Grover Cleveland

Special Message

January 30, 1889

To the Congress:

I had the honor on the 15th instant to communicate to your honorable body certain correspondence and documents in relation to affairs in the Samoan Islands; and having since that date received further dispatches from the vice-consul at Apia and the commander of the United States naval vessel Nipsic in those waters, I lose no time in laying them before you.

I also transmit herewith the full text of an instruction from Prince von Bismarck to the German minister at this capital, which was communicated to the Secretary of State on the afternoon of the 28th instant.

This appears to be an amplification of a prior telegraphic instruction on the same subject communicated through the same channel, and, being set forth in the note of the Secretary of State to Count von Arco-Valley, the German minister, of the 12th instant, was duly laid before Congress with my last message in relation to Samoan affairs.

It is also proper to inform you that on Monday, the 28th instant, the occasion of the communication of the note of the Prince Chancellor, the Secretary of State was given to understand by the German minister that a proposition from his Government to that of the United States for a conference on the Samoan subject was on its way by mail, having left Berlin on the 20th instant, so that its arrival here in due course of mail could be looked for in a very short time.

In reply to an inquiry from the Secretary of State whether the proposition referred to was for a renewal of the joint conference between the United States, Germany, and Great Britain which was suspended in July, 1887, or for a consideration of Samoan affairs ab nova, the German minister stated his inability to answer until the proposition which left Berlin on the 20th instant should have been received.

I shall hereafter communicate to the Congress all information received by me in relation to the Samoan status.


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

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