Andrew Johnson

Veto Message

February 13, 1869

To the Senate of the United States:

The bill entitled "An act transferring the duties of trustees of colored schools of Washington and Georgetown" is herewith returned to the Senate, in which House it originated, without my approval.

The accompanying paper exhibits the fact that the legislation which the bill proposes is contrary to the wishes of the colored residents of Washington and Georgetown, and that they prefer that the schools for their children should be under the management of trustees selected by the Secretary of the Interior, whose term of office is for four years, rather than subject to the control of bodies whose tenure of office, depending merely upon political considerations, may be annually affected by the elections which take place in the two cities.

The colored people of Washington and Georgetown are at present not represented by a person of their own race in either of the boards of trustees of public schools appointed by the municipal authorities. Of the three trustees, however, who, under the act of July 11, 1862, compose the board of trustees of the schools for colored children, two are persons of color. The resolutions transmitted herewith show that they have performed their trust in a manner entirely satisfactory to the colored people of the two cities, and no good reason is known to the Executive why the duties which now devolve upon them should be transferred as proposed in the bill.

With these brief suggestions the bill is respectfully returned, and the consideration of Congress invited to the accompanying preamble and resolutions.


Andrew Johnson, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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