The Department of State of the United States The Department of state of the United States


The Department of State of the United States

United States. Dept. of State


The Department of State OF THE UNITED STATES.





The Department of State.


Secretary of State, WILLLIAM R. DAY, OF OHIO.

Assistant Secretary of State, JOHN B. MOORK, of New York.

Second Assistant Secretary of State, ALVEY A. ADEE, OF New York.

Third Assistant Secretary of State, THOMAS W. CRIDLER, OF West Virginia.

Solicitor, WILLIAM L. PENFIELD, of Indiana.

Chief Clerk, WILLIAM H. MICHAEL, OF Nebraska.

Chief of the Diplomatic Bureau, SYDNEY Y. SMITH, OF the District of Columbia.

Chief of the Consular Bureau, ROBERT S. CHILTON, Jr., of the District of Columbia.

Chief of the Bureau of Indexes and Archives, PENDLETON KING, OF North Carolina.

Chief of the Bureau of Accounts and Disbursing Clerk, FRANK A. BRANAGAN, OF Ohio.

Chief of the Bureau of Foreign Commerce, FREDERIC EMORY, OF Maryland.

Chief of the Bureau of Rolls and Library. ANDREW H. ALLEN, of North Carolina.

Chief of the Bureau of Appointments, ROBERT BRENT MOSHER, of Kentucky.

Translator, HENRY L. THOMAS, OF New York.

Exhibit of the Department of State, Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition at Omaha.

Representative, WILLIAM H. MICHAEL, Chief Clerk.

Chief Special Agent, JOHN M. BIDDLE.





THE STORY OF The Department of State.

When the Continental Congress assembled in Carpenters' Hall at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774, thoughts of independence from Great Britain were in the minds of many of the delegates, but were openly expressed by few. So a loyal address to the King of England was adopted, asking him to recall the unjust measures which were oppressing his subjects in America. Several of the colonies had agents in England to attend to their affairs, and the address was sent to them to present to the King. They were called "Friends to American liberty." These agents were Paul Went worth, Charles Garth, William Ballon, Thomas Life, Edmund Burke, Arthur Lee, and Benjamin Franklin. They were instructed to act for the "United Colonies," but Ballon, Lee, and Franklin were the only three who did so. They were the representatives of a power destined soon afterwards to declare its independence, and their duties were to a certain extent diplomatic.

When the Congress met the next year it was known that the efforts of the American agents in London had failed, and that the colonies had to choose between submission to the King or rebellion against his authority. An important means by which the. rebellion might be successfully prosecuted was provided in the "Committee of Secret Correspondence," selected November 29, 1775, with Benjamin Franklin as its chairman arid guiding spirit, and Benjamin Harrison, of Virginia, John Dickinson, of Pennsylvania, Thomas Johnson, of Maryland, and John Jay, of New York, as its members. This was really   a committee of foreign affairs. It opened correspondence among others with Arthur Lee, instructing him to communicate with the French minister of foreign affairs, Count Vergennes, and ask French aid for the colonies. This was the beginning of the negotiations which resulted three years later in the alliance, offensive and defensive, with France.

But after its first action the Committee of Secret Correspondence ceased to be of importance. Congress preferring to manage the foreign affairs of the country by itself, and on April 17, 1777, the title of the committee was changed, and it became the "Committee for Foreign Affairs." The first members were Benjamin Harrison, of Virginia, Robert Morris, of Pennsylvania, Thomas Hay ward, jr., of North Carolina, and James Lovell, of Massachusetts, but the personnel of the committee underwent constant change. The first secretary of the committee was Thomas Paine, who received a salary of $70 a month. He was dismissed in January, 1779, because he made an official matter public. The chief function of the committee was to furnish the agents of the Government abroad with accounts of the progress of events in America. Beyond that it simply executed the orders of Congress and had little real power over our foreign affairs. The only member who remained continuously on the committee was Lovell. He was a Boston school-teacher; was imprisoned by the British after the battle of Bunker Hill; was exchanged later and elected a Member of Congress in December, 1776, serving till 1782. He is represented as having been a man of learning and ability, but of such eccentricities of manner and temper as to lead at times to doubts of his sanity. During the period of the intrigues of the Conway cabal against General Washington, Lovell espoused the cause of General Gates.

The committee became so unimportant a body that after a time it almost ceased to exist. "There is really," wrote Lovell to Arthur Lee, August 6, 1779, "No such thing as a Committee of Foreign Affairs existing — no secretary or clerk further than I persevere to be one and the other. The books and the papers of that extinguished body lay yet on the table of Congress, or rather are locked up in the Secretary's private box."


The necessity for some channel through which to conduct foreign affairs resulted finally in "a plan for the Department of Foreign Affairs," reported to Congress in January, 1781. The opening paragraph of the plan stated:

That the extent and rising power of these United States entitles them to a place among the great potentates of Europe, while our political and commercial interests point out the propriety of cultivating with them a friendly correspondence and connection.

It was not until August 10 that the Department was organized, and Robert R. Livingston, of New York, was elected the Secretary. He had been a member of the old committee for a short time in 1779. He continued to act as Secretary for Foreign Affairs until June 4, 1783. Dr. Francis Wharton estimates his character and services in the Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution. "Livingston," he says, "though a much younger man than Franklin, possessed, in his dispassionateness and his many-sidedness, not a few of Franklin's characteristics. From his prior administrative experience as royalist recorder of New York he had at least some acquaintance with practical government in America; his thorough studies as scholar and jurist gave him a knowledge of administrative politics in other spheres. * * * He did more than anyone in the home government in shaping its foreign policy."

Although Livingston's Department was under constant instructions from Congress and was permitted to take no independent action, its duties were, nevertheless, highly important, as it was the medium for all correspondence with our agents abroad. The method of correspondence was perilous and laborious. At least four and sometimes seven copies of every letter were sent, to lessen the chances of loss from capture, and on each packet was written the warning, "to be sunk in case of danger from the enemy." Ciphers were freely used and some of the letters were in invisible ink. Nevertheless, a large portion of the correspondence went to the British Foreign Office, where the ciphers were probably understood.

Previous to his departure from Congress Livingston submitted a report, showing all the officers serving under him and their   salaries. The "Secretary to the United States for Foreign Affairs" received $4,000 per annum. Benjamin Franklin, "Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at the Court of Versailles, and Minister Plenipotentiary for negotiating a peace;" John Adams, "Minister Plenipotentiary at the Hague and for negotiating a peace;" John Jay, "Minister Plenipotentiary at Madrid and for negotiating a peace;" Henry Laurens, "Minister Plenipotentiary for negotiating a peace, "and Thomas Jefferson, with the same rank, each received a salary of $11, 111 per annum. William Carmichael, "Secretary to the Embassy at the Court of Madrid," and Francis Dana, Minister at St. Petersburg, each received $4,444.40 per annum. Charles W. F. Dumas, "Agent of the United States at the Hague," received $920; William Temple Franklin, "Secretary to the Hon. Benjamin Franklin," $1,300; Lewis R. Morris, "First Under Secretary in the Office of Foreign Affairs," $800; Peter L. Du Ponceau, "Second Under Secretary in the Office of Foreign Affairs," $700; John P. Tetend, "Clerk and Interpreter of the French Language," $500; Walter Stone, "Clerk," $500. The total cost of the entire service at home and abroad was $73,244.

Livingston left the business of the Department in the hands of the under secretary, Lewis R. Morris; but Morris was without authority to act, and severed his connection with the Department soon afterwards, his place being taken by Henry Remsen, jr. As a matter of fact, however, the Department of Foreign Affairs practically ceased to exist, and Congress managed the foreign relations of the country directly, committees being appointed as occasion arose, to consider specific questions.

John Jay, of New York, was one of the commissioners who, in 1783, negotiated at Paris the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain. He sailed for home in the summer of 1784, and before his arrival was elected Secretary of Foreign Affairs on motion of Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts. He took the oath of office and entered on his duties September 21, 1784, and the functions of the Department were revived, but they were illdefined and limited, and the Secretary was constantly complaining of the unsatisfactory nature of his authority.


On August 14, 1788, a committee of Congress reported upon the condition in which the Department then was. It occupied two rooms, one the Secretary's, the other that of his deputy and clerks. The daily transactions were entered in a minute book and subsequently copied into a journal. The letters to ministers and others abroad were entered in a book called the "Book of Foreign lyctters," such parts as required secrecy being in cipher. The domestic correspondence was entered in the "American Letter Book." The "Book of Reports" contained the Secretary's reports to Congress. There was also a book in which were recorded the passports issued to vessels, and one of "Foreign Commissions, "beside a "Book of Accounts, "and one containing acts of Congress relative to the Department. The papers of the old Committee of Foreign Affairs and all the correspondence of our ministers abroad were properly cared for. The office was open for business constantly from 9 o'clock in the morning till 6 at night, and either the deputy or a clerk remained in the oflSce while the others were at dinner. The committee concluded their report by saying: "And upon the whole they find neatness, method, and perspicacity throughout the Department."

On September 16, 1788, was taken the last act relative to foreign affairs by the expiring Congress, when it —

Resolved, That no futher progress be made in the negotiations with Spain by the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, but that the subject to which they relate be referred to the Federal Government which is to assemble in March next.

One month later the Congress was dead, not a sufficient number of members attending to form a quorum.

The only two Secretaries of Foreign Affairs before the Constitution went into effect were Livingston and Jay. Both showed conspicuous ability, and it is doubtful if men better equipped for the office they held could have been found in America. The diplomacy of the Revolution was, on the whole, splendidly successful, but this was due chiefly to the energy and genius of the American diplomatists, for the machinery which they were, obliged to use was weak and inadequate for its purpose. In no branch of governmental affairs was the necessity for a   stronger government and closer union of the States more crying than in our foreign relations, and this was more evident after the peace than it was while the States clung together in the common danger of war. "When our ministers and agents in Europe" says John Fiske, "raised the question as to making commercial treaties, they were disdainfully asked whether European powers were expected to deal with thirteen governments or with one. If it was answered that the United States constituted a single government so far as their relations with foreign powers were concerned, then we were forthwith twitted with our failure to keep our engagements with England with regard to the loyalists and the collection of private debts. "Yes, we see," said the European diplomats; "the United States are one nation to-day and thirteen to-morrow, according as may seem to subserve their selfish interests." Jefferson, at Paris, was told again and again that it was useless for the French Government to enter into any agreement with the United States, as there was no certainity that it would be fulfilled on our part, and the same things were said all over Europe."


The new Government under the Constitution assembled in New York early in April, 1789. After Washington had been elected President and John Adams Vice-President, the business of providing executive departments was taken up, and the first one considered was a department for foreign affairs. The bill introduced in the House of Representatives, June 2, provided for such a department, completely separated from the conduct of domestic affairs. One clause in the bill provided that the Secretary for Foreign Affairs should be "removable from office by the President of the United States," and this gave rise to an important debate covering the whole question of removals from public office. Several members contended that, as the Senate under the Constitution participated in appointments, it should also participate in removals; but this, as Boudinot, of New Jersey, pointed out, would permit the Senate to sit as judges, to determine whether sufficient cause of removal existed, and   would put the Senate over the President in a question between him and his subordinate agent. Madison shared this view, but contended, in the course of the debate, that should the President remove his secretary for an improper cause he might be subject to impeachment.

The bill, containing an expression of the right of removal, passed the Houe June 27 by a vote of 29 to 22. A few unimportant amendments, to which the House subsequently agreed, were made in the Senate, and the bill became a law July 27, 1789. Its title was "An Act for establishing an Executive Department, to be denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs. "It comprised four sections. The first defined the duties of the Department to be correspondence with and instructions to diplomatic and consular agents abroad and negotiations with the agents of foreign nations in the United States, I'or to such other matters respecting foreign affairs as the President of the United States shall assign to the said department." The second section provided for the appointment by the Secretary of a chief clerk, who should have charge of the records, books, and papers of the Department during a vacancy in the office of the Secretary, by removal by the President or other cause. The third section required that each person employed in the Department should take an oath or affirmation "well and faithfully to execute the trust committed to him." The fourth section provided that the Secretary should have custody of all the papers which had been in the old office of foreign affairs.

John Jay, being in charge of the old Department of Foreign Affairs, was continued, without a new appointment, temporarily in charge of the new Department, but this Department was destined to enjoy but a brief existence. Before the final passage of the act creating it, Vining, of Delaware, proposed in the House the establishment of a Home Department, to have the custody of the Great Seal, correspond with the several States, report to the President "plans for the protection and improvement of manufactures, agriculture, and commerce," issue patents, etc., but this proposition met with little favor, and on July 31, four days after the bill establishing the Department of Foreign   Affairs had been signed, Theodore Sedgwick, of Connecticut, introduced a bill "to provide for the safe-keeping of the acts, records, and Great Seal of the United States; for the publication, preservation, and authentication of the acts of Congress," etc. The House passed it August 27; it was concurred in with a few verbal amendments by the Senate September 7, agreed to by the House the next day, and signed by the President September 15.

The first section of this act provides that the "Executive department, denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs, shall hereafter be denominated the Department of State, and the principal officer shall hereafter be called the Secretary of State." The Secretary was required to receive and publish the laws of the United States; to be the custodian of the seal of the United States; to authenticate copies of records and papers, and to receive all the records and papers in the office of the late Secretary of Congress, except such as related to the Treasury and War Departments.

The scope of the Department was thus materially enlarged, and it became the most important of the Government offices under the President. The governors of the States had been informed by the President July 5 of the creation of the Department of Foreign Affairs. They were informed September 2 1 of its expansion into the Department of State. A few days later Jay was nominated to be Chief Justice of the United States and Thomas Jefferson to be Secretary of State, both being commissioned September 26. Jefferson was still on his mission to France, and on October 13 Washington wrote to him informing him of his appointment, and added that "Mr. Jay had been so obliging as to continue his good offices." Jefferson arrived in this country in December, and Jay wrote to him under date of December 12, congratulating him on his appointment, and favorably recommending to him "the young gentlemen in the office. "The final acceptance of office by Jefferson was not made until February 14, 1790, when he wrote to Washington from Monticello, saying that he would shortly set out for New York to assume his new duties. Upon his arrival in   New York the Department was formally turned over to him and fairly started upon its career. The first Secretary of State had enjoyed important diplomatic experience as Minister to France; he had had executive experience as governor of Virginia during the Revolution; he had gained legislative experience in 1776 when he sat in Congress and wrote the Declaration of Independence.


When the Department of State was started the compensation of the Secretary was fixed by law at $3,500 per annum; that of the chief clerk at $800; that of the other clerks at not more than $500. Roger Alden, the chief clerk, had been deputy secretary, under Charles Thomson, to the old Congress. He served as chief clerk until he resigned, July 25, 1790, to enter into more lucrative employment. His place was filled by the promotion of Henry Remsen, jr., who had maintained a connection with the Government's foreign office from March, 1784, when he was Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs. In 1792 he was appointed first teller of the United States Bank, and George Taylor, jr., who had been a clerk in the Department for seven years, took his place.

From the very beginning the Department of State was more closely connected with the President than any other Executive Department was. Washington not only referred to it all official letters bearing upon its business, but made it the repository of the drafts of most of his letters. The volume of business of the Government rendered it possible at that period for the President to attend personally to matters which are now rarely, if ever, brought to his attention. It was Jefferson's custom to consult his chief frequently. He sent him the rough drafts of his letters for approval or correction, and carried to him all communications of consequence. The foreign ministers to the United States were not permitted to correspond directly with the President, but were required to address the Secretary of State. This rule had been laid down before Jefferson's appointment, when Washington declined direct correspondence with   Moustier, the French minister, and Moustier's successor, the notorious Genet, received a forcible reminder of it in 1793.

The Department was also the medium of correspondence between the President and the governors of the several States.

A number of the duties which fell to the Department soon after its organization have since passed out of its jurisdiction. Under the law of April 10, 1790, it had charge of the patent business. The patents were granted by a board composed of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the AttorneyGeneral, and the patent issued to Samuel Hopkins July 31, 1790, which was the first one granted, was signed by the President, Jefferson, and Edmund Randolph, the Attorney- General. Three patents were issued that year. In 1793 another act relative to patents was passed, abolishing the board and placing the Secretary of State alone at the head of the Patent Office. In 18 10 the Patent Office was given quarters apart from the rest of the Department of State, but it still remained under that Department. In 1849, when the Department of the Interior was formed, the Patent Office became a part of it, but it had been practically independent of the Department of State for some years. When the business was inaugurated Henry Remsen immediately assumed charge, but he had no official title designating the fact. In 1802 he was succeeded by Dr. William Thornton, who took the title of "Superintendent of Patents, " in 1821. He died in 1828, and was succeeded by Thomas P. Jones, who in turn gave place to Dr. John D. Craig in 1830. It was not until 1830 that the title of Superintendent received statutory sanction.

A law passed May 31, 1790, made the Department of State the repository for maps, charts, and books for which copyright might be granted by the United States district courts. It does not appear, however, that the Secretary of State ever had the power of granting copyrights. In 1859 all of the records, books, etc. , were by law turned over to the Department of the Interior, from which they passed later to the Library of Congress, where the business is now conducted.

Another of the earlier functions of the Department was the superintendence of the census enumeration. The first one was   taken in 1790 by the United States marshals, beginning on the first Monday in August and closing within nine months. The returns were filed with the clerks of the Federal district courts, and the aggregate results sent to the President, who transmitted them to Congress, when they were printed under the supervision of the Secretary of State. In taking the census of 1800 the returns were, under the law, sent direct to the Secretary of State, and the instructions for the marshals were prepared by him. In 1850 the business was transferred by the act of May 23 to the Department of the Interior.

The schedule used in 1790 contained but six heads: "Names of heads of families," "Free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of families, " "Free white males under 16 years, "Free white females, including heads of families," "All other free persons," and "Slaves." This was expanded in 1800 to 14 heads, making a more minute enumeration by ages, and in 1810 a manufacturing schedule was added. Thereafter the scope increased, but not until 1850 did it assume proportions similar to those it now has.

The affairs of the Territories were under the Department of State until the organization of the Department of the Interior. When the Constitution was formed the territory northwest of the Ohio was the only one. Its government, which had been organized under the Articles of Confederation, was continued by the act of August 7, 1789. The communications from the governor intended for Congress were transmitted through the President, and the correspondence between the President and governor was conducted through the Department of State. The law of 1792 required the Secretary of State to have the laws of the Territory printed and to provide seals for the officers. As the Territory came to be subdivided into several separate governments the labors of the Department increased, but their nature did not materially change.

At various times there have fallen to the Department numerous other dolnestic functions of a temporary character. Of these only one or two need be mentioned. The Biennial Register, or "Blue Book," containing a complete list of all persons em-   ployed by the United States Government, was required by Congressional resolution of April 26, 18 16, to be prepared and distributed by the Department of State, and was issued upon this plan until 1861, when it was transferred by law to the Department of the Interior. After the civil war the pardons under the President's amnesty proclamations to participants in the rebellion were issued through the Department of State, where all the records were kept. The Secretary of State also, conjointly with the Attorney- General, passed upon the petitions for pardon of criminals convicted by the Federal courts up to 1850, when the business passed into the hands of the AttorneyGeneral. The power of granting the pardons has, however, always vested in the President alone. The warrants for the pardons were issued by the Department of State continuously up to 1893, when this labor was transferred to the Department of Justice by an Executive order. After 1850 the functions of the Department of State were purely clerical, the warrants being issued simply upon request of the Attorney -General.

We may now consider the development of the machinery for transacting the business which still belongs to the Department.


The salary of the Secretary of State was, as we have seen, fixed in the beginning at $3,500 per annum. It was raised to $5,000 by act of March 2, 1799; to $6,000 by act of February 20, 1819; to $8,000 by act of March 3, 1853; to $10,000 by act of March 3, 1873, and reduced to $8,000, the present rate, by act of January 20, 1874. Under the law creating the Department the chief clerk assumed charge of it, whenever there was an interregnum in the office of the Secretary of State, until the President designated some one to fill the office, but in 1853 an Assistant Secretary of State was provided for by law, with power to act as Secretary during the latter' s absence or during an interregnum. The salary of the Assistant Secretary was fixed at $3,000 per annum. A Second Assistant Secretary'was provided for in 1866 at $3,500 per annum, the Assistant Secretary's salary being raised to the same amount. Subsequently the annual   salary of the latter was increased to $4,500 per annum, and in 1875 the office of Third Assistant Secretary of State was added with the same salary as the Second Assistant Secretary. The salary of the chief clerk, which was in the beginning $800 per annum, was soon afterwards increased to $2,000; then to $2,200; then to $2,400; then to $2,500; then to $2,750; then reduced to the present rate, $2,500.

The clerks in the Department were at first each paid $500 a year, but a law passed in 1799 permitted the Secretary of State to vary their compensation according to their services, the whole expenditure not to exceed $5,950 a year. In 1829, the annual report of Henry Clay, Secretary of State, showed that there were employed, below the rank of chief clerk, three clerks at $1,600 each, five at $1 ,400 each, three at $1 ,000 each, two at $800 each; in the Patent Office, a Superintendent at $1,500, one clerk at $1,000, and one at $800. One of the clerks at $1,000 received an additional sum of $250 a year as translator. The total amount paid for salaries increased steadily as the work of the Department expanded, and for the past ten years has averaged a little more than $100,000 per annum. In 1855 the clerks in the Department were classified, the permanent force being three clerks of Class I ($1,200), two of Class II ($1,400), eight of Class III ($1,600), eight of Class IV ($1,800), one chief clerk, one of the clerks of Class IV to act as disbursing officer and give bonds, and receive an additional salary, bringing his compensation up to $2,000 a year.

In 1848 was created the office of examiner of claims, filled by a clerk at $2,000 a year, whose duties were to examine claims of our citizens against foreign Governments and of foreigners against our Government. In 1866 the office was regularly recognized by law, and the salary was fixed at $3,500. When the Department of Justice was formed in 1870 the office passed under its jurisdiction, but the duties of the incumbent remained, as they are now, a part of the functions of the Department of State. In 1891 the title was changed to "Solicitor of the Department of State."

In the progress of the business of the Department, as the   clerks have demonstrated especial fitness for particular branches of it, they have received appropriate assignments, and to the obvious necessity of dividing the labors is due the formation of the divisions and bureaus. In a circular dated October 31, 1834, John Forsyth, Secretary of State, prescribed the distribution of the duties in the Department. The chief clerk's duties, he said, were such as pertained to an under secretary. He was to exercise an immediate superintendence over the several bureaus, and report to the Secretary all acts of negligence or misconduct. The Diplomatic Bureau was to have charge of all correspondence between the Department and our diplomatic agents abroad and foreign diplomatic agents in the United States; was to prepare treaties, etc. The duties did not vary materially from those now pertaining to it. It was, however, to keep indexes of its correspondence, a function now performed by a separate bureau. Three clerks were in charge of the Bureau. The Consular Bureau had charge, similarly, of all consular correspondence, the business also being performed by three clerks.

The Home Bureau was divided into four divisions, one clerk being in charge of each. One division had control of the returns of passengers from foreign ports and registered seamen, miscellaneous and domestic correspondence, treaties and presents which were permitted to be exhibited. To another was given the custody of the seal of the United States and the seal of the Department, the applications for office, the commissions and appointments. A third had the Presidential pardons, passports, and all correspondence relative to them. The fourth had in charge the filing and preserving of copyrights and the reports to the President and Congress. The Keeper of the Archives had charge of all archives other than diplomatic and consular, of the laws and their distribution, and of the publications of the Department. The Translator and Librarian performed all the translations and cared for the books, etc. The Disbursing Agent made all the purchases and disbursements, and was also superintendent of the building. All the business was confidential. The clerks were required to finally act upon and dis-   pose of all matters sent to them on the day of their receipt. The hours of business were from 10 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, during which time no one was permitted to be absent except with special permission. The clerks in the Patent Office were under a separate arrangement.

In 1842, when Daniel Webster was Secretary of State, was originated the "Statistical Office." He recommended, in a report to Congress, that the arranging and condensing of information on commercial subjects received from our consuls abroad be intrusted to one person, who should also have charge of the correspondence. No action was taken on the subject by Congress until 1856, when the "Statistical Office of the Department of State" was authorized, under the charge of a "Superintendent," with a salary of $2,000. In 1874 the title was changed to "Bureau of Statistics," with a chief receiving $2,400 a year. Secretary Sherman, acting under authority of a law passed that year, changed the name by an order dated July i, 1897, to the Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

In 1870 there was instituted the Bureau of Indexes and Archives, to index all incoming and outgoing mail which had before been indexed by the several bureaus, and to have charge of the archives, diplomatic, consular, and domestic, thus taking the duties which had before belonged to the keeper of the archives. The salary of the chief was fixed at $2,400 a year in 1873.

The financial business of the Department, previously intrusted to one of the clerks, was put by the act of 1855 in the hands of a disbursing clerk who was ordered to give bonds. A Bureau of Accounts, with the disbursing clerk as chief, was formed in 1873. The salary was the same as that of other chiefs of bureau.

The librarian and translator was paid, under the act of 1836, $1,600 a year. The two offices were subsequently separated, each being filled by a clerk. The separate bureau of rolls and library was created in 1874, the laws, treaties, and historical papers being in its custody, as well as the books, periodicals, and maps. The chief received $2,400 per annum.


The translator was put upon the same footing as to salary in 1875.

The Diplomatic and Consular Bureaus continued practically as organized by Secretary Forsyth, but each bureau was for several years divided, there being a First Diplomatic Bureau and a Second Diplomatic Bureau, and a First Consular Bureau and a Second Consular Bureau, each having a separate chief. They were restored to their original position in 1874, with the salary of $2,400 for the respective chiefs.

The passport business of the Department, which had been under Forsyth's arrangement a division of the Home Bureau, was afterwards separated and made a distinct bureau, with one of the clerks in charge of it. In 1894 it was placed under the bureau of accounts, but as a division with the passport clerk at its head. To this division also was assigned the custody of the seal of the Department and the authentication of documents.

The applications for office, custody of the seal of the United States, preparation of commissions and appointments, also formerly a part of the duties of the Home Bureau, were put under the Bureau of Commissions and Pardons, and after the pardons ceased to be made out in. the Department this was simply the Bureau of Commissions. Its name was subsequently changed to appointment division, with the appointment clerk in charge of it, by Secretary Olney.


The law creating the Department of State prescribed that the Secretary should keep the seal of the United States, and he thus became the custodian of the most important official evidence of federal executive authority. The law reads that the Secretary of State —

shall affix the said seal to all civil commissions to officers of the United States, to be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, or by the President alone: Provided^ That the said seal shall not be affixed to any commission before the same shall have been signed by the President of the United States, nor to any other instrument or act, without the special warrant of the President therefor.

The seal thus, as the Supreme Court has expressed it, "attests,   by an act supposed to be of public notoriety, the verity of the presidential signature."

The device of the seal was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1782, and is as follows:

The device for an armorial achievement and reverse of the great seal for the United States in Congress assembled, is as follows:

Arms. — Paleways of thirteen pieces, argent and gules; a chief, azure; the escutcheon . on the breast of the American eagle displayed proper, holding in his dexter talon an olive branch, and in his sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this motto, " E pluribus Unum."

For the CREST. Over the head of the Eagle, which appears above the escutcheon, a glory, or, breaking through a cloud, proper, and surrounding thirteen stars, forming a constellation, argent, on an azure field.

Reverse. — A pyramid unfinished.

In the zenith, an eye in a triangle, surrounded with a glory proper. Over the eye these words, "Annuit carptis." On the base of the pyramid the numerical letters MDCCLXXVI. And underneath the following motto, "Novus Ordo Seclorum."


The Escutcheon is composed of the chief and pale, the two most honourable ordinaries. The pieces, paly, represent the several States all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which unites the whole and represents Congress. The Motto alludes to this union. The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief and the chief depends on that Union and the strength resulting from it for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States of America and the preservation of their Union through Congress. The colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence; Red, hardiness and valour, and Blue, the colour of the chief signifies vigilance perseverance & justice. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace and war which is exclusively vested in Congress. The Constellation denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters, to denote that the United States ought to rely on their own Virtue.

Reverse. — The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration. The Eye over it and the motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American AEra, which commences from that date.

Passed June 20, 1782.


The above is a correct, and the only correct, description of the coat of arms of the United States. When an American shield appears with the stripes alternately red (gules) and white (argent), instead of alternately white and red; when the stripes are more or less than thirteen; when there are stars in the top (chief) of the shield; when the eagle grasps in his left (sinister) talon more or less than thirteen arrows; when above the eagle's head there are more or less than thirteen stars — whenever any of these and other common errors appear, the American arms are not correctly reproduced.

The reverse of the seal has never been cut or used officially.

At the present time the seal of the United States is affixed to the commissions of all Cabinet officers and diplomatic and consular officers appointed by the President; to all ceremonious communications from the President to the heads of foreign Governments; to all treaties, conventions, and formal agreements of the President with foreign powers; to all exequaturs to foreign consular officers in the United States who are appointed by the heads of the Governments which they represent; to warrants by the President to receive persons surrendered by foreign Governments under extradition treaties; and to all miscellaneous commissions of civil officers appointed by the President, whose appointments are not now especially directed by law to be signed under a different seal.

The recording of commissions has continued under practically the same plan since 1789. The commission is made out in the Department and sent to the President. Upon being returned with his signature, it is countersigned by the Secretary of State and the seal is affixed. It is then recorded and delivered to the person for whom it is intended.

Presidential warrants of extradition, as we have seen, bear the seal of the United States, and this brings us to one of the most important and interesting of the legal functions of the Department of State. Extradition, as Prof. John B. Moore defines it, is "the act by which one nation delivers up an individual accused or convicted of an offense outside of its own territory to another nation which demands him." In the earlier days of the Republic this function was not infrequently disharged by   the governors of the individual States, in some cases with the approval of the Federal Secretary of State, and in other cases without consulting him. Some of our States have even gone so far as to enact statutes conferring on their chief executives the power to deliver up fugitives from justice to foreign nations. But with the development and clearer comprehension of the powers of the National Government the States have ceased to deal with the subject, and it is now generally admitted to belong exclusively to the General Government. There is an exception to this rule in the case of Mexico. The United States has, by treaty with that Government, agreed that applications for extradition may be made and granted by State governments for offenses committed in the frontier territory of this country and Mexico. This does not, however, preclude the exercise of supreme control in the matter by the National Government of either country.

The first treaty of this country providing for mutual surrender of criminals was that of 1794 with Great Britain. Murder and forgery were the only crimes included in it, and it expired in twelve years. A new treaty was concluded with Great Britain in 1842, and since then treaties have been entered into with many powers, and the practice of extradition has become general.

Probably the most important routine duties of the Department of State are those connected with the diplomatic and consular service. The Department of Foreign Affairs was formed with the chief purpose of taking under its charge these functions of government, and the methods of administration have not changed materially since the early days of the Republic. Making allowances for increased facilities of communication between the home office and its agents abroad, a study of the system followed now will indicate, in a general way, what it has always been.

The general rules and practices that govern our diplomatic and consular corps are found in the various works on international law, and these cover even minute matters of form and routine; but there has gradually grown up an American construction of international law. What this construction is may be found in the volumes known as Foreign Relations, which have   been regularly issued by the Government since 1870, and which were issued before that, from 1861 to 1868, under the title Diplomatic Correspondence. Previous to 186 1 the foreign correspondence is scattered in the various separate reports to Congress. In these volumes the instructions of the Secretary of State to our ministers abroad, and their dispatches, and the notes exchanged between the Secretary of State and foreign ministers accredited to this country are given in part.

In 1877 under the supervision of John L. Cadwalader, Assistant Secretary of State, the Department issued a small volume entitled Digest of the Published Opinions of the AttorneyGeneral and of the Leading Decisions of the Federal Courts, with reference to International Law, Treaties, and Kindred Subjects. This was followed in 1886 by the most important work on American international law that has ever been printed. It is entitled A Digest of the International Law of the United States, taken from Documents issued by Presidents and Secretaries of State, and from Decision^ of Federal Courts and Opinions of Attorneys- General, and was published by the Government, under Congressional authority. The compiler and editor was the eminent scholar and publicist, the late Francis Wharton, LL.D.jWho held the office of Solicitor of the Department of State while he prepared the work. A second edition is now in press, under the editorship of John B. Moore, professor of international law in Columbia College, New York.

The particular rules for the government of consular officers are found in the volume known as Consular Regulations, the first edition of which appeared in 1855, when William L. Marcy was Secretary of State, under the title General Instructions to the Consuls and Commercial Agents of the United States. This publication followed the act of March i, 1855, remodeling the consular and diplomatic service. In 1857 another edition was printed entitled Regulations prescribed by the President for Consular Officers of the United States. The first volume entitled Consular Regulations was issued in 1874 undersecretary Hamilton Fish. There have been successive editions since then, the last appearing in 1896.


The law creating the Department ordered that all bills, orders, resolutions, etc., passed by Congress and approved by the President, or passed over his veto, should be sent to the Secretary of State, by whom they were to be printed and the originals recorded and preserved. They were printed, under varying regulations, in newspapers until 1874, but this did not interfere with their publication also in pamphlet from. In 1795 a complete edition was printed and distributed by the Secretary of State, and this mode continued year after year. In 18 14, Bioren, Duane & Weightman were authorized to publish an edition of the laws in four volumes, under the supervision of the Secretary of the State and Attorney-General. This did not, however, supersede the regular department publication. In 1842 the edition printed by Little, Brown & Co. was recognized by law as authority and the department pamphlet was discontinued. In 1864 it was revived and the payments to Little, Brown & Co. ceased. They were restored in 1866 and the contract with them was not finally terminated until 1874. Since then the publication of the laws has rested wholly with the Secretary of State. In that year, also, the Revised Statutes of the United States was provided for. The Secretary of State was also required to sell the Revised Statutes, and laws of each session "at the cost of the paper, presswork, and binding, with 10 per cent thereof added thereto, to any person applying for the same," but in the present year this business passed by law to the Superintendent of Documents.

In the custody of the Bureau of Rolls and Library are deposited, among other important papers, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States. A facsimile of the Declaration of Independence was made in 1824. On January 2 of that year was read in the House of Representatives a letter from John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, stating that the facsimile had been made by his direction and 200 copies struck off. Later a joint resolution was passed providing for their distribution to various public institutions and to each of the surviving signers of the original. These were Thomas Jefferson,   John Adams, and Charles Carroll of CarroUton. The engraver who made the copy was William I. Stone, of Washington. Facsimiles have been struck off since and are now quite common. They do not, however, closely resemble the original document as it appears at the present day, as within the past ten years the ink has rapidly faded and the names of many of the signers have become almost illegible.

The granting of passports to American citizens for their protection in traveling abroad was a function which fell to the Government under the general provisions of international law as soon as there was competent authority for the purpose.

The treaty of 1778 with France, which was the first made by the United States, provided for a form of passport to be given by the two Governments to their respective vessels, but until 1856 there was no law restricting the granting of passports to Federal authority. April 30, 1790, an act was approved providing for the imprisonment and fine of any person violating a safe-conduct or passport "duly obtained and issued under the authority of the United States," or for striking, wounding, etc., an ambassador or other public minister. But from its wording it is evident that the act had in view passports issued for use in this country to the representatives of foreign powers near the Government of the United States.

In the absence of any statute, the issuing of passports to Americans going abroad fell to the Department of State, as one of its manifestly proper functions. Nevertheless, as they had doubtless been issued before the adoption of the Constitution by State or municipal authorities, they continued to be so issued without statutory prohibition until the enactment of the law of 1856. This provided that the Secretary of State be authorized to grant and issue passports, and cause them to be granted and verified in foreign countries by diplomatic and consular officers of the United States under such rules as the President might prescribe. No one else was to issue passports, and they must be issued to none but citizens of the United States. There was to be no charge, except in foreign countries, where the fee was to be $1. Any person not authorized to do   so who granted a passport should, upon conviction of the offense, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and fined and imprisoned. All returns of passports issued abroad were to be made to the Secretary of State.

Such returns had, however, been made from the beginning; but it is probable that they were not made regularly or by all our agents abroad who granted passports. The early passports were not essentially different in form from those now used, but frequently a simple certificate of citizenship was made to do duty for a regular passport.

The act of July i, 1863, was the first one establishing a passport fee, which was fixed at $3. This was increased to $5 by act of June 20, 1864. The administering of the oath was done by a regularly qualified person having authority to administer oaths for general purposes, but the act of February 3, 1870, authorized the passport clerk in the Department to administer oaths and affirmations on applications for passports free of charge. These oaths and affirmations are deemed to be made under the pains and penalties of perjury. The passport fee was abolished by act of July 14, 1870, restored by that of June 20, 1874, and reduced by act of March 23, 1888, to $1, the present rate.

The system, as it has been followed by the Department under the law, has been reduced to three classes of passports: The ordinary passport, the special passport, and that given to diplomatic representatives of foreign governments in their transit through the territory of the United States.



The first meeting place of the Congress, where the plan for the conduct of our foreign affairs was first taken into consideration, was Carpenters' Hall, a building which had been constructed for the Society of House Carpenters, of Philadelphia. It stands at the end of an alley, south from Chestnut street, between Third and Fourth streets. The lower floor, consisting of one large room, was occupied by the Congress, and the rooms in the   second story by committees. From Carpenters' Hall the Government went to what has ever since been known as Independence Hall.

As soon as the Department of Foreign Affairs was organized under Livingston, it took possession of a small house in Philadelphia, owned by Peter L. Du Ponceau, No. 13 South Sixth street, on the eastern side. Livingston's office was in the front room of the second floor, and in the back room were the under Secretaries, while the clerks and interpreters occupied the room on the ground floor. This building was demolished in 1846. It was occupied as the Office of Foreign Affairs from the latter part of 1 78 1 up to June, 1783, when the Department was practically suspended until Jay took control of it in 1785.

In January, 1785, the seat of government being moved to New York, the Department of Foreign Affairs found quarters in the famous Fraunce's Tavern, in the long room of which Washington had taken farewell of the generals of the Revolution at the close of the war. Here it remained till 1788, when it moved to the west side of Broadway, in a house owned by Philip Livingston, near the Battery. Later it was moved to another house on the same street on the opposite side.

The capital having been again located at Philadelphia, the Department took up its abode first on Market street, then on the southeast corner of Arch and Sixth streets, then in North alley, and finally at the northeast corner of Fifth and Chestnut streets, where it remained until it was moved to Washington, except for an interval of three months, from August to November, 1798, when it occupied the Statehouse at Trenton, N. J., the office being moved from Philadelphia on account of an epidemic of yellow fever.

On June 1, 1800, the archives were lodged in the Treasury, the only building vSufficiently completed to receive them, and, August 27, were placed in one of the "six buildings" on Pennsylvania avenue and Twentieth street. In May, 1801, the offices were placed in the large brick building on Seventeenth street, opposite G street, know^n as the War Office, and here they remained up to December, 18 19, with an interval from Septem-   ber, 18 14, to April, 18 16, when they occupied a building on the south side of G street, near Eighteenth, pending the repair of the former building, which had been demolished in the invasion of the city by the British troops.

In January, 1820, the offices were moved to the comer of Fifteenth street and Pennsylvania avenue, the site now covered by the north wing of the United States Treasury, and there the Department remained up to October, 1866, when it leased the premises then belonging, as now, to the Washington Orphan Asylum, on Fourteenth street, near S street. It remained there until July, 1875, when it was removed to its present quarters, which constitute the south wing of the State, War, and Navy building.


What has been written here is a mere outline sketch of the development of the Department of State, and deals only with the machinery and not with the results of the operation of the machinery. These results are a part of the history of the advancement in power and prestige of the United States. The mission of the Department is one of peace. Its diplomatic agents uphold the honor and dignity of the nation in the family of nations by peaceful means. Its consular officers are the agents of trade and commerce, which prosper most in times of peace. Back of the peaceful objects of the Government managed by the Department of State lies the power of enforcing their acceptance upon foreign powers through other Departments of the Government. The supreme head of the Department of State is the President, and he is also the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.

A few only of the achievements of the Department and its agents can be mentioned here. It was under the old Department of Foreign Affairs that the treaty of peace with Great Britain was negotiated in 1783, and the United States became a free and independent State. With Thomas Jefferson as President, James Madison as Secretary of State, and Robert R. Livingston and James Monroe as their agents in Paris, the territory of Louisiana was bought in 1803, and our domain was exteded beyond the   Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. In 1823, when Monroe was President, John Quincy Adams, the Secretary of State, announced to foreign governments the famous doctrine which more than seventy years afterwards Secretary Olney told Lord Salisbury "courageously declared not merely that Europe ought not to interfere in American affairs, but that any European power doing so would be regarded as antagonizing the interests and inviting the opposition of the United States."

In 1848 the Department negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which terminated the war with Mexico and added an enormous territory to our southern and western boundaries. In 1866 William Seward, having in mind the doctrine of Monroe, demanded the departure of the French Army from Mexico, and restored the government of that country to its people.

In 1871 Hamilton Fish negotiated the Treaty of Washington with Great Britain, and the claims growing out of depredations by Confederate cruisers which had fitted out in Great Britain during our civil war were referred to an international tribunal of arbitration. It decided in our favor, and awarded to the United States the sum of $15,500,000.

Of the eminent statesmen who have held the oflSce of Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, and James Buchanan were each subsequently elected to the Presidency. Of others who have left enduring monuments in the public life of their country it will be sufficient to name John Marshall, of Virginia, Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts, John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, William L. Marcy, of New York, Lewis Cass, of Michigan, Jeremiah S. Black, of Pennsylvania, Elihu B. Washburn, of Ilhnois, and James G. Blaine, of Maine.

Gaillard Hunt.

[Note.—The authorities upon which the foregoing article is based are : "The Department of State of the United States; Its History and Functions," a Department publication (1893); for the early history of the formation of the Department, the Secret Journals of Congress; Annals of Congress; Force's American Archives; "Stevens's Facsimiles; " Franklin's Works (Bigelow' sedition); Parton's Franklin; Diplomatic Correspondence   of the American Revolution (Wharton); Conway's Life of Thomas Paine; Austin's lyife of Klbridge Gerry; MS. Archives of the United States Senate; Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay; for the development of the Department, its publication "The Seal of the United States; How it was Developed and Adopted" (1892); Official Gazette of United States Patent Office, volume 12, No. 15; The Patent System of the United States, by Iv. H. Campbell (Washington, 1891); Report of Committee on Ninth Census (by Garfield), Forty-first Congress, second session (1870); I, U. S. Reports; Moore on Extradition; Report of the Select Committee of the United States Senate under Resolution of March 3, 1887 ("Methods of Business in the Executive Departments") . But the principal sources of material for the entire work are the MS. archives of the Department itself, and the various circulars and Executive orders which it has issued from time to time, and the the United States Statutes at Large.]






The organization of the Department of State, as established by law, is as follows:

A Secretary of State.

An Assistant Secretary of State.

A Second Assistant Secretary of State.

A Third Assistant Secretary of State.

A Solicitor, who is an officer of the Department of Justice, detailed for duty in the Department of State.

A Chief Clerk.

Seven chiefs of bureau.

One Translator.

One private secretary to the Secretary of State.

Eleven clerks of class 4.

Four clerks of class 3.

Eight clerks of class 2.

Sixteen clerks of class 1.

A telegraph operator.

Five clerks at $1,000 each per annum.

Eleven clerks at $900 each per annum.

One packer, two messengers, two assistant messengers.

Ten laborers.

The Chief Clerk of the Department of State is its executive officer under the direction of the Secretary of State, He has the general supervision of the clerks and employees and of the business of the Department. Each clerk is required to record the daily time of bis arrival at and departure from the Department, and at the end of each month these reports are filed with the Chief Clerk. No clerk is allowed to leave the building during office hours without the express permission of the Chief Clerk,   who is thus in a position to know at all times what force he has available for the extra work that the exigencies of the service may at -any time call for. All absences from the Department on the part of each clerk or employee are deducted from his annual leave of thirty days allowed by law.

After the daily mail is received at the Department, opened, and indexed in the index room, as more particulaily set forth in the report of the chief of the Bureau of Indexes and Archives hereto annexed, it is placed upon the chief clerk's desk, read by the chief clerk, and distributed among the Assistant Secretaries for their action. During the day the Chief Clerk receives and transacts the business of all persons having interests connected with the Department of State, other than those whose business is of such a character as to require the personal hearing of the Secretary of State or the Assistant Secretaries. It not unfrequently happens that the Chief Clerk is able to save the Secretary of State from much needless interruption by ascertaining and disposing of the business of visitors who would otherwise think it necessary to see the Secretary. Business of this character involves inquiries relative to matters connected with late International Claims Commissions, whose records are deposited in the Department of State; inquiries in regard to passports, extradition of criminals, publications of this and other Departments; inquiries in regard to the applications for free entries by foreign ministers; inquiries on all subjects from members of the press; inquiries bearing on historical questions contained in the Revolutionary archives of the Department, and, in brief, all questions naturally connecting themselves with the Department of State of the United States.

After the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries have given (usually by written memorandum) their directions as to what action is to be taken by the Department upon the various written communications addressed to it, the mail is returned to the Chief Clerk's desk, and again by him distributed to the Bureaus charged with the execution of the instructions thus given.

In the afternoon the mail prepared for the signature of the   Secretary and Assistant Secretaries, and embodying their instructions, is delivered to the Chief Clerk, who reads it carefully and forwards it to the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries for their respective signatures. He also has charge of the prepalation, copying, arrangement, and indexing of the correspondence of the Department published annually in a volume known as Foreign Relations, and of copying and arranging correspondence called for by resolutions of Congress. The Chief Clerk is, besides, constantly ready to answer the call of the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries and inquiries from chiefs of Bureaus and clerks when more particular directions are asked as to the disposition of work. It is for the Chief Clerk to generally supervise the sending of the foreign mails from the Department, and to guard the privacy of the closed pouches, and to enforce discipline in matters looking to the efficiency of the laborers and inuring to the general comfort of the Department.

The Chief Clerk has two clerks in his room, who assist him in such manner each day as their services may seem to be most useful in the transaction of the public business.

William H. Michael,

Chief Clerk.



The duties of the Bureau of Appointments, as the name implies, relate principally to appointments; but it is also charged with the preparation of exequaturs and warrants of extradition.

Applications and recommendations for office when received" are stamped and indorsed with the name of the applicant, the office sought, and the name of the writer. They are then indexed by card and filed with the applicant's other papers. When the President takes up the question of filling the office, it is usual for the chief of the bureau, by direction of the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary, to prepare a digest of the papers of, each applicant for that place, giving a brief history of the applicant and a list of the persons who recommended him, arranged in the order of their importance. This is a tedious process, and it materially lightens the burdens of the President, the Secretary, and the Assistant Secretary in fiUing the office. The result of the examination of the brief is embodied in a memorandum of the President, which reads: "Appoint John Doe.—W. McK.'' If the person selected was formerly in the consular or diplomatic service, or is appointed to a consulate with a compensation amounting to more than $2,500 or less than $1,000, his nomination is prepared and sent to the President for transmission to the Senate; if he is selected for a consulate with a compensation amounting to $1,000 or more, and not exceeding $2,500, and he has not been previously in the diplomatic or consular service, he is notified by the Board of Examiners to appear at the Department for examination, and, if he pass, the report of the Board is sent to the President with his nomination. The Senate having confirmed the nomination, a formal certificate to that effect is   executed by the Secretary of the Senate and sent to the Executive Mansion, whence it is forwarded to the State Department, and the commission is made out and recorded as of the date of the confirmation.

The recognition of a consular officer in his official capacity is called an exequatur, which is signed by the President when the commission of the officer is signed by the head of the state, and by the Secretary of State when the commission is issued by any other authority—such as a minister for foreign affairs, a minister, consul-general, or consul.

Warrants of extradition are of three kinds, viz: Arrest, surrender, and authority for bringing a criminal to the United States from a foreign country. Warrants of arrest are issued by the Secretary of State upon the request of the diplomatic representative of the country from which the criminal has fled; warrants of surrender are issued by the Secretary of State after the criminal has been arrested and tried before a commissioner in extradition; the third class of warrants consists of those issued by the President, as authority for the person selected by the state in which the crime was committed to take the fugitive in his custody and bring him back to the United States from the country in which he has taken refuge.

The preparation and publication of the Annual Register of the vDepartment and of lists of the diplomatic and consular officers, which are issued periodically during the 3^ear, is an important feature of the work of the Chief of the Bureau, and it involves a large amount of detail which demands his personal and unremitting attention.

The records of the office consist of application papers, copies of commissions, records of nominations and appointments w^hich date from the beginning of the Government under the Constitution of 1787; and there is a great deal of labor and time consumed in collecting from them the information required to answer requests which are made for such matter.

The Great Seal of the United States is in the custody of the Chief of this Bureau, and it may be of interest in this relation to state that there is in his office a clerk who has been employed   in the Department for fifty-three years, during the greater part of which period he has guarded with becoming zeal and pardonable pride the case in which reposes the dignified emblem of the Union of the States.

Robert Brent Mosher,

Chief of Bureau.



The Diplomatic Bureau is charged, under the direction of the Secretary of State and his assistants, with the conduct of the diplomatic correspondence, both with the Embassies and Legations of the United States abroad and with the Embassies and Legations of foreign nations at Washington, and of the miscellaneous correspondence relating thereto.

For the performance of its work the Bureau has one chief, three divisional clerks, two typewriters, and three copyists. The correspondence with all the countries is under the supervision of the Chief of Bureau, divided among the divisional clerks as follows:

A. Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, The Netherlands, Roumania, Serbia, and Switzerland, and the miscellaneous correspondence relating to those countries.

B. Argentine Republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russia, San Domingo, Spain, Sweden and Norway, and Venezuela, and the miscellaneous correspondence relating to those countries.

C. China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hawaiian Islands, Honduras, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Persia, Siam, and Turkey, and other countries not assigned, and miscellaneous correspondence relating to those countries.

The work divides itself, first, into the examination, consideration, and discussion of diplomatic questions, such as treaties, claims, questions of international law and policy, etc., and, second, purely routine matters, such as the preparation of letters of credence and recall and other ceremonial letters, the referring to the Treasury Department of requests of foreign diplomatic agents   in the United States for the free entry of articles sent them from abroad, the issuance of letters of introduction, and the answering of the many inquiries received relating to the status of matters before the Department. The preparations of papers called for by resolutions of Congress is also largely performed by this Bureau, as is the translation of documents received in foreign languages.

The incoming correspondence is received from the chief clerk. Each paper on reaching the Bureau is stamped with the date of its receipt, examined by the chief of the Bureau, and turned over with appropriate directions to the proper divisional clerk. The action taken by him is indorsed on the paper, when it is returned to the chief of the Bureau. By i o'clock the outgoing mail for the day is ready for the Secretary's attention and signature and is sent to the chief clerk for that purpose. It returns signed about two hours later, in time, as a rule, to be press copied and put up for the evening mail at 4, each divisional clerk attending to the correspondence of his respective countries. The hours of the afternoon are occupied in preparing the mail for the following morning. The copying clerks some of whom are also employed as translators, are steadily occupied all day in copying and comparing the work allotted to them, with occavsional assistance from copyists in other bureaus.

The Chief of the Bureau in the meantime verifies the copies of the preceding day's mail; checks them off on the papers to which they are replies, sending both to the Index Bureau to be filed; reads over, distributes, and gives directions concerning the new matter which is constantly arriving, and performs such personal duties as are necessary to avoid interrupting the divisional clerks too much in their work, besides investigating and reporting upon such matters as are directly referred to him by the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries.

Sydney Y. Smith,

Chief of Bureau,



The Consular Bureau has charge of all correspondence with consular officers, and incidental thereto of correspondence with the several Executive Departments, the accounting officers of the Treasury, and with individuals, on subjects which in soine way relate to or involve the services of consular officers. The correspondence is of a varied character and is difficult to describe; but it may be said generally to include matters incidental to the appointment and qualification of consular officers, instructions to them in regard to commercial matters, relief, protection, and accounts of seamen, the protection of United States citizens abroad, the settlement of estates of Americans dying abroad^ sanitary reports and inspections of vessels, undervaluation of goods, certifications of invoices, accounts for salary and expenses, etc. , and correspondence incidental thereto with Departments and individuals.

In addition to its correspondence the Consular Bureau is much occupied with personal interviews with consular officers while in Washington on their way to their posts or on leave of absence, and with retiring consuls who come to Washington to settle their accounts. The interviews are usually with the Chief of the Bureau, whose duty it is to give all necessary instructions to newly appointed consuls, and to answer questions of others who call in regard to matters connected with the consular service. This branch of the work is especially heavy when, through a change of Administration, many consuls are passing through the city going to or returning from their posts. The Chief of the Bureau is a member of the Board of Examination for consular appointments, and under his direction all examinations are prepared and conducted. This duty adds very   materially to the work of the Bureau. The examinations proper are usually in writing, but the applicants are all informally questioned orally. The Bureau is expected also to have an intimate knowledge of the personnel of the service and to be prepared to give information in regard thereto when desired by the Secretary or Assistant Secretaries, and it is constantly called upon in such matters when appointments are being made. Another important duty of the Consular Bureau is the inspection of consulates. Recently the Chief of the Bureau personally visited over one hundred consulates in Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Japan, and other officers were sent to South America and the West Indies. Full reports were submitted as to each office and many important recommendations submitted for the improvement of the service.

In time of war with a foreign country Consular officers are required to watch and report the movements of the enemy's ships, to report and prevent, if possible, the fitting out of privateers and other infractions of neutrality laws, to carry out instructions for the purchase of coal and other supplies for our vessels, and generally to do everything in their power to aid the Government in carrying on the war. This involves much correspondence with consuls, by cable and through the mails, of a delicate and strictly confidential nature.

The estimates for appropriations and explanatory letters to Congress are also prepared by the Chief of the Bureau, and allowances for clerks, messengers, interpreters, guards, marshals, etc., are made on his recommendations.

The Consular service embraces in all about 800 officers, scattered over all the world, and about half of these correspond directly with the Department. The subjects embraced in this vast correspondence are very varied, and the daily mail is an interestii:g budget of information from all quarters of the earth. Now that American enterprise is reaching out to distant lands for markets for its manufactures the consular service is becoming daily of greater importance, and much of the benefit to be derived from it as a means of extending and protecting our interests abroad depends upon the management of the Consular Bureau. The   difficulties in the way of the proper management are many— faulty system of appointments, inadequate salaries and allowances, uncertain tenure of office, etc.—but on the whole it is gratifying to note that our Consular service is efficient and active and compares not unfavorably in many ways with that of other countries.

An idea of the routine work of the Bureau can be conveyed by beginning with the appointmeht of a consular officer and following out the course pursued in such cases.

When a consular officer has been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, having first been examined by the Board of Examiners if within a specified class, his commission is sent to the Consular Bureau, where it is placed by. the Chief of the Bureau in charge of a clerk to whom is specially assigned the correspondence relating to appointments. By this clerk the consul is notified of his appointment, and with the notification are transmitted a blank form of bond and form of oath of allegiance and office. If the consul is a salaried one, his salary begins with the date on which he takes the oath of office. The instructions sent also inform the newly appointed consul in regard to his compensation while receiving instructions, while on the way to his post, and after arrival thereat.

When the bond and oath have been returned duly executed, the bond is approved and transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, and the consul's commission is sent to the Diplomatic Bureau, by which it is transmitted to our diplomatic representative in the country in which the consulate is located, with instructions to ask for the consul's exequatur. In the meantime the consul is furnished with a copy of the Consular Regulations, a special passport, and an order on the person in charge of the office to which he is appointed, directing him to deliver over the archives and government property. After visiting the Department and receiving full instructions in regard to his duties, the consul is then ready to proceed to his post.

After consular officers reach their posts of duty, all communications received from them are first indexed by the Bureau of Indexes and Archives, and the more important ones read by the   Assistant Secretary having charge of consular matters (at present the Third Assistant Secretary). The dispatches then come to this Bureau where they are read by the Chief of the Bureau, who indicates the reply to be made to such as have not already had replies indicated by the Assistant Secretary. The dispatches, except those relating to appointments, allowances, and supplies, are then distributed by the Chief of the Bureau to the correspondence clerks, each of whom is charged with the preparation of all correspondence with consular offices in countries assigned to him. The work is now in charge of three clerks, and is divided as follows:

I.—Correspondence with Germany and Great Britain and their dependencies, together with the miscellaneous correspondence connected therewith.

II.—Correspondence with Argentine Republic, Austria- Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Uruguay, and their dependencies, together with the miscellaneous correspondence connected therewith.

III.—Correspondence with the Barbary States, Bolivia, Central America, Colombia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Friendly and Navigators IvSlands, Hawaiian Islands, Hayti, Japan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mexico, Mascat, Santo Domingo, Siam, Turkey, Venezuela, and other countries unassigned, with their dependencies, together with the miscellaneous correspondence connected therewith.

Each clerk conducts the correspondence of which he has charge, drafts the replies to be made to the dispatches, has them typewritten in the form of instructions, and then submits them to the Chief of the Bureau for approval, after which they are sent to the chief clerk of the Department who distributes them among the proper officials for signature. In case it is necessary, the Chief of the Bureau or the clerk in charge of a division of correspondence prepares a report on the history of a subject to which a dispatch relates. The report, accompanied by the previous correspondence on the subject, is then submitted to the Assistant Secretary, by whom a decision is made as to the action to be   taken. The report is then returned to the Bureau and an appropriate reply is prepared. In matters of importance the reports and instructions are prepared by the Chief of the Bureau.

After the instructions and letters have been signed they are indexed by the Bureau of Indexes and Archives and returned to the Consular Bureau, where they are placed in charge of a clerk, under whose supervision they are press-copied and mailed. To this clerk is also assigned the duty of recording bonds, sending out circulars to consular officers, and duties of a like nature.

The replies to all communications relating to appointments, allowances to consulates in the way of messenger service and clerk hire, leaves of absence, supplies, etc., are drafted by a clerk who has charge of the correspondence in regard to such matters, and who keeps a record of all notarial fees received by consuls, a record of leaves of absence of consuls, together with their whereabouts while on leave, and a record of the dates of transfer of consular offices to new appointees.

Requests for information on commercial matters are at frequent intervals received from the Bureau of Foreign Commerce, and are by the Consular Bureau put into the form of instructions and sent to consular officers. The replies of consular officers to these instructions are, when received, sent to the Bureau of Foreign Commerce for publication in Consular Reports or transmission to other Departments.

In like manner requests from other Executive Departments for information on various subjects are by the Consular Bureau transmitted to consular officers, and their replies in turn sent to the Departments by which the information was requested.

The Consular Bureau has charge also of recommending the presentation of testimonials to masters and seamen of foreign vessels for rescuing American seamen, in case of wreck or other mishap to an American vessel.

R. S. Chilton, Jr.,

Chief of Bureau.




The chief objects of this Bureau are:

1. To make, for the purpose of reference, an entry, under carefully selected catchwords, of the correspondence to and from this Department.

2. To keep a written record of all indexed communications from the Department.

3. To bind and keep in orderly arrangement all dispatches and indexed letters to the Department—the main body of the archives.

4. To make a subject index on cards of the outgoing and incoming correspondence.

5. To collect the correspondence on any subject of current examination (for the officers and other bureaus of this Department.)

I. Indexing.

The mail received at the Department is brought to this Bureau and divided into three classes—Diplomatic (all communications from the ambassadors and ministers of our own and other countries), Consular (all communications from our consuls and consuls of foreign countries), and Miscellaneous (letters from the other Departments of this Government, from Congress, private individuals, etc.).

It is then opened, stamped, arranged, and examined by clerks, who enter in folio index books (labeled "To the Department"   under appropriate catchwords, a brief abstract of the contents of each communication. The entries in the diplomatic and consular index books are arranged by countries, in alphabetical order; in the miscellaneous index books they are entered in alphabetical order. After being indexed, the diplomatic correspondence and the more important consular and miscellaneous are sent to the chief clerk of the Department for distribution to the officers and bureaus that have the matters in charge; the routine and less important communications are distributed by the index clerks.

The answers to these communications likewise come to this Bureau, and are divided into three classes and indexed in a similar manner in books labeled "From the Department."

Then this outgoing mail is sent back to the bureaus where it was prepared; a press copy is there made of every indexed outgoing communication and sent to this Bureau for the recording clerks. The following specimens indicate the manner of indexing:

Diplomatic Register—Correspondence from the department.

To Spain. No. Date. Subject. Record. Vol. Page.

J. L. M. Curry, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. 47 1885. Dec. 28 Claim of J. J. May v. Spain for seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star, by customs authorities at Cardenas. The condemnation and sale were made on a technical violation of customs regulations. Instructed to present the case and urge the payment of indemnity. Inclosure loth instant from consul at Cardenas. 16 125

48 Dec. 30 Barcelona: Recognition of W. M. Hanford as consul at, desired. 129



From Spain. No. Date. Subject. Received.

J. L. M.Curry...92 1886. Jan. 8 Claim of J. J. May v. Spain Wr seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star at Cardenas. Refers to despatch 47 and previous correspondence, and states Spain offers 120,000 in full settlement. 6,20

93 Jan. 15 Imprisonment without trial of Thomas Greene, an American sailor, at Malaga. He is charged with larceny. Minister Foreign Affairs promises investigation of the delay and a fair trial. Incloses letter from consul at Malaga and note from foreign office. 6,27


W. H. Tracy, consul. 51 1885. Nov. 15 Claim of J. J. May v. Spain for seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star by customs authorities at Cardenas for error in manifest. Inclosure loth instant from J. J. May, relative to, instructs him to investigate and report facts. 117 201

To Cardenas. No. Date. Subject. Record. Vol. Page.


From Cardenas. No. Date. Subject. Received.

W. W. Tracy, consul. 72 1885. Dec. 10 Claim of J. J. May v. Spain for seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star by customs authorities at Cardenas. Reports result of investigation. The one of great hardship; the seizure and sale were made on a technical error. 12, 26

73 Wreck of American ship Ocean Pearl reported. I, II



To whom. Date. Subject. Record. Vol. page.

J. J. May... 1886. June 23 Claim v. Spain growing out of seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star by customs authorities at Cardenas. Refers to his November lo, and subsequent correspondence. Spain offers |2o,ooo in settlement; asks if this is satisfactory. 150 26


From whom. Date. Subject. Received.

May, J. J... 1885. Nov. 10 Claim v. Spain, glowing out of seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star by customs authorities at Cardenas for technical error in manifest. Incloses papers show- ing absence of fraudulent intent, and requests intervention of United States. 11, 12

Mason,J.B.,& Co...Nov. 25 Rescue of crew of their vessel Minnie Warren by British vessel Salamander. Calls attention to the heroism of the crew, and recommends a suitable acknowledgment by the Department. 11, 26

Maryland Geological Society. Dec. 12 Geological explorations in Crete. Requests that minister at Constantinople aid them in obtaining a firman from Sultan of Turkey to enable them to continue. 12,3

Marshal at Salt Lake City. Dec. 26 1886. Fate of Rufus Ruddy, an Englishman. Is unable to obtain information relative to. 12,31

Memphis, judge of orphans' court of. 1886 Jan. 3 Legacy left Hans Boiler, a German, residing at Hamburg. Asks if Department will undertake to forward same. 1, 8

Mint of United States at Philadelphia. Jan. 9 Japanese coin. Return same, with result of assay made at instance of Japanese minister, acknowledged 2d instant. I, II


2. Recording.

The press copies (above referred to) are divided into three classes—diplomatic, consular, and miscellaneous—and delivered to the recording clerks, by whom they are carefully copied and compared. Each embassy and legation has its special book; the consular instructions are recorded in one series in chronological order, and the outgoing miscellaneous letters are recorded in a series called "Domestic Letters" (to distinguish them from "Miscellaneous Letters," by which incoming letters are designated).

3. Archives.

After dispatches and letters have been answered they are all returned to this Bureau and filed in three classes—diplomatic, consular, and miscellaneous—in pigeonholes, each embassy, legation, and consulate having its own pigeonhole. These are arranged in alphabetical order. As the pigeonholes become filled, the correspondence is arranged in volumes and substantially bound, each embassy, legation, and consulate having its own series. Miscellaneous letters are bound in a separate series in chronological order. These bound volumes are then placed in labeled cases in a systematic manner and form the bulk of the archives of this Department.

4. Subject Index.

In addition to the folio index books, it is intended to have a much more complete system of reference to all the correspondence of the Department by means of cards, so as to form a complete subject index !o the entire correspondence, in order that a reference can be readily made to all the papers bearing on any given subject.

(The following will give an illustration of the manner in which the correspondence of the Department upon any particular subject is collated by means of the card system of subject indexing. In practice each card represents a communication, and therefore each paragraph in the following illustration is intended to represent a card).   May, J. J. , Claim v. Spain growing out of seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star by customs authorities at Cardenas for technical error in manifest. Encs. papers showing absence of fraudulent intent, and requests intervention of U. S. From May, J. J., Nov. 10, 1882.

Consul at Cardenas instructs him to investigate and report facts. Enc. 10 inst., from J. J. May. To consul, No. 51, Nov. 15, 1885.

Consul at Cardenas reports result of investigation. The case one of great hardship. The seizure and sale were made on a technical error. From consul at Cardenas, No. 72, of Dec. 10, 1885.

Minister to Spain instructed to present the case and urge payment of indemnity. The condemnation and sale made on a technical violation of customs regulations. Enc. 10 Nov., '85, from J. J. May, and 10 Dec, '85, from consul at Cardenas to min. to Spain, No. 47, Dec. 28, 1885.

Minister to Spain reports action taken, and that Spain offers |20,ooo in full settlement. Refers to Dept.'s 47, of Dec. 28, 1885. From minister to Spain, No. 92, Jan. 8, 1886.

Claimant informed that Spain offers |20,ooo in settlement. Asks if this is satisfactory. Refers to his Nov. 10. To J. J. May, June 23, 1886.

Morning Star, claim of owner of, v. Spain. See May, J. J.

Spain, claims of U. S. citizens against. See May, J. J.

May, J. J., claim of, v. Spain, for seizure and sale of his vessel Morning Star by custom authorities at Cardenas. The condemnation and sale were made on a technical violation of customs regulations. Instructed to present the case and urge the payment of indemnity. Inc. 10, Nov., '85, from J. J. May, and 10, of Dec, 1885, from consul at Cardenas.

5. Furnishing Corrkspondknck to the Officers of the Department.

5. Furnishing correspondence to the officers of the Department.

This Bureau, by an examination of the folio and other index books, looks up and collects for the officers and bureaus of the Department all the dispatches, instructions, and letters needed for the consideration of the difiEerent subjects receiving daily attention, and to answer resolutions of the Senate and House of Representatives calling for correspondence.

Pendleton King,

Chief of Bureau.



The Bureau of Accounts has the supervision and records of all moneys and appropriations, and accounts therefor, received and disbursed by direction of the Secretary of State or subject to his control. Such accounts may be classified under the following heads:

1. International indemnities, or trust funds.

2. Diplomatic and consular accounts.

3. Accounts of the Department proper.

In addition to the foregoing classes of accounts, this Bureau has charge of

4. Passports.

1. All moneys received by the United States from foreign governments as indemnities are paid to the Department of State. Under an act approved February 27, 1896, all moneys received by the Secretary of State from foreign governments and other sources, in trust for citizens of the United States or others, are covered into the Treasury of the United States. The amounts due claimants respectively from each of such trust funds are determined in the Bureau of Accounts, and the amounts as found due are certified by the Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment. A complete record of the receipts and disbursements on account of these funds is kept.

2. The accounts of ministers for salary and contingent expenses; the salary accounts of vSecretaries of legations and charges; the accounts of consuls for contingent expenses, clerk hire, compensation of interpreters and guard, etc., and all accounts of ministers and consuls for expenses incurred in pur   suance of special authorization or by reason of emergencies in the service are approved by the Secretary of State, or one of the Assistant Secretaries, before being sent to the accounting officers of the Treasury for final settlement. The approval is not given until it has been ascertained by an examination in this Bureau that the accounts are in every detail in accordance with law and regulations. A complete record of these accounts is entered upon the books of the Bureau. Those of the United States ministers and consuls who have not been given letters of credit upon the United States bankers in lyondon make drafts upon the Secretary of State in settlement of these accounts, which drafts are recorded in this Bureau, and requisitions for the amounts are drawn upon the Secretary of the Treasury in payment thereof.

3. The chief of this Bureau is also the disbursing clerk of the Department, and as such disburses the various departmental appropriations made by Congress. The regular officers, clerks, and employees of the Department are paid their salary on the last day of each month. Upon the completion of the services rendered by a special employee, or delivery of articles purchased upon an order of the Secretary of State, a bill for such services or articles purchased is presented to the Department and referred to the Bureau of Accounts, where it is transcribed on a regular form of voucher, upon which the appropriation against which the amount is to be charged is designated, and the voucher is then transmitted to the payee for signature, and, after being approved by the proper officer of the Department, a check in payment is mailed to the payee by the disbursing clerk. The voucher is then properly indorsed and entered upon the books of the Bureau.

Monthly accounts are rendered by the disbursing clerk to the Treasury Department for all expenditures of this nature under each appropriation against which charges have been made.

4. Passports.—All applications for passports made in this country, whether by mail or in person, are examined, any necessary correspondence upon the subject prepared, and the passports issued in the passport division of this Bureau. Under the   law passports are granted only to citizens of the United States; therefore the citizenship of all applicants is necessarily passed on in the examination of the applications. The passports are numbered consecutively, and the application bears the number of the passport. A new series of numbers is started with each Administration. People who contemplate procuring passports are furnished, upon request, with the rules governing applications, and with blank forms of application. The law requires that a fee of $1 be charged for each passport issued, and that the moneys received be deposited in the Treasury of the United States.

Duplicates of all applications upon which passports have been granted by our diplomatic and consular officers abroad are examined and filed here, and a report is made whenever a passport appears to have been improperly granted. A record of all passports issued at home or abroad is kept, which extends back for a hundred years.

The telegraphic correspondence of the Department of State is conducted by the clerks of this Bureau. The greater bulk of the messages, in quantity, though not in number, is in cipher.

The seal of the Department is in the custody of this Bureau, and a record is kept of all authentications of Federal and State seals to which it is affixed.

The chief of this Bureau is charged with the care of the property of the Department.

Frank A. Branagan,

Chief of Bureau.



The Bureau of Rolls and Library, as its name indicates, comprises two divisions—the rolls and the library.

The rolls division is charged with the promulgation and custody of the laws and treaties of the United States, and the proclamations, Executive orders, and Executive announcements of the Presidents, as well as with the care of the files and records of international claims commissions, the Revolutionary archives and other manuscript papers, and with the correspondence relating to these several collections.

The first and most important duty of this division is the promulgation (publication) of the laws, treaties, proclamations, and Executive orders, wort which must be performed with the utmost attainable promptness, speed, and accuracy.

There are three methods under the Constitution by which legislation of Congress may be enacted:

First. By the passage of a bill embodying the provisions of the projected law by both HoUvSes of Congress, and its approval by the President. This is the usual course.

Secondly. By the passage of such a measure by both Houses of Congress and by the failure of the President to return it unsigned, while Congress is in session, to the House in which it originated, within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented for his approval. Should he fail to return it within the constitutional period of ten days, Congress being continuously in session, and fail to approve it, the bill becomes a law by what is known as constitutional limitation. There are certain apparently technical exceptions to this rule, which will   be noticed later when the subject of so-called "pocketed laws" is reached.

Thirdly. A bill may become law by its passage by both Houses of Congress over the President's veto.

When enacted by the first method, the law is sent promptly, after the President has signed it, over to the Department of State, where it is received and stamped with a date stamp by the chief clerk, who, in turn, sends it without delay to the Bureau of rolls.

When perfected by the second method, the law, at the moment of its completion, being in the hands of the President, is sent to the Department of State with a letter from one of the President's secretaries reciting the circumstances under which the bill has become law. Such laws are generally sent to the Department the day after the expiration of the constitutional ten days, and are treated upon receipt with the same promptness as that described in the case of laws under the first method.

But when the President vetoes a bill and the two Houses of Congress pass it by a two-thirds vote over the veto, the perfected law is sent to the Department of State by the presiding officer of the House of Congress in which it is last passed over the veto, bearing the certificates of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House reciting the facts of the veto and the passage of the act thereover in the respective Houses.

Until 1894 ^he laws were engrossed for signature in manuscript upon parchment; but on November 1, 1893, Congress provided by a joint resolution that they should be printed upon parchment for the signatures of the presiding officers of the two Houses, the approval of the President, and for permanent preservation—a change of form which has greatly simplified their promulgation. A subsequent concurrent resolution of Congress excepted the last six days of a session from the operation of this law whenever the necessit}^ might arise.

When the perfected law is received by the Bureau of rolls it is immediately taken up, to the exclusion of all other business, and without regard to office hours, Sundays, or holidays, and is designated, according to the nature of its provisions, as a public   or private act, or a public or private resolution, and a serial number is assigned to it, the series of numbers running through a session of Congress. It is then entered by its title in a register, together with its serial number, the date of its approval, and the number of the bill, Senate or House, upon which it was framed. A facsimile copy of the law—three copies of which, "pulled^' from the type as set from the original act, have been previously sent to the Bureau—is immediately dispatched to the Public Printer with a requisition to print it in slip (fly-leaf or pamphlet) form, under sections 210, 3803, and 3805 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and section 56 of the public printing act of January 12, 1895, and to furnish the Department with as many copies as are required up to the statutory limit of 500. This requisition, signed by the Chief of the Bureau and countersigned by the chief clerk of the Department, is numbered and entered in a register called Register of Copy and Proof of the Laws. The Printer proceeds, under the sections of law cited, to set type for the act or resolution with all possible speed, and to send proof to the Bureau, where it is immediately read with the original, with the utmost rapidity consistent with unconditional accuracy. If any errors are found they are corrected and the proof is returned to the Printer, who sends a revise—this course being pursued and a record kept until a clean proof is reached, when the order to print is given.

The Bureau, as the slip laws are received, makes a subject index of them for official use, in addition to the registers already mentioned.

The prints of the ''slip laws" being received, copies of all, as they come in, certified under the sign manual of the chief of the Bureau, are sent to the Treasury Department, the Chief of Engineers of the Army, and the Interior Department; and uncertified copies are held ready for distribution to officers of the Government and others entitled to or requiring them for immediate use. Copies of laws required for use in court are certified under the signature of the Secretary of State and the seal of the Department. Other sources of supply for copies of the slip laws as published   by the Department are the document rooms of the two Houses of Congress, where quotas are held subject to the disposal of Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in Congress. Copies of the slip laws are also sent hy the Public Printer to the Treasury Department for official use.

Bills that become laws by the President's approval are published in the following form:

[Public—No. 54.]

AN ACT To amend section forty-eight hundred and twenty-nine of the United States Revised Statutes concerning surgeons, assistant surgeons, and other medical officers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled^ That section forty-eight hundred and twenty-nine of the Revised Statutes of the United States be amended by the addition of the following words: "Provided That surgeons, assistant surgeons, and other medical officers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and the several Branches thereof, may be appointed from others than those who have been disabled in the military service of the United States."

Approved, February 9, 1897.

Those that become laws by "Constitutional limitation" are printed with a note by the Bureau, thus:

[Public—No. 179.]

AN ACT Amending the act of June eighth, eighteen hundred and eighty, entitled "An act to authorize the President to appoint an officer of the Navy or the Marin^ Corps to perform the duties of solicitor and judge-advocate-general, and so forth, and to fix the rank and pay of such officer," and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the act " to authorize the President to appoint an officer of the Navy or the Marine Corps to perform the duties of solicitor and judge-advocate-general, and so forth, and to fix the rank and pay of such officer," approved June eighth, eighteen hundred and eighty, i6 hereby amended by inserting in said act in lieu of the words "with the rank, pay, and allowances of a captain in the Navy, or a colonel in the Marine Corps, as the case may be," the words "with the rank and highest pay of a captain in the Navy, or the rank, pay, and allowances of a colonel in the Marine Corps, as the case may be : " Provided^ That this amendment shall take effect from July nineteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, the date on which the present incumbent entered on duty, and that the amount herein appropriated shall be payable from the appropriation "Pay of the Navy."

Received by the President, May 25, 1896.


[Note by the Department of State.—The foregoing act having been presented to the President of the United States for his approval, and not having been returned by him to the house of Congress in which it originated within the time prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, has become a law without his approval.]

Bills becoming laws by passage over the President's veto are promulgated in this form, with certificates:

[Public—No. 52.]

AN ACT To constitute a new division of the eastern judicial district of Texas, and to provide for the holding of terms of court at Beaumont, Texas, and for the appointment of a clerk for said court.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the counties of Jefferson, Orange, Newton, Jasper, Hardin, Liberty, Tyler, San Augustine, Sabine, Polk, and San Jacinto shall constitute a division of the eastern judicial district of Texas.

Sec. 2. That terms of the circuit and district courts of the United States for the said eastern district of the State of Texas shsell be held twice in each year at the city of Beaumont, on the first Mondays in June and December.

Sec. 3. That all civil process issued against persons resident in the said counties of Jefferson, Orange, Newton, Jasper, Hardin, Liberty, Tyler, San Augustine, Sabine, Polk, and San Jacinto, and cognizable before the United States courts, shall be jnade returnable to the comts, respectively, to be held at the city of Beaumont; and all prosecutions for offenses committed in either of said counties shall be tried in the appropriate United States court at the city of Beaumont : Provided, That no process issued or prosecution commenced or suit instituted before the passage of this act shall be in any way affected by the provisions hereof.

Sec. 4. That the clerks of the circuit and district courts for said district shall maintain an office in charge of themselves or a deputy at said city of Beaumont, which shall be kept open at all times for the transaction of the business of said division.

Sec. 5. That so much of all acts or parts of acts as are in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

In the House of Representatives,

Janttary 22, 1897.

The President of the United States having returned to the House of Representatives in which it originated the bill (H. R. 9469) "An act to constitute a new division of the eastern judicial district of Texas, and to provide for the holding of terms of court at Beaumont, Texas, and for   the appointment of a clerk for said court," with his objections thereto, the House proceeded in pursuance of the Constitution to reconsider the same; and

Resolved, That the said bill pass, two-thirds of the House of Representatives agreeing to pass the same.

Attest: A. McDowell, Clerk.

In the Senate of the United States,

February 8, 1897.

The Senate having proceeded, in pursuance of the Constitution, to reconsider the bill entitled "An Act to constitute a new division of the eastern judicial district of Texas, and to provide for the holding of terms of court at Beaumont, Texas, and for the appointment of a clerk for said court," returned to the House of Representatives by the President of the United States, with his objections, and sent by the House of Representatives to the Senate, with the message of the President returning the bill:

Resolved, That the bill do pass, two-thirds of the Senate agreeing to pass the same.

Attest: Wm. R. Cox, Secretary.

The business of receiving, caring for, and promulgating the laws has been reduced to a system every detail of which is of importance to the avoidance of confusion and error; and whether the proof be read at comparative ease during office hours without interruption, or under stress through hours that are long, continuous, and late, errors in the slip laws, however trivial, have become all but unknown. An error in a law is any deviation, however slight, from the original act—which must be reproduced in published form exactly as enacted.

The lawmaking power alone can correct errors, even the most trifling, in the original law—and then only by the enactment of another law for the purpose.

An editor of the Statutes, appointed by the Secretary of State, compiles the laws enacted at each session of Congress for publication, with an index, in pamphlet form, and at the end of each Congress the same officer compiles the laws of the several sessions for publication with an index in the regular volume of Statutes at Large. The Bureau of Rolls again reads the text of the laws for these publications in order to be able to guarantee absolute accuracy.

A pocketed law, so called, is really not a law at all, but a bill   which has failed to become a law because presented to the President for approval within less than the constitutional ten days (during which he might return it not approved) before adjournment of Congress. His failure to return it to the House in which it originated within the period allowed him by the Constitution is thus regarded as due to the fact that Congress adjourned before the period expired. His failure to sign it under such circumstances is regarded as equivalent to a veto, which is called a "pocket veto," so the law fails, and the President notes the conditions upon it under his signature. For the purposes of Executive action respecting the laws the adjournment of Congress for the so-called recess during the Christmas holidays may be treated as an adjournment or as merely a recess. When treated as an adjournment, laws not signed by the President prior to the date of such adjournment, when presented to him within ten days theretofore, fail by pocket veto. The adjournment for the holidays is treated as a recess by the President when he approves a bill or resolution during the recess.

All the original laws are bound, at the end of each session of Congress, in volumes of uniform or nearly uniform size for permanent preservation.

Treaties with other powers are promulgated in a slip form similar to that of the laws, as well as published in the Statutes at Large—the President proclaiming them as the final act prior to publication. The process of promulgation is in all respects like that of the publication of the laws. Both the original and the exchange copy of every perfected treaty is preserved in the Bureau of rolls, as are also all proclamations. Executive orders, and Executive announcements that come to the Department of State, after their promulgation as described in the case of the laws. All such instruments have the right of way immediately upon their arrival in the office.

Proclamations, Executive orders, and Executive announcements are accurately and promptly printed on foolscap paper, for limited distribution on demand, immediately upon receipt by the Bureau of rolls, but only the proclamations are reprinted in the volumes of Session Laws and Statutes at Large.


The Revolutionary archives and other so-called historical manuscript collections in the Bureau of Rolls and Library are:*


The records and papers of the Continental Congress (old binding, folio) 307

The Washington papers (old binding, folio) †336

The Madison papers ( new binding, quarto) 75

The Jefferson papers (old binding, quarto) 137

The Hamilton papers (old binding, folio) 65

The Monroe papers (new binding, quarto) 22

The Franklin papers (new binding, quarto) 32

Papers of the Quartennaster-General's Department during the Revolutionary period and later (old binding, and loose papers) 4

The papers enumerated were thus acquired:

The records and papers of the Continental Congress, deposited with the Secretary of State under the acts of Congress of July 27, 1789, and September 15, 1789, entitled, respectively —

An act for establishing an Executive Department to be denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs.

An act to provide for the safe-keeping of the acts, records, and seal of the United States, and for other purposes.

The Washington papers, bought, in two parts, under the acts of June 30, 1834, and March 3, 1849 (thirty-seven volumes from this collection were lately transferred to the War Department. Cf. note supra), entitled, respectively —

An act to enable the Secretary of State to purchase the papers and books of General Washington.

An act making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of Government for the year ending the thirtieth of June, eighteen hundred and fifty, and for other purposes.

*This enumeration does not include papers received in the course of the business of the Department, properly a part of its official files. The records of the war of 181 2 in this bureau, consisting of papers received in the course of business, through the exercise of particular fimctions, and limited in volume, form a part of the official files of the Department.

† Thirty-seven of these volumes, 'Army returns," restored and rebound were transferred to the War Department under the act of August 18, 1894, on the 24th of November, 1894.

‡t Received from the War Department March and April, 1888. Returned November 24, 1894, with the "Army returns."


The Madison papers, bought under the act of May 31, 1848, entitled —

An act making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of Government for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine, and for other purposes.

The Hamilton papers, bought under the act of August 12, 1848; the Monroe papers, bought under the act of March 3, 1849, and the Franklin papers, bought under the act of August 7, 1882, entitled:

An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and eighty-three, and for other purposes.

* * * To enable the Secretary of State to purchase the manuscript papers of Benjamin Franklin, and the collection of books, and so forth, known as the Franklin collection, belonging to Henry Stevens, of London, thirty-five thousand dollars; the printed books, pamphlets, and newspapers, and one of the typewriter copies of the manuscripts to be deposited in the Library of Congress, and the residue to be preserved in the Department of State.

Approved, August 7, 1882.

The papers of the Quartermaster-General's Department of the Revolutionary period and later were transferred to this Department from the War Department in March and April, 1888. According to the list accompanying them, they comprise 68 "orderly books," 78 " miscellaneous books," etc., 24 books relating to military accounts in the Quartermaster's Department, 14 "small memorandum books," 73 file boxes containing papers not numbered. Besides the papers enumerated in the list there was a large bundle of papers of a miscellaneous character, unindexed and unnumbered. Under the act of August 18, 1894, the papers from the Quartermaster-General's Office were returned to the War Department.

The Bureau being charged with the care of these archives performs that duty by restoring, mounting and binding them, and by the publication of a bulletin.

The restoration involves a strengthening of each paper requiring it, and the piecing out of ragged edges, by a trained process.

The mounting comprises the attachment of each paper to a   linen hinge, which is in turn affixed to a sheet of heavy "ledger paper," also provided with a linen hinge.

The binding is in volumes of half leather and cloth, of a weight not too great to bear handling, and of the size and shape of a large quarto.

Other work in the line of preservation is comprehended in calendars and indexes of the several collections.

The bulletin mentioned (called "Bulletin of the Bureau of Rolls and Library of the Department of State ") was inaugurated in September, 1893, for the purpose of publishing this index work, together with certain special papers. Eight numbers have already appeared.

No. I, September i, 1893, contains a list of the volumes comprising the Papers of the Continental Congress, the beginning of a miscellaneous index of those papers, and an appendix commencing the publication of the documentary history of the Constitution of the United States, with the proceedings of the Annapolis Convention.

No. 2, November, 1893, contains a new edition of the Calendar of the Correspondence of James Monroe, with corrections and additions.

No. 3, January, 1894, contains a list of the volumes of the Washington papers, a continuation of the Index of the Papers of the Congress, and the proceedings of the Federal Convention.

No. 4, March, 1894, contains a Calendar of the Correspondence of James Madison.

No. 5, May, 1894, contains lists of the volumes of the Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Monroe, and Franklin collections; a continuation of the Index of the Papers of the Congress, the Constitution of the United States as framed by the Federal Convention, the proceedings of the Congress thereupon, and the ratifications thereof by the several States.

No. 6, July, 1894, contains Part I of a Calendar of the Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson; letters from Jefferson.

No. 7 contains a list of the Territorial and State Records in the Bureau, the continuation of the Index of the Papers of the Continental Congress, and the amendments to the Constitution of the United States.


No. 8 contains Part II of the Calendar of the Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson, being letters to Jefferson.

No. 9, now in the printer's hands, will continue the Index of the Papers of the Congress, and contain a literal print of Madison's Notes of the Debates in the Federal Convention.

The archives of international commissions in the custody of the Bureau of Rolls and Library comprise the records and papers of all arbitrators and commissions of the United States and other powers for the adjudication {Finat settlement) of questions of boundaries and of public and private claims, and they are, as may readily be surmised, of very great volume, and subject to frequent examination for various purposes, both by the Government and by interested individuals.

The library, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1789, consists of about 60,000 volumes and 2,500 pamphlets. Its principal and most valuable collections are works on international law, diplomacy, and the laws of foreign nations. It is rich also in history, biography, and travels; but, with the limited sum allowed for the purchase of books, it is not able to keep abreast of the publishers on all these lines. Its annual accessions amount to about 1,000 books and pamphlets, exclusive of those acquired by gift, which are not very many. Books and maps are bought for the library by the chief of the Bureau, who must be fully advised of publications generally, upon lists approved by the Assistant Secretary of State, and accounts are kept in the library as well as in the Bureau of Accounts. Periodicals, of which the library has only a fair list, are subscribed to under the same conditions. The use of the library is restricted, first, to the official business of the Department, then to the Department service personally, to th^ members of the Diplomatic Corps in Washington, and to other Government offices.

The library, as a public depository, receives one copy of each bound volume of Congressional documents, and possesses a collection of these volumes from the earlier Congresses of considerable value and extent. It also receives by special resolution of Congress nineteen copies of every separate Senate and House of Representatives document and report, and ten copies of every   bill and resolution introduced in Congress. These documents, etc. , are solely for the official use of the Department and not for distribution in any sense. They are carefully assorted, entered, and filed for reference and future use; bills and i^psolutions of Congress only being discarded at the end of each Congress. Such documents as the Department has for distribution occasionally, except Consular Reports and Commercial Relations, are cared for and distributed by this Bureau, and an accurate account is kept.

The library has no printed catalogue, but publishes an accession list semiannually, and is engaged upon a special catalogue of its collections of works relating to international law and diplomacy, Part I of which, covering the letters A and B, is in print in a very limited edition, for distribution to certain classes of libraries. There is an extensive card catalogue of the works of the several collections.

The correspondence of the Bureau is conducted principally by circulars drawn to meet almost all routine work by mail that concerns the distribution of documents, the laws of Congress, and the Revolutionary archives.

Other work of this division of the Bureau, in which there are engaged only four persons, is similar to that of all libraries and involves similar qualifications.

Andrew Hussby Allen,

Chief of Bureau.



The Bureau of Foreign Commerce, of the Department of State, is charged with the duty of compiling, editing, and distributing the reports of the diplomatic and consular officers stationed in the various countries of the world upon commercial and industrial subjects. It also prepares the drafts of instructions to such officers for the collection of information for the benefit of the public. The Bureau was formerly known as the Bureau of Statistics, but because of the confusion arising from the fact that there were bureaus in other departments of the same designation, the name was changed by order of Secretary Sherman on the I St of July, 1897. Although the publications of the Bureau relate primarily to commerce and industries,, they cover a wide field of miscellaneous information.

The reports are received in the usual way in the Department and referred by the proper official to the Bureau of Foreign Commerce. They are immediately examined, and such of them as are of current interest are promptly printed in the form of a daily publication. This periodical, known as Advance Sheets, had, prior to January 1, 1898, been issued irregularly as occasion required. On that date, in pursuance to an order from Secretary Sherman, the publication of the reports every day, except Sundays and legal holidays, was begun, in order that the newspaper press, organized trade bodies, and the business community of the United States might receive the benefit of the reports with the least possible delay. This improvement has been widely commended as of great practical importance, and as placing the United States system of consular reporting ahead of that of any other country in the world. In addition to the daily reports, the Bureau of Foreign Commerce issues every   year two large volumes of annual reports of consular officers upon the trade and industrial activities of their districts. These reports are summarized in an introduction of several hundred pages, which is also printed separately under the heading, "Review of the World's Commerce."

The miscellaneous reports printed daily are collected at the end of every month and printed in the periodical monthly Consular Reports, which was established in 1880. From time to time, at the suggestion of individuals or firms seeking information as to conditions in foreign countries, series of special reports are obtained from consular officers and printed in separate form. The quarterly returns of exports from consular districts to the United States are printed in another publication, known as Declared Exports, which is issued at the end of every three months. There are, therefore, five distinct classes of publications emanating from the Bureau of Foreign Commerce:

Daily Consular Reports.

Monthly Consular Reports.

Commercial Relations, being the annual reports.

Special Consular Reports.

Declared Exports.

Testimony as to the practical value of the consular reports is a matter of almost daily record in the leading trade newspapers of the world. The force of the Bureau of Foreign Commerce engaged in this work consists, all told, of eleven persons.

Frederic Emory,

Chief of Bureau.