United States. President.

A compilation of the messages and papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 online

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Cornell University

The original of this book is in
the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.


In compliance with current

copyright law, Cornell University

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replacement volume on paper

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Z39.48-1992 to replace the

irreparably deteriorated original.





The Gift of


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A Rbfkesbntativs from thu State of Tennessbr



Copyright, 1897, by James D. Richardson.



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Resolution Authorizing the Compilation

Joint Committbb on Printing,

United States Senate,

Washington, D. C, August 20, 18 g^.

Hon. James D. Richardson,

. House 0/ Representatives.

Sir: I am directed by Senator Gorman, the Chainnan of the Joint

Committee on Printing, to transmit to you the accompanying resolution,

adopted by the Joint Committee this day and entered upon its journal.

Very respectfully,

F. M. Cox,

Clerk Joint Committee on Printing.

Whereas Congress has passed the following resolution, to wit:

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring'. That there be
printed and bound in cloth six thousand copies of the complete compilation of all
the annual, special, and veto messages, proclamations, and inaugural addresses of
the Presidents of the United States from 1789 to 1894, inclusive, two thousand copies
for the use of the Senate and four thousand copies for the use of the House. The
work shall be performed under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printihg:

Therefore, resolved by the Joint Comm,ittee on Printing, That Hon. James
D. Richardson be, and he is hereby, authorized and requested to take
charge of the work contemplated in said resolution, and prepare, compile,
and edit same. He is given full power and discretion to do this work for
and on behalf of this Committee. t /


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Prefatory Note

In compliance with the authorization of the Joint Committee on
Printing, I have undertaken this compilation.

The messages of the several Presidents of the United States — annual,
veto, and special — are ariiong the most interesting, instructive, and val-
uable contributions to the public Uterature of our Republic. They dis-
cuss from the loftiest standpoint nearly all the great questions of national
policy and many subjects of minor interest which have engaged the atten-
tion of the people from the beginning of our history, and so constitute
important and often vital links in their progressive development. The
proclamations, also, contain matter and sentiment no less elevating, inter-
esting, and important. They inspire to the highest and most exalted
degree the patriotic fervor and love of country in the hearts of the

It is believed that legislators and other public men, students of our
national history, and many others will hail with satisfaction the com-
pilation and publication of these messages and proclamations in such
compact form as will render them easily accessible and of ready refer-
ence. The work can not fail to be exceedingly convenient and useful
to all who have occasion to consult these documents. The Government
has never heretofore authorized a like publication.

In executing the commission with which I have been charged I have
sought to bring together in the several volumes of the series all Presi-
dential proclamations, addresses, messages, and communications to Con-
gress excepting those nominating persons to office and those which
simply transmit treaties, and reports of heads of Departments which con-
tain, no recommendation from the Kxecutive. The utmost effort har
been made to render the compilation accurate and exhaustive.

Although not required by the terms of the resolution authorizing the
compilation, it has been deemed wise and wholly consistent with its pur-
pose to incorporate in the first volume authentic copies of the Declaration


VI Messages and Papers of the Presidents

of Independence, tlie Articles of Confederation, and tlie Constitution of
the United States, together with steel engravings of the Capitol, the
Executive Mansion, and of the historical painting the "Signing of the
Declaration of Independence." Steel portraits of the Presidents will be
inserted each in its appropriate place.

The compilation has not been brought even to its present stage with-
out much labor and close application, and the end is far from view; but
if it shall prove satisfactory to Congress and the country, I will feel com-
pensated for my time and effort.


Washington, D. C,

February 22, i8g6.

Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776"

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Declaration of Independence

In congress, July 4, 1776.
%^t mmimm» mttlmatian of i\^ Witim mM ^Utt^oi ^\taevim,

"S^heiX in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. — ^We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to-
secure these rights. Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed, — ^That whenever any
Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right
of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such
form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happi-
ness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
shotild not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly
all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more dispcised to suffer,
while evils are sufterable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses
and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their
duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their
future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies;
and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their
former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of
Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all
having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over

Note.— The words " Declaiation of Independence " do not appear on the original.

4 Messages and Papers of the Presidents

these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. —
He has refused his Assent to I<aws, the most wholesome and necessary
for the public good. — He has forbidden his Governors to pass I^aws of
immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation
till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has
utterly neglected to attend to them. — He has refused to pass other Laws
for the accommodation of large districts of people, tmless those people
would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right
inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. — He has called
together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant
from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of
fatigfuing them into compliance with his measures. — He has dissolved


Represtative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his
invasions on the rights of the people. — He has refused for a long time,
after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legis-
lative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at
large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed
to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. —
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States;, for that
purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refus-
ing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising
the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. — ^He has obstructed
the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for estab-
lishing Judiciary powers. — He has made Judges dependent on his Will
alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of
their salaries. — He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent
hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their sub-
stance. — He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
without the Consent of our legislatures. — ^He has affected to render the
Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. — He has com-
bined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our consti-
tution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their
Acts of pretended Legislation: — For quartering large bodies of armed
troops among us: — For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from pimish-
ment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of

these States: — For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: — For depriving us in
many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:— For transporting us beyond
Seas to be tried for pretended offences: — For aboHshing the free System

Declaration of Independence 5

of English I^aws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an
Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at
once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute
rule into these Colonies: — For taking away our Charters, abolishing our
most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Gov-
ernments: — For suspending our own I^egislatures, and declaring them-
selves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. —
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection
and waging War against us. — He has plundered our seas, ravaged our
Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the Lives of our people. — He is
at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat
the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circum-
stances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous
ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. — He has
constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear
Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends
and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. — He has excited
domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the
inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known
rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and
conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
Redress in the most humble terms: Oiu: repeated Petitions have been


answered^by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked
by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a
free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish
brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts .by
their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We
have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settle-
ment here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity,
and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to
disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our con-
nections and correspondence They too have been deaf to the voice
of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the
necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold
the rest of mankind. Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. —

"SSlje, WiXXzlaxt, the Representatives of the UVC\iZ&, .States Sfl
J^ttIet;ica, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme
Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name,
and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly pub-

Messages and Papers of the Presidents

lish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to
be %XZZ awd gtX^jepjewdjeWt Jtates; that they are Absolved from
all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection
between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally
dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full
Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Com-
merce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States
may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm
reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to
each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

JosiAH Bartlett
W^^ Whipple
Sam'- Adams
John Adams
RoB^ Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Step. Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Sam^^ Huntington
W^^ Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Matthew Thornton
W™ Floyd
Phil. Livingston
Fran^ Lewis
Lewis Morris
RiCH° Stockton
Jno Witherspoon
FrA'"^ Hopkinson
John Hart
Abra Clark
Rob''^ Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benj^ Franklin
John Morton
Geo Clymer
Ja^ Smith.

Geo. Taylor
James Wilson
Geo. Ross
Geo Read
Tho M:Kean
Samuel Chase
WM Paca
Tho^ Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee.
Th Jefferson
Benj^ Harrison
Tho^ Nelson jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
W** Hooper
Joseph Hewes,
John Penn
Edward Rutledge.
Tho^ Heyward Jun""
Thomas Lynch Jun"^
Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
Geo Walton.

Articles of Confederation

Articles of Confederation

^jcr all tjpf tuttom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Dele-
gates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting. Whereas the
Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on
the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand
Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, and in the Second Year of the Inde-
pendence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and per-
petual IJnion between the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay,
Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina,
South- Carolina and Georgia in the Words following, viz. ' 'Articles of
Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of Newhamp-
shire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Con-
necticut, New- York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia.

Article I. The Stile of this confederacy shall be "The United States
of America."

Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom ana independ-
ence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this
confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress

Article III. The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league
of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of
their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves
to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon
them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any
other pretence whatseever.

Note.— The original is indorsed: Act of Confederation of The United States of America.


lo Messages and Papers of the Presidents

Article IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship
and intercourse among the people of the different states in this union,
the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugi-
tives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immu-
nities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state
shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall
enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the
same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof
respectively, provided that such restriction shall not extend so far as to
prevent the removal of property imported into any state, to any other
state of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no impo-
sition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any state, on the property
of the united states, or either of them.

If "any Person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other high
misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from Justice, and be found in any of
the united states, he shall upon demand of the Governor or executive
power, of the state from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to
the state having jurisdiction of his offence.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the
records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of
every other state.

Article V. For the more convenient management of the general inter-
ests of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such
manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in Congress
on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved
to each state, to recal its delegates, or any of them, at any time within
the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the

No state shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by
more than seven Members; and no person shall be capable of being a
delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall
any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any oflBce under the
united states, for which he, or another for his benefit receives any salary,
fees or emolument of any kind.

Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the states,
and while they act as members of the committee of the states.

In determining questions in the united states, in Congress assembled,
each state shall have one vote.

Articles of Confederation ii

Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or
questioned in any Court, or place out of Congress, and the members of
congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprison-
ments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on
congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

Article VI. No state without the Consent of the united states in
congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy
from, or enter into any conferrence, agreement, alliance or treaty with
any King prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of
profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any
present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king,
prince or foreign state; nor shall the united states in congress assem-
bled, or any of them, grant any title of nobiUty.

No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation or
alliance whatever' between them, without the consent of the united
states in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for
which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with
any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress
assembled, with any king, prince or state, in pursuance of any treaties
already proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain.

No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state, except
such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states
in congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor
shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace, except
such number only, as in the judgment of the united states, in congress
assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for
the defence of such state; but every state shall always keep up a well
regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and
shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due
number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammu-
nition and camp equipage.

No state shall engage in any war without the consent of the united
states in congress assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by
enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being
formed by some nation of Indians to invade such state, and the danger
is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the united states in con-
gress assembled can be consulted: nor shall any state grant commis-

12 Messages and Papers of the Presidents

sions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal,
except it be after a declaration of war by the united states in congress
assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state and the subjects
thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regula-
tions as shall be established by the united states in congress assembled,
unless such state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war
may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall
continue, or until the united states in congress assembled shall deter-
miire otherwise.

Article VII. When land-forces are raised by any state for the
common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be
appointed by the legislature of each state respectively by whom such
forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall direct, and
all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the

Article VIII. All charges of war, and all other expences that shall
be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by
the united states in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a com-
mon treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states, in proportion
to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any
Person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shaU.
be estimated according to such mode as the united states in congress
assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint. The taxes for
paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and
direction of the legislatiures of the several states within the time agreed
upon by the united states in congress assembled.

Article IX. The united states in congress assembled, shall have the
sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war,
except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article — of sending and
receiving ambassadors — entering into treaties and alliances, provided
that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power
of the respective states shall be restrained from imposing such imposts
and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from
prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or
commodities whatsoever — of establishing rules for deciding in all cases,
what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner
prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the united states
shall be divided or appropriated. — of granting letters of marque and
reprisal in times of peace — appointing courts for the trial of piracies

Online LibraryUnited States. PresidentA compilation of the messages and papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 → online text (page 1 of 64)