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feited, or resembled, the impression, or any part of the impression, of any such stamp, dic, plate, or other instrument, as aforesaid, upon any vellum, parchment, or paper, or shall stamp or mark, or cause or procure to be stamped or marked, any vellum, parchment, or paper, with any such forged or counterfeited stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, or part of any stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, as aforesaid, with intent to defraud the United States of any of the duties hereby imposed, or any part thereof; or if any person shall utter, or sell, or expose to sale any vellum, parchment, paper, article, or thing, having thereupon the impression of any such counterfeited stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, or any part of any stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, or any such forged, counterfeited, or resembled impression, or part of impression, as aforesaid, knowing the same respectively to be forged, counterfeited, or resembled: or if any person shall knowingly use any stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, which shall have been so provided, made, or used, as aforesaid, with intent to defraud the United States; or if any person shall fraudulently cut, tear, or remove, or cause or procure to be cut, torn, or removed, the impression of any stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, which shall have been provided, made, or used in pursuance of this act, from any vellum, parchment, or paper, or instrument or writing charged or chargeable with any of the duties hereby imposed; or if any person shall fraudulently use, join, fix, or place, or cause to be used, joined, fixed, or placed, to, with, or upon any vellum, parchment, paper, or any instrument or writing charged or chargeable with any of the duties hereby imposed, any adhesive, stamp, die, plate, or other instrument, which shall have been provided, made, or used in pursuance of this act, and which shall have been cut, torn, or removed from any other vellum, parchment, or paper, or any instrument or writing charged or chargeable with any of the duties hereby imposed; or if any person shall willfully remove or cause to be removed, alter or cause to be altered, the canceling or defacing marks on any adhesive stamp, with intent to use the same or cause the use of the same after it shall have been once used, orshall knowingly or willfully sell or buy such washed or restored stamps, or offer the same for sale, or give or expose the same to any person for use, or knowingly use the same, or prepare the same with intent for the further use thereof; or if any person shall knowingly and without lawful excuse (the proof whereof shall lie on the person accused) have in his possession any washed, restored, or altered stamps, which have been removed from any vellum, parchment, paper, instrument, or writing, then, and in every such case, every person so offending, and every person knowingly and willfully aiding, abetting, or assisting in committing any such offense as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and shall, on conviction thereof, forfeit the said counterfeit stamps and the articles upon which they are placed, and be punished by fine not exceeding $1,000, or by imprisonment and confinement to hard labor not exceeding five years, or both, at the discretion of the court.
or assistant assessor, and with which he shall have been dissatisfied, or if no account and estimate has been delivered, and if no appeal shall be taken against such assessment, then it shall be in the discretion of the assessor, having regard to the merits of each case, to assess the whole or any part of the expenses incident to the taking of such assessment, in addition to such duty; and if there shall be an appeal against such last-mentioned assessment, then the payment of such expenses shall be in the discretion of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
That section one hundred and forty-eight be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following: that if any person required to give any such notice or deliver such account, as aforesaid, shall willfully neglect to do so within the time required by law, he shall be liable to pay to the United States a sum equal to ten per cent. upon the amount of duty payable by him; and if any person liable under this act to pay any duty in respect of his succession shall, after such duty shall have been finally ascertained, willfully neglect to do so within ten days after being notified, he shall also be liable to pay to the United States a sum equal to ten per cent. upon the amount of duty so unpaid, at the same time and in the same manner as the duty to be collected.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. GARFIELD. I move the following verbal amendment in line twenty-seven hundred and thirty-seven: strike out "debts" and insert "taxes;" and the same amendment in lines twenty-seven hundred and fifty-four and twenty-seven hundred and sixty-four.
The amendments were severally agreed to. Mr. MORRILL. I move the following amendments:
In line twenty-seven hundred and forty-four strike out the word "respectively;" in line twenty-seven hundred and fifty-nine, after the word “ stamp, insert " or impression of any stamp;" in line twentyseven hundred and sixty-seven, before the word cause,' insert to;" and in line twenty-seven hundred and fifty-eight strike out "debts" and insert taxes."
The amendments were severally agreed to. Mr. MORRILL. I move the following, to come in at the proper place:
After line twenty-six hundred and ninety-three insert the following:
That section one hundred and forty-seven be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following: that any person liable to pay duty in respect to any succession shall give notice to the assessor or assistant assessor of his liability to such duty within thirty days from the time when he shall become entitled in possession to such succession, or to the receipt of the income and profits thereof; and shall at the same time deliver to the assessor or assistant assessor a full and true account of said succession, for the duty whercon he shall be accountable, and of the value of the real estate involved, and of the deductions claimed by him, together with the names of the successor and predecessor, and their relation to each other, and all such other particulars as shall be necessary or proper for enabling the assessor or assistant assessor to fully and correctly to ascertain the duties due and the assessor or assistant assessor, if satisfied with such account and estimate as originally delivered, or with any amendments that may be made therein upon his requisition, may assess the succession duty on the footing of such account and estimate; but it shall be lawful for the assessor or assistant assessor, if dissatisfied with such account, or if no account and estimate shall be delivered to him, to assess the duty on the best information he can obtain, subject to appeal as hereinafter provided; and if the duty so assessed shall exceed the duty assessible according to the return made to the assessor
Mr. WRIGHT. I move to insert in line twenty-seven hundred and twenty-seven these words: "the stamp or frank of any member of Congress or head of any bureau." The amendment was rejected.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I move in line twenty-seven hundred and forty-six after the word"used" to insert "or framed to be used." The amendment was agreed to.
I ask unanimous consent that the paragraph commencing with line twentysix hundred and ninety-nine be reserved for amendment hereafter.
There was no objection, and it was so ordered. The Clerk read as follows:
That section one hundred and fifty-eight be amended by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in licu thereof the following: that any person or persons who shall make, sign, or issue, or who shall cause to be made, signed, or issued, any instrument, document, or paper of any kind or description whatsoever, or shall accept, negotiate, or pay, or cause to be accepted, negotiated, or paid, any bill of exchange, draft, or order or promissory note for the payment of money, without the same being duly stamped or having thereupon an adhesive stamp for denoting the duty chargeable thereon, and canceled in the manner required by law, with intent to evade the provisions of this act, shall, for every such offence, forfeit the sum of fifty dollars, and such instrument, document, or paper, bill, draft, order, or note shall be deemed invalid and of no effect: Provided, That the title of a purchaser of land by deed duly stamped shall not be defeated or affected by the want of a proper stamp on any deed conveying said land by any person from, through, or under whom his grantor claims or holds title: And provided further, That hereafter, in all cases where the party has not affixed to any instrument the stamp required by law thereon, at the time of making or issuing the said instrument, and he or they, or any party having an interest therein, shall be subsequently desirous of affixing such stamp to said instrument, he or they shall appear before the collector of the revenue of the proper district, who shall, upon the payment of the price of the proper stamp required by law, and of a penalty of fifty dollars, and where the whole amount of the duty denoted by the stamp required shall exceed the sum of fifty dollars, on payment also of interest at the rate of six per cent, on said duty from the day on which such stamp ought to have been affixed, affix the proper stamp to such instrument and note upon the margin of said instrument the date of his so doing, and the fact that such penalty has been paid; and such instrument shall thereupon be deemed and held to be as valid, to all intents and purposes, asifstamped when made or issued: And provided further, That where it shall appear to said collector, upon oath or otherwise, to his satisfaction that any such instrument has not been duly stamped at the time of making or issuing the same, by reason of accident, mistake, inadvertence, or urgent necessity, and without any willful design to defraud the United States of the stamp duty, or to evade or delay the payment thereof, then, and in such case, if such instrument shall, within twelve calendar months after the passage of this act, or within twelve calendar months after the making or issuing thereof, be brought to the said collector of revenue to be stamped, and the stamp duty chargeable thereon shall be paid, it shall be lawful for the said collector to remit the penalty aforesaid, and to cause such instrument to be duly stamped.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. It seems to me if this is to have any effect at all it is to destroy the effect of the paragraph commencing on line twenty-six hundred and ninety-nine. That paragraph provides where the instrument has been unstamped the record of it shall be utterly void and shall not be used in evidence. If a party examines the record and finds it unstamped the unstamped deed so recorded is no notice to another subsequent purchaser. If it is the intention of the committee to go back and make this unstamped copy a correct record which we have already declared shall be utterly void and of no effect, then the amendment is proper. If that is not the intention then it is an improper one.
Mr. ALLISON. Undoubtedly the statement of my colleague is true. I think it is proper that we should go back and amend the paragraph to which he alludes. But I hope he will allow this amendment to pass. Of course if this paragraph is amended that will be also.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Would it not be well for the committee to provide some amendment which will protect an innocent purchaser who has taken a title to lands when there may be an outstanding unstamped title-no stamp whatever upon the record? By sending in a copy of the record and having it stamped the holder of the outstanding title may deprive the innocent purchaser of his title.
Mr. ALLISON. I will withdraw my amendment if the committee will consent that this paragraph shall be considered in connection with the paragraph just passed over.
No objection was made.
Mr. GARFIELD. I move to amend the paragraph by striking out the word "duty" wherever it occurs and inserting "tax" in lieu thereof.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. MORRILL. Out of charity to the reporters, I move that the committee do now rise.
The motion was agreed to.
So the committee rose; and the Speaker having resumed the chair, Mr. DAWES reported that the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union had had under consideration the Union generally, and particularly the special order, being bill of the House No. 513, to amend an act entitled "An act to provide internal revenue to support the Government, to pay interest on the public debt, and for other purposes," approved June 30, 1864, and acts amendatory thereof, and had come to no resolution thereon.
And then, on motion of Mr. WRIGHT, (at a quarter past ten o'clock p. m.,) the House adjourned.
The following petitions, &c., were presented under the rule and referred to the appropriate committees: By Mr. BANKS: The memorial of James Jetlow, of Massachusetts, contractor for construction of gunboats, for relief on account of losses sustained by reason of the high prices of labor and materials in the satisfactory completion of his engagements with the Government.
By Mr. ECKLEY: The petition of Jacob Harbough, and 146 others, wool-growers of Columbiana County, Ohio, asking increased duty on wool and an increase of tariff on imports.
By Mr. MARVIN: The petition of Obed Blowers, for payment of bounty due his son Samuel F. Blowers, who was accidentally killed before his muster into the United States service.
By Mr. ORTH: The petition from citizens of La Fayette, Indiana, on the subject of insurance.
By Mr. RITTER; The petition of Mrs. Nancy Hinton, whose husband was killed while fighting for the country, asking for a pension.
Also, the petition of Mrs. Martha Stout, whose husband was killed while fighting for the country, asking for a pension.
By Mr. WOODBRIDGE: The petition of Z. Nearing, and 87 others, citizens of Brandon, Rutland county, Vermont, praying for an additional duty on foreign wool.
Also, the petition of J. Stowe, and 36 others, citizens of Weybridge, Addison county, Vermont, praying for an increased protection on foreign wool.
Also, the petition of C. A. Paddock, and 25 others, citizens of Pownal, Bennington county, Vermont, praying for an additional tariff on foreign wool.
Also, the petition of Samuel Evarts, and 42 others, citizens of Cornwall, Addison county, Vermont, praying for an additional tariff on foreign wool. Also, the petition of Hon. Barnes Frisbic, and
others, citizens of Poultney, Rutland county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on foreign wool.
Also, the petition of C. F. Sweet, and 42 others, citizens of Benson, Rutland county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on foreign wool.
By Mr. WRIGHT: The memorial of Messrs. Smith & Brother, of Newark, New Jersey, in regard to the manufacture of pearl buttons and mother of pearl.
drafts to China; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce.
NOTICE OF A BILL.
By Mr. SPALDING: A bill for the relief of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Lynch, of the twenty-seventh Ohio volunteer infantry.
THURSDAY, May 24, 1866.
Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. E. H. GRAY. The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.
HOMESTEADS IN SOUTHERN LAND STATES.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore appointed as the committee of conference on the part of the Senate on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the bill (H. R. No. 85) for the disposal of the public lands for homestead actual settlement in the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida, Mr. KIRKWOOD, Mr. WILSON, and Mr. DAVIS.
PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS.
Mr. GRIMES. I present the memorial of H. Nielander and sundry others, citizens of Lansing, in the State of Iowa, remonstrating against the passage of a law which will authorize the erection of bridges across the Mississippi river that will be obstructions to the navigation thereof. The subject, I believe, is before the Senate now, and I will therefore move that the memorial lie on the table.
It was so ordered.
Mr. HOWE presented the memorial of the Sugar River Valley Railroad Company, praying for a grant of lands to aid in the construction of their road from Freeport, Illinois, to Madison, Wisconsin; which was referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
Mr. SUMNER. I present the petition of George W. Lake, late second lieutenant of the ninth Veteran Reserve corps, in which he humbly prays Congress to take measures to secure the trial of Jefferson Davis by a military commission to be convened by the President of the United States under the authority of the Congress of the United States, and he proceeds to set forth sundry reasons in detail for his prayer. Among other things, he says "The American people demand the trial of Jefferson Davis by a military commission, so that justice may be done to the American people and the thousands of Union soldiers who have gone to their final resting-places through the traitorous acts of the said Jefferson Davis, as well as justice to the said prisoner." He then says that his petition is not drawn up out of a desire for revenge, but that the prisoner, Jefferson Davis, may have the proper mode of trial prescribed for all prisoners of war, and by which traitors have been tried before; that the American people consider Jefferson Davis a prisoner of war, captured by the Union forces, and they also consider that their representatives in Congress have the power to bring him to trial as soon as possible, in such a way as they think proper.
I offered the other day a petition somewhat similar in character to this, which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia. I ask the same reference of this petition.
It was so referred.
Mr. MORRILL presented the petition of Graham J. Lester, of New York, praying that the Secretary of the Treasury may be authorized to issue to him an American register for the Prussian-built bark Marget; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce.
Mr. CHANDLER presented the memorial of George W. Fisk, praying for compensation for services rendered as United States consul at Ningpo, China, and for damages incurred by reason of the protest and return of his
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES.
Mr. LANE, of Indiana, from the Committee on Pensions, to whom was referred the petition of Benjamin Franklin, a private in company H, second Minnesota volunteers, praying for a pension, submitted a report accompanied by a bill (S. No. 339) granting a pension to Benjamin Franklin. The bill was read and passed to a second reading, and the report was ordered to be printed.
On motion of Mr. WILLEY, it was
Ordered, That the joint resolution (H. R. No. 24) for the relief of Lucretia M. Perry, widow of the late Nathaniel H. Perry, United States Navy, be recommitted to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
DEPOSITS IN NATIONAL BANKS.
Mr. WILSON. I submit this resolution, and ask for its present consideration:
Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to inquire into and report upon the condition of the national banks in the city of Washington in the following particulars, namely: first, what amounts of Government funds have been deposited in said national banks, or any of them, in the past twelve months; second, by whom, and under what authority such deposits were made; third, what amount and rate of interest, if any, has been allowed on such deposits, and to whom payments of interest, directly or directly, have been made.
By unanimous consent, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.
Mr. JOHNSON. I suggest to the honorable member from Massachusetts that he had better make his inquiry more extensive, perhaps, and propose to inquire as to deposits in the other national banks, for the same system has gone on elsewhere, I am told.
Mr. WILSON. I have no objection to make the resolution apply to other banks, if the Senator from Maryland so desires. I will simply say that rumors are rife in regard to the public moneys that have been deposited in these banks in this city, and I wish to have them investigated. I am willing, however, that investigation shall be made in regard to all the banks of the country. I regard the whole system as wrong, and I think it ought to be arrested, and certainly in all our large cities, where it can be done, the public moneys should be deposited in the Treasury.
Mr. JOHNSON. No doubt about that. Mr. WILSON. I saw that there were the other day $3,300,000 or $3,400,000 of Government money deposited in this city in five national banks.
Mr. JOHNSON. A great deal more than that has been deposited.
Mr. WILSON. And one of these banks has recently failed, and failed under circumstances which, it seems to me, are certainly not creditable to some of the Government officers. I think it is time the system ceased. It is worse than the old "pet-bank" system in the days of General Jackson. I am for the sub-Treasury system out and out, and letting the Government take care of its own funds. We have heard a great deal, lately, about expansion, and still public money has been deposited in these banks, in some cases to enormous amounts, for the purpose of expanding credits. The whole system is wrong, and I desire to see an end put to it.
Mr. JOHNSON. The honorable member, I trust, did not suppose that I was hostile to the investigation.
resolution so as to apply to all of these banks. I am very glad that he has called the attention of the Senate and of the country to this subject. Some weeks ago I introduced a resolution directing the Committee on Finance to inquire and report to the Senate as to the propriety of requiring by law that all public moneys in cities or in the vicinity of cities where there is a subTreasury should be deposited in the sub-Treasury, and in the city of Washington in the Treasury of the United States. I supposed the Committee on Finance had that subject under consideration, but I have not heard anything from it. I do not know much about this subject of deposits, except from general rumor and newspaper reports. If there be any accuracy in the statements we see published, it seems to me this is a crying evil that should be reme died at once, and I trust that something will be done to save the Government from any further such losses as have occurred by the disastrous failure of the Merchant's Bank of Washington. It seems to me, if the present system shall be continued, we are liable to just such disasters as that, only on a still more momentous scale than the one that has occured here right under
Mr. WILSON. Certainly not.
Mr. JOHNSON. I am in favor of it; but the same reports to which the honorable member alludes as applicable to the banks here, I have heard as applicable to the banks almost everywhere. Whether they are well founded or ill founded I do not know; but it is very important to the interests of the Government that the matter should be investigated. I hope the honorable member will alter his resolution so as to make it general.
Mr. GRIMES. I trust the Senator from Massachusetts will consent to adopt the suggestion of the Senator from Maryland, and change his
Mr. WILSON. I propose to modify the resolution by striking out after the word "bank" the words "in the city of Washington;" so that it will apply to the national banks generally.
Mr. JOHNSON. That will do.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The resolution will be modified agreeably to the suggestion of the mover, who has the power to alter it.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I should like to hear it read as it now stands.
The Secretary read the resolution as modified.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I would recommend to the honorable Senator from Massachusetts either to provide for the appointment of a special committee on this subject or to send the resolution to the Secretary of the Treasury. I suppose that all the information asked for in the resolution, except in the last part with reference to the interest paid, which would require a specific examination, could be furnished at the Department without any difficulty. I should have no objection to the resolution going to the Committee on Finance but for this reason: we are now very near the last of the session, and the Committee on Finance have quite as much business before them as it is possible for them to attend to. In a very short time we shall have the tax bill, which will take up a great deal of our time, and probably occupy every day and every evening for some considerable period; and with the other bills and business on hand it would be impossible for that committee to make this inquiry, in my judgment. I therefore propose that some other direction shall be given to the resolution. As to the subjectmatter of it, I think it is highly proper, and in the existing state of things essential, that such an inquiry should be made.
Mr. JOHNSON. I suggest to the honorable member from Massachusetts that he had better refer the subject to a special committee, as the Committee on Finance have more business than they can attend to, or as much, at any rate.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think the Senator had better do that or send it to the Secretary of the Treasury.
Mr. WILSON. I will modify the resolution still further by changing it to a special com
Mr. HENDRICKS. I should like to hear the resolution read as modified.
The Secretary read it, as follows:
Resolved, That a select committee be appointed to inquire into and report upon the condition of the national banks in the following particulars, namely: first, what amounts of Government funds have been deposited in said national banks or any of them in the past twelve months; second, by whom, and under what authority, such deposits were made; third, what amount and rate of interest, if any, has been allowed on such deposits, and to whom payments of interest, directly or indirectly, have been made. Mr. HENDRICKS. I wish to inquire of the
shall be made from the candidates according to their respective merits and qualifications, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of War shall from time to time prescribe; but this shall not apply to the appointment of cadets authorized by the President of the United States.
chairman of the Committee on Finance, or the Senator from Massachusetts, who I suppose has examined the subject, whether the national banks are not made depositories by the law. Mr. GRIMES. They can be designated. Mr. HENDRICKS. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized by the law to make certain banks depositories of the public money. Mr. CLARK. He designates which of the banks shall be depositories.
Mr. HENDRICKS. And upon such security as he may see fit to require.
Mr. SHERMAN. I will state that I have examined the law on this subject, in pursuance of the order of the Senate, and I do not see anything in the banking law that justifies any one depositing the public money in the national banks except the Treasury Department and the collectors of internal revenue. The habit that has sprung up of paymasters and disbursing officers depositing the public money in these banks, it seems to me, is a violation of the law.
Mr. CLARK. But the Senator will find that the Department does designate certain banks as depositories.
Mr. SHERMAN. I know that; but I say there is nothing in the law that directly contemplates the depositing of public money by disbursing officers in national banks, and such a practice is very wrong.
The resolution, as modified, was adopted.
MESSAGE FROM THE HOUSE.
A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. MCPHERSON, its Clerk, announced that the House of Representatives had passed without amendment the joint resolution (S. R. No. 74) providing for the acceptance of a collection of plants tendered to the United States by Frederick Pech.
The message further announced that the House of Representatives had passed a bill (S. No. 167) to incorporate the Women's Hospital Association of the District of Columbia, || with amendments, in which it requested the concurrence of the Senate.
MILITARY ACADEMY APPOINTMENTS. Mr. WILSON. I now move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of House joint resolution No. 134, relative to appointments in the Military Academy of the United States.
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution.
Mr. WILSON. The Senator from Rhode Island, I believe, has an amendment to propose to the resolution. It was laid over the other day to enable him to do so.
Mr. ANTHONY. I offer this amendment to come in as a new section:
And be it further resolved, That in all appointments of cadets to the Military Academy after the present year the person authorized to nominate shall nominate not less than five candidates for each vacancy, all of whom shall be actual residents of the congressional district, Territory, or District of Columbia, entitled to the appointment; and the selection of one
This is in accordance with the recommendation of General Delafield, the head of the Engineer corps, and is also in the spirit of the recommendation of every Board of Visitors of the Military and Naval Academies for a number of years. General Delafield, in his last annual report, says:
"The difficulties that have been experienced for years past in training the minds and bodies of the young gentlemen sent to the Academy to prepare them for usefulness as members of the military profession arise mainly from the qualifications of the candidates being so exceedingly limited. While at the present time it may not be expedient to increase the standard for admission, I do urgently recommend that a selection from at least five candidates to be nominated for each appointment may be authorized by law, when every section of the country would more certainly have its due proportion of graduates entering the Army annually. Should this principle be authorized by law, the examination of the candidates could be ordered in several sections of the country, at convenient military posts, and thus save a great annual expense now incurred by partially educating and returning deficient cadets to their distant homes, insure a much greater proportion of members who could master the course of studies, and avoid the numerous and frequent discharges from the Academy for inability to acquire the requisite information and proficiency for a graduate of this institution."
The principle of this amendment was adopted by the Senate at the last session of Congress, but it failed to receive the assent of the House of Representatives. The amendment is now modified in such a way that I hope it will secure the assent of the other branch of Congress. It has been recommended by all the Boards of Visitors; it is recommended, so far as I know, by all the military officers and the naval officers and by all the educators of the country. It is a principle which has been adopted in every other military country. It has prevailed in France for more than seventy years, and military men know how much it has done for the renown and glory of the French power. It has been adopted in England since the Crimean war from the observation of the superiority of the French service over the English. A commission was appointed to inquire into that evident superiority, and upon the report of that commission the competitive system was adopted in the English service. It prevails in Austria; it prevails in Prussia; it prevails in Italy, and, so far as I know, in all military countries except Russia. What the practice there is I do not know.
Mr. HENDRICKS. When this joint resolution was called up the other day, I asked the postponement of it until the Senator from Rhode Island should return, with a view to his being heard upon this proposition. Since then I have reflected somewhat upon the proposition, and I believe it would be well to adopt it in its present shape. I think it would to a very large extent reduce the per cent. of appointees to that institution who are found not qualified for the position. I think it would be well enough to try it, to say the least of it. The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. GRIMES. I desire to inquire of the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs why it is that it is proposed to fix the age at twenty-two rather than the age that has been fixed heretofore.
Mr. WILSON. The ages now are sixteen and twenty-one. This proposes to make it seventeen and twenty-two. It was thought by many persons, and some of those connected with the institution, that sixteen was an age too young for admission, that seventeen was about the proper age; and therefore this change has been made to carry it up one year, and extend it one year beyond twenty-one excepting in some special cases of soldiers who have served in the war. Those, however, will be very limited.
Mr. GRIMES. I have not heard of. any objection to the present limit; and I was fearful that probably this provision resulted from such a condition of things as happened two years ago when we changed the limit as to admission
to the Naval Academy. There happened to be a likely young boy who was a little over the age of seventeen and could not be admitted; and I believe that it was purely through the influence that was exerted by the friends of that young man that we changed the period to eighteen years. He was admitted, went to the Academy, was there three months, and was unable to make any progress in his studies, had not any adaptation to the profession at all, and was dismissed; and we have now upon the statutebook a limit of eighteen years in place of seventeen years, when every naval officer concurs in the opinion that the shorter number of years is the proper age for boys to go into the naval service. I do not know whether there is any such difficulty in the case of the Military Academy.
Mr. WILSON. This measure comes from the House of Representatives, and General SCHENCK, chairman of the Military Committee there, was one of the visitors at West Point last year. I am not sure that that board recommended this change, but I know they recommended the change in regard to waiting a year after the appointment.
Mr. NESMITH. With the permission of the Senator from Massachusetts, I will state that the board last year did recommend and almost every board for several years has recommended the change; and with the permission of the Senator, I will read the recommendation from the report of the Board of Visitors last year:
"1. We are of opinion that the law should be so changed as that the superintendency of the Academy may be thrown open to the whole Army instead of confining the selection, as now, to an officer of the Engineer corps. The institution having ceased to be only, or mainly, a school for engineers, as at first established, and having become the one great national military and polytechnic institute of our country, the reason for such exclusiveness no longer exists, and it is recommended that the appointment be free hereafter to every arm of the service.'
Mr. WILSON. I doubt very much the expediency of this amendment. I know that many eminent men of the Army have been in favor of this change, but we do not know certainly how it may work; and if the change is made men may be appointed for other than military considerations. I certainly hope that the proposition will not be put upon this resolution now, for I am anxious to get the resolution through this morning, and we shall very soon probably have up the Army appropriation bill or some other bill to which this amendment can be moved; and as attention has now been called to the subject, Senators can reflect upon it. I hope it will not be pressed to a vote now; if it is, I shall vote against it.
Mr. NESMITH. I think it is exceedingly appropriate that this amendment should be put upon this resolution. This is a joint resolution in relation to the Military Academy, and I think there can be no more appropriate place for it. If the Senator from Massachusetts will consult the Army officers, and those of most distinction in the country, I think he will find that
alry, the ordnance, and the engineers, to secure
they pretty unanimously concur in the idea that the superintendency of this institution ought not to be confined exclusively to one corps of the Army. There is no reason for it. There are many very distinguished officers serving in the line who might with propriety be selected to superintend the institution. I am opposed to this exclusiveness, and I believe the tendency of it has a deleterious effect upon the institution and upon the Army itself. For my own part, I am anxious that the amendment should be adopted, and that the superintendency of the institution shall be thrown open for the Secretary of War to select the person best fitted for that position from any corps in the service, whether he belongs to the line or the staff, whether to the engineers or the ordnance, the infantry, the cavalry, or the artillery. I think it is proper that the change should be made. There is no reason why the selection should be confined to the Engineer corps now. There was a reason for it, perhaps, when the institution was originated, for it was then strictly an engineer school. If it was strictly an engineer school now, it would be proper to confine the selection to an engineer officer; if it was a cavalry school, it would be proper that a cavalry officer should have charge of it; and so, if it was an infantry or artillery school, an officer of that branch should have charge of it. But now it embraces all branches of the ser vice. I think the restriction which is now imposed on the Secretary of War in selecting the Superintendent should be removed, and that he should have authority to make the best selection he can from the entire Army. I do not think there is any more appropriate place for a provision making the change than this resolution. The Board of Visitors for several years have recommended this change. I have already read the recommendation made by the board of last year; and it is the very first recommendation which they made in their report, and I think they urge very good reasons for it. Mr. GRIMES. I desire to inquire of the Senator from Oregon what are the deleterious effects he speaks of that have resulted from permitting this School to continue under the charge of the Engineer corps.
Mr. NESMITH. There is an exclusiveness about it that I think is improper in the Army. I do not think that an engineer officer is any better fitted to manage an institution of this kind than a cavalry or infantry or artillery officer. I think the wrong consists in the exclusion, and it causes dissatisfaction in other corps of the Army, and I know of no reason why it should continue. I know that the Boards of Visitors who have devoted their attention to the subject, have come to the same conclusion that I have. Officers in other corps of the Army see no reason why this superintendency should be confined to the Engineer corps, while the School is not a mere engineer school; and I think so myself.
The amendment was rejected.
Mr. NESMITH. The Senator from Iowa, I apprehend, is under a mistake in saying that this is a new question. I have often heard of it before. It is a question that has been agitated in the Army for many years, and I think has been embraced in several reports of the Boards of Visitors to the Academy. As to this proposition making a scramble in the Army or increasing the area of that scramble, I do not think there is any evil of that sort to be apprehended from it. If evils are to result from that scramble, we have them now in the Engineer corps, and I do not think it will be enlarged by enlarging the area from which this selection may be made. I do not think any evil is going to result from a scramble among Army officers to get a place where they do not properly apply for it, but where the Secretary of War, under the direction of the President, makes the selection from the officers that he considers the most competent.
Now, sir, in relation to this matter of graduating at the head of the class, I do not believe because a man happens to graduate at the head of his class at West Point that he has any superior capacity or qualification for training up young men as soldiers than the man who may happen to have graduated lower down. I know some very distinguished officers in the Army who have graduated at West Point very near the foot of the class, and I know some very great fools who graduated near the head of the class. I think, on an average, you will find about as much capacity along half way down the list of those who graduated in that institution as you will in those who graduated There are several reasons why the rule was at the head. Those who graduated at the head established and enacted into a law that the are those who manifest superior capacity in Engineer corps should have the charge of the mathematics and those questions that have no Academy. One was-and it is a principal direct relation to soldiership or the capacity as reason with me now-that the moment you open soldiers, but a mere inclination derived from it to the whole Army you make it much nearer books and a capacity of demonstrating mathea political office than it is now. There will be matical problems. I do not think that sort of a constant scramble among the five thousand qualification is entirely necessary to train a officers in the infantry, the artillery, the cav-man up and make him a good soldier. Under
The joint resolution was reported to the Senate as amended, and the amendment made as in Committee of the Whole was concurred in.
Mr. NESMITH. I now renew my amendment in the Senate, which was rejected in committee; and I ask for the yeas and nays on it. The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. GRIMES. Ever since the foundation of the Government, the Military Academy has been under the superintendence of the Engineer corps. I believe that the first time in my life that I ever heard special objection urged to it has been here to-day, although I think on some former occasion some member of this body did propose such an amendment as is now offered by the Senator from Oregon.
your old rule, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, and fifty other officers whom I might name, would be excluded, and I apprehend any of those officers would be just as competent to take charge of this institution and train up men for soldiers as any officer who can be selected from the Engineer corps. I believe they are better qualified for the position. They are men of more practical common sense, and they are likely to instill and inculcate such ideas into the young men who are there. I am opposed to this exclusiveness and to keeping the superintendency of this institution in any single corps of the Army. I believe this practice should be abolished. I believe the interests of the Army, the interests of the institution itself, and the interests of the country demand it; and I hope the amendment will be adopted.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think the Senator from Oregon is mistaken in supposing that this proposition has ever been recommended before in any report of the Board of Visitors. I do not think that the Board of Visitors to the Military Academy, as it is generally made up, is very well calculated to advise anybody on the subject of military affairs. Once in awhile some persons are appointed who may be competent to do so; but on looking over the list, you find a distinguished clergyman, a distinguished lawyer, the editor of a newspaperfriends, probably, of the members who selected them, according to the rule of selection, from their several districts. I understand the rule to be that they represent all the States, not all at once, but in rotation, and the districts of the several States, also; and the selection of the person to visit the Academy is generally given to the member from the district; sometimes to a Senator who has a friend. Upon many matters of business that occur at the Military Academy, upon the state of the buildings, and the improvements necessary to be made there, and occasionally the scholarship
for sometimes a distinguished professor of a college is sent there to attend the examination, &c. they might be competent to judge; but as to what is advisable in regard to military matters, I should say they were no more fit and no better qualified, ordinarily, to decide those questions than we are ourselves, if we were placed in the same relation, and I certainly should not think my information very good on that subject.
But, sir, my rule has been in public affairs, when I found that a thing had, in the long course of years, worked well and been productive of good, to stand by that rather than to try an experiment to see if I could make it better. The principle upon which the superintendency of the Academy was given to the Engineer corps has been correctly stated by the Senator from Iowa. The Military Academy is a school of instruction, not a school of practice exactly, for that practice makes but a small portion of what is taught there. Tactics are learned there, to be sure, and horsemanship, and other things connected with military service; but it is a school of instruction, that is, instruction in those things which a military man should know. Although, as the honorable Senator from Oregon intimates, a man may graduate at the head of his class and turn out to be of very little consequence afterward, yet, as a general rule, I think the principle is a safe one, that those who are the best instructed are the best qualified to oversee and direct instruction; and for that reason, as it is a school of instruction. the superintendency has hitherto been, by law, confined to those who graduate in the front rank of their respective classes. If you will look through the Army records you will find that those men have, generally speaking, made distinguished and valuable officers, and even in the field many of them have distinguished
I am as much opposed, I believe, to any kind
That being the case, as it is a school, I think the man to be placed at the head of it should be a man who is able to judge of how instruction should be given in all the branches of education; and the engineers are the men who are the best instructed in all the branches.
Their rank is not made up from their proficiency in one study particularly, but in all branches, and, among other things, conduct and character. As this principle has been established and has operated so well and been productive of no evil, there is no motive to throw it open that I can imagine, except that occasionally a man may be found, who does not belong to that particular corps, who may be entirely competent to make a good Superintendent of the Academy; but it does not follow that a man who has distinguished himself in the field, and shown himself to be a very capable and able officer in the field, in the command of men, is a proper man to take charge of a military academy, a school of instruction. You may go through the ranks of our Army and pick out men who have distinguished themselves most, and among them you would certainly find a very considerable number who would not be competent, or the right kind of men, to place at the head of the Military Academy.
Mr. FESSENDEN. The Senator is entirely mistaken. His standing in the class is made up from his proficiency in all branches.
Mr. NESMITH. It is not on account of superiority in any other branch. Mathematics is the principal point upon which that selection is determined at the time the class graduates. Now, sir, when these men go forth from the Academy, the engineer officer who is so proficient in mathematics, in place of going into the field, in place of going into the artillery, the cavalry, or the infantry, or any other department of the Army, goes directly into an office, and there discharges the duty of an engineer for ten, fifteen, or twenty years; and without even having been placed in command of troops or having any direct contact with them, because he is expert in figures, he is supposed to go back to the Academy with superior qualification for the purpose of educating men to be soldiers. You may take an instance. A man, say, graduates number five in his class and becomes an engineer; another man graduates I have regarded this movement as one rather number six, and goes into the line of the Army. to gratify the pride of corps than anything else, The man who graduates number six goes into and perhaps the pride and ambition of indi- the line of the Army with nearly as much knowlviduals. Now, there are other fields for the edge of mathematics as the man who graduated gratification of the ambition of leading and number five, and in place of being cooped up distinguished officers. They are not abused by in an office or discharging some clerical duty being excluded, on account of their not belong-connected with the Army, this man goes into ing to this particular corps, from the exercise the field, serves five, ten, fifteen, or twenty of this particular duty. The moment you throw years with the different corps, the cavalry, the it open, and admit half a dozen corps to be artillery, and the infantry, and gains a superior selected from, you will have, in the first place, knowledge of all those corps over the individrivalries among all the corps to see which shall ual who is confined almost entirely in his duties furnish the Superintendent, and in addition the to the summing up of columns of figures or rivalries existing among many individuals seek- demonstrating mathematical problems; this ing to be selected for that particular place, man, I say, acquires all the information of the which perhaps is thought to be an honorable different branches of the service, while the one. I have never known any great rivalry of knowledge of the engineer who has graduated any great consequence to exist among these nearly at the head of the class and has remained officers for this position heretofore. There are in the engineer service, is confined to that parbut a few, perhaps, who would be considered ticular department, and he goes back to the as the proper men for it, but there are always || Academy, perhaps, competent to teach boys a sufficient number from whom to select. But mathematics and demonstrate those problems if you adopt this principle instead of having and make them good mathematicians, but he that quiet in regard to the Academy which has no knowledge upon the other qualifications it is desirable should exist, you would intro-requisite to make a man a good soldier.
duce the confusion and the rivalries that would result from making the number of men from whom to select so very large. I do not feel disposed to risk the institution itself, to risk its advantages, to risk its good and well-being, upon a struggle of this kind, which can have no other purpose than to open this position to a large number of men who might be ambitious to be placed in a situation for properly discharging the duties of which they had given no evidence whatever by any particular distinction in the line in which they ought to be distinguished in order to preside over a school of this character. For these reasons I hope the amendment proposed by the honorable Senator from Oregon will not be adopted.
If the young men who graduate at West Point
performed in different corps, demonstrate very
The Senator says that an engineer officer is selected for the discharge of this important duty on account of his superior qualification and fitness. And he says that he is superior in all the branches of the service. There never was a greater mistake in the world. The engineer officer graduates at the head or near the head of his class because of his proficiency in, perhaps, a single branch, the branch of mathematics.
Mr. GRIMES. The sum and substance of the argument of the Senator from Oregon seems to be this: that if a man graduates at the head of his class, or near the head of his class, and becomes an engineer, he goes into an office or takes charge of the building of a fortification, while a man who was the twentieth of his class goes out and is stationed at Fort Ridgely, as a cavalry officer or an infantry officer, at a post remote from civilization and books and men, and he is going to acquire such a vast amount of information that he will be vastly superior to the engineer officer, who is employed in fortifying your coast. I believe that is the sum
and substance of the argument. If there be any validity at all in the Senator's proposition he ought to propose to exclude an engineer entirely from being selected to "command at West Point.
Now, Mr. President, I do not pretend to deny that the fifth man of a class may be just as competent to command at West Point and superintend education there as the first; that is, in some instances; but what I object to is, that for the sake of getting one of those fifth men, who may be an exceptional man, you open the whole to confusion and competition between from five thousand to eight thousand officers, and in the course of a few years you will find a man selected and put in charge there who has never had any education at all, but who will be made the Superintendent because of the political influence that may be brought to bear in his behalf. That is what I am afraid of; and these excellent officers who have served and distinguished themselves so much, to whom the Senator from Oregon has alluded, having been educated at West Point, under the present system, the Academy having accomplishred as much as it has, it having turned out to be such a complete success, I do not see really any urgent necessity that should impel Congress to make this change.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The morning hour having expired, it becomes the duty of the Chair to call up the unfinished business of yesterday, which is House joint resolution No. 127.
Mr. STEWART. Mr. President
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kentucky is entitled to the floor.
Mr. STEWART. I rise to take the floor upon the special order.
Mr. GUTHRIE. I intended to say a word on the other subject.
Mr. WILSON. I ask the Senator from Nevada to allow us to take the vote on this question in relation to the Military Academy.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I hope not. It will be further debated, and I must adopt the rule, when the morning hour expires and the constitutional amendment comes up, of insisting upon going on with it.
Mr. ANTHONY. Suppose we take the vote without debate.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I must adopt the rule and not yield in any case.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The unfinished business of yesterday, being House joint resolution No. 127, is before the Senate.
WITHDRAWAL OF A PETITION.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I hope the Senator from Nevada will allow me to make a statement that will take but a moment before he begins. I ask leave to withdraw from the files a petition which I presented to the Senate some ten days ago, perhaps, from citizens of Augusta county, in the State of Virginia, which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. It was a petition stating that Union men in that locality were without protection from the local authorities, and asking that the military power be not withdrawn. Some days after that petition was presented to the Senate, the Senator from Delaware, not now in his seat, [Mr. SAULSBURY] and I am sorry he is not here-applied to me for a copy of the petition. It purported to be signed by one hundred and six Union citizens of Augusta county, Virginia, and attached to it were affidavits that the parties signing it were bona fide citizens of that county. At the time the Senator from Delaware applied to me for a copy of it I informed him that it had been referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. I think the very day after I was applied to for this copy, I received a letter from the gentleman who sent me the petition, stating that its presentation in the Senate had led to inquiries by persons at Staunton, which is in that county, and that threats, had been made against any persons there who had signed such a petition and sent it to the Congress of the United States, and