Grover Cleveland

Executive Order

January 12, 1897


Attorney-General of the United States.

DEAR SIR: The bill which has been for some time pending before the Congress providing for the adjustment and extension of the indebtedness of the Pacific railroads to the Government of the United States has been defeated in the House of Representatives.

In the case of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Kansas Pacific Railroad, a default in the payment of their indebtedness having occurred and suits having been commenced for the foreclosure of the lien upon said roads which is paramount to the lien and security of the United States, you are hereby directed, pursuant to the provisions of an act of Congress passed March 3, 1887, after taking such precautions and perfecting such arrangements as are possible to assure as far as practicable the payment of their indebtedness to the Government as a result of the suits now pending or others to be instituted, to take such proceedings in the courts as shall be needful to protect and defend the rights and interests of the United States in respect of such indebtedness, and to take steps to foreclose the mortgages or liens of the United States upon the property of these railroad companies.

In the case of the other aided Pacific railroads, as to which no foreclosure suits are pending, a different situation is presented, which requires further consideration before deciding the course to be taken by the Government.

Yours, truly,


Grover Cleveland, Executive Order Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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