revolution through which it has passed, and now needs and
deserves the considerate care of the National Government within the
just limits prescribed by the Constitution and wise public economy.

But at the basis of all prosperity, for that as well as for every
other part of the country, lies the improvement of the intellectual
and moral condition of the people. Universal suffrage should rest
upon universal education. To this end, liberal and permanent
provision should be made for the support of free schools by the State
governments, and, if need be, supplemented by legitimate aid from
national authority.

Let me assure my countrymen of the Southern States that it is my
earnest desire to regard and promote their truest interests--the
interests of the white and of the colored people both and equally--and
to put forth my best efforts in behalf of a civil policy which will
forever wipe out in our political affairs the color line and the
distinction between North and South, to the end that we may have not
merely a united North or a united South, but a united country.

I ask the attention of the public to the paramount necessity of reform
in our civil service--a reform not merely as to certain abuses and
practices of so-called official patronage which have come to have the
sanction of usage in the several Departments of our Government, but
a change in the system of appointment itself; a reform that shall
be thorough, radical, and complete; a return to the principles and
practices of the founders of the Government. They neither expected
nor desired from public officers any partisan service. They meant that
public officers should owe their whole service to the Government and
to the people. They meant that the officer should be secure in his
tenure as long as his personal character remained untarnished and the
performance of his duties satisfactory. They held that appointments to
office were not to be made nor expected merely as rewards for partisan
services, nor merely on the nomination of members of Congress, as
being entitled in any respect to the control of such appointments.

The fact that both the great political parties of the country, in
declaring their principles prior to the election, gave a prominent
place to the subject of reform of our civil service, recognizing and
strongly urging its necessity, in terms almost identical in their
specific import with those I have here employed, must be accepted as
a conclusive argument in behalf of these measures. It must be regarded
as the expression of the united voice and will of the whole country
upon this subject, and both political parties are virtually pledged
to give it their unreserved support.

The President of the United States of necessity owes his election to
office to the suffrage and zealous labors of a political party,
the members of which cherish with ardor and regard as of essential
importance the principles of their party organization; but he should
strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best
who serves the country best.

In furtherance of the reform we seek, and in other important respects
a change of great importance, I recommend an amendment to the
Constitution prescribing a term of six years for the Presidential
office and forbidding a reelection.

With respect to the financial condition of the country, I shall not
attempt an extended history of the embarrassment and prostration which
we have suffered during the past three years. The depression in all
our varied commercial and manufacturing interests throughout the
country, which began in September, 1873, still continues. It is very
gratifying, however, to be able to say that there are indications all
around us of a coming change to prosperous times.

Upon the currency question, intimately connected, as it is, with this
topic, I may be permitted to repeat here the statement made in my
letter of acceptance, that in my judgment the feeling of uncertainty
inseparable from an irredeemable paper currency, with its fluctuation
of values, is one of the greatest obstacles to a return to prosperous
times. The only safe paper currency is one which rests upon a coin
basis and is at all times and promptly convertible into coin.

I adhere to the views heretofore expressed by me in favor of
Congressional legislation in behalf of an early resumption of specie
payments, and I am satisfied not only that this is wise, but that
the interests, as well as the public sentiment, of the country
imperatively demand it.

Passing from these remarks upon the condition of our own country
to consider our relations with other lands, we are reminded by the
international complications abroad, threatening the peace of Europe,
that our traditional rule of noninterference in the affairs of foreign
nations has proved of great value in past times and ought to be
strictly observed.

The policy inaugurated by my honored predecessor, President Grant, of
submitting to arbitration grave questions in dispute between ourselves
and foreign powers points to a new, and incomparably the best,
instrumentality for the preservation of peace, and will, as I believe,
become a beneficent example of the course to be pursued in similar
emergencies by other nations.

If, unhappily, questions of difference should at any time during the
period of my Administration arise between the United States and any
foreign government, it will certainly be my disposition and my hope to
aid in their settlement in the same peaceful and honorable way, thus
securing to our country the great blessings of peace and mutual good
offices with all the nations of the world.

Fellow-citizens, we have reached the close of a political contest
marked by the excitement which usually attends the contests between
great political parties whose members espouse and advocate with
earnest faith their respective creeds. The circumstances were,
perhaps, in no respect extraordinary save in the closeness and the
consequent uncertainty of the result.

For the first time in the history of the country it has been deemed
best, in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, that the
objections and questions in dispute with reference to the counting of
the electoral votes should be referred to the decision of a tribunal
appointed for this purpose.

That tribunal--established by law for this sole purpose; its members,
all of them, men of long-established reputation for integrity and
intelligence, and, with the exception of those who are also members of
the supreme judiciary, chosen equally from both political parties; its
deliberations enlightened by the research and the arguments of able
counsel--was entitled to the fullest confidence of the American
people. Its decisions have been patiently waited for, and accepted
as legally conclusive by the general judgment of the public. For the
present, opinion will widely vary as to the wisdom of the several
conclusions announced by that tribunal. This is to be anticipated
in every instance where matters of dispute are made the subject of
arbitration under the forms of law. Human judgment is never unerring,
and is rarely regarded as otherwise than wrong by the unsuccessful
party in the contest.

The fact that two great political parties have in this way settled a
dispute in regard to which good men differ as to the facts and the
law no less than as to the proper course to be pursued in solving the
question in controversy is an occasion for general rejoicing.

Upon one point there is entire unanimity in public sentiment--that
conflicting claims to the Presidency must be amicably and peaceably
adjusted, and that when so adjusted the general acquiescence of the
nation ought surely to follow.

It has been reserved for a government of the people, where the right
of suffrage is universal, to give to the world the first example in
history of a great nation, in the midst of the struggle of opposing
parties for power, hushing its party tumults to yield the issue of
the contest to adjustment according to the forms of law.

Looking for the guidance of that Divine Hand by which the destinies
of nations and individuals are shaped, I call upon you, Senators,
Representatives, judges, fellow-citizens, here and everywhere, to
unite with me in an earnest effort to secure to our country the
blessings, not only of material prosperity, but of justice, peace, and
union--a union depending not upon the constraint of force, but upon
the loving devotion of a free people; "and that all things may be
so ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations that
peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be
established among us for all generations."

MARCH 5, 1877.




PROCLAMATIONS.


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the final adjournment of the Forty-fourth Congress without
making the usual appropriations for the support of the Army for the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, presents an extraordinary occasion
requiring the President to exercise the power vested in him by the
Constitution to convene the Houses of Congress in anticipation of the
day fixed by law for their next meeting:

Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United
States, do, by virtue of the power to this end in me vested by the
Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress to assemble at their
respective chambers at 12 o'clock noon on Monday, the 15th day of
October next, then and there to consider and determine such measures
as in their wisdom their duty and the welfare of the people may seem
to demand.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 5th day of May, A.D. 1877, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and
first.

R.B. HAYES.

By the President:
WM. M. EVARTS,
_Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it is provided in the Constitution of the United States
that the United States shall protect every State in this Union,
on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the
legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence; and

Whereas the governor of the State of West Virginia has represented
that domestic violence exists in said State at Martinsburg, and at
various other points along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
in said State, which the authorities of said State are unable to
suppress; and

Whereas the laws of the United States require that in all cases of
insurrection in any State or of obstruction to the laws thereof,
whenever it may be necessary, in the judgment of the President, he
shall forthwith, by proclamation, command such insurgents to disperse
and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within a limited time:

Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United
States, do hereby admonish all good citizens of the United States and
all persons within the territory and jurisdiction of the United
States against aiding, countenancing, abetting, or taking part in such
unlawful proceedings; and I do hereby warn all persons engaged in or
connected with said domestic violence and obstruction of the laws to
disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes on or before
12 o'clock noon of the 19th day of July instant.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 18th day of July, A.D. 1877, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred
and second.

R.B. HAYES.

By the President:
F.W. SEWARD,
_Acting Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it is provided in the Constitution of the United States
that the United States shall protect every State in this Union,
on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the
legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence; and

Whereas the governor of the State of Maryland has represented that
domestic violence exists in said State at Cumberland, and along the
line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in said State, which the
authorities of said State are unable to suppress; and

Whereas the laws of the United States require that in all cases of
insurrection in any State or of obstruction to the laws thereof,
whenever, in the judgment of the President, it becomes necessary to
use the military forces to suppress such insurrection or obstruction
to the laws, he shall forthwith, by proclamation, command such
insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes
within a limited time:

Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United
States, do hereby admonish all good citizens of the United States and
all persons within the territory and jurisdiction of the United
States against aiding, countenancing, abetting, or taking part in such
unlawful proceedings; and I do hereby warn all persons engaged in or
connected with said domestic violence and obstruction of the laws to
disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes on or before
noon of the 22d day of July instant.

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 21st day of July, A.D. 1877, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred
and second.

[SEAL.]

R.B. HAYES.

By the President:
WM. M. EVARTS,
_Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it is provided in the Constitution of the United States
that the United States shall protect every State in this Union,
on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the
legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence; and

Whereas the governor of the State of Pennsylvania has represented that
domestic violence exists in said State which the authorities of said
State are unable to suppress; and

Whereas the laws of the United States require that in all cases of
insurrection in any State or of obstruction to the laws thereof,
whenever, in the judgment of the President, it becomes necessary to
use the military forces to suppress such insurrection or obstruction
to the laws, he shall forthwith, by proclamation, command such
insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes
within a limited time;

Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United
States, do hereby admonish all good citizens of the United States and
all persons within the territory and jurisdiction of the United
States against aiding, countenancing, abetting, or taking part in such
unlawful proceedings; and I do hereby warn all persons engaged in or
connected with said domestic violence and obstruction of the laws to
disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes on or before
12 o'clock noon of the 24th day of July instant.

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 23d day of July, A.D. 1877, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred
and second.

[SEAL.]

R.B. HAYES.

By the President:
WM. M. EVARTS,
_Secretary of State_.




EXECUTIVE ORDERS.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, May 9, 1877_.

SIR:[1] The President directs me to say that the several Departments
of the Government will be closed on Wednesday, the 30th instant, to
enable the employees to participate in the decoration of the graves of
the soldiers who fell during the rebellion.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

W.K. ROGERS, _Secretary_.

[Footnote 1: Addressed to the heads of the Executive Departments, etc.]



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, May 26, 1877_.

Hon. JOHN SHERMAN,
_Secretary of the Treasury_.

MY DEAR SIR: I have read the partial report of the commission
appointed to examine the New York custom-house. I concur with the
commission in their recommendations. It is my wish that the collection
of the revenues should be free from partisan control, and organized on
a strictly business basis, with the same guaranties for efficiency and
fidelity in the selection of the chief and subordinate officers that
would be required by a prudent merchant. Party leaders should have
no more influence in appointments than other equally respectable
citizens. No assessments for political purposes on officers or
subordinates should be allowed. No useless officer or employee should
be retained. No officer should be required or permitted to take part
in the management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions,
or election campaigns. Their right to vote and to express their
views on public questions, either orally or through the press, is not
denied, provided it does not interfere with the discharge of their
official duties.

Respectfully,

R.B. HAYES.



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, June 22, 1877_,

SIR:[2] I desire to call your attention to the following paragraph
in a letter addressed by me to the Secretary of the Treasury on
the conduct to be observed by officers of the General Government in
relation to the elections:

No officer should be required or permitted to take part in the
management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions,
or election campaigns. Their right to vote and to express
their views on public questions, either orally or through the
press, is not denied, provided it does not interfere with
the discharge of their official duties. No assessment for
political purposes on officers or subordinates should be
allowed.


This rule is applicable to every department of the civil service. It
should be understood by every officer of the General Government that
he is expected to conform his conduct to its requirements.

Very respectfully,

R.B. HAYES.

[Footnote 2: Addressed to Federal officers generally.]



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _August 7, 1877_.

By virtue of authority conferred upon the President of the United
States by the provisions of section 2132, Revised Statutes of the
United States, as follows:

The President is authorized, whenever in his opinion the
public interest may require the same, to prohibit the
introduction of goods, or of any particular article, into
the country belonging to any Indian tribe, and to direct
all licenses to trade with such tribe to be revoked and all
applications therefor to be rejected. No trader to any other
tribe shall, so long as such prohibition may continue, trade
with any Indians of or for the tribe against which such
prohibition is issued--


the introduction into the Indian country, for the purpose of sale or
exchange to or with Indians, of any breech-loading firearms, and of
any special ammunition adapted to such arms, and the sale and exchange
to Indians in the Indian country of any such arms or ammunition, is
hereby prohibited; and it is hereby directed that all authority under
any license to trade in such arms or ammunition is hereby revoked.

The introduction into the country or district occupied by any tribe of
hostile Indians, for the purpose of sale or exchange to them, of arms
or ammunition of any description, and the sale or exchange thereof to
or with such Indians, is hereby prohibited; and it is hereby directed
that all license to trade in arms or ammunition of any description
with such tribe be revoked.

By virtue of section 2150, Revised Statutes, as follows:

The military forces of the United States may be employed in
such manner and under such regulations as the President may
direct--

* * * * *

Third. In preventing the introduction of persons and property
into the Indian country contrary to law, which persons and
property shall be proceeded against according to law.

* * * * *

All military commanders are hereby charged with the duty of assisting
in the execution of the above order and of Executive order of November
23, 1876,[3] the provisions of which are extended to include all
Indian country within the Territories of Idaho, Utah, and Washington
and the States of Nevada and Oregon.

R.B. HAYES.

[Footnote 3: See pp. 398-399.]




SPECIAL SESSION MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _October 15, 1877._

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

The adjournment of the last Congress without making appropriations
for the support of the Army for the present fiscal year has rendered
necessary a suspension of payments to the officers and men of the sums
due them for services rendered after the 30th day of June last.
The Army exists by virtue of statutes which prescribe its numbers,
regulate its organization and employment, and which fix the pay of its
officers and men and declare their right to receive the same at stated
periods. These statutes, however, do not authorize the payment of
the troops in the absence of specific appropriations therefor. The
Constitution has wisely provided that "no money shall be drawn from
the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law;" and
it has also been declared by statute that "no department of the
Government shall expend in any one fiscal year any sum in excess
of appropriations made by Congress for that fiscal year." We have,
therefore, an Army in service, authorized by law and entitled to be
paid, but no funds available for that purpose.

It may also be said, as an additional incentive to prompt action by
Congress, that since the commencement of the fiscal year the Army,
though without pay, has been constantly and actively employed in
arduous and dangerous service, in the performance of which both
officers and men have discharged their duty with fidelity and
courage and without complaint. These circumstances, in my judgment,
constituted an extraordinary occasion requiring that Congress be
convened in advance of the time prescribed by law for your meeting in
regular session. The importance of speedy action upon this subject
on the part of Congress is so manifest that I venture to suggest the
propriety of making the necessary appropriations for the support
of the Army for the current year at its present maximum numerical
strength of 25,000 men, leaving for future consideration all questions
relating to an increase or decrease of the number of enlisted men.
In the event of the reduction of the Army by subsequent legislation
during the fiscal year, the excess of the appropriation could not
be expended; and in the event of its enlargement the additional sum
required for the payment of the extra force could be provided in due
time. It would be unjust to the troops now in service, and whose pay
is already largely in arrears, if payment to them should be further
postponed until after Congress shall have considered all the questions
likely to arise in the effort to fix the proper limit to the strength
of the Army.

Estimates of appropriations for the support of the military
establishment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, were
transmitted to Congress by the former Secretary of the Treasury at the
opening of its session in December last. These estimates, modified by
the present Secretary so as to conform to present requirements, are
now renewed, amounting to $32,436,764.98, and, having been transmitted
to both Houses of Congress, are submitted for your consideration.

There is also required by the Navy Department $2,003,861.24. This sum
is made up of $1,446,688.16 due to officers and enlisted men for the
last quarter of the last fiscal year; $311,953.50 due for advances
made by the fiscal agent of the Government in London for the support
of the foreign service; $50,000 due to the naval-hospital fund;
$150,000 due for arrearages of pay to officers, and $45,219.58 for the
support of the Marine Corps.

There will also be needed an appropriation of $262,535.22 to defray
the unsettled expenses of the United States courts for the fiscal year
ending June 30 last, now due to attorneys, clerks, commissioners, and
marshals, and for rent of court rooms, the support of prisoners, and
other deficiencies.

A part of the building of the Interior Department was destroyed by
fire on the 24th of last month. Some immediate repairs and temporary
structures have in consequence become necessary, estimates for which
will be transmitted to Congress immediately, and an appropriation of
the requisite funds is respectfully recommended.

The Secretary of the Treasury will communicate to Congress, in
connection with the estimates for the appropriations for the support
of the Army for the current fiscal year, estimates for such other
deficiencies in the different branches of the public service as
require immediate action and can not without inconvenience be
postponed until the regular session.

I take this opportunity also to invite your attention to the propriety
of adopting at your present session the necessary legislation
to enable the people of the United States to participate in the
advantages of the International Exhibition of Agriculture, Industry,
and the Fine Arts which is to be held at Paris in 1878, and in which
this Government has been invited by the Government of France to take
part.

This invitation was communicated to this Government in May, 1876,
by the minister of France at this capital, and a copy thereof was
submitted to the proper committees of Congress at its last session,
but no action was taken upon the subject.

The Department of State has received many letters from various parts
of the country expressing a desire to participate in the exhibition,
and numerous applications of a similar nature have also been made at
the United States legation at Paris.

The Department of State has also received official advice of the
strong desire on the part of the French Government that the United
States should participate in this enterprise, and space has hitherto
been and still is reserved in the exhibition buildings for the use of
exhibitors from the United States, to the exclusion of other parties
who have been applicants therefor.

In order that our industries may be properly represented at the
exhibition, an appropriation will be needed for the payment of
salaries and expenses of commissioners, for the transportation of
goods, and for other purposes in connection with the object in view;
and as May next is the time fixed for the opening of the exhibition,
if our citizens are to share the advantages of this international
competition for the trade of other nations the necessity of immediate
action is apparent.

To enable the United States to cooperate in the international
exhibition which was held at Vienna in 1873, Congress then passed a
joint resolution making an appropriation of $200,000 and authorizing
the President to appoint a certain number of practical artisans and
scientific men who should attend the exhibition and report their
proceedings and observations to him. Provision was also made for the
appointment of a number of honorary commissioners.

I have felt that prompt action by Congress in accepting the invitation
of the Government of France is of so much interest to the people of
this country and so suitable to the cordial relations between the
Governments of the two countries that the subject might properly be
presented for attention at your present session.

The Government of Sweden and Norway has addressed an official
invitation to this Government to take part in the International Prison
Congress to be held at Stockholm next year. The problem which the
congress proposes to study--how to diminish crime--is one in which
all civilized nations have an interest in common, and the congress
of Stockholm seems likely to prove the most important convention ever
held for the study of this grave question. Under authority of a joint
resolution of Congress approved February 16, 1875, a commissioner was
appointed by my predecessor to represent the United States upon that
occasion, and the Prison Congress having been, at the earnest desire
of the Swedish Government, postponed to 1878, his commission was
renewed by me. An appropriation of $8,000 was made in the sundry civil
act of 1875 to meet the expenses of the commissioner. I recommend
the reappropriation of that sum for the same purpose, the former
appropriation having been covered into the Treasury and being no
longer available for the purpose without further action by Congress.
The subject is brought to your attention at this time in view of
circumstances which render it highly desirable that the commissioner
should proceed to the discharge of his important duties immediately.

As the several acts of Congress providing for detailed reports from
the different Departments of the Government require their submission
at the beginning of the regular annual session, I defer until that
time any further reference to subjects of public interest.

R.B. HAYES.




SPECIAL MESSAGES.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, D.C., October 17, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of a board of inquiry
appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to examine into the causes
of the fire which destroyed a part of the Interior Department building
on the 24th of last month.

R.B. HAYES.



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, D.C., October 17, 1877_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of
the Navy, setting forth the particulars with reference to the existing
deficiencies in the Navy Department.

R.B. HAYES.



WASHINGTON, _November 12, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 1st
instant, I transmit herewith reports from the Secretary of State and
the Secretary of War, with their accompanying papers.[4]

R.B. HAYES.

[Footnote 4: Correspondence relative to Mexican border troubles.]



WASHINGTON, _November 12, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th
instant, I transmit herewith reports from the Secretary of State and
the Secretary of the Treasury, with their accompanying documents.[5]

R.B. HAYES.

[Footnote 5: Correspondence relative to the imposition of a
differential duty of 50 cents per ton upon Spanish vessels entering
ports of the United States.]



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _November 12, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 16th of
October, 1877, I have the honor to transmit herewith a statement of
the appropriations and expenditures by the Navy Department from the
4th of March, 1789, to June 30, 1876.

A similar statement for the War Department is being prepared as
rapidly as the limited clerical force in the Treasury Department will
permit, and when completed will be transmitted to the Senate.

R.B. HAYES.



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _November 12, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 30th of
October, 1877, I have the honor to transmit herewith a statement of
the annual appropriations and expenditures for army and navy pensions,
showing also the repayments, the amounts carried to the surplus fund,
and the net expenditures under each appropriation from March 4, 1789,
to June 30, 1876.

R.B. HAYES.



WASHINGTON, _November 14, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant, I
transmit herewith a report[6] from the Secretary of State.

R.B. HAYES.

[Footnote 6: Stating that the information relative to the forcible
rescue of two prisoners from the jail of Starr County, Tex., by an
armed band of Mexicans had been transmitted by the President to the
House of Representatives on the 12th instant.]



WASHINGTON, D.C., _November 15, 1887_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to its
resolution of the 12th instant, a report[7] from the Secretary of
State.

R.B. HAYES.

[Footnote 7: Relating to the indemnity paid by Spain on account of the
execution of General Ryan and others at Santiago de Cuba.]



WASHINGTON, _November 20, 1877_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a joint resolution of the House of Representatives of the
6th instant, requesting the opinions of the heads of the Departments
respecting the obligatory use of the metrical system of weights and
measures, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State.

R.B. HAYES.



WASHINGTON, _November 27, 1877_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a declaration between the United States and the
Government of Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, for the reciprocal protection of the marks of
manufacture and trade in the two countries, signed on the 24th of
October, 1877.

R.B. HAYES.




PROCLAMATION.


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

The completed circle of summer and winter, seedtime and harvest,
has brought us to the accustomed season at which a religious people
celebrates with praise and thanksgiving the enduring mercy of Almighty
God. This devout and public confession of the constant dependence of
man upon the divine favor for all the good gifts of life and health
and peace and happiness, so early in our history made the habit of
our people, finds in the survey of the past year new grounds for its
joyful and grateful manifestation.

In all the blessings which depend upon benignant seasons, this has
indeed been a memorable year. Over the wide territory of our country,
with all its diversity of soil and climate and products, the earth has
yielded a bountiful return to the labor of the husbandman. The
health of the people has been blighted by no prevalent or widespread
diseases. No great disasters of shipwreck upon our coasts or to our
commerce on the seas have brought loss and hardship to merchants or
mariners and clouded the happiness of the community with sympathetic
sorrow.

In all that concerns our strength and peace and greatness as a nation;
in all that touches the permanence and security of our Government and
the beneficent institutions on which it rests; in all that affects
the character and dispositions of our people and tests our capacity
to enjoy and uphold the equal and free condition of society, now
permanent and universal throughout the land, the experience of the
last year is conspicuously marked by the protecting providence of God
and is full of promise and hope for the coming generations.

Under a sense of these infinite obligations to the Great Ruler of
Times and Seasons and Events, let us humbly ascribe it to our own
faults and frailties if in any degree that perfect concord and
happiness, peace and justice, which such great mercies should diffuse
through the hearts and lives of our people do not altogether and
always and everywhere prevail. Let us with one spirit and with one
voice lift up praise and thanksgiving to God for His manifold goodness
to our land, His manifest care for our nation.

Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United
States, do appoint Thursday, the 29th day of November next, as a day
of national thanksgiving and prayer; and I earnestly recommend that,
withdrawing themselves from secular cares and labors, the people of
the United States do meet together on that day in their respective
places of worship, there to give thanks and praise to Almighty God for
His mercies and to devoutly beseech their continuance.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, this 29th day of October, A.D.
1877, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and
second.

R.B. HAYES.

By the President:
WM. M. EVARTS,
_Secretary of State_.




EXECUTIVE ORDER.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, D.C., November 2, 1877_.

I lament the sad occasion which makes it my duty to testify the public
respect for the eminent citizen and distinguished statesman whose
death yesterday at his home in Indianapolis has been made known to the
people by telegraphic announcement.

The services of Oliver P. Morton to the nation in the difficult and
responsible administration of the affairs of the State of Indiana
as its governor at a critical juncture of the civil war can never be
overvalued by his countrymen. His long service in the Senate has shown
his great powers as a legislator and as a leader and chief counselor
of the political party charged with the conduct of the Government
during that period.

In all things and at all times he has been able, strenuous, and
faithful in the public service, and his fame with his countrymen rests
upon secure foundations.

The several Executive Departments will be closed on the day of his
funeral, and appropriate honors should be paid to the memory of the
deceased statesman by the whole nation.

R.B. HAYES.




FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE.

DECEMBER 3, 1877.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:_

With devout gratitude to the bountiful Giver of All Good, I
congratulate you that at the beginning of your first regular session
you find our country blessed with health and peace and abundant
harvests, and with encouraging prospects of an early return of general
prosperity.

To complete and make permanent the pacification of the country
continues to be, and until it is fully accomplished must remain, the
most important of all our national interests. The earnest purpose of
good citizens generally to unite their efforts in this endeavor is
evident. It found decided expression in the resolutions announced in
1876 by the national conventions of the leading political parties of
the country. There was a widespread apprehension that the momentous
results in our progress as a nation marked by the recent amendments
to the Constitution were in imminent jeopardy; that the good
understanding which prompted their adoption, in the interest of a
loyal devotion to the general welfare, might prove a barren truce, and
that the two sections of the country, once engaged in civil strife,
might be again almost as widely severed and disunited as they were
when arrayed in arms against each other.

The course to be pursued, which, in my judgment, seemed wisest in
the presence of this emergency, was plainly indicated in my inaugural
address. It pointed to the time, which all our people desire to see,
when a genuine love of our whole country and of all that concerns
its true welfare shall supplant the destructive forces of the mutual
animosity of races and of sectional hostility. Opinions have differed
widely as to the measures best calculated to secure this great end.
This was to be expected. The measures adopted by the Administration
have been subjected to severe and varied criticism. Any course
whatever which might have been entered upon would certainly have
encountered distrust and opposition. These measures were, in my
judgment, such as were most in harmony with the Constitution and
with the genius of our people, and best adapted, under all the
circumstances, to attain the end in view. Beneficent results, already
apparent, prove that these endeavors are not to be regarded as a
mere experiment, and should sustain and encourage us in our efforts.
Already, in the brief period which has elapsed, the immediate
effectiveness, no less than the justice, of the course pursued is
demonstrated, and I have an abiding faith that time will furnish
its ample vindication in the minds of the great majority of my
fellow-citizens. The discontinuance of the use of the Army for the
purpose of upholding local governments in two States of the Union was
no less a constitutional duty and requirement, under the circumstances
existing at the time, than it was a much-needed measure for the
restoration of local self-government and the promotion of national
harmony. The withdrawal of the troops from such employment was
effected deliberately, and with solicitous care for the peace and good
order of society and the protection of the property and persons and
every right of all classes of citizens.

The results that have followed are indeed significant and encouraging.
All apprehension of danger from remitting those States to local
self-government is dispelled, and a most salutary change in the minds
of the people has begun and is in progress in every part of that
section of the country once the theater of unhappy civil strife,
substituting for suspicion, distrust, and aversion, concord,
friendship, and patriotic attachment to the Union. No unprejudiced
mind will deny that the terrible and often fatal collisions which for
several years have been of frequent occurrence and have agitated and
alarmed the public mind have almost entirely ceased, and that a spirit
of mutual forbearance and hearty national interest has succeeded.
There has been a general reestablishment of order and of the orderly
administration of justice. Instances of remaining lawlessness have
become of rare occurrence; political turmoil and turbulence have
disappeared; useful industries have been resumed; public credit in
the Southern States has been greatly strengthened, and the encouraging
benefits of a revival of commerce between the sections of the country
lately embroiled in civil war are fully enjoyed. Such are some of
the results already attained, upon which the country is to be
congratulated. They are of such importance that we may with confidence
patiently await the desired consummation that will surely come with
the natural progress of events.

It may not be improper here to say that it should be our fixed and
unalterable determination to protect by all available and proper means
under the Constitution and the laws the lately emancipated race in
the enjoyment of their rights and privileges; and I urge upon those
to whom heretofore the colored people have sustained the relation of
bondmen the wisdom and justice of humane and liberal local legislation
with respect to their education and general welfare. A firm adherence
to the laws, both national and State, as to the civil and political
rights of the colored people, now advanced to full and equal
citizenship; the immediate repression and sure punishment by the
national and local authorities, within their respective jurisdictions,
of every instance of lawlessness and violence toward them, is required
for the security alike of both races, and is justly demanded by the
public opinion of the country and the age. In this way the restoration
of harmony and good will and the complete protection of every citizen
in the full enjoyment of every constitutional right will surely be
attained. Whatever authority rests with me to this end I shall not
hesitate to put forth.

Whatever belongs to the power of Congress and the jurisdiction of the
courts of the Union, they may confidently be relied upon to provide
and perform; and to the legislatures, the courts, and the executive
authorities of the several States I earnestly appeal to secure, by
adequate, appropriate, and seasonable means, within their borders,
these common and uniform rights of a united people which loves
liberty, abhors oppression, and reveres justice. These objects are
very dear to my heart. I shall continue most earnestly to strive
for their attainment. The cordial cooperation of all classes, of
all sections of the country and of both races, is required for this
purpose; and with these blessings assured, and not otherwise, we
may safely hope to hand down our free institutions of government
unimpaired to the generations that will succeed us.

Among the other subjects of great and general importance to the people
of this country, I can not be mistaken, I think, in regarding as
preeminent the policy and measures which are designed to secure the
restoration of the currency to that normal and healthful condition in
which, by the resumption of specie payments, our internal trade
and foreign commerce may be brought into harmony with the system of
exchanges which is based upon the precious metals as the intrinsic
money of the world. In the public judgment that this end should be
sought and compassed as speedily and securely as the resources of the
people and the wisdom of their Government can accomplish, there is
a much greater degree of unanimity than is found to concur in the
specific measures which will bring the country to this desired end or
the rapidity of the steps by which it can be safely reached.

Upon a most anxious and deliberate examination, which I have felt it
my duty to give to the subject, I am but the more confirmed in
the opinion which I expressed in accepting the nomination for the
Presidency, and again upon my inauguration, that the policy of
resumption should be pursued by every suitable means, and that no
legislation would be wise that should disparage the importance or
retard the attainment of that result. I have no disposition, and
certainly no right, to question the sincerity or the intelligence
of opposing opinions, and would neither conceal nor undervalue the
considerable difficulties, and even occasional distresses, which may
attend the progress of the nation toward this primary condition to its
general and permanent prosperity. I must, however, adhere to my most
earnest conviction that any wavering in purpose or unsteadiness
in methods, so far from avoiding or reducing the inconvenience
inseparable from the transition from an irredeemable to a redeemable
paper currency, would only tend to increased and prolonged disturbance
in values, and unless retrieved must end in serious disorder,
dishonor, and disaster in the financial affairs of the Government and
of the people.

The mischiefs which I apprehend and urgently deprecate are confined
to no class of the people, indeed, but seem to me most certainly to
threaten the industrious masses, whether their occupations are of
skilled or common labor. To them, it seems to me, it is of prime
importance that their labor should be compensated in money which is
itself fixed in exchangeable value by being irrevocably measured by
the labor necessary to its production. This permanent quality of
the money of the people is sought for, and can only be gained by
the resumption of specie payments. The rich, the speculative, the
operating, the money-dealing classes may not always feel the mischiefs
of, or may find casual profits in, a variable currency, but the
misfortunes of such a currency to those who are paid salaries or wages
are inevitable and remediless.

Closely connected with this general subject of the resumption of
specie payments is one of subordinate, but still of grave, importance;
I mean the readjustment of our coinage system by the renewal of
the silver dollar as an element in our specie currency, endowed by
legislation with the quality of legal tender to a greater or less
extent.

As there is no doubt of the power of Congress under the Constitution
"to coin money and regulate the value thereof," and as this power
covers the whole range of authority applicable to the metal, the
rated, value and the legal-tender quality which shall be adopted for
the coinage, the considerations which should induce or discourage a
particular measure connected with the coinage, belong clearly to the
province of legislative discretion and of public expediency. Without
intruding upon this province of legislation in the least, I have
yet thought the subject of such critical importance, in the actual
condition of our affairs, as to present an occasion for the
exercise of the duty imposed by the Constitution on the President of
recommending to the consideration of Congress "such measures as he
shall judge necessary and expedient."

Holding the opinion, as I do, that neither the interests of the
Government nor of the people of the United States would be promoted by
disparaging silver as one of the two precious metals which furnish the
coinage of the world, and that legislation which looks to maintaining
the volume of intrinsic money to as full a measure of both metals as
their relative commercial values will permit would be neither unjust
nor inexpedient, I must ask your indulgence to a brief and definite
statement of certain essential features in any such legislative
measure which I feel it my duty to recommend.

I do not propose to enter the debate, represented on both sides by
such able disputants in Congress and before the people and in the
press, as to the extent to which the legislation of any one nation
can control this question, even within its own borders, against the
unwritten laws of trade or the positive laws of other governments. The
wisdom of Congress in shaping any particular law that may be presented
for my approval may wholly supersede the necessity of my entering into
these considerations, and I willingly avoid either vague or intricate
inquiries. It is only certain plain and practical traits of such
legislation that I desire to recommend to your attention.

In any legislation providing for a silver coinage, regulating its
value, and imparting to it the quality of legal tender, it seems to me
of great importance that Congress should not lose sight of its action
as operating in a twofold capacity and in two distinct directions.
If the United States Government were free from a public debt, its
legislative dealing with the question of silver coinage would be
purely sovereign and governmental, under no restraints but those of
constitutional power and the public good as affected by the proposed
legislation. But in the actual circumstances of the nation, with a
vast public debt distributed very widely among our own citizens and
held in great amounts also abroad, the nature of the silver-coinage
measure, as affecting this relation of the Government to the holders
of the public debt, becomes an element, in any proposed legislation,
of the highest concern. The obligation of the public faith
transcends all questions of profit or public advantage otherwise.
Its unquestionable maintenance is the dictate as well of the highest
expediency as of the most necessary duty, and will ever be carefully
guarded by Congress and people alike.

The public debt of the United States to the amount of $729,000,000
bears interest at the rate of 6 per cent, and $708,000,000 at the rate
of 5 per cent, and the only way in which the country can be relieved
from the payment of these high rates of interest is by advantageously
refunding the indebtedness. Whether the debt is ultimately paid in
gold or in silver coin is of but little moment compared with the
possible reduction of interest one-third by refunding it at such
reduced rate. If the United States had the unquestioned right to pay
its bonds in silver coin, the little benefit from that process would
be greatly overbalanced by the injurious effect of such payment
if made or proposed against the honest convictions of the public
creditors.

All the bonds that have been issued since February 12, 1873, when
gold became the only unlimited legal-tender metallic currency of the
country, are justly payable in gold coin or in coin of equal value.
During the time of these issues the only dollar that could be or was
received by the Government in exchange for bonds was the gold dollar.
To require the public creditors to take in repayment any dollar of
less commercial value would be regarded by them as a repudiation
of the full obligation assumed. The bonds issued prior to 1873 were
issued at a time when the gold dollar was the only coin in circulation
or contemplated by either the Government or the holders of the bonds
as the coin in which they were to be paid. It is far better to
pay these bonds in that coin than to seem to take advantage of the
unforeseen fall in silver bullion to pay in a new issue of silver coin
thus made so much less valuable. The power of the United States
to coin money and to regulate the value thereof ought never to be
exercised for the purpose of enabling the Government to pay its
obligations in a coin of less value than that contemplated by the
parties when the bonds were issued. Any attempt to pay the national
indebtedness in a coinage of less commercial value than the money
of the world would involve a violation of the public faith and work
irreparable injury to the public credit.

It was the great merit of the act of March, 1869, in strengthening
the public credit, that it removed all doubt as to the purpose of the
United States to pay their bonded debt in coin. That act was accepted
as a pledge of public faith. The Government has derived great benefit
from it in the progress thus far made in refunding the public debt at
low rates of interest. An adherence to the wise and just policy of
an exact observance of the public faith will enable the Government
rapidly to reduce the burden of interest on the national debt to an
amount exceeding $20,000,000 per annum, and effect an aggregate saving
to the United States of more than $300,000,000 before the bonds can be
fully paid.

In adapting the new silver coinage to the ordinary uses of currency in
the everyday transactions of life and prescribing the quality of legal
tender to be assigned to it, a consideration of the first importance
should be so to adjust the ratio between the silver and the gold
coinage, which now constitutes our specie currency, as to accomplish
the desired end of maintaining the circulation of the two metallic
currencies and keeping up the volume of the two precious metals as our
intrinsic money. It is a mixed question, for scientific reasoning
and historical experience to determine, how far and by what methods a
practical equilibrium can be maintained which will keep both metals in
circulation in their appropriate spheres of common use.

An absolute equality of commercial value, free from disturbing
fluctuations, is hardly attainable, and without it an unlimited
legal tender for private transactions assigned to both metals would
irresistibly tend to drive out of circulation the dearer coinage and
disappoint the principal object proposed by the legislation in view.
I apprehend, therefore, that the two conditions of a near approach to
equality of commercial value between the gold and silver coinage of
the same denomination and of a limitation of the amounts for which the
silver coinage is to be a legal tender are essential to maintaining
both in circulation. If these conditions can be successfully observed,
the issue from the mint of silver dollars would afford material
assistance to the community in the transition to redeemable paper
money, and would facilitate the resumption of specie payment and its
permanent establishment. Without these conditions I fear that only
mischief and misfortune would flow from a coinage of silver
dollars with the quality of unlimited legal tender, even in private
transactions.

Any expectation of temporary ease from an issue of silver coinage to
pass as a legal tender at a rate materially above its commercial value
is, I am persuaded, a delusion. Nor can I think that there is any
substantial distinction between an original issue of silver dollars
at a nominal value materially above their commercial value and the
restoration of the silver dollar at a rate which once was, but has
ceased to be, its commercial value. Certainly the issue of our gold
coinage, reduced in weight materially below its legal-tender value,
would not be any the less a present debasement of the coinage by
reason of its equaling, or even exceeding, in weight a gold
coinage which at some past time had been commercially equal to the
legal-tender value assigned to the new issue.

In recommending that the regulation of any silver coinage which may be
authorized by Congress should observe these conditions of commercial
value and limited legal tender, I am governed by the feeling that
every possible increase should be given to the volume of metallic
money which can be kept in circulation, and thereby every possible aid
afforded to the people in the process of resuming specie payments. It
is because of my firm conviction that a disregard of these conditions
would frustrate the good results which are desired from the proposed
coinage, and embarrass with new elements of confusion and uncertainty
the business of the country, that I urge upon your attention these
considerations.

I respectfully recommend to Congress that in any legislation providing
for a silver coinage and imparting to it the quality of legal tender
there be impressed upon the measure a firm provision exempting the
public debt heretofore issued and now outstanding from payment, either
of principal or interest, in any coinage of less commercial value than
the present gold coinage of the country.

The organization of the civil service of the country has for a number
of years attracted more and more of the public attention. So general
has become the opinion that the methods of admission to it and
the conditions of remaining in it are unsound that both the great
political parties have agreed in the most explicit declarations of the
necessity of reform and in the most emphatic demands for it. I have
fully believed these declarations and demands to be the expression of
a sincere conviction of the intelligent masses of the people upon the
subject, and that they should be recognized and followed by earnest
and prompt action on the part of the legislative and executive
departments of the Government, in pursuance of the purpose indicated.

Before my accession to office I endeavored to have my own views
distinctly understood, and upon my inauguration my accord with
the public opinion was stated in terms believed to be plain and
unambiguous. My experience in the executive duties has strongly
confirmed the belief in the great advantage the country would find in
observing strictly the plan of the Constitution, which imposes upon
the Executive the sole duty and responsibility of the selection of
those Federal officers who by law are appointed, not elected, and
which in like manner assigns to the Senate the complete right to
advise and consent to or to reject the nominations so made, whilst
the House of Representatives stands as the public censor of the
performance of official duties, with the prerogative of investigation
and prosecution in all cases of dereliction. The blemishes and
imperfections in the civil service may, as I think, be traced in most
cases to a practical confusion of the duties assigned to the several
Departments of the Government. My purpose in this respect has been
to return to the system established by the fundamental law, and to
do this with the heartiest cooperation and most cordial understanding
with the Senate and House of Representatives.

The practical difficulties in the selection of numerous officers for
posts of widely varying responsibilities and duties are acknowledged
to be very great. No system can be expected to secure absolute freedom
from mistakes, and the beginning of any attempted change of custom
is quite likely to be more embarrassed in this respect than any
subsequent period. It is here that the Constitution seems to me to
prove its claim to the great wisdom accorded to it. It gives to
the Executive the assistance of the knowledge and experience of the
Senate, which, when acting upon nominations as to which they may be
disinterested and impartial judges, secures as strong a guaranty of
freedom from errors of importance as is perhaps possible in human
affairs.

In addition to this, I recognize the public advantage of making all
nominations, as nearly as possible, impersonal, in the sense of being
free from mere caprice or favor in the selection; and in those offices
in which special training is of greatly increased value I believe such
a rule as to the tenure of office should obtain as may induce men of
proper qualifications to apply themselves industriously to the task of
becoming proficients. Bearing these things in mind, I have endeavored
to reduce the number of changes in subordinate places usually made
upon the change of the general administration, and shall most heartily
cooperate with Congress in the better systematizing of such methods
and rules of admission to the public service and of promotion within
it as may promise to be most successful in making thorough competency,
efficiency, and character the decisive tests in these matters.

I ask the renewed attention of Congress to what has already been done
by the Civil Service Commission, appointed, in pursuance of an act
of Congress, by my predecessor, to prepare and revise civil-service
rules. In regard to much of the departmental service, especially at
Washington, it may be difficult to organize a better system than
that which has thus been provided, and it is now being used to a
considerable extent under my direction. The Commission has still a
legal existence, although for several years no appropriation has been
made for defraying its expenses. Believing that this Commission
has rendered valuable service and will be a most useful agency in
improving the administration of the civil service, I respectfully
recommend that a suitable appropriation, to be immediately available,
be made to enable it to continue its labors.

It is my purpose to transmit to Congress as early as practicable a
report by the chairman of the Commission, and to ask your attention
to such measures on this subject as in my opinion will further promote
the improvement of the civil service.

During the past year the United States have continued to maintain
peaceful relations with foreign powers.

The outbreak of war between Russia and Turkey, though at one time
attended by grave apprehension as to its effect upon other European
nations, has had no tendency to disturb the amicable relations
existing between the United States and each of the two contending
powers. An attitude of just and impartial neutrality has been
preserved, and I am gratified to state that in the midst of their
hostilities both the Russian and the Turkish Governments have shown an
earnest disposition to adhere to the obligations of all treaties with
the United States and to give due regard to the rights of American
citizens.

By the terms of the treaty defining the rights, immunities, and
privileges of consuls, between Italy and the United States, ratified
in 1868, either Government may, after the lapse of ten years,
terminate the existence of the treaty by giving twelve months' notice
of its intention. The Government of Italy, availing itself of this
faculty, has now given the required notice, and the treaty will
accordingly end on the 17th of September, 1878. It is understood,
however, that the Italian Government wishes to renew it in its general
scope, desiring only certain modifications in some of its articles.
In this disposition I concur, and shall hope that no serious obstacles
may intervene to prevent or delay the negotiation of a satisfactory
treaty.

Numerous questions in regard to passports, naturalization, and
exemption from military service have continued to arise in cases of
emigrants from Germany who have returned to their native country. The
provisions of the treaty of February 22, 1868, however, have proved to
be so ample and so judicious that the legation of the United States at
Berlin has been able to adjust all claims arising under it, not only
without detriment to the amicable relations existing between the two
Governments, but, it is believed, without injury or injustice to any
duly naturalized American citizen. It is desirable that the treaty
originally made with the North German Union in 1868 should now be
extended so as to apply equally to all the States of the Empire of
Germany.

The invitation of the Government of France to participate in the
Exposition of the Products of Agriculture, Industry, and the Fine
Arts to be held at Paris during the coming year was submitted for
your consideration at the extra session. It is not doubted that its
acceptance by the United States, and a well-selected exhibition of the
products of American industry on that occasion, will tend to stimulate
international commerce and emigration, as well as to promote the
traditional friendship between the two countries.

A question arose some time since as to the proper meaning of the
extradition articles of the treaty of 1842 between the United States
and Great Britain. Both Governments, however, are now in accord in
the belief that the question is not one that should be allowed to
frustrate the ends of justice or to disturb the friendship between
the two nations. No serious difficulty has arisen in accomplishing
the extradition of criminals when necessary. It is probable that all
points of disagreement will in due time be settled, and, if need be,
more explicit declarations be made in a new treaty.

The Fishery Commission under Articles XVIII to XXV of the treaty of
Washington has concluded its session at Halifax. The result of the
deliberations of the commission, as made public by the commissioners,
will be communicated to Congress.

A treaty for the protection of trade-marks has been negotiated
with Great Britain, which has been submitted to the Senate for its
consideration.

The revolution which recently occurred in Mexico was followed by the
accession of the successful party to power and the installation of its
chief, General Porfirio Diaz, in the Presidential office. It has been
the custom of the United States, when such changes of government have
heretofore occurred in Mexico, to recognize and enter into official
relations with the _de facto_ government as soon as it should appear
to have the approval of the Mexican people and should manifest a
disposition to adhere to the obligations of treaties and international
friendship. In the present case such official recognition has been
deferred by the occurrences on the Rio Grande border, the records
of which have been already communicated to each House of Congress in
answer to their respective resolutions of inquiry. Assurances
have been received that the authorities at the seat of the Mexican
Government have both the disposition and the power to prevent and
punish such unlawful invasions and depredations. It is earnestly to be
hoped that events may prove these assurances to be well founded. The
best interests of both countries require the maintenance of peace upon
the border and the development of commerce between the two Republics.

It is gratifying to add that this temporary interruption of official
relations has not prevented due attention by the representatives of
the United States in Mexico to the protection of American citizens, so
far as practicable; nor has it interfered with the prompt payment of
the amounts due from Mexico to the United States under the treaty of
July 4, 1868, and the awards of the joint commission. While I do not
anticipate an interruption of friendly relations with Mexico, yet I
can not but look with some solicitude upon a continuance of border
disorders as exposing the two countries to initiations of popular
feeling and mischances of action which are naturally unfavorable to
complete amity. Firmly determined that nothing shall be wanting on my
part to promote a good understanding between the two nations, I yet
must ask the attention of Congress to the actual occurrences on the
border, that the lives and property of our citizens may be adequately
protected and peace preserved.

Another year has passed without bringing to a close the protracted
contest between the Spanish Government and the insurrection in the
island of Cuba. While the United States have sedulously abstained from
any intervention in this contest, it is impossible not to feel that
it is attended with incidents affecting the rights and interests of
American citizens. Apart from the effect of the hostilities upon
trade between the United States and Cuba, their progress is inevitably
accompanied by complaints, having more or less foundation, of
searches, arrests, embargoes, and oppressive taxes upon the property
of American residents, and of unprovoked interference with American
vessels and commerce. It is due to the Government of Spain to say that
during the past year it has promptly disavowed and offered reparation
for any unauthorized acts of unduly zealous subordinates whenever
such acts have been brought to its attention. Nevertheless, such
occurrences can not but tend to excite feelings of annoyance,
suspicion, and resentment, which are greatly to be deprecated, between
the respective subjects and citizens of two friendly powers.

Much delay (consequent upon accusations of fraud in some of the
awards) has occurred in respect to the distribution of the limited
amounts received from Venezuela under the treaty of April 25, 1866,
applicable to the awards of the joint commission created by that
treaty. So long as these matters are pending in Congress the Executive
can not assume either to pass upon the questions presented or to
distribute the fund received. It is eminently desirable that definite
legislative action should be taken, either affirming the awards to be
final or providing some method for reexamination of the claims. Our
relations with the Republics of Central and South America and with the
Empire of Brazil have continued without serious change, further than
the temporary interruption of diplomatic intercourse with Venezuela
and with Guatemala. Amicable relations have already been fully
restored with Venezuela, and it is not doubted that all grounds of
misunderstanding with Guatemala will speedily be removed. From all
these countries there are favorable indications of a disposition on
the part of their Governments and people to reciprocate our efforts in
the direction of increased commercial intercourse.

The Government of the Samoan Islands has sent an envoy, in the person
of its secretary of state, to invite the Government of the United
States to recognize and protect their independence, to establish
commercial relations with their people, and to assist them in their
steps toward regulated and responsible government. The inhabitants
of these islands, having made considerable progress in Christian
civilization and the development of trade, are doubtful of their
ability to maintain peace and independence without the aid of some
stronger power. The subject is deemed worthy of respectful attention,
and the claims upon our assistance by this distant community will be
carefully considered.

The long commercial depression in the United States has directed
attention to the subject of the possible increase of our foreign trade
and the methods for its development, not only with Europe, but with
other countries, and especially with the States and sovereignties of
the Western Hemisphere. Instructions from the Department of State
were issued to the various diplomatic and consular officers of the
Government, asking them to devote attention to the question of methods
by which trade between the respective countries of their official
residence and the United States could be most judiciously fostered.
In obedience to these instructions, examinations and reports upon this
subject have been made by many of these officers and transmitted to
the Department, and the same are submitted to the consideration of
Congress.

The annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the state of the
finances presents important questions for the action of Congress, upon
some of which I have already remarked.

The revenues of the Government during the fiscal year ending June 30,
1877, were $269,000,586.62; the total expenditures for the same period
were $238,660,008.93, leaving a surplus revenue of $30,340,577.69.
This has substantially supplied the requirements of the sinking fund
for that year. The estimated revenues of the current fiscal year are
$265,500,000, and the estimated expenditures for the same period are
$232,430,643.72. If these estimates prove to be correct, there will be
a surplus revenue of $33,069,356.28--an amount nearly sufficient for
the sinking fund for that year. The estimated revenues for the next
fiscal year are $269,250,000. It appears from the report that during
the last fiscal year the revenues of the Government, compared with the
previous year, have largely decreased. This decrease, amounting to the
sum of $18,481,452.54, was mainly in customs duties, caused partly
by a large falling off of the amount of imported dutiable goods and
partly by the general fall of prices in the markets of production of
such articles as pay _ad valorem_ taxes.

While this is felt injuriously in the diminution of the revenue, it
has been accompanied with a very large increase of exportations. The
total exports during the last fiscal year, including coin, have
been $658,637,457, and the imports have been $492,097,540, leaving a
balance of trade in favor of the United States amounting to the sum of
$166,539,917, the beneficial effects of which extend to all branches
of business.

The estimated revenue for the next fiscal year will impose upon
Congress the duty of strictly limiting appropriations, including the
requisite sum for the maintenance of the sinking fund, within the
aggregate estimated receipts.

While the aggregate of taxes should not be increased, amendments
might be made to the revenue laws that would, without diminishing the
revenue, relieve the people from unnecessary burdens. A tax on tea and
coffee is shown by the experience not only of our own country, but
of other countries, to be easily collected, without loss by
undervaluation or fraud, and largely borne in the country of
production. A tax of 10 cents a pound on tea and 2 cents a pound on
coffee would produce a revenue exceeding $12,000,000, and thus enable
Congress to repeal a multitude of annoying taxes yielding a revenue
not exceeding that sum. The internal-revenue system grew out of the
necessities of the war, and most of the legislation imposing taxes
upon domestic products under this system has been repealed. By the
substitution of a tax on tea and coffee all forms of internal taxation
may be repealed, except that on whisky, spirits, tobacco, and beer.
Attention is also called to the necessity of enacting more vigorous
laws for the protection of the revenue and for the punishment of
frauds and smuggling. This can best be done by judicious provisions
that will induce the disclosure of attempted fraud by undervaluation
and smuggling. All revenue laws should be simple in their provisions
and easily understood. So far as practicable, the rates of taxation
should be in the form of specific duties, and not _ad valorem_,
requiring the judgment of experienced men to ascertain values and
exposing the revenue to the temptation of fraud.

My attention has been called during the recess of Congress to abuses
existing in the collection of the customs, and strenuous efforts
have been made for their correction by Executive orders. The
recommendations submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury by a
commission appointed to examine into the collection of customs duties
at the port of New York contain many suggestions for the modification
of the customs laws, to which the attention of Congress is invited.

It is matter of congratulation that notwithstanding the severe
burdens caused by the war the public faith with all creditors has been
preserved, and that as the result of this policy the public credit has
continuously advanced and our public securities are regarded with the
highest favor in the markets of the world. I trust that no act of the
Government will cast a shadow upon its credit.

The progress of refunding the public debt has been rapid and
satisfactory. Under the contract existing when I entered upon the
discharge of the duties of my office, bonds bearing interest at the
rate of 4-1/2 per cent were being rapidly sold, and within three
months the aggregate sales of these bonds had reached the sum of
$200,000,000. With my sanction the Secretary of the Treasury entered
into a new contract for the sale of 4 per cent bonds, and within
thirty days after the popular subscription for such bonds was opened
subscriptions were had amounting to $75,496,550, which were paid for
within ninety days after the date of subscription. By this process,
within but little more than one year, the annual interest on the
public debt was reduced in the sum of $3,775,000.

I recommended that suitable provision be made to enable the people to
easily convert their savings into Government securities, as the best
mode in which small savings may be well secured and yield a moderate
interest. It is an object of public policy to retain among our own
people the securities of the United States. In this way our country is
guarded against their sudden return from foreign countries, caused by
war or other disturbances beyond our limits.

The commerce of the United States with foreign nations, and especially
the export of domestic productions, has of late years largely
increased; but the greater portion of this trade is conducted in
foreign vessels. The importance of enlarging our foreign trade, and
especially by direct and speedy interchange with countries on this
continent, can not be overestimated; and it is a matter of great
moment that our own shipping interest should receive, to the utmost
practical extent, the benefit of our commerce with other lands. These
considerations are forcibly urged by all the large commercial cities
of the country, and public attention is generally and wisely attracted
to the solution of the problems they present. It is not doubted that
Congress will take them up in the broadest spirit of liberality
and respond to the public demand by practical legislation upon this
important subject.

The report of the Secretary of War shows that the Army has been
actively employed during the year, and has rendered very important
service in suppressing hostilities in the Indian country and in
preserving peace and protecting life and property in the interior as
well as along the Mexican border. A long and arduous campaign has been
prosecuted, with final complete success, against a portion of the Nez
Perce tribe of Indians. A full account of this campaign will be found
in the report of the General of the Army. It will be seen that in
its course several severe battles were fought, in which a number of
gallant officers and men lost their lives. I join with the Secretary
of War and the General of the Army in awarding to the officers and men
employed in the long and toilsome pursuit and in the final capture of
these Indians the honor and praise which are so justly their due.

The very serious riots which occurred in several of the States in July
last rendered necessary the employment of a considerable portion of
the Army to preserve the peace and maintain order. In the States of
West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Illinois these disturbances
were so formidable as to defy the local and State authorities, and
the National Executive was called upon, in the mode provided by the
Constitution and laws, to furnish military aid. I am gratified to be
able to state that the troops sent in response to these calls for aid
in the suppression of domestic violence were able, by the influence
of their presence in the disturbed regions, to preserve the peace
and restore order without the use of force. In the discharge of this
delicate and important duty both officers and men acted with great
prudence and courage, and for their services deserve the thanks of the
country.

Disturbances along the Rio Grande in Texas, to which I have already
referred, have rendered necessary the constant employment of a
military force in that vicinity. A full report of all recent military
operations in that quarter has been transmitted to the House of
Representatives in answer to a resolution of that body, and it will
therefore not be necessary to enter into details. I regret to say that
these lawless incursions into our territory by armed bands from the
Mexican side of the line, for the purpose of robbery, have been of
frequent occurrence, and in spite of the most vigilant efforts of
the commander of our forces the marauders have generally succeeded in
escaping into Mexico with their plunder. In May last I gave orders for
the exercise of the utmost vigilance on the part of our troops for the
suppression of these raids and the punishment of the guilty parties,
as well as the recapture of property stolen by them. General Ord,
commanding in Texas, was directed to invite the cooperation of the
Mexican authorities in efforts to this end, and to assure them that I
was anxious to avoid giving the least offense to Mexico. At the same
time, he was directed to give notice of my determination to put an
end to the invasion of our territory by lawless bands intent upon the
plunder of our peaceful citizens, even if the effectual punishment of
the outlaws should make the crossing of the border by our troops in
their pursuit necessary. It is believed that this policy has had
the effect to check somewhat these depredations, and that with
a considerable increase of our force upon that frontier and the
establishment of several additional military posts along the Rio
Grande, so as more effectually to guard that extensive border, peace
may be preserved and the lives and property of our citizens in Texas
fully protected.

Prior to the 1st day of July last the Army was, in accordance with
law, reduced to the maximum of 25,000 enlisted men, being a reduction
of 2,500 below the force previously authorized. This reduction was
made, as required by law, entirely from the infantry and artillery
branches of the service, without any reduction of the cavalry. Under
the law as it now stands it is necessary that the cavalry regiments
be recruited to 100 men in each company for service on the Mexican
and Indian frontiers. The necessary effect of this legislation is to
reduce the infantry and artillery arms of the service below the number
required for efficiency, and I concur with the Secretary of War in
recommending that authority be given to recruit all companies of
infantry to at least 50 men and all batteries of artillery to at least
75 men, with the power, in case of emergency, to increase the former
to 100 and the latter to 122 men each.

I invite your special attention to the following recommendations of
the Secretary of War:

First. That provision be made for supplying to the Army a more
abundant and better supply of reading matter.

Second. That early action be taken by Congress looking to a complete
revision and republication of the Army Regulations.

Third. That section 1258 of the Revised Statutes, limiting the number
of officers on the retired list, be repealed.

Fourth. That the claims arising under the act of July 4, 1864, for
supplies taken by the Army during the war, be taken from the offices
of the Quartermaster and Commissary Generals and transferred to the
Southern Claims Commission, or some other tribunal having more time
and better facilities for their prompt investigation and decision than
are possessed by these officers.

Fifth. That Congress provide for an annuity fund for the families
of deceased soldiers, as recommended by the Paymaster-General of the
Army.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy shows that we have six
squadrons now engaged in the protection of our foreign commerce
and other duties pertaining to the naval service. The condition and
operations of the Department are also shown. The total expenditures
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1877, were $16,077,974.54. There
are unpaid claims against the Department chargeable to the last year,
which are presented to the consideration of Congress by the report of
the Secretary. The estimates for the fiscal year commencing July 1,
1878, are $16,233,234.40, exclusive of the sum of $2,314,231
submitted for new buildings, repairs, and improvements at the several
navy-yards. The appropriations for the present fiscal year, commencing
July 1, 1877, are $13,592,932.90. The amount drawn from the Treasury
from July 1 to November 1, 1877, is $5,343,037.40, of which there is
estimated to be yet available $1,029,528.30, showing the amount of
actual expenditure during the first four months of the present fiscal
year to have been $4,313,509.10.

The report of the Postmaster-General contains a full and clear
statement of the operations and condition of the Post-Office
Department. The ordinary revenues of the Department for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1877, including receipts from the money-order
business and from official stamps and stamped envelopes, amounted
to the sum of $27,531,585.26. The additional sum of $7,013,000 was
realized from appropriations from the general Treasury for various
purposes, making the receipts from all sources $34,544,885.26. The
total expenditures during the fiscal year amounted to $33,486,322.44,
leaving an excess of total receipts over total expenditures of
$1,058,562.82, and an excess of total expenditures over ordinary
receipts of $5,954,737.18. Deducting from the total receipts the
sum of $63,261.84, received from international money orders of the
preceding fiscal year, and deducting from the total expenditures the
sum of $1,163,818.20, paid on liabilities incurred in previous fiscal
years, the expenditures and receipts appertaining to the business of
the last fiscal year were as follows:

Expenditures $32,322,504.24
Receipts (ordinary, from money-order business
and from official postage stamps) 27,468,323.42
_____________
Excess of expenditures 4,854,180.82


The ordinary revenues of the Post-Office Department for the year
ending June 30, 1879, are estimated at an increase of 3 per cent over
those of 1877, making $29,034,098.28, and the expenditures for
the same year are estimated at $36,427,771, leaving an estimated
deficiency for the year 1879 of $7,393,672.72. The additional
legislation recommended by the Postmaster-General for improvements of
the mail service and to protect the postal revenues from the abuses
practiced under existing laws is respectfully commended to the careful
consideration of Congress.

The report of the Attorney-General contains several suggestions as to
the administration of justice, to which I invite your attention.
The pressure of business in the Supreme Court and in certain circuit


 


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