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Freedm en’s Bureau, establish ed by the act of 1865, as one of many great and extraordinary military measures to suppress a formidable rebellion, a permanent branch of the public administration, with its powers greatly enlarged. 'I have no reason to su pose, and do notunderstand it to be alleged, t at the act of March, 1865, has proved deficient for the purpose for which it was. assed, although at that time, and for a consi erable

eriod thereafter, the Government of the United

tates remained unacknowledged in most of the States whose inhabitants had been involved in the rebellion. The institution of slavery, for the military destruction of which the Freedmen’s Bureau was called into existence as an auxiliary, has been already effectually and finally abrogated throu bout the whole country by an amendment of tie Constitution of the United States, and practically its eradication has received the assent and concurrence of most of those States in which it at any time had an existence. I am not, therefore, able to discern in the condition of the country anything to justify an apprehension that the powers and agencies of the Freedmen’s Bureau, which were effective for the protection of‘ freedmen and refugees during the actual continuance of hostilities and of African servitude, will now, in a time ofpeace, and after the abolition of slavery, prove inadequate to the same proper ends. If I am correct in these views there can be no necessity for the enlargement of the powers of the bureau for which provision is made in the bill.

The third section of the bill authorizes a genoral and unlimited grant of an port to the destitute and suffering refugees and) freedmen, their wives and children. Succeeding sections make provision for the rent or purchase of landed es-. tates for freedmen, and for the erection for their benefit of suitable buildings for as lums and schools—the expenses to be defraye from the treasury of the whole people. The Concress of the United States has never heretofore thought itself empowered to establish asylums beyond the limits of the District of Columbia, except for the benefit of our disabled soldiers and sailors. It has never founded schools for any class of our own people; not even for the orphans of those who have fallen in the defence of the Union, but has left the care of education to the much more competent and efficient control of the States, of communities, of private associations, and of-individuals. It has never deemed itself authorized to expend the public money for the rent or purchase of homes for the thousands, not to say millions, of the white race who are honestly toiling from day to day for their subsistence, A system for t is support of indigent persons in the United States was never contemplated by the authors of the Constitution; nor can any good reason be advanced why, as apermanent establishment, it should be founded for one class or color of our people more than another. Pending the war manv refugees and freedmen received support from the Government, but it was never intended that they should tlienceforth be fed, clothed, educated, and sheltered by the United States. The idea on which the slaves were assisted to freedom was, that on becoming free they would be a self-sustaining


population. Any legislation that shall imply that they are not expected to attain a self-sustaining condition must have a tendency injurious alike to their character and their prospects.

The ap ointmentof an a cut for every county and pans will create an immense patronage; and the expense of the numerous ofncers and their clerks, to be a pointed by the President, will be great in the beginning, with a tendency steadily to increase. The appropriations asked by the Freedmen's Bureau, as now established for the year 1866, amount to $l1,745,000. It may be safely estimated that the cost to he incurred under the pending bill will require double that amount~more than the entire sum expended in any one year under the administration of the second Adams. If the presence of agents in every parish and county is to be considered as a war measure, opposition, or even resistance, might be revoked; so that, to give effect to their iuris ictiou, troo s would have to be stationed within reach 0 ever one of them, and thus alarge standin‘g force e rendered necessary. . Large appropriations would, therefore, be required to sustain and enforce military jurisdiction in every county or parish from the Potomac to the R10 Grande. The condition of our fiscal affairs is encouraging; but, in order to sustain the present measure of public confidence, it is necessary that we practice, not merely customary economy, but, as far as possible, severe retrenchment. '

In addition to the objections already stated, the fifth section of the bill proposes to take awa land from'its former owners without any legal7 proceedings being first had, contrary to that provision of the Constitution which declares that no person shall “be deprived of life, libert , or property without due process of laW.’I 1; does not appear that a part of the lands to which this section refers may not be owned by minors, or persons of unsound mind, or by those who have been faithful to all their obligations as citizens of the United States. If any portion of the land is held by such persons, it is not com ietent for any authority to deprive them of it. f, on the other hand, it be found that the property is liable to confiscation, even then it cannot e appropriated to public purposes until, b due process of law, it shall iave been decfared forfeited to the Government.

There is still further objection to the bill on grounds seriously affectin the class of ersons to whom it is designed to ring relief. t will tend to keep the mind of the freedman in a state of uncertain expectation and restlessness, while to those among whom he lives it will be a source of constant and vague ap rehension.

Undoubtedly the freedman shouldbe protected, but he should be protected b the civil authorities, especially by the exerciseo all the constitutional powers of the courts of the United States and of the States. His condition is not so exposed as may

at first be imagined. He is in a portion of the

country where his labor cannot well be spared. Competition for his services from planters, from those who are constructing or repairing railroads, and from capitalists in his vicinage, or from other States, will enable him to command almost his own terms. He also possesses a per

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feet right to change his place of abode ; and if, therefore, he does not find in one community or State a mode of life suited to his desires, or proper remuneration for his labor, he can move to another, where that labor is more esteemed and better rewarded. In truth, however, each State, induced by its own wants and interests, will do what is necessar and proper to retain within its borders all t e labor that is needed for the development of its resources. The laws that regulate supply and demand will maintain their force, ahd the we es of the laborer will be regulated thereby. here is no danger that the exceedingly great demand for labor will not operate in avor of the laborer.

' Neither is sufiicient consideration given to the ability of the freedmen to protect and take care ofthemselves. It is no more than justice to them to believe that as they have received their freedom with moderation and forbearance, so they will distin uish themselves by their industry and thrift, an soon show the world that in a condition of freedom they are self-sustaining, capable of selecting their own employment and their own places of abode, of insisting for themselves on a proper remuneration, and of establishin and maintaining their own asylums and schoo s. It is earnestl hoped that, instead of wasting away, they will, b, their own efforts, establish for themselves acon ition ofrespectability and prosperity. It is certain that they can attain to that condition only through their own merits and exertions.

In this connexion the query presents itself whether the system proposed by the bill will not, when put into complete operation, practically transfer the entire care, sup ort, and control of four millions of emancipate slaves to agents, overseers, or task-masters, who, appointed at Washington, are to be located in every county and parish throughout the United States containing freedmen and refugees? Such asystem would inevitably tend to a concentration of owerin the Executive, which would enable him, it so disposed, to control the action of this numerous class, and usei them for the attainment of his own political en s.

I cannot but add another very grave objection to this bill. The Constitution imperativer declares, in connection with taxation, that each State SHALL have at least one Representative, and fixes the rule for the number to 'which, in future times, each State shall be entitled. It also provides that the Senate of the United States seam. be composed of two Senators from each State; and adds, with peculiar force, “ that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate." The original act was necessaril passed in the absence of the States chiefly to e affected, because their people were then contumaciously engaged in the rebellion. Now the case is changed, and some, at least, of those States are attending Con ress by loyal_representatives, solicitin the al owance of the constitutional right 0 representation. At the time, however, of the consideration and the passage of this bill, there was no Senator or Representative in Congress from the eleven States which are to be mainly afi'ected by its provisions. The ve fact that reports were and are made against t e good disposition


of the people of that ortion of the country is an additional reason w they need, and should have, Representatives 0 their own in Congress, to explain their condition, reply to accusations, and assist, by their local knowledge, in the perfecting of measures immediately atiecting themselves. While the liberty of deliberativi would then be free, and Con ress would have full power to decide accor ing to its judgment, there could be no obj ection urged that the States most interested had not been permitted to be heard. The principle is firmly fixed in the minds of die American people, that there should be no taxation without representation. Great burdens have now to be borne by all the country, and we may best demand that they shall be borne without murmur when they are voted by a majority of the representatives of all the people. I would not interfere with the unquestionable right of Congress to judge, each house for itself, “of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its owri members." But that authority cannot be construed as including the right to shut out, in time of peace, any State from the representation to which it is entitled by the Constitution. At present all the people of eleven States are excluded—those who were most faithful durin the war not less than others. The State of "ennessee, for instance, whose authorities engaged in rebellion, was restored to all her constitutional relations to the Union by the patriotism and energy of her injured and betrayed people. Before the war was brought to a termination they had placed themselves in relations with the General Government, had established a State government of their own, and, as they were not included in the emancipation proclamation, they, by their own act, had amended their constitution so as to abolish slavery within the limits of their State. I know no reason why the State of Tennessee, for example, should not fully enjoy “all her constitutional relations to the United States."

The President of the United States stands towards the country in a somewhat different attitude from that of any member of Congress. Each member of Congress is chosen from asinglle district or State; the President is chosen by t epeople of all the States. As eleven States are not at this time represented in either branch of Congress, it would seem to be his duty, on all roper occasions, to present their just claims to ongress. There always will be differences of opinion in the community, and individuals may be guilty of transgressions of the law, but these‘do not constitute valid objections against the right of a State to representation. I would in nowise interfere with the discretion of Con

ress with regard to the ualifications of meméers; but I hold it my uty to recommend to you, in the interests of peace and in the interests of Union, the admission of every State to its share in public legislation, when, however insubordinate, insurgent, or rebellions its people may have been, it presents itself not only in an attitude of loyalty and harmony, but in the persons of representatives whose loyalty cannot be questioned under any existing constitutional or legal test. It is plain that an indefinite or permanent exclusion of any part of the country from representation must be attended by a spirit of disquiet and complaint. It is unwise and dan erous to pursue a course of measures which wi l unite a very large section of the country against another section of the country, however much the latter may preponderate. The celfle of emigration, the development of industry and business, and natural causes, will raise up at the South men as devoted to the Union as those of any other part of the land. But if they are all excluded from Congress; if, in a permanent statute, they are declared not to be in full constitutional relations to the country, they may think they have cause to become a unit in feeling and sentiment against the Government. Under the political education of the American people, the idea is inherent and and ineradicable, that the consentof the majority of the whole people is necessary to secure a willing acquiescence in legislation.

The bill under consideration refers to certain of the States as thou h they had not “been full restored in all their constitutional relations to t e United States." If they have not, let us at once act together to secure that desirable end at the earliest possible moment. It is hardly necessar for me to inform Congress that, in my own ju gment, most of those States, so far, at least, as depends upon their own action, have already been fully restored, and are to be deemed as entitled to enjo their constitutional rights as members of the nion.* Reasoning from the

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February 20, 1866—Mr. Stevens, from the 30mmittee on Reconstruction, reported this concurrent resolution:

Resolved by the House of Representatives, {the Senate concurring) That, in order to close a itation upon a question which sdems likely to disturb the action of the Government, as well as to quiet the uncertainty which is agitating the minds of the people of the eleven States which have been declared to be in insurrection, no Senator or Representative shall be admitted into either branch of Congress from any of said States until Congress shal have declared such State entitled to such representation.

Which was agreed to—yeas 109, nays 40, as follow :

YEAs—Messrs. Allison, Anderson, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks. Baxter, Beaman, Benjamin, Bidwell, Bing< ham, Blaine, Bontwell, Brandegee, Bromwcll, Broomnll, Buokland, Sidney Clarke, Cobb, Conkling, Cook, Cnllom, Dawes, Defrees, Deming, Douuelly, Driggs, Eckley. Eggleston, Eliot, Farnsworth, Farquhar, Ferry, Garfield, Grinnell, Griswold. Abner G. Harding, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Highy, Holmes, Hooper, Hotchkiss, Asahel W. Hubbard, Chester D. Hubbard, Dumas Hubburdhir, John II. Hubbard, James R. IInbbell, Hulburd, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, Kelley, Kelso, Ketcham, Laflin, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Marston, McClurg, Mcl'udoe, McKee, McRuer, Merour. Moorhead, Merrill, Morris, Moulton, Myers, O’Neill. Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Pike, Plants, Pomeroy, Price, William H. Randall, John H. Rice, Sawyer, Schenck, Scoficld, Shellabarger, Sloan, Spalding, Starr, Stevens, Thayer, John L. Thomas, 1%., Trowbridge, Upson, Van Aernnm, Burt Van Horn,

ard, Warner,Elliliu B. Washburne, William B. Wnshburn, Welker, Wentworth, Williams, James F. Wilson, Stephen R. Wilson, ‘Windom, Woodbridge—109.


Constitution itself, and from the actual situation of the country, I feel notonl entitled, but bound to assume that, with the fe eral courts restored, and those of the several States in the full exercise of their functions, the rights and interests of all classes of the people will, with the aid of the military in' cases of resistance to the laws, be essentially protected against unconstitutional infringement or violation. Should this expectation unhappin fail, which I do not anticipate, then the Executive is already ful armed with the owers conferred by the act 0 March, 1865, esta lishing the Freedmen’s Bureau, and hereafter, as heretofore, he can employ the land and naval forces of the country to suppress insurrec— tion or to overcome obstructions to the laws.

In accordance with the Constitution I return the bill to the Senate, in the earnesthope that a measure involving questions and interests so important to the country will not become arlaw, un ess, upon deliberate consideration by the people, it shall receive the sanction of an enlightened publicjudgment. ANDREW Jonnson.

WASHINGTON, February 19, 1866.

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bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees, approved March three, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, shall continue in force until otherwise provided by law, and shall extend to refugees and freedmen in all parts of the United States ; and tin President may divide the section of country containing such refugees and freedmen into districts, each containing one or more States, not to‘ exceed twelve in number, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, apoint an assistant commissioner for each of said districts, who shall give like bond, receive the com ensation, and perform the duties prescribed by t is and the act to which this is an amendment; or said bureau may, in the discretion of i the President, be placed under a commissioner and assistant commissioners, to be detailed from the army ; in which event each oflicer so assigned to duty shall serve without increase of pay or allowances.

SEC. 2. That the commissioner, with the approvals of the President, and when the same shall be necessary for the operations of the hureau, may divide each district into a number of sub-districts, not to exceed the number of counties or parishes in such district, and shall assign to each sub-district at least one agent, either a citizen, officer of the army,. or enlisted man. who, if an, officer, shall serve without additional compensation or allowance, and if a citizen or enlisted man, shall receive a salary of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than twelve hundred dollars annually, according to the services rendered, in full compensation for such services; and such agent shall, before entering on the duties of his office, take the oath prescribed in the first section of the act to which this is an amendment. And the commissioner may, when the same shall be necessary, assign to each assistant commissioner not exceeding three clerks, and to each of said agents one clerk, at an annualsalary not exceeding one thousand dollars each, provided suitable clerks cannot be detailed from the army. And the President of the United States, throu h the War De artment and the commissioner, s all extend mi itary jurisdiction and protection over all employés, agents, and officers of this bureau in the exercise of the duties imposed or authorized by this act or the act to which this is additional.

SEC. 3. That the Secretary of War may direct such issues of provisions, clothing, fuel, and

‘ other supplies, includin medical stores and transportation, and tailor such aid, medical or otherwise, as he may deem needfnl for the immediate and temorary shelter and supply of destitute and en ering refugees and freedmen, their wives and children, under such rules and regulations as he may direct: Provided, That no person shall be deemed “ destitute," “suffering," or “ dependent upon the Government for support," within the meaning of this act, who, being able to find employment, could by proper industry and exertion avoid such destitntion, uflering, or dependence.

SEO. 4. That the President is hereby authorized to reserve from sale, or from settlement, under the homestead or re-emption laws, and to set apart for the use of reedmen and loyal refugees, male or female, unoccupied public lands in


Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas, not exceeding in all three millions of acres of good land; and the commissioner, under the direction of the President, shall cause the same from time to time to be allotted and assigned, in parcels not exceeding forty acres each, to the 10 al refugees and freedmen, who shall be protecte' in the use and enjoyment thereof for such term of time and at such annual rent as ma be agreed on between the commissioner and suc i refugees or freedmen. The rental shall be based upon a valuation of the land, to be ascertained in such manner as the commissioner may, under the direction of the President, by regulation prescribe. At the end of such term, or sooner, if the commissioner shall assent thereto, the occupants of any parcels so assigned, their heirs and assigns, may purchase the land and receive a title thereto from the United States in fee, upon paying therefor the value of the land ascertained as aforesaid. .

SEO. 5. That the occupants of land under Major General Sherman’s special field order, dated at Savannah, January sixteen, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, are hereby confirmed in their ossession for the period of three years from tie date of said order, and no erson shall be disturbed in or ousted from sai possession during said three years, unless asettlement shall be made with said occupant, by the former owner, his heirs or assigns, satisfactory to the commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau: Provided, That whenever the former owners of lands occupied under General Sherman’s field order shall make application for restoration of said lands, the commissioner is hereby authorized, upon the aflreement and with the written consent of said occupants, to procure other lands for them by rentor purchase, not exceeding forty acres for each occupant, u on the terms and conditions named in section our of this act, or to set apart for them, out of the public lands assigned for that purpose in section four of this act, forty acres each, upon the same terms and conditions.

SEO. 6. That the commissioner shall, under the direction of the President, procure in the name of the United States, by grant or purchase, such lands within the districts aforesaid as may be

1 required for refugees and freedmen dependent on

the Government for support; and he shall provide or cause to be erected suitable buildings for asylums and schools. But no such purchase shall be made, nor contract for the same entered into, nor other expense incurred, until after appropriations shall have been rovided by Congress for such purposes. An no payment shall be made for lands purchased under this section, except for asylums and schools, from any mone s not specifically ap ropriated therefor. And the commissioner shallcause such lands from time to time to be valued, allotted, assi ned, and sold in manner and form provided in tie fourth section of this act, at a 'rice not less than the cost thereof to the Unite States.

SEO. 7. That whenever in any State or district in which the ordinary course of 'udicial pro~ ceedin s has been interrupted by t e rebellion, and w erein, in conse uence of any State or local law, ordinance, p0 ice or other regulation, custom, or prejudice, any of the civil rights or immunities belonging to white persons, including the right to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property, and to have full and equal

enefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of erson and estate, including the constitutiona right of bearing arms, are refused or denied to negroes, mulattoes, freedmen, refu~ gees, or any other persons, on account of race, color, or any preVious condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, or wherein they or any of them are subjected to any other or diilerent punishment, pains, or penalties, for the commission of any act or offence than are prescribed for white persons committing like acts or offences, it shall he the duty of the President of the United States, through the commissioner, to extend military protection and jurisdiction over all cases affecting such persons so discriminated against.

SEC. 8. That any person who, under color of any State or local law, ordinance, police, or other regulation or, custom, shall, in any State or district in which the ordinary course of judicial

roceedings has been interru ted by the rebellion, subject, or cause to be su jected, any negro, mulatto, freedman, refugee, or other person, on account of race or color, or any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, or for any other cause, to the deprivation of any civil right secured to white persons, or to any other or difierent punishment than white ersons are subject to for the commission of like acts or offences, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be punished by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or im risonment not exceeding one ear, or both; an it shall be the duty of the ogicers and a cuts of this bureau to take jurisdiction of, an hear and determine all offences committed against the provisions of this section, and also of all cases affecting negroes, mulattoes, freedmen, refugees, or other ersons who are discriminated a ainst in any 0 the particulars mentioned int e prece' ding section of. this act, under such rules and regulations as the President of the United States, through the War Department, shall prescribe. The jurisdiction conferred by this and the preceding section on the officers and agents of this bureau shall cease and determine whenever the discrimination on account of which it is conferred ceases, and in no event to be exercised in any State in which the ordinary course of judicial roceedings has not been interrupted by the rebellion, nor in any such State after said State shall have been fully restored in all its constitutional relations to the United States, and the courts of the State and of the United States within the same are not disturbed or stopped in the peaceable courseof justice.

SEO. 9. That all. acts, or parts of acts, inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are hereby repealed.

The votes on passing this bill were:


1866, January 25—The bill passed—years 37,

nays 10, as follow;

YEAs—Messrs. éntliony, Brown, Chandler, Clark, Conness, Cragin, Creswell, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot,

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,01' Kansas, Merrill, Nye, Poland, Pomeroy, lliuusey, Sher

man, Sprague, Sumner, Trumbull, Wade, Williams, Wilson, Yates—30. ' ‘

NAYs—Messrs. Buchalew, Cowan, Davis, Dixon, Doolittle, Guthrie, Hendricks, Johnson, McDougall, Morgan, Nesmith, Norton, Riddle, Saulsbury, Stewart, Stockton, Van Winkle; Willey—18.

TWO-thirds not having voted therefor, the bill failed. Veto of the Civil Rights Bill, March 27, 1866.

To the Senate of the United States .

I regret that the bill which has passed both Houses of Congress, entitled “ An act to protect all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and furnish the means of their vindication," contains provisions which I cannot approve, \consistenil with my sense of duty to the whole people, angmy obligations to the Constitution of the United States. I am therefore constrained to return it to the Senate, the house in which it originated, with my objections to its becoming a law.

B the first section of the bill all persons born in he United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declare to be citizens of the United States. This provision comprehends the Chinese of the Pacific States, Indians subject to taxation, the peoi ple called Gi sies, as well as the entire race designated as b acks, people of color, ne roes, mulattoes, and ersons of African bloc . ,Every individual 0' these races, born 'in the United

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