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Special Message

February 09, 1871

To the Senate:

The British minister accredited to this Government recently, in compliance with instructions from his Government, submitted a proposal for the appointment of a "joint high commission," to be composed of members to be named by each Government, to hold its session at Washington, and to treat and discuss the mode of settling the different questions which have arisen out of the fisheries, as well as those which affect the relations of the United States toward the British possessions in North America.

I did not deem it expedient to agree to the proposal unless the consideration of the questions growing out of the acts committed by the vessels which have given rise to the claims known as the "Alabama claims" were to be within the subject of discussion and settlement by the commission. The British Government having assented to this, the commission is expected shortly to meet. I therefore nominate as such commissioners, jointly and separately, on the part of the United States:

Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State.

Robert C. Schenck, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain.

Samuel Nelson, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ebenezer R. Hoar, of Massachusetts.

George H. Williams, of Oregon.

I communicate herewith the correspondence which has passed on this subject between the Secretary of State and the British minister.


Ulysses S. Grant, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/204170

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