Chester A. Arthur

Executive Order

March 12, 1884


To the District Attorneys and Marshals of the United States:

By direction of the President, I have to inform you it is reported that certain persons are aiding in the prosecution of heinous crimes by shipping to foreign ports explosives dangerous in the highest degree to life and property. No proof has been adduced that this rumor is founded upon fact, and the President can not believe its truth. The honor of this nation, however, requires that it should not be open to the imputation, unfounded though it be, of the slightest appearance of tolerating such crimes, whether to be committed against our people or those of other countries.

Your attention is therefore called to sections 5353, 5354, 5355, 4278, and 4279 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which regulate the shipment of explosives and the punishment of those who infringe their provisions; and you are instructed to be diligent in your efforts to prevent the offenses described and to detect and prosecute those who have or may commit them.

Very respectfully,



Chester A. Arthur, Executive Order Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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