Ulysses S. Grant photo

Special Message

March 23, 1871

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

A condition of affairs now exists in some of the States of the Union rendering life and property insecure and the carrying of the mails and the collection of the revenue dangerous. The proof that such a condition of affairs exists in some localities is now before the Senate. That the power to correct these evils is beyond the control of the State authorities I do not doubt; that the power of the Executive of the United States, acting within the limits of existing laws, is sufficient for present emergencies is not clear.

Therefore I urgently recommend such legislation as in the judgment of Congress shall effectually secure life, liberty, and property and the enforcement of law in all parts of the United States.

It may be expedient to provide that such law as shall be passed in pursuance of this recommendation shall expire at the end of the next session of Congress.

There is no other subject upon which I would recommend legislation during the present session.


APP Note:  Prior to delivering this message, the President went in person to the Capitol.  The Philadelphia Inquirer of March 24, 1871 provided the following report: "The President, accompanied by Secretaries Boutwell, Robeson and Belknap, went to the Capitol at non, to-day, and called into his room at the Senate, Messrs. Mercur, Shellabarger, Hoar, Perce, Buckley, Shanks and Cobb; also Senators Chandler, Rice and Poole.  After an hour's discussion upon the Southern outrages and other topics, the President wrote and sent to both houses a brief message."

Grant's statement that there was "no other subject" he would recommend considering signaled that he did not prioritize consideration of annexation of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).

Ulysses S. Grant, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/204259

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives