State of the Union Address
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
At the outgoing of the old and the incoming of the new century you begin
the last session of the Fifty-sixth Congress with evidences on every hand
of individual and national prosperity and with proof of the growing strength
and increasing power for good of Republican institutions. Your countrymen
will join with you in felicitation that American liberty is more firmly
established than ever before, and that love for it and the determination
to preserve it are more universal than at any former period of our history.
The Republic was never so strong, because never so strongly entrenched
in the hearts of the people as now. The Constitution, with few amendments,
exists as it left the hands of its authors. The additions which have been
made to it proclaim larger freedom and more extended citizenship. Popular
government has demonstrated in its one hundred and twenty-four years of
trial here its stability and security, and its efficiency as the best instrument
of national development and the best safeguard to human rights.
When the Sixth Congress assembled in November, 1800, the population
of the United States was 5,308,483.It is now 76,304,799. Then we had sixteen
States. Now we have forty-five. Then our territory consisted Of 909,050
square miles. It is now 3,846,595 square miles. Education, religion, and
morality have kept pace with our advancement in other directions, and while
extending its power the Government has adhered to its foundation principles
and abated none of them in dealing with our new peoples and possessions.
A nation so preserved and blessed gives reverent thanks to God and invokes
His guidance and the continuance of His care and favor.
In our foreign intercourse the dominant question has been the treatment
of the Chinese problem. Apart from this our relations with the powers have
The recent troubles in China spring from the antiforeign agitation which
for the past three years has gained strength in the northern provinces.
Their origin lies deep in the character of the Chinese races and in the
traditions of their Government. The Taiping rebellion and the opening of
Chinese ports to foreign trade and settlement disturbed alike the homogeneity
and the seclusion of China.
Meanwhile foreign activity made itself felt in all quarters, not alone
on the coast, but along the great river arteries and in the remoter districts,
carrying new ideas and introducing new associations among a primitive people
which had pursued for centuries a national policy of isolation.
The telegraph and the railway spreading over their land, the steamers
plying on their waterways, the merchant and the missionary penetrating
year by year farther to the interior, became to the Chinese mind types
of an alien invasion, changing the course of their national life and fraught
with vague forebodings of disaster to their beliefs and their self-control.
For several years before the present troubles all the resources of foreign
diplomacy, backed by moral demonstrations of the physical force of fleets
and arms, have been needed to secure due respect for the treaty rights
of foreigners and to obtain satisfaction from the responsible authorities
for the sporadic outrages upon the persons and property of unoffending
sojourners, which from time to time occurred at widely separated points
in the northern provinces, as in the case of the outbreaks in Sze-chuen
Posting of antiforeign placards became a daily occurrence, which the
repeated reprobation of the Imperial power failed to check or punish. These
inflammatory appeals to the ignorance and superstition of the masses, mendacious
and absurd in their accusations and deeply hostile in their spirit, could
not but work cumulative harm. They aimed at no particular class of foreigners;
they were impartial in attacking everything foreign.
An outbreak in Shan-tung, in which German missionaries were slain, was
the too natural result of these malevolent teachings.
The posting of seditious placards, exhorting to the utter destruction
of foreigners and of every foreign thing, continued unrebuked. Hostile
demonstrations toward the stranger gained strength by organization.
The sect, commonly styled the Boxers, developed greatly in the provinces
north of the Yang-Tse, and with the collusion of many notable officials,
including some in the immediate councils of the Throne itself, became alarmingly
aggressive. No foreigner's life, outside of the protected treaty ports,
was safe. No foreign interest was secure from spoliation.
The diplomatic representatives of the powers in Peking strove in vain
to check this movement. Protest was followed by demand and demand by renewed
protest, to be met with perfunctory edicts from the Palace and evasive
and futile assurances from the Tsung-li Yamen. The circle of the Boxer
influence narrowed about Peking, and while nominally stigmatized as seditious,
it was felt that its spirit pervaded the capital itself, that the Imperial
forces were imbued with its doctrines, and that the immediate counselors
of the Empress Dowager were in full sympathy with the antiforeign movement.
The increasing gravity of the conditions in China and the imminence
of peril to our own diversified interests in the Empire, as well as to
those of all the other treaty governments, were soon appreciated by this
Government, causing it profound solicitude. The United States from the
earliest days of foreign intercourse with China had followed a policy of
peace, omitting no occasions to testify good will, to further the extension
of lawful trade, to respect the sovereignty of its Government, and to insure
by all legitimate and kindly but earnest means the fullest measure of protection
for the lives and property of our law-abiding citizens and for the exercise
of their beneficent callings among the Chinese people.
Mindful of this, it was felt to be appropriate that our purposes should
be pronounced in favor of such course as would hasten united action of
the powers at Peking to promote the administrative reforms so greatly needed
for strengthening the Imperial Government and maintaining the integrity
of China, in which we believed the whole western world to be alike concerned.
To these ends I caused to be addressed to the several powers occupying
territory and maintaining spheres of influence in China the circular proposals
of 1899, inviting from them declarations of their intentions and views
as to the desirability of the adoption of measures insuring the benefits
of equality of treatment of all foreign trade throughout China.
With gratifying unanimity the responses coincided in this common policy,
enabling me to see in the successful termination of these negotiations
proof of the friendly spirit which animates the various powers interested
in the untrammeled development of commerce and industry in the Chinese
Empire as a source of vast benefit to the whole commercial world.
In this conclusion, which I had the gratification to announce as a completed
engagement to the interested powers on March 20, 1900, I hopefully discerned
a potential factor for the abatement of the distrust of foreign purposes
which for a year past had appeared to inspire the policy of the Imperial
Government, and for the effective exertion by it of power and authority
to quell the critical antiforeign movement in the northern provinces most
immediately influenced by the Manchu sentiment.
Seeking to testify confidence in the willingness and ability of the
Imperial administration to redress the wrongs and prevent the evils we
suffered and feared, the marine guard, which had been sent to Peking in
the autumn of 1899 for the protection of the legation, was withdrawn at
the earliest practicable moment, and all pending questions were remitted,
as far as we were concerned, to the ordinary resorts of diplomatic intercourse.
The Chinese Government proved, however, unable to check the rising strength
of the Boxers and appeared to be a prey to internal dissensions. In the
unequal contest the antiforeign influences soon gained the ascendancy under
the leadership of Prince Tuan. Organized armies of Boxers, with which the
Imperial forces affiliated, held the country between Peking and the coast,
penetrated into Manchuria up to the Russian borders, and through their
emissaries threatened a like rising throughout northern China.
Attacks upon foreigners, destruction of their property, and slaughter
of native converts were reported from all sides. The Tsung-li Yamen, already
permeated with hostile sympathies, could make no effective response to
the appeals of the legations. At this critical juncture, in the early spring
of this year, a proposal was made by the other powers that a combined fleet
should be assembled in Chinese waters as a moral demonstration, under cover
of which to exact of the Chinese Government respect for foreign treaty
rights and the suppression of the Boxers.
The United States, while not participating in the joint demonstration,
promptly sent from the Philippines all ships that could be spared for service
on the Chinese coast. A small force of marines was landed at Taku and sent
to Peking for the protection of the American legation. Other powers took
similar action, until some four hundred men were assembled in the capital
as legation guards.
Still the peril increased. The legations reported the development of
the seditious movement in Peking and the need of increased provision for
defense against it. While preparations were in progress for a larger expedition,
to strengthen the legation guards and keep the railway open, an attempt
of the foreign ships to make a landing at Taku was met by a fire from the
Chinese forts. The forts were thereupon shelled by the foreign vessels,
the American admiral taking no part in the attack, on the ground that we
were not at war with China and that a hostile demonstration might consolidate
the antiforeign elements and strengthen the Boxers to oppose the relieving
Two days later the Taku forts were captured after a sanguinary conflict.
Severance of communication with Peking followed, and a combined force of
additional guards, which was advancing to Peking by the Pei-Ho, was checked
at Langfang. The isolation of the legations was complete.
The siege and the relief of the legations has passed into undying history.
In all the stirring chapter which records the heroism of the devoted band,
clinging to hope in the face of despair, and the undaunted spirit that
led their relievers through battle and suffering to the goal, it is a memory
of which my countrymen may be justly proud that the honor of our flag was
maintained alike in the siege and the rescue, and that stout American hearts
have again set high, in fervent emulation with true men of other race and
language, the indomitable courage that ever strives for the cause of right
By June 19 the legations were cut off. An identical note from the, Yamen
ordered each minister to leave Peking, under a promised escort, within
twenty-four hours. To gain time they replied, asking prolongation of the
time, which was afterwards granted, and requesting an interview with the
Tsung-li Yamen on the following day. No reply being received, on the morning
of the 2oth the German minister, Baron von Ketteler, set out for the Yamen
to obtain a response, and oil the way was murdered.
An attempt by the legation guard to recover his body was foiled by the
Chinese. Armed forces turned out against the legations. Their quarters
were surrounded and attacked. The mission compounds were abandoned, their
inmates taking refuge in the British legation, where all the other legations
and guards gathered for more effective defense. Four hundred persons were
crowded in its narrow compass. Two thousand native converts were assembled
in a nearby palace under protection of the foreigners. Lines of defense
were strengthened, trenches dug, barricades raised, and preparations made
to stand a siege, which at once began.
From June 20 until July 17, writes Minister Conger, 11 there was scarcely
an hour during which there was not firing upon some part of our lines and
into some of the legations, varying from a single shot to a general and
continuous attack along the whole line." Artillery was placed around the
legations and on the over-looking palace walls, and thousands Of 3-inch
shot and shell were fired, destroying some buildings and damaging all.
So thickly did the balls rain, that, when the ammunition of the besieged
ran low, five quarts of Chinese bullets were gathered in an hour in one
compound and recast.
Attempts were made to burn the legations by setting neighboring houses
on fire, but the flames were successfully fought off, although the Austrian,
Belgian, Italian. and Dutch legations were then and subsequently burned.
With the aid of the native converts, directed by the missionaries, to whose
helpful co-operation Mr. Conger awards unstinted praise, the British legation
was made a veritable fortress. The British minister, Sir Claude MacDonald,
was chosen general commander of the defense, with the secretary of the
American legation, Mr. E. G. Squiers, as chief of staff.
To save life and ammunition the besieged sparingly returned the incessant
fire of the Chinese soldiery, fighting only to repel attack or make an
occasional successful sortie for strategic advantage, such as that of fifty-five
American, British, and Russian marines led by Captain Myers, of the United
States Marine Corps, which resulted in the capture of a formidable barricade
on the wall that gravely menaced the American position. It was held to
the last, and proved an invaluable acquisition, because commanding the
water gate through which the relief column entered.
During the siege the defenders lost 65 killed, 135 wounded, and 7 by
disease, the last all children.
On July 14 the besieged bad their first communication with the Tsung-li
Yamen, from whom a message came inviting to a conference, which was declined.
Correspondence, however, ensued and a sort of armistice was agreed upon,
which stopped the bombardment and lessened the rifle fire for a time. Even
then no protection whatever was afforded, nor any aid given, save to send
to the legations a small supply of fruit and three sacks of flour.
Indeed, the only communication had with the Chinese Government related
to the occasional delivery or dispatch of a telegram or to the demands
of the Tsung-li Yamen for the withdrawal of the legations to the coast
under escort. Not only are the protestations of the Chinese Government
that it protected and succored the legations positively contradicted, but
irresistible proof accumulates that the attacks upon them were made by
Imperial troops, regularly uniformed, armed, and officered, belonging to
the command of Jung Lu, the Imperial commander in chief. Decrees encouraging
the Boxers, organizing them tinder prominent Imperial officers, provisioning
them, and even granting them large sums in the name of the Empress Dowager,
are known to exist. Members of the Tsung-li Yamen who counseled protection
of the foreigners were beheaded. Even in the distant provinces men suspected
of foreign sympathy were put to death, prominent among these being Chang
Yen-hoon, formerly Chinese minister in Washington.
With the negotiation of the partial armistice of July 14, a proceeding
which was doubtless promoted by the representations of the Chinese envoy
in Washington, the way was opened for the conveyance to Mr. Conger of a
test message sent by the Secretary of State through the kind offices of
Minister Wu Ting-fang. Mr. Conger's reply, dispatched from Peking on July
18 through the same channel, afforded to the outside world the first tidings
that the inmates of the legations were still alive and hoping for succor.
This news stimulated the preparations for a joint relief expedition
in numbers sufficient to overcome the resistance which for a month had
been organizing between Taku and the capital. Reinforcements sent by all
the co-operating Governments were constantly arriving. The United States
contingent, hastily assembled from the Philippines or dispatched from this
country, amounted to some 5,000 men, under the able command first of the
lamented Colonel Liscurn and afterwards of General Chaffee.
Toward the end of July the movement began. A severe conflict followed
at Tientsin, in which Colonel Liscurn was killed. The city was stormed
and partly destroyed. Its capture afforded the base of operations from
which to make the final advance, which began in the first days of August,
the expedition being made up of Japanese, Russian, British, and American
troops at the outset.
Another battle was fought and won at Yangtsun. Thereafter the disheartened
Chinese troops offered little show of resistance. A few days later the
important position of Ho-si-woo was taken. A rapid march brought the united
forces to the populous city of Tung Chow, which capitulated without a contest.
On August 14 the capital was reached. After a brief conflict beneath
the walls the relief column entered and the legations were saved. The United
States soldiers, sailors, and marines, officers and men alike, in those
distant climes and unusual surroundings, showed the same valor, discipline,
and good conduct and gave proof of the same high degree of intelligence
and efficiency which have distinguished them in every emergency.
The Imperial family and the Government had fled a few days before. The
city was without visible control. The remaining Imperial soldiery had made
on the night of the 13th a last attempt to exterminate the besieged, which
was gallantly repelled. It fell to the occupying forces to restore order
and organize a provisional administration.
Happily the acute disturbances were confined to the northern provinces.
It is a relief to recall and a pleasure to record the loyal conduct of
the viceroys and local authorities of the southern and eastern provinces.
Their efforts were continuously directed to the pacific control of the
vast populations under their rule and to the scrupulous observance of foreign
treaty rights. At critical moments they did not hesitate to memorialize
the Throne, urging the protection of the legations, the restoration of
communication, and the assertion of the Imperial authority against the
subversive elements. They maintained excellent relations with the official
representatives of foreign powers. To their kindly disposition is largely
due the success of the consuls in removing many of the missionaries from
the interior to places of safety. In this relation the action of the consuls
should be highly commended. In Shan-tung and eastern Chi-li the task was
difficult, but, thanks to their energy and the cooperation of American
and foreign naval commanders, hundreds of foreigners, including those of
other nationalities than ours, were rescued from imminent peril.
The policy of the United States through all this trying period was clearly
announced and scrupulously carried out. A circular note to the powers dated
July 3 proclaimed our attitude. Treating the condition in the north as
one of virtual anarchy, in which the great provinces of the south and southeast
had no share, we regarded the local authorities in the latter quarters
as representing the Chinese people with whom we sought to remain in peace
and friendship. Our declared aims involved no war against the Chinese nation.
We adhered to the legitimate office of rescuing the imperiled legation,
obtaining redress for wrongs already suffered, securing wherever possible
the safety of American life and property in China, and preventing a spread
of the disorders or their recurrence.
As was then said, " The policy of the Government of the United States
is to seek a solution which may bring about permanent safety and peace
to China, preserve Chinese territorial and administrative entity, protect
all rights guaranteed to friendly powers by treaty and international law,
and safeguard for the world the principle of equal and impartial trade
with all parts of the Chinese Empire."
Faithful to those professions which, as it proved, reflected the views
and purposes of the other co-operating Governments, all our efforts have
been directed toward ending the anomalous situation in China by negotiations
for a settlement at the earliest possible moment. As soon as the sacred
duty of relieving our legation and its dependents was accomplished we withdrew
from active hostilities, leaving our legation under an adequate guard in
Peking as a channel of negotiation and settlement--a course adopted by
others of the interested powers. Overtures of the empowered representatives
of the Chinese Emperor have been considerately entertained.
The Russian proposition looking to the restoration of the Imperial power
in Peking has been accepted as in full consonance with our own desires,
for we have held and hold that effective reparation for wrongs suffered
and an enduring settlement that will make their recurrence impossible can
best be brought about under an authority which the Chinese nation reverences
and obeys. While so doing we forego no jot of our undoubted right to exact
exemplary and deterrent punishment of the responsible authors and abettors
of the criminal acts whereby we and other nations have suffered grievous
For the real culprits, the evil counselors who have misled the Imperial
judgment and diverted the sovereign authority to their own guilty ends,,
full expiation becomes imperative within the rational limits of retributive
Justice. Regarding this as the initial condition of an acceptable settlement
between China and the powers, I said in my message of October 18 to the
I trust that negotiations may begin so soon as we and the other offended
Governments shall be effectively satisfied of Your Majesty's ability and
power to treat with just sternness the principal offenders, who are doubly
culpable, not alone toward the foreigners, but toward Your Majesty, under
whose rule the purpose of China to dwell in concord with the world had
hitherto found expression in the welcome and protection assured to strangers.
Taking, as a point of departure, the Imperial edict appointing Earl
Li Hung Chang and Prince Ching plenipotentiaries to arrange a settlement,
and the edict of September 25, whereby certain high officials were designated
for punishment, this Government has moved, in concert with the other powers,
toward the opening of negotiations, which Mr. Conger, assisted by Mr. Rockhill,
has been authorized to conduct on behalf of the United States.
General bases of negotiation formulated by the Government of the French
Republic have been accepted with certain reservations as to details, made
necessary by our own circumstances, but, like similar reservations by other
powers, open to discussion in the progress of the negotiations. The disposition
of the Emperor's Government to admit liability for wrongs done to foreign
Governments and their nationals, and to act upon such additional designation
of the guilty persons as the foreign ministers at Peking may be in a position
to make, gives hope of a complete settlement of all questions involved,
assuring foreign rights of residence and intercourse on terms of equality
for all the world.
I regard as one of the essential factors of a durable adjustment the
securement of adequate guarantees for liberty of faith, since insecurity
of those natives who may embrace alien creeds is a scarcely less effectual
assault upon the rights of foreign worship and teaching than would be the
direct invasion thereof.
The matter of indemnity for our wronged citizens is a question of grave
concern. Measured in money alone, a sufficient reparation may prove to
be beyond the ability of China to meet. All the powers concur in emphatic
disclaimers of any purpose of aggrandizement through the dismemberment
of the Empire. I am disposed to think that due compensation may be made
in part by increased guarantees of security for foreign rights and immunities,
and, most important of all, by the opening of China to the equal commerce
of all the world. These views have been and will be earnestly advocated
by our representatives.
The Government of Russia has put forward a suggestion, that in the event
of protracted divergence of views in regard to indemnities the matter may
be relegated to the Court of Arbitration at The Hague. I favorably incline
to this, believing that high tribunal could not fail to reach a solution
no less conducive to the stability and enlarged prosperity of China itself
than immediately beneficial to the powers.
Ratifications of a treaty of extradition with the Argentine Republic
were exchanged on June 2 last.
While the Austro-Hungarian Government has in the many cases that have
been reported of the arrest of our naturalized citizens for alleged evasion
of military service faithfully observed the provisions of the treaty and
released such persons from military obligations, it has in some instances
expelled those whose presence in the community of their origin was asserted
to have a pernicious influence. Representations have been made against
this course whenever its adoption has appeared unduly onerous.
We have been urgently solicited by Belgium to ratify the International
Convention of June, 1899, amendatory of the previous Convention of 1890
in respect to the regulation of the liquor trade in Africa. Compliance
was necessarily withheld, in the absence of the advice and consent of the
Senate thereto. The principle involved has the cordial sympathy of this
Government, which in the reversionary negotiations advocated more drastic
measures, and I would gladly see its extension, by international agreement,
to the restriction of the liquor traffic with all. uncivilized peoples,
especially in the Western Pacific.
A conference will be held at Brussels December 11, 1900, under the Convention
for the protection of industrial property, concluded at Paris March 20,
1883, to which delegates from this country have been appointed. Any lessening
of the difficulties that our inventors encounter in obtaining patents abroad
for their inventions and that our farmers, manufacturers, and merchants
may have in the protection of their trade-marks is worthy of careful consideration,
and your attention will be called to the results of the conference at the
In the interest of expanding trade between this country and South America,
efforts have been made during the past year to conclude conventions with
the southern republics for the enlargement of postal facilities. Two such
agreements, signed with Bolivia on April 24, of which that establishing
the money-order system is undergoing certain changes suggested by the Post-Office
Department, have not yet been ratified by this Government. A treaty of
extradition with that country, signed on the same day, is before the Senate.
A boundary dispute between Brazil and Bolivia over the territory of
Acre is in a fair way of friendly adjustment, a protocol signed in December,
1899, having agreed on a definite frontier and provided for its demarcation
by a joint commission.
Conditions in Brazil have weighed heavily on our export trade to that
country in marked contrast to the favorable conditions upon which Brazilian
products are admitted into our markets. Urgent representations have been
made to that Government on the subject and some amelioration has been effected.
We rely upon the reciprocal justice and good will of that Government to
assure to us a further improvement in our commercial relations.
The Convention signed May 24, 1897, for the final settlement of claims
left in abeyance upon the dissolution of the Commission of 1893, was at
length ratified by the Chilean Congress and the supplemental Commission
has been organized.
It remains for the Congress to appropriate for the necessary expenses
of the Commission.
The insurrectionary movement which disturbed Colombia in the latter
part of 1899 has been practically suppressed, although guerrillas still
operate in some departments. The executive power of that Republic changed
hands in August last by the act of Vice-President Marroquin in assuming
the reins of government during the absence of President San Clemente from
the capital. The change met with no serious opposition, and, following
the precedents in such cases, the United States minister entered into relations
with the new defacto Government on September 17.
It is gratifying to announce that the residual questions between Costa
Rica and Nicaragua growing out of the Award of President Cleveland in 1888
have been adjusted through the choice of an American engineer, General
E. P. Alexander, as umpire to run the disputed line. His task has been
accomplished to the satisfaction of both contestants.
A revolution in the Dominican Republic toward the close of last year
resulted in the installation of President Jimenez, whose Government was
formally recognized in January. Since then final payment has been made
of the American claim in regard to the Ozama bridge.
The year of the exposition has been fruitful in occasions for displaying
the good will that exists between this country and France. This great competition
brought together from every nation the best in natural productions, industry,
science, and the arts, submitted in generous rivalry to a judgment made
all the more searching because of that rivalry. The extraordinary increase
of exportations from this country during the past three years and the activity
with which our inventions and wares bad invaded new markets caused much
interest to center upon the American exhibit, and every encouragement was
offered in the way of space and facilities to permit of its being comprehensive
as a whole and complete in every part.
It was, however, not an easy task to assemble exhibits that could fitly
illustrate our diversified resources and manufactures. Singularly enough,
our national prosperity lessened. the incentive to exhibit. The dealer
in raw materials knew that the user must come to him; the great factories
were contented with the phenomenal demand for their output, not alone at
home, but also abroad, where merit had already won a profitable trade.
Appeals had to be made to the patriotism of exhibitors to induce them
to incur outlays promising no immediate return. This was especially the
case where it became needful to complete an industrial sequence or illustrate
a class of processes. One manufacturer after another had to be visited
and importuned, and at times, after a promise to exhibit in a particular
section bad been obtained, it would be withdrawn, owing to pressure of
trade orders, and a new quest would have to be made.
The installation of exhibits, too, encountered many obstacles and involved
unexpected cost. The exposition was far from ready at the date fixed for
its opening. The French transportation lines were congested with offered
freight. Belated goods had to be hastily installed in unfinished quarters
with whatever labor could be obtained in the prevailing confusion. Nor
was the task of the Commission lightened by the fact that, owing to the
scheme of classification adopted, it was impossible to have the entire
exhibit of any one country in the same building or more than one group
of exhibits in the same part of any building. Our installations were scattered
on both sides of the Seine and in widely remote suburbs of Paris, so that
additional assistants were needed for the work of supervision and arrangement.
Despite all these drawbacks the contribution of the United States was
not only the largest foreign display, but was among the earliest in place
and the most orderly in arrangement. Our exhibits were shown in one hundred
and one out of one hundred and twenty-one classes, and more completely
covered the entire classification than those of any other nation. In total
number they ranked next after those of France, and the attractive form
in which they were presented secured general attention.
A criterion of the extent and success of our participation and of the
thoroughness with which our exhibits were organized is seen in the awards
granted to American exhibitors by the international jury, namely, grand
prizes, 240; gold medals, 597; silver medals, 776; bronze medals, 541,
and honorable mentions, 322 -- 2,476 in all, being the greatest total number
given to the exhibit of any exhibiting nation, as well as the largest number
in each grade. This significant recognition of merit in competition with
the chosen exhibits of all other nations and at the hands of juries almost
wholly made tip of representatives of France and other competing countries
is not only most gratifying, but is especially valuable, since it sets
us to the front in international questions of supply and demand, while
the large proportion of awards in the classes of art and artistic manufactures
afforded unexpected proof of the stimulation of national culture by the
prosperity that flows from natural productiveness joined to industrial
Apart from the exposition several occasions for showing international
good will occurred. The inauguration in Paris of the Lafayette Monument,
presented by the school children of the United States, and the designing
of a commemorative coin by our Mint and the presentation of the first piece
struck to the President of the Republic, were marked by appropriate ceremonies,
and the Fourth of July was especially observed in the French capital.
Good will prevails in our relations with the German Empire. An amicable
adjustment of the long-pending question of the admission of our life-insurance
companies to do business in Prussia has been reached. One of the principal
companies has already been readmitted and the way is opened for the others
to share the privilege.
The settlement of the Samoan problem, to which I adverted in my last
message, has accomplished good results. Peace and contentment prevail in
the islands, especially in Tutuila, where a convenient administration that
has won the confidence and esteem of the kindly disposed natives has been
organized under the direction of the commander of the United States naval
station at Pago-Pago.
An Imperial meat inspection law has been enacted for Germany. While
it may simplify the inspections, it prohibits certain products heretofore
admitted. There is still great uncertainty as to whether our well-nigh
extinguished German trade in meat products can revive tinder its new burdens.
Much will depend upon regulations not yet promulgated, which we confidently
hope will be free from the discriminations which attended the enforcement
of the old statutes.
The remaining link in the new lines of direct telegraphic communication
between the United States and the German Empire has recently been completed,
affording a gratifying occasion for exchange of friendly congratulations
with the German Emperor.
Our friendly relations with Great Britain continue. The war in Southern
Africa introduced important questions. A condition unusual in international
wars was presented in that while one belligerent had control of the seas,
the other had no ports, shipping, or direct trade, but was only accessible
through the territory of a neutral. Vexatious questions arose through Great
Britain's action in respect to neutral cargoes, not contraband in their
own nature, shipped to Portuguese South Africa, on the score of probable
or suspected ultimate destination to the Boer States.
Such consignments in British ships, by which alone direct trade is kept
up between our ports and Southern Africa, were seized in application of
a municipal law prohibiting British vessels from trading with the enemy
without regard to any contraband character of the goods, while cargoes
shipped to Delagoa Bay in neutral bottoms were arrested on the ground of
alleged destination to enemy's country. Appropriate representations on
our part resulted in the British Government agreeing to purchase outright
all such goods shown to be the actual property of American citizens, thus
closing the incident to the satisfaction of the immediately interested
parties, although, unfortunately, without a broad settlement of the question
of a neutral's right to send goods not contraband per se to a neutral port
adjacent to a belligerent area.
The work of marking certain provisional boundary points, for convenience
of administration, around the head of Lynn Canal, in accordance with the
temporary arrangement of October, 1899, Was completed by a joint survey
in July last. The modus vivendi has so far worked without friction, and
the Dominion Government has provided rules and regulations for securing
to our citizens the benefit of the reciprocal stipulation that the citizens
or subjects of either power found by that arrangement within the temporary
jurisdiction of the other shall suffer no diminution of the rights and
privileges they have hitherto enjoyed. But however necessary such an expedient
may have been to tide over the grave emergencies of the situation, it is
at best but an unsatisfactory makeshift, which should not be suffered to
delay the speedy and complete establishment of the frontier line to which
we are entitled under the Russo-American treaty for the cession of Alaska.
In this relation I may refer again to the need of definitely marking
the Alaskan boundary where it follows the one hundred and forty-first meridian.
A convention to that end has been before the Senate for some two years,
but as no action has been taken I contemplate negotiating a new convention
for a joint determination of the meridian by telegraphic observations.
These, it is believed, will give more accurate and unquestionable results
than the sidereal methods heretofore independently followed, which, as
is known, proved discrepant at several points on the line, although not
varying at any place more than 700 feet
The pending claim of R. H. May against the Guatemalan Government has
been settled by arbitration, Mr. George F. B. Jenner, British minister
at Guatemala, who was chosen as sole arbitrator. having awarded $143,750.73
in gold to the claimant.
Various American claims against Haiti have been or are being advanced
to the resort of arbitration.
As the result of negotiations with the Government of Honduras in regard
to the indemnity demanded for the murder of Frank H. Pears in Honduras,
that Government has paid $10,000 in settlement of the claim of the heirs.
The assassination of King Humbert called forth sincere expressions of
sorrow from this Government and people, and occasion was fitly taken to
testify to the Italian nation the high regard here felt for the memory
of the lamented ruler.
In my last message I referred at considerable length to the lynching
of five Italians at Tallulah. Notwithstanding the efforts of the Federal
Government, the production of evidence tending to inculpate the authors
of this grievous offense against our civilization, and the repeated inquests
set on foot by the authorities of the State of Louisiana, no punishments
have followed. Successive grand juries have failed to indict. The representations
of the Italian Government in the face of this miscarriage have been most
temperate and just.
Setting the principle at issue high above all consideration of merely
pecuniary indemnification, such as this Government made in the three previous
cases, Italy has solemnly invoked the pledges of existing treaty and asked
that the justice to which she is entitled shall be meted in regard to her
unfortunate countrymen in our territory with the same full measure she
herself would give to any American were his reciprocal treaty rights contemned.
I renew the urgent recommendations I made last year that the Congress
appropriately confer upon the Federal courts jurisdiction in this class
of international cases where the ultimate responsibility of the Federal
Government may be involved, and I invite action upon the bills to accomplish
this which were introduced in the Sen. ate and House. It is incumbent upon
us to remedy the statutory omission which has led, and may again lead,
to such untoward results. I have pointed out the necessity and the precedent
for legislation of this character. Its enactment is a simple measure of
previsory justice toward the nations with which we as a sovereign equal
make treaties requiring reciprocal observance.
While the Italian Government naturally regards such action as the primary
and, indeed, the most essential element in the disposal of the Tallulah
incident, I advise that, in accordance with precedent, and in view of the
improbability of that particular case being reached by the bill now pending,
Congress make gracious provision for indemnity to the Italian sufferers
in the same form and proportion as heretofore.
In my inaugural address I referred to the general subject of lynching
in these words:
Lynching must not be tolerated in a great and civilized country like
the United States; courts, not mobs, must execute the penalties of the
law. The preservation of public order, the right of discussion, the integrity
of courts, and the orderly administration of justice must continue forever
the rock of safety upon which our Government securely rests.
This I most urgently reiterate and again invite the attention of my
countrymen to this reproach upon our civilization.
The closing year has witnessed a decided strengthening of Japan's relations
to other states. The development of her independent judicial and administrative
functions under the treaties which took effect July 17, 1899, has proceeded
without international friction, showing the competence of the Japanese
to hold a foremost place among modern peoples.
In the treatment of the difficult Chinese problems Japan has acted in
harmonious concert with the other powers, and her generous cooperation
materially aided in the joint relief of the beleaguered legations in Peking
and in bringing about an understanding preliminary to a settlement of the
issues between the powers and China. Japan's declarations in favor of the
integrity of the Chinese Empire and the conservation of open world trade
therewith have been frank and positive. As a factor for promoting the general
interests of peace, order, and fair commerce in the Far East the influence
of Japan can hardly be overestimated.
The valuable aid and kindly courtesies extended by the Japanese Government
and naval officers to the battle ship Oregon are gratefully appreciated.
Complaint was made last summer of the discriminatory enforcement of
a bubonic quarantine against Japanese on the Pacific coast and of interference
with their travel in California and Colorado under the health laws of those
States. The latter restrictions have been adjudged by a Federal court to
be unconstitutional. No recurrence of either cause of complaint is apprehended.
No noteworthy incident has occurred in our relations with our important
southern neighbor. Commercial intercourse with Mexico continues to thrive,
and the two Governments neglect no opportunity to foster their mutual interests
in all practicable ways.
Pursuant to the declaration of the Supreme Court that the awards of
the late joint Commission in the La Abra and Weil claims were obtained
through fraud, the sum awarded in the first case, $403,030.08, has been
returned to Mexico, and the amount of the Weil award will be returned in
A Convention indefinitely extending the time for the labors of the United
States and Mexican International (Water) Boundary Commission has been signed.
It is with satisfaction that I am able to announce the formal notification
at The Hague, on September 4, of the deposit of ratifications of the Convention
for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes by sixteen powers,
namely, the United States, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France,
Germany, Italy, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Siam, Spain, Sweden
and Norway, and the Netherlands. Japan also has since ratified the Convention.
The Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration has
been organized and has adopted rules of order and a constitution for the
International Arbitration Bureau. In accordance with Article XXIII of the
Convention providing for the appointment by each signatory power of persons
of known competency in questions of international law as arbitrators, I
have appointed as members of this Court, Hon. Benjamin Harrison, of Indiana,
ex-President of the United States; Hon. Melville W. Fuller, of Illinois,
Chief justice of the United States; Hon. John W. Griggs, of New Jersey,
Attorney General of the United States; and Hon. George Gray, of Delaware,
a judge of the circuit court of the United States.
As an incident of the brief revolution in the Mosquito district of Nicaragua
early in 1899 the insurgents forcibly collected from American merchants
duties upon imports. On the restoration of order the Nicaraguan authorities
demanded a second payment of such duties on the ground that they were due
to the titular Government and that their diversion had aided the revolt.
This position was not accepted by us. After prolonged discussion a compromise
was effected under which the amount of the second payments was deposited
with the British consul at San Juan del Norte in trust until the two Governments
should determine whether the first payments had been made under compulsion
to a de facto authority. Agreement as to this was not reached, and the
point was waived by the act of the Nicaraguan Government in requesting
the British consul to return the deposits to the merchants.
Menacing differences between several of the Central American States
have been accommodated, our ministers rendering good offices toward an
The all-important matter of an interoceanic canal has assumed a new
phase. Adhering to its refusal to reopen the question of the forfeiture
of the contract of the Maritime Canal Company, which was terminated for
alleged nonexecution in October, 1899, the Government of Nicaragua has
since supplemented that action by declaring the so styled Eyre-Cragin option
void for nonpayment of the stipulated advance. Protests in relation to
these acts have been filed in the State Department and are under consideration.
Deeming itself relieved from existing engagements, the Nicaraguan Government
shows a disposition to deal freely with the canal question either in the
way of negotiations with the United States or by taking measures to promote
Overtures for a convention to effect the building of a canal under the
auspices of the United States are under consideration. In the meantime,
the views of the Congress upon the general subject, in the light of the
report of the Commission appointed to examine the comparative merits of
the various trans-Isthmian ship-canal projects, may be awaited.
I commend to the early attention of the Senate the Convention with Great
Britain to facilitate the construction of such a canal and to remove any
objection which might arise out of the Convention commonly called the Clayton-Bulwer
The long-standing contention with Portugal, growing out of the seizure
of the Delagoa Bay Railway, has been at last determined by a favorable
award of the tribunal of arbitration at Berne, to which it was submitted.
The amount of the award, which was deposited in London awaiting arrangements
by the Governments of the United States and Great Britain for its disposal,
has recently been paid over to the two Governments.
A lately signed Convention of Extradition with Peru as amended by the
Senate has been ratified by the Peruvian Congress.
Another illustration of the policy of this Government to refer international
disputes to impartial arbitration is seen in the agreement reached with
Russia to submit the claims on behalf of American sealing vessels seized
in Bering Sea to determination by Mr. T. M. C. Asser, a distinguished statesman
and jurist of the Netherlands.
Thanks are due to the Imperial Russian Government for the kindly aid
rendered by its authorities in eastern Siberia to American missionaries
fleeing from Manchuria.
Satisfactory progress has been made toward the conclusion of a general
treaty of friendship and intercourse with Spain, in replacement of the
old treaty, which passed into abeyance by reason of the late war. A new
convention of extradition is approaching completion, and I should be much
pleased were a commercial arrangement to follow. I feel that we should
not suffer to pass any opportunity to reaffirm the cordial ties that existed
between us and Spain from the time of our earliest independence, and to
enhance the mutual benefits of that commercial intercourse which is natural
between the two countries.
By the terms of the Treaty of Peace the line bounding the ceded Philippine
group in the southwest failed to include several small islands lying westward
of the Sulus, which have always been recognized as under Spanish control.
The occupation of Sibutd and Cagayan Sulu by our naval forces elicited
a claim on the part of Spain, the essential equity of which could not be
gainsaid. In order to cure the defect of the treaty by removing all possible
ground of future misunderstanding respecting the interpretation of its
third article, I directed the negotiation of a supplementary treaty, which
will be forthwith laid before the Senate, whereby Spain quits all title
and claim of title to the islands named as well as to any and all islands
belonging to the Philippine Archipelago lying outside the lines described
in said third article, and agrees that all such islands shall be comprehended
in the cession of the archipelago as fully as if they had been expressly
included within those lines. In consideration of this cession the United
States is to pay to Spain the sum of $100,000.
A bill is now pending to effect the recommendation made in my last annual
message that appropriate legislation be had to carry into execution Article
VII of the Treaty of Peace with Spain, by which the United States assumed
the payment of certain claims for indemnity of its citizens against Spain.
I ask that action be taken to fulfill this obligation.
The King of Sweden and Norway has accepted the joint invitation of the
United States, Germany, and Great Britain to arbitrate claims growing out
of losses sustained in the Samoan Islands in the course of military operations
made necessary by the disturbances in 1899.
Our claims upon the Government of the Sultan for reparation for injuries
suffered by American citizens in Armenia and elsewhere give promise of
early and satisfactory settlement. His Majesty's good disposition in this
regard has been evinced by the issuance of an irade for rebuilding the
American college at Harpoot.
The failure of action by the Senate at its last session upon the commercial
conventions then submitted for its consideration and approval, although
caused by the great pressure of other legislative business, has caused
much disappointment to the agricultural and industrial interests of the
country, which hoped to profit by their provisions. The conventional periods
for their ratification having expired, it became necessary to sign additional
articles extending the time for that purpose. This was requested on our
part, and the other Governments interested have concurred with the exception
of one convention, in respect to which no formal reply has been received.
Since my last communication to the Congress on this subject special
commercial agreements under the third section of the tariff act have been
proclaimed with Portugal, with Italy, and with Germany. Commercial conventions
tinder the general limitations of the fourth section of the same act have
been concluded with
Nicaragua, with Ecuador, with the Dominican Republic, with Great Britain
on behalf of the island of Trinidad, and with Denmark on behalf of the
island of St. Croix. These will be early communicated to the Senate. Negotiations
with other Governments are in progress for the improvement and security
of our commercial relations.
The policy of reciprocity so manifestly rests upon the principles of
international equity and has been so repeatedly approved by the people
of the United States that there ought to be no hesitation in either branch
of the Congress in giving to it full effect.
This Government desires to preserve the most just and amicable commercial
relations with all foreign countries, unmoved by the industrial rivalries
necessarily developed in the expansion of international trade. It is believed
that the foreign Governments generally entertain the same purpose, although
in some instances there are clamorous demands upon them for legislation
specifically hostile to American interests. Should these demands prevail
I shall communicate with the Congress with the view of advising such legislation
as may be necessary to meet the emergency.
The exposition of the resources and products of the Western Hemisphere
to be held at Buffalo next year promises important results not only for
the United States but for the other participating countries. It is gratifying
that the Latin-American States have evinced the liveliest interest, and
the fact that an International American Congress will be held in the City
of Mexico while the exposition is in progress encourages the hope of a
larger display at Buffalo than might otherwise be practicable. The work
of preparing an exhibit of our national resources is making satisfactory
progress under the direction of different officials of the Federal Government,
and the various States of the Union have shown a disposition toward the
most liberal participation in the enterprise.
The Bureau of the American Republics continues to discharge, with the
happiest results, the important work of promoting cordial relations between
the United States and the Latin-American countries, all of which are now
active members of the International Union. The Bureau has been instrumental
in bringing about the agreement for another International American Congress,
which is to meet in the City of Mexico in October, 1901. The Bureau's future
for another term of ten years is assured by the international compact,
but the congress will doubtless have much to do with shaping new lines
of work and a general policy. Its usefulness to the interests of Latin-American
trade is widely appreciated and shows a gratifying development.
The practical utility of the consular service in obtaining a wide range
of information as to the industries and commerce of other countries and
the opportunities thereby afforded for introducing the sale of our goods
have kept steadily in advance of the notable expansion of our foreign trade,
and abundant evidence has been furnished, both at home and abroad, of the
fact that the Consular Reports, including many from our diplomatic representatives,
have to a considerable extent pointed out ways and means of disposing of
a great variety of manufactured goods which otherwise might not have found
Testimony of foreign observers to the commercial efficiency of the consular
corps seems to be conclusive, and our own manufacturers and exporters highly
appreciate the value of the services rendered not only in the printed reports
but also in the individual efforts of consular officers to promote American
trade. An increasing part of the work of the Bureau of Foreign Commerce,
whose primary duty it is to compile and print the reports, is to answer
inquiries from trade organizations, business houses, etc., as to conditions
in various parts of the world, and, notwithstanding the smallness of the
force employed, the work has been so systematized that responses are made
with such promptitude and accuracy as to elicit flattering encomiums. The
experiment of printing the Consular Reports daily for immediate use by
trade bodies, exporters, and the press, which was begun in January, 1898,
continues to give general satisfaction.
It is gratifying to be able to state that the surplus revenues for the
fiscal year ended June 30, 1900, were $79,527,060.18. For the six preceding
years we had only deficits, the aggregate of which from 1894 to 1899, inclusive,
amounted to $283,022,991.14. The receipts for the year from all sources,
exclusive of postal revenues, aggregated $567,240,851.89, and expenditures
for all purposes, except for the administration of the postal department,
aggregated $487,713,791.71. The receipts from customs were $233,164,871.16,
an increase over the preceding year Of $27,036,389.41. The receipts from
internal revenue were $295,327,926.76, an increase Of $21,890,765.25 over
1899. The receipts from miscellaneous sources were $38,748,053.97, as against
$36,394,976.92 for the previous year.
It is gratifying also to note that during the year a considerable reduction
is shown in the expenditures of the Government. The War Department expenditures
for the fiscal year 1900 were $134,774,767.78, a reduction of $95,066,486.69
over those of 1899. In the Navy Department the expenditures were $55,953,077.72
for the year 1900, as against $63,942,104.25 for the preceding year, a
decrease of $7,989,026.53. In the expenditures on account of Indians there
was a decrease in 1900 over 1899 Of $2,630,604.38; and in the civil and
miscellaneous expenses for 1900 there was a reduction Of $13,418,065.74.
Because of the excess of revenues over expenditures the Secretary of
the Treasury was enabled to apply bonds and other securities to the sinking
fund to the amount Of $56,544,556.06. The details of the sinking fund are
set forth in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, to which I invite
attention. The Secretary of the Treasury estimates that the receipts for
the current fiscal year will aggregate $580,000,000 and the expenditures
$500,000,000, leaving an excess of revenues over expenditures of $80,000,000.
The present condition of the Treasury is one of undoubted strength. The
available cash balance November 30 was $139,303,794.50. Under the form
of statement prior to the financial law of March 14 last there would have
been included in the statement of available cash gold coin and bullion
held for the redemption of United States notes.
If this form were pursued, the cash balance including the present gold
reserve of $150,000,000, would be $289,303,794.50. Such balance November
30, 1899, was $296,495,301.55. In the general fund, which is wholly separate
from the reserve and trust funds, there was on November 30, $70,090,073.15
in gold coin and bullion, to which should be added $22,957,300 in gold
certificates subject to issue, against which there is held in the Division
of Redemption gold coin and bullion, making a total holding of free gold
amounting to $93,047,373.15.
It will be the duty as I am sure it will be the disposition of the Congress
to provide whatever further legislation is needed to insure the continued
parity under all conditions between our two forms of metallic money, silver
Our surplus revenues have permitted the Secretary of the Treasury since
the close of the fiscal year to call in the funded loan of 1891 continued
at 2 per cent, in the sum of $25,364,500. To and including November 30,
$23,458,100 Of these bonds have been paid. This sum, together with the
amount which may accrue from further redemptions under the call, will be
applied to the sinking fund.
The law of March 14, 1900, provided for refunding into 2 per cent thirty-year
bonds, payable, principal and interest, in gold coin of the present standard
value, that portion of the public debt represented by the 3 per cent bonds
of 1908, the 4 percents Of 1907, and the 5 percents of 1904, Of which there
was outstanding at the date of said law $839,149,930, The holders of the
old bonds presented them for exchange between March 14 and November 30
to the amount of $364,943,750. The net saving to the Government on these
transactions aggregates $9,106,166.
Another effect of the operation, as stated by the Secretary, is to reduce
the charge upon the Treasury for the payment of interest from the dates
of refunding to February 1, 1904, by the sum of more than seven million
dollars annually. From February 1, 1904, to July 1, 11907, the annual interest
charge will be reduced by the sum of more than five millions, and for the
thirteen months ending August 1, 1908, by about one million. The full details
of the refunding are given in the annual report of the Secretary of the
The beneficial effect of the financial act of 1900, so far as it relates
to a modification of the national banking act, is already apparent. The
provision for the incorporation of national banks with a capital of not
less than $25,000 in places not exceeding three thousand inhabitants has
resulted in the extension of banking facilities to many small communities
hitherto unable to provide themselves with banking institutions under the
national system. There were organized from the enactment of the law up
to and including November 30, 369 national banks, of which 266 were with
capital less than $50,000, and 103 with capital of $50,000 or more.
It is worthy of mention that the greater number of banks being organized
under the new law are in sections where the need of banking facilities
has been most pronounced. Iowa stands first, with 30 banks of the smaller
class, while Texas, Oklahoma, Indian Territory, and the middle and western
sections of the country have also availed themselves largely of the privileges
under the new law.
A large increase in national bank-note circulation has resulted from
the provision of the act which permits national banks to issue circulating
notes to the par value of the United States bonds de. posited as security
instead of only go per cent thereof, as heretofore. The increase in circulating
notes from March 14 to November 30 is $77,889,570.
The party in power is committed to such legislation as will better make
the currency responsive to the varying needs of business at all seasons
and in all sections.
Our foreign trade shows a remarkable record of commercial and industrial
progress. The total of imports and exports for the first time in the history
of the country exceeded two billions of dollars. The exports are greater
than they have ever been before, the total for the fiscal year 1900 being
$1,394,483,082, an increase over 1899 of $167,459,780, an increase over
1898 of $163,000,752, over 1897 Of $343,489,526, and greater than 1896
The growth of manufactures in the United States is evidenced by the
fact that exports of manufactured products largely exceed those of any
previous year, their value for 1900 being $433,851,756, against $339,592,146
in 1899, an increase of 28 per cent.
Agricultural products were also exported during 1900 in greater volume
than in 1899, the total for the year being $835,858,123, against $784,776,142
The imports for the year amounted to $849,941,184, an increase over
1899 of $152,792,695. This increase is largely in materials for manufacture,
and is in response to the rapid development of manufacturing in the United
States. While there was imported for use in manufactures in 1900 material
to the value of $79,768,972 in excess of 1899, it is reassuring to observe
that there is a tendency toward decrease in the importation of articles
manufactured ready for consumption, which in 1900 formed 15.17 per cent
of the total imports, against 15.54 per cent in 1899 and 21.09 per cent
I recommend that the Congress at its present session reduce the internal-revenue
taxes imposed to meet the expenses of the war with Spain. in the sum of
thirty millions of dollars. This reduction should be secured by the remission
of those taxes which experience has shown to be the most burdensome to
the industries of the people.
I specially urge that there be included in whatever reduction is made
the legacy tax on bequests for public uses of a literary, educational,
or charitable character.
American vessels during the past three years have carried about 9 per
cent of our exports and imports. Foreign ships should carry the least,
not the greatest, part of American trade. The remarkable growth of our
steel industries, the progress of shipbuilding for the domestic trade,
and our steadily maintained expenditures for the Navy have created an opportunity
to place the United States in the 6rst rank of commercial maritime powers.
Besides realizing a proper national aspiration this will mean the establishment
and healthy growth along all our coasts of a distinctive national industry,
expanding the field for the profitable employment of labor and capital.
It will increase the transportation facilities and reduce freight charges
on the vast volume of products brought from the interior to the seaboard
for export, and will strengthen an arm of the national defense upon which
the founders of the Government and their successors have relied. In again
urging immediate action by the Congress on measures to promote American
shipping and foreign trade, I direct attention to the recommendations on
the subject in previous messages, and particularly to the opinion expressed
in the message of 1899:
I am satisfied the judgment of the country favors the policy of aid
to our merchant marine, which will broaden our commerce and markets and
upbuild our sea-carrying capacity for the products of agriculture and manufacture,
which, with the increase of our Navy, mean more work and wages to our countrymen,
as well as a safeguard to American interests in every part of the world.
The attention of the Congress is invited to the recommendation of the
Secretary of the Treasury in his annual report for legislation in behalf
of the Revenue-Cutter Service, and favorable action is urged.
In my last annual message to the Congress I called attention to the
necessity for early action to remedy such evils as might be found to exist
in connection with combinations of capital organized into trusts, and again
invite attention to my discussion of the subject at that time, which concluded
with these words:
It is apparent that uniformity of legislation upon this subject in the
several States is much to be desired. It is to be hoped that such uniformity,
founded in a wise and just discrimination between what is injurious and
what is useful and necessary in business operations, may be obtained, and
that means may be found for the Congress, within the limitations of its
constitutional power, so to supplement an effective code of State legislation
as to make a complete system of laws throughout the United States adequate
to compel a general observance of the salutary rules to which I have referred.
The whole question is so important and far-reaching that I am sure
no part of it will be lightly considered, but every phase of it will have
the studied deliberation of the Congress, resulting in wise and judicious
Restraint upon such combinations as are injurious, and which are within
Federal jurisdiction, should be promptly applied by the Congress.
In my last annual message I dwelt at some length upon the condition
of affairs in the Philippines. While seeking to impress upon you that the
grave responsibility of the future government of those islands rests with
the Congress of the United States, I abstained from recommending at that
time a specific and final form of government for the territory actually
held by the United States forces and in which as long as insurrection continues
the military arm must necessarily be supreme. I stated my purpose, until
the Congress shall have made the formal expression of its will, to use
the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes to uphold
the sovereignty of the United States in those distant islands as in all
other places where our flag rightfully floats, placing, to that end, at
the disposal of the army and navy all the means which the liberality of
the Congress and the people have provided. No contrary expression of the
will of the Congress having been made, I have steadfastly pursued the purpose
so declared, employing the civil arm as well toward the accomplishment
of pacification and the institution of local governments within the lines
of authority and law.
Progress in the hoped-for direction has been favorable. Our forces have
successfully controlled the greater part of the islands, overcoming the
organized forces of the insurgents and carrying order and administrative
regularity to all quarters. What opposition remains is for the most part
scattered, obeying no concerted plan of strategic action, operating only
by the methods common to the traditions of guerrilla warfare, which, while
ineffective to alter the general control now established, are still sufficient
to beget insecurity among the populations that have felt the good results
of our control and thus delay the conferment upon them of the fuller measures
of local self-government, of education, and of industrial and agricultural
development which we stand ready to give to them.
By the spring of this year the effective opposition of the dissatisfied
Tagals to the authority of the United States was virtually ended, thus
opening the door for the extension of a stable administration over much
of the territory of the Archipelago. Desiring to bring this about, I appointed
in March last a civil Commission composed of the Hon. William H. Taft,
of Ohio; Prof. Dean C. Worcester, of Michigan; the Hon. Luke I. Wright,
of Tennessee; the Hon. Henry C. Ide, of Vermont, and Prof. Bernard Moses,
of California. The aims of their mission and the scope of their authority
are clearly set forth in my instructions of April 7, 1900, addressed to
the Secretary of War to be transmitted to them:
In the message transmitted to the Congress on the 5th of December, 1899,
1 said. sneaking of the Philippine Islands: 11 As long as the insurrection
continues the military arm must necessarily be supreme. But there is no
reason why steps should not be taken from time to time to inaugurate governments
essentially popular in their form as fast as territory is held and controlled
by our troops. To this end I am considering the advisability of the return
of the Commission, or such of the members thereof as can be secured, to
aid the existing authorities and facilitate this work throughout the islands."
To give effect to the intention thus expressed, I have appointed Hon.
William H. Taft, of Ohio; Prof. Dean C. Worcester, of Michigan; Non. Luke
I. Wright, of Tennessee; Hon. Henry C. Ide, of Vermont, and Prof. Bernard
Moses, of California, Commissioners to the Philippine Islands to continue
and perfect the work of organizing and establishing civil government already
commenced by the military authorities, subject in all respects to any laws
which Congress may hereafter enact.
The Commissioners named will meet and act as a board, and the Hon. William
H. Taft t is designated as president of the board. It is probable that
the transfer of authority from military commanders to civil officers will
be gradual and will occupy a considerable period. Its successful accomplishment
and the maintenance of peace and order in the meantime will require the
most perfect co-operation between the civil and military authorities in
the islands, and both should be directed during the transition period by
the same Executive Department. The Commission will therefore report to
the Secretary of War, and all their action will be subject to your approval
You will instruct the Commission to proceed to the city of Manila, where
they will make their principal office, and to communicate with the Military
Governor of the Philippine Islands, whom you will at the same time direct
to render to them every assistance within his power in the performance
of their duties. Without hampering them by too specific instructions, they
should in general be enjoined, after making themselves familiar with the
conditions and needs of the country, to devote their attention in the first
instance to the establishment of municipal governments, in which the natives
of the islands, both in the cities and in the rural communities, shall
be afforded the opportunity to manage their own local affairs to the fullest
extent of which they are capable and subject to the least degree of supervision
and control which a careful study of their capacities and observation of
the workings of native control show to be consistent with the maintenance
of law, order, and loyalty.
The next subject in order of importance should be the organization of
government in the larger administrative divisions corresponding to counties,
departments, or provinces, in which the common interests of many or several
municipalities failing within the same tribal lines, or the same natural
geographical limits, may best be subserved by a common administration.
Whenever the Commission is of the opinion that the condition of affairs
in the islands is such that the central administration may safely be transferred
from military to civil control they will report that conclusion to you,
with their recommendations as to the form of central government to be established
for the purpose of taking over the control.
Beginning with the 1st day of September, 1900, the authority to exercise,
subject to my approval, through the Secretary of War, that part of the
power of government in the Philippine Islands which is of a legislative
nature is to be transferred from the Military Governor of the islands to
this Commission, to be thereafter exercised by them in the place and stead
of the Military Governor, under such rules and regulations as you shall
prescribe, until the establishment of the civil central government for
the islands contemplated in the last foregoing paragraph, or until Congress
shall otherwise provide. Exercise of this legislative authority will include
the making of rules and orders, having the effect of law, for the raising
of revenue by taxes, customs duties, and imposts; the appropriation and
expenditure of public funds of the islands; the establishment of an educational
system throughout t1he islands; the establishment of a system to secure
an efficient civil service; the organization and establishment of courts;
the organization and establishment of municipal and departmental governments,
and all other matters of a civil nature for which the Military Governor
is now competent to provide by rules or orders of a legislative character.
The Commission will also have power during the same period to appoint
to office such officers under the judicial, educational, and civil-service
systems and in the municipal and departmental governments as shall be provided
for. Until the complete transfer of control the Military Governor will
remain the chief executive head of the government of the islands, and will
exercise the executive authority now possessed by him and not herein expressly
assigned to the Commission, subject, however, to the rules and orders enacted
by the Commission in the exercise of the legislative powers conferred upon
them. In the meantime the municipal and departmental governments will continue
to report to the Military Governor and be subject to his administrative
supervision and control, under your direction, but that supervision and
control will be confined within the narrowest limits consistent with the
requirement that the powers of government in the municipalities and departments
shall be honestly and effectively exercised and that law and order and
individual freedom shall be maintained.
All legislative rules and orders, establishments of government, and
appointments to office by the Commission will take effect immediately,
or at such times as they shall designate, subject to your approval and
action upon the coming in of the Commission's reports, which are to be
made from time to time as their action is taken. Wherever civil governments
are constituted under the direction of the Commission such military posts,
garrisons, and forces will be continued for the suppression of insurrection
and brigandage and the maintenance of law and order as the Military Commander
shall deem requisite, and the military forces shall be at all times subject,
under his orders, to the call of the civil authorities for the maintenance
of law and order and the enforcement of their authority.
In the establishment of municipal governments the Commission will take
as the basis of their work the governments established by the Military
Governor under his order of August 8, 1899. and under the report of the
board constituted by the Military Governor by his order of January 29,
1900, to formulate and report a plan of municipal government, of which
His Honor Cayetano Arellano, President of the Audiencia, was chairman,
and they will give to the conclusions of that board the weight and consideration
which the high character and distinguished abilities of its members justify.
In the constitution of departmental or provincial governments they will
give especial attention to the existing government of the island of Negros,
constituted, with the approval of the people of that island, under the
order of the Military Governor of July 22, 1899, and after verifying, so
far as may be practicable, the reports of the successful working of that
government they will be guided by the experience thus acquired so far as
it may be applicable to the condition existing in other portions of the
Philippines. They will avail themselves, to the fullest degree practicable,
of the conclusions reached by the previous Commission to the Philippines.
In the distribution of powers among the governments organized by the
Commission, the presumption is always to be in favor of the smaller subdivision,
so that all the powers which can properly be exercised by the municipal
government shall be vested in that government, and all the powers of a
more general character which can be exercised by the departmental government
shall be vested in that government, and so that in the governmental system,
which is the result of the process, the central government of the islands,
following the example of the distribution of the powers between the States
and the National Government of the United States, shall have no direct
administration except of matters of purely general concern, and shall have
only such supervision and control over local governments as may be necessary
to secure and enforce faithful and efficient administration by local officers.
The many Different degrees of civilization and varieties of custom and
capacity among the people of the different islands preclude very definite
instruction as to the part which the people shall take in the selection
of their own officers; but these general rules are to be observed: That
in all cases the municipal officers, who administer the local affairs of
the people, are to be selected by the people, and that wherever officers
of more extended jurisdiction are to be selected in any way, natives of
the islands are to be preferred, and if they can be found competent and
willing to perform the duties, they are to receive the offices in preference
to any others.
It will be necessary to fill some offices for the present with Americans
which after a time may well be filled by natives of the islands. As soon
as practicable a system for ascertaining the merit and fitness of candidates
for civil office should be put in force. An indispensable qualification
for all offices and positions of trust and authority in the islands must
be absolute and unconditional loyalty to the United States, and absolute
and unhampered authority and power to remove and punish any officer deviating
from that standard must at all times be retained in the bands of the central
authority of the islands.
In all the forms of government and administrative provisions which they
are authorized to prescribe the Commission should bear in mind that the
government which they are establishing is designed not for our satisfaction,
or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness,
peace, and prosperity of tile people of the Philippine Islands, and the
measures adopted should be made to conform to their customs, their habits,
and even heir prejudices, to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment
of the Indispensable requisites of just and effective government.
At the same time the Commission should bear in mind, and the people
of the islands should be made plainly to understand, that there are certain
great principles of government which have been made the basis of our governmental
system which we deem essential to the rule of law and the maintenance of
individual freedom, and of which they have, unfortunately, been denied
the experience possessed by us; that there are also certain practical rules
of government which we have found to be essential to the preservation of
these great principles of liberty and law, and that these principles and
these rules of government must be established and maintained in their islands
for the sake of their liberty and happiness, however much they may conflict
with the customs or laws of procedure with which they are familiar.
It is evident that the most enlightened thought of the Philippine Islands
fully appreciates the importance of these principles and rules, and they
will inevitably within a short time command universal assent. Upon every
division and branch of the government of the Philippines, therefore, must
be imposed these inviolable rules:
That no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
due process of law; that private property shall not be taken for public
use without just compensation; that in all criminal prosecutions the accused
shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses
against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his
favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense; that excessive
bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishment inflicted; that no person shall be put twice in jeopardy
for the same offense, or be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness
against himself; that the right to be secure against unreasonable searches
and seizures shall not be violated; that neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude shall exist except as a punishment for crime; that no bill of
attainder or ex-post facto law shall be passed; that no law shall be passed
abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the rights of the people
to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances;
that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of
religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall
forever be allowed.
It will be the duty of the Commission to make a thorough investigation
into the titles to the large tracts of land held or claimed by individuals
or by religious orders; into the justice of the claims and complaints made
against Stich landholders by the people of the island or any part of the
people, and to seek by wise and peaceable measures a just settlement of
the controversies and redress of wrongs which have caused strife and bloodshed
in the past. In the performance of this duty the Commission is enjoined
to see that no injustice is done; to have regard for substantial rights
and equity, disregarding technicalities so far as substantial right permits,
and to observe the following rules:
That the provision of the Treaty of Paris pledging the United States
to the protection of all rights of property in the islands, and as well
the principle of our own Government which prohibits the taking of private
property without due process of law, shall not be violated; that the welfare
of the people of the islands, which should be a paramount consideration,
shall be attained consistently with this rule of property right; that if
it becomes necessary for the public interest of the people of the islands
to dispose of claims to property which the Commission finds to be not lawfully
acquired and held disposition shall be made thereof by due legal procedure,
in which there shall be full opportunity for fair and impartial hearing
and judgment; that if the same public interests require the extinguishment
of property rights lawfully acquired and held due compensation shall be
made out of the public treasury therefore; that no form of religion and
no minister of religion shall be forced upon any community or upon any
citizen of the islands; that, upon the other hand, no minister of religion
shall be interfered with or molested in following his calling. and that
the separation between State and Church shall be real, entire, and absolute.
It will be the duty of the Commission to promote and extend, and, as
they find occasion, to improve the system of education already inaugurated
by the military authorities. In doing this they should regard as of first
importance the extension of a system of primary education which shall be
free to all, and which shall tend to fit the people for the duties of citizenship
and for the ordinary avocations of a civilized community. This instruction
should be given in the first instance in every part of the islands in the
language of the people. In view of the great number of languages spoken
by the different tribes, it is especially important to the prosperity of
the islands that a common medium of communication may be established, and
it is obviously desirable that this medium should be the English language.
Especial attention should be at once given to affording full opportunity
to all the people of the islands to acquire the use of the English language.
It may be well that the main changes which should be made in the system
of taxation and in the body of the laws under which the people are governed,
except such changes as have already been made by the military government,
should be relegated to the civil government which is to be established
under the auspices of the Commission. It will, however, be the duty of
the Commission to inquire diligently as to whether there are any further
changes which ought not to be delayed, and if so, they are authorized to
make such changes subject to your approval. In doing so they are to bear
in mind that taxes which tend 6 penalize or repress industry and enterprise
are to be avoided; that provisions for taxation should be simple, so that
they may be understood by the people; that they should affect the fewest
practicable subjects of taxation which will serve for the general distribution
of the burden.
The main body of the laws which regulate the rights and obligations
of the people should be maintained with as little interference as possible.
Changes made should be mainly in procedure, and in the criminal laws to
secure speedy and impartial trials, and at the same time effective administration
and respect for individual rights.
In dealing with the uncivilized tribes of the islands the Commission
should adopt the same course followed by Congress in permitting the tribes
of our North American Indians to maintain their tribal organization and
government, and under which many of those tribes are now living in peace
and contentment, surrounded by a civilization to which they are unable
or unwilling to conform. Such tribal governments should, however, be subjected
to wise and firm regulation, and, without undue or petty interference,
constant and active effort should be exercised to prevent barbarous practices
and introduce civilized customs.
Upon all officers and employees of the United States, both civil and
military, should be impressed a sense of the duty to observe not merely
the material but the personal and social rights of the people of the islands,
and to treat them with the same courtesy and respect for their personal
dignity which the people of the United States are accustomed W require
from each other.
The articles of capitulation of the city of Manila on the 13th of August,
1898, concluded with these words:
"This city, its inhabitants, its churches and religious worship, its
educational establishments, and its private property of all descriptions,
are placed under the special safeguard of the faith and honor of the American
I believe that this pledge has been faithfully kept. As high and sacred
an obligation rests upon the Government of the United States to give protection
for property and life, civil and religious freedom, and wise, firm, and
unselfish guidance in the paths of peace and prosperity to all the people
of the Philippine Islands. I charge this Commission to labor for the full
performance of this obligation, which concerns the honor and conscience
of their country, in the firm hope that through their labors all the inhabitants
of the Philippine Islands may come to look back with gratitude to the day
when God gave victory to American arms at Manila and set their land under
the sovereignty and the protection of the people of the United States.
Coincidently with the entrance of the Commission upon its labors I caused
to be issued by General MacArthur, the Military Governor of the Philippines,
on June 21, 1900, a proclamation of amnesty in generous terms, of which
many of the insurgents took advantage, among them a number of important
This Commission, composed of eminent citizens representing the diverse
geographical and political interests of the country, and bringing to their
task the ripe fruits of long and intelligent service in educational, administrative,
and judicial careers, made great progress from the outset. As early as
August 21, 1900, it submitted a preliminary report, which will be laid
before the Congress, and from which it appears that already the good effects
of returning order are felt; that business, interrupted by hostilities,
is improving as peace extends; that a larger area is under sugar cultivation
than ever before; that the customs revenues are greater than at any time
during the Spanish rule; that economy and efficiency in the military administration
have created a surplus fund of $6,000,000, available for needed public
improvements; that a stringent civil-service law is in preparation; that
railroad communications are expanding, opening up rich districts, and that
a comprehensive scheme of education is being organized.
Later reports from the Commission show yet more encouraging advance
toward insuring the benefits of liberty and good government to the Filipinos,
in the interest of humanity and with the aim of building up an enduring,
self-supporting, and self-administering community in those far eastern
seas. I would impress upon the Congress that whatever legislation may be
enacted in respect to the Philippine Islands should be along these generous
lines. The fortune of war has thrown upon this nation an unsought trust
which should be unselfishly discharged, and devolved upon this Government
a moral as well as material responsibility toward these millions whom we
have freed from an oppressive yoke.
I have on another occasion called the Filipinos the wards of the nation.
"Our obligation as guardian was not lightly assumed; it must not be otherwise
than honestly fulfilled, aiming first of all to benefit those who have
come under our fostering care. It is our duty so to treat them that our
flag may be no less beloved in the mountains of Luzon and the fertile zones
of Mindanao and Negros than it is at home, that there as here it shall
be the revered symbol of liberty, enlightenment, and progress in every
avenue of development
The Filipinos are a race quick to learn and to profit by knowledge He
would be rash who, with the teachings of contemporaneous history in view,
would fix a limit to the degree of culture and advancement yet within the
reach of these people if our duty toward them be faithfully performed.
The civil government of Puerto Rico provided for by the act of the Congress
approved April 12, 1900 is in successful operation The courts have been
established. The Governor and his associates, working intelligently and
harmoniously, are meeting with Commendable success.
On the 6th of November a general election was held in the island for
members of the Legislature, and the body elected has been called to convene
on the first Monday of December.
I recommend that legislation be enacted by the Congress conferring upon
the Secretary of the Interior supervision over the public lands in Puerto
Rico, and that he be directed to ascertain the location and quantity of
lands the title to which remained in the Crown of Spain at the date of
cession of Puerto Rico to the United States, and that appropriations necessary
for surveys be made, and that the methods of the disposition of such lands
be prescribed by law.
On the 25th of July, 1900, I directed that a call be issued for an election
in Cuba for members of a constitutional convention to frame a constitution
as a basis for a stable and independent government in the island. In pursuance
thereof the Military Governor issued the following instructions:
Whereas the Congress of the United States, by its joint resolution of
April 20, 1898, declared:
"That the people of the island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be,
free and independent.
"That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention
to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island except
for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that
is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the island to its
And whereas, the people of Cuba have established municipal governments,
deriving their authority from the suffrages of the people given under just
laws, and are now ready, in like manner, to proceed to the establishment
of a general government which shall assume and exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction,
and control over the island:
Therefore, it is ordered that a general election be held in the island
of Cuba on the third Saturday of September, in the year nineteen hundred,
to elect delegates to a convention to meet in the city of Havana at twelve
o'clock noon on the first Monday of November, in the year nineteen hundred,
to frame and adopt a constitution for the people of Cuba, and as a part
thereof to provide for and agree with the Government of the United States
upon the relations to exist between that Government and the Government
of Cuba, and to provide for the election by the people of officers under
such constitution and the transfer of government to the officers so elected.
The election will be held in the several voting precincts of the island
under, and pursuant to, the provisions of the electoral law of April 18,
1900, and the amendments thereof.
The election was held on the 15th of September, and the convention assembled
on the 5th of November, 1900, and is now in session.
In calling the convention to order, the Military Governor of Cuba made
the following statement:
As Military Governor of the island, representing the President of the
United States, I call this convention to order.
It will be your duty, first, to frame and adopt a constitution for
Cuba, and whet) that has been done to formulate what in your opinion ought
to be the relations between Cuba and the United States.
The constitution must be adequate to secure a stable, orderly, and free
When you have formulated the relations which in your opinion ought to
exist between Cuba and the United States the Government of the United States
will doubtless take such action on its part as shall lead to a final and
authoritative agreement between the people of the two countries to the
promotion of their common interests.
All friends of Cuba will follow your deliberations with the deepest
interest, earnestly desiring that you shall reach just conclusions, and
that by the dignity, individual self-restraint, and wise conservatism which
shall characterize your proceedings the capacity of the Cuban people for
representative government may be signally illustrated.
The fundamental distinction between true representative government and
dictatorship is that in the former every representative of the people,
in whatever office, confines himself strictly within the limits of his
defined powers. Without such restraint there can be no free constitutional
Under the order pursuant to which you have been elected and convened
you have no duty and no authority to take part in the present government
of the island. Your powers are strictly limited by the terms of that order.
When the convention concludes its labors I will transmit to the Congress
the constitution as framed by the convention for its consideration and
for such action as it may deem advisable.
I renew the recommendation made in my special message of February 10,
1899, as to the necessity for cable communication between the United States
and Hawaii, with extension to Manila. Since then circumstances have strikingly
emphasized this need. Surveys have shown the entire feasibility of a chain
of cables which at each stopping place shall touch on American territory,
so that the system shall be under our own complete control. Manila once
within telegraphic reach, connection with the systems of the Asiatic coast
would open increased and profitable opportunities for a more direct cable
route from our shores to the Orient than is now afforded by the trans-Atlantic,
continental, and trans-Asian lines. I urge attention to this important
The present strength of the Army is 100,000 men -- 65,ooo regulars and
35,000 volunteers. Under the act of March 2, 1899, on the 3oth of June
next the present volunteer force will be discharged and the Regular Army
will be reduced to 2,447 officers and 29,025 enlisted men.
In 1888 a Board of Officers convened by President Cleveland adopted
a comprehensive scheme of coast-defense fortifications which involved the
outlay of something over one hundred million dollars. This plan received
the approval of the Congress, and since then regular appropriations have
been made and the work of fortification has steadily progressed.
More than sixty millions of dollars have been invested in a great number
of forts and guns, with all the complicated and scientific machinery and
electrical appliances necessary for their use. The proper care of this
defensive machinery requires men trained in its use. The number of men
necessary to perform this duty alone is ascertained by the War Department,
at a minimum allowance, to be 18,420.
There are fifty-eight or more military posts in the United States other
than the coast-defense fortifications.
The number of these posts is being constantly increased by the Congress.
More than $22,000,000 have been expended in building and equipment, and
they can only be cared for by the Regular Army. The posts now in existence
and others to be built provide for accommodations for, and if fully garrisoned
require, 26,000 troops. Many of these posts are along our frontier or at
important strategic points, the occupation of which is necessary.
We have in Cuba between 5,000 and 6,000 troops. For the present our
troops in that island cannot be withdrawn or materially diminished, and
certainly not until the conclusion of the labors of the constitutional
convention now in session and a government provided by the new constitution
shall have been established and its stability assured.
In Puerto Rico we have reduced the garrisons to 1,636, which includes
879 native troops. There is no room for further reduction here.
We will be required to keep a considerable force in the Philippine Islands
for some time to come. From the best information obtainable we will need
there for the immediate future from 45,000 to 60,000 men. I am sure the
number may be reduced as the insurgents shall come to acknowledge the authority
of the United States, of which there are assuring indications.
It must be apparent that we will require an army of about 60,000, and
that during present conditions in Cuba and the Philippines the President
should have authority to increase the force to the present number of 100,000.
Included in this number authority should be given to raise native troops
in the Philippines up to 15,000, which the Taft Commission believe will
be more effective in detecting and suppressing guerrillas, assassins, and
ladrones than our own soldiers.
The full discussion of this subject by the Secretary of War in his annual
report is called to your earnest attention.
I renew the recommendation made in my last annual message that the Congress
provide a special medal of honor for the volunteers, regulars, sailors,
and marines on duty in the Philippines who voluntarily remained in the
service after their terms of enlistment had expired.
I favor the recommendation of the Secretary of War for the detail oil
officers from the line of the Army when vacancies occur in the Adjutant-General's
Department, Inspector-General's Department, Quartermaster's Department,
Subsistence Department, Pay Department, Ordnance Department, and Signal
The Army cannot be too highly commended for its faithful and effective
service in active military operations in the field and the difficult work
of civil administration.
The continued and rapid growth of the postal service is a sure index
of the great and increasing business activity of the country. Its most
striking new development is the extension of rural free delivery. This
has come almost wholly within the last year. At the beginning of the fiscal
year 1899, 1900 the number of routes in operation was only 391, and most
of these had been running less than twelve months. On the 15th of November,
1900, the number had increased to 2,614, reaching into forty-four States
and Territories, and serving a population of 1,801,524. The number of applications
now pending and awaiting action nearly equals all those granted up to the
present time, and by the close of the current fiscal year about 4,ooo routes
will have been established, providing for the daily delivery of mails at
the scattered homes of about three and a half millions of rural population.
This service ameliorates the isolation of farm life, conduces to good
roads, and quickens and extends the dissemination of general information.
Experience thus far has tended to allay the apprehension that it would
be so expensive as to forbid its general adoption or make it a serious
burden. Its actual application has shown that it increases postal receipts,
and can be accompanied by reductions in other branches of the service,
so that the augmented revenues and the accomplished savings together materially
reduce the net cost. The evidences which point to these conclusions are
presented in detail in the annual report of the Postmaster-General, which
with its recommendations is commended to the consideration of the Congress.
The full development of this special service, however, requires such a
large outlay of money that it should be undertaken only after a careful
study and thorough understanding of all that it involves.
Very efficient service has been rendered by the Navy in connection with
the insurrection in the Philippines and the recent disturbance in China.
A very satisfactory settlement has been made of the long-pending question
of the manufacture of armor plate. A reasonable price has been secured
and the necessity for a Government armor plant avoided.
I approve of the recommendations of the Secretary for new vessels and
for additional officers and men which the required increase of the Navy
makes necessary. I commend to the favorable action of the Congress the
measure now pending for the erection of a statue to the memory of the late
Admiral David D. Porter. I commend also the establishment of a national
naval reserve and of the grade of vice-admiral. Provision should be made,
as recommended by the Secretary, for suitable rewards for special merit.
Many officers who rendered the most distinguished service during the recent
war with Spain have received in return no recognition from the Congress.
The total area of public lands as given by the Secretary of the Interior
is approximately 1,071,881,662 acres, of which 917,135,880 acres are undisposed
of and 154,745,782 acres have been reserved for various purposes. The public
lands disposed of during the year amount to 13,453,887.96 acres, including
62,423.09 acres of Indian lands, an increase Of 4,271,474.80 over the preceding
year. The total receipts from the sale of public lands during the fiscal
year were $4,379,758.10, an increase of $1,309,620.76 over the preceding
The results obtained from our forest policy have demonstrated its wisdom
and the necessity in the interest of the public for its continuance and
increased appropriations by the Congress for the carrying on of the work.
On June 30, 1900, there were thirty-seven forest reserves, created by Presidential
proclamations under section 24 Of the act of March 3, 1891, embracing an
area Of 46,425,529 acres.
During the past year the Olympic Reserve, in the State of Washington,
was reduced 265,040 acres, leaving its present area at 1,923,840 acres.
The Prescott Reserve, in Arizona, was increased from 10,240 acres to 423,680
acres, and the Big Horn Reserve, in Wyoming, was increased from 1,127,680
acres to 1,180,800 acres. A new reserve; the Santa Ynez, in California,
embracing an area of 145,000 acres, was created during this year. On October
10, 1900, the Crow Creek Forest Reserve, in Wyoming, was created, with
an area of 56,320 acres.
At the end of the fiscal year there were on the pension roll 993,529
names, a net increase Of 2,010 over the fiscal year 1899. The number added
to the rolls during the year was 45,344. The amount disbursed for Army
pensions during the year was $134,700,597.24 and for Navy pensions $3,761,533.41,
a total of $138,462,130.65, leaving an unexpended balance of $5,542,768.25
to be covered into the Treasury, which shows an increase over the previous
year's expenditure Of $107,077.70. There were 684 names added to the rolls
during the year by special acts passed at the first session of the Fifty-sixth
The act of May 9, 1900, among other things provides for an extension
of income to widows pensioned under said act to $250 per annum. The Secretary
of the Interior believes that by the operations of this act the number
of persons pensioned under it will increase and the increased annual payment
for pensions will be between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000.
The Government justly appreciates the services of its soldiers and sailors
by making pension payments liberal beyond precedent to them, their widows
There were 26,540 letters patent granted, including reissues and designs,
during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1900; 1,660 trademarks, 682 labels,
and 93 prints registered. The number of patents which expired was 19,988.
The total receipts for patents were $1,358,228.35. The expenditures were
$1,247,827.58, showing a surplus Of $110,400.77
The attention of the Congress is called to the report of the Secretary
of the Interior touching the necessity for the further establishment of
schools in the Territory of Alaska, and favorable action is invited thereon.
Much interesting information is given in the report of the Governor
of Hawaii as to the progress and development of the islands during the
period from July 7, 1898, the date of the approval of the joint resolution
of the Congress providing for their annexation, up to April 30, 1900, the
date of the approval of the act providing a government for the Territory,
The last Hawaiian census, taken in the year 1896, gives a total population
of 109,020, Of Which 31,019 were native Hawaiians. The number of Americans
reported was 8,485. The results of the Federal census, taken this year,
show the islands to have a total population Of 154,001, showing an increase
over that reported in 1896 of 44,981, or 41.2 per cent.
There has been marked progress in the educational, agricultural, and
railroad development of the islands.
In the Territorial act of April 30, 1900, section 7 of said act repeals
Chapter 34 Of the Civil Laws of Hawaii whereby the Government was to assist
in encouraging and developing the agricultural resources of the Republic,
especially irrigation. The Governor of Hawaii recommends legislation looking
to the development of such water supply as may exist on the public lands,
with a view of promoting land settlement. The earnest consideration of
the Congress is invited to this important recommendation and others, as
embodied in the report of the Secretary of the Interior.
The Director of the Census states that the work in connection with the
Twelfth Census is progressing favorably. This national undertaking, ordered
by the Congress each decade, has finally resulted in the collection of
an aggregation of statistical facts to determine the industrial growth
of the country, its manufacturing and mechanical resources, its richness
in mines and forests, the number of its agriculturists, their farms and
products, its educational and religious opportunities, as well as questions
pertaining to sociological conditions.
The labors of the officials in charge of the Bureau indicate that the
four important and most desired subjects, namely, population, agricultural,
manufacturing, and vital statistics, will be completed within the limit
prescribed by the law of March 3, 1899.
The field work incident to the above inquiries is now practically finished,
and as a result the population of the States and Territories, including
the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska, has been announced. The growth of population
during the last decade amounts to over 13,000,000, a greater numerical
increase than in any previous census in the history of the country.
Bulletins will be issued as rapidly as possible giving the population
by States and Territories, by minor civil divisions. Several announcements
of this kind have already been made, and it is hoped that the list will
be completed by January 1. Other bulletins giving the results of the manufacturing
and agricultural inquiries will be given to the public as rapidly as circumstances
The Director, while confident of his ability to complete the different
branches of the undertaking in the allotted time, finds himself embarrassed
by the lack of a trained force properly equipped for statistical work,
thus raising the question whether in the interest of economy and a thorough
execution of the census work there should not be retained in the Government
employ a certain number of experts not only to aid in the preliminary organization
prior to the taking of the decennial census,, but in addition to have the
advantage in the field and office work of the Bureau of trained assistants
to facilitate the early completion of this enormous undertaking.
I recommend that the Congress at its present session apportion representation
among the several States as provided by the Constitution.
The Department of Agriculture has been extending its work during the
past year, reaching farther for new varieties of seeds and plants; co-operating
more fully with the States and Territories in research along useful lines;
making progress in meteorological work relating to lines of wireless telegraphy
and forecasts for ocean-going vessels; continuing inquiry as to animal
disease; looking into the extent and character of food adulteration; outlining
plans for the care, preservation, and intelligent harvesting of our woodlands;
studying soils that producers may cultivate with better knowledge of conditions,
and helping to clothe desert places with grasses suitable to our and regions.
Our island possessions are being considered that their peoples may be helped
to produce the tropical products now so extensively brought into the United
States. Inquiry into methods of improving our roads has been active during
the year; help has been given to many localities, and scientific investigation
of material in the States and Territories has been inaugurated. Irrigation
problems in our semiarid regions are receiving careful and increased
An extensive exhibit at Paris of the products of agriculture has made
the peoples of many countries more familiar with the varied products of
our fields and their comparative excellence.
The collection of statistics regarding our crops is being improved and
sources of information are being enlarged, to the end that producers may
have the earliest advices regarding crop conditions. There has never been
a time when those for whom it was established have shown more appreciation
of the services of the Department.
In my annual message of December 5, 1898, 1 called attention to the
necessity for some amendment of the alien contract law. There still remain
important features of the rightful application of the eight-hour law for
the benefit of labor and of the principle of arbitration, and I again commend
these subjects to the careful attention of the Congress.
That there may be secured the best service possible in the Philippine
Islands, I have issued, under date of November 30, 1900, the following
The United States Civil Service Commission is directed to render such
assistance as may be practicable to the Civil Service Board, created under
the act of the United States Philippine Commission, for the establishment
and maintenance of an honest and efficient civil service in the Philippine
Islands, and for that purpose to conduct examinations for the civil service
of the Philippine islands, upon the request of the Civil Service Board
of said islands, under such regulations as may be agreed upon by the said
Board and the said United States Civil Service Commission.
The Civil Service Commission is greatly embarrassed in its work for
want of an adequate permanent force for clerical and other assistance.
Its needs are fully set forth in its report. I invite attention to the
report, and especially urge upon the Congress that this important bureau
of the public service, which passes upon the qualifications and character
of so large a number of the officers and employees of the Government, should
be supported by all needed appropriations to secure promptness and efficiency.
I am very much impressed with the statement made by the heads of all
the Departments of the urgent necessity of a hall of public records. In
every departmental building in Washington, so far as I am informed, the
space for official records is not only exhausted, but the walls of rooms
are lined with shelves, the middle floor space of many rooms is tilled
with tile cases, and garrets and basements, which were never intended and
are unfitted for their accommodation, are crowded with them. Aside from
the inconvenience there is great danger, not only from fire, but from the
weight of these records upon timbers not intended for their support. There
should be a separate building especially designed for the purpose of receiving
and preserving the annually accumulating archives of the several Executive
Departments. Such a hall need not be a costly structure, but should be
so arranged as to admit of enlargement from time to time. I urgently recommend
that the Congress take early action in this matter.
I transmit to the Congress a resolution adopted at a recent meeting
of the American Bar Association concerning the proposed celebration of
John Marshall Day, February 4, 1901. Fitting exercises have been arranged,
and it is earnestly desired by the committee that the Congress may participate
in this movement to honor the memory of the great jurist.
The transfer of the Government to this city is a fact of great historical
interest. Among the people there is a feeling of genuine pride in the Capital
of the Republic.
It is a matter of interest in this connection that in 1800 the population
of the District of Columbia was 14,093; to-day it is 278,718. The population
of the city of Washington was then 3,210; to-day it is 218,196.
The Congress having provided for "an appropriate national celebration
of the Centennial Anniversary of the Establishment of the Seat of the Government
in the District of Columbia," the committees authorized by it have prepared
a programme for the 12th of December, 1900, which date has been selected
as the anniversary day. Deep interest has been shown in the arrangements
for the celebration by the members of the committees of the Senate and
House of Representatives, the committee of Governors appointed by the President,
and the committees appointed by the citizens and inhabitants of the District
of Columbia generally. The programme, in addition to a reception and other
exercises at the Executive Mansion, provides commemorative exercises to
be held jointly by the Senate and House of Representatives in the Hall
of the House of Representatives, and a reception in the evening at the
Corcoran Gallery of Art in honor of the Governors of the States and Territories.
In our great prosperity we must guard against the danger it invites
of extravagance in Government expenditures and appropriations; and the
chosen representatives of the people will, I doubt not, furnish an example
in their legislation of that wise economy which in a season of plenty husbands
for the future. In this era of great business activity and opportunity
caution is not untimely. It will not abate, but strengthen, confidence.
It will not retard, but promote, legitimate industrial and commercial expansion.
Our growing power brings with it temptations and perils requiring constant
vigilance to avoid. It must not be used to invite conflicts, nor for oppression,
but for the more effective maintenance of those principles of equality
and justice upon which our institutions and happiness depend. Let us keep
always in mind that the foundation of our Government is liberty; its superstructure