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His First Veto

His First Veto image
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To Hob. A.bram S. Howitt: Sik- I have received your lotter informing ino thatjlepublicana high in authority are publicly represeuting that the South dorares, not without hope, to obtain paynient for losses hy tho lato war, and to bavo provision mado for tho robel debt aud for lossen of clavos. Tho payrnent of auch lossen and claims was not deemed important enough to deaerve tho notice of eitbor convention at the timo it wa hold. You also Kak me to atate my views in regard to their recognition by the Government. Though disposeil nijfelf to abide by the enne as made up already, I havo no hemtation to complv with ' your rcqnoat. The Fourteeuth amondmont of tho conatitulion expresaly provides as followB : Tho valklity of tho public debt of the United States authorized by law, inchiding debtR ineurred for the payuient of pensions and bottnties for services in suppreasing infiurrection or rebellion, shall uot uo questioued ; but neither the United States nor auy ötato shall aesuuic or pay any debt or oblitfation incurrid in ald of iusurrection or rebelUon agAlufit th Unrted States, or any claim for loss, or emancipation of any slave ; bilt all such debts obligationB and claims shall be held illegal and TOid. Thia amcudment ha been repeatodly approved and agreed to by the Democratie State conventions of the South. It v..s nnaDimouely alopted as part of the platform of the Democratie National Conveution at öt. Louis on the 28th of June, and wa declared by that platform to be univorsally accepted as a final sottlcmect uf tho controversias that engendered tho civil war. My own poBition on thi subject had been preyioualy declarea on mauy ocea sionu, and particularly iu my first annual messago of Jan. 5, 1875. In tbat document I atated that the fciouthern people wore bound by the Thirteenth, Fourteeuth, and Fifteenth constitutional amendments; that they had joiued at national convcntioiis in the nomination of candidatea andin tho declaration of principies and purposes which form an authentic acceptance of the results of the war embodiid in the laet three amendment to the organic law of the Federal Union, and that thoy had, by suffrages of all their voters, at the laat national election, completed proof that now they only seek to eharo with us and to maintain thè common rights of American local solf-government in fraternal uuion, under the old Hag, with ouo eonstitntion and one destiny. I declared at the same timo tho questions ettled by the war are nover to be reopenod. The adoption of the Thirteenth, Fourteenlh, and Fiftoonth amendmonts to the Fedoral constitution cloaed one graat era in our politics. It marlied the end forever of tho system of huinan slavery, and of tho strugglea that grew out of that systein. These amendments Have been concluaively adopted, and they have boon acöopted in goed faith by all political organizations and pooplo of all aections. They close tho chapter. They are and must be final. All parties hereafter muat uccopt and atfjid upon them, aud heneoforth our politics aro to turn upon quostioua of the present and future, and not npon those of the aettled and final paat. Rhould I be eleeled President, tho provisions of the Fourtoonth amendment will, 60 far as depend:? on me, bo maintained, executed. and enforced in perfect and absolute good faith. No rebel debt will be asaumod or paid. No claim f jr loss or omancipation of any lavo will bo allowed. No claim for auy loss or damage incurred by disloyal persona arising from the late war, whethsr covored by tho Fourteenth amendment or not, will bo recognized or paid. The CDtton tax will not be refnnded. I ehall deem it my duty to veto every bill providing for thoasBumptionorpayment of any delta, losses, damagea, claima, or for the refnnding of any such tax. The danger to the United States treasury is not from claims of persons who aidod the robollion, but from claiiïis of persors rtBiding in tho Southern States or having property in thoso States, who were, or pretended to bo, or who, for the sake of aiding claims, now protond to have been loyal to the Government of the Union. Such claims, oven of loyal persona, where they are from acts eausod by operations of war, have been diaowned by tho public law of civilizod nations, condemned by adjudications of tho Supremo Court of the United States, and only fiud any status by forco of specific legialatxon of Congreas. These claims have become stale, and are often tainted with fraud. They aro nearly slways ownod, in wfaole or in part, by claim agenta, by epecuVators, or lobbyists, who have no ccjuity againat tax-payers or the public. They ahould in all cases be acrutinized with zealona care. Calamities to individuals which were inllicted by the war aro, for the most part, irreparable. Tno oovemuient canuot recall to me a miinon of our youth who went to untimely graves, nor componsate suffeiiDgs or sorrow of their relatives or .friends. It cannot readjust betweou individuals burdens of taxatiou hitherto borno, or of debt ineurred to suatain the Government, which'are vet to be paid. It cannot apportion anew among our citizons damages or loeses incident to military operations, er reeulting in overy variety of form fromits measurea for maintaining its own existence. It has no eafe general rule but to let bygones be bygones, to turn from the dcad past to tiie uow and better futuro, and on that babis to assuro peace, roconciliation, and fraternity between all sections, classes, and races of our people ; to the ond that all springa of onr productivo industries may bo quickened and new prospority created, in which the evila of the past shall be forsrotten. Verv reaptctfullv vours,


Old News
Michigan Argus