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steps: first, in declaring, by joint resolution, that the public debt shall be paid, principal and interest, in coin; and second, by providing the means for paying. Providing the means, however, could not secure the object desired, without a proper administration of the laws for the collection of the revenues and an economical disbursement of them. To this subject the Administration has most earnestly addressed itself, with results, I hope, satisfactory to the country. There has been no hesitation in changing officials in order to secure an efficient execution of the laws, sometimes too, where, in a mere party view, undesirable political results were likely to follow, nor any hesitation in sustaining efficient officials, against remonstrances wholly political.
"It may be well to mention here the embarrassment possible to arise from leaving on the statute books the so-called 'tenure-of-office acts,' and to earnestly recommend their total repeal. It could not have been the intention of the framers of the Constitution, when providing that appointments made by the President should receive the consent of the Senate, that the latter should have the power to retain in office persons placed there, by federal appointment, against the will of the President. The law is inconsistent with a faithful and efficient administration of the Government. What faith can an Executive put in officials forced upon him, and those, too, whom he has suspended for reason? How will such officials be likely to serve an administration which they know does not trust them?
"For the second requisite to our growth and prosperity time and a firm but humane administration of existing laws (amended from time to time as they may prove ineffective, or prove harsh and unnecessary) are probably all that are required.
"The third cannot be attained by special legislation, but must be regarded as fixed by the Constitution itself, and gradually acquiesced in by force of public opinion.
"From the foundation of the Government to the present, the management of the original inhabitants of this continent, the Indians, has been a subject of embarrassment and expense, and has been attended with continuous robberies, murders, and wars. From my own experience upon the frontiers, and in Indian countries, I do not hold either legislation, or the conduct of the whites who come most in contact with the Indian, blameless for these hostilities. The past, however, cannot be undone, and the question must be met as we now find it. I have attempted a new policy toward these wards of the nation (they cannot be regarded in any other light than as wards), with fair results, so far as tried, and which I hope will be attended ultimately with great success. The Society of Friends is well known as having succeeded in living in peace with the Indians in the early settlement of Pennsylvania, while their white neighbours of other sects, in other sections, were constantly embroiled. They are also known for their opposition to all strife, violence, and war, and are generally noted for their strict integrity
and fair dealings. These considerations induced me to give the management of a few reservations of Indians to them, and to throw the burden of selection of agents upon the society itself. The result has proven most satisfactory. It will be found more fully set forth in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. For superintendents and Indian agents not on the reservations, officers of the army were selected. The reasons for this are numerous. Where Indian agents are sent, there, or near there, troops must be sent also. The agent and the commander of troops are independent of each other, and are subject to orders from different departments of the government. The army officer holds a position for life; the agent one at the will of the President. The former is personally interested in living in harmony with the Indian, and in establishing a permanent peace, to the end that some portion of his life may be spent within the limits of civilized society. The latter has no such personal interest. Another reason is an economic one; and still another, the hold which the Government has upon a life officer to secure a faithful discharge of duties in carrying out a given policy.
"The building of railroads, and the access thereby given to all the agricultural and mineral regions of the country, is rapidly bringing civilized settlements into contact with all the tribes of Indians. No matter what ought to be the relations between such settlements and the aborigines, the fact is they do not harmonize well, and one or the other has to give way in the end. A system which looks to the extinction of a race is too horrible for a nation to adopt without entailing upon itself the wrath of all Christendom and engendering in the citizen a disregard for human life and the rights of others dangerous to society. I see no substitute for such a system except in placing all the Indians on large reservations as rapidly as it can be done, and giving them absolute protection there. As soon as they are fitted for it they should be induced to take their lands in severalty, and to set up territorial governments for their own protection. For full details on this subject I call your special attention to the reports of the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
"The report of the Secretary of War shows the expenditure of the War Department for the year ending June 30, 1869, to be $80,644,042, of which $23,882,310 was disbursed in the payment of debts contracted during the war, and is not chargeable to current army expenses. His estimate of $34,531,031 for the expenses of the army for the next fiscal year is as low as it is believed can be relied on. The estimates of bureau officers have been carefully scrutinized, and reduced wherever it has been deemed practicable. If, however, the condition of the country should be such by the beginning of the next fiscal year as to admit of a greater concentration of troops, the appropriation asked for will not be expended.
"The appropriations estimated for river and harbour improvements
and for fortifications are submitted separately. Whatever amount Congress may deem proper to appropriate for these purposes will be expended.
"The recommendation of the General of the Army, that appropriations be made for the forts at Boston, Portland, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco, if for no other, is concurred in. I also ask your special attention to the recommendation of the general commanding the military division of the Pacific for the sale of the seal islands of St. Paul and St. George, Alaska Territory, and suggest that it either be complied with, or that legislation be had for the protection of the seal fisheries, from which a revenue should be derived.
"The report of the Secretary of War contains a synopsis of the reports of the heads of bureaus, of the commanders of military divisions, and of the districts of Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas, and the report of the General of the Army in full. The recommendations therein contained have been well considered, and are submitted for your action. I, however, call special attention to the recommendation of the Chief of Ordnance, for the sale of arsenals and lands no longer of use to the Government; also to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, that the Act of March 3, 1869, prohibiting promotions and appointments in the staff corps of the army, be repealed. The extent of country to be garrisoned, and the number of military posts to be occupied, is the same with a reduced army as with a large one. The number of staff-officers required is more dependent upon the latter than the former condition.
"The report of the Secretary of the Navy, accompanying this, shows the condition of the navy when this Administration came into office, and the changes made since. Strenuous efforts have been made to place as many vessels in commission,' or render them fit for service, if required, as possible, and to substitute the sail for steam whilst cruising, thus materially reducing the expenses of the navy and adding greatly to its efficiency. Looking to our future, I recommend a liberal though not extravagant policy toward this branch of the public service.
"The report of the Postmaster-General furnishes a clear and comprehensive exhibit of the operations of the postal service, and of the financial condition of the Post-office Department. The ordinary postal revenues for the year ending the 30th of June, 1869, amounted to $18,344,510, and the expenditures to $23,698,131, showing an excess of expenditures over receipts of $5,353,620. The excess of expenditures over receipts for the previous year amounted to $6,437,992. The increase of revenues for 1869 over those of 1868 was $2,051,909, and the increase of expenditures was $967,538. The increased revenue in 1869 exceeded the increased revenue in 1868 by $996,336; and the increased expenditure in 1869 was $2,527,570 less than the increased expenditure in 1868, showing by comparison this gratifying feature of improvement, that while the increase of expenditures over the increase of receipts in 1868 was
$2,439,535, the increase of receipts over the increase of expenditures in 1869 was $1,084,371.
"Your attention is respectfully called to the recommendations made by the Postmaster-General for authority to change the rate of compensation to the main trunk railroad lines for their services in carrying the mails; for having post-route maps executed; for reorganizing and increasing the efficiency of the special agency service; for increase of the mail service on the Pacific, and for establishing mail service, under the flag of the Union, on the Atlantic; and most especially do I call your attention to his recommendation for the total abolition of the franking privilege. This is an abuse from which no one receives a commensurate advantage; it reduces the receipts for postal service from tweny-five to thirty per cent., and largely increases the service to be performed. The method by which postage should be paid upon public matter is set forth fully in the report of the Postmaster-General.
The report of the Secretary of the Interior shows that the quantity of public lands disposed of during the year ending the 30th of June, 1869, was 7,666,152 acres, exceeding that of the preceding year by 1,010,409 acres. Of this amount 2,899,544 acres were sold for cash, and 2,737,365 acres entered under the homestead laws. The remainder was granted to aid in the construction of works of internal improvement, approved to the States as swamp-land, and located with warrants and scrip. The cash receipts from all sources were $4,472,886, exceeding those of the preceding year $2,840,140.
"During the last fiscal year 23,196 names were added to the pension rolls, and 4876 dropped therefrom, leaving at its close 187,963. The amount paid to pensioners, including the compensation of disbursing agents, was $28,422,884, an increase of $4,411,902 on that of the previous year. The munificence of Congress has been conspicuously manifested in its legislation for the soldiers and sailors who suffered in the recent struggle to maintain that unity of government which makes us one people.' The additions to the pension rolls of each successive year, since the conclusion of hostilities, result in a great degree from the repeated amendments of the Act of the 14th of July, 1862, which extended its provisions to cases not falling within its original scope. The large outlay which is thus occasioned is further increased by the more liberal allowance bestowed since that date upon those who in the line of duty were wholly or permanently disabled. Public opinion has given an emphatic sanction to these measures of Congress, and it will be conceded that no part of our public burden is more cheerfully borne than that which is imposed by this branch of the service. It necessitates for the next fiscal year, in addition to the amount justly chargeable to the naval pension fund, an appropriation of thirty millions of dollars.
"During the year ending the 30th of September, 1869, the Patent Office issued 13,762 patents, and its receipts were $686,389, being $213,926 more than the expenditures.
"I would respectfully call your attention to the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior for uniting the duties of supervising the education of freedmen with the other duties devolving upon the Commissioner of Education.
"If it is the desire of Congress to make the census, which must be taken during the year 1870, more complete and perfect than heretofore, I would suggest early action upon any plan that may be agreed upon. As Congress, at the last session, appointed a committee to take into consideration such measures as might be deemed proper in reference to the census, and report a plan, I desist from saying more.
"I recommend to your favourable consideration the claims of the Agricultural Bureau for liberal appropriations. In a country so diversified in climate and soil as ours, and with a population so largely dependent upon agriculture, the benefits that can be conferred by properly fostering this bureau are incalculable.
"I desire respectfully to call the attention of Congress to the inadequate salaries of a number of the most important offices of the Government. In this Message I will not enumerate them, but will specify only the justices of the Supreme Court. No change has been made in their salaries for fifteen years. Within that time the labours of the court have largely increased, and the expenses of living have at least doubled. During the same time Congress has twice found it necessary to increase largely the compensation of its own members; and the duty which it owes to another department of the Government deserves, and will undoubtedly receive, its due consideration.
"There are many subjects not alluded to in this Message which might with propriety be introduced, but I abstain, believing that your patriotism and statesmanship will suggest the topics and the legislation most conducive to the interests of the whole people. On my part, I promise a rigid adherence to the laws, and their strict enforcement.
"U. S. GRANT."