Ulysses S. Grant photo

Special Message

February 08, 1875

To the Senate of the United States:

Herewith I have the honor to send, in accordance with the resolution of the Senate of the 3d instant, all the information in my possession not heretofore furnished relating to affairs in the State of Arkansas.

I will venture to express the opinion that all the testimony shows that in the election of 1872 Joseph Brooks was lawfully elected governor of that State; that he has been unlawfully deprived of the possession of his office since that time; that in 1874 the constitution of the State was by violence, intimidation, and revolutionary proceedings overthrown and a new constitution adopted and a new State government established.

These proceedings, if permitted to stand, practically ignore all rights of minorities in all the States. Also, what is there to prevent each of the States recently readmitted to Federal relations on certain conditions changing their constitutions and violating their pledges if this action in Arkansas is acquiesced in?

I respectfully submit whether a precedent so dangerous to the stability of State government, if not of the National Government also, should be recognized by Congress. I earnestly ask that Congress will take definite action in this matter to relieve the Executive from acting upon questions which should be decided by the legislative branch of the Government.


Ulysses S. Grant, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/204160

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives