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of our mechanics which will result from a liberal promotion of our foreign commerce insure the widest possible diffusion of benefit to all the States and to all our people. Everything is most propitious for the present inauguration of a liberal and progressive policy upon this subject, and we should enter upon it with promptness and decision.
The legislation which I have suggested, it is sincerely believed, will promote the peace and honor of our country and the prosperity and security of the people. I invoke the diligent and serious attention of Congress to the consideration of these and such other measures as may be presented having the same great end in view.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 17, 1889. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The act of Congress approved July 9, 1888, "for an international marine conference to secure greater safety for life and property at sea,” and ir virtue of which the present conference is now holding its sessions at Washington, provides by the third section that the labors of the conference shall terminate on the ist day of January, 1890, or sooner, by direction of the President.
I transmit herewith a report from the Acting Secretary of State, accompanied with a letter from Rear-Admiral S. R. Franklin, United States Navy, president of the conference, stating that in all probability the labors of the conference can not be brought to a close by the time fixed by the present law.
In consideration of the many important questions now under discussion by the conference, which should if possible be satisfactorily determined before the final adjournment, I earnestly recommend that a further act be passed to enable the conference to continue its sessions for a period of two months from January 1, 1890.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 18, 1889. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a communication of 16th instant from the Secretary of the Interior, submitting the report, with accompanying papers, of the commission appointed under the provisions of the act of March 2, 1889 (25 U. S. Statutes at Large, p. 1002), to conduct negotiations with the Caur d'Alene tribe of Indians for the purchase and release by said tribe of such portions of its reservation not agricultural and valuable chiefly for minerals and timber as such tribe shall consent to sell, etc., together with the agreement entered into by said commission September 9, 1889, with said Indians.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 20, 1889. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a communication of the 16th instant from the Secretary of the Interior, submitting a draft of a bill "to provide for the reduction of the Round Valley Indian Reservation, in the State of California, and for other purposes.” I invite your attention to the papers herein referred to, showing the necessity for the proposed legislation, and ask that the bill herewith receive careful and early consideration.
Washington, January 7, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I herewith inclose a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying papers, in relation to the death of George Pauls, a German subject, at Wilmington, N. C., May 8, 1886, and the claim of his widow for compensation on that account. In view of the statements made by the Secretary of State, I earnestly recommend that an appropriation of $5,000 be made in behalf of Mrs. Pauls.
Washington, January 13, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State of the 13th instant, recommending that the necessary means be provided to erect suitable buildings on the grounds so generously presented in the year 1884 to this Government for the use of its legation at Bangkok by His Majesty the King of Siam. I commend the matter to the favorable consideration of Congress.
Washington, January 16, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, in relation to the claim of the Government of Sweden and Norway, under the treaty between the United States and that Government of July 4, 1827, for the benefit of the lower rate of tonnage dues under the shipping acts of 1884 and 1886.
I recommend the immediate adoption by Congress of the necessary legislation to enable this Government to apply in the case of Sweden and Norway the same rule in respect to the levying of tonnage dues under the treaty of 1827 as was claimed and secured by this Government under the same instrument in 1828.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 20, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a letter of Professor T. C. Mendenhall, chairman of a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and president of that association, and also the memorial prepared by said committee, relating to the preservation of the forests upon the public domain.
I very earnestly recommend that adequate legislation may be provided to the end that the rapid and needless destruction of our great forest areas may be prevented.
Washington, January 20, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of War, relating to the condition and needs of the band of Apache Indians now held at Mount Vernon Barracks and at Governors Island. The reports of General Crook and Lieutenant Howard, which accompany the letter of the Secretary, show that some of these Indians have rendered good service to the Government in the pursuit and capture of the murderous band that followed Natchez and Geronimo. It is a reproach that they should not in our treatment of them be distinguished from the cruel and bloody members of the tribe now confined with them.
I earnestly recommend that provision be made by law for locating these Indians upon lands in the Indian Territory.
Washington, January 27, 1890. To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit, in reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant, a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying documents, in relation to the execution of the acts of Congress approved May 6, 1882, and October 1, 1888, concerning Chinese.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 10, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
In pursuance of the power vested in me by the terms of the last clause of section 3 of the act of Congress approved March 2, 1889, entitled "An act making appropriations for the current and contingent expenses of the Indian Department and for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes for the year ending June 30, 1890, and for other purposes," a commission, as therein authorized, was appointed, consisting of Charles Foster, of Ohio, William Warner, of Missouri, and General George Crook, of the United States Army. This commission was specially instructed to present to the Sioux Indians occupying the Great Sioux Reservation, for their acceptance thereof and consent thereto in manner and form as therein provided, the act of Congress approved March 2, 1889, entitled "An act to divide a portion of the reservation of the Sioux Nation of Indians in Dakota into separate reservations and to secure the relinquishment of the Indian title to the remainder, and for other purposes.'
The report of the commission was submitted to me on the 24th day of December, 1889, and is, with the accompanying documents and a letter of the Secretary of the Interior, herewith transmitted for the information of Congress. It appears from the report of the commission that the consent of more than three-fourths of the adult Indians to the terms of the act last named was secured, as required by section 12 of the treaty of 1868, and upon a careful examination of the papers submitted I find such to be the fact, and that such consent is properly evidenced by the signatures of more than three-fourths of such Indians.
At the outset of the negotiations the commission was confronted by certain questions as to the interpretation and effect of the act of Congress which they were presenting for the acceptance of the Indians. Upon two or three points of some importance the commission gave in response to these inquiries an interpretation to the law, and it was the law thus ex plained to them that was accepted by the Indians. The commissioners had no power to bind Congress or the Executive by their construction of a statute, but they were the agents of the United States, first, to submit a definite proposition for the acceptance of the Indians, and, that failing, to agree upon modified terms to be submitted to Congress for ratification. They were dealing with an ignorant and suspicious people, and an explanation of the terms and effect of the offer submitted could not be avoided. Good faith demands that if the United States accepts the lands ceded the beneficial construction of the act given by our agents should be also admitted and observed.
The chief difficulty in the construction of the act grows out of its relation to prior treaties, which were by section 19 continued in force so far as they are not in conflict with the terms of the act. The seventh article of the treaty of 1868, relating to schools and schoolhouses, is by section 17 of the act continued in force for twenty years, “subject to such
modifications as Congress shall deem most effective to secure to said Indians equivalent benefits of such education.”
Section 7 of the treaty of 1868 provides only for instruction in the "elementary branches of an English education," while section 17 of the act, after continuing this section of the treaty in force, provides a fund which is to be applied "for the promotion of industrial and other suitable education among said Indians.” Again, section 7 of the treaty provides for the erection of a schoolhouse for every thirty children who can be induced to attend, while section 20 of the act requires the erection of not less than thirty schoolhouses, and more if found necessary.
The commissioners were asked by the Indians whether the cost of the English schools provided for in section 7 of the treaty and of the schoolhouses provided for in the same section and in section 20 of the act would be a charge against the proceeds of the lands they were now asked to cede to the United States. This question was answered in the negative, and I think the answer was correct. If the act, without reference to section 7 of the treaty, is to be construed to express the whole duty of the Gov. ernment toward the Indians in the matter of schools, the extension for twenty years of the provisions of that section is without meaning,
The assurance given by the commissioners that the money appropriated by section 27 of the act to pay certain bands for the pories taken by the military authorities in 1876 would not be a charge against the proceeds of the ceded lands was obviously a correct interpretation of the law.
The Indians were further assured by the commissioners that the amount appropriated for the expenses of the commission could not under the law be made a charge upon the proceeds of their lands. This, I think, is a correct exposition of the act.
It seems from the report of the commission that some of the Indians at the Standing Rock Agency asked whether if they accepted the act they could have the election to take their allotments under section 6 of the treaty of 1868 and have the benefits of sections 8 and 10 of that treaty and were told that they could.
As the treaty is continued in force except where it contravenes the provisions of the act, I do not see any difficulty in admitting this interpretation.
It will be found that the commission has submitted many recommen dations, some of them involving legislation and others appealing to powers already possessed by the executive department. The consent of the Indians to the act was not made dependent upon the adoption of any of these recommendations, but many of them are obviously just and promotive of the true interests of the Indians. So far as these require legislation they are earnestly commended to the attention of Congress.
The Secretary of the Interior has prepared and submits with his letter transmitting the report of the commission the draft of a bill embodying those recommendations of the commission requiring legislation.