Copyright
Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

History of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life online

. (page 15 of 46)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life → online text (page 15 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


their cargoes, and the Consular Courts established by law in Eastern
countries to adjudicate the cases in the event that this should not be
objected to by the local authorities.

If any good reason exists why we should persevere longer in with
holding our recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Hayti
and Liberia, I am unable to discern it. Unwilling, however, to in
augurate a novel policy in regard to them without the approbation of
Congress, I submit for your consideration the expediency of an appro
priation for maintaining a Charge d* Affaires near each of those new
States. It does not admit of doubt that important commercial advantages
might be secured by favorable treaties with them.

The operations of the Treasury during the period which has elapsed
since your adjournment have been conducted with signal success. The
patriotism of the people has placed at the disposal of the Government
the large means demanded by the public exigencies. Much of the
national loan has been taken by citizens of the industrial classes, whose
confidence in their country s faith, and zeal for their country s deliver
ance from its present peril, have induced them to contribute to the
support of the Government the whole of their limited acquisitions. This
fact imposes peculiar obligations to economy and disbursement and
energy in action. The revenue from all sources, including loans for the
financial year ending on the 30th of June, 1861, was $86,835.900 27 ;
and the expenditures for the same period, including payments on account
of the public debt, were $84,578,034 47, leaving a balance in the
treasury, on the 1st of July, of $2,257,065 80 for the first quarter of the
financial year ending on September 30, 1861. The receipts from all
sources, including the balance of July 1, were $102,532,509 27, and the
expenses $98,239,733 09, leaving a balance, on the 1st of October,
1861, of $4,292,776 18.

Estimates for the remaining three-quarters of the year and for the
financial year of 1863, together with his views of the ways and means
for meeting the demands contemplated by them, will be submitted to
Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury. It is gratifying to know
that the expenses made necessary by the rebellion are not beyond the
resources of the loyal people, and to believe that the same patriotism
which has thus far sustained the Government will continue to sustain it
till peace and union shall again bless the land. % respectfully refer to
the report of the Secretary of V/ar for information respecting the
numerical strength of the army, and for recommendation^ having in



169

view an increase of its efficiency, and the well-being of the various
branches of the service intrusted to his care. It is gratifying to know
that the patriotism of the people has proved equal to the occasion, and
that the number of troops tendered greatly exceed the force which
Congress authorized me to call into the field. I refer with pleasure to
these portions of his report which make allusion to the creditable degree
of discipline already attained by our troops, and to the excellent sani
tary condition of the entire army. The recommendation of the Secre
tary for an organization of the militia upon a uniform basis is a subject
of vital importance to the future safety of the country, and is commended
to the serious attention of Congress. The large addition to the regular
army, in connection with the defection that has so considerably dimin
ished the number of its officers, gives peculiar importance to his recom
mendation for increasing the corps of cadets to the greatest capacity of
the Military Academy.

By mere omission I presume Congress has failed to provide chaplains
for the hospitals occupied by the volunteers. This subject was brought
to my notice, and I was induced to draw up the form of a letter, one
copy of which, properly addressed, has been delivered to each of the
persons, and at the dates respectively named and stated in a schedule,
containing, also, the form of the letter marked A, and herewith trans
mitted. These gentlemen. I understand, entered upon the duties
designated at the times respectively stated in the schedule, and have
labored faithfully therein ever since. I therefore recommend that they
be compensated at the same rate as chaplains in the army. I further
suggest that general provision be made for chaplains to serve at hospi
tals, as well as with regiments.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy presents, in detail, the oper
ations of that branch of the service, the activity and energy which have
characterized its administration, and the results of measures to increase
its efficiency and power. Such have been the additions, by construction
and purchase, that it may almost be said a navy has been created and
brought into service since our difficulties commenced.

Besides blockading our extensive coast, squadrons larger than ever
before assembled under our flag have been put afloat, and performed
deeds which have increased our naval renown.

I would invite special attention to the recommendation of the Secretary
for a more perfect organization of the navy, by introducing additional
grades in the service.

The present organization is defective and unsatisfactory, and the sug-



170 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.

gestions submitted by the department will, it is believed, if adopted, ob
viate the difficulties alluded to, promote harmony, and increase the effi
ciency of the navy.

There are three vacancies on the bench of the Supreme Court two
by the decease of Justices Daniel and McLean, and one by the resigna
tion of Justice Campbell. I have so far forborne making nominations to
fill these vacancies for reasons which I will now state. Two of the out
going judges resided within the States now overrun by revolt; so that
if successors were appointed in the same localities, they could not now
serve upon their circuits ; and many of the most competent men there
probably would not take the personal hazard of accepting to serve, even
here, upon the supreme bench. I have been unwilling to throw all the
appointments northward, thus disabling myself from doing justice to the
South on the return of peace; although I may remark that to transfer
to the North one which has heretofore been in the South, would not,
with reference to territory and population, be unjust.

During the long and brilliant judicial career of Judge McLean, his cir
cuit grew into an empire altogether too large for any one judge to give
the courts therein more than a nominal attendance rising in population
from one million four hundred and seventy thousand and eighteen, in
1830, to six million one hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred
and five, in 1860.

Besides this, the country generally has outgrown our present judicial
system. If uniformity was at all intended, the system requires that all
the States shall be accommodated with Circuit Courts, attended by su
preme judges, while, in fact, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Flor
ida, Texas, California, and Oregon, have never had any such courts.
Nor can this well be remedied without a change of the system; because
the adding of judges to the Supreme Court, enough for the accommoda
tion of all parts of the country with Circuit Courts, would create a court
altogether too numerous for a judicial body of any sort. And the evil,
if it be one, will increase as new States come into the Union. Circuit
Courts are useful, or they are not useful. If useful, no State should be
denied them ; if not useful, no State should have them. Let them be
provided for all, or abolished as to all.

Three modifications occur to me, either of which, I think, would be
an improvement upon our present system. Let the Supreme Court be
of convenient number in every event. Then, first, let the whole country
be divided into circuits of convenient size, the supreme judges to serve
in a number of them corresponding to their own number, and indepen-



MESSAGE. 171

dent circuit judges be provided for all the rest. Or, secondly, let the
supreme judges be relieved from circuit duties, and circuit judges pro
vided for all the circuits. Or, thirdly, dispense with circuit courts alto
gether, leaving the judicial functions wholly to the district courts and an
independent Supreme Court.

I respectfully recommend to the consideration of Congress the present
condition of the statute laws, with the hope that Congress will be able
to find an easy remedy for many of the inconveniences and evils which
constantly embarrass those engaged in the practical administration of
them. Since the organization of the Government, Congress has enacted
some five thousand acts and joint resolutions, which fill more than six
thousand closely-printed pages, and are scattered through many vol
umes. Many of these acts have been drawn in haste and without suffi
cient caution, so that their provisions are often obscure in themselves,
or in conflict with each other, or at least so doubtful as to render it very
difficult for even the best-informed persons to ascertain precisely what
the statute law really is.

It seems to me very important that the statute laws should be
made as plain and intelligible as possible, and be reduced to as small a
compass as may consist w r ith the fulness and precision of the will of the
legislature and the perspicuity of its language. This, w r ell done, would,
I think, greatly facilitate the labors of those whose duty it is to assist in
the administration of the laws, and would be a lasting benefit to the
people, by placing before them, in a more accessible and intelligible
form, the laws which so deeply concern their interests and their duties.

I am informed by some whose opinions I respect, that all the acts of
Congress now in force, and of a permanent and general nature, might be
revised and re-written, so as to be embraced in one volume (or, at most,
two volumes) of ordinary and convenient size. And I respectfully
recommend to Congress to consider of the subject, and, if my suggestion
be approved, to devise such plan as to their wisdom shall seem most
proper for the attainment of the end proposed.

One of the unavoidable consequences of the present insurrection is tho
entire suppression, in many places, of all the ordinary means of admin
istering civil justice by the officers, and hi the forms of existing law.
This is the case, in whole or in part, in all the insurgent States; and as
our armies advance upon and take possession of parts of those States,
the practical evil becomes more apparent. There are no courts nor offi
cers to whom the citizens of other States may apply for the enforcement
of their lawful claims against citizens of the insurgent States ; and there



172 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.

is a vast amount of debt constituting such claims. Some have estimated
it as high as two hundred million dollars, due, in large part, from insur
gents in open rebellion to loyal citizens who are, even now, making great
sacrifices in the discharge of their patriotic duty to support the Govern
ment.

Under these circumstances, I have been urgently solicited to establish,
by military power, courts to administer summary justice in such cases.
I have thus far declined to do it, not because I had any doubt that the
end proposed the collection of the debts was just and right in itself,
but because I have been unwilling to go beyond the pressure of neces
sity in the unusual exercise of power. But the powers of Congress, I
suppose, are equal to the anomalous occasion, and therefore I refer the
whole matter to Congress, with the hope that a plan may be devised for
the administration of justice in all such parts of the insurgent States and
Territories as may be under the control of this Government, whether by
a voluntary return to allegiance and order, or by the power of our arms;
this, however, not to be a permanent institution, but a temporary sub
stitute, and to cease as soon as the ordinary courts can be re-established
in peace.

It is important that some more convenient means should be provided,
if possible, for the adjustment of claims against the Government, espe
cially in view of their increased number by reason of the war. It is as
much the duty of Government to render prompt justice against itself, in
favor of citizens, as it is to administer the same between private indi
viduals. The investigation and adjudication of claims, in their nature
belong to the judicial department ; besides, it is apparent that the atten
tion of Congress will be more than usually engaged, for some time to
come, with great national questions. It was intended, by the organiza
tion of the Court of Claims, mainly to remove this branch of business
from the halls of Congress; but while the court has proved to be an ef
fective and valuable means of investigation, it in great degree fails to
effect the object of its creation, for want of power to make its judgments
final.

Fully aware of the delicacy, not to say the danger, of the subject, I
commend to your careful consideration whether this power of making
judgments final may not properly be given to the court, reserving the
right of appeal on questions of law to the Supreme Court, with such
other provisions as experience may have shown to be necessary.

I ask attention to the report of the Postmaster-General, the following
being a summary statement of the condition of the department :



The revenue from all sources during the fiscal year ending Jui/e 30,
1?61, including the annual permanent appropriation of seven hundred
thousand dollars for the transportation of " free mail matter," was nine
million, forty-nine thousand, two hundred and ninety-six dollars and
forty cents, being about two per cent, less than the revenue for 1860.

The expenditures were thirteen million, six hundred and six thousand,
seven hundred and fifty-nine dollars and eleven cents, showing a de
crease of more than eight per cent, as compared with those of the pre
vious year, and leaving an excess of expenditure over the revenue for
the last fiscal year of four million, five hundred and fifty-seven thousand,
four hundred and sixty-two dollars and seventy-one cents.

The gross revenue for the year ending June 30, 1863, is estimated at
an increase of four per cent, on that of 1861, making eight million, six
hundred and eighty-three thousand dollars, to which should be added
the earnings of the department in carrying free matter, viz. : seven hun
dred thousand dollars, making nine millions three hundred and eighty-
three thousand dollars.

The total expenditures for 1863 are estimated at twelve million, five
hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars, leaving an estimated de
ficiency of three million, one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars to
be supplied from the Treasury, in addition to the permanent appropria
tion.

The present insurrection shows, I think, that the extension of this
district across the Potomac River, at the time of establishing the Capitol
here, was eminently wise, and consequently that the relinquishment of
that portion of it which lies within the State of Virginia was unwise and
dangerous. I submit for your consideration the expediency of regaining
that part of the district, and the restoration of the original boundaries
thereof, through negotiations with the State of Virginia.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior, with the accompanying
documents, exhibits the condition of the several branches of the public
business pertaining to that department. The depressing influences of
the insurrection have been especially felt in the operations of the Patent
and General Land Offices. The cash receipts from the sales of public
lands during the past year have exceeded the expenses of our land sys
tem only about two hundred thousand dollars. The sales have been
entirely suspended in the Southern States, while the interruptions to the
business of the country, and the diversion of large numbers of men from
labor to military service, have obstructed settlements in the new States
and territories of the Northwest.



174

The receipts of the Patent Office have declined in nine months about
one hundred thousand dollars, rendering a large reduction of the force
employed necessary to make it self-sustaining.

The demands upon the Pension Office will be largely increased by the
insurrection. Numerous applications for pensions, based upon the cas
ualties of the existing war, have already been made. There is reason to
believe that many who are now upon the pension rolls, and in receipt of
the bounty of the Government, are in the ranks of the insurgent army,
or giving them aid and comfort. The Secretary of the Interior has directed
a suspension of the payment of the pensions of such persons upon proof
of their disloyalty. I recommend that Congress authorize that officer
to cause the names of such persons to be stricken from the pension
rolls.

The relations of the Government with the Indian tribes have been
greatly disturbed by the insurrection, especially in the southern super-
intendency and in that of New Mexico. The Indian country south of
Kansas is in the possession of insurgents from Texas and Arkansas.
The agents of the United States appointed since the 4th of March for
this superintendency have been unable to reach their posts, while the
most of those who were in office before that time have espoused the
insurrectionary cause, and assume to exercise the powers of agents by
virtue of commissions from the insurrectionists. It has been stated in the
public press that a portion of those Indians have been organized as a
military force, and are attached to the army of the insurgents. Although
the Government has no official information upon this subject, letters
have been written to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs by several promi
nent chiefs, giving assurance of their loyalty to the United States, and
expressing a wish for the presence of Federal troops to protect them. Tt
is believed that upon the repossession of the -country by the Federal
forces, the Indians will readily cease all hostile demonstrations, and re
sume their former relations to the Government.

Agriculture, confessedly the largest interest of the nation, has not a
department, nor a bureau, but a clerkship only, assigned to it in the
Government. While it is fortunate that this great interest is so inde
pendent in its nature as to not have demanded and extorted more from
the Government, I respectfully ask Congress to consider whether some
thing more cannot be given voluntarily with general advantage.

Annual reports exhibiting the condition of our agriculture, commerce,
and manufactures, would present a fund of information of great practical
value to the country. While I make no suggestion as to details, I ven-



175

ture the opinion that an agricultural and statistical bureau might profit
ably be organized.

The execution of the laws for the suppression of the African slave-trade
has been conlided to the Department of the Interior, It is* a subject of
gratulation that the efforts which have been made for the suppression of
this inhuman traffic have been recently attended with unusual success.
Five vessels being fitted out for the slave-trade have been seized and con
demned. Two mates of vessels engaged in the trade, and one person in
equipping a vessel as a slaver, have been convicted and subjected to the
penalty of fine and imprisonment, and one captain, taken with a cargo
of Africans on board his vessel, has been convicted of the highest grade
of offence under our laws, the punishment of which is death.

The Territories of Colorado, Dakotah, and Nevada, created by the last
Congress, have been organized, and civil administration has been inau
gurated therein under auspices especially gratifying, when it is consid
ered that the leaven of treason was found existing in some of these new
countries when the Federal officers arrived there.

The abundant natural resources of these Territories, with the security
and protection afforded by organized government, will doubtless invite
to them a large immigation when peace shall restore the business of the
country to its accustomed channels. I submit the resolutions of the
Legislature of Colorado, which evidence the patriotic spirit of the people
of the Territory. So far the authority of the United States has been up
held in all the Territories, as it is hoped it will be in the future. I com
mend their interests and defence to the enlightened and generous care
of Congress.

I recommend to the favorable consideration of Congress the interests
of the District of Columbia. The insurrection has been the cause of
much suffering and sacrifice to its inhabitants, and as they have no rep
resentative in Congress, that body should not overlook their just claims
upon the Government.

At your late session a joint resolution was adopted authorizing the
President to take measures for facilitating a proper representation of the
industrial interests of the United States at the exhibition of the indus
try of all nations to be holden at London in the year 1862. I regret to
say I have been unable to give personal attention to this subject a
subject at once so interesting in itself, and so extensively and intimately
connected with the material prosperity of the world. Through the Sec
retaries of State and of the Interior a plan or system has been devised
and partly matured, and which will be laid before you.



176 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTEATION".

Under and by virtue of the act of Congress entitled "An act to con
fiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes," approved August
6, 1861, the legal claims of certain persons to the labor and service of
certain other persons have become forfeited ; and numbers of the latter,
thus liberated, are already dependent on the United States, and must bo
provided for in some way. Besides this, it is not impossible that some
of the States will pass similar enactments for their own benefit respec
tively, and by operation of which persons of the same class will be
thrown upon them for disposal In such case I recommend that Con
gress provide for accepting such persons from such States, according to
some mode of valuation, in lieu, pro tanto, of direct taxes, or upon somo
other plan to be agreed on with such States respectively ; that such
persons, on such acceptance by the General Government, be at once
deemed free ; and that, in any event, steps be taken for colonizing both
classes (or the one first mentioned, if the other shall not be brought
into existence) at some place or places in a climate congenial to them. It
might be well to consider, too, whether the free colored people already
In the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be in
cluded in such colonization.

To carry out the plan of colonization may involve the acquiring of
territory, and also the appropriation of money beyond that to be ex
pended in the territorial acquisition. Having practised the acquisition
of territory for nearly sixty years, the question of constitutional power
to do so is no longer an open one with us. The power was questioned
at first by Mr. Jefferson, who, however, in the purchase of Louisiana,
yielded his scruples on the plea of great expediency. If it be said that
the only legitimate object of acquiring territory is to furnish homes for
white men, this measure effects that object; for the emigration of colored
men leaves additional room for white men remaining or coming here.
Mr. Jefferson, however, placed the importance of procuring Louisiana
more on political and commercial grounds than on providing room for
population.

On this whole proposition, including the appropriation of money with
the acquisition of territory, does not the expediency amount to absolute
necessity that, without which the Government itself cannot be perpet
uated?

The war continues. In considering the policy to be adopted for sup
pressing the insurrection, I have been anxious and careful that the in
evitable conflict for this purpose shall not degenerate into a violent ana
remorseless revolutionary struggle.



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 177

In the exercise of my best discretion I have adhered to the blockade
of the ports held by the insurgents, instead of putting in force by proc
lamation the law of Congress enacted at the late session for closing
those ports.

So, also, obeying the dictates of prudence, as well as the obligations
of law, instead of transcending I have adhered to the act of Congress to
confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes. If a new law



Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life → online text (page 15 of 46)