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William Howard Taft. State of Its regimental units, instead of being transferred periodically back and forth from the United States, will remain in the islands. William Wells Adams, William W. Adams, Philippe Loustaunau, WILLIAM HOWARD ADAMS, Wm W Adams Understanding the relationship between these two maps allows us to go back and forth between algebraic and geometric questions. Feb 21, William Howard Taft's Fourth State of the Union Address transferred periodically back and forth from the United States, will remain in the islands. .. of not being in constant effective touch and relationship to each other.
Almost nothing, however, had been done in this direction with regard to the Diplomatic Service. In this age of commercial diplomacy it was evidently of the first importance to train an adequate personnel in that branch of the service. Therefore, on November 26,by an Executive order I placed the Diplomatic Service up to the grade of secretary of embassy, inclusive, upon exactly the same strict nonpartisan basis of the merit system, rigid examination for appointment and promotion only for efficiency, as had been maintained without exception in the Consular Service.
Three ambassadors now serving held their present rank at the beginning of my administration. Of the ten ambassadors whom I have appointed, five were by promotion from the rank of minister. Nine ministers now serving held their present rank at the beginning of my administration. Of the thirty ministers whom I have appointed, eleven were promoted from the lower grades of the foreign service or from the Department of State. Of the nineteen missions in Latin America, where our relations are close and our interest is great, fifteen chiefs of mission are service men, three having entered the service during this administration.
Thirty-seven secretaries of embassy or legation who have received their initial appointments after passing successfully the required examination were chosen for ascertained fitness, without regard to political affiliations.
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A dearth of candidates from Southern and Western States has alone made it impossible thus far completely to equalize all the States' representations in the foreign service. In the effort to equalize the representation of the various States in the Consular Service 1 have made sixteen of the twenty-nine new appointments as consul which have occurred during my administration from the Southern States. This is 55 per cent. Every other consular appointment made, including the promotion of eleven young men from the consular assistant and student interpreter corps, has been by promotion or transfer, based solely upon efficiency shown in the service.
In order to assure to the business and other interests of the United States a continuance of the resulting benefits of this reform, I earnestly renew my previous recommendations of legislation making it permanent along some such lines as those of the measure now Pending in Congress. I believe that the best results would be obtained by a moderate scale of salaries, with adequate funds for the expense of proper representation, based in each case upon the scale and cost of living at each post, controlled by a system of accounting, and under the general direction of the Department of State.
In line with the object which I have sought of placing our foreign service on a basis of permanency, I have at various times advocated provision by Congress for the acquisition of Government-owned buildings for the residence and offices of our diplomatic officers, so as to place them more nearly on an equality with similar officers of other nations and to do away with the discrimination which otherwise must necessarily be made, in some cases, in favor of men having large private fortunes.
The act of Congress which I approved on February 17,was a right step in this direction. The Secretary of State has already made the limited recommendations permitted by the act for any one year, and it is my hope that the bill introduced in the House of Representatives to carry out these recommendations will be favorably acted on by the Congress during its present session.
In some Latin-American countries the expense of governmentowned legations will be less than elsewhere, and it is certainly very urgent that in such countries as some of the Republics of Central America and the Caribbean, where it is peculiarly difficult to rent suitable quarters, the representatives of the United States should be justly and adequately provided with dignified and suitable official residences.
Indeed, it is high time that the dignity and power of this great Nation should be fittingly signalized by proper buildings for the occupancy of the Nation's representatives everywhere abroad.
This policy has been characterized as substituting dollars for bullets. It is one that appeals alike to idealistic humanitarian sentiments, to the dictates of sound policy and strategy, and to legitimate commercial aims.
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It I is an effort frankly directed to the increase of American trade upon the axiomatic principle that the Government of the United States shall extend all proper support to every legitimate and beneficial American enterprise abroad.
How great have been the results of this diplomacy, coupled with the maximum and minimum provision of the tariff law, will be seen by some consideration of the wonder ful increase in the export trade of the United States. Because modern diplomacy is commercial, there has been a disposition in some quarters to attribute to it none but materialistic aims. How strikingly erroneous is such an impression may be seen from a study of the results by which the diplomacy of the United States can be judged.
Through the efforts of American diplomacy several wars have been prevented or ended. I refer to the successful tripartite mediation of the Argentine Republic, Brazil, and the United States between Peru and Ecuador; the bringing of the boundary dispute between Panama and Costa Rica to peaceful arbitration; the staying of warlike preparations when Haiti and the Dominican Republic were on the verge of hostilities; the stopping of a war in Nicaragua; the halting of internecine strife in Honduras.
The Government of the United States was thanked for its influence toward the restoration of amicable relations between the Argentine Republic and Bolivia. The diplomacy of the United States is active in seeking to assuage the remaining ill-feeling between this country and the Republic of Colombia.
In the recent civil war in China the United States successfully joined with the other interested powers in urging an early cessation of hostilities. An agreement has been reached between the Governments of Chile and Peru whereby the celebrated TacnaArica dispute, which has so long embittered international relations on the west coast of South America, has at last been adjusted.
Simultaneously came the news that the boundary dispute between Peru and Ecuador had entered upon a stage of amicable settlement. The position of the United States in reference to the Tacna-Arica dispute between Chile and Peru has been one of nonintervention, but one of friendly influence and pacific counsel throughout the period during which the dispute in question has been the subject of interchange of views between this Government and the two Governments immediately concerned.
In the general easing of international tension on the west coast of South America the tripartite mediation, to which I have referred, has been a most potent and beneficent factor. CHINA In China the policy of encouraging financial investment to enable that country to help itself has had the result of giving new life and practical application to the open-door policy.
The consistent purpose of the present administration has been to encourage the use of American capital in the development of China by the promotion of those essential reforms to which China is pledged by treaties with the United States and other powers.
The hypothecation to foreign bankers in connection with certain industrial enterprises, such as the Hukuang railways, of the national revenues upon which these reforms depended, led the Department of State early in the administration to demand for American citizens participation in such enterprises, in order that the United States might have equal rights and an equal voice in all questions pertaining to the disposition of the public revenues concerned.
The same policy of promoting international accord among the powers having similar treaty rights as ourselves in the matters of reform, which could not be put into practical effect without the common consent of all, was likewise adopted in the case of the loan desired by China for the reform of its currency.
The principle of international cooperation in matters of common interest upon which our policy had already been based in all of the above instances has admittedly been a great factor in that concert of the powers which has been so happily conspicuous during the perilous period of transition through which the great Chinese nation has been passing. They are the immediate beneficiaries. The national benefit to the United States is twofold.
There, too, the maintenance of that doctrine falls most heavily upon the United States. It is therefore essential that the countries within that sphere shall be removed from the jeopardy involved by heavy foreign debt and chaotic national finances and from the ever-present danger of international complications due to disorder at home. Hence the United States has been glad to encourage and support American bankers who were willing to lend a helping hand to the financial rehabilitation of such countries because this financial rehabilitation and the protection of their customhouses from being the prey of wouldbe dictators would remove at one stroke the menace of foreign creditors and the menace of revolutionary disorder.
The second advantage of the United States is one affecting chiefly all the southern and Gulf ports and the business and industry of the South. The Republics of Central America and the Caribbean possess great natural wealth. They need only a measure of stability and the means of financial regeneration to enter upon an era of peace and prosperity, bringing profit and happiness to themselves and at the same time creating conditions sure to lead to a flourishing interchange of trade with this country.
I wish to call your especial attention to the recent occurrences in Nicaragua, for I believe the terrible events recorded there during the revolution of the past summer-the useless loss of life, the devastation of property, the bombardment of defenseless cities, the killing and wounding of women and children, the torturing of noncombatants to exact contributions, and the suffering of thousands of human beings-might have been averted had the Department of State, through approval of the loan convention by the Senate, been permitted to carry out its now well-developed policy of encouraging the extending of financial aid to weak Central American States with the primary objects of avoiding just such revolutions by assisting those Republics to rehabilitate their finances, to establish their currency on a stable basis, to remove the customhouses from the danger of revolutions by arranging for their secure administration, and to establish reliable banks.
During this last revolution in Nicaragua, the Government of that Republic having admitted its inability to protect American life and property against acts of sheer lawlessness on the part of the malcontents, and having requested this Government to assume that office, it became necessary to land over 2, marines and bluejackets in Nicaragua.
Owing to their presence the constituted Government of Nicaragua was free to devote its attention wholly to its internal troubles, and was thus enabled to stamp out the rebellion in a short space of time.
When the Red Cross supplies sent to Granada had been exhausted, 8, persons having been given food in one day upon the arrival of the American forces, our men supplied other unfortunate, needy Nicaraguans from their own haversacks.
I wish to congratulate the officers and men of the United States navy and Marine Corps who took part in reestablishing order in Nicaragua upon their splendid conduct, and to record with sorrow the death of seven American marines and bluejackets.
Since the reestablishment of peace and order, elections have been held amid conditions of quiet and tranquility. Nearly all the American marines have now been withdrawn. The country should soon be on the road to recovery. The only apparent danger now threatening Nicaragua arises from the shortage of funds. Although American bankers have already rendered assistance, they may naturally be loath to advance a loan adequate to set the country upon its feet without the support of some such convention as that of June,upon which the Senate has not yet acted.
It is still a regrettable fact that certain American ports are made the rendezvous of professional revolutionists and others engaged in intrigue against the peace of those Republics. It must be admitted that occasionally a revolution in this region is justified as a real popular movement to throw off the shackles of a vicious and tyrannical government. Such was the Nicaraguan revolution against the Zelaya regime.
A nation enjoying our liberal institutions can not escape sympathy with a true popular movement, and one so well justified. In very many cases, however, revolutions in the Republics in question have no basis in principle, but are due merely to the machinations of conscienceless and ambitious men, and have no effect but to bring new suffering and fresh burdens to an already oppressed people.
The question whether the use of American ports as foci of revolutionary intrigue can be best dealt with by a further amendment to the neutrality statutes or whether it would be safer to deal with special cases by special laws is one worthy of the careful consideration of the Congress.
Ten Republics were visited. Everywhere he was received with a cordiality of welcome and a generosity of hospitality such as to impress me deeply and to merit our warmest thanks. The appreciation of the Governments and people of the countries visited, which has been appropriately shown in various ways, leaves me no doubt that his visit will conduce to that closer union and better understanding between the United States and those Republics which I have had it much at heart to promote.
Brigandage has involved a great deal of depredation upon foreign interests. There have constantly recurred questions of extreme delicacy. On several occasions very difficult situations have arisen on our frontier. Throughout this trying period, the policy of the United States has been one of patient nonintervention, steadfast recognition of constituted authority in the neighboring nation, and the exertion of every effort to care for American interests.
I profoundly hope that the Mexican nation may soon resume the path of order, prosperity, and progress. To that nation in its sore troubles, the sympathetic friendship of the United States has been demonstrated to a high degree. There were in Mexico at the beginning of the revolution some thirty or forty thousand American citizens engaged in enterprises contributing greatly to the prosperity of that Republic and also benefiting the important trade between the two countries.
The responsibility of endeavoring to safeguard those interests and the dangers inseparable from propinquity to so turbulent a situation have been great, but I am happy to have been able to adhere to the policy above outlined-a policy which I hope may be soon justified by the complete success of the Mexican people in regaining the blessings of peace and good order. Both as a means to afford relief to the consumers of this country through a more thorough development of agricultural resources and as a means of more sufficiently maintaining the agricultural population, the project to establish credit facilities for the farmers is a concern of vital importance to this Nation.
No evidence of prosperity among well-established farmers should blind us to the fact that lack of capital is preventing a development of the Nation's agricultural resources and an adequate increase of the land under cultivation; that agricultural production is fast falling behind the increase in population; and that, in fact, although these well-established farmers are maintained in increasing prosperity because of the natural increase in population, we are not developing the industry of agriculture.
We are not breeding in proportionate numbers a race of independent and independence-loving landowners, for a lack of which no growth of cities can compensate. Our farmers have been our mainstay in times of crisis, and in future it must still largely be upon their stability and common sense that this democracy must rely to conserve its principles of self-government.
The need of capital which American farmers feel to-day had been experienced by the farmers of Europe, with their centuries-old farms, many years ago. The problem had been successfully solved in the Old World and it was evident that the farmers of this country might profit by a study of their systems. I therefore ordered, through the Department of State, an investigation to be made by the diplomatic officers in Europe, and I have laid the results of this investigation before the governors of the various States with the hope that they will be used to advantage in their forthcoming meeting.
It is also significant that manufactured and partly manufactured articles continue to be the chief commodities forming the volume of our augmented exports, the demands of our own people for consumption requiring that an increasing proportion of our abundant agricultural products be kept at home.
Healthy commercial rivalry in international intercourse is best assured by the possession of proper means for protecting and promoting our foreign trade. It is natural that competitive countries should view with some concern this steady expansion of our commerce. If in some instance the measures taken by them to meet it are not entirely equitable, a remedy should be found. In former messages I have described the negotiations of the Department of State with foreign Governments for the adjustment of the maximum and minimum tariff as provided in section 2 of the tariff law of The advantages secured by the adjustment of our trade relations under this law have continued during the last year, and some additional cases of discriminatory treatment of which we had reason to complain have been removed.
The Department of State has for the first time in the history of this country obtained substantial most-favored-nation treatment from all the countries of the world. There are, however, other instances which, while apparently not constituting undue discrimination in the sense of section 2, are nevertheless exceptions to the complete equity of tariff treatment for American products that the Department of State consistently has sought to obtain for American commerce abroad.
I can not too strongly recommend to the Congress the passage of some Stich enabling measure as the bill which was recommended by the Secretary of State in his letter of December 13, The object of the proposed legislation is, in brief, to enable the Executive to apply, as the case may require, to any or all commodities, whether or not on the free list from a country which discriminates against the United States, a graduated scale of duties tip to the maximum Of 25 per cent ad valorem provided in the present law.
Flat tariffs are out of date. Nations no longer accord equal tariff treatment to all other nations irrespective of the treatment from them received. Stich a flexible power at the command of the Executive would serve to moderate any unfavorable tendencies on the part of those countries from which the importations into the United States are substantially confined to articles on the free list as well as of the countries which find a lucrative market in the United States for their products under existing customs rates.
It is very necessary that the American Government should be equipped with weapons of negotiation adapted to modern economic conditions, in order that we may at all times be in a position to gain not only technically just but actually equitable treatment for our trade, and also for American enterprise and vested interests abroad. Consideration of this fact and some reflection upon the necessary effects of a scientific tariff system and a foreign service alert and equipped to cooperate with the business men of America carry the conviction that the gratifying increase in the export trade of this country is, in substantial amount, due to our improved governmental methods of protecting and stimulating it.
Negotiations, are still in progress for a supplemental schedule of claims to be submitted to arbitration under this agreement, and meanwhile the necessary preparations for the arbitration of the claims included in the first schedule have been undertaken and are being carried on under the authority of an appropriation made for that purpose at the last session of Congress.
It is anticipated that the two Governments will be prepared to call upon the arbitration tribunal, established under this agreement, to meet at Washington early next year to proceed with this arbitration. The justification of establishing this close season depends, under the terms of the convention, upon how far, if at all, it is necessary for protecting and preserving the American fur-seal herd and for increasing its number.
This is a question requiring examination of the present condition of the herd and the treatment which it needs in the light of actual experience and scientific investigation.
A careful examination of the subject is now being made, and this Government will soon be in possession of a considerable amount of new information about the American seal herd, which has been secured during the past season and will be of great value in determining this question; and if it should appear that there is any uncertainty as to the real necessity for imposing a close season at this time I shall take an early opportunity to address a special message to Congress on this subject, in the belief that this Government should yield on this point rather than give the slightest ground for the charge that we have been in any way remiss in observing our treaty obligations.
This agreement received the approval of the Senate on August I and was formally ratified by the two Governments on November 15 last. The rules and a method of procedure embodied in the award provided for determining by an impartial tribunal the reasonableness of any new fishery regulations on the treaty coasts of Newfoundland and Canada before such regulations could be enforced against American fishermen exercising their treaty liberties on those coasts, and also for determining the delimitation of bays on such coasts more than 10 miles wide, in accordance with the definition adopted by the tribunal of the meaning of the word " bays " as used in the treaty.
In the subsequent negotiations between the two Governments, undertaken for the purpose of giving practical effect to these rules and methods of procedure, it was found that certain modifications therein were desirable from the point of view of both Govern, ments, and these negotiations have finally resulted in the agreement above mentioned by which the award recommendations as modified by mutual consent of the two Governments are finally adopted and made effective, thus bringing this century-old controversy to a final conclusion, which is equally beneficial and satisfactory to both Governments.
IMPERIAL VALLEY AND MEXICO In order to make possible the more effective performance of the work necessary for the confinement in their present channel of the waters of the lower Colorado River, and thus to protect the people of the Imperial Valley, as well as in order to reach with the Government of Mexico an understanding regarding the distribution of the waters of the Colorado River, in which both Governments are much interested, negotiations are going forward with a view to the establishment of a preliminary Colorado River commission, which shall have the powers necessary to enable it to do the needful work and with authority to study the question of the equitable distribution of the waters.
There is every reason to believe that an understanding upon this point will be reached and that an agreement will be signed in the near future. Much has been ac- complished, and while the final solution of the dispute is not imme- diate, the favorable attitude lately assumed by the Mexican Government encourages the hope that this troublesome question will be satisfactorily and definitively settled at an early day.
At this meeting 16 American Republics were represented, including the United States, and comprehensive plans for the future work of the commission were adopted. At the next meeting fixed for June,committees already appointed are instructed to I report regarding topics assigned to them. The international convention adopted by the conference conforms almost entirely to the principles contained in the proposed antinarcotic legislation which has been before the last two Congresses.
It was most unfortunate that this Government, having taken the initiative in the international action which eventuated in the important international opium convention, failed to do its share in the great work by neglecting to pass the necessary legislation to correct the deplorable narcotic evils in the United States as well as to redeem international pledges upon which it entered by virtue of the abovementioned convention.
The Congress at its present session should enact into law those bills now before it which have been so carefully drawn up in collaboration between the Department of State and the other executive departments, and which have behind them not only the moral sentiment of the country, but the practical support of all the legitimate trade interests likely to be affected.
Since the international convention was signed, adherence to it has been made by several European States not represented at the conference at The Hague and also by seventeen Latin-American Republics. During the past year the Near East has unfortunately been the theater of constant hostilities.
Almost simultaneously with the conclusion of peace between Italy and Turkey and their arrival at an adjustment of the complex questions at issue between them, war broke out between Turkey on the one hand and Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Servia on the other.
The United States has happily been involved neither directly nor indirectly with the causes or questions incident to any of these hostilities and has maintained in regard to them an attitude of absolute neutrality and of complete political disinterestedness. In the second war in which the Ottoman Empire has been engaged the loss of life and the consequent distress on both sides have been appalling, and the United States has found occasion, in the interest of humanity, to carry out the charitable desires of the American people, to extend a measure of relief to the sufferers on either side through the impartial medium of the Red Cross.
Beyond this the chief care of the Government of the United States has been to make due provision for the protection of its national resident in belligerent territory. In the exercise of my duty in this matter I have dispatched to Turkish waters a specialservice squadron, consisting of two armored cruisers, in order that this Government may if need be bear its part in such measures as it may be necessary for the interested nations to adopt for the safeguarding of foreign lives and property in the Ottoman Empire in the event that a dangerous situation should develop.
In the meanwhile the several interested European powers have promised to extend to American citizens the benefit of such precautionary or protective measures as they might adopt, in the same manner in which it has been the practice of this Government to extend its protection to all foreign residents in those countries of the Western Hemisphere in which it has from time to time been the task of the United States to act in the interest of peace and good order. The early appearance of a large fleet of European warships in the Bosphorus apparently assured the protection of foreigners in that quarter, where the presence of the American stationnaire the U.
Scorpion sufficed, tinder the circumstances, to represent the United States. Our cruisers were thus left free to act if need be along the Mediterranean coasts should any unexpected contingency arise affecting the numerous American interests in the neighborhood of Smyrna and Beirut.
The conflict of certain claims of American citizens and others is in a fair way to adjustment, while the settlement of matters of administration, whether by international conference of the interested powers or otherwise, continues to be the subject of exchange of views between the Governments concerned.
The new receivership will consist of a general receiver of customs designated by the Government of the United States and three receivers of customs designated by the Governments of Germany, France, and Great Britain, which countries have commercial interests in the Republic of Liberia.
In carrying out the understanding between the Government of Liberia and that of the United States, and in fulfilling the terms of the agreement between the former Government and the American bankers, three competent exarmy officers are now effectively employed by the Liberian Government in reorganizing the police force of the Republic, not only to keep in order the native tribes in the hinterland but to serve as a necessary police force along the frontier. It is hoped that these measures will assure not only the continued existence but the prosperity and welfare of the Republic of Liberia.
Liberia possesses fertility of soil and natural resources, which should insure to its people a reasonable prosperity. It was the duty of the United States to assist the Republic of Liberia in accordance with our historical interest and moral guardianship of a community founded by American citizens, as it was also the duty of the American Government to attempt to assure permanence to a country of much sentimental and perhaps future real interest to a large body of our citizens.
MOROCCO The legation at Tangier is now in charge of our consul general, who is acting as charge d'affaires, as well as caring for our commercial interests in that country. In view of the fact that many of the foreign powers are now represented by charges d'affaires it has not been deemed necessary to appoint at the present time a minister to fill a vacancy occurring in that post.
THE FAR EAST The political disturbances in China in the autumn and winter of resulted in the abdication of the Manchu rulers on February 12, followed by the formation of a provisional republican government empowered to conduct the affairs of the nation until a permanent government might be regularly established.
The natural sympathy of the American people with the assumption of republican principles by the Chinese people was appropriately expressed in a concurrent resolution of Congress on April 17, A constituent assembly, composed of representatives duly chosen by the people of China in the elections that are now being held, has been called to meet in January next to adopt a permanent constitution and organize the Government of the nascent Republic.
During the formative constitutional stage and pending definite action by the assembly, as expressive of the popular will, and the hoped-for establishment of a stable republican form of government, capable of fulfilling its international obligations, the United States is, according to precedent, maintaining full and friendly de facto relations with the provisional Government.
The new condition of affairs thus created has presented many serious and complicated problems, both of internal rehabilitation and of international relations, whose solution it was realized would necessarily require much time and patience. From the beginning of the upheaval last autumn it was felt by the United States, in common with the other powers having large interests in China, that independent action by the foreign Governments in their own individual interests would add further confusion to a situation already complicated.
A policy of international cooperation was accordingly adopted in an understanding, reached early in the disturbances, to act together for the protection of the lives and property of foreigners if menaced, to maintain an attitude of strict impartiality as between the contending factions, and to abstain from any endeavor to influence the Chinese in their organization of a new form of government. In view of the seriousness of the disturbances and their general character, the American minister at Peking was instructed at his discretion to advise our nationals in the affected districts to concentrate at such centers as were easily accessible to foreign troops or men of war.
Nineteen of our naval vessels were stationed at various Chinese ports, and other measures were promptly taken for the adequate protection of American interests. It was further mutually agreed, in the hope of hastening an end to hostilities, that none of the interested powers would approve the making of loans by its nationals to either side.
As soon, however, as a united provisional Government of China was assured, the United States joined in a favorable consideration of that Government's request for advances needed for immediate administrative necessities and later for a loan to effect a permanent national reorganization. The interested Governments had already, by common consent, adopted, in respect to the purposes, expenditure, and security of any loans to China made by their nationals, certain conditions which were held to be essential, not only to secure reasonable protection for the foreign investors, but also to safeguard and strengthen China's credit by discouraging indiscriminate borrowing and by insuring the application of the funds toward the establishment of the stable and effective government necessary to China's welfare.
In June last representative banking groups of the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia formulated, with the general sanction of their respective Governments, the guaranties that would be expected in relation to the expenditure and security of the large reorganization loan desired by China, which, however, have thus far proved unacceptable to the provisional Government.
The kindly reception everywhere accorded to Secretary Knox showed that his mission was deeply appreciated by the Japanese nation and emphasized strongly the friendly relations that have for so many years existed between the two peoples. So, also, are our relations with Brazil, whose Government has accepted the invitation of the United States to send two army officers to study at the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe.
The long-standing Alsop claim, which had been the only hindrance to the healthy growth of the most friendly relations between the United States and Chile, having been eliminated through the submission of the question to His Britannic Majesty King George V as "amiable compositeur," it is a cause of much gratification to me that our relations with Chile are now established upon a firm basis of growing friendship.
The Chilean Government has placed an officer of the United States Coast Artillery in charge of the Chilean Coast Artillery School, and has shown appreciation of American methods by confiding to an American firm important work for the Chilean coast defenses. Last year a revolution against the established Government of Ecuador broke out at the pricipal port of that Republic. When tranquillity had been restored to Ecuador as a result of the triumphant progress of the Government forces from Quito, this Government interposed its good offices to the end that the American interests in Ecuador might be saved from complete extinction.
As a part of the arrangement which was reached between the parties, and at the request of the Government of Ecuador, I have consented to name an arbitrator, who, acting under the terms of the railroad contract, with an arbitrator named by the Ecuadorian Government, will pass upon the claims that have arisen since the arrangement reached through the action of a similar arbitral tribunal in In pursuance of a request made some time ago by the Ecuadorian Government, the Department of State has given much attention to the problem of the proper sanitation of Guayaquil.
As a result a detail of officers of the Canal Zone will be sent to Guayaquil to recommend measures that will lead to the complete permanent sanitation of this plague and fever infected region of that Republic, which has for so long constituted a menace to health conditions on the Canal Zone. It is hoped that the report which this mission will furnish will point out a way whereby the modicum of assistance which the United States may properly lend the Ecuadorian Government may be made effective in ridding the west coast of South America of a focus of contagion to the future commercial current passing through the Panama Canal.
In the matter of the claim of John Celestine Landreau against the Government of Peru, which claim arises out of certain contracts and transactions in connection with the discovery and exploitation of guano, and which has been under discussion between the two Governments since1 am glad to report that as the result of prolonged negotiations, which have been characterized by the utmost friendliness and good will on both sides, the Department of State has succeeded in securing the consent of Peru to the arbitration of the claim, and that the negotiations attending the drafting and signature of a protocol submitting the claim to an arbitral tribunal are proceeding with due celerity.
An officer of the American Public Health Service and an American sanitary engineer are now on the way to Iquitos, in the employ of the Peruvian Government, to take charge of the sanitation of that river port.
Peru is building a number of submarines in this country, and continues to show every desire to have American capital invested in the Republic. In July the United States sent undergraduate delegates to the Third International Students Congress held at Lima, American students having been for the first time invited to one of these meetings.
The Republic of Uruguay has shown its appreciation of American agricultural and other methods by sending a large commission to this country and by employing many American experts to assist in building up agricultural and allied industries in Uruguay.
Venezuela is paying off the last of the claims the settlement of which was provided for by the Washington protocols, including those of American citizens. Our relations with Venezuela are most cordial, and the trade of that Republic with the United States is now greater than with any other country.
In pursuance of the treaty relations of the United States with the Dominican Republic, which were threatened by the necessity of suspending the operation under American administration of the customhouses on the Haitian frontier, it was found necessary to dispatch special commissioners to the island to reestablish the customhouses and with a guard sufficient to insure needed protection to the customs administration.
The efforts which have been made appear to have resulted in the restoration of normal conditions throughout the Republic. The good offices which the commissioners were able to exercise were instrumental in bringing the contending parties together and in furnishing a basis of adjustment which it is hoped will result in permanent benefit to the Dominican people.
Mindful of its treaty relations, and owing to the position of the Government of the United States as mediator between the Dominican Republic and Haiti in their boundary dispute, and because of the further fact that the revolutionary activities on the Haitian-Dominican frontier had become so active as practically to obliterate the line of demarcation that had been heretofore recognized pending the definitive settlement of the boundary in controversy, it was found necessary to indicate to the two island Governments a provisional de facto boundary line.
This was done without prejudice to the rights or obligations of either country in a final settlement to be reached by arbitration. The tentative line chosen was one which, under the circumstances brought to the knowledge of this Government, seemed to conform to the best interests of the disputants. The border patrol which it had been found necessary to reestablish for customs purposes between the two countries was instructed provisionally to observe this line.
The Republic of Cuba last May was in the throes of a lawless uprising that for a time threatened the destruction of a great deal of valuable property-much of it owned by Americans and other foreigners-as well as the existence of the Government itself.
The armed forces of Cuba being inadequate to guard property from attack and at the same time properly to operate against the rebels, a force of American marines was dispatched from our naval station at Guantanamo into the Province of Oriente for the protection of American and other foreign life and property. The Cuban Government was thus able to use all its forces in putting down the outbreak, which it succeeded in doing in a period of six weeks.
The presence of two American warships in the harbor of Habana during the most critical period of this disturbance contributed in great measure to allay the fears of the inhabitants, including a large foreign colony. There has been under discussion with the Government of Cuba for some time the question of the release by this Government of its leasehold rights at Bahia Honda, on the northern coast of Cuba, and the enlargement, in exchange therefor, of the naval station which has been established at Guantanamo Bay, on the south.
As the result of the negotiations thus carried on an agreement has been reached between the two Governments providing for the suitable enlargement of the Guantanamo Bay station upon terms which are entirely fair and equitable to all parties concerned. At the request alike of the Government and both political parties in Panama, an American commission undertook supervision of the recent presidential election in that Republic, where our treaty relations, and, indeed, every geographical consideration, make the maintenance of order and satisfactory conditions of peculiar interest to the Government of the United States.
Weed had moved his operations to Albany, where his newspaper, the Albany Evening Journaladvocated for Seward, who was elected by about 2, votes. He left Frances and their children in Auburn, and wrote to her of his experiences. These included meeting former vice president Aaron Burrwho had returned to practicing law in New York following a self-imposed exile in Europe after his duel with Alexander Hamilton and treason trial.
The Regency or the Democratsas the national party led by Jackson and supported by Van Buren was becoming known controlled the Senate. Seward and his party allied with dissident Democrats and others to pass some legislation, including penal reform measures, for which Seward would become known.
He also accompanied his father Samuel Seward on a trip to Europe, where they met the political men of the day. Kentucky Senator Henry Clayan opponent of Jackson, was a Mason, and thus unacceptable as party standard-bearer. The Whigs believed in legislative action to develop the country, and opposed Jackson's unilateral actions as president, which they deemed imperial.
Democratic Governor William Marcy was heavily favored to be re-elected, and few prominent Whigs were anxious to run a campaign which would most likely be lost. Seward's wife and father wanted him to retire from politics to increase the income from his law practice, and Weed urged him to seek re-election to the state Senate. Nevertheless, the reluctance of others to run caused Seward to emerge as a major candidate. Weed procured Seward's triumph at the Utica convention.
The election turned on national issues, most importantly President Jackson's policies. These were then popular, and in a strong year for Democrats, Seward was defeated by some 11, votes—Weed wrote that the Whigs were overwhelmed by illegally cast ballots.
That year, Seward and his wife undertook a lengthy trip, going as far south as Virginia. Although they were hospitably received by southerners, the Sewards saw scenes of slavery which confirmed them as its opponents. The new owners were viewed as less forgiving landlords than the old, and when there was unrest, they hired Seward, popular in Western New York, in hopes of adjusting the matter.
He was successful, and when the Panic of began, persuaded the owners to avoid foreclosures where possible. He also, inarranged the purchase of the company's holdings by a consortium that included himself. The economic crisis came soon after the inauguration, and threatened the Regency's control of New York politics. Other prominent Whigs also sought the nomination.
Weed persuaded delegates to the convention that Seward had run ahead of other Whig candidates in ; Seward was nominated on the fourth ballot.
Life Portrait of William Howard Taft
The Whigs argued that the Democrats were responsible for the recession. In that era, the annual message by the New York governor was published and discussed to the extent of that of a president.
He urged that citizenship and religious liberty be granted to those who came to New York's shores. Seward believed the current system was a barrier to literacy for immigrants' children, and proposed legislation to change it. It banishes ignorance and lays axe to the root of crime. The Democrats refused to co-operate with Governor Seward except on the most urgent matters, and he initially found himself unable to advance much of his agenda.
Henry Clay, one of the hopefuls for the Whig nomination for president, spent part of the summer in Upstate New York, and the two men met by chance on a ferry.
Seward refused to formally visit Clay at his vacation home in Saratoga Springs in the interests of neutrality, beginning a difficult relationship between the two men.
After the election, the Whigs had 19 seats, allowing the party full control of state government. These tenancies allowed the landlords privileges such as enlisting the unpaid labor of tenants, and any breach could result in termination of tenure without compensation for improvements. When sheriff's deputies in Albany County were obstructed from serving eviction writs, Seward was asked to call out the militia.
After an all-night cabinet meeting, he did so, though quietly assuring the tenants that he would intervene with the legislature. This mollified the settlers, though Seward proved unable to get the legislature to pass reforming laws. This question of tenants' rights was not settled until after Seward had left office. The slave was returned to his owner pursuant to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the Constitution, but Virginia also demanded that three free black sailors, said to have concealed the fugitive aboard ship, be surrendered to its custody.
With Seward's encouragement, the New York legislature passed acts in protecting the rights of African Americans against Southern slave-catchers. This action outraged supporters of Senator Clay. Seward did not campaign in person, but ran affairs with Weed behind the scenes and made his views known to voters through a Fourth of July speech and lengthy letters, declining invitations to speak, printed in the papers.
In one, Seward expounds upon the importance of the log cabin —a structure evoking the common man and a theme that the Whigs used heavily in Harrison's campaign —where Seward had always found a far warmer welcome than in the marble palaces of the well-to-do evoking Van Buren. Both Harrison and Seward were elected. McLeod, who was part of the Canadian colonial militia, could not be held responsible for actions taken under orders.
Although the Van Buren administration had agreed with Seward that McLeod should be tried under state law, its successor did not, and urged that charges against McLeod be dropped. A series of testy letters were exchanged between Governor Seward and Harrison's Secretary of State Daniel Websterand also between the governor and the new president John Tylerwho succeeded on Harrison's death after a month in office.
McLeod was tried and acquitted in late Stahr pointed out that Seward got his way in having McLeod tried in state court, and the diplomatic experience served him well as Secretary of State. After this, slaves brought to the state were immediately considered freed.
Seward also signed legislation to establish public education for all children, leaving it up to local jurisdictions as to how that would be supplied some had segregated schools. Painting by Henry Inman. As governor, Seward incurred considerable personal debt not only because he had to live beyond his salary to maintain the lifestyle expected of the office, but also because he could not pay down his obligation from the land company purchase.
Returning to Auburn, he absorbed himself in a profitable law practice. He did not abandon politics, and received former president Adams at the Seward family home in Taylor, Seward picked a good time to absent himself from electoral politics, as the Whig Party was in turmoil.
President Tyler, a former Democrat, and Senator Clay each claimed leadership of the Whig Party and, as the two men differed over such issues as whether to re-establish the Bank of the United Statesparty support was divided.
The abolitionist movement attracted those who did not want to be part of a party led by slavery-supporting southerners. InSeward was asked to run for president by members of the Liberty Party ; he declined and reluctantly supported the Whig nominee, Clay.
The Kentuckian was defeated by Democrat James K. The major event of Polk's administration was the Mexican—American War ; Seward did not support this, feeling that the price in blood was not worth the increase in territory, especially as southerners were promoting this acquisition to expand territory for slavery. Henry Wyatt, a white man, was charged with fatally stabbing a fellow inmate in prison; William Freeman, an African American, was accused of breaking into a house after his release and stabbing four people to death.
In both cases the defendants were likely mentally ill and had been abused while in prison. Seward, having long been an advocate of prison reform and better treatment for the insane, sought to prevent each man from being executed by using the relatively new defense of insanity. Seward gained a hung jury in Wyatt's first trial, though he was subsequently convicted in a retrial and executed despite Seward's efforts to secure clemency. Freeman was convicted, though Seward gained a reversal on appeal.
There was no second Freeman trial, as officials were convinced of his insanity. Freeman died in prison in late Hold him then to be a Man. He gained further publicity in association with Ohioan Salmon P. Chase when handling the unsuccessful appeal in the United States Supreme Court of John Van Zandtan anti-slavery advocate sued by a slaveowner for assisting African Americans in escaping on the Underground Railroad.
Chase was impressed with Seward, writing that the former New York governor "was one of the very first public men in our country. Who but himself would have done what he did for the poor wretch Freeman?
Seward supported the nominee, General Taylor. The former governor was less enthusiastic about the vice-presidential candidate, New York Comptroller Millard Fillmorea rival of his from Buffalo. Nevertheless, he campaigned widely for the Whigs against the Democratic presidential candidate, former Michigan senator Lewis Cass. The two major parties did not make slavery an issue in the campaign.
Senators until the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in Seward, with Weed's counsel, decided to seek the seat. When legislators convened in Januaryhe was spoken of as the favorite. Some opposed him as too extreme on slavery issues, and intimated that he would not support the slaveholding President-elect Taylor, a Louisianan. Weed and Seward worked to dispel these concerns, and when the vote for the Senate seat took place, the former governor received five times the vote of the nearest other candidate, gaining easy election on the first ballot.
Seward was seen as having influence over Taylor: Seward met with the former general several times before Inauguration Day March 4and was friendly with Cabinet officers.
Taylor hoped to gain the admission of California to the Union, and Seward worked to advance his agenda in the Senate. Senator Clay advanced a series of resolutions, which became known as the Compromise ofgiving victories to both North and South. Seward opposed the pro-slavery elements of the Compromise, and in a speech on the Senate floor on March 11,invoked a "higher law than the Constitution.
The Compromise passed, and many Seward adherents in federal office in New York were replaced by Fillmore appointees. Seward supported Scott, who he hoped like Harrison could unite enough voters behind a military hero to win the election. Scott gained the nomination, and Seward campaigned for him.
With the Whigs unable to reconcile over slavery, whereas the Democrats could unite behind the Compromise, the Whigs won only four states, and former New Hampshire senator Franklin Pierce was elected president.
Other events, such as the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin and Northern anger over the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act an element of the Compromisewidened the divide between North and South.