A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents

James D. Richardson
A Compilation of the Messages
and Papers of the Presidents

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Papers of
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Title: A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents,
Volume IX.
Author: Benjamin Harrison
Release Date: October 5, 2004 [EBook #13617]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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Prefatory Note
This volume comprises the papers of Benjamin Harrison and of Grover
Cleveland (second term). The events of these two Administrations of
eight years, though highly interesting, coming as they do down to
March 4, 1897, are so recent and fresh in the public mind that I need
not comment on them.
This volume is the last of the series, except the Appendix and Index
volume. The work of compiling was begun by me in April, 1895, just
after the expiration of the Fifty-third Congress. I then anticipated that I
could complete the work easily within a year. Though I have given my
entire time to the undertaking when not engaged in my official duties as
a Representative, instead of completing it within the time mentioned it
has occupied me for nearly four years. The labor has been far greater
than the Joint Committee on Printing or I supposed it would be. I had
no idea of the difficulties to overcome in obtaining the Presidential
papers, especially the proclamations and Executive orders. In the
Prefatory Note to Volume I, I said: "I have sought to bring together in
the several volumes of the series all Presidential proclamations,
addresses, messages, and communications to Congress excepting those
nominating persons to office and those which simply transmit treaties,
and reports of heads of Departments which contain no recommendation
from the Executive." But after the appearance of Volume I, and while
preparing the contents of Volume II, I became convinced that I had
made a mistake and that the work to be exhaustive should comprise
every message of the Presidents transmitting reports of heads of
Departments and other communications, no matter how brief or
unintelligible the papers were in themselves, and that to make them
intelligible I should insert editorial footnotes explaining them. Having
acted upon the other idea in making up Volume I and a portion of
Volume II, quite a number of such brief papers were intentionally
omitted. Being convinced that all the papers of the Executives should
be inserted, the plan was modified accordingly, and the endeavor was
thereafter made to publish all of them.
In order, however, that the compilation may be "accurate and

exhaustive," I have gone back and collected all the papers--those which
should have appeared in Volumes I and II, as well as such as were
unintentionally omitted from the succeeding volumes--excepting those
simply making nominations, and shall publish them in an appendix in
the last volume. While this may occasion some little annoyance to the
reader who seeks such papers in chronological order, yet, inasmuch as
they all appear at their proper places in the alphabetical Index, it is not
believed that any serious inconvenience will result.
The editor and compiler has resorted to every possible avenue and has
spared no effort to procure all public Presidential papers from the
beginning of the Government to March 4, 1897. He has looked out for
every reference to the work in the public prints, has endeavored to read
all the criticisms made because of omissions, and has availed himself of
all the papers to which his attention has been called by anyone; has
diligently and earnestly sought for same himself, and has, as stated
above, inserted all omitted papers in the Appendix, so that he feels
warranted in saying that if he has given to the country all he could find
and all any critic or reviewer has been able to find he has done his
whole duty and reasonable complaint can not be made if any paper is
still omitted. In view of the inaccessibility of many of the messages by
reason of their not having been entered on the journals of either House
of Congress, and of the fact that the Government itself does not possess
many of the proclamations and Executive orders, it may be that there
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