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´╗┐Title: State of the Union Addresses
Author: Harrison, Benjamin
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "State of the Union Addresses" ***

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State of the Union Addresses of Benjamin Harrison

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Dates of addresses by Benjamin Harrison in this eBook:

  December 3, 1889
  December 1, 1890
  December 9, 1891
  December 6, 1892


State of the Union Address
Benjamin Harrison
December 3, 1889

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

There are few transactions in the administration of the Government that are
even temporarily held in the confidence of those charged with the conduct
of the public business. Every step taken is under the observation of an
intelligent and watchful people. The state of the Union is known from day
to day, and suggestions as to needed legislation find an earlier voice than
that which speaks in these annual communications of the President to

Good will and cordiality have characterized our relations and
correspondence with other governments, and the year just closed leaves few
international questions of importance remaining unadjusted. No obstacle is
believed to exist that can long postpone the consideration and adjustment
of the still pending questions upon satisfactory and honorable terms. The
dealings of this Government with other states have been and should always
be marked by frankness and sincerity, our purposes avowed, and our methods
free from intrigue. This course has borne rich fruit in the past, and it is
our duty as a nation to preserve the heritage of good repute which a
century of right dealing with foreign governments has secured to us.

It is a matter of high significance and no less of congratulation that the
first year of the second century of our constitutional existence finds as
honored guests within our borders the representatives of all the
independent States of North and South America met together in earnest
conference touching the best methods of perpetuating and expanding the
relations of mutual interest and friendliness existing among them. That the
opportunity thus afforded for promoting closer international relations and
the increased prosperity of the States represented will be used for the
mutual good of all I can not permit myself to doubt. Our people will await
with interest and confidence the results to flow from so auspicious a
meeting of allied and in large part identical interests.

The recommendations of this international conference of enlightened
statesmen will doubtless have the considerate attention of Congress and its
cooperation in the removal of unnecessary barriers to beneficial
intercourse between the nations of America. But while the commercial
results which it is hoped will follow this conference are worthy of pursuit
and of the great interests they have excited, it is believed that the
crowning benefit will be found in the better securities which may be
devised for the maintenance of peace among all American nations and the
settlement of all contentions by methods that a Christian civilization can
approve. While viewing with interest our national resources and products,
the delegates will, I am sure, find a higher satisfaction in the evidences
of unselfish friendship which everywhere attend their intercourse with our

Another international conference having great possibilities for good has
lately assembled and is now in session in this capital. An invitation was
extended by the Government, under the act of Congress of July 9, 1888, to
all maritime nations to send delegates to confer touching the revision and
amendment of the rules and regulations governing vessels at sea and to
adopt a uniform system of marine signals. The response to this invitation
has been very general and very cordial. Delegates from twenty-six nations
are present in the conference, and they have entered upon their useful work
with great zeal and with an evident appreciation of its importance. So far
as the agreement to be reached may require legislation to give it effect,
the cooperation of Congress is confidently relied upon.

It is an interesting, if not, indeed, an unprecedented, fact that the two
international conferences have brought together here the accredited
representatives of thirty-three nations.

Bolivia, Ecuador, and Honduras are now represented by resident envoys of
the plenipotentiary grade. All the States of the American system now
maintain diplomatic representation at this capital.

In this connection it may be noted that all the nations of the Western
Hemisphere, with one exception, send to Washington envoys extraordinary and
ministers plenipotentiary, being the highest grade accredited to this
Government. The United States, on the contrary, sends envoys of lower
grades to some of our sister Republics. Our representative in Paraguay and
Uruguay is a minister resident, while to Bolivia we send a minister
resident and consul-general. In view of the importance of our relations
with the States of the American system, our diplomatic agents in those
countries should be of the uniform rank of envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary. Certain missions were so elevated by the last Congress
with happy effect, and I recommend the completion of the reform thus begun,
with the inclusion also of Hawaii and Hayti, in view of their relations to
the American system of states.

I also recommend that timely provision be made for extending to Hawaii an
invitation to be represented in the international conference now sitting at
this capital.

Our relations with China have the attentive consideration which their
magnitude and interest demand. The failure of the treaty negotiated under
the Administration of my predecessor for the further and more complete
restriction of Chinese labor immigration, and with it the legislation of
the last session of Congress dependent thereon, leaves some questions open
which Congress should now approach in that wise and just spirit which
should characterize the relations of two great and friendly powers. While
our supreme interests demand the exclusion of a laboring element which
experience has shown to be incompatible with our social life, all steps to
compass this imperative need should be accompanied with a recognition of
the claim of those strangers now lawfully among us to humane and just

The accession of the young Emperor of China marks, we may hope, an era of
progress and prosperity for the great country over which he is called to

The present state of affairs in respect to the Samoan Islands is
encouraging. The conference which was held in this city in the summer of
1887 between the representatives of the United States, Germany, and Great
Britain having been adjourned because of the persistent divergence of views
which was developed in its deliberations, the subsequent course of events
in the islands gave rise to questions of a serious character. On the 4th of
February last the German minister at this capital, in behalf of his
Government, proposed a resumption of the conference at Berlin. This
proposition was accepted, as Congress in February last was informed.

Pursuant to the understanding thus reached, commissioners were appointed by
me, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who proceeded to
Berlin, where the conference was renewed. The deliberations extended
through several weeks, and resulted in the conclusion of a treaty which
will be submitted to the Senate for its approval. I trust that the efforts
which have been made to effect an adjustment of this question will be
productive of the permanent establishment of law and order in Samoa upon
the basis of the maintenance of the rights and interests of the natives as
well as of the treaty powers.

The questions which have arisen during the past few years between Great
Britain and the United States are in abeyance or in course of amicable

On the part of the government of the Dominion of Canada an effort has been
apparent during the season just ended to administer the laws and
regulations applicable to the fisheries with as little occasion for
friction as was possible, and the temperate representations of this
Government in respect of cases of undue hardship or of harsh
interpretations have been in most cases met with measures of transitory
relief. It is trusted that the attainment of our just rights under existing
treaties and in virtue of the concurrent legislation of the two contiguous
countries will not be long deferred and that all existing causes of
difference may be equitably adjusted.

I recommend that provision be made by an international agreement for
visibly marking the water boundary between the United States and Canada in
the narrow channels that join the Great Lakes. The conventional line
therein traced by the northwestern boundary survey years ago is not in all
cases readily ascertainable for the settlement of jurisdictional

A just and acceptable enlargement of the list of offenses for which
extradition may be claimed and granted is most desirable between this
country and Great Britain. The territory of neither should become a secure
harbor for the evil doers of the other through any avoidable shortcoming in
this regard. A new treaty on this subject between the two powers has been
recently negotiated and will soon be laid before the Senate.

The importance of the commerce of Cuba and Puerto Rico with the United
States, their nearest and principal market, justifies the expectation that
the existing relations may be beneficially expanded. The impediments
resulting from varying dues on navigation and from the vexatious treatment
of our vessels on merely technical grounds of complaint in West India ports
should be removed.

The progress toward an adjustment of pending claims between the United
States and Spain is not as rapid as could be desired.

Questions affecting American interests in connection with railways
constructed and operated by our citizens in Peru have claimed the attention
of this Government. It is urged that other governments in pressing Peru to
the payment of their claims have disregarded the property rights of
American citizens. The matter will be carefully investigated with a view to
securing a proper and equitable adjustment.

A similar issue is now pending with Portugal. The Delagoa Bay Railway, in
Africa, was constructed under a concession by Portugal to an American
citizen. When nearly completed the road was seized by the agents of the
Portuguese Government. Formal protest has been made through our minister at
Lisbon against this act, and no proper effort will be spared to secure
proper relief.

In pursuance of the charter granted by Congress and under the terms of its
contract with the Government of Nicaragua the Interoceanic Canal Company
has begun the construction of the important waterway between the two oceans
which its organization contemplates. Grave complications for a time seemed
imminent, in view of a supposed conflict of jurisdiction between Nicaragua
and Costa Rica in regard to the accessory privileges to be conceded by the
latter Republic toward the construction of works on the San Juan River, of
which the right bank is Costa Rican territory. I am happy to learn that a
friendly arrangement has been effected between the two nations. This
Government has held itself ready to promote in every proper way the
adjustment of all questions that might present obstacles to the completion
of a work of such transcendent importance to the commerce of this country,
and, indeed, to the commercial interests of the world.

The traditional good feeling between this country and the French Republic
has received additional testimony in the participation of our Government
and people in the international exposition held at Paris during the past
summer. The success of our exhibitors has been gratifying. The report of
the commission will be laid before Congress in due season.

This Government has accepted, under proper reserve as to its policy in
foreign territories, the invitation of the Government of Belgium to take
part in an international congress, which opened at Brussels on the 16th of
November, for the purpose of devising measures to promote the abolition of
the slave trade in Africa and to prevent the shipment of slaves by sea. Our
interest in the extinction of this crime against humanity in the regions
where it yet survives has been increased by the results of emancipation
within our own borders.

With Germany the most cordial relations continue. The questions arising
from the return to the Empire of Germans naturalized in this country are
considered and disposed of in a temperate spirit to the entire satisfaction
of both Governments.

It is a source of great satisfaction that the internal disturbances of the
Republic of Hayti are at last happily ended, and that an apparently stable
government has been constituted. It has been duly recognized by the United

A mixed commission is now in session in this capital for the settlement of
long-standing claims against the Republic of Venezuela, and it is hoped
that a satisfactory conclusion will be speedily reached. This Government
has not hesitated to express its earnest desire that the boundary dispute
now pending between Great Britain and Venezuela may be adjusted amicably
and in strict accordance with the historic title of the parties.

The advancement of the Empire of Japan has been evidenced by the recent
promulgation of a new constitution, containing valuable guaranties of
liberty and providing for a responsible ministry to conduct the

It is earnestly recommended that our judicial rights and processes in Korea
be established on a firm basis by providing the machinery necessary to
carry out treaty stipulations in that regard.

The friendliness of the Persian Government continues to be shown by its
generous treatment of Americans engaged in missionary labors and by the
cordial disposition of the Shah to encourage the enterprise of our citizens
in the development of Persian resources.

A discussion is in progress touching the jurisdictional treaty rights of
the United States in Turkey. An earnest effort will be made to define those
rights to the satisfaction of both Governments.

Questions continue to arise in our relations with several countries in
respect to the rights of naturalized citizens. Especially is this the case
with France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, and to a less extent with
Switzerland. From time to time earnest efforts have been made to regulate
this subject by conventions with those countries. An improper use of
naturalization should not be permitted, but it is most important that those
who have been duly naturalized should everywhere be accorded recognition of
the rights pertaining to the citizenship of the country of their adoption.
The appropriateness of special conventions for that purpose is recognized
in treaties which this Government has concluded with a number of European
States, and it is advisable that the difficulties which now arise in our
relations with other countries on the same subject should be similarly

The recent revolution in Brazil in favor of the establishment of a
republican form of government is an event of great interest to the United
States. Our minister at Rio de Janeiro was at once instructed to maintain
friendly diplomatic relations with the Provisional Government, and the
Brazilian representatives at this capital were instructed by the
Provisional Government to continue their functions. Our friendly
intercourse with Brazil has therefore suffered no interruption.

Our minister has been further instructed to extend on the part of this
Government a formal and cordial recognition of the new Republic so soon as
the majority of the people of Brazil shall have signified their assent to
its establishment and maintenance.

Within our own borders a general condition of prosperity prevails. The
harvests of the last summer were exceptionally abundant, and the trade
conditions now prevailing seem to promise a successful season to the
merchant and the manufacturer and general employment to our working

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury for the fiscal year ending June
30, 1889, has been prepared and will be presented to Congress. It presents
with clearness the fiscal operations of the Government, and I avail myself
of it to obtain some facts for use here.

The aggregate receipts from all sources for the year were $387,050,058.84,
derived as follows:

From customs - $223, 832, 741.69

From internal revenue - 130,881,513.92

From miscellaneous sources - 32,335,803.23

The ordinary expenditures for the same period were $281,996,615.60, and the
total expenditures, including the sinking fund, were $329,579,929.25. The
excess of receipts over expenditures was, after providing for the sinking
fund, $57,470,129.59.

For the current fiscal year the total revenues, actual and estimated are
$385,000,000, and the ordinary expenditures, actual and estimated, are
$293,000,000, making with the sinking fund a total expenditure of
$341,321,116.99, leaving an estimated surplus of $43,678,883.01.

During the fiscal year there was applied to the purchase of bonds, in
addition to those for the sinking fund, $90,456,172.35, and during the
first quarter of the current year the sum of $37,838,937.77, all of which
were credited to the sinking fund. The revenues for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1891, are estimated by the Treasury Department at $385,000,000,
and the expenditures for the same period, including the sinking fund, at
$341,430,477.70. This shows an estimated surplus for that year of
$43,569,522.30, which is more likely to be increased than reduced when the
actual transactions are written up.

The existence of so large an actual and anticipated surplus should have the
immediate attention of Congress, with a view to reducing the receipts of
the Treasury to the needs of the Government as closely as may be. The
collection of moneys not needed for public uses imposes an unnecessary
burden upon our people, and the presence of so large a surplus in the
public vaults is a disturbing element in the conduct of private business.
It has called into use expedients for putting it into circulation of very
questionable propriety. We should not collect revenue for the purpose of
anticipating our bonds beyond the requirements of the sinking fund, but any
unappropriated surplus in the Treasury should be so used, as there is no
other lawful way of returning the money to circulation, and the profit
realized by the Government offers a substantial advantage.

The loaning of public funds to the banks without interest Upon the security
of Government bonds I regard as an unauthorized and dangerous expedient. It
results in a temporary and unnatural increase of the banking capital of
favored localities and compels a cautious and gradual recall of the
deposits to avoid injury to the commercial interests. It is not to be
expected that the banks having these deposits will sell their bonds to the
Treasury so long as the present highly beneficial arrangement is continued.
They now practically get interest both upon the bonds and their proceeds.
No further use should be made of this method of getting the surplus into
circulation, and the deposits now outstanding should be gradually withdrawn
and applied to the purchase of bonds. It is fortunate that such a use can
be made of the existing surplus, and for some time to come of any casual
surplus that may exist after Congress has taken the necessary steps for a
reduction of the revenue. Such legislation should be promptly but very
considerately enacted.

I recommend a revision of our tariff law both in its administrative
features and in the schedules. The need of the former is generally
conceded, and an agreement upon the evils and inconveniences to be remedied
and the best methods for their correction will probably not be difficult.
Uniformity of valuation at all our ports is essential, and effective
measures should be taken to secure it. It is equally desirable that
questions affecting rates and classifications should be promptly decided.

The preparation of a new schedule of customs duties is a matter of great
delicacy because of its direct effect upon the business of the country, and
of great difficulty by reason of the wide divergence of opinion as to the
objects that may properly be promoted by such legislation. Some disturbance
of business may perhaps result from the consideration of this subject by
Congress, but this temporary ill effect will be reduced to the minimum by
prompt action and by the assurance which the country already enjoys that
any necessary changes will be so made as not to impair the just and
reasonable protection of our home industries. The inequalities of the law
should be adjusted, but the protective principle should be maintained and
fairly applied to the products of our farms as well as of our shops. These
duties necessarily have relation to other things besides the public
revenues. We can not limit their effects by fixing our eyes on the public
Treasury alone. They have a direct relation to home production, to work, to
wages, and to the commercial independence of our country, and the wise and
patriotic legislator should enlarge the field of his vision to include all
of these. The necessary reduction in our public revenues can, I am sure, be
made without making the smaller burden more onerous than the larger by
reason of the disabilities and limitations which the process of reduction
puts upon both capital and labor. The free list can very safely be extended
by placing thereon articles that do not offer injurious competition to such
domestic products as our home labor can supply. The removal of the internal
tax upon tobacco would relieve an important agricultural product from a
burden which was imposed only because our revenue from customs duties was
insufficient for the public needs. If safe provision against fraud can be
devised, the removal of the tax upon spirits used in the arts and in
manufactures would also offer an unobjectionable method of reducing the

A table presented by the Secretary of the Treasury showing the amount of
money of all kinds in circulation each year from 1878 to the present time
is of interest. It appears that the amount of national-bank notes in
circulation has decreased during that period $114,109,729, of which
$37,799,229 is chargeable to the last year. The withdrawal of bank
circulation will necessarily continue under existing conditions. It is
probable that the adoption of the suggestions made by the Comptroller of
the Currency, namely, that the minimum deposit of bonds for the
establishment of banks be reduced and that an issue of notes to the par
value of the bonds be allowed, would help to maintain the bank circulation.
But while this withdrawal of bank notes has been going on there has been a
large increase in the amount of gold and silver coin in circulation and in
the issues of gold and silver certificates.

The total amount of money of all kinds in circulation on March 1, 1878, was
$805,793,807, while on October 1, 1889, the total was $1,405,018,000. There
was an increase of $293,417,552 in gold coin, of $57,554,100 in standard
silver dollars, of $72,311,249 in gold certificates, of $276,619,715 in
silver certificates, and of $14,073,787 in United States notes, making a
total of $713,976,403. There was during the same period a decrease of
$114,109,729 in bank circulation and of $642,481 in subsidiary silver. The
net increase was $599,224,193. The circulation per capita has increased
about $5 during the time covered by the table referred to.

The total coinage of silver dollars was on November 1, 1889, $343,638,001,
of which $283,539,521 were in the Treasury vaults and $60,098,480 were in
circulation. Of the amount in the vaults $277,319,944 were represented by
outstanding silver certificates, leaving $6,219,577 not in circulation and
not represented by certificates.

The law requiring the purchase by the Treasury of $2,000,000 worth of
silver bullion each month, to be coined into silver dollars of 412 1/2
grains, has been observed by the Department, but neither the present
Secretary nor any of his predecessors has deemed it safe to exercise the
discretion given by law to increase the monthly purchases to $4,000,000.
When the law was enacted (February 28, 1878) the price of silver in the
market was $1.204 per ounce, making the bullion value of the dollar 93
cents. Since that time the price has fallen as low as 91.2 cents per ounce,
reducing the bullion value of the dollar to 70.6 cents. Within the last few
months the market price has somewhat advanced, and on the 1st day of
November last the bullion value of the silver dollar was 72 cents.

The evil anticipations which have accompanied the coinage and use of the
silver dollar have not been realized. As a coin it has not had general use,
and the public Treasury has been compelled to store it. But this is
manifestly owing to the fact that its paper representative is more
convenient. The general acceptance and the use of the silver certificate
show that silver has not been otherwise discredited. Some favorable
conditions have contributed to maintain this practical equality in their
commercial use between the gold and silver dollars; but some of these are
trade conditions that statutory enactments do not control and of the
continuance of which we can not be certain.

I think it is clear that if we should make the coinage of silver at the
present ratio free we must expect that the difference in the bullion values
of the gold and silver dollars will be taken account of in commercial
transactions; and I fear the same result would follow any considerable
increase of the present rate of coinage. Such a result would be
discreditable to our financial management and disastrous to all business
interests. We should not tread the dangerous edge of such a peril. And,
indeed, nothing more harmful could happen to the silver interests. Any safe
legislation upon this subject must secure the equality of the two coins in
their commercial uses.

I have always been an advocate of the use of silver in our currency. We are
large producers of that metal, and should not discredit it. To the plan
which will be presented by the Secretary of the Treasury for the issuance
of notes or certificates upon the deposit of silver bullion at its market
value I have been able to give only a hasty examination, owing to the press
of other matters and to the fact that it has been so recently formulated.
The details of such a law require careful consideration, but the general
plan suggested by him seems to satisfy the purpose--to continue the use of
silver in connection with our currency and at the same time to obviate the
danger of which I have spoken. At a later day I may communicate further
with Congress upon this subject.

The enforcement of the Chinese exclusion act has been found to be very
difficult on the northwestern frontier. Chinamen landing at Victoria find
it easy to pass our border, owing to the impossibility with the force at
the command of the customs officers of guarding so long an inland line. The
Secretary of the Treasury has authorized the employment of additional
officers, who will be assigned to this duty, and every effort will be made
to enforce the law. The Dominion exacts a head tax of $50 for each Chinaman
landed, and when these persons, in fraud of our law, cross into our
territory and are apprehended our officers do not know what to do with
them, as the Dominion authorities will not suffer them to be sent back
without a second payment of the tax. An effort will be made to reach an
understanding that will remove this difficulty.

The proclamation required by section 3 of the act of March 2, 1889,
relating to the killing of seals and other fur-bearing animals, was issued
by me on the 21st day of March, and a revenue vessel was dispatched to
enforce the laws and protect the interests of the United States. The
establishment of a refuge station at Point Barrow, as directed by Congress,
was successfully accomplished.

Judged by modern standards, we are practically without coast defenses. Many
of the structures we have would enhance rather than diminish the perils of
their garrisons if subjected to the fire of improved guns, and very few are
so located as to give full effect to the greater range of such guns as we
are now making for coast-defense uses. This general subject has had
consideration in Congress for some years, and the appropriation for the
construction of large rifled guns made one year ago was, I am sure, the
expression of a purpose to provide suitable works in which these guns might
be mounted. An appropriation now made for that purpose would not advance
the completion of the works beyond our ability to supply them with fairly
effective guns.

The security of our coast cities against foreign attacks should not rest
altogether in the friendly disposition of other nations. There should be a
second line wholly in our own keeping. I very urgently recommend an
appropriation at this session for the construction of such works in our
most exposed harbors.

I approve the suggestion of the Secretary of War that provision be made for
encamping companies of the National Guard in our coast works for a
specified time each year and for their training in the use of heavy guns.
His suggestion that an increase of the artillery force of the Army is
desirable is also, in this connection, commended to the consideration of

The improvement of our important rivers and harbors should be promoted by
the necessary appropriations. Care should be taken that the Government is
not committed to the prosecution of works not of public and general
advantage and that the relative usefulness of works of that class is not
overlooked. So far as this work can ever be said to be completed, I do not
doubt that the end would be sooner and more economically reached if fewer
separate works were undertaken at the same time, and those selected for
their greater general interest were more rapidly pushed to completion. A
work once considerably begun should not be subjected to the risks and
deterioration which interrupted or insufficient appropriations necessarily

The assault made by David S. Terry upon the person of Justice Field, of the
Supreme Court of the United States, at Lathtop, Cal., in August last, and
the killing of the assailant by a deputy United States marshal who had been
deputed to accompany Justice Field and to protect him from anticipated
violence at the hands of Terry, in connection with the legal proceedings
which have followed, suggest questions which, in my judgment, are worthy of
the attention of Congress.

I recommend that more definite provision be made by law not only for the
protection of Federal officers, but for a full trial of such cases in the
United States courts. In recommending such legislation I do not at all
impeach either the general adequacy of the provision made by the State laws
for the protection of all citizens or the general good disposition of those
charged with the execution of such laws to give protection to the officers
of the United States. The duty of protecting its officers, as such, and of
punishing those who assault them on account of their official acts should
not be devolved expressly or by acquiescence upon the local authorities.

Events which have been brought to my attention happening in other parts of
the country have also suggested the propriety of extending by legislation
fuller protection to those who may be called as witnesses in the courts of
the United States. The law compels those who are supposed to have knowledge
of public offenses to attend upon our courts and grand juries and to give
evidence. There is a manifest resulting duty that these witnesses shall be
protected from injury on account of their testimony. The investigations of
criminal offenses are often rendered futile and the punishment of crime
impossible by the intimidation of witnesses.

The necessity of providing some more speedy method for disposing of the
cases which now come for final adjudication to the Supreme Court becomes
every year more apparent and urgent. The plan of providing some
intermediate courts having final appellate jurisdiction of certain classes
of questions and cases has, I think, received a more general approval from
the bench and bar of the country than any other. Without attempting to
discuss details, I recommend that provision be made for the establishment
of such courts.

The salaries of the judges of the district courts in many of the districts
are, in my judgment, inadequate. I recommend that all such salaries now
below $5,000 per annum be increased to that amount. It is quite true that
the amount of labor performed by these judges is very unequal, but as they
can not properly engage in other pursuits to supplement their incomes the
salary should be such in all cases as to provide an independent and
comfortable support.

Earnest attention should be given by Congress to a consideration of the
question how far the restraint of those combinations of capital commonly
called "trusts" is matter of Federal jurisdiction. When organized, as they
often are, to crush out all healthy competition and to monopolize the
production or sale of an article of commerce and general necessity, they
are dangerous conspiracies against the public good, and should be made the
subject of prohibitory and even penal legislation.

The subject of an international copyright has been frequently commended to
the attention of Congress by my predecessors. The enactment of such a law
would be eminently wise and just.

Our naturalization laws should be so revised as to make the inquiry into
the moral character and good disposition toward our Government of the
persons applying for citizenship more thorough. This can only be done by
taking fuller control of the examination, by fixing the times for hearing
such applications, and by requiring the presence of some one who shall
represent the Government in the inquiry. Those who are the avowed enemies
of social order or who come to our shores to swell the injurious influence
and to extend the evil practices of any association that defies our laws
should not only be denied citizenship, but a domicile.

The enactment of a national bankrupt law of a character to be a permanent
part of our general legislation is desirable. It should be simple in its
methods and inexpensive in its administration.

The report of the Postmaster-General not only exhibits the operations of
the Department for the last fiscal year, but contains many valuable
suggestions for the improvement and extension of the service, which are
commended to your attention. No other branch of the Government has so close
a contact with the daily life of the people. Almost everyone uses the
service it offers, and every hour gained in the transmission of the great
commercial mails has an actual and possible value that only those engaged
in trade can understand.

The saving of one day in the transmission of the mails between New York and
San Francisco, which has recently been accomplished, is an incident worthy
of mention.

The plan suggested of a supervision of the post-offices in separate
districts that shall involve instruction and suggestion and a rating of the
efficiency of the postmasters would, I have no doubt, greatly improve the

A pressing necessity exists for the erection of a building for the joint
use of the Department and of the city post-office. The Department was
partially relieved by renting .outside quarters for a part of its force,
but it is again overcrowded. The building used by the city office never was
fit for the purpose, and is now inadequate and unwholesome.

The unsatisfactory condition of the law relating to the transmission
through the mails of lottery advertisements and remittances is clearly
stated by the Postmaster-General, and his suggestion as to amendments
should have your favorable consideration.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy shows a reorganization of the
bureaus of the Department that will, I do not doubt, promote the efficiency
of each.

In general, satisfactory progress has been made in the construction of the
new ships of war authorized by Congress. The first vessel of the new Navy,
the Dolphin, was subjected to very severe trial tests and to very much
adverse criticism; but it is gratifying to be able to state that a cruise
around the world, from which she has recently returned, has demonstrated
that she is a first-class vessel of her rate.

The report of the Secretary shows that while the effective force of the
Navy is rapidly increasing by reason of the improved build and armament of
the new ships, the number of our ships fit for sea duty grows very slowly.
We had on the 4th of March last 37 serviceable ships, and though 4 have
since been added to the list, the total has not been increased, because in
the meantime 4 have been lost or condemned. Twenty-six additional vessels
have been authorized and appropriated for; but it is probable that when
they are completed our list will only be increased to 42--a gain of 5. The
old wooden ships are disappearing almost as fast as the new vessels are
added. These facts carry their own argument. One of the new ships may in
fighting strength be equal to two of the old, but it can not do the
cruising duty of two. It is important, therefore, that we should have a
more rapid increase in the number of serviceable ships. I concur in the
recommendation of the Secretary that the construction of 8 armored ships, 3
gunboats, and 5 torpedo boats be authorized.

An appalling calamity befell three of our naval vessels on duty at the
Samoan Islands, in the harbor of Apia, in March last, involving the loss of
4 officers and 47 seamen, of two vessels, the Trenton and the Vandalia, and
the disabling of a third, the Nipsic. Three vessels of the German navy,
also in the harbor, shared with our ships the force of the hurricane and
suffered even more heavily. While mourning the brave officers and men who
died facing with high resolve perils greater than those of battle, it is
most gratifying to state that the credit of the American Navy for
seamanship, courage, and generosity was magnificently sustained in the
storm-beaten harbor of Apia.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior exhibits the transactions of
the Government with the Indian tribes. Substantial progress has been made
in the education of the children of school age and in the allotment of
lands to adult Indians. It is to be regretted that the policy of breaking
up the tribal relation and of dealing with the Indian as an individual did
not appear earlier in our legislation. Large reservations held in common
and the maintenance of the authority of the chiefs and headmen have
deprived the individual of every incentive to the exercise of thrift, and
the annuity has contributed an affirmative impulse toward a state of
confirmed pauperism.

Our treaty stipulations should be observed with fidelity and our
legislation should be highly considerate of the best interests of an
ignorant and helpless people. The reservations are now generally surrounded
by white settlements. We can no longer push the Indian back into the
wilderness, and it remains only by every suitable agency to push him upward
into the estate of a self-supporting and responsible citizen. For the adult
the first step is to locate him upon a farm, and for the child to place him
in a school.

School attendance should be promoted by every moral agency, and those
failing should be compelled. The national schools for Indians have been
very successful and should be multiplied, and as far as possible should be
so organized and conducted as to facilitate the transfer of the schools to
the States or Territories in which they are located when the Indians in a
neighborhood have accepted citizenship and have become otherwise fitted for
such a transfer. This condition of things will be attained slowly, but it
will be hastened by keeping it in mind; and in the meantime that
cooperation between the Government and the mission schools which has
wrought much good should be cordially and impartially maintained.

The last Congress enacted two distinct laws relating to negotiations with
the Sioux Indians of Dakota for a relinquishment of a portion of their
lands to the United States and for dividing the remainder into separate
reservations. Both were approved on the same day--March 2. The one
submitted to the Indians a specific proposition; the other (section 3 of
the Indian appropriation act) authorized the President to appoint three
commissioners to negotiate with these Indians for the accomplishment of the
same general purpose, and required that any agreements made should be
submitted to Congress for ratification.

On the 16th day of April last I appointed Hon. Charles Foster, of Ohio,
Hon. William Warner, of Missouri, and Major-General George Crook, of the
United States Army, commissioners under the last-named law. They were,
however, authorized and directed first to submit to the Indians the
definite proposition made to them by the act first mentioned, and only in
the event of a failure to secure the assent of the requisite number to that
proposition to open negotiations for modified terms under the other act.
The work of the commission was prolonged and arduous, but the assent of the
requisite number was, it is understood, finally obtained to the proposition
made by Congress, though the report of the commission has not yet been
submitted. In view of these facts, I shall not, as at present advised, deem
it necessary to submit the agreement to Congress for ratification, but it
will in due course be submitted for information. This agreement releases to
the United States about 9,000,000 acres of land.

The commission provided for by section 14 of the Indian appropriation bill
to negotiate with the Cherokee Indians and all other Indians owning or
claiming lands lying west of the ninety-sixth degree of longitude for the
cession to the United States of all such lands was constituted by the
appointment of Hon. Lucius Fairchild, of Wisconsin, Hon. John F. Hartranft,
of Pennsylvania, and Hon. Alfred M. Wilson, of Arkansas, and organized on
June 29 last. Their first conference with the representatives of the
Cherokees was held at Tahlequah July 29, with no definite results. General
John F. Hartranft, of Pennsylvania, was prevented by ill health from taking
part in the conference. His death, which occurred recently, is justly and
generally lamented by a people he had served with conspicuous gallantry in
war and with great fidelity in peace. The vacancy thus created was filled
by the appointment of Hon. Warren G. Sayre, of Indiana.

A second conference between the commission and the Cherokees was begun
November 6, but no results have yet been obtained, nor is it believed that
a conclusion can be immediately expected. The cattle syndicate now
occupying the lands for grazing purposes is clearly one of the agencies
responsible for the obstruction of our negotiations with the Cherokees. The
large body of agricultural lands constituting what is known as the
"Cherokee Outlet" ought not to be, and, indeed, can not long be, held for
grazing and for the advantage of a few against the public interests and the
best advantage of the Indians themselves. The United States has now under
the treaties certain rights in these lands. These will not be used
oppressively, but it can not be allowed that those who by sufferance occupy
these lands shall interpose to defeat the wise and beneficent purposes of
the Government. I can not but believe that the advantageous character of
the offer made by the United States to the Cherokee Nation for a full
release of these lands as compared with other suggestions now made to them
will yet obtain for it a favorable consideration.

Under the agreement made between the United States and the Muscogee (or
Creek) Nation of Indians on the 19th day of January, 1889, an absolute
title was secured by the United States to about 3,500,000 acres of land.
Section 12 of the general Indian appropriation act approved March 2, 1889,
made provision for the purchase by the United States from the Seminole
tribe of a certain portion of their lands. The delegates of the Seminole
Nation, having first duly evidenced to me their power to act in that
behalf, delivered a proper release or conveyance to the United States of
all the lands mentioned in the act, which was accepted by me and certified
to be in compliance with the statute.

By the terms of both the acts referred to all the lands so purchased were
declared to be a part of the public domain and open to settlement under the
homestead law. But of the lands embraced in these purchases, being in the
aggregate about 5,500,000 acres, 3,500,000 acres had already, under the
terms of the treaty of 1866, been acquired by the United States for the
purpose of settling other Indian tribes thereon and had been appropriated
to that purpose. The land remaining and available for settlement consisted
of 1,887,796 acres, surrounded on all sides by lands in the occupancy of
Indian tribes. Congress had provided no civil government for the people who
were to be invited by my proclamation to settle upon these lands, except as
the new court which had been established at Muscogee or the United States
courts in some of the adjoining States had power to enforce the general
laws of the United States.

In this condition of things I was quite reluctant to open the lands to
settlement; but in view of the fact that several thousand persons, many of
them with their families, had gathered upon the borders of the Indian
Territory with a view to securing homesteads on the ceded lands, and that
delay would involve them in much loss and suffering, I did on the 23d day
of March last issue a proclamation declaring that the lands therein
described would be open to settlement under the provisions of the law on
the 22d day of April following at 12 o'clock noon. Two land districts had
been established and the offices were opened for the transaction of
business when the appointed time arrived.

It is much to the credit of the settlers that they very generally observed
the limitation as to the time when they might enter the Territory. Care
will be taken that those who entered in violation of the law do not secure
the advantage they unfairly sought. There was a good deal of apprehension
that the strife for locations would result in much violence and bloodshed,
but happily these anticipations were not realized. It is estimated that
there are now in the Territory about 60,000 people, and several
considerable towns have sprung up, for which temporary municipal
governments have been organized. Guthrie is said to have now a population
of almost 8,000. Eleven schools and nine churches have been established,
and three daily and five weekly newspapers are published in this city,
whose charter and ordinances have only the sanction of the voluntary
acquiescence of the people from day to day.

Oklahoma City has a population of about 5,000, and is proportionately as
well provided as Guthrie with churches, schools, and newspapers. Other
towns and villages having populations of from 100 to 1,000 are scattered
over the Territory.

In order to secure the peace of this new community in the absence of civil
government, I directed General Merritt, commanding the Department of the
Missouri, to act in conjunction with the marshals of the United States to
preserve the peace, and upon their requisition to use the troops to aid
them in executing warrants and in quieting any riots or breaches of the
peace that might occur. He was further directed to use his influence to
promote good order and to avoid any conflicts between or with the settlers.
Believing that the introduction and sale of liquors where no legal
restraints or regulations existed would endanger the public peace, and in
view of the fact that such liquors must first be introduced into the Indian
reservations before reaching the white settlements, I further directed the
general commanding to enforce the laws relating to the introduction of
ardent spirits into the Indian country.

The presence of the troops has given a sense of security to the
well-disposed citizens and has tended to restrain the lawless. In one
instance the officer in immediate command of the troops went further than I
deemed justifiable in supporting the de facto municipal government of
Guthrie, and he was so informed, and directed to limit the interference of
the military to the support of the marshals on the lines indicated in the
original order. I very urgently recommend that Congress at once provide a
Territorial government for these people. Serious questions, which may at
any time lead to violent outbreaks, are awaiting the institution of courts
for their peaceful adjustment. The American genius for self-government has
been well illustrated in Oklahoma; but it is neither safe nor wise to leave
these people longer to the expedients which have temporarily served them.

Provision should be made for the acquisition of title to town lots in the
towns now established in Alaska, for locating town sites, and for the
establishment of municipal governments. Only the mining laws have been
extended to that Territory, and no other form of title to lands can now be
obtained. The general land laws were framed with reference to the
disposition of agricultural lands, and it is doubtful if their operation in
Alaska would be beneficial.

We have fortunately not extended to Alaska the mistaken policy of
establishing reservations for the Indian tribes, and can deal with them
from the beginning as individuals with, I am sure, better results; but any
disposition of the public lands and any regulations relating to timber and
to the fisheries should have a kindly regard to their interests. Having no
power to levy taxes, the people of Alaska are wholly dependent upon the
General Government, to whose revenues the seal fisheries make a large
annual contribution. An appropriation for education should neither be
overlooked nor stinted.

The smallness of the population and the great distances between the
settlements offer serious obstacles to the establishment of the usual
Territorial form of government. Perhaps the organization of several
sub-districts with a small municipal council of limited powers for each
would be safe and useful.

Attention is called in this connection to the suggestions of the Secretary
of the Treasury relating to the establishment of another port of entry in
Alaska and of other needed customs facilities and regulations.

In the administration of the land laws the policy of facilitating in every
proper way the adjustment of the honest claims of individual settlers upon
the public lands has been pursued. The number of pending cases had during
the preceding Administration been greatly increased under the operation of
orders for a time suspending final action in a large part of the cases
originating in the West and Northwest, and by the subsequent use of unusual
methods of examination. Only those who are familiar with the conditions
under which our agricultural lands have been settled can appreciate the
serious and often fatal consequences to the settler of a policy that puts
his title under suspicion or delays the issuance of his patent. While care
is taken to prevent and to expose fraud, it should not be imputed without

The manifest purpose of the homestead and preemption laws was to promote
the settlement of the public domain by persons having a bona fide intent to
make a home upon the selected lands. Where this intent is well established
and the requirements of the law have been substantially complied with, the
claimant is entitled to a prompt and friendly consideration of his case;
but where there is reason to believe that the claimant is the mere agent of
another who is seeking to evade a law intended to promote small holdings
and to secure by fraudulent methods large tracts of timber and other lands,
both principal and agent should not only be thwarted in their fraudulent
purpose, but should be made to feel the full penalties of our criminal
statutes. The laws should be so administered as not to confound these two
classes and to visit penalties only upon the latter.

The unsettled state of the titles to large bodies of lands in the
Territories of New Mexico and Arizona has greatly retarded the development
of those Territories. Provision should be made by law for the prompt trial
and final adjustment before a judicial tribunal or commission of all claims
based upon Mexican grants. It is not just to an intelligent and
enterprising people that their peace should be disturbed and their
prosperity retarded by these old contentions. I express the hope that
differences of opinion as to methods may yield to the urgency of the case.

The law now provides a pension for every soldier and sailor who was
mustered into the service of the United States during the Civil War and is
now suffering from wounds or disease having an origin in the service and in
the line of duty. Two of the three necessary facts, viz, muster and
disability, are usually susceptible of easy proof; but the third, origin in
the service, is often difficult and in many deserving cases impossible to
establish. That very many of those who endured the hardships of our most
bloody and arduous campaigns are now disabled from diseases that had a real
but not traceable origin in the service I do not doubt. Besides these there
is another class composed of men many of whom served an enlistment of three
full years and of reenlisted veterans who added a fourth year of service,
who escaped the casualties of battle and the assaults of disease, who were
always ready for any detail, who were in every battle line of their
command, and were mustered out in sound health, and have since the close of
the war, while fighting with the same indomitable and independent spirit
the contests of civil life, been overcome by disease or casualty.

I am not unaware that the pension roll already involves a very large annual
expenditure; neither am I deterred by that fact from recommending that
Congress grant a pension to such honorably discharged soldiers and sailors
of the Civil War as, having rendered substantial service during the war,
are now dependent upon their own labor for a maintenance and by disease or
casualty are incapacitated from earning it. Many of the men who would be
included in this form of relief are now dependent upon public aid, and it
does not, in my judgment, consist with the national honor that they shall
continue to subsist upon the local relief given indiscriminately to paupers
instead of upon the special and generous provision of the nation they
served so gallantly and unselfishly. Our people will, I am sure, very
generally approve such legislation. And I am equally sure that the
survivors of the Union Army and Navy will feel a grateful sense of relief
when this worthy and suffering class of their comrades is fairly cared

There are some manifest inequalities in the existing law that should be
remedied. To some of these the Secretary of the Interior has called

It is gratifying to be able to state that by the adoption of new and better
methods in the War Department the calls of the Pension Office for
information as to the military and hospital records of pension claimants
are now promptly answered and the injurious and vexatious delays that have
heretofore occurred are entirely avoided. This will greatly facilitate the
adjustment of all pending claims.

The advent of four new States--South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and
Washington--into the Union under the Constitution in the same month, and
the admission of their duly chosen representatives to our National Congress
at the same session, is an event as unexampled as it is interesting.

The certification of the votes cast and of the constitutions adopted in
each of the States was filed with me, as required by the eighth section of
the act of February 22, 1889, by the governors of said Territories,
respectively. Having after a careful examination found that the several
constitutions and governments were republican in form and not repugnant to
the Constitution of the United States, that all the provisions of the act
of Congress had been complied with, and that a majority of the votes cast
in each of said proposed States was in favor of the adoption of the
constitution submitted therein, I did so declare by a separate proclamation
as to each--as to North Dakota and South Dakota on Saturday, November 2; as
to Montana on Friday, November 8, and as to Washington on Monday, November

Each of these States has within it resources the development of which will
employ the energies of and yield a comfortable subsistence to a great
population. The smallest of these new States, Washington, stands twelfth,
and the largest, Montana, third, among the forty-two in area. The people of
these States are already well-trained, intelligent, and patriotic American
citizens, having common interests and sympathies with those of the older
States and a common purpose to defend the integrity and uphold the honor of
the nation.

The attention of the Interstate Commerce Commission has been called to the
urgent need of Congressional legislation for the better protection of the
lives and limbs of those engaged in operating the great interstate freight
lines of the country, and especially of the yardmen and brakemen. A
petition signed by nearly 10,000 railway brakemen was presented to the
Commission asking that steps might be taken to bring about the use of
automatic brakes and couplers on freight cars.

At a meeting of State railroad commissioners and their accredited
representatives held at Washington in March last upon the invitation of the
Interstate Commerce Commission a resolution was unanimously adopted urging
the Commission "to consider what can be done to prevent the loss of life
and limb in coupling and uncoupling freight cars and in handling the brakes
of such cars." During the year ending June 30, 1888, over 2,000 railroad
employees were killed in service and more than 20,000 injured. It is
competent, I think, for Congress to require uniformity in the construction
of cars used in interstate commerce and the use of improved safety
appliances upon such trains. Time will be necessary to make the needed
changes, but an earnest and intelligent beginning should be made at once.
It is a reproach to our civilization that any class of American workmen
should in the pursuit of a necessary and useful vocation be subjected to a
peril of life and limb as great as that of a soldier in time of war.

The creation of an Executive Department to be known as the Department of
Agriculture by the act of February 9 last was a wise and timely response to
a request which had long been respectfully urged by the farmers of the
country; but much remains to be done to perfect the organization of the
Department so that it may fairly realize the expectations which its
creation excited. In this connection attention is called to the suggestions
contained in the report of the Secretary, which is herewith submitted. The
need of a law officer for the Department such as is provided for the other
Executive Departments is manifest. The failure of the last Congress to make
the usual provision for the publication of the annual report should be
promptly remedied. The public interest in the report and its value to the
farming community, I am sure, will not be diminished under the new
organization of the Department.

I recommend that the weather service be separated from the War Department
and established as a bureau in the Department of Agriculture. This will
involve an entire reorganization both of the Weather Bureau and of the
Signal Corps, making of the first a purely civil organization and of the
other a purely military staff corps. The report of the Chief Signal Officer
shows that the work of the corps on its military side has been

The interests of the people of the District of Columbia should not be lost
sight of in the pressure for consideration of measures affecting the whole
country. Having no legislature of its own, either municipal or general, its
people must look to Congress for the regulation of all those concerns that
in the States are the subject of local control. Our whole people have an
interest that the national capital should be made attractive and beautiful,
and, above all, that its repute for social order should be well maintained.
The laws regulating the sale of intoxicating drinks in the District should
be revised with a view to bringing the traffic under stringent limitations
and control.

In execution of the power conferred upon me by the act making
appropriations for the expenses of the District of Columbia for the year
ending June 30, 1890, I did on the 17th day of August last appoint Rudolph
Hering, of New York, Samuel M. Gray, of Rhode Island, and Frederick P.
Stearns, of Massachusetts, three eminent sanitary engineers, to examine and
report upon the system of sewerage existing in the District of Columbia.
Their report, which is not yet completed, will be in due course submitted
to Congress.

The report of the Commissioners of the District is herewith transmitted,
and the attention of Congress is called to the suggestions contained

The proposition to observe the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery
of America by the opening of a world's fair or exposition in some one of
our great cities will be presented for the consideration of Congress. The
value and interest of such an exposition may well claim the promotion of
the General Government.

On the 4th of March last the Civil Service Commission had but a single
member. The vacancies were filled on the 7th day of May, and since then the
Commissioners have been industriously, though with an inadequate force,
engaged in executing the law. They were assured by me that a cordial
support would be given them in the faithful and impartial enforcement of
the statute and of the rules and regulations adopted in aid of it.

Heretofore the book of eligibles has been closed to everyone, except as
certifications were made upon the requisition of the appointing officers.
This secrecy was the source of much suspicion and of many charges of
favoritism in the administration of the law. What is secret is always
suspected; what is open can be judged. The Commission, with the full
approval of all its members, has now opened the list of eligibles to the
public. The eligible lists for the classified post-offices and
custom-houses are now publicly posted in the respective offices, as are
also the certifications for appointments. The purpose of the civil-service
law was absolutely to exclude any other consideration in connection with
appointments under it than that of merit as tested by the examinations. The
business proceeds upon the theory that both the examining boards and the
appointing officers are absolutely ignorant as to the political views and
associations of all persons on the civil-service lists. It is not too much
to say, however, that some recent Congressional investigations have
somewhat shaken public confidence in the impartiality of the selections for

The reform of the civil service will make no safe or satisfactory advance
until the present law and its equal administration are well established in
the confidence of the people. It will be my pleasure, as it is my duty, to
see that the law is executed with firmness and impartiality. If some of its
provisions have been fraudulently evaded by appointing officers, our
resentment should not suggest the repeal of the law, but reform in its
administration. We should have one view of the matter, and hold it with a
sincerity that is not affected by the consideration that the party to which
we belong is for the time in power.

My predecessor, on the 4th day of January, 1889, by an Executive order to
take effect March 15, brought the Railway Mail Service under the operation
of the civil-service law. Provision was made that the order should take
effect sooner in any State where an eligible list was sooner obtained. On
the 11th day of March Mr. Lyman, then the only member of the Commission,
reported to me in writing that it would not be possible to have the list of
eligibles ready before May 1, and requested that the taking effect of the
order be postponed until that time, which was done, subject to the same
provision contained in the original order as to States in which an eligible
list was sooner obtained.

As a result of the revision of the rules, of the new classification, and of
the inclusion of the Railway Mail Service, the work of the Commission has
been greatly increased, and the present clerical force is found to be
inadequate. I recommend that the additional clerks asked by the Commission
be appropriated for.

The duty of appointment is devolved by the Constitution or by the law, and
the appointing officers are properly held to a high responsibility in its
exercise. The growth of the country and the consequent increase of the
civil list have magnified this function of the Executive disproportionally.
It can not be denied, however, that the labor connected with this necessary
work is increased, often to the point of actual distress, by the sudden and
excessive demands that are made upon an incoming Administration for
removals and appointments. But, on the other hand, it is not true that
incumbency is a conclusive argument for continuance in office.
Impartiality, moderation, fidelity to public duty, and a good attainment in
the discharge of it must be added before the argument is complete. When
those holding administrative offices so conduct themselves as to convince
just political opponents that no party consideration or bias affects in any
way the discharge of their public duties, we can more easily stay the
demand for removals.

I am satisfied that both in and out of the classified service great benefit
would accrue from the adoption of some system by which the officer would
receive the distinction and benefit that in all private employments comes
from exceptional faithfulness and efficiency in the performance of duty.

I have suggested to the heads of the Executive Departments that they
consider whether a record might not be kept in each bureau of all those
elements that are covered by the terms "faithfulness" and "efficiency," and
a rating made showing the relative merits of the clerks of each class, this
rating to be regarded as a test of merit in making promotions.

I have also suggested to the Postmaster-General that he adopt some plan by
which he can, upon the basis of the reports to the Department and of
frequent inspections, indicate the relative merit of postmasters of each
class. They will be appropriately indicated in the Official Register and in
the report of the Department. That a great stimulus would thus be given to
the whole service I do not doubt, and such a record would be the best
defense against inconsiderate removals from office.

The interest of the General Government in the education of the people found
an early expression, not only in the thoughtful and sometimes warning
utterances of our ablest statesmen, but in liberal appropriations from the
common resources for the support of education in the new States. No one
will deny that it is of the gravest national concern that those who hold
the ultimate control of all public affairs should have the necessary
intelligence wisely to direct and determine them. National aid to education
has heretofore taken the form of land grants, and in that form the
constitutional power of Congress to promote the education of the people is
not seriously questioned. I do not think it can be successfully questioned
when the form is changed to that of a direct grant of money from the public

Such aid should be, as it always has been, suggested by some exceptional
conditions. The sudden emancipation of the slaves of the South, the
bestowal of the suffrage which soon followed, and the impairment of the
ability of the States where these new citizens were chiefly found to
adequately provide educational facilities presented not only exceptional
but unexampled conditions. That the situation has been much ameliorated
there is no doubt. The ability and interest of the States have happily

But a great work remains to be done, and I think the General Government
should lend its aid. As the suggestion of a national grant in aid of
education grows chiefly out of the condition and needs of the emancipated
slave and his descendants, the relief should as far as possible, while
necessarily proceeding upon some general lines, be applied to the need that
suggested it. It is essential, if much good is to be accomplished, that the
sympathy and active interest of the people of the States should be
enlisted, and that the methods adopted should be such as to stimulate and
not to supplant local taxation for school purposes.

As one Congress can not bind a succeeding one in such a case and as the
effort must in some degree be experimental, I recommend that any
appropriation made for this purpose be so limited in annual amount and as
to the time over which it is to extend as will on the one hand give the
local school authorities opportunity to make the best use of the first
year's allowance, and on the other deliver them from the temptation to
unduly postpone the assumption of the whole burden themselves.

The colored people did not intrude themselves upon us. They were brought
here in chains and held in the communities where they are now chiefly found
by a cruel slave code. Happily for both races, they are now free. They have
from a standpoint of ignorance and poverty--which was our shame, not
theirs--made remarkable advances in education and in the acquisition of
property. They have as a people shown themselves to be friendly and
faithful toward the white race under temptations of tremendous strength.
They have their representatives in the national cemeteries, where a
grateful Government has gathered the ashes of those who died in its
defense. They have furnished to our Regular Army regiments that have won
high praise from their commanding officers for courage and soldierly
qualities and for fidelity to the enlistment oath. In civil life they are
now the toilers of their communities, making their full contribution to the
widening streams of prosperity which these communities are receiving. Their
sudden withdrawal would stop production and bring disorder into the
household as well as the shop. Generally they do not desire to quit their
homes, and their employers resent the interference of the emigration agents
who seek to stimulate such a desire.

But notwithstanding all this, in many parts of our country where the
colored population is large the people of that race are by various devices
deprived of any effective exercise of their political rights and of many of
their civil rights. The wrong does not expend itself upon those whose votes
are suppressed. Every constituency in the Union is wronged.

It has been the hope of every patriot that a sense of justice and of
respect for the law would work a gradual cure of these flagrant evils.
Surely no one supposes that the present can be accepted as a permanent
condition. If it is said that these communities must work out this problem
for themselves, we have a right to ask whether they are at work upon it. Do
they suggest any solution? When and under what conditions is the black man
to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights
which have so long been his in law? When is that equality of influence
which our form of government was intended to secure to the electors to be
restored? This generation should courageously face these grave questions,
and not leave them as a heritage of woe to the next. The consultation
should proceed with candor, calmness, and great patience, upon the lines of
justice and humanity, not of prejudice and cruelty. No question in our
country can be at rest except upon the firm base of justice and of the

I earnestly invoke the attention of Congress to the consideration of such
measures within its well-defined constitutional powers as will secure to
all our people a free exercise of the right of suffrage and every other
civil right under the Constitution and laws of the United States. No evil,
however deplorable, can justify the assumption either on the part of the
Executive or of Congress of powers not granted, but both will be highly
blamable if all the powers granted are not wisely but firmly used to
correct these evils. The power to take the whole direction and control of
the election of members of the House of Representatives is clearly given to
the General Government. A partial and qualified supervision of these
elections is now provided for by law, and in my opinion this law may be so
strengthened and extended as to secure on the whole better results than can
be attained by a law taking all the processes of such election into Federal
control. The colored man should be protected in all of his relations to the
Federal Government, whether as litigant, juror, or witness in our courts,
as an elector for members of Congress, or as a peaceful traveler upon our
interstate railways.

There is nothing more justly humiliating to the national pride and nothing
more hurtful to the national prosperity than the inferiority of our
merchant marine compared with that of other nations whose general
resources, wealth, and seacoast lines do not suggest any reason for their
supremacy on the sea. It was not always so, and our people are agreed, I
think, that it shall not continue to be so. It is not possible in this
communication to discuss the causes of the decay of our shipping interests
or the differing methods by which it is proposed to restore them. The
statement of a few well-authenticated facts and some general suggestions as
to legislation is all that is practicable. That the great steamship lines
sailing under the flags of England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, and
engaged in foreign commerce, were .promoted and have since been and now are
liberally aided by grants of public money in one form or another is
generally known. That the American lines of steamships have been abandoned
by us to an unequal contest with the aided lines of other nations until
they have been withdrawn, or in the few cases where they are still
maintained are subject to serious disadvantages, is matter of common

The present situation is such that travelers and merchandise find Liverpool
often a necessary intermediate port between New York and some of the South
American capitals. The fact that some of the delegates from South American
States to the conference of American nations now in session at Washington
reached our shores by reversing that line of travel is very conclusive of
the need of such a conference and very suggestive as to the first and most
necessary step in the direction of fuller and more beneficial intercourse
with nations that are now our neighbors upon the lines of latitude, but not
upon the lines of established commercial intercourse.

I recommend that such appropriations be made for ocean mail service in
American steamships between our ports and those of Central and South
America, China, Japan, and the important islands in both of the great
oceans as will be liberally remunerative for the service rendered and as
will encourage the establishment and in some fair degree equalize the
chances of American steamship lines in the competitions which they must
meet. That the American States lying south of us will cordially cooperate
in establishing and maintaining such lines of steamships to their principal
ports I do not doubt.

We should also make provision for a naval reserve to consist of such
merchant ships of American construction and of a specified tonnage and
speed as the owners will consent to place at the use of the Government in
case of need as armed cruisers. England has adopted this policy, and as a
result can now upon necessity at once place upon her naval list some of the
fastest steamships in the world. A proper supervision of the construction
of such vessels would make their conversion into effective ships of war
very easy.

I am an advocate of economy in our national expenditures, but it is a
misuse of terms to make this word describe a policy that withholds an
expenditure for the purpose of extending our foreign commerce. The
enlargement and improvement of our merchant marine, the development of a
sufficient body of trained American seamen, the promotion of rapid and
regular mail communication between the ports of other countries and our
own, and the adaptation of large and swift American merchant steamships to
naval uses in time of war are public purposes of the highest concern. The
enlarged participation of our people in the carrying trade, the new and
increased markets that will be opened for the products of our farms and
factories, and the fuller and better employment of our mechanics which will
result from a liberal promotion of our foreign commerce insure the widest
possible diffusion of benefit to all the States and to all our people.
Everything is most propitious for the present inauguration of a liberal and
progressive policy upon this subject, and we should enter upon it with
promptness and decision.

The legislation which I have suggested, it is sincerely believed, will
promote the peace and honor of our country and the prosperity and security
of the people. I invoke the diligent and serious attention of Congress to
the consideration of these and such other measures as may be presented
having the same great end in view.



State of the Union Address
Benjamin Harrison
December 1, 1890

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The reports of the several Executive Departments, which will be laid before
Congress in the usual course, will exhibit in detail the operations of the
Government for the last fiscal year. Only the more important incidents and
results, and chiefly such as may be the foundation of the recommendations I
shall submit, will be referred to in this annual message.

The vast and increasing business of the Government has been transacted by
the several Departments during the year with faithfulness, energy, and

The revenues, amounting to above $450,000,000, have been collected and
disbursed without revealing, so far as I can ascertain, a single case of
defalcation or embezzlement. An earnest effort has been made to stimulate a
sense of responsibility and public duty in all officers and employees of
every grade, and the work done by them has almost wholly escaped
unfavorable criticism. I speak of these matters with freedom because the
credit of this good work is not mine, but is shared by the heads of the
several Departments with the great body of faithful officers and employees
who serve under them. The closest scrutiny of Congress is invited to all
the methods of administration and to every item of expenditure.

The friendly relations of our country with the nations of Europe and of the
East have been undisturbed, while the ties of good will and common interest
that bind us to the States of the Western Hemisphere have been notably
strengthened by the conference held in this capital to consider measures
for the general welfare. Pursuant to the invitation authorized by Congress,
the representatives of every independent State of the American continent
and of Hayti met in conference in this capital in October, 1889, and
continued in session until the 19th of last April. This important
convocation marks a most interesting and influential epoch in the history
of the Western Hemisphere. It is noteworthy that Brazil, invited while
under an imperial form of government, shared as a republic in the
deliberations and results of the conference. The recommendations of this
conference were all transmitted to Congress at the last session.

The International Marine Conference, which sat at Washington last winter,
reached a very gratifying result. The regulations suggested have been
brought to the attention of all the Governments represented, and their
general adoption is confidently expected. The legislation of Congress at
the last session is in conformity with the propositions of the conference,
and the proclamation therein provided for will be issued when the other
powers have given notice of their adhesion.

The Conference of Brussels, to devise means for suppressing the slave trade
in Africa, afforded an opportunity for a new expression of the interest the
American people feel in that great work. It soon became evident that the
measure proposed would tax the resources of the Kongo Basin beyond the
revenues available under the general act of Berlin of 1884. The United
States, not being a party to that act, could not share in its revision, but
by a separate act the Independent State of the Kongo was freed from the
restrictions upon a customs revenue. The demoralizing and destructive
traffic in ardent spirits among the tribes also claimed the earnest
attention of the conference, and the delegates of the United States were
foremost in advocating measures for its repression. An accord was reached
the influence of which will be very helpful and extend over a wide region.
As soon as these measures shall receive the sanction of the Netherlands,
for a time withheld, the general acts will be submitted for ratification by
the Senate. Meanwhile negotiations have been opened for a new and completed
treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation between the United States
and the Independent State of the Kongo.

Toward the end of the past year the only independent monarchical government
on the Western Continent, that of Brazil, ceased to exist, and was
succeeded by a republic. Diplomatic relations were at once established with
the new Government, but it was not completely recognized until an
opportunity had been afforded to ascertain that it had popular approval and
support. When the course of events had yielded assurance of this fact, no
time was lost in extending to the new Government a full and cordial welcome
into the family of American Commonwealths. It is confidently believed that
the good relations of the two countries will be preserved and that the
future will witness an increased intimacy of intercourse and an expansion
of their mutual commerce.

The peace of Central America has again been disturbed through a
revolutionary change in Salvador, which was not recognized by other States,
and hostilities broke out between Salvador and Guatemala, threatening to
involve all Central America in conflict and to undo the progress which had
been made toward a union of their interests. The efforts of this Government
were promptly and zealously exerted to compose their differences, and
through the active efforts of the representative of the United States a
provisional treaty of peace was signed August 26, whereby the right of the
Republic of Salvador to choose its own rulers was recognized. General
Ezeta, the chief of the Provisional Government, has since been confirmed in
the Presidency by the Assembly, and diplomatic recognition duly followed.

The killing of General Barrundia on board the Pacific mail steamer
Acapulco, while anchored in transit in the port of San Jose de Guatemala,
demanded careful inquiry. Having failed in a revolutionary attempt to
invade Guatemala from Mexican territory, General Barrundia took passage at
Acapulco for Panama. The consent of the representatives of the United
States was sought to effect his seizure, first at Champerico, where the
steamer touched, and afterwards at San Jose. The captain of the steamer
refused to give up his passenger without a written order from the United
States minister. The latter furnished the desired letter, stipulating as
the condition of his action that General Barrundia's life should be spared
and that he should be tried only for offenses growing out of his
insurrectionary movements. This letter was produced to the captain of the
Acapulco by the military commander at San Jose as his warrant to take the
passenger from the steamer. General Barrundia resisted capture and was
killed. It being evident that the minister, Mr. Mizner, had exceeded the
bounds of his authority in intervening, in compliance with the demands of
the Guatemalan authorities, to authorize and effect, in violation of
precedent, the seizure on a vessel of the United States of a passenger in
transit charged with political offenses, in order that he might be tried
for such offenses under what was described as martial law, I was
constrained to disavow Mr. Mizner's act and recall him from his post.

The Nicaragua Canal project, under the control of our citizens, is making
most encouraging progress, all the preliminary conditions and initial
operations having been accomplished within the prescribed time.

During the past year negotiations have been renewed for the settlement of
the claims of American citizens against the Government of Chile,
principally growing out of the late war with Peru. The reports from our
minister at Santiago warrant the expectation of an early and satisfactory

Our relations with China, which have for several years occupied so
important a place in our diplomatic history, have called for careful
consideration and have been the subject of much correspondence.

The communications of the Chinese minister have brought into view the whole
subject of our conventional relations with his country, and at the same
time this Government, through its legation at Peking, has sought to arrange
various matters and complaints touching the interests and protection of our
citizens in China.

In pursuance of the concurrent resolution of October 1, 1890, I have
proposed to the Governments of Mexico and Great Britain to consider a
conventional regulation of the passage of Chinese laborers across our
southern and northern frontiers.

On the 22d day of August last Sir Edmund Monson, the arbitrator selected
under the treaty of December 6, 1888, rendered an award to the effect that
no compensation was due from the Danish Government to the United States on
account of what is commonly known as the Carlos Butterfield claim.

Our relations with the French Republic continue to be cordial. Our
representative at that court has very diligently urged the removal of the
restrictions imposed upon our meat products, and it is believed that
substantial progress has been made toward a just settlement.

The Samoan treaty, signed last year at Berlin by the representatives of the
United States, Germany, and Great Britain, after due ratification and
exchange, has begun to produce salutary effects. The formation of the
government agreed upon will soon replace the disorder of the past by a
stable administration alike just to the natives and equitable to the three
powers most concerned in trade and intercourse with the Samoan Islands. The
chief justice has been chosen by the King of Sweden and Norway on the
invitation of the three powers, and will soon be installed. The land
commission and the municipal council are in process of organization. A
rational and evenly distributed scheme of taxation, both municipal and upon
imports, is in operation. Malietoa is respected as King.

The new treaty of extradition with Great Britain, after due ratification,
was proclaimed on the 25th of last March. Its beneficial working is already

The difference between the two Governments touching the fur-seal question
in the Bering Sea is not yet adjusted, as will be seen by the
correspondence which will soon be laid before the Congress. The offer to
submit the question to arbitration, as proposed by Her Majesty's
Government, has not been accepted, for the reason that the form of
submission proposed is not thought to be calculated to assure a conclusion
satisfactory to either party. It is sincerely hoped that before the opening
of another sealing season some arrangement may be effected which will
assure to the United States a property right derived from Russia, which was
not disregarded by any nation for more than eighty years preceding the
outbreak of the existing trouble.

In the tariff act a wrong was done to the Kingdom of Hawaii which I am
bound to presume was wholly unintentional. Duties were levied on certain
commodities which are included in the reciprocity treaty now existing
between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii, without indicating the
necessary exception in favor of that Kingdom. I hope Congress will repair
what might otherwise seem to be a breach of faith on the part of this

An award in favor of the United States in the matter of the claim of Mr.
Van Bokkelen against Hayti was rendered on the 4th of December, 1888, but
owing to disorders then and afterwards prevailing in Hayti the terms of
payment were not observed. A new agreement as to the time of payment has
been approved and is now in force. Other just claims of citizens of the
United States for redress of wrongs suffered during the late political
conflict in Hayti will, it is hoped, speedily yield to friendly treatment.

Propositions for the amendment of the treaty of extradition between the
United States and Italy are now under consideration.

You will be asked to provide the means of accepting the invitation of the
Italian Government to take part in an approaching conference to consider
the adoption of a universal prime meridian from which to reckon longitude
and time. As this proposal follows in the track of the reform sought to be
initiated by the Meridian Conference of Washington, held on the invitation
of this Government, the United States should manifest a friendly interest
in the Italian proposal.

In this connection I may refer with approval to the suggestion of my
predecessors that standing provision be made for accepting, whenever deemed
advisable, the frequent invitations of foreign governments to share in
conferences looking to the advancement of international reforms in regard
to science, sanitation, commercial laws and procedure, and other matters
affecting the intercourse and progress of modern communities.

In the summer of 1889 an incident occurred which for some time threatened
to interrupt the cordiality of our relations with the Government of
Portugal. That Government seized the Delagoa Bay Railway, which was
constructed under a concession granted to an American citizen, and at the
same time annulled the charter. The concessionary, who had embarked his
fortune in the enterprise, having exhausted other means of redress, was
compelled to invoke the protection of his Government. Our representations,
made coincidently with those of the British Government, whose subjects were
also largely interested, happily resulted in the recognition by Portugal of
the propriety of submitting the claim for indemnity growing out of its
action to arbitration. This plan of settlement having been agreed upon, the
interested powers readily concurred in the proposal to submit the case to
the judgment of three eminent jurists, to be designated by the President of
the Swiss Republic, who, upon the joint invitation of the Governments of
the United States, Great Britain, and Portugal, has selected persons well
qualified for the task before them.

The revision of our treaty relations with the Empire of Japan has continued
to be the subject of consideration and of correspondence. The questions
involved are both grave and delicate; and while it will be my duty to see
that the interests of the United States are not by any changes exposed to
undue discrimination, I sincerely hope that such revision as will satisfy
the legitimate expectations of the Japanese Government and maintain the
present and long-existing friendly relations between Japan and the United
States will be effected.

The friendship between our country and Mexico, born of close neighborhood
and strengthened by many considerations of intimate intercourse and
reciprocal interest, has never been more conspicuous than now nor more
hopeful of increased benefit to both nations. The intercourse of the two
countries by rail, already great, is making constant growth. The
established lines and those recently projected add to the intimacy of
traffic and open new channels of access to fresh areas of demand and
supply. The importance of the Mexican railway system will be further
enhanced to a degree almost impossible to forecast if it should become a
link in the projected intercontinental railway. I recommend that our
mission in the City of Mexico be raised to the first class.

The cordial character of our relations with Spain warrants the hope that by
the continuance of methods of friendly negotiation much may be accomplished
in the direction of an adjustment of pending questions and of the increase
of our trade. The extent and development of our trade with the island of
Cuba invest the commercial relations of the United States and Spain with a
peculiar importance. It is not doubted that a special arrangement in regard
to commerce, based upon the reciprocity provision of the recent tariff act,
would operate most beneficially for both Governments. This subject is now
receiving attention.

The restoration of the remains of John Ericsson to Sweden afforded a
gratifying occasion to honor the memory of the great inventor, to whose
genius our country owes so much, and to bear witness to the unbroken
friendship which has existed between the land which bore him and our own,
which claimed him as a citizen.

On the 2d of September last the commission appointed to revise the
proceedings of the commission under the claims convention between the
United States and Venezuela of 1866 brought its labors to a close within
the period fixed for that purpose. The proceedings of the late commission
were characterized by a spirit of impartiality and a high sense of justice,
and an incident which was for many years the subject of discussion between
the two Governments has been disposed of in a manner alike honorable and
satisfactory to both parties. For the settlement of the claim of the
Venezuela Steam Transportation Company, which was the subject of a joint
resolution adopted at the last session of Congress, negotiations are still
in progress, and their early conclusion is anticipated.

The legislation of the past few years has evinced on the part of Congress a
growing realization of the importance of the consular service in fostering
our commercial relations abroad and in protecting the domestic revenues. As
the scope of operations expands increased provision must be made to keep up
the essential standard of efficiency. The necessity of some adequate
measure of supervision and inspection has been so often presented that I
need only commend the subject to your attention.

The revenues of the Government from all sources for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1890, were $463,963,080.55 and the total expenditures for the same
period were $358,618,584.52. The postal receipts have not heretofore been
included in the statement of these aggregates, and for the purpose of
comparison the sum of $60,882,097.92 should be deducted from both sides of
the account. The surplus for the year, including the amount applied to the
sinking fund, was $105,344,496.03. The receipts for 1890 were
$16,030,923.79 and the expenditures $15,739,871 in excess of those of 1889.
The customs receipts increased $5,835,842.88 and the receipts from internal
revenue $11,725,191.89, while on the side of expenditures that for pensions
was $19,312,075.96 in excess of the preceding year.

The Treasury statement for the current fiscal year, partly actual and
partly estimated, is as follows: Receipts from all sources, $406,000,000;
total expenditures, $354,000,000, leaving a surplus of $52,000,000, not
taking the postal receipts into the account on either side. The loss of
revenue from customs for the last quarter is estimated at $25,000,000, but
from this is deducted a gain of about $16,000,000 realized during the first
four months of the year.

For the year 1892 the total estimated receipts are $373,000,000 and the
estimated expenditures $357,852,209.42, leaving an estimated surplus of
$15,247,790.58, which, with a cash balance of $52,000,000 at the beginning
of the year, will give $67,247,790.58 as the sum available for the
redemption of outstanding bonds or other uses. The estimates of receipts
and expenditures for the Post-Office Department, being equal, are not
included in this statement on either side.

The act "directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury
notes thereon," approved July 14, 1890, has been administered by the
Secretary of the Treasury with an earnest purpose to get into circulation
at the earliest possible dates the full monthly amounts of Treasury notes
contemplated by its provisions and at the same time to give to the market
for the silver bullion such support as the law contemplates. The recent
depreciation in the price of silver has been observed with regret. The
rapid rise in price which anticipated and followed the passage of the act
was influenced in some degree by speculation, and the recent reaction is in
part the result of the same cause and in part of the recent monetary
disturbances. Some months of further trial will be necessary to determine
the permanent effect of the recent legislation upon silver values, but it
is gratifying to know that the increased circulation secured by the act has
exerted, and will continue to exert, a most beneficial influence upon
business and upon general values.

While it has not been thought best to renew formally the suggestion of an
international conference looking to an agreement touching the full use of
silver for coinage at a uniform ratio, care has been taken to observe
closely any change in the situation abroad, and no favorable opportunity
will be lost to promote a result which it is confidently believed would
confer very large benefits upon the commerce of the world.

The recent monetary disturbances in England are not unlikely to suggest a
reexamination of opinions upon this subject. Our very large supply of gold
will, if not lost by impulsive legislation in the supposed interest of
silver, give us a position of advantage in promoting a permanent and safe
international agreement for the free use of silver as a coin metal.

The efforts of the Secretary to increase the volume of money in circulation
by keeping down the Treasury surplus to the lowest practicable limit have
been unremitting and in a very high degree successful. The tables presented
by him showing the increase of money in circulation during the last two
decades, and especially the table showing the increase during the nineteen
months he has administered the affairs of the Department, are interesting
and instructive. The increase of money in circulation during the nineteen
months has been in the aggregate $93,866,813, or about $1.50 per capita,
and of this increase only $7,100,000 was due to the recent silver
legislation. That this substantial and needed aid given to commerce
resulted in an enormous reduction of the public debt and of the annual
interest charge is matter of increased satisfaction. There have been
purchased and redeemed since March 4, 1889, 4 and 4 1\2 per cent bonds to
the amount of $211,832,450, at a cost of $246,620,741, resulting in the
reduction of the annual interest charge of $8,967,609 and a total saving of
interest of $51,576,706.

I notice with great pleasure the statement of the Secretary that the
receipts from internal revenue have increased during the last fiscal year
nearly $12,000,000, and that the cost of collecting this larger revenue was
less by $90,617 than for the same purpose in the preceding year. The
percentage of cost of collecting the customs revenue was less for the last
fiscal year than ever before.

The Customs Administration Board, provided for by the act of June 10, 1890,
was selected with great care, and is composed in part of men whose previous
experience in the administration of the old customs regulations had made
them familiar with the evils to be remedied, and in part of men whose legal
and judicial acquirements and experience seemed to fit them for the work of
interpreting and applying the new statute. The chief aim of the law is to
secure honest valuations of all dutiable merchandise and to make these
valuations uniform at all our ports of entry. It had been made manifest by
a Congressional investigation that a system of undervaluation had been long
in use by certain classes of importers, resulting not only in a great loss
of revenue, but in a most intolerable discrimination against honesty. It is
not seen how this legislation, when it is understood, can be regarded by
the citizens of any country having commercial dealings with us as
unfriendly. If any duty is supposed to be excessive, let the complaint be
lodged there. It will surely not be claimed by any well-disposed people
that a remedy may be sought and allowed in a system of quasi smuggling.

The report of the Secretary of War exhibits several gratifying results
attained during the year by wise and unostentatious methods. The percentage
of desertions from the Army (an evil for which both Congress and the
Department have long been seeking a remedy) has been reduced during the
past year 24 per cent, and for the months of August and September, during
which time the favorable effects of the act of June 16 were felt, 33 per
cent, as compared with the same months of 1889.

The results attained by a reorganization and consolidation of the divisions
having charge of the hospital and service records of the volunteer soldiers
are very remarkable. This change was effected in July, 1889, and at that
time there were 40,654 cases awaiting attention, more than half of these
being calls from the Pension Office for information necessary to the
adjudication of pension claims. On the 30th day of June last, though over
300,000 new calls had come in, there was not a single case that had not
been examined and answered.

I concur in the recommendations of the Secretary that adequate and regular
appropriations be continued for coast-defense works and ordnance. Plans
have been practically agreed upon, and there can be no good reason for
delaying the execution of them, while the defenseless state of our great
seaports furnishes an urgent reason for wise expedition.

The encouragement that has been extended to the militia of the States,
generally and most appropriately designated the "National Guard," should be
continued and enlarged. These military organizations constitute in a large
sense the Army of the United States, while about five-sixths of the annual
cost of their maintenance is defrayed by the States.

The report of the Attorney-General is under the law submitted directly to
Congress, but as the Department of Justice is one of the Executive
Departments some reference to the work done is appropriate here.

A vigorous and in the main an effective effort has been made to bring to
trial and punishment all violators of the law, but at the same time care
has been taken that frivolous and technical offenses should not be used to
swell the fees of officers or to harass well-disposed citizens. Especial
attention is called to the facts connected with the prosecution of
violations of the election laws and of offenses against United States
officers. The number of convictions secured, very many of them upon pleas
of guilty, will, it is hoped, have a salutary restraining influence. There
have been several cases where postmasters appointed by me have been
subjected to violent interference in the discharge of their official duties
and to persecutions and personal violence of the most extreme character.
Some of these cases have been dealt with through the Department of Justice,
and in some cases the post-offices have been abolished or suspended. I have
directed the Postmaster-General to pursue this course in all cases where
other efforts failed to secure for any postmaster not himself in fault an
opportunity peacefully to exercise the duties of his office. But such
action will not supplant the efforts of the Department of Justice to bring
the particular offenders to punishment.

The vacation by judicial decrees of fraudulent certificates of
naturalization, upon bills in equity filed by the Attorney-General in the
circuit court of the United States, is a new application of a familiar
equity jurisdiction. Nearly one hundred such decrees have been taken during
the year, the evidence disclosing that a very large number of fraudulent
certificates of naturalization have been issued. And in this connection I
beg to renew my recommendation that the laws be so amended as to require a
more full and searching inquiry into all the facts necessary to
naturalization before any certificates are granted. It certainly is not too
much to require that an application for American citizenship shall be heard
with as much care and recorded with as much formality as are given to cases
involving the pettiest property right.

At the last session I returned without my approval a bill entitled "An act
to prohibit bookmaking and pool selling in the District of Columbia," and
stated my objection to be that it did not prohibit but in fact licensed
what it purported to prohibit. An effort will be made under existing laws
to suppress this evil, though it is not certain that they will be found

The report of the Postmaster-General shows the most gratifying progress in
the important work committed to his direction. The business methods have
been greatly improved. A large economy in expenditures and an increase of
four and three-quarters millions in receipts have been realized. The
deficiency this year is $5,786,300, as against $6,350,183 last year,
notwithstanding the great enlargement of the service. Mail routes have been
extended and quickened and greater accuracy and dispatch in distribution
and delivery have been attained. The report will be found to be full of
interest and suggestion, not only to Congress, but to those thoughtful
citizens who may be interested to know what business methods can do for
that department of public administration which most nearly touches all our

The passage of the act to amend certain sections of the Revised Statutes
relating to lotteries, approved September 19, 1890, has been received with
great and deserved popular favor. The Post-Office Department and the
Department of Justice at once entered upon the enforcement of the law with
sympathetic vigor, and already the public mails have been largely freed
from the fraudulent and demoralizing appeals and literature emanating from
the lottery companies.

The construction and equipment of the new ships for the Navy have made very
satisfactory progress. Since March 4, 1889, nine new vessels have been put
in commission, and during this winter four more, including one monitor,
will be added. The construction of the other vessels authorized is being
pushed both in the Government and private yards with energy and watched
with the most scrupulous care.

The experiments conducted during the year to test the relative resisting
power of armor plates have been so valuable as to attract great attention
in Europe. The only part of the work upon the new ships that is threatened
by unusual delay is the armor plating, and every effort is being made to
reduce that to the minimum. It is a source of congratulation that the
anticipated influence of these modern vessels upon the esprit de corps of
the officers and seamen has been fully realized. Confidence and pride in
the ship among the crew are equivalent to a secondary battery. Your
favorable consideration is invited to the recommendations of the

The report of the Secretary of the Interior exhibits with great fullness
and clearness the vast work of that Department and the satisfactory results
attained. The suggestions made by him are earnestly commended to the
consideration of Congress, though they can not all be given particular
mention here.

The several acts of Congress looking to the reduction of the larger Indian
reservations, to the more rapid settlement of the Indians upon individual
allotments, and the restoration to the public domain of lands in excess of
their needs have been largely carried into effect so far as the work was
confided to the Executive. Agreements have been concluded since March 4,
1889, involving the cession to the United States of about 14,726,000 acres
of land. These contracts have, as required by law, been submitted to
Congress for ratification and for the appropriations necessary to carry
them into effect. Those with the Sisseton and Wahpeton, Sac and Fox, Iowa,
Pottawatomies and Absentee Shawnees, and Coeur d'Alene tribes have not yet
received the sanction of Congress. Attention is also called to the fact
that the appropriations made in the case of the Sioux Indians have not
covered all the stipulated payments. This should be promptly corrected. If
an agreement is confirmed, all of its terms should be complied with without
delay and full appropriations should be made.

The policy outlined in my last annual message in relation to the patenting
of lands to settlers upon the public domain has been carried out in the
administration of the Land Office. No general suspicion or imputation of
fraud has been allowed to delay the hearing and adjudication of individual
cases upon their merits. The purpose has been to perfect the title of
honest settlers with such promptness that the value of the entry might not
be swallowed up by the expense and extortions to which delay subjected the
claimant. The average monthly issue of agricultural patents has been
increased about 6,000.

The disability-pension act, which was approved on the 27th of June last,
has been put into operation as rapidly as was practicable. The increased
clerical force provided was selected and assigned to work, and a
considerable part of the force engaged in examinations in the field was
recalled and added to the working force of the office. The examination and
adjudication of claims have by reason of improved methods been more rapid
than ever before. There is no economy to the Government in delay, while
there is much hardship and injustice to the soldier. The anticipated
expenditure, while very large, will not, it is believed, be in excess of
the estimates made before the enactment of the law. This liberal
enlargement of the general law should suggest a more careful scrutiny of
bills for special relief, both as to the cases where relief is granted and
as to the amount allowed.

The increasing numbers and influence of the non-Mormon population of Utah
are observed with satisfaction. The recent letter of Wilford Woodruff,
president of the Mormon Church, in which he advised his people "to refrain
from contracting any marriage forbidden by the laws of the land," has
attracted wide attention, and it is hoped that its influence will be highly
beneficial in restraining infractions of the laws of the United States. But
the fact should not be overlooked that the doctrine or belief of the church
that polygamous marriages are rightful and supported by divine revelation
remains unchanged. President Woodruff does not renounce the doctrine, but
refrains from teaching it, and advises against the practice of it because
the law is against it. Now, it is quite true that the law should not
attempt to deal with the faith or belief of anyone; but it is quite another
thing, and the only safe thing, so to deal with the Territory of Utah as
that those who believe polygamy to be rightful shall not have the power to
make it lawful.

The admission of the States of Wyoming and Idaho to the Union are events
full of interest and congratulation, not only to the people of those States
now happily endowed with a full participation in our privileges and
responsibilities, but to all our people. Another belt of States stretches
from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The work of the Patent Office has won from all sources very high
commendation. The amount accomplished has been very largely increased, and
all the results have been such as to secure confidence and consideration
for the suggestions of the Commissioner.

The enumeration of the people of the United States under the provisions of
the act of March 1, 1889, has been completed, and the result will be at
once officially communicated to Congress. The completion of this decennial
enumeration devolves upon Congress the duty of making a new apportionment
of Representatives "among the several States according to their respective

At the last session I had occasion to return with my objections several
bills making provisions for the erection of public buildings for the reason
that the expenditures contemplated were, in my opinion, greatly in excess
of any public need. No class of legislation is more liable to abuse or to
degenerate into an unseemly scramble about the public Treasury than this.
There should be exercised in this matter a wise economy, based upon some
responsible and impartial examination and report as to each case, under a
general law.

The report of the Secretary of Agriculture deserves especial attention in
view of the fact that the year has been marked in a very unusual degree by
agitation and organization among the farmers looking to an increase in the
profits of their business. It will be found that the efforts of the
Department have been intelligently and zealously devoted to the promotion
of the interests intrusted to its care.

A very substantial improvement in the market prices of the leading farm
products during the year is noticed. The price of wheat advanced from 81
cents in October, 1889, to $1.00 3/4 in October, 1890; corn from 31 cents
to 50 1/4 cents; oats from 19 1/4 cents to 43 cents, and barley from 63
cents to 78 cents. Meats showed a substantial but not so large an increase.
The export trade in live animals and fowls shows a very large increase. The
total value of such exports for the year ending June 30, 1890, was
$33,000,000, and the increase over the preceding year was over $15,000,000.
Nearly 200,000 more cattle and over 45,000 more hogs were exported than in
the preceding year. The export trade in beef and pork products and in dairy
products was very largely increased, the increase in the article of butter
alone being from 15,504,978 pounds to 29,748,042 pounds, and the total
increase in the value of meat and dairy products exported being
$34,000,000. This trade, so directly helpful to the farmer, it is believed,
will be yet further and very largely increased when the system of
inspection and sanitary supervision now provided by law is brought fully
into operation.

The efforts of the Secretary to establish the healthfulness of our meats
against the disparaging imputations that have been put upon them abroad
have resulted in substantial progress. Veterinary surgeons sent out by the
Department are now allowed to participate in the inspection of the live
cattle from this country landed at the English docks, and during the
several months they have been on duty no case of contagious
pleuro-pneumonia has been reported. This inspection abroad and the domestic
inspection of live animals and pork products provided for by the act of
August 30, 1890, will afford as perfect a guaranty for the wholesomeness of
our meats offered for foreign consumption as is anywhere given to any food
product, and its nonacceptance will quite clearly reveal the real motive of
any continued restriction of their use, and that having been made clear the
duty of the Executive will be very plain.

The information given by the Secretary of the progress and prospects of the
beet-sugar industry is full of interest. It has already passed the
experimental stage and is a commercial success. The area over which the
sugar beet can be successfully cultivated is very large, and another field
crop of great value is offered to the choice of the farmer.

The Secretary of the Treasury concurs in the recommendation of the
Secretary of Agriculture that the official supervision provided by the
tariff law for sugar of domestic production shall be transferred to the
Department of Agriculture.

The law relating to the civil service has, so far as I can learn, been
executed by those having the power of appointment in the classified service
with fidelity and impartiality, and the service has been increasingly
satisfactory. The report of the Commission shows a large amount of good
work done during the year with very limited appropriations.

I congratulate the Congress and the country upon the passage at the first
session of the Fifty-first Congress of an unusual number of laws of very
high importance. That the results of this legislation will be the
quickening and enlargement of our manufacturing industries, larger and
better markets for our breadstuffs and provisions both at home and abroad,
more constant employment and better wages for our working people, and an
increased supply of a safe currency for the transaction of business, I do
not doubt. Some of these measures were enacted at so late a period that the
beneficial effects upon commerce which were in the contemplation of
Congress have as yet but partially manifested themselves.

The general trade and industrial conditions throughout the country during
the year have shown a marked improvement. For many years prior to 1888 the
merchandise balances of foreign trade had been largely in our favor, but
during that year and the year following they turned against us. It is very
gratifying to know that the last fiscal year again shows a balance in our
favor of over $68,000,000. The bank clearings, which furnish a good test of
the volume of business transacted, for the first ten months of the year
1890 show as compared with the same months of 1889 an increase for the
whole country of about 8.4 per cent, while the increase outside of the city
of New York was over 13 per cent. During the month of October the clearings
of the whole country showed an increase of 3.1 per cent over October, 1889,
while outside of New York the increase was 11.5 per cent. These figures
show that the increase in the volume of business was very general
throughout the country. That this larger business was being conducted upon
a safe and profitable basis is shown by the fact that there were 300 less
failures reported in October, 1890, than in the same month of the preceding
year, with liabilities diminished by about $5,000,000.

The value of our exports of domestic merchandise during the last year was
over $115,000,000 greater than the preceding year, and was only exceeded
once in our history. About $100,000,000 of this excess was in agricultural
products. The production of pig iron, always a good gauge of general
prosperity, is shown by a recent census bulletin to have been 153 per cent
greater in 1890 than in 1880, and the production of steel 290 per cent
greater. Mining in coal has had no limitation except that resulting from
deficient transportation. The general testimony is that labor is everywhere
fully employed, and the reports for the last year show a smaller number of
employees affected by strikes and lockouts than in any year since 1884. The
depression in the prices of agricultural products had been greatly relieved
and a buoyant and hopeful tone was beginning to be felt by all our people.

These promising influences have been in some degree checked by the
surprising and very unfavorable monetary events which have recently taken
place in England. It is gratifying to know that these did not grow in any
degree out of the financial relations of London with our people or out of
any discredit attached to our securities held in that market. The return of
our bonds and stocks was caused by a money stringency in England, not by
any loss of value or credit in the securities themselves. We could not,
however, wholly escape the ill effects of a foreign monetary agitation
accompanied by such extraordinary incidents as characterized this. It is
not believed, however, that these evil incidents, which have for the time
unfavorably affected values in this country, can long withstand the strong,
safe, and wholesome influences which are operating to give to our people
profitable returns in all branches of legitimate trade and industry. The
apprehension that our tariff may again and at once be subjected to
important general changes would undoubtedly add a depressing influence of
the most serious character.

The general tariff act has only partially gone into operation, some of its
important provisions being limited to take effect at dates yet in the
future. The general provisions of the law have been in force less than
sixty days. Its permanent effects upon trade and prices still largely stand
in conjecture. It is curious to note that the advance in the prices of
articles wholly unaffected by the tariff act was by many hastily ascribed
to that act. Notice was not taken of the fact that the general tendency of
the markets was upward, from influences wholly apart from the recent tariff
legislation. The enlargement of our currency by the silver bill undoubtedly
gave an upward tendency to trade and had a marked effect on prices; but
this natural and desired effect of the silver legislation was by many
erroneously attributed to the tariff act.

There is neither wisdom nor justice in the suggestion that the subject of
tariff revision shall be again opened before this law has had a fair trial.
It is quite true that every tariff schedule is subject to objections. No
bill was ever framed, I suppose, that in all of its rates and
classifications had the full approval even of a party caucus. Such
legislation is always and necessarily the product of compromise as to
details, and the present law is no exception. But in its general scope and
effect I think it will justify the support of those who believe that
American legislation should conserve and defend American trade and the
wages of American workmen.

The misinformation as to the terms of the act which has been so widely
disseminated at home and abroad will be corrected by experience, and the
evil auguries as to its results confounded by the market reports, the
savings banks, international trade balances, and the general prosperity of
our people. Already we begin to hear from abroad and from our customhouses
that the prohibitory effect upon importations imputed to the act is not
justified. The imports at the port of New York for the first three weeks of
November were nearly 8 per cent greater than for the same period in 1889
and 29 per cent greater than in the same period of 1888. And so far from
being an act to limit exports, I confidently believe that under it we shall
secure a larger and more profitable participation in foreign trade than we
have ever enjoyed, and that we shall recover a proportionate participation
in the ocean carrying trade of the world.

The criticisms of the bill that have come to us from foreign sources may
well be rejected for repugnancy. If these critics really believe that the
adoption by us of a free-trade policy, or of tariff rates having reference
solely to revenue, would diminish the participation of their own countries
in the commerce of the world, their advocacy and promotion, by speech and
other forms of organized effort, of this movement among our people is a
rare exhibition of unselfishness in trade. And, on the other hand, if they
sincerely believe that the adoption of a protective-tariff policy by this
country inures to their profit and our hurt, it is noticeably strange that
they should lead the outcry against the authors of a policy so helpful to
their countrymen and crown with their favor those who would snatch from
them a substantial share of a trade with other lands already inadequate to
their necessities.

There is no disposition among any of our people to promote prohibitory or
retaliatory legislation. Our policies are adopted not to the hurt of
others, but to secure for ourselves those advantages that fairly grow out
of our favored position as a nation. Our form of government, with its
incident of universal suffrage, makes it imperative that we shall save our
working people from the agitations and distresses which scant work and
wages that have no margin for comfort always beget. But after all this is
done it will be found that our markets are open to friendly commercial
exchanges of enormous value to the other great powers.

From the time of my induction into office the duty of using every power and
influence given by law to the executive department for the development of
larger markets for our products, especially our farm products, has been
kept constantly in mind, and no effort has been or will be spared to
promote that end. We are under no disadvantage in any foreign market,
except that we pay our workmen and workwomen better wages than are paid
elsewhere--better abstractly, better relatively to the cost of the
necessaries of life. I do not doubt that a very largely increased foreign
trade is accessible to us without bartering for it either our home market
for such products of the farm and shop as our own people can supply or the
wages of our working people.

In many of the products of wood and iron and in meats and breadstuffs we
have advantages that only need better facilities of intercourse and
transportation to secure for them large foreign markets. The reciprocity
clause of the tariff act wisely and effectively opens the way to secure a
large reciprocal trade in exchange for the free admission to our ports of
certain products. The right of independent nations to make special
reciprocal trade concessions is well established, and does not impair
either the comity due to other powers or what is known as the
"favored-nation clause," so generally found in commercial treaties. What is
given to one for an adequate agreed consideration can not be claimed by
another freely. The state of the revenues was such that we could dispense
with any import duties upon coffee, tea, hides, and the lower grades of
sugar and molasses. That the large advantage resulting to the countries
producing and exporting these articles by placing them on the free list
entitled us to expect a fair return in the way of customs concessions upon
articles exported by us to them was so obvious that to have gratuitously
abandoned this opportunity to enlarge our trade would have been an
unpardonable error.

There were but two methods of maintaining control of this question open to
Congress--to place all of these articles upon the dutiable list, subject to
such treaty agreements as could be secured, or to place them all presently
upon the free list, but subject to the reimposition of specified duties if
the countries from which we received them should refuse to give to us
suitable reciprocal benefits. This latter method, I think, possesses great
advantages. It expresses in advance the consent of Congress to reciprocity
arrangements affecting these products, which must otherwise have been
delayed and unascertained until each treaty was ratified by the Senate and
the necessary legislation enacted by Congress. Experience has shown that
some treaties looking to reciprocal trade have failed to secure a
two-thirds vote in the Senate for ratification, and others having passed
that stage have for years awaited the concurrence of the House and Senate
in such modifications of our revenue laws as were necessary to give effect
to their provisions. We now have the concurrence of both Houses in advance
in a distinct and definite offer of free entry to our ports of specific
articles. The Executive is not required to deal in conjecture as to what
Congress will accept. Indeed, this reciprocity provision is more than an
offer. Our part of the bargain is complete; delivery has been made; and
when the countries from which we receive sugar, coffee, tea, and hides have
placed on their free lists such of our products as shall be agreed upon as
an equivalent for our concession, a proclamation of that fact completes the
transaction; and in the meantime our own people have free sugar, tea,
coffee, and hides.

The indications thus far given are very hopeful of early and favorable
action by the countries from which we receive our large imports of coffee
and sugar, and it is confidently believed that if steam communication with
these countries can be promptly improved and enlarged the next year will
show a most gratifying increase in our exports of breadstuffs and
provisions, as well as of some important lines of manufactured goods.

In addition to the important bills that became laws before the adjournment
of the last session, some other bills of the highest importance were well
advanced toward a final vote and now stand upon the calendars of the two
Houses in favored positions. The present session has a fixed limit, and if
these measures are not now brought to a final vote all the work that has
been done upon them by this Congress is lost. The proper consideration of
these, of an apportionment bill, and of the annual appropriation bills will
require not only that no working day of the session shall be lost, but that
measures of minor and local interest shall not be allowed to interrupt or
retard the progress of those that are of universal interest. In view of
these conditions, I refrain from bringing before you at this time some
suggestions that would otherwise be made, and most earnestly invoke your
attention to the duty of perfecting the important legislation now well
advanced. To some of these measures, which seem to me most important, I now
briefly call your attention.

I desire to repeat with added urgency the recommendations contained in my
last annual message in relation to the development of American steamship
lines. The reciprocity clause of the tariff bill will be largely limited
and its benefits retarded and diminished if provision is not
contemporaneously made to encourage the establishment of first-class steam
communication between our ports and the ports of such nations as may meet
our overtures for enlarged commercial exchanges. The steamship, carrying
the mails statedly and frequently and offering to passengers a comfortable,
safe, and speedy transit, is the first condition of foreign trade. It
carries the order or the buyer, but not all that is ordered or bought. It
gives to the sailing vessels such cargoes as are not urgent or perishable,
and, indirectly at least, promotes that important adjunct of commerce.
There is now both in this country and in the nations of Central and South
America a state of expectation and confidence as to increased trade that
will give a double value to your prompt action upon this question.

The present situation of our mail communication with Australia illustrates
the importance of early action by Congress. The Oceanic Steamship Company
maintains a line of steamers between San Francisco, Sydney, and Auckland
consisting of three vessels, two of which are of United States registry and
one of foreign registry. For the service done by this line in carrying the
mails we pay annually the sum of $46,000, being, as estimated, the full sea
and United States inland postage, which is the limit fixed by law. The
colonies of New South Wales and New Zealand have been paying annually to
these lines lbs. 37,000 for carrying the mails from Sydney and Auckland to
San Francisco. The contract under which this payment has been made is now
about to expire, and those colonies have refused to renew the contract
unless the United States shall pay a more equitable proportion of the whole
sum necessary to maintain the service.

I am advised by the Postmaster-General that the United States receives for
carrying the Australian mails, brought to San Francisco in these steamers,
by rail to Vancouver, an estimated annual income of $75,000, while, as I
have stated, we are paying out for the support of the steamship line that
brings this mail to us only $46,000, leaving an annual surplus resulting
from this service of $29,000. The trade of the United States with
Australia, which is in a considerable part carried by these steamers, and
the whole of which is practically dependent upon the mail communication
which they maintain, is largely in our favor. Our total exports of
merchandise to Australasian ports during the fiscal year ending June 30,
1890, were $11,266,484, while the total imports of merchandise from these
ports were only $4,277,676. If we are not willing to see this important
steamship line withdrawn, or continued with Vancouver substituted for San
Francisco as the American terminal, Congress should put it in the power of
the Postmaster-General to make a liberal increase in the amount now paid
for the transportation of this important mail.

The South Atlantic and Gulf ports occupy a very favored position toward the
new and important commerce which the reciprocity clause of the tariff act
and the postal shipping bill are designed to promote. Steamship lines from
these ports to some northern port of South America will almost certainly
effect a connection between the railroad systems of the continents long
before any continuous line of railroads can be put into operation. The very
large appropriation made at the last session for the harbor of Galveston
was justified, as it seemed to me, by these considerations. The great
Northwest will feel the advantage of trunk lines to the South as well as to
the East and of the new markets opened for their surplus food products and
for many of their manufactured products.

I had occasion in May last to transmit to Congress a report adopted by the
International American Conference upon the subject of the incorporation of
an international American bank, with a view to facilitating money exchanges
between the States represented in that conference. Such an institution
would greatly promote the trade we are seeking to develop. I renew the
recommendation that a careful and well-guarded charter be granted. I do not
think the powers granted should include those ordinarily exercised by
trust, guaranty, and safe-deposit companies, or that more branches in the
United States should be authorized than are strictly necessary to
accomplish the object primarily in view, namely, convenient foreign
exchanges. It is quite important that prompt action should be taken in this
matter, in order that any appropriations for better communication with
these countries and any agreements that may be made for reciprocal trade
may not be hindered by the inconvenience of making exchanges through
European money centers or burdened by the tribute which is an incident of
that method of business.

The bill for the relief of the Supreme Court has after many years of
discussion reached a position where final action is easily attainable, and
it is hoped that any differences of opinion may be so harmonized as to save
the essential features of this very important measure. In this connection I
earnestly renew my recommendation that the salaries of the judges of the
United States district courts be so readjusted that none of them shall
receive less than $5,000 per annum.

The subject of the unadjusted Spanish and Mexican land grants and the
urgent necessity for providing some commission or tribunal for the trial of
questions of title growing out of them were twice brought by me to the
attention of Congress at the last session. Bills have been reported from
the proper committees in both Houses upon the subject, and I very earnestly
hope that this Congress will put an end to the delay which has attended the
settlement of the disputes as to the title between the settlers and the
claimants under these grants. These disputes retard the prosperity and
disturb the peace of large and important communities. The governor of New
Mexico in his last report to the Secretary of the Interior suggests some
modifications of the provisions of the pending bills relating to the small
holdings of farm lands. I commend to your attention the suggestions of the
Secretary of the Interior upon this subject.

The enactment of a national bankrupt law I still regard as very desirable.
The Constitution having given to Congress jurisdiction of this subject, it
should be exercised and uniform rules provided for the administration of
the affairs of insolvent debtors. The inconveniences resulting from the
occasional and temporary exercise of this power by Congress and from the
conflicting State codes of insolvency which come into force intermediately
should be removed by the enactment of a simple, inexpensive, and permanent
national bankrupt law.

I also renew my recommendation in favor of legislation affording just
copyright protection to foreign authors on a footing of reciprocal
advantage for our authors abroad.

It may still be possible for this Congress to inaugurate by suitable
legislation a movement looking to uniformity and increased safety in the
use of couplers and brakes upon freight trains engaged in interstate
commerce. The chief difficulty in the way is to secure agreement as to the
best appliances, simplicity, effectiveness, and cost being considered. This
difficulty will only yield to legislation, which should be based upon full
inquiry and impartial tests. The purpose should be to secure the
cooperation of all well-disposed managers and owners; but the fearful fact
that every year's delay involves the sacrifice of 2,000 lives and the
maiming of 20,000 young men should plead both with Congress and the
managers against any needless delay.

The subject of the conservation and equal distribution of the water supply
of the arid regions has had much attention from Congress, but has not as
yet been put upon a permanent and satisfactory basis. The urgency of the
subject does not grow out of any large present demand for the use of these
lands for agriculture, but out of the danger that the water supply and the
sites for the necessary catch basins may fall into the hands of individuals
or private corporations and be used to render subservient the large areas
dependent upon such supply. The owner of the water is the owner of the
lands, however the titles may run. All unappropriated natural water sources
and all necessary reservoir sites should be held by the Government for the
equal use at fair rates of the homestead settlers who will eventually take
up these lands. The United States should not, in my opinion, undertake the
construction of dams or canals, but should limit its work to such surveys
and observations as will determine the water supply, both surface and
subterranean, the areas capable of irrigation, and the location and storage
capacity of reservoirs. This done, the use of the water and of the
reservoir sites might be granted to the respective States or Territories or
to individuals or associations upon the condition that the necessary works
should be constructed and the water furnished at fair rates without
discrimination, the rates to be subject to supervision by the legislatures
or by boards of water commissioners duly constituted. The essential thing
to be secured is the common and equal use at fair rates of the accumulated
water supply. It were almost better that these lands should remain arid
than that those who occupy them should become the slaves of unrestrained
monopolies controlling the one essential element of land values and crop

The use of the telegraph by the Post-Office Department as a means for the
rapid transmission of written communications is, I believe, upon proper
terms, quite desirable. The Government does not own or operate the
railroads, and it should not, I think, own or operate the telegraph lines.
It does, however, seem to be quite practicable for the Government to
contract with the telegraph companies, as it does with railroad companies,
to carry at specified rates such communications as the senders may
designate for this method of transmission. I recommend that such
legislation be enacted as will enable the Post-Office Department fairly to
test by experiment the advantages of such a use of the telegraph.

If any intelligent and loyal company of American citizens were required to
catalogue the essential human conditions of national life, I do not doubt
that with absolute unanimity they would begin with "free and honest
elections." And it is gratifying to know that generally there is a growing
and nonpartisan demand for better election laws; but against this sign of
hope and progress must be set the depressing and undeniable fact that
election laws and methods are sometimes cunningly contrived to secure
minority control, while violence completes the shortcomings of fraud.

In my last annual message I suggested that the development of the existing
law providing a Federal supervision of Congressional elections offered an
effective method of reforming these abuses. The need of such a law has
manifested itself in many parts of the country, and its wholesome
restraints and penalties will be useful in all. The constitutionality of
such legislation has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. Its probable
effectiveness is evidenced by the character of the opposition that is made
to it. It has been denounced as if it were a new exercise of Federal power
and an invasion of the rights of States. Nothing could be further from the
truth. Congress has already fixed the time for the election of members of
Congress. It has declared that votes for members of Congress must be by
written or printed ballot; it has provided for the appointment by the
circuit courts in certain cases, and upon the petition of a certain number
of citizens, of election supervisors, and made it their duty to supervise
the registration of voters conducted by the State officers; to challenge
persons offering to register; to personally inspect and scrutinize the
registry lists, and to affix their names to the lists for the purpose of
identification and the prevention of frauds; to attend at elections and
remain with the boxes till they are all cast and counted; to attach to the
registry lists and election returns any statement touching the accuracy and
fairness of the registry and election, and to take and transmit to the
Clerk of the House of Representatives any evidence of fraudulent practices
which may be presented to them. The same law provides for the appointment
of deputy United States marshals to attend at the polls, support the
supervisors in the discharge of their duties, and to arrest persons
violating the election laws. The provisions of this familiar title of the
Revised Statutes have been put into exercise by both the great political
parties, and in the North as well as in the South, by the filing with the
court of the petitions required by the law.

It is not, therefore, a question whether we shall have a Federal election
law, for we now have one and have had for nearly twenty years, but whether
we shall have an effective law. The present law stops just short of
effectiveness, for it surrenders to the local authorities all control over
the certification which establishes the prima facie right to a seat in the
House of Representatives. This defect should be cured. Equality of
representation and the parity of the electors must be maintained or
everything that is valuable in our system of government is lost. The
qualifications of an elector must be sought in the law, net in the
opinions, prejudices, or fears of any class, however powerful. The path of
the elector to the ballot box must be free from the ambush of fear and the
enticements of fraud; the count so true and open that none shall gainsay
it. Such a law should be absolutely nonpartisan and impartial. It should
give the advantage to honesty and the control to majorities. Surely there
is nothing sectional about this creed, and if it shall happen that the
penalties of laws intended to enforce these rights fall here and not there
it is not because the law is sectional, but because, happily, crime is
local and not universal. Nor should it be forgotten that every law, whether
relating to elections or to any other subject, whether enacted by the State
or by the nation, has force behind it; the courts, the marshal or
constable, the posse comitatus, the prison, are all and always behind the

One can not be justly charged with unfriendliness to any section or class
who seeks only to restrain violations of law and of personal right. No
community will find lawlessness profitable. No community can afford to have
it known that the officers who are charged with the preservation of the
public peace and the restraint of the criminal classes are themselves the
product of fraud or violence. The magistrate is then without respect and
the law without sanction. The floods of lawlessness can not be leveed and
made to run in one channel. The killing of a United States marshal carrying
a writ of arrest for an election offense is full of prompting and
suggestion to men who are pursued by a city marshal for a crime against
life or property.

But it is said that this legislation will revive race animosities, and some
have even suggested that when the peaceful methods of fraud are made
impossible they may be supplanted by intimidation and violence. If the
proposed law gives to any qualified elector by a hair's weight more than
his equal influence or detracts by so much from any other qualified
elector, it is fatally impeached. But if the law is equal and the
animosities it is to evoke grow out of the fact that some electors have
been accustomed to exercise the franchise for others as well as for
themselves, then these animosities ought not to be confessed without shame,
and can not be given any weight in the discussion without dishonor No
choice is left to me but to enforce with vigor all laws intended to secure
to the citizen his constitutional rights and to recommend that the
inadequacies of such laws be promptly remedied. If to promote with zeal and
ready interest every project for the development of its material interests,
its rivers, harbors, mines, and factories, and the intelligence, peace, and
security under the law of its communities and its homes is not accepted as
sufficient evidence of friendliness to any State or section, I can not add
connivance at election practices that not only disturb local results, but
rob the electors of other States and sections of their most priceless
political rights.

The preparation of the general appropriation bills should be conducted with
the greatest care and the closest scrutiny of expenditures. Appropriations
should be adequate to the needs of the public service, but they should be
absolutely free from prodigality.

I venture again to remind you that the brief time remaining for the
consideration of the important legislation now awaiting your attention
offers no margin for waste. If the present duty is discharged with
diligence, fidelity, and courage, the work of the Fifty-first Congress may
be confidently submitted to the considerate judgment of the people.



State of the Union Address
Benjamin Harrison
December 9, 1891

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The reports of the heads of the several Executive Departments required by
law to be submitted to me, which are herewith transmitted, and the reports
of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney-General, made directly to
Congress, furnish a comprehensive view of the administrative work of the
last fiscal year relating to internal affair. It would be of great
advantage if these reports could have an alternative perusal by every
member of Congress and by all who take an interest in public affairs. Such
a perusal could not fail to excite a higher appreciation of the vast labor
and conscientious effort which are given to the conduct of our civil

The reports will, I believe, show that every question has been approached,
considered, and decided from the standpoint of public duty upon
considerations affecting the public interests alone. Again I invite to
every branch of the service the attention and scrutiny of Congress.

The work of the State Department during the last year has been
characterized by an unusual number of important negotiations and by
diplomatic results of a notable and highly beneficial character. Among
these are the reciprocal trade arrangements which have been concluded, in
the exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the tariff law, with
the Republic of Brazil, with Spain for its West India possessions, and with
Santo Domingo. Like negotiations with other countries have been much
advanced, and it is hoped that before the close of the year further
definitive trade arrangements of great value will be concluded.

In view of the reports which had been received as to the diminution of the
seal herds in the Bering Sea, I deemed it wise to propose to Her Majesty's
Government in February last that an agreement for a closed season should be
made pending the negotiations for arbitration, which then seemed to be
approaching a favorable conclusion. After much correspondence and delays,
for which this Government was not responsible, an agreement was reached and
signed on the 15th of June, by which Great Britain undertook from that date
and until May 1, 1892, to prohibit the killing by her subjects of seals in
the Bering Sea, and the Government of the United States during the same
period to enforce its existing prohibition against pelagic sealing and to
limit the catch by the fur-seal company upon the islands to 7,500 skins. If
this agreement could have been reached earlier in response to the strenuous
endeavors of this Government, it would have been more effective; but coming
even as late as it did it unquestionably resulted in greatly diminishing
the destruction of the seals by the Canadian sealers.

In my last annual message I stated that the basis of arbitration proposed
by Her Majesty's Government for the adjustment of the long-pending
controversy as to the seal fisheries was not acceptable. I am glad now to
be able to announce that terms satisfactory to this Government have been
agreed upon and that an agreement as to the arbitrators is all that is
necessary to the completion of the convention. In view of the advanced
position which this Government has taken upon the subject of international
arbitration, this renewed expression of our adherence to this method for
the settlement of disputes such as have arisen in the Bering Sea will, I
doubt not, meet with the concurrence of Congress.

Provision should be made for a joint demarcation of the frontier line
between Canada and the United States wherever required by the increasing
border settlements, and especially for the exact location of the water
boundary in the straits and rivers.

I should have been glad to announce some favorable disposition of the
boundary dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela touching the western
frontier of British Guiana, but the friendly efforts of the United States
in that direction have thus far been unavailing. This Government will
continue to express its concern at any appearance of foreign encroachment
on territories long under the administrative control of American States.
The determination of a disputed boundary is easily attainable by amicable
arbitration where the rights of the respective parties rest, as here, on
historic facts readily ascertainable.

The law of the last Congress providing a system of inspection for our meats
intended for export, and clothing the President with power to exclude
foreign products from our market in case the country sending them should
perpetuate unjust discriminations against any product of the United States,
placed this Government in a position to effectively urge the removal of
such discriminations against our meats. It is gratifying to be able to
state that Germany, Denmark, Italy, Austria, and France, in the order
named, have opened their ports to inspected American pork products. The
removal of these restrictions in every instance was asked for and given
solely upon the ground that we have now provided a meat inspection that
should be accepted as adequate to the complete removal of the dangers, real
or fancied, which had been previously urged. The State Department, our
ministers abroad, and the Secretary of Agriculture have cooperated with
unflagging and intelligent zeal for the accomplishment of this great
result. The outlines of an agreement have been reached with Germany looking
to equitable trade concessions in consideration of the continued free
importation of her sugars, but the time has not yet arrived when this
correspondence can be submitted to Congress.

The recent political disturbances in the Republic of Brazil have excited
regret and solicitude. The information we possessed was too meager to
enable us to form a satisfactory judgment of the causes leading to the
temporary assumption of supreme power by President Fonseca; but this
Government did not fail to express to him its anxious solicitude for the
peace of Brazil and for the maintenance of the free political institutions
which had recently been established there, nor to offer our advice that
great moderation should be observed in the clash of parties and the contest
for leadership. These counsels were received in the most friendly spirit,
and the latest information is that constitutional government has been
reestablished without bloodshed.

The lynching at New Orleans in March last of eleven men of Italian nativity
by a mob of citizens was a most deplorable and discreditable incident. It
did not, however, have its origin in any general animosity to the Italian
people, nor in any disrespect to the Government of Italy, with which our
relations were of the most friendly character. The fury of the mob was
directed against these men as the supposed participants or accessories in
the murder of a city officer. I do not allude to this as mitigating in any
degree this offense against law and humanity, but only as affecting the
international questions which grew out of it. It was at once represented by
the Italian minister that several of those whose lives had been taken by
the mob were Italian subjects, and a demand was made for the punishment of
the participants and for an indemnity to the families of those who were
killed. It is to be regretted that the manner in which these claims were
presented was not such as to promote a calm discussion of the questions
involved; but this may well be attributed to the excitement and indignation
which the crime naturally evoked. The views of this Government as to its
obligations to foreigners domiciled here were fully stated in the
correspondence, as well as its purpose to make an investigation of the
affair with a view to determine whether there were present any
circumstances that could under such rules of duty as we had indicated
create an obligation upon the United States. The temporary absence of a
minister plenipotentiary of Italy at this capital has retarded the further
correspondence, but it is not doubted that a friendly conclusion is

Some suggestions growing out of this unhappy incident are worthy the
attention of Congress. It would, I believe, be entirely competent for
Congress to make offenses against the treaty rights of foreigners domiciled
in the United States cognizable in the Federal courts. This has not,
however, been done, and the Federal officers and courts have no power in
such cases to intervene, either for the protection of a foreign citizen or
for the punishment of his slayers. It seems to me to follow, in this state
of the law, that the officers of the State charged with police and judicial
powers in such cases must in the consideration of international questions
growing out of such incidents be regarded in such sense as Federal agents
as to make this Government answerable for their acts in cases where it
would be answerable if the United States had used its constitutional power
to define and punish crime against treaty rights.

The civil war in Chile, which began in January last, was continued, but
fortunately with infrequent and not important armed collisions, until
August 28, when the Congressional forces landed near Valparaiso and after a
bloody engagement captured that city. President Balmaceda at once
recognized that his cause was lost, and a Provisional Government was
speedily established by the victorious party. Our minister was promptly
directed to recognize and put himself in communication with this Government
so soon as it should have established its de facto character, which was
done. During the pendency of this civil contest frequent indirect appeals
were made to this Government to extend belligerent rights to the insurgents
and to give audience to their representatives. This was declined, and that
policy was pursued throughout which this Government when wrenched by civil
war so strenuously insisted upon on the part of European nations. The
Itata, an armed vessel commanded by a naval officer of the insurgent fleet,
manned by its sailors and with soldiers on board, was seized under process
of the United States court at San Diego, Cal., for a violation of our
neutrality laws. While in the custody of an officer of the court the vessel
was forcibly wrested from his control and put to sea. It would have been
inconsistent with the dignity and self-respect of this Government not to
have insisted that the Itala should be returned to San Diego to abide the
judgment of the court. This was so clear to the junta of the Congressional
party, established at Iquique, that before the arrival of the Itata at that
port the secretary of foreign relations of the Provisional Government
addressed to Rear-Admiral Brown, commanding the United States naval forces,
a communication, from which the following is an extract: The Provisional
Government has learned by the cablegrams of the Associated Press that the
transport Itata, detained in San Diego by order of the United States for
taking on board munitions of war, and in possession of the marshal, left
the port, carrying on board this official, who was landed at a point near
the coast, and then continued her voyage. If this news be correct this
Government would deplore the conduct of the Itata, and as an evidence that
it is not disposed to support or agree to the infraction of the laws of the
United States the undersigned takes advantage of the personal relations you
have been good enough to maintain with him since your arrival in this port
to declare to you that as soon as she is within reach of our orders his
Government will put the Itata, with the arms and munitions she took on
board in Sail Diego, at the disposition of the United States. A trial in
the district court of the United States for the southern district of
California has recently resulted in a decision holding, among other things,
that inasmuch as the Congressional party had not been recognized as a
belligerent the acts done in its interest could not be a violation of our
neutrality laws. From this judgment the United States has appealed, not
that the condemnation of the vessel is a matter of importance, but that we
may know what the present state of our law is; for if this construction of
the statute is correct there is obvious necessity for revision and

During the progress of the war in Chile this Government tendered its good
offices to bring about a peaceful adjustment, and it was at one time hoped
that a good result might be reached; but in this we were disappointed.

The instructions to our naval officers and to our minister at Santiago from
the first to the last of this struggle enjoined upon them the most
impartial treatment and absolute noninterference. I am satisfied that these
instructions were observed and that our representatives were always
watchful to use their influence impartially in the interest of humanity,
and on more than one occasion did so effectively. We could not forget,
however, that this Government was in diplomatic relations with the then
established Government of Chile, as it is now in such relations with the
successor of that Government. I am quite sure that President Montt, who
has, under circumstances of promise for the peace of Chile, been installed
as President of that Republic, will not desire that in the unfortunate
event of any revolt against his authority the policy of this Government
should be other than that which we have recently observed. No official
complaint of the conduct of our minister or of our naval officers during
the struggle has been presented to this Government, and it is a matter of
regret that so many of our own people should have given ear to unofficial
charges and complaints that manifestly had their origin in rival interests
and in a wish to pervert the relations of the United States with Chile.

The collapse of the Government of Balmaceda brought about a condition which
is unfortunately too familiar in the history of the Central and South
American States. With the overthrow of the Balmaceda Government he and many
of his councilors and officers became at once fugitives for their lives and
appealed to the commanding officers of the foreign naval vessels in the
harbor of Valparaiso and to the resident foreign ministers at Santiago for
asylum. This asylum was freely given, according to my information, by the
naval vessels of several foreign powers and by several of the legations at
Santiago. The American minister as well as his colleagues, acting upon the
impulse of humanity, extended asylum to political refugees whose lives were
in peril. I have not been willing to direct the surrender of such of these
persons as are still in the American legation without suitable conditions.

It is believed that the Government of Chile is not in a position, in view
of the precedents with which it has been connected, to broadly deny the
right of asylum, and the correspondence has not thus far presented any such
denial. The treatment of our minister for a time was such as to call for a
decided protest, and it was very gratifying to observe that unfriendly
measures, which were undoubtedly the result of the prevailing excitement,
were at once rescinded or suitably relaxed.

On the 16th of October an event occurred in Valparaiso so serious and
tragic in its circumstances and results as to very justly excite the
indignation of our people and to call for prompt and decided action on the
part of this Government. A considerable number of the sailors of the United
States steamship Baltimore, then in the harbor at Valparaiso, being upon
shore leave and unarmed, were assaulted by armed men nearly simultaneously
in different localities in the city. One petty officer was killed outright
and seven or eight seamen were seriously wounded, one of whom has since
died. So savage and brutal was the assault that several of our sailors
received more than two and one as many as eighteen stab wounds. An
investigation of the affair was promptly made by a board of officers of the
Baltimore, and their report shows that these assaults were unprovoked, that
our men were conducting themselves in a peaceable and orderly manner, and
that some of the police of the city took part in the assault and used their
weapons with fatal effect, while a few others, with some well-disposed
citizens, endeavored to protect our men. Thirty-six of our sailors were
arrested, and some of them while being taken to prison were cruelly beaten
and maltreated. The fact that they were all discharged, no criminal charge
being lodged against any one of them, shows very clearly that they were
innocent of any breach of the peace.

So far as I have yet been able to learn no other explanation of this bloody
work has been suggested than that it had its origin in hostility to those
men as sailors of the United States, wearing the uniform of their
Government, and not in any individual act or personal animosity. The
attention of the Chilean Government was at once called to this affair, and
a statement of the facts obtained by the investigation we had conducted was
submitted, accompanied by a request to be advised of any other or
qualifying facts in the possession of the Chilean Government that might
tend to relieve this affair of the appearance of an insult to this
Government. The Chilean Government was also advised that if such qualifying
facts did not exist this Government would confidently expect full and
prompt reparation.

It is to be regretted that the reply of the secretary for foreign affairs
of the Provisional Government was couched in an offensive tone. To this no
response has been made. This Government is now awaiting the result of an
investigation which has been conducted by the criminal court at Valparaiso.
It is reported unofficially that the investigation is about completed, and
it is expected that the result will soon be communicated to this
Government, together with some adequate and satisfactory response to the
note by which the attention of Chile was called to this incident. If these
just expectations should be disappointed or further needless delay
intervene, I will by a special message bring this matter again to the
attention of Congress for such action as may be necessary. The entire
correspondence with the Government of Chile will at an early day be
submitted to Congress.

I renew the recommendation of my special message dated January 16, 1890,
for the adoption of the necessary legislation to enable this Government to
apply in the case of Sweden and Norway the same rule in respect to the
levying of tonnage dues as was claimed and secured to the shipping of the
United States in 1828 under Article VIII of the treaty of 1827.

The adjournment of the Senate without action on the pending acts for the
suppression of the slave traffic in Africa and for the reform of the
revenue tariff of the Independent State of the Kongo left this Government
unable to exchange those acts on the date fixed, July 2, 1891. A modus
vivendi has been concluded by which the power of the Kongo State to levy
duties on imports is left unimpaired, and by agreement of all the
signatories to the general slave-trade act the time for the exchange of
ratifications on the part of the United States has been extended to
February 2, 1892.

The late outbreak against foreigners in various parts of the Chinese Empire
has been a cause of deep concern in view of the numerous establishments of
our citizens in the interior of that country. This Government can do no
less than insist upon a continuance of the protective and punitory measures
which the Chinese Government has heretofore applied. No effort will be
omitted to protect our citizens peaceably sojourning in China, but recent
unofficial information indicates that what was at first regarded as an
outbreak of mob violence against foreigners has assumed the larger form of
an insurrection against public order.

The Chinese Government has declined to receive Mr. Blair as the minister of
the United States on the ground that as a participant while a Senator in
the enactment of the existing legislation against the introduction of
Chinese laborers he has become unfriendly and objectionable to China. I
have felt constrained to point out to the Chinese Government the
untenableness of this position, which seems to rest as much on the
unacceptability of our legislation as on that of the person chosen, and
which if admitted would practically debar the selection of any
representative so long as the existing laws remain in force.

You will be called upon to consider the expediency of making special
provision by law for the temporary admission of some Chinese artisans and
laborers in connection with the exhibit of Chinese industries at the
approaching Columbian Exposition. I regard it as desirable that the Chinese
exhibit be facilitated in every proper way.

A question has arisen with the Government of Spain touching the rights of
American citizens in the Caroline Islands. Our citizens there long prior to
the confirmation of Spain's claim to the islands had secured by settlement
and purchase certain rights to the recognition and maintenance of which the
faith of Spain was pledged. I have had reason within the past year very
strongly to protest against the failure to carry out this pledge on the
part of His Majesty's ministers, which has resulted in great injustice and
injury to the American residents.

The Government and people of Spain propose to celebrate the four hundredth
anniversary of the discovery of America by holding an exposition at Madrid,
which will open on the 12th of September and continue until the 31st of
December, 1892. A cordial invitation has been extended to the United States
to take part in this commemoration, and as Spain was one of the first
nations to express the intention to participate in the World's Columbian
Exposition at Chicago, it would be very appropriate for this Government to
give this invitation its friendly promotion.

Surveys for the connecting links of the projected intercontinental railway
are in progress, not only in Mexico, but at various points along the course
mapped out. Three surveying parties are now in the field under the
direction of the commission. Nearly 1,000 miles of the proposed road have
been surveyed, including the most difficult part, that through Ecuador and
the southern part of Colombia. The reports of the engineers are very
satisfactory, and show that no insurmountable obstacles have been met

On November 12, 1884, a treaty was concluded with Mexico reaffirming the
boundary between the two countries as described in the treaties of February
2, 1848, and December 30, 1853. March 1, 1889, a further treaty was
negotiated to facilitate the carrying out of the principles of the treaty
of 1884 and to avoid the difficulties occasioned by reason of the changes
and alterations that take place from natural causes in the Rio Grande and
Colorado rivers in the portions thereof constituting the boundary line
between the two Republics. The International Boundary Commission provided
for by the treaty of 1889 to have exclusive jurisdiction of any question
that may arise has been named by the Mexican Government. An appropriation
is necessary to enable the United States to fulfill its treaty obligations
in this respect.

The death of King Kalakaua in the United States afforded occasion to
testify our friendship for Hawaii by conveying the King's body to his own
land in a naval vessel with all due honors. The Government of his
successor, Queen Liliuokolani is seeking to promote closer commercial
relations with the United States. Surveys for the much-needed submarine
cable from our Pacific coast to Honolulu are in progress, and this
enterprise should have the suitable promotion of the two Governments. I
strongly recommend that provision be made for improving the harbor of Pearl
River and equipping it as a naval station.

The arbitration treaty formulated by the International American Conference
lapsed by reason of the failure to exchange ratifications fully within the
limit of time provided; but several of the Governments concerned have
expressed a desire to save this important result of the conference by an
extension of the period. It is, in my judgment, incumbent upon the United
States to conserve the influential initiative it has taken in this measure
by ratifying the instrument and by advocating the proposed extension of the
time for exchange. These views have been made known to the other

This Government has found occasion to express in a friendly spirit, but
with much earnestness, to the Government of the Czar its serious concern
because of the harsh measures now being enforced against the Hebrews in
Russia. By the revival of antisemitic laws, long in abeyance, great numbers
of those unfortunate people have been constrained to abandon their homes
and leave the Empire by reason of the impossibility of finding subsistence
within the pale to which it is sought to confine them. The immigration of
these people to the United States--many other countries being closed to
them--is largely increasing and is likely to assume proportions which may
make it difficult to find homes and employment for them here and to
seriously affect the labor market. It is estimated that over 1,000,000 will
be forced from Russia within a few years. The Hebrew is never a beggar; he
has always kept the law--life by toil--often under severe and oppressive
civil restrictions. It is also true that no race, sect, or class has more
fully cared for its own than the Hebrew race. But the sudden transfer of
such a multitude under conditions that tend to strip them of their small
accumulations and to depress their energies and courage is neither good for
them nor for us.

The banishment, whether by direct decree or by not less certain indirect
methods, of so large a number of men and women is not a local question. A
decree to leave one country is in the nature of things an order to enter
another--some other. This consideration, as well as the suggestion of
humanity, furnishes ample ground for the remonstrances which we have
presented to Russia, while our historic friendship for that Government can
not fail to give the assurance that our representations are those of a
sincere wellwisher.

The annual report of the Maritime Canal Company of Nicaragua shows that
much costly and necessary preparatory work has been done during the year in
the construction of shops, railroad tracks, and harbor piers and
breakwaters, and that the work of canal construction has made some

I deem it to be a matter of the highest concern to the United States that
this canal, connecting the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and
giving to us a short water communication between our ports upon those two
great seas, should be speedily constructed and at the smallest practicable
limit of cost. The gain in freights to the people and the direct saving to
the Government of the United States in the use of its naval vessels would
pay the entire cost of this work within a short series of years. The report
of the Secretary of the Navy shows the saving in our naval expenditures
which would result.

The Senator from Alabama (Mr. Morgan) in his argument upon this subject
before the Senate at the last session did not overestimate the importance
of this work when he said that "the canal is the most important subject now
connected with the commercial growth and progress of the United States."

If this work is to be promoted by the usual financial methods and without
the aid of this Government, the expenditures in its interest-bearing
securities and stock will probably be twice the actual cost. This will
necessitate higher tolls and constitute a heavy and altogether needless
burden upon our commerce and that of the world. Every dollar of the bonds
and stock of the company should represent a dollar expended in the
legitimate and economical prosecution of the work. This is only possible by
giving to the bonds the guaranty of the United States Government. Such a
guaranty would secure the ready sale at par of a 3 per cent bond from time
to time as the money was needed. I do not doubt that built upon these
business methods the canal would when fully inaugurated earn its fixed
charges and operating expenses. But if its bonds are to be marketed at
heavy discounts and every bond sold is to be accompanied by a gift of
stock, as has come to be expected by investors in such enterprises, the
traffic will be seriously burdened to pay interest and dividends. I am
quite willing to recommend Government promotion in the prosecution of a
work which, if no other means offered for securing its completion, is of
such transcendent interest that the Government should, in my opinion,
secure it by direct appropriations from its Treasury.

A guaranty of the bonds of the canal company to an amount necessary to the
completion of the canal could, I think, be so given as not to involve any
serious risk of ultimate loss. The things to be carefully guarded are the
completion of the work within the limits of the guaranty, the subrogation
of the United States to the rights of the first-mortgage bondholders for
any amounts it may have to pay, and in the meantime a control of the stock
of the company as a security against mismanagement and loss. I most
sincerely hope that neither party nor sectional lines will be drawn upon
this great American project, so full of interest to the people of all our
States and so influential in its effects upon the prestige and prosperity
of our common country.

The island of Navassa, in the West Indian group, has, under the provisions
of Title VII of the Revised Statutes, been recognized by the President as
appertaining to the United States. It contains guano deposits, is owned by
the Navassa Phosphate Company, and is occupied solely its employees. In
September, 1889, a revolt took place among these laborers, resulting in the
killing of some of the agents of the company, caused, as the laborers
claimed, by cruel treatment. These men were arrested and tried in the
United States court at Baltimore, under section 5576 of the statute
referred to, as if the offenses had been committed on board a merchant
vessel of the United States on the high seas. There appeared on the trial
and otherwise came to me such evidences of the bad treatment of the men
that in consideration of this and of the fact that the men had no access to
any public officer or tribunal for protection or the redress of their
wrongs I commuted the death sentences that had been passed by the court
upon three of them. In April last my attention was again called to this
island and to the unregulated condition of things there by a letter from a
colored laborer, who complained that he was wrongfully detained upon the
island by the phosphate company after the expiration of his contract of
service. A naval vessel was sent to examine into the case of this man and
generally into the condition of things on the island. It was found that the
laborer referred to had been detained beyond the contract limit and that a
condition of revolt again existed among the laborers. A board of naval
officers reported, among other things, as follows: We would desire to state
further that the discipline maintained on the island seems to be that of a
convict establishment without its comforts and cleanliness, and that until
more attention is paid to the shipping of laborers by placing it under
Government supervision to prevent misunderstanding and misrepresentation,
and until some amelioration is shown in the treatment of the laborers,
these disorders will be of constant occurrence. I recommend legislation
that shall place labor contracts upon this and other islands having the
relation that Navassa has to the United States under the supervision of a
court commissioner, and that shall provide at the expense of the owners an
officer to reside upon the island, with power to judge and adjust disputes
and to enforce a just and humane treatment of the employees. It is
inexcusable that American laborers should be left within our own
jurisdiction without access to any Government officer or tribunal for their
protection and the redress of their wrongs.

International copyright has been secured, in accordance with the conditions
of the act of March 3, 1891, with Belgium, France, Great Britain and the
British possessions, and Switzerland, the laws of those countries
permitting to our citizens the benefit of copyright on substantially the
same basis as to their own citizens or subjects.

With Germany a special convention has been negotiated upon this subject
which will bring that country within the reciprocal benefits of our

The general interest in the operations of the Treasury Department has been
much augmented during the last year by reason of the conflicting
predictions, which accompanied and followed the tariff and other
legislation of the last Congress affecting the revenues, as to the results
of this legislation upon the Treasury and upon the country. On the one hand
it was contended that imports would so fall off as to leave the Treasury
bankrupt and that the prices of articles entering into the living of the
people would be so enhanced as to disastrously affect their comfort and
happiness, while on the other it was argued that the loss to the revenue,
largely the result of placing sugar on the free list, would be a direct
gain to the people; that the prices of the necessaries of life, including
those most highly protected, would not be enhanced; that labor would have a
larger market and the products of the farm advanced prices, while the
Treasury surplus and receipts would be adequate to meet the appropriations,
including the large exceptional expenditures for the refunding to the
States of the direct tax and the redemption of the 4 1/2 per cent bonds.

It is not my purpose to enter at any length into a discussion of the
effects of the legislation to which I have referred; but a brief
examination of the statistics of the Treasury and a general glance at the
state of business throughout the country will, I think, satisfy any
impartial inquirer that its results have disappointed the evil prophecies
of its opponents and in a large measure realized the hopeful predictions of
its friends. Rarely, if ever before, in the history of the country has
there been a time when the proceeds of one day's labor or the product of
one farmed acre would purchase so large an amount of those things that
enter into the living of the masses of the people. I believe that a full
test will develop the fact that the tariff act of the Fifty-first Congress
is very favorable in its average effect upon the prices of articles
entering into common use.

During the twelve months from October 1, 1890, to September 30, 1891, the
total value of our foreign commerce (imports and exports combined) was
$1,747,806,406, which was the largest of any year in the history of the
United States. The largest in any previous year was in 1890, when our
commerce amounted to $1,647,139,093, and the last year exceeds this
enormous aggregate by over one hundred millions. It is interesting, and to
some will be surprising, to know that during the year ending September 30,
1891, our imports of merchandise amounted to $824,715,270, which was an
increase of more than $11,000,000 over the value of the imports of the
corresponding months of the preceding year, when the imports of merchandise
were unusually large in anticipation of the tariff legislation then
pending. The average annual value of the imports of merchandise for the ten
years from 1881 to 1890 was $692,186,522, and during the year ending
September 30, 1891, this annual average was exceeded by $132,528,469.

The value of free imports during the twelve months ending September 30,
1891, was $118,092,387 more than the value of free imports during the
corresponding twelve months of the preceding year, and there was during the
same period a decrease of $106,846,508 in the value of imports of dutiable
merchandise. The percentage of merchandise admitted free of duty during the
year to which I have referred, the first under the new tariff, was 48.18,
while during the preceding twelve months, under the old tariff, the
percentage was 34.27, an increase of 13.91 per cent. If we take the six
months ending September 30 last, which covers the time during which sugars
have been admitted free of duty, the per cent of value of merchandise
imported free of duty is found to be 55.37, which is a larger percentage of
free imports than during any prior fiscal year in the history of the

If we turn to exports of merchandise, the statistics are full of
gratification. The value of such exports of merchandise for the twelve
months ending September 30, 1891, was $923,091,136, while for the
corresponding previous twelve months it was $860,177,115, an increase of
$62,914,021, which is nearly three times the average annual increase of
exports of merchandise for the preceding twenty years. This exceeds in
amount and value the exports of merchandise during any year in the history
of the Government. The increase in the value of exports of agricultural
products during the year referred to over the corresponding twelve months
of the prior year was $45,846,197, while the increase in the value of
exports of manufactured products was $16,838,240.

There is certainly nothing in the condition of trade, foreign or domestic,
there is certainly nothing in the condition of our people of any class, to
suggest that the existing tariff and revenue legislation bears oppressively
upon the people or retards the commercial development of the nation. It may
be argued that our condition would be better if tariff legislation were
upon a free-trade basis; but it can not be denied that all the conditions
of prosperity and of general contentment are present in a larger degree
than ever before in our history, and that, too, just when it was prophesied
they would be in the worst state. Agitation for radical changes in tariff
and financial legislation can not help but may seriously impede business,
to the prosperity of which some degree of stability in legislation is

I think there are conclusive evidences that the new tariff has created
several great industries, which will within a few years give employment to
several hundred thousand American working men and women. In view of the
somewhat overcrowded condition of the labor market of the United States,
every patriotic citizen should rejoice at such a result.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury shows that the total receipts
of the Government from all sources for the fiscal year ending June 30,
1891, were $458,544,233.03, while the expenditures for the same period were
$421,304,470.46, leaving a surplus of $37,239,762.57.

The receipts of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, actual and estimated,
are $433,000,000 and the expenditures $409,000,000. For the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1893, the estimated receipts are $455,336,350 and the
expenditures $441,300,093.

Under the law of July 14, 1890, the Secretary of the Treasury has purchased
(since August 13) during the fiscal year 48,393,113 ounces of silver
bullion at an average cost of $1.045 per ounce. The highest price paid
during the year was $1.2025 and the lowest $0.9636. In exchange for this
silver bullion there have been issued $50,577,498 of the Treasury notes
authorized by the act. The lowest price of silver reached during the fiscal
year was $0.9636 on April 22, 1891; but on November 1 the market price was
only $0.96, which would give to the silver dollar a bullion value of 74 1/4

Before the influence of the prospective silver legislation was felt in the
market silver was worth in New York about $0.955 per ounce. The ablest
advocates of free coinage in the last Congress were most confident in their
predictions that the purchases by the Government required by the law would
at once bring the price of silver to $1.2929 per ounce, which would make
the bullion value of a dollar 100 cents and hold it there. The prophecies
of the antisilver men of disasters to result from the coinage of $2,000,000
per month were not wider of the mark. The friends of free silver are not
agreed, I think, as to the causes that brought their hopeful predictions to
naught. Some facts are known. The exports of silver from London to India
during the first nine months of this calendar year fell off over 50 per
cent, or $17,202,730, compared with the same months of the preceding year.
The exports of domestic silver bullion from this country, which had
averaged for the last ten years over $17,000,000, fell in the last fiscal
year to $13,797,391, while for the first time in recent years the imports
of silver into this country exceeded the exports by the sum of $2,745,365.
In the previous year the net exports of silver from the United States
amounted to $8,545,455. The production of the United States increased from
50,000,000 ounces in 1889 to 54,500,000 in 1890. The Government is now
buying and putting aside annually 54,000,000 ounces, which, allowing for
7,140,000 ounces of new bullion used in the arts, is 6,640,000 more than
our domestic products available for coinage.

I hope the depression in the price of silver is temporary and that a
further trial of this legislation will more favorably affect it. That the
increased volume of currency thus supplied for the use of the people was
needed and that beneficial results upon trade and prices have followed this
legislation I think must be very clear to everyone. Nor should it be
forgotten that for every dollar of these notes issued a full dollar's worth
of silver bullion is at the time deposited in the Treasury as a security
for its redemption. Upon this subject, as upon the tariff, my
recommendation is that the existing laws be given a full trial and that our
business interests be spared the distressing influence which threats of
radical changes always impart. Under existing legislation it is in the
power of the Treasury Department to maintain that essential condition of
national finance as well as of commercial prosperity--the parity in use of
the coined dollars and their paper representatives. The assurance that
these powers would be freely and unhesitatingly used has done much to
produce and sustain the present favorable business conditions.

I am still of the opinion that the free coinage of silver under existing
conditions would disastrously affect our business interests at home and
abroad. We could not hope to maintain an equality in the purchasing power
of the gold and silver dollar in our own markets, and in foreign trade the
stamp gives no added value to the bullion contained in coins. The producers
of the country, its farmers and laborers, have the highest interest that
every dollar, paper or coin, issued by the Government shall be as good as
any other. If there is one less valuable than another, its sure and
constant errand will be to pay them for their toil and for their crops. The
money lender will protect himself by stipulating for payment in gold, but
the laborer has never been able to do that. To place business upon a silver
basis would mean a sudden and severe contraction of the currency by the
withdrawal of gold and gold notes and such an unsettling of all values as
would produce a commercial panic. I can not believe that a people so strong
and prosperous as ours will promote such a policy.

The producers of silver are entitled to just consideration, but they should
not forget that the Government is now buying and putting out of the market
what is the equivalent of the entire product of our silver mines. This is
more than they themselves thought of asking two years ago. I believe it is
the earnest desire of a great majority of the people, as it is mine, that a
full coin use shall be made of silver just as soon as the cooperation of
other nations can be secured and a ratio fixed that will give circulation
equally to gold and silver. The business of the world requires the use of
both metals; but I do not see any prospect of gain, but much of loss, by
giving up the present system, in which a full use is made of gold and a
large use of silver, for one in which silver alone will circulate. Such an
event would be at once fatal to the further progress of the silver
movement. Bimetallism is the desired end, and the true friends of silver
will be careful not to overrun the goal and bring in silver monometallism
with its necessary attendants--the loss of our gold to Europe and the
relief of the pressure there for a larger currency. I have endeavored by
the use of official and unofficial agencies to keep a close observation of
the state of public sentiment in Europe upon this question and have not
found it to be such as to justify me in proposing an international
conference. There is, however, I am sure, a growing sentiment in Europe in
favor of a larger use of silver, and I know of no more effectual way of
promoting this sentiment than by accumulating gold here. A scarcity of gold
in the European reserves will be the most persuasive argument for the use
of silver.

The exports of gold to Europe, which began in February last and continued
until the close of July, aggregated over $70,000,000. The net loss of gold
during the fiscal year was nearly $68,000,000. That no serious monetary
disturbance resulted was most gratifying and gave to Europe fresh evidence
of the strength and stability of our financial institutions. With the
movement of crops the outflow of gold was speedily stopped and a return set
in. Up to December 1 we had recovered of our gold lost at the port of New
York $27,854,000, and it is confidently believed that during the winter and
spring this aggregate will be steadily and largely increased.

The presence of a large cash surplus in the Treasury has for many years
been the subject of much unfavorable criticism, and has furnished an
argument to those who have desired to place the tariff upon a purely
revenue basis. It was agreed by all that the withdrawal from circulation of
so large an amount of money was an embarrassment to the business of the
country and made necessary the intervention of the Department at frequent
intervals to relieve threatened monetary panics. The surplus on March 1,
1889, was $183,827,190.29. The policy of applying this surplus to the
redemption of the interest-bearing securities of the United States was
thought to be preferable to that of depositing it without interest in
selected national banks. There have been redeemed since the date last
mentioned of interest-bearing securities $259,079,350, resulting in a
reduction of the annual interest charge of $11,684,675. The money which had
been deposited in banks without interest has been gradually withdrawn and
used in the redemption of bonds.

The result of this policy, of the silver legislation, and of the refunding
of the 4 1/2 per cent bonds has been a large increase of the money in
circulation. At the date last named the circulation was $1,404,205,896, or
$23.03 per capita, while on the 1st day of December, 1891, it had increased
to $1,577,262,070, or $24.38 per capita. The offer of the Secretary of the
Treasury to the holders of the 4 1/2 per cent bonds to extend the time of
redemption, at the option of the Government, at an interest of 2 per cent,
was accepted by the holders of about one-half the amount, and the
unextended bonds are being redeemed on presentation.

The report of the Secretary of War exhibits the results of an intelligent,
progressive, and businesslike administration of a Department which has been
too much regarded as one of mere routine. The separation of Secretary
Proctor from the Department by reason of his appointment as a Senator from
the State of Vermont is a source of great regret to me and to his
colleagues in the Cabinet, as I am sure it will be to all those who have
had business with the Department while under his charge.

In the administration of army affairs some especially good work has been
accomplished. The efforts of the Secretary to reduce the percentage of
desertions by removing the causes that promoted it have been so successful
as to enable him to report for the last year a lower percentage of
desertion than has been before reached in the history of the Army. The
resulting money saving is considerable, but the improvement in the morale
of the enlisted men is the most valuable incident of the reforms which have
brought about this result.

The work of securing sites for shore batteries for harbor defense and the
manufacture of mortars and guns of high power to equip them have made good
progress during the year. The preliminary work of tests and plans which so
long delayed a start is now out of the way. Some guns have been completed,
and with an enlarged shop and a more complete equipment at Watervliet the
Army will soon be abreast of the Navy in gun construction. Whatever
unavoidable causes of delay may arise, there should be none from delayed or
insufficient appropriations. We shall be greatly embarrassed in the proper
distribution and use of naval vessels until adequate shore defenses are
provided for our harbors.

I concur in the recommendation of the Secretary that the three-battalion
organization be adopted for the infantry. The adoption of a smokeless
powder and of a modern rifle equal in range, precision, and rapidity of
fire to the best now in use will, I hope, not be longer delayed.

The project of enlisting Indians and organizing them into separate
companies upon the same basis as other soldiers was made the subject of
very careful study by the Secretary and received my approval. Seven
companies have been completely organized and seven more are in process of
organization. The results of six months' training have more than realized
the highest anticipations. The men are readily brought under discipline,
acquire the drill with facility, and show great pride in the right
discharge of their duty and perfect loyalty to their officers, who declare
that they would take them into action with confidence. The discipline,
order, and cleanliness of the military posts will have a wholesome and
elevating influence upon the men enlisted, and through them upon their
tribes, while a friendly feeling for the whites and a greater respect for
the Government will certainly be promoted.

The great work done in the Record and Pension Division of the War
Department by Major Ainsworth, of the Medical Corps, and the clerks under
him is entitled to honorable mention. Taking up the work with nearly 41,000
cases behind, he closed the last fiscal year without a single case left
over, though the new cases had increased 52 per cent in number over the
previous year by reason of the pension legislation of the last Congress.

I concur in the recommendation of the Attorney-General that the right in
felony cases to a review by the Supreme court be limited. It would seem
that personal liberty would have a safe guaranty if the right of review in
cases involving only fine and imprisonment were limited to the circuit
court of appeals, unless a constitutional question should in some way be

The judges of the Court of Private Land Claims, provided for by the act of
March 3, 1891, have been appointed and the court organized. It is now
possible to give early relief to communities long repressed in their
development by unsettled land titles and to establish the possession and
right of settlers whose lands have been rendered valueless by adverse and
unfounded claims.

The act of July 9, 1888, provided for the incorporation and management of a
reform school for girls in the District of Columbia; but it has remained
inoperative for the reason that no appropriation has been made for
construction or maintenance. The need of such an institution is very
urgent. Many girls could be saved from depraved lives by the wholesome
influences and restraints of such a school. I recommend that the necessary
appropriation be made for a site and for construction.

The enforcement by the Treasury Department of the law prohibiting the
coming of Chinese to the United States has been effective as to such as
seek to land from vessels entering our ports. The result has been to divert
the travel to vessels entering the ports of British Columbia, whence
passage into the United States at obscure points along the Dominion
boundary is easy. A very considerable number of Chinese laborers have
during the past year entered the United States from Canada and Mexico.

The officers of the Treasury Department and of the Department of Justice
have used every means at their command to intercept this immigration; but
the impossibility of perfectly guarding our extended frontier is apparent.
The Dominion government collects a head tax of $50 from every Chinaman
entering Canada, and thus derives a considerable revenue from those who
only use its ports to reach a position of advantage to evade our exclusion
laws. There seems to be satisfactory evidence that the business of passing
Chinamen through Canada to the United States is organized and quite active.
The Department of Justice has construed the laws to require the return of
any Chinaman found to be unlawfully in this country to China as the country
from which he came, notwithstanding the fact that he came by way of Canada;
but several of the district courts have in cases brought before them
overruled this view of the law and decided that such persons must be
returned to Canada. This construction robs the law of all effectiveness,
even if the decrees could be executed, for the men returned can the next
day recross our border. But the only appropriation made is for sending them
back to China, and the Canadian officials refuse to allow them to reenter
Canada without the payment of the fifty-dollar head tax. I recommend such
legislation as will remedy these defects in the law.

In previous messages I have called the attention of Congress to the
necessity of so extending the jurisdiction of the United States courts as
to make triable therein any felony committed while in the act of violating
a law of the United States. These courts can not have that independence and
effectiveness which the Constitution contemplates so long as the felonious
killing of court officers, jurors, and witnesses in the discharge of their
duties or by reason of their acts as such is only cognizable in the State
courts. The work done by the Attorney-General and the officers of his
Department, even under the present inadequate legislation, has produced
some notable results in the interest of law and order.

The Attorney-General and also the Commissioners of the District of Columbia
call attention to the defectiveness and inadequacy of the laws relating to
crimes against chastity in the District of Columbia. A stringent code upon
this subject has been provided by Congress for Utah, and it is a matter of
surprise that the needs of this District should have been so long

In the report of the Postmaster-General some very gratifying results are
exhibited and many betterments of the service suggested. A perusal of the
report gives abundant evidence that the supervision and direction of the
postal system have been characterized by an intelligent and conscientious
desire to improve the service. The revenues of the Department show an
increase of over $5,000,000, with a deficiency for the year 1892 of less
than $4,000,000, while the estimate for the year 1893 shows a surplus of
receipts over expenditures.

Ocean mail post-offices have been established upon the steamers of the
North German Lloyd and Hamburg lines, saving by the distribution on
shipboard from two to fourteen hours' time in the delivery of mail at the
port of entry and often much more than this in the delivery at interior
places. So thoroughly has this system, initiated by Germany and the United
States, evidenced its usefulness that it can not be long before it is
installed upon all the great ocean mail-carrying steamships.

Eight thousand miles of new postal service has been established upon
railroads, the car distribution to substations in the great cities has been
increased about 12 per cent, while the percentage of errors in distribution
has during the past year been reduced over one-half. An appropriation was
given by the last Congress for the purpose of making some experiments in
free delivery in the smaller cities and towns. The results of these
experiments have been so satisfactory that the Postmaster-General
recommends, and I concur in the recommendation, that the free-delivery
system be at once extended to towns of 5,000 population. His discussion of
the inadequate facilities extended under our present system to rural
communities and his suggestions with a view to give these communities a
fuller participation in the benefits of the postal service are worthy of
your careful consideration. It is not just that the farmer, who receives
his mail at a neighboring town, should not only be compelled to send to the
post-office for it, but to pay a considerable rent for a box in which to
place it or to wait his turn at a general-delivery window, while the city
resident has his mail brought to his door. It is stated that over 54,000
neighborhoods are under the present system receiving mail at post-offices
where money orders and postal notes are not issued. The extension of this
system to these communities is especially desirable, as the patrons of such
offices are not possessed of the other facilities offered in more populous
communities for the transmission of small sums of money.

I have in a message to the preceding Congress expressed my views as to a
modified use of the telegraph in connection with the postal service. In
pursuance of the ocean mail law of March 3, 1891, and after a most careful
study of the whole subject and frequent conferences with ship-owners,
boards of trade, and others, advertisements were issued by the
postmaster-General for 53 lines of ocean mail service--10 to Great Britain
and the Continent, 27 to South America, 3 to China and Japan, 4 to
Australia and the Pacific islands, 7 to the West Indies, and 2 to Mexico.
It was not, of course, expected that bids for all these lines would be
received or that service upon them all would be contracted for. It was
intended, in furtherance of the act, to secure as many new lines as
possible, while including in the list most or all of the foreign lines now
occupied by American ships. It was hoped that a line to England and perhaps
one to the Continent would be secured; but the outlay required to equip
such lines wholly with new ships of the first class and the difficulty of
establishing new lines in competition with those already established
deterred bidders whose interest had been enlisted. It is hoped that a way
may yet be found of overcoming these difficulties.

The Brazil Steamship Company, by reason of a miscalculation as to the speed
of its vessels, was not able to bid under the terms of the advertisement.
The policy of the Department was to secure from the established lines an
improved service as a condition of giving to them the benefits of the law.
This in all instances has been attained. The Postmaster-General estimates
that an expenditure in American shipyards of about $10,000,000 will be
necessary to enable the bidders to construct the ships called for by the
service which they have accepted. I do not think there is any reason for
discouragement or for any turning back from the policy of this legislation.
Indeed, a good beginning has been made, and as the subject is further
considered and understood by capitalists and shipping people new lines will
be ready to meet future proposals, and we may date from the passage of this
law the revival of American shipping interests and the recovery of a fair
share of the carrying trade of the world. We were receiving for foreign
postage nearly $2,000,000 under the old system, and the outlay for ocean
mail service did not exceed $600,000 per annum. It is estimated by the
Postmaster-General that if all the contracts proposed are completed it will
require $247,354 for this year in addition to the appropriation for sea and
inland postage already in the estimates, and that for the next fiscal year,
ending June 30, 1893, there would probably be needed about $560,000.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy shows a gratifying increase of new
naval vessels in commission. The Newark, Concord, Bennington, and
Miantonomoh have been added during the year, with an aggregate of something
more than 11,000 tons. Twenty-four warships of all classes are now under
construction in the navy-yards and private shops; but while the work upon
them is going forward satisfactorily, the completion of the more important
vessels will yet require about a year's time. Some of the vessels now
under construction, it is believed, will be triumphs of naval engineering.
When it is recollected that the work of building a modern navy was only
initiated in the year 1883, that our naval constructors and shipbuilders
were practically without experience in the construction of large iron or
steel ships, that our engine shops were unfamiliar with great marine
engines, and that the manufacture of steel forgings for guns and plates was
almost wholly a foreign industry, the progress that has been made is not
only highly satisfactory, but furnishes the assurance that the United
States will before long attain in the construction of such vessels, with
their engines and armaments, the same preeminence which it attained when
the best instrument of ocean commerce was the clipper ship and the most
impressive exhibit of naval power the old wooden three-decker man-of-war.
The officers of the Navy and the proprietors and engineers of our great
private shops have responded with wonderful intelligence and professional
zeal to the confidence expressed by Congress in its liberal legislation. We
have now at Washington a gun shop, organized and conducted by naval
officers, that in its system, economy, and product is unexcelled.
Experiments with armor plate have been conducted during the year with most
important results. It is now believed that a plate of higher resisting
power than any in use has been found and that the tests have demonstrated
that cheaper methods of manufacture than those heretofore thought necessary
can be used.

I commend to your favorable consideration the recommendations of the
Secretary, who has, I am sure, given to them the most conscientious study.
There should be no hesitation in promptly completing a navy of the best
modern type large enough to enable this country to display its flag in all
seas for the protection of its citizens and of its extending commerce. The
world needs no assurance of the peaceful purposes of the United States, but
we shall probably be in the future more largely a competitor in the
commerce of the world, and it is essential to the dignity of this nation
and to that peaceful influence which it should exercise on this hemisphere
that its Navy should be adequate both upon the shores of the Atlantic and
of the Pacific.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior shows that a very gratifying
progress has been made in all of the bureaus which make up that complex and
difficult Department.

The work in the Bureau of Indian Affairs was perhaps never so large as now,
by reason of the numerous negotiations which have been proceeding with the
tribes for a reduction of the reservations, with the incident labor of
making allotments, and was never more carefully conducted. The provision of
adequate school facilities for Indian children and the locating of adult
Indians upon farms involve the solution of the "Indian question."
Everything else--rations, annuities, and tribal negotiations, with the
agents, inspectors, and commissioners who distribute and conduct them--must
pass away when the Indian has become a citizen, secure in the individual
ownership of a farm from which he derives his subsistence by his own labor,
protected by and subordinate to the laws which govern the white man, and
provided by the General Government or by the local communities in which he
lives with the means of educating his children. When an Indian becomes a
citizen in an organized State or Territory, his relation to the General
Government ceases in great measure to be that of a ward; but the General
Government ought not at once to put upon the State or Territory the burden
of the education of his children.

It has been my thought that the Government schools and school buildings
upon the reservations would be absorbed by the school systems of the States
and Territories; but as it has been found necessary to protect the Indian
against the compulsory alienation of his land by exempting him from
taxation for a period of twenty-five years, it would seem to be right that
the General Government, certainly where there are tribal funds in its
possession, should pay to the school fund of the State what would be
equivalent to the local school tax upon the property of the Indian. It will
be noticed from the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs that
already some contracts have been made with district schools for the
education of Indian children. There is great advantage, I think, in
bringing the Indian children into mixed schools. This process will be
gradual, and in the meantime the present educational provisions and
arrangements, the result of the best experience of those who have been
charged with this work, should be continued. This will enable those
religious bodies that have undertaken the work of Indian education with so
much zeal and with results so restraining and beneficent to place their
institutions in new and useful relations to the Indian and to his white

The outbreak among the Sioux which occurred in December last is as to its
causes and incidents fully reported upon by the War Department and the
Department of the Interior. That these Indians had some just complaints,
especially in the matter of the reduction of the appropriation for rations
and in the delays attending the enactment of laws to enable the Department
to perform the engagements entered into with them, is probably true; but
the Sioux tribes are naturally warlike and turbulent, and their warriors
were excited by their medicine men and chiefs, who preached the coming of
an Indian messiah who was to give them power to destroy their enemies. In
view of the alarm that prevailed among the white settlers near the
reservation and of the fatal consequences that would have resulted from an
Indian incursion, I placed at the disposal of General Miles, commanding the
Division of the Missouri, all such forces as were thought by him to be
required. He is entitled to the credit of having given thorough protection
to the settlers and of bringing the hostiles into subjection with the least
possible loss of life.

The appropriation of $2,991,450 for the Choctaws and Chickasaws contained
in the general Indian appropriation bill of March 3, 1891, has not been
expended, for the reason that I have not yet approved a release (to the
Government) of the Indian claim to the lands mentioned. This matter will be
made the subject of a special message, placing before Congress all the
facts which have come to my knowledge.

The relation of the Five Civilized Tribes now occupying the Indian
Territory to the United States is not, I believe, that best calculated to
promote the highest advancement of these Indians. That there should be
within our borders five independent states having no relations, except
those growing out of treaties, with the Government of the United States, no
representation in the National Legislature, its people not citizens, is a
startling anomaly.

It seems to me to be inevitable that there shall be before long some
organic changes in the relation of these people to the United States. What
form these changes should take I do not think it desirable now to suggest,
even if they were well defined in my own mind. They should certainly
involve the acceptance of citizenship by the Indians and a representation
in Congress. These Indians should have opportunity to present their claims
and grievances upon the floor rather than, as now, in the lobby. If a
commission could be appointed to visit these tribes to confer with them in
a friendly spirit upon this whole subject, even if no agreement were
presently reached the feeling of the tribes upon this question would be
developed, and discussion would prepare the way for changes which must come
sooner or later.

The good work of reducing the larger Indian reservations by allotments in
severalty to the Indians and the cession of the remaining lands to the
United States for disposition under the homestead law has been prosecuted
during the year with energy and success. In September last I was enabled to
open to settlement in the Territory of Oklahoma 900,000 acres of land, all
of which was taken up by settlers in a single day. The rush for these lands
was accompanied by a great deal of excitement, but was happily free from
incidents of violence.

It was a source of great regret that I was not able to open at the same
time the surplus lands of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation, amounting
to about 3,000,000 acres, by reason of the insufficiency of the
appropriation for making the allotments. Deserving and impatient settlers
are waiting to occupy these lands, and I urgently recommend that a special
deficiency appropriation be promptly made of the small amount needed, so
that the allotments may be completed and the surplus lands opened in time
to permit the settlers to get upon their homesteads in the early spring.

During the past summer the Cherokee Commission have completed arrangements
with the Wichita, Kickapoo, and Tonkawa tribes whereby, if the agreements
are ratified by Congress, over 800,000 additional acres will be opened to
settlement in Oklahoma.

The negotiations for the release by the Cherokees of their claim to the
Cherokee Strip have made no substantial progress so far as the Department
is officially advised, but it is still hoped that the cession of this large
and valuable tract may be secured. The price which the commission was
authorized to offer--$1.25 per acre--is, in my judgment, when all the
circumstances as to title and the character of the lands are considered, a
fair and adequate one, and should have been accepted by the Indians.

Since March 4, 1889, about 23,000,000 acres have been separated from Indian
reservations and added to the public domain for the use of those who
desired to secure free homes under our beneficent laws. It is difficult to
estimate the increase of wealth which will result from the conversion of
these waste lands into farms, but it is more difficult to estimate the
betterment which will result to the families that have found renewed hope
and courage in the ownership of a home and the assurance of a comfortable
subsistence under free and healthful conditions. It is also gratifying to
be able to feel, as we may, that this work has proceeded upon lines of
justice toward the Indian, and that he may now, if he will, secure to
himself the good influences of a settled habitation, the fruits of
industry, and the security of citizenship.

Early in this Administration a special effort was begun to bring up the
work of the General Land Office. By faithful work the arrearages have been
rapidly reduced. At the end of the last fiscal year only 84,172 final
agricultural entries remained undisposed of, and the Commissioner reports
that with the present force the work can be fully brought up by the end of
the next fiscal year.

Your attention is called to the difficulty presented by the Secretary of
the Interior as to the administration of the law of March 3, 1891,
establishing a Court of Private Land Claims. The small holdings intended to
be protected by the law are estimated to be more than 15,000 in number. The
claimants are a most deserving class and their titles are supported by the
strongest equities. The difficulty grows out of the fact that the lands
have largely been surveyed according to our methods, while the holdings,
many of which have been in the same family for generations, are laid out in
narrow strips a few rods wide upon a stream and running back to the hills
for pasturage and timber.. Provision should be made for numbering these
tracts as lots and for patenting them by such numbers and without reference
to section lines.

The administration of the Pension Bureau has been characterized during the
year by great diligence. The total number of pensioners upon the roll on
the 30th day of June, 1891, was 676,160. There were allowed during the
fiscal year ending at that time 250,565 cases. Of this number 102,387 were
allowed under the law of June 27, 1890. The issuing of certificates has
been proceeding at the rate of about 30,000 per month, about 75 per cent of
these being cases under the new law. The Commissioner expresses the opinion
that he will be able to carefully adjudicate and allow 350,000 claims
during the present fiscal year. The appropriation for the payment of
pensions for the fiscal year 1890-91 was $127,685,793.89 and the amount
expended $118,530,649.25, leaving an unexpended surplus of $9,155,144.64.

The Commissioner is quite confident that there will be no call this year
for a deficiency appropriation, notwithstanding the rapidity with which the
work is being pushed. The mistake which has been made by many in their
exaggerated estimates of the cost of pensions is in not taking account of
the diminished value of first payments under the recent legislation. These
payments under the general law have been for many years very large, as the
pensions when allowed dated from the time of filing the claim, and most of
these claims had been pending for years. The first payments under the law
of June, 1890, are relatively small, and as the per cent of these cases
increases and that of the old cases diminishes the annual aggregate of
first payments is largely reduced. The Commissioner, under date of November
13, furnishes me with the statement that during the last four months
113,175 certificates were issued, 27,893 under the general law and 85,282
under the act of June 27, 1890. The average first payment during these four
months was $131.85, while the average first payment upon cases allowed
during the year ending June 30, 1891, was $239.33, being a reduction in the
average first payments during these four months of $107.48.

The estimate for pension expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30,
1893, is $144,956,000, which, after a careful examination of the subject,
the Commissioner is of the opinion will be sufficient. While these
disbursements to the disabled soldiers of the great Civil War are large,
they do not realize the exaggerated estimates of those who oppose this
beneficent legislation. The Secretary of the Interior shows with great
fullness the care that is taken to exclude fraudulent claims, and also the
gratifying fact that the persons to whom these pensions are going are men
who rendered not slight but substantial war service.

The report of the Commissioner of Railroads shows that the total debt of
the subsidized railroads to the United States was on December 31, 1890,
$112,512,613.06. A large part of this debt is now fast approaching
maturity, with no adequate provision for its payment. Some policy for
dealing with this debt with a view to its ultimate collection should be at
once adopted. It is very difficult, well-nigh impossible, for so large a
body as the Congress to conduct the necessary negotiations and
investigations. I therefore recommend that provision be made for the
appointment of a commission to agree upon and report a plan for dealing
with this debt.

The work of the Census Bureau is now far in advance and the great bulk of
the enormous labor involved completed. It will be more strictly a
statistical exhibit and less encumbered by essays than its immediate
predecessors. The methods pursued have been fair, careful, and intelligent,
and have secured the approval of the statisticians who have followed them
with a scientific and nonpartisan interest. The appropriations necessary to
the early completion and publication of the authorized volumes should be
given in time to secure against delays, which increase the cost and at the
same time diminish the value of the work.

The report of the Secretary exhibits with interesting fullness the
condition of the Territories. They have shared with the States the great
increase in farm products, and are bringing yearly large areas into
cultivation by extending their irrigating canals. This work is being done
by individuals or local corporations and without that system which a full
preliminary survey of the water supply and of the irrigable lands would
enable them to adopt. The future of the Territories of New Mexico, Arizona,
and Utah in their material growth and in the increase, independence, and
happiness of their people is very largely dependent upon wise and timely
legislation, either by Congress or their own legislatures, regulating the
distribution of the water supply furnished by their streams. If this matter
is much longer neglected, private corporations will have unrestricted
control of one of the elements of life and the patentees of the arid lands
will be tenants at will of the water companies.

The United States should part with its ownership of the water sources and
the sites for reservoirs, whether to the States and Territories or to
individuals or corporations, only upon conditions that will insure to the
settlers their proper water supply upon equal and reasonable terms. In the
Territories this whole subject is under the full control of Congress, and
in the States it is practically so as long as the Government holds the
title to the reservoir sites and water sources and can grant them upon such
conditions as it chooses to impose. The improvident granting of franchises
of enormous value without recompense to the State or municipality from
which they proceed and without proper protection of the public interests is
the most noticeable and flagrant evil of modern legislation. This fault
should not be committed in dealing with a subject that will before many
years affect so vitally thousands of our people.

The legislation of Congress for the repression of polygamy has, after years
of resistance on the part of the Mormons, at last brought them to the
conclusion that resistance is unprofitable and unavailing. The power of
Congress over this subject should not be surrendered until we have
satisfactory evidence that the people of the State to be created would
exercise the exclusive power of the State over this subject in the same
way. The question is not whether these people now obey the laws of Congress
against polygamy, but rather would they make, enforce, and maintain such
laws themselves if absolutely free to regulate the subject? We can not
afford to experiment with this subject, for when a State is once
constituted the act is final and any mistake irretrievable. No compact in
the enabling act could, in my opinion, be binding or effective.

I recommend that provision be made for the organization of a simple form of
town government in Alaska, with power to regulate such matters as are
usually in the States under municipal control. These local civil
organizations will give better protection in some matters than the present
skeleton Territorial organization. Proper restrictions as to the power to
levy taxes and to create debt should be imposed.

If the establishment of the Department of Agriculture was regarded by
anyone as a mere concession to the unenlightened demand of a worthy class
of people, that impression has been most effectually removed by the great
results already attained. Its home influence has been very great in
disseminating agricultural and horticultural information, in stimulating
and directing a further diversification of crops, in detecting and
eradicating diseases of domestic animals, and, more than all, in the close
and informal contact which it has established and maintains with the
farmers and stock raisers of the whole country. Every request for
information has had prompt attention and every suggestion merited
consideration. The scientific corps of the Department is of a high order
and is pushing its investigations with method and enthusiasm.

The inspection by this Department of cattle and pork products intended for
shipment abroad has been the basis of the success which has attended our
efforts to secure the removal of the restrictions maintained by the
European Governments.

For ten years protests and petitions upon this subject from the packers and
stock raisers of the United States have been directed against these
restrictions, which so seriously limited our markets and curtailed the
profits of the farm. It is a source of general congratulation that success
has at last been attained, for the effects of an enlarged foreign market
for these meats will be felt not only by the farmer, but in our public
finances and in every branch of trade. It is particularly fortunate that
the increased demand for food products resulting from the removal of the
restrictions upon our meats and from the reciprocal trade arrangements to
which I have referred should have come at a time when the agricultural
surplus is so large. Without the help thus derived lower prices would have
prevailed. The Secretary of Agriculture estimates that the restrictions
upon the importation of our pork products into Europe lost us a market for
$20,000,000 worth of these products annually.

The grain crop of this year was the largest in our history--50 per cent
greater than that of last year--and yet the new markets that have been
opened and the larger demand resulting from short crops in Europe have
sustained prices to such an extent that the enormous surplus of meats and
breadstuffs will be marketed at good prices, bringing relief and prosperity
to an industry that was much depressed. The value of the grain crop of the
United States is estimated by the Secretary to be this year $500,000,000
more than last; of meats $150,000,000 more, and of all products of the farm
$700,000,000 more. It is not inappropriate, I think, here to suggest that
our satisfaction in the contemplation of this marvelous addition to the
national wealth is unclouded by any suspicion of the currency by which it
is measured and in which the farmer is paid for the products of his

The report of the Civil Service Commission should receive the careful
attention of the opponents as well as the friends of this reform. The
Commission invites a personal inspection by Senators and Representatives of
its records and methods, and every fair critic will feel that such an
examination should precede a judgment of condemnation either of the system
or its administration. It is not claimed that either is perfect, but I
believe that the law is being executed with impartiality and that the
system is incomparably better and fairer than that of appointments upon
favor. I have during the year extended the classified service to include
superintendents, teachers, matrons, and physicians in the Indian service.
This branch of the service is largely related to educational and
philanthropic work and will obviously be the better for the change.

The heads of the several Executive Departments have been directed to
establish at once an efficiency record as the basis of a comparative rating
of the clerks within the classified service, with a view to placing
promotions therein upon the basis of merit. I am confident that such a
record, fairly kept and open to the inspection of those interested, will
powerfully stimulate the work of the Departments and will be accepted by
all as placing the troublesome matter of promotions upon a just basis.

I recommend that the appropriation for the Civil Service Commission be made
adequate to the increased work of the next fiscal year.

I have twice before urgently called the attention of Congress to the
necessity of legislation for the protection of the lives of railroad
employees, but nothing has yet been done. During the year ending June 30,
1890, 369 brakemen were killed and 7,841 maimed while engaged in coupling
cars. The total number of railroad employees killed during the year was
2,451 and the number injured 22,390. This is a cruel and largely needless
sacrifice. The Government is spending nearly $1,000,000 annually to save
the lives of shipwrecked seamen; every steam vessel is rigidly inspected
and required to adopt the most approved safety appliances. All this is
good. But how shall we excuse the lack of interest and effort in behalf of
this army of brave young men who in our land commerce are being sacrificed
every year by the continued use of antiquated and dangerous appliances? A
law requiring of every railroad engaged in interstate commerce the
equipment each year of a given per cent of its freight cars with automatic
couplers and air brakes would compel an agreement between the roads as to
the kind of brakes and couplers to be used, and would very soon and very
greatly reduce the present fearful death rate among railroad employees.

The method of appointment by the States of electors of President and
Vice-President has recently attracted renewed interest by reason of a
departure by the State of Michigan from the method which had become uniform
in all the States. Prior to 1832 various methods had been used by the
different States, and even by the same State. In some the choice was made
by the legislature; in others electors were chosen by districts, but more
generally by the voters of the whole State upon a general ticket. The
movement toward the adoption of the last-named method had an early
beginning and went steadily forward among the States until in 1832 there
remained but a single State (South Carolina) that had not adopted it. That
State until the Civil War continued to choose its electors by a vote of the
legislature, but after the war changed its method and conformed to the
practice of the other States. For nearly sixty years all the States save
one have appointed their electors by a popular vote upon a general ticket,
and for nearly thirty years this method was universal.

After a full test of other methods, without important division or dissent
in any State and without any purpose of party advantage, as we must
believe, but solely upon the considerations that uniformity was desirable
and that a general election in territorial divisions not subject to change
was most consistent with the popular character of our institutions, best
preserved the equality of the voters, and perfectly removed the choice of
President from the baneful influence of the "gerrymander," the practice of
all the States was brought into harmony. That this concurrence should now
be broken is, I think, an unfortunate and even a threatening episode, and
one that may well suggest whether the States that still give their approval
to the old and prevailing method ought not to secure by a constitutional
amendment a practice which has had the approval of all. The recent Michigan
legislation provides for choosing what are popularly known as the
Congressional electors for President by Congressional districts and the two
Senatorial electors by districts created for that purpose. This legislation
was, of course, accompanied by a new Congressional apportionment, and the
two statutes bring the electoral vote of the State under the influence of
the "gerrymander."

These gerrymanders for Congressional purposes are in most cases buttressed
by a gerrymander of the legislative districts, thus making it impossible
for a majority of the legal voters of the State to correct the
apportionment and equalize the Congressional districts. A minority rule is
established that only a political convulsion can overthrow. I have recently
been advised that in one county of a certain State three districts for the
election of members of the legislature are constituted as follows: One has
65,000 population, one 15,000, and one 10,000, while in another county
detached, noncontiguous sections have been united to make a legislative
district. These methods have already found effective application to the
choice of Senators and Representatives in Congress, and now an evil start
has been made in the direction of applying them to the choice by the States
of electors of President and Vice-President. If this is accomplished, we
shall then have the three great departments of the Government in the grasp
of the "gerrymander," the legislative and executive directly and the
judiciary indirectly through the power of appointment.

An election implies a body of electors having prescribed qualifications,
each one of whom has an equal value and influence in determining the
result. So when the Constitution provides that "each State shall appoint"
(elect), "in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of
electors," etc., an unrestricted power was not given to the legislatures in
the selection of the methods to be used. "A republican form of government"
is guaranteed by the Constitution to each State, and the power given by the
same instrument to the legislatures of the States to prescribe methods for
the choice by the State of electors must be exercised under that
limitation. The essential features of such a government are the right of
the people to choose their own officers and the nearest practicable
equality of value in the suffrages given in determining that choice.

It will not be claimed that the power given to the legislature would
support a law providing that the persons receiving the smallest vote should
be the electors or a law that all the electors should be chosen by the
voters of a single Congressional district. The State is to choose, and
finder the pretense of regulating methods the legislature can neither vest
the right of choice elsewhere nor adopt methods not conformable to
republican institutions. It is not my purpose here to discuss the question
whether a choice by the legislature or by the voters of equal single
districts is a choice by the State, but only to recommend such regulation
of this matter by constitutional amendment as will secure uniformity and
prevent that disgraceful partisan jugglery to which such a liberty of
choice, if it exists, offers a temptation.

Nothing just now is more important than to provide every guaranty for the
absolutely fair and free choice by an equal suffrage within the respective
States of all the officers of the National Government, whether that
suffrage is applied directly, as in the choice of members of the House of
Representatives, or indirectly, as in the choice of Senators and electors
of President. Respect for public officers and obedience to law will not
cease to be the characteristics of our people until our elections cease to
declare the will of majorities fairly ascertained without fraud,
suppression, or gerrymander. If I were called upon to declare wherein our
chief national danger lies, I should say without hesitation in the
overthrow of majority control by the suppression or perversion of the
popular suffrage. That there is a real danger here all must agree; but the
energies of those who see it have been chiefly expended in trying to fix
responsibility upon the opposite party rather than in efforts to make such
practices impossible by either party.

Is it not possible now to adjourn that interminable and inconclusive debate
while we take by consent one step in the direction of reform by eliminating
the gerrymander, which has been denounced by all parties as an influence in
the selection of electors of President and members of Congress? All the
States have, acting freely and separately, determined that the choice of
electors by a general ticket is the wisest and safest method, and it would
seem there could be no objection to a constitutional amendment making that
method permanent. If a legislature chosen in one year upon purely local
questions should, pending a Presidential contest, meet, rescind the law for
a choice upon a general ticket, and provide for the choice of electors by
the legislature, and this trick should determine the result, it is not too
much to say that the public peace might be seriously and widely

I have alluded to the "gerrymander" as affecting the method of selecting
electors of President by Congressional districts, but the primary intent
and effect of this form of political robbery have relation to the selection
of members of the House of Representatives. The power of Congress is ample
to deal with this threatening and intolerable abuse. The unfailing test of
sincerity in election reform will be found in a willingness to confer as to
remedies and to put into force such measures as will most effectually
preserve the right of the people to free and equal representation.

An attempt was made in the last Congress to bring to bear the
constitutional powers of the General Government for the correction of fraud
against the suffrage. It is important to know whether the opposition to
such measures is really rested in particular features supposed to be
objectionable or includes any proposition to give to the election laws of
the United States adequacy to the correction of grave and acknowledged
evils. I must yet entertain the hope that it is possible to secure a calm,
patriotic consideration of such constitutional or statutory changes as may
be necessary to secure the choice of the officers of the Government to the
people by fair apportionments and free elections.

I believe it would be possible to constitute a commission, nonpartisan in
its membership and composed of patriotic, wise, and impartial men, to whom
a consideration of the question of the evils connected with our election
system and methods might be committed with a good prospect of securing
unanimity in some plan for removing or mitigating those evils. The
Constitution would permit the selection of the commission to be vested in
the Supreme Court if that method would give the best guaranty of
impartiality. This commission should be charged with the duty of inquiring
into the whole subject of the law of elections as related to the choice of
officers of the National Government, with a view to securing to every
elector a free and unmolested exercise of the suffrage and as near an
approach to an equality of value in each ballot cast as is attainable.

While the policies of the General Government upon the tariff, upon the
restoration of our merchant marine, upon river and harbor improvements, and
other such matters of grave and general concern are liable to be turned
this way or that by the results of Congressional elections and
administrative policies, sometimes involving issues that tend to peace or
war, to be turned this way or that by the results of a Presidential
election, there is a rightful interest in all the States and in every
Congressional district that will not be deceived or silenced by the
audacious pretense that the question of the right of any body of legal
voters in any State or in any Congressional district to give their
suffrages freely upon these general questions is a matter only of local
concern or control. The demand that the limitations of suffrage shall be
found in the law, and only there, is a just demand, and no just man should
resent or resist it. My appeal is and must continue to be for a
consultation that shall "proceed with candor, calmness, and patience upon
the lines of justice and humanity, not of prejudice and cruelty."

To the consideration of these very grave questions I invite not only the
attention of Congress, but that of all patriotic citizens. We must not
entertain the delusion that our people have ceased to regard a free ballot
and equal representation as the price of their allegiance to laws and to
civil magistrates.

I have been greatly rejoiced to notice many evidences of the increased
unification of our people and of a revived national spirit. The vista that
now opens to us is wider and more glorious than ever before. Gratification
and amazement struggle for supremacy as we contemplate the population,
wealth, and moral strength of our country. A trust momentous in its
influence upon our people and upon the world is for a brief time committed
to us, and we must not be faithless to its first condition--the defense of
the free and equal influence of the people in the choice of public officers
and in the control of public affairs.



State of the Union Address
Benjamin Harrison
December 6, 1892

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

In submitting my annual message to Congress I have great satisfaction in
being able to say that the general conditions affecting the commercial and
industrial interests of the United States are in the highest degree
favorable. A comparison of the existing conditions with those of the most
favored period in the history of the country will, I believe, show that so
high a degree of prosperity and so general a diffusion of the comforts of
life were never before enjoyed by our people.

The total wealth of the country in 1860 was $16,159,616,068. In 1890 it
amounted to $62,610,000,000, an increase of 287 per cent.

The total mileage of railways in the United States in 1860 was 30,626. In
1890 it was 167,741, an increase of 448 per cent; and it is estimated that
there will be about 4,000 miles of track added by the close of the year

The official returns of the Eleventh Census and those of the Tenth Census
for seventy-five leading cities furnish the basis for the following

In 1880 the capital invested in manufacturing was $1,232,839,670.

In 1890 the capital invested in manufacturing was $2,900,735,884.

In 1880 the number of employees was 1,301,388.

In 1890 the number of employees was 2,251,134.

In 1880 the wages earned were $501,965,778.

In 1890 the wages earned were $1,221,170,454.

In 1880 the value of the product was $2,711,579,899.

In 1890 the value of the product was $4,860,286,837.

I am informed by the Superintendent of the Census that the omission of
certain industries in 1880 which were included in 1890 accounts in part for
the remarkable increase thus shown, but after making full allowance for
differences of method and deducting the returns for all industries not
included in the census of 1880 there remain in the reports from these
seventy-five cities an increase in the capital employed of $1,522,745,604,
in the value of the product of $2,024,236,166, in wages earned of
$677,943,929, and in the number of wage earners employed of 856,029. The
wage earnings not only show an increased aggregate, but an increase per
capita from $386 in 1880 to $547 in 1890, or 41.71 per cent.

The new industrial plants established since October 6, 1890, and up to
October 22, 1892, as partially reported in the American Economist, number
345, and the extension of existing plants 108; the new capital invested
amounts to $40,449,050, and the number of additional employees to 37,285.

The Textile World for July, 1892, states that during the first six months
of the present calendar year 135 new factories were built, of which 40 are
cotton mills, 48 knitting mills, 26 woolen mills, 15 silk mills, 4 plush
mills, and 2 linen mills. Of the 40 cotton mills 21 have been built in the
Southern States. Mr. A. B. Shepperson, of the New York Cotton Exchange,
estimates the number of working spindles in the United States on September
1, 1892, at 15,200,000, an increase of 660,000 over the year 1891. The
consumption of cotton by American mills in 1891 was 2,396,000 bales, and in
1892 2,584,000 bales, an increase of 188,000 bales. From the year 1869 to
1892, inclusive, there has been an increase in the consumption of cotton in
Europe of 92 per cent, while during the same period the increased
consumption in the United States has been about 150 per cent.

The report of Ira Ayer, special agent of the Treasury Department, shows
that at the date of September 30, 1892, there were 32 companies
manufacturing tin and terne plate in the United States and 14 companies
building new works for such manufacture. The estimated investment in
buildings and plants at the close of the fiscal year June 30, 1893, if
existing conditions were to be continued, was $5,000,000 and the estimated
rate of production 200,000,000 pounds per annum. The actual production for
the quarter ending September 30, 1892, was 10,952,725 pounds.

The report of Labor Commissioner Peck, of New York, shows that during the
year 1891, in about 6,000 manufacturing establishments in that State
embraced within the special inquiry made by him, and representing 67
different industries, there was a net increase over the year 1890 of
$30,315,130.68 in the value of the product and of $6,377,925.09 in the
amount of wages paid. The report of the commissioner of labor for the State
of Massachusetts shows that 3,745 industries in that State paid
$129,416,248 in wages during the year 1891, against $126,030,303 in 1890,
an increase of $3,335,945, and that there was an increase of $9,932,490 in
the amount of capital and of 7,346 in the number of persons employed in the
same period.

During the last six months of the year 1891 and the first six months of
1892 the total production of pig iron was 9,710,819 tons, as against
9,202,703 tons in the year 1890, which was the largest annual production
ever attained. For the same twelve months of 1891-92 the production of
Bessemer ingots was 3,878,581 tons, an increase of 189,710 gross tons over
the previously unprecedented yearly production of 3,688,871 gross tons in
1890. The production of Bessemer steel rails for the first six months of
1892 was 772,436 gross tons, as against 702,080 gross tons during the last
six months of the year 1891.

The total value of our foreign trade (exports and imports of merchandise)
during the last fiscal year was $1,857,680,610, an increase of $128,283,604
over the previous fiscal year. The average annual value of our imports and
exports of merchandise for the ten fiscal years prior to 1891 was
$1,457,322,019. It will be observed that our foreign trade for 1892
exceeded this annual average value by $400,358,591, an increase of 27.47
per cent. The significance and value of this increase are shown by the fact
that the excess in the trade of 1892 over 1891 was wholly in the value of
exports, for there was a decrease in the value of imports of $17,513,754.

The value of our exports during the fiscal year 1892 reached the highest
figure in the history of the Government, amounting to $1,030,278,148,
exceeding by $145,797,338 the exports of 1891 and exceeding the value of
the imports by $202,875,686. A comparison of the value of our exports for
1892 with the annual average for the ten years prior to 1891 shows an
excess of $265,142,651, or of 34.65 per cent. The value of our imports of
merchandise for 1892, which was $829,402,462, also exceeded the annual
average value of the ten years prior to 1891 by $135,215,940. During the
fiscal year 1892 the value of imports free of duty amounted to
$457,999,658, the largest aggregate in the history of our commerce. The
value of the imports of merchandise entered free of duty in 1892 was 55.35
per cent of the total value of imports, as compared with 43.35 per cent in
1891 and 33.66 per cent in 1890.

In our coastwise trade a most encouraging development is in progress, there
having been in the last four years an increase of 16 per cent. In internal
commerce the statistics show that no such period of prosperity has ever
before existed. The freight carried in the coastwise trade of the Great
Lakes in 1890 aggregated 28,295,959 tons. On the Mississippi, Missouri, and
Ohio rivers and tributaries in the same year the traffic aggregated
29,405,046 tons, and the total vessel tonnage passing through the Detroit
River during that year was 21,684,000 tons. The vessel tonnage entered and
cleared in the foreign trade of London during 1890 amounted to 13,480,767
tons, and of Liverpool 10,941,800 tons, a total for these two great
shipping ports of 24,422,568 tons, only slightly in excess of the vessel
tonnage passing through the Detroit River. And it should be said that the
season for the Detroit River was but 228 days, while of course in London
and Liverpool the season was for the entire year. The vessel tonnage
passing through the St. Marys Canal for the fiscal year 1892 amounted to
9,828,874 tons, and the freight tonnage of the Detroit River is estimated
for that year at 25,000,000 tons, against 23,209,619 tons in 1891. The
aggregate traffic on our railroads for the year 1891 amounted to
704,398,609 tons of freight, compared with 691,344,437 tons in 1890, an
increase of 13,054,172 tons.

Another indication of the general prosperity of the country is found in the
fact that the number of depositors in savings banks increased from 693,870
in 1860 to 4,258,893 in 1890, an increase of 513 per cent, and the amount
of deposits from $149,277,504 in 1860 to $1,524,844,506 in 1890, an
increase of 921 per cent. In 1891 the amount of deposits in savings banks
was $1,623,079,749. It is estimated that 90 per cent of these deposits
represent the savings of wage earners. The bank clearances for nine months
ending September 30, 1891, amounted to $41,049,390,08. For the same months
in 1892 they amounted to $45,189,601,947, an excess for the nine months of

There never has been a time in our history when work was so abundant or
when wages were as high, whether measured by the currency in which they are
paid or by their power to supply the necessaries and comforts of life. It
is true that the market prices of cotton and wheat have been low. It is one
of the unfavorable incidents of agriculture that the farmer can not produce
upon orders. He must sow and reap in ignorance of the aggregate production
of the year, and is peculiarly subject to the depreciation which follows
overproduction. But while the fact I have stated is true as to the crops
mentioned, the general average of prices has been such as to give to
agriculture a fair participation in the general prosperity. The value of
our total farm products has increased from $1,363,646,866 in 1860 to
$4,500,000,000 in 1891, as estimated by statisticians, an increase of 230
per cent. The number of hogs January 1, 1891, was 50,625,106 and their
value $210,193,925; on January 1, 1892, the number was 52,398,019 and the
value $241,031,415. On January 1, 1891, the number of cattle was 36,875,648
and the value $544,127,908; on January 1 ,1892, the number was 37,651,239
and the value $570,749,155.

If any are discontented with their state here, if any believe that wages or
prices, the returns for honest toil, are inadequate, they should not fail
to remember that there is no other country in the world where the
conditions that seem to them hard would not be accepted as highly
prosperous. The English agriculturist would be glad to exchange the returns
of his labor for those of the American farmer and the Manchester workmen
their wages for those of their fellows at Fall River.

I believe that the protective system, which has now for something more than
thirty years continuously prevailed in our legislation, has been a mighty
instrument for the development of our national wealth and a most powerful
agency in protecting the homes of our workingmen from the invasion of want.
I have felt a most solicitous interest to preserve to our working people
rates of wages that would not only give daily bread but supply a
comfortable margin for those home attractions and family comforts and
enjoyments without which life is neither hopeful nor sweet. They are
American citizens--a part of the great people for whom our Constitution and
Government were framed and instituted--and it can not be a perversion of
that Constitution to so legislate as to preserve in their homes the
comfort, independence, loyalty, and sense of interest in the Government
which are essential to good citizenship in peace, and which will bring this
stalwart throng, as in 1861, to the defense of the flag when it is

It is not my purpose to renew here the argument in favor of a protective
tariff. The result of the recent election must be accepted as having
introduced a new policy. We must assume that the present tariff,
constructed upon the lines of protection, is to be repealed and that there
is to be substituted for it a tariff law constructed solely with reference
to revenue; that no duty is to be higher because the increase will keep
open an American mill or keep up the wages of an American workman, but that
in every case such a rate of duty is to be imposed as will bring to the
Treasury of the United States the largest returns of revenue. The
contention has not been between schedules, but between principles, and it
would be offensive to suggest that the prevailing party will not carry into
legislation the principles advocated by it and the pledges given to the
people. The tariff bills passed by the House of Representatives at the last
session were, as I suppose, even in the opinion of their promoters,
inadequate, and justified only by the fact that the Senate and House of
Representatives were not in accord and that a general revision could not
therefore be undertaken.

I recommend that the whole subject of tariff revision be left to the
incoming Congress. It is matter of regret that this work must be delayed
for at least three months, for the threat of great tariff changes
introduces so much uncertainty that an amount, not easily estimated, of
business inaction and of diminished production will necessarily result. It
is possible also that this uncertainty may result in decreased revenues
from customs duties, for our merchants will make cautious orders for
foreign goods in view of the prospect of tariff reductions and the
uncertainty as to when they will take effect. Those who have advocated a
protective tariff can well afford to have their disastrous forecasts of a
change of policy disappointed. If a system of customs duties can be framed
that will set the idle wheels and looms of Europe in motion and crowd our
warehouses with foreign-made goods and at the same time keep our own mills
busy; that will give us an increased participation in the "markets of the
world" of greater value than the home market we surrender; that will give
increased work to foreign workmen upon products to be consumed by our
people without diminishing the amount of work to be done here; that will
enable the American manufacturer to pay to his workmen from 50 to 100 per
cent more in wages than is paid in the foreign mill, and yet to compete in
our market and in foreign markets with the foreign producer; that will
further reduce the cost of articles of wear and food without reducing the
wages of those who produce them; that can be celebrated, after its effects
have been realized, as its expectation has been in European as well as in
American cities, the authors and promoters of it will be entitled to the
highest praise. We have had in our history several experiences of the
contrasted effects of a revenue and of a protective tariff, but this
generation has not felt them, and the experience of one generation is not
highly instructive to the next. The friends of the protective system with
undiminished confidence in the principles they have advocated will await
the results of the new experiment.

The strained and too often disturbed relations existing between the
employees and the employers in our great manufacturing establishments have
not been favorable to a calm consideration by the wage earner of the effect
upon wages of the protective system. The facts that his wages were the
highest paid in like callings in the world and that a maintenance of this
rate of wages in the absence of protective duties upon the product of his
labor was impossible were obscured by the passion evoked by these contests.
He may now be able to review the question in the light of his personal
experience under the operation of a tariff for revenue only. If that
experience shall demonstrate that present rates of wages are thereby
maintained or increased, either absolutely or in their purchasing power,
and that the aggregate volume of work to be done in this country is
increased or even maintained, so that there are more or as many days' work
in a year, at as good or better wages, for the American workmen as has been
the case under the protective system, everyone will rejoice. A general
process of wage reduction can not be contemplated by any patriotic citizen
without the gravest apprehension. It may be, indeed I believe is, possible
for the American manufacturer to compete successfully with his foreign
rival in many branches of production without the defense of protective
duties if the pay rolls are equalized; but the conflict that stands between
the producer and that result and the distress of our working people when it
is attained are not pleasant to contemplate. The Society of the Unemployed,
now holding its frequent and threatening parades in the streets of foreign
cities, should not be allowed to acquire an American domicile.

The reports of the heads of the several Executive Departments, which are
herewith submitted, have very naturally included a resume of the whole work
of the Administration with the transactions of the last fiscal year. The
attention not only of Congress but of the country is again invited to the
methods of administration which have been pursued and to the results which
have been attained. Public revenues amounting to $1,414,079,292.28 have
been collected and disbursed without loss from misappropriation, without a
single defalcation of such importance as to attract the public attention,
and at a diminished per cent of cost for collection. The public business
has been transacted not only with fidelity, but progressively and with a
view to giving to the people in the fullest possible degree the benefits of
a service established and maintained for their protection and comfort.

Our relations with other nations are now undisturbed by any serious
controversy. The complicated and threatening differences with Germany and
England relating to Samoan affairs, with England in relation to the seal
fisheries in the Bering Sea, and with Chile growing out of the Baltimore
affair have been adjusted.

There have been negotiated and concluded, under section 3 of the tariff
law, commercial agreements relating to reciprocal trade with the following
countries: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Spain for Cuba and Puerto Rico,
Guatemala, Salvador, the German Empire, Great Britain for certain West
Indian colonies and British Guiana, Nicaragua, Honduras, and

Of these, those with Guatemala, Salvador, the German Empire, Great Britain,
Nicaragua, Honduras, and Austria-Hungary have been concluded since my last
annual message. Under these trade arrangements a free or favored admission
has been secured in every case for an important list of American products.
Especial care has been taken to secure markets for farm products, in order
to relieve that great underlying industry of the depression which the lack
of an adequate foreign market for our surplus often brings. An opening has
also been made for manufactured products that will undoubtedly, if this
policy is maintained, greatly augment our export trade. The full benefits
of these arrangements can not be realized instantly. New lines of trade are
to be opened. The commercial traveler must survey the field. The
manufacturer must adapt his goods to the new markets and facilities for
exchange must be established. This work has been well begun, our merchants
and manufacturers having entered the new fields with courage and
enterprise. In the case of food products, and especially with Cuba, the
trade did not need to wait, and the immediate results have been most
gratifying. If this policy and these trade arrangements can be continued in
force and aided by the establishment of American steamship lines, I do not
doubt that we shall within a short period secure fully one-third of the
total trade of the countries of Central and South America, which now
amounts to about $600,000,000 annually. In 1885 we had only 8 per cent of
this trade.

The following statistics show the increase in our trade with the countries
with which we have reciprocal trade agreements from the date when such
agreements went into effect up to September 30, 1892, the increase being in
some almost wholly and in others in an important degree the result of these

The domestic exports to Germany and Austria-Hungary have increased in value
from $47,673,756 to $57,993,064, an increase of $10,319,308, or 21.63 per
cent. With American countries the value of our exports has increased from
$44,160,285 to $54,613,598, an increase of $10,453,313, or 23.67 per cent.
The total increase in the value of exports to all the countries with which
we have reciprocity agreements has been $20,772,621. This increase is
chiefly in wheat, flour, meat, and dairy products and in manufactures of
iron and steel and lumber. There has been a large increase in the value of
imports from all these countries since the commercial agreements went into
effect, amounting to $74,294,525, but it has been entirely in imports from
the American countries, consisting mostly of sugar, coffee, india rubber,
and crude drugs. The alarmed attention of our European competitors for the
South American market has been attracted to this new American policy and to
our acquisition and their loss of South American trade.

A treaty providing for the arbitration of the dispute between Great Britain
and the United States as to the killing of seals in the Bering Sea was
concluded on the 29th of February last. This treaty was accompanied by an
agreement prohibiting pelagic sealing pending the arbitration, and a
vigorous effort was made during this season to drive out all poaching
sealers from the Bering Sea. Six naval vessels, three revenue cutters, and
one vessel from the Fish Commission, all under the command of Commander
Evans, of the Navy, were sent into the sea, which was systematically
patrolled. Some seizures were made, and it is believed that the catch in
the Bering Sea by poachers amounted to less than 500 seals. It is true,
however, that in the North Pacific, while the seal herds were on their way
to the passes between the Aleutian Islands, a very large number, probably
35,000, were taken. The existing statutes of the United States do not
restrain our citizens from taking seals in the Pacific Ocean, and perhaps
should not unless the prohibition can be extended to the citizens of other
nations. I recommend that power be given to the President by proclamation
to prohibit the taking of seals in the North Pacific by American vessels in
case, either as the result of the findings of the Tribunal of Arbitration
or otherwise, the restraints can be applied to the vessels of all
countries. The case of the United States for the Tribunal of Arbitration
has been prepared with great care and industry by the Hon. John W. Foster,
and the counsel who represent this Government express confidence that a
result substantially establishing our claims and preserving this great
industry for the benefit of all nations will be attained.

During the past year a suggestion was received through the British minister
that the Canadian government would like to confer as to the possibility of
enlarging upon terms of mutual advantage the commercial exchanges of Canada
and of the United States, and a conference was held at Washington, with Mr.
Blaine acting for this Government and the British minister at this capital
and three members of the Dominion cabinet acting as commissioners on the
part of Great Britain. The conference developed the fact that the Canadian
government was only prepared to offer to the United States in exchange for
the concessions asked the admission of natural products. The statement was
frankly made that favored rates could not be given to the United States as
against the mother country. This admission, which was foreseen, necessarily
terminated the conference upon this question. The benefits of an exchange
of natural products would be almost wholly with the people of Canada. Some
other topics of interest were considered in the conference, and have
resulted in the making of a convention for examining the Alaskan boundary
and the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay adjacent to Eastport, Me., and in the
initiation of an arrangement for the protection of fish life in the
coterminous and neighboring waters of our northern border.

The controversy as to tolls upon the Welland Canal, which was presented to
Congress at the last session by special message, having failed of
adjustment, I felt constrained to exercise the authority conferred by the
act of July 26, 1892, and to proclaim a suspension of the free use of St.
Marys Falls Canal to cargoes in transit to ports in Canada. The Secretary
of the Treasury established such tolls as were thought to be equivalent to
the exactions unjustly levied upon our commerce in the Canadian canals.

If, as we must suppose, the political relations of Canada and the
disposition of the Canadian government are to remain unchanged, a somewhat
radical revision of our trade relations should, I think, be made. Our
relations must continue to be intimate, and they should be friendly. I
regret to say, however, that in many of the controversies, notably those as
to the fisheries on the Atlantic, the sealing interests on the Pacific, and
the canal tolls, our negotiations with Great Britain have continuously been
thwarted or retarded by unreasonable and unfriendly objections and protests
from Canada in the matter of the canal tolls our treaty rights were
flagrantly disregarded. It is hardly too much to say that the Canadian
Pacific and other railway lines which parallel our northern boundary are
sustained by commerce having either its origin or terminus, or both, in the
United States. Canadian railroads compete with those of the United States
for our traffic, and without the restraints of our interstate-commerce act.
Their cars pass almost without detention into and out of our territory.

The Canadian Pacific Railway brought into the United States from China and
Japan via British Columbia during the year ended June 30, 1892, 23,239,689
pounds of freight, and it carried from the United States, to be shipped to
China and Japan via British Columbia, 24,068,346 pounds of freight. There
were also shipped from the United States over this road from Eastern ports
of the United States to our Pacific ports during the same year 13,912,073
pounds of freight, and there were received over this road at the United
States Eastern ports from ports on the Pacific Coast 13,293,315 pounds of
freight. Mr. Joseph Nimmo, Jr., former chief of the Bureau of Statistics,
when before the Senate Select Committee on Relations with Canada, April 26,
1890, said that "the value of goods thus transported between different
points in the United States across Canadian territory probably amounts to
$100,000,000 a year."

There is no disposition on the part of the people or Government of the
United States to interfere in the smallest degree with the political
relations of Canada. That question is wholly with her own people. It is
time for us, however, to consider whether, if the present state of things
and trend of things is to continue, our interchanges upon lines of land
transportation should not be put upon a different basis and our entire
independence of Canadian canals and of the St. Lawrence as an outlet to the
sea secured by the construction of an American canal around the Falls of
Niagara and the opening of ship communication between the Great Lakes and
one of our own seaports. We should not hesitate to avail ourselves of our
great natural trade advantages. We should withdraw the support which is
given to the railroads and steamship lines of Canada by a traffic that
properly belongs to us and no longer furnish the earnings which lighten the
otherwise crushing weight of the enormous public subsidies that have been
given to them. The subject of the power of the Treasury to deal with this
matter without further legislation has been under consideration, but
circumstances have postponed a conclusion. It is probable that a
consideration of the propriety of a modification or abrogation of the
article of the treaty of Washington relating to the transit of goods in
bond is involved in any complete solution of the question.

Congress at the last session was kept advised of the progress of the
serious and for a time threatening difference between the United States and
Chile. It gives me now great gratification to report that the Chilean
Government in a most friendly and honorable spirit has tendered and paid as
an indemnity to the families of the sailors of the Baltimore who were
killed and to those who were injured in the outbreak in the city of
Valparaiso the sum of $75,000. This has been accepted not only as an
indemnity for a wrong done, but as a most gratifying evidence that the
Government of Chile rightly appreciates the disposition of this Government
to act in a spirit of the most absolute fairness and friendliness in our
intercourse with that brave people. A further and conclusive evidence of
the mutual respect and confidence now existing is furnished by the fact
that a convention submitting to arbitration the mutual claims of the
citizens of the respective Governments has been agreed upon. Some of these
claims have been pending for many years and have been the occasion of much
unsatisfactory diplomatic correspondence.

I have endeavored in every way to assure our sister Republics of Central
and South America that the United States Government and its people have
only the most friendly disposition toward them all. We do not covet their
territory. We have no disposition to be oppressive or exacting in our
dealings with any of them, even the weakest. Our interests and our hopes
for them all lie in the direction of stable governments by their people and
of the largest development of their great commercial resources. The mutual
benefits of enlarged commercial exchanges and of a more familiar and
friendly intercourse between our peoples we do desire, and in this have
sought their friendly cooperation.

I have believed, however, while holding these sentiments in the greatest
sincerity, that we must insist upon a just responsibility for any injuries
inflicted upon our official representatives or upon our citizens. This
insistence, kindly and justly but firmly made, will, I believe, promote
peace and mutual respect.

Our relations with Hawaii have been such as to attract an increased
interest, and must continue to do so. I deem it of great importance that
the projected submarine cable, a survey for which has been made, should be
promoted. Both for naval and commercial uses we should have quick
communication with Honolulu. We should before this have availed ourselves
of the concession made many years ago to this Government for a harbor and
naval station at Pearl River. Many evidences of the friendliness of the
Hawaiian Government have been given in the past, and it is gratifying to
believe that the advantage and necessity of a continuance of very close
relations is appreciated.

The friendly act of this Government in expressing to the Government of
Italy its reprobation and abhorrence of the lynching of Italian subjects in
New Orleans by the payment of 125,000 francs, or $24,330.90, was accepted
by the King of Italy with every manifestation of gracious appreciation, and
the incident has been highly promotive of mutual respect and good will.

In consequence of the action of the French Government in proclaiming a
protectorate over certain tribal districts of the west coast of Africa
eastward of the San Pedro River, which has long been regarded as the
southeastern boundary of Liberia, I have felt constrained to make protest
against this encroachment upon the territory of a Republic which was
rounded by citizens of the United States and toward which this country has
for many years held the intimate relation of a friendly counselor.

The recent disturbances of the public peace by lawless foreign marauders on
the Mexican frontier have afforded this Government an opportunity to
testify its good will for Mexico and its earnest purpose to fulfill the
obligations of international friendship by pursuing and dispersing the evil
doers. The work of relocating the boundary of the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo westward from El Paso is progressing favorably.

Our intercourse with Spain continues on a friendly footing. I regret,
however, not to be able to report as yet the adjustment of the claims of
the American missionaries arising from the disorders at Ponape, in the
Caroline Islands, but I anticipate a satisfactory adjustment in view of
renewed and urgent representations to the Government at Madrid.

The treatment of the religious and educational establishments of American
citizens in Turkey has of late called for a more than usual share of
attention. A tendency to curtail the toleration which has so beneficially
prevailed is discernible and has called forth the earnest remonstrance of
this Government. Harassing regulations in regard to schools and churches
have been attempted in certain localities, but not without due protest and
the assertion of the inherent and conventional rights of our countrymen.
Violations of domicile and search of the persons and effects of citizens of
the United States by apparently irresponsible officials in the Asiatic
vilayets have from time to time been reported. An aggravated instance of
injury to the property of an American missionary at Bourdour, in the
province of Konia, called forth an urgent claim for reparation, which I am
pleased to say was promptly heeded by the Government of the Porte.
Interference with the trading ventures of our citizens in Asia Minor is
also reported, and the lack of consular representation in that region is a
serious drawback to instant and effective protection. I can not believe
that these incidents represent a settled policy, and shall not cease to
urge the adoption of proper remedies.

International copyright has been extended to Italy by proclamation in
conformity with the act of March 3, 1891, upon assurance being given that
Italian law permits to citizens of the United States the benefit of
copyright on substantially the same basis as to subjects of Italy. By a
special convention proclaimed January 15, 1892, reciprocal provisions of
copyright have been applied between the United States and Germany.
Negotiations are in progress with other countries to the same end.

I repeat with great earnestness the recommendation which I have made in
several previous messages that prompt and adequate support be given to the
American company engaged in the construction of the Nicaragua ship canal.
It is impossible to overstate the value from every standpoint of this great
enterprise, and I hope that there may be time, even in this Congress, to
give to it an impetus that will insure the early completion of the canal
and secure to the United States its proper relation to it when completed.

The Congress has been already advised that the invitations of this
Government for the assembling of an international monetary conference to
consider the question of an enlarged use of silver were accepted by the
nations to which they were addressed. The conference assembled at Brussels
on the 22d of November, and has entered upon the consideration of this
great question. I have not doubted, and have taken occasion to express that
belief as well in the invitations issued for this conference as in my
public messages, that the free coinage of silver upon an agreed
international ratio would greatly promote the interests of our people and
equally those of other nations. It is too early to predict what results may
be accomplished by the conference. If any temporary check or delay
intervenes, I believe that very soon commercial conditions will compel the
now reluctant governments to unite with us in this movement to secure the
enlargement of the volume of coined money needed for the transaction of the
business of the world.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will attract especial interest
in view of the many misleading statements that have been made as to the
state of the public revenues. Three preliminary facts should not only be
stated but emphasized before looking into details: First, that the public
debt has been reduced since March 4, 1889, $259,074,200, and the annual
interest charge $11,684,469; second, that there have been paid out for
pensions during this Administration up to November 1, 1892,
$432,564,178.70, an excess of $114,466,386.09 over the sum expended during
the period from March 1, 1885, to March 1, 1889; and, third, that under the
existing tariff up to December 1 about $93,000,000 of revenue which would
have been collected upon imported sugars if the duty had been maintained
has gone into the pockets of the people, and not into the public Treasury,
as before. If there are any who still think that the surplus should have
been kept out of circulation by hoarding it in the Treasury, or deposited
in favored banks without interest while the Government continued to pay to
these very banks interest upon the bonds deposited as security for the
deposits, or who think that the extended pension legislation was a public
robbery, or that the duties upon sugar should have been maintained, I am
content to leave the argument where it now rests while we wait to see
whether these criticisms will take the form of legislation.

The revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, from all sources
were $425,868,260.22, and the expenditures for all purposes were
$415,953,806.56, leaving a balance of $9,914,453.66. There were paid during
the year upon the public debt $40,570,467.98. The surplus in the Treasury
and the bank redemption fund passed by the act of July 14, 1890, to the
general fund furnished in large part the cash available and used for the
payments made upon the public debt. Compared with the year 1891, our
receipts from customs duties fell off $42,069,241.08, while our receipts
from internal revenue increased $8,284,823.13, leaving the net loss of
revenue from these principal sources $33,784,417.95. The net loss of
revenue from all sources was $32,675,972.81.

The revenues, estimated and actual, for the fiscal year ending June 30,
1893, are placed by the Secretary at $463,336,350.44, and the expenditures
at $461,336,350.44, showing a surplus of receipts over expenditures of
$2,000,000. The cash balance in the Treasury at the end of the fiscal year
it is estimated will be $20,992,377.03. So far as these figures are based
upon estimates of receipts and expenditures for the remaining months of the
current fiscal year, there are not only the usual elements of uncertainty,
but some added elements. New revenue legislation, or even the expectation
of it, may seriously reduce the public revenues during the period of
uncertainty and during the process of business adjustment to the new
conditions when they become known. But the Secretary has very wisely
refrained from guessing as to the effect of possible changes in our revenue
laws, since the scope of those changes and the time of their taking effect
can not in any degree be forecast or foretold by him. His estimates must be
based upon existing laws and upon a continuance of existing business
conditions, except so far as these conditions may be affected by causes
other than new legislation.

The estimated receipts for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, are
$490,121,365.38, and the estimated appropriations $457,261,335.33, leaving
an estimated surplus of receipts over expenditures of $32,860,030.05. This
does not include any payment to the sinking fund. In the recommendation of
the Secretary that the sinking-fund law be repealed I concur. The
redemption of bonds since the passage of the law to June 30, 1892, has
already exceeded the requirements by the sum of $990,510,681.49. The
retirement of bonds in the future before maturity should be a matter of
convenience, not of compulsion. We should not collect revenue for that
purpose, but only use any casual surplus. To the balance of $32,860,030.05
of receipts over expenditures for the year 1894 should be added the
estimated surplus at the beginning of the year, $20,992,377.03, and from
this aggregate there must be deducted, as stated by the Secretary, about
$44,000,000 of estimated unexpended appropriations.

The public confidence in the purpose and ability of the Government to
maintain the parity of all of our money issues, whether coin or paper, must
remain unshaken. The demand for gold in Europe and the consequent calls
upon us are in a considerable degree the result of the efforts of some of
the European Governments to increase their gold reserves, and these efforts
should be met by appropriate legislation on our part. The conditions that
have created this drain of the Treasury gold are in an important degree
political, and not commercial. In view of the fact that a general revision
of our revenue laws in the near future seems to be probable, it would be
better that any changes should be a part of that revision rather than of a
temporary nature.

During the last fiscal year the Secretary purchased under the act of July
14, 1890, 54,355,748 ounces of silver and issued in payment therefor
$51,106,608 in notes. The total purchases since the passage of the act have
been 120,479,981 ounces and the aggregate of notes issued $116,783,590. The
average price paid for silver during the year was 94 cents per ounce, the
highest price being $1.02 3/4 July 1, 1891, and the lowest 83 cents March
21, 1892. In view of the fact that the monetary conference is now sitting
and that no conclusion has yet been reached, I withhold any recommendation
as to legislation upon this subject.

The report of the Secretary of War brings again to the attention of
Congress some important suggestions as to the reorganization of the
infantry and artillery arms of the service, which his predecessors have
before urgently presented. Our Army is small, but its organization should
all the more be put upon the most approved modern basis. The conditions
upon what we have called the "frontier" have heretofore required the
maintenance of many small posts, but now the policy of concentration is
obviously the right one. The new posts should have the proper strategic
relations to the only "frontiers" we now have--those of the seacoast and of
our northern and part of our southern boundary. I do not think that any
question of advantage to localities or to States should determine the
location of the new posts. The reorganization and enlargement of the Bureau
of Military Information which the Secretary has effected is a work the
usefulness of which will become every year more apparent. The work of
building heavy guns and the construction of coast defenses has been well
begun and should be carried on without check.

The report of the Attorney-General is by law submitted directly to
Congress, but I can not refrain from saying that he has conducted the
increasing work of the Department of Justice with great professional skill.
He has in several directions secured from the courts decisions giving
increased protection to the officers of the United States and bringing some
classes of crime that escaped local cognizance and punishment into the
tribunals of the United States, where they could be tried with

The numerous applications for Executive clemency presented in behalf of
persons convicted in United States courts and given penitentiary sentences
have called my attention to a fact referred to by the Attorney-General in
his report, namely, that a time allowance for good behavior for such
prisoners is prescribed by the Federal statutes only where the State in
which the penitentiary is located has made no such provision. Prisoners are
given the benefit of the provisions of the State law regulating the
penitentiary to which they may be sent. These are various, some perhaps too
liberal and some perhaps too illiberal. The result is that a sentence for
five years means one thing if the prisoner is sent to one State for
confinement and quite a different thing if he is sent to another. I
recommend that a uniform credit for good behavior be prescribed by

I have before expressed my concurrence in the recommendation of the
Attorney-General that degrees of murder should be recognized in the Federal
statutes, as they are, I believe, in all the States. These grades are
rounded on correct distinctions in crime. The recognition of them would
enable the courts to exercise some discretion in apportioning punishment
and would greatly relieve the Executive of what is coming to be a very
heavy burden--the examination of these cases on application for

The aggregate of claims pending against the Government in the Court of
Claims is enormous. Claims to the amount of nearly $400,000,000 for the
taking of or injury to the property of persons claiming to be loyal during
the war are now before that court for examination. When to these are added
the Indian depredation claims and the French spoliation claims, an
aggregate is reached that is indeed startling. In the defense of all these
cases the Government is at great disadvantage. The claimants have preserved
their evidence, whereas the agents of the Government are sent into the
field to rummage for what they can find. This difficulty is peculiarly
great where the fact to be established is the disloyalty of the claimant
during the war. If this great threat against our revenues is to have no
other check, certainly Congress should supply the Department of Justice
with appropriations sufficiently liberal to secure the best legal talent in
the defense of these claims and to pursue its vague search for evidence

The report of the Postmaster-General shows a most gratifying increase and a
most efficient and progressive management of the great business of that
Department. The remarkable increase in revenues, in the number of
post-offices, and in the miles of mail carriage furnishes further evidence
of the high state of prosperity which our people are enjoying. New offices
mean new hamlets and towns, new routes mean the extension of our border
settlements, and increased revenues mean an active commerce. The
Postmaster-General reviews the whole period of his administration of the
office and brings some of his statistics down to the month of November
last. The postal revenues have increased during the last year nearly
$5,000,000. The deficit for the year ending June 30, 1892, is $848,341 less
than the deficiency of the preceding year. The deficiency of the present
fiscal year it is estimated will be reduced to $1,552,423, which will not
only be extinguished during the next fiscal year but a surplus of nearly
$1,000,000 should then be shown. In these calculations the payments to be
made under the contracts for ocean mail service have not been included.
There have been added 1,590 new mail routes during the year, with a mileage
of 8,563 miles, and the total number of new miles of mail trips added
during the year is nearly 17,000,000. The number of miles of mail journeys
added during the last four years is about 76,000,000, this addition being
21,000,000 miles more than were in operation in the whole country in 1861.

The number of post-offices has been increased by 2,790 during the year, and
during the past four years, and up to October 29 last, the total increase
in the number of offices has been nearly 9,000. The number of free-delivery
offices has been nearly doubled in the last four years, and the number of
money-order offices more than doubled within that time.

For the three years ending June 30, 1892, the postal revenue amounted to
$197,744,359, which was an increase of $52,263,150 over the revenue for the
three years ending June 30, 1888, the increase during the last three years
being more than three and a half times as great as the increase during the
three years ending June 30, 1888. No such increase as that shown for these
three years has ever previously appeared in the revenues of the Department.
The Postmaster-General has extended to the post-offices in the larger
cities the merit system of promotion introduced by my direction into the
Departments here, and it has resulted there, as in the Departments, in a
larger volume of work and that better done.

Ever since our merchant marine was driven from the sea by the rebel
cruisers during the War of the Rebellion the United States has been paying
an enormous annual tribute to foreign countries in the shape of freight and
passage moneys. Our grain and meats have been taken at our own docks and
our large imports there laid down by foreign shipmasters. An increasing
torrent of American travel to Europe has contributed a vast sum annually to
the dividends of foreign shipowners. The balance of trade shown by the
books of our custom-houses has been very largely reduced and in many years
altogether extinguished by this constant drain. In the year 1892 only 12.3
per cent of our imports were brought in American vessels. These great
foreign steamships maintained by our traffic are many of them under
contracts with their respective Governments by which in time of war they
will become a part of their armed naval establishments. Profiting by our
commerce in peace, they will become the most formidable destroyers of our
commerce in time of war. I have felt, and have before expressed the
feeling, that this condition of things was both intolerable and
disgraceful. A wholesome change of policy, and one having in it much
promise, as it seems to me, was begun by the law of March 3, 1891. Under
this law contracts have been made by the Postmaster-General for eleven mail
routes. The expenditure involved by these contracts for the next fiscal
year approximates $954,123.33. As one of the results already reached
sixteen American steamships, of an aggregate tonnage of 57,400 tons,
costing $7,400,000, have been built or contracted to be built in American

The estimated tonnage of all steamships required under existing contracts
is 165,802, and when the full service required by these contracts is
established there will be forty-one mail steamers under the American flag,
with the probability of further necessary additions in the Brazilian and
Argentine service. The contracts recently let for transatlantic service
will result in the construction of five ships of 10,000 tons each, costing
$9,000,000 to $10,000,000, and will add, with the City of New York and City
of Paris, to which the Treasury Department was authorized by legislation at
the last session to give American registry, seven of the swiftest vessels
upon the sea to our naval reserve. The contracts made with the lines
sailing to Central and South American ports have increased the frequency
and shortened the time of the trips, added new ports of call, and sustained
some lines that otherwise would almost certainly have been withdrawn. The
service to Buenos Ayres is the first to the Argentine Republic under the
American flag. The service to Southampton, Boulogne, and Antwerp is also
new, and is to be begun with the steamships City of New York and City of
Paris in February next.

I earnestly urge the continuance of the policy inaugurated by this
legislation, and that the appropriations required to meet the obligations
of the Government under the contracts may be made promptly, so that the
lines that have entered into these engagements may not be embarrassed. We
have had, by reason of connections with the transcontinental railway lines
constructed through our own territory, some advantages in the ocean trade
of the Pacific that we did not possess on the Atlantic. The construction of
the Canadian Pacific Railway and the establishment under large subventions
from Canada and England of fast steamship service from Vancouver with Japan
and China seriously threaten our shipping interests in the Pacific. This
line of English steamers receives, as is stated by the Commissioner of
Navigation, a direct subsidy of $400,000 annually, or $30,767 per trip for
thirteen voyages, in addition to some further aid from the Admiralty in
connection with contracts under which the vessels may be used for naval
purposes. The competing American Pacific mail line under the act of March
3, 1891, receives only $6,389 per round trip.

Efforts have been making within the last year, as I am informed, to
establish under similar conditions a line between Vancouver and some
Australian port, with a view of seizing there a trade in which we have had
a large interest. The Commissioner of Navigation states that a very large
per cent of our imports from Asia are now brought to us by English
steamships and their connecting railways in Canada. With a view of
promoting this trade, especially in tea, Canada has imposed a
discriminating duty of 10 per cent upon tea and coffee brought into the
Dominion from the United States. If this unequal contest between American
lines without subsidy, or with diminished subsidies, and the English
Canadian line to which I have referred is to continue, I think we should at
least see that the facilities for customs entry and transportation across
our territory are not such as to make the Canadian route a favored one, and
that the discrimination as to duties to which I have referred is met by a
like discrimination as to the importation of these articles from Canada.

No subject, I think, more nearly touches the pride, the power, and the
prosperity of our country than this of the development of our merchant
marine upon the sea. If we could enter into conference with other
competitors and all would agree to withhold government aid, we could
perhaps take our chances with the rest; but our great competitors have
established and maintained their lines by government subsidies until they
now have practically excluded us from participation. In my opinion no
choice is left to us but to pursue, moderately at least, the same lines.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy exhibits great progress in the
construction of our new Navy. When the present Secretary entered upon his
duties, only 3 modern steel vessels were in commission. The vessels since
put in commission and to be put in commission during the winter will make a
total of 19 during his administration of the Department. During the current
year 10 war vessels and 3 navy tugs have been launched, and during the four
years 25 vessels will have been launched. Two other large ships and a
torpedo boat are under contract and the work upon them well advanced, and
the 4 monitors are awaiting only the arrival of their armor, which has been
unexpectedly delayed, or they would have been before this in commission.

Contracts have been let during this Administration, under the
appropriations for the increase of the Navy, including new vessels and
their appurtenances, to the amount of $35,000,000, and there has been
expended during the same period for labor at navy-yards upon similar work
$8,000,000 without the smallest scandal or charge of fraud or partiality.
The enthusiasm and interest of our naval officers, both of the staff and
line, have been greatly kindled. They have responded magnificently to the
confidence of Congress and have demonstrated to the world an unexcelled
capacity in construction, in ordnance, and in everything involved in the
building, equipping, and sailing of great war ships.

At the beginning of Secretary Tracy's administration several difficult
problems remained to be grappled with and solved before the efficiency in
action of our ships could be secured. It is believed that as the result of
new processes in the construction of armor plate our later ships will be
clothed with defensive plates of higher resisting power than are found on
any war vessels afloat. We were without torpedoes. Tests have been made to
ascertain the relative efficiency of different constructions, a torpedo has
been adopted, and the work of construction is now being carried on
successfully. We were without armor-piercing shells and without a shop
instructed and equipped for the construction of them. We are now making
what is believed to be a projectile superior to any before in use. A
smokeless powder has been developed and a slow-burning powder for guns of
large caliber. A high explosive capable of use in shells fired from service
guns has been found, and the manufacture of gun cotton has been developed
so that the question of supply is no longer in doubt.

The development of a naval militia, which has been organized in eight
States and brought into cordial and cooperative relations with the Navy, is
another important achievement. There are now enlisted in these
organizations 1,800 men, and they are likely to be greatly extended. I
recommend such legislation and appropriations as will encourage and develop
this movement. The recommendations of the Secretary will, I do not doubt,
receive the friendly consideration of Congress, for he has enjoyed, as he
has deserved, the confidence of all those interested in the development of
our Navy, without any division upon partisan lines. I earnestly express the
hope that a work which has made such noble progress may not now be stayed.
The wholesome influence for peace and the increased sense of security which
our citizens domiciled in other lands feel when these magnificent ships
under the American flag appear is already most gratefully apparent. The
ships from our Navy which will appear in the great naval parade next April
in the harbor of New York will be a convincing demonstration to the world
that the United States is again a naval power.

The work of the Interior Department, always very burdensome, has been
larger than ever before during the administration of Secretary Noble. The
disability-pension law, the taking of the Eleventh Census, the opening of
vast areas of Indian lands to settlement, the organization of Oklahoma, and
the negotiations for the cession of Indian lands furnish some of the
particulars of the increased work, and the results achieved testify to the
ability, fidelity, and industry of the head of the Department and his
efficient assistants.

Several important agreements for the cession of Indian lands negotiated by
the commission appointed under the act of March 2, 1889, are awaiting the
action of Congress. Perhaps the most important of these is that for the
cession of the Cherokee Strip. This region has been the source of great
vexation to the executive department and of great friction and unrest
between the settlers who desire to occupy it and the Indians who assert
title. The agreement which has been made by the commission is perhaps the
most satisfactory that could have been reached. It will be noticed that it
is conditioned upon its ratification by Congress before March 4, 1893. The
Secretary of the Interior, who has given the subject very careful thought,
recommends the ratification of the agreement, and I am inclined to follow
his recommendation. Certain it is that some action by which this
controversy shall be brought to an end and these lands opened to settlement
is urgent.

The form of government provided by Congress on May 17, 1884, for Alaska was
in its frame and purpose temporary. The increase of population and the
development of some important mining and commercial interests make it
imperative that the law should be revised and better provision made for the
arrest and punishment of criminals.

The report of the Secretary shows a very gratifying state of facts as to
the condition of the General Land Office. The work of issuing agricultural
patents, which seemed to be hopelessly in arrear when the present Secretary
undertook the duties of his office, has been so expedited that the bureau
is now upon current business. The relief thus afforded to honest and worthy
settlers upon the public lands by giving to them an assured title to their
entries has been of incalculable benefit in developing the new States and
the Territories.

The Court of Private Land Claims, established by Congress for the promotion
of this policy of speedily settling contested land titles, is making
satisfactory progress in its work, and when the work is completed a great
impetus will be given to the development of those regions where unsettled
claims under Mexican grants have so long exercised their repressive
influence. When to these results are added the enormous cessions of Indian
lands which have been opened to settlement, aggregating during this
Administration nearly 26,000,000 acres, and the agreements negotiated and
now pending in Congress for ratification by which about 10,000,000
additional acres will be opened to settlement, it will be seen how much has
been accomplished.

The work in the Indian Bureau in the execution of the policy of recent
legislation has been largely directed to two chief purposes: First, the
allotment of lands in severalty to the Indians and the cession to the
United States of the surplus lands, and, secondly, to the work of educating
the Indian for his own protection in his closer contact with the white man
and for the intelligent exercise of his new citizenship. Allotments have
been made and patents issued to 5,900 Indians under the present Secretary
and Commissioner, and 7,600 additional allotments have been made for which
patents are now in process of preparation. The school attendance of Indian
children has been increased during that time over 13 per cent, the
enrollment for 1892 being nearly 20,000. A uniform system of school
text-books and of study has been adopted and the work in these national
schools brought as near as may be to the basis of the free common schools
of the States. These schools can be transferred and merged into the
common-school systems of the States when the Indian has fully assumed his
new relation to the organized civil community in which he resides and the
new States are able to assume the burden. I have several times been called
upon to remove Indian agents appointed by me, and have done so promptly
upon every sustained complaint of unfitness or misconduct. I believe,
however, that the Indian service at the agencies has been improved and is
now administered on the whole with a good degree of efficiency. If any
legislation is possible by which the selection of Indian agents can be
wholly removed from all partisan suggestions or considerations, I am sure
it would be a great relief to the Executive and a great benefit to the
service. The appropriation for the subsistence of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe
Indians made at the last session of Congress was inadequate. This smaller
appropriation was estimated for by the Commissioner upon the theory that
the large fund belonging to the tribe in the public Treasury could be and
ought to be used for their support. In view, however, of the pending
depredation claims against this fund and other considerations, the
Secretary of the Interior on the 12th of April last submitted a
supplemental estimate for $50,000. This appropriation was not made, as it
should have been, and the oversight ought to be remedied at the earliest
possible date.

In a special message to this Congress at the last session, I stated the
reasons why I had not approved the deed for the release to the United
States by the Choctaws and Chickasaws of the lands formerly embraced in the
Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation and remaining after allotments to that
tribe. A resolution of the Senate expressing the opinion of that body that
notwithstanding the facts stated in my special message the deed should be
approved and the money, $2,991,450, paid over was presented to me May 10,
1892. My special message was intended to call the attention of Congress to
the subject, and in view of the fact that it is conceded that the
appropriation proceeded upon a false basis as to the amount of lands to be
paid for and is by $50,000 in excess of the amount they are entitled to
(even if their claim to the land is given full recognition at the rate
agreed upon), I have not felt willing to approve the deed, and shall not do
so, at least until both Houses of Congress have acted upon the subject. It
has been informally proposed by the claimants to release this sum of
$50,000, but I have no power to demand or accept such a release, and such
an agreement would be without consideration and void.

I desire further to call the attention of Congress to the fact that the
recent agreement concluded with the Kiowas and Comanches relates to lands
which were a part of the "leased district," and to which the claim of the
Choctaws and Chickasaws is precisely that recognized by Congress in the
legislation I have referred to. The surplus lands to which this claim would
attach in the Kiowa and Comanche Reservation is 2,500,000 acres, and at the
same rate the Government will be called upon to pay to the Choctaws and
Chickasaws for these lands $3,125,000. This sum will be further augmented,
especially if the title of the Indians to the tract now Greet County, Tex.,
is established. The duty devolved upon me in this connection was simply to
pass upon the form of the deed; but as in my opinion the facts mentioned in
my special message were not adequately brought to the attention of Congress
in connection with the legislation, I have felt that I would not be
justified in acting without some new expression of the legislative will.

The report of the Commissioner of Pensions, to which extended notice is
given by the Secretary of the Interior in his report, will attract great
attention. Judged by the aggregate amount of work done, the last year has
been the greatest in the history of the office. I believe that the
organization of the office is efficient and that the work has been done
with fidelity. The passage of what is known as the disability bill has, as
was foreseen, very largely increased the annual disbursements to the
disabled veterans of the Civil War. The estimate for this fiscal year was
$144,956,000, and that amount was appropriated. A deficiency amounting to
$10,508,621 must be provided for at this session. The estimate for pensions
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, is $165,000,000. The Commissioner
of Pensions believes that if the present legislation and methods are
maintained and further additions to the pension laws are not made the
maximum expenditure for pensions will be reached June 30, 1894, and will be
at the highest point $188,000,000 per annum.

I adhere to the views expressed in previous messages that the care of the
disabled soldiers of the War of the Rebellion is a matter of national
concern and duty. Perhaps no emotion cools sooner than that of gratitude,
but I can not believe that this process has yet reached a point with our
people that would sustain the policy of remitting the care of these
disabled veterans to the inadequate agencies provided by local laws. The
parade on the 20th of September last upon the streets of this capital of
60,000 of the surviving Union veterans of the War of the Rebellion was a
most touching and thrilling episode, and the rich and gracious welcome
extended to them by the District of Columbia and the applause that greeted
their progress from tens of thousands of people from all the States did
much to revive the glorious recollections of the Grand Review when these
men and many thousand others now in their graves were welcomed with
grateful joy as victors in a struggle in which the national unity, honor,
and wealth were all at issue.

In my last annual message I called attention to the fact that some
legislative action was necessary in order to protect the interests of the
Government in its relations with the Union Pacific Railway. The
Commissioner of Railroads has submitted a very full report, giving exact
information as to the debt, the liens upon the company's property, and its
resources. We must deal with the question as we find it and take that
course which will under existing conditions best secure the interests of
the United States. I recommended in my last annual message that a
commission be appointed to deal with this question, and I renew that
recommendation and suggest that the commission be given full power.

The report of the Secretary of Agriculture contains not only a most
interesting statement of the progressive and valuable work done under the
administration of Secretary Rusk, but many suggestions for the enlarged
usefulness of this important Department. In the successful efforts to break
down the restrictions to the free introduction of our meat products in the
countries of Europe the Secretary has been untiring from the first,
stimulating and aiding all other Government officers at home and abroad
whose official duties enabled them to participate in the work. The total
trade in hog products with Europe in May, 1892, amounted to 82,000,000
pounds, against 46,900,000 in the same month of 1891; in June, 1892, the
export aggregated 85,700,000 pounds, against 46,500,000 pounds in the same
month of the previous year; in July there was an increase of 41 per cent
and in August of 55 per cent over the corresponding months of 1891. Over
40,000,000 pounds of inspected pork have been exported since the law was
put into operation, and a comparison of the four months of May, June, July,
and August, 1892, with the same months of 1891 shows an increase in the
number of pounds of our export of pork products of 62 per cent and an
increase in value of 66 1/2 per cent. The exports of dressed beef increased
from 137,900,000 pounds in 1889 to 220,500,000 pounds in 1892 or about 60
per cent. During the past year there have been exported 394,607 head of
live cattle, as against 205,786 exported in 1889. This increased
exportation has been largely promoted by the inspection authorized by law
and the faithful efforts of the Secretary and his efficient subordinates to
make that inspection thorough and to carefully exclude from all cargoes
diseased or suspected cattle. The requirement of the English regulations
that live cattle arriving from the United States must be slaughtered at the
docks had its origin in the claim that pleuro-pneumonia existed among
American cattle and that the existence of the disease could only certainly
be determined by a post mortem inspection.

The Department of Agriculture has labored with great energy and
faithfulness to extirpate this disease, and on the 26th day of September
last a public announcement was made by the Secretary that the disease no
longer existed anywhere within the United States. He is entirely satisfied
after the most searching inquiry that this statement was justified, and
that by a continuance of the inspection and quarantine now required of
cattle brought into this country the disease can be prevented from again
getting any foothold. The value to the cattle industry of the United States
of this achievement can hardly be estimated. We can not, perhaps, at once
insist that this evidence shall be accepted as satisfactory by other
countries; but if the present exemption from the disease is maintained and
the inspection of our cattle arriving at foreign ports, in which our own
veterinarians participate, confirms it, we may justly expect that the
requirement that our cattle shall be slaughtered at the docks will be
revoked, as the sanitary restrictions upon our pork products have been. If
our cattle can be taken alive to the interior, the trade will be enormously

Agricultural products constituted 78.1 per cent of our unprecedented
exports for the fiscal year which closed June 30, 1892, the total exports
being $1,030,278,030 and the value of the agricultural products
$793,717,676, which exceeds by more than $150,000,000 the shipment of
agricultural products in any previous year.

An interesting and a promising work for the benefit of the American farmer
has been begun through agents of the Agricultural Department in Europe, and
consists in efforts to introduce the various products of Indian corn as
articles of human food. The high price of rye offered a favorable
opportunity for the experiment in Germany of combining corn meal with rye
to produce a cheaper bread. A fair degree of success has been attained, and
some mills for grinding corn for food have been introduced. The Secretary
is of the opinion that this new use of the products of corn has already
stimulated exportations, and that if diligently prosecuted large and
important markets can presently be opened for this great American product.

The suggestions of the Secretary for an enlargement of the work of the
Department are commended to your favorable consideration. It may, I think,
be said without challenge that in no corresponding period has so much been
done as during the last four years for the benefit of American

The subject of quarantine regulations, inspection, and control was brought
suddenly to my attention by the arrival at our ports in August last of
vessels infected with cholera. Quarantine regulations should be uniform at
all our ports. Under the Constitution they are plainly within the exclusive
Federal jurisdiction when and so far as Congress shall legislate. In my
opinion the whole subject should be taken into national control and
adequate power given to the Executive to protect our people against plague
invasions. On the 1st of September last I approved regulations establishing
a twenty-day quarantine for all vessels bringing immigrants from foreign
ports. This order will be continued in force. Some loss and suffering have
resulted to passengers, but a due care for the homes of our people
justifies in such cases the utmost precaution. There is danger that with
the coming of spring cholera will again appear, and a liberal appropriation
should be made at this session to enable our quarantine and port officers
to exclude the deadly plague.

But the most careful and stringent quarantine regulations may not be
sufficient absolutely to exclude the disease. The progress of medical and
sanitary science has been such, however, that if approved precautions are
taken at once to put all of our cities and towns in the best sanitary
condition, and provision is made for isolating any sporadic cases and for a
thorough disinfection, an epidemic can, I am sure, be avoided. This work
appertains to the local authorities, and the responsibility and the penalty
will be appalling if it is neglected or unduly delayed.

We are peculiarly subject in our great ports to the spread of infectious
diseases by reason of the fact that unrestricted immigration brings to us
out of European cities, in the overcrowded steerages of great steamships, a
large number of persons whose surroundings make them the easy victims of
the plague. This consideration, as well as those affecting the political,
moral, and industrial interests of our country, leads me to renew the
suggestion that admission to our country and to the high privileges of its
citizenship should be more restricted and more careful. We have, I think, a
right and owe a duty to our own people, and especially to our working
people, not only to keep out the vicious, the ignorant, the civil
disturber, the pauper, and the contract laborer, but to check the too great
flow of immigration now coming by further limitations.

The report of the World's Columbian Exposition has not yet been submitted.
That of the board of management of the Government exhibit has been received
and is herewith transmitted. The work of construction and of preparation
for the opening of the exposition in May next has progressed most
satisfactorily and upon a scale of liberality and magnificence that will
worthily sustain the honor of the United States.

The District of Columbia is left by a decision of the supreme court of the
District without any law regulating the liquor traffic. An old statute of
the legislature of the District relating to the licensing of various
vocations has hitherto been treated by the Commissioners as giving them
power to grant or refuse licenses to sell intoxicating liquors and as
subjecting those who sold without licenses to penalties; but in May last
the supreme court of the District held against this view of the powers of
the Commissioners. It is of urgent importance, therefore, that Congress
should supply, either by direct enactment or by conferring discretionary
powers upon the Commissioners, proper limitations and restraints upon the
liquor traffic in the District. The District has suffered in its reputation
by many crimes of violence, a large per cent of them resulting from
drunkenness and the liquor traffic. The capital of the nation should be
freed from this reproach by the enactment of stringent restrictions and
limitations upon the traffic.

In renewing the recommendation which I have made in three preceding annual
messages that Congress should legislate for the protection of railroad
employees against the dangers incident to the old and inadequate methods of
braking and coupling which are still in use upon freight trains, I do so
with the hope that this Congress may take action upon the subject.
Statistics furnished by the Interstate Commerce Commission show that during
the year ending June 30, 1891, there were forty-seven different styles of
car couplers reported to be in use, and that during the same period there
were 2,660 employees killed and 26,140 injured. Nearly 16 per cent of the
deaths occurred in the coupling and uncoupling of cars and over 36 per cent
of the injuries had the same origin.

The Civil Service Commission ask for an increased appropriation for needed
clerical assistance, which I think should be given. I extended the
classified service March 1, 1892, to include physicians, superintendents,
assistant superintendents, school-teachers, and matrons in the Indian
service, and have had under consideration the subject of some further
extensions, but have not as yet fully determined the lines upon which
extensions can most properly and usefully be made.

I have in each of the three annual messages which it has been my duty to
submit to Congress called attention to the evils and dangers connected with
our election methods and practices as they are related to the choice of
officers of the National Government. In my last annual message I endeavored
to invoke serious attention to the evils of unfair apportionments for
Congress. I can not close this message without again calling attention to
these grave and threatening evils. I had hoped that it was possible to
secure a nonpartisan inquiry by means of a commission into evils the
existence of which is known to all, and that out of this might grow
legislation from which all thought of partisan advantage should be
eliminated and only the higher thought appear of maintaining the freedom
and purity of the ballot and the equality of the elector, without the
guaranty of which the Government could never have been formed and without
the continuance of which it can not continue to exist in peace and

It is time that mutual charges of unfairness and fraud between the great
parties should cease and that the sincerity of those who profess a desire
for pure and honest elections should be brought to the test of their
willingness to free our legislation and our election methods from
everything that tends to impair the public confidence in the announced
result. The necessity for an inquiry and for legislation by Congress upon
this subject is emphasized by the fact that the tendency of the legislation
in some States in recent years has in some important particulars been away
from and not toward free and fair elections and equal apportionments. Is it
not time that we should come together upon the high plane of patriotism
while we devise methods that shall secure the right of every man qualified
by law to cast a free ballot and give to every such ballot an equal value
in choosing our public officers and in directing the policy of the

Lawlessness is not less such, but more, where it usurps the functions of
the peace officer and of the courts. The frequent lynching of colored
people accused of crime is without the excuse, which has sometimes been
urged by mobs for a failure to pursue the appointed methods for the
punishment of crime, that the accused have an undue influence over courts
and juries. Such acts are a reproach to the community where they occur, and
so far as they can be made the subject of Federal jurisdiction the
strongest repressive legislation is demanded. A public sentiment that will
sustain the officers of the law in resisting mobs and in protecting accused
persons in their custody should be promoted by every possible means. The
officer who gives his life in the brave discharge of this duty is worthy of
special honor. No lesson needs to be so urgently impressed upon our people
as this, that no worthy end or cause can be promoted by lawlessness.

This exhibit of the work of the Executive Departments is submitted to
Congress and to the public in the hope that there will be found in it a due
sense of responsibility and an earnest purpose to maintain the national
honor and to promote the happiness and prosperity of all our people, and
this brief exhibit of the growth and prosperity of the country will give us
a level from which to note the increase or decadence that new legislative
policies may bring to us. There is no reason why the national influence,
power, and prosperity should not observe the same rates of increase that
have characterized the past thirty years. We carry the great impulse and
increase of these years into the future. There is no reason why in many
lines of production we should not surpass all other nations, as we have
already done in some. There are no near frontiers to our possible
development. Retrogression would be a crime.


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