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War ad interim without subjecting himself to fine and imprisonment; and that he came over on Saturday to inform the President of this change in his views, and did so inform him; that the President replied that he had not suspended Mr. Stanton under the Tenure-of-Office Bill, but under the Constitution, and had appointed him (Grant) by virtue of the authority derived from the Constitution, etc.; that they continued to discuss the matter some time, and finally he left without any conclusion having been reached, expecting to see the President again on Monday, He then proceeded to explain why he had not called on the President on Monday, saying that he had had a long interview with General Sherman; that various little matters had occupied his time till it was late, and that he did not think the Senate would act so soon, and asked, "Did not General Sherman call on you on Monday?"

I do not know what passed between the President and General Grant on Saturday, except as I learned it from the conversation between them at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, and the foregoing is substantially what then occurred. The precise words used on the occasion are not, of course, given exactly in the order in which they were spoken, but the ideas expressed and the facts stated are faithfully preserved and presented.

I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant, The PRESIDENT.



DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, February 6, 1868. SIR: The meeting to which you refer in your letter was a regular Cabinet meeting. While the members were assembling, and before the President had entered the Council Chamber, General Grant, on coming in, said to me that he was in attendance there, not as a member of the Cabinet, but upon invitation, and I replied by the inquiry whether there was a change in the War Department. After the President had taken his seat, business went on in the usual way of hearing matters submitted by the several Secretaries. When the time came for the Secretary of War, General Grant said that he was now there, not as Secretary of War, but upon the President's invitation; that he had retired from the War Department. A slight difference then appeared about the supposed invitation, General Grant saying, that the officer who had borne his letter to the President that morning, announcing his retirement from the War Department, had told him that the President desired to see him at the Cabinet, to which the President answered, that when General Grant's communication was delivered to him the President simply replied that he supposed General Grant would be very soon at the Cabinet meeting. I regarded the conversation thus begun as an incidental one. It went on quite informally, and consisted of a statement, on your part, of your views in regard to the understanding of the tenure upon which General Grant had assented to hold the War Department ad interim, and of his replies by way of answer and explanation. It was respectful and courteous on both sides. Being in this conversational form, its details could only have been preserved by verbatim report. So far as I know, no such report was made at the time. I can give only the general effect of the conversation.

Certainly you stated that, although you had reported the reasons for Mr. Stanton's suspension to the Senate, you nevertheless held that he would not be entitled to resume the office of Secretary of War, even if the Senate should disapprove of his suspension, and that you had proposed to have the question tested by judicial process, to be applied to the person who should be the incumbent of the Department, under your designation of Secretary of War ad interim, in the place of Mr. Stanton. You contended

that this was well understood between yourself and General Grant; that when he entered the War Department as Secretary ad interim he expressed his concurrence in a belief that the question of Mr. Stanton's restoration would be a question for the courts; that in a subsequent conversation with General Grant you had adverted to the understanding thus had, and that General Grant expressed his concurrence in it; that at some conversation which had been previously held General Grant said he still adhered to the same construction of the law, but said if he should change his opinion he would give you seasonable notice of it, so that you should, in any case, be placed in the same position in regard to the War Department that you were while General Grant held it ad interim. I did not understand General Grant as denying, nor as explicitly admitting, these statements in the form and full extent to which you made them. His admission of them was rather indirect and circumstantial, though I did not understand it to be an evasive one. He said that, reasoning from what occurred in the case of the police in Maryland, which he regarded as a parallel one, he was of opinion, and so assured you, that it would be his right and duty, under your instructions, to hold the War Office after the Senate should disapprove of Mr. Stanton's suspension until the question should be decided upon by the courts; that he remained until very recently of that opinion, and that on the Saturday before the Cabinet meeting a conversation was held between yourself and him in which the subject was generally discussed.

General Grant's statement was, that in that conversation he had stated to you the legal difficulties which might arise, involving fine and imprisonment under the Civil Tenure Bill, and that he did not care to subject himself to those penalties; that you replied to this remark, that you regarded the Civil Tenure Bill as unconstitutional, and did not think its penalties were to be feared, or that you would voluntarily assume them; and you insisted that General Grant should either retain the office until relieved by yourself according to what you claimed was the original understanding between yourself and him, or, by seasonable notice of change of purpose on his part, put you in the same situation which you would be if he adhered. You claimed that General Grant finally said in that Saturday's conversation that you understood his views, and his proceedings thereafter would be consistent with what had been so understood. General Grant did not controvert nor can I say that he admitted this last statement. Certainly General Grant did not at any time in the Cabinet meeting insist that he had in the Saturday's conversation either distinctly or finally advised you of his determination to retire from the charge of the War Department otherwise than under your own subsequent direction. He acquiesced in your statement that the Saturday's conversation ended with an expectation that there would be a subsequent conference on the subject, which he, as well as yourself, supposed could seasonably take place on Monday.

You then alluded to the fact that General Grant did not call upon you on Monday, as you had expected from that conversation. General Grant admitted that it was his expectation or purpose to call upon you on Monday. General Grant assigned rea

sons for the omission. He said he was in conference with General Sherman; that there were many little matters to be attended to. He had conversed upon the matter of the incumbency of the War Department with General Sherman, and he expected that General Sherman would call upon you on Monday. My own mind suggested a further explanation, but I do not remember whether it was mentioned or not-namely, that it was not supposed by General Grant on Monday that the Senate would decide the question_so promptly as to anticipate further explanation between yourself and him if delayed beyond that day. General Grant made another explanation-that he

was engaged on Sunday with General Sherman, and, I think, also on Monday, in regard to the War Department matter, with a hope, though he did not say in an effort, to procure an amicable settlement of the affair of Mr. Stanton, and he still hoped that it would be brought about.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD.


To the House of Representatives:

The accompanying letter from General Grant, received since the transmission to the House of Representatives of my communication of this date, is submitted to the House as a part of the correspondence referred to in the resolution of the 10th instant. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 11, 1868.


WASHINGTON, D. C., February 11, 1868. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 10th instant, accompanied by statements of five Cabinet ministers of their recollection of what occurred in Cabinet meeting on the 14th of January. Without admitting any thing in these statements where they differ from any thing heretofore stated by me, I propose to notice only that portion of your communication wherein I am charged with insubordination. I think it will be plain to the reader of my letter of the 30th of January that I did not propose to disobey any legal order of the President, distinctly given, but only gave an interpretation of what would be regarded as satisfactory

evidence of the President's sanction to orders communicated by the Secretary of War. I will say here that your letter of the 10th instant contains the first intimation I have had that you did not accept that interpretation.

Now for reasons for giving that interpretation: it was clear to me before my letter of January 30th was written, that I, the person having more public business to transact with the Secretary of War than any other of the President's subordinates, was the only one who had been instructed to disregard the authority of Mr. Stanton where his authority was denied as agent of the President.

On the 27th of January I received a letter from the Secretary of War (copy herewith) directing me to furnish escort to public treasure from the Rio Grande to New Orleans, etc., at the request of the Secretary of the Treasury to him. I also send two other enclosures, showing recognition of Mr. Stanton as Secretary of War by both the Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster-General, in all of which cases the Secretary of War had to call upon me to make the orders requested or give the information desired, and where his authority to do so is derived, in my view, as agent of the President.

With an order so clearly ambiguous as that of the President here referred to, it was my duty to inform the President of my interpretation of it, and to abide by that interpretation until I received other orders. Disclaiming any intention now or heretofore of disobeying any legal order of the President distinctly communicated, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant, U. S. GRANT, General.

His Excellency A. JOHNSON,
President of the United States.

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You will please give such directions as you may deem proper to the officer commanding at Brownsville to carry into effect the request of the Treasury Department, the instructions to be sent by telegraph to Galveston, to the care of A. F. Randall, special agent, who is at Galveston waiting telegraphic or ders, there being no telegraphic communication with Brownsville and the necessity for military protection to the public moneys represented as urgent.

Please favor me with a copy of such instructions as you may give, in order that they may be commuricated to the Secretary of the Treasury. Yours truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. To General U. S. GRANT, commanding U. S. A. HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, February 11, 1868. Official copy: GEORGE K. LEET, Assistant Adjutant-Gener POST-OFFICE Department, ConTRACT OFFICE, WASHINGTON, February 3, 1858. SIR: It has been represented to this Department that in October last a military commission was ap pointed to settle upon some general plan of defence for the Texas frontiers, and that the said commiss.c has made a report recommending a line of posts from the Rio Grande to the Red River.

An application is now pending in this Department for a change in the course of the San Antonio and El Paso mail, so as to send it by way of Forts Mason. Griffin, and Stockton, instead of by Camps Hudson and Lancaster. This application requires immediate decision, but before final action can be had thereon it is desired to have some official information as to the report of the commission above referred to.

Accordingly I have the honor to request that you will cause this Department to be furnished, as estr as possible, with the information desired in the premises, and also with a copy of the report, if my has been made by the commission.

Very respectfully, etc.,

Second Assistant Postmaster-General
February 3, 1883.

The Honorable Secretary of War.
Referred to the General of the Army for report.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
February 11, 1868.
Official copy:
GEORGE K. LEET, Assistant Adjutant-Genera

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 29, 1858. SIR: It is represented to this Department that a band of robbers has obtained such a foothold in the section of country between Humboldt and Lawrence, Kansas, committing depredations upon travellers both by public and private conveyance, that the safety of the public money collected by the receiver of the land-office at Humboldt requires that it should be guarded during its transit from Humboldt to Lawrence. I have, therefore, the honor to request that the proper commanding officer of the district may be instructed by the War Department, if in the opinion of the Honorable Secretary of War it can be done without prejudice to the public interests, to furnish a sufficient military guard to protect sich moneys as may be in transitu from the above Sce for the purpose of being deposited to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States. As far as we are now advised such service will not be necessary offerer than once a month. Will you please advise me of the action taken, that I may instruct the receiver and the Commissioner of the General Land-Office in th matter? Very respectfully, yours, etc.,

H. MCCULLOCH, Secretary of the Treasury. To the Honorable Secretary of War.

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Message of President JOHNSON on the removal of Secretary Stanton.

To the Senate of the United States:

I have received a copy of the resolution adopted by the Senate on the 21st instant, as follows:

Whereas, the Senate have received and considered the communication of the President, stating that he had removed Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and had designated the Adjutant-General of the Army to act as Secretary of War ad interim: Therefore,

Resolved by the Senate of the United States, That under the Constitution and laws of the United States the Presilent has no power to remove the Secretary of War, and lesignate any other officer to perform the duties of that office ad interim.

This resolution is confined to the power of the President to remove the Secretary of War and to lesignate another officer to perform the duties of the office ad interim, and by its preamble is made exressly applicable to the removal of Mr. Stanton, and the designation to act ad interim of the AdjutantGeneral of the Army. Without, therefore, attemptng to discuss the general power of removal as to officers, upon which subject no expression of pinion is contained in the resolution, I shall confine nyself to the question as thus limited-the power to emove the Secretary of War.

It is declared in the resolution, "that under the Constitution and laws of the United States the Presient has no power to remove the Secretary of War nd designate any other officer to perform the duies of that office ad interim."

As to the question of power under the Constitufon, I do not propose at present to enter upon its iscussion. The uniform practice from the begining of the Government, as established by every resident who has exercised the office, and the deisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, ave settled the question in favor of the power f the President to remove all officers, excepting a lass holding appointments of a judicial character. To practice, nor any decision, has ever excepted a ecretary of War from this general power of the Presient to make removals from office.

It is only necessary, then, that I should refer to the ower of the Executive, under the laws of the United tates, to remove from office a Secretary of War. 'he resolution denies that under these laws this ower has any existence. In other words, it affirms at no such authority is recognized or given by the catutes of the country.

What, then, are the laws of the United States hich deny the President the power to remove that ficer? I know but two laws which bear upon this uestion. The first in order of time is the act of Auast 7, 1789, creating the Department of War, which, fter providing for a Secretary as its principal officer,

roceeds as follows:

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be 1 the said Department an inferior officer, to be apointed by the said principal officer, to be employed herein as he shall deem proper, and to be called the hief clerk in the Department of War, and who, whenFor the said principal officer shall be removed from ice by the President of the United States, or in any ther case of vacancy, shall during such vacancy have he charge and custody of all records, books, and papers ppertaining to the said department.

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It is clear that this act, passed by Congress, many of whose members participated in the formation of the Constitution, so far from denying the power of the President to remove the Secretary of War, recog nizes it as existing in the Executive alone, without the concurrence of the Senate or of any other department of the Government. Furthermore, this act does not purport to confer the power by legislative authority, nor in fact was there any other existing legislation through which it was bestowed upon the Executive. The recognition of the power by this act is therefore complete as a recognition under the Constitution itself, for there was no other source or authority from which it could be derived.

The other act which refers to this question is that regulating the tenure of certain civil offices, passed by Congress on the second day of March, 1867. The first section of that act is in the following words:

That every person holding any civil office to which he has been appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and every person who shall hereafter be appointed to any such office, and shall become duly qualified to act therein, is, and shall be, entitled to hold such office until a successor shall have been in like manner appointed and duly qualified, except as herein otherwise provided: Provided, That the Secretaries of State, of the Treasury, of War, of the Navy, and of the Interior, the Postmaster-General, and the Attorney-General shall hold their offices respectively for and during the term of the President by whom they may have been appointed, and for one month thereafter, subject to removal by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The fourth section of the same act restricts the term of offices to the limit prescribed be the law creating them.

That part of the first section which precedes the proviso declares that every person holding a civil office to which he has been or may be appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall hold such office until a successor shall have been in like manner appointed. It purports to take from the Executive, during the fixed time established for the tenure of the office, the independent power of removal and to require for such removal the concurrent action of the President and the Senate.

The proviso that follows proceeds to fix the term of office of the seven heads of departments, whose tenure never had been defined before, by prescribing that they "shall hold their offices respectively for and during the term of the President by whom they may have been appointed, and for one month thereafter, subject to removal by and with the advice and consent of the Senate." Thus, as to these enumerated officers, the proviso takes from the President the power of removal, except with the advice and consent of the Senate. By its terms, however, before he can be deprived of the power to displace them, it must appear that he himself has appointed them. It is only in that case that they have any tenure of office, or any independent right to hold during the term of the President, and for one month after the cessation of his official functions. The proviso, therefore, gives no tenure of office to any one of these officers who has been appointed by a former President, beyond one month after the accession of his successor.

In the case of Mr. Stanton, the only appointment under which he held the office of Secretary of War was that conferred upon him by my immediate predecessor, with the advice and consent of the Sen


He has never held from me any appointment as the head of the War Department. Whatever right he had to hold the office was derived from that original appointment, and my own sufferance. The law was not intended to protect such an incumbent of the War Department, by taking from the President the power to remove him. This, in my judgment, is perfectly clear, and the law itself admits of no other just construction. We find, in all that portion of the first section which precedes the proviso, that as to civil officers generally the President is deprived of

the power of removal; and it is plain that, if there had been no proviso, that power would just as clearly have been taken from him, so far as it applies to the seven heads of departments. But, for reasons which were no doubt satisfactory to Congress, these principal officers were specially provided for, and as to them the express and only requirement is, that the President who has appointed them shall not, without the advice and consent of the Senate, remove them from office. The consequence is, that as to my Cabinet, embracing the seven officers designated in the first section, the act takes from me the power, without the concurrence of the Senate, to remove any one of them that I have appointed; but it does not protect such of them as I did not appoint, nor give to them any tenure of office beyond my pleasure.

An examination of this act, then, shows that while in one part of the section provision is made for officers generally, in another clause there is a class of officers, designated by their official titles, who are excepted from the general terms of the law, and in reference to whom a clear distinction is made as to the general power of removal limited in the first clause of the section. This distinction is, that, as to such of these enumerated officers as hold under the appointment of the President, the power of removal can only be exercised by him with the consent of the Senate; while, as to those who have not been appointed by him, there is no like denial of his power to displace them. It would be a violation of the plain meaning of this enactment to place Mr. Stanton upon the same footing as those heads of departments who have been appointed by myself. As to him this law gives him no tenure of office. The members of my Cabinet who have been appointed by me are, by this act, entitled to hold for one month after the term of my office shall cease; but Mr. Stanton could not, against the wishes of my successor, hold a moment thereafter. If he were permitted by that successor to hold for the first two weeks, would that successor have no power to remove him? But the power of my successor over him could be no greater than my own. If my successor would have the power to remove Mr. Stanton, after permitting him to remain a period of two weeks, because he was not appointed by him, but by his predecessor, I, who have tolerated Mr. Stanton for more than two years, certainly have the same right to remove him, and upon the same ground-namely, that he was not appointed by me, but by my predecessor.

Under this construction of the Tenure-of-Office Act, I have never doubted my power to remove Mr. Stanton. Whether the act were constitutional or not, it was always my opinion that it did not secure him from removal. I was, however, aware that there were great doubts as to the construction of the law; and from the first I deemed it desirable that at the earliest possible moment those doubts should be settled, and the true construction of the act fixed by decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. My order of suspension, in August last, was intended to place the case in such a position as would make a resort to a judicial decision both necessary and proper. My understanding and wishes, however, under that order of suspension, were frustrated, and the late order for Mr. Stanton's removal was a further step toward the accomplishment of that purpose.

repeat, that my own convictions as to the true construction of the law, and as to its constitutionality, were well settled, and were sustained by every Cabinet, including Mr. Stanton him

self. Upon

member of the question of constitutionality, every one in turn deliberately advised me that the Tenureof-Office Act was unconstitutional. Upon the question whether, as to those members who were appointed by my predecessor, that act took from me the power to remove them, one of those members emphatically stated, in the presence of the others, sitting in Cabinet, that they did not come within the provisions of the act, and it was no protection to

them. No one dissented from this construction, and I understood them all to acquiesce in its correctness. In a matter of such grave consequence I was not disposed to rest upon my own opinions, though fortified by my constitutional advisers. I have therefore sought to bring this question, at as early a day as possible, before the Supreme Court of the United States for final and authoritative decision.

In respect to so much of the resolution as relates to the designation of an officer to act as Secretary of We ad interim, I have only to say that I have exercised this power under the provisions of the first section of the act of February 13, 1795, which, so far as they are applicable to vacancies caused by removals, I m derstand to be still in force.

The legislation upon the subject of ad interim pointments in the executive departments stands, is to the War-Office, as follows:

The second section of the act of the 7th of August, 1789, makes provision for a vacancy in the very case of a removal of the head of the War Department and upon such a vacancy gives the charge and custody of the records, books, and papers to the chief clerk

Next, by the act of the 8th of May, 1792, section eight, it is provided that in case of vacancy octsioned by death, absence from the seat of gover ment, or sickness of the head of the War Depart ment, the President may authorize a person to pr form the duties of the office until a successor is 12 pointed, or the disability removed. The act, it be observed, does not provide for the case of a vacancy caused by removal.

Then by the first section of the act of February 1!. 1795, it is provided that in case of any vacancy the President may appoint a person to perform the duties while the vacancy exists.

These acts are followed by that of the 20th of Feruary, 1863, by the first section of which provisions again made for a vacancy caused by death, resig tion, absence from the seat of Government, or ca ness of the head of any executive department of the Government; and, upon the occurrence of such vacancy, power is given to the President "to authors ize the head of any other executive department, other officer in either of said departments whose pointment is vested in the President, at his dis tion, to perform the duties of the said respect offices until a successor is appointed, or until set absence or inability by sickness shall cease: Pro That no one vacancy shall be supplied in aforesaid for a longer time than six months."

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This law, with some modifications, reenacts the at of 1792, and provides, as did that act, for the st vacancies so to be filled; but, like the act of 19 makes no provision for a vacancy occasioned by moval. It has reference altogether to vacancies ing from other causes. According to my constrati of the act of 1863, while it impliedly repeals the * of 1792, regulating the vacancies therein describes has no bearing whatever upon so much of the 1795 as applies to a vacancy caused by removal. I act of 1795, therefore, furnishes the rule for a va occasioned by removal-one of the vacancies ly referred to in the act of the 7th of August, 178, creating the Department of War.

Certainly there is no express repeal, by the st 1863, of the act of 1795. The repeal, if there is a is by implication, and can only be admitted so far as there is a clear inconsistency between the two sch The act of 1795 is inconsistent with that of 18 a vacancy occasioned by death, resignation, absen or sickness, but not at all inconsistent as to a FACLE Y caused by removal. It is assuredly proper that the President should have the same power to fill porarily a vacancy occasioned by removal as he to supply a place made vacant by death or the piration of a term. If, for instance, the incumber of an office should be found to be wholly unit te ercise its functions, and the public service s require his immediate expulsion, a remedy sh


exist, and be at once applied, and time be allowed the President to select and appoint a successor as is permitted him in case of a vacancy caused by death or the termination of an official term. The necessity, therefore, for an ad interim appointment is just as great, and, indeed, may be greater, in cases of removal than in any others. Before it be held, therefore, that the power given by the act of 1795, in cases of removal, is abrogated by succeeding legislation, an express repeal ought to appear. So wholesome a power should certainly not be taken away by loose implica


It may be, however, that in this, as in other cases of implied repeal, doubts may arise. It is confessedly one of the most subtle and debatable questions which arise in the construction of statutes. If, upon such a question, I have fallen into an erroneous construction, I subinit whether it should be characterized as a violation of official duty and of law.

I have deemed it proper, in vindication of the course which I have considered it my duty to take, to place before the Senate the reasons upon which I have based my action. Although I have been advised by every member of my Cabinet that the entire Tenure-of-Office Act is unconstitutional, and therefore void, and although I have expressly concurred in that opinion in the veto message which I had the honor to submit to Congress when I returned the bill for reconsideration, have refrained from making a removal of any officer contrary to the provisions of the law, and have only exercised that power in the case of Mr. Stanton, which, in my judgment, did not come within its provisions. I have endeavored to proceed with the greatest circumspection, and have acted only in an extreme and exceptional case, carefully following the course which I have marked out for myself, as a general rule, faithfully to execute all laws, though passed over my objections on the score of constitutionality. In the present instance I have appealed, or sought to appeal, to that final arbiter fixed by the Constitution for the determination of all such questions. To this course I have been impelled by the solemn obligations which rest upon me to sustain inviolate the powers of the high office committed to my hands. Whatever may be the consequences merely personal to myself, I could not allow them to prevail against a public duty so clear to my own mind, and so imperative. If what was possible had been certain; ifl had been fully advised, when I removed Mr. Stanton, that in thus defending the trust committed to my hands my own removal was sure to follow, I could not have hesitated, actuated by public considerations of the highest character. I earnestly protest against the resolution of the Senate which charges me, in what I have done, with a violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States. ANDREW JOHNSON. WASHINGTON, D. C., February 22, 1868.

Message of President JOHNSON to the Senate,

suggesting changes in the Constitution.

To the Senate and House of Representatives: Experience has fully demonstrated the wisdom of the framers of the Federal Constitution. Under all circumstances the result of their labors was as near an approximation to perfection as was compatible with the fallibility of man. Such being the estimation in which the Constitution is and has ever been held by our countrymen, it is not surprising that any proposition for its alteration or amendment should be received with reluctance and distrust. While this sentiment deserves commendation and encouragement as a useful preventive of unnecessary attempt to change its provisions, it must be conceded that time has developed imperfections and omissions in the Constitution, the reformation of which has been demanded by the best interests of the country. Some of these have been remedied in the manner provided in the Constitution itself. There are others which,

although heretofore brought to the attention of the people, have never been so presented as to enable the popular judgment to determine whether they should be corrected by means of additional amendments. My object in this communication is to suggest certain defects in the Constitution which seem to me to require correction, and to recommend that the judgment of the people be taken on the amendments proposed.

The first of the defects to which I desire to direct attention is in that clause of the Constitution which provides for the election of President and Vice-President through the intervention of electors, and not by an immediate vote of the people.

The importance of so amending this clause as to secure to the people the election of President and VicePresident, by their direct votes, was urged with great earnestness and ability by President Jackson in his first annual message, and the recommendation was repeated in five of his subsequent communications to Congress, extending through the eight years of his administration. In his message of 1829, he said:

Magistrate; it was never designed that their choice To the people belongs the right of electing their Chief should in any case be defeated, either by the intervention of electoral colleges, or by the agency confided, under certain contingencies, to the House of Representatives.

He then proceeded to state the objections to an election of President by the House of Representatives, the most important of which was, that the choice of a clear majority of the people might be easily defeated. He then closed the argument with the following recommendation:

I would therefore recommend such an amendment of the Constitution as may remove all intermediate agency in the election of President and Vice-President. The mode may be so regulated as to preserve to each State its present relative weight in the election; and a failure in the first attempt may be provided for by confining the second to a choice between the two highest candidates. In connection with such an amendment it would seem advisable to limit the service of the Chief Magistrate to a single term of four or six years. If, however, it should not be adopted, it is worthy of consideration whether a provision, disqualifying for office the Representatives in Congress on whom such an election may have devolved, would not be proper.

Although this recommendation was repeated with undiminished earnestness in several of his succeeding messages, yet the proposed amendment was never adopted and submitted to the people by Congress. election by the House of Representatives remains unThe danger of a defeat of the people's choice in an provided for in the Constitution, and would be greatly increased if the House of Representatives should assume the power arbitrarily to reject the votes of a State which might not be cast in conformity with the wishes of the majority in that body.

But if President Jackson failed to secure the amendment to the Constitution which he urged so persist

ently, his arguments contributed largely to the formation of party organizations, which have effectually avoided the contingency of an election by the House of Representatives. These organizations, first by a resort to the caucus system of nominating candidates, and afterward to State and national conventions, have been successful in so limiting the number of candidates as to escape the danger of an election by the House of Representatives.

It is clear, however, that, in thus limiting the number of candidates, the true object and spirit of the Constitution have been evaded and defeated. It is an essential feature in our republican system of government that every citizen, possessing the constitutional qualifications, has a right to become a candidate for the office of President or Vice-President, and that every qualified elector has a right to cast his vote for any citizen whom he may regard as worthy of these offices. But, under the party organizations which have prevailed for years, these asserted rights of the people have been as effectually cut off and de

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