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offered an effective method of reforming these abuses.* The need of such a law has manifested itself in many parts of the country, and its wholesome restraints and penalties will be useful in all. The constitutionality of such legislation has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. Its probable effectiveness is evidenced by the character of the opposition that is made to it. It has been denounced as if it were a new exercise of Federal power and an invasion of the rights of States. Nothing could be further from the truth. Congress has already fixed the time for the election of members of Congress. It has declared that votes for members of Congress must be by written or printed ballot; it has provided for the appointment by the circuit courts in certain cases, and upon the petition of a certain number of citizens, of election supervisors, and made it their duty to supervise the registration of voters conducted by the State officers; to challenge persons offering to register; to personally inspect and scrutinize the registry lists, and to affix their names to the lists for the purpose of identification and the prevention of frauds; to attend at elections and remain with the boxes till they are all cast and counted; to attach to the registry lists and election returns any statement touching the accuracy and fairness of the registry and election, and to take and transmit to the Clerk of the House of Representatives any evidence of fraudulent practices which may be presented to them. The same law provides for the appointment of deputy United States marshals to attend at the polls, support the supervisors in the discharge of their duties, and to arrest persons violating the election laws. The provisions of this familiar title of the Revised Statutes have been put into exercise by both the great political parties, and in the North as well as in the South, by the filing with the court of the petitions required by the law.
It is not, therefore, a question whether we shall have a Federal election law, for we now have one and have had for nearly twenty years, but whether we shall have an effective law. The present law stops just short of effectiveness, for it surrenders to the local authorities all control over the certification which establishes the prima facie right to a seat in the House of Representatives. This defect should be cured. Equality of representation and the parity of the electors must be maintained or everything that is valuable in our system of government is lost. The qualifications of an elector must be sought in the law, not in the opinions, prejudices, or fears of any class, however powerful. The path of the elector to the ballot box must be free from the ambush of fear and the enticements of fraud; the count so true and open that none shall gainsay it. Such a law should be absolutely nonpartisan and impartial. It should give the advantage to honesty and the control to majorities. Siirely there is nothing sectional about this creed, and if it shall happen that the penalties of laws intended to enforce these rights fall here and not there it is not because the law is sectional, but because, happily, crime is local and not universal. Nor should it be forgotten that every law, whether relating to elections or to any other subject, whether enacted by the State or by the nation, has force behind it; the courts, the marshal or constable, the posse comitatus, the prison, are all and always behind the law.
* See p. 5491.
One can not be justly charged with unfriendliness to any section or class who seeks only to restrain violations of law and of personal right. No community will find lawlessness profitable. No community can afford to have it known that the officers who are charged with the preservation of the public peace and the restraint of the criminal classes are themselves the product of fraud or violence. The magistrate is then without respect and the law without sanction. The floods of lawlessness can not be leveed and made to run in one channel. The killing of a United States marshal carrying a writ of arrest for an election offense is full of prompting and suggestion to men who are pursued by a city marshal for a crime against life or property.
But it is said that this legislation will revive race animosities, and some have even suggested that when the peaceful methods of fraud are made impossible they may be supplanted by intimidation and violence. If the proposed law gives to any qualified elector by a hair's weight more than his equal influence or detracts by so much from any other qualified elector, it is fatally impeached. But if the law is equal and the animosities it is to evoke grow out of the fact that some electors have been accustomed to exercise the franchise for others as well as for themselves, then these animosities ought not to be confessed without shame, and can not be given any weight in the discussion without dishonor No choice is left to me but to enforce with vigor all laws intended to secure to the citizen his constitutional rights and to recommend that the inadequacies of such laws be promptly remedied. If to promote with zeal and ready interest every project for the development of its material interests, its rivers, harbors, mines, and factories, and the intelligence, peace, and security under the law of its communities and its homes is not accepted as sufficient evidence of friendliness to any State or section, I can not add connivance at election practices that not only disturb local results, but rob the electors of other States and sections of their most priceless political rights.
The preparation of the general appropriation bills should be conducted with the greatest care and the closest scrutiny of expenditures. Appropriations should be adequate to the needs of the public service, but they should be absolutely free from prodigality.
I venture again to remind you that the brief time remaining for the consideration of the important legislation now awaiting your attention offers no margin for waste. If the present duty is discharged with diligence, fidelity, and courage, the work of the Fifty-first Congress may be confidently submitted to the considerate judgment of the people.
ExecutIve MANsion, December 4, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives: I transmit herewith a communication of the 3d instant from the Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by an agreement concluded by the Cherokee Commission with the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes of Indians for the cession of certain lands and for other purposes. The agreement is submitted for the consideration of Congress, as re
quired by law. BENJ. HARRISON.
Executive MANsion, December 5, 1890. To the House of Representatives: I transmit herewith, in response to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 24th of September last, a report of the Secretary of State and accompanying correspondence, in relation to the killing of General J. Martine Barrundia by Guatemalan officers on board the Pacific mail steamer Acapulco in the port of San Jose, Guatemala, on the
28th of August last. BENJ. HARRISON
ExecutIve MANsion, December 17, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives: I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of State, in relation to a report upon the subject of cholera made by Dr. E. O. Shakespeare pursuant to the act of Congress approved March 3, 1885.
Executive MANsion, December 17, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives: I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, accompanied by a letter from the secretary of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, who transmits a memorial, addressed to the Government of the United States, in relation to the late Captain John Ericsson. The matter is presented for such action as the Congress may deem
proper. BENJ. HARRISON.
Executive MANsion, December 17, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of War, accompanied by a copy of a preliminary report of the board on gun factories and steel
forgings for high-power guns, appointed by me under the provisions of an act entitled "An act making appropriations for fortifications,” etc., approved August 18, 1890.
The report and accompanying papers are submitted for the information and early attention of Congress.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 22, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a letter of the 18th instant from the Secretary of the Interior, in relation to the disposition of timber on certain Chippewa reservations in Wisconsin, together with copies of papers relating thereto. The matter is presented for the action of Congress.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 23, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The Territorial legislature of Oklahoma, now in session, will adjourn by limitation of law ou to-morrow, the 24th instant. The act organizing the Territory provided (section 11) that certain chapters of the revised statutes of Nebraska should be in force until after the adjournment of the first session of the Territorial legislature.
The question of the location of the Territorial capital has so occupied the time of the legislature and so distracted and divided its members that no criminal code has been provided. It is urgently necessary that Congress should at once, by joint resolution or otherwise, continue the laws of Nebraska in force, and save pending criminal arrests and prosecutions at least. The reconvening of the legislature does not under the existing circumstances promise any relief.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 23, 1890. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a letter of the Secretary of the Navy, accompanied by the report of the commission appointed by me by virtue of a provision in ihe naval appropriation bill approved June 30, 1890, for the purpose of selecting a suitable site "for a dry dock at some point on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, or the waters connected therewith, north of the parallel of latitude marking the northern boundary of California, including the waters of Puget Sound and also Lakes Union and Washington, in the State of Washington.”
ExecutIve MANSION, January 5, 1891.
To the House of Representatives:
In further response to the resolution of the House of Representatives requesting me, if in my judgment not incompatible with the public interest, to furnish to the House the correspondence since March 4, 1889, between the Government of the United States and the Government of Great Britain touching the subjects in dispute in the Bering Sea, I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of State, which is accompanied by the correspondence which has taken place since my message of July
23, 1890.* BENJ. HARRISON.
Executive MANsion, January ro, 1891. To the Senate and House of Representatives: I transmit herewith a memorial of the legislative assembly of the Territory of Oklahoma, asking an appropriation for the relief of the destitute
people of that Territory. BENJ. HARRISON
ExecutIve MANSION, January 16, 1891. To the Senate and House of Representatives: I transmit herewith the report of the World's Columbian Commission, with the accompanying papers. BENJ. HARRISON.
ExecutIve MANsion, January 19, 1891. To the Senate and House of Representatives: I transmit herewith a communication of the 17th instant from the Secretary of the Interior, submitting the agreement entered into between the Crow Indians and the commission appointed to negotiate with them for the sale to the United States of the western portion of their reservation in Montana under the provisions of the act of September 25, 1890. It is thought important by the Department that this matter receive the consideration of Congress during the present session. BENJ. HARRISON.
ExecutIve MANsion, January 26, 1391. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a letter of the Secretary of War, accompanied by the final report of the board on gun factories and steel forgings for high
power guns, and appendixes thereto. BENJ. HARRISON.
*See p. 5515.