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Title: Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 2
Author: Boutwell, George S., 1818-1905
Language: English
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Reminiscences of
Sixty Years
in Public Affairs
by George S. Boutwell
Governor of Massachusetts, 1851-1852
Representative in Congress, 1863-1869
Secretary of the Treasury, 1869-1873
Senator from Massachusetts, 1873-1877
etc., etc.,

Volume Two

New York
McClure, Phillips & Co.

_Copyright, 1902, by_
McClure, Phillips & Co.

_Published May, 1902.  N._


 XXVIII  Service in Congress
   XXIX  Incidents in the Civil War
    XXX  The Amendments to the Constitution
   XXXI  Investigations Following the Civil War
  XXXII  Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
 XXXIII  The Treasury Department in 1869
  XXXIV  The Mint Bill and the "Crime of 1873"
   XXXV  Black Friday--September 24, 1869
  XXXVI  An Historic Sale of United States Bonds in England
 XXXVII  General Grant's Administration
XXXVIII  General Grant as a Statesman
  XXXIX  Reminiscences of Public Men
     XL  Blaine and Conkling and the Republican Convention of 1880
    XLI  From 1875 to 1895
   XLII  The Last of the Ocean Slave Traders
  XLIII  Mr. Lincoln as an Historical Personage
   XLIV  Speech on Columbus
    XLV  Imperialism as a Public Policy



My election to Congress in 1862 was contested by Judge Benjamin F.
Thomas, who was then a Republican member from the Norfolk district.
The re-districting of the State brought Thomas and Train into the same
district.  I was nominated by the Republican Convention, and Thomas
then became the candidate of the "People's Party," and at the election
he was supported by the Democrats.  His course in the Thirty-seventh
Congress on the various projects for compromise had alienated many
Republicans, and it had brought to him the support of many Democrats.
My active radicalism had alienated the conservative Republicans.  As a
consequence, my majority reached only about 1,400 while in the
subsequent elections, 1864-'66-'68 the majorities ranged from five to
seven thousand.

Among the new members who were elected to the Thirty-eighth Congress
and who attained distinction subsequently, were Garfield, Blaine and
Allison.  Wilson, of Iowa, had been in the Thirty-seventh Congress and
Henry Winter Davis had been a member at an earlier period.  Mr.
Conkling was a member of the Thirty-seventh Congress, but he was
defeated by his townsman Francis Kernan under the influence of the
reactionary wave which moved over the North in 1862.  At that time Mr.
Lincoln had lost ground with the people.  The war had not been
prosecuted successfully, the expenses were enormous, taxes were heavy,
multitudes of families were in grief, and the prospects of peace
through victory were very dim.  The Democrats in the House became
confident and aggressive.

Alexander Long, of Ohio, made a speech so tainted with sympathy for
the rebels that Speaker Colfax came down from the chair and moved a
resolution of censure.  Harris, of Maryland, in the debate upon the
resolution, made a speech much more offensive than that of Long.  As a
consequence, the censure was applied to both gentlemen and as a further
consequence, the friends of the South became more guarded in
expressions of sympathy.  It is true also, that there were many
Democrats who did not sympathize with Harris, Long, and Pendleton.
Voorhees of Indiana was also an active sympathizer with the South.  I
recollect that in the Thirty-eighth or Thirty-ninth Congress he made a
violent attack upon Mr. Lincoln, and the Republican Party.  The House
was in committee, and I was in the chair.  Consequently I listened
attentively to the speech.  It was carefully prepared and modeled
apparently upon Junius and Burke--a model which time has destroyed.

Of the members of the House during the war period, Henry Winter Davis
was the most accomplished speaker.  Mr. Davis' head was a study.  In
front it was not only intellectual, it was classical--a model for an
artist.  The back of his head was that of a prize fighter, and he
combined the scholar and gentleman with the pugilist.  His courage was
constitutional and he was ready to make good his position whether by
argument or by blows.  His speeches in the delivery were very
attractive.  His best speech, as I recall his efforts, was a speech in
defense of Admiral Dupont.  That speech involved an attack upon the
Navy Department.  Alexander H. Rice, of Massachusetts, was the chairman
of the Naval Committee.  He appeared for the Navy Department in an able
defence.  Mr. Rice's abilities were not of the highest order, but his
style was polished, and he was thoroughly equipped for the defence.  He
had the Navy Department behind him, and a department usually has a
plausible reason or excuse for anything that it does.

An estimate of Mr. Davis' style as a writer and his quality as an
orator may be gained from a speech entitled:--"Reasons for Refusing to
Part Company with the South," which he delivered in February, 1861,
and in which he set forth the condition of the country as it then
appeared to him.  These extracts give some support to the opinion
entertained by many that Mr. Davis was the leading political orator
of the Civil War period:

"We are at the end of the insane revel of partisan license, which, for
thirty years, has, in the United States, worn the mask of government.
We are about to close the masquerade by the dance of death.  The
nations of the world look anxiously to see if the people, ere they
tread that measure, will come to themselves.

"Yet in the early youth of our national life we are already exhausted
by premature excesses.  The corruption of our political maxims has
relaxed the tone of public morals and degraded the public authorities
from terror to the accomplices of evil-doers.  Platforms for fools--
plunder for thieves--offices for service--power for ambition--unity in
these essentials--diversity in the immaterial matters of policy and
legislation--charity for every frailty--the voice of the people is the
voice of God--these maxims have sunk into the public mind; have
presided at the administration of public affairs, have almost effaced
the very idea of public duty.  The Government under their disastrous
influence has gradually ceased to fertilize the fields of domestic and
useful legislation, and pours itself, like an impetuous torrent, along
the barren ravine of party and sectional strife.  It has been shorn of
every prerogative that wore the austere aspect of authority and power.

"The consequence of this demoralization is that States, without regard
to the Federal Government, assume to stand face to face and wage their
own quarrels, to adjust their own difficulties, to impute to each
other every wrong, to insist that individual States shall remedy every
grievance, and they denounce failure to do so as cause of civil war
between States; and as if the Constitution were silent and dead and
the power of the Union utterly inadequate to keep the peace between
them, unconstitutional commissioners flit from State to State, or
assemble at the national capital to counsel peace or instigate war.
Sir, these are the causes which lie at the bottom of the present
dangers.  These causes which have rendered them possible and made them
serious, must be removed before they can ever be permanently cured.
They shake the fabric of our National Government.  It is to this
fearful demoralization of the Government and the people that we must
ascribe the disastrous defections which now perplex us with the fear of
change in all that constituted our greatness.  The operation of the
Government has been withdrawn from the great public interests, in order
that competing parties might not be embarrassed in the struggle for
power by diversities of opinion upon questions of policy; and the
public mind, in that struggle, has been exclusively turned on the
slavery question, which no interest required to be touched by any
department of this Government.  On that subject there are widely
marked diversities of opinion and interest in the different portions of
the Confederacy, with few mediating influences to soften the
collision.  In the struggle for party power, the two great regions of
the country have been brought face to face upon the most dangerous of
all subjects of agitation.  The authority of the Government was relaxed
just when its power was about to be assailed; and the people,
emancipated from every control and their passions inflamed by the
fierce struggle for the Presidency, were the easy prey of revolutionary

"Within two months after a formal, peaceful, regular election of the
chief magistrate of the United States, in which the whole body of the
people of every State competed with zeal for the prize, without any new
event intervening, without any new grievances alleged, without any new
measures having been made, we have seen, in the short course of one
month, a small proportion of the population of six States transcend the
bounds at a single leap at once of the State and the national
constitutions; usurp the extraordinary prerogative of repealing the
supreme law of the land; exclude the great mass of their fellow-
citizens from the protection of the Constitution; declare themselves
emancipated from the obligations which the Constitution pronounces to
be supreme over them and over their laws; arrogate to themselves all
the prerogatives of independent power; rescind the acts of cession of
the public property; occupy the public offices; seize the fortresses
of the United States confided to the faith of the people among whom
they were placed; embezzle the public arms concentrated there for the
defence of the United States; array thousands of men in arms against
the United States; and actually wage war on the Union by besieging
two of their fortresses and firing on a vessel bearing, under the flag
of the United States, reinforcements and provisions for one of them.
The very boundaries of right and wrong seem obliterated when we see a
Cabinet minister engaged for months in deliberately changing the
distribution of public arms to places in the hands of those about to
resist our public authority, so as to place within their grasp means
of waging war against the United States greater than they ever used
against a foreign foe; and another Cabinet minister, still holding his
commission under the authority of the United States, still a
confidential adviser of the President, and bound by his oath to
support the Constitution of the United States, himself a commissioner
from his own State to another of the United States for the purpose of
organizing and extending another part of the same great scheme of
rebellion; and the doom of the Republic seems sealed when the
President, surrounded by such ministers, permits, without rebuke, the
Government to be betrayed, neglects the solemn warning of the first
solider of the age, till almost every fort is a prey to domestic
treason, and accepts assurances of peace in his time at the expense of
leaving the national honor unguarded.  His message gives aid and
comfort to the enemies of the Union, by avowing his inability to
maintain its integrity; and, paralyzed and stupefied, he stands amid
the crash of the falling Republic, still muttering, 'Not in my time,
not in my time; after me the deluge!'"

Soon after Mr. Colfax's election as speaker of the Thirty-eighth
Congress, I met him in a restaurant.  He expressed surprise that he had
not heard from me in regard to a place upon a committee.  I said that
the subject did not occupy my thoughts--that I had work enough whether
I was upon a committee or not.  He expressed himself as disturbed by
the fact that he could not give me as good a place as he wished to
give me.  I tried to relieve his mind upon that point.  In all my
legislative experience I never made any suggestion as to committee
work.  Mr. Colfax placed me upon the Judiciary Committee, which, in the
end, was the best place to which I could have been assigned.

Mr. Colfax was made of consequence in the country by the newspapers,
and he was ruined by his timidity.  If he had admitted that he was an
owner of stock in the Credit Mobilier Company, not much could have
been made against him.  His denials and explanations, which were either
false or disingenuous, and his final admission of a fact which implied
that he had been in the receipt of a quarterly payment from a post-
office contractor, completed his ruin.  There was a time when the
country over-estimated his ability.  He was a genial, kindly man, with
social qualities and an abundance of information in reference to men
in the United States and to recent and passing politics.  He had
newspaper knowledge and aptitude for gathering what may be called
information as distinguished from learning.  He was a victim to two
passions or purposes in life, that are in a degree inconsistent--public
life and money-making.  Instances there have been of success, but I
have never known a case where a public man has not suffered in
reputation by the knowledge that he had accumulated a fortune while he
was engaged in the public service.  As a speaker of the House, Colfax
was agreeable and popular, but he lacked in discipline.  His rule was
lax, and there can be no doubt that from the commencement of his
administration there had been a decline in what may be termed the
morale of the House.  Something of its reputation for dignity and
decorum had been lost.

A young man from New York, Mr. Chanler, made a speech in the Thirty-
eighth or Thirty-ninth Congress, which seemed to favor the
Confederacy.  This phase of his speech was due to the fact that he
was a transcendental State Rights advocate.  He did not believe in
secession, as a wise and proper policy, but he did believe in the
right of a State to consult itself as to its continuance in the Union.
Chanler was not a strong man and he owed his election, probably, to his
connection with the Astor family.  He failed to make the political
distinction clear to the mind of the House and he was followed by
General Schenck in a severe speech.  Chanler explained and asserted
that he was not secessionist--that he was for the Union--that he had
served with the New York Seventh--and that he had made a tender to
General Dix of service on his staff, but that he had not received a
reply from General Dix.

Thereupon S. S. Cox, who then represented a district in Ohio, made a
jocose reply to Schenck and a like defence of Chanler and ended with
the remark that he hoped his "colleague regretted having been guilty
of a groundless attack upon a solider of the Republic."  I went over to
Cox to congratulate him upon his defence of Chanler, and in reply Cox
said:  "The funniest part of it is that Chanler took it all in earnest
and came to my seat and thanked me for my speech."

Cox had no malice in his nature and there was always a doubt whether he
had any sincerity in his politics.  He had no sympathy with the
rebellion, and, generally, he voted appropriations for the army and
the navy.  He was sincere in his personal friendships, and his
friendships were not upon party lines.  In his political action he
seemed more anxious to annoy his opponents than to extinguish them.
His speeches were short, pointed, and entertaining.  He was a favorite
with the House, but his influence upon its action was very slight.
Those who acquire and retain power are the earnest and persistent men.
When Cox had made his speech and expended his jokes he was content.
The fate of a measure did not much disturb or even concern him.

Cox was party to an affair in the House which illustrated the
characteristics of Thaddeus Stevens, or "Old Thad," as he was called.
Late in the war, or soon after its close, Mr. Stevens introduced a
bill to appropriate $800,000 to reimburse the State of Pennsylvania for
expenses incurred in repelling invasions and suppressing insurrections.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Appropriations, of which
Stevens was chairman.  Without much delay and before the holidays,
Stevens reported the bill.  There was some debate, in which my
colleague, Mr. Dawes, took part against the bill.  Finally the House
postponed the bill till after the holidays.  During the recess I
examined the question by making inquiries at the War and Treasury
departments, where I found that authority existed for reimbursing
States for all expenditures actually made and for the payment of all
troops that had been mustered into the service.  Thus the real purpose
of the bill was apparent.  During the Antietam and Gettysburg campaigns
bodies of troops had been organized for defence and expenses had been
incurred by towns and counties, but no actual service had been
performed.  It was intended by the appropriation to provide for the
payment of these expenses.  I prepared a brief and gave it to Mr.
Dawes, who used it in the debate.  When it became apparent that the
bill would be lost, Cox rose and moved to insert after the word
Pennsylvania, the words Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana,
Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and the Territory of New Mexico.
Also to strike out $800,000 and insert ten million dollars.  These
amendments brought to the support of the measure the members from all
those States, and the bill was passed.  The Senate never acted upon
it.  I was indignant at the action of the House, and I said to Stevens,
whose seat was near to mine:  _"This is the most outrageous thing that
I have seen on the floor of the House."_  Stevens doubled his fist but
not in anger, shook it in my face and said:  "You rascal, if you had
allowed me to have my rights I should not have been compelled to make
a corrupt bargain in order to get them."   Thus he admitted his
arrangement with Cox and the character of it, and laid the
responsibility upon me.

Mr. Stevens was a tyrant in his rule as leader of the House.  He was at
once able, bold and unscrupulous.  He was an anti-slavery man, a friend
to temperance and an earnest supporter of the public school system, and
he would not have hesitated to promote those objects by arrangements
with friends or enemies.  He was unselfish in personal matters, but his
public policy regarded the State of Pennsylvania, and the Republican
Party.  The more experienced members of the House avoided controversy
with Stevens.  First and last many a new member was extinguished by his
sarcastic thrusts.  As for himself no one could terrorize him.  I
recall an occasion near the close of a session, when, as it was
important to get a bill out of the Committee of the Whole, he remained
upon his feet or upon his one foot and assailed every member who
proposed an amendment.  Sometimes his remarks were personal and
sometimes they were aimed at the member's State.  In a few minutes he
cowed the House, and secured the adoption of his motion for the
committee to rise and report the bill to the House.

He must have been a very good lawyer.  The impeachment article which
received the best support was from his pen.  He possessed wit,
sarcasm and irony in every form.  In public all these weapons were
poisoned, but in private he was usually genial.  On one occasion
Judge Olin of New York was speaking and in his excitement he walked
down and up the aisle passing Stevens' seat.  At length Stevens said:
"Olin, do you expect to get mileage for this speech?"

During the controversy with Andrew Johnson, Thayer, of Pennsylvania,
became excited upon a matter of no consequence, denounced the report of
a committee, and in the course of his remarks said:  "They ask us to
go it blind."  Judge Hale, of New York, with an innocent expression,
said he would like to have the gentleman from Pennsylvania inform the
House as to the meaning of the phrase "go it blind."  Stevens said at
once:  "It means following Raymond."  The pertinency of the hit was in
the circumstance that Raymond was supporting Johnson, and that Hale was
following Raymond, not from conviction but for the reason that they
had been classmates in college.

Robert S. Hale was a man of large ability and a successful lawyer.
During his term in Congress he was a prominent candidate for a seat
upon the bench of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York.  At
a critical moment he appeared in the House in the role of a reformer
and proceeded to arraign members for their action in regard to the
measure known as the "salary grab."  The debate showed that Hale was
involved in the business to such an extent that he lost his standing
in the House and imperiled his chance of obtaining a seat upon the
bench of the Court of Appeals.

The bill for the increase of the salaries of public officers was a
proper bill with the single exception that it should have been
prospective as to the members of Congress.  It added $2,500 to the
annual salary of the Congressman or $5,000 for a term.  The temptation
to give the benefit of the increase to the members of the then
existing House was too strong for their judgment and virtue.  When,
however, the indignation of the people was manifested, more than a
majority of the members of each House sought refuge in a variety of
subterfuges.  Some neglected to collect the increase, others who had
received the added sum, returned it to the Treasury upon a variety of
pretexts.  Some endowed schools or libraries, and a minority received
what the laws allowed them and upon an assertion of their right to
receive it.  Outside of the criminal classes there has but seldom been
a more melancholy exhibition of the weakness of human nature.  The
members seemed not to realize that the wrong was in the votes for
which those members were alone responsible who had sustained the bill,
and that the acceptance of the salary which the law allowed was not
only a right but a duty.  At the end those members who took the
salary and defended their acts enjoyed the larger share of public
respect.  Indeed, not one of the shufflers gained anything by the
course that he had pursued.  The public reasoned, and reasoned justly,
that they would have kept the money if they had dared to do so.

Similar conduct ruined many of the members of Congress who were
beneficiaries of the Credit Mobilier scheme.  Mr. Samuel Hooper was a
large holder of the stock, but being a man of fortune the public
accepted that fact as a defence against the suggestion that the stock
had been placed in his hands for the purpose of influencing his
action as a member of Congress.  With others the case was different.
Many were poor men.  They had paid no money for the stock.  Mr. Ames
made the subscriptions, carried the stocks, and turned over the profits
to those who had paid nothing and risked nothing.  When the
investigation was threatened, many of those who were involved ran to
shelter under a variety of excuses and some of them hoped to escape by
the aid of falsehood which ripened into perjury when the investigation
was made.  A few admitted ownership and asserted their right to
ownership.  Those men escaped with but little loss of prestige.  Of the
others, some retained their hold upon public office and some were
advanced to higher places, but they carried always the smell of the
smoke of corruption upon their garments.

Judge Hale defended Mr. Colfax, but at the end his condition was worse
than at the beginning.

There is something of error in our public policy.  With a few
exceptions, the salaries of public officers are too low--in many cases
they are meager.  This fact furnishes a pretext for efforts to make
money while in the public service.  All these efforts are adverse to
the public interests and often the proceedings are tainted with
corruption.  A member of Congress ought to receive $7,500 and a
Cabinet officer cannot live in a manner corresponding to his station
upon less than $15,000.  Adequate salaries would not prevent
speculation on the part of public officers, but they could not offer
as an excuse for their acts the meager salaries allowed by the
government.  From the "salary grab" bill there were two good results.
The President's salary was increased to $50,000 and the justices of
the Supreme Court received $10,000 instead of $6,000 per annum.  It has
not been any part of my purpose in what I have said in favor of an
increase of salaries to furnish means for campaign expenses by
candidates either before or after nominations have been made.

If the statements are trustworthy that have been made publicly in
recent years the conclusion cannot be avoided that money is used
in elections for corrupt purposes--sometimes to secure nominations
and sometimes to secure elections, when nominations have been made.
There are proper uses for money in political contests, but candidates
should not be required to make contributions in return for support.
If the statements now made frequently and boldly, are truthful
statements, then we are moving towards a condition of affairs when the
offices of government will be divided between rich men and men who
seek office for the purpose of becoming rich.  A general condition
cannot be proved by the experiences of individuals, but the
experiences of individuals may indicate a general condition.  I cannot
doubt that an unwholesome change in the use of money in elections has
taken place in the last fifty years.  A gentleman now living (1901),
who was a member of the National Committee of the Democratic Party in
the year 1856 is my authority for the statement that the total sum of
money at the command of the committee in the campaign for Mr.
Buchanan was less than twenty-five thousand dollars.

I mention my own experience and in the belief that it was not
exceptional.  From 1840 to 1850 I was the candidate of the Democratic
Party of Groton for representative of the town in the general court.
The party in the town met its moderate expenses by voluntary
contributions.  I contributed with others, but never upon the ground
that I was a candidate.  We paid our local expenses.  We paid nothing
for expenses elsewhere, and we did not receive anything from outside
sources.  In 1844-'46 and 1848 I was the candidate of the Democratic
Party for the National House of Representatives.  I canvassed the
district at my own charge.  I did not make any contribution to any one
for any purpose, and I did not receive financial aid from any source.
The subject was never mentioned to me or by me in conversation or
correspondence with any one.  Again, I may say the subject was not
mentioned in my canvass for the office of Governor in the years 1849-
1850 and 1851.

In 1862 I became the candidate of the Republican Party for a seat in
Congress.  After my nomination the District Committee asked me for a
contribution of one hundred dollars.  I met their request.  The request
was repeated and answered in 1864, 1866 and 1868.  On one occasion I
received a return of forty-two dollars with a statement that the full
amount of my contribution had not been expended.

While General Butler was in the army, Mr. James Brooks, a member from
the city of New York, charged him, in an elaborate speech, with having
taken about fifty thousand dollars from a bank in New Orleans, and
appropriated the same to his own use.  General Butler was then at
Willard's Hotel.  That evening I called upon Butler, and said to him
that if he had any answer to the charge, I would reply the next day.
I had secured the floor through Mr. Stevens, who moved the adjournment
upon a private understanding that he would yield to me in case I
wished to reply.  As Butler lived in my district and as I was ignorant
of the facts, I avoided taking the floor lest an expectation should be
created which I could not meet.  However, I found Butler entirely
prepared for the contest.  From his letter books he read to me the
correspondence with the Treasury Department, from which it appeared
that the money had been turned over to the department, for which
Butler had the proper receipts.  The money had been seized upon the
ground that it was the property of the Confederacy and was in the bank
awaiting an opportunity to be transferred.  The morning following, I
called upon Butler and obtained copies of the correspondence that had
been prepared the preceding night.  I rode to the Capitol with Butler
and on the way we prepared the letters in chronological order.  Having
obtained the floor through Mr. Stevens I made the answer which
consisted chiefly of the letters.  It was so conclusive that the
subject was never again mentioned in the House of Representatives.  On
that occasion Butler's habit of making and keeping a full record of his
doings served to release him from very serious charges, and so speedily
that the charges did not obtain a lodgment in the public mind.

Upon another occasion Brooks made an attack upon Secretary Chase and
charged various offences upon S. M. Clark, then the chief of the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Some of the charges were personal,
and some of them official.  I called upon the Secretary at his house,
as I was on my way home from the Capitol, and gave him a statement of
the charges made by Brooks.  He seemed ignorant of the whole matter,
and upon my suggestion that he should ask Clark for his explanation or
defence he hesitated, and then asked me to call upon Clark for his
answer.  This I declined and there the matter ended.  There never was
any reply to Brooks.  In the end it may have been as well, for the
charges are forgotten, and they are not likely to be brought out of the
musty volumes of debates.  Mr. Chase's lack of resolution gave me an
unfavorable impression of his ability for administrative affairs.

Samuel J. Randall first entered Congress in 1862.  Mr. Randall's
resources were limited.  He was not bred to any profession, and he was
not a man of learning in any direction.  I cannot imagine that he had
a taste for study at any kind of investigation aside from politics.
By long experience he became familiar with parliamentary proceedings,
and from the same source he acquired a knowledge of the business of
the Government.  He had one essential quality of leadership--a strong
will.  Moreover, he was destitute, apparently, of moral perceptions in
public affairs.  Not that he was corrupt, but as between the Government
and its citizens the demands of what is called justice seemed to have
no effect upon him.  He did not hesitate to delay the payment of a just
claim in order that the appropriation might be kept within the limits
that he had fixed.  This, not on the ground that the claim ought not be
paid, but for the reason that the payment at the time would disarrange
the balance sheet.  A striking instance of his policy was exhibited in
his treatment of the land-owners whose lands were condemned and taken
for the reservoir at the end of Seventh Street, Washington, D. C.  The
values were fixed by a commission and by juries under the law, and when
the time for an appropriation came, Mr. Randall provided for fifty per
cent. and carried the remainder over to the next year.  The claimants
were entitled to full payment, but one half was withheld for twelve
months without interest and that while dead funds were lying in the



When the Proclamation of Emancipation, of January 1, 1863, was issued,
the closing sentence attracted universal attention, and in every part
of the world encomiums were pronounced upon it.  The words are these:
"And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty
God."  Following the appearance of the Proclamation, and stimulated,
possibly, by the reception given to the sentence quoted, there appeared
claimants for the verbal authorship of the passage, or for suggestions
which led to its writing by Mr. Lincoln.

A claim for exact authorship was set up for Mr. Chase, and claims for
suggestions in the nature of exact authorship were made in behalf of
Mr. Seward and in behalf of Mr. Sumner.

The sentence quoted was furnished by Mr. Chase, after a very material
alteration by the President.  He introduced the words, _"warranted by
the Constitution upon military necessity,"_ in place of the phrase,
_"and of duty demanded by the circumstances of the country,"_ as
written by Mr. Chase.

The main credit for the introduction of the fortunate phrase is due to
Secretary Chase.  President Lincoln placed the act upon a legal basis,
justifying it in law and in history.  The sentence is what we might
have expected from the head and heart of the man who wrote the final
sentence of the first inaugural address:  "The mystic chords of
memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every
living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet
swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will
be, by the better angels of our nature."  Mr. Lincoln had genius for
the work of composition, and the poetic quality was strong and it was
often exhibited in his speeches and writings.  The omission of the
sentence in question would so mar the Proclamation that it would cease
to represent Mr. Lincoln.  Thus he became under great obligations to
Mr. Chase.

It was not in the nature of Mr. Lincoln to close a state paper, which
he could not but have realized was to take a place by the side of the
Declaration of Independence, with a bald statement that the freedmen
would be received "into the armed service of the United States to
garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man
vessels of all sorts in said service."

In the month of October, 1863, the ladies of Chicago made a request of
Mr. Lincoln for "the original" of his "proclamation of freedom," the
same to be disposed of "for the benefit of the soldiers."  The letter
in their behalf was written by Mr. Arnold, who was then a member of
Congress.  Improvidently, I think we may say, Mr. Lincoln yielded to
their request for the original draft of the Proclamation to be sold
for the benefit of the fair.  Its transmission was accompanied by a
letter, written by Mr. Lincoln.

"_October_ 26, 1863.

_"Ladies having in charge The North Western Fair for the Sanitary
  Commission, Chicago, Ill._

"According to the request made in your behalf, the original draft of
the Emancipation Proclamation is herewith enclosed.  The formal words
at the top and at the conclusion, except the signature, you perceive,
are not in my handwriting.  They were written at the State Department,
by whom I know not.  The printed part was cut from a copy of the
preliminary Proclamation and pasted on merely to save writing.

"I have some desire to retain the paper, but if it shall contribute
to the relief of the soldiers, that would be better.

"Your obt. servt.,

In technical strictness the original Proclamation was of the archives
of the Department of State when the signature of the President and
Secretary of State had been affixed thereto, and its transfer by Mr.
Lincoln was an act not within his competency as President, or as the
author of the Proclamation.

This point, however, is wholly speculative, but the country and
posterity will be interested in the fate of the original of a document
which is as immortal as the Declaration of Independence.  The
Proclamation was sold to the Honorable Thomas B. Bryan of Chicago for
the sum of three thousand dollars and it was then presented by him to
the Soldiers' Home of Chicago, of which he was then President.  That
position he still retains.  The document was deposited in the rooms of
the Chicago Historical Society, where it was destroyed in the great
fire of 1871.

Fortunately the managers of the fair had secured the preparation of
_fac simile_ copies of the Proclamation.  These were sold in large
numbers, and thus many thousands of dollars were added to the receipts
of the fair.

The managers of the Soldiers' Home were offered twenty-five thousand
dollars for the original Proclamation.*  The offer came from a
showman who expected to reimburse himself by the exhibition of the

The original now on the files of the State Department is not in the
handwriting of Mr. Lincoln and it has therefore no value derived from
Mr. Lincoln's personality.

When I entered upon this inquiry, which has resulted in the preparation
of this paper, I was ignorant of the fact that the original
Proclamation had been destroyed, and it was my purpose to secure its
return to the archives of the Department of State.  That is now
impossible.  Its destruction has given value to the _fac simile_
copies.  Many thousands of them are in the possession of citizens of
the United States, and they will be preserved and transmitted as
souvenirs of the greatest act of the most illustrious American of this

In the early autumn of 1864 a meeting was held in Faneuil Hall in
honor of the capture of Atlanta by the army under General Sherman, and
the battle in Mobile Bay under the lead of Admiral Farragut.  Strange
as the fact may now appear, those historical events were not accepted
with satisfaction by all the citizens of Boston.  The leading
Democratic papers gave that kind of advice that may be found, usually,
in the columns of hostile journals, when passing events are unfriendly,
or when there is an adverse trend of public opinion.  Hard words should
not be used and nothing should be said of a partisan character.  Such
was the advice, and a large body of men assembled who were opposed to
partisan speeches.  They were known as the McClellan Club of the
North End of Boston and they were sufficient in numbers, when standing,
to fill the main floor in front of the rostrum, which at that time was
not provided with seats.  The meeting was called by Republicans and it
was conducted under the auspices of Republicans.  Governor Andrew was
to preside and Governor Everett, with others, had been invited to
speak.  Governor Andrew was not blessed with a commanding voice and it
was drowned or smothered by the hisses, cheers and cat-call cries of
the hostile audience in front of him.  The efforts of the sympathetic
audience in the galleries were of no avail.  Mr. Everett's letter was
then read, but not a sentence of it was understood by any person in the
assembly.  Next came Mr. Sennott, an Irishman, a lawyer, and a man of
large learning in knowledge and attainments not adapted to general use.
He had then but recently abandoned the Democratic Party, but there was
a stain upon his reputation, traceable to the fact that in the year
1859 he had volunteered to aid in the legal defence of John Brown at
Harper's Ferry.  The city of Boston could not have offered a person
less acceptable to the crowd in front of the speaker.  Mr. Sennott's
voice was weak and of the art of using what power he possessed he had
no knowledge.  His speech was not heard by anyone in the assembly.
By the arrangement I was to follow Mr. Sennott.  I had had some
experience with hostile audiences, and in the year 1862 I had been
interrupted in a country town of Massachusetts by stones thrown
through the windows of a hall in which I was speaking upon the war and
the administration.

As I sat upon the platform I studied my audience and I resolved upon my
course.  I had one fixed resolution--I should get a hearing or I should
spend the night in the hall.  Something of the character of my
reception and the results reached may be gained from the report of the
Boston _Journal_, and I copy the report without alteration, premising
however that some minutes passed before I secured a quiet hearing.


_Fellow Citizens:_ It depends very much upon what we believe as to the
future of this country and the rights of the people, whether we rejoice
or mourn in consequence of the events in Mobile Bay and before Atlanta.
If it was true on the 30th day of last month that the people of this
country ought to take immediate efforts for the cessation of
hostilities, then, gentlemen, we have cause to mourn rather than to
rejoice.  I understand that there were some people in this country,
who, before the 30th of August, since this was opened, had not, as an
aggregate body of men, expressed their opinions in reference to this
war, who then declared that it ought to cease.  (A voice--"They're
few.")  I observed in a newspaper published in this city two
observations within the last two days.  One was that they were afraid
hard names would be used; and the other was that there was some
apprehension that this meeting to-night would have some political
aspect or influence.  (Voices--"No!  No!")  I thought it likely
enough that it would (laughter and applause) because I observed in the
newspapers that it was called to express congratulations over the
events which had taken place in Mobile Bay and before Atlanta, and I
thought that I had observed that those events had rather a political
effect.  (Renewed laughter.)  Therefore I did not see exactly how it
was possible that men should assemble together to rejoice over events
having a political aspect without the meeting and the rejoicing having
a political aspect also.  Well, now, gentlemen, I haven't come here
with any design that, so far as I am concerned, it shall have anything
but a political aspect.  ("Good" and applause.)  These times are too
serious for the acceptance of any suggestion that hard names are not
to be called if hard names are deserved.  (Voices--"That is it!")  The
question is not whether the meeting shall have a political influence,
but whether it is necessary to the salvation of the country that it
shall have a political influence.  (Applause.)  Well, gentlemen, I
observed while the person who last occupied the platform was speaking
certain indications, which I thought were a slight deviation from the
much talked-of right of free speech.  (Laughter, and a voice--"Hit 'em
again.")  Now, then, I am going to read a resolution adopted at
Chicago.  I am going to make two propositions in reference to it.  I am
then going to ask whether this assembly assents to or rejects those
propositions.  If there is any man in this assembly who denies or
doubts those propositions, if I have the consent of the honored
chairman of this meeting to ten minutes of time in which I can engage
the ear of the assembly, I surrender it to that man, that he may have
the opportunity upon this platform to refute, if he can, the
propositions which I lay down.  (Applause.)  Now the second resolution
of this platform is in these words--

(At this point there was considerable disturbance in the rear of the
hall, created by one individual, and several voices cried out--"Free
speech!"  "Out with him!")

Mr. Boutwell continued:  He will be more useful to the country if he
remain here.  If he goes away there is no chance for his conversion to
the truth: if he remain here he may be saved.  (Laughter.)  "The vilest
sinner may return, While the lamp holds out to burn."  (Renewed laughter
and applause.)  I hope gentlemen who favor free speech will listen
attentively to this resolution:

_"Resolved,_ That this convention does explicitly declare as the sense
of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore
the Union by the experiment of war, during which under pretence of
military necessity, or war power higher than the Constitution, the
Constitution has been disregarded in every part and public liberty and
private rights alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the
country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty and the public
welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of
hostilities with a view to an ultimate convention of all the States, or
other peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable
moment peace may be restored on the basis of a Federal Union of the

(The resolution was greeted with a feeble clapping of hands, a slight
attempt at cheers in the rear of the hall, and a storm of hisses.  Mr.
Boutwell continued:)

If there are any gentlemen here who approve this resolution, I hope
they will have the opportunity to cheer.  (About half a dozen persons
commenced to cheer, but abandoned it on hearing their own voices,
when a voice exclaiming "These are the Copperheads," caused loud
laughter.  The speaker proceeded:)

Now then, gentlemen, the two propositions I lay down are these, and if
any one of those gentlemen who indulged in the luxury of a cheer just
now chooses to come upon this platform, I fulfill my pledge:  The first
is that this resolution, so far as known, meets the approval of the
rebels in arms against this government.  (Voices--"That's so," and
cheers.)  The second is that this resolution meets the approval of all
the men in the North who sympathize with the cause of this rebellion
and desire its success.  (Repeated cheers and "That's it.")  Now, then,
if there is any one who would deny the truth of these propositions, let
him, with the leave of the chair, take ten minutes upon this platform.
(Some confusion ensued, several voices shouting "Make room for George
Lunt," "Where's Lunt?" etc., etc., etc.  No one appearing, Mr. Boutwell
continued:)  If there is nobody to refute these propositions, I take it
for granted that they meet the general assent of this vast assembly.
(cries of "Good" and cheers); and, if so, isn't this the time, when a
great convention professing to represent a portion of the American
people in time of war, not having spoken since hostilities commenced,
frame a leading resolution so as to meet the assent and approval of
the enemies of the Republic--isn't this the time, when such things are
done, for men who have a faith in the country and a belief in its right
to exist, to declare the reasons of that belief?  (Voices--"Yes.")  Now
I propose to discuss that resolution in some degree.  First, it
proposes a cessation of hostilities.  I have heard the word armistice
mentioned to-night.  The declaration of that resolution is not for an
armistice.  An armistice, according to its general acceptation and
use, implies a suspension of hostilities upon the expectation and
condition that they are to be resumed; and if hostilities are not to
be resumed then a cessation of hostilities is an abandonment of the
Government.  It is treason.  (Voices--"That's so," and loud and
continued cheers.)  I declare here that the proposition for a
cessation of hostilities is moral and political treason (voices--
"Good"); and, further, every man who knowingly and after investigation,
and upon his judgment favors a cessation of hostilities, is a traitor.
(Loud cheers.)  The issue, gentlemen, is no longer upon the tented
field.  No danger there to the cause of the Union.  The soldiers are
true to the flag and they will fight on and march on until the last
rebel has fallen to the dust or laid down his arms.  The soldiers are
true, but the cause of the Union is in peril at home (voices--"That's
where it is"), where secret organizations are mustering their forces
and gathering in material of war for which there can be no possible use
except to revolutionize this country through the fearful experience of
civil war.  (A voice--"Shame on them.")  O how I long for some
knowledge of the English language so that I may select a word or a
phrase which shall fully express the enormity of this treason!  (Voices
--"Hang them."  "String them up.")

The rebels of the South have some cause.  They believe in the
institution of slavery,--they have been educated under its influence.
They thought it in peril.  They made war with some pretence on their
part for a reason for war, but what excuse, what palliation is there
for those men in the North, who, regardless of liberty, of justice, and
of humanity, ally themselves, openly some and secretly others, with the
enemies of the Republic?  Spare, spare, your anathemas, gentlemen.  Do
not longer employ the harsh language which you can command in
denunciation of Southern traitors.  They of the North who give aid and
comfort to the enemy deserve to monopolize in the application all the
harsh words and phrases of the English language.  (Applause.)
Cessation of hostilities--what follows?  Dissolution of the Union
inevitably.  Will not Jefferson Davis and his associates understand
that when we have ceased to make war, when our armies become
demoralized, public sentiment relaxed, when they have had opportunity
to gather up the materials for prosecuting this contest, that we
cannot renew the contest with any reasonable hope of success.
Therefore, if you abandon this contest now, it is separation--that is
what is meant, and nothing else can follow.  But suppose that what
some gentlemen desire could be accomplished,--a reconstruction of the
Union by diplomatic relations inaugurated between this Government and
Jefferson Davis'--suppose the South should return--what follows?  When
you have permitted Jefferson Davis and his associates to come back and
take their places in the government of this country, do you not see
that with the help of a small number of representatives from the North
whose services they are sure to command, they will assume the war debt
of the South.  When you have assumed that debt, and taken the
obligation to pay it, these men of the South will treat the obligation
lightly, and upon the first pretext will renew secession and will
march straight out of the Union, and you, with your embarrassed
finance, will find yourselves unable to institute military proceedings
for their subjugation.  Therefore I say that by the reconstruction
some men desire you render secession certain, bankruptcy throughout
the North certain.  The repudiation of the Public Debt is not a matter
of expectation or fear, it is a matter of certainty, if you assent to
any reconstruction of this Union through the instrumentality of
Jefferson Davis and his associates.  You must either drive them into
exile or exterminate them.  Break down the military power of the
people, and exterminate or exile their leaders, and bring up men at
the South in favor of the Union--there is no other way of security to
yourselves.  (Cheers.)  Now, then, are you prepared to cease
hostilities with the expectation of negotiations with Jefferson Davis
for the dissolution of the Union or for its restoration? (Voices--
"No!")  Either course is alike fatal to you, for the war must go on
until peace is conquered.  (Loud cheers and voices--"That's so.")  On
the one side they offer you as negotiators Franklin Pierce, perhaps,
and A. H. Stephens; on the other, possibly one of the Seymours, either
of Connecticut or New York, Wise of Virginia, Vallandingham of Ohio,
and Soule of Louisiana.  The only negotiators, gentlemen, to be
trusted as long as the war continued or there is a rebel in arms--the
only negotiators are Grant upon one line and Sherman upon the other.
(Tremendous cheers.)

A Voice--"You have left out Mr. Harris of Maryland."

Mr. Boutwell--"According to the reports, etc., we have had from
Chicago, he conducts negotiations upon his own account."

Voice--"How are you, Mr. Harris?"

Mr. Boutwell--"What does the cessation of hostilities mean?  It means
that the blockade is to be removed, and the South be allowed to
furnish itself with materials and munitions of war.  What does that
mean on the land?  What does it mean on the sea?  That you are to furl
your flag at Fortress Monroe on the Petersburg line; that you are to
remove your gunboats from the Mississippi River; that you are to
abandon Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip at its mouth; that you are to
undo the work which the gallant Farragut has already done in Mobile
Bay, and so along the coast and upon the line from the Atlantic beyond
the Mississippi River.  You, people of the North, who have been
victorious upon the whole through three years of war--you are to
disgrace your ancestry--you are to render yourselves infamous in all
future time, by furling your flag and submitting anew to rebel
authority upon this continent.  Are you prepared for it?  (Voices--
"No!" "never!")  I ask these men here, who cheered the resolution
adopted at Chicago, whether they, men of Massachusetts, and in Faneuil
Hall, will say, one of them, with his face to the patriots of the
Revolution--will say that he asks for peace through any craven spirit
that is within him?  Is there a man among them all, from whatsoever
quarter of this city, renowned in history--is there a man of them all
who will stand here and say he is for the cessation of hostilities?  If
so, let him speak, and let him, if he dare, come upon this platform and
face his patriotic fellow-citizens.  (A call was made for cheers for
McClellan in the rear of the hall, but nobody seemed disposed to
respond.  The speaker continued.)  I am willing a cheer should be given
for any man who has been in the service of the country, however little
he may have done.  Is there any man in Faneuil Hall for peace? (Voices
--"No!")  I intended, so far as was in my power, to give to this
meeting a political aspect (voices--"Good!") in favor of the country
and against traitors.  (Cheers.)  If there are no peace men in this
assembly, then that object, as far as we are concerned, is
accomplished.  (Prolonged cheering.)


Upon the death of Chief Justice Taney the general public favored the
appointment of Mr. Chase as his successor.  In that view I concurred,
but I had heard Mr. Chase make so many unjust criticisms upon Mr.
Lincoln that I resolved to say nothing.  I was willing to have Mr.
Chase appointed, but I was not willing to ask the President to confer
so great a place upon a man who had been so unjust to him.  When the
nomination had been made, I said to Mr. Lincoln that I was very glad
that he had decided to appoint Mr. Chase.  He then said:  "There are
three reasons in favor of his appointment, and one very strong reason
against it.  First, he occupies the largest place in the public mind
in connection with the office, then we wish for a Chief Justice who
will sustain what has been done in regard to emancipation and the legal
tenders.  We cannot ask a man what he will do, and if we should and he
should answer us, we should despise him for it.  Therefore we must take
a man whose opinions are known.  But there is one very strong reason
against his appointment.  He is a candidate for the Presidency, and if
he does not give up that idea it will be very bad for him and very bad
for me."  At that time Mr. Lincoln had been re-elected to the

Mr. Chase continued to be a candidate for the Presidency.  He abandoned
the Republican Party in 1868 and as Chief Justice he abandoned his own
policy or the policy that he had adopted in regard to the legal tender

It was said that Mr. Sumner, who was very earnest for Chase's
appointment, gave strong pledges to Mr. Lincoln that Mr. Chase would
abandon his ambition for the Presidency.


In 1864 I introduced a series of resolutions in the House of
Representatives in the form of a Declaration of Opinion in regard to
the legal status of the States in rebellion.  At that time the country
and Congress had no doubt of our ability to crush the rebellion, and
the public mind was occupied with various theories of reconstruction.

The resolutions had been already adopted by the National Union League.
I prepared them at the instance of Governor Claflin and their
adoption by the League had made the policy known to a large body of
active Republicans.  I did not seek to secure their adoption by the
House of Representatives.  The resolutions were in this form:

_"Resolved,_ That the Committee on the Rebellious States be instructed
to consider and report upon the expediency of recommending to this
House the adoption of the following

_Declaration of Opinions:_

"In view of the present condition of the country, and especially in
regard to the recent signal successes of the national arms promising
a speedy overthrow of the rebellion, this House makes the following
declaration of opinion concerning the institution of slavery in the
States and parts of States engaged in the rebellion, and embraced in
the proclamation of emancipation issued by the President on the first
day of January, A. D. 1863: and also concerning the relations now
subsisting between the people of such States and parts of States on
the one side, and the American Union on the other.

_"It is therefore declared_ (as the opinion of the House of
Representatives), that the institution of slavery was the cause of the
present rebellion, and that the destruction of slavery in the
rebellious States is an efficient means of weakening the power of the
rebels; that the President's proclamation whereby all persons
heretofore held as slaves in such States and parts of States have been
declared free, has had the effect to increase the power of the Union,
and to diminish the power of its enemies; that the freedom of such
persons was desirable and just in itself, and an efficient means by
which the Government was to be maintained, and its authority re-
established in all the territory and over all the people within the
legal jurisdiction of the United States; that it is the duty of the
Government and of loyal men everywhere to do what may be practicable
for the enforcement of the proclamation, in order to secure in fact,
as well as by the forms of law, the extinction of slavery in such
States and parts of States; and, finally, that it is the paramount
duty of the Government and of all loyal men to labor for the
restoration of the American Union upon the basis of freedom.

_"And this House does further declare,_ That a State can exist or cease
to exist only by the will of the people within its limits, and that it
cannot be created or destroyed by the external force or opinion of
other States, or even by the judgment or action of the nation itself;
that a State, when created by the will of its people, can become a
member of the American Union only by its own organized action and the
concurrent action of the existing National Government, that, when a
State has been admitted to the Union, no vote, resolution, ordinance,
or proceeding on its part, however formal in character or vigorously
sustained, can deprive the National Government of the legal
jurisdiction and sovereignty over the territory and people of such
State which existed previous to the act of admission, or which were
acquired thereby; that the effect of the so-called acts, resolutions
and ordinances of secession adopted by the eleven States engaged in
the present rebellion is, and can only be, to destroy those political
organizations as States, while the legal and constitutional
jurisdiction and authority of the National Government over the people
and territory remain unimpaired; that these several communities can be
organized into States only by the will of the loyal people, expressed
freely and in the absence of all coercion; that States so organized can
become States of the American Union only when they shall have applied
for admission, and their admission shall have been authorized by the
existing National Government; that, when a people have organized a
State upon basis of allegiance to the Union and applied for admission,
the character of the institutions of such proposed State may constitute
a sufficient justification for granting or rejecting such application;
and, inasmuch as experience has shown that the existence of human
slavery is incompatible with a republican form of government, in the
several States or in the United States, and inconsistent with the
peace, prosperity and unity of the nation, it is the duty of the people
and of all men in authority, to resist the admission of slave States
wherever organized within the jurisdiction of the National Government."

The logical consequence of these positions was that upon the conquest
of the States engaged in the rebellion the National Government could
govern the people as seemed expedient and readmit them into the Union
at such times and upon such terms as the Government should dictate.
They antagonized the doctrine then accepted by many Republicans--
"Once a State always a State"--a doctrine that would have transferred
the government at once into the hands of the men who had been engaged
in an effort to destroy it.

Mr. Sumner was wiser in this respect.  His theory that the
rebellious States should be reduced to a Territorial condition was in
harmony with the views that were embodied in the resolutions.  At the
time, however, they did not receive the support of all the members of
the Republican Party.

Mr. Stevens maintained the doctrine that the rebel States were
conquered States and wholly subject to the power of the conqueror.
In his view their previous condition as States in the Union had no
value.  But Mr. Stevens was never troubled by the absence of logic or
argument.  In the case of the rebel States he intended to assert power
enough to meet the exigency and he was free of all fear as to the
judgement of posterity.  When he had formed a purpose he looked only
to the end.  If he could command the adequate means he left all
questions of logic and ethics to other minds and to future times.

Others maintained that the theory that the States were in a Territorial
condition or that they had ceased to exist as States, was an admission
of the doctrine of secession.  Mr. Lincoln in his last public address
cut clear of all theories and resolved the situation into a simple
statement of a fact to which all were compelled to assent:  "We all
agree, that the seceded States so-called, are out of their proper
practical relations with the Union."  On this basis Congress finally
acted, but during the process and progress of reconstruction the
military authority was absolute, and local and individual powers were
completely subordinated to the authority of the General Government.


In 1865 and 1869, questions were raised when the electoral votes were
counted, that gave rise to debates in the House of Representatives and
on one occasion subsequently in the Senate.  In the House, Francis
Thomas of Maryland and Samuel Shellabarger of Ohio took part.  Both
were able men.  Thomas had the qualities of an orator but he spoke so
infrequently that his power was not generally appreciated.  On that
occasion he spoke exceedingly well, but the attendance was small, an
evening session having been assigned for debate upon that subject.
Mr. Shellabarger was logical and effective but he was destitute of
imagination utterly.  At the bar since his retirement from politics he
has enjoyed a large practice, but, unfortunately, as it appears to me,
he has preserved the style of speaking which he acquired upon the
stump and in Congress.  A skillful speaker must adapt himself to the
circumstance and to his audience.  A stump speech, a speech in the
House of Representatives, a speech in the Senate, an argument to a
court, an argument to a jury, should each be framed on a model of its
own.  Neither style will answer for any other.  The degree of variance
may not be considerable and with a well disciplined person the change
may not be apparent.  Mr. Webster adapted himself to every audience,
but the changes were slight.  Yet there were changes.  He was not over
solemn in the Supreme Court, and he was never boisterous when he
addressed the multitude.

As far as I recollect my positions and arguments in the debates upon
the counting of the electoral votes, I now discard all I said then.
My present conclusion is that upon a reasonable construction of the
Constitution there is no occasion for legislation or for an amendment
to the fundamental law.  The Vice-President or the President of the
Senate is the president of the convention.  He carries into the chair
the ordinary powers of a presiding officer.  He rules upon all
questions that arise.  He may and should rule upon the various
certificates that are sent up by the several States.  If, in any case,
his ruling is objected to, the two Houses separate, and each House
votes upon the question:--"Shall the ruling of the Chair stand, etc."
If the Houses divide, the ruling is sustained.  The president and one
House are a majority.  The decision is in accordance with our system of
government.  The suggestion that the president or that the Houses may
act under the influence of personal or political prejudice, may, with
equal force, be urged against any scheme that can be devised.  The
counting of the electoral votes must be left in the hands of men, and
the Constitution has given us all the security that can be had that the
decision will be honestly made.  The president of the convention and
the members of the Houses are bound by oath as solemnly as are the
judicial tribunals of the country.  A judge is only a man, and he is
subject to like infirmities with other men.  It is a wise feature of
our system that the courts have no voice in the political department
of our Government.  The presidential office should never be in the
control of the judicial branch of the Government.

[* Letter of the Honorable Thomas B. Bryan.]


I had no part in the preparation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the
Constitution, nor any part in its passage through the House other than
to give my vote in its favor.  The Amendment resolution was passed by
the Thirty-eighth Congress at its last session and by the aid of
Democrats.  The elections of 1864 had resulted in a two-thirds majority
and it was therefore certain that the resolution would be agreed to by
the next House.  Hence there was less inducement for the Democrats to
resist its passage by the Thirty-eighth Congress.  A small number of
Democrats favored the measure.  English of Connecticut and Ganson of
New York were of the number.  There were others also whose names I do
not recall.  At the time of the contest a rumor was abroad that James
M. Ashley, of Ohio, was engaged in making arrangements with certain
Democrats to absent themselves from the House when the vote was taken.
Several were absent--some were reported in ill health.  Mr. Ashley was
deeply interested in the passage of the resolution and it was believed
that he made pledges which no one but the President could keep.  Such
was the exigency for the passage of the resolution that the means were
not subjected to any rigid rule of ethics.

The Fourteenth Amendment had its origin in a joint committee of fifteen
of which Mr. Fessenden of Maine was chairman.  A record of its
proceedings was kept which was printed recently by order of the
Senate.  From that report it appears that I proposed an amendment for
conferring the right to vote upon the freedmen of the State of
Tennessee.  As far as I know that was the first time the proposition
was made in connection with the proceedings of Congress.  The
committee did not concur in the proposition.  Indeed the time had not
come for decisive action in that direction.  The motion was made in
the committee the 19th day of February, 1866, when the admission of
the State of Tennessee into the Union was under consideration.  The
motion was in these words:  "Said State shall make no distinction in
the exercise of the elective franchise on account of race or color."
The motion was lost by the following vote:

Yeas:  Howard, Stevens, Washburne, Morrill, Boutwell.
Nays:  Harris, Williams, Grider, Bingham, Conkling, Rogers.
Absent:  Fessenden, Grimes, Johnson, Blow.

The 16th day of April Senator Stewart, of Nevada, came before the
committee in support of a similar proposition that he had introduced
in the Senate April 7.

In January, 1866, a bill was under discussion in the House of
Representatives for the establishment of a government in the District
of Columbia.  Mr. Hale of New York moved amendments by which the right
of suffrage by negroes would be limited to those who could read and
write, to those who had performed service in the army or navy or who
possessed property qualifications.  The amendment was defeated.  My
views were thus stated in one of the very small number of my speeches
that have had immediate influence upon an audience or an assembly:

"I am opposed to the instructions moved by the gentleman from New
York, because I see in them no advantage to anybody, and I apprehend
from their adoption much evil to the country.  It should be borne in
mind, that, when we emancipated the black people we not only relieved
ourselves from the institution of slavery, we not only conferred upon
them their freedom, but we did more; we recognized their manhood,
which, by the old Constitution and the general policy and usage of the
country, had been, from the organization of the Government until the
Emancipation Proclamation, denied to all the enslaved colored people.
As a consequence of the recognition of their manhood, certain results
follow, in accordance with the principles of the Government; and they
who believe in this Government are, by necessity, forced to accept
those results as a consequence of the policy of emancipation which they
have inaugurated, and for which they are responsible.

"But to say now, having given freedom to the blacks, that they shall
not enjoy the essential rights and privileges of men, is to abandon
the principle of the Proclamation of Emancipation, and tacitly to admit
that the whole emancipation policy is erroneous.

* * * "What are the qualifications suggested?  They are three.  First
and most attractive, service in the army or navy of the United States.
I shall have occasion to say, if I discuss, as I hope to discuss, the
nature and origin of the right of voting, that there is not the least
possible connection between service in the army and navy and the
exercise of the elective franchise,--none whatever.  These men have
performed service, and I am for dealing justly with them because they
have performed service.  But I am more anxious to deal justly by them
because they are men.  And when it is remembered, that, for months and
almost for years after the opening of the rebellion, we refused to
accept the services of colored persons in the armies of the country,
it is with ill grace that we now decline to allow the vote of any man
because he has not performed that service.

"The second is the property qualification.  I hope it is not necessary
in this day and this hour of the Republic to argue anywhere that a
property qualification is not only unjust in itself, but that it is
odious to the people of the country to a degree which cannot be
expressed.  Everywhere, I believe, for half a century, it has been
repudiated by the people.  Does anybody contemplate such a
qualification to the elective franchise, in the case of black people
or white?

"And next, reading and writing, or reading as a qualification, is
demanded; and an appeal is made to the example of Massachusetts.  I
wish gentlemen who now appeal to Massachusetts would often appeal to
her in other matters where I can more conscientiously approve her
policy.  But it is a different proposition in Massachusetts as a
practical measure.

"When, ten years ago, this qualification was imposed upon the citizens
of Massachusetts, it excluded no person who was then a voter.  For two
centuries, we have had in Massachusetts a system of public instruction,
open to the children of the whole people without money and without
price.  Therefore all the people there had had opportunities for
education.  Why should the example of such a State be quoted to
justify refusing suffrage to men who have been denied the privilege
of education, and whom it has been a crime to teach?

* * * "The negro has everywhere the same right to vote as the white
man, and I maintain still further, that, when you proceed one step
from this line, you admit that your government is a failure.  What is
the essential quality of monarchical and aristocratic governments?
Simply that by conventionalities, by arrangements of conventions, some
persons have been deprived of the right of voting.  We have attempted
to set up and maintain a government upon the doctrine of the equality
of men, the universal right of all men, to participate in the
government.  In accordance with that theory, we must accept the ballot
upon the principle of equality.  It is enjoyed by the learned and un-
learned, the wise and the ignorant, the virtuous and the vicious.

"The great experiment is going on.  If, before the war, any man in
this country was disposed to undervalue a government thus conducted, he
should have learned by this time the wisdom and strength of a
government which embraces and embodies the judgment and the will of the
whole people.  If the negroes of the South, four million strong, had
been endowed with the elective franchise, and had united with the
white people of that region in the work of rebellion, your armies would
have been powerless to subdue that rebellion, and you would to-day have
seen your territory limited by the Potomac and the Ohio.

* * * "We are to answer for our treatment of the colored people of this
country; and it will prove in the end impracticable to secure to men
of color civil rights, unless the persons who claim those rights are
fortified by the political right of voting.  With the right of voting,
everything that a man ought to have or enjoy of civil rights comes to
him.  Without the right to vote he is secure in nothing.  I cannot
consent, after all the guards and safeguards which may be prepared for
the defence of the colored men in the enjoyment of their rights,--I
cannot consent that they shall be deprived of the right to protect
themselves.  One hundred and eighty-six thousand of them have been in
the army of the United States.  They have stood in the places of our
sons and brothers and friends.  Many of them have fallen in the defence
of the country.  They have earned the right to share in the government;
and, if you deny them the elective franchise, I know not how they are
to be protected.  Otherwise you furnish the protection which is given
to the lamb when he is commended to the wolf.

"There is an ancient history that a sparrow pursued by a hawk took
refuge in the chief Assembly of Athens, in the bosom of a member of
that illustrious body, and that the senator in anger hurled it
violently from him.  It fell to the ground dead; and such was the
horror and indignation of that ancient but not Christianized body,--
men living in the light of nature, of reason,--that they immediately
expelled the brutal Areopagite from his seat, and from the association
of humane legislators.

"What will be said of us, not by Christian, but by heathen nations
even, if, after accepting the blood and sacrifices of these men, we
hurl them from us, and allow them to become the victims of those who
have tyrannized over them for centuries?  I know of no crime that
exceeds this; I know of none that is its parallel; and, if this country
is true to itself, it will rise in the majesty of its strength, and
maintain a policy, here and everywhere, by which the right of the
colored people shall be secure through their own power,--in peace,
the ballot; in war, the bayonet.

"It is a maxim of another language, which we may well apply to
ourselves, that, where the voting-register ends, the military roster of
rebellion begins; and, if you leave these four million people to the
care and custody of the men who have inaugurated and carried on this
rebellion, then you treasure up, for untold years, the elements of
social and civil war, which must not only desolate and paralyze the
South, but shake this government to its very foundation."

It was impossible in 1866 to go farther than the provisions of the
Fourteenth Amendment.  That amendment was prepared in form by Senators
Conkling and Williams and myself.  We were a select committee on
Tennessee.  The propositions were not ours, but we gave form to the
amendment.  The part relating to "privileges and immunities" came from
Mr. Bingham of Ohio.  Its euphony and indefiniteness of meaning were
a charm to him.  When the measure came before the Senate Mr. Sumner
opposed its passage and alleged that we proposed to barter the right
of the negroes to vote for diminished representation on the part of
the old slave States in the House and in the electoral college; while
in truth the loss of representation was imposed as a penalty upon any
State that should deprive any class of its adult male citizens of the
right to vote.  Upon this allegation of Mr. Sumner the resolution was
defeated in the Senate.  There were then in that body a number of
Republicans from the old slave States and over them Mr. Sumner had
large influence.  The defeat of the amendment was followed by bitter
criticisms by the Republican press and by Republicans.  These
criticisms affected Mr. Sumner deeply and he then devoted himself to
the preparation of an amendment which he could approve.  While he was
engaged in that work I called upon him and he read seventeen drafts of
a proposition not one of which was entirely satisfactory to himself,
and not one of which would have been accepted by Congress or the
country.  The difficulty was in the situation.  Upon the return of the
seceded States their representation would be increased nearly forty
votes in the House and in the electoral colleges while the voting force
would remain in the white population.  The injustice of such a
condition was apparent, and there were only two possible remedies.
One was to extend the franchise to the blacks.  The country--the loyal
States--were not then ready for the measure.  The alternative was to
cut off the representation from States that denied the elective
franchise to any class of adult male citizens.  Finally Mr. Sumner was
compelled to accept the alternative.  Some change of phraseology was
made, and Mr. Sumner gave a reluctant vote for the resolution.

Aside from the debates on the constitutional amendment there were
serious difficulties among Republicans in regard to the exercise of the
right of suffrage by the negroes.

Previous to the year 1868 there was a majority of Republicans who would
have imposed a qualification, some of service in the army or navy,
some of property and some of education.  It was with great difficulty
that the scheme of limitation was resisted in regard to the District
of Columbia.  As to the Democrats they could always be counted upon to
aid in any measure which tended to keep the negroes in a subordinate
condition.  This of the majority--there was always a minority, usually
a small one, who were ready to aid in the elevation of the negro when
his emancipation had been accomplished.  I do not recall the name of
one man who favored emancipation as a policy and adhered to the
Democratic Party.  When a man reached the conclusion that the negroes
should be free, he could not do otherwise than join the Republican
Party.  At the time of the admission of Tennessee, July, 1866, there
were only twelve men in the House of Representatives who insisted upon
securing to the negro the right to vote.  A larger number favored the
scheme, but they yielded to the claim of that State to be admitted
without conditions.  At that time the power of the President was not
impaired seriously, and his wishes were heeded by many.  There was
also an understanding that the State would concede the right upon terms
not unreasonable.

Next to the restoration of the Union and the abolition of slavery the
recognition of universal suffrage is the most important result of the
war.  It has its evils but they are incidental, and their influence is
limited to times and places, while the advantages are universal and
enduring.  Universal suffrage is security for universal education.  It
is security against chronic hostility to the Government and security
against the manifestation of a revolutionary spirit among the people.
They realize that with frequent elections, the evils of administration
may be corrected speedily.  By a similar though slower process the
fundamental law may be changed.  Hence it is in this country until
recently there was no difference of opinion as to the wisdom of the
system of government under which we are living.  The existing diversity
of opinion will soon disappear.  If suffrage were limited there would
be a body of discontented people ready to seize upon any pretext that
promised a change.  In the present condition of our system the only
danger is due to the forcible or fraudulent withholding of the right
from those who are entitled to enjoy it.  This condition of things
must soon end.  The safety of a state is yet further secured by
frequent elections.  The project to extend the Presidential term is
full of danger.  If the term were six or ten years the presence of an
offensive or dangerous man in the office would provoke a revolution, or
cause disturbances only less disastrous to business and to social and
domestic comfort.  In the little republic of Hayti there have been not
less than seventeen revolutions in the hundred years of its existence
and they were due in a large degree to the fact that the Presidential
term is seven years.

The various propositions submitted to the House of Representatives for
securing the right to vote to all the male adult citizens of the United
States were referred to the Judiciary Committee of which I was a
member.  Among them was one submitted by myself.  In the committee they
were referred to a sub-committee consisting of myself, Mr. Churchill
of New York, and Mr. Eldridge of Wisconsin.  Mr. Eldridge as a
Democrat was opposed to the measure, and he took no interest in
preparing the form of an amendment.  Churchill and myself were fellow-
boarders and we prepared and agreed to an amendment in substance that
which was adopted finally and which in form was almost the same.  When
I reported the amendment to the committee not one word was said either
in criticism or commendation, nor was there a call for a second
reading.  After a moment's delay Mr. Wilson, the chairman, said:--"If
there is no objection Mr. Boutwell will report the amendment to the
House."  There was no objection and at the earliest opportunity I made
the report--that is, I reported the resolution for amending the
Constitution.  Mr. Wilson made a speech which I have not since read,
but which made an impression upon my mind that he was opposed to the
measure, or at least had doubts about the wisdom of urging the
amendment upon Congress and the country.

The resolution passed the House as it was reported by the committee.
When it was taken up in the Senate Mr. Sumner, who was opposed to the
resolution, assailed it with an amendment that would have been fatal if
his lead had been followed by the two Houses.  He proposed to insert
after the words "to vote" the words "or hold office."  At that time he
was a recognized leader upon all matters relating to the negro race,
and his standing with that race was such that the Republican senators
from the slave States were obedient to his wishes.  His amendment was
adopted by the Senate.  In presence of the fact that Mr. Sumner was
opposed to any amendment of the Constitution upon the subject and he
proposed to rely upon a statute, it is difficult to explain his conduct
upon any other theory than that he intended to defeat the measure
either in Congress or in the States.  He had claimed when the
Fourteenth Amendment was pending that a joint resolution would furnish
an adequate remedy and protection.  His proposition was in these
words:  "There shall be no oligarchy, aristocracy, caste or monopoly
invested with peculiar privileges and powers and there shall be no
denial of rights, civil or political, on account of color or race
anywhere within the limits of the United States or the jurisdiction
thereof: but all persons therein shall be equal before the law, whether
in the court room or at the ballot-box.  And this statute made in
pursuance of the Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land,
anything in the constitution or laws of any State notwithstanding."
This resolution is a sad impeachment of Mr. Sumner's quality as a
lawyer and it is an equally sad impeachment of his sense or of his
integrity as a man that he was willing to risk the rights of five
million persons upon a statute whose language was rhetorical and
indefinite, a statute which might be repealed and which was quite
certain to be pronounced unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Upon the return of the resolution and amendment to the House, my own
position was an embarrassing one.  I was counted as a radical and in
favor of securing to the negro race every right to which the white race
was entitled.  My opposition to the Senate amendment seemed to place
me in a light inconsistent with my former professions.  However, I met
the difficulty by an argument in which I maintained that the right
to vote carried with it the right to hold office.  That in the United
States there were only a few exceptions, and those were exceptions
under the Constitution.

Finally, the House, by a reduced vote refused to concur with the
amendment of the Senate.  It was at this crisis that Wendell Phillips
wrote an article in the _Anti-Slavery Standard_ over his own name in
which he said in substance and in words, that the House proposition was
adequate and that it ought to be accepted by the Senate.  His name and
opinion settled the controversy.  The Southern Republicans deserted
Mr. Sumner feeling that the opinion of Phillips was a sufficient
shield.  A slight change of phraseology was made and the proposition of
the House became the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States.

I wrote a letter of acknowledgment to Mr. Phillips in the opinion
that he had saved the amendment.  At that time the prejudice against
negroes for office was very strong in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and in
varying degrees the prejudice extended over the whole North.

The enjoyment of the right to vote has not been fully secured to the
negro race, but no one has appeared to deny his right to hold office.
Indeed, the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party has
placed him in office, both by election and appointment.  Thus has
experience shown the folly of Mr. Sumner's amendment.

That Mr. Sumner should have been willing to risk the rights of the
whole negro race upon a statute whose constitutionality would have
been questioned upon good ground, and which might have been repealed,
is a marvel which no one not acquainted with Mr. Sumner can
comprehend.  First of all, though he was learned, he was not a lawyer.
He was impractical in the affairs of government to a degree that is
incomprehensible even to those who knew him.  He was in the Senate
twenty-three years and the only mark that he left upon the statutes is
an amendment to the law relating to naturalization by which Mongolians
are excluded from citizenship.  The object of his amendment was to
save negroes from the exclusive features of the statute which was
designed to apply only to the Chinese.  His amendment made plain what
the committee had designed to secure.  He was a great figure in the
war against slavery and as a great figure in that war he should ever

The Fourteenth Amendment saved the country from a series of calamities
that might have been more disastrous even than the Civil War.  The
South might, under the Fourteenth Amendment, grant to the negroes the
right to vote but upon conditions wholly impracticable and thus have
secured their full representation in Congress at the same time that the
voting power was retained in the hands of the white race.  Or they
might have denied to the negro race the right to vote and submitted to
a loss of representation.  Such a policy would have given the whole
country over to contention and possibly in the end, to civil war.  The
discontented and oppressed negroes, increasing in numbers and wealth,
would have demanded their rights ultimately, even by the threat of
force, or by the use of force they would have secured their rights.  In
the North there would have been a large body of the people, only less
than the whole body, who would have sympathized with the negroes and
who, in an exigency would have rendered them material aid.  The Dorr
War in Rhode Island and the struggles in Kansas, are instances of the
danger of attempting to found society or to maintain social order upon
an unjust or an unequal system for the distribution of political power.
It is true that at this time (1901) the operation of the Fifteenth
Amendment has been defeated and consequently the governments of States
and the Government of the United States have become usurpations, in
that they have been in the hands of a minority of men.  Nevertheless
the influence of the amendment is felt by all, and the time is not
distant when it will be accepted by all.  Thus our Government will be
made to rest upon the wisest and safest foundation yet devised by
man:  The Equality of Men in the States, and the Equality of States in
the Union.

Mr. Sumner opposed the amendment and he declined to vote upon the
passage of the resolution.  Wendell Phillips saved it in the Senate.
General Grant, more than anyone else secured its ratification by the
people.  I append a copy of my letter to Mr. Phillips:

WASHINGTON, _March_ 13, 1870.

This letter will recall to your mind the circumstance that when the
Fifteenth Amendment was suspended between the two houses you published
an editorial in the _Standard_ in favor of the House proposition.  Can
you send me that article?  It may not be known to you that that article
saved the amendment.  A little of the secret history was thus.  Various
propositions were offered in the House--among them one of my own--and
all were referred to the Judiciary Committee.

In the Judiciary Committee, upon my motion the various resolutions for
amending the Constitution in that particular were referred to a sub-
committee consisting of myself, Churchill of New York and Eldridge of
Wisconsin.  Churchill and myself were living at the same house and
conferred together several times.  Eldridge took no interest in the
matter and never joined us--perhaps he was not invited.  After an
examination of all the plans I wrote that proposed amendment which was
passed by the House and is in substance and almost in language the
amendment as adopted.

With the concurrence of Mr. Churchill I reported it to the committee
and without one word of criticism and as far as I could judge without
any particular consideration I was directed to report it to the House.
In the House it encountered considerable opposition and Mr. Wilson,
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made a speech which was a great
surprise to me, though directed chiefly to the bill which I had also
reported by direction of the Judiciary Committee giving at once the
right of suffrage to negroes in all national elections and for members
of the Legislature.  This I thought necessary to secure the passage of
the amendment through the State Legislatures.  However, the resolution
was finally passed by the House.  In the Senate it met with great
opposition because it omitted to secure in terms the right to hold
office.  This point had been raised in the House where I had
successfully met the proposition by the statement and an argument in
support of the statement that the right to vote as a matter of fact and
in law carries with it the right to hold office.  In the Senate, Mr.
Sumner, supported by all the Southern Republicans and a part of the
Northern Republicans succeeded in substituting a new resolution
securing in terms the right to hold office.  Upon the return of the
Resolution to the House I was obliged to take what appeared a
conservative position and resist the proposition to concur with the
Senate upon the ground that the change was unnecessary and that its
adoption threatened the loss of the measure in doubtful States as Ohio,
Indiana, West Virginia and others.  The House adhered to its position,
yet with such weakness of purpose on the part of many who sustained me,
as indicated that they would not withstand another assault.  The
struggle was then renewed in the Senate and with every indication that
the Senate would insist upon its amendment.  It was then that your
article appeared.  Its influence was immediate and potential.  Men
thought that if you the extremest radical could accept the House
proposition they might safely do the same.  Had the Senate adhered one
of two things would have happened, either the House would have seceded
or the amendment would have failed.

Had the House concurred I fear we should have failed to carry several
States which have since ratified it.

Upon reflection I think as at the time I thought that your voice saved
the Fifteenth Amendment.

I am very truly,


P. S.  This letter is not for the public use in so far as names are
mentioned, and of course, not for publication.
G. S. B.

The article of Mr. Phillips became so important in its influence upon
the final action of the Senate that I reproduce it in justice to Mr.
Phillips and as a further record of an historical event.

"We see the action of the Senate touching the Constitutional
Amendment with great anxiety.  The House had passed a simple measure,
one covering all the ground that people are ready to occupy.  It
answered completely the lesson of the war.  Its simplicity gave it all
the chance that exists for any form of amendment being ratified.

"Why was it not left in that shape?  Leaving out of sight the manifest
risk of attempting too much, the very fact of the little time left
before the session closes, was warning enough to clutch at anything
satisfactory and to run no risk of possible disagreement between the
Houses.  We wait further knowledge before indulging any conjectures as
to the motive for this strange course of the Senate; before even
suspecting that it grew out of any concealed hate toward the whole
measure and was indeed a trick to defeat it.  Whoever, in either House,
gratifies some personal whim to the extent of defeating or even
postponing this measure will incur the gravest responsibility.  We
exhort every man who professes himself a friend of liberty to drop all
undue attachment to any form of words and to co-operate, heartily,
earnestly, with the great body of the members in carrying through as
promptly as possible, any form which included the substance of a
constitutional protection to the votes and right to office of the
colored race.  That is the work of the hour.  That is the lesson the
war has burned in on the brain and conscience of the Nation.

"To include with this, 'Nationality, education, creed,' etc., is utter
lack of common sense.  Such a total forgetfulness of the commonest
political prudence as makes it hard to credit the good intentions of
the proposers.

"Our disappointment is the greater because we had reason to believe
that the Senators who have this matter in charge, would be the last
men to forget themselves at such a crisis.  They have been timidly
'practical,' ludicrously tied up to precedents, when, in times past we
have urged them to some act which seemed likely to jeopard party.  Then
Sir Oracle was never more sententious, more full of 'wise saws and
modern instances,' than they.  The inch they were willing to move ahead
was hardly visible to the naked eye.  How they lectured us on the 'too
fast' and 'too far' policy!  Now in an emergency which calls for the
most delicate handling, they tear up not one admitted abuse, but
include in the grasp half a dozen obstinate prejudices, which no logic
of events has loosened.  For the first time in our lives we beseech
them to be a little more _politicians_--and a little less _reformers_--
as those functions are usually understood."

Under the date of March 18, 1869, I received from Mr. Phillips a letter
in acknowledgment of my letter of thanks and commendation, in these


"Thank you for the intimation in your letter.  I am glad if any words
of mine helped get rid of the too prompt action at that time.  I
think it was of the greatest importance to act at once."

The public mind seems to be misled in regard to the scope and legal
value of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.  The amendments were
in the nature of grants of power to the National Government, and in a
corresponding degree they were limitations of the powers of the States,
but the grants of power to the nation were also subject to limitations.
Until the ratification of the amendments the States had full power to
extend the right of suffrage, or to restrict its enjoyment with the
freedom that they possessed when the Treaty of Peace of 1783 had been
signed, and when the Constitution had not been framed and ratified.

All limitations of the right of suffrage by male inhabitants of
twenty-one years of age, must fall under the control of the Fourteenth
or Fifteenth Amendments.

If in any State the right to vote shall be "denied or abridged on
account of race, color or previous condition of servitude," the
statutes may be annulled by a decision of the Supreme Court.  Neither
the people of the United States in their political sovereignty, nor
the political branch of the Government in its representative capacity
can exert any direct influence upon the decision of the questions that
may arise.  The questions that may arise will be judicial questions,
and they will fall under the decision of the judicial tribunals.  Hence
there has never been a time when it was the duty or when it was in the
power or within the scope of the duty of the executive branch of the
National Government to take official notice of the legislation in some
of the former slave States, which is designed manifestly to limit the
voting power of the negro population in those States.

If such legislation does not fall under the Fifteenth Amendment it will
be subject to the penalty imposed by the Fourteenth Amendment,--a
proportionate loss of representative power in the House of
Representatives and in the Electoral Colleges.

As one of the three remaining members of the Committee on the
Judiciary, and as one of the three remaining members of the Committee
on Reconstruction, I wish to say, without any reservation whatever,
that the amendments are accomplishing and are destined to accomplish
all that was expected by the committees that were charged with the
duty of providing for the protection of the rights of the freedmen.

They were relived from the disparaging distinctions that came into
existence with the system of slavery.  They were placed upon an
equality with other citizens and in the forms of law all
discriminations affecting unfavorably the right of suffrage must
apply equally to all citizens.  The injustice and unwisdom of the
restrictive legislation in which the Southern States are indulging,
are subject of concern for the whole country, but the negro populations
have no ground for the complaint that their rights have been neglected
by the General Government.

This, however, is true:  The negro population, in common with all
others, has ground for just and continuing complaint against the
legislation of Congress by which a portion of the inhabitants of the
Hawaiian Islands have been denationalized on account of race or color,
or on account of a condition of mental or physical inferiority.

The process of reasoning by which the legislation of the States of the
South is condemned, by those who uphold the legislation in regard to
Hawaii involves a question in political ethics which for the moment I
am not able to answer in a manner satisfactory to myself.


In the years 1865, '66 and '67 three important subjects of inquiry were
placed in the hands of committees of which I was a member.

The Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives by
resolutions adopted respectively the 9th and 30th days of April, 1866,
was directed "to inquire into the nature of the evidence implicating
Jefferson Davis and others in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln."

James M. Ashley of Ohio introduced a resolution for the impeachment of
President Johnson, and on the 7th day of January, 1867, the House
authorized the Committee on the Judiciary "to inquire into the official
conduct of Andrew Johnson, Vice-President of the United States,
discharging the powers and duties of President of the United States,"

By a resolution of the two Houses of Congress passed the 12th and 13th
of December, 1865, a joint committee was created under instructions to
"inquire into the condition of the States which formed the so-called
Confederate States of America and report whether they or any of them
are entitled to be represented in either House of Congress."

William Pitt Fessenden was chairman on the part of the Senate and
Thaddeus Stevens was chairman of the part of the House.  Upon the
death of Mr. Stevens I succeeded to his place.  The testimony taken
in these cases fills three huge volumes.  No inconsiderable part of the
testimony was taken by myself, and I was but seldom absent from the
meetings of the committees.


In no other situation in life is the character of a man more fully and
truthfully brought into view than when he is placed upon the witness-
stand and subjected to an examination by counsel or others who aim to
support opposite opinions and to reach adverse results.  The committees
that conducted the investigations were composed of men who entertained
opposite views in regard to the reconstruction of the government and in
regard to the impeachment of President Johnson.  There was also a
difference of opinion upon the question of the responsibility of the
Confederate authorities for the assassination of Mr. Lincoln.  As a
consequence of this diversity of opinion the witnesses were subjected
to the equivalent of a cross-examination in a court of justice.  Some
of the impressions of men that I received in the many hearings, and
some of the opinions I formed, are recorded here.

In each branch of these comprehensive inquiries there may be found
something in the nature of evidence that may appear to have a bearing
upon the assassination of Mr. Lincoln.  It is my purpose in these
paragraphs to bring in to view the testimony which relates directly to
John Wilkes Booth, the most conspicuous and without question the chief
criminal in the tragedy of the assassination of President Lincoln, and
the attempt upon the life of Mr. Seward.

The first step in the proceedings which culminated in the murder was
the deposit at Surrattsville (a place about five miles from Washington,
and owned by the Surratt family) of a carbine, two bottles of whiskey,
a small coil of rope, a field glass, a monkey wrench, and some other

The house was kept by a man named Lloyd, and neither the character of
the house nor that of the keeper could bear a rigid test in ethics.
The deposit was made about the first of March by John H. Surratt,
Atzerodt and David E. Herold, all of whom were afterwards implicated
in the crime.  The articles were received and secreted by Lloyd, but
only after objections by him, as appears from his testimony.  Lloyd
connected Mrs. Surratt with the crime by these facts as related by
him.  She called upon Lloyd the Tuesday preceding the fatal Friday
and gave him this message:  "She told me to have them ready (speaking
of the shooting-iron) that they would be called for or wanted soon,
I have forgotten which."

Mrs. Surratt made a second call the afternoon preceding the murder,
when this conversation took place, as stated by Lloyd:  "When I drove
up in my buggy to the back yard Mrs. Surratt came out to meet me.  She
handed me a package, and told me as well as I remember to get the guns
or those things--I really forget now which, though my impression is
that guns was the expression she made use of--and a couple of bottles
of whisky and give them to whoever should call for them that night."

That night, after the murder, Booth and Herold called, and took the
carbine and drank of the whisky.  In these facts there is a basis for
a reasonable theory.  The theory is this.  Previous to the fall of
Richmond and the surrender of Lee's army the Confederate authorities
set on foot a scheme for the capture and abduction of Mr. Lincoln.
The articles deposited, including the rope and the monkey wrench,
might be useful had Mr. Lincoln been abducted, but when the crime
became murder the rope and wrench were neglected.

This view derives support from two directions.  In Booth's diary is
this entry.  "April 13-14 Friday.  The Ides.  Until to-day nothing was
ever thought of sacrificing to our country's wrongs.  For six months
we had worked to capture.  But our cause being almost lost something
decisive and great must be done.  But its failure was owing to others
who did not strike for their country with a heart."

Colonel Baker, a detective, testified that when he was in Canada,
engaged in negotiations for the purchase of letters that had passed
between the Confederate authorities at Richmond and Clay, Tucker,
Thompson and others, he read a letter from Jefferson Davis to Jacob
Thompson dated March 8, 1865, in which was this expression:  "The
consummation of the act that would have done more to have ended this
terrible strife, being delayed, has probably ruined our cause."

The scheme for the abduction of Mr. Lincoln was a wild scheme, born of
desperation, and its success would have worked only evil to the
Confederacy.  The purpose of the North would have been strengthened,
the public feeling would have been embittered and the friendship of
England and of the Continental states would have been suppressed.
When Lee had surrendered, when Davis was fleeing from Richmond, when
Benjamin was preparing to leave the country, the leaders of the
Confederacy could not have entertained a project for the capture of
Mr. Lincoln, nor of any injury to him whatever.  Their opposition to
Mr. Lincoln was not tainted with personal hostility.  One fact remains;
the persons who had knowledge of the project to abduct Mr. Lincoln and
who were engaged in it at Washington, were implicated in the final

If Booth's diary can be accepted as a faithful representation of his
mental condition it will appear that he had on that fatal Friday
submitted himself to the influence of three strong passions.  He had
accepted the South as his country, and he had come to look upon Mr.
Lincoln as a tyrant and as its enemy.  Hence he was influenced with
hatred for Mr. Lincoln.  Finally he had become maddened by an ambition
to rival, or to excel Brutus.  The influence of his possession is to
be seen in the entries in his diary in the days following the 14th of

"I can never repent it, though we hated to kill.  Our country owed all
our troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his

"The country is not what it was.  This forced union is not what I have
loved.  I have not desired to outlive my country. . . . After being
hunted like a dog through swamps, woods, and last night being chased
by gunboats till I was forced to return wet, cold, and starving with
every man's hand against me, I am here in despair.  And why?  For doing
what Brutus was honored for--what made Tell a hero.  And yet I for
striking down a greater tyrant than they ever knew, am looked upon as
a common cut-throat.  My action was purer than either of theirs.  One
hoped to be great.  The other had not only his country's, but his own
wrongs to avenge.  I knew no private wrong.  I struck for my country
and that alone.  A country that groaned beneath this tyranny, and
prayed for the end, and yet now behold the cold hand they extend to me.

"God cannot pardon me if I have done wrong, yet I cannot see my wrong
except in serving a degenerate people.  The little, the very little I
left behind to clear my name, the Government will not allow to be
printed.  So ends all.  For my country I have given up all that makes
life sweet and holy, brought misery upon my family, and am sure there
is no pardon for me in Heaven since man so condemns me.

"I do not repent of the blow I struck.  I may before my God but not to
man.  I think I have done well.  Thought I am abandoned with the curse
of Cain upon me, when if the world knew my heart that one blow would
have made me great, though I did desire no greatness."

Finally, he writes:

"I bless the entire world.  Have never hated or wronged anyone.  This
last was not a wrong unless God deems it so; and it is with him to
damn or bless me."

These extracts from Booth's diary reveal the influences that controlled
him in the great tragedy in which he became the principal actor.

The death of Booth was only a lesser tragedy than the death of Mr.

Following the murder and escape of Booth a small military force was
organized hastily under the direction and command of Colonel Lafayette
C. Baker, a detective in the service of the War Department.  The force
consisted of about thirty men chiefly convalescents from the army
hospitals in Washington.  Colonel Everton G. Conger was in command of
the expedition, and his testimony contains a clear account of what
transpired at Garrett's Farm, where Booth was captured and shot.
Conger reached Garrett's Farm on the night of the 25th of April, or the
early morning of the 26th.  The men were posted around the tobacco shed
in which Booth and Herold were secreted and their surrender was
demanded by Conger.  Booth refused to surrender and tendered, as a
counter proposition, a personal contest with the entire force.  Herold
surrendered.  Upon Booth's persistent refusal to surrender, a fire was
lighted in a corner of the building.  Booth then came forward with his
carbine in his hand and engaged in a conversation with Lieut. L. Byron
Baker.  While so engaged a musket was fired from the opposite side of
the shed and Booth fell, wounded fatally in the neck, at or near the
spot where Mr. Lincoln had been struck.  Conger had given orders to the
men not to shoot under any circumstances.  The examination disclosed
the fact that the shot was fired by a sergeant, named Boston Corbett.
When Colonel Conger asked Corbett why he shot without orders Corbett
saluted the colonel and said:  "Colonel, Providence directed me."
Thus the parallel runs.  Booth claimed that he was the instrument of
the Almighty in the assassination of Lincoln, and Boston Corbett
claimed that he acted under the direction of Providence when he shot

Booth was shot at about three o'clock in the morning of April 26, and
he died at fifteen minutes past seven.  During that time he was
conscious for about three fourths of an hour.  He asked whether a
person called Jett had betrayed him.  His only other intelligible
remark was this:

"Tell my mother I died for my country."

During the afternoon preceding the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, Booth
met John Matthews a brother actor, and requested him to hand a letter
to Mr. Coyle, of the _National Intelligencer,_ the next morning.
Mathews had a part in the play at Ford's Theater.  When the shot was
fired and Mathews was changing his dress to leave the theater, he
discovered the letter, which for the time he had forgotten.  When he
reached his rooms he opened the letter.  It contained an avowal of
Booth's purpose to murder the President, and he named three of his
associates.  Booth referred to a plan that had failed, and he then
added:  "The moment has at length arrived when my plans must be
changed."  These statements were made by Mathews from recollection.
Mathews destroyed the letter under the influence of the apprehension
that its possession would work his ruin.

The records seem to warrant certain conclusions:

1.  That the Confederate authorities at Richmond made a plan for the
capture of Mr. Lincoln, and that Booth, Mrs. Surratt and others--who
were implicated finally in the murder--were concerned in the project
to abduct the President and to hold him a hostage.

2.  That the undertaking failed.

3.  That following Lee's surrender and the downfall of the Confederacy,
Booth originated the plan to murder the President, under the influence
of the motives and reasons that are set forth in his diary and in the
letter to Mr. Coyle.

4.  His influence over the persons who were involved in the conspiracy
to abduct Mr. Lincoln, was so great that he was able to command their
aid in the commission of the final crime.

When the investigations were concluded there remained in the possession
of the Committee on the Judiciary a quantity of papers, affidavits,
letters and memoranda of no value as evidence.  These were placed
within a sealed package.  The package was deposited with the clerk of
the House of Representatives.  The preservation of the papers may have
been an error.  They should have been destroyed by the committee.  Some
doubts were expressed however as to the authority of the committee.
Further investigations were suggested as not impossible.  I am the only
person living who has knowledge of the papers.  They are now in the
possession of the House of Representatives.  It is not in the public
interest that the papers should become the possession of the public.


The testimony of John Minor Botts of Virginia, given before the Joint
Committee on Reconstruction, February 18, 1866, presents Mr. Lincoln as
a diplomatist at the outset of his experience as President.

Mr. Botts had been a leading member of the Whig Party and he was a
Union man from the beginning of the contest to the end of the war.  As
the work of secession was advancing in the Gulf States Mr. Lincoln
became anxious for the fate of the border States and especially for
Virginia and Kentucky, which promised to serve as barriers to the
aggressive movements of the South in case of war.  Mr. Botts came to
Washington at the request of Mr. Lincoln in the early days of April,
1861, and they were together and in private conversation during the
evening of the 7th of April from seven to eleven o'clock.  In the
conversation of that evening the President gave Mr. Botts an account
of the steps that he had taken to prevent a collision in the harbor
of Charleston.

Mr. Summers and Mr. Baldwin of Virginia had been delegates in the Peace
Congress and they had been counted among the Union men of the State.
Soon after the inauguration the President was informed that the small
garrison in Fort Sumter was nearly destitute of provisions and that
an attempt to add to the supply would be resisted.  The President,
Mr. Summers and Mr. Botts had served together as Whigs in the Thirtieth
Congress and the President invited Mr. Summers by letter and by special
messenger to a conference in Washington.  To this invitation no
answer was given by Mr. Summers until the 5th of April, when Mr.
Baldwin appeared and said that he had come upon the request of Mr.
Summers.  Mr. Lincoln said at once:  "Ah!  Mr. Baldwin, why did you
not come sooner?  I have been expecting you gentlemen to come to me
for more than a week past.  I had a most important proposition to make
to you.  I am afraid you have come too late.  However, I will make the
proposition now.  We have in Fort Sumter with Major Anderson about
eighty men and I learn from Major Anderson that his provisions are
nearly exhausted . . . I have not only written to Governor Pickens, but
I have sent a special messenger to say that if he will allow Major
Anderson to obtain his marketing at the Charleston market, or, if he
objects to allowing our people to land at Charleston, if he will have
it sent to him, then I will make no effort to provision the fort, but,
that if he does not do that, I will not permit these people to starve,
and that I shall send provisions down,--and that if fires on that
vessel he will fire upon an unarmed vessel, loaded with nothing but
bread but I shall at the same time send a fleet along with her, with
instructions not to enter the harbor of Charleston unless the vessel
is fired into; and if she is, then the fleet is to enter the harbor
and protect her.  Now, Mr. Baldwin, that fleet is now lying in the
harbor of New York and will be ready to sail this afternoon at five
o'clock, and although I fear it is almost too late, yet I will submit
anyway the proposition which I intended for Mr. Summers.  Your
convention in Richmond, Mr. Baldwin, has been sitting now nearly two
months and all they have done has been to shake the rod over my head.
You have recently taken a vote in the Virginia Convention, on the right
of secession, which was rejected by ninety to forty-five, a majority
of two thirds, showing the strength of the Union Party in that
convention; and, if you will go back to Richmond and get that Union
majority to adjourn and go home without passing the ordinance of
secession, so anxious am I for the preservation of the peace of this
country and to save Virginia and the other States from going out, that
I will take the responsibility of evacuating Fort Sumter, and take the
chance of negotiating with the cotton States, which have already gone

This quotation is from the testimony of Mr. Botts and there cannot be
better evidence of the facts existing in the first days of April, nor
a more trustworthy statement of the position of Mr. Lincoln in regard
to the secession movement.  At that time the Virginia Convention had
rejected a proposed ordinance of secession by a vote of ninety to
forty-five, and there can be no doubt that Mr. Lincoln had hopes that
his proposition might calm the temper and change the purposes of the
secessionists in that State if he did not change the schemes of
Governor Pickens, of which, indeed, the prospect was only slight.

In his Inaugural Address, and in all his other public utterances, Mr.
Lincoln sought to place the responsibility of war upon the seceding
States.  At a later day Mr. Lincoln, in a conversation with Senator
Sumner and myself, expressed regret that he had neglected to station
troops in Virginia in advance of the occupation of the vicinity of
Alexandria by the Confederates, a course of action to which he had
been urged by Mr. Chase and others.

Mr. Lincoln's proposition for the relief of Fort Sumter was rejected
by Mr. Baldwin, as was the proposition for the adjournment of the
convention, _sine die_.

When Mr. Botts appeared the time had passed when arrangements could
have been made for the relief of Sumter and the adjournment of the
convention.  Although the situation may not have been realized at the
time it was not the less true that Mr. Botts and the small number
of Union men in Virginia were powerless in presence of the movement
in favor of secession under the lead of Tyler, Seddon and others.

The political side of Mr. Lincoln's character is seen in the fact that
he enjoined secrecy upon Mr. Botts.  He may have been unwilling to
allow his supporters in the North to know how far he had gone in the
line of conciliation.  In the conversation with Mr. Baldwin, Mr.
Lincoln had given an assurance that upon the acceptance of his two
propositions he would evacuate Fort Sumter.  When Mr. Lincoln made
these facts known to Mr. Botts at the evening interview, Mr. Botts
said;  "Will you authorize me to make that proposition to the Union
men of the convention?  I will take a steamboat to-morrow morning,
and have a meeting of the Union men to-morrow night, I will guarantee
with my head, that they will adopt your proposition."  In reply, Mr.
Lincoln said:  "It is too late.  The fleet has sailed."  In truth it
was too late for the acceptance of the propositions in Virginia.  The
Union men were powerless, and the secessionists were dominant in
affairs and already vindictive.  The charge that Mr. Seward gave a
promise that Sumter would be abandoned, may or it may not have been
true, but there can be no ground for doubting the statement made by
Mr. Botts in regard to the terms tendered by Mr. Lincoln, and which
were rejected by Mr. Baldwin.

Mr. Baldwin admitted the interview with Mr. Lincoln, and the nature of
it as herein given, to Mr. John F. Lewis, who was a Union man and a
member of the convention that adopted the Ordinance of Secession by
a vote of eighty-eight to fifty-five.

Of the three witnesses, Baldwin, Botts and Lewis, Mr. Baldwin was the
first witness who was examined by the Committee on Reconstruction.
At that time the committee had no knowledge of the conversation
between Mr. Baldwin and President Lincoln.  Speaking, apparently, under
the influence of the criticisms of Botts and Lewis of his rejection of
Mr. Lincoln's propositions, Baldwin introduced the subject with the
remark:  "I had a good deal of interesting conversation with him (that
is with Mr. Lincoln) that evening.  I was about to state that I have
reason to believe that Mr. Lincoln himself had given an account of
this conversation which has been understood--but I am sure
_mis_understood--by the persons with whom he talked, as giving the
representation of it, that he had offered to me, that if the Virginia
Convention would adjourn _sine die_ he would withdraw the troops from
Sumner and _Pickens_."  As there was no occasion in the conversation
between Lincoln and Baldwin for a reference to Fort Pickens, and as the
President did not mention _Fort Pickens_ in the account of the
conversation that he gave to Mr. Botts, the denial of Mr. Baldwin may
fall under one of the forms of falsehood mentioned by Shakespeare.

The evidence is conclusive to this point:  That at an interview at the
Executive Mansion, April 5, 1861, between President Lincoln and Colonel
John B. Baldwin, then a member of the Virginia Convention that finally
adopted the Ordinance of Secession, President Lincoln assured Mr.
Baldwin that he would evacuate Fort Sumter if the fort could be
provisioned and the Virginia Convention would adjourn _sine die_.

Colonel Baldwin's voluntary and qualified denial is of no value in
presence of President Lincoln's report of the interview as given by
Mr. Botts and in presence of the testimony that Mr. Baldwin did not
deny the truthfulness of Mr. Botts' limited statement, when it was
asserted by Mr. Botts in the presence of Lewis.


Upon the death of Mr. Calhoun the task of maintaining the extreme
doctrine of State Rights, as that doctrine had been taught by Mr.
Calhoun fell upon Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens.  That
doctrine was carried to its practical results in the ordinances of
secession as they were adopted by the respective States under the lead
of Mr. Davis.

If Mr. Stephens advised against secession, the advice given was not due
to any doubt of the right of a State to secede from the Union, but to
doubts of the wisdom of the undertaking.

In form of proceedings Mr. Stephens was examined by the Committee on
the Judiciary, the 11th and 12th days of April, 1866, but in fact I was
the only member of the committee who was present, and I conducted the
examination in my own way, and without help or hindrance from others.

It was the opinion of Governor Clifford of Massachusetts, that the
examination of Mr. Stephens gave the best exposition of the doctrine
of State Rights that had been made.  I was then ignorant of the fact,
that in the convention of 1787 the form of the Preamble to the
Constitution was so changed as to justify the opinion, if not to
warrant the conclusion that the State-Rights doctrines had been
considered and abandoned.  In two plans of a constitution, one
submitted by Mr. Randolph, and one by Mr. Charles Pinckney, and in
the original draft of the Constitution as reported by Mr. Rutledge,
the source of authority was laid in the respective States, which were
named.  This form was adhered to in the Rutledge report, which was made
August 6, 1787.  On the 12th of September the Committee on Style
reported the Preamble which opens thus:  _"We the people of the United
States, etc."_  This change seems not to have been known to Mr.
Webster, nor have I noticed a reference to it in any of the speeches
that were made in the period of the active controversy on the
doctrine of State Rights.

Mr. Stephens was a clear-headed and uncompromising expositor and
defender of the doctrine of State Rights as the doctrine was accepted
by General Lee and by the inhabitants generally of the slave States.

Mr. Stephens did not disguise his opinions:  "When the State seceded
against my judgment and vote, I thought my ultimate allegiance was due
to her, and I prepared to cast my fortunes and destinies with hers and
her people rather than take any other course, even though it might
lead to my sacrifice and her ruin."

When he was asked for his reason for accepting the office of vice-
president in the Confederacy, he said:  "My sole object was to do all
the good I could in preserving and perpetuating the principles of
liberty as established under the Constitution of the United States."
Mr. Stephens advanced to his position by conclusively logical
processes.  Standing upon the ground of Mr. Lincoln and the Republican
Party, he assumed that, inasmuch as the States in rebellion had never
been out of the Union, they had had the opportunity at all times during
the war of withdrawing from the contest and resuming their places in
the Senate and House as though nothing had occurred of which the
existing government could take notice.

If, however, there were to be terms of adjustment, then those terms
must have a "continental basis founded upon the principles of mutual
convenience and reciprocal advantage, and the recognition of the
separate sovereignty of the States."  He was ready for a conference or
convention of all the States, but he did not admit the right of the
successful party to dictate terms to the States that had been in
rebellion.  He expressed the personal, individual opinion, that tax
laws passed in the absence of representatives from the seceded States
would be unconstitutional.  It was the opinion of Mr. Stephens that
the people of Georgia by a large majority thought that the State was
entitled to representation in the national Congress and without any

When he was invited to consider the alternative of universal suffrage
or a loss of representation as a condition precedent to the
restoration of the State, he said with confidence that neither branch
of the alternative would be accepted.  "If Georgia is a State in the
Union her people feel that she is entitled to representation without
conditions imposed by Congress; and if she is not a State in the Union
then she could not be admitted as an equal with the others if her
admission were trammeled with conditions that did not apply to all the
rest alike."

It had been his expectation, and in his opinion such had been the
expectation of the people generally that the State would assume its
place in the Union whenever the cause of the Confederacy should be

Such were the results of the State-Rights doctrines as announced by
the most intellectual of the Southern leaders in the war of the
Rebellion.  In the opinion of Mr. Stephens a State could retire from
the Union either for purposes of peace or of war and return at will,
and all without loss of place or power.

At the close of his examination he made this declaration:  "My
convictions on the original abstract question have undergone no change."

As a sequel to the doctrines of Mr. Stephens, I mention the history of
Andrew J. Lewis.  When the Legislature of Massachusetts assembled in
January, 1851, Lewis took a seat in the House as the Democratic member
from the town of Sandisfield.  He acted with the Coalitionists, and he
voted for Mr. Sumner as United States Senator.  Lewis was returned for
the year 1852, and in General Pierce's administration he held an office
in the Boston Customs House.

Upon the fall of Port Hudson I received a letter from General Banks.
In that letter he mentioned the fact that Lewis was among the
prisoners, holding the office of captain in a South Carolina regiment.
His account of himself was this:  "I was born in South Carolina.  When
my State seceded I thought I must go too, and so I left Massachusetts
and returned to South Carolina."


General Grant's examination during the investigation embraced a variety
of topics and the report is a volume of not less than twenty thousand
words.  His testimony is marked by the qualities for which he was known
both on the civil and military side of his career.  These qualities
were clearness of thought, accuracy and readiness of memory, directness
of expression and the absence of remarks in the nature of exaggeration
or embellishment.  The character of the man and the history of events
may gain something from an examination of his testimony upon three
important points to which it related:  the opinion of President Lincoln
in regard to the reconstruction of the government; the opinion of
President Johnson upon the same subject, and his own view of the
rights of General Lee and of the army under his command that had
surrendered at Appomattox.

When President Johnson entered upon the work of reconstructing the
government of North Carolina it was claimed that he was giving form
and effect to the plan which President Lincoln had accepted as a wise

There was some foundation for the claim as appears from the testimony
of General Grant, Mr. Seward, Mr. Stanton, and others, but there is no
ground for the claim that Mr. Lincoln had matured a plan or had
accepted any scheme of reconstruction at the hands of any one.  In an
exigency, as in the case of the resignation of General Hooker, he
could act immediately, but time and thought, and discussion with
others were accepted as valuable aids, whenever there was not a
pressure for instant action.

General Grant was examined in July, 1867, and the opening was conducted
by Mr. Eldridge of Wisconsin.  It related to the parole granted to
General Lee and his army.  The nature of the questions led General
Grant to make this remark:  "I will state here, that I am not quite
certain whether I am being tried, or who is being tried, by the
questions asked."

General Grant may have thought that Mr. Eldridge was endeavoring to
secure from him an admission that he had exceeded his authority in the
terms of the parole granted to General Lee.  General Grant was able to
state the terms with exactness and within his powers as commander of
the conquering army.  He claimed that General Lee surrendered his
army "in consideration of the fact that they were to be exempt from
trial so long as they conformed to the obligations which they had
taken."  President Johnson claimed that the leaders should be tried.
This position he abandoned previous to July, 1867.  Of an interview
with President Johnson, General Grant made this statement:

"He insisted on it that the leaders must be punished, and wanted to
know, when the time would come when those persons could be tried.  I
told him when they violated their parole."  In the opinion of General
Grant the terms of the parole did not include Jefferson Davis, as he
had been captured.

In the early part of the controversy President Johnson insisted that
General Lee should be tried for treason.  That purpose on the part of
the President was resisted by General Grant.  His position, in his own
language, was this:

"I insisted on it that General Lee would not have surrendered his army
and given up all their arms if he had supposed that after surrender, he
was going to be tried for treason and hanged.  I thought we got a very
good equivalent for the lives of a few leaders in getting all those
arms and getting themselves under control bound by the oaths to obey
the laws.  That was the consideration, which I insisted upon, we had

General Grant added:

"Afterwards he got to agreeing with me on that subject."

On the question of political rights as involved in the surrender and in
the parole, General Grant said:

"I never claimed that the parole gave those prisoners any political
right whatever.  I thought that that was a matter entirely with
Congress, over which I had no control, that simply as general-in-chief
commanding the army, I had a right to stipulate for the surrender on
terms which protected their lives.  The parole gave them protection and
exemption from punishment for all offences not in violation of the
rules of civilized warfare."

The point of difference between General Grant and President Johnson in
regard to the parole is very clear from General Grant's answers to
questions by Mr. Thomas and Mr. Eldridge.

"You have stated your opinion as to the rights and privileges of
General Lee and his soldiers; do you mean that to include any political

"I have explained that I did not."

"Was there any difference of opinion on that point between yourself and
President Johnson at any time?"

"On that point there was no difference of opinion; but there was as to
whether the parole gave them any privileges or rights . . . He claiming
that the time must come when they would be tried and punished, and I
claiming that that time could not come except by a violation of their

Grant claimed also that the army that had surrendered to Sherman came
under the same rules.

These quotations give General Grant's standing as an interpreter of
public law and as a leader capable of applying the rules and principles
of public law to practical affairs.  His training at West Point may
have given him a knowledge of principles and his good sense enabled him
to apply the principles in the terms that he dictated at Appomattox.

General Grant's natural qualities were such that with training he might
have succeeded in great causes involving principles, but he was not
adapted to the ordinary business of a county-court lawyer.

It is quite certain from the testimony of General Grant that Mr.
Lincoln had had in mind a scheme for the organization of the States
that had been in rebellion and that Mr. Johnson's proclamation for the
government of North Carolina was not a wide departure from that

General Grant was present at two meetings of the Cabinet in Mr.
Lincoln's time, when a proclamation was read and considered.  In the
language of General Grant, "after the assassination it continued right
along and I was there with Mr. Johnson."  General Grant's interest was
directed to two points:  First, that civil government should be set up
but subject to the final action of Congress, and second, that the
parole should not be infringed.  He states his position thus:

"I was always ready to originate matters pertaining to the army, but I
was never willing to originate matters pertaining to the civil
government of the United States.  When I was asked my opinion about
what had been done I was willing to give it.  I originated no plans and
suggested no plans for civil government."

The examination by Mr. Eldridge was in the nature of cross-examination
and for the purpose of gaining an admission from General Grant that he
had advised or sanctioned President Johnson's plan of reconstruction.
Hence General Grant's declarations that his part was limited to the
military side of the measure and that in his view the entire plan was
subject to Congressional action.

General Grant's testimony is explicit upon these points:  He advised
President Johnson to grant a pardon to General Lee and a pardon to
General Johnston.  He was especially urgent in favor of a pardon to
General Johnston in consideration of his speech to his army at the time
of the surrender.  He advised against the proclamation of amnesty upon
the ground that the act was then premature.

General Grant's testimony adds strength to the statement that President
Johnson contemplated the recognition of a Congress composed of
Democratic members from the North and of the representatives from the
States that had been organized under the President's proclamation.

"I have heard him say--and I think I have heard him say it twice in his
speeches--that if the North carried the election by members enough to
give them, with the Southern members, a majority why would they not be
the Congress of the United States?"

In answer to this question:  "Have you heard him make a remark
kindred to that elsewhere?" General Grant said:

"Yes, I have heard him say that aside from his speeches, in
conversation.  I cannot say just when."

The North Carolina proclamation was read at an informal meeting at
which only Grant and Stanton were with the President.  General Grant
did not criticise the paper.  He said of it:  "It was a civil matter
and although I was anxious to have something done I did not intend to
dictate any plan.  I looked upon it simply as a temporary measure to
establish a sort of government until Congress should meet and settle
the whole question and that it did not make much difference how it was
done so there was a form of government there. . . . I don't suppose
that there were any persons engaged in that consultation who thought
of what was being done at that time as being lasting--any longer than
Congress would meet and either ratify that or establish some other
form of government."

General Grant understood that the North Carolina proclamation was in
substance the paper which had been considered by Mr. Lincoln, but
General Grant said also, that Mr. Lincoln's plan was "temporary, to be
either confirmed, or a new government set up by Congress."

General Grant's testimony upon one point is supported by the testimony
of Mr. Seward and the testimony of Mr. Stanton.  They agree that Mr.
Johnson's plan of reconstruction was in substance the plan that Mr.
Lincoln had had under consideration.  Mr. Stanton regarded the plan as

If President Johnson intended to enforce the plan upon the country he
concealed his purpose when the North Carolina proclamation was under

In the month of October, 1866, the police commissioners of the city of
Baltimore were engaged in the work of registering voters for the
November elections, and the authorities were engaged in the work of
registering the voters in all parts of the State of Maryland.  It was
claimed that many thousands who had been engaged in the rebellion and
who were excluded under a provision of the Constitution had been
registered by the connivance of the authorities and especially by the
police commissioners of Baltimore.  There were rumors of secret,
hostile organizations, there were threats of disturbance, and Governor
Swann became alarmed.

President Johnson became alarmed also and under date of October 25 he
wrote a letter to General Grant in which these paragraphs may be found:

"From recent development serious troubles are apprehended from a
conflict of authority between the executive of the State of Maryland
and the police commissioners of the city of Baltimore." . . . "I
therefore request that you inform me of the number of Federal troops at
present stationed in the city of Baltimore and vicinity."

General Grant informed the President on the 27th, that the number of
available and efficient troops was 1,550.  Thereupon, on the first day
of November the President issued the following instruction to Secretary

"In view of the prevalence in various portions of the country of a
revolutionary and turbulent disposition which might at any moment
assume insurrectionary proportions and lead to serious disorders, and
of the duty of the government to be at all times prepared to act with
decision and effect this force is not deemed adequate for the
protection and security of the seat of government."

Secretary Stanton referred the President's letter to General Grant with
instructions "to take such measures as in his judgment are proper and
within his power to carry into operation the within directions of the

Under this order six or eight companies in New York and on the way to
join regiments in the South were detained at Fort McHenry, and a
regiment in Washington was under orders to be ready to move upon notice.

On the second day of November the President qualified his demands in a
letter to Secretary Stanton and limited the expression of anxiety to
the city of Baltimore.  It is certain that General Grant and Secretary
Stanton did not share the President's apprehensions and the day of
election passed without serious disturbance.

In the Philadelphia _Ledger_ of October 12, 1866, there appeared a
series of questions which were accompanied by the statement or the
suggestion that the President had submitted them to the Attorney-
General for an official opinion.  The questions related to the
constitutional validity of the Thirty-ninth Congress, and upon the
ground that all the States were not represented although hostilities
had ceased.

From the testimony of Henry M. Flint, a newspaper correspondent, it
appears that the President had no knowledge of the questions until
after the publications in the _Ledger_.  Flint's account of the affair
may be thus summarized.  For himself and without conference with the
President, he reached the conclusion that the Thirty-ninth Congress was
an illegal body and he had reached the conclusion also that the
President entertained the same opinion.  Thereupon he assumed that the
President would take the opinion of the Attorney-General.  Having
advanced thus far, he next proceeded to write the questions that he
imagined the President would prepare and submit to the Attorney-General.

These questions he transmitted to a brother correspondent in New York
--Mr. F. A. Abbott--under cover of a letter which was not produced.
Flint gave the substance of his letter to Abbott in these words:

"These questions are supposed or believed to have submitted by the
President to the Attorney-General."  Speaking of Abbott, Flint said:
"I knew he was connected with several newspapers and I had no doubt
when I sent these questions that they would appear in some paper in
some shape. . . . The object I had in view in writing these questions
and in sending them to Mr. Abbott was that they might appear before the
public, and that the public mind might be directed to that point, and
that the newspapers particularly might be led to express their
sentiments upon the questions involved in it."

When the publication "had given rise to considerable discussion" in the
language of Flint, "I thought," he says, "I ought to go the President
and tell him what part of the despatch was mine and what connection I
had had with the publication of it."

Of his interview with the President, he gives this report:  "He showed
me an article, which I think, appeared the day after the questions were
published, in the _Daily News_ of Philadelphia, which took pretty
nearly the same ground my questions would indicate. . . . He spoke of
it rather approvingly."

Flint adds:  "I had remarked to him:  'Mr. Johnson, it seemed to me
that it would be by no means remarkable that you should prepare such
questions as bear upon a subject which I know must have occupied your
mind as it has the public mind.'  I forget what reply he made; it was
a sort of affirmative response or assent."

Whatever may have been the origin of Flint's questions, their
appearance in the manner indicated is an instance of volunteer service
not often paralleled in the rough contests of life.  Without any
effort on his own part the President gained knowledge of a public
sentiment upon the question of the legality of the Thirty-ninth
Congress--a question in which he had much interest in the autumn of

The project to increase the army around Washington and the project
to proclaim the Thirty-ninth Congress an illegal body may have had an
intimate connection with the project to send General Grant on a mission
to Mexico and to place General Sherman in command at Washington, a
project of which I have spoken in another place.


General Robert E. Lee was examined by the Committee on Reconstruction
the 17th day of February, 1866.

The inquiries related to the state of public sentiment in the South,
and especially in Virginia with regard to secession, to the treatment
of the negroes, to the public debts of the United States, and of the
Confederacy, and to the treatment of Northern soldiers in Southern

General Lee was then in good health and in personal appearance he
commended himself without delay.  He was large in frame, compactly
built, and he was furnished with all the flesh and muscle that could be
useful to a man who was passing the middle period of life.  The
elasticity of spirits, the vigor of mind and body that are the wealth
of a successful man at sixty were wanting in General Lee.  His
appearance commanded respect and it excited the sympathy even of those
who had condemned his abandonment of the Union in 1861.

The examination gave evidence of integrity and of entire freedom from
duplicity.  Freedom from duplicity was a controlling feature in General
Grant's character and in that attribute of greatness Grant and Lee may
have been equals.

General Lee was free to disclose his own opinions, but he was cautious
in his statements when questioned as to the opinions and purposes of
the men and States that had been in the Rebellion.  He was careful to
say at the beginning of the examination that he had no communication
with politicians and that he did not read the papers.  What he said of
the South assumed that the people were in poverty and were so dejected
that they had no plans for the future, nor any hopes of restoration to
wealth, happiness and power in the affairs of the country.  His
testimony as a whole might justify the opinion that there would be no
serious resistance to any form of government that might be set up.  He
favored the governments which President Johnson had organized and he
expressed the opinion that they were acceptable to the people
generally.  A comprehensive statement was this:

"I do not know of a single person who either feels or contemplates
any resistance to the government of the United States, or, indeed any
opposition to it."  He gave this assurance to the committee:  "The
people entirely acquiesce in the government of the United States and
are for co-operating with President Johnson in his policy."

The payment of the public debt had not been a topic of discussion in
his presence, but the people were disposed to pay such taxes as were
imposed and they were struggling to get money for that purpose.

He was of the opinion that the people made no distinction between the
Confederate debt and the debt of the United States--that they were
disposed to pay both debts, and would pay both if they had the power.
For himself, however, he had no expectation that the indebtedness of
the Confederacy would ever be paid.

General Lee manifested a kindly spirit for the freedmen, but he was
unwilling to accept them as citizens endowed with the right of
suffrage.  Of the feeling in Virginia, General Lee said:  "Every one
with whom I associate expresses kind feelings toward the freedmen.
They wish to see them get on in the world, and especially to take up
some occupation for a living."

He rejected the suggestion that there was anywhere within the State
any combinations having in view, "the disturbance of the peace, or any
improper or unlawful acts."  He characterized the negroes as "an
amiable, social race, who look more to the present than to their
future condition."

In answer to the question whether the South would support the
government in case of a war with France or England, General Lee was
distinctly reserved:  "I cannot speak with any certainty on that
point.  I do not know how far they might be actuated by their feelings.
I have nothing whatever to base an opinion upon.  So far as I know
they contemplate nothing of the kind now.  What may happen in the
future I cannot say."  He then added this remark:  "Those people in
Virginia with whom I associate express a hope that the country may not
be led into war."

As to an alliance during the war he said that he knew nothing of the
policy of the Confederate government:  "I had no hand or part of it,"
was his remark.  It was his opinion during the war that an alliance
with a foreign country was desirable, and he had assumed that the
authorities were of the same opinion.  His ideas were those of
General Grant, and he avoided responsibility for the measures of the
government on the civil side.

With kind feelings for the colored people of Virginia General Lee
favored the substitution of a white class of laborers, if an exchange
could be made, of which however, he had neither plan nor hope.  Nor
could he give any assurance that Northern men would be received upon
terms of equality and friendship, if they avowed the opinions that
then prevailed generally in the North:  "The manner in which they
would be received would depend entirely upon the individuals themselves
--they might make themselves obnoxious, as you can understand," was the
statement of General Lee.  His testimony as a whole indicated an
opinion that it was more important to secure capital for business, than
it was to rid the State of the negro laborer.  In his opinion, most of
the blacks were willing to work for their former masters, but they were
unwilling to make engagements for a year, a form of engagement which
the farmers and planters preferred, that they might be sure of help
when it would be most needed.  The negroes may have been influenced by
one or both of two reasons.  Their unthrifty habits--the outcome of
slavery--or an apprehension that a formal engagement for a year was a
kind of bondage that might lead to a renewal of the old system.

When General Lee was pressed by Senator Howard as to the feeling in the
South in regard to the National Government, he said:  "I believe that
they will perform all the duties that they are required to perform.  I
think that is the general feeling. . . . I do not know that there is
any deep-seated dislike.  I think it is probable that there may be
some animosity still existing among some of the people of the South.
. . . They were disappointed at the result of the war."

General Lee was of the opinion that a Southern jury would not find an
accused guilty of treason for participation in the war.  Indeed his
doctrine of State Rights excused the citizen and placed the sole
responsibility on the State.  Of the common sentiment in the South he
said:  "So far as I know, they will look upon the action of the State,
in withdrawing itself from the government of the United States, as
carrying the individuals of the State along with it; that the State
was responsible for the act, not the individual."  This was the
framework of his own defence.  Speaking of the advocates of secession,
he said:  "The ordinance of secession, or those acts of a State which
recognized a condition of war between the State and the General
Government, stood as their justification for their bearing arms against
the Government of the United States.  They considered the act of the
State as legitimate.  That they were merely using the reserved right,
which they had a right to do."

From these views General Lee was led to a specific statement of his
own position:

Question:  "State, if you please, what your own personal views on that
question were?"

Answer:  "That was my view; that the act of Virginia in withdrawing
herself from the United States carried me along as a citizen of
Virginia, and that her laws and her acts were binding on me.'

Question:  "And that you felt to be your justification in taking the
course you did?"

Answer:  "Yes, sir."

In the course of the examination General Lee expressed the opinion that
the "trouble was brought about by the politicians of the country."

General Lee disclaimed all responsibility for the care and treatment of
prisoners of war.  He had always favored a free exchange of prisoners,
knowing that the proper means for the care and comfort of prisoners
could not be furnished in the Confederacy.  He thought that the
hardships and neglects had been exaggerated.  As to himself, he had
never had any control over prisoners, except as they were captured on
the field of battle.  He sent his prisoners to Richmond where they came
under the command of the provost-marshal-general.  His orders to
surgeons on the field were to treat all the wounded alike.

In the examinations that were made by the committee I read a large
number of reports of surgeons connected with the prisons and hospitals
and I may say that in all cases they exhibited humanity and in many
cases specific means of relief for the sufferings of the soldiers were
recommended.  Their reports were forwarded from officer to officer, but
in a large majority of cases the reports were neglected.

In a letter written by General Lee to his sister a few days before he
abandoned the service of the United States, he expressed the opinion
that there was no sufficient cause for the rebellion.  This opinion, in
connection with his opinion that the rebellion was the work of
politicians demonstrates the power which the doctrine of State Rights
had obtained over a man of experience and of admitted ability.  Upon
his own admission, he subordinated his conduct to the action of his
State, and in disregard of his personal obligation through his oath of
office.  If he had followed his own judgment as to what was wise and
proper he would have remained in his place as an officer in the army of
the United States.

If in 1861 an officer of the army had entertained the opinion that the
North was in the wrong and that the South was in the right, it could be
claimed, fairly, that that officer might forswear his obligations to
the old Government and accept service in the Confederacy.

Moral obliquity is not to be assumed in the case of General Lee.  His
pecuniary and professional interests must have invited him to remain
in the army.  General Scott, a Virginian, was at the head of the army,
and General Scott was his friend.  His promotion was certain, and
important commands were probable.  His large estates in the vicinity of
the city of Washington were exposed to the ravages of war if not to
confiscation.  These sacrifices, some certain, and others probable were
present when he left Washington and entered into the service of the
Confederacy under the superior authority of the State of Virginia in
disregard of his own opinion, and in disregard, not to say violation,
of his oath as a soldier who had sworn to support the Constitution of
the United States.  General Lee was unable to say whether he had
taken an oath to support the Confederate States.  He could not recall
the fact of taking the oath, but he said he should have taken the oath
if it had been tendered to him.

The full report of the testimony of General Lee should appear in any
complete biography of the man.  It reveals his character, explains the
leading influences to which he was subjected, and it sheds light upon
the state of public opinion in the South at the end of the contest in

General Scott and General George H. Thomas were Virginians, but they
acted in defiance of the State-Rights doctrines of the South.  In
April, 1861, General Scott gave me an account of the efforts that had
been made to induce him to follow the fortunes of Virginia, and he
spoke with a voice of emotion of his veneration for the flag, and of
his attachment to the Union.


Of the soldiers of the Northern army in the war of the Rebellion,
General George H. Thomas takes rank next after the first three--Grant,
Sherman and Sheridan.  When Grant became President and Sherman was
general of the army the President was unwilling to appear to neglect
either Sheridan or Thomas.  With high appreciation of Thomas as a
soldier, the President gave higher rank to Sheridan.  He said to me
that he placed Sheridan above every other officer of the war.  He gave
Sheridan credit for two supreme qualities--great care in his plans and
great vigor in execution.

Yet, although the President acted upon a sound basis of opinion, the
choice left a painful impression upon his memory.

General Thomas and General Lee were alike in personal appearance, and
they resembled each other in their mental characteristics.  In one
important particular they differed--General Thomas had no respect for
State-Rights doctrines.  He was a native of Virginia, but there was no
indication in his testimony, nor were there rumors, that he had ever
hesitated in his course when the rebellion opened.

General Thomas was examined by the Committee on Reconstruction January
29, and February 2, 1866.  He was then in command of the Military
Division of the Tennessee which included the States of Kentucky,
Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.  It was the main object of
the committee to obtain information as to the public sentiment touching
the treatment of the negroes and the re-establishment of civil
government in the States that had been in rebellion.  The Union
sentiment was stronger in Tennessee than in any other State of the
Confederacy.  The inhabitants of the mountainous districts of eastern
and middle Tennessee had been loyal from the opening of the contest in
1860 and 1860.  Yet in 1866 General Thomas advised the committee that
it would "not be safe to remove the national troops from Tennessee, or
to withdraw martial law; or to restore the writ of habeas corpus to
its full extent."  At that time the peace of eastern Tennessee was
disturbed by family feuds and personal quarrels, the outcome of
political differences.  In west Tennessee and in portions of middle
Tennessee there was a deep seated hostility to Union men, and
especially to Southern men who had served in the Union army.

General Thomas said of them:  "They are more unfriendly to Union men
natives of the State of Tennessee or of the South, who have been in
the Union army, than they are to men of Northern birth."

At that time the contract system of labor had been introduced, and the
contracts were regarded as binding both by whites and blacks.

General Thomas advised the admission of Tennessee into the Union as a
State, and his advice was acted upon favorably by its admission in the
summer of that year.  His recommendations were based upon the facts
that Tennessee had "repudiated the rebel debt, had abolished slavery,
had adopted the Constitutional amendment upon that subject, had passed
a franchise law prohibiting from voting every man who had been
engaged in the rebellion" and had "passed a law allowing negroes to

His opinion of the four other States of his command was not as
favorable.  "I have received communications from various persons in the
South that there was an understanding among the rebels and perhaps
organizations formed or forming, for the purpose of gaining as many
advantages for themselves as possible; and I have heard it also
intimated that these men are very anxious and would do all in their
power to involve the United States in a foreign war, so that if a
favorable opportunity should occur, they might then again turn against
the United States."

At the end of his first examination he gave this opinion as the result
of his experience:

Question:  "In what could those advantages consist in breaking up the

Answer:  "They would wish to be recognized as citizens of the United
States, with the same rights they had before the war."

Question:  "How can they do that?  By wishing us in a war with England
or France, in which they would take part against us?"

Answer:  "In that event their desire is to establish the Southern
Confederacy.  They have not yet given up their desire for a separate
government, and if they have an opportunity to strike for it again they
will do so."

When asked what he knew of secret organizations he said that he had
received several communications to that effect but the parties were
unwilling to have their names made public.  He added:  "The persons
communicating with me are reliable and truthful and I believe their
statements are correct in the main.

"The nature and object of the organizations," he said, "are the
embarrassment of the Government of the United States in the proper
administration of the affairs of the county, and if possible, to
repudiate the national debt, or to gain such an ascendency in Congress
as to make provision for the assumption by Congress of the debt
incurred by the rebel government; also, in case the United States
Government can be involved in a foreign war to watch their opportunity
and take advantage of the first that comes to strike for the
independence of the States lately in rebellion."

These extracts from the testimony of General Thomas are a fair
exposition of the condition of public sentiment in the Confederate
States with the exception in a degree of the border States.  It is
apparent also that General Thomas had not the degree of confidence in
the good purposes of those who had been in the rebellion that was
entertained by Northern officers including Grant, Sherman and Sheridan.

As the loyal men of the South were greater sufferers from the war,
their hostility was more intense against those who were responsible
for the war.

If we cannot say that Thomas was a great soldier in the large use of
the phrase, it can be said that he was a good soldier and that without
qualifying words.  He should live in history as a true patriot and a
man of the highest integrity.


Of the men who occupied places in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet, no one was
more free from just criticism affecting unfavorably the value of his
public services than Secretary Stanton.

Of those who were nearest to him, no one ever received the impression
from his acts or his conversation that he thought of the Presidency
as a possibility under any circumstances.  Seward, Chase and Bates had
been candidates at Chicago in 1860, and whatever may have been the
fact in regard to Seward and Bates, it is quite certain that ambition
for the Presidency never lost its hold upon Mr. Chase, even when he
became Chief Justice of the United States.

Coupled with the absence of ambition, or perhaps in a degree incident
to the absence of ambition, Mr. Stanton was the possessor of courage
for all the emergencies of the place that he occupied--a courage that
was always available, whether in its exercise the wishes of individuals
or the fortunes of the country were involved.

It was understood by those who frequented the War Office in the gloomy
days of 1862 and '63 that a card signed "A. L." would not always
command full respect from Secretary Stanton.  He was a believer in the
rigid principles of the army, and although he was a humane man he
smothered or subdued his sympathy for heart-broken mothers whose sons
had deserted the cause of the country, in his determination to save
the country through the strictest enforcement of the rules and
regulations of the army.  Mr. Lincoln, in his abounding good nature,
could not resist the appeals of disconsolate wives and heart-stricken
mothers, and it was often Mr. Stanton's fortune to resist such appeals
even when supported by the President's card in the form of a request
which in ordinary times and upon ordinary men would be treated as an

Hence there may have been a foundation for the report that an
unsuccessful user of one of the President's cards returned to the
President for a reinforcement of the order.  The President insisted
upon a full report of the Secretary's answer.  The applicant repeated
the Secretary's remark, which was not complimentary to the President's
good sense.  The President hesitated, and then declined to renew the
order, saying:  "Stanton is generally right."

Mr. Stanton's testimony was taken February 11, 1867, and on subsequent
days.  The record of the text and the accompanying documents cover more
than two hundred printed pages.  The evidence was taken by the
Committee on the Judiciary, and it had special reference to the charges
that had been made against President Johnson.  At that time, the
separation between Mr. Stanton and the President had become
irreconcilable, but there are no indications of hostility in the
answers given by the Secretary.  Indeed, he assumed, without reserve,
full responsibility for acts that had been charged on the President by

During the war the railroads that fell within our lines were
appropriated to the use of the United States, and heavy outlays had
been made upon some of them for repairs and improvements.  In many
cases expenses had been incurred, that in the hands of the corporation
would not have been chargeable to a construction account.  In a
majority of cases, if not in all, the roads had been surrendered
without compensation, and the rolling stock had been transferred for
very slight consideration.

Mr. Stanton assumed the responsibility of the policy, upon the ground
that it was important to the South and to the country that the channels
of commerce should be made available without delay and that the army
could not be used wisely in commercial traffic.  As the President was
interested in one of the railroads that received a large benefit by the
restoration of its property much improved, he was relieved of all
responsibility for a policy that had been much condemned.

Through the testimony of Secretary Stanton the committee was enabled
to find the origin and to trace with a degree of accuracy the history
of President Johnson's plan of reconstruction.  At a time not many days
prior to Mr. Lincoln's death, Secretary Stanton prepared an order which
contained a _projet_ for the government of the States that had been in
rebellion.  The paper was submitted to President Lincoln and it was
considered by him in a cabinet meeting that was held during the day
preceding the night of the assassination.

As this paper became the basis for the proclamations for the government
of the States that had been in rebellion, its history, as given by
Mr. Stanton, is worthy of exact report in his own words:

"On the last day of Mr. Lincoln's life, there was a Cabinet meeting, at
which General Grant, and all the members of the Cabinet, except Mr.
Seward, were present.  General Grant at that time made a report of the
condition of the country, as he conceived it to be, and as it would be
on the surrender of Johnston's army, which was regarded as absolutely
certain.  The subject of reconstruction was talked of at considerable
length.  Shortly previous to that time I had myself, with a view of
putting into a practicable form the means of overcoming what seemed to
be a difficulty in the mind of Mr. Lincoln, as to the mode of
reconstruction, prepared a rough draft of a form or mode by which the
authority and laws of the United States should be re-established, and
governments reorganized in the rebel States under the Federal
authority, without any necessity whatever for the intervention of
rebel organizations or rebel aid.

In the course of that consultation Mr. Lincoln alluded to the paper,
went into his room, brought it out, and asked me to read it, which I
did, and explained my ideas in regard to it.  There was one point which
I had left open; that was as to who should constitute the electors in
the respective States . . . I left a blank upon that subject to be
considered.  There was at that time nothing adopted about it, and no
opinions expressed; it was only a _projet_."

At the request of Mr. Lincoln and the Cabinet, the order was printed
and a copy was given to each member, and a copy was given to Mr.
Johnson when he had become President.

The plan was further considered in Mr. Johnson's Cabinet, and some
alterations were made.  The point of chief difference related to the
elective franchise--whether it should be extended to the negro race.

Mr. Stanton said:  "There was a difference of opinion upon that
subject.  The President expressed his views very clearly and
distinctly.  I expressed my views, and other members of the Cabinet
expressed their views.  The objection of the President to throwing
the franchise open to the colored people appeared to be fixed, and I
think every member of the Cabinet assented to the arrangement as it
was specified in the proclamation relative to North Carolina.  After
that I do not remember that the subject was ever again discussed in
the Cabinet."

Thus from Mr. Stanton's testimony we gather the important facts as to
the origin of a measure which became the subject of bitter controversy
between President Johnson and the Republican Party.  The framework of
the North Carolina proclamation was furnished by Mr. Stanton.  When
alterations had been made the proclamation was agreed to by the
Cabinet but without a declaration or even an understanding upon the
point which, without much delay, became the vital point:  was the
policy of government that was announced in the proclamation a permanent
policy or was it a temporary expedient, a substitute for military
government, and subject to the approval or disapproval of Congress?

General Grant was of the opinion that the organizations which the
President set up in the States were temporary and that they were
subject to the action of Congress.

Mr. Stanton's opinion is expressed carefully, in his own words:  "My
opinion is, that the whole subject of reconstruction and the relation
of the State to the Federal Government is subject to the controlling
power of Congress; and while I believe that the President and his
Cabinet were not violating any law, but were faithfully performing
their duty in endeavoring to organize provisional governments in
those States, I supposed then, and still suppose, that the final
validity of such organizations would rest with the law-making power of
the government."

In an official letter, dated January 8, 1866, Secretary Stanton gave
his reasons for the payment of the salaries of the provisional
governors:  "The payments were made from the appropriation of army
contingencies because the duties performed by the parties were regarded
of a temporary character ancillary to the withdrawal of military force,
and to take the place of the armed forces in the respective States."

On the other hand the President chose to treat the governments that had
been set up as permanent governments and beyond the control of
Congress.  On this point, the contest between President Johnson and the
Republican Party was made up.  It ended in an appeal to the people, who
rendered a judgment against _the President_ by a two-thirds majority.
The testimony of Secretary Seward, and official papers that were issued
by the Department of State in the year 1865, may warrant the conclusion
that President Johnson was not then prepared to treat the new state
organizations as final and binding upon Congress and the country.

Under date of July 8, 1865, Secretary Seward said, in an official
letter to Governor Holden of North Carolina:  "It is understood here
that besides cotton which has been taken by the Secretary of the
Treasury under Act of Congress there were quantities of resin, and
other articles, as well as funds, lying about in different places in
the State and not reduced into possession by United States officers as
insurgent property.  The President is of the opinion that you can
appropriate these for the inevitable and indispensable expenses of the
civil government of the State during the continuance of the provisional

On the 14th day of November, 1865, Mr. McCulloch authorized Mr. Worth,
acting as treasurer in North Carolina, to use the fragments of rebel
property that might be gathered to defray the expenses of the
provisional government of the State.

In answer to a question put to Secretary Seward, he said:  "I do not
remember that any provisional governor held a military office, except
Mr. Johnson."

In the further examination of Mr. Seward, May 16, 1867, he indicated
his concurrence with President Johnson in this remark:  "The object was
to proceed with the work of the restoration of the Union as speedily
and effectively and wisely as possible, having no reference as to
whether Congress would be in session or not."

This question was put to Mr. Seward:

"Did not he (the President) urge these parties to be prepared to be at
the doors of Congress by the time of its next meeting?"

The answer was:  "Very likely he did.  I do not know of the fact.  I
know that I was very anxious that these States should be represented
in Congress, and that he was equally so, that they should be provided
with representatives who could be admitted."

The policy of the administration, July 24, 1865, is set forth in a
despatch from Secretary Seward to Governor Sharkey, of Mississippi (he
is addressed as Provisional Governor):  "The President sees no occasion
to interfere with General Slocum's proceedings.  The government of the
State will be provisional only until the civil authorities shall be
restored with the approval of Congress."

Upon the united testimony of General Grant, Secretary Stanton and
Secretary Seward, it may be claimed fairly that the governments that
were set up under proclamations of the President were treated in the
beginning as provisional governments and subject to the final judgment
of Congress.

In 1866, when the rupture between Congress and the President had taken
form, the President with the support of Mr. Seward announced the
doctrine that the governments which had been set up were valid
governments, and that claimants for seats in Congress from those who
could prove their loyalty were entitled to admission.

Thus was a foundation laid for the impeachment of President Johnson by
the House of Representatives, and his trial by the Senate.


The nomination of Andrew Johnson to the Vice-Presidency in 1864, by the
Republican Party, was a repetition of the error committed by the Whig
Party in 1840, in the nomination of John Tyler for the same office.

In each case the nomination was due to an attempt to secure the support
of a body of men who were not in accord in all essential particulars
with the party making the nomination.

John Tyler was opposed to the administration of Mr. Van Buren, but he
was opposed also to a national bank, which was then an accepted idea
and an assured public policy of the Whig Party.  Hence, it happened
that when Mr. Tyler came to the Presidency, he resisted the attempt of
Congress to establish a national bank, and by the exercise of the veto-
power, on two occasions, he defeated the measure.  This controversy
caused the overthrow of the Whig Party, and it ended the contest in
behalf of a United States bank.

In the case of John Tyler and in the case of Andrew Johnson there was
an application, in dangerous excess, of a policy that prevails in all
national conventions.  When the nomination of a candidate for the
Presidency has been secured, the dominant wing of the party turns to
the minority with a tender of the Vice-Presidency.  In 1880, when the
nomination of General Garfield had been made, the selection of a
candidate for the Vice-Presidency was tendered to the supporters of
General Grant, and it was declined by more than one person.

Mr. Johnson never identified himself with the Republican Party; and
neither in June, 1864, nor at any other period of his life, had the
Republican Party a right to treat him as an associate member.  He was,
in fact, what he often proclaimed himself to be--a Jacksonian Democrat.
He was a Southern Union Democrat.  He was an opponent, and a bitter
opponent, of the project for the dissolution of the Union, and a
vindictive enemy of those who threatened its destruction.

His speeches in the Senate in the Thirty-sixth and the Thirty-seventh
Congress were read and much approved throughout the North, and they
prepared the way for the acceptance of his nomination as a candidate
of the Republican Party in 1864.

Mr. Johnson was an earnest supporter of the Crittenden Compromise.
That measure originated in the House of Representatives.  It was
defeated in the Senate by seven votes and six votes of the seven came
from the South.  The provisions of the bill were far away from the
ideals of Republicans generally, although the measure was sustained
by members of the party.  By that scheme the Fugitive Slave Law was
made less offensive in two particulars, but the United States was to
pay for fugitives from slavery whenever a marshal failed to perform his
duty.  As an important limitation of the powers of Congress, the
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was to be dependent
upon the consent of the States of Maryland and Virginia.

Mr. Johnson gave voice to his indignation when he spoke of the Southern
men whose votes contributed to the defeat of the Crittenden Compromise.
"Who, then," said he, "has brought these evils upon the country?  Whose
fault is it?  Who is responsible for it?  With the help we had from the
other side of the chamber, if all those on this side had been true to
the Constitution and faithful to their constituents, and had acted with
fidelity to the country, the amendment of the Senator from New
Hampshire could have been voted down.  Whose fault was it?  Who did it?
Southern traitors, as was said in the speech of the Senator from
California.  They did it.  They wanted no compromise."

These extracts show the style of speech in which Mr. Johnson indulged,
and they prove beyond question that in the winter of 1861 he had no
sympathy with the Republican Party of 1856 and 1860.  These facts
explain, and in some measure they palliate, the peculiarities of his
career, which provoked criticism and an adverse popular judgment when
he came to the Presidency.  Nor is there evidence within my knowledge
that he ever denied the right of secession.  However that may have
been, he disapproved of the exercise of the right at all stages of the

In the Thirty-sixth Congress Mr. Johnson proposed amendments to the
Constitution which gave him consideration in the North.  By his
proposition the Fugitive Slave Law was to be repealed, and in its place
the respective States were to return fugitives or to pay the value of
those that might be retained.

Slavery was to be abolished in the District of Columbia with the
consent of Maryland and upon payment of the full value of the slaves
emancipated.  The Territories were to be divided between freedom and
slavery.  His scheme contemplated other changes not connected
necessarily with the system of slavery.  Of these I mention the
election of President, Vice-President, Senators, and Judges of the
Supreme Court by the people, coupled with a limitation of the terms of
judges to twelve years.

The Crittenden Resolution contained these declarations of facts and

1.  The present deplorable war has been forced upon the country by the
disunionists of the Southern States.

2.  Congress has no purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of
overthrowing or interfering with the established rights of those States.

Upon a motion to include disunionists in the North under the first
charge, Mr. Johnson voted in the negative with Sumner, Wilson, Wade,
and other Republicans.

This brief survey of Mr. Johnson's Congressional career at the opening
of the war may indicate the characteristics of his mind in controversy
and debate, and furnish means for comprehending his actions in the
troublous period of his administration.

Some conclusions are deducible from this survey.  First of all it is
to be said that he never assumed to be a member of the Republican
Party.  Next, I do not find evidence which will justify the statement
that he was a disbeliever in the right of a State to secede from the
Union.  It is manifest that he was not an advocate of the doctrine of
political equality as it came to be taught by the leaders of the
Republican Party.  When he became President, he was an opponent of
negro suffrage.

This record, though not concealed, was not understood by the members
of the convention that placed him in nomination for the second office
in the country.

This analysis prepares the way for an extract from the testimony of Mr.
Stanley Matthews, who was afterwards a justice of the Supreme Court,
and who was examined by the Judiciary Committee of the House of
Representatives when engaged in investigating the doings of the
President previous to his impeachment.  Mr. Johnson was appointed
Military Governor of Tennessee the third day of March, 1862.  Colonel
Matthews was provost-marshal at Nashville, where Johnson resided during
his term as Governor.  In that term Matthews and Johnson became
acquainted.  When Johnson was on his way to Washington to take the oath
of office, he stopped at the Burnet House in Cincinnati.  Matthews
called upon him.  Matthews had been a Democrat until the troubles in
Kansas.  In the conversation at the Burnet House Mr. Johnson made these
remarks, after some personal matters had been disposed of.  I quote
from the testimony of Judge Matthews:

"I inquired as to the state of public feeling on political matters in
Tennessee at that time.  He remarked that very great changes had
taken place since I had been there, that many of those who at first
were the best Union men had turned to be the worst rebels, and that
many of those who had originally been the worst rebels were now the
best Union men.  I expressed surprise and regret at what he said in
reference to the matter.

"We were sitting near each other on the sofa.  He then turned to me and
said, 'You and I were old Democrats.'  I said, 'Yes.'  He then said,
_'I will tell you what it is, if the country is ever to be saved, it is
to be done through the old Democratic Party.'_

"I do not know whether I made any reply to that, or, if I did, what it
was; and immediately afterwards I took my leave."

The larger part of this quotation is only important as leading up to
the phrase that is emphasized, and which may throw light upon Mr.
Johnson's policy and conduct when he came to the Presidency.

This conversation occurred in the month of February, 1865, and it must
be accepted as evidence, quite conclusive, that Mr. Johnson was then
opposed to the policy of the Republican Party, whose honors he had
accepted.  In a party sense Mr. Johnson was not a Republican: he was a
Union Democrat.  He was opposed to the dissolution of the Union, but
not necessarily upon the ground that the Union had a supreme right to
exist in defiance of what is called "State sovereignty."  This with
the Republican Party was a fundamental principle.  Under the influence
of the principles of the old Democratic Party Mr. Johnson advanced to
the Vice-Presidency, and while under the influence of the same idea he
became President.

When the Republican Party came to power, the State of Maryland, that
portion of Virginia now known as West Virginia, the State of Kentucky,
and the State of Missouri were largely under the influence of
sympathizers with the eleven seceding States of the South.  It was
necessary in Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri to maintain the
ascendency of the National Government by the exhibition of physical
force, and in some instances by its actual exercise.  Mr. Lincoln's
policy in regard to the question of slavery was controlled, up to the
month of July, 1862, by the purpose to conciliate Union slave-holders
in the States mentioned.  Of his measures I refer to the proposition
to transfer the free negroes to Central America, for which an
appropriation of $25,000 was made by Congress.  Next, Congress passed
an act for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia upon
the payment of three hundred dollars for each slave emancipated.

Without representing in his history or in his person the slave-holding
interests of the South, Mr. Johnson was yet a Southern man with Union
sentiments.  The impression was received therefrom that his influence
would be considerable in restraining, if not in conciliating slave-
holders in what were called the "border States."  These facts tended
to his nomination for the Vice-Presidency.  I have no means for
forming an opinion that is trustworthy as to the position of Mr.
Lincoln in reference to the nomination of Mr. Johnson.  His nomination
may justify the impression that the Republican Party was in doubt as to
its ability to re-elect Mr. Lincoln in 1864.  From the month of July,
1862, to the nomination in 1864, I had frequent interviews with Mr.
Lincoln, and I can only say that, during the period when the result of
the election was a subject of thought, he gave no intimation in the
conversations that I had with him that the element of doubt as to the
result existed in his mind.

From what has been said, the inference may be drawn that Mr. Johnson
came to the Vice-Presidency in the absence of any considerable degree
of confidence on the part of the Republican Party, although there were
no manifestations of serious doubt as to his fitness for the place, or
as to his fidelity to the principles of the party.

The incidents of the inauguration of Mr. Johnson in the Senate Chamber,
and especially his speech on the occasion, which was directed,
apparently, to the diplomatic corps, excited apprehensions in those
who were present, and the confidence of the country was diminished
materially concerning his qualifications for the office to which he had
been elected.  Without delay these apprehensions circulated widely, and
they were deepened in the public mind by the assassination of Mr.
Lincoln and the elevation of Mr. Johnson to the Presidency.

The public confidence received a further serious shock by his
proclamation of May 29, 1865, for the organization of a State
government in North Carolina.  That proclamation contained provisions
in harmony with what has been set forth in this paper concerning the
political principles of Mr. Johnson.  First of all, he limited the
franchise to persons "qualified as prescribed by the constitution and
laws of the State of North Carolina in force immediately before the
20th day of May, 1861, the date of the so-called Ordinance of
Secession."  This provision was a limitation of the suffrage, and it
excluded necessarily the negro population of the State.  It was also a
recognition of the right of the State to reappear as a State in the
Union.  It was, indeed, an early assertion of the phrase which
afterwards became controlling with many persons--"Once a State, always
a State."  He further recognized the right of the State to reappear as
a State in the organization and powers of the convention which was to
be called under the proclamation.  As to that he said:  "The convention
when convened, or the legislature which may be thereafter assembled,
will prescribe the qualification of electors and the eligibility of
persons to hold office under the constitution and laws of the State,
a power the people of the several States composing the Union have
rightfully exercised from the origin of the Government to the present
time."  There were further instructions given in the proclamation as to
the duties of various officers of the United States to aid Governor
Holden, who, by the same proclamation, was appointed "Provisional
Governor of the State of North Carolina."

Upon the publication of this proclamation I was so much disturbed that
I proceeded at once to Washington, but without any definite idea as to
what could be done to arrest the step which seemed to me a dangerous
step towards the re-organization of the Government upon an unsound
basis.  At that time I had had no conversation with Mr. Johnson, either
before or after he came to the Presidency, upon any subject whatever.
The interview which I secured upon that visit was the sole personal
interview that ever occurred between us.  I called upon Senator Morrill
of Vermont, and together we made a visit to the President.  I spoke of
the features of the proclamation that seemed to be objectionable.  He
said that "the measure was tentative" only, and that until the
experiment had been tried no other proclamation would be issued.  Upon
that I said in substance that the Republican Party might accept the
proclamation as an experiment, but that it was contrary to the ideas
of the party, and that a continuance of the policy would work a
disruption of the party.  He assured us that nothing further would be
done until the experiment had been tested.  With that assurance we left
the Executive Mansion.

On the 13th day of June, 1865, a similar proclamation was issued in
reference to the State of Mississippi, and on the 17th of June,
corresponding proclamations were issued in reference to the States of
Georgia, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida.  In each State a
person was named as Provisional Governor.  This action led to a
division of the party and to its subsequent reorganization against the
President's policy.

In his letter of acceptance of the nomination made by the Union
Convention, Mr. Johnson endorsed, without reserve, the platform that
had been adopted.  The declarations of the platform did not contain a
reference to the reorganization of the Government in the event of the
success of the Union arms.  The declarations were enumerated in this
order:  the Union was to be maintained; the war was to be prosecuted
upon the basis of an unconditional surrender of the rebels; and
slavery, as the cause of the war, was to be abolished.  The added
resolutions related to the services of the soldiers and sailors, and to
the policy of Abraham Lincoln as President.  It was further declared
that the public credit should be maintained, that there should be a
vigorous and just system of taxes, and that the people would view with
"extreme jealousy," and as enemies to the peace and independence of
the country, the efforts of any power to obtain new footholds for
monarchical government on this continent.  Such being the character of
the platform, it cannot be said that Mr. Johnson challenged its
declarations in the policy on which he entered for the reorganization
of the Government.  In Mr. Johnson's letter of acceptance he preserved
his relations to the Democrats by the use of this phrase:  "I cannot
forego the opportunity of saying to my old friends of the Democratic
Party proper, with whom I have so long and pleasantly been associated,
that the hour has come when that great party can justly indicate its
devotion to the Democratic policy in measures of expediency."

The controversy with Mr. Johnson had its origin in the difference of
opinion as to the nature of the Government.  That difference led him to
the conclusion that the rebellion had not worked any change in the
legal relations of the seceding States to the National Government.  His
motto was this:  "Once a State, always a State," whatever might be its
conduct either of peace or war.  There were, however, differences of
opinion among those who adhered to the Republican Party.  Mr. Stevens,
who was a recognized, if not the recognized, leader of the Republican
Party, advocated the doctrine that the eleven States were to be treated
as enemy's territory, and to be governed upon whatever system might be
acceptable to the States that had remained true to the Union.  Mr.
Sumner maintained the doctrine that the eleven States were Territories,
and that they were to be subject to the General Government until
Congress should admit the several Territories as State organizations.
The fourth day of May, 1864, I presented a series of resolutions in
the House of Representatives, in which I asserted this doctrine:  The
communities that have been in rebellion can be organized into States
only by the will of the loyal people expressed freely and in the
absence of all coercion; that States so organized can become States of
the American Union only when they shall have applied for admission and
their admission shall have been authorized by the existing National
Government.  A small number of persons who were identified with the
Republican Party sustained the policy of Mr. Johnson.  Others were of
the opinion that the eleven States were out of their proper relation to
the Union, as was declared by Mr. Lincoln in his last speech, and that
they could become members of the American Union only by the organized
action of each, and the concurrent action of the existing National
Government.  The Government was reorganized without any distinct
declaration upon the question whether the States that had been in
rebellion were to be treated as enemy's territory, or as Territories
according to the usage of former times.  The difference of opinion was
a vital one with Mr. Johnson.  Whatever view may be taken of his moral
qualities, it is to be said that he was not deficient in intellectual
ability, that his courage passed far beyond the line of obstinacy, and
that from the first to last he was prepared to resist the claims of
the large majority of the Republican Party.  The issue began with his
proclamation of May, 1865, and the contest continued to the end of his
term.  The nature of the issue explains the character and violence of
his speeches, especially that of the twenty-second day of February,
1866, when he spoke of Congress as a "body hanging on the verge of the

In the many speeches which he delivered in his trip through the West,
he made distinct charges against Congress.  He was accompanied by Mr.
Seward, General Grant, Admiral Farragut, and some others.  In a speech
at Cleveland, Ohio, he said, among other things, "I have called upon
your Congress, which has tried to break up the Government."  Again, in
the same speech he said, "I tell you my countrymen, that although the
powers of Thad Stevens and his gang were by, they could not turn me
from my purpose.  There is no power that can turn me, except you and
the God who put me into existence."  He charged, also, that Congress
had taken great pains to poison their constituents against him.  "What
had Congress done?  Had they done anything to restore the Union in
those States?  No; on the contrary, they had done everything to prevent

In a speech made at St. Louis, Missouri, September 8, 1866, Mr. Johnson
discussed the riot at New Orleans.*  In that speech he said, "If you
will take up the riot in New Orleans, and trace it back to its source,
or its immediate cause, you will find out who was responsible for the
blood that was shed there.  If you will take up the riot at New
Orleans and trace it back to the radical Congress, you will find that
the riot at New Orleans was substantially planned."  After some
further observations, he says:  "Yes, you will find that another
rebellion was commenced, having its origin in the radical Congress."

These extracts from Mr. Johnson's speeches should be considered in
connection with his proclamations of May, June, and July, 1865.  They
are conclusive to this point:  that he had determined to reconstruct
the Government upon the basis of the return of the States that had been
engaged in the rebellion without the imposition of any conditions
whatsoever, except such as he had imposed upon them in his
proclamations.  In fine, that the Government was to be re-established
without the authority or even the assent of the Congress of the United
States.  In his proclamations he made provision for the framing of
constitutions in the respective States, their ratification by the
people, excluding all those who were not voters in April, 1861, and for
the election of Senators and Representatives to the Congress of the
United States without the assent of the Representatives of the existing

When I arrived in Washington to attend the meeting of Congress at the
December session, 1866, I received a note from Mr. Stanton asking me to
meet him at the War Office with as little delay as might be
practicable.  When I called at the War Office, he beckoned me to retire
to his private room, where he soon met me.  He then said that he had
been more disturbed by the condition of affairs in the preceding weeks
and months than he had been at any time during the war.  He gave me to
understand that orders had been issued to the army of which neither he
nor General Grant had any knowledge.  He further gave me to understand
also that he apprehended an attempt by the President to re-organize the
Government by the assembling of a Congress in which the members from
the seceding States and the Democratic members from the North might
obtain control through the aid of the Executive.  He then said that he
thought it necessary that some act should be passed by which the power
of the President might be limited.  Under his dictation, and after such
consultation as seemed to be required, I drafted amendments to the
Appropriation Bill for the Support of the Army, which contained the
following provisions:  The headquarters of the General of the Army were
fixed at Washington, where he was to remain unless transferred to duty
elsewhere by his own consent or by the consent of the Senate.  Next, it
was made a misdemeanor for the President to transmit orders to any
officer of the army except through the General of the Army.  It was
also made a misdemeanor for any officer to obey orders issued in any
other way than through the General of the Army, knowing that the same
had been so issued.  These provisions were taken by me to Mr. Stevens,
the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.  After some
explanation, the measure was accepted by the committee and incorporated
in the Army Appropriation Bill.  The bill was approved by the President
the second day of March, 1867.  His approval was accompanied by a
protest on his part that the provision was unconstitutional, and by the
statement that he approved the bill only because it was necessary for
the support of the army.

At the time of my interview with Mr. Stanton, I was not informed fully
as to the events that had transpired in the preceding months, nor can
I say now that everything which had transpired of importance was then
known to Mr. Stanton.  The statement that I am now to make was derived
from conversations with General Grant.  At a time previous to the
December session of 1866, the President said to General Grant, "I may
wish to send you on a mission to Mexico."  General Grant replied, "It
may not be convenient for me to go to Mexico."  Little, if anything,
further was said between the President and General Grant.  At a
subsequent time General Grant was invited to a Cabinet meeting.  At
that meeting Mr. Seward read a paper of instruction to General Grant
as Minister of some degree to Mexico.  The contents of the paper did
not impress General Grant very seriously, for in the communication that
he made to me he said that "the instructions came out very near where
they went in."  At the end of the reading General Grant said, "You
recollect, Mr. President, I said it would not be convenient for me to
go to Mexico."  Upon that a conversation followed, when the President
became heated, and rising from his seat, and striking the table with
some force, he said "Is there an officer of the army who will not
obey my instructions?"  General Grant took his hat in his hand, and
said, "I am an officer of the army, but I am a citizen also; and this
is a civil service that you require of me.  I decline it."  He then
left the meeting.  It happened also that previous to this conversation
the President had ordered General Sherman, who was in command at Fort
Leavenworth, to report at Washington.  General Sherman obeyed the
order, came to Washington, and had a conference with General Grant
before he reported to the President.  In that situation of affairs
General Sherman was sent to Mexico upon the mission which had been
prepared for General Grant.

The suggestion that Mr. Johnson contemplated the re-organization of the
Government by the admission of the States that had been in rebellion,
and by the recognition of Senators and Representatives that might be
assigned from those States, received support from the testimony given
by Major-General William H. Emory, and also from the testimony of
General Grant.  In the latter part of the year 1867 and the first part
of the year 1868, General Emory was in command of the Department of
Washington.  When he entered upon the command, he called upon the
President.  A conversation, apparently not very important, occurred
between them, as to the military forces then in that department.  In
February, 1868, the President directed his secretary to ask General
Emory to call upon him as early as practicable.  In obedience to that
request General Emory called on the twenty-second day of February.  The
President referred to the former conversation, and then inquired
whether any changes had been made, and especially within the recent
days, in the military forces under Emory's command.  In the course of
the conversation growing out of these requests for information, General
Emory referred to an order which had then been recently issued which
embodied the provisions of the act of March, 1867, in regard to the
command of the army and the transmission of orders.  The President
then said to Emory:

"What order do you refer to?"

In reply Emory said:  "Order No. 17 of the Series of 1867."

The order was produced and read by the President, who said:

"This is not in conformity with the Constitution of the United States,
that makes me commander-in-chief, or with the terms of your commission."

General Emory said:  "That is the order which you have approved and
issued to the army for our government."

The President then said:  "Am I to understand that the President of the
United States cannot give an order except through the head of the army,
or General Grant?"

In the course of the conversation, General Emory informed the President
that eminent lawyers had been consulted, that he had consulted Robert
J. Walker, and that all of the lawyers consulted had expressed the
opinion that the officers of the army were bound by the order whether
the statute was constitutional or unconstitutional.

When General Grant was before the Judiciary Committee of the House of
Representatives during the impeachment investigation, this question
was put to him:

"Have you at any time heard the President make any remark in regard
to the admission of members of Congress from rebel States in either

"I cannot say positively what I have heard him say.  I have heard him
say as much in his public speeches as anywhere else.  I have heard him
say twice in his speeches that if the North carried the election by
members enough to give them, with the Southern members, the majority,
why should they not be the Congress of the United States?  I have
heard him say that several times."

That answer was followed by this question:

"When you say the North, you mean the Democratic Party of the North,
or, in other words, the party advocating his policy?"

General Grant replied:

"I meant if the North carried enough members in favor of the admission
of the South.  I did not hear him say that he would recognize them as
the Congress, I merely heard him ask the question, 'Why would they not
be the Congress?'"

At this point, and without further discussion of the purpose of Mr.
Johnson in regard to the reorganization of the Government, I think it
may be stated without injustice to him, that while he was opposed to
secession at the time the Confederate Government was organized, and
thenceforward and always without change of opinion, yet he was also
of opinion that the act of secession by the several States had not
disturbed their legal relations to the National Government.  Acting
upon that opinion, he proceeded to reorganize the State governments,
and with the purpose of securing the admission of their Senators and
Representatives without seeking or accepting the judgment of Congress
upon the questions involved in the proceeding.  On one vital point he
erred seriously and fundamentally as to the authority of the President
in the matter.  From the nature of our Government there could be no
escape in a legal point of view from the conclusion that, whatever the
relations were of the seceding States to the General Government, the
method of restoration was to be ascertained and determined by Congress,
and not by the President acting as the chief executive authority of the
nation.  In a legal and constitutional view, that act on his part,
although resting upon opinions which he had long entertained, and which
were entertained by many others, must be treated as an act of usurpation.

The facts embodied in the charges on which Mr. Johnson was impeached
by the House and arraigned before the Senate were not open to doubt,
but legal proof was wanting in regard to the exact language of his
speeches.  The charges were in substance these:  That he had attacked
the integrity and the lawful authority of the Congress of the United
States in public speeches made in the presence of the country.  The
second charge was that he had attempted the removal of Mr. Stanton
from the office of Secretary of War, and that, without the concurrence
of the Senate, he had so removed him, contrary to the act of Congress,
known as the Tenure of Office Act.  In the first investigation into
the conduct of Andrew Johnson, he was described in the resolution as
"Vice-President of the United States, discharging at present the duties
of President of the United States."  The resolution was adopted by the
House of Representatives the seventh day of March, 1867.  A large
amount of testimony was taken, and the report of the committee, in
three parts, by the different members, was submitted to the House the
fourth day of the following December.  The majority of the committee,
consisting of George S. Boutwell, Francis Thomas, Thomas Williams,
William Lawrence, and John C. Churchill, reported a resolution
providing for the impeachment of the President of the United States,
in these words:  "Resolved, that Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States, be impeached of high crimes and misdemeanors."  It will
be observed that in the resolution for his impeachment he is described
as "President of the United States," while in the resolution
authorizing the inquiry into his conduct he is described as "Vice-
President, discharging at present the duties of the President of the
United States."  This question received very careful consideration by
the committee, and the conclusion was reached that he was the President
of the United States, although he had been elected only to the office
of Vice-President.  As that question was not raised at the trial by
demurrer or motion, it may now be accepted as the established doctrine
that the Vice-President, when he enters upon the duties of President,
becomes President of the United States.  The extended report that was
made by the majority of the committee was written by Mr. Williams.
The summary, which was in the nature of charges, was written by myself.
That summary set forth twenty-eight specifications of misconduct on the
part of the President, many of which, however, where abandoned when the
articles of impeachment were prepared in February, 1868.

In the discussion of the committee there were serious differences of
opinion upon provisions of law.  The minority of the committee,
consisting of James F. Wilson, who was chairman of the Judiciary
Committee, Frederick E. Woodbridge, S. S. Marshall, and Charles R.
Eldridge, maintained the doctrine that a civil officer under the
Constitution of the United States was not liable to impeachment except
for the commission of an indictable offence.  This doctrine had very
large support in the legal profession, resting on remarks found in
Blackstone.  On the other hand, Chancellor Kent, in his Commentaries,
had given support to the doctrine that a civil officer was liable to
impeachment who misdemeaned himself in office.  The provision of the
Constitution is in these words:

"The President, Vice-President, and all Civil Officers of the United
States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction
of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

The majority of the Judiciary Committee, in the controversy which
arose in the committee and in the House of Representatives, maintained
that the word "misdemeanors" was used in a political sense, and not in
the sense in which it is used in criminal law.  In support of this
view attention was called to the fact that the party convicted was
liable only to removal from office, and therefore that the object of
the process of impeachment was the purification and preservation of the
civil service.  In the opinion of the majority, it was the necessity of
the situation that the power of impeachment should extend to acts and
offences that were not indictable by statute nor at common law.  The
report of the Judiciary Committee, made the twenty-fifth day of
November, was rejected by the House of Representatives.

The attempt of the President to remove Mr. Stanton from the office of
Secretary for the Department of War revived the question of
impeachment, and on Monday, the twenty-fourth day of February, 1868,
the House of Representatives "resolved to impeach Andrew Johnson,
President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors."  The
articles of impeachment were acted on by the House of Representatives
the second day of March, and on the fourth day of March they were
presented to the Senate through Mr. Bingham, chairman of the managers,
who was designated for that duty.

The articles were directed to the following points, namely:  That the
President, by his speeches, had attempted "to set aside the rightful
authority and powers of Congress"; that he had attempted "to bring
into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of
the United States and the several branches thereof"; and "that he had
attempted to incite the odium and resentment of all the good people of
the United States against Congress and the laws by them duly and
constitutionally enacted."  Further, it was alleged that he had
declared in speeches that the "Thirty-ninth Congress of the United
States was not a Congress of the United States authorized by the
Constitution of the United States to exercise legislative power in the

A further charge, and on which greater reliance was placed, was set
forth in these words:  "That he had denied and intended to deny the
power of the Thirty-ninth Congress to propose amendments to the
Constitution of the United States."  These articles were in substance
the articles that had been rejected by the House of Representatives in
1867.  Finally, as the most important averment of all, the President
was charged with an "attempt to prevent the execution of the act
entitled 'An Act Regulating the Tenure of Certain Civil Offices,'
passed March 2, 1867, by unlawfully devising and contriving and
attempting to contrive means by which he could prevent Edwin M. Stanton
from forthwith resuming the function of the office of the Secretary for
the Department of War, notwithstanding the refusal of the Senate to
concur in the suspension theretofore made by said Andrew Johnson of the
said Edwin M. Stanton from said office of Secretary for the Department
of War."  In various forms of language these several charges were set
forth in the different articles of impeachment--eleven in all.  The
eleventh article, which was prepared by Mr. Stevens, embodied the
summary of all the charges mentioned.  It is to be observed that in the
eleventh article there is no allegation that the President had
committed an offence that was indictable under any statute of the
United States or that would have been indictable at common law.  It
may be assumed, I think, that for this country, at least, the question
that was raised at the beginning and argued with great force, and by
which possibly the House of Representatives may have been influenced
in the year 1867, has been settled in accord with the report of the
majority of the Judiciary Committee.  The House decided that the
President was impeachable for misdemeanors in office.  With stronger
reason it may be said that every other civil officer is bound to
behave himself well in his office.  He cannot do any act which impairs
his standing in the place which he holds, or which may bring discredit
upon the public, and especially he may not do any act in disregard of
his oath to obey the laws and to support the Constitution of the
country.  The eleventh article was the chief article that was
submitted to a vote in the Senate.  The question raised by that article
is this in substance:  Is the President of the United States guilty in
manner and form as set forth in this article?  On that question thirty-
five Senators voted that he was guilty, and nineteen Senators voted
that he was not guilty.  Under the Constitution the President was found
not guilty of the offences charged, but the majority given may be
accepted, and probably will be accepted, as the judgment of the Senate
that the President of the United States is liable to impeachment and
removal from office for acts and conduct that do not subject him to the
process of indictment and trial in the criminal courts.  At this point
I express the opinion that something has been gained, indeed that much
has been gained, by the decision of the House of Representatives,
supported by the opinions of a large majority in the Senate.

The answer of the respondent, considered in connection with the
arguments that were made by his counsel, sets forth the ground upon
which the Republican members of the Senate may have voted that the
President was not guilty of the two principal offences charged, viz:
that in his speeches he had denounced and brought into contempt,
intentionally, the Congress of the United States; and, second, that his
attempted removal of Edwin M. Stanton was a violation of the Tenure
of Office Act.  In the President's answer to article ten, which
contained the allegation that in his speech at St. Louis, in the year
1866, he had used certain language in derogation of the authority of
the Congress of the United States, it was averred that the extracts did
not present his speech or address accurately.  Further than that, it
was claimed that the allegation under that article was not "cognizable
by the court as a high misdemeanor in office."  Finally, it was claimed
that proof should be made of the "actual" speech and address of the
President on that occasion.  The managers were not able to meet the
demand for proof in a technical sense.  The speech was reported in the
ordinary way, and the proof was limited to the good faith of the
reporters and the general accuracy of the printed report in the
newspapers.  In this situation as to the charges and the answer, it is
not difficult to reach the conclusion that members of the Senate had
ground for the vote of not guilty upon the several charges in regard
to the speeches that were imputed to the President.

Judge Curtis, in his opening argument, furnished a technical answer to
the article in which the President was charged with the violation of
the Tenure of Office Act, in his attempt to remove Mr. Stanton from the
office of Secretary of the Department of War.  Judge Curtis gave to the
proviso to that statute an interpretation corresponding to the
interpretation given to criminal statutes.  Mr. Stanton was appointed
to the office in the first term of Mr. Lincoln's administration.  The
proviso of the statute was in these words:  "Provided that the
Secretaries of State, of the Treasury, of War, etc., shall hold their
offices for and during the term of the President by whom they may have
been appointed, and for one month thereafter, subject to their removal
by and with the advice of the Senate."  The proviso contained
exceptions to the body of the statute, by which all civil officers who
held appointments by and with the advice and consent of the Senate
were secure in their places unless the Senate should assent to their
removal.  It was the object of the proviso to relieve an incoming
President of Secretaries who had been appointed by his predecessor.
The construction of the proviso, as given by Judge Curtis, was fatal
to the position taken by the managers.  It was claimed by the managers
that the sole object of the proviso was the relief of an incoming
President from the continuance of a Secretary in office beyond thirty
days after the commencement of his term, and that it had no reference
whatever to the right of the President to remove a Secretary during
his term.

There were incidents in the course of the proceedings that possess
historical value.  By the Constitution the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court is made the presiding officer in the Senate when the
President is put upon trial on articles of impeachment.  Chief Justice
Chase claimed that he was to be addressed as "Chief Justice."  That
claim was recognized by the counsel for the President and by some
members of the Senate.  The managers claimed that he was there as the
presiding officer, and not in his judiciary capacity.  He was addressed
by the managers and some of the Senators as "Mr. President."

There was a difference of opinion in the Senate, and a difference
between the managers and the counsel for the respondent, as to the
right of the presiding officer to rule upon questions of law and
evidence arising in the course of the trial.  Under the rule of the
Senate as adopted, the rulings of the President were to stand unless a
Senator should ask for the judgment of the Senate.

Other instances occurred which do not possess historical value, but
were incidents unusual in judicial proceedings.  When the Judiciary
Committee of the House was entering upon the investigation of the
conduct of President Johnson, General Butler expressed the opinion that
upon the adoption of articles of impeachment by the House the President
would be suspended in his office until the verdict of the Senate.  As
this view was not accepted by the committee, I made these remarks in
my opening speech to the House after a review of the arguments for and
against the proposition:

"I cannot doubt the soundness of the opinion that the President, even
when impeached by the House, is entitled to his office until he has
been convicted by the Senate."

This view was accepted.

At the first meeting of the managers I was elected chairman by the
votes of Mr. Stevens, General Logan, and General Butler.  Mr. Bingham
received the votes of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Williams.  Upon the
announcement of the vote, Mr. Bingham made remarks indicating serious
disappointment and a purpose to retire from the Board of Managers.  I
accepted the election, and acted as chairman at the meeting.  At the
next meeting, and without consultation with my associates, I resigned
the place and nominated Mr. Bingham.  The nomination was not objected
to, and Mr. Bingham took the chair without comment by himself, nor was
there any comment by any other person.  The gentlemen who had given
me their votes and support criticized my conduct with considerable
freedom, and were by no means reconciled by the statement which I made
to them.  Having reference to the nature of the contest and the
condition of public sentiment, I thought it important that the
managers should avoid any controversy before the public, especially as
to a matter of premiership in the conduct of the trial.  It seemed to
be important that the entire force of the House of Representatives
should be directed to one object, the conviction of the accused.
Beyond this, Mr. Bingham and Mr. Wilson had been opposed to the
impeachment of Mr. Johnson when the attempt was first made in the
House of Representatives.  I thought it important to combine the
strength that they represented in support of the proceeding in which
we were then engaged.  If Mr. Stevens had been in good health, he
would have received my support and the support of General Butler and
General Logan.  At that time his health was much impaired, but his
intellectual faculties were free from any cloud.

Another incident occurred which does not require explanation, and which
may not be open to any explanation.  After the report of the Judiciary
Committee, and its rejection by the House of Representatives, I was
surprised to receive an invitation from the President to dine with him
at what is known as a State dinner.  I assumed that arrangements had
been made for a series of such dinners, and that the invitation had
been sent out by a clerk upon a prearranged plan as to the order of
invitations.  When the matter had passed out of my mind, but before
the day named for the dinner, I received a call on the floor of the
House from Mr. Cooper, son-in-law of the President and secretary in
the Executive Mansion.  He asked me if I had received an invitation to
dine with the President.  I said I had.  Next he said, "Have you
answered it?"  I said, "No, I have not."  That was followed by the
further question, "Will you answer it?"  I said, "No, I shall not."
That ended the conversation.

After the decision in the Senate had been made, the managers proceeded
under the order of the House to investigate the truthfulness of rumors
that were afloat, that money and other valuable considerations had been
used to secure the acquittal of the President.  That investigation
established the fact that money had been in the possession of persons
who had been engaged in efforts to secure the acquittal of the
President.  Those persons, with perhaps a single exception, were
persons who had no official connection with the Government, and none
of them were connected with the Government at Washington.  As to most
of them, it appeared that they had no reasons, indeed no good cause,
why they should have taken part either for the conviction of the
President or in behalf of his acquittal.  The sources from which funds
were obtained did not appear, nor was there evidence indicating the
amount that had been used, nor the objects to which the money had
been applied.  It should be said as to Senators, that there was no
evidence implicating them in the receipt of money or other valuable
considerations.  One very important fact not then known to the managers
appeared afterwards in the report of the Treasury Department, showing
a very large loss by the Government during the last eighteen months of
Mr. Johnson's administration.  In that period the total receipts from
the duties on spirits amounted to $41,678,684.34.  During the first
eighteen months of General Grant's administration, when the rates of
duties and taxation remained the same, the total receipts of revenue
from spirits amounted to $82,417,419.85, showing a difference of
$40,738,735.51.  It is not easy to explain in full this money loss in
one branch of the public service.  Something may be attributed to the
fact that persons obtained nominations for office by representations to
the President that they were his friends and supporters, and would
continue to be so, under all circumstances.  When their nominations
came to the Senate, they made representations of an opposite character.
When they had received their appointments, they very naturally allied
themselves with the President's policy, inasmuch as they could not be
easily removed except upon an initiative taken by him.  This deficiency
occurred in the states and districts in which the money should have
been collected and through the agents employed there.  It other words,
no part of the deficiency ever passed into the Treasury of the United

It is not improbable that a majority of the people now entertain the
opinion that the action of the House of Representatives in the attempt
that was made to impeach President Johnson was an error.

It is not for me to engage in a discussion on that point.  I end by
the expression of the opinion that the vote of the House and the vote
of the Senate, by which the doctrine was established that a civil
officer is liable to impeachment for misdemeanor in office, is a gain
to the public that is full compensation for the undertaking, and that
these proceedings against Mr. Johnson were free from any element or
quality of injustice.

Johnson's case ought to be borne in mind in all agitation for a longer
Presidential term.  Whenever the country is engaged in a Presidential
contest there are complains by business men accompanied by a demand for
an extension of the term of office to six or in some instances to ten
years.  The disturbance of business is due to the importance of the
election, and the importance of an election is due to the amount of
power that is to be secured by the successful party.  An extension of
the term would add to the importance of the election, and a term of
six or ten years would intensify the contest and the injury to business
would be intensified, proportionately.  It is doubtful whether in a
period of twenty or fifty years any appreciable relief to business
would be furnished by an extension of the term of the Presidential

It is by no means certain that the total of business is not as great
as it would be in the same four years if the term were ten years
instead of four.  The total of production and consumption cannot be
affected seriously by a political controversy that does not extend
usually, over a period of more than three months.  If business is
diminished during those months there will be a corresponding gain in
the months that are to follow.

In a popular government there must be elections, and in all such
governments business interests must be subordinated to the general
welfare.  The changes that have taken place since the Government was
organized would justify the shortening rather than the lengthening
of the Presidential term.  The means of communication are such that
two years may give the mass of the people better means for judging
men and measures than could be had in four years at the opening of this

There is no form of education that more fully justifies its cost than
the education that is gained in a Presidential canvass.  The
newspapers, the magazines, and more than all the speakers--"stump
orators" as they are called--communicate information and stimulate
thought.  The voters are converted into a great jury, and after full
allowance is made for weakness, corruption and coercion, they are
advanced at each quadrennial contest in their knowledge of men, in
their ability to deal with measures of policy, and in comprehension
of the principles of government.  If the losses in business were as
great as is ever represented, the educational advantages of a
Presidential canvass are an adequate set-off.  The people have an
opportunity to see and hear the men who are engaged in public affairs
and questions are discussed upon their intrinsic merits.  In the sixty
years of my experience there has been a great advance in the quality
of the speeches to which the people have listened.  The speeches of
1840 would not be tolerated in 1900.

When great questions are under debate appeals are made to the
principles of government and proportionately the education of the
people is of a higher grade.

A serious objection to a long term in the Presidential office is the
fact that a spirit of discontent, that always exists, will develop into
insubordination or even revolution.  We have an example in the history
of the Republic of Hayti.  The term is seven years and in many cases
the President has been superseded by the leader of a revolutionary
party.  The most recent instance was the overthrow of President
Legitime and the instalment of Hyppolite.  The peace and prosperity of
Hayti would be promoted by reducing the term of the Presidential office
to two years.  The contests that are sure to arise among a mercurial
people would thus be transferred from the battle-field to the ballot-
box.  Who could have answered for the peace of the United States in
1868 if President Johnson's term had been six years instead of eight

[* This was a race riot, which occurred July 30, 1866, and in which
many negroes were killed.--EDITOR.]


In March, 1869, I was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President
Grant.  Soon after my appointment Mr. McCulloch, the retiring
Secretary, said to me that I should find the department in excellent
order, and that in his opinion the financial difficulties of the
Government had been overcome.  The first of these statements was true
in part, and in part it was very erroneous.

The accounting branch of the service was properly administered
practically, but there were about one hundred persons on the pay rolls
who had no desks in the department, and who performed but little work
at their homes, where some of them ostensibly were employed in

Several heads of bureaus were notoriously intemperate.  This condition
of things was due in part to the war and to the exigencies of the
department consequent upon the war; and in part it was due to the
constitutional infirmities of Mr. Chase and Mr. McCulloch.  In some
respects they resembled each other.  They were phlegmatic in
temperament, lacking in versatility, and lacking in facility for labor
and business.

Mr. McCulloch was diligent, industrious and conscientiously devoted to
his duties.  He had been crippled in his administration by the conflict
between Congress and the President.  The head of the Treasury needs
the confidence of the President, and the confidence and the support of
Congress.  The latter Mr. McCulloch did not enjoy, and there were
indications that in some respects he differed with the President.  He
was hampered by the fact that any change in the personnel of his
department would be followed by inquiries from one party or the other,
coupled oftentimes with complaints and criticisms.

Great evils existed in the revenue system.  The controversy between
Congress and the President led to many removals of collectors of
customs and of internal revenue.  Their places were supplied by persons
who could accommodate themselves to both parties.  The President was
made to believe that the applicants were his friends, but that their
relations with Republican Senators were such that they could secure
confirmation.  When nominated these men represented themselves as good
Republicans and friendly to the Congressional policy.  From such
persons an honest performance of duty could not have been expected.
Hence gross frauds upon the revenue were perpetrated and in most
instances by the connivance of those in office.

The returns for the last year of Johnson's administration, and the
first years of Grant's administration, showed that the loss on whisky
in the first named period was not less than thirty million dollars.

That there were other great losses was proved by the facts that the
payments on the public debt were less than thirty million dollars
during the last year of Johnson's administration and that the payments
were one hundred million dollars during the first year of Grant's
administration, and that without any additional sources of revenue.

If Mr. McCulloch's first statement had been true in the most important
particulars, his second claim would not have been open to debate.  It
was true that the department had passed the point where there was any
exigency for money.  The Government was no longer a borrower.  Payments
on the public debt had been made, but otherwise nothing had been done
to relieve the country of the interest account, nor was the credit of
the Government such that any practicable movement in that direction
could have been made.

The six per cent bonds were worth only 83 or 84, and no step had been
taken to redeem the pledge of the Government in regard to the Sinking
Fund made in the act of February 25, 1862.  The interest account
exceeded two hundred and thirty-three million dollars.

Mr. S. M. Clark was the chief of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving
and everything was confided to him.  It is to be said after the lapse
of thirty years for examination, that not a tittle of evidence has
been found warranting any imputation upon his integrity.  It is true
that in one instance a dishonest plate printer took an impression of
a bond upon a sheet of lead for use in counterfeiting.  The possibility
of such an act was due to a lack of system and not to any want of
fidelity in Mr. Clark.  One of my first acts was to remove Mr. Clark,
and then to open a new set of books.  The printing of the old issues
was suspended permanently, and new plates were prepared.  Mr. Clark had
had control of the manufacture of the paper, the control of the
engravers, the control of the plates, the control of the printers, of
the counters, and he had had the custody of the red seal.  The postal
currency was printed under his direction.  The pieces were not
numbered, they were due bills only.  At the end of twenty years the
books showed an issue of about fifteen million dollars in excess of the

His power was unlimited as there were no checks upon him.  He once said
to me when a committee of Congress was investigating his bureau, during
Mr. McCulloch's administration:

"They will never find a five cent piece out of the way."

After the discharge of Clark, I ordered an account of stock to be
taken.  I appointed a custodian of the plates after a full inventory
had been made, whose duty it was to deliver the plates each morning
to the printers, to charge them to the printers, to receive them at the
close of the day, and to settle the account of each man.  A special
paper was designated and public notice was given under the statute by
which it was made a crime for any person to make, use or have in his
possession any paper so designated.  The paper was manufactured under
the supervision of an agent of the department, who was authorized to
count and receive all the paper at the mills and to answer the orders
for its delivery to the printers.  The paper making machine was
equipped with a register which numbered the sheets of paper.  That
record was compared daily with the number of sheets received by the
agent, and thus the Government was protected against any fraudulent or
erroneous issue of paper.  Registers were also placed upon each
printing press.  Each morning one thousand sheets of paper were
delivered to each plate printer, and at the close of work his printed
sheets were counted and the number compared with the register before
the printer was allowed to leave the office.  In like manner there was
an accounting with each counter.  The same system was extended to the
managers of the machines used for numbering bonds and bank notes.  The
registering machine was made by an employee, under my direction, and
at the cost of the Government.

Books of account were opened upon the new system.  During my
administration, as far as I know, there was never the loss of a sheet
of paper nor was there a fraud committed in connection with the
business of the bureau.  For further security, I made arrangements by
which two bank note companies in the City of New York prepared sets
of plates for a single printing on each security, the red seal being
imprinted in the Treasury Bureau.  By this arrangement collusion was
impossible.  The expense of printing was increased by this arrangement,
but it seemed to be more important to attain absolute security against
fraud than to save money.  My successors have thought otherwise and the
printing is now done in the Treasury.

During my term I ascertained that a man in New York who had once been
employed to print certain securities, had in his possession the plates
which he had used and which he claimed as his property.  The printing
had been done in Mr. Chase's administration and there was no agreement
that the plates were to be delivered to the Government.  The plates
were obtained, finally, by the payment of a sum of money.  The person
who had the plates was an old man, and there was danger that they might
fall into the hands of dishonest parties.

When I was in charge of the Treasury I had an understanding with
Colonel Whiteley, the Chief of the Secret Service that I should have an
interview with any expert professional criminals who might fall into
his hands.  I recall an interview with one such criminal.  A man of
forty years and a gentleman in appearance, and a professional
gentleman, as well as a criminal by profession.

Upon the suggestion of Colonel Whiteley I gave the prisoner a fresh
one dollar green-back note.  He took a phial of liquid from his
pocket, wet one half of the paper with the liquid and in my presence
the colors disappeared from the paper.  Time and exposure have given
a dark tinge to the paper which was a pure white when the experiment
was ended.  By the use of the liquid the counterfeiter was able to
obtain a piece of fibre paper on which a bill of large denomination
might be printed, given only the engraving.

The revenue marine service was impaired by the incompetency of many of
the officers, and its efficiency was also impaired by the size and
quality of the ships.  Some of them were sailing vessels, most of them
were of wood, and the modern ones were unnecessarily large in size.  I
created a commission and all the officers except a few who were too old
for active service were subjected to an examination and those who were
found incompetent were discharged from the service.  Their places were
filled by young, active and well qualified men.

A commission was appointed to consider and report upon the size of the
vessels that were best adapted to the service.  Three reports from
successive commissions were made before a satisfactory result was
reached.  Finally, a report was made by Captain Carlisle Patterson,
that was approved by me and by a committee of Congress.  The
recommendations of that report have been followed, as far as I know.

At that time the Mint Service was without organization.  Each mint and
assay office was in charge of an officer called superintendent, but
there was no head unless the Secretary of the Treasury could be so
considered, as all the business came to him.  Upon my recommendation
Congress authorized the appointment of a Director of the Mint, and
upon my recommendation the President appointed Dr. Linderman, a
Philadelphia Democrat, but a gentleman familiar with the service.
Under him the service was organized and made systematic.

When I took charge of the Treasury Department there was no system of
bookkeeping and accounting, that was uniform in the various customs
houses of the country.  Each port had a plan or mode of its own, and
there was no one that was so perfect that it could be accepted as a
model in all the ports.  The books and forms were made and prepared at
the several ports and often at inordinate rates of cost.

I appointed a commission of Treasury experts to prepare forms and books
for every branch of business.  Their report was accepted and since that
time the modes of accounting have been the same at all the ports.  The
stationery prepared is furnished through the Government printing
office, at a considerable saving in cost, and clerks in the accounting
branch of the Treasury are relieved of much labor in the preparation
of statements.

Upon the transfer of Mr. Columbus Delano from the office of
commissioner of Internal Revenue to the Secretaryship of the Interior
Department, the question of the appointment of a successor was
considered.  The President named General Alfred Pleasanton, who was
then a collector of internal revenue in the city of New York.  He had
been a good cavalry officer, a graduate of West Point, and the
President was attached to him.  My acquaintance with Pleasanton was
limited, but I was quite doubtful of his fitness for the place.  My
opposition gave rise to some delay, but at the end the appointment
was made, the President saying in reply to my doubts that if he did
not succeed he had only to say so to the General and he would leave
at once.  The appointment of Pleasanton was urged by Mr. Delano and
General Horace Porter as I understood, both of whom were very near
the President.

Pleasanton had been informed of my position, and although I was his
immediate superior he did not call upon me, nor did he ever, except
upon one occasion, come into my office, unless I sent for him.  On
my part I resolved to avoid any criticism upon his official conduct
unless compelled to do so.  He entered upon his duties the first of
January, 1871, and although in several instances I had occasion to
control his purposes in regard to contracts and to the refund of
taxes, I did not feel called upon to mention the facts to the
President.  In May the President said:

"I have come to the conclusion that Pleasanton is not succeeding in
his office."

I replied:  "That is so."

The President then said:  "I will try to find some other place for him,
and I will then ask him to resign."

The President went to Long Branch for the summer and nothing was done.
I had very early discovered that Samuel Ward was exercising a good
deal of influence over the commissioner.  It was his policy to secure
influence by giving dinners and entertainments, and, as far as
possible, he obtained the attendance of influential members of Congress
and of the chief officers in the executive departments.  He once said:

"I do not introduce my measures at these entertainments, but I put
myself upon terms with persons who have power."

On a time I received a report on the subject of refunding a cotton
tax amounting to about $600,000.  It bore two endorsements--one by the
solicitor "Examined and disallowed, Chesley," and one by the
commissioner "Allowed, Pleasanton."

I placed the report in my private drawer with the purpose of delaying
action until I should ascertain where the propelling force existed.
Having occasion to go to Massachusetts I was absent about two weeks.
Upon my return Mr. Ward came into my office and inquired whether I had
received the report.  I replied that I had received it.  "Had I acted
upon it?"  I said that I had not.  He then proceeded to say that the
claim was a good one,--that Mr. Delano had examined it, and had
concluded to pass it, but as he left the office rather suddenly he had
neglected to act upon it.  Finally, he expressed the hope that I would
act without delay.  I had already decided the case adversely upon the
ground that the allowance was unauthorized.  Therefore I had only to
endorse the word "disallowed" with my signature and to return the
report to the commissioner.  I learned that the commissioner was
engaged through the agency of Ward in making a contract with a
Connecticut firm that was in my opinion at once improvident and
irregular.  This act led me to determine to end the difficulty at once.
I went to the Executive Mansion and asked General Babcock to go to
Long Branch and say to the President that the business of the Internal
Revenue Office was in such a condition that immediate action was
necessary.  As a result the President returned that night and early
the next morning he sent for me.  I stated the facts, and he said he
would send for General Pleasanton and ask him to resign.  At the
interview Pleasanton asked for the reasons.  The President said:  "The
Secretary is not satisfied with your administration."  Pleasanton
replied:  "I think I can make everything satisfactory to the
Secretary."  The President replied, naturally:  "If you can, I am
content."  Then for the first time Pleasanton came to my office
without a request from me.  I invited him into my private room, and
when he had related his interview with the President, I said:
"General, if this were a personal matter we might come to an
understanding, but your administration of the office has been a
failure from the first and you must resign."  This ended the interview.
He refused to resign and the President removed him.  He appealed to
the Senate in a lengthy communication, but without effect.  Pleasanton
may have been, and probably was, a good military officer, but he did
not possess the qualities that are essential in the discharge of
important civil trusts.

Neither from my experience in Congress nor in the Treasury Department
can I deduce much support for the doctrines of the class of politicians
called Civil Service Reformers.  From their statements it would appear
that every member of Congress was the recipient of an amount of
patronage in the nature of clerkships that he could and did control.
I can say for myself that as a member I never asserted any such right
and as the head of the Treasury I can say that no such claim was ever
made upon me by any member of Congress.  The nearest approach to it was
by George W. Julian.  During one of his canvasses for re-nomination,
a clerk named Smith, and a correspondent of a journal in Mr. Julian's
district, had advocated the nomination of Mr. Wilson (Jeremiah).  When
Mr. Julian secured the nomination, Smith gave him his support.
Nevertheless when Julian returned to Washington he demanded Smith's
removal.  After hearing all the facts I declined to act.  Julian was
very indignant, and afterwards from the Astor House, New York, wrote me
a violent, I think I might say unreasonable letter.

The public mind has been much misled by the statements in regard to
removals and appointments.  The employees in a department are of two
sorts.  There is a class who are trained men in the places that they
occupy.  They have been in the service for a long period.  They are
familiar with the laws relating to their duties, and to the decisions
of the courts thereon, and they are the possessors of the traditions
of the offices.  They are as nearly indispensable as one man can be
to another, or to the safe management of business.  The head of a
department cannot dispense with the services of such men.  All thought
of political opinions disappears.  The responsibility of a change in
such a case is very great.  No prudent administrator of a public trust
will venture upon such experiments.  There is another class of clerks
who are employed in copying, in making computations in simple
arithmetic, in writing letters under dictation, and in other ordinary
clerical work.

The public interest is not very large in the retention of such persons.
The ordinary graduates of the high schools of the country are competent
for all those duties.  But the clerks of this class are not removed in
mass, and they never will be, under any administration.  Even a fresh
man at the head of a department will soon find that the fancied
political advantages are no adequate compensation for the trouble that
he assumes and the risk of error and fraud that he runs when he takes
new and untried persons in the place of those who have been tested.
As late as 1870 about thirty per cent. of the employees of the
Treasury in 1860 were in office, and this notwithstanding that the
Treasury furnished recruits for both armies.  During my time and for
years afterward, the post of Assistant Secretary was held by Mr.
Hartley, a Democrat from the days of Pierce and Buchanan.  He was
experienced, diligent and entirely trustworthy.

Of the first class of employees it is to be said that there is no
occasion to embalm them in their offices, and if their pay is adequate
there is no ground for placing them upon the pension rolls.  Their
duties are not as exacting as the duties and labors of men in
corresponding stations in private life.  As to the second class, their
relations to the public are such that no public obligation arises
except to pay them the stipulated salaries.

It is essential to a proper administration that the Secretary or the
President should have the power of removal, and it should never be
coupled with the duty of making a statement of the cause.  Not
infrequently a statement would be the occasion of scandal and of
suffering by innocent parties.  The power may be abused as every
power may be, in the hands of dishonest or corrupt men.  This is one
of the perils to the public, a peril from which no government can
escape.  With us a change of rulers is a remedy for political wrongs
that do not belong to the catalogue of crimes.  It may be said,
however, that this power of removal gives to a dishonest administrator
of a department the opportunity to secure the appointment of his
political friends in the place of political opponents removed, and this
whatever may be the method of appointment.  The candidates may pass
the competitive examination, and they may enter upon their duties, but
their chief in thirty or sixty days may find them lacking in practical
aptitude, and so on, until those of the true faith shall be sent
forward by the examining board.

Honest administrators of official duties are embarrassed by the system
and dishonest ones evade it.  The system may become the enemy of
honesty and the shield of hypocrisy.  Only this is needed.  When the
appointing power has designated a person for an office, let that person
be examined by an independent board with reference to character and
those qualifications which seem to be a fit preparation for the
practical duties of the place.  Whenever the power of appointment and
removal is abused the public has a remedy in a change of
administration.  And herein is one reason why the Presidential term
should not be extended.  There may be many evils of administration
which are not so flagrant as to warrant proceedings for impeachment.
Such evils may be borne for brief periods, when if the term of the
President were extended to six or eight years the dissatisfied elements
of society might be tempted to engage in revolutionary movements.  Nor
is there wisdom in limiting the Presidential office to a single term in
the same person.  The thought that one has a future is a great stimulus
to careful and energetic action in the performance of public duties.
For a President there is no future except a re-election, which is in
fact an approval by the country of his administration.  A wise man will
strive to so conduct affairs as to merit that approval.  A House of
Representatives already condemned by a popular verdict is but a poor
guardian of the rights of the people; and a defeated administration
performs its duties in the most indifferent manner.  After a defeat
appointments will be made and acts done that would not have been
hazarded pending an election.  It is true, probably, of every
administration, not excepting that of General Washington, that the
second term was less acceptable to the country than the first.  Mr.
Lincoln had no second term, and it is useless to speculate upon its
probable character, if he had lived to perform its duties.

It was my habit to be at the Treasury every morning at nine o'clock,
and I usually sent immediately for one or more heads of division or
chiefs of bureau for conference upon some matter connected with their
duties.  By frequent interviews I acquired such knowledge of their
duties and of pending questions that I always had a reason for those
interviews.  By this course I maintained relations of familiarity with
the officers who constituted the department for administrative
purposes, and I also established a system of punctuality in the matter
of attendance.  When the head of a division is tardy, the clerks soon
venture to follow his example, and if he is prompt they are ashamed
to be dilatory unless they have an adequate excuse.  The same relation
exists between the bureau officers and the head of a department.

One of my first acts in the nature of a financial policy was to
establish the Sinking Fund, agreeably to the act of February 25, 1862.
Seven years had passed since the passage of the law and four years
since the end of the war and yet nothing had been done to provide for
the redemption of the public debt agreeably to the promise that had
been made when the Government was a large borrower of money and when
its credit was depreciated, seriously, in all the markets of the
world.  In my first annual report, December, 1869, I advised Congress
of my action and I recommended the application of the bonds that I had
then purchased, amounting to about fifty-four million dollars, to the
Sinking Fund, until the deficiency then existing had been met.  The
step that I then took was taken in obedience to the law, and not
from any great faith in the wisdom of the Sinking Fund policy, nor was
it from any fear that the Government could not pay its debts whether
a Sinking Fund was or was not created.

The faith of the Government had been pledged to a particular policy and
I thought that the observance of that policy was both wise and just.  A
government cannot afford to disregard the terms of its undertakings
even if a violation or neglect does not work harm to anyone.  The
payments to the Sinking Fund were made regularly during General Grant's
administration, and the credit of the Government was thereby somewhat
strengthened.  The chief element of strength was in the fact that the
payments were such as to astonish the heavily taxed and debt burdened
States of Europe.  In my four years of service as the head of the
Treasury the payments on the debt reached the enormous sum of three
hundred and sixty-four million dollars.  No one of my successors has
paid an equal amount, nor has an equal amount been paid in any other
equal period of time by the United States or by any other government.

At the time I entered the Treasury the price of gold was at about
forty per cent premium and when I left the Treasury it was at about
twelve per cent premium.  In the summer of 1869 I entered upon the
policy of selling gold and buying bonds.  The sales and purchases
were made by the Assistant Treasurer in New York, but the bids were
reported to me and by me accepted or rejected.  A leading criticism was
this:  It was claimed that the simple method was to buy bonds in gold
and thus to secure the bonds by one transaction.

This policy would have limited the number of purchasers of gold to
those who could command bonds.  By the policy pursued the sales of gold
were open to anyone who had money.  The gold was sold for currency, and
the bonds were purchased with currency.  When the Treasury announced
its purpose to purchase bonds the price advanced in the market.  The
President remarked to me jocularly that he had suffered by not knowing
what the department was about to do, inasmuch as he had sold bonds a
few days too early and at a price below their then present value.
During my service as Secretary of the Treasury I carried two
questions only to the Cabinet discussions--and I have forgotten one
of the questions, but it had some political significance.  The other
arose in this manner:  My method of negotiating the sale of new bonds
under the Funding Act of July, 1870, had been severely criticized.
The Government was compelled to give ninety days' notice of its
purpose to redeem five-twenty bonds, and as we could not with safety
make a call until we had the funds, and as our chief source was the
proceeds of new bonds we could not call until a sale was made.  As a
consequence the Government was a loser of interest on all called bonds
for the period of ninety days.  I arranged with the subscribers for
new bonds, that they should have the interest for the ninety days
upon a deposit of old bonds as security for the new ones subscribed
and taken.  The Government lost nothing, and the subscribers were
benefitted greatly, and thus the subscriptions were increased.

During the campaign of 1872 I had an opportunity to negotiate a new
loan upon the same basis.  Knowing that the proceeding would renew
criticism, I thought it proper to lay the case before the President
and Cabinet.  Upon their advice the negotiations were suspended.

Governor Fish on more than one occasion complained that the Cabinet
were as ignorant of the proceedings and purposes of the Treasury as
was the outside world.  His complaints were well founded.  Much of the
business aside from routine matters was secret.  For example my orders
for the sale of gold and the purchase of bonds were never issued at
any other time than Sunday evening, and then always by myself.  The
orders were sent to the Sub-Treasurer at New York, and given to the
Associated Press at the same time.  Consequently, on Monday morning
all the country was informed, and under such circumstances that the
chance of some to speculate upon the ignorance of others were reduced
to the minimum.  Moreover, the members of the Cabinet might divide.  I
should then be compelled to act upon my own judgment, and against the
views of some of my associates.  Again, if I had the support of the
President and Cabinet, I could not have used the fact as an excuse for
myself.  The public knew no one but the Secretary.  I chose to act upon
my own judgment knowing that there was no one else to share the
responsibility in case of failure.

In my report to Congress, in December, 1869, I set forth a system for
refunding the Public Debt.  I had unfolded the scheme in a speech in
the House of Representatives, July 1868.  I had already taken two
steps preparatory to the undertaking.  First, in May, 1869, I
established the Sinking Fund under the Act of February 25, 1862.
Second, by the purchase of bonds the world had assurance that the debt
would be paid.  The effect of these two measures was seen in the
increasing market value of the bonds.  In other words the credit of the
country was improving.  When the President was preparing his message of
December, 1869, he called upon me for my views in regard to the
Treasury, and I furnished him with a synopsis of my plan which he
embodied in his message.  I retained a copy of the synopsis and that
copy is in the hands of my daughter.  Simultaneously I prepared a bill
upon the basis of the report and caused the same to be printed upon the
Treasury press.  Upon an examination of the papers on file in the
archives of the Senate I find that cuttings from my printed bill form
a part of the bill which was printed by the Finance Committee of the
Senate of which Senator Sherman was chairman.  The bill was changed in
details but not in principle.  The loan was in three parts as my bill
was prepared.  A portion at 5 per cent, a portion at 4½ per cent,
and a third portion at 4 per cent.  The division was retained in the
statute, but the amount of the loan at each of the several rates was
changed.  By my bill the interest could be made payable in Europe.
This feature was stricken out by the committees in the House or the
Senate.  This change I overcame or avoided ultimately by a rule of the
department by which interest on registered bonds could be made payable
in checks of the Treasurer.  These checks are now sent to all parts of
the world and through the banking facilities they are everywhere as
good as gold, subject only to the natural rates of exchange between
different countries.  Since that time railroad companies and other
business corporations have accepted the system.  My plan of making the
interest on the bonds payable in Europe was rejected under the lead of
gentlemen who thought it involved some sort of national degradation.
My object was to make the loan more negotiable in Europe and thus to
extend the demand, and consequently, to increase the value of our

The records of the Treasury Department show that on the 23rd day of
December, 1869, I sent to General Schenck of the House, a draught of a
bill for refunding the Public Debt.  The same records show that on the
19th of January, 1870, I sent to Senator Sherman eight copies of a
bill.  These bills were framed in conformity to the plan marked out in
my report of December, 1869.  Previous to the preparation of that
report I had not any conference with any member of Congress nor with
any other person in regard to the details of the scheme.

On the 12th of July, 1870, Mr. Sumner introduced a bill for refunding
the Pubic Debt (Sen. S. 80).  As might have been expected it was not
a practical measure, and on the 3rd day of the following February Mr.
Sherman reported the bill of Mr. Sumner in a new draught.  A single
copy of that bill is on file in the office of the secretary of the
Senate, and no other copy can be found.

This bill conforms to my report, and upon my recollection it is the
bill as prepared by me.  The division of the loan conforms to my
recommendation in the report, and it provides that the interest may be
made payable abroad.  Subsequently these provisions were changed.
General Schenck had then recently returned from Europe and he was of
the opinion that the loan could all be negotiated at four or four and
one half per cent and it was this opinion on his part which led to
delays.  The bill was not passed till July, 1870, at the very moment
when the Franco-Prussian War opened.  Had the bill been passed in
March, quite large negotiations could have been made in April of that
year.  But the sale of the new five per cent bonds was an undertaking
of great difficulty.  It is now impossible to realize that a six per
cent bond was not worth par in 1869-'70.  At that time the leading
bankers of the world were unwilling to engage in the undertaking.  The
Rothschilds and Barings stood aloof.  The Amsterdam bankers wrote
letters of inquiry, but they did nothing more.  Mr. Morton, of the firm
of Morton, Bliss & Co., New York, was inclined to engage in the
business, but his partner, Mr. Bliss was doubtful of the success of
the scheme, and they therefore stood aside when the first negotiations
were attempted.  Finally an arrangement was made with Jay Cooke & Co.,
by which they advertised what was called a popular loan, asking for a
subscription to the five per cent bonds.

Subsequently I advised Congress to issue four per cent fifty year bonds
as a basis of the banking system, coupled with an offer to the existing
banks of a preference, but in case any bank should refuse to exchange
the bonds then held by such bank, its charter after one year should be
annulled and its banking privileges should be open to any other
association that would purchase the four per cent bonds.  This
proposition aroused the hostility of the national banks and forthwith
the city was invaded by bank officers and agents who succeeded in
defeating the bill.

I had early foreseen that the Public Debt could be paid without much
delay, and without a system of oppressive taxation.  In July, 1863, in
the introduction to my volume on the tax system of the country, I had
predicted that the revenues would be equal to the payment of interest
on a debt twice as large as the Public Debt then was, together with
large annual payments of principal.  I predicted also that these
payments would menace the national banking system.  My scheme looked
for the perpetuation of that system for fifty years at least.  The
banks looked upon the scheme as a hostile project and they were
therefore led to defeat a measure which in fact was liberal in the
extreme.  At that time the capital of all the national banks was
limited to three hundred million dollars.  Thus did the banks defeat a
measure which was designed to secure their perpetuity and calculated
to promote their financial interests.  They acted upon the idea that
the credit of the country could never be so far advanced that a four
per cent bond would be worth par.

The success of the five per cent loan of 1871, of which I give a full
account elsewhere, should have ended the contest in regard to the
credit of the United States.  A five per cent bond had been sold at par
in the London market.  The principal of the Public Debt was undergoing
a monthly reduction and the gain in the interest account was sufficient
to guarantee the payment of the principal in half a century.  From that
time forward, the leading bankers of Europe and American were ready to
co-operate in placing the remaining five per cents, and then the four
and a half and four per cents.

From that time forward the credit of the Government has been improving
constantly.  It was no longer difficult to borrow money at the rate of
five per cent, and with the adjustment of our controversy with Great
Britain there remained no reason to question the rapid progress of the
United States in wealth and population.  Indeed, it was then entirely
feasible for the Government to have resumed specie payments, as any
demand upon the Treasury for gold could have been met with proceeds of
bonds sold in Europe.  It was my opinion, however, that it would be
wiser to delay resumption until the balance of trade should be so much
in our favor that specie payments could be maintained by our own
resources.  And this was accomplished in less than six years.  It is
with a state as it is with an individual.  With an established credit,
or with a credit improving constantly and an income in excess of
expenditures, there is no difficulty in meeting all liabilities as
they mature.  Such was the condition of the Treasury when I left it in
March, 1873.  In March, 1869, the Government was paying interest,
measured at the gold value of its securities at the rate of seven per
cent.  In 1873 the rate was five per cent or less.  In that time the
net Public Debt had been reduced in the sum of three hundred and sixty-
four million dollars, and the interest account had been reduced about
thirty million dollars.

When I was engaged in placing bonds in Europe, a discussion arose among
bankers in regard to the conflict of statements as to the amount of the
Public Debt.  By the reports of the Treasurer, which were the basis of
the monthly statements, the debt was represented by the securities
actually issued after deducting those which had been redeemed.  By the
report from the Registrar's Office which once each year corresponded
in time to the monthly report, the balance was widely different.  These
facts impaired our standing financially.  Upon the register's books the
Government was charged with every issue that passed out of his office,
and it was days, usually, and not infrequently it was weeks, before the
securities passed from the Treasury into the hands of creditors or
purchasers of securities.  On the other hand the Treasurer would be
entitled to credit for redemptions made days or weeks before the
evidence of such payments would appear on the register's books.  An
analogous fact exists in the discrepancy between a depositor's account
with his bank and the account at the bank as long as there are
outstanding checks.  The books would not agree and yet each might be
accurate.  As it was a necessity of the situation that the business
of the Treasury should proceed day by day without interruption and it
was difficult to explain the discrepancy to the many inquirers, I
ordered Mr. Allison, the register, to accept for his annual reports the
statement of the Treasurer, as his statements conformed to the existing
facts on the days when the statements were made.  The register
protested that the order was not justified by the law, and that was
the truth although there was no law forbidding such an act.  The
transaction, including my order, was brought before a committee of the
House of Representatives, but as far as I know, the question of the
legality of the proceedings, was not canvassed, or if attention was
directed to the subject the committee may have treated it as an act in
the public interest and from which no injury had arisen.  Upon these
facts, Senator Henry G. Davis, of West Virginia, made the charge that
the books of the Treasury had been altered by my direction and that it
was possible that some great fraud had been perpetrated which might be
discovered if a committee were appointed to investigate the Treasury.
A committee was granted, of which Senator Davis was a member.  The
investigation was a failure from his standpoint.  Indeed, the
alteration of the books of the Treasury would required the collusive
co-operation of many persons, and evidence of the fact of the
alteration would, of necessity, become known to hundreds of clerks.

Mr. Davis and some other Democrats implicated me in an analogous matter
which they tried to understand but did not.  The Loan Accounts of the
Treasury Department showed that the payments on the Public Debt
exceeded the receipts from loans in the enormous sum of one hundred and
sixteen million dollars.  I appointed a committee of clerks to examine
the account in detail for the purpose of ascertaining whether the
discrepancy was real or only apparent.  The fact of the discrepancy was
reported to Congress and the progress made in the investigation was
noted in the appendix to the Annual Reports.  It is probable, however,
that these reports were never seen by Mr. Davis, and hence his
suspicion that an investigation into the accuracy of the Treasury
accounts would show an alteration of Treasury books, and of course, for
some improper purpose.

The error began in Mr. Hamilton's time, and in consequence of the
assumption of the State debts.  Bonds were issued for those debts but
there were no receipts paid into the Treasury, and consequently the
debit side of the account was a blank.  When the bonds were paid the
payment became a credit on the loan account.  In after times bonds were
issued and sold below par.  The account was charged with the receipts
and upon payment the loan account was credited with the full amount
paid.  In some cases the discrepancy was augmented by the purchase of
bonds and the payment of a premium, as was done in the second term of
General Jackson.  The investigation showed that the discrepancy was
only apparent, and the criticisms and complaints ceased.

During my administration of the Treasury Department, the government of
the Territory of Alaska was in my hands.  The legislation of Congress
was brief and indefinite and the only officers were collectors of
customs, treasury agents and the revenue cutter officials.  The
principal topics of thought were the exclusion of liquors and firearms
and the protection of the fur seal fishery.  During the session of the
Forty-first Congress a bill was passed which required the Secretary to
lease the seal fishery to the best bidder, with a preference to the
company which was then engaged in the fishery.  On the question of the
nature of the preference I took the opinion of the Attorney-General in
advance of the contract.  At that time I was opposed to any system of
leasing and I so advised the House of Representatives in a report upon
the subject.  Congress, however, adopted the system of leasing and upon
experience that system was shown to be more advantageous to the
country.  The value of the fur seal fishery depends upon the market for
the dressed furs, and the value of the dressed furs depends upon the
fashions, and the fashions are manipulated by the producers of the
varied competing goods.  The Government could never engage in the
business of promoting fashions and training the markets.  Fur seal
skins have only a moderate commercial value when the fashion is not
with them.

The question of the claim on Behring Sea was not then much considered.
By the law of nations it is difficult to maintain the position that
that vast body of salt water can be treated as a closed sea, but there
are peculiarities which distinguish it from other bodies of water as
the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, which are partially

Russia for a long time was the possessor of the adjacent mainland and
of the islands which mark the limits and in a degree enclose the sea.
That country claimed jurisdiction over the water.  That claim was
known and its validity was not disputed seriously.  By the treaty
Russia ceded about one half of the sea to the United States.  Russia
and the United States are the countries directly interested.  England
has no territorial rights and therefore she has no interest that is
not common to other nations.  The United States and Russia are
interested in the seal fishery which can be preserved only by the
protection of the animals in Behring Sea.  It may be claimed fairly
that Russia and the United State have property in these animals due to
the fact that they gather upon the territory of the countries at
certain seasons of the year.  At other seasons they roam over the water
as other animals roam over the land.  They are, at least, partially
domesticated.  They are accustomed to the presence of the inhabitants
of the islands which they occupy as breeding grounds and which they
visit annually.  Moreover, England has an interest in the preservation
of the fishery.  The skins are dressed in London, and thus far no one
has been found, either in Europe or in the United States, who can
compete with the London workmen.  For the purpose of protecting and
preserving the seal fishery, Behring Sea ought to be treated as a
closed sea.  For general commercial purposes it may be used as other
parts of the ocean are used.

At a time, while I was Secretary of the Treasury, when I was detained
at my lodgings by a slight illness, I received a visit from William E.
Dodge a New York merchant and an importer of tin, whom I had known some
years before when I was a member of Congress.  He said that he had
called to see me in regard to charges against his house preferred by
the revenue officers relating to the importation of tin.  I said, what
was true, that I had not heard of the charges and that I had never
suspected his house of any wrong-doing in their business.  His
statement in reply was a great surprise to me.  He said that if there
was anything which appeared to be wrong, or that was in fact a
violation of law, the error or wrong was unintentional--that he and his
partners intended to act always in good faith.  He then stated that
the claim amounted to more than two hundred thousand dollars, and he
proposed then and there to pay the amount claimed, coupled, however,
with the condition that the payment should be kept secret.  I replied
that I could not take the money upon such terms and that secrecy was
impossible.  Upon his statement there were three persons besides
ourselves who had knowledge of the existence of the charges and the
payment of money must come to the knowledge of the Treasury officials.
I then said:

"Mr. Dodge, you cannot afford to pay this money.  If you are innocent
you should contest the matter in the courts, and if you convince the
judge, even if you are technically wrong, that there was no intent to
defraud the Government the Secretary can remit all the penalty, leaving
you to pay the duty."  His counsel, if they were competent, must have
given him similar advice and yet he paid voluntarily, about two hundred
and seventy-six thousand dollars to the officials in New York, of
which he and his friends proceeded to complain.  There was a suit, but
it was the duty of the firm to contest the claim of the Government,
if they had a defence.  And if they had had a defence they were in no
danger even if they had violated the law ignorantly, for no Secretary
would have allowed honest men to suffer for an ignorant violation of
the revenue laws.  Senator Edmunds placed upon the records of the
Senate a full statement of the case.


Of the many measures of my administration of the Treasury Department,
the Mint Bill of 1873 is the only one which has been made a party
issue, and which has entered permanently into the policy of the

In the month of March, in the year 1869, I came to the head of the
Treasury Department.  At an early day my attention was directed to
the disordered condition of the mint service, which was then, as it
ever had been, without a responsible head.  The proceedings at the
mints were unsystematic, and I resolved upon an attempt to codify the
laws and to place the administration in the hands of a recognized,
responsible officer.  President Grant appointed John Jay Knox
comptroller of the currency.  For many years Mr. Knox had held the
office of deputy comptroller.  He had been a careful, constant student,
and he was already a recognized authority in financial matters.

I appointed Mr. Knox commissioner to codify the mint laws and to
suggest alterations.  He was assisted by Dr. Linderman, then an eminent
expert in the theory and practice of coinage, by Mr. Patterson,
superintendent of the mint at Philadelphia, and by others.

When the codification of the laws relating to the mint service had been
completed the statute, as passed, contained seventy-one sections,
including a number of new provisions.  The political and personal
controversy of twenty years and more was directed to a single section,
which was in these words:  "No coins, either of gold, silver, or minor
coinage, shall hereafter be issued from the mints other than those of
the denominations, standards and weights herein set forth."  The
coinage of the silver dollar piece was discontinued in the bill as
prepared by the commissioners and the purpose to discontinue its
coinage was thus announced in the report that was made to Congress:

"The coinage of the silver dollar piece, the history of which is here
given, is discontinued in the proposed bill. . . . The present gold
dollar piece is made the dollar unit in the proposed bill, and the
silver piece is discontinued."

In 1873 I had come to believe that it was wise for every nation to
recognize, establish, and maintain the gold standard.  I was of the
opinion then, as I am of the opinion now, that nations cannot escape
from the gold standard in all inter-state transactions.  The value of
every article is resolved finally by the ascertainment of its value
in gold.  Silver or paper may be used for domestic purposes, but the
value of that silver or paper is determined by its value in gold.

In America, as in England, all the attempts to fix a ratio between
gold and silver coins and to maintain that ratio in business had
failed, and hence it was that I determined to abandon the idea of a
double standard, reserving in mind, however, the possibility that an
agreement by commercial countries might overcome the difficulty.  That
possibility has now disappeared.  The history of the United States is
an instructive history.  The coin ratio between gold and silver was
fixed in Mr. Hamilton's time and with the concurrence of Mr. Jefferson.

In 1870 silver was at a premium upon the legal ratio between gold and
silver coins, and such had been the fact from the year 1837, and
probably from the year 1792.  Indeed, there has never been a day,
from the organization of the government, when the actual standard was
silver.  Until the act of 1878 was passed, silver coins had had no
appreciable influence upon the volume of currency or the business of
the country.  The total coinage of silver dollars had been 8,000,000
pieces only.  The coinage was suspended in 1805 or 1806, and the silver
dollars had been exported or they had disappeared in melting pots.
Such was the commercial demand for American silver coins that in 1853
Congress authorized the debasement of the subsidiary silver coins as
the only means of securing their circulation.

It is quite doubtful whether in the year 1860 there was a person living
who had seen an American silver dollar doing duty in the channels of
trade.  From 1806 to 1873 the business standard of the country was the
gold standard.  Silver had been recognized in the Coinage Act, but
practically it had not played any part in the financial policy or
fortunes of the country.

The choice of gold as the standard was not due to hostility to silver
or to the silver mining interests, but to the well grounded opinion
that gold was a universal currency, while in some countries, as in
England and Germany, silver coins were not a debt-paying currency.

These--within the limits of a statement--are the reasons for the
demonetization of the silver dollar and the adoption of the single gold
standard.  The measure was in accord with my policy, and it was in
accord with the unbiased judgment of the commission.

It is a singular instance in legislative proceedings that a measure
that had no active support and that was free from opposition at its
enactment should be assailed vigorously after the lapse of years and
through a long period of time.  The measure was soon followed by the
depreciation of silver and coincident with that change came the
attacks upon the Mint Bill, and the denunciation of the "Crime of 1873."

The charges were two:

First:  The authors of the change had been corrupted by English gold
through one Ernest Seyd, a writer on economic topics.  It was alleged
that Seyd came to this country at the time when the measure was under
consideration.  Seyd was not living when the charges were made, but the
fact of a visit to this country was denied by his son.  Hon. Samuel
Hooper was chairman of the Committee on Coinage.  In the search for
information Mr. Hooper invited Mr. Seyd to give him his opinion.  Seyd
was a writer, a man of good reputation, and a bimetallist.  In a letter
to Mr. Hooper, which is still in existence, and which is printed in the
_Congressional Record,_ Seyd condemned the demonetization of the silver
dollar.  His letter was dated at London, February 17, 1872.

The second charge was secrecy.  The answer to this charge was to be
found in historical facts.

The evidence is this:  Mr. Knox's report contained two specific
statements that it was a purpose of the bill to prohibit the coinage
of the silver dollar; the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for
the year 1872 made a specific recommendation to that effect; the bill
was printed six times; it was considered in each House during the
Forty-first and Forty-second Congresses; the precise question in
controversy was the subject of discussion, and two years and ten months
were given to the consideration of the bill.

The bill was discussed in the House of Representatives.  Mr. Reed has
stated that the report of the debate covers one hundred and ninety-six
columns of the _Congressional Record_.  Senator Jones, in his report
of 1876, as chairman of the Silver Commission, refers to the debate in
these words:  "In the brief discussion on the bill in the House of
Representatives, the principal reason assigned in favor of those
sections which interdicted the future coinage of the silver dollar was
that its value was three per cent greater than the value of the gold
dollar."  Thus Senator Jones admits that the debate in the House of
Representatives was upon the question of the abolition of the silver
dollar, and he recognizes his knowledge of the fact of the debate.

Finally the bill passed the Senate without one dissenting vote.

The downfall of silver has not been due to any legislation in America
or Europe, nor to any decrees or despotic policy in Asia, but to the
inventive faculties of one Charles Burleigh, of Fitchburg,
Massachusetts, the inventor of the power drill.

If through him many silver mines have been rendered valueless, so it
is to him that the world is indebted for a new application of force by
which mountains are penetrated and mining in all its forms is carried
on at one fourth part of the former cost.  Every step in civilization,
every advance movement that we call progress, is a peril to many and a
ruin to some.  By one stroke of genius, and limiting our thoughts to
one only of its many consequences we may say that Burleigh has made
gold so abundant and cheap that all substitutes for a currency from
wampum to silver must soon disappear.

There is historical evidence tending to show that the representatives
of the silver mining interest had sufficient and worthy reasons for
assenting to the suspension of the silver dollar.  In 1872 silver was
at a slight premium as compared with gold.  Therefore the privilege of
coinage of the dollar was of no advantage to the owners of bullion.

The Mint Bill had a new and attractive feature.  It provided for the
coinage of a dollar that was to contain 420 grains of standard silver,
and was to be known as the trade dollar.

This passage may be found in my report to Congress for the year 1872:

"Therefore, in renewing the recommendations heretofore made for the
passage of the Mint Bill, I suggest such alterations as will prohibit
the coinage of silver for circulation in this country, but that
authority be given for the coinage of a silver dollar that shall be as
valuable as the Mexican dollar and to be furnished at its actual cost."

The dollar was coined and it was known as the Trade Dollar.  It
contained 420 grains of standard silver.

The Mexican dollar which contained about 416 grains, was then sold at
a premium, and it was used extensively in the China and India trade.

It was my expectation and the expectation of all concerned, that the
trade dollar, from its added value, would take the place of the Mexican
dollar in the immense trade of the East.  My own confidence was great.
Indeed, the thought of failure never occurred to me.  Unfortunately,
the stolidity of the Chinese and the force of habit among that people
were not considered by us.  From long use they had become accustomed
to the Mexican dollar.  They refused our trade dollar, notwithstanding
its greater weight.

We coined and put into circulation, at home and abroad, about
36,000,000 pieces, many of which were afterwards recoined as legal
tender dollars under a special act of Congress.

With the failure of that undertaking came the crusade against the act
of 1873.  Whether the two events sustained to each other the relation
of cause and effect, I cannot say.

The suggestion that Senator Stewart of Nevada was assenting to the
demonetization of the silver dollar derives support from the fact that,
in the month of February, 1874, he indorsed the gold standard in two
speeches, delivered, respectively, on the 11th and 20th days of that
month.  On the 11th he said:  "I want the standard gold, and no paper
money not redeemable in gold."  On the 20th he added:  "Gold is the
universal standard of the world.  Everybody knows what a dollar in gold
is worth."

It is certain that in the month of February, 1874, when the contents
of the Mint Bill were in the public statutes, the demonetization of the
silver dollar, and the recognition of the gold dollar as the unit of
value, had not affected the judgment nor disturbed the sensibilities of
the advocates of silver.

I dismiss this branch of the subject with the observation that the act
of 1873 placed the United States in a commanding position in regard to
the use of silver.  If that metal had continued to maintain its
supremacy upon the ratio then established between gold and silver coin,
there could have arisen no demand for the coinage of silver.  If, on
the other hand, silver should depreciate, the government might, at
its pleasure, use, or it might decline to use, that metal as coin.

I now pass to a part of the history of the controversy not heretofore
considered in public discussions, from which it will appear that the
trusted representatives of the silver interest put aside the most
inviting opportunity, if not the only opportunity, for the adoption of
the bimetallic system by the commercial nations of the world.

The act of 1873 prepared the way for the use of silver by the
commercial nations of the world, upon an agreed ratio with gold, if
indeed, the possibility of such an arrangement ever existed.  We were
upon a gold basis; the balance of trade, by groups of years, was in our
favor; we had a gold revenue from customs of about $200,000,000, and
the excess of Treasury receipts over expenditures was nearly
$100,000,000 a year.

If we had chosen to accumulate gold and postpone payments upon the
Public Debt, we could have brought the nations of the earth to our feet.

It was under circumstances thus favorable for negotiations for the use
of silver that the Silver Commission of 1876 was constituted, and
authorized, among other things, to inquire "into the policy of the
restoration of the double standard in this country, and if restored,
what the legal relation between the two coins of silver and gold,
should be."

This authority opened a way for the introduction of a policy on the
part of the United States looking to an arrangement for the use of
silver by the states of Europe, and on that authority the commission
dealt with the project of an international bimetallic system.

The commission consisted of eight persons.  Senator Jones was the
chairman, and Mr. Bland, of Missouri, was an influential member.  It
was my fortune to be of the commission and it was my fortune also to
be alone in opinion upon the main questions that were treated in the

The majority of the commission consisted of Messrs. Jones, Bogy,
Willard, Bland and Groesbeck.  They favored the remonetization of the
silver dollar, and that without delay.

Of the points made in their report, I mention these.  They said:  "The
supply of gold is diminishing, being now but little more than one half
what it was in 1852, and is always so fitful and irregular from the
method of its production that it is ill-suited to be a sole measure of

This statement as a statement of an existing fact was wide of the
truth, and as a prophecy it was as fallacious as are the prophecies
which predict the destruction of the world.  From 1851 to 1855 the
annual gold product of the world was 6,410,324 ounces.  From 1876 to
1880 the annual gold product of the world was 5,543,110 ounces.  The
gold product of the latter period was eighty-six per cent of the gold
product of the former period.

Far wide of the truth were the predictions of the majority in regard
to the future product of gold.  For the year 1894 the product was
8,737,788 ounces, or about thirty-seven per cent over the product of

They, the majority, said:  "No increase in the yield of silver in the
immediate future seems upon the whole to be probable."  The commission
said further:  "The exchanges of the world, and especially of this
country, are continually and largely increasing; while the supplies of
both the precious metals, taken together, if not diminishing, are at
least stationary, and the supply of gold, taken by itself, is falling

Each of these two statements in regard to the precious metals was a
serious error, and in their controlling influence upon the judgment of
the commission they were fatal errors.

The gold product of the world in 1876 was 5,016,488 ounces.  In 1894
the product had risen to 8,737,788 ounces, a gain of more than
seventy-four per cent in the short period of eighteen years.

In 1876 the product of silver was 67,753,125 ounces, and in 1894 it
was 167,752,561 ounces, a gain of about 147 per cent in eighteen years.

Upon these errors the majority of the commission based a policy by
which the only opportunity that the country ever had for the
establishment of a bimetallic system which should include the
commercial nations of Europe, was put aside and forever lost.

If, in 1876, I had anticipated the immense increase in the product of
silver, I might have hesitated, but in the view that I was then able
to command I had great confidence that a bimetallic arrangement might
be secured.

The majority of the commission favored bimetallism but they demanded,
first, the remonetization of the silver dollar.  On the other hand,
I claimed that all thought of the further use of silver should be
postponed until the attempt to secure the co-operation of other
countries had been tried faithfully.

The policy of the majority of the commission prevailed, and it was
consummated by the Statute of 1878, which was passed over the veto of
President Hayes, and which authorized the coinage of the silver dollar.

When we had accepted silver, when we had abandoned the vantage ground
that we had occupied, it was in vain that we solicited the co-operation
of England, France and Germany.  The adoption by the United States of
a silver-using policy led the statesmen of those countries to
anticipate the more extended and continuous use of silver leaving to
them a monopoly of gold, while we should sink financially to the level
of the degraded states of the world.  That catastrophe we have escaped
after an experience of twenty-five years, and then only by the
combined efforts of the two great political parties.

I submit brief extracts from the report of the majority of the
commission and from my individual report of 1876, that our relative
positions may be understood.

The commission said:  "We believe that the remonetization of silver in
this country will have a powerful influence in preventing, and probably
will prevent, the demonetization of silver in France and in other
European countries in which the double standard is still legally and
theoretically maintained."

Again the majority said:  "It may be added that a legislative
remonetization on the relation to gold of 15.5 to 1 accomplishes
without delay all the objects of the proposition for an international
conference, which is urged from various quarters."

That I may place myself where I stood in 1876 I present brief extracts
from my report of that year.

First I said:  "There can be but one standard of value in any country
at the same time, and a successful use of gold and silver
simultaneously can be effected only by their consolidation upon an
agreed ratio of value, and by the concurrence of the commercial nations
of the world.

"The undersigned is also of opinion that it is expedient for this
Government to extend an invitation to the commercial nations of the
world to join in convention for the purpose of considering whether it
is wise to provide by treaties and concurrent legislation for the use
of both silver and gold in all such nations upon a fixed relative
valuation of the two metals; and, finally, that until such an
agreement between this Government and other commercial nations can be
effected, the United States should pursue the existing policy in regard
to the resumption of specie payments."

Further I said:  "It is to be apprehended that the remonetization of
silver by the United States at the present time would be followed by
such a depreciation in its value as to furnish a reason against the
adoption of the plan by the rest of the world, and that an independent
movement on our part would increase the difficulties rather than
diminish them."

These extracts shall suffice.  I now repeat the assertion with which I
introduced this topic, viz.:  That in 1876 the majority of the Silver
Commission put aside the most favorable opportunity, indeed the only
opportunity, that the country has ever had for the organization of a
universal system of bimetallism.

Of that majority, Senator Jones of Nevada, and Representative Bland, of
Missouri, were the leading members.  If in defence or in extenuation
of the policy of the majority it shall be said that the United States
has not remonetized silver, and that, therefore, the policy of the
majority has not been tested, a partial rejoinder, if not, indeed, a
satisfactory reply, may be deduced from the facts that between the
years 1878 and the year 1893 the Government coined more than
400,000,000 silver dollars, and yet, in that period of time, silver
bullion fell from 1.15 plus per ounce to .65 plus per ounce.

It is worthy of notice that the product of silver in the United States
has increased with the demand for silver.  Upon the passage of the
Sherman Bill the product advanced from 45,000,000 ounces in 1888 to an
average of 55,000,000 ounces from 1889 to 1893, inclusive.  Upon the
repeal of that act the product fell to 49,000,000 ounces in 1894.

It is not only probable, it is certain, that with every increasing
demand for silver there will be an added supply.  Consider what has
happened since the appearance of the inventions of which I have spoken.

The world's annual product of silver from 1493 to 1865, inclusive, was
16,887,157 ounces.  The largest annual product was from 1861 to 1865,
when it reached 35,401,972 ounces.  From 1866 to 1894 inclusive, the
annual average product was 114,326,397 ounces.  In 1894 the product was
167,752,561 ounces, which, as will be observed, was about nine times
the annual product from 1493 to 1865.

From 1876 to 1894 the business of silver mining was increased 147 per
cent.  Can any one name any other business or pursuit in which there
was a like increase?  And is not the inference justified that the
profits have been large and tempting, notwithstanding the
demonetization of silver in some countries and the suspension of
coinage in other countries?

I turn now to the future, and first as to the possibility of the
further use of silver as currency.

I assume that in countries where the standard is gold there may be a
considerable use of silver, as in the United States to-day.

An international bimetallic system, binding nations to each other for
a definite term of years, is a proposition involving large

If in 1885 it was not practicable to secure the adoption of the
bimetallic system, when silver was worth eighty-four cents per ounce,
what is the prospect of its adoption when silver is worth only sixty-
four cents per ounce, with an annually increasing product and a
diminishing price?

What remains?  This, possibly:  That the nations may agree to purchase
each a per cent of a fixed amount of silver as the product of each
year.  This scheme might prove, and probably it would prove, to be only
a temporary expedient.

The enormous increase in the business of silver mining is evidence that
the profits are far in excess of the profits that are gained in other
pursuits.  The increase in product is likely to be followed by a fall
in price.  Such are the resources of the earth that an increase in the
demand for silver will be followed by an increase in the supply.

Gold mining is obedient to the same law.  From 1876 to 1894 the product
increased 74 per cent.  That ratio of increase is likely to continue.
The world is not in peril of a gold famine.  Gold as a currency,
passing from hand to hand, will be used less and less.  Substitutes,
for which gold can be obtained, will be preferred.  The volume of
currency in a country is not limited by the amount of gold that a
country may possess.  It may increase the amount of subsidiary coin
very largely, and it may add to the sum of paper money, provided that
that paper money is always redeemable in gold.

Nor does the quantity of gold in a country determine the price of
commodities, except as that gold is a part of the total volume of the
currency of the country.  The volume of currency as a whole is the
force by which the salable value of commodities is affected.

In truth, gold plays a small part only in actual business.  It is a
regulator of business rather than an active instrument for the
transaction of business.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the
use of gold in business is limited to a small fraction of one per cent
of the aggregate transactions in countries where gold is the standard.

It is not improbable that in the near future the world is to meet a
surfeit of gold, as it is now meeting a surfeit of silver.  Yet even
then its capacity as a standard will not be affected.  History does
not carry us to a time when gold was not the recognized standard for
the measurement of every other kind of property, and that not by one
tribe or people only, but by mankind in every clime and in every stage
of savageness or of civilization.

As the Mint Bill and the demonetization of silver have occupied the
attention of the country for a third of a century, and as there may be
a revival of the controversy at a time in the future I have thought it
wise for me to make a record of the facts in the most enduring form at
my command.

At the end this is my claim for the Mint Bill of 1873:  It established
the gold standard for the United States for all time.  All the
subsequent legislation has rested upon the fact that the Statute of
1873 made the gold dollar the standard of value in the United States.


So much time has passed since September 24, 1869, that there may be a
large public who may become interested in a review of the events of the
spring and summer of that year which culminated in Wall Street, New
York, in the transactions and experiences of the day known as "Black

When the Forty-first Congress assembled in December of that year, the
House of Representatives directed the Committee on Banking and
Currency "to investigate the causes that led to the unusual and
extraordinary fluctuations of gold in the city of New York, from the
21st to the 27th of September, 1869."  The committee made a report
which was printed under date of March 1, 1870, and which may be found
in a volume entitled "Garfield's Report on the Gold Panic
Investigation."  From that report it appears that certain persons in
the city of New York entered into an arrangement, or understanding, or
combination, as early as the month of April, 1869, for the purpose of
forcing the price of gold artificially to a rate far beyond what might
be called the natural price.  The committee, of which General Garfield
was chairman, characterized the combination as a conspiracy.
Technically and in a legal point of view the parties concerned could
not be treated properly as conspirators.  It does not appear that they
contemplated the violation of any law, but only a policy by which gold
might be advanced from time to time, and out of which advance large
sums of money might be realized by those who were holders of gold.
Upon that theory Jay Gould and James Fisk, Jr., who were the leaders
and organizers of the combination, with their associates, made large
purchases of gold at prices varying from thirty to thirty-five per
cent premium.  At the close of the month of April, the price of gold,
not then, as far as known, under the influence of any speculative
movement, was at a premium of about thirty-four per cent.  The
indications were that, during the months of May and June, the parties
interested in the combination made large purchases.  By the 20th of
May the price had reached a premium of forty-four per cent.  From
that time onward, until the last of July, the premium diminished, and
at that date the rate was thirty-six per cent.

When I entered the Treasury Department in March, there had not been
sales of gold nor purchases of bonds by the Treasury Department as a
policy, and but few transactions on either side had been made by my
predecessors in office.  As early as the 12th day of May I commenced
the purchase of bonds for the sinking fund and for the reduction of the
interest-bearing public debt.  The total purchases during the year
1869 amounted to something more than $88,000,000, for which there was
paid in currency $102,000,000 and a margin over.  At that time, the
customs receipts were in gold exclusively, and the purchase of bonds
could only be made by a sale of gold or by a direct purchase of bonds
to be paid for in gold.  Suggestions were made by bankers and others
in the city of New York, and perhaps elsewhere, that the purchase of
bonds should be made in gold.  This suggestion was not acceptable to
me, and upon the ground that the sale of gold would be limited to those
who had bonds, or who could procure bonds, for the payment of gold.
From the 29th of April, when the first sale of gold was made, until the
31st day of December, the sales amounted to something more than
$53,000,000, and the proceeds to something over $70,000,000.  The
difference in the amount realized from the sale of gold and the amount
paid for bonds purchased was met by the excess of receipts over the
expenditures of the Government during that period.

As having some connection, and perhaps an important connection, with
what is to be said hereafter touching General Grant's action in the
days of September, when the speculation was going on, I think it proper
to make a statement of my relations to the President.  I had declined
the office of Secretary of the Treasury, and on the morning of my
nomination to the Senate I wrote a letter to Mr. Washburne, through
whom the invitation of the President that I should accept the office
was made, requesting him and urging him to say to the President that
I was unwilling to accept the place.  My nomination was sent to the
Senate and confirmed, and as there seemed to be no alternative for me,
I entered upon the duties of the office.  Due in part to these
circumstances, as I think, the President accepted the idea that the
management of the Treasury Department was in my hands, and from first
to last, during the four years that I was in his Cabinet, his acts and
his conversation proceeded upon that idea.  Moreover, he was influenced
by a military view that an officer who was charged with the conduct of
a business, or of a undertaking, should be left free to act, that he
should be made responsible, and that, in case of failure, the
consequences should rest upon him.  It happened, and as a plan on my
part, that neither the President nor the Cabinet was made responsible
for what was done in the Treasury Department.  Hence it was that I
presented to the Cabinet but two questions.  One of these was of no
considerable consequence.  The other related to the political effect
that might follow a loan that I contemplated making upon certain terms
in the year 1872, when the Presidential contest was pending.  In the
line of these views, it happened that I announced my purpose to
purchase bonds in May, 1869, without conference either with the
Cabinet or with the President.  When the announcement was made, there
was a slight advance in bonds.  In order that the business interests
of the country might not be influenced by an apprehension that changes
might take place in the policy of the Department, I announced (as
stated in Chapter XXXIII) at the beginning of each month the sales of
gold and the purchases of bonds that were to be made during the coming
month.  Those announcements were sent out on the evening of Sunday,
either the last Sunday of the closing month or the first Sunday of the
opening month.  The despatches were written by myself Sunday evening,
and sent to the Assistant Treasurer at New York.  A copy was given to
the agent of the Associated Press, that the public might be informed
in the morning of the policy for the ensuing month, and that there
should be no opportunity for speculation by persons who might obtain
information in advance of the general public.  Unhappily, this policy
was made the basis of the proceedings in New York which culminated in
"Black Friday."  The parties interested--I do not call them
conspirators--assumed that for thirty days the policy of the department
as to the sale of gold and the purchase of bonds would remain
unchanged, and on that basis they proceeded to make arrangements for
the advance in gold.  Not satisfied with that policy, which was
designed to save the business community from unnecessary apprehensions,
an attempt was made to induce me to make an announcement for two or
three months.  Such suggestions were made in letters that I received
from interested parties in the city of New York.

Speculation in gold was not all on one side.  There were speculators
who were anxious to break down the price of gold, and between the lines
I could read the condition of the respective parties from whom I
received letters.  Under date of September 23, I received a letter
from a prominent house in New York in which the writer said:  "I am
actuated to again portray to you the state of financial affairs as they
now exist in this city.  The speculative advance in gold has brought
legitimate business almost to a standstill, owing to the apprehension
of a corner, which from appearances may appear at any moment."

It did not follow that the writer of the letter was "short on gold," as
the phrase is.  I had, however, in my possession at the time a list of
persons in New York who were supposed to be contestants, some for an
advance in gold and others for a fall.  The writer of the letter was
among those whose names had been given to me as speculators for a fall
in gold.  In this connection I may say that it was no part of my policy
to regulate affairs in Wall Street or State Street or Lombard Street.
Until it became apparent that the operations in New York affected
largely and seriously the business interests of the country, and until
it became apparent that the Treasury receipts were diminished by the
panic that had taken possession of the public, I refrained from any
interference with those who were engaged either in forcing up or
forcing down the price of gold.

Under date of the 24th day of September, I received a letter from my
special and trusted correspondent in the city of New York in which I
find this statement:  "This has been the most dreadful day I have ever
seen in this city.  While gold was jumping from forty-three to sixty-
one the excitement was painful.  Old, conservative merchants looked
aghast, nobody was in their offices, and the agony depicted on the
faces of men who crowded the streets made one feel as if Gettysburg
had been lost and that the rebels were marching down Broadway.  Friends
of the Administration openly stated that the President or yourself must
have given these men to feel that you would not interfere with them or
they would never dare to rush gold up so rapidly.  In truth, many
parties of real responsibility and friends of the Government openly
declared that somebody in Washington must be in this combination."

The last sentence in this quotation unfolds the policy which had guided
Gould and Fisk and their associates from April to the culmination of
their undertaking, the 24th day of September.  As far as I know, the
effort had been directed chiefly to the support of a false theory that
the President was opposed to the sale of gold, especially during the
autumn months, when a large amount of currency is required, or in those
days was supposed to be required, for "the moving," as it was called,
of the produce of the West to the sea coast for shipment to Europe.
They even went so far as to allege that the President had ordered the
Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the sale of gold during the
month of September, for which there was no foundation whatever.
Indeed, up to the 22d of September, when I introduced the subject of
the price of gold to the President, he had neither said nor done
anything, except to write a letter from New York City under date of
September 12, 1869, in the following words:

NEW YORK CITY, _September_ 12, 1869.

DEAR SIR:  I leave here for western Pennsylvania to-morrow morning and
will not reach Washington before the middle or last of next week.  Had
I known before making my arrangements for starting that you would be in
this city early this week, I would have remained to meet you.  I am
satisfied that on your arrival you will be met by the bulls and bears
of Wall Street, and probably by merchants, too, to induce you to sell
gold, or pay the November interest in advance, on the one side, and to
hold fast on the other.  The fact is, a desperate struggle is now
taking place, and each party wants the Government to help him out.  I
write this letter to advise you of what I think you may expect, to put
you on your guard.

I think, from the lights before me, I would move on without change
until the present struggle is over.  If you want to write me this week,
my address will be Washington, Pennsylvania.  I would like to hear
your experience with the factions, at all events, if they give you time
to write.  No doubt you will have a better chance to judge than I,
for I have avoided general discussion on the subject.

Yours truly,

  _Secretary of Treasury_.

At a meeting, which was accidental, as far as the President was
concerned, on board one of Fisk and Gould's Fall River steamers, when
he was on his way to Boston, in June of that year, to attend the Peace
Jubilee, an attempt was made to commit General Grant to the policy of
holding gold.  I was present on the trip with the President.  What
happened on the boat may be best given in the language of Mr. Fisk and
Mr. Gould.  Mr. Fisk, in his testimony before the committee, said:

"On our passage over to Boston with General Grant, we endeavored to
ascertain what his position in regard to the finances was.  We went
down to supper about nine o'clock, intending while we were there to
have this thing pretty thoroughly talked up, and, if possible, to
relieve him from any idea of putting the price of gold down."

Mr. Gould's account before the committee was as follows:

"At this supper the question came up about the state of the country,
the crops, prospects ahead, etc.  The President was a listener; the
other gentlemen were discussing.  Some were in favor of Boutwell's
selling gold, and some were opposed to it.  After they had all
interchanged their views, some one asked the President what his view
was.  He remarked that he thought there was a certain amount of
fictitiousness about the prosperity of the country, and that the
bubble might as well be tapped in one way as another. . . . We
supposed from that conversation that the President was a
contractionist.  His remark struck across us like a wet blanket."

The error of Fisk and Gould and their associates, from the beginning to
the end of the contest, was in the supposition that the President was
taking any part in the operations of the Treasury concerning the price
of gold.  If he expressed any opinions outside in conversation, there
were no acts on his part in harmony with or in antagonism to the views
he entertained.  As a matter of fact, with the exception of the letter
from the city of New York, he had no conference or correspondence with
me up to the 22d day of September, when I called upon him, and gave
him a statement of the price of gold in the city of New York, and of
the nature and character of the combination that existed there, as far
as it was understood by me.  Their policy was directed to two points:
first, to influence the President, if possible, to interfere in a way
to advance the price of gold; and, second, to satisfy their adherents
and opponents that the President either had so interfered or would so

Even Fisk and Gould may at a period of time have rested in the belief
that the President either had interfered or that he would interfere.
Their confidence was in Mr. A. R. Corbin, a brother-in-law of the
President, who, under the influence of various considerations, which
appear to have been personal and pecuniary to a very large extent, lent
himself to the task of influencing the President.  As a matter of fact,
his attempts were very feeble and misdirected and of no consequence
whatever.  Indeed, such is my opinion of the President, and such my
belief as to his opinion concerning Mr. Corbin, that nothing which Mr.
Corbin did say, or could have said, did have or could have had the
least influence upon the President's opinion or conduct.  It is,
however, also true that Fisk and Gould employed Corbin and gave him
consideration in their undertakings out of which he realized some
money.  I received information, also, which may not have been true,
that they suggested to him that he might become president of the Tenth
National Bank, which had a very conspicuous part in the events which
culminated in Black Friday.

An attempt to strengthen the impression that it was the purpose of the
President to prevent the sale of gold was made through an article
prepared by Mr. Corbin, probably under the direction of Mr. Gould and
others, which appeared finally, with some alterations and omissions, in
the New York _Times_ of the 25th of August.  It appears to have been
the purpose of the parties interested to mislead the _Times_ as to the
authorship of the article, and they secured the agency of Mr. James
McHenry, a prominent English capitalist, who called at the _Times_
office, and presented the article to Mr. Bigelow, the editor, as the
opinion of a person in the intimate confidence of the President.  The
article was put in type and double leaded.  When so prepared,
suspicions were aroused, and the financial editor, Mr. Norvell, made
very important corrections, taking care to omit sentences and
paragraphs that contained explicit statements as to the purposes of the
President.  Some of the phrases omitted were in these words:  "It may
be that further purchases of bonds will be made directly with gold."
"As gold accumulates, the less would be the premium upon it.  High
prices for gold before the sale of our products would cause lower
prices of gold after the sale of products."

Among the statements made which were preserved in the article as
printed finally were these:  "The President evidently intends to pay
off the 5-20s as rapidly as he may in gold"; "So far as current
movements of the Treasury are concerned, until crops are moved it is
not likely Treasury gold will be sold for currency to be locked up."

Following the appearance of this article, I received a letter from Mr.
Gould, dated the 30th of August, in which this sentence appears:  "If
the New York _Times_ correctly reflects your financial policy during
the next three or four months; namely, to unloose the currency balance
at the Treasury or keep it at the lowest possible figure, and also to
refrain during the same period from selling or putting gold on the
market, thus preventing a depression of the premium at a season of the
year when the bulk of our agricultural products have to be marketed,
then I think the country peculiarly fortunate in having a financial
head who can take a broad view of the situation, and who realizes the
importance of settling the large balance of debt against us by the
export of our agricultural and mining products instead of bonds and

Of my reply to that letter, the committee say:  "The brief and formal
reply of the Secretary gave Gould no clew to the purpose of the

Under date of September 20, I received a letter from Gould to which I
made no reply.  Aside from the topics to which he directed my attention
in the letter, it is the unavoidable inference from the context as a
whole that Gould had then no faith in the statements given to the
public that the President was in any manner pledged to interfere and
prevent the sale of gold.  The following extracts from the letter of
September 20 are a full exposition of his policy and of the means on
which he relied to advance the price of gold during the month of

"On the subject of the price of gold and its effect upon the producing
interests of the West, permit me to say that during the months of
September of the past two years the price has averaged about forty-
five.  Gold must range this year at about that premium to enable the
export of the surplus crops of wheat and corn.  We have to compete with
the grain-producing countries bordering on the Black and Mediterranean
seas, and it requires a premium of over forty per cent on gold to
equalize our high-priced labor and long rail transportation to the

"My theory is to let gold go to a price that we can export our surplus
products to pay our foreign debts, and the moment we turn the balance
of trade in our favor gold will decline from natural causes.  In my
judgment, the Government cannot afford to sell gold during the next
three months while the crops are being marketed, and if such a policy
were announced, it would immediately cause a high export of bread-
stuffs and an active fall trade.

"P. S.  In addition to the above, if gold were put upon the market,
government bonds would decline to at least fifteen, leaving the
purchases made by the Government in the past few months open to
criticism as showing a loss."

As early as the 20th of September, I had evidence satisfactory to me
that the Tenth National Bank in the city of New York was a party to the
speculation in gold, and that its assistance was rendered largely
through the certification of checks drawn by the brokers, and largely
in excess of the balances due them upon the books of the bank when the
certifications were made.  It appeared from the evidence submitted
that these certifications of checks in excess of the balances due to
brokers amounted to about $18,000,000 on the 22d and 23d of September,
when the speculation was at its height.

For the purpose of arresting that process and checking the speculation
in gold, I detained the comptroller of the currency and three competent
clerks after the close of business on the 22d of September.  The clerks
received commissions as bank examiners, and were instructed to go to
New York that night and to take possession of the Tenth National Bank,
at the opening of business in the morning, and to give directions that
the habit of certifying checks in excess of the balances due must be
suspended.  It was my expectation that the enforcement of that rule
would, or might, end the speculation, inasmuch as the purchasers of
gold would be unable to meet their obligations, and therefore it would
be out of their power to create them.  This expectation was not
realized.  Whether the certification went on at the Tenth National
Bak in defiance of the order, or whether other banks were so
connected with the speculation that checks were certified elsewhere,
was not known to me.

I called upon the President after business on the 23d of September,
and made a statement of the condition of the gold market in the city
of New York, as far as it had been communicated to me during the day.
I then said that a sale of gold should be made for the purpose of
breaking the market and ending the excitement.  He asked me what sum
I proposed to sell.  I said:  "Three million dollars will be sufficient
to break the combination."

He said in reply:  "I think you had better make it $5,000,000."

Without assenting to his proposition or dissenting from it, I returned
to the department, and sent an order for the sale of $4,000,000 of gold
the next day.  The order was to the assistant treasurer in these
words:  "Sell $4,000,000 gold to-morrow, and buy $4,000,000 bonds."
The message was not in cipher, and there was no attempt to keep it
secret.  It was duplicated and sent by each of the rival telegraph
lines to New York.  Within the space of fifteen minutes after the
receipt of the despatch, the price of gold fell from 160 to 133, and
in the language of one of the witnesses, "half of Wall Street was
involved in ruin."

For the moment, the condition of Wall Street and the Gold Exchange
seemed to justify the statement of the person whose language has just
been quoted.  As a matter of fact, however, many of the people involved
recovered from the panic, and were able to meet their obligations.
Some were gainers, probably, by the proceedings of the month of
September, and some were losers.  As I have already said, I had no
purpose to help anybody or to hurt anybody, and I interfered in Wall
Street only when the operations that were going on there involved
innocent parties who were engaged in legitimate business, and also
imposed upon the Government a sacrifice in the loss of revenue.

Following the downfall of the combination, there appeared in the
newspapers statements and imputations which reflected upon the
President and his family as to their relations to the gold operations.
All these statements were without foundation.  Mr. Corbin's connection
was established beyond controversy, but the evidence which established
his relations to the parties engaged in the gold speculation was also
conclusive as to the fact that the President had no connection with it,
and that he was not in any way interested in any policy calculated to
advance the interests of the combination.

The apprehensions that were entertained on the evening of the 24th and
on the 25th of September as to the extent of the disaster to business
and to individuals engaged in gold speculation were not realized in
full.  My special correspondent in New York said in a letter dated
September 25:  "Many of the houses hurt and reported failed yesterday
are likely to recover."  Again he said:  "The demoralization in the
street was never equaled, and it must take several days at least
before matters get fairly straightened.  There is a wholesome dread
against making any obligations.  Smith, Gould and Martin are just
reported as paying in full."

In a letter dated September 27 at 6:30 P. M., the assistant treasurer
at New York wrote me:  "From the best evidence to be gathered in the
excitement here, it is safe to infer that the Gold Exchange Bank will
suffer losses to the extent of its capital and surplus at least, and
perhaps more."  To the contrary of that prediction, it is to be said
that the Gold Exchange Bank was able to meet all its obligations.

In a letter written by Mr. Grinnell, then collector of the port of New
York, under date of September 24, after the announcement of the sale of
gold had been made, I find this statement:  "Had you not taken the
course which you did, I believe a large proportion of our most reliable
merchants and bankers would have been obliged to suspend before three
o'clock to-day, as confidence was entirely gone and the panic was
becoming universal."

Following the break in the price of gold, there were persons who became
apprehensive that the rate would fall to a point which would affect
their interests unfavorably, and I received a letter, dated after
business hours on the 24th, in which the writer said:  "It is not
impossible that, in view of the largeness of the amount of gold to be
sold to-morrow, there may be a combination to procure it at a low
price, and you will therefore excuse a suggestion that, as the effect
of your intervention has already been realized, it might be well to
protect the Government by making it known that you will reject all
unacceptable bids."

These extracts from letters received previous to and during the crisis
may lead to the conclusion that it is not safe to trust to persons
engaged in large business and commercial transactions as guides for the
administration of the Government in financial matters.  Indeed, one may
go still further, and say that it is not safe to trust the guidance of
the Government in financial affairs to men whose life business it has
been to convert information into gold.

The most unpleasant incident of the gold speculation of 1869 was the
fact that General Butterfield, the assistant treasurer in the city of
New York, was so far involved as to lead the President to ask for his
resignation.  That request did not arise from any evidence that General
Butterfield was in any way concerned in the movement or combination,
which led to the advance in gold.  Indeed, the evidence was conclusive
to the contrary.  This fact, however, did appear--that during the
period of the excitement he had made some purchases and sales of gold
and bonds.  The suspicions that existed in the city of New York as to
his connection with the gold movement were largely exaggerations of
the actual facts.  There was no evidence which impeached his official
or personal integrity in business.  His resignation was requested upon
the ground that it was essential to the proper administration of the
office that the person holding the important place of assistant
treasurer in the city of New York, should not be engaged in business
transactions which might give rise to the conjecture that he had
advantages over others in consequence of his connection with the

It ought to be said the Mr. Gould, in his testimony before the
committee, which was given at great length and with singular clearness
of statement, denied expressly the existence of any combination.  In
fine, he claimed, what may have been the truth, and upon the whole
probably was the truth, that it was not part of his purpose to carry
the price of gold above forty or forty-five per cent premium.  He
attributed the excessive and rapid advance of the price of gold to the
persons who had sold short and who, becoming alarmed, attempted to
cover their sales by making purchases, and by bidding against each
other carried the price from about 140 to 160.

The same statement was made by Mr. Fisk as to the cause of the
excessive rise in the price of gold.  He said:  "It went up to sixty,
for the reason that there were in that market a hundred men short of
gold.  There were banking houses which had stood for fifty years, and
who did not know but what they were ruined.  They rushed into the
market to cover their shorts.  I think it went from forty-five to
sixty without the purchase of more than $600,000 or $700,000 of gold.
It went there in consequence of the frightened bear interests.  There
was a feeling that there was no gold in the market and that the
Government would not let any gold go out."

At the time of the gold panic, Gould and Fisk were interested in the
business of railway transportation from the West to the seaboard, and
Mr. Fisk made a statement which sets forth the theory on which he and
Gould professed to act.  Fisk said:  "The whole movement was based
upon a desire on our part to employ our men and work our power getting
surplus crops moved East and receiving for ourselves that portion of
the transportation properly belonging to our road.  That was the
beginning of the movement, and the further operations were based upon
the promise of what Corbin said the Government would do."

From the testimony of Jay Gould and James Fisk, Jr., as it appeared
in the printed report, we are able to comprehend the characteristics
of the two men.  Gould was cool and collected from beginning to end,
with no indication in his statements that the events of the 24th of
September had in any particular disturbed him in temper or nerve or
confidence in his ability to meet the exigencies of the situation.
On the other hand, the testimony of Fisk indicated the absence of the
qualities ascribed to Gould, and during his examination he failed to
maintain even ordinary equanimity of temper.  He interfered with the
proceedings, and delivered this address to the committee:  "I must
state that I must ask you gentlemen to summon witnesses whose names I
shall give you.  My men are starving.  When the newspapers told you
we were keeping away from this committee, I say to you that there is
no man in this country who wants to come before you as bad as Jim Fisk,
Jr.  I have thirty or forty thousand wives and children to feed with
the money disbursed from our office.  We have no money to pay them, and
I know what has brought them to this condition."

Another extract from Fisk's testimony gives a graphic view of his
condition when the crash came:  "I went down to the neighborhood of
Wall Street Friday morning.  When I got back to our office you can
imagine I was in no enviable state of mind, and the moment I got up
street that afternoon I started right round to old Corbin's to rake him
out.  I went into the room, and sent word that Mr. Fisk wanted to see
him in the dining-room.  I was too mad to say anything civil, and when
he came into the room, said I, 'Do you know what you have done here,
you and your people?'  He began to wring his hands, and 'Oh,' he says,
'this is a horrible position.  Are you ruined?'  I said I didn't know
whether I was or not; and I asked him again if he knew what had
happened.  He had been crying, and said he had just heard; that he had
been sure everything was all right; but that something had occurred
entirely different from what he had anticipated.  Said I, 'That don't
amount to anything.  We know that gold ought not to be at thirty-one,
and that it would not be but for such performances as you have had this
last week; you know ---- well it would not if you had not failed.'  I
knew that somebody had run a saw right into us, and said I, 'This whole
---- thing has turned out just as I told you it would.'  I considered
the whole party a pack of cowards; and I expected that, when we came
to clear our hands, they would sock it right into us.  I said to him,
'I don't know whether you have lied or not, and I don't know what ought
to be done with you.'

"He was on the other side of the table, weeping and wailing, and I was
gnashing my teeth.  'Now,' he says, 'you must quiet yourself.'  I told
him I didn't want to be quiet; I had no desire to ever be quiet again.
He says, 'But, my dear sir, you will lose your reason.'  Says I,
'Speyers has already lost his reason; reason has gone out of everybody
but me.'"

My part and my interest in the events of Black Friday came to an end
with an effort to ascertain the authorship of an anonymous
communication, written in red ink, that I received the 6th day of
October.  It was postmarked at New York, the 5th of October, 1869.
(A reduced facsimile of the communication is shown below.)  An attempt
was made through the police and the secret service system to trace the
authorship of the superscription.  The attempt was ineffectual.

If gold does not sell at 150 within 15 days I am a ruined man.  You
will be the cause of my ruin!  Your life will be in danger.
  Wilkes Booth.

It appears in the review that Mr. Gould originated the scheme of
advancing the price of gold and that Mr. Fisk was his principal
coadjutor.  It also appears that Mr. Fisk entered into the arrangement
upon the basis of friendship for Mr. Gould, and not in consequence of
an opinion on his part that the scheme was a wise one.  Mr. Gould had
two main purposes in view:  first, the profit that he might realize
from an advance in gold; and, second, the advantage that might accrue
to the railroad with which he was connected through an increase of its
business in the transportation of products from the West.  As set forth
in Mr. Gould's letter, he entertained the opinion, which rested upon
satisfactory business grounds, that an advance in the price of gold
would stimulate the sale of Western products, increase the business
of transportation over the railways, and aid us in the payment of
liabilities abroad.  If the price of gold had not been advanced beyond
a premium of forty or perhaps forty-five per cent, all these results
might have been realized, without detriment to the public, while Mr.
Gould and his associates would have realized large profits.  When the
price had advanced to forty or forty-five per cent, Mr. Gould or his
associates made calls upon those who were under contracts to deliver
gold to make their margins good or else to produce the gold.  These
demands created a panic, and the parties who had agreed to deliver gold
entered the market, and bidding against each other, they carried the
price beyond the point that Mr. Gould had contemplated.


If there should be any considerable interest in the history of the
funding system of the United States, the interest would be due to a
sale of bonds some thirty years ago and certain incidents which could
not have been anticipated, which arose from the execution of the trust.

In the month of July, 1868, a bill for funding the national debt which
had passed the Senate of the United States was reported, without
amendments, to the House of Representatives by the Committee on Ways
and Means.

When the bill was under consideration in the House, I proposed a
substitute.  In the debate of July 21 I made a statement of the nature
of my substitute, and I reproduce an extract which sets forth the
first step in a policy which culminated in the Act for Funding the
Public Debt, and which was approved by President Grant July 14, 1870:

"The amendment to which I wish to call the attention of the House
provides for the funding of $1,200,000,000 of the public debt
$400,000,000 payable in fifteen years @ 5 per cent interest,
$400,000,000 payable in twenty years @ 4½ per cent interest, and
$400,000,000 payable in twenty-five years @ 3.65 per cent interest,
the latter sum of $400,000,000 payable, principal and interest, at the
option of the takers, either in the United States, or in London, Paris,
or Frankfort."

At that time I had not entertained the thought that I might come to be
the head of the Treasury Department.  Indeed, I had no other purpose in
public life than to remain in the House of Representatives.

I had had experience on the executive side of the Government and also
on the legislative side, and I had a fixed opinion in favor of the
latter form of service.

As Secretary of the Treasury, I proposed a bill in 1869 in the line of
the substitute for the bill of the Committee on Ways and Means which I
had challenged in July, 1868.  The bill proposed an issue of three
classes of bonds, each of four hundred million dollars, which were to
mature at different dates, and to bear interest at the rates of 5, 4½,
and 4 per cent.  It was further provided that the principal and
interest of the bonds bearing the lowest rate should be made payable
either in the United States, or at Frankfort, Paris, or London, as the
takers might prefer.  The provision was rejected through the influence
of General Schenck, who had then returned recently from Europe, and
with the opinion that the concession involved an impairment of national
honor.  As a substitute for the feature so rejected, I originated a
plan for the issue of registered bonds, upon the condition that the
interest could be paid in checks to be forwarded by the mails to the
holders of bonds at the places designated by them in any part of the
world.  This plan is far superior to the first suggestion, as it is
susceptible of a much wider application.

I have received from Mr. Roberts, the Treasurer of the United States,
the following letter and statement:


TITLE OF LOAN.           Total issue.  Registered      Percentage
                                       bonds on        of bonds on
                                       which interest  which interest
                                       is paid by      is paid by
                                       check.          check.

Funded loan of 1891 continued at 2 per cent
        . . . . . . . . .$ 25,364,500  $ 25,364,500    100.00
Four per cent funded loan of 1907
        . . . . . . . . . 545,342,950   478,195,600     87.69
Five per cent loan of 1904
        . . . . . . . . .  95,009,700    64,615,650     68.01
Four per cent loan of 1925
        . . . . . . . . . 162,315,400   117,997,200     72.70
Three per cent ten-twenties of 1898
        . . . . . . . . . 168,679,000   109,450,060     55.09

Totals  . . . . . . . .  $996,711,550  $795,623,030     77.49

_January_ 25, 1900.

  Boston, Massachusetts.

_My Dear Mr. Secretary:_  It gives me pleasure to enclose to you a
table showing by classes of bonds the percentage of interest paid by
checks.  The interest on all registered bonds is now so paid.  Only
the coupon bonds, by their nature, are differently treated.

Your plan has worked admirably, and the drift is slowly from the coupon
to the registered form, and so to an increase of the payment of
interest by checks.

With kind regards, Yours very truly,
  _Treasurer of the United States._

The plan has been adopted by corporations that are borrowers of large
sums of money upon an issue of bonds, and the use of the system is
very general in the United States.

In my report to Congress in December, 1869, I made recommendation of
the Funding Bill, and I placed copies of the bill that I had prepared
in the hands of the Finance Committee of the Senate, and in the hands
of the Committee of Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.

When the bill became a law, the authorized issue of five per cent
bonds was limited to two hundred million dollars, and the issue of four
per cent was raised to twelve hundred million.  Simultaneously with the
passage of the Funding Bill of July, 1870, the war between France and
Prussia opened, and the opportunity for negotiations was postponed
until the early months of the year 1871.  In these later years, when
bonds of the United States have been sold upon the basis of their par
value at two per cent income, it is difficult to realize that in 1869
the six per cent bonds of the United States were worth in gold only
83-5/10 cents to the dollar.  The first attempt to dispose of the five
per cent bonds was made by the Treasury Department through an
invitation to the public to subscribe for the bonds, payment to be
made in the currency of the country, or by an exchange of outstanding
five-twenty bonds which bore interest at the rate of six per cent.
The subscriptions reached the sum of sixty-six million dollars, of
which the national banks were subscribers to the amount of sixty-four
million, leaving two million only as the loan to the general public.
A portion of the amount taken by the banks was for the account of
patrons and clients.  This experience justified the opinion that future
efforts with the general public would be unsuccessful, while the credit
of the country was not established and placed beyond the influence of
cavilers and doubters.

It was under such circumstances that the aid of banks and bankers
became important for the furtherance of subscriptions, in view of the
fact that they could give personal service of a nature not possible in
the case of salaried officers of the Government, nor compatible with
their daily duties.

It is not easy, in this age of comparative freedom and power in
financial affairs, to comprehend that in the year 1871 the long
established bankers of New York, Amsterdam, and London, either declined
or neglected the opportunity to negotiate the five per cent coin bonds
of the United States upon the basis of their par value.  It may not be
out of place for me to mention Mr. Morton, of the house of Morton,
Bliss & Co., as an exception, to the bankers of Europe and the United

It was in the same months of 1871 that I recommended the issue of a
four per cent fifty-year bond as the basis of the currency to be issued
by the national banks.  This proposition, which would have been
advantageous to the banks, in an increasing ratio as the value of money
diminished, was defeated by the organized opposition of the banks
through an effective lobby that was assembled in the city of
Washington.  Such was the public sentiment in the year 1871, even in
the presence of these important facts, that in the month of December
I was able to say in my annual report that the debt had been diminished
during the next preceding year in the sum of ninety-four million
dollars, and that the total decrease from March 1, 1869 to December 1,
1871, was over two hundred and seventy-seven million dollars.

It was in this situation of affairs that Messrs. Jay Cooke & Co.
proposed to undertake the sale in London, by subscription, of one
hundred and thirty-four million five per cent bonds then unsold.
Authority was given to Cooke & Co. to proceed with the undertaking,
and when the books were closed, September 1, I was informed that the
loan had been taken in full.  By the terms prescribed by Cooke & Co.,
the subscribers deposited five per cent as security for the validity
of their subscriptions.  The bonds were to be delivered the first day
of December.

Upon the receipt of the information that the undertaking had been a
success, the bonds were prepared, and the Hon. William A. Richardson,
then an assistant secretary of the Treasury, was designated as the
agent of the department for the delivery of the bonds.  The bonds were
placed in safes, on each of which there were three locks.  The clerks
were sent over in different vessels, and the keys were so distributed
among them, that there were not keys in any one vessel by which any
one of the safes could be opened.

The success of the subscription gave rise to an unexpected difficulty.

At that time there were outstanding one hundred and ninety-four million
ten-forty United States bonds that carried interest at the rate of
five per cent.

It was a singular coincidence, and a coincidence probably not due to
natural causes, that some five per cent bonds, having fifteen years to
run, should be at par, and that other five per cent bonds that might
run thirty years should fall below par in the same market.  In the
three months from August to December, these ten-forties were quoted
as low as ninety-seven, or even for a time at ninety-six.  Cooke became
anxious, if not alarmed, lest the rate should fall below ninety-five,
and consequently lest the subscribers should refuse to meet their
obligations.  Early on the morning of the first Monday in December, I
received the information that the bonds were taken as soon as the
offices were open.  I may mention in passing that Cooke & Co. paid for
the bonds as they were delivered, either in coin or in five-twenty

As bonds were taken, and as payments were made, a difficulty appeared
which had been anticipated, but not in its fullness.  The proceeds from
the sales of the five per cent bonds were pledged to the redemption of
the six per cent five-twenty bonds, reckoned at their par value.

It was provided by the statute that whenever five-twenty bonds were
called, a notice of ninety days should be given, when interest would
cease.  Thus it happened that whenever a bond was called it was worth
par and interest to the end of the ninety days.  Of the called bonds
some were in America, and the owners did not choose to present them in
London in exchange for five per cent bonds, nor for coin.  Hence it
happened that the total proceeds of the five per cent bonds, about
twenty million dollars were paid in gold coin by Cooke & Co.  This
coin was deposited in the Bank of England, but upon such terms as
were imposed by the governors:

(1)  The deposits must be made in the name of William A. Richardson.
This was done, but a statement was made by Judge Richardson that the
deposit was the property of the United States.

(2)  The gold was not to be taken out of the country.  This stipulation
was in the line of our policy, which was to invest the entire sum in
five-twenty bonds, whenever they could be bought at par.  The
opportunity came in a manner that was not anticipated.  The documents
referred to are of historical value, and they are therefore inserted
as follows:

_(a)_  A declaration of trust by William A. Richardson, Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury, dated at London, December 28, 1871.

_(b)_  Letter of William A. Richardson, Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury, to John P. Bigelow, Chief of the Loan Division of the
Treasury, dated also at London, December 28, 1871.

_(c)_  Letter of George Forbes, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England,
to Judge Richardson, dated January 4, 1872.

_(d)_  Letter of Judge Richardson to George Lyall, Governor of the
Bank of England, dated January 15, 1872.

_(e)_  Reply to the same by George Forbes, Chief Cashier, dated
January 17, 1872.

_(f)_  William A. Richardson's report of January 25, 1872.


Whereas, I have this day deposited in my name, as Assistant Secretary
of the Treasury, U. S. A., in the Bank of England, two million five
hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling, and shall probably
hereafter make further deposits on the same account:

Now I hereby declare that said amount and deposits, present and future,
are official and belong to the Government of the United States, and not
to me personally that the moneys so deposited are the proceeds of the
sale of five per cent bonds of the "Funded Loan"; that whatever money
I may at any time have in said Bank under said account, will be the
property of the United States Government, held by me officially as
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, acting under orders from the
Secretary; that the same is, and will continue to be subject to the
draft, order, and control of the Secretary of the Treasury,
independently of, and superior to my authority, whenever he so elects,
and that upon his assuming control thereof, my power over the same
will wholly cease.  In case of my decease before said account is
closed, the money on deposit will not belong to my estate, but to the
Government of the United States.

Witness my hand and seal,
_Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, U. S. A._
LONDON, ENGLAND, _December_ 28, 1871.



  _December_ 28, 1871.

_To_ JOHN P. BIGELOW, _Chief of the Loan Division, Secretary's Office,
Treasury Department, U. S. A._

I have this day deposited in the Bank of England, in my name as
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, two million five hundred and fifty
thousand pounds sterling money, belonging to the United States,
received in payment of five per cent bonds of the Funded Loan delivered
here in London.

All money hereafter received for future delivery of bonds will be
deposited to the same account.

Herewith I hand you a declaration of trust signed by me declaring that
said account and moneys belong to the United States, and not to me
personally, also the Deposit Book and a book of blank checks numbered
from 35,101 to 35,150, both inclusive, received from said Bank, all of
which you will take into your custody and carefully keep in one of the
iron safes sent here from the department in the same manner as the
books are kept.

This money, and all the money deposited in said bank on the account
aforesaid, will be drawn and used only in accordance with the orders of
the Secretary of the Treasury to redeem or purchase five-twenty bonds
and matured coupons, or such other and further orders as he may make
in relation thereto.

When money is to be drawn to pay for bonds or coupons, it must be drawn
only by filling up a check from the book of checks above referred to,
and you will open an account in which you will enter the amount of all
deposits, the number and amount of each check drawn, specifying also to
whom the same is made payable and on what account it is drawn.

The checks will be filled up by Mr. Prentiss of the Register's Office,
who will place his check mark on the upper left corner, and will enter
the same in the book.  You will then carefully examine the check, see
that it is correctly drawn for the amount actually payable for bonds or
coupons received and properly recorded, and you will, when found
correct, place your check mark on the right hand upper corner before
the same is signed by me.  All checks will be signed by me with my
full name as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, as this is signed.

  _Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, U. S. A._


  _January_ 4, 1872.

HON. W. A. RICHARDSON, _Assistant Secretary of the Treasury of the
  United States_, 41, _Lombard Street_.

_Sir:_  To preclude any possible misunderstanding hereafter as to the
character of the drawing account opened in your name, I am instructed
by the Governors to communicate to you in writing that, in conformity
with the rule of the Bank, the account is considered a personal one;
that the Governors have admitted the words appended to your name merely
as an honorary designation; and the bank take no cognizance of, or
responsibility with reference to the real ownership, or intended
application of the sums deposited to the credit of the account.

I am, sir,
  Your obedient servant,
  _Chief Cashier_.


  _January_ 15, 1872.

  _Governor of the Bank of England._

_Dear Sir:_  Referring to the several conversations which I have had
with you, and with your principal cashier, Mr. Forbes, relative to the
manner and form of keeping the account which I desire to have in the
bank, I beg leave to renew in writing my request heretofore made
orally, that the account of money deposited by me may stand in the
name of Hon. George S. Boutwell, Secretary of the Treasury, U. S. A.,
and myself, Assistant Secretary, jointly and severally, so as to be
subject to a several draft of either, and of the survivor, in the
case of death of either one.

I suppose I must regard the letter of Mr. Forbes to me, dated January
4, 1872, and written under instructions from the Governors of the Bank
as expressing your final conclusion that the account in whatever form
it may be kept, must be considered a personal one.

You know my anxiety to have by deposits received by the Bank, and
entered in such way that in case of my death the balance may be drawn
at once by the Secretary of the Treasury or some other officer of the
Government, and although you are unwilling to regard the account as an
official one, I hope that on further consideration you will allow it
to be opened in the name of Mr. Boutwell and myself jointly and
severally as above stated.  I am, sir,
 Your obedient servant,
_Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury Department._


  _January_ 17, 1872.

  _Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
  of the United States_, 41, _Lombard St._
_Sir:_  I am directed by the Governor to acknowledge the receipt of
your letter of the 15th inst., requesting that the account of money
deposited by you in the Bank may stand in the name of the Hon. George
S. Boutwell, Secretary of the Treasury, U. S. A., and yourself, the
Assistant Secretary, jointly and severally, so as to be subject to
the several draft of either, and of the survivor in case of death of
either one.

I am to inform you that the Bank is prepared to open an account in this
form, as a personal account; but it is essential that Mr. Boutwell
should join in the request and concur in the conditions proposed before
each party can in that case draw upon the account.  I am, sir,
  Your obedient servant,
  _Chief Cashier._


  _January_ 25, 1872.

  _Secretary of the Treasury._

_Dear Sir:_ It is my purpose in this letter to give you an account of
the way in which I have kept the money arising from the sale of the
Funded Loan, and the manner in which it has been drawn from time to
time to pay for bonds purchased and redeemed.

Immediately after the first of December, 1871, the money began to
accumulate very rapidly.  Up to the first of December no money whatever
had been received, all bonds delivered having been paid for by the
called bonds and coupons or secured by deposit of other bonds; but on
the second day of that month nearly two and a half millions of dollars
cash were paid to me; then on the fourth, nearly five millions of
dollars more; and on the fifth, above three millions, and so on in
different sums till the present time.

Of course it was wholly impracticable to receive, handle, count and
keep on hand such large amounts of gold coin, weighing between a ton
and three quarters and two tons to each million of dollars.  At one
time my account showed more than sixteen millions of dollars on hand,
and to have withdrawn from circulation that amount of coin would have
produced a panic in the London market; and the risk in having it
hoarded in any place within my reach would have been immense,
especially as it would have soon been known where it was.

I ascertained that there would be some difficulty in keeping an
official Government account in the Bank of England, and I did not feel
authorized, or justified in my own judgment, in entrusting so much
money to any other banking institution in this city.  I found, also,
that the Bank of England never issues certificates of deposit, as do
our banks in the United States.  But it issues "post notes," which are
very nearly like its ordinary demand notes, but _payable to order,_ and
on seven days' time, thus differing only in the matter of time from
certificates of deposit.  Availing myself of this custom of the Bank
of England, I put all the money into post notes, and locked them up in
one of the safes from which the bonds had been taken.  This I regarded
as a safe method of keeping the funds, and I anticipated no further

But when the Bank made its next monthly or weekly return of its
condition, and published it in all of the newspapers as usual, the
attention of all the financial agents, bankers, and financial writers
of the daily money articles in the journals was immediately attracted
to the sudden increase of the "post notes" outstanding, and the
unusually large amount of them, so many times greater than had ever
been known before.  They were immensely alarmed lest the notes should
come in for redemption in a few days, and the coin therefor should be
withdrawn from London and taken to a foreign country; and lest there
should be a panic on account thereof.  Some of the financial writers
said they belonged to Germany, and that they represented coin which
must soon be transmitted to Berlin.  The Bank officers themselves,
although they knew very well that these notes belonged to the United
States, were not less alarmed because they feared that I would
withdraw the money to send it to New York, which they knew would make
trouble in the London Exchange.  Money, which for a short time before
had been at the high rate of interest, for this place, of five per
cent, had become abundant, and the people were demanding of the Bank
a reduction in the rate; but so timid were they about these post
notes that they did not change the rate until I took measures to
allay their fears.  This I did because I thought it would be injurious
and prejudicial to the Funded Loan to have a panic in London, in which
the market price of the new loan would drop considerably below par
just at a time when its price and popularity were gradually rising,
and just as it was coming into great favor with a new class of
investors in England, the immensely rich but timid conservatives.

I determined to open a deposit account with the Bank of England, and in
doing so experienced the difficulties which I anticipated.  I assured
the officers that the money was Government (U. S.) money, which I did
not intend, and was not instructed to take home with me; but which I
should use in London in redeeming bonds and coupons, and should leave
in the bank on deposit unless by the peculiarity of their rules, I
should be obliged to withdraw it.  They objected to taking the money
as a Government deposit, or as an official deposit in my name, having
some vague idea that if they took it and opened an official Government
account they should be liable for the appropriation of the money unless
documents from the United States were filed with them taking away
that liability, but they could not tell me exactly what documents
they wanted nor from whom they must come.  They did, however, agree to
open an account with me, and that was the best I could do.  In signing
my name to their book, I added my official title, and when, some time
after, I came to drawing checks, I signed in the same way.  This
brought from the officers a letter which I annex hereto, saying that
my deposit would be regarded as a private and personal one.

What I was most anxious to provide for was the power in some United
States officer to draw the money in case of my death (knowing the
uncertainty of life), without the delay, expense, and trouble which
must necessarily arise, if it stood wholly to my personal credit.  I
asked the officers to allow it to stand in your name as Secretary and
mine as Assistant Secretary, jointly and severally, so as to be drawn
upon the several check of either, and by the survivor in case of the
death of either one.  I suggested other arrangements which would have
had the same result, but they said their rules prevented their
agreeing to my requests, that they were conservative and did not like
to introduce anything new into their customs.

On the 15th day of January, 1872, I renewed my request in writing,
after having had several conversations with the officers on the
subject, and received an answer which, with the letter of request, is
hereto annexed.

In this, their most recent communication, they express a willingness
to enter the account in our joint names as I suggested, regarding it,
however, as a "personal account" and requiring that you should "join
in the request and concur in the conditions proposed before either
party can in that case draw upon the account."

As I must now almost daily draw from the account for money with which
to pay bonds, I cannot join your name therein until you have sent me
a written compliance with the conditions which they set forth, because
to do so would shut me out from the account altogether for several

Besides, having no instruction from you on the subject, I don't know
that you would care to give written directions as to the deposit.  I
know very well that, in case of my sudden decease, you would be glad
enough to find that you could at once avail yourself of the whole
amount of money here on deposit, and so I should have joined your name
as I have stated.  Now you can do as you please.  I have taken every
possible precaution within my power, and have no fear that the
arrangements are insufficient to protect the Government in any
contingency whatever.  With the correspondence which has passed between
the officers of the Bank and myself, and our conversation together, the
account is sufficiently well known to them as a U. S. Government
deposit, and is fully enough stamped with that character, as I intended
it should be, however much they may ignore it now.

But for still greater caution, I made the written declaration of trust
on the very day of the first deposit, signed and sealed by me,
declaring the money and account as belonging to our Government, and not
to me, a copy of which is hereto annexed.

I also gave written instruction to Messrs. Bigelow and Prentiss to
draw all the checks, and how to draw them and keep an account thereof.
As I make all my purchases through Jay Cooke, McCullough & Co., every
check is in fact payable to that house, so that the account is easily
kept, and the transactions cannot be mingled with others, for there
are no others.  I annex a copy of these instructions.

This, I believe, will give you a pretty correct idea of the
difficulties which have been presented to me in the matter of taking,
keeping, and paying out the money arising from the sale of the bonds,
and the manner in which I have met them.

I may add that when the officers of the Bank were satisfied that I was
not to withdraw the money and take it to New York, they reduced the
rate of interest and there has been an easy market ever since.

There are now on deposit more than twelve million dollars; but I hope
it will be reduced very fast next month.  Had you not sent over the
last ten million of bonds, we should have been able to close up very
soon.  I hope now that you will make another call of twenty million at
least, because I think it would enable us to purchase more rapidly.

I annex:
(1)  Copy of declaration of trust.
(2)  Copy of instructions for drawing checks.
(3)  Copy of letter from Cashier of Bank of England, stating that the
account would be considered personal.
(4)  Copy of my letter to the Governor of the Bank, asking that your
name might be joined.
(5)  Copy of reply to last mentioned letter.

I am, very respectfully,
  Your obedient servant,

When Cooke & Co. had completed their undertaking, the deposits in the
Bank of England exceeded fifteen million dollars, and for three months
they were for the most part unavailable, as the five-twenty bonds which
had not matured under the calls that had been made were above par in
the market.  It was a condition of the loan that the five-twenty bonds
redeemed should equal the 5 per cent bonds that had been issued, both
issued to be reckoned at their par value.

In the month of April, 1872, the Commissioners who had been designated
under the Treaty of Washington of 1871 to ascertain and determine the
character and magnitude of the claims that had been preferred by the
United States against Great Britain, growing out of the depredations
committed by the "Alabama" and her associate cruisers, were about to
meet at Geneva for the discharge of their duties.

The administration had appointed the Hon. J. C. Bancroft Davis, the
most accomplished diplomatist of the country, as the agent of the
United States, and the preparation of "the Case of the United States"
was placed in his hands.

The British Ministry discovered--or they fancied that there was
concealed in covert language--a claim for damages, known as
"consequential or indirect damages"--in other words, a claim to
compensation for the value of American shipping that had been driven
from the ocean and made worthless through fear of the cruisers that had
been fitted out in British ports.

This claim, in the extreme form in which it had been presented by Mr.
Sumner, had been relinquished by the Administration, and a present
reading of "the Case of the United States" may not justify the
construction that was put upon it by the British Ministry.

Nevertheless, the Administration received notice that Great Britain
would not be represented at the Geneva Conference.

The subject was considered by the President and Cabinet on three
consecutive days at called sessions.  At the final meeting I handed
a memorandum to the President, which he passed to the Secretary of
State.  The memorandum was not read to the Cabinet.

Mr. Adams, the Commissioner for the United States, had not then left
the country.  By a despatch from the Secretary of State Mr. Adams
was asked to meet me at the Parker House in Boston, on the second day
after the day of the date of the despatch.

What occurred at the meeting may be best given through an extract from
the diary of Mr. Adams, which has been placed in my hands by Mr.
Charles Francis Adams, Jr., with the privilege of its full and free
use by me.

The first entry is under date of Saturday, April 20, 1872, and is in
these words:  "Charles brought me a telegram from Governor Fish,
desiring me to meet Mr. Boutwell, who will be at the Parker House
at eleven o'clock on Monday."  The second entry is under date of
"Monday, 22d of April."

"At eleven o'clock called on Mr. Boutwell, the Secretary of the
Treasury, at Parker's Hotel, according to agreement.  Found him
alone in his minute bedroom.  He soon opened his subject--handed over
to me a packet from Governor Fish, and said that it was the desire of
the Government, it I could find it consistent with what they
understood to be my views of the question of indirect damages, that I
would make such intimation of them to persons of authority in London
as might relieve them of the difficulty which had been occasioned by
them.  I told them of my conversation held with the Marquis of Ripon,
in which I had assumed the heavy responsibility of assuring him that
the Government would not press them.  I was glad now to find that I
had not been mistaken.  I should cheerfully do all in my power to
confirm the impressions consistently with my own position."

Thus, through Mr. Adams, the claim for "indirect damages" was
relinquished.  When the fact of the disturbed relations between the
United States and Great Britain became public there was a panic in
the London stock market, and in the brief period of eight and forty
hours our deposit of twelve million or more in the Bank of England was
converted into five-twenty United States 6 per cent bonds, purchased
at par.

In my annual report for December, 1872, I was able to make this statement:

"Since my last annual report the business of negotiating two hundred
million of 5 per cent bonds, and the redemption of two hundred million
6 per cent five-twenty bonds has been completed and the accounts have
been settled by the accounting officers of the Treasury.

"Further negotiations of 5 per cent bonds can now be made on the basis
of the former negotiation."


The greatness of General Grant in war, in civil affairs, and in
personal qualities which at once excite our admiration and deserve our
commendation, was not fully appreciated by the generation to which he
belonged, nor can it be appreciated by the generations that can know
of him only as his life and character may appear upon the written
record.  He had weaknesses, and of some of them I may speak; but they
do not qualify in any essential manner his claim to greatness in the
particulars named.  He was not fortunate in the circumstances incident
to the appointment of his Cabinet.  The appointment of Mr. Washburne
as Secretary of State for the brief period of one or two weeks was not
a wise opening of the administration, if the arrangement was designed,
and was a misfortune, if the brief term was due to events not
anticipated.  The selection of Mr. Fish compensated, and more than
compensated, for the errors which preceded his appointment.  The
country can never expect an administration of the affairs of the
Department of State more worthy of approval and eulogy than the
administration of Mr. Fish.  Apparently we were then on the verge of
war with Great Britain, and demands were made in very responsible
quarters which offered no alternative but war.  The treaty of 1871,
which was the outcome of Mr. Fish's diplomacy, re-established our
relations of friendship with Great Britain, and the treaty was then
accepted as a step in the direction of general peace.

In the month of February, 1869, I received an invitation from General
Grant to call upon him on an evening named and at an hour specified.
At the interview General Grant asked me to take the office of Secretary
of the Interior.  As reasons for declining the place, I said that my
duties and position in the House were agreeable to me and that my
services there might be as valuable to the Administration as my
services in the Cabinet.  General Grant then said that he intended to
give a place to Massachusetts, and it might be the Secretary of the
Interior or the Attorney-Generalship.  He then asked for my advice as
to persons, and said that if he named an Attorney-General from
Massachusetts, he had in mind Governor Clifford, whom he had met.
Governor Clifford was my personal friend, he had been the Attorney-
General of the State during my term as Governor, he was a gentleman of
great urbanity of manner, a well-equipped lawyer, and as an advocate he
had secured and maintained a good standing in the profession and through
many years.  He had come into the Republican Party from the Webster
wing of the Whig Party.  To me he was a conservative, and I was
apprehensive that his views upon questions arising, or that might
arise, from our plan of reconstruction might not be in harmony with the
policy of the party.  Upon this ground, which I stated to General
Grant, I advised against his appointment.  I named Judge Hoar for
Attorney-General and Governor Claflin for the Interior Department.  I
wrote the full address of Judge Hoar upon a card, which I gave to
General Grant.  Judge Hoar was nominated and confirmed.

At the same time, Alexander T. Stewart, of New York, was nominated
and confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.  It was soon discovered
that Mr. Stewart, being an importer, was ineligible for the office.
Mr. Conkling said there were nine statutes in his way.  A more
effectual bar was in the reason on which the statutes rested, namely,
that no man should be put in a situation to be a judge in his own
cause.  The President made a vain effort to secure legislation for the
removal of the bar.  Next, Judge Hilton, then Mr. Stewart's attorney,
submitted a deed of trust by which Mr. Stewart relinquished his
interest in the business during his term of office.  The President
submitted that paper to Chief Justice Cartter of the Supreme Court of
the District of Columbia.  The Chief Justice gave a brief, adverse,
oral opinion, and in language not quotable upon a printed page.

We have no means of forming an opinion of Mr. Stewart's capacity for
administrative work, and I do not indulge in any conjectures.  His
nomination was acceptable to the leading business interests of the
country, and in the city of New York it was supported generally.  He
was a successful man of business and an accumulator of wealth, and at
that time General Grant placed a high estimate upon the presence of
talents by which men acquire wealth.

Following these events, there were early indications that Mr. Stewart's
interest in the President had been diminished, and gradually he took
on a dislike to me.  When I knew of his nomination, or when I knew it
was to be made, I met him in Washington and assured him of my
disposition to give my support to his administration.  On two occasions
when I was in New York I made calls of civility upon him, but, as he
made no recognition in return, my efforts in that direction came to an

At a dinner given by merchants and bankers in the early part of
September, 1869, at which I was a guest, Mr. Stewart made a speech in
which he criticized my administration of the Treasury.  In the canvass
of 1872 the rumor went abroad that Mr. Stewart had given $25,000 to
the Greeley campaign fund.  In the month of October of that year, the
twenty-eighth day, perhaps, I spoke at the Cooper Union.  Upon my
arrival in New York, I received a call from a friend who came with a
message from Mr. Stewart.  Mr. Stewart would not be at the meeting,
although except for the false rumor in regard to his subscription to
the Greeley fund, he should have taken pleasure in being present.  As
General Grant was to be elected, his attendance at the meeting might
be treated by the public as an attempt to curry favor with General
Grant and the incoming Administration.

As I was passing to the hall, a paper was placed into my hands by a
person who gave no other means of recognizing his presence.  When I
reached the hall and opened the paper, I found that it was a summons
to appear as a defendant in an action brought by a man named Galvin,
who claimed damages in the sum of $3,000,000.  At the close of the
meeting and when the fact became known one gentleman said to me:  "I
do not see how you could have spoken after such a summons."

I said in reply:  "If the suit had been for $3,000 only, it might have
given me some uneasiness, as a recovery would have involved payment.
A judgment of $3,000,000 implies impossibility of payment."

I had no knowledge of Galvin, but his letters of advice were found on
the files of the Treasury.  Even after the suit, I did not examine them
for the purpose of forming an opinion of their value or want of value.
Galvin alleged in his declaration that he had furnished the financial
policy that I had adopted, that it had benefitted the country to the
amount of $300,000,000 and more, and that a claim of $3,000,000 was a
moderate claim.  Under the statute, the Department of Justice assumed
the defence.  The case lingered, Galvin died, and the case followed.

At the election of 1872, I voted at Groton in the morning, and in the
afternoon I went to New York, to find that General Grant had been
re-elected by a sufficient majority.  On the morning of the next day, I
left the hotel with time for a call upon General Dix, who had been
elected Governor, and for a call upon Thurlow Weed.  General Dix was
not at home.  Notwithstanding the criticisms of Thurlow Weed as a
manager of political affairs in the State of New York and in the
country, I had reasons for regarding him with favor, although I had
never favored the aspirations of Mr. Seward, his chief.  When I was
organizing the Internal Revenue Office in 1862-1863, Mr. Weed gave me
information in regard to candidates for office in the State of New
York, including their relations to the factions that existed--usually
Seward and anti-Seward--and with as much fairness as he could have
commanded if he had had no relation to either faction.

As I had time remaining at the end of my call upon Mr. Weed, and as I
had in mind Mr. Stewart's message at the Cooper Union meeting, I drove
to his down-town store, where I found him.  He received me with
cordiality, but in respect to his health he seemed to be already a
doomed man.  He was anxious chiefly to give me an opportunity to
comprehend the nature and magnitude of his business.  As I was about
to leave, he took hold of my coat button and said:  "When you see the
President, you give my love to him, and say to him that I am for him
and that I always have been for him."  Still holding me by the button,
he said:  "Who buys the carpets for the Treasury?"

I said:  "Mr. Saville is the chief clerk, and he buys the carpets."

Mr. Stewart said:  "Tell him to come to me; I will sell him carpets
as cheap as anybody."

When I repeated Mr. Stewart's message to the President he made no
reply, and he gave no indication that he was hearing what I was saying.

In regard to Judge Hoar's relations to President Grant, the public has
been invited to accept several errors, the appointment to the bench of
the Supreme Court of Justices Bradley and Strong, by whose votes the
first decision of the court in the Legal Tender cases was overruled,
and the circumstances which led to the retirement of Judge Hoar from
the Cabinet.  First of all I may say that President Grant was attached
to Judge Hoar, and, as far as I know, his attachment never underwent
any abatement.  Whatever bond there may be in the smoking habit, it
was formed without delay at the beginning of their acquaintance.  While
General Grant was not a teller of stories, he enjoyed listening to good
ones, and of these Judge Hoar had a large stock always at command.
General Grant enjoyed the society of intellectual men, and Judge Hoar
was far up in that class.  General Grant had regrets for the retirement
of Judge Hoar from his Cabinet, and for the circumstances which led to
his retirement.  His appointment of Judge Hoar upon the Joint High
Commission and the nomination of Judge Hoar to a seat upon the bench of
the Supreme Court may be accepted as evidence of General Grant's
continuing friendship, and of his disposition to recognize it,
notwithstanding the break in official relations.

Judge Hoar's professional life had been passed in Massachusetts, and
he had no personal acquaintance with the lawyers of the circuit from
which Justices Strong and Bradley were appointed.  Strong and Bradley
were at the head of the profession in the States of New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, and in truth there was no debate as to the fitness of
their appointment.  Judge Hoar was not responsible for their
appointment, and I am of the opinion that the nomination would have
been made even against his advice, which assuredly was not so given.
Judge Strong, as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,
had sustained the constitutionality of the Legal Tender Act, and it
was understood that Bradley was of the same opinion.  As the President
and Cabinet were of a like opinion, it may be said that there could
have been no "packing" of the Supreme Court except by the exclusion
of the two most prominent lawyers in the circuit and the appointment
of men whose opinions upon a vital question were not in harmony with
the opinion of the person making the appointment.

As to myself, I had never accepted the original decision as sound law
under the Constitution, nor as a wise public policy, if there had
been no Constitution.  By the decision the Government was shorn of a
part of its financial means of defence in an exigency.  When the
Supreme Court had reached a conclusion, Chief Justice Chase called
upon me and informed me of that fact, about two weeks in advance of
the delivery of the opinion.  He gave as a reason his apprehension of
serious financial difficulties due to a demand for gold by the
creditor class.  Not sharing in that apprehension, I said:  "The
business men are all debtors as well as creditors, and they cannot
engage in a struggle over gold payments, and the small class of
creditors who are not also debtors will not venture upon a policy in
which they must suffer ultimately."  The decision did not cause a
ripple in the finances of the country.

Pursuing the conversation, I asked the Chief Justice where he found
authority in the Constitution for the issue of non-legal-tender
currency.  He answered in the power to borrow money and in the power
given to Congress to provide for the "general welfare of the United
States."  I then said, having in mind the opinion in the case of
MacCulloch and Maryland, in which the court held that where a power
was given to Congress, its exercise was a matter of discretion unless
a limitation could be found in the Constitution:  "Where do you find
a limitation to the power to borrow money by any means that to Congress
may appear wise?"  The Chief Justice was unable to specify a
limitation, and the question remains unanswered to this day.

When the case of Hepburn and Griswold was overruled in the Legal Tender
cases, the Chief Justice was very much disturbed, and with the
exhibition of considerable feeling, he said:  "Why did you consent to
the appointment of judges to overrule me?"  I assured him that there
was no personal feeling on the part of the President, and that as to
my own unimportant part in the business, he had known from the time of
our interview in regard to the former action of the court that I
entertained the opinion that the decision operated as a limitation of
the constitutional powers of Congress and that its full and final
recognition might prove injurious to the country whenever all its
resources should be required.  At the time of the reversal, the Chief
Justice did not conceal his dissatisfaction with his life and labors
on the bench, and at the interview last mentioned he said that he
should be glad to exchange positions with me, if it were possible to
make the exchange.

Various reasons have been assigned for the step which was taken by
President Grant in asking Judge Hoar to retire from the Cabinet.  Some
have assumed that the President was no longer willing to tolerate the
presence of two members from the same State.  That consideration had
been passed upon by the President at the outset, and he had overruled
it or set it aside.  In my interview with Mr. Washburne the Sunday
before my nomination, I had said to him that Judge Hoar and I were not
only from the same State, but that we were residents of the same
county, and within twenty miles of each other.  Moreover, any public
dissatisfaction which had existed at the beginning had disappeared.
In the meantime the President had become attached to Judge Hoar.  Nor
is there any justifying foundation for the conjecture that a vacancy
was created for the purpose of giving a place in the Cabinet to another
person, or to another section of the country.  General Grant's
attachment to his friends was near to a weakness, and the suggestion
that he sacrificed Judge Hoar to the low purpose of giving a place to
some other person is far away from any true view of his character.

Judge Hoar had had no administrative experience on the political side
of the government, and he underestimated the claims, and he undervalued
the rights, of members of Congress.  As individuals the members of
Congress are of the Government, and in a final test the two Houses may
become the Government.  More than elsewhere the seat of power is in the
Senate, and the Senate and Senators are careful to exact a recognition
of their rights.  They claim, what from the beginning they have
enjoyed, the right to be heard by the President and the heads of
departments in their respective States.  They do not claim to speak
authoritatively, but as members of the Government having a right to
advise, and under a certain responsibility to the people for what may
be done.

It was claimed by Senators that the Attorney-General seemed not to
admit their right to speak in regard to appointments, and that
appointments were made of which they had no knowledge, and of which
neither they nor their constituents could approve.  These differences
reached a crisis when Senators (I use the word in the plural) notified
the President that they should not visit the Department of Justice
while Judge Hoar was Attorney-General.  Thus was a disagreeable
alternative presented to the President, and a first impression would
lead to the conclusion that he ought to have sustained the Attorney-
General.  Assuming that the complaints were well founded, it followed
that the Attorney-General was denying to Senators the consideration
which the President himself was recognizing daily.

President Grant looked upon members of his Cabinet as his family for
the management of civil affairs, as he had looked upon his staff as
his military family for the conduct of the army, and he regarded a
recommendation for a Cabinet appointment as an interference.  His
first Cabinet was organized upon that theory somewhat modified by a
reference to locality.  Mr. Borie who became Secretary of the Navy
was a most excellent man, but he had had no preparation either by
training or experience for the duties of a department.  Of this he
was quite conscious, and he never attempted to conceal the fact.  He
often said:

"The department is managed by Admiral Porter, I am only a figure-head."

In a few months he resigned.  His associates were much attached to him.
He was a benevolent, genial, well informed man.  His successor, Mr.
Robeson, was a man of singular ability, lacking only the habit of
careful, continuous industry.  This failing contributed to his
misfortunes in administration and consequently he was the subject of
many attacks in the newspapers and in Congress.  After his retirement
he became a member of the House of Representatives, and it was a
noticeable fact, that from that day the attacks in Congress ceased.
As a debater he was well equipped, and in reference to his
administration of the Navy Department, he was always prepared with an
answer or an explanation in every exigency.

The appointment of Governor Fish to the Department of State, gave rise
to considerable adverse comment.  The chief grounds of complaint were
that he was no longer young and that recently he had not been active
in political contests.  He had been a Whig when there was a Whig Party,
and he became a Republican when the Republican Party was formed.  As a
Whig he had been a member of the House of Representatives and of the
Senate of the United States, but he had not held office as a
Republican, nor was he known generally as a speaker or writer in
support of the policies or principles of the party.  His age, then
about sixty, was urged as a reason against his appointment.  His
selection as Secretary was extremely fortunate for General Grant and
his administration.  Governor Fish was painstaking in his office,
exacting in his demands upon subordinates, without being harsh or
unjust, diligent in his duties, and fully informed as to the traditions
and usages of his department.  Beyond these administrative qualities
he had the capacity to place every question of a diplomatic character
upon a foundation at once reasonable and legal.  If the failure of Mr.
Stewart led to the appointment of Governor Fish the change was
fortunate for General Grant and the country.  After the failure of Mr.
Stewart, Mr. Washburne spoke of his appointment to the State
Department, as only temporary, but for a few days he acted as though
he expected to remain permanently.  If his transfer to France was an
afterthought, he and the President very carefully concealed that fact.
It is not probable that the President at the outset designed to take
the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury from New York
City.  Hence I infer that the failure of Mr. Stewart worked a change
in the headship of the State Department, and hence I am of the opinion
that the failure of Mr. Stewart was of great advantage to the
administration and to the country, and that without considering whether
there was a gain or loss in the Treasury Department.  There can be no
doubt that Governor Fish was a much wiser man than Mr. Washburne for
the management of foreign affairs and there can be as little doubt that
Mr. Washburne could not have been excelled as Minister to Paris in the
troublous period of the years 1870 and 1871.

Mr. Fish had no ambitions beyond the proper and successful
administration of his own department.  He did not aspire to the
Presidency, and he remained in the State Department during General
Grant's second term, at the special request of the President.

Mr. Sumner's removal from the chairmanship of the Committee on Foreign
Relations was due to the fact that a time came when he did not
recognize the President, and when he declined to have any intercourse
with the Secretary of State outside of official business.  Such a
condition of affairs is always a hindrance in the way of good
government, and it may become an obstacle to success.  Good government
can be secured only through conferences with those who are responsible,
by conciliation, and not infrequently by concessions to the holders of
adverse opinions.  The time came when such a condition was no longer
possible between Mr. Sumner and the Secretary of State.

The President and his Cabinet were in accord in regard to the
controversy with Great Britain as to the Alabama Claims.  Mr. Sumner
advocated a more exacting policy.  Mr. Motley appeared to be following
Mr. Sumner's lead, and the opposition to Mr. Sumner extended to Mr.
Motley.  It had happened that the President had taken on a prejudice
to Mr. Motley at their first interview.  This I learned when I said
something to the President in the line of conciliation.  The President
said:  "Such was my impression of Motley when I saw him that I should
have withheld his appointment if I had not made a promise to Sumner."
My acquaintance with Mr. Motley began in the year 1849, when we were
members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and I had a
high regard for him, although it had been charged that I had had some
part in driving him from politics into literature.

When we consider the natures and the training of the two men, it is
not easy to imagine agreeable co-operation in public affairs by Mr.
Sumner and General Grant.  Mr. Sumner never believed in General Grant's
fitness for the office of President, and General Grant did not
recognize in Mr. Sumner a wise and safe leader in the business of
government.  General Grant's notion of Mr. Sumner, on one side of his
character, may be inferred from his answer when, being asked if he
had heard Mr. Sumner converse, he said:  "No, but I have heard him

As I am to speak of Mr. Sumner in our personal relations, which for
thirteen years before his death were intimate, I shall use some words
of preface.  Never on more than two occasions did we have differences
that caused any feeling on either side.  Mr. Sumner was chairman in the
Senate of the Committee on the Freedmen's Bureau, and Mr. Eliot was
chairman of the Committee of the House.  A report was made in each
House, and each bill contained not less than twenty sections.  Each
House passed its own bill.  A committee of conference was appointed.
Its report was rejected.  I was appointed a member of the second

I examined the bills, and I marked out every section that was not
essential to the working of the measure.  Four sections remained.
I then added a section which provided for the lease and ultimate sale
of the confiscated lands to the freedmen and refugees.  President
Johnson's restoration of those lands made that section non-operative.
The committee, upon the motion of General Schenck, transferred the
jurisdiction of the Bureau from the Treasury to the War Department.
The bill was accepted by the committee, and passed by the two Houses.

When within a few days I was in the Senate Chamber, Mr. Sumner came to
me, and said in substance:  "The Freedmen's Bureau Bill as it passed is
of no value.  I have spent six months upon the bill, and my work has
gone for nothing.  You and General Schenck cannot pretend to know as
much as I know about the measure."

With some feeling, which was not justifiable, I said:  "I have not
spent six hours upon the measure, but after what you have said I will
say that the fifth section is of more value than all the sections which
you have written."  I did not wait for a reply.  The subject was not
again mentioned; our friendly relations were not disturbed, and it is
to Mr. Sumner's credit on the score of toleration that he passed over
my rough remarks, even though he had given some reason for a retort.

My next difference from Mr. Sumner was a more serious difference, but
it passed without any break in our relations.  He had not acquired the
church-going habit, or he had renounced it, and my church-going was
spasmodic rather than systematic.  Thus it became possible and
agreeable for me to spend some small portion of each Sunday in his
rooms.  The controversy over Mr. Motley and his removal from the post
of minister to Great Britain excited Mr. Sumner to a point far beyond
any excitement to which he yielded, arising from his own troubles or
from the misfortunes of the country.  To him it was the topic of
conversation at all times and in all places.  That habit I accepted at
his house with as much complacency as I could command.  Indeed, I was
not much disturbed by what he said to me in private, and certainly not
by what he said in his own house, where I went from choice, and without
any obligation to remain resting upon me.  In all his conversation he
made General Grant responsible for the removal of Motley, accompanied,
usually, with language of censure and condemnation.  On two occasions
that were in a measure public, one of which was at a dinner given to me
by Mr. Franklin Haven, a personal friend of twenty years' standing,
when he insisted upon holding the Motley incident as the topic of
conversation.  On one of these occasions, and in excitement, he turned
to me and said:  "Boutwell, you ought to have resigned when Motley
was removed."

I said only in reply:  "I am the custodian of my own duty."

This was the only personal remark that I ever made to Mr. Sumner in
connection with the removal of Motley.  The removal was the only
reasonable solution of the difficulty in which Motley was involved;
but I sympathized with him in the disaster which had overtaken him,
and I was not disposed to discuss the subject.  The incident at the
dinner led me to make a resolution.  I called upon Mr. Sumner, and
without accepting a seat, I said:  "Senator, if you ever mention
General Grant's name in my presence, I will never again cross your

Without the delay of half a minute he said:  "Agreed."

There the matter ended, and the promise was kept.  In 1872, and not
many days before he left for Europe, he said:  "I want to ask you a
question about General Grant."

I said:  "You know that that is a forbidden topic."

"Yes, but I am not going to speak controversially."

I said:  "Say on."

He said:  "What do you think of Grant's election?"

I said:  "I think he will be elected."

He held up his hands, and in a tone of grief said:  "You and Wilson
are the only ones who tell me that he has any chance."

Upon his return from Europe it was apparent that his feelings in
regard to the Republican Party, and especially in regard to General
Grant, had undergone a great change.  Our conversations concerning
General Grant were resumed free from all restrictions, and without
any disturbance of feeling on my part.  Not many months before his
death Mr. Sumner made a speech in executive session that was
conciliatory and just in a marked degree.  I urged him to repeat it
in public session.  He seemed to regard the suggestion with favor, but
the speech was not made.

For many years Mr. Sumner had been borne down under the resolutions of
censure passed by the State of Massachusetts in disapproval of his
position in regard to the return of Confederate flags.  That resolution
was rescinded at the winter session of 1874.  The act brought to Mr.
Sumner the highest degree of satisfaction that it was possible for him
to realize.  Above all things else of a public nature, he cherished
the good name of the commonwealth, and for himself there was nothing
more precious than her approval.  The blow was unexpected, its weight
was great, and its weight was never lessened until it was wholly
removed.  The rescinding resolutions came to me the Saturday next
preceding the Wednesday when Mr. Sumner died.  I was then in ill
health, so ill that my attendance at the Senate did not exceed one
half of each day's session through many weeks.  Mr. Sumner called upon
me to inquire, and anxious to know, whether I could attend the session
of Monday and present the resolutions.  I gave him the best assurance
that my condition permitted.  When the resolutions had been presented,
and when I was leaving the chamber, Mr. Sumner came to me, and, putting
his arm over my shoulder, he walked with me into the lobby, where,
after many thanks by him, and with good wishes for my health, we
parted, without a thought by me that he had not before him many years
of rugged life.  For several years previous to 1874, Mr. Sumner had
been accustomed to speak of himself as an old man, and on more than one
occasion he spoke of life as a burden.  To these utterances I gave but
little heed.

The chief assurance for any considerable well-doing in the world is to
be found in good purposes and in fixedness of purpose when a purpose
has been formed.  These characteristics were Mr. Sumner's possession,
but in him they were subject to very important limitations as powers in
practical affairs.  He did not exhibit respect or deference for the
opinions of others even when the parties were upon a plane of equality,
as is the usual situation in legislative bodies.  He could not concede
small points for the sake of a great result.  Hence it was that
measures in which he had an interest took on a form at the end that
was not agreeable to him.  Hence it is that he has left only one piece
of legislation that is distinctly the work of his hand.  When the bill
was under consideration which denied to colored persons the privilege
of naturalization in the United States, he secured an amendment by
which the exclusion was limited to the Mongolian race.  His
declaration as to the status of the States that had been in rebellion
was not far away from the policy that was adopted finally, but he did
not accept as wise and necessary measures the amendments to the
Constitution which were designed to make that policy permanent.
Indeed, it was his opinion, at one period of the controversy over the
question of negro suffrage, that a legislative declaration would be
sufficient.  The field of his success is to be found in the
argumentative power that he possessed and in its use for the overthrow
of slavery.  Of the anti-slavery advocates who entered the Senate
previous to the opening of the war, he was the best equipped in
learning, and his influence in the country was not surpassed by the
influence of any one of his associates.  In his knowledge of diplomacy,
he had the first rank in the Senate for the larger part of his career.
His influence in the Senate was measured, however, by his influence in
the country.  His speeches, especially in the period of national
controversy, were addressed _to_ the country.  He relied upon
authorities and precedents.  His powers as a debater were limited, and
it followed inevitably that in purely parliamentary contests he was
not a match for such masters as Fessenden and Conkling, who in learning
were his inferiors.

My means for information are so limited that I do not express an
opinion upon the question whether Mr. Sumner's ambitions in public life
were or were not gratified.  On one or two occasions he let fall
remarks which indicated a willingness to be transferred to the
Department of State.  Major Ben. Perley Poore had received the
impression that there was a time when Mr. Sumner looked to the
Presidency as a possibility.  At an accidental meeting with Major
Poore, he said to me:  "I have dined with Sumner, and he gave me an
account of the conversation he had with you this morning, in which you
consoled him for not gaining the Presidency."

I recalled the conversation.  It was a Sunday-morning talk, and there
was no special purpose on my part, however my remarks may have been
received by Mr. Sumner.  He spoke of the opportunity furnished to Mr.
Jefferson for the exposition of his views in his first inaugural
address.  I then proceeded to say that, omitting the incumbent of the
office, of whom nothing could then be said, not more than three or four
men had gained in standing by their elevation to the Presidency, beyond
the fact that their names were upon the roll.  The exceptions were,
first of all, Lincoln, who had gained most.  Then Jackson, who had
gained something--indeed, a good deal by his defence of the Union when
compared with what he might have lost by neglect of duty in the days of
nullification.  Washington had gained much by demonstrating his
capacity for civil affairs, by the legacy of his farewell address,
and by the shaping of the new government under the Constitution in a
manner calculated to strengthen the quality of perpetuity.  At the end,
I claimed that the other occupants of the Presidential office had not
gained appreciably by their promotion.

In two important particulars, Samuel Adams and Charles Sumner are
parallel characters in American history.  Mr. Adams was a leader in
the contest that the colonies carried on against Great Britain.  Our
legal standing in the controversy with the mother country has never
elsewhere been presented as forcibly and logically as it was stated by
Mr. Adams in his letters to the royal governors in the name of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives, between the years 1764 and
1775.  When the contest of words and of arms was over he was not
only not an aid in the organization of the new Government, but he was
an obstacle to its success.  He accepted the Constitution with
hesitation and under constraint.  After the overthrow of slavery and
the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Mr.
Sumner gave no wise aid to the work of reconstructing the government
upon the basis of the new conditions that had been created by the war
and by the abolition of slavery.  As every guarantee for freedom
contains some element of enslavement over or against some who are not
within the guarantee, men sometimes hesitate as to the wisdom of
accepting guarantees of rights in one direction which work a limitation
of rights or privileges in other directions.  The Constitution of the
United States, while it gave power to the body of States and guaranteed
security to each yet deprived the individual States of many of the
privileges and powers that they had enjoyed as colonies.  Every
amendment to the Constitution, from the first to the last, has limited
the application of the doctrine of home rule in government.

Upon the election of Mr. Wilson to the office of Vice-President, I was
chosen by the Legislature of Massachusetts as his successor in the
Senate.  I left the Treasury and General Grant's Cabinet with
reluctance, but my experience in both branches of the government had
led me to prefer the legislative branch, where there is at least more
freedom of action than can be had in the executive department.  This
opinion is in no sense due to the nature of my relations with General
Grant.   His military habits led him to put responsibility upon
subordinates and this habit he carried into civil affairs.

Moreover, in my own case, he recognized that fact that I had accepted
the place upon his urgent request, command indeed, and not to gratify
any ambition of my own.  And further, I think I may assume, that his
confidence was such that he was content to leave the department in my
hands.  During my time he put only one person--General Pleasanton--
into the department, and he never commanded or required the removal of
any one.  On a few occasions he named persons whom he said he would be
glad to have employed if places could be found.  They were always
soldiers, or widows or children of soldiers, and he never forgot his
suggestions, nor allowed the passage of time to diminish his interest
in such cases.

The important places in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, New
Orleans and Philadelphia were filled by him, usually upon consultation,
but upon his judgment.  He gave very little attention to others beyond
signing the commissions.  I often called his attention to the more
important ones, but it was his practice to send applicants and their
friends to me with the remark that the business was in my hands.

By this course the President avoided much labor, and escaped some
responsibility.  The disappointed ones charged their misfortunes to
the Secretary, and the President was able to say that he knew nothing
of the case, etc., etc.

I have reason to believe that the President did not exhibit equal
confidence in my successors, especially in Mr. Bristow.  The President
received the impression very early, that Bristow was engaged in a
scheme to secure the nomination by an alliance with the enemies of
General Grant.  In my time three Secretaries of the Treasury attempted
in turn to secure a nomination for the Presidency through the influence
and patronage of that department.  All were failures, and failures well

Such a policy breeds corruption inevitably.  Venal men aspiring to
place, avow themselves the friends of the Secretary, and if through
such avowals they secure appointments, the offices will be used for
improper purposes.

My successor, Judge Richardson, had been Assistant Secretary for three
years and more, and no one could have surpassed him in industry,
fidelity and knowledge of the business.  I recommended his appointment.
The President hesitated, but he finally nominated him to the Senate,
and the nomination was confirmed.


  _March_ 17, 1873.

Having been elected to the Senate of the United States by the
Legislature of Massachusetts, I tender my resignation of the office of
Secretary of the Treasury.

In severing my official relations with you it is a great satisfaction
to me that on all occasions you have given me full confidence and
support in the discharge of my public duties.

In these four years my earlier acquaintance with you has ripened into
earnest personal friendship, which, I am confident, will remain
unbroken.  I am
  Yours very truly,

WASHINGTON, _March_ 17, 1873.

_Dear Sir:_--
In accepting your resignation of the office of Secretary of the
Treasury, an office which you have filled for four years with such
satisfaction to the country, allow me to express the regret I feel at
severing official relations which have been at all times so agreeable
to me, and,--as I am assured by your letter of resignation,--to you
also.  Your administration of the important trust confided to you
four years since, has been so admirably conducted as to give the
greatest satisfaction to me because as I read public judgment and
opinion it has been satisfactory to the country.  The policy pursued in
the office of Secretary of the Treasury by your successor I hope may
be as successful as yours has been, and that no departure from it
will be made except such as experience and change of circumstances
may make necessary.

Among your new official associates I trust you will find the same warm
friends and co-workers that you leave in the Executive branch of the

You take with you my most sincere well wishes for your success as a
legislator and as a citizen, and the assurance of my desire to continue
the warm personal relations that have existed between us during the
whole of our official connection.
  Very truly yours,
  U. S. GRANT.


General Grant's father was a Whig and an admirer and supporter of Mr.
Clay.  The public policy of Mr. Clay embraced three great measures:
First, a national bank, or a fiscal agency as an aid to the Treasury
in the collection and disbursement of the public revenues; secondly,
a system of internal improvements to be created at the public expense
and controlled by the National Government; and, thirdly, a tariff
system which should protect the American laborer against the active
competition of the laborers of other countries who were compelled to
work for smaller compensation.

From the year 1834 to the year 1836 the country was engaged in an
active controversy over the policy of the Whig Party, of which Mr.
Clay was then the recognized head.  Indeed, the controversy began as
early as the year 1824, and it contributed, more than all other causes,
to the new organization of parties under the leadership, respectively,
of Mr. Clay and General Jackson.

General Grant was educated under these influences, and in the belief
that the policy of the Whig Party would best promote the prosperity
of the country.  Those early impressions ripened into opinions, which
he held and on which he acted during his public life.  It happened
by the force of circumstances that the Republican Party was compelled
to adopt the policy of Mr. Clay--not in measures, but in the ideas on
which his policy was based.  It is not now necessary to inquire
whether the weight of argument was with Mr. Clay or with his opponents.
The war made inevitable the adoption of a policy which Mr. Clay had
advocated as expedient and wise.

The Pacific Railways were built by the aid of the Government and under
the pressure of a general public opinion that the East must be brought
into a more intimate connection with our possessions on the Pacific
Ocean, for mutual support and for the common defence.

The national banking system was established for the purpose of securing
the aid of the banks as purchasers and negotiators of the bonds of the
Government, at a time when the public credit was so impaired that it
seemed impossible to command the funds necessary for the prosecution
of the war.

The same exigency compelled Congress to enact, and the country to
accept, a tariff system more protective in its provisions than any
scheme ever suggested by Mr. Clay.  The necessities of the times
compelled free-traders, even, to accept the revenue system with its
protective features; but General Grant accepted it as a system in
harmony alike with his early impressions and with his matured opinions.

It has happened, by the force of events, that the policy of the old
Whig Party has been revived in the national banking system, while the
Independent Treasury, the leading measure of the old Democratic Party,
has been preserved in all its features as the guide of the Treasury
Department in its financial operations.

When General Grant became President, these three measures had been
incorporated into the policy of the Republican Party.  Their full
acceptance by him did not require any change of opinion on his part.
It was true that he had voted for Mr. Buchanan in 1856; but his vote
was given in obedience to an impression that he had received touching
the qualifications of General Fremont.  The fact that he had voted
for Mr. Buchanan excited suspicions in the minds of some Republicans,
and it engendered hopes in the bosoms of some Democrats that he might
act in harmony with the Democratic Party.  The suspicions and the
hopes were alike groundless.

As early as the month of August, 1863, in a letter to Mr. E. B.
Washburne, he said:  "It became patent to my mind early in the
rebellion that the North and South could never live at peace with
each other except as one nation, and that without slavery.  As anxious
as I am to see peace established, I would not, therefore, be willing
to see any settlement until this question is forever settled."

Thus was General Grant, at an early moment, and upon his own judgment,
brought into full accord with the Republican Party upon the two
debatable and most earnestly debated questions during Mr. Lincoln's
administration--the prosecution of the war and the abolition of

And thus it is apparent that in 1868 he was in a condition, as to all
matters of opinion, to accept a nomination at the hands of the
Republican Party; and it is equally apparent that he was separated
from the Democratic Party by a chasm wide, deep, and impassable.  It
is, however, true that General Grant's feelings were not intense, and
in the expression of his opinions his tone was mild and his manner
gentle.  It often happened, also, that he did not undertake to
controvert opinions and expressions with which he had no sympathy.
This peculiarity may at times have led to a misunderstanding, or to
a misinterpretation of his views.  Upon this basis of his early
impressions, and matured opinions his administrative policy was

When he became President, there was a body of American citizens, not
inconsiderable in numbers, who doubted the ability of the Government
to pay the war debt; there were others who advocated payment in
greenbacks, or the substitution of a note not bearing interest for a
bond that bore interest; and there were yet others who denied the
validity of the existing obligations.  All these classes, whether they
were dishonest or only misled, were alike rebuked in his inaugural
address.  These were his words:  "A great debt has been contracted
in securing to us and to our posterity the Union.  The payment of this
debt, principal and interest, as well as the return to a specie basis,
as soon as it can be accomplished without material detriment to the
debtor class, or to the country at large, must be provided for. . . .
To protect the national honor, every dollar of Government indebtedness
should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the
contract. . . .

"Let it be understood that no repudiator of one farthing of our public
debt will be trusted in public place, and it will go far toward
strengthening a credit which ought to be the best in the world, and
will ultimately enable us to replace the debt with bonds bearing less
interest than we now pay."

In the same address he asserted the ability of the country to pay the
debt within the period of twenty-five years, and he also declared his
purpose to secure a faithful collection of the public revenues.  At
the close of his administration of eight years one fifth part of the
public debt had been paid, and if the system of taxation that existed
in 1869 had been continued the debt would have been extinguished in
less than a quarter of a century from the year 1869.  In his
administration, however, the crisis was passed.  The ability and the
disposition of the country were made so conspicuous that all honest
doubts were removed, and the repudiators were shamed into silence.
The redemption of the debt by the purchase of bonds in the open market
strengthened the public credit, and laid a foundation for the
resumption of specie payments.

General Grant's inaugural address was followed by the passage of the
act of March 18, 1869, entitled "An act to strengthen the public
credit."  This act was a pledge to the world that the debts of the
United States, unless there were in the obligations express
stipulations to the contrary, would be paid in coin.

In accordance with the report of the Secretary of the Treasury,
President Grant, in his annual message of December, 1869, recommended
the passage of an act authorizing the funding of the public debt at a
lower rate of interest.

Following this recommendation, the bill for refunding the public debt,
prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury, was enacted and approved
July 14, 1870.

By this act the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to issue bonds
to the amount of $200,000,000 bearing interest at the rate of 5 per
cent, $300,000,000 bearing interest at the rate of 4½ per cent, and
$1,000,000,000 bearing interest at the rate of 4 per cent.

Under this act, and the amendments thereto, the debt has been refunded
from time to time until the average rate of interest does not now
exceed 3½ per cent.  Although these two important measures of
administration were not prepared by General Grant, they were but the
execution of his policy set forth in his inaugural address.

In respect to the rights of the negro race, General Grant must be
ranked with the advanced portion of the Republican Party.  Upon the
capture of Fort Donelson, a number of slaves fell into the hands of the
Union army.  General Grant issued an order, dated Feb. 26, 1862, in
which he authorized their employment for the benefit of the Government,
and at the close he said that under no circumstances would he permit
their return to their masters.

In his inaugural address he urged the States to ratify the Fifteenth
Amendment, and its ratification was due, probably, to his advice.  At
that moment his influence was very great.  It may well be doubted
whether any other President ever enjoyed the confidence of the country
in as high a degree.  He gave to that measure the weight of his opinion
and the official influence of his administration.  The amendment was
opposed by the Democratic Party generally, and a considerable body of
Republicans questioned its wisdom.  General Grant was responsible for
the ratification of the amendment.  Had he advised its rejection, or
had he been indifferent to its fate, the amendment would have failed,
and the country would have been left to a succession of bitter
controversies arising from the application of the second section of the
Fourteenth Amendment, which provided that the representation of a State
should be based upon the number of male citizens over twenty-one years
of age entitled to vote.

General Grant accepted the plan of Congress in regard to the
reconstruction of the Union.  There were three opinions that had
obtained a lodgment in the public mind.  President Johnson and his
supporters claimed that the President held the power by virtue of his
office to convene the people of the respective States, and that under
his direction constitutions might be framed, and that Senators and
Representatives might be chosen who would be entitled to seats in
Congress, as though they represented States that had not been engaged
in secession and war.  Others maintained that neither by the ordinances
of secession nor by the war had the States of the Confederacy been
disturbed in their legal relations to the Union.

It was the theory of the Republican Party in Congress that the eleven
States by their own acts had destroyed their legal relations to the
Union; that the jurisdiction of the National Government over the
territory of the seceding States was full and complete; and that, as
a result of the war, the National Government could hold them in a
Territorial condition and subject to military rule.  Upon this theory
the re-appearance of a seceded State as a member of the Union was made
to depend upon the assent of Congress, with the approval of the
President, or upon an act of Congress by a two-thirds vote over a
Presidential veto.

General Grant sustained the policy of Congress during the long and
bitter contest with President Johnson, and when he became President
he accepted that policy without reserve in the case of the restoration
of the States of Virginia, Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi.  Upon this
statement it appears that General Grant was a Republican, and that he
became a Republican by processes that preclude the suggestion that his
nomination for the Presidency wrought any change in his position upon
questions of principle or policy in the affairs of government.  Indeed,
his nomination in 1868 was distasteful to him, as he then preferred to
remain at the head of the army.  It was in the nature of things,
however, that he should have wished for re-election.  He was re-
elected, and at the end of his second term he accepted a return to
private life as a relief from the cares and duties of office.  The
support which he received for the nomination in 1880 was not due to
any effort on his part.  Not even to his warmest supporters did he
express a wish, or dictate or advise an act.  His only utterance was
a message to four of his friends at the Chicago Convention, that
whatever they might do in the premises would be acceptable to him.
His political career was marked by the same abstention from personal
effort for personal advancement that distinguished him as an officer
of the army.  But he did not bring into civil affairs the habits of
command that were the necessity of military life.  Although by virtue
of his position he was the recognized head of the Republican Party,
he made no effort to control its action.  Wherever he placed power,
there he reposed trust.

There was not in General Grant's nature any element of suspicion, and
his confidence in his friends was free and full.  Hence it happened
that he had many occasions for regret.

On no man in public life in this generation were there more frequent
charges and insinuations of wrong-doing, and in this generation there
has been no man in public life who was freer from all occasion for
such insinuations and charges.

When he heard that the Treasury Department was purchasing bullion of
a company in which he was a stockholder, he sold his shares without
delay, and without reference to the market price or to their real value.

General Grant had no disposition to usurp power.  He had no policy to
impose upon the country against the popular will.  This was shown in
the treatment of the Santo Domingo question.  General Grant was not
indisposed to see the territories of the Republic extended, but his
love of justice and fair dealing was such that he would have used
only honorable means in his intercourse with other nations.  Santo
Domingo was a free offering, and he thought that its possession would
be advantageous to the country.

Yet he never made it an issue, even in his Cabinet, where, as he well
knew, very serious doubts existed as to the expediency of the measure.
He was deeply pained by the unjust attacks and groundless criticism
of which he was the subject, but he accepted the adverse judgment of
the Senate as a constitutional binding decision of the question, and
of that decision he never complained.

In a message to the Senate of the 31st of May, 1870, he urged the
annexation of Santo Domingo.  He said, "I feel an unusual anxiety for
the ratification of this treaty, because I believe it will redound
greatly to the glory of the two countries interested, to civilization,
and to the extirpation of the institution of slavery."  He claimed for
the scheme great commercial advantages, that it was in harmony with the
Monroe doctrine, and that the consummation of the measure would be
notice to the states of Europe that no acquisitions of territory on
this continent would be permitted.  In his second inaugural address
General Grant referred to the subject in these words:  "In the first
year of the past administration the proposition came up for the
admission of Santo Domingo as a Territory of the Union. . . . I believe
now, as I did then, that it was for the best interests of this country,
for the people of Santo Domingo, and all concerned, that the
proposition should be received favorably.  It was, however, rejected
constitutionally, and therefore the subject was never brought up
again by me."  General Grant considered the failure of the treaty as
a national misfortune, but he never criticised the action of its

General Grant's firmness was shown in his veto of the Senate currency
bill of 1874.  It is known that unusual effort was made to convince
him that the measure was wise in a financial view, and highly expedient
upon political grounds.  The President wrote a message in explanation
of his act of approval, but upon its completion he was so much
dissatisfied with his own argument that he resolved to veto the bill.
Hence the veto message of April 22, 1874.

In foreign policy, the principal measure of General Grant's
administration was the treaty with Great Britain of May, 1871.  The
specific and leading purpose of the negotiations was the adjustment
of the claim made by the United States that Great Britain was liable
in damages for the destruction of American vessels, and the consequent
loss of commercial power and prestige, by the depredations of
Confederate cruisers that were fitted out or had obtained supplies in
British ports.  Neither the treaty of peace of 1783, nor the subsequent
treaties with Great Britain, made a full and final settlement of the
fishery question or of our northern boundary-line at its junction
with the Pacific Ocean.  These outlying questions were considered in
the negotiations, and they were adjusted by the terms of the treaty.
The jurisdiction of the island of San Juan on the Pacific coast, then
in controversy, was referred to the Emperor of Germany as arbitrator,
with full and final power in the premises.  By his award the claim of
the United States was sustained.

The fishery question was referred to arbitrators, but it was a
misfortune that the award was not satisfactory to the United States,
and the dispute is reopened with capacity to vex the two governments
for an indefinite period of time.

The claims against Great Britain growing out of the operations of the
Confederate cruisers, known as the Alabama claims, were referred to
arbitrators, by whose award the Government of the United States
received the sum of $15,500,000.  But the value of the treaty of 1871
was not in the award made.  The people of the United States were
embittered against the Government of Great Britain, and had General
Grant chosen to seek redress by arms he would have been sustained
throughout the North with substantial unanimity.  But General Grant
was destitute of the war spirit, and he chose to exhaust all the powers
of negotiation before he would advise a resort to force.  A passage
in his inaugural address may have had an influence upon the policy of
the British Government:  "In regard to foreign policy, I would deal
with nations as equitable law requires individuals to deal with each
other. . . . I would respect the rights of all nations, demanding
equal respect for our own.  _If others depart from this rule in their
dealings with us, we may be compelled to follow their precedent."_

The reference of the question at issue to the tribunal at Geneva was
a conspicuous instance of the adjustment of a grave international
dispute by peaceful methods.

By the sixth article of the treaty of 1871, three new rules were made
for the government of neutral nations.  These rules are binding upon
the United States and Great Britain, and the contracting parties
agreed to bring them to the knowledge of other maritime powers, and
to invite such powers to accede to the rules.

In those rules it is stipulated that a neutral nation should not
permit a belligerent to fit out, arm, or equip in its ports any vessel
which it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or
carry on war against a power with which it is at peace.  It was further
agreed, as between the parties to the treaty, that neither would
suffer a belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as a base of
operations against the other.  Finally, the parties agreed to use due
diligence to prevent any infraction of the rules so established.

Mr. Fish was then Secretary of State, and to him was General Grant and
the country largely indebted for the settlement of the Alabama
controversy; but the settlement was in harmony with General Grant's
inaugural address.

Before the final adjustment of the controversy, by the decision of the
tribunal at Geneva, General Grant had occasion to consider whether
the allegation against Great Britain, growing out of her recognition,
in May, 1861, of the belligerent character of the Confederacy, could
be maintained upon the principles of public law.  Upon his own judgment
he reached the conclusion that the act was an act of sovereignty within
the discretion of the ruler, for which a claim in money could not be
made.  This opinion was accepted, finally, by his advisers, by the
negotiators, and by the country.

General Grant was not a trained statesman.  His methods of action were
direct and clear.  His conduct was free from duplicity, and artifice of
every sort was foreign to his nature.  In the first years of his
administration he relied upon his Cabinet in all minor matters relating
to the departments.  Acting upon military ideas, he held the head of a
department to his full responsibility, and he waited, consequently,
until his opinion was sought or his instructions were solicited.

In his conferences with the members of his Cabinet he expressed his
opinions with the greatest freedom, and, upon discussion, he often
yielded to the suggestions or arguments of others.  He was so great
that it was not a humiliation to acknowledge a change in opinion, or
to admit an error in policy or purpose.

In his intercourse with members of Congress upon the business of the
Government, he gave his opinions without reserve when he had reached
definite conclusions, but he often remained a silent listener to the
discussion of topics which he had not considered maturely.

His politics were not narrow nor exclusive.  He believed in the growth
of the country, and in the power of republican ideas.  He was free from
race prejudice, and free from national jealousy, but he believed in the
enlargement of our territory by peaceful means, in the spread of
republican institutions, and in the predominance of the English-
speaking race in the affairs of the world.

The spirit of philanthropy animated his politics, and the doctrines of
peace controlled his public policy.

[* This article was printed in Appleton's Cyclopedia for the year 1885.
Copyright, 1886, by D. Appleton & Co.]



Of the men whom I have known in public affairs, General Banks was in
his personality one of a small number who were always agreeable and
permanently attractive.  He was the possessor of an elastic spirit;
he was always hopeful of the future and in adversity he saw or fancied
that he saw, days of prosperity for himself, for his party, for the
commonwealth and for the country.  His interest in the fortunes of the
laboring classes was a permanent interest, and they are largely
indebted to him for the passage of the eight-hour law by the Congress
of the United States.  Not infrequently his thoughts and schemes were
too vast for realization.  While the contest in Kansas was going on,
he suggested an organization of capitalists for the purchase of the
low-priced lands in Delaware, then a sale to Northern farmers and the
conversion of Delaware into a free State.

His studies in law had been fragmentary and superficial, and nature had
not endowed him with all the qualities that are essential to the
successful lawyer.  His reading on the literary side was considerable,
especially in the Spanish language.  Early in life he accepted the idea
that our relations with the Spanish race were to be intimate in a not
far off future.  He was a careful observer of character, and of
conditions in affairs, and in a free debate he was never in peril of
being overmatched.  Of a mutual friend and an associate in politics
he said:  "He has no serious side to his character--a defect that has
been the bane of many otherwise able men."

When the coalition came into power Banks was made speaker of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives.  Wilson was president of the
Senate and I was in the office of Governor.  In an evening stroll with
Banks around Boston Common, engaged in a survey of public affairs,
he changed the conversation suddenly with the remark:  "It's almighty
queer that the people of this commonwealth have put their government
into the hands of men who have no last and usual place of abode."  The
pertinency of this remark is to be found in the facts to which it was
applicable.  There were some men of wealth in the Coalition Party but
the three places that I have named were held by men who were destitute
of even the means of well-to-do mechanics and tradespeople.

Mr. Banks had power in repartee which made him a formidable adversary
in parliamentary debate.  When he was a mechanic at Waltham he took
an active part in temperance meetings.  At one of the meetings a
Unitarian clergyman of conservative leanings, made a speech in which he
criticized the speeches and said finally:  "I do not attend the
meetings because I cannot approve of what I hear said."  He then
referred to Mr. Banks as a young man who was guilty of indiscretions
in speech.  He had seen him once only at his church.  He had made
inquiries of his brethren and he could not learn that Mr. Banks was a
regular attendant at any church.  Banks in reply admitted that he had
been in the church of the reverend gentleman but once, and that he was
not a regular attendant at any church.  Said he:  "I do not go to
church because I hear things said there which I do not approve."  The
reverend gentleman was forced to join in the general laugh which was
raised at his expense.

Two extracts from General Banks' letters, written to me during the war
may give an idea of his characteristics in his maturer years.

_October_ 15, 1861.

I received your letter of the 8th inst . . . and also one of an earlier

I am very glad to hear from you.  I see few people and hear little news
from home.  Newspapers I have little relish for and scarcely time to
read them, if I had.

I am glad to know that you contemplate the army for a pursuit.  Our
people will in the end surrender all business except that of the war,
and that which pertains to the war.  Our country is in a sad condition.
It is already clear that the influence of France and England is against
us.  How sadly all our anticipations in regard to the war have failed
us,--the insurrection of the blacks, the material deficiencies of the
South, their want of men, and worst of all the friendship or the
indifference of England.  We have now, or shall have by and by to do
what we should have done at the start, rely upon ourselves and prepare
for our work upon a scale proportionate to its magnitude.  It would
amuse you to know how far the highest civil authority is subordinated
to military direction.  I do not doubt in the slightest degree the
success of the Government in the end, but it grieves me to see how
slow we have been and still are in comprehension and preparation.

This continent is just as important to England and France as it is to
us.  It is hardly to be doubted that they will postpone all
international questions, and secure what has never before been offered
to them--a controlling foothold here.  How many times I have spoken to
you in the old Executive Chamber of the importance to the whole world
of the possession of Mexico--and of the power it would infallibly give
to this continent, as in Europe to those who possessed it.  And now
Spain, France, and England are there.  "Birnam Wood _has_ to great
Dunsinane come."  There is but one remedy for us.  Every male creature
born and unborn must become a soldier.  Soldiers do not criticize, so
you must consider this _Private_.  And believe me very truly yours,
  N. P. BANKS.

  _New Orleans, 27 Decr._ 1863.

I have written to the President upon the subject of a free State
organization in Louisiana.  It appears quite certain to me that the
course pursued here by the officers to whom the matter is entrusted
will not lead to an early or a certain result.  It will not be
accomplished sooner than August or September, and then will be involved
in the struggles of the Presidential contest, and very likely share
the fate of that struggle.  It certainly ought not to be dependent upon
that issue, and settled, not only independent of it, but before it
opens.  It can be easily done, in March.  A Free State government upon
the basis of immediate emancipation can be acquired as early as March
with the general consent of the People, and without any material
opposition, in such a manner as to draw after it _all_ the Southern
States, on the same basis, and by the same general consent.  But it
cannot be done in the manner now proposed here.  It is upon this subject
that I have written the President.  Three months ago I wrote him upon
the same idea but did not send my letter.  Subsequent reflection and
inquiry have made the theory so clear to mind that I felt impelled
to put my views before him.  I write this as from the request of my
previous letter you may have spoken to him upon the subject of the
Depart't and the reorganization of the State.  The election of next
year does not seem as clear to me as it appears to you.  I fancy it to
be a struggle between the Democratic Party, backed by the entire power
of the regular army and the People.  It will be a contest of great

* * * * * * * *
The report of General Halleck is singularly incorrect, in its references
to the Department--so much so that it is impossible to attribute them
to anything else but misapprehension of facts.  I refer to that which
relates to Galveston, and the movement against Port Hudson in April.
If it were not so palpable, I shd think the Department hostile & shd be
very glad to know if you see or hear anything to indicate such feeling
towards me.  General Wilson would probably know the facts.

The Austrian Consul here, said to me the other day that he was confident
that Maximilian would not go to Mexico.  He is a sensible and well
informed man, and I have confidence in his opinion.  I shall send you
by Satds mail _three_ despatches from Europe of recent date.

Very truly yours,
  N. P. BANKS.
  M. G. C.

As the conclusion of my remarks upon General Banks, I refer to my final
and unexaggerated estimate of General Banks as given in the chapter on
the Legislature of 1849 (Chapter XIV).


The death of General Sherman removed the last member of the triumvirate
of soldiers who achieved the highest distinction in the Civil War.  In
the Senate one speaker gave him the highest place, but on the contrary
I cannot rank him above either Grant or Sheridan.  When we consider the
vastness of the command with which Grant was entrusted through a period
of more than a year, the magnitude and success of his operations, and
the tenacity with which he prosecuted all his varied undertakings, it
must appear that neither Sherman nor Sheridan was entitled to the
position of a rival.  As to Sherman, I can say from a long and intimate
acquaintance with him, and under circumstances when his real feeling
would have been disclosed, that he never assumed an equality with Grant.

As between Sherman and Sheridan it is not easy to settle the question
of pre-eminence.  For myself the test would be this:  Assume that Grant
had disappeared during the Battle of the Wilderness, would the fortunes
of the country have been best promoted, probably, by the appointment of
Sherman or Sheridan?  I cannot now say what my opinion would have been
in 1864, but I should now have pronounced for Sheridan.  He was more
cool and careful in regard to the plan of operations and equally bold
and vigorous in execution.  General Grant expressed the opinion to me
in conversation that Sheridan was the best officer in the army.  He
spoke of his care and coolness in the preparation of his plans and his
celerity in execution.  Of "the younger set of officers" he placed Ames
(Adelbert) as the most promising.

In one of my last conversations with Sheridan he expressed the opinion
that the improvement in the material of war was so great that nations
could not make war, such would be the destruction of human life.

Upon his return from Germany at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, he
spoke very disparagingly of the military movements and among several
things he said that the French forces were placed where the Germans
would have dictated had they had the power.  He added the either of
our armies at the close of the war could have marched over the country
in defiance of both the French and German forces combined.  This was a
rash remark, probably; a remark which he could not justify upon the
facts.  Without intending to betray any confidence, the remark, as
coming through me, got into the newspapers.  Sheridan with a skill
superior to that of politicians caused the announcement to be made
that General Sheridan had never had any conversation with Governor
Boutwell in regard to the Franco-Prussian war.

At the end it may be claimed justly, that they were three great
soldiers--that they served the country with equal fidelity--that they
lived and acted without the manifestation in either of a feeling of
rivalry, and that they earned the public gratitude.

The death of General Sherman was followed to two contradictory
statements from his sons.  The younger, Tecumseh, is reported as saying
that his father was never a Catholic, while the older, Thomas, who is
a priest of the Order of Jesuits, had stated over his signature that
his father was baptized as a Catholic, was married as a Catholic, and
that he had heard him say often, "that if there was any true religion
it was the Catholic."

All this may be true and yet General Sherman may not have been a
Catholic.  His baptism may have been without his consent or knowledge,
his marriage by the Catholic Church may have been in deference to his
wife's wishes, and because he was wholly indifferent to the matter,
and the remark may have been made in the impression that there was no
true religion, and that the Catholic was as likely, or even more likely
to be true, than any other.

The statement made by Thomas puts an imputation upon General Sherman
that he ought not to bear.  Of the thousands that one may meet in a
lifetime, General Sherman was among the freest from anything in the
nature of hypocrisy or dissimulation.  Of those who knew him intimately
after the close of the war there are but few, probably, who did not
hear him speak with hostility and bitterness of the Catholic Church.
For myself I can say that I heard him speak in terms of contempt of
the church.  On one occasion with reference to fasts and abstinence
from meat of Friday, he said:

"I know better than these priests what I want to eat."

General Sherman was not a friend to the Catholic Church in the last
years of his life and there is no honor in the attempt to enroll his
name among its devotees now that he is dead and cannot speak for himself.


Funeral services were performed February 2, 1891, at the Church of the
Covenant in Washington in honor of Mr. Windom, late Secretary of the
Treasury.  He made a good record, if not a distinguished one.  As a
member of the House of Representatives and of the Senate he was noted
for fairness, for freedom from bitterness of opinion upon party
questions, and for good sense in action.

He was indisposed to take responsibility and he went no farther than
the case in hand seemed to require.  As the head of the Treasury he was
anxious to gather opinions upon matters of general public interest, and
it was in his nature to strive to accommodate his action to the public
opinion, if he could do so without serious consequences.  He worked
within narrow limits, the limits set by business and politics.  Of
enemies he had but few--of warm friends but few--the many had confidence
in his integrity in the affairs of government, and in his ability to
guide those affairs in ordinary times.


In a number of the _Edinburgh Review_ is an article on James Russell
Lowell in which the writer errs widely in two particulars as to the
effect of the "Biglow Papers."  The writer's name is not given, but
he is not an American and he is ignorant, probably, of America as it
was from 1830 to 1850.  When the "Biglow Papers" appeared, I was a
Democrat, and I am quite sure that the publication produced no effect,
not even the least, upon the opinions of Democrats or the action of
the Democratic Party.  Upon my knowledge of the Democratic Party I can
say with confidence that the writer is in error when he says:  "He
(Lowell) converted many bigoted Northern Democrats to a course of
action in conflict with their old party relations and apparent

For this broad statement there is no evidence.  The first break came
in 1848 and it was due to rivalries in the Democratic Party.  If the
"Biglow Papers" played any part it was too unimportant to produce an
appreciable result.  They were treated as a fortunate _jeu d'esprit_
that everybody enjoyed, but the Democratic Party did not change its
policy nor did it lose adherents.  The Mexican War was prosecuted
and bigotry political and religious continued to flourish.  They may
have contributed though, insensibly, to a public opinion that became
formidable in the end but the effect was not as perceptible as was
the effect of Garrison's legend that slavery was a covenant with hell
and a league with death, which had its place at the head of the
_Liberator_ through successive years.  Nor do I believe that "it
revolutionized the tone of Northern society."  Indeed, there is a
"tone" of Northern society that has not been revolutionized to this
day.  The South is still the land of gentle birth.  The slave-holder
still lives as a man of breeding and the owner of estates.  The negro
is still of an inferior caste and in some circles the days of slavery
were the great days of the Republic.  When the "Biglow Papers" appeared
Mr. Lowell had not achieved distinction.  Society did not know him to
follow him.  It cared nothing for what he thought, and it was only
amused by what he said.  The Lowell of 1840 was not the Lowell of 1890.
Nor can any series of statements be more untruthful and absurd than
the statements of the writer that "thenceforth it became creditable to
advocate abolition in drawing rooms, and to preach it from fashionable
city pulpits to congregations paying fancy prices for their pews.  In
the workshops, the barrooms and other popular resorts the laugh was
turned against the slave-owners; the ground was prepared for the popular
enthusiasm which recruited the armies that exhausted the South, and
Lowell must share with Lincoln and Grant the glory of the crowning

If any work of romance contains more fiction in the same space, it is
my fortune not to have seen that work.  The circulation of the _Boston
Courier_ in which the papers were printed was very limited.  It did not
go into barrooms nor into workshops.  It was read chiefly by the
converted and semi-converted abolitionists.  As to fashionable pulpits
thenceforth preaching abolition it is to be said that there was only
one leading pulpit, Theodore Parker's pulpit, in which abolitionism was
tolerated until years after the appearance of the "Biglow Papers."  As
to society, it is to be said that in the Fifties Charles Sumner, a
Senator, was ostracized for his opinions upon slavery.

It is nearer the truth to say that what passes for society in New
England never tolerated abolitionists nor encouraged abolitionism.

The one writing which in an historical point of view contributed most
largely to recruit the armies of the Republic during the Rebellion was
Webster's speech in reply to Hayne.  The closing paragraph of the
speech was in the schoolbooks of the free States, and it had been
declaimed from many a schoolhouse stage.

Lowell deserves credit for what he did.  He chose his place early and
firmly on the anti-slavery side, but it is absurd and false to say that
thenceforward and therefor abolitionism became popular and abolitionists
the sought for or the accepted by society.  Mr. Lowell was the son of a
Boston Unitarian clergyman.  In the Forties he had not gained standing
ground for himself, to omit all thought of his ability to carry an
unpopular cause.

Indeed, up to the time of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise the
whole array of anti-slavery writers and speakers had not accomplished
the results which the reviewer attributes to the "Biglow Papers."

Indeed, should there be a signal reform in the fashion and cost of
ladies' dresses it might with equal propriety be attributed to Butler's
poem "Nothing to Wear."


The statement is revived that General Garfield, when chief of the staff
of General Rosecrans in the campaign which ended at Chickamauga was
false to Rosecrans.  The allegation and the fact are that he wrote to
Mr. Chase, then in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet, that Rosecrans was incompetent
to the command.  Garfield's statements, as I recall the letters, were
free from malice and the professional and ethical question is, "Was
Garfield justified as a citizen and soldier, in giving his opinion to
the Administration?"  His view of Rosecrans was confirmed by events, and
it may be assumed that the opinion was free from any improper influence
when the letters were written.  On this assured basis of facts I cannot
doubt that Garfield did only what was his duty.  Neither the President
nor the War Department could obtain specific knowledge of the officers
in command except through associates and subordinates unless they
trusted to newspapers and casual visitors to the army.  The struggle
was a desperate one and the volunteer army was composed of men who were
citizens before they were soldiers and they remained citizens when they
became soldiers.  Garfield was of the citizen soldiery and to him and
to the country the etiquette of the army and the etiquette of society
were subordinate to the fortunes of the nation.  Of General Rosecrans'
unfitness for any important command there can be no doubt.  After the
disaster of Chickamauga, Rosecrans was relieved and General Thomas was
put in command and General Grant was ordered to the field.  He met
Rosecrans at Nashville where they had an interview.  From General Grant
I received the statement that Rosecrans had sound views as to the means
of relieving the army; "And," said General Grant, "my wonder was that
he had not put them in execution."

This one fact expresses enough of the weak side of Rosecrans as a
military leader to warrant the opinion given to Chase by Garfield,
and that opinion having been formed upon a knowledge of facts and of
Rosecrans as a military man and not from prejudice or rivalry, Garfield
should be honored for his course, rather than condemned.


The death of Mr. Bancroft at the age of more than ninety years removes
one of the few men in private life who can be ranked as personages.  He
was, perhaps, the only person in private life whose death would have
received a semi-public recognition from any of the rulers of Europe.
Such a recognition was accorded by the Emperor of Germany, and chiefly,
as it is understood, on account of the friendship which existed between
Mr. Bancroft and the grandfather of the present Emperor.

Mr. Bancroft's long and successful career as a writer and diplomatist
would seem to be evidence of the presence of qualities of a high order,
and yet no one who was near him accepted that opinion.  His
conversation was not instructive, certainly not in later years, nor was
he an original thinker upon any subject.  He was an enthusiast in
politics in early and middle life, and while his mental faculties
remained unimpaired his interest in political movements was great--and
usually it was in sympathy with the Democratic Party.  He was an
adhesive man in politics, capable of appearing to be reconciled to the
success of his opponents and ready to accept favors from them in the
way of office and honors and yet without in fact committing himself
to their policy.

He was a laborious student, and he had access to standard and in many
particulars to original authorities.  At the commencement of his history
he erred in denying with much confidence the claim of the visits of the
Northmen to this continent in the ninth and tenth centuries.

That early claim seems to be supported by evidence which is nearly, if
not absolutely, conclusive.  Of all his chapters that on Washington
was most attractive to me and it is quite the equal of Mr. Everett's
oration, that yielded a large sum of money, that the orator applied to
the purchase of Mount Vernon.  Mr. Bancroft aimed to illustrate his
history by an exhibition of philosophy.  This feat in literature can
be accomplished successfully only by a great mind.  First the events,
then the reasons for or sources of, then the consequences, then the
wisdom or unwisdom of the human agencies that have had part in weaving
the web, are all to be considered.  Examples are Gibbon and Buckle.


The simplicity of General Grant's nature, his frankness in all his
intercourse with his fellow men, his freedom from duplicity were not
touched unfavorably in any degree by his rapid advancement from the
ordinary pursuits of ordinary men to the highest places in military
and civil life.  There was never in his career any ostentatious display
of power, never any exercise of wanton or unnecessary authority.

He disliked controversy even in conversation, and his reticence when
not in the company of habitual companions and trusted friends was due
in part to his rule of life on this subject.

From the many years of my acquaintance with General Grant I cannot
recall an instance of a reference to theological opinions upon
controverted topics of faith.

The humanitarian side of his nature was strong, but it was not
ostentatiously exhibited--indeed it was concealed rather than
proclaimed.  It was made known to me by his interest and by his lack of
interest in appointments in the Treasury Department.

Of salaried places he controlled the appointment of General Pleasanton
as commissioner of internal revenue, and of that only.

On several occasions he suggested the designation of a person named for
employment in some menial and non-salaried service.  The person named
was in every instance the widow or daughter of some soldier of the war.
At intervals, not widely separated, he would bring the subject to my
notice.  Thus, without a command, I was forced to follow his suggestion.

The purity of his conversation might have been a worthy example for the
most carefully trained person in etiquette and morals.  My intercourse
with General Grant was intimate through many years, and never on any
occasion did he repeat a story or a phrase that contained a profane
remark or carried a vulgar allusion.  He had a relish for untainted wit
and for genial humor, and for humor he had some capacity.  He was not
an admirer of Mr. Sumner and a trace of irony may be found in a remark
attributed to him:  When some one said:  "Mr. Sumner does not believe
in the Bible," General Grant said:  "No, I suppose not, he didn't write

General Grant was attracted by a horse driven by a butcher.  He
purchased the animal at the cost of five hundred dollars.  He invited
Senator Conkling to a drive behind the new horse.  The Senator
criticised the animal, and said:  "I think I should prefer the five
hundred dollars to the horse."  "That is what the butcher thought,"
said General Grant.

He was sincere and devoted in his friendships, but when he discovered
that his confidence had been misplaced, a reconciliation became
impossible.  With him there could be no genuine forgiveness, and his
nature could not tolerate any degree of hypocrisy.  All voluntary
intercourse on his part had come to an end.

There was a time when a demand for my removal from office was made by
some Republican Senators and by the New York _Herald_, to which he gave
no attention.

The imperturbability of spirit which was indicated in his conversation
and movements was deep-seated in his nature.  I was with him in a
night trip to New York; when the train was derailed in part.  As the
wheels of the car struck the sleepers, he grasped the back of the seat
in front of him and remained motionless, while many of the passengers
added to their peril by abandoning their seats.

On a time General Grant received a pair of large roan horses from his
farm in Missouri.  He invited me to take one of the horses and join him
in a ride on the saddle.  I declined the invitation.  I was then invited
to take a seat with him in an open wagon.  When we were descending a
slight declivity one of the horses laid his weight on the pole and
broke it, although the parts did not separate.  General Grant placed
his foot upon the wheel, thus making a brake and saving us from a
disaster.  General Grant's faculties were at command on the instant
and under all circumstances.

When the Ku Klux organizations were active in the South, the President
gave members of Congress to understand that he would send a message
with a recommendation for punitive legislation.  Upon reflection he
came to doubt the wisdom of the measure, especially as the use of the
military forces at New Orleans and elsewhere had been criticised in the
country.  While the subject was thus undisposed of, I received a
message from the President which ended with a request that I should
accompany him to the Capitol.  On the way he informed me that he
doubted the wisdom of a message and that he intended to so inform those
to whom he had given encouragement.  At the interview which followed
several members who were present urged adherence to the original policy.
While the discussion was going on, the President returned to his
original opinion and wrote a message which was transmitted to the
Congress after one or two verbal changes that may have been suggested by
Secretary Fish or Secretary Robeson.

General Grant's sense of justice was exact and he did not spare himself
in his criticism.  He said to me in conversation, what is indicated in
his Memoirs, that he assumed some responsibility upon himself for the
removal of General Warren at Five Forks.  He had known that General
Warren was disqualified by natural defects from command in the field,
and hence that it was an error on his part that he had not assigned
Warren to duty at a station.

Again he said to me that his final campaign against Vicksburg was the
only one of his campaigns that he could not criticise adversely when
tested by reflection and experience.

During my term of service an appointment of some importance was made by
the collector of New York.  The appointment was approved by me.  In the
meantime some opponents of the appointee approached the President.  Upon
his suggestion the appointment was suspended.  After a delay I received
a letter from the President dated June 28th, 1869, in which he says:
"If it should still be the pleasure of Mr. Grinnell to confer the
appointment before tendered, let it be so, so far as I am concerned.
I am not willing knowingly to do anyone injustice as I now am led to
believe I may have done in the case of General Egan."

In the month of December, 1884, there were paragraphs in the newspapers
which justified the apprehension that General Grant was suffering from
a cancer.  In the late days of the month, I called upon him at his
house in New York.  He was then in good health, apparently.  I found
him in his library engaged in the preparation of articles for the
_Century Magazine_.  In the days of our more intimate acquaintance he
had said to me that it was his purpose to leave the history of his
campaigns to others.  He referred to that remark and said that his
financial embarrassments had forced him to change his purpose.  As I
was about to leave, he referred to a difficulty in his throat that he
had noticed for about six months.  He expressed the fear that he had
neglected it too long.  I avoided any serious remark in reply.  Soon
after my return to Groton my daughter received a letter from him, which,
in photographic copy, I here give.  It contains his parting words to
me and my family.  It is a precious souvenir of my acquaintance and
service with a man who was great and good above any estimate that the
world has placed upon him.

I called upon him in the month of June.  He rose to receive me.  His
power of speech was much impaired, and our interview was brief.  The
final parting was a sad event to me.

New York City,
January 3d, 1884;

My dear Miss Boutwell:

Many thanks for your New Year welcome, just received.  There is no
family that I have ever known whose friendship I prize more highly than
that of your father.  I wish for him and his family many returns of
new years, and that all of them may find him and his in the enjoyment
of good health and peace of mind.

Very truly yours,
U. S. Grant


When General Grant came before the public, and into a position that
compelled notice, he was called to meet a difficulty that his
predecessor in the office of President had encountered and overcome

An opinion existed in the cultivated classes, an opinion that was
especially local in the East, that a great place could not be filled
wisely and honorably, unless the occupant had had the benefit of a
university training.

Of such training Mr. Lincoln was destitute, utterly, and the training
which General Grant had received at West Point, where it was his
fortune to attain only to advanced standing in the lower half of his
class, was at the best the training thought to be necessary for the
vocation of a soldier.  That minority of critics overlooked the fact
that the world had set the seal of its favorable judgment upon
Cromwell, Washington, Franklin, Napoleon, Hamilton and others who had
not the advantages of university training.  Napoleon in a military
school and Hamilton in Columbia College for the term of a year, more
or less, did not rank among university men.

That minority of critics did not realize the fact that colleges and
universities cannot make great men.  Great men are independent of
colleges and universities.  In truth, a really great man is supreme
over college and universities.

Lincoln was such a man in speech, in power of argument, in practical
wisdom, by which he was enabled to act fearlessly and with success in
the great affairs of administration.

Such a man was General Grant on the military side of his career.  With
great military capacity, he was destitute of the military spirit.
During the period of his retirement from the army after the close of
the Mexican War he gave no attention to military affairs.  When he came
to Washington in 1865 as General of the Army, he was not the owner of a
work on war nor on the military art or science.

His military capacity was an endowment.  It might have been impaired or
crippled by the training of a university; but it is doubtful whether it
could have been improved thereby, and it is certain that it was, in
its quality, quite outside of the possibilities of university training.

As General Grant approached the end of his career the voice of the
critics, who judged men by the testimony of college catalogues and the
decorations of learned societies, was heard less frequently; and his
death, followed by the publication of his memoirs, written when the
hand of death was upon him, silenced the literary critics at once and

Since the month of July, 1885, there has appeared on the other side of
the Atlantic a set of military critics, of whom General Wolseley,
Commander of the British Army, must be treated as the chief, who deny
to General Grant the possession of superior military qualities, and who
assert that General Lee was his superior in the contest which they
carried on from February, 1864, to April, 1865.  On this side of the
Atlantic there is toleration, if not active and open support of General
Wolseley's opinion.

General Wolseley is entitled to an opinion and to the expression of his
opinion; but his authority cannot be admitted.  On the practical side
of military affairs his experience is a limited experience only.

It is not known that General Wolseley ever, in any capacity, engaged in
any battle that can be named in comparison with the battles of the
Wilderness, with Spottsylvania, with Cold Harbor, or the battle of Five
Forks; and it is certain that it was never his fortune to put one
hundred thousand men, or even fifty thousand men, into the wage of
battle and thus assume the responsibility of the contest.

It was never the necessity of the situation that General Lee should
assume the offensive, and in the two instances where he did assume the
offensive his campaigns were failures; and can any one doubt that if
General Grant had been in command either at Antietam or Gettysburg, the
war would than have come to an end of the left bank of the Potomac
River by the capture of Lee's army?  If this be so, then Lee's
undertaking was a hazard for which there could have been no justifying
reason, and his escape from destruction was due to the inadequacy of the
men in command of the Northern armies.  Following this remark I ought to
say that General Meade was a brave and patriotic officer, but he lacked
the qualities which enable a man to act promptly and wisely in great
exigencies.  While General Lee was acting on the defensive did he
engage in and successfully execute any strategic movement that can be
compared with Grant's campaign of May, 1863, through Mississippi and to
the rear of Vicksburg?  Or can General Wolseley cite an instance of
individual genius and power more conspicuous than the relief of our
besieged army at Chattanooga, the capture of six thousand prisoners,
forty pieces of artillery, seven thousand stands of small arms and
large quantities of other material of war?

During the period of reconstruction Alexander H. Stephens was examined
by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives as to
the condition and purposes of the South.  When the examination was over
I asked him when he came to the conclusion that the South was to be
defeated.  He said:  "In the year 1862."  I then said:  "In that year
you had your successes.  What were the grounds of your conclusions?"
In reply he said:  "It was then that I first realized that the North
was putting its whole force into the contest, and I knew that in such
a contest we were to be destroyed."

If I were to imagine a reason, or to suggest an excuse for General Lee's
two unsuccessful aggressive campaigns, I should assume that,
simultaneously with Mr. Stephens, he had reached the conclusion that
time was on the side of the North, and that the Fabian policy must fail
in the end.

In an aggressive movement there was one chance of success.  A victory
and capture of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington might lead to an
arrangement by which the Confederacy would be recognized, or a
restoration of the Union secured upon a basis acceptable to the South.
A desperate undertaking, no doubt, but it is difficult to suggest a
more adequate reason for the conduct of General Lee.

I cannot, as a civilian, assume to give a judgment which shall be
accepted by any one, upon the relative standing of military men; but I
cannot accept, without question, the decision of a military man who
never won a great victory in a great battle, upon a chieftain who
fought many great battles and never lost one.

I end my observations upon General Grant as a soldier by the relation
of an incident in my acquaintance with General Sherman, which was
intimate during the four years that I was at the head of the Treasury

It was my custom in those years to spend evenings at General Sherman's,
where we indulged ourselves in conversation and in the enjoyment of the
game of billiards.  Our conversations were chiefly upon the war.  In
those conversations General Grant's name and doings were the topics
often.  General Sherman never instituted a comparison between General
Grant and any one else, nor did he ever express an opinion of General
Grant as a military leader; but his conversation always assumed that
General Grant was superior to every other officer, himself, General
Sherman, included.

In concurrence with the opinion of General Sherman the friends of
General Grant may call an array of witnesses who, both from numbers and
character, are entitled to large confidence.

During the four years of the Civil War more than two million men served
in the Northern Army.  Many of them, more than a majority of them,
probably, served for at least three years each.  With an unanimity that
was never disturbed by an audible voice of dissent, the two million
veterans gave to General Grant supremacy over all the other officers
under whom they had served.  With like unanimity the chief officers of
the army assigned the first place to General Grant, and never in any
other war of modern times has there been equal opportunity for the
applications of a satisfactory test to leaders.  In all the wars which
England has been engaged since the fall of Napoleon, except, possibly,
the Crimean War, the opposing forces have been composed of inferior
races of men.  The fields of contest have been in India, Egypt and South
Africa.  From such contests no satisfactory opinion can be formed as to
the qualities of the leaders of the victorious forces.

In our Civil War the men and the officers were of the same race in the
main, and the educated officers had been alike trained at West Point.
Except in numbers, the armies of the North and the South were upon an
equality, and in all the great contests, the numbers engaged were
equal substantially.  The quality of the man and officers may be gauged
and measured with accuracy from the fact that at Shiloh, in the
Wilderness and at Gettysburg the same fields were contested for two
and three continuous days.  It has been said of Mr. Adams that when an
English sympathizer with the South lauded the bravery of the Southern
Army, Mr. Adams replied:  "Yes, they are brave men; they are my country-

The Southern Army was composed of brave men and its officers were
qualified by training and experience to command any army and to contest
for supremacy on any field.

My readers should not assume that I have avoided a discussion of the
characteristics of General Grant in his personality and as a civil

The voice of those who in 1872 denied his ability and questioned his
integrity is no longer heard; but there are those at home and abroad
who either teach or accept the notion that General Grant has become
great historically by having been the favorite of fortune.

[* From the New York _Independent_.]


The controversy between Mr. Blaine and Mr. Conkling on the floor of the
House of Representatives in the Thirty-ninth Congress was fraught with
serious consequences to the contestants, and it may have changed the
fortunes of the Republican Party.

Mr. Conkling was a member of the Thirty-seventh Congress, but he was
defeated as a candidate for the Thirty-eighth.  He was returned for the
Thirty-ninth Congress.  During the term of the Thirty-eighth Congress
he was commissioned by the Department of War as judge-advocate, and
assigned for duty to the prosecution of Major Haddock and the trial of
certain soldiers known as "bounty jumpers."  That duty he performed.

When the army bill was before the House in April, 1866, Mr. Conkling
moved to strike out the section which made an appropriation for the
support of the provost-marshal general.  General Grant, then in
command of the army, had given an opinion, in a letter dated March 19,
1866, that that office in the War Department was an unnecessary office.
Mr. Conkling supported his motion in a speech in which he said:  "My
objection to this section is that is creates an unnecessary office for
an undeserving public servant; it fastens, as an incubus upon the
country, a hateful instrument of war, which deserves no place in a free
government in a time of peace."

Thus Mr. Conkling not only assailed the office, he assailed the officer,
and in a manner calculated to kindle resentment, especially in an
officer of high rank.  General James B. Fry was provost-marshal-general.
He was able to command the friendship of Mr. Blaine, and on the
thirtieth day of April, Mr. Blaine read from his seat in the House a
letter from General Fry addressed to himself.  Thus Mr. Blaine endorsed
the contents of the letter.

In that letter General Fry made three specific charges against Mr.
Conkling, but he made no answer to the arraignment that Mr. Conkling
had made of him and his office.  Thus he avoided the issue that Mr.
Conkling had raised.  His charges were these:

1.  That Mr. Conkling had received a fee for the prosecution of Major
Haddock, and that the same had been received improperly, if not

2.  That in the discharge of his duties he had not acted in good faith,
and that he had been zealous in preventing the prosecution of deserters
at Utica.

3.  That he had notified the War Department that the Provost-Marshal in
Western New York needed legal advice, and that thereupon he received
an appointment.

The fourth charge was an inference, and it fell with the allegation.

Upon the reading of the letter a debate arose which fell below any
recognized standard of Congressional controversy and which rendered a
reconciliation impossible.

At that time my relations to Mr. Conkling were not intimate, and I am
now puzzled when I ask myself the question:  "Why did Mr. Conkling
invite my opinion as to his further action in the matter?"  That he did,
however; and I advised him to ask for a committee.  A committee of five
was appointed, three Republicans and two Democrats.  Mr. Shellabarger
was chairman, and Mr. Windom was a member.

The report was a unanimous report.  The committee criticised the
practice of reading letters in the House, which reflected upon the
House, or upon the acts or speeches of any member.

At considerable length of statement and remarks, the committee
exonerated Mr. Conkling from each and every one of the charges, and,
with emphasis, the proceedings on the part of General Fry were
condemned.  The most important of the resolutions reported by the
committee was in these words:

_Resolved,_ That all the statements contained in the letter of General
James B. Fry to Hon. James G. Blaine, a member of this House, bearing
date the 27th of April, A. D. 1866, and which was read in this House
the 30th day of April, A. D. 1866, in so far as such statements impute
to the Hon. Roscoe Conkling, a member of this House, any criminal,
illegal, unpatriotic, or otherwise improper conduct, or motives, either
as to the matter of his procuring himself to be employed by the
Government of the United States in the prosecution of military offences
in the State of New York, in the management of such prosecutions, in
taking compensation therefor, or in any other charge, are wholly without
foundation truth, and for their publication there were, in the judgment
of the House, no facts connected with said prosecutions furnishing
either a palliative or an excuse.

The controversy thus opened came to an end only with Mr. Conkling's
death.  It is not known to me that Mr. Conkling and Mr. Blaine were
unfriendly previous to the encounter of April, 1866.  That they could
have lived on terms of intimacy, or even of ordinary friendship, is not
probable.  Yet it may not be easy to assign a reason for such an
estrangement unless it may be found in the word incompatibility.  My
relations with Mr. Blaine were friendly, reserved, and as to his
aspirations for the Presidency, it was well understood by him that I
could not be counted among his original supporters.

Only on one occasion was the subject ever mentioned.  About two weeks
before the Republican Convention of 1884, I met Mr. Blaine in Lafayette
Square.  He beckoned me to a seat on a bench.  He opened the
conversation by saying that he was glad to have some votes in the
convention, but that he did not wish for the nomination.  He expressed
a wish to defeat the nomination of President Arthur, and he then said
the ticket should be General Sherman and Robert Lincoln.  Most
assuredly the nomination of that ticket would have been followed by an
election.  To me General Sherman had one answer to the suggestion:
"I am not a statesman; my brother John is.  If any Sherman is to be
nominated, he is the man."

I did not then question, nor do I now question, the sincerity of the
statement that Mr. Blaine then made.  My acquaintance with Mr. Blaine
began with our election to the Thirty-eighth Congress, and it continued
on terms of reserved friendship to the end of his life.  That reserve
was not due to any defect in his character of which I had knowledge,
nor to the statements concerning him that were made by others, but to
an opinion that he was not a person whose candidacy I was willing to
espouse in advance of his nomination.  I ought to say that in my
intercourse with Mr. Blaine he was frank and free from dissimulation.

I was on terms of intimacy with Mr. Conkling from the disastrous April,
1866, to the end of his life.  Hence it was that I ventured upon an
experiment which a less well-assured friend would have avoided.  I
assumed that Mr. Blaine would close the controversy at the first
opportunity.  It may be said of Mr. Blaine that, while he had great
facility for getting into difficulties, he had also a strong desire to
get out of difficulties, and great capacity for the accomplishment of
his purposes in that direction.

On a time, and years previous to 1880, I put the matter before Mr.
Conkling, briefly, upon personal grounds, and upon public grounds in
a party sense.  He received the suggestion without any manifestation
of feeling, and with great candor he said:  "That attack was made
without any provocation by me as against Mr. Blaine, and when I was
suffering more from other causes than I ever suffered at any other time,
and I shall never overlook it."

General Grant's strength was so overmastering in 1868 and 1872 that
the controversy between Blaine and Conkling was of no importance to the
Republican Party.  The disappearance of the political influence of
General Grant in 1876 revived the controversy within the Republican
Party, and made the nomination of either Blaine or Conkling an
impossibility.  Its evil influence extended to the election, and it put
in jeopardy the success of General Hayes.  At the end, Mr. Conkling
did not accept the judgment of the Electoral Commission as a just
judgment, and he declined to vote for its affirmation.

I urged Mr. Conkling to sustain the action of the commission, and upon
the ground that we had taken full responsibility when we agreed to the
reference and that there was then no alternative open to us.  I did not
attempt to solve the problem of the election of 1876 either upon ethical
or political grounds.  The evidence was more conclusive than
satisfactory that there had been wrong-doing in New York, in Oregon,
in New Orleans, and not unlikely in many other places.  As a measure of
peace, when ascertained justice had become an impossibility, I was
ready to accept the report of the commission, whether it gave the
Presidency to General Hayes or to Mr. Tilden.  The circumstances were
such that success before the commission did not promise any
advantage to the successful party.

For the moment, I pass by the Convention of 1880 and the events of the
following year.  In the year 1884 Mr. Conkling was in the practice of
his profession and enjoying therefrom larger emoluments, through a
series of years, than ever were enjoyed by any other member of the
American bar.  He once said to me:  "My father would denounce me if
he knew what charges I am making."  That conjecture may have been well
founded, for the father would not have been the outcome of the period
in which the son was living.  The father was an austere county judge,
largely destitute of the rich equipment for the profession for which
the son was distinguished.  After the year 1881, when Mr. Conkling
gave himself wholly to the profession, Mr. Justice Miller made this
remark to me:  "For the discussion of the law and the facts of a case
Mr. Conkling is the best lawyer who comes into our court."

If this estimate was trustworthy, then Mr. Conkling's misgivings as to
his charges may have been groundless.  If a rich man, whose property is
put in peril, whose liberty is assailed, or whose reputation is
threatened, will seek the advice and aid of the leading advocate of the
city, state, or country, shall not the compensation be commensurate
with the stake that has been set up?  Is it to be measured by the
_per diem_ time pay of ordinary men?

Whatever may have been Mr. Conkling's pecuniary interests or
professional engagements in the year 1884, he found time to take a quiet
part in the contest of that year, and to contribute to Mr. Blaine's

In the month of November, and after the election, I had occasion to pass
a Sunday in New York.  It happened, and by accident, that I met Mr.
Conkling on Fifth Avenue.  After the formalities, he invited me to call
with him upon Mr. William K. Vanderbilt.  Mr. Vanderbilt was absent
when we called.  Upon his return, the election was the topic of
conversation.  Mr. Vanderbilt said that he voted for Garfield in 1880,
but that he had not voted for Blaine.  Mr. Conkling expressed his
regret that Mr. Blaine had come so near a success, and he attributed it
to the fact that he had not anticipated the support which had been
given to Blaine by the Democratic Party.

On a time in the conversation Mr. Conkling said:  "Mr. Vanderbilt, why
did you sell Maud S.?"

Mr. Vanderbilt proceeded to give reasons.  He had received letters from
strangers inquiring about her pedigree, care, age, treatment, etc.,
which he could not answer without more labor than he was willing to
perform.  As a final reason, he said:  "When I drive up Broadway, people
do not say, 'There goes Vanderbilt,' but they say, 'There goes Maud S.'"

When General Grant was on his journey around the world I wrote him a
letter occasionally, and occasionally I received a letter in reply.  In
two of my letters I mentioned as a fact what I then thought to be the
truth, that there was a very considerable public opinion in favor of
his nomination for President in 1880, and that upon his return to the
country some definite action on his part might be required.  Upon a
recent examination of his letters, I find that they are free from any
reference to the Presidency.  If Mr. Conkling, General Logan, Mr.
Cameron, and myself came to be considered the special representatives
of General Grant at the Chicago Convention of 1880, the circumstance was
not due to any designation by him prior to the Galena letter, of which
I am to speak and which was written while the convention was in session,
and when the contest between the contending parties was far advanced.

Our title was derived from the constant support that we had given him
through many years and from his constant friendship for us through the
same many years.  We were of the opinion then, and in that belief we
never faltered, that the nomination and election of General Grant were
the best security that could be had for the peace and prosperity of
the country.  That opinion was supported by an expressed public
sentiment in the conventions of New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois,
and in other parts of the country there were evidences of a disposition
in the body of the people to support General Grant in numbers far in
excess of the strength of the Republican Party.

The mass of the people were not disturbed by the thought that General
Grant might become President a third time.  They did not accept the
absurd notion that experience, successful experience, disqualified a
man for further service.  Nor did that apprehension influence any
considerable number of the leaders.  They demanded a transfer of power
into new hands.  This, unquestionably, was their right, and as a
majority of the convention, as the convention was constituted finally,
they were able to assert and to maintain their supremacy.

It is too late for complaints, and complaints were vain when the causes
were transpiring, but there were delegates who appeared in the
convention as opponents of General Grant who had been elected upon the
understanding that they were his friends.  Upon this fact I hang a
single observation.  If there is a trust in human affairs that should be
treated as a sacred trust it is to be found in the duty that arises
from the acceptance of a representative office in matters of government.
When a public opinion has been formed, either in regard to men or to
measures, whoever undertakes to represent that opinion should do so in
good faith.

To this rule there were many exceptions in the Republican Convention of
1880, and it was no slight evidence of devotion to the party and to the
country when General Grant and Mr. Conkling entered actively into the
contest after the fortunes of the party had been prostrated, apparently,
by the disaster in the State of Maine.

Of the many incidents of the convention no one is more worthy of notice
than the speech of Mr. Conkling when he placed General Grant in
nomination.  Whatever he said that was in support of his cause,
affirmatively, was of the highest order of dramatic eloquence.  When he
dealt with his opponents, his speech was not advanced in quality and its
influence was diminished.  His reference in his opening sentence to his
associates who had deserted General Grant:  "In obedience to
instructions which I should never dare to disregard," was tolerated even
by his enemies; but his allusion to Mr. Blaine in these words:  "without
patronage, without emissaries, without committees, without bureaus,
without telegraph wires running from his house to this convention, or
running from his house anywhere," intensified the opposition to General

In many particulars his speech is an unequaled analysis of General
Grant's character and career, presented in a most attractive form.  An
extract may be tolerated from a speech that can be read with interest
even by those who are ignorant of the doings, or it may be, by those
who have no knowledge of the existence, of the convention:

"Standing on the highest eminence of human distinction, modest, firm,
simple, and self-poised, having filled all lands with his renown, he
has seen not only the high-born and the titled, but the poor and the
lowly, in the uttermost ends of the earth, rise and uncover before him."

Mr. Conkling was the recognized leader of the three hundred and six who
constituted the compact body of the supporters of General Grant.

Suggestions were made that the substitution of Mr. Conkling's name for
General Grant's name would give the nomination to Mr. Conkling, and
there was a moment of time when General Garfield anticipated or
apprehended such a result.  There was, however, never a moment of time
when such a result was possible.  The three hundred and six would never
have consented to the use of any name in place of General Grant's name
unless General Grant's name were first withdrawn by his authority.

A firmer obstacle even would have been found in Mr. Conkling's sturdy
refusal to allow the use of his name under such circumstances.  Among
the friends of General Grant the thought of such a proceeding was never
entertained, although the suggestion was made, but without authority,
probably, from those charged with the management of the organizations
engaged in the struggle.

After many years had passed, and the proceedings of the convention were
well-nigh forgotten, Mr. John Russell Young printed a letter in which he
made the charge that Conkling, Cameron, Boutwell, and Lincoln had
concealed the contents of a letter from General Grant in which he
directed them as his representatives to withdraw his name from the
convention.  Mr. Young was in error in two particulars.  Lincoln was not
named in the letter.  General Logan was the fourth person to whom the
letter was addressed.

Young brought the letter from Galena, where Grant then was, and he
claims that the letter was addressed to himself.  General Frederick D.
Grant, who was then at Chicago, claims that the letter was addressed to
him, and that, after reading it, he handed it to Mr. Conkling.

As late as the first half of the year 1897, Mr. Conkling's papers had
not been examined carefully.  The contents of the letter are important,
and for the present the evidence is circumstantial; but to me it is
conclusive against Mr. Young's statement that Conkling, Cameron, Logan,
and Boutwell were directed by General Grant to withdraw his name from
the convention.  I cannot now say that I read the letter, but of its
receipt and the contents I had full knowledge, and I referred to it
in these words in a letter to my daughter dated May 31, 1880:

"Grant sent for Young to visit him at Galena.  Young returned to-day,
and says that Grant directed him to say to Cameron, Logan, Conkling,
and Boutwell that he should be satisfied with whatever they may do."

Without any special recollection upon the point, the conclusion of
reason is that my letter was written from a conversation with Young,
and before I had knowledge of the contents of Grant's letter.  I may
add, however, that his letter produced no change in my opinion as to
our authority and duty in regard to Grant's candidacy.  My mind never
departed for a moment from the idea that we were free, entirely free,
to continue the contest in behalf of General Grant upon our own judgment.

Upon the views and facts already presented and with even greater
certainty upon the correspondence with General Frederick D. Grant,
I submit as the necessary conclusion of the whole matter that the letter
of General Grant of May, 1880, did not contain any specific
instructions, and especially that it did not contain instructions for
the withdrawal of his name from the convention; in fine, that the
further conduct of the contest was left to the discretion and judgment
of the four men whom he had recognized as his representatives.

I annex the correspondence with General Frederick D. Grant:

BOSTON, MASS., _May_ 28, 1897.

_Dear Sir:_  You will of course recall the fact that John Russell Young,
some months ago, made a public statement in which he declared that he
brought from Galena to Chicago, during the session of the Republican
Convention of 1880, a letter from General Grant in which he gave
specific directions to Conkling, Cameron, and Boutwell to withdraw his
name as a candidate from the convention.  Some months ago I had some
correspondence with A. R. Conkling, and also with yourself, in regard
to the contents of the letter written by General Grant.  Mr. A. R.
Conkling sent me a copy of a portion of a letter which, as he advised
me, he had received from you.  A copy of that extract I herewith
enclose.  As one of the friends of General Grant and as one of the
persons to whom bad faith was imputed by Mr. Young, it is my purpose to
place the matter before the public with such evidence as I can
command, for the purpose of showing the character of the letter.

I wish to obtain from you such a statement as you are willing to make,
with the understanding that whenever the case shall be presented to the
public your letter may be used.

Aside from actual evidence tending to show that Young's statement is
erroneous, I cannot believe that General Grant would have recognized
as a friend either one of the persons named, if his explicit
instructions for the withdrawal of his name had been made by him and
disregarded by them.

Yours very truly,

NEW YORK, _May_ 30, 1897.

_My Dear Senator:_  I received yesterday your letter of May 28th, in
which you asked me what I remember about a letter which my father,
General Grant, wrote to his four leading friends during the session of
the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1880.

With reference to this matter my recollection is, that Mr. John Russell
Young, who had been visiting father in Galena, brought from him a
large sealed envelope, which he delivered to me at my home in Chicago,
with directions from my father that I should read the letter contained
therein, and then see that it was received safely by his four friends,
Senators Conkling, Boutwell, Cameron, and Logan.

The substance of General Grant's letter was, that the personal feelings
of partisans of the leading candidates had grown to be so bitter, that
it might become advisable for the good of the Republican Party to
select as their candidate some one whose name had not yet been
prominently before the convention, and that he therefore wrote to say
to those who represented his interest in the convention, that it would
be quite satisfactory to him if they would confer with those who
represented the interests of Mr. Blaine and decided to have both his
name and Mr. Blaine's withdrawn from before the convention.

I delivered in person this letter from my father, to Senator Conkling--
I do not know what disposition he made of it.

With highest regards, my dear Senator, for your family and yourself,
believe me, as ever,

Faithfully yours,

Following the visit of General Grant and Mr. Conkling to Mentor in the
autumn of 1880, I was informed by Mr. Conkling that he had not been
alone one minute with General Garfield, intending by that care-taking
to avoid the suggestion that his visit was designed to afford an
opportunity for any personal or party arrangement.  Further, it was the
wish of General Grant, as it was his wish, that the effort which they
were then making should be treated as a service due to the party and to
the country, and that General Garfield should be left free from any
obligation to them whatsoever.

After the election and after Mr. Blaine became Secretary of State, he
volunteered to speak of the situation of the party in New York and of
Mr. Conkling's standing in the State.  Among other things, he said that
Mr. Conkling was the only man who had had three elections to the Senate,
and that Mr. Conkling and his friends would be considered fairly in
the appointments that might be made in that State.

When in a conversation with Conkling, I mentioned Blaine's remark, he
said, "Do you believe one word of that?"

I said, "Yes, I believe Mr. Blaine."

He said with emphasis, "I don't."

Subsequent events strengthened Mr. Conkling in his opinion, but those
events did not change my opinion of Mr. Blaine's integrity of purpose
in the conversations of which I have spoken.

My knowledge of the events, not important in themselves, but which
seem to have the relation of a prelude to the great tragedy, was
derived from three persons, Mr. Conkling, Mr. Blaine, and Mr. Marshall
Jewell.  At the request of the President, Mr. Conkling called upon him
the Sunday preceding the day of catastrophe.  The President gave Mr.
Conkling the names of persons that he was considering favorably for
certain places.  To several of these Mr. Conkling made objections, and
in some cases other persons were named.  As Mr. Conkling was leaving
he said, "Mr. President, what do you propose about the collectorship
of New York?"  The President said, "We will leave that for another
time."  These statements I received from Mr. Conkling.

From Mr. Jewell I received the following statement as coming from the
President:  When the New York nominations were sent to the Senate, the
President was forthwith in the receipt of letters and despatches in
protest, coupled with the suggestion that everything had been
surrendered to Conkling.  Without delay and without consultation with
any one, the President nominated Judge Robertson to the office of
collector of New York.  Further, the President said, as reported by Mr.
Jewell, Mr. Blaine heard of the nomination, and he came in very pale
and much astonished.

From Mr. Blaine I received the specific statement that he had no
knowledge of the nomination of Judge Robertson until it had been made.

These statements are reconcilable with each other, and they place the
responsibility for the sudden and fatal rupture of the relations
between Mr. Conkling and the President upon the President.  Mr. Conkling
could not fail to regard the nomination of Robertson as a wilful and
premeditated violation of the pledge given at the Sunday conference.
It was, however, only an instance of General Garfield's impulsive and
unreasoning submission to an expression of public opinion, without
waiting for evidence of the nature and value of that opinion.  That
weakness had been observed by his associates in the House of
Representatives, and on that weakness his administration was wrecked.

Mr. Conkling was much misrepresented and of course he was much
misunderstood.  As a Senator from New York he claimed a right to be
consulted in regard to the principal appointments in the State.  His
recommendations were few and they were made with great care.  He
confined himself to the chief appointments.  It was quite difficult
to secure his name or his favorable word in behalf of applicants for
the subordinate places.

In my experience with him, which was considerable in the Internal
Revenue Office and in the Treasury, I found him ready to concede to
the opinions of the Executive Department.  He was one of those who
held to the opinion that it was the duty of Representatives and Senators
to give advice in regard to appointments and to give it upon their
responsibility as members of the Government.  Senators and
Representatives are not officers of the Government, they are members
of the Government, and the duty of giving aid to the administration
rests upon them.

When a man is chosen to represent a State or a district, a presumption
should arise that he will act for the good of the country to the best
of his ability.  Advice in regard to appointments is a part of his
duty, and in the main the Senators and Representatives are worthy of
confidence.  The present Civil Service system rests upon the theory that
they are not to be trusted and that three men without a constituency
are safer custodians of power.

Upon the death of Garfield and the accession of Arthur, Mr. Conkling
looked for one thing, and one thing only--the removal of Robertson.
When this was not done he separated from Arthur.  I have no knowledge
of the reasons which governed the President, but I think his career
would have been more agreeable to himself if he had so far vindicated
his own course and the course of his friends as to have removed from
office the man who had contributed so largely to the defeat of the wing
of the Republican Party with which Mr. Arthur was identified.

When General Garfield died, the Republican Party was broken, and it
seemed to be without hope.  President Arthur's conciliatory policy did
much to restore harmony of all the elements except the wing represented
by Mr. Conkling.

It is probable, however, that a better result might have been secured by
the early removal of Robertson.  That course of action would have been
satisfactory to Conkling, and given strength to the party in New York,
where strength was most needed.  With Mr. Conkling's aid in 1884, Mr.
Arthur might have been nominated, and if nominated it is probable that
he might have been elected with Mr. Conkling's aid.  Arthur's error was
that he offended two important factions of the party.  By retaining
Robertson he alienated Conkling, and by the removal of Blaine he
alienated him and his friends.  Hence in 1884 two elements of the party
that were bitterly opposed to each other harmonized in their opposition
to Arthur.

FROM 1875 TO 1895


In January, 1875, Mr. Fish negotiated a treaty with the representatives
of the Hawaiian Islands by which there was to be a free exchange of
specified products and manufactures.

By the fourth article the King agreed not to dispose of any port or
harbor in his dominions or create a lien thereon in favor of any other
government.  When the treaty came to the Senate it had no original
friends, and it met with determined opposition, especially from Sherman
of Ohio, and Morrill and Edmunds of Vermont.  The reciprocity feature
annoyed them, they fearing that it might be used as a precedent for
reciprocity with Canada.

I was early impressed with the importance of securing a foothold in the
islands and I considered the exclusion of other nations as a step in
the right direction.  The trustworthy estimates showed that the
reciprocity feature would work a loss to the Treasury of the United
States of more than half a million dollars a year.  This the supporters
of the treaty were compelled to admit, but after argument the requisite
majority ratified the treaty and upon the theory that the political,
naval and commercial advantages were an adequate compensation.  Upon the
renewal of the treaty the King ceded Pearl River Harbor to the United
States.  After the expiration of the fixed period of seven years during
which the two nations were bound mutually, there was a class of men who
were anxious to abrogate the treaty, and at each session of Congress
for several years a proposition was introduced for that purpose.  By
something of argument and something of art, the scheme was defeated.
The opposition, led usually by Holman, of Indiana, consisted largely of
Democrats.  Their reason was loss of revenue.  That fact was always
admitted by the friends of the treaty.  It was claimed also that there
was no advantage gained by the country from the introduction of rice
and sugar from the islands duty-free.  It was asserted by the
combinations the prices were as high on the Pacific Coast as on the
Atlantic.  On the other hand the Louisiana sugar planters opposed the
treaty on the ground that they were unfavorably affected.  As the
importations from the islands never exceeded four per cent of the
consumption of the country, the treaty had no perceptible effect upon
prices.  The sugar and rice interests were reinforced by the delegations
from Michigan, Ohio and Vermont, who opposed the treaty under an
apprehension that it would operate as a precedent for a revival of the
system of reciprocity with Canada.

The fact of the annexation of Canada to the United States, whether the
event shall occur in a time near or be postponed to a time remote,
depends probably on our action upon the subject of reciprocity.

Canada needs our markets and our facilities for ocean transportation,
and, as long as these advantages are denied to her, she can never attain
to a high degree of prosperity.  England may furnish capital for
railways, but railways are profitable only where there is business and
production on the one hand, and markets on the other.  The system of
qualified intercourse tends to make the Canadian farmer dissatisfied
with his condition, and as long as there are cheap lands in the United
States he will find relief in emigration.

The time, however, is not far distant, when the Canadian farmer will be
unable to sell his lands in the Dominion and with the proceeds purchase
a home in the States.  When that time arrives he will favor annexation
as a means of raising his own possessions to a value corresponding to
the value of land in the States.  The body of farmers, laborers, and
trading people will favor annexation, ultimately, should the policy of
non-intercourse be adhered to on our part, and they will outnumber the
office-holding class, and thus the union of the two countries will be
secured.  It is apparent also that a policy of free intercourse would
postpone annexation for a long time, if not indefinitely.  Give to the
Canadian farmer and fisherman free access to our markets and there will
remain only a political motive in favor of annexation.  The English
government is pursuing a liberal policy in its dealings with the
Dominion, and there is no reason for anticipating a retrograde course
of conduct on the part of the home government.


In 1876 I was made chairman of a committee of the Senate charged with
the duty of investigating the election of 1875 in the State of
Mississippi.  My associates were Cameron of Wisconsin, McMillan of
Missouri, Bayard of Delaware, and McDonald of Missouri.

By the election of 1875 the Republican Party had been overthrown and
the power of the Democratic Party established upon a basis which has
continued firm, until the present time.  The question for investigation
was this:  Was the election of 1875 an honest election?  There was an
agreement of opinion that there were riots, shootings and massacres.
On the side of the Democrats it was contended that these outrages had
no political significance, that they were due to personal quarrels,
and to uprisings of negroes for the purpose of murdering the whites.
The testimony was of the same character and the conclusions of the two
branches of the committee followed the lead of these conflicting
theories and statements.  For myself I had no doubt that the election
of 1875 was carried by the Democrats by a preconcerted plan of riots
and assassinations.  To me the evidence seemed conclusive.

The town of Aberdeen was the scene of murderous intimidation on the
day of election, and at about eleven o'clock the Republicans left the
polling place and abandoned the contest.

One of the principal witnesses for the Democrats was General Reuben
Davis, a cousin of Jefferson Davis.  He had been a member of the
Thirty-sixth Congress, and he had resigned his seat to take part in the
Rebellion.  He was a Brigadier-General in the service, but without
distinction.  He explained and excused all the transactions at
Aberdeen and with emphasis and adroitness he laid the responsibility
upon the Republicans.  Of certain things there was uncontradicted
testimony.  1.  That the Democrats placed a cannon near the voting-place
and trained it upon the window where the Republicans, mostly negroes,
were to vote, and that there was a caisson at the same place.  2.  That
there was a company of mounted men and armed cavalry upon the ground.
3.  That guns were discharged in the vicinity of the voting place.
4.  That at about eleven o'clock the sheriff of the county, a white man
and a Republican, who had been a colonel in the rebel army, made a
brief address to the Republican voters in which he said that there could
be no election and advised them to go to their homes.  This they did
without delay.  The sheriff locked himself in the jail where he remained
until the events of the day were ended.  General Davis insisted that
all these demonstrations of apparent hostility had no significance--
that the artillery men had no ammunition--that the cavalry men were
assembled for sport only--and that the discharge of muskets was made by
boys and lawless persons, but without malice.

In many parts of the State the canvass previous to the election was
characterized by assassinations and midnight murders.  But all were
explained upon non-political grounds.

In 1878 General Davis offered himself to the electors as a Democratic
candidate for Congress.  The convention nominated another person.  He
then entered the field as an independent candidate.  He was defeated,
or rather the Democrat was declared to have been elected.  The
Republicans had voted for Davis, and when the contest was decided by
the returning board Davis published a letter in which he charged upon
the Democratic leaders the conduct which in 1876, he had explained and
defended.  After the election of General Harrison in 1888, General Davis
appeared at Indianapolis as a Republican, and as such he had an
interview with the President-elect.

While I was conducting the investigation at Jackson, a stout negro from
the plantation sought an interview with me after he had been examined
by the committee.  He was a mulatto of unusual sense, but he was under
a strong feeling in regard to the outrages that had been perpetrated
upon the negro race.

Finally he said:  "Had we not better take off the leaders?  We can do it
in a night."

I said:  "No.  It would end in the sacrifice of the black population.
It would be as wrong on your part as is their conduct towards you.
Moreover, we intend to protect you, and in the end you will be placed
on good ground."

There is, however, a lesson and a warning in what that negro said.  If
the wrongs continue, some "John Brown" black or white, may appear in
Mississippi or South Carolina or in several states at once, and engage
in a vain attempt to regain the rights of the negro race by brutal
crimes.  The negroes are seven million to-day, and they are increasing
in numbers and gaining in wealth and intelligence.  The South, and
indeed the whole country were not more blind to impending perils in the
days of slavery than we now are to the perils of the usurpation in
which the South is engaged.  With such examples as this country
furnishes and with the traditions under whose influence all classes are
living, there will always be peril as long as large bodies of citizens
are deprived of their legal rights.

Should such a contest arise, there will be wide spread sympathy in the
North, which might convert a servile or social war into a sectional
civil war.


One of my last acts as Secretary was to advise the President to nominate
a Mr. Hitchcock for collector of the port of San Diego, California.
Hitchcock was a lawyer by profession, a graduate of Harvard and a man of
good standing in San Diego.  Mr. Houghton, the member for the San Diego
district, had recommended a man who was a saloon-keeper and a Democrat
in politics, but he had supported Houghton in the canvass.  Houghton's
request was supported by Senator Sargent.  Upon the facts as then
understood the President nominated Hitchcock and one of the first
questions of interest to me was the action of the Senate upon the
nomination of Hitchcock which I supported.

Sargent appealed to what was known as the courtesy of the Senate a rule
or custom which required Senators of the same party to follow the lead
of Senators in the matter of nominations from the respective States.  To
this rule I objected.  I refused to recognize it, and I said that I
would never appeal to the "courtesy" of the Senate in any matter
concerning the State of Massachusetts.  Hitchcock was rejected.  The
President nominated Houghton's candidate.

This action on my part was followed by consequences which may have
prevented my re-election to the Senate.  When Judge Russell, who was
collector of the port of Boston, was about to resign, General Butler,
who had early knowledge of the purpose of Russell, secured from General
Grant the nomination of his friend William A. Simmons.  Simmons had been
in the army, he had had experience in the Internal Revenue Service and
his record was good.  He was, however, Butler's intimate friend, and
all the hostility in the State against Butler, which was large, was
directed against the confirmation.  I was not personally opposed to
Simmons, but I thought that his appointment was unwise in the extreme,
and therefore I opposed his confirmation.  There were fair offers of
compromise on men who were free from objections, all of which were
refused by Butler.  The President declined to withdraw the nomination
unless it could be made to appear that Simmons was an unfit man.  This
could not be done.  I was upon the Committee on Commerce to which the
nomination was referred, and upon my motion the report was adverse to
the nomination.  Butler came to my room and denounced my action,
saying that he would spend half a million dollars to defeat my re-
election.  I said in reply:--

"You can do that if you choose, but you cannot control my action now."

In the Senate I opposed the confirmation on the ground that a majority
of the Republican Party were dissatisfied, that it was an unnecessary
act of violence to their feelings, that there were men who were
acceptable who could be considered, and that the means by which the
nomination was secured could not be defended.  I was then challenged to
say whether I appealed to the courtesy of the Senate.  I said:

"No, I do not.  I ask for the rejection of Simmons upon the ground that
the nomination ought not to have been made."

Sumner appealed to the courtesy of the Senate, but he had then wandered
so far from the Republican Party that his appeal was disregarded.
Simmons was confirmed.

Enough of the proceedings were made public to enable my opponents to
allege that I might have defeated Simmons, and that my action was
insincere.  As a result I had no further political intercourse with
Butler, and when the contest came in 1877 his action aided Mr. Hoar in
securing the seat in the Senate.  I presume, however, that Butler
preferred my election, but he had hopes for himself, or at least that
the election would go to a third party.  A day or two before the
election he sent me a friendly despatch urging me to go to Boston.  I
had already determined to avoid any personal participation in the
contest.  That non-interference I have never regretted.


As I now view the subject (1900) the Electoral Commission was an
indefensible necessity.  In the division of parties it seemed
impossible, and probably it was impossible, to secure a result with
peace to the country, except by a resort to extraordinary means.

When the bill passed the two houses the chances were with the Democrats.
Judge Davis was in the list of judges from the Supreme Court.  His
sympathies, and perhaps his opinions, were with the Democratic Party,
and there was reason to apprehend that he might incline to act with the
Democratic members of the commission.  After the passage of the bill
Judge Davis was chosen Senator from Illinois, and Judge Strong became
a member.  Upon the pivotal questions the members acted upon their
political opinions, or, most certainly in accordance with them.

I voted for the bill upon the understanding that there was no specific
authority for such a proceeding.  Indeed, the questions might have been
referred to the mayors of New York and Brooklyn, upon grounds equally
defensible in a legal point of view, although the tribunal selected was
much better qualified for the duty.  Having agreed to the use of an
unconstitutional tribunal, or to an extra constitutional tribunal, I
had no qualms about accepting the result.  Nor was I especially
gratified by the action of the commission.  My connections with Mr.
Conkling led me to think that he had great doubts about the propriety
of the decision in the case of Louisiana, and that doubt may have led
him to avoid the vote in the Senate.


As chairman of the Committee on the Revision of the Statutes, I framed
and reported the amendments to the Revised Statutes, which were
afterwards incorporated in the edition of 1878, which I prepared by
the appointment of President Hayes after my term in the Senate expired,
which was made probably, upon the recommendation of Attorney-General
Devens and without any solicitation on my part, or by any of my friends,
as far as I know.

The edition of 1878 contains references to every decision of the Supreme
Court down to and including volume 194.  It contains a reference to the
decisions of the Supreme Court, all arranged and classified under the
various sections, articles and paragraphs of that instrument.  In doing
this work I was compelled to read all the opinions of the Court from
the beginning of the Government, so far, at least, as to understand
the character of each opinion.

The preparation of the index was the work of months.  Its value is great
and the credit is due to Chief Justice Richardson who not only aided me,
but he devised the plan and gave direction to the work as it went on.
It was our rule to index every provision under at least three heads,
and in many cases there is a sub-classification under the general
designation.  We avoided an error into which many writers fall--we
never indexed under the lead of an adjective, article or participle.


In 1880, Mr. Evarts, the Secretary of State, invited me to act as
counsel for the Government in defence of the claims of French citizens
for losses sustained during the Civil War.  There were more than
seven hundred cases and the claims amounted to more than thirty-five
million dollars including interest.  The recoveries fell below six
hundred and thirty thousand dollars.  The printed record covered sixty
thousand pages, and my printed arguments filled about two thousand
pages.  The discussion and decisions involved many important questions
of international law, citizenship, the construction of treaties, and
the laws of war.

The chairman was Baron de Arinos.  He was a man of unassuming manners,
of great intelligence, and of extensive acquaintance with diplomatic
subjects.  He was reserved, usually, but he was never lacking in ability
when a subject had received full consideration at his hands.  As far as
I recall his decisions, when he had to dispose of cases on which the
French and American commissioners differed, I cannot name one which
appeared to be unjust.

The insignificant sum awarded was due to many circumstances.  Of those,
who as French citizens had suffered losses during the war, many had
become American citizens by naturalization.  Again others were natives
of Alsace and Lorraine, and the commission held that they were not
entitled to the protection of France in 1880 when the treaty was made.
But the losses were chiefly due to the absence of adequate evidence as
to the ownership of the property for which claims were made, and to the
enormous exaggerations as to values in which the claimants indulged.


Between the year 1880 and the year 1895 there were five general courts-
martial held in the city of Washington and I appeared for the defendants
in four of them.

I was also retained for the investigation of two cases of officers of
the Navy who had been convicted by courts-martial, one of them held in
the waters of China and the other on the coast of Brazil.  The latter,
the case of Reed, which may be found in volume 100 of the United States
Reports, became important as the first attempt by the Supreme Court to
define and limit the jurisdiction of the civil tribunals over the
proceedings of courts-martial.

The courts consist of thirteen officers of the service to which the
accused may belong, and by a majority in number they are his seniors in
rank, if the condition of the service will permit such a selection.

A court thus constituted is an imposing tribunal, and in dignity of
appearance not inferior to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The
members are well instructed in the requirements of the service, but
their knowledge of the science of law, especially in its technicalities,
is limited.  It is the theory of the system that the judge-advocate
will be an impartial adviser of the court and that he will protect the
accused against any irregular proceeding and especially protect him
against the admission of any testimony that would be excluded in an
ordinary court of law.

In fact, however, the judge advocate becomes the attorney of the
Government, especially when the accused has the aid of counsel.  His
advice to the court becomes the rule of the court.  Questions of
testimony are important usually, and the line between what is competent
and that which should be excluded is often a very delicate line.  The
judge should be a disinterested person.  It is too much to assume that
an advocate can in a moment transform himself into an impartial judge.

In the case of Reed, which was an application by a _habeas corpus_
proceeding for the discharge of Reed from prison, the Supreme Court
held that it could not examine the proceedings of the court-martial
further than to inquire whether the act charged was an offence under
the rules of the service, and, second, whether the punishment was one
which the court had power to impose.

Thus it follows, that intermediate errors and wrongs whether by the
exclusion or admission of testimony, or by corruption even, cannot be
remedied by judicial tribunals on the civil side.

A partial remedy for possible evils may be found through the appointment
of a judge from the civil courts, or of an experienced lawyer who should
become the adviser of the court-martial, in place of the judge-advocate
--thus leaving to him the duties of an attorney in behalf of the


In the month of April, 1861, a bark, registering 215 tons, anchored in
the bay of Port Liberté, a place of no considerable importance, on the
northerly coast of the island of Hayti, about twenty miles from the
boundary of Santo Domingo.  The vessel carried the flag of France, and
the captain called himself Jules Letellier.  The name of the vessel
was not painted upon the stern, as is required by our law; but the
captain gave her name as _Guillaume Tell_, bound from Havana to Havre.
He stated that he had suffered a disaster at the island of Guadaloupe,
and that he had been compelled to throw a part of his cargo overboard.
He said also that his object in putting into the port was to obtain
assistance for the recovery of his cargo; and for that purpose he
solicited recruits.  The authorities became suspicious of the craft, and
an arrest was made of the vessel, her officers and men.  After some
delay the vessel was sent to Port au Prince, where she was condemned
and confiscated upon the charge of being engaged "in piracy and slave-
trading on the coast of Hayti."

Upon investigation it appeared that the true name of the vessel was
_William_, and that the name of the captain was Antonio Pelletier.
Pelletier was tried according to the laws of Hayti, convicted and
sentenced to death.  The sentence was commuted to imprisonment for a
term of years.  The facts of his arrest and of the sentence pronounced
upon him were published in the New York _Herald;_ and thereupon, as it
appeared in the investigation that was afterward made, his wife
married and, taking Pelletier's two children, left the country.
Pelletier was kept in prison for about two years, when he escaped,
probably with the connivance of the authorities.  He returned to the
United States.  Previous to his escape he gained the confidence of
the commissioner of the United States at Port au Prince, who made a
report in his behalf and upon the ground that he had been arrested,
tried and convicted for an offense of which he was not guilty.

That report was made to the Department of State, when Mr. Seward was
Secretary of State.  Mr. Seward declined to act, upon two grounds--
first, it was not proved that Pelletier was a citizen of the United
States; and second, the course of Hayti seemed justified by the facts
as they then appeared.  Pelletier presented a statement of his claim,
amounting in all to about $2,500,000.  He placed the value of the bark
_William_ and her cargo, with some money which he claimed was on her,
at about $92,000.  He claimed also that he had been subjected to many
losses in business transactions, which he had been unable to consummate
owing to his arrest in Hayti.  These amounted to about $750,000.  The
most extraordinary claim was the claim for damages to his person, in
the matter of his arrest and captivity, and the loss of his wife,
children and home, for all of which he charged $300,000.

The claimant pressed his claim persistently to the State Department;
and in the year 1884, when Mr. Frelinghuysen was Secretary of State,
a protocol was entered into between him and Mr. Preston, then minister
plenipotentiary of the republic of Hayti, by which this claim, with
another large claim in behalf of A. H. Lazare against the republic of
Hayti, was submitted to an international arbitrator,--the Hon. William
Strong, formerly a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The republic of Hayti retained Charles A. de Chambrun and myself as
counsel for the defence.  This hearing occupied one year of time, and
the documents and the testimony taken covered two thousand printed
pages.  The investigation showed that Pelletier was born at
Fontainebleau in France in the year 1819.  At the age of fourteen he
ran away from his home and country and came to the United States, where
he found employment on board a ship, which was owned and navigated
by one Blanchard of the State of Maine.  From about the year 1835 to
the year 1850, Pelletier was employed upon shipboard in various menial
capacities, until finally he became master of several small vessels,
which were employed on short voyages in the Caribbean Sea and on the
coast of South America.  About the year 1850 he appeared in the city
of New York, and between that time and 1859 he was in the city of
Chicago, where on one occasion and as the representative of some local
party he was a candidate for alderman.  He was also engaged for a time
in the manufacture of boots and shoes at Troy, New York.

In the autumn of 1860 there appeared a statement in the newspapers that
a bark called the _William_ had been arrested and condemned at Key West
upon the charge of having been fitted out for the slave trade.  Guided
by that notice, Pelletier went to Havana, and employed an agent to go
to Key West and to purchase the bark.  The purchase was made at a cost
of $1,504.  In Pelletier's statement of his claim, he asserted that he
paid something over $10,000 for the vessel.  From Key West the vessel
was sent to Mobile in charge of a man named Thomas Collar, who became
Pelletier's mate, but who was known on the vessel as Samuel Gerdon.  At
Mobile the _William_ was fitted out for the voyage under the direction
and apparent ownership of a firm in that city known as Delauney, Rice
& Co., of which Pelletier claimed to be a member and proprietor to the
extent of $50,000, the patrimony which he had received upon the death
of his father.  The vessel was freighted with lumber, and was cleared
for Carthagena, New Granada, in October.  She arrived at that port
late in November.  The investigation showed that a portion of the lumber
was placed upon the deck when there was space below where it might have
been stored.  It appeared also that the vessel contained a large number
of water casks, some twenty or twenty-five, about twenty pairs of
manacles, a quantity of ammunition, and that the number of sailors was
considerably in excess of the number required for the navigation of
the vessel.

At Carthagena Pelletier made a contract with a colored man named Cortes,
to carry him with his wife and children and servant to a point on the
coast east of Carthagena, known as Rio de Hache.  This contract he
never performed.  The original object of the voyage, as he alleged,
was to obtain a cargo of guano, at an island which he named Buida.  As
a matter of fact, there is no such island, or at any rate none could
be found on the maps, nor was its existence known to the officers of
our Government who had been engaged in taking soundings in the Caribbean

While the _William_ was at Carthagena, one of the men deserted and
notified the commander of a British man-of-war that the object of the
voyage of the bark _William_ was a cargo of negroes to be carried to
the United States and sold as slaves.  Following the desertion of this
man, Pelletier left Carthagena and, instead of proceeding to Rio de
Hache, which was understood to be the destination of the British man-of-
war, he took a northerly course toward the island of Grand Inagua.
Upon this change of the course of the vessel, Cortes became alarmed for
his safety, and he urged Pelletier to put him ashore, and especially
for the reason that the shades of maternity were falling on his wife.
After a delay of ten days, Pelletier consented to land him, which he
did at Grand Inagua, and secured in payment the goods and effects which
Cortes had on board the vessel, and which were understood to be of the
value of $500 or more.

In the month of January, 1861, Pelletier arrived in the harbor of Port-
au-Prince, Hayti, where he was accused of being engaged in a slave-
trading expedition by five of his men whom he had landed and caused to
be put in prison on the charge of insubordination.  The authorities were
so well convinced of the unlawful character of the expedition that they
ordered Pelletier to leave without delay.  He was conveyed out of the
harbor by an armed vessel, and upon the understanding that he was to
sail for New Orleans.  As a matter of fact, however, he employed the
months following, until April, in expeditions among the islands of the
Caribbean Sea.  In the course of the investigation, Pelletier appeared
on the stand as a witness.  In a series of questions which I put to
him, I asked for the names of the vessels which he had commanded,
previous to the voyage of the _William_.  Among others he mentioned the
_Ardennes_, which was an American ship, registered.  It turned out upon
further investigation that that ship was fitted out by him at
Jacksonville in the year 1859, and cleared for the Canary Islands.  Her
cargo consisted of rum, sugar, cigars and tobacco.  From the admission
of Pelletier it appeared that he never reached the Canary Islands, but
made the coast of Africa, near the mouth of the Congo River.  Upon
being pressed for a reason for the change, he stated that he had been
driven there by a storm.  We were able to cause an examination to be
made of the records of the _Pluto_, a British man-of-war, that
discovered the _Ardennes_ near Magna Grand in April, 1859.  The officers
of the _Pluto_ boarded the _Ardennes_, and made such an examination as
they thought proper.  The captain made this entry after an examination
of the vessel's papers and register, namely:  "Which, though not
appearing to be correct, I did not detain or molest them."  The
_Ardennes_ lingered in the vicinity of the mouth of the Congo, where she
was arrested by the officers of the United States ship _Marion_, under
command of Captain Brent.  The results of the examination which he
made and the circumstances of which he obtained knowledge were such that
he took possession of the vessel and sent her to New York upon the
charge of being engaged in the slave trade.  The evidence produced at
New York was not sufficient to lead the court to condemn her, but the
judge gave a certificate that there was probable cause for her arrest.

The real character of the voyage of the _William_ from Mobile was
finally established beyond all controversy.  In the year 1880, a treaty
was made between the United States and France, by which an international
commission was created for the purpose of determining the validity of
claims made by citizens of the United States against France and of
claims made by citizens of France against the United States.  Among
the claimants against the United States were two Frenchmen by the name
of Le More, residents of New Orleans.  At the time of the capture of
New Orleans in the year 1862, these men had in their possession a large
sum of money belonging to the Confederate government.  By the
proclamation of General Butler, made immediately upon the capture of
the city, all intercourse with the Confederate authorities by residents
of New Orleans was interdicted.  Notwithstanding the proclamation, the
Le Mores contrived to convey the funds in their possession across the
line, and to procure their delivery to the Confederate authorities.
General Butler, having obtained knowledge of this transaction, had the
Le Mores brought before him.  He then questioned them, and upon his
own judgment and without trial he sent them as prisoners to Ship
Island, where they were confined for a time with an attachment of a
ball and chain.  Each of these men presented a claim to the commission,
and, there being no defence, an award of $20,000 was made to each.  If
General Butler had convened a military court or commission, as he should
have done, and had obtained a conviction, as he would have obtained one,
he would not have subjected the United States to the judgments which
were rendered finally.

In that hearing, De Chambrun represented the Government of France and I
represented the Government of the United States.  Thus having knowledge
of the Le Mores, who were yet in New Orleans, we applied to them for
the purpose of ascertaining the character of Delauney, Rice & Co., and
also whether there was any person living who had knowledge of the
fitting out of the bark _William_.  They found a man by the name of
Louis Moses, who had been a resident of New Orleans since the year
1852, and who was well acquainted with the house of Delauney, Rice &
Co., having transacted business for it, and who was himself concerned
in the fitting out of the bark _William_.  He had indeed invested, in
one form or another, the sum of $15,000 in the enterprise, of which he
had evidence in writing.  He stated that the object of the voyage was
to obtain a cargo of negroes in some of the islands of the Caribbean
Sea, and to bring them to a desert island on the west bank of the
Mississippi, near the mainland of Louisiana; in fine, that there was
no purpose to obtain a cargo of guano.

When the hearing commenced, in the year 1884, Pelletier came before the
arbitrator in perfect health and with the appearance of a man of ability
and of fortune.  After an acquaintance of about a year I was able to use
this language in my final arguments:  "It is a singular circumstance
that Captain Pelletier has not produced an original paper or document
in support of his claim.  He is sixty years of age or more.  He is a
man not deficient in intellectual capacity, whatever else may be said
of him.  He is endowed by nature with ability for large and honest
undertakings.  He claims to have had an extensive business experience;
to have been the possessor of large wealth; to have been trusted in
fiduciary ways; and he comes here and claims compensation for a great
outrage, as he alleges, upon his person and his rights; and yet he has
not produced a paper that has the signature of any being, living or
dead, by which he can sustain the claim he makes.  What is his answer
in regard to the absence of papers?  It is that they were on board the
bark _William_.  According to the best information we can obtain, that
bark was not less than twelve or fifteen years of age.  We know that it
did not much exceed two hundred tons burden.  It was bound on a voyage
into tempestuous seas; and, leaving behind him wealth, as he says, to
be measured by the million, he embarks on that vessel with all his
papers, including title deeds, articles of copartnership, powers of
attorney, and preliminary accounts relating to unsettled affairs.  He
is a member of the house of Delauney, Rice & Co., in which he had
deposited his patrimony to the extent of fifty thousand dollars; and
he carries away on that frail bark all evidence of his investment in
that firm.  He had, he said, a partnership agreement; he had accounts
of profits that had been rendered from time to time,--and all are gone.
He had a dear wife and two children, for whose loss he now demands large
compensation; and yet he carried away the evidence of which their right
to his estate would have depended, in case of his death.  The statement
may be true, but in the nature of things it is not probable.  That we
may believe a statement of that sort, evidence is required, not from
one man unknown, not from one man impeached, but from many men of
reputable standing in society.  It is not to be believed that a man
who had been engaged in transactions measured by hundreds of thousands
of dollars, through a period of ten years, should take every evidence
of those transactions on board a vessel of hardly more than two
hundred tons burden, manned by a crew composed of highbinders, as he
has described them, and sail to foreign lands, over tempestuous seas,
upon the poor pretext of procuring guano for the plantations of
Louisiana,--and this, as he says, when war was imminent."

In my argument to the arbitrator I attempted to trace the voyage of the
_Ardennes_ and the voyage of the _William_ with as much minuteness as
seemed to me to be wise under the circumstances, and for the sole
purpose of establishing the charge that Pelletier was engaged in the
slave trade.  The character of the voyage of the _Ardennes_ was
important in view of the rule of law that, in the trial of a person
charged with the crime of slave-trading, evidence is admissible which
tends to prove that the accused had been engaged in similar
undertakings at about the same time.

My argument occupied the business hours of two sessions of the court.
At the opening of the court Pelletier appeared, took a seat, and
remained during the first thirty or forty minutes of my argument,
when he disappeared.  The New York _Herald_, on the morning of the
third day after Pelletier's last appearance, contained the announcement
that Antonio Pelletier had died suddenly at the Astor House in the city
of New York.  The hearing proceeded, and on the 30th day of June, 1885,
Mr. Justice Strong filed his opinion in the Department of State.  In
that opinion, he says:

"I can hardly escape from the conviction that the voyage of the bark
_William_ was an illegal voyage; that its paramount purpose was to
obtain a cargo of negroes, either by purchase or kidnaping, and bring
them into slavery in the State of Louisiana; and that the load of
lumber, and the profession of a purpose to go for a cargo of guano
were mere covers to conceal the true character of the enterprise."  He
states also "that Pelletier had applied to a Haytian to obtain fifty
men and some women, blacks, of course, to assist him in obtaining
guano."  The arbitrator found, however, that by the law of nations the
courts of Hayti had no jurisdiction of the case.  "It is undeniable,"
said Justice Strong, "that none of them were piratical in view of the
law of nations."

By the _act d'accusation_ Pelletier was charged with piracy and slave-
trading on the coast of Hayti.  The arbitrator found that he was not
guilty of piracy and that the act of slave-trading was never committed,
although the design and purpose of the voyage were perfectly clear.
The claims as presented were all rejected by the arbitrator, except the
claim for injury to Pelletier personally by his confinement in prison.
For that injury the arbitrator allowed Pelletier the sum of $25 a day
during his confinement, and the interest thereon up to the time the
judgment was rendered, amounting in all to $57,250.

When the judgment had been rendered, the counsel for Hayti presented
a memorial to the State Department, setting forth the impropriety and
bad policy of a presentation by the Government of the United States of
a judgment rendered in favor of a claimant who had been found guilty of
fitting out a slave-trading expedition within the limits of the United
States, and using the flag of the United States as a protection in the
prosecution of his illegal undertaking.  Mr. Bayard was then Secretary
of State, and Mr. Cleveland was President.  That view of the counsel
of Hayti was accepted by the Secretary of State and by the President,
and the government of Hayti was relieved from the payment of the claim.
I ought to add that Mr. Justice Strong concurred with the counsel for
Hayti, and made a representation to the Department of State urging
the remission of the penalty in the judgment he had rendered.

The decision of Mr. Justice Strong raises a question of very serious
character--that is to say, whether an international tribunal can take
notice of proceedings in the judicial tribunals of a foreign state,
further than to ascertain whether the proceedings were according to
"due process of law" in the state where the proceedings were had.
Justice Strong went so far as to hold that the courts of Hayti had erred
upon the question of their own jurisdiction.  Such a ruling, if applied
to cases of public importance, might lead to very serious results.

[* Printed in the _New England Magazine_.  Copyright, 1900, by Warren
F. Kellogg.]



The services and fame of Mr. Lincoln are so identified with the
organization, doings and character of the Republican Party, that
something of the history of that party is the necessary incident of
every attempt to set forth the services and the fame of Mr. Lincoln.

In a very important sense Mr. Lincoln may be regarded as the founder of
the Republican Party.  He was its leader in the first successful
national contest, and it was during his administration as President
that the policy of the party was developed and its capacity for the
business of government established.  The Republican Party gave to Mr.
Lincoln the opportunity for the services on which his fame rests, and
the fame of Mr. Lincoln is the inheritance of the Republican Party.
His eulogy is its encomium, and therefore when we set forth the
character and services of Mr. Lincoln we set forth as well the claims
of the Republican Party to the gratitude and confidence of the country,
and the favorable opinion of mankind.

If it could be assumed that for the Republican Party the Book of Life
is already closed, it is yet true that that party is an historical
party and Mr. Lincoln is an historical personage, not less so than
Cromwell, Napoleon, or Washington, and all without the glamor that
rests upon the brows of successful military chieftains.

Of Mr. Lincoln's predecessors in the Presidential office, two only,
Washington and Jefferson, can be regarded as historical persons in a
large view of history.  The author of the Declaration of Independence
is so identified with the history of the country that that history
cannot outlast his name and fame.

As the author of that Declaration and as the exponent of new and
advanced ideas of government, Jefferson was elected to the Presidency,
but his administrations, excepting only the acquisition of Louisiana,
were not marked by distinguished ability, nor were they attended or
followed by results which have commanded the favorable opinion of
succeeding generations.

Washington had no competitors.  The gratitude of his countrymen rebuked
all rivalries.  He was borne to the Presidency by a vote quite
unanimous, and he was supported in the discharge of his duties by a
confidence not limited by the boundaries of the Republic.

It is only a moderate exaggeration to say that when Mr. Lincoln was
nominated for the Presidency, he was an unknown man; he had performed
no important public service; his election was not due to personal
popularity, nor to the strength of the party that he represented; but
to the divisions among his opponents.

In 1862, when eleven hostile States were not represented in the
Government, the weakness of the administration was such that only a
bare majority of the House of Representatives was secured after a
vigorous and aggressive campaign on the part of the Republican Party.
Thus do the circumstances and incidents of the formative period in
Mr. Lincoln's career illustrate and adorn the events that distinguished
the man, the party and the country.

I am quite conscious that in our attempt to give Mr. Lincoln a
conspicuous place in the ranks of historical personages, we are to
encounter a large and intelligent public opinion which claims that
distance in time and even distance in space are the necessary conditions
of a wise and permanent decision.

The representatives of that opinion maintain that contemporaries are too
near the object of vision, that to them a comprehensive view is
impossible, and that the successive generations of one's countrymen
may be influenced by inherited passions, or by transmitted traditions.

Some of us were Mr. Lincoln's contemporaries, and one and all we are
his countrymen, and in advance we accept joyfully any qualifications
of our opinions that may be made in other lands or by other ages, if
qualifying facts shall be disclosed hereafter.  But nearness of
observation, and a knowledge of the events with which Mr. Lincoln's
public life was identified, may have given to his associates and
co-workers opportunities for a sound judgment that were not possessed
by contemporary critics and historians of other lands, and that the
students of future times will be unable to command.

The recent practical improvements in the art of printing, the telegraph
and the railway, have furnished to mankind the means of reaching safe
conclusions in all matters of importance, including biography and
history, with a celerity and certainty which to former ages were
unknown.  In these five and twenty years, since the death of Mr.
Lincoln, there has been a wonderful exposition of the events and
circumstances of the stupendous contest in which he was the leading
figure, and all that knowledge is now consummated on the pages of
Nicolay and Hay's complete and trustworthy history.  Of the minor
incidents of Mr. Lincoln's career, time and research will disclose
many facts not now known, which may lend coloring to a character whose
main features, however, cannot be changed by time nor criticism.  The
nature of Mr. Lincoln's services we can comprehend, but their value
will be more clearly realized and more highly appreciated by posterity.
As to the nature of those services the judgment of his own generation
is final--it can never be reversed.  Indeed, it may be asserted of
historical personages generally, that the judgment of contemporaries is
never reversed.  Attempts have been made to reverse the judgment of
contemporaries, in the cases of Judas Iscariot, of Henry the Eighth,
and of Shakespeare, and I venture the assertion that all these attempts
have failed, most signally.  In our own country there have been no
reversals.  Modifications of opinions there have been--growth in some
cases, decrease in others, but absolute change in none.  The country
has grown towards Hamilton and away from Jefferson.  They are, however,
as they were at the beginning of the last century, the representatives
of antagonistic ideas in government, but their common patriotism is
as yet unchallenged.  It is the fate of those who take an active part
in public affairs, to be misjudged during their lives, but death
softens the asperities of political and religious controversies and
tempers the judgment of those who survive.  Franklin, Washington,
Jackson, Clay and Webster, are to this generation what they were to the
survivors of the respective generations to which they belonged.  Mr.
Calhoun has suffered by the attempt to make a practical application of
his ideas of government, but the nature and dangerous character of those
ideas were as fully understood at the time of his death as they are at
the present moment.

I pass over as unworthy of serious consideration the detractions and
attacks, sometimes thoughtless, and sometimes malicious, to which Mr.
Lincoln was subject during his administration.  He made explanations
and replied to these detractions and attacks only when they seemed to
put in peril the fortunes of the country; but when he made replies,
there were none found, either among his political friends or his
political enemies who were capable of making an adequate answer.
Consult, as we may consult, his correspondence in regard to the
transit of troops through Maryland, in regard to the invasion of
Virginia, in case the city of Washington should be attacked or
menaced from the right bank of the Potomac, in regard to the suspension
of the privilege of the writ of _habeas corpus_, in regard to the arrest
of Vallandingham, in regard to our foreign relations, and, finally,
consult his numerous papers in regard to the objects for which the
war should be prosecuted, and the means, as well, by which it could be
prosecuted.  Consider, also, that this work was done by a man called to
the head of an administration that had no predecessor, to the management
of the affairs of a government distracted by civil war, its navy
scattered, its treasury bankrupted, its foreign relations disturbed by
a traditional and almost universal hostility to republican institutions,
and all while he was threatened constantly by an adverse public
judgment in that section of the country in which his hopes rested
exclusively.  And consider, also, that Mr. Lincoln had had little or
no experience on the statesmanship side of his political career, that
as an attorney and advocate he had dealt only with local and municipal
laws; that he was separated by circumstances from a practical
acquaintance with maritime and international jurisprudence, and yet
consider further with what masterful force he rebuked timid or
untrustworthy friends who would have abandoned the contest and consented
to the independence of the seceding States, in the vain hope that time
might aid in the recovery of that which by pusillanimity had been lost;
with what serenity of manner he put aside the suggestion of Mr. Seward
that war should be declared against France and Spain as a means of
quieting domestic difficulties which were even then represented by
contending armies; with what calmness of mind he laid aside Mr.
Greeley's letter of despair and self-reproach of July 29, 1861, and
proceeded with the preparation of his programme of military operations
from every base line of the armies of the Republic; with what skill and
statesmanlike foresight he corrected Mr. Seward's letter to Mr. Adams
in regard to the recognition by Great Britain of the belligerent
character of the Confederate States; and, finally, consider with what
firmness and wisdom he annulled the proclamations of Fremont and
Hunter, and assumed to himself exclusively the right and the power to
deal with the subject of slavery in the rebellious States.  In what
other time, to what other ruler have questions of such importance been
presented, and under circumstances so difficult?  And to what other
ruler can we assign the ability to have met and to have managed
successfully all the difficult problems of the Civil War?  It cannot be
claimed for Mr. Lincoln that he had had any instructive military
experience, or that he had any technical knowledge of the military
art; but it may be said with truth that his correspondence with the
generals of the army, and his memoranda touching military operations
indicate the presence of a military quality or facility, which in
actual service might have been developed into talent or even genius.
His letter to General McClellan, of October 13, 1862, is at once a
memorable evidence and a striking illustration of his faculty on the
military side of his official career.  He sets forth specifically, and
in the alternative, two plans of operation, and with skill and caustic
severity he contrasts the inactivity and delays of General McClellan,
with the vigor of policy and activity of movement which characterized
the campaign on the part of the enemy.  He brings in review the facts
that General McClellan's army was superior in numbers, in equipment,
and in all the material of war.  The President in conclusion said:
"this letter is not to be considered as an order," and yet it is
difficult to reconcile the continued inactivity of General McClellan
with the claim of his friends that he was a patriotic, not to say an
active, supporter of the cause of the Union.  With that letter in hand
a patriotic and sensitive commander would have acted at once upon one
of the alternatives presented by the President, or he would have formed
a plan of campaign for himself and ordered a movement without delay, or
he would have asked the President to relieve him from duty.  No one of
these courses was adopted, and the policy of inactivity was continued
until Lee regained the vantage ground which he abandoned when he
crossed the Potomac into Maryland.  It is at this point, and in this
juncture of affairs that the policy of Mr. Lincoln requires the
explanation of a friendly critic.  The historian of the future may
wonder at the procrastination of the President.  He may criticize his
conduct in neglecting to relieve McClellan when it was apparent that he
would not avail himself of the advantages that were presented by the
victory at Antietam.  The explanation or apology, is this, in substance:
The Army of the Potomac had been created under the eye of McClellan and
the officers and men were devoted to him as their leader and chief.
They had had no opportunity for instituting comparisons between him and
other military men.  After Pope's defeat, the army had been unanimous,
substantially, in the opinion that McClellan should be again placed in
command.  The President had yielded to that opinion against his own
judgment, and against the unanimous opinion of his Cabinet.  Having
thus yielded, it was wise to test McClellan until the confidence of the
army and the country should be impaired, or, as the President hoped
would be the result, until McClellan should satisfy the Administration
and the army, that he was equal to the duty imposed upon him.  Hence
the delay until the 5th of November, when McClellan was relieved,
finally, from the military service of the country.

It was known to those who were near President Lincoln, that he was a
careful student of the war maps and that he had daily knowledge of the
position and strength of our armies.  I recall the incident of meeting
President Lincoln on the steps of the Executive Mansion at about eleven
o'clock in the evening of the day when the news had but just reached
Washington that Grant had crossed the Black River and that the army was
in the rear of Vicksburg.  The President was returning from the War
Office with a copy of the despatch in his hand.  I said:--

"Mr. President, have you any news?"  He said in reply:

"Come in, and I will tell you."

After reading the despatch, the President turned to his maps and traced
the line of Grant's movements as he then understood and comprehended
those movements.  That night the President became cheerful, his voice
took on a new tone--a tone of relief, of exhilaration--and it was
evident that his faith in our ultimate success had been changed into
absolute confidence.  In the dark days of 1862 he had never despaired
of the Republic, when others faltered, he was undismayed.  He put aside
the suggestion of Mr. Seward that he should surrender the chief
prerogative of his office; he rebuked the suggestion of General Hooker
that he should declare himself dictator; and he treated with silent
contempt the advice of General McClellan, from Harrison's Landing, in
July, 1862, that the President should put himself at the head of the
army with a general in command, on whom he could rely, and thus assume
the dictatorship of the Republic.  He asserted for himself every
prerogative that the laws and the Constitution conferred upon him, and
he declined to assume any power not warranted by the title of office
which he held.  He was resolute in his purpose to perform every duty
that devolved upon him, but he declared that the responsibility of
preserving the Government rested upon the people.

Of the officers who successively were at the head of the Army of the
Potomac, none ever possessed his entire confidence, until General
Grant assumed that command, in person.  His letter to General Grant
when he entered upon the Campaign of the Wilderness contains conclusive
evidence that his confidence was given to that officer, without

Turning again to the civil side of his administration, consider the
steps by which he led the country up to the point where it was willing
to accept the abolition of slavery in the States engaged in the
rebellion.  History must soon address itself to generations of
Americans who will have had no knowledge of the institution of slavery
as an existing fact.  Indeed, at the present moment, more than two
thirds of the population of the United States have no memory of the
time when slavery was the dominating force in the politics of the
country, when it was interwoven in the daily domestic life of the
inhabitants of fifteen States; when it muzzled the press, perverted
the Scriptures, compelled the pulpit to become its apologist, and when
successive generations of statesmen were brought down on an "equality
of servitude" before an irresponsible and untitled oligarchy.

As early as 1839, Mr. Clay estimated the value of the slaves at
$1,200,000,000, and upon the same basis, their value in 1860, exceeded
$2,000,000,000.  This estimate conveys only an inadequate idea of the
power of slavery and it presents only an imperfect view of the
difficulties which confronted Mr. Lincoln in 1861 and 1862.  Delaware,
Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri were slave States, and
all of them, with the exception of Delaware, were hesitating between
secession and the cause of the Union.  They were in favor of the Union,
if slavery could be saved with the Union, but it was doubtful in all
the year 1861, whether those States could be held, to the "Lincoln
Government" as it was derisively called, if the abolition of slavery
were a recognized part of our public policy.  Nor is this even yet a
full statement of the difficulties which confronted Mr. Lincoln.  With
varying degrees of intensity, the Democratic Party of the North
sympathized with the South in its attempts to dissolve the Union.
During the entire period of the war, New York, Ohio and Indiana were
divided States, and Indiana was only kept in line by the active and
desperate fidelity of Oliver P. Morton.  In the presence of these
difficulties Mr. Lincoln recommended the purchase of all the slaves in
the States not in rebellion; then he suggested the deportation of the
manumitted slaves and the free blacks, to Central America, and for this
purpose an appropriation was made; then came the proposition to give
pecuniary aid to States that might voluntarily make provision for the
abolition of slavery, and then came, finally, the statute of July,
1862, by which slaves captured, and the slaves of all persons engaged
in the rebellion were declared to be free.  It is not probable that Mr.
Lincoln entertained the opinion that these measures, one or all, would
secure the complete abolition of slavery, but they gave to the slave-
holders of the border States an opportunity to obtain compensation
for the loss of their slaves, and the pendency of these propositions
occupied the attention of the country while the formative processes were
going on, which matured finally in the opinion that slavery and the
Union could no longer co-exist.  In the same time the country arrived at
the conclusion that separation and continuous peace were impossible.
The alternative was this:  Slavery, a division of territory, and a
condition of permanent hostility on the one side; and on the other, a
union of States, domestic peace, a government of imperial power, with
equality of citizenship in the States and an equality of States in the
Union.  Thus his measures, which were at once measures of expediency and
of delay, prepared the public mind to receive his monitory Proclamation
of September 1862.  In that time the border States had come to realize
the fact that the negroes were no longer valuable as property, and they
therefore accepted emancipation as a means of ending the controversy.
To the Republicans of the North, the Proclamation was a welcome message;
to the Democrats it was a result which they had predicted, and against
which they had in vain protested.  But the controversy would not have
ended with the war.  Slavery existed in the States that had not
participated in the rebellion, and the legality of the Emancipation
Proclamation might be drawn in question in the courts.  One thing more
was wanted, an amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery
everywhere within the jurisdiction of the Government.  This was secured
after a protracted struggle, and the result was due in a pre-eminent
degree to the personal and official influence of Mr. Lincoln.  In one
phrase it may be said that every power of his office was exerted to
secure the passage, in the Thirty-eighth Congress, of the resolution,
by which the proposed amendment was submitted to the States.  Mr.
Lincoln did not live to see the consummation of his great undertaking,
in the cause of Freedom, but the work of ratification by the States
was accelerated by his death, and on the 18th day of December, 1865,
Mr. Seward, then Secretary of State of the United States, made
proclamation that the amendment had been ratified by twenty-seven of the
thirty-six States then composing the Union, and that slavery and
involuntary servitude were from that time and forever forth impossible
within our limits.  Such was then the universal opinion in all America.
It was our example that wrought the abolition of slavery in Brazil, and
in colonies of Spain and Portugal; it has led to the extermination of
the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and it was an inspiration to the nations
of Europe in their effort to destroy the traffic in human beings on the
continent of Africa.

There is an aspect of Mr. Lincoln's career, which must attract general
attention and command universal sympathy.  His loneliness in his office
and in the performance of his duties is deeply pathetic.  It is true
that Congress accepted and endorsed his measures as they were presented
from time to time, but there were bitter complaints on account of his
delays on the slavery question, and not infrequently doubts were
expressed as to the sincerity of his avowed opinions.  There were
little intrigues in Congress, and personal aspirations in the Cabinet
in regard to the succession.  Of the commanders of the Army of the
Potomac from McDowell to Meade, each and all had failed to win
victories, or they had failed to secure the reasonable advantages of
victories won.  There were divisions in the Cabinet which were
aggravated by personal rivalries.  On one occasion, leading Republican
members of Congress engaged in a movement for a change in the Cabinet;
a movement which was without a precedent and wholly destitute of
justification under our system of government.

His want of faith in his Cabinet was shown in his preliminary statement
when he proceeded to read the Proclamation of Emancipation.  Mr. Lincoln
was then about to take the most important step ever taken by a President
of the United States and yet he informed the men, the only men whose
opinions he could command by virtue of his office that the main
question was not open for discussion; that the question had been by him
already decided, and that suggestions from them would be received only
in reference to the formalities of the document.

It may be the truth, and our estimation of Mr. Lincoln would not be
lowered, if, indeed, it were shown to be the truth, that he chose to
act upon his own judgment in a matter of the supremest gravity, and
in which, from the nature of the case, the sole responsibility was
upon him.  On the great question of the abolition of slavery his mind
reached a definite conclusion, a conclusion on which he could act, but
neither too early nor too late.  The Proclamation was issued at a
moment when the exigencies of the war justified its issue as a military
necessity, and when, as a concurrent fact, the public mind was first
prepared to receive it, and to give to the measure the requisite support.

Mr. Lincoln prepared the way for the reorganization of the government.
Under him the old order of things was overthrown and the introduction
of a new order became possible.  Through his agency the Constitution
of the United States has been brought into harmony with the Declaration
of Independence.  The system of slavery has perished, the institutions
of the country have been reconciled to the principles of freedom, and
in these changes we have additional guarantees for the perpetuity of
the Union.

A just eulogy of Mr. Lincoln is a continuing encomium of the Republican
Party.  By the election of 1860 he became the head of that party and
during the four years and more of his official life he never claimed
to be better nor wiser than the party with which he was identified.
From first to last he had the full confidence of the army and of the
masses of the voters in the Republican Party, and of that confidence
Mr. Lincoln was always assured.  Hence he was able to meet the
aspirations of rivals and the censures of the disappointed with a good
degree of composure.  To the honor of the masses of the Republican
Party it can be said that they never faltered in their devotion to the
President and in that devotion and in the fidelity of the President to
the principles of the party were the foundations laid on which the
greatness of the country rests.

The measure of gratitude due to Mr. Lincoln and to the Republican Party
may be estimated by a comparison of the condition of the country when he
accepted power in March, 1861, with its condition in 1885, and in 1893,
when we yielded the administration to the successors of the men who had
well-nigh wrecked the Government in a former generation.

The Republican Party found the Union a mass of sand; it left it a
structure of granite.  It found the Union a by-word among the nations
of the earth, it left it illustrious and envied, for the exhibition of
warlike powers, for the development of our industrial and financial
resources in times of peace, for the unwavering fidelity with which
every pecuniary obligation was met; for the generous treatment
measured out with an unstinted hand to the conquered foe; and, finally,
for the cheerful recognition of the duty resting upon the Republican
Party and upon the country to enfranchise, to raise up, to recreate
the millions that had been brought out of bondage.

This work was not accomplished fully in Mr. Lincoln's time, but he was
the leader of ideas and policies which could have no other consummation.

At the end it must be said of Mr. Lincoln that he was a great man, in a
great place, burdened with great responsibilities, coupled with great
opportunities, which he used for the benefit of his country and for the
welfare of the human race.  Among American statesmen he is conspicuously
alone.  From Washington to Grant he is separated by the absence on his
part of military service and military renown.  On the statesmanship side
of his career, there is no one from Washington along the entire line
who can be considered as the equal or the rival of Lincoln.

And we may wisely commit to other ages and perhaps to other lands the
full discussion and final decision of the relative claims of
Washington and Lincoln to the first place in the list of American



We celebrate this day as the anniversary of the discovery of the
American continent.

  "The hand that rounded Peter's dome.
   And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,
   Wrought in a sad sincerity;
   Himself from God he could not free;
   He builded better than he knew."

Of these lines of Emerson, the last three are as true of Columbus, as of

  "The hand that rounded Peter's dome,
   And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,"

for he, too,

  "Wrought in a sad sincerity;
   Himself from God he could not free;
   He builded better than he knew."

And shall we therefore say that he is not worthy of praise, of tribute,
of memorials, of anniversary days, of centennial years, of national and
international gatherings and exhibitions, that in some degree mankind
may illustrate and dignify, if they will, the events that have followed
the opening of a new world to our advanced and advancing civilization?

In great deeds, in great events, in great names, there is a sort of
immortality, an innate capacity for living, a tendency to growth, to
expansion, and thus what was but of little comment in the beginning is
seen, often after the lapse of years, possibly only after the lapse of
centuries, to have been freighted with consequences whose value can only
be measured by the yearly additions to the sum of human happiness.

Franklin's experiments in electricity were followed at once by the
common lightning-rod, but a century passed before the electrical power
was utilized, and made subservient, in some degree, to the control of men.

Every decade of three centuries has added to the greatness of that one
immortal name in the literature of the whole English speaking race.  The
security for the world that the name of Shakespeare and the writings of
Shakespeare cannot die may be found in the selfishness, the intelligent
selfishness of mankind, which will struggle constantly to preserve and
to magnify a possession which if once lost, could never be regained.

After four centuries of delay we have come to realize, with some degree
of accuracy, the magnitude of the event called the Discovery of America.
Identified with that event, and as its author, is the man Columbus.
Involved in controversies while living, the object of the base passions
of envy, hatred and jealousy, consigned finally to chains and to prison,
and in death ignorant of the magnitude of the discovery that he had
made, there seemed but slight basis for the conjecture that his name
was destined to become the one immortal name in the annals of modern
Italy and Spain.

As if accident and fate and the paltry ambitions of men had combined to
rob Columbus of his just title to fame, the name of the double continent
that he discovered was given to another.  To that other the name
remains, but the continent itself has become the continent of Columbus.
In connection with the event no other name is known, and so it will
ever be in all the centuries of the future.

In these years we are inaugurating a series of centennial anniversary
celebrations in honor of Columbus, and in testimony of the importance
of the discovery that he made.  This we do as the greatest of the states
that have arisen on the continent that he discovered, and I delay what
I have to say of Columbus and of the discovery that I may express my
regret and the reasons for my regret, that the celebration and the
ceremonies have not been made distinctively and exclusively national.
In this I do not disparage, on the other hand I exalt, the public
spirit, the capacity for large undertakings, the will and the courage
of the city and the citizens of Chicago in assuming burdens and
responsibilities from which any other city on this continent would have

My point is this:  If the people and Government of the United States
were of the opinion that the discovery of a continent--a continent in
which one of the great governments of the world has found an abiding
place--was worthy of a centennial celebration, then the conduct of the
celebration ought not to have been left to the care of any community
less than the whole.  Nor is it an unworthy thought that something of
dignity would have been added to the celebration if the nations of the
earth could have been invited to the capital which bears the name of
the discoverer of the continent and the founder of the Republic.

There are occasions which confer greatness upon an orator.  Such are
revolutionary periods, the overthrow of states, radical changes in a
long-settled public policy, struggles for power, empire, dominion.
These and kindred exigencies in the affairs of men and states, seem to
create, or at least to furnish opportunity and scope for, statesmen,
orators, poets and soldiers.

This peaceful ceremony in peaceful times, of which we now speak, will
not produce orators like Patrick Henry and James Otis at the opening
of our Revolutionary struggle, like Mirabeau in France, or Cicero in
Rome, pleading for a dying republic, or Demosthenes in Athens
contending hopelessly against the domination of one supreme will.

An orator for this occasion was not to have been waited for, he was to
have been sought out and found if possible.

If Webster were living and in the fullness of his powers, the country
might have looked to him for an oration that would have so linked itself
with the anniversary that it would have been recognized in every
succeeding centennial observance.

Turning from this thought, which at best, can only serve as a standard
to which our hopes aspire, I venture the remark, that there is not one
of our countrymen who, by the studies of his life, by the philosophical
qualities of his mind, by the possession in some large measure of that
Miltonian power of imagination which Webster exhibited, is qualified for
the supreme task which I have thus imperfectly outlined.

For one day the rumor was voiced that Castelar of Spain had been invited
to deliver the oration at the more formal opening of the exhibition in
May next.  That rumor has not been affirmed nor denied, but from the
delay, we cannot hope that its verification is now possible.

Historical knowledge, due to long and laborious studies, and the spirit
of historical inquiry, are not often found in the same person, combined
with argumentative power and the quality of imagination stimulated by
an emotional nature.  From what we know of Emilio Castelar of Spain, it
may be said that he possesses this rare combination in a degree beyond
any other living man.

In the year 1856 when he was only twenty-four years of age, he was
appointed, after a competitive contest, to the chair of philosophy and
history in the University of Madrid.  During his professorship, in
addition to other work, he delivered lectures on the history of

The political disturbances, in which as a republican, he had taken an
active part, led to his exile for four years, but upon his return to
Spain he resumed his place in the University.  In 1873 he was prime
minister during the brief existence of the republic.  Of his published
works, the best known in this country is the volume entitled "Old Rome
and New Italy."  At present he is a member of the Cortes, where he
gives support to the Government in its measures of administration
without yielding his political principles or indorsing the monarchical
system.  If this country were to pass beyond its own limits in the
selection of an orator, then, without question Spain has the first,
and indeed, the only claim to consideration.  Spain furnished the means
for the expedition and the world is indebted to her enlightened
patronage for the discovery.  It may be assumed, reasonably, that
Castelar would have brought from the archives of Spain fresh information
in regard to the motives of Ferdinand and Isabella, trustworthy
statements as to the character and conduct of Pinzon, the ally of
Columbus, and at the end he might have been able to prove or disprove
the theory that Columbus had knowledge of the existence of this
continent, or that he had or had not reasons for believing that land
in the west had been visited by Scandinavian voyagers in the tenth

As I pass to some more direct observations upon Columbus and the voyage
of 1492, and to the expression of some thoughts as to the future of the
country, I wish to say that I limit my criticism to our representative
men, whose estimate of the importance of the anniversary was quite
inadequate.  They failed to see its connection with the past, its
relations to what now is, and more important than all else they failed
to realize that this celebration is the first of a long line of
centennial celebrations, each one of which will mark the close of one
epoch, and the beginning of another.

I cannot imagine that in a hundred years this anniversary, in its
organization and conduct, will be thought worthy of imitation.  Let
us imagine, or rather indulge the hope that then all the States of the
south and the north, from the Arctic Seas to Patagonia, will be united
in a national and international celebration in recognition of an event
that has increased twofold the possibilities, comfort and happiness of
the human race.

Passing from these criticisms, at once and finally, it is yet true that
in this centennial celebration the two Americas, Southern Europe and
the Catholic churches throughout the world are united as one people,
and for the moment differences in religion and diversities of race are
forgotten.  Italy was the birth-place of Columbus; Spain, after long
years of doubt and vexatious delays lent its patronage to the scheme of
the "adventurer" as he was called; and the church, of which Columbus
was a devoted, and perhaps a devout disciple, bestowed its blessing
upon those who staked their lives or their fortunes in the undertaking.
It is not probable that Columbus looked to that posthumous fame of which
he is now the subject.  His vision and his hopes extended not beyond the
possession of new lands where he might rule as a potentate and enjoy
power; where Spain might found an empire, and where the church might
establish its authority over millions of new converts.  Spain gained
new empires, and maintained her rule over them for three centuries and
more; the church enlarged its power by the acquisition of half a
continent, in which its ecclesiastical authority remains, even to the
close of the nineteenth century.  For a moment, and but for a moment
in the annals of time, Columbus was permitted to realize the dream of
his life.  After a brief period, however, instead of place, power,
gratitude, wealth, he was subjected to chains, and consigned to prison.
Of the three great parties to the undertaking, Columbus alone, seemed
to have been unsuccessful, but at the end of four centuries he
reappears as the one personage to whom the gratitude of mankind is due
for the discovery of the new world.  Nor do we enter into any inquiry
as to the manner of man that Columbus was on the moral side of his
character.  We know that he was an enthusiast, that he was richly
endowed with the practical virtues of patience, of perseverance, of
continuing fortitude under difficulties, and we know that neither Spain,
nor the Church, nor Pinzon the ship-builder and capitalist, nor all of
them together would have made the discovery when it was made.  To
Columbus they were essential, but without Columbus they were nothing.

To the wide domain of history may be left the inquiry as to the truth
of his visit to Iceland in the preceding decade, his knowledge of the
expeditions of the Scandinavian voyagers to Greenland and the coasts
of New England in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and his theories
or beliefs concerning the spherical figure of the earth.

Whatever might have happened previous to the voyage from Palos, and
whatever might have been the extent of Columbus' knowledge, the
discovery of America for the purposes of settlement and civilization,
was made by Columbus himself at eight o'clock in the evening of
October 11, O. S., when he saw the shimmer of fire on the Island of
San Salvador.  That fact being established, the fact of the existence
of land near by was established also.  The sight of land at three
o'clock next morning was not the discovery; it was evidence only of
the reality of the discovery made by Columbus the evening before.

In these four hundred years the empires that Spain founded in the New
World have slipped from her grasp; the church has lost its temporal
power, but the fame of Columbus has spread more and more widely and his
claims to the gratitude of mankind have been recognized more generally.

At the end of each coming century, and for many centuries, no one can
foresay how many, millions on millions in the Americas and in Europe
will unite in rendering tribute of praise to the enthusiast and
adventurer whose limited ambitions for himself were never realized, but
who opened to mankind the opportunity to found states freed from the
domination of the church and churches freed from the domination of the

We do not deceive ourselves, when we claim for the United States the
first place among the states on this continent.  We are the first of
American states in population, in wealth, in our system of public
instruction, in our means of professional and technical education, in
the application of science to the practical purposes of life, and
finally, in experience and success in the business of government.

It should not be forgotten by any of us, nor should the fact be
overlooked or neglected by the young that these results have been
gained by the labors and sacrifices of our ancestors, and we should
realize that the task of preserving what has been won, is the task that
is imposed upon the generations as they succeed each other in the great
drama of national life.  Vain and useless are all conjectures as to
the future.  The coming century must bring great changes--equal,
possibly, to those that have occurred since 1792.  At that time our
territory did not extend beyond the Mississippi River, our population
was hardly four million, our national revenues were less than four
million dollars annually, manufacturing industries had not gained a
footing, for agricultural products there was no market, the trade in
slaves from Africa was guaranteed in the Constitution, the thirteen
States had not outgrown the disintegrating influence of the
Confederation, the Post-Office Department was not organized, and the
National Government was not respected for its power, justice or
beneficence, of which the mass of people knew nothing.

In this century our territory has been enlarged fourfold, our
population is eighteen times as great as it was in 1792, our revenues
have been multiplied by a hundred, and the convertible wealth of the
people has been increased in a greater ratio even.  The railway, the
telegraphic, the telephonic systems have been created.  The dream of
Shakespeare has been realized--we have put a girdle round about the
Earth in forty minutes.

More than all else, and as the culmination of all else, we have
demonstrated the practicability of a government of the people, by the
people, and for the people.  All this has been made possible by and
through a system of universal public education--a system which taxes
the whole people, and educates the whole people in good learning, and
in the cardinal virtues which adorn, dignify and elevate the individual
man and furnish the only security for progressive, successful,
illustrious national life.

This is the inheritance to which the generations before us are born.
A great inheritance--a great inheritance of opportunity, a great
inheritance of power, a great inheritance of responsibility, from which
the coming generations are not to shrink.


This paper is introduced upon two grounds mainly.  It sets forth with a
reasonable degree of fulness the views that I have entertained for
three years in regard to President McKinley's policy in the acquisition
and control of the islands in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific
Ocean, and it presents a history of my relations to political movements
through a long half century.


A truthful statement that I have been inconsistent in the opinions that
I have held and advocated upon questions of public concern, would not
disturb me by day, nor consign me to sleepless nights.

It is now sixty years since I first held public office by the votes of
my fellow-citizens.  In that long period of time my opinions have
undergone many changes.  When I have had occasion to address my fellow-
citizens upon public questions I have not reviewed my previous sayings
through fear that some critic might arraign me for inconsistency.

I have considered only my present duty in relation to the questions
immediately before me.

In the first ten or fifteen years of my manhood I accepted political
economy as a cosmopolitan science and free trade as a wise policy for
every country.  My views in favor of free trade for the United States
are set forth in printed articles, which are now accessible.  They are
at the service of the critics and of the advocates of free trade.
Consistency is not always a virtue, and inconsistency is not always a
vice.  Even courts of justice change their rulings and holdings when
they find themselves in error.

The Supreme Court of the United States has reversed its first decision
in the cases that have arisen under the confiscation acts of 1862, and
in other cases the court has qualified its opinions from time to time.
This authority is valuable as proving or as tending to prove, that
inconsistencies in opinion may be consistent with integrity of purpose.

An attempt to change the issue while the trial is going on is not
infrequently the weak device of misguided advocates who happen to be
charged with the care of weak cases.

It is now twenty years of more since I appeared before Judge Endicott
of your city in a cause between a trustee and the _cestui que_ trust.
The counsel for the trustee in an argument of considerable length,
proceeded to demonstrate the unwisdom, the incapacity, indeed, of my
administration of the Treasury Department.  I made no attempt to meet
the new issue, and the Judge gave no opinion upon it.  I made an effort
to satisfy the Judge that the trustee was withholding money that
belonged to my clients, and Judge Endicott so held.  My opponent had an
opportunity to argue an issue that was not before the court, and his
client was doomed to lose his case.

A cause is now pending before the American people.  The issue is this:
Is it wise and just for us, as a nation, to make war for the seizure
and government of distant lands, occupied by millions of inhabitants,
who are alien to us in every aspect of life, except that we are
together members of the same human family?  The seriousness of this
issue cannot be magnified by the art and skill of writers and speakers,
nor can it be dwarfed to the proportions of a personal controversy.
Nor does it follow from any possible construction of the Constitution
that it is wise and just for the American people to seize, through
war, and to govern by force, the hostile tribes and peoples of the
earth whether near to or remote.

The advocates of weak causes have two methods of defence to which they
most frequently resort:  epithets and a change of issues.

It was in this city that Mr. Webster made a remark that is applicable
to the use of epithets and the avoidance of issues.  Mr. Webster had
come to this city to aid the Attorney-General in the trial of Frank
and Joseph Knapp.  His presence was disagreeable to the counsel for
the accused, and they more than intimated that he had been brought to
Salem to carry the court against the law, and to hurry the jury beyond
the evidence.  In reply, Mr. Webster referred to the Goodridge trial,
in which he had appeared for the accused, and he said:  "I remember
that the learned head of the Suffolk Bar, Mr. Prescott, came down in
aid of the officers of the government.  This was regarded as neither
strange nor improper.  The counsel for the prisoners, in that case,
contented themselves with answering his arguments, as far as they were
able, instead of carping at his presence."  This is, in substance, the
demand that we make upon the supporters of the war in the Philippines.
Let them cease to denounce us as traitors; let them explain the facts
on which they are arraigned; and let them answer the arguments that we
offer in defence of the Republic.

Causes may be lost by misinterpreting or misrepresenting the issues, or
by undervaluing the character and ability of opponents, but causes are
not often won by such expedients.  The political issues in popular
governments are the outcome of measures and policies, and the issues
can be changed only by a change of policies and measures.  President
McKinley's administration has been an administration of new policies and
new measures, and, consequently, it is an administration of new issues
--issues that will remain until the measures and policies, to which they
owe their origin, have been abandoned.  Therefore, the struggle to
change the issues, however made, or by whomsoever made, is a vain

If, in this year 1900, it could be proved beyond controversy that in
the year 1859, I had maintained the doctrine that the Constitution of
the United States did not apply to the Territories, and that in the
year 1899 I had expressed the opposite opinion, would these facts,
including the change of opinion, and whether considered together or
considered separately, possess any value argumentative, or otherwise,
as a justification of President McKinley in seizing the Philippine
Islands through war, and in attempting to govern the inhabitants by
force?  Is it of any consequence when this country is dealing with a
public policy of which war is the incident, and the continuing
inevitable incident, whether the opinions that one man may have
entertained one and forty years ago are acceptable opinions now that
the one and forty years have passed away?  Yet, my fellow-citizens, this
is the argument which the representative of the ancient and honored
county of Essex offers to you and to the country in justification of
a policy of war degenerating at times into brutal massacres, carried on
against ten million people, inhabitants of a thousand islands, ten
thousand miles from our shores, and at a cost of four million dollars a
week, and at the sacrifice each year of thousands of the youth of
America, and the destruction of the health and happiness of tens of
thousands more.

Such is the history of President McKinley's administration, and such is
the defence offered by the representative of the county of Essex.

There may have been no sinister design in the attempt to demonstrate
my inconsistency upon a question of constitutional law.  I do not
assume the existence of personal hostility.  An end would be answered
if you and others could be induced to believe that in 1859 I had so
construed the Constitution as to justify President McKinley in governing
the Philippine Islands as though the Constitution of the United States
did not exist.  Thus do my opinions receive more consideration from an
opponent than they could command at the hands of a friend.

I am now to speak more directly in explanation of the opinion that I
gave in 1859, with something of the history of the circumstances
which led to the preparation of the paper of that year.  It is an error
to assume that the question whether or not the Constitution extends to
the Territories, was a prominent question, in the period of the anti-
slavery controversy.  That question was not publicly and seriously
discussed on either side.

The controversy was conducted upon the theory that the Territories were
under the Constitution.  The question was this:  Can a slaveholder move
from a slave State to a Territory and be protected under the
Constitution in holding his slaves as property?

It was the theory of the Missouri Compromise Measure of 1820 and it was
the theory of the compromise measures of 1850, that the Constitution
neither authorized slavery anywhere nor prohibited it anywhere.  The
Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 recognized, as an admitted fact, the
doctrine that the Constitution extended to the Territories, and it
asserted as a conclusion of law and as a public policy, the doctrine
that the Constitution "should have the same force and effect within the
Territory of Kansas as elsewhere within the United States."  Thus it
was maintained by the friends of the compromise measures that the
Constitution neither authorized slavery in the Territories nor
prohibited it.  This view of the Constitution was accepted by the
opponents of slavery.

The Constitution did not authorize slavery in the States nor did it
prohibit slavery in the States.  Until the Dred Scott Decision, the
controversy proceeded upon the idea that States and Territories were
alike under the Constitution, and that by the Constitution slavery was
neither authorized nor prohibited in any State, nor in any Territory of
the Union.

Inasmuch as at that time slavery was not prohibited under the
Constitution, there was a general agreement in the proposition that
Congress might authorize slavery in the Territories and that Congress
might prohibit slavery in the Territories.  One party contended for its
authorization, the other party demanded its prohibition.  On this issue
the contest was made up.  From first to last the contest proceeded upon
the theory, on all sides admitted to be a true theory, that the
Constitution of the United States, by its own force, applied to all the
Territories of the United States.  In that opinion I concurred.

When Mr. Douglas concluded to become a Presidential candidate, he
broached a theory of constitutional interpretation for which he may
have found some support in the Dred Scott Decision.

His theory was this:  The Constitution so applies to the Territories
that they must take places as States in the American Union, and the
Constitution also requires Congress to accept the Territories as States,
and with such institutions as the Territories, when on their way to
Statehood, might choose to establish.

Hence it was, that in the article in reply to Mr. Douglas, I made this
statement:  "But now under the new political dispensation, these
thirty million can have no opinion concerning the admission of States
which may have established Catholicism, Mohammadanism, Polygamy or
even Slavery."

I interrupt the course of my remarks to say that already in the
Philippines we are tolerating and supporting slavery and polygamy,
and preparing the way for the organization of Catholic and Mohammedan
States, and their admission into the American Union.

It was in 1859, and in the article now under debate, that I used this
language as a fair exposition of Mr. Douglas' plans:

"The people of a Territory have all the rights of the people of a
State; and therefore there are no Territories belonging to the
American Union, but all are by the silent negative operations of the
Constitution of the United States, converted into independent sovereign
members of the North American Confederacy.  We commend this system to
the advocates of popular sovereignty.  It offers many advantages.  It
will not be possible for the people or the Congress of the United States
to resist the admission of new States, inasmuch as their consent will
not be asked.  It avoids all unpleasant issues.  It provides for new
slave States; it disposes of Utah; it settles, in anticipation, all
questions that may grow out of the annexation of the Catholic Mexican
States; and it permits the immigrants from the Celestial Empire to
re-establish their institutions, and take their places as members of
this Imperial Republic."  This statement of Mr. Douglas' policy in the
interest of slavery is not a far-away prophecy of the doings under
President McKinley's administration.

I have reached a point in this discussion when this remark may be
justified:  No impartial reader of my article of 1859 can fail to
discover that the discussion did not involve the question now raised.
The issue was this:  Are the Territories bound by the Constitution
to become States in the American Union against the judgment of the
people, and are the existing States bound to accept a new State and
that without regard to its institutions?  This was the theory of Mr.
Douglas, and it was a theory designed to provide a certain way for the
increase of slave States.  My argument was aimed at that policy.

At the end of my article there is a summary by propositions which
contains declarations that were outside of the controversy with Mr.

One of these has been quoted, and quoted in error as evidence of my
inconsistency.  I read the proposition:  "The Constitution of the United
States may be extended over a Territory by the treaty of annexation, or
by a law of Congress, in which case it has only the authority of the
law; but the Constitution by the force of its own provisions is limited
to the people and the States of the American Union."

In this general proposition there are several minor and distinct

1.  The Constitution may be extended over a territory by a treaty of
annexation.  This is now my distinct claim in regard to Porto Rico and
the Philippines, a position that I have uniformly maintained.

2.  The Constitution may be extended to a territory by law, _in which
case it has only the authority of law._

As to this statement I can only say I may have had in mind instances
of such legislation as may be found in the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

When we say that the Constitution of its own force, applies to the
Territories, we refer to the parts that are applicable to the
Territories as distinguishable from the parts that relate to States
exclusively.  It is a provision of the Constitution that

"No State shall make any law impairing the obligation of contracts."

In terms this limitation does not extend to Territories.  Congress
might extend the limitation, but the Act of limitation would have only
the force of law.

3.  "The Constitution by the force of its own provisions is limited
to the _people_ and States of the American Union."  This is only a
declaration that the Constitution does not apply to other states and
communities.  The word _people_ includes the inhabitants of the
Territories as well as the inhabitants of the States.  If there could
have been a doubt in 1859 of the validity of this interpretation, the
doubt has been removed by the Fourteenth Amendment.  The inhabitants
of Territories are thereby made citizens of the United States, are
brought within the jurisdiction of the Constitution, and as citizens
they are put upon an equality with the citizens of the States.  They
are of the _people_ of the American Union, and as such they are under
the Constitution of the United States.

These are the opening words of the amendment:--

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to
the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of
the State wherein they reside."

We have no subject classes in America excepting only such as have been
created, temporarily, as I trust, in Porto Rico and the Philippine
Islands, by the policy of President McKinley, and all in violation of
the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads thus:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist
within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

President McKinley claimed jurisdiction over the Philippine Islands and
consequently the inhabitants are entitled to the benign protection of
this provision of the Constitution.  There cannot be any form of
involuntary servitude imposed upon any American citizen without a
violation of this fundamental law.  Hence it is that the administration
is forced to deny citizenship to the inhabitants of the Island and to
assert the claim that the President and Congress may govern the
inhabitants of territories acquired by purchase, as in the case of the
Philippine Islands, or by conquest, as in the case of Porto Rico, as
they might be governed if the Constitution did not exist.  And this,
we are told by the President and his supporters, is not imperialism, but
a process of extending the blessings of liberty and civilization to
the inferior races of the earth.

The claim of the President is the assertion of a right in Congress to
establish a system of peonage or even of slavery in Alaska, Hawaii,
and the rest.  Your representative finds himself called to the defence
of this doctrine.  Thus is the amendment to the Constitution made of
no effect in the Territories.

The character of President McKinley's policy is set forth in his own
words and they justify the charge of imperialism.

In his speech of acceptance he said:--"The Philippines are ours, and
American authority must be supreme throughout the Archipelago.  There
will be amnesty, broad and liberal, but no abatement of our rights, no
abandonment of our duty; there must be no scuttle policy."  What is
the meaning of this language?  Is it not an assertion of absolute,
unconditional, permanent supremacy over the millions of the islands?

Imperialism is not a word merely.  It is a public policy.

The President denounces imperialism, and with emphasis he declares that
we are all republicans in America.  None of us are imperialists.

Our answer is this:  In the language that I have quoted the President
describes himself as an imperialist.  The test of Republicanism is
the Thirteenth Amendment.  The President is subjecting ten million
people to involuntary subserviency under his rule.  This, by whatever
name called, is the imperialism that we denounce.

We denounce it as a violation of a provision of our Constitution that
was gained at the cost of the lives of four hundred thousand men.

We denounce it as a violation of the rights of ten million human beings
who owe no allegiance to us.  Our title! you exclaim.  I answer, What
is it?  A title to rule an unwilling, revolutionary people, who, at the
time our title was acquired, were demanding of Spain the enjoyment of
the right of self-government.  That right was well-nigh gained when we
accepted the place of substitute for Spain.  Through twenty months of
war we have been engaged in a fruitless attempt to subjugate our
purchased victims, and we have been cajoled, continually, by the
declaration that the war was ended.

If we accept the theory of the President that our title to Porto Rico
and the Philippines is a good title, then that title can be exercised
and enjoyed only in one of two ways under our Constitution and the
example that has been set in the case of Cuba.  They should be held as
Territories, on the way to Statehood, or as possessions entitled to
self-government without delay by us.  Mr. McKinley, Senator Lodge and
Mr. Moody say neither way is acceptable--the lands and the people are
ours.  They have no rights under the Constitution.  We will hold them
subject to our will until they accept our authority and recognize our
right to rule over them, and beyond that we will hold them until, in
our opinion, they are qualified to govern themselves.

The doctrine of imperialism is again set forth in the President's
letter of acceptance of September 8.  "The flag of the Republic now
floats over these islands as an emblem of rightful sovereignty.  Will
the Republic stay and dispense to their inhabitants the blessings of
liberty, education and free institutions, or steal away, leaving them
to anarchy or imperialism?"

Thus the President is engaged in dispensing liberty to conquered peoples
instead of allowing them to enjoy liberty as a birthright.  He is
dispensing to them such education as he thinks they ought to have,
instead of allowing them to decide for themselves as to the education
which may be agreeable or useful for them.  He dictates for them the
"free institutions" which in his opinion are best adapted to their
condition, instead of allowing them the freedom to choose their own
institutions.  Thus the President assumes authority to furnish systems
of education and institutions of government by force, denying to the
people all freedom of action for themselves, and thereupon he declares
that "empire has been expelled from Porto Rico and the Philippines."

Can the President show wherein his policy, in principle, differs from
the policy of Spain?

Spain was engaged in war to compel the Filipinos to accept Spanish
institutions of education and liberty.  We are attempting through war
to compel the Filipinos to accept American institutions of education and
liberty.  It is not an answer to say, what may be true, that American
ideas and systems of education are superior to Spanish ideas and
systems.  In each case there is compulsion.  In each case there is a
denial of freedom.  In each case, there is the same exercise of power.
In each case there is the same demand for a subservient class.  In each
case there is gross undisguised imperialism.  The difference is to the
advantage of Spain.  Spain was consistent.  Her policy was a policy of
imperialism;--a policy of centuries.

America was a republic.  Self-government was at the basis of all her
institutions.  It was a prominent feature of her history.  Our
accusation against President McKinley is this:  He turned away from the
history of America, he disdained our traditions, and he reversed the
policy of a century.

Mark the consequences of the change.  In other days we sympathized with
Greece in its struggle for self-government; we denounced the suppression
of liberty in Hungary, and in the opening years of this century we
welcomed the provinces of Central and South America as they emerged,
one by one, from a condition of imperial vassalage, and took their
places in the galaxy of Republican States.

If in this year 1900, America had sent forth one word of official cheer
to the States of South Africa, the act would have been an act of self-
abasement that would have invited the contempt of all mankind.

When we charge imperialism upon the administration this question is put
exultingly:  "Where is the crown?"  I answer from history.  England
waited a century, after the conquests by Clive and Hastings, for a
Beaconsfield to crown Britain's Queen "Empress of the Indies."  The
crown is but a bauble.  Empire means vast armies employed in ignominious
service, burdensome taxation at home, and ruthless maladministration of
affairs abroad.

In two short years of imperialism, these evils have ceased to be
imaginative merely, and they have taken a place among the unwelcome
realities of our national life.

Before I close this discourse I shall return to the subject that I have
now introduced to your attention, and for the purpose of asking you to
foster and preserve the quality of consistency in the history of the
county of Essex.

Mr. Moody introduced two topics to the Essex Club of which I am to take
notice.  They concern me personally, but there is an aspect of one of
them that may merit public attention.

With a kindliness of spirit, that I could not have anticipated, Mr.
Moody attributes my failure to continue in the opinions that he claims
were entertained by me in 1859, to the infirmities incident to advancing
years.  He thus raises a question that I am not competent to discuss.
I pass it by.

I trust that Mr. Moody may live to the age of two and eighty years; that
his experience may be more fortunate than the fate that he attributes
to me, and that at that advanced period of his life his ability to
interpret the Constitution of his country will not be less than it now

The speech of Mr. Moody, as it appears in the _Transcript_ of August
30, closes with this sentence:  "He at least might spare the epithets
to the party that has showered upon him every honor within its gift,
except the presidency."  If I have applied any disparaging epithet to
the Republican Party, my error is due to my ignorance of the meaning of
the word.  The quotations which Mr. Moody has made from my speech at the
Cooper Institute contain a declaration in two forms of expression, which
may have led Mr. Moody to charge me with the use of epithets.  I find
nothing else on which this allegation can be founded.  I reproduce the

"President McKinley and his imperialistic supporters through two steps
in an argument have deduced an erroneous conclusion from admitted

"(1) Our government in common with other sovereignties has a right to
acquire territory.

"(2) That right carries with it the right to govern territory so

"From these propositions they deduce the false conclusion that Congress
may indulge a full and free discretion in the government of the
territories so acquired.  Herein is the error, and herein is the

Again, "We have the right to acquire territory and we have the right to
govern all territory acquired, but we must govern it under the
Constitution, and in the exercise of those powers, and those only, which
have been conferred upon Congress by the Constitution.  Any attempt
further is a criminal usurpation."

In the first quotation I make the charge that President McKinley, in his
attempt to govern the Philippine Islands as though the Constitution did
not apply to them, was exercising powers not granted to him by virtue
of his office.

The President is the creature of the Constitution, and his jurisdiction
is measured and limited by the jurisdiction of the Constitution.

When the President asserts that the Philippine Islands are not under the
Constitution, he admits that the Philippine Islands are not within his
jurisdiction.  If, on the other hand, the islands are within his
jurisdiction, it follows that his right of jurisdiction over them must
have come from the presence of the Constitution itself.

Let there be no misunderstanding upon one point.  I claim that the
Philippine Islands are under the Constitution and that the President
may exercise in and over the islands whatever powers the Constitution
and the laws may have placed in his hands.

I claim further that as a right on the part of the Filipinos, and as a
policy of justice and wisdom on our part, we should relinquish our
title, whatever it may be, and allow the Filipinos to enter upon the
work of governing themselves.

The President sets up the doctrine that the islands are not under the
Constitution and that they may be governed by him outside of all
constitutional restraints.  This is the usurpation that I have charged
upon him, but not upon the Republican Party of former days.  Upon the
basis specified the charge remains.  It is not an epithet.  Let the
charge be answered, or otherwise, let the President and the supporters
of his policy abandon the doctrine that we can seize, hold and govern
communities and peoples who are not within the jurisdiction of our
Constitution and, who, consequently, are not subject to our laws.

I have said that the President and his supporters are imperialists.  If
the word is descriptive of a policy then the word is not an epithet.

In the passage that I have quoted from the speech of Mr. Moody he
charges me in fact, if not in form of words, with a violation of my
obligations to the Republican Party, and upon the ground that the party
"has showered upon me every honor in its gift except the Presidency."
The consideration that I have received from the Republican Party merits
acknowledgment, and that I accord without reserve, but it cannot exact
subserviency from me.

On public grounds I ask this question:  Are those who may hold office
under the leadership of a party, to be held by party discipline to the
support of measures and policies which they condemn?  Freedom of opinion
and freedom of speech are of more value than public office.  The
movement for the reform of the civil service is, in its best aspect,
but an attempt to rescue the body of office holders from the tyranny
and discipline of party and of party leaders.  Thus much upon public
grounds, but, for myself, I shall not seek protection under a general

Never for a moment from my early years did I entertain the thought that
I would enter public life, or that I would continue in public life, as
a pursuit or as a profession.  Hence, it has happened that I have never
asked for personal support at the hands of any, and hence it has
happened that I have never solicited a nomination or an appointment from
or through the Republican Party or any member of it.

In 1860, a majority of the delegates to the Congressional Convention in
my district, favored my nomination, but not through any effort by me.
I attended the Convention and placed in nomination Mr. Train, who had
been in Congress one term.

Without any effort on my part I was nominated in 1862-'64-'66 and '68.
No aid in money or otherwise was given by the State Committee or the
National Committee.  Following my nomination in each case the District
Committee asked me for a contribution of one hundred dollars.  On one
occasion the committee sent me a return check of forty-two dollars and
some cents with a statement that the full amount had not been expended.
If contributions of money were made by others the fact was not
communicated to me.

I became a candidate for the Senate upon a request signed by members of
the Legislature.  When the second contest was on, in 1877, I declined
a call by a telegraphic message to visit Boston and confer with my
friends who were anxious for my election.  I was a member of the Peace
Congress of 1861 and I received several other appointments from Governor
Andrew, but without solicitation by me.  At his request I went to
Washington for a conference with Mr. Lincoln and General Scott.  I
reached the city by the first train that passed over the road from
Annapolis.  Again, at his request, I went to Washington the Monday
following the battle of Bull Run.

I received two appointments from President Lincoln, when, in each case,
I had no knowledge that the place existed.

From General Grant I received the offer of the Interior Department and
then of the Treasury Department, both of which I declined.  When
General Grant had taken the responsibility of sending my name to the
Senate, I had no alternative as a member of the Republican Party and
as a friend to General Grant.

Upon the death of Mr. Folger, President Arthur asked me to take the
office of Secretary of the Treasury.  I was then concerned with the
affairs of another government and I declined the appointment.

When General Garfield had been nominated at Chicago in 1880 the
nomination of a candidate for the Vice-Presidency was placed in the
hands of the friends of General Grant.  That nomination was offered to

In the forty years from 1856 to 1896, I made speeches in behalf of the
Republican Party in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New York,
Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois,
Ohio and Indiana and in no instance did I receive compensation for my
services.  When I spoke in Ohio my expenses were paid on all occasions
but one.  That was a volunteer visit.  My acquaintance with the
politicians of Ohio was agreeable from first to last.

In my many trips through New York it was understood that my expenses
were to be paid.  When General Arthur was at the head of the committee
his checks exceeded the expenses, perhaps by a hundred per cent.

On one occasion the State Committee asked me to make six or eight
speeches upon their appointment.  That service I performed; whether my
expenses were paid I cannot say.  If they were paid it is the exception
in Massachusetts, unless local expenses may have been met where
addresses were made.

If a mercantile account current could be written, it might appear that
my obligations to the Republican Party are not in excess of the
obligations of the Republican Party to me.

From my experience as a member of the Republican Party I add an incident
to what I have said already.

In the month of July, 1862, and at the request of President Lincoln and
Secretary Chase, I entered upon the work of organizing the Internal
Revenue Office.  That work was continued without the interruption of
Sabbaths or evenings, with a few exceptions only, till March, 1863,
when, as was said by Mr. Chase, the office was larger than the entire
Treasury had been at any time previous to 1861.  It was the largest
branch of government ever organized in historical times and set in
motion in a single year.  The system remains undisturbed.  Such changes
only have been made as were required by changes in the laws.  In the
thirty-eight years of its existence the Government has received through
its agency the enormous sum of five thousand and five hundred million
dollars being twice the amount of all the revenues of the Government
previous to 1860.

I have thus devoted many minutes of your time to the questions raised by
Mr. Moody.

The nature and the extent of my obligations to the Republican Party
and the question of my consistency in the construction that I have
given to the Constitution of the United States, are not matters of
grave concern for you.  They have come into the field of discussion
through the agency of Mr. Moody.

I come now to ask your attention to a view of your relations to passing
events which concerns the county of Essex.

Your county has a distinguished history--distinguished for its men and
for its part in public affairs.  Shall the history that you are now
making be consistent with that which you have inherited and which you
cherish?  I mention one name only among your great names and I bring
before your minds one event only.

In the order of time and in the order of events, the second most
important paper in the annals of America is the "Ordinance for the
Government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the
River Ohio."

The chief value of that ordinance is in the sixth article which is in
these words:  "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude
in the said Territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crime,
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."

By repeated decisions the Supreme Court has held that the stipulations
and terms of the ordinance remained in force after the adoption of the
Constitution, unless a conflict should appear, and in such a case the
ordinance would yield to the Constitution.  As the article in regard
to slavery was not controlled by the Constitution, the exclusion of
slavery became the supreme and continuing law of the Territories and
States that were organized in the vast region covered by the Ordinance
of 1787, and it may be assumed, fairly, that the character and power of
those States made possible the extermination of the institution of
slavery in all parts of the country.  The parties to the ordinance of
1787 may have builded better than they knew, but their work is one of
the four great acts or events in the history of the Republic--The
Declaration of Independence, the Ordinance of 1787, the Constitution,
and the amendment abolishing the institution of slavery.

Nathan Dane of the county of Essex, was the author of the Ordinance of
1787; and he was a delegate in the Continental Congress from 1785 to
1788.  Of all the eminent men that you have sent forth into the service
of the State and the country, he must be accounted the chief, when we
consider the value of his contribution, historically, and on the side of
freedom and civilization.  His fame is in your hands and I have come to
ask you to consider whether the policy of President McKinley in the
Philippines is in harmony with the Ordinance of 1787 and the amendment
to the Constitution of 1865.

By the Ordinance of 1787, freedom and full right to self-government
were made secure to the coming millions who were to occupy the States
northwest of the River Ohio.  By the amendment of 1865 freedom and
equality in government were guaranteed to all and especially to the
negro race in America.

Shall the avoidance of the Amendment in States of this Union be tendered
as a reason for a denial of equality and the right of self-government in
the Philippine Islands?  If the negroes in America are entitled to
freedom from a state of subserviency, are not the colored races in the
Philippines entitled to freedom, and that whether they are under the
Constitution or beyond its jurisdiction?

You are called to a choice between the doctrines of Nathan Dane and
Abraham Lincoln on one side and the doctrines and policy of President
McKinley and his supporters on the other side.  The point I make is
this:  The three propositions cannot stand together.  Dane and Lincoln
are in harmony.  They guaranteed equality and self-government to all.
President McKinley and his supporters demand subserviency of all who
are not within the lines of the American seas.

They assert supreme authority over their fellow-men for an indefinite
period of time, and they promise therewith good government.  Here are
the assertion of power and the promise of goodness that have attended
the origin and movement of every despotism that has risen to curse

That you may see, as in one view, the doctrines of Dane, Lincoln and
McKinley, I read again the records that they have made.

"There shall be neither slavery       "The Philippines are ours and
nor involuntary servitude in the      American authority must be su-
said territory otherwise than in the  preme throughout the Archipelago.
punishment of crimes whereof the      There will be amnesty, broad and
party shall have been duly            liberal, but no abatement of our
convicted."--NATHAN DANE.             rights, no abandonment of our
                                      duty.  There must be no scuttle
"Neither slavery nor involuntary      policy."--WILLIAM McKINLEY.
servitude, except as a punishment
for crime whereof the party shall     "The flag of the Republic now
have been duly convicted, shall       floats over these islands as an
exist within the United States, or    emblem of rightful sovereignty.
any place subject to their            Will the Republic stay and
jurisdiction."--ABRAHAM LINCOLN.      dispense to their inhabitants the
                                      blessings of liberty, education
                                      and free institutions, or steal
                                      away leaving them to anarchy or
                                      imperialism?"--WILLIAM McKINLEY.

                                      "Any slave in the Archipelago of
                                      Jolo shall have the right to pur-
                                      chase freedom by paying to the
                                      master the usual market price.--
                                      Article 10, of the McKinley treaty
                                      with the Sultan of the Sulu Isles.

I leave three questions with you.

Is a vote for President McKinley and his policy in the Philippine
Islands a vote in harmony with the teachings and examples of Nathan
Dane and Abraham Lincoln?

Is the policy of President McKinley consistent with the history of the
county of Essex?

Shall your representative stand for Nathan Dane and Abraham Lincoln
and Freedom, or for William McKinley and Despotism?


INDEX [omitted]

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