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PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS
AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE
FIRST SESSION OF THE FORTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS,
REPORTS OF THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS
SELECTIONS FROM ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS.
BEN: PERLEY POORE.
LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR
Prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Statutes, approved June 23, 1874.
Sec. 75. The Joint Committee on Public Printing shall appoint a competent person, who shall edit such portion of the documents accompanying the annual reports of the Departments as they may deem suitable for popular distribution, and prepare an alphabetical index thereto.
SEC. 196. The head of each Department, except the Department of Justice, shall furnish to the Congressional Printer copies of the documents usually accompanying his annual report on or before the first day of November in cach year, and a copy of his annual report on or before the third Monday of November in each year.
SEC. 3798. Of the documents named in this section there shall be printed and bound, in addition to the usual number for Congress, the following numbers of copies, namely:
Second. Of the President's message, the annual reports of the Executive Departments, and the abridgment of accompanying documents, unless otherwise ordered by either house, ten thousand copies for the use of the miembers of the Senate and twentyfive thousand copies for the use of the members of the House of Representatives.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
To the Senate and
of the United States : An appalling calamity has befallen the American people since their chosen representatives last met in the halls where you are now assem. bled. We might else recall with unalloyed content the rare prosperity with which throughout the year the nation has been blessed. Its har. vests have been plenteous; its varied industries have thriven; the health of its people has been preserved; it has maintained with foreign governments the undisturbed relations of amity and peace. For these manifestations of His favor, we owe to Him who holds our destiny in His hands the tribute of our grateful devotion.
To that mysterious exercise of His will, which has taken from us the loved and illustrious citizen who was but lately the head of the nation, we bow in sorrow and submission.
The memory of his exalted character, of his noble achievements, and of his patriotic life will be treasured forever as a sacred possession of the whole people.
The announcement of his death drew from foreign governments and peoples tributes of sympathy and sorrow which history will record as signal tokens of the kinship of nations and the federation of mankind.
The feeling of good-will between our own government and that of Great Britain was never more marked than at present. In recognition of this pleasing fact, I directed, on the occasion of the late centennial celebration at Yorktown, that a salute be given to the British flag.
Save for the correspondence to which I shall refer hereafter in relation to the proposed canal across the Isthmus of Panama, little has occurred worthy of mention in the diplomatic relations of the two countries.
Early in the year the Fortune Bay claims were satisfactorily settled by the British Government paying in full the sum of £15,000, most of which has been already distributed. As the terms of the settlement included compensation for injuries suffered by our fishermen at Aspee Bay, there has been retained from the gross award a sum which is deemed adequate for those claims.
The participation of Americans in the exhibitions at Melbourne and Sydney will be approvingly mentioned in the reports of the two exhibi