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Special Message

February 04, 1845

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 5th December, I herewith transmit copies of the proceedings in the case of the inquiry into the official conduct of Silas Reed, principal surveyor of Missouri and Illinois, together with all the complaints against him and all the evidence taken in relation thereto. I did not consider the irregularities into which the surveyor-general had fallen as of sufficient magnitude to induce his dismissal from office at the time that the papers reached me, having become convinced, upon inquiry of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, of the ability, efficiency, and fidelity of the surveyor-general in all things appertaining to his office; but since the passage of the resolution by the Senate I regarded the matter as so augmented in importance as to induce me to refer the subject to the Commissioner of the General Land Office for a minute and thorough examination. A copy of the report which he has made, and also the defense of Dr. Reed, accompanies the papers. It has seemed to me that the facts set forth by the report exhibit certain irregularities which are properly reprehensible, but from which neither the surveyor-general, in a pecuniary point of view, derived profit nor the Government sustained loss, and which the reproof contained in the Commissioner's report will in all future cases restrain; while the high testimony borne by the Commissioner to the generally excellent deportment in office of the surveyor-general has seemed to me to mark the case more as one meriting disapproval and correction in future than the severe punishment of dismissal.


John Tyler, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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