State of the Union Address
To the Congress of the United States:
The assemblage within the nation's legislative halls of those charged
with the duty of making laws for the benefit of a generous and free people
impressively suggests the exacting obligation and inexorable responsibility
involved in their task. At the threshold of such labor now to be undertaken
by the Congress of the United States, and in the discharge of an executive
duty enjoined by the Constitution, I submit this communication, containing
a brief statement of the condition of our national affairs and recommending
such legislation as seems to me necessary and expedient.
The history of our recent dealings with other nations and our peaceful
relations with them at this time additionally demonstrate the advantage
of consistently adhering to a firm but just foreign policy, free from envious
or ambitious national schemes and characterized by entire honesty and sincerity.
During the past year, pursuant to a law of Congress, commissioners were
appointed to the Antwerp Industrial Exposition. Though the participation
of American exhibitors fell far short of completely illustrating our national
ingenuity and industrial achievements, yet it was quite creditable in view
of the brief time allowed for preparation.
I have endeavored to impress upon the Belgian Government the heedlessness
and positive harmfulness of its restrictions upon the importation of certain
of our food products, and have strongly urged that the rigid supervision
and inspection under our laws are amply sufficient to prevent the exportation
from this country of diseased cattle and unwholesome meat.
The termination of the civil war in Brazil has been followed by the
general prevalence of peace and order. It appearing at an early stage of
the insurrection that its course would call for unusual watchfulness on
the part of this Government, our naval force in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro
was strengthened. This precaution, I am satisfied, tended to restrict the
issue to a simple trial of strength between the Brazilian Government and
the insurgents and to avert complications which at times seemed imminent.
Our firm attitude of neutrality was maintained to the end. The insurgents
received no encouragement of eventual asylum from our commanders, and such
opposition as they encountered was for the protection of our commerce and
was clearly justified by public law.
A serious tension of relations having arisen at the close of the war
between Brazil and Portugal by reason of the escape of the insurgent admiral
Da Gama and his followers, the friendly offices of our representatives
to those countries were exerted for the protection of the subjects of either
within the territory of the other.
Although the Government of Brazil was duly notified that the commercial
arrangement existing between the United States and that country based on
the third section of the tariff act of 1890 was abrogated on August 28,
1894, by the taking effect of the tariff law now in force, that Government
subsequently notified us of its intention to terminate such arrangement
on the 1st day of January, 1895, in the exercise of the right reserved
in the agreement between the two countries. I invite attention to the correspondence
between the Secretary of State and the Brazilian minister on this subject.
The commission organized under the convention which we had entered into
with Chile for the settlement of the outstanding claims of each Government
against the other adjourned at the end of the period stipulated for its
continuance leaving undetermined a number of American cases which had been
duly presented. These claims are not barred, and negotiations are in progress
for their submission to a new tribunal.
On the 17th of March last a new treaty with China in further regulation
of emigration was signed at Washington, and on August 13 it received the
sanction of the Senate. Ratification on the part of China and formal exchange
are awaited to give effect to this mutually beneficial convention.
A gratifying recognition of the uniform impartiality of this country
toward all foreign states was manifested by the coincident request of the
Chinese and Japanese Governments that the agents of the United States should
within proper limits afford protection to the subjects of the other during
the suspension of diplomatic relations due to a state of war. This delicate
office was accepted, and a misapprehension which gave rise to the belief
that in affording this kindly unofficial protection our agents would exercise
the same authority which the withdrawn agents of the belligerents had exercised
was promptly corrected. Although the war between China and Japan endangers
no policy of the United States, it deserves our gravest consideration by
reason of its disturbance of our growing commercial interests in the two
countries and the increased dangers which may result to our citizens domiciled
or sojourning in the interior of China.
Acting under a stipulation in our treaty with Korea (the first concluded
with a western power), I felt constrained at the beginning of the controversy
to tender our good offices to induce an amicable arrangement of the initial
difficulty growing out of the Japanese demands for administrative reforms
in Korea, but the unhappy precipitation of actual hostilities defeated
this kindly purpose.
Deploring the destructive war between the two most powerful of the eastern
nations and anxious that our commercial interests in those countries may
be preserved and that the safety of our citizens there shall not be jeopardized,
I would not hesitate to heed any intimation that our friendly aid for the
honorable termination of hostilities would be acceptable to both belligerents.
A convention has been finally concluded for the settlement by arbitration
of the prolonged dispute with Ecuador growing out of the proceedings against
Emilio Santos, a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Our relations with the Republic of France continue to be such as should
exist between nations so long bound together by friendly sympathy and similarity
in their form of government.
The recent cruel assassination of the President of this sister Republic
called forth such universal expressions of sorrow and condolence from our
people and Government as to leave no doubt of the depth and sincerity of
our attachment. The resolutions passed by the Senate and House of Representatives
on the occasion have been communicated to the widow of President Carnot.
Acting upon the reported discovery of Texas fever in cargoes of American
cattle, the German prohibition against importations of live stock and fresh
meats from this country has been revived. It is hoped that Germany will
soon become convinced that the inhibition is as needless as it is harmful
to mutual interests.
The German Government has protested against that provision of the customs
tariff act which imposes a discriminating duty of one-tenth of 1 cent a
pound on sugars coming from countries paying an export bounty thereon,
claiming that the exaction of such duty is in contravention of Articles
V and IX of the treaty of 1828 with Prussia.
In the interests of the commerce of both countries and to avoid even
the accusation of treaty violation, I recommend the repeal of so much of
the statute as imposes that duty, and I invite attention to the accompanying
report of the Secretary of State, containing a discussion of the questions
raised by the German protests.
Early in the present year an agreement was reached with Great Britain
concerning instructions to be given to the naval commanders of the two
Governments in Bering Sea and the contiguous North Pacific Ocean for their
guidance in the execution of the award of the Paris Tribunal of Arbitration
and the enforcement of the regulations therein prescribed for the protection
of seal life in the waters mentioned. An understanding has also been reached
for the payment by the United States of
$425,000 in full satisfaction of all claims which may be made by Great
Britain for damages growing out of the controversy as to fur seals in Bering
Sea or the seizure of British vessels engaged in taking seal in those waters.
The award and findings of the Paris Tribunal to a great extent determined
the facts and principles upon which these claims should be adjusted, and
they have been subjected by both Governments to a thorough examination
upon the principles as well as the facts which they involve. I am convinced
that a settlement upon the terms mentioned would be an equitable and advantageous
one, and I recommend that provision be made for the prompt payment of the
Thus far only France and Portugal have signified their willingness to
adhere to the regulations established under the award of the Paris Tribunal
Preliminary surveys of the Alaskan boundary and a preparatory examination
of the question of protection of food fish in the contiguous waters of
the United States and the Dominion of Canada are in progress.
The boundary of British Guiana still remains in dispute between Great
Britain and Venezuela. Believing that its early settlement on some just
basis alike honorable to both parties is in the line of our established
policy to remove from this hemisphere all causes of difference with powers
beyond the sea, I shall renew the efforts heretofore made to bring about
a restoration of diplomatic relations between the disputants and to induce
a reference to arbitration--a resort which Great Britain so conspicuously
favors in principle and respects in practice and which is earnestly sought
by her weaker adversary.
Since communicating the voluminous correspondence in regard to Hawaii
and the action taken by the Senate and House of Representatives on certain
questions submitted to the judgment and wider discretion of Congress the
organization of a government in place of the provisional arrangement which
followed the deposition of the Queen has been announced, with evidence
of its effective operation. The recognition usual in such cases has been
accorded the new Government.
Under our present treaties of extradition with Italy miscarriages of
justice have occurred owing to the refusal of that Government to surrender
its own subjects. Thus far our efforts to negotiate an amended convention
obviating this difficulty have been unavailing.
Apart from the war in which the Island Empire is engaged, Japan attracts
increasing attention in this country by her evident desire to cultivate
more liberal intercourse with us and to seek our kindly aid in furtherance
of her laudable desire for complete autonomy in her domestic affairs and
full equality in the family of nations. The Japanese Empire of to-day is
no longer the Japan of the past, and our relations with this progressive
nation should not be less broad and liberal than those with other powers.
Good will, fostered by many interests in common, has marked our relations
with our nearest southern neighbor. Peace being restored along her northern
frontier, Mexico has asked the punishment of the late disturbers of her
tranquillity. There ought to be a new treaty of commerce and navigation
with that country to take the place of the one which terminated thirteen
years ago. The friendliness of the intercourse between the two countries
is attested by the fact that during this long period the commerce of each
has steadily increased under the rule of mutual consideration, being neither
stimulated by conventional arrangements nor retarded by jealous rivalries
or selfish distrust.
An indemnity tendered by Mexico as a gracious act for the murder in
1887 of Leon Baldwin, an American citizen, by a band of marauders in Durango
has been accepted and is being paid in installments.
The problem of the storage and use of the waters of the Rio Grande for
irrigation should be solved by appropriate concurrent action of the two
interested countries. Rising in the Colorado heights, the stream flows
intermittently, yielding little water during the dry months to the irrigation
channels already constructed along its course. This scarcity is often severely
felt in the regions where the river forms a common boundary. Moreover,
the frequent changes in its course through level sands often raise embarrassing
questions of territorial jurisdiction.
Prominent among the questions of the year was the Bluefields incident,
in what is known as the Mosquito Indian Strip, bordering on the Atlantic
Ocean and within the jurisdiction of Nicaragua. By the treaty of 1860 between
Great Britain and Nicaragua the former Government expressly recognized
the sovereignty of the latter over the strip, and a limited form of self-government
was guaranteed to the Mosquito Indians, to be exercised according to their
customs, for themselves and other dwellers within its limits. The so-called
native government, which grew to be largely made up of aliens, for many
years disputed the sovereignty of Nicaragua over the strip and claimed
the right to maintain therein a practically independent municipal government.
Early in the past year efforts of Nicaragua to maintain sovereignty over
the Mosquito territory led to serious disturbances, culminating in the
suppression of the native government and the attempted substitution of
an impracticable composite administration in which Nicaragua and alien
residents were to participate. Failure was followed by an insurrection,
which for a time subverted Nicaraguan rule, expelling her officers and
restoring the old organization. This in turn gave place to the existing
local government established and upheld by Nicaragua.
Although the alien interests arrayed against Nicaragua in these transactions
have been largely American and the commerce of that region for some time
has been and still is chiefly controlled by our citizens, we can not for
that reason challenge the rightful sovereignty of Nicaragua over this important
part of her domain.
For some months one, and during part of the time two, of our naval ships
have been stationed at Bluefields for the protection of all legitimate
interests of our citizens. In September last the Government at Managua
expelled from its territory twelve or more foreigners, including two Americans,
for alleged participation in the seditious or revolutionary movements against
the Republic at Bluefields already mentioned; but through the earnest remonstrance
of this Government the two Americans have been permitted to return to the
peaceful management of their business. Our naval commanders at the scene
of these disturbances by their constant exhibition of firmness and good
judgment contributed largely to the prevention of more serious consequences
and to the restoration of quiet and order. I regret that in the midst of
these occurrences there happened a most grave and irritating failure of
Nicaraguan justice. An American citizen named Wilson, residing at Rama,
in the Mosquito territory, was murdered by one Arguello, the acting governor
of the town. After some delay the murderer was arrested, but so insecurely
confined or guarded that he escaped, and notwithstanding our repeated demands
it is claimed that his recapture has been impossible by reason of his flight
beyond Nicaraguan jurisdiction.
The Nicaraguan authorities, having given notice of forfeiture of their
concession to the canal company on grounds purely technical and not embraced
in the contract, have receded from that position.
Peru, I regret to say, shows symptoms of domestic disturbance, due probably
to the slowness of her recuperation from the distresses of the war of 1881.
Weakened in resources, her difficulties in facing international obligations
invite our kindly sympathy and justify our forbearance in pressing long-pending
claims. I have felt constrained to testify this sympathy in connection
with certain demands urgently preferred by other powers.
The recent death of the Czar of Russia called forth appropriate expressions
of sorrow and sympathy on the part of our Government with his bereaved
family and the Russian people. As a further demonstration of respect and
friendship our minister at St. Petersburg was directed to represent our
Government at the funeral ceremonies.
The sealing interests of Russia in Bering Sea are second only to our
own. A modus vivendi has therefore been concluded with the Imperial Government
restrictive of poaching on the Russian rookeries and of sealing in waters
which were not comprehended in the protected area defined in the Paris
Occasion has been found to urge upon the Russian Government equality
of treatment for our great life-insurance companies whose operations have
been extended throughout Europe. Admitting as we do foreign corporations
to transact business in the United States, we naturally expect no less
tolerance for our own in the ample fields of competition abroad.
But few cases of interference with naturalized citizens returning to
Russia have been reported during the current year. One Krzeminski was arrested
last summer in a Polish province on a reported charge of unpermitted renunciation
of Russian allegiance, but it transpired that the proceedings originated
in alleged malfeasance committed by Krzeminski while an imperial official
a number of years ago. Efforts for his release, which promised to be successful,
were in progress when his death was reported.
The Government of Salvador having been overthrown by an abrupt popular
outbreak, certain of its military and civil officers, while hotly pursued
by infuriated insurgents, sought refuge on board the United States war
ship Bennington, then lying in a Salvadorean port. Although the practice
of asylum is not favored by this Government, yet in view of the imminent
peril which threatened the fugitives and solely from considerations of
humanity they were afforded shelter by our naval commander, and when afterwards
demanded under our treaty of extradition with Salvador for trial on charges
of murder, arson, and robbery I directed that such of them as had not voluntarily
left the ship be conveyed to one of our nearest ports where a hearing could
be had before a judicial officer, in compliance with the terms of the treaty.
On their arrival at San Francisco such a proceeding was promptly instituted
before the United States district judge, who held that the acts constituting
the alleged offenses were political and discharged all the accused except
one Cienfuegos, who was held for an attempt to murder. Thereupon I was
constrained to direct his release for the reason that an attempt to murder
was not one of the crimes charged against him and upon which his surrender
to the Salvadorean authorities had been demanded.
Unreasonable and unjust fines imposed by Spain on the vessels and commerce
of the United States have demanded from time to time during the last twenty
years earnest remonstrance on the part of our Government. In the immediate
past exorbitant penalties have been imposed upon our vessels and goods
by customs authorities of Cuba and Puerto Rico for clerical errors of the
most trivial character in the manifests of bills of lading. In some cases
fines amounting to thousands of dollars have been levied upon cargoes or
the carrying vessels when the goods in question were entitled to free entry.
Fines have been exacted even when the error had been detected and the Spanish
authorities notified before the arrival of the goods in port.
This conduct is in strange contrast with the considerate and liberal
treatment extended to Spanish vessels and cargoes in our ports in like
cases. No satisfactory settlement of these vexatious questions has yet
The Mora case, referred to in my last annual message, remains unsettled.
From the diplomatic correspondence on this subject which has been laid
before the Senate it will be seen that this Government has offered to conclude
a convention with Spain for disposal by arbitration of outstanding claims
between the two countries, except the Mora claim. which, having been long
ago adjusted, now only awaits payment as stipulated, and of course it could
not be included in the proposed convention. It was hoped that this offer
would remove parliamentary obstacles encountered by the Spanish Government
in providing payment of the Mora indemnity. I regret to say that no definite
reply to this offer has yet been made and all efforts to secure payment
of this settled claim have been unavailing.
In my last annual message I adverted to the claim on the part of Turkey
of the right to expel as persons undesirable and dangerous Armenians naturalized
in the United States and returning to Turkish jurisdiction. Numerous questions
in this relation have arisen. While this Government acquiesces in the asserted
right of expulsion, it will not consent that Armenians may be imprisoned
or otherwise punished for no other reason than having acquired without
imperial consent American citizenship.
Three of the assailants of Miss Melton, an American teacher in Mosul,
have been convicted by the Ottoman courts, and I am advised that an appeal
against the acquittal of the remaining five has been taken by the Turkish
A convention has been concluded with Venezuela for the arbitration of
a long-disputed claim growing out of the seizure of certain vessels the
property of citizens of the United States. Although signed, the treaty
of extradition with Venezuela is not yet in force, owing to the insistence
of that Government that when surrendered its citizens shall in no case
be liable to capital punishment.
The rules for the prevention of collisions at sea which were framed
by the maritime conference held in this city in 1889, having been concurrently
incorporated in the statutes of the United States and Great Britain have
been announced to take effect March 1, 1895, and invitations have been
extended to all maritime nations to adhere to them. Favorable responses
have thus far been received from Austria, France, Portugal, Spain, and
In my last annual message I referred briefly to the unsatisfactory state
of affairs in Samoa under the operation of the Berlin treaty as signally
illustrating the impolicy of entangling alliances with foreign powers,
and on May 9, 1894, in response to a resolution of the Senate, I sent a
Special message and documents to that body on the same subject, which emphasized
my previously expressed opinions. Later occurrences, the correspondence
in regard to which will be laid before the Congress, further demonstrate
that the Government which was devised by the three powers and forced upon
the Samoans against their inveterate hostility can be maintained only by
the continued presence of foreign military force and at no small sacrifice
of life and treasure.
The suppression of the Mataafa insurrection by the powers and the subsequent
banishment of the leader and eleven other chiefs, as recited in my last
message, did not bring lasting peace to the islands. Formidable uprisings
continued, and finally a rebellion broke out in the capital island, Upolu,
headed in Aana, the western district, by the younger Tamasese, and in Atua,
the eastern district, by other leaders. The insurgents ravaged the country
and fought the Government's troops up to the very doors of Apia. The King
again appealed to the powers for help, and the combined British and German
naval forces reduced the Atuans to apparent subjection, not, however, without
considerable loss to the natives. A few days later Tamasese and his adherents,
fearing the ships and the marines, professed submission.
Reports received from our agents at Apia do not justify the belief that
the peace thus brought about will be of long duration. It is their conviction
that the natives are at heart hostile to the present Government, that such
of them as profess loyalty to it do so from fear of the powers, and that
it would speedily go to pieces if the war ships were withdrawn. In reporting
to his Government on the unsatisfactory situation since the suppression
of the late revolt by foreign armed forces, the German consul at Apia stated:
That peace will be lasting is hardly to be presumed. The lesson given
by firing on Atua was not sufficiently sharp and incisive to leave a lasting
impression on the forgetful Samoan temperament. In fact, conditions are
existing which show that peace will not last and is not seriously intended.
Malietoa, the King, and his chiefs are convinced that the departure of
the war ships will be a signal for a renewal of war. The circumstance that
the representatives of the villages of all the districts which were opposed
to the Government have already withdrawn to Atua to hold meetings, and
that both Atua and Aana have forbidden inhabitants of those districts which
fought on the side of the Government to return to their villages, and have
already partly burned down the latter, indicates that a real conciliation
of the parties is still far off.
And in a note of the 10th ultimo, inclosing a copy of that report for
the information of this Government, the German ambassador said:
The contents of the report awakened the imperial Government's apprehension
that under existing circumstances the peace concluded with the rebels will
afford no assurance of the lasting restoration of tranquillity in the islands.
The present Government has utterly failed to correct, if indeed it
has not aggravated, the very evils it was intended to prevent. It has not
stimulated our commerce with the islands. Our participation in its establishment
against the wishes of the natives was in plain defiance of the conservative
teachings and warnings of the wise and patriotic men who laid the foundations
of our free institutions, and I invite an expression of the judgment of
Congress on the propriety of steps being taken by this Government looking
to the withdrawal from its engagements with the other powers on some reasonable
terms not prejudicial to any of our existing rights.
The Secretary of the Treasury reports that the receipts of the Government
from all sources of revenue during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894,
amounted to $372,802,498.29 and its expenditures to $442,605,758.87, leaving
a deficit of $69,803,260.58. There was a decrease of $15,952,674.66 in
the ordinary expense of the Government as compared with the fiscal year
There was collected from customs $131,818,530.62 and from internal revenue
$147,168,449.70. The balance of the income for the year, amounting to $93,815,517.97,
was derived from the sales of lands and other sources.
The value of our total dutiable imports amounted to $275,199,086, being
$146,657,625 less than during the preceding year, and the importations
free of duty amounted to $379,795,536, being $64,748,675 less than during
the preceding year. The receipts from customs were $73,536,486.11 less
and from internal revenue $13,836,539.97 less than in 1893.
The total tax collected from distilled spirits was $85,259,250.25, on
manufactured tobacco $28,617,898.62, and on fermented liquors $31,414,788.04.
Our exports of merchandise, domestic and foreign, amounted during the
year to $892,140,572, being an increase over the preceding year of $44,495,378.
The total amount of gold exported during the fiscal year was $76,898,061,
as against $108,680,444 during the fiscal year 1893. The amount imported
was $72,449,119, as against $21,174,381 during the previous year.
The imports of silver were $13,186,552 and the exports were $50,451,265.
The total bounty paid upon the production of sugar in the United States
for the fiscal year was $12,100,208.89, being an increase of $2,725,078.01
over the payments made during the preceding year. The amount of bounty
paid from July 1, 1894, to August 28, 1894, the time when further payments
ceased by operation of law, was $966,185.84. The total expenses incurred
in the payment of the bounty upon sugar during the fiscal year was $130,140.85.
It is estimated that upon the basis of the present revenue laws the
receipts of the Government during the current fiscal year, ending June
30, 1895, will be $424,427,748.44 and its expenditures $444,427,748.44,
resulting in a deficit of $20,000,000.
On the 1st day of November, 1894, the total stock of money of all kinds
in the country was $2,240,773,88.8, as against $2,204,651,000 on the 1st
day of November, 1893, and the money of all kinds in circulation, or not
included in the Treasury holdings, was $1,672,093,422, or $24.27 per capita
upon an estimated population of 68,887,000. At the same date there was
held in the Treasury gold bullion amounting to $44,615,177.55 and silver
bullion which was purchased at a cost of $127,772,988. The purchase of
silver bullion under the act of July 14, 1890, ceased on the 1st day of
November, 1893, and up to that time there had been purchased during the
fiscal year 11,917,658.78 fine ounces, at a cost of $8,715,521.32, an average
cost of $0.7313 per fine ounce. The total amount of silver purchased from
the time that law took effect until the repeal of its purchasing clause,
on the date last mentioned, was 168,674,682.53 fine ounces, which cost
$155,931,002.25, the average price per fine ounce being $0.9244.
The total amount of standard silver dollars coined at the mints of the
United States since the passage of the act of February 28, 1878, is $421,776,408,
of which $378,166,793 were coined under the provisions of that act, $38,531,143
under the provisions of the act of July 14, 1890, and $5,078,472 under
the act providing for the coinage of trade-dollar bullion.
The total coinage of all metals at our mints during the last fiscal
year consisted of 63,485,220 pieces, valued at $106,216,730.06, of which
there were $99,474,912.50 in gold coined, $758 in standard silver dollars,
$6,024,140.30 in subsidiary silver coin, and $716,919.26 in minor coin.
During the calendar year 1893 the production of precious metals in the
United States was estimated at 1,739,323 fine ounces of gold of the commercial
and coinage value of $35,955,000 and 70,000,000 fine ounces of silver of
the bullion or market value of $46,800,000 and of the coinage value of
$77,576,000. It is estimated that on the 1st day of July, 1894, the stock
of metallic money in the United States, consisting of coin and bullion,
amounted to $1,251,640,958, of which $627,923,201 was gold and $624,347,757
Fifty national banks were organized during the year ending October 31,
1894, with a capital of $5,285,000, and 79, with a capital of $10,475,000,
went into voluntary liquidation. Twenty-one banks, with a capital of $2,770,000,
were placed in the hands of receivers. The total number of national banks
in existence on the 31st day of October last was 3,756, being 40 less than
on the 31st day of October, 1893. The capital stock paid in was $672,671,365,
being $9,678,491 less than at the same time in the previous year, and the
surplus fund and individual profits, less expenses and taxes paid, amounted
to $334,121,082.10, which was $16,089,780 less than on October 31, 1893.
The circulation was decreased $1,741,563. The obligations of the banks
to each other were increased $117,268,334 and the individual deposits were
$277,294,489 less than at the corresponding date in the previous year.
Loans and discounts were $161,206,923 more than at the same time the previous
year, and checks and other cash items were $90,349,963 more. The total
resources of the banks at the date mentioned amounted to $3,473,922,055,
as against $3,109,563,184.36 in 1893.
From the report of the Secretary of War it appears that the strength
of the Army on September 30, 1894, was 2,135 officers and 25,765 enlisted
men. Although this is apparently a very slight decrease compared with the
previous year, the actual effective force has been increased to the equivalent
of nearly two regiments through the reorganization of the system of recruiting
and the consequent release to regimental duty of the large force of men
hitherto serving at the recruiting depots. The abolition of these depots,
it is predicted, will furthermore effect an annual reduction approximating
$250,000 in the direct expenditures, besides promoting generally the health,
morale, and discipline of the troops.
The execution of the policy of concentrating the Army at important centers
of population and transportation, foreshadowed in the last annual report
of the Secretary, has resulted in the abandonment of fifteen of the smaller
posts, which was effected under a plan which assembles organizations of
the same regiments hitherto widely separated. This renders our small forces
more readily effective for any service which they may be called upon to
perform, increases the extent of the territory under protection without
diminishing the security heretofore afforded to any locality, improves
the discipline, training, and esprit de corps of the Army, besides considerably
decreasing the cost of its maintenance.
Though the forces of the Department of the East have been somewhat increased,
more than three-fourths of the Army is still stationed west of the Mississippi.
This carefully matured policy, which secures the best and greatest service
in the interests of the general welfare from the small force comprising
our Regular Army, should not be thoughtlessly embarrassed by the creation
of new and unnecessary posts through acts of Congress to gratify the ambitions
or interests of localities.
While the maximum legal strength of the Army is 25,000 men, the effective
strength, through various causes, is but little over 20,000 men. The purpose
of Congress does not, therefore, seem to be fully attained by the existing
condition. While no considerable increase in the Army is, in my judgment,
demanded by recent events, the policy of seacoast fortification, in the
prosecution of which we have been steadily engaged for some years, has
so far developed as to suggest that the effective strength of the Army
be now made at least equal to the legal strength. Measures taken by the
Department during the year, as indicated, have already considerably augmented
the effective force, and the Secretary of War presents a plan, which I
recommend to the consideration of Congress, to attain the desired end.
Economies effected in the Department in other lines of its work will offset
to a great extent the expenditure involved in the proposition submitted.
Among other things this contemplates the adoption of the three-battalion
formation of regiments, which for several years has been indorsed by the
Secretaries of War and the Generals Commanding the Army. Compact in itself,
it provides a skeleton organization, ready to be filled out in the event
of war, which is peculiarly adapted to our strength and requirements; and
the fact that every other nation, with a single exception, has adopted
this formation to meet the conditions of modern warfare should alone secure
for the recommendation an early consideration.
It is hardly necessary to recall the fact that in obedience to the commands
of the Constitution and the laws, and for the purpose of protecting the
property of the United States, aiding the process of Federal courts, and
removing lawless obstructions to the performance by the Government of its
legitimate functions, it became necessary in various localities during
the year to employ a considerable portion of the regular troops. The duty
was discharged promptly, courageously, and with marked discretion by the
officers and men, and the most gratifying proof was thus afforded that
the Army deserves that complete confidence in its efficiency and discipline
which the country has at all times manifested.
The year has been free from disturbances by Indians, and the chances
of further depredations on their part are constantly becoming more remote
The total .expenditures for the War Department for the year ended June
30, 1894, amounted to $56,039,009.34. Of this sum $2,000,614.99 was for
salaries and contingent expenses, $23,665,156.16 for the support of the
military establishment, $5,001,682.23 for miscellaneous objects, and $25,371,555.96
for public works. This latter sum includes $19,494,037.49 for river and
harbor improvements and $3,947,863.56 for fortifications and other works
of defense. The appropriations for the current year aggregate $52,429,112.78,
and the estimates submitted by the Secretary of War for the next fiscal
year call for appropriations amounting to $52,318,629.55.
The skill and industry of our ordnance officers and inventors have,
it is believed, overcome the mechanical obstacles which have heretofore
delayed the armament of our coasts, and this great national undertaking
upon which we have entered may now proceed as rapidly as Congress shall
determine. With a supply of finished guns of large caliber already on hand,
to which additions should now rapidly follow, the wisdom of providing carriages
and emplacements for their mount can not be too strongly urged.
The total enrollment of the militia of the several States is 117,533
officers and enlisted men, an increase of 5,343 over the number reported
at the close of the previous year. The reports of militia inspections by
Regular Army officers show a marked increase in interest and efficiency
among the State organizations, and I strongly recommend a continuance of
the policy of affording every practical encouragement possible to this
important auxiliary of our military establishment.
The condition of the Apache Indians held as prisoners by the Government
for eight years at a cost of half a million dollars has been changed during
the year from captivity to one which gives them an opportunity to demonstrate
their capacity for self-support and at least partial civilization. Legislation
enacted at the late session of Congress gave the War Department authority
to transfer the survivors, numbering 346, from Mount Vernon Barracks, in
Alabama, to any suitable reservation. The Department selected as their
future home the military lands near Fort Sill, Ind. T., where, under military
surveillance, the former prisoners have been established in agriculture
under conditions favorable to their advancement.
In recognition of the long and distinguished military services and faithful
discharge of delicate and responsible civil duties by Major-General John
M. Schofield, now the General Commanding the Army, it is suggested to Congress
that the temporary revival of the grade of lieutenant-general in his behalf
would be a just and gracious act and would permit his retirement, now near
at hand, with rank befitting his merits.
The report of the Attorney-General notes the gratifying progress made
by the Supreme Court in overcoming the arrears of its business and in reaching
a condition in which it will be able to dispose of cases as they arise
without any unreasonable delay. This result is of course very largely due
to the successful working of the plan inaugurating circuit courts of appeals.
In respect to these tribunals the suggestion is made, in quarters entitled
to the highest consideration that an additional circuit judge for each
circuit would greatly strengthen these courts and the confidence reposed
in their adjudications, and that such an addition would not create a greater
force of judges than the increasing business of such courts requires. I
commend the suggestion to the careful consideration of the Congress. Other
important topics are adverted to in the report, accompanied by recommendations,
many of which have been treated at large in previous messages, and at this
time, therefore, need only be named. I refer to the abolition of the fee
system as a measure of compensation to Federal officers; the enlargement
of the powers of United States commissioners, at least in the Territories;
the allowance of writs of error in criminal cases on behalf of the United
States, and the establishment of degrees in the crime of murder. A topic
dealt with by the Attorney-General of much importance is the condition
of the administration of justice in the Indian Territory. The permanent
solution of what is called the Indian problem is probably not to be expected
at once, but meanwhile such ameliorations of present conditions as the
existing system will admit of ought not to be neglected. I am satisfied
there should be a Federal court established for the Territory, with sufficient
judges, and that this court should sit within the Territory and have the
same jurisdiction as to Territorial affairs as is now vested in the Federal
courts sitting in Arkansas and Texas.
Another subject of pressing moment referred to by the Attorney-General
is the reorganization of the Union Pacific Railway Company on a basis equitable
as regards all private interests and as favorable to the Government as
existing conditions will permit. The operation of a railroad by a court
through a receiver is an anomalous state of things which should be terminated
on all grounds, public and private, at the earliest possible moment. Besides,
not to enact the needed enabling legislation at the present session postpones
the whole matter until the assembling of a new Congress and inevitably
increases all the complications of the situation, and could not but be
regarded as a signal failure to solve a problem which has practically been
before the present Congress ever since its organization.
Eight years ago in my annual message I urged upon the Congress as strongly
as I could the location and construction of two prisons for the confinement
of United States prisoners. A similar recommendation has been made from
time to time since, and a few years ago a law was passed providing for
the selection of sites for three such institutions. No appropriation has,
however, been made to carry the act into effect, and the old and discreditable
condition still exists.
It is not my purpose at this time to repeat the considerations which
make an impregnable case in favor of the ownership and management by the
Government of the penal institutions in which Federal prisoners are confined.
I simply desire to again urge former recommendations on the subject and
to particularly call the attention of the Congress to that part of the
report of the Secretary of War in which he states that the military prison
at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., can be turned over to the Government as a prison
for Federal convicts without the least difficulty and with an actual saving
of money from every point of view.
Pending a more complete reform, I hope that by the adoption of the suggestion
of the Secretary of War this easy step may be taken in the direction of
the proper care of its convicts by the Government of the United States.
The report of the Postmaster-General presents a comprehensive statement
of the operations of the Post-Office Department for the last fiscal year.
The receipts of the Department during the year amounted to $75,080,479.04
and the expenditures to $84,324,414.15.
The transactions of the postal service indicate with barometric certainty
the fluctuations in the business of the country. Inasmuch, therefore, as
business complications continued to exist throughout the last year to an
unforeseen extent, it is not surprising that the deficiency of revenue
to meet the expenditures of the Post-Office Department, which was estimated
in advance at about $8,000,000, should be exceeded by nearly $1,225,000.
The ascertained revenues of the last year, which were the basis of calculation
for the current year, being less than estimated, the deficiency for the
current year will be correspondingly greater, though the Postmaster-General
states that the latest indications are so favorable that he confidently
predicts an increase of at least 8 per cent in the revenues of the current
year over those of the last year.
The expenditures increase steadily and necessarily with the growth and
needs of the country, so that the deficiency is greater or less in any
year, depending upon the volume of receipts.
The Postmaster-General states that this deficiency is unnecessary and
might be obviated at once if the law regulating rates upon mail matter
of the second class was modified. The rate received for the transmission
of this second-class matter is 1 cent per pound, while the cost of such
transmission to the Government is eight times that amount. In the general
terms of the law this rate covers newspapers and periodicals. The extensions
of the meaning of these terms from time to time have admitted to the privileges
intended for legitimate newspapers and periodicals a surprising range of
publications and created abuses the cost of which amounts in the aggregate
to the total deficiency of the Post-Office Department. Pretended newspapers
are started by business houses for the mere purpose of advertising goods,
complying with the law in form only and discontinuing the publications
as soon as the period of advertising is over. "Sample copies" of pretended
newspapers are issued in great numbers for a like purpose only. The result
is a great loss of revenue to the Government, besides its humiliating use
as an agency to aid in carrying out the scheme of a business house to advertise
its goods by means of a trick upon both its rival houses and the regular
and legitimate newspapers. Paper-covered literature, consisting mainly
of trashy novels, to the extent of many thousands of tons is sent through
the mails at 1 cent per pound, while the publishers of standard works are
required to pay eight times that amount in sending their publications.
Another abuse consists in the free carriage through the mails of hundreds
of tons of seed and grain uselessly distributed through the Department
of Agriculture. The Postmaster-General predicts that if the law be so amended
as to eradicate these abuses not only will the Post-Office Department show
no deficiency, but he believes that in the near future all legitimate newspapers
and periodical magazines might be properly transmitted through the mails
to their subscribers free of cost. I invite your prompt consideration of
this subject and fully indorse the views of the Postmaster-General.
The total number of post-offices in the United States on the 30th day
of June, 1894, was 69,805, an increase of 1,403 over the preceding year.
Of these, 3,428 were Presidential, an increase in that class of 68 over
the preceding year.
Six hundred and ten cities and towns are provided with free delivery.
Ninety-three other cities and towns entitled to this service under the
law have not been accorded it on account of insufficient funds. The expense
of free delivery for the current fiscal year will be more than $12,300,000,
and under existing legislation this item of expenditure is subject to constant
increase. The estimated cost of rural free delivery generally is so very
large that it ought not to be considered in the present condition of affairs.
During the year 830 additional domestic money-order offices were established.
The total number of these offices at the close of the year was 19,264.
There were 14,304,041 money orders issued during the year, being an increase
over the preceding year of 994,306. The value of these orders amounted
to $138,793,579.49, an increase of $11,217,145.84. There were also issued
during the year postal notes amounting to $12,649,094.55.
During the year 218 international money-order offices were added to
those already established, making a total of 2,625 such offices in operation
June 30, 1894. The number of international money orders issued during the
year was 917,823, a decrease in number of 138,176, and their value was
$13,792,455.31, a decrease in amount of $2,549,382.55. The number of orders
paid was 361,180, an increase over the preceding year of 60,263, and their
value was $6,568,493.78, an increase of $1,285,118.08.
From the foregoing statements it appears that the total issue of money
orders and postal notes for the year amounted to $165,235,129.35.
The number of letters and packages mailed during the year for special
delivery was 3,436,970. The special-delivery stamps used upon these letters
and packages amounted to $343,697. The messengers fees paid for their delivery
amounted to $261,209.70, leaving a balance in favor of the Government of
The report shows most gratifying results in the way of economies worked
out without affecting the efficiency of the postal service. These consist
in the abrogation of steamship subsidy contracts, reletting of mail transportation
contracts, and in the cost and amount of supplies used in the service,
amounting in all to $16,619,047.42.
This report also contains a valuable contribution to the history of
the Universal Postal Union, an arrangement which amounts practically to
the establishment of one postal system for the entire civilized world.
Special attention is directed to this subject at this time in view of the
fact that the next congress of the union will meet in Washington in 1897,
and it is hoped that timely action will be taken in the direction of perfecting
preparations for that event.
The Postmaster-General renews the suggestion made in a previous report
that the Department organization be increased to the extent of creating
a direct district supervision of all postal affairs, and in this suggestion
I fully concur.
There are now connected with the Post-Office establishment 32,661 employees
who are in the classified service. This includes many who have been classified
upon the suggestion of the Postmaster-General. He states that another year's
experience at the head of the Department serves only to strengthen the
conviction as to the excellent working of the civil-service law in this
branch of the public service.
Attention is called to the report of the Secretary of the Navy, which
shows very gratifying progress in the construction of ships for our new
Navy. All the vessels now building, including the three torpedo boats authorized
at the last session of Congress and excepting the first-class battle ship
Iowa, will probably be completed during the coming fiscal year.
The estimates for the increase of the Navy for the year ending June
30, 1896, are large, but they include practically the entire sum necessary
to complete and equip all the new ships not now in commission, so that
unless new ships are authorized the appropriations for the naval service
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1897, should fall below the estimates
for the coming year by at least $12,000,000.
The Secretary presents with much earnestness a plea for the authorization
of three additional battle ships and ten or twelve torpedo boats. While
the unarmored vessels heretofore authorized, including those now nearing
completion, will constitute a fleet which it is believed is sufficient
for ordinary cruising purposes in time of peace, we have now completed
and in process of construction but four first-class battle ships and but
few torpedo boats. If we are to have a navy for warlike operations, offensive
and defensive, we certainly ought to increase both the number of battle
ships and torpedo boats.
The manufacture of armor requires expensive plants and the aggregation
of many skilled workmen. All the armor necessary to complete the vessels
now building will be delivered before the 1st of June next. If no new contracts
are given out, contractors must disband their workmen and their plants
must lie idle. Battle ships authorized at this time would not be well under
way until late in the coming fiscal year, and at least three years and
a half from the date of the contract would be required for their completion.
The Secretary states that not more than 15 per cent of the cost of such
ships need be included in the appropriations for the coming year.
I recommend that provision be made for the construction of additional
battle ships and torpedo boats. The Secretary recommends the manufacture
not only of a reserve supply of ordnance and ordnance material for ships
of the Navy, but also a supply for the auxiliary fleet. Guns and their
appurtenances should be provided and kept on hand for both these purposes.
We have not to-day a single gun that could be put upon the ships Paris
or New York of the International Navigation Company or any other ship of
our reserve Navy.
The manufacture of guns at the Washington Navy-Yard is proceeding satisfactorily,
and none of our new ships will be required to wait for their guns or ordnance
An important order has been issued by the Secretary of the Navy coordinating
the duties of the several bureaus concerned in the construction of ships.
This order, it is believed, will secure to a greater extent than has heretofore
been possible the harmonious action of these several bureaus and make the
attainment of the best results more certain.
During the past fiscal year there has been an unusual and pressing demand
in many quarters of the world for the presence of vessels to guard American
In January last, during the Brazilian insurrection, a large fleet was
concentrated in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. The vigorous action of Rear-Admiral
Benham in protecting the personal and commercial rights of our citizens
during the disturbed conditions afforded results which will, it is believed,
have a far-reaching and wholesome influence whenever in like circumstances
it may become necessary for our naval commanders to interfere on behalf
of our people in foreign ports.
The war now in progress between China and Japan has rendered it necessary
or expedient to dispatch eight vessels to those waters.
Both the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Treasury recommend
the transfer of the work of the Coast Survey proper to the Navy Department.
I heartily concur in this recommendation. Excluding Alaska and a very small
area besides, all the work of mapping and charting our coasts has been
completed. The hydrographic work, which must be done over and over again
by reason of the shifting and varying depths of water consequent upon the
action of streams and tides, has heretofore been done under the direction
of naval officers in subordination to the Superintendent of the Coast Survey.
There seems to be no good reason why the Navy should not have entire charge
hereafter of such work, especially as the Hydrographic Office of the Navy
Department is now and has been for many years engaged in making efficient
maps entirely similar to those prepared by the Coast Survey.
I feel it my imperative duty to call attention to the recommendation
of the Secretary in regard to the personnel of the line of the Navy. The
stagnation of promotion in this the vital branch of the service is so great
as to seriously impair its efficiency.
I consider it of the utmost importance that the young and middle-aged
officers should before the eve of retirement be permitted to reach a grade
entitling them to active and important duty.
The system adopted a few years ago regulating the employment of labor
at the navy-yards is rigidly upheld and has fully demonstrated its usefulness
and expediency. It is within the domain of civil-service reform inasmuch
as workmen are employed through a board of labor selected at each navy-yard
and are given work without reference to politics and in the order of their
application, preference, however, being given to Army and Navy veterans
and those having former navy-yard experience.
Amendments suggested by experience have been made to the rules regulating
the system. Through its operation the work at our navy-yards has been vastly
improved in efficiency and the opportunity to work has been honestly and
fairly awarded to willing and competent applicants.
It is hoped that if this system continues to be strictly adhered to
there will soon be as a natural consequence such an equalization of party
benefit as will remove all temptation to relax or abandon it.
The report of the Secretary of the Interior exhibits the situation of
the numerous and interesting branches of the public service connected with
his Department. I commend this report and the valuable recommendations
of the Secretary to the careful attention of the Congress.
The public land disposed of during the year amounted to 10,406,100.77
acres, including 28,876.05 of Indian lands.
It is estimated that the public domain still remaining amounts to a
little more than 600,000,000 acres, including, however, about 360,000,000
acres in Alaska, as well as military reservations and railroad and other
selections of lands yet unadjudicated.
The total cash receipts from sale of lands amounted to $2,674,285.79,
including $91,981.03 received for Indian lands.
Thirty-five thousand patents were issued for agricultural lands, and
3,100 patents were issued to Indians on allotments of their holdings in
severalty, the land so allotted being inalienable by the Indian allottees
for a period of twenty-five years after patent.
There were certified and patented on account of railroad and wagon-road
grants during the year 865,556.45 acres of land, and at the close of the
year 29,000,000 acres were embraced in the lists of selections made by
railroad and wagon-road companies and awaited settlement.
The selections of swamp lands and that taken as indemnity therefor since
the passage of the act providing for the same in 1849 amount to nearly
or quite 80,500,000 acres, of which 58,000,000 have been patented to States.
About 138,000 acres were patented during the last year. Nearly 820,000
acres of school and education grants were approved during the year, and
at its close 1,250,363.81 acres remained unadjusted.
It appears that the appropriation for the current year on account of
special service for the protection of the public lands and the timber thereon
is much less than those for previous years, and inadequate for an efficient
performance of the work. A larger sum of money than has been appropriated
during a number of years past on this account has been returned to the
Government as a result of the labors of those employed in the particular
service mentioned, and I hope it will not be crippled by insufficient appropriation.
I fully indorse the recommendation of the Secretary that adequate protection
be provided for our forest reserves and that a comprehensive forestry system
be inaugurated. Such keepers and superintendents as are necessary to protect
the forests already reserved should be provided.
I am of the opinion that there should be an abandonment of the policy
sanctioned by present laws under which the Government, for a very small
consideration, is rapidly losing title to immense tracts of land covered
with timber, which should be properly reserved as permanent sources of
The suggestion that a change be made in the manner of securing surveys
of the public lands is especially worthy of consideration. I am satisfied
that these surveys should be made by a corps of competent surveyors under
the immediate control and direction of the Commissioner of the General
An exceedingly important recommendation of the Secretary relates to
the manner in which contests and litigated cases growing out of efforts
to obtain Government land are determined. The entire testimony upon which
these controversies depend in all their stages is taken before the local
registers and receivers, and yet these officers have no power to subpoena
witnesses or to enforce their attendance to testify. These cases, numbering
three or four thousand annually, are sent by the local officers to the
Commissioner of the General Land Office for his action. The exigencies
of his other duties oblige him to act upon the decisions of the registers
and receivers without an opportunity of thorough personal examination.
Nearly 2,000 of these cases are appealed annually from the Commissioner
to the Secretary of the Interior. Burdened with other important administrative
duties, his determination of these appeals must be almost perfunctory and
based upon the examination of others, though this determination of the
Secretary operates as a final adjudication upon rights of very great importance.
I concur in the opinion that the Commissioner of the General Land Office
should be relieved from the duty of deciding litigated land cases, that
a nonpartisan court should be created to pass on such cases, and that the
decisions of this court should be final, at least so far as the decisions
of the Department are now final. The proposed court might be given authority
to certify questions of law in matters of especial importance to the Supreme
Court of the United States or the court of appeals for the District of
Columbia for decision. The creation of such a tribunal would expedite the
disposal of cases and insure decisions of a more satisfactory character.
The registers and receivers who originally hear and decide these disputes
should be invested with authority to compel witnesses to attend and testify
Though the condition of the Indians shows a steady and healthy progress,
their situation is not satisfactory at all points. Some of them to whom
allotments of land have been made are found to be unable or disinclined
to follow agricultural pursuits or to otherwise beneficially manage their
land. This is especially true of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, who, as it
appears by reports of their agent, have in many instances never been located
upon their allotments, and in some cases do not even know where their allotments
are. Their condition has deteriorated. They are not self-supporting and
they live in camps and spend their time in idleness.
I have always believed that allotments of reservation lands to Indians
in severalty should be made sparingly, or at least slowly, and with the
utmost caution. In these days, when white agriculturists and stock raisers
of experience and intelligence find their lot a hard one, we ought not
to expect Indians, unless far advanced in civilization and habits of industry,
to support themselves on the small tracts of land usually allotted to them.
If the self-supporting scheme by allotment fails, the wretched pauperism
of the allottees which results is worse than their original condition of
regulated dependence. It is evident that the evil consequences of ill-advised
allotment are intensified in cases where the false step can not be retraced
on account of the purchase by the Government of reservation lands remaining
after allotments are made and the disposition of such remaining lands to
settlers or purchasers from the Government.
I am convinced that the proper solution of the Indian problem and the
success of every step taken in that direction depend to a very large extent
upon the intelligence and honesty of the reservation agents and the interest
they have in their work. An agent fitted for his place can do much toward
preparing the Indians under his charge for citizenship and allotment of
their lands, and his advice as to any matter concerning their welfare will
not mislead. An unfit agent will make no effort to advance the Indians
on his reservation toward civilization or preparation for allotment of
lands in severalty, and his opinion as to their condition in this and other
regards is heedless and valueless.
The indications are that the detail of army officers as Indian agents
will result in improved management on the reservations.
Whenever allotments are made and any Indian on the reservation has previously
settled upon a lot and cultivated it or shown a disposition to improve
it in any way, such lot should certainly be allotted to him, and this should
be made plainly obligatory by statute.
In the light of experience and considering the uncertainty of the Indian
situation and its exigencies in the future, I am not only disposed to be
very cautious in making allotments, but I incline to agree with the Secretary
of the Interior in the opinion that when allotments are made the balance
of reservation land remaining after allotment, instead of being bought
by the Government from the Indians and opened for settlement with such
scandals and unfair practices as seem unavoidable, should remain for a
time at least as common land or be sold by the Government on behalf of
the Indians in an orderly way and at fixed prices, to be determined by
its location and desirability, and that the proceeds, less expenses, should
be held in trust for the benefit of the Indian proprietors.
The intelligent Indian-school management of the past year has been followed
by gratifying results. Efforts have been made to advance the work in a
sound and practical manner. Five institutes of Indian teachers have been
held during the year, and have proved very beneficial through the views
exchanged and methods discussed particularly applicable to Indian education.
Efforts are being made in the direction of a gradual reduction of the
number of Indian contract schools, so that in a comparatively short time
they may give way altogether to Government schools, and it is hoped that
the change may be so gradual as to be perfected without too great expense
to the Government or undue disregard of investments made by those who have
established and are maintaining such contract schools.
The appropriation for the current year, ending June 30, 1895, applicable
to the ordinary expenses of the Indian service amounts to $6,733,003.18,
being less by $663,240.64 than the sum appropriated on the same account
for the previous year.
At the close of the last fiscal year, on the 30th day of June, 1894,
there were 969,544 persons on our pension rolls, being a net increase of
3,532 over the number reported at the end of the previous year.
These pensioners may be classified as follows: Soldiers and sailors
survivors of all wars, 753,968; widows and relatives of deceased soldiers,
215,162; army nurses in the War of the Rebellion, 414. Of these pensioners
32,039 are surviving soldiers of Indian and other wars prior to the late
Civil War and the widows or relatives of such soldiers.
The remainder, numbering 937,505, are receiving pensions on account
of the rebellion, and of these 469,344 are on the rolls under the authority
of the act of June 27, 1890, sometimes called the dependent-pension law.
The total amount expended for pensions during the year was $139,804,461.05,
leaving an unexpended balance from the sum appropriated of $25,205,712.65.
The sum necessary to meet pension expenditures for the year ending June
30, 1896, is estimated at $140,000,000.
The Commissioner of Pensions is of the opinion that the year 1895, being
the thirtieth after the close of the War of the Rebellion, must, according
to all sensible human calculation, see the highest limit of the pension
roll, and that after that year it must begin to decline.
The claims pending in the Bureau have decreased more than 90,000 during
the year. A large proportion of the new claims filed are for increase of
pension by those now on the rolls.
The number of certificates issued was 80,213.
The names dropped from the rolls for all causes during the year numbered
Among our pensioners are 9 widows and 3 daughters of soldiers of the
Revolution and 45 survivors of the War of 1812.
The barefaced and extensive pension frauds exposed under the direction
of the courageous and generous veteran soldier now at the head of the Bureau
leave no room for the claim that no purgation of our pension rolls was
needed or that continued vigilance and prompt action are not necessary
to the same end.
The accusation that an effort to detect pension frauds is evidence of
unfriendliness toward our worthy veterans and a denial of their claims
to the generosity of the Government suggests an unfortunate indifference
to the commission of any offense which has for its motive the securing
of a pension and indicates a willingness to be blind to the existence of
mean and treacherous crimes which play upon demagogic fears and make sport
of the patriotic impulse of a grateful people.
The completion of the Eleventh Census is now in charge of the Commissioner
of Labor. The total disbursements on account of the work for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1894, amounted to $10,365,676.81. At the close of
the year the number of persons employed in the Census Office was 679; at
present there are about 400. The whole number of volumes necessary to comprehend
the Eleventh Census will be 25, and they will contain 22,270 printed pages.
The assurance is confidently made that before the close of the present
calendar year the material still incomplete will be practically in hand,
and the census can certainly be closed by the 4th of March, 1895. After
that the revision and proof reading necessary to bring out the volumes
will still be required.
The text of the census volumes has been limited as far as possible to
the analysis of the statistics presented. This method, which is in accordance
with law, has caused more or less friction and in some instances individual
disappointment, for when the Commissioner of Labor took charge of the work
he found much matter on hand which according to this rule he was compelled
to discard. The census is being prepared according to the theory that it
is designed to collect facts and certify them to the public, not to elaborate
arguments or to present personal views.
The Secretary of Agriculture in his report reviews the operations of
his Department for the last fiscal year and makes recommendations for the
further extension of its usefulness. He reports a saving in expenditures
during the year of $600,000, which is covered back into the Treasury. This
sum is 23 per cent of the entire appropriation.
A special study has been made of the demand for American farm products
in all foreign markets, especially Great Britain, That country received
from the United States during the nine months ending September 30, 1894,
305,910 live beef cattle, valued at $26,500,000, as against 182,611 cattle,
valued at $16,634,000, during the same period for 1893.
During the first six months of 1894 the United Kingdom took also 112,000,000
pounds of dressed beef from the United States, valued at nearly $10,000,000.
The report shows that during the nine months immediately preceding September
30, 1894, the United States exported to Great Britain 222,676,000 pounds
of pork; of apples, 1,900,000 bushels, valued at $2,500,000, and of horses
2,811, at an average value of $139 per head. There was a falling off in
American wheat exports of 13,500,000 bushels, and the Secretary is inclined
to believe that wheat may not in the future be the staple export cereal
product of our country, but that corn will continue to advance in importance
as an export on account of the new uses to which it is constantly being
The exports of agricultural products from the United States for the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, amounted to $628,363,038, being 72.28
per cent of American exports of every description, and the United Kingdom
of Great Britain took more than 54 per cent of all farm products finding
The Department of Agriculture has undertaken during the year two new
and important lines of research. The first relates to grasses and forage
plants, with the purpose of instructing and familiarizing the people as
to the distinctive grasses of the United States and teaching them how to
introduce valuable foreign forage plants which may be adapted to this country.
The second relates to agricultural soils and crop production, involving
the analyses of samples of soils from all sections of the American Union,
to demonstrate their adaptability to particular plants and crops. Mechanical
analyses of soils may be of such inestimable utility that it is foremost
in the new lines of agricultural research, and the Secretary therefore
recommends that a division having it in charge be permanently established
in the Department.
The amount appropriated for the Weather Bureau was $951,100. Of that
sum $138,500, or 14 per cent, has been saved and is returned to the Treasury.
As illustrating the usefulness of this service it may be here stated
that the warnings which were very generally given of two tropical storms
occurring in September and October of the present year resulted in detaining
safely in port 2,305 vessels, valued at $36,183,913, laden with cargoes
of probably still greater value. What is much more important and gratifying,
many human lives on these ships were also undoubtedly saved.
The appropriation to the Bureau of Animal Industry was $850,000, and
the expenditures for the year were only $495,429.24, thus leaving unexpended
$354,570.76. The inspection of beef animals for export and interstate trade
has been continued, and 12,944,056 head were inspected during the year,
at a cost of 1 3/4 cents per head, against 4 3/4 cents for 1893. The amount
of pork microscopically examined was 35,437,937 pounds, against 20,677,410
pounds in the preceding year. The cost of this inspection has been diminished
from 8 3/4 cents per head in 1893 to 6 1/2 cents in 1894.
The expense of inspecting the pork sold in 1894 to Germany and France
by the United States was $88,922.10. The quantity inspected was greater
by 15,000,000 pounds than during the preceding year, when the cost of such
inspection was $172,367.08. The Secretary of Agriculture recommends that
the law providing for the microscopic inspection of export and interstate
meat be so amended as to compel owners of the meat inspected to pay the
cost of such inspection, and I call attention to the arguments presented
in his report in support of this recommendation.
The live beef cattle exported and tagged during the year numbered 353,535.
This is an increase of 69,533 head over the previous year.
The sanitary inspection of cattle shipped to Europe has cost an average
of 10 3/4 cents for each animal, and the cost of inspecting Southern cattle
and the disinfection of cars and stock yards averages 2.7 cents per animal.
The scientific inquiries of the Bureau of Animal Industry have progressed
steadily during the year. Much tuberculin and mallein have been furnished
to State authorities for use in the agricultural colleges and experiment
stations for the treatment of tuberculosis and glanders.
Quite recently this Department has published the results of its investigations
of bovine tuberculosis, and its researches will be vigorously continued.
Certain herds in the District of Columbia will be thoroughly inspected
and will probably supply adequate scope for the Department to intelligently
prosecute its scientific work and furnish sufficient material for purposes
of illustration, description, and definition.
The sterilization of milk suspected of containing the bacilli of tuberculosis
has been during the year very thoroughly explained in a leaflet by Dr.
D. E. Salmon, the Chief of the Bureau, and given general circulation throughout
The Office of Experiment Stations, which is a part of the United States
Department of Agriculture, has during the past year engaged itself almost
wholly in preparing for publication works based upon the reports of agricultural
experiment stations and other institutions for agricultural inquiry in
the United States and foreign countries.
The Secretary in his report for 1893 called attention to the fact that
the appropriations made for the support of the experiment stations throughout
the Union were the only moneys taken out of the National Treasury by act
of Congress for which no accounting to Federal authorities was required.
Responding to this suggestion, the Fifty-third Congress, in making the
appropriation for the Department for the present fiscal year, provided
The Secretary of Agriculture shall prescribe the form of annual financial
statement required by section 3 of said act of March 2, 1887; shall ascertain
whether the expenditures under the appropriation hereby made are in accordance
with the provisions of said act, and shall make report thereon to Congress.
In obedience to this law the Department of Agriculture immediately
sent out blank forms of expense accounts to each station, and proposes
in addition to make, through trusted experts, systematic examination of
the several stations during each year for the purpose of acquiring by personal
investigation the detailed information necessary to enable the Secretary
of Agriculture to make, as the statute provides, a satisfactory report
to Congress. The boards of management of the several stations with great
alacrity and cordiality have approved the amendment to the law providing
this supervision of their expenditures, anticipating that it will increase
the efficiency of the stations and protect their directors and managers
from loose charges concerning their use of public funds, besides bringing
the Department of Agriculture into closer and more confidential relations
with the experimental stations, and through their joint service largely
increasing their usefulness to the agriculture of the country.
Acting upon a recommendation contained in the report of 1893, Congress
appropriated $10,000 "to enable the Secretary of Agriculture to investigate
and report upon the nutritive value of the various articles and commodities
used for human food, with special suggestions of full, wholesome, and edible
rations less wasteful and more economical than those in common use."
Under this appropriation the Department has prepared and now has nearly
ready for distribution an elementary discussion of the nutritive value
and pecuniary economy of food. When we consider that fully one-half of
all the money earned by the wage earners of the civilized world is expended
by them for food, the importance and utility of such an investigation is
The Department expended in the fiscal year 1893 $2,354,809.56, and out
of that sum the total amount expended in scientific research was 45.6 per
cent. But in the year ending June 30, 1894, out of a total expenditure
of $1,948,988.38, the Department applied 51.8 per cent of that sum to scientific
work and investigation. It is therefore very plainly observable that the
economies which have been practiced in the administration of the Department
have not been at the expense of scientific research.
The recommendation contained in the report of the Secretary for 1893
that the vicious system of promiscuous free distribution of its departmental
documents be abandoned is again urged. These publications may well be furnished
without cost to public libraries, educational institutions, and the officers
and libraries of States and of the Federal Government; but from all individuals
applying for them a price covering the cost of the document asked for should
be required. Thus the publications and documents would be secured by those
who really desire them for proper purposes. Half a million of copies of
the report of the Secretary of Agriculture are printed for distribution,
at an annual cost of about $300,000. Large numbers of them are cumbering
storerooms at the Capitol and the shelves of secondhand-book stores throughout
the country. All this labor and waste might be avoided if the recommendations
of the Secretary were adopted.
The Secretary also again recommends that the gratuitous distribution
of seeds cease and that no money be appropriated for that purpose except
to experiment stations. He reiterates the reasons given in his report for
1893 for discontinuing this unjustifiable gratuity, and I fully concur
in the conclusions which he has reached.
The best service of the statistician of the Department of Agriculture
is the ascertainment, by diligence and care, of the actual and real conditions,
favorable or unfavorable, of the farmers and farms of the country, and
to seek the causes which produce these conditions, to the end that the
facts ascertained may guide their intelligent treatment.
A further important utility in agricultural statistics is found in their
elucidation of the relation of the supply of farm products to the demand
for them in the markets of the United States and of the world.
It is deemed possible that an agricultural census may be taken each
year through the agents of the statistical division of the Department.
Such a course is commended for trial by the chief of that division. Its
scope would be:
(1) The area under each of the more important crops.
(2) The aggregate products of each of such crops.
(3) The quantity of wheat and corn in the hands of farmers at
a date after the spring sowings and plantings and before the beginning
of harvest, and also the quantity of cotton and tobacco remaining in the
hands of planters, either at the same date or at some other designated
The cost of the work is estimated at $500,000.
Owing to the peculiar quality of the statistician's work and the natural
and acquired fitness necessary to its successful prosecution, the Secretary
of Agriculture expresses the opinion that every person employed in gathering
statistics under the chief of that division should be admitted to that
service only after a thorough, exhaustive, and successful examination at
the hands of the United States Civil Service Commission. This has led him
to call for such examination of candidates for the position of assistant
statisticians, and also of candidates for chiefs of sections in that division.
The work done by the Department of Agriculture is very superficially
dealt with in this communication, and I commend the report of the Secretary
and the very important interests with which it deals to the careful attention
of the Congress.
The advantages to the public service of an adherence to the principles
of civil-service reform are constantly more apparent, and nothing is so
encouraging to those in official life who honestly desire good government
as the increasing appreciation by our people of these advantages. A vast
majority of the voters of the land are ready to insist that the time and
attention of those they select to perform for them important public duties
should not be distracted by doling out minor offices, and they are growing
to be unanimous in regarding party organization as something that should
be used in establishing party principles instead of dictating the distribution
of public places as rewards of partisan activity.
Numerous additional offices and places have lately been brought within
civil-service rules and regulations, and some others will probably soon
The report of the Commissioners will be submitted to the Congress, and
I invite careful attention to the recommendations it contains.
I am entirely convinced that we ought not to be longer without a national
board of health or national health officer charged with no other duties
than such as pertain to the protection of our country from the invasion
of pestilence and disease. This would involve the establishment by such
board or officer of proper quarantine precautions, or the necessary aid
and counsel to local authorities on the subject; prompt advice and assistance
to local boards of health or health officers in the suppression of contagious
disease, and in cases where there are no such local boards or officers
the immediate direction by the national board or officer of measures of
suppression; constant and authentic information concerning the health of
foreign countries and all parts of our own country as related to contagious
diseases, and consideration of regulations to be enforced in foreign ports
to prevent the introduction of contagion into our cities and the measures
which should be adopted to secure their enforcement.
There seems to be at this time a decided inclination to discuss measures
of protection against contagious diseases in international conference,
with a view of adopting means of mutual assistance. The creation of such
a national health establishment would greatly aid our standing in such
conferences and improve our opportunities to avail ourselves of their benefits.
I earnestly recommend the inauguration of a national board of health
or similar national instrumentality, believing the same to be a needed
precaution against contagious disease and in the interest of the safety
and health of our people.
By virtue of a statute of the United States passed in 1888 I appointed
in July last Hon. John D. Kernan, of the State of New York, and Hon. Nicholas
E. Worthington, of the State of Illinois, to form, with Hon. Carroll D.
Wright, Commissioner of Labor, who was designated by said statute, a commission
for the purpose of making careful inquiry into the causes of the controversies
between certain railroads and their employees which had resulted in an
extensive and destructive strike, accompanied by much violence and dangerous
disturbance, with considerable loss of life and great destruction of property.
The report of the commissioners has been submitted to me and will be
transmitted to the Congress with the evidence taken upon their investigation.
Their work has been well done, and their standing and intelligence give
assurance that the report and suggestions they make are worthy of careful
The tariff act passed at the last session of the Congress needs important
amendments if it is to be executed effectively and with certainty. In addition
to such necessary amendments as will not change rates of duty, I am still
very decidedly in favor of putting coal and iron upon the free list.
So far as the sugar schedule is concerned, I would be glad, under existing
aggravations, to see every particle of differential duty in favor of refined
sugar stricken out of our tariff law. If with all the favor now accorded
the sugar-refining interest in our tariff laws it still languishes to the
extent of closed refineries and thousands of discharged workmen, it would
seem to present a hopeless case for reasonable legislative aid. Whatever
else is done or omitted, I earnestly repeat here the recommendation I have
made in another portion of this communication, that the additional duty
of one-tenth of a cent per pound laid upon sugar imported from countries
paying a bounty on its export be abrogated. It seems to me that exceedingly
important considerations point to the propriety of this amendment.
With the advent of a new tariff policy not only calculated to relieve
the consumers of our land in the cost of their daily life, but to invite
a better development of American thrift and create for us closer and more
profitable commercial relations with the rest of the world, it follows
as a logical and imperative necessity that we should at once remove the
chief if not the only obstacle which has so long prevented our participation
in the foreign carrying trade of the sea. A tariff built upon the theory
that it is well to check imports and that a home market should bound the
industry and effort of American producers was fitly supplemented by a refusal
to allow American registry to vessels built abroad, though owned and navigated
by our people, thus exhibiting a willingness to abandon all contest for
the advantages of American transoceanic carriage. Our new tariff policy,
built upon the theory that it is well to encourage such importations as
our people need, and that our products and manufactures should find markets
in every part of the habitable globe, is consistently supplemented by the
greatest possible liberty to our citizens in the ownership and navigation
of ships in which our products and manufactures may be transported. The
millions now paid to foreigners for carrying American passengers and products
across the sea should be turned into American hands. Shipbuilding, which
has been protected to strangulation, should be revived by the prospect
of profitable employment for ships when built, and the American sailor
should be resurrected and again take his place--a sturdy and industrious
citizen in time of peace and a patriotic and safe defender of American
interests in the day of conflict.
The ancient provision of our law denying American registry to ships
built abroad and owned by Americans appears in the light of present conditions
not only to be a failure for good at every point, but to be nearer a relic
of barbarism than anything that exists under the permission of a statute
of the United States. I earnestly recommend its prompt repeal.
During the last month the gold reserved in the Treasury for the purpose
of redeeming the notes of the Government circulating as money in the hands
of the people became so reduced and its further depletion in the near future
seemed so certain that in the exercise of proper care for the public welfare
it became necessary to replenish this reserve and thus maintain popular
faith in the ability and determination of the Government to meet as agreed
its pecuniary obligations.
It would have been well if in this emergency authority had existed to
issue the bonds of the Government bearing a low rate of interest and maturing
within a short period; but the Congress having failed to confer such authority,
resort was necessarily had to the resumption act of 1875, and pursuant
to its provisions bonds were issued drawing interest at the rate of 5 per
cent per annum and maturing ten years after their issue, that being the
shortest time authorized by the act. I am glad to say, however, that on
the sale of these bonds the premium received operated to reduce the rate
of interest to be paid by the Government to less than 3 per cent.
Nothing could be worse or further removed from sensible finance than
the relations existing between the currency the Government has issued,
the gold held for its redemption, and the means which must be resorted
to for the purpose of replenishing such redemption fund when impaired.
Even if the claims upon this fund were confined to the obligations originally
intended and if the redemption of these obligations meant their cancellation,
the fund would be very small. But these obligations when received and redeemed
in gold are not canceled, but are reissued and may do duty many times by
way of drawing gold from the Treasury. Thus we have an endless chain in
operation constantly depleting the Treasury's gold and never near a final
rest. As if this was not bad enough, we have, by a statutory declaration
that it is the policy of the Government to maintain the parity between
gold and silver, aided the force and momentum of this exhausting process
and added largely to the currency obligations claiming this peculiar gold
redemption. Our small gold reserve is thus subject to drain from every
side. The demands that increase our danger also increase the necessity
of protecting this reserve against depletion, and it is most unsatisfactory
to know that the protection afforded is only a temporary palliation.
It is perfectly and palpably plain that the only way under present conditions
by which this reserve when dangerously depleted can be replenished is through
the issue and sale of the bonds of the Government for gold, and yet Congress
has not only thus far declined to authorize the issue of bonds best suited
to such a purpose, but there seems a disposition in some quarters to deny
both the necessity and power for the issue of bonds at all.
I can not for a moment believe that any of our citizens are deliberately
willing that their Government should default in its pecuniary obligations
or that its financial operations should be reduced to a silver basis. At
any rate, I should not feel that my duty was done if I omitted any effort
I could make to avert such a calamity. As long, therefore, as no provision
is made for the final redemption or the putting aside of the currency obligation
now used to repeatedly and constantly draw from the Government its gold,
and as long as no better authority for bond issues is allowed than at present
exists, such authority will be utilized whenever and as often as it becomes
necessary to maintain a sufficient gold reserve, and in abundant time to
save the credit of our country and make good the financial declarations
of our Government.
Questions relating to our banks and currency are closely connected with
the subject just referred to, and they also present some unsatisfactory
features. Prominent among them are the lack of elasticity in our currency
circulation and its frequent concentration in financial centers when it
is most needed in other parts of the country.
The absolute divorcement of the Government from the business of banking
is the ideal relationship of the Government to the circulation of the currency
of the country.
This condition can not be immediately reached, but as a step in that
direction and as a means of securing a more elastic currency and obviating
other objections to the present arrangement of bank circulation the Secretary
of the Treasury presents in his report a scheme modifying present banking
laws and providing for the issue of circulating notes by State banks free
from taxation under certain limitations.
The Secretary explains his plan so plainly and its advantages are developed
by him with such remarkable clearness that any effort on my part to present
argument in its support would be superfluous. I shall therefore content
myself with an unqualified indorsement of the Secretary's proposed changes
in the law and a brief and imperfect statement of their prominent features.
It is proposed to repeal all laws providing for the deposit of United
States bonds as security for circulation; to permit national banks to issue
circulating notes not exceeding in amount 75 per cent of their paid-up
and unimpaired capital, provided they deposit with the Government as a
guaranty fund, in United States legal-tender notes, including Treasury
notes of 1890, a sum equal in amount to 30 per cent of the notes they desire
to issue, this deposit to be maintained at all times, but whenever any
bank retires any part of its circulation a proportional part of its guaranty
fund shall be returned to it; to permit the Secretary of the Treasury to
prepare and keep on hand ready for issue in case an increase in circulation
is desired blank national-bank notes for each bank having circulation and
to repeal the provisions of the present law imposing limitations and restrictions
upon banks desiring to reduce or increase their circulation, thus permitting
such increase or reduction within the limit of 75 per cent of capital to
be quickly made as emergencies arise.
In addition to the guaranty fund required, it is proposed to provide
a safety fund for the immediate redemption of the circulating notes of
failed banks by imposing a small annual tax, say one-half of 1 per cent,
upon the average circulation of each bank until the fund amounts to 5 per
cent of the total circulation outstanding. When a bank fails its guaranty
fund is to be paid into this safety fund and its notes are to be redeemed
in the first instance from such safety fund thus augmented, any impairment
of such fund caused thereby to be made good from the immediately available
cash assets of said bank, and if these should be insufficient such impairment
to be made good by pro rata assessment among the other banks, their contributions
constituting a first lien upon the assets of the failed bank in favor of
the contributing banks. As a further security it is contemplated that the
existing provision fixing the individual liability of stockholders is to
be retained and the bank's indebtedness on account of its circulating notes
is to be made a first lien on all its assets.
For the purpose of meeting the expense of printing notes, official supervision,
cancellation, and other like charges there shall be imposed a tax of say
one-half of 1 per cent per annum upon the average amount of notes in circulation.
It is further provided that there shall be no national-bank notes issued
of a less denomination than $10; that each national bank, except in case
of a failed bank, shall redeem or retire its notes in the first instance
at its own office or at agencies to be designated by it, and that no fixed
reserve need be maintained on account of deposits.
Another very important feature of this plan is the exemption of State
banks from taxation by the United States in cases where it is shown to
the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury and Comptroller of the
Currency by banks claiming such exemption that they have not had outstanding
their circulating notes exceeding 75 per cent of their paid-up and unimpaired
capital; that their stockholders are individually liable for the redemption
of their circulating notes to the full extent of their ownership of stock;
that the liability of said banks upon their circulating notes constitutes
under their State law a first lien upon their assets; that such banks have
kept and maintained a guaranty fund in United States legal-tender notes,
including Treasury notes of 1890, equal to 30 per cent of their outstanding
circulating notes, and that such banks have promptly redeemed their circulating
notes when presented at their principal or branch offices.
It is quite likely that this scheme may be usefully amended in some
of its details, but I am satisfied it furnishes a basis for a very great
improvement in our present banking and currency system.
I conclude this communication fully appreciating that the responsibility
for all legislation affecting the people of the United States rests upon
their representatives in the Congress, and assuring them that, whether
in accordance with recommendations I have made or not, I shall be glad
to cooperate in perfecting any legislation that tends to the prosperity
and welfare of our country.