Press enter after choosing selection

The President On The Louislana Question

The President On The Louislana Question image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

V ASIIINGXON, Fi b. 25, ident sent the foliowmg message !i Congress tovday : To the Sonate and House of Bopresentutivi ir, i iel fully invitad ■ 'i: ion of affaira in tho Stu Louisiüuft. Grave c"ii,lic,ifii,ns havo grown out of the eleotion there on the November last, ohiefly'ftitributable, it is claiiued, to an organized attemyt on thn part of those oontrolling the electioñ omcera and returns to defaat in tbol electioD tho will of iho majority of the electora of thut State. Different persons aro claiming the exeoutive o and tv.o bodiea are olaiming to be the Legislativo Assembly of the State, and the confusión and unoertainty pro in this way rail with a pftralyziiig upon all its interests. A oontroversy arose as soon as tho action occurrod over its proceedings and resulte, but I doclitled to interfero until a suit involving this controversy to some extent was brought into the Circuit Court of the United States, under and by viriuo of iho act of IMay ,'Jlst, 1S70, entitled : " An act to enforce tho right of oitizens of tho I'nilod States to vote in tho soveral ÍStates in tho Union, and for other purposes." Pindiug that resistanoe wan inado to the judicial procesa in that snit, without, any opportunity, and iu niy judgraent without any right, to reviow the judgment of tho t;ourt upon jurisdictional or other ques tions arising in the case, I dirocted the United States Marshal to enforco such process, and to use if neecssary troops for that purpose, in accordanco with tho thirteenth seetion of said aot, which provides that it shall bo lawful for the President of the United States to cmploy suoh part of the land or naval forcos of tho Uaited Htatg, or of tho militia, as shall be neoessary to aid in the execution of judicial proccduros. Under this Rct two bodiea oí persons claim to bo tho returnrag board for tho 8 tato, ud the Circuit Court in that oase decidod that tho ono to which Lynch belonged, and spocially design a ted hy his name, was tho lawful returning board, and this dooision has been repeatedly afflrmed by tho District and Supreme Courts of tho State. Having no opportunity or power to canvasa tho votes.and tho exigcncioa of the case demanding :ui immediate decisión, I conceived it to bo my duty to rcoognizo those persons as eleoted who received and held thoir credentials to office from what then appeared to mo to bo, and has sinco been dccided by tho Supremo Court of the State to be, tho legal roturning board. C'onforinably to tho decisión of this board a full set of State offioers has been iustulk' l iintl a legislative assombly organized, constituting, ifnot s, de jure a de facto govcrnuient, which, since sorno t me in December last, has had posaession of the offices and been oxercising the usual powers of government. But opposed to this there has been another government claiuiing to control the aiï'airs of the State, and which has to sorae extent been pro forma orgauized. A recent investigntion of said oioction has clovolopcd so many frauds and forgeries as to uiake it doubtful what candidatos recoived a majority oí' the votes actually cast, and in view of these facts a variety of aotions has been proprosed. I have no speciflc recommendation to make upon the eubjict, but if thero is any practical way of removing those diiïiculties by legislation, then I carnestly request that such aetion rnay be taken at the present session of Congres3. It seems adviaablo tliat I should state now what course I foei bound to pursue in referonce to the matter in the event of no aetion beiog taken by Congress at this time, subject to any satisf'actory arrüngement that may bo made by the partios to tho contro- versies, which of all thiugs is tho most desirablo. It willbe rny duty, sofar as it m;),y be necessary for mo to act, to adhere to that governnient heretofore recognized by me. To judgo of the election and qualiiieation of its members is tho exclusive province of the Sonate, as it is also the exclusive proyince of the House to judge of the olection and qualifications of its members, but as to the State offices, filled and held under the State lawa, tho decisión of the State judicial tribunals, it seems to me, ought to be respected. I am extremely vnxious to avoid any appearance of undue interferenco in State affaire, and if Congress differs from me as to what is best to be dor.e, I rospectfully urge its iuunediate decisión to that effeot, othorwise I shall fuel obliged, as far as can be, to exercise all legitímate authority to put an end to the unhappy controversy which disturbs thepeace und prostrates the businosa of Louisiana, by tho recognition and support of that government which is reoognized and upheld by the courts of tho Stato.


Old News
Michigan Argus