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regulate the counting of the votes for President and Vice-President, and the decision of questions arising thereon," approved Oct. 19, 1888, I have the honor to inform you that the Certificate and List of Votes for President and Vice-President of the United States have not been received from the State of Florida.

Very respectfully yours,

JOHN J. INGALLS

President of the Senate.* DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 29, 1889. Henry L. Bryan, Esq.,

Messenger to the State of Florida. Sir:

Having been informed by the President pro tempore of the Senate of the United States, that the certificates and list of votes for President and Vice-President of the United States have not been received from the State of Florida, it is my duty under the Act of Congress, approved October 19, 1888, entitled “An Act Supplementary to the Act Approved February 3rd Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-Seven entitled 'An Act to fix the Day for the Meeting of the Electors of President and VicePresident and the decision of questions arising thereon’" to send a special messenger to that State to obtain from the Judge of the United States District Court in whose custody it is, by Act of Congress, required to be deposited, the certificate of the vote of that State: I therefore under Section 141 of the Revised Statutes, as amended by the above quoted Act appoint you special messenger for that purpose.

You are, therefore, instructed to proceed immediately, and by the quickest possible route, to such place as the District Judge may be found in whose custody the certificate of votes from the State of Florida has been lodged, and, there exhibiting to him this instruction, you will request that he forthwith transmit that certificate to the seat of Government, offering at the same time your services as a messenger to bring the certificate hither. You will return immediately and by the most speedy route to the seat of Government, reporting without loss of time to me at this Department and delivering the said certificate of votes to the President pro tempore of the Senate of the United States. You will constantly keep this Department advised by telegraph of your movements and where telegraphic despatches can reach you, in order that should any change of plan become necessary you may be informed thereof without delay.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Department of State to be affixed this 29th day of January A. D. 1889.

T. F. BAYARD.5 4 Dept. of State, Misel. Letters. 5 Dept. of State, Domestic Letters.

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The messenger, it should be remarked, reported to the Department of State, but he delivered the electoral vote to the President of the Senate.

The Act of February 3, 1887,9 to fix the day for the meeting of electors of President and Vice-President, gave the Department of State specific and important duties with reference, not to the votes for President and Vice-President, but to the election of electors to choose the President and Vice-President. Section 3 said:

That it shall be the duty of the Executive of each State, as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the appointment of electors in such State, by the final ascertainment under and in pursuance of the laws of such State providing for such ascertainment, to communicate, under the seal of the State, to the Secretary of State of the United States, a certificate of such ascertainment of the electors appointed, setting forth the names of such electors and the canvass or other ascertainment under the laws of such State of the number of votes given or cast for each person for whose appointment any and all votes have been given or cast; and if there shall have been any final determination in a State of a controversy or contest as provided for in section two of this act, it shall be the duty of the Executive of such State, as soon as practicable after such determination, to communicate, under the seal of the State, to the Secretary of State of the United States, a certificate of such determination, in form and manner as the same shall have been made; and the Secretary of State of the United States, as soon as practicable after the receipt at the State Department of each of the certificates hereinbefore directed to be transmitted to the Secretary of State, shall publish, in such public newspaper as he shall designate, such certificates in full; and at the first meeting of Congress thereafter he shall transmit to the two Houses of Congress copies in full of each and every such certificate so received theretofore at the State Department.

Following this requirement the Secretary of State brings the provisions of the Act to the attention of the several Governors of the States soon after the Presidential election by sending to each the following circular letter:

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

WASHINGTON, December 190Sir:

With immediate regard to the election of Presidential and VicePresidential electors just concluded, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of the Act of Congress approved February 3, 1887, relating to the

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duty of the Executives of the several States in certifying to the Secretary of State of the United States the appointment of such electors, and a copy of the Act supplementary thereto, approved October 19, 1888.

Respectfully requesting that I be furnished with four copies of the certificate required by section 3 of the accompanying Act, for the greater convenience of the Department,

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant, His Excellency

The Governor of

The returns having been received are acknowledged:

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON,

190 . Sir:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your certificate of the final ascertainment of the electors for President and Vice-President, appointed for the State of

at the election held on the 3d day of November, 190 , said certificate being under the seal of the State of and dated

190
I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,
His Excellency

The Governor of They are then published in a newspaper in Washington, selected by the Secretary of State:

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON,

190. To the Washington Gentlemen :

In pursuance of the provisions of the Act of Congress approved February 3, 1887, I transmit herewith for publication in your newspaper a certified copy of the final ascertainment of the electors for President and Vice-President, appointed in the State of

, at the election held therein on the 3d day of November, 1908, as certified to me by the Governor thereof.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,
(For the Secretary of State)

Chief Clerk. At the same time copies of the returns are sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, the same form of letter being used in each case:

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON,

190. To the Honorable Joseph G. Cannon,

Speaker of the House of Representatives. Sir:

I have the honor to transmit herewith, in pursuance of the provisions of the Act of Congress approved February 3, 1887, and of the Act supplementary thereto, approved October 19, 1888, an authentic copy of the certificate of the final ascertainment of electors for President and VicePresident, appointed in the State of

at the election held therein on the day of November, 190 as transmitted to me by the Governor of said State.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

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The form of certification of the copies is as follows:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

In accordance with the provisions of the Act of Congress approved February 3, 1887, I certify that the following is a true copy of the certificate of the final ascertainment of the electors for President and VicePresident, appointed in the State of

at the election held therein on the 3d day of November, 1908, as received by me from the Governor of the said State. IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I,. ...

Secretary of State of the United States, have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the

seal of the Department of State to be affixed. DONE AT THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, this.

day of

A. D. 190 and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and thirty-third.

Some of the contingent duties imposed upon the Secretary of State by law with reference to the Presidential office he has never been called upon to exercise. Section 10 of the Act of March 1. 1792, provided :

That whenever the offices of President and Vice-President shall both become vacant, the Secretary of State shall forthwith cause a notification thereof to be made to the Executive of every State, and shall also cause the same to be published in, at least, one of the newspapers printed in each State, specifying that electors of the President of the United States shall be appointed or chosen, in the several States, within thirty-four days preceding the first Wednesday in December, then next ensuing.

But there must be two months interval between the date of the notification and the election.

There has never been a vacancy in the office of President through the death of both the President and Vice-President.

By the Act of January 19, 1886," the succession was vested in case of death, removal, resignation or inability of both President and Vice-President in the members of the cabinet successively, beginning with the Secretary of State, but no Secretary of State has yet been called upon to perform the duties of President.

The Act of 1792 not only provided for the succession to the Presidency, but also for the means by which one elected to that office or to the Vice-Presidency might decline to serve and by which the holder of either office might resign. In the eleventh section it said: 8

That the only evidence of a refusal to accept or of a resignation of, the office of President or Vice-President, shall be an instrument in writing declaring the same, and subscribed by the person refusing to accept, or resigning, as the case may be, and delivered into the office of the Secretary of State.

The Act has only been invoked once — when John C. Calhoun resigned as Vice-President in 1832. He wrote Edward Livingston, the Secretary of State, the following letter (inadvertently giving the initial of his Christian name incorrectly):

COLUMBIA, S. CAROLINA,

28th Decr., 1832. Sir,

Having concluded to accept of a seat in the Senate, to which I have been elected by the Legislature of this State, I herewith resign the office of Vice-President of the United States.

Very respectfully,

Your ob sert

J. C. CALHOUN. Hon. H. Livingston.

The Secretary of State did not acknowledge the receipt of the letter, an omission doubtless due to oversight on his part.

A mere acknowledgment would have exhausted his authority and duty. He

7 24 Stat., 1. 81 Stat., 241. 9 Dept. of State, Miscl. Letters.

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