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dered as attaché of the United States legation at Madrid, have had the same under consideration and beg leave to report:
Mr. C. T. Smith represents in his petition that in March, 1855, he was appointed by Mr. Marcy attaché to the legation of the United States at Madrid, at the recommendation of Mr. Perry, then acting as chargé d'affaires, to assist in the settlement of the Black Warrior case, at the salary of $1 a day; that afterwards he was appointed by Hon. Augustus O. Dodge, minister of the United States at Madrid, acting secretary of legation, and performed the duties of this post until the arrival of Mr. Buckingham Smith as secretary, and that for all these services he drew on Washington, and was duly paid. After the arrival of the secretary the petitioner continued at the legation as attaché, and he now asks an allowance of $210 for his services there. On application from the committee to the Secretary of State, it appears that there is no record in the Department of any authority for this appointment, nor is there anything to show service. It should be added that no such officer as attaché is contemplated or provided for by the laws of the United States. Under these circumstances, and considering also the long period that has elapsed since the alleged service, it is not thought that the case deserves consideration. The committee recommend that the petition be indefinitely postponed.
June 18, 1870.
[Senate Report No. 216.) Mr. Sumner made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the petition of Marcus Otterbourg, have had the same under consideration, and beg leave to report as follows:
Mr. Marcus Otterbourg was appointed consul of the United States at the City of Mexico in August, 1861. In July, 1865, he tendered his resignation, assigning as a reason that his salary, by law fixed at $1,000 per annum, was inadequate to permit him to represent the country creditably. His resignation was accepted by Mr. Hunter, Acting Secretary of State, with the request that he would continue to hold the office until the arrival of a successor at his post of duty.
Of subsequent facts of importance in this case, Mr. Seward, then Secretary of State, made the following official statement, dated February 23, 1869:
Mr. Otterbourg returned to the United States. In March, 1866, he went back to Mexico as consuland to takecharge of the archives of the legation, Mr. William H. Corwin, acting chargé d'affaires, having been recalled. He reported himself as having arrived at Mexico on the 8th day of April, 1866, and as being occupied in verifying the inventory of archives and other property of the legation, which was finally completed, and he put in charge thereof by Mr. Corwin, in pursuance of the instructions of the State Department, on the 20th day of the same month. He was thenceforward recognized as a consular officer, performing and authorized to perform diplomatic functions so far as such were necessary and practicable in the exceptional condition of Mexico, and of the relations of this Government to the usurping government of Prince Maximilian, in actual possession of the capital, and to the rightful government of President Juarez, which was generally remote therefrom, and migratory with the vicissitudes of war.
Mr. Otterbourg kept the Department informed of the political situation in Mexico. His dispatches, not concerning his commercial functions as consul, but those of a political agent, were classified and preserved among the diplomatic archives. In October, 1860, Mr. Otterbourg again returned to Washington, with the approval of the Department, and was directed to make a confidential report on the situation in Mexico at that time. He was furnished with a copy of the instructions to Lewis D. Campbell, who had been appointed minister to Mexico, with whom, on his return, he was directed to communicate.
He proceeded to Mexico and made a report, which he delivered to our minister on his arrival at Vera Cruz. During the whole period, from April, 1866, to June 21, 1867, during which Mr. Otterbourg was consul and in charge of the legation as aforesaid, there was not in that country any other oficer of the United States authorized to perform diplomatic functions therein, e.cept or otherwise than that Lewis D. Campbell, a duly commissioned minister, was for a day or two upon its coast or in the harbor of Vera Cruz, whence he returned without proceeding to the interior or putting himself in communication with the Government of Mexico, except when, in April, 1867, he addressed 1rom New Orleans a letter to the Mexican secretary for foreign affairs, requesting humane treatment for Jaximilian in case of his capture.
In response to interrogatories for the United States: The United States had at no time a representative accredited to the Government of Prince Maximilian. We had no other minister appointed to the Government of Mexico during the time for which Mr. Otterbourg clains compensation, and who accepted or made any attempt to proceed upon his mission, except Lewis D. Campbeīl, of whom I have before spoken, and no one who during that period presented his letters of credence. The office for which Mr. Otterbourg claims salary was not occupied by any other person. During the whole period of the occupation of Mexico by Prince Jaxi. milian Congress made the usual annual appropriation for a minister to Mexico, with no other variation than that, in the act making appropriations for the consular and diplomatic service for the year ending June 30, 1966, the words “Republic of Mexico” were substituted for Mexico, the same language being repeater in subsequent acts. This Government never recognized the Government of Maximilian, in the sense of acknowledging or treating with it. We knew it only as an awkward political fact, or rather political pretension, supported by force and foreign intervention.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. On June 21, 1867, Mr. Otterbourg was nominated by the President minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of the United States to the Republic of Mexico. The Senate adjourned on July 21, 1867, without having confirmed the nomination of Mr. Otterbourg; but he continued to discharge the duties of minister plenipotentiary until August 28, 1867, when he received the notification of the lapse of his commission in consequence of the adjournment of the Senate as above. Mr. Otterbourg thereupon returned to the United States and reported at the State Department November 1, 1867, leaving the consulate in the charge of a competent person.
Having presented his account for his services, it was certified by the Fifth Auditor as for consul in charge of legation from April 8, 1866, to June 20, 1867, at the rate of $2,800 per annum; and for minister from June 21 to September 30, 1867, at the rate of $12,000 per annum. The First Comptroller, however, deducted all allowance to him as consul in charge of legation and as minister, but admitted and certified the salary of consul.
The case was taken to the Court of Claims, where judgment was rendered for $85.80 for exercising diplomatic functions from the 19th of August to the 9th of September, 1867, in addition to a further sum due for his services as consul. The court refused to allow salary as minister on the technical objection that Mr. Otterbourg took his oath of office before the consul-general of Switzerland, whose authority for that purpose does not appear. There was, however, no one else before whom he could have taken the oath unless he had returned to Washington for that purpose; and furthermore, the Department of State regarded him as minister and promised him compensation as such.
In accordance with the above statements the committee report a bill giving compensation to Mr. Otterbourg as consul performing diplomatic functions from April 8, 1866, until June 20, 1867, both inclusive; and as minister from June 21 to September 30, 1867, deducting what he has received as consul, and the sum of $85.80, awarded him by the Court of Claims for exercising diplomatic functions from the 19th August to the 9th September, 1867.
[See p. 722.] July 6, 1870.
[Senate Report No. 241.] Mr. Sumner made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred bill H. R. 2094, being “An act for the relief of Mrs. M. S. Morse, administratrix and widow of Isaac E. Morse, deceased,” have had the same under consideration and ask leave to report:
Hon. Isaac E. Morse, of Louisiana, was designated by Mr. Marcy, when Secretary of State, a special commissioner to New Granada, and entered upon his duties November 7, 1856. He appears to have returned to the United States April 28, 1857, and to have made a final settlement of his accounts June 20, 185–, when the Department of State allowed him compensation at the rate of salary of a minister resident, and he was paid out of its contingent fund $3,572.84. On examination of the executive minutes of the Senate it appears that Mr. Morse was never appointed and confirmed by the Senate. He was only an agent of the Department of State, whose compensation, in the absence of agreement, depended upon usage and the value of the services.
In 1860 the case came before the Senate on the petition of Mr. Morse, when Mr. Slidell, of the Committee on Foreign Relations, made a report, allowing him additional compensation at the rate of $15 a day. This report was never acted on.
Meanwhile Mr. Morse died. His widow, as administratrix, petitioned Congress for the additional compensation. Her petition was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations June 30, 1868, and this committee, after careful consideration, reported upon it adversely January 26, 1869. While the case was before the committee it was referred to the Department of State, whose judgment was expressed in the following letter:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 6, 1868. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3d instant, with the petition of Mrs. Margaretta S. Morse and accompanying papers, relative to a claim which she makes to an appropriation by Congress of $4,500 for compensation for the services of her husband, Isaac E. Morse, as United States commissioner to New Granada. In reply, I have the honor to inform you that, since the final adjustinent of the accounts of Mr. Morse for his employment in the character referred to, a similar claim has repeatedly been presented to this Departinent, but has not been allowed, because, it may be presumed, every allowance had already been made which usage or equity could sanction. Mr. Morse was associated with the late James B. Bowlin as joint commissioner to the Government of New Granada for the purpose, in part, of negotiating a convention with that Government upon the subject of claims of citizens of the United States. There is nothing in his instructions which specifies his compensation. As Mr. Bowlin, however, was also at the time the United States minister resident at Bogota, it could scarcely have been contemplated that Mr. Morse's compensation was to exceed his, which was fixed by law at $7,500 a year. Indeed, Mr. Morse's account was adjusted upon this basis, for it appears from the records of this Department that he received for his compensation and expenses to New Granada $3,572.84 from November, 1856, to April, 1857, at $1,500 a year. You are aware that, pursuant to the law as it then existed and now exists, no diplomatic agent is allowed an outfit or any other traveling expenses than the amount of his salary during the time actually and necessarily occupied in proceeding to and returning from his post. The allowance to Mr. Morse was made accordingly, and, as is presumed, was ample under the circumstances. The papers which accompanied your letter are herewith returned. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Hon. CHARLES SUMNER,
Chairman Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate.
The committee see no reason to reconsider the report of January 26, 1869. The lapse of time and the judgment of the Department of State are impediments; nor can they doubt, in view of all the circumstances, that Mr. Morse received, at the settlement of his accounts, a reasonable compensation. Though only an agent of the State Department, he received the compensation of a minister resident; and this compensation was continued for nearly two months after his return to the country.
July 14, 1870.
[Senate Report No. 261.]
Mr. Sumner made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the petition of Nicholas P. Trist, have had the same under consideration and now report:
The services of Mr. Trist constitute an interesting chapter in the history of our country. As negotiator of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, he exercised a decisive influence in terminating the war with Mexico, by which we were secured in the blessings of peace and in the possession also of an undisputed title to Texas, and an addition to the national domain equal in area to the present territory of Mexico, and including in its expanse the great and prosperous State of California.
Mr. Trist, while chief clerk of the State Department, and in confidential relations with Mr. Buchanan, the Secretary of State, was selected as “commissioner to negotiate and conclude a settlement of existing differences and a lasting treaty of peace” with Mexico. On the 16th April, 1847, he left Washington and proceeded to the Headquarters of the Army of the United States in Mexico, where for several months he labored anxiously to accomplish the object of his important mission. Not until November, 1847, was the first great point reached. This was the appointment of a commission on the part of the Mexican Government authorized to negotiate.
Meanwhile at Washington there was a spirit hostile to negotiation; Mexico was not sufficiently humiliated. In the midst of his negotiation, when a treaty of peace was almost within his grasp, on the 16th November, 1817, Mr. Trist suddenly received a letter of recall, with the order to return home by the first safe opportunity. After careful deliberation, and with the sure conviction that if his efforts were thus abruptly terminated the war would be much prolonged, while the difficulties of obtaining another Mexican commission would be increased, he concluded to proceed, and do what he could for the sake of peace. The Mexicans to whom he communicated the actual condition of affairs united with him, and a treaty was signed on the 2d February, 1848, at Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mr. Trist remained in Mexico until the 8th of April, 1818, in order to protect the interests of the United States, and would have remained longer had not an order for his arrest, sent from Washington to our military authorities, compelled him to leave.
It is understood that the President, on the arrival of the treaty, proposed to suppress it; but, unwilling to encounter public opinion, which was favorable to peace, he communicated it to the Senate,
when, with certain amendments, it was ratified by a vote of 38 yeas to 14 nays. And thus the war with Mexico was closed.
The commissioner who had taken such great responsibility reached Washington on his return in June, 1848, only to encounter the enmity of the Administration then in power. His mission had been crowned with success, but he was disgraced. By the order of President Polk his pay was stopped on November 16, 1847, so that the service, as peacemaker, rendered after that date was left without compensation as without honor. Mr. Trist was proud and sensitive. He determined to make no application at that time for the compensation he had earned, and to await the spontaneous offer of it, unless compelled by actual want. In pursuance of this determination, for more than twenty years, he has worked for his daily bread, most of the time as the employee of a railroad company; but now having arrived at the age of three score and ten, and, by reason of years and infirmity, being compelled to resign his situation, he naturally turns to this unsettled account, and asks for his due.
The committee see no reason why he should not be paid according to the nature of his services, at the customary rates of the time. So far as he has been paid it was only as a chargé d'affaires, and out of the secret-service fund at the disposal of the President. The mission was secret, but he was entitled “commissioner,” which was the title of our representatives at the treaty of Ghent. By the terms of his commission he was invested “with full and all manner of power and authority for and in the name of the United States, to meet and confer with any person or persons having like authority, and with him, or them, to negotiate and conclude a settlement of existing differences, and a lasting treaty of peace, friendship, and limits between the United States and the Mexican Nation, whereby shall be definitely settled all claims, etc., and likewise the limits and boundaries and all matters and subjects therewith connected which may be interesting to the two nations.” With these full powers he proceeded and acted. Shortly before him, Mr. Slidell, of Louisiana, had proceeded to Mexico with the title of “commissioner,” for which he was paid at the rate of what was called a “full mission,” being for an unsuccessful service of four months and nineteen days, $15,698.28. The ratification of the treaty by the Senate was followed by another commission, composed of Mr. Sevier, recently chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Mr. Clifford, the Attorney-General, each being paid at the rate of a “full mission,” and the total cost of the commission being $28,728.67.
If these other commissioners received such considerable sums for a service inferior to that of Mr. Trist, it is difficult to see why he should not be placed at least on an equal footing with them. His title is attested by Mr. Benton in a letter written at a later day:
WASHINGTON, January 18, 1856. DEAR SIR: I am at that point of my history which touches your mission to Mexico, and as I propose rather to tell how things were done than what was done, I am extremely anxious to talk with you, both as to the beginning and ending of that war, as you know more about it than any living inan. Can you come on here? Please write me and let me know whether you can come.
You ought to put forward your claim to Congress for full pay and outfit for the
THOMAS H. BENTON.