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FROM THE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

TO THE

TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS,

AT

THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE FIRST SESSION

OF THE

THIRTY-NINTH CONGRESS,

WITH THE

REPORTS OF THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS,

AND

SELECTIONS FROM ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS.

EDITED BY

BEN: PERLEY POORE,

CLERK OF PRINTING RECORDS

WASHINGTON:

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

1866.

Prepared in accordance with the following provisions of "An act to expedite and regulate the printing of public documents, and for other purposes," approved June 25, 1834:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That hereafter, instead of furnishing manuscript copies of the documents usally accompanying their annual reports to each house of Congress, the heads of the several departments of government shall transmit them, on or before the first day of November in each year, to the Superintendent of Public Printing, who shall cause to be printed the usual number, and, in addition thereto, one thousand copies for the use of the Senate and two thousand copies for the use of the House of Representatives. And that it shall be the duty of the Joint Committee on Printing to appoint some competent person, who shall edit and select such portions of the documents so placed in their hands as shall, in the judgment of the committee, be desirable for popular distribution, and to prepare an alphabetical index to the

same.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the heads of the several departments of government to furnish the Superintendent of Public Printing with copies of their respective reports on or before the third Monday in November in each year.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Public Printing to print the President's message, the reports of the heads of departments, and the abridgment of accompanying documents prepared under the direction of the Joint Committee on Public Printing, suitably bound; and that, in addition to the number now required by law, and unless otherwise ordered by either house of Congress, it shall be his duty to print ten thousand copies of the same for the use of the Senate, and twenty-five thousand copies for the use of the House, and to deliver the same to the proper officer of each house, respectively, on or before the third Wednesday in December following the assembling of Congress, or as soon thereafter as practicablo.

MESSAGE

OF THE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

TO THE

TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS

AT THE

COMMENCEMENT OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE THIRTY-NINTH CONGRESS.

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

To express gratitude to God, in the name of the people, for the preservation of the United States, is my first duty in addressing you. Our thoughts next revert to the death of the late President by an act of parricidal treason. The grief of the nation is still fresh; it finds some solace in the consideration that he lived to enjoy the highest proof of its confidence by entering on the renewed term of the chief magistracy to which he had been elected; that he brought the civil war substantially to a close; that his loss was deplored in all parts of the Union; and that foreign nations have rendered justice to his memory. His removal cast upon me a heavier weight of cares than ever devolved upon any one of his predecessors. To fulfil my trust I need the support and confidence of all who are associated with me in the various departments of government, and the support and confidence of the people. There is but one way in which I can hope to gain their necessary aid: it is, to state with frankness the principles which guide my conduct, and their application to the present state of affairs, well aware that the efficiency of my labors will, in a great measure, depend on your and their undivided approbation.

The union of the United States of America was intended by its authors to last as long as the States themselves shall last. "The Union shall be perpetual," are the words of the confederation. "To form a more perfect Union," by an ordinance of the people of the United Sates, is the declared purpose of the Constitution. The hand of Divine Providence was never more plainly visible in the affairs of men than in the framing and the adopting of that instrument. It is, beyond comparison, the greatest event in American history; and indeed is it not, of all events in modern times, the most pregnant with consequences for every people of the earth? The members of the convention which prepared

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