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The Presidents Cabinet- 




Henry Barrett Learned 

Nbw Haven: Yale Univemity Press 

London: Henry Frowde 

Oxford UNivBRsrrr Press 


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IT, ntz 
Yalb UmvnaiTT Pasaa 
Pint PrInMd. Janaur. 1000 Cop]ea. 

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T^HE following Stadies are designed to reveal those 
u^factors in the history of the President's Cabinet 
which explain the origin and formation of the oonncil 
as well as the establishment of the stmctnral offices 
wbicdi form the in8titntion.wThe7 are complete in 
themselves. Only incidentally are they concerned with 
cabinet practices and personnel. The study of cabinet 
practices and personnel is a large and difficult subject. 
At another time, when I hare succeeded in compassing 
scattered and refractory materials, I propose to set it 
forth in acoordanoe with the plan projected in the 
Introdnction. The limited task has yielded results 
which admit now of the presentation of a book which 
will throw light, I hope, on a subject concerning which 
there has been hitherto no satisfactory record. 

I have felt obliged to give much attention to political 
debates. "Few forms of literature or history are so 
dull," says John Morley, "as the narrative of political 
debates. With a few exceptions, a political speech 
like the manna in the wilderness loses its savour on 
the second day." On the other hand, the truths of my 
subject were not to be extracted at many points from 
any other sources. These sources, too, afforded fre- 
qnent glimpses of men of marked distinction, and 
accordingly helped to relieve the structural aspects of . 
the theme by supplying warmth and life. I cannot 
resist paying tribute in this connection to Charles 
Pinckney, the brilliant statesman from South Carolina, 

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whose work in the Philadelphia CoorentioD of 1787 
has been better appreciated of late years than ever 
before. The longer I studied the materials which have 
entered into my third chapter on the "Development 
of the Idea of a President 'a Council: 1787-1788," the 
stronger became my interest in Pinckney. If I havft — 
ancceeded in setting in truer perspeotiye such a well-- — ' 
known figure as Bobert J. Walker of Mississippi ; and 
if I have drawn forth into the light from their dim 
recesses two snoh comparatively unknown men as 
Judge AnguBtus B. Woodward of Virginia and 
Charles B. Calvert of Maryland, I shall have done 
only what the truth of history seemed to warrant. 

Portions of the matter in several of these Studies 
have been printed already in sndi periodicals as the 
Americtm Historical Review (April, 1905, and July, 
1911), the Tale Review (August, 1906, and October, 
1911), the American Political Science Revise (August, 
1909), and the Political Science Qitarterly (September, 
1909). While I have drawn freely upon such printed 
matter, the book is the product of a renewed effort to 
reconsider, to elaborate, and to extend to the point of 
great fullness a collection of notes on the basis of 
which it has been written. 

To many persons I am under obligations for encour- 
agement or assistance at different stages of the work. 
The task was originally suggested by Professor A. B. 
Hart. It was begun under the guidance of Professors 
Hart and Edward Channing, my teachers at Harvard 
University. It developed in interest and gained pro- 
portion as a result of many conversations on the sub- 

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ject of method with my friend, the late ProfeBsor E. G. 
Bourne. His discerning critioism first aroused me to 
the possibilities of the theme, notwithstanding his 
eharacteristicaUy frank admission that he eared little 
about the sort of task in which I had become inyolved. 
On many points of law I have had the helpful oounsel 
of tiovemor S. E. Baldwin of New Haven, Connect- 
icut; Professor W. E. Vance of the Tale Law School; 
Mr. Middleton Beaman, until recently Librarian of the 
Law Library of Congress and the Supreme Court; 
and Mr. Henry E. Colton, Special Assistant to the 
Attomey-Gkneral. Professor J. Franklin Jameson, 
Director of the Department of Historical Besearch of 
the Carnegie Listitntion of Washington, was kind 
enough to read the first rough draft of the manu- 
script; he made several suggestions by means of which 
I was enabled to improve the book. Professor William 
A. Dnnning of Colmnbia University aided me in simi- 
lar fashion by reading several of the early chapters. 
Others to whom I am grateful for encouragement are : 
President Lowell of Harvard University, ei-Seeretary 
of War Jacob M. Dickinson, Hon. James B. Mamt of 
Chicago, Illinois, Professors Franklin B. Dexter and 
Charles M. Andrews of Yale University, Mr. Charles 
H. Adams of the Hartford Courant, Mr. George L. Fox 
of New Haven, and Mr. Robert Brent Mosher, for- 
merly Chief of the Bureau of Appointmeats in the 
State Department at Washington and now Consul at 
Plauen in Saxony. For her painstaking care in exam- 
ining under my direction certain historic materials 
which have entered into the body of the book I am 

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indebted to the late Miss E. Qt. Fowler of Hartford, 
Connecticut. To no one, however, do I acknowledge 
with greater readiness my gratitude for inspiration 
and assistance than to my friend, Professor Max 
Farrand of Yale Uoirersity. He has spared mnch 
time in allowing me to discuss with him many prob- 
lems all along the way. 

The book can hardly be free from errors of fact and 
judgment. For these errors I am alone responsible. 
The publishers have taken the nixnost care to have the 
volume meet my wishes in every respeot. Mr. E. 
Byrne Haokett in particnlar has given time and 
thought to the selection of type and to oversight of all 
the mechanical details. 

H. B. L. 

New Haven, Connecticut, 
October 15, 1911. 

01 Google 


NET" IN EnQIiIND .... 9 

Notes: 1. Bibliographical .... 44 
2. From Macaulay to Bagehot: 1848- 

1865 45 

" IL Thx Basis of the Pbesidbnt's Cabinet: 1775- 

1789 47 

Note: HifitoiT of Administration: 1775-1789 . 64 

'^IIZ. Dkvelopuent of the Idea of a Pbbsident'b 

Council: 1787-1788 .... 66 
Note: The Phrase "Privy Council" in the 

Colonies 95- 

IV, The Principal Officbb in 1789 ... 97 
Note : Alleged Authorship of the Act establish- 

, ing the Treasury Department in 1789 109 

V. The Cseation of the Cabinet: 1789-1793 . 110 
Notes: 1. Robert Morris and the Treasury 

Portfolio 131 

2. Jefferson's Appointment as Secre- 

tary of State .132 

3. Colonial Practices . .133 

^VI. The Term "Cabinet" in the United States . 135 

VII. The Attoknet-Gkneralship . ' . .159 

Note : The Attomey-Qeneral and Private Prac- 
tice since 1854 . . .196 

VIII. Establishhent of the Seobetastship op the 

Navy 199 

Note: Table of Totes in the House on April 

25, 1798 219 




TX. Tee Postuasteb-GesnebiUj , . 220 

x. establishmekt of the sscbetabtship 07 ths 

Intebiob 253 

Notes: 1. Judge Ai^ustoB B. Woodward (c 

1775-1827) . .288 

2. Act to establish a "Home Depart- 

ment" in 1849 . .289 

3. Orowtb of tlie National Domain: 

1781-1853 290 

XI. Ebtabubhuent of the Seoretariship of Aqri- 


Notes: 1. Appropriations for Agricoltnre: 

1850-1865; 1900-1912 ... 340 

2. Last Meeting of the United States 

Agricultnral Socie^ in 1881 . 341 

3. The Publications of the United 

States Agrionltoral Society . 343 


MEBCS A2n> La£0B 346 

xiii. c0kolu8ion8 368 

Appendix: . 395 

A. Table of Salaries of President, Vice-Presi- 

dent, and Principal Officers: 1789-1909 . 396 

B. Table to indicate the States of the Union 

from which the Principal Officen have 
been selected : 1789-1909 . . .399 

G. The Smithsonian . Institation and the 

Cabinet 402 

D. List of Authorities .... 404 

Index 429 

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The Presidents Cabinet 

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f" TyjO man can rule a people alonej However primi- 
x\ tive a government may be, the chief, oaUed by 
whatever name, is bonnd to rely for his successful 
direction of it on aid outside himself. From_ the ' 
distant beginnings of historic polity, whether these 
beginnings are studied in the Homeric poems, in the 
traditions that lay behind the Roman Commonwealth 
and the succeeding Empire or in the slender records 
of the German tribes — bo far at least as these tribes 
had a common permanent head — IpngH h ad their 
gronpa or counoila of intimate adviser s. When Moses 
complained that he was not able to "bear this people 
alone, because it was too heavy for him," the Lord had 
him gather seventy men of the elders of Israel and 
"bring them into the tabernacle of the congregation" 
to stand there and bear with him the harden of the 

Essential factors of kingly influence and power 
these oooneils were in any system of government. 
The simplest form of coimcil was one composed of 
assistants selected by the chief from among his imme- 
diate friends and following, such as his household 
servants and officers. These intimate assistants were 
at their leader's beck and call. Helping him to formn- 
late plans and then to carry them out, they sustained 
his sway. Some such body characteristic of force and 
efficiency stood at the very be^nnings of Buocessful 

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government. Bat it marked not only primitiTe organi- 
zation, for it appeared nnder many and varying goises 
and forms all throngh the course of the historic ages. 
The ancient empires of the East knew it. Roman 
administrators utilized it. Diocletian developed it. 
Charlemagne wonld have heen helpless without it. In 
the progressive organization of the medieval Church 
it found a place. By means of it the Capetians laid 
those firm fotmdations on which monarehs of a later 
time established absolutism in France during the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries. In England the 
course and development of the royal council have been 
traced with exceptional clearness through various 
stages until in Lancastrian days it became known as 
the Privy CounciL In time an inner body differen- 
tiated itself from the Privy Council. This inner 
council, attracting attention, was occasionally termed 
/ the Cabinet Council early in the seventeenth century. 
This was the precursor of the Cabinet Committee over 
which after many difficulties Parliament was destined 
at length to gain a controlling grasp— the committee 
around which the working government of England is 
organized, and by means of which that government is 

Into the manifold and subtle intricacies of these 
many historic councils it is not the plan to enter. 
Whatever is true regarding the origin of the American 
President's Cabinet Council, that institution was in no 
i sense a conscious imitation of any organization in 
' existence at the epoch of its creation. Nevertheless it 
was certainty the expression of a need quite as old as 

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gOTemment — tUe need, in brief, of a corps of closely) 
assomated assistantB qualified to aid an ezecntiTe 
ohief magistrate in whom leadership and directiyel 
foroe were intended to be vigorous and really effective.1 

Such officers as at first constituted the President's 
Cabinet — three Secretaries known as heads of depart- 
ments and an Attorney-General — ^were similar to 
administrative officers found not only in the govern- 
ment of England but elsewhere in western Europe. 
Indeed they were foreshadowed by somewhat similar 
offi<dals in the various American colonies, although not 
by exact prototypes. 

The term cabinet or cabinet council is English. 
There was just a sufficient analogy between the group 
of officials which formed the English CaUnet late in 
the eighteenth centnry and the American President's 
intimate advisers at the same timef to make the appli- 
cation of the English term to the American group 
appear to be reasonably significant. It should, bow- 
ever, be remembered that the English Cabinet Com- 
mittee had developed in the course of a complicated 
evolution of party praotioes and peculiar circum- 
stances into a parliamentary committee which was 
largely responsible even at that time to the House of 
Commons. Historic processes were pressing it for- 
ward to its goal, a place of such influence that it was 
to become the dedding factor in matters of govern- 
ment policy long before the close of the nineteenth 
century. Its spokesman and director was already.' 
customarily known as the Prime Minister. The Presi- 
dent's Cabinet, in contrast to the English institjation, . 

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was essentially and simply an advisory conneil quite 
. independent of the Legislature. The President sum- 
moned it if he wished to do so. To the President alone 
its members were responsible. It had at the start no 
pirotal place in the strnctnre of the American govern- 
ment, oertainly no place that was so recognized out- 
side of its immediate membership, fiid eed the p rin- 
ciple of the Cabinet's distin ct asso ciation with the 
executive chief alonewas not determined until early 
practices under WashingtoiL.^d his immediate suc- 
cessors had developed the pxinoiple into clearness, and 
given it authority. Moreover, the responsibility 
imposed upon the President by the Constitution has 
always tended to keep the Cabinet a subordinate 
element in our government. As an advisory body it 
has been^an-* B t e f OOtin g,addition to the executive, at 
times helping much-to-HML keoT tniif tTl6 ?fefrut&tlOtt- of 
a President, for tjio (inhino^; mngj; o ften^bg ntinggd to 
create if no t tgoirent p President: 's policv. and to 
shape his attitude toward various problem s of mnmeJt*- 

to the natiflnaLsalfaCg. TTr^ftOOTi 'm itHwonrmgn-hnt. 

presumably supporting him in his plans, the Cabinet^ 
is a combination of qualified experts that has stood 
behind every chief magistrate. The President may 
of course ignore the advice of his council, bat — as 
Alexander Hamilton cogently observed in 1800* — ^no 
President can as a rule afford to do so. If one were to 
seek identity of type for the President's Cabinet, one 
could probably discover it more easily in the organi- 
zation of the French monarchy before 1789 than in the 

1 Worlu (ed. H. 0. Lodge), VI, 419. 

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government of England, for the Cabinet is a veritable 
consetl du rot. \ ■— 

From a time soon after the formation of the Consti- \ 
tution down to the present day the associateB of the t 
President who compose the Cabinet have been freely I 
termed "constitutional advisers." Hamilton thus '. f 
characterized them.* Such nsage, although loose, rests 
partly on the fact that the Constitution as well as the 
statute law helped to predetermine a conncil. 

The Constitution referred to the "principal officer 
in each of the executive Departments," and again to 
the "Heads of Departments": the President might 
require their opinions "in writing" upon any subject 
relating to the duties of their respective offices. 
Although not expressly enjoining executive depart- 
ments, the Constitntion thus clearly contemplated 
principal officers. In accordance with this view the 
first Congress under the new government in 1789 pro- 
ceeded among its earliest acts to draw up laws for the 
establishment of three Secretaryships, and to provide 
for the office of Attorney-General. By 1792, or per- 
haps a little earlier, the practice of President 'Wash- 
ington brought these four officers together as an 
advisory council. In 1793 the body was popularly 
termed the Cabinet. In the course of time Washing- 
ton's practice, persisted in by his successors, became 
an established custom. 

Five other officials with duties clearly defined in tiie 
laws have since been added to. the original four, 
making to-day a council of nine regular advisers about 

> For « diKDMioD of thii nsage aee chttptor Xm, pp. 38B ff . 

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the President. Although the laws which from time to 
time have provided for the creation of these nine 
officials have taken no account of their combination 
into a bodj of counsellors, it should be observed, 
nevertheless, that the Secretary of the Navy (1798), 
the Secretary of the Interior (1849), the Secretary of 
Agriculture (1889), and the Secretary of Commerce 
and Labor (1903) were regularly oonoeived of as 
"oabinet" associates of the chief magistrate at the 
different times at which the bills creating these respec- 
tive offices were discussed, passed, and sanctioned. 
In fact it is assumed to-day simply as a matter of 
course that the "Secretary" of a new department will 
become as such an intimate adviser and associate of 
the President, and that by mere custom he is entitled 
to cabinet place and rank. Yet there has never been 
either constitutional or legal provision requiring the 

; President to consult or to summon the Cabinet. Once 
only has the term Cabinet been allowed thus far to 
sUp into a federal statute, the word appearing for the 
first time in a law signed by President Eoosevelt on^ 
February 26, 1907. The Cabinet, in brief, remains 

, to-day what it was at the beginning, a customary body \ 
of advisers. ' 

No thoroughly complete history of such a customary 
institution as the President's Cabinet can, I think, be 
written. Here and there for lack of evidence its story 
must ever remain unknown— concealed *by impene- 
trable dai^ess. Research and discovery, however, 
aided by inference and reflection, should yield much 

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iu the way of reliable information on the following 
aDbjeots : 

L Origin, Fonnation, and Structure. 
n. Practioee and Personnel. 

The present — and first — series of Studies has been 
written chiefly from such historic materials as throw 
tight espedally on the origin and structural ofiSces of 
the iDstitution. This series is consequently limited to 
setting forth the anatomy in contrast to the functions 
of the Cabinet. It seemed essential to discover and 
present those factors and influences which could 
accoant for the early summoning under President 
Washington of the council, and for the council's 
natural enlargement by the gradual addition of chief 
oflices. The historic development of administrative 
work, which not only brought heavy tasks to the shoul- 
ders of the secretariat but also increased the respon- 
sibility of the President, has had to be observed and 
frequently commented on. While xmder this first 
phase of the subject I have refrained from venturing 
far into the domain of political practices, and have 
avoided the entanglements of personal factors, at very 
few points in the narrative could I forget how impor- 
tant practices and personnel most always have been 
to the vitality of the institution as an element in the 
workings of the national government. 

In order to complete my plan I have in process of 
constmction a second series of Studies which are con- 
cerned with the whole subject of Cabinet Practices 
and PersonneL This second series is designed to con- 

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aider sneh sabjects as cabinet appointments and resig- 
nations, the qnalifications of cabinet officers, the influ- 
ence of the Cabinet on executive policy and on legisla- 
tion, the history of the cabinet meeting; and to set 
forth some of the curious episodes that have occa' 
sionally marked the history of the institution. 

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THE period of three centuries following the Nor- 
man Conqneat waa a formative one for English 
institutions. The circnmstancea of the Conquest 
brought immense authority to the Crown. This 
authority was certain to be controlled and limited 
as English liberties were secured. 

The orig^al nucleuB of royal power was the curia 
regis. The early history of this body would involve 
an account of the gradual and complicated process by 
which judicial, executive, legislative and political 
functions were separated, on© from another, and 
assigned to different organs. Out of the curia regis 
there developed the King's Council.' "At no time," 
says a recent writer,* "did English kings fail to have 
particular counsellors, known as consUiarii, consul- 
tores, familiares, domestid, or avlici, including men of 
the household, of the curia, and of the exchequer. In 
this they were like other kings (most notably the King 
of France), other princes, and even bishops and barons 
who possessed councils of uncertain composition." 

1 A, V. Dic^r, Tfce Privy CmtneiX (1887), pp. E, 6-7. 
■JamM F. Bsldwiii, "The Be^nningi of the King'i Council" in 
Trotuaetioif of th« fioyo) HMoriont BocUtv (IMS), XIZ, n. b. 89 ff. 

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Just when the King's personal adviBers began to have 
a recognized poeition as a distinct and organized body 
it is not easy to say. The view of Bishop Stnbbs that 
this council can be traced only from the minority of 
Henry ni can no longer be accepted because of the dis- 
covery of good evidence that the King's Council was 
already distinct and organized in the reign of John. 
It seems possible that it may yet be distingoished as 
early as Henry II's reign. But there is no positive 
proof.* We know that the Common Cotmcil of the 
realm claimed under Henry HI the right to nominate 
as well as to confirm great officers,* and thus to force 
the King to choose worthy associates as his personal 
advisers. But the problem presented numberless prac- 
tical difficulties, especially as there was at the time no 
developed or clearly defined le^slative power apart 
from the King — no Parliament with acknowledged 

The historic process of the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries brought the King's Council to its 
maturity by the close of the Plantagenet period. It 
was then the one sworn council of the King. Not large 
in numbers, it possessed, nevertheless, real power and 
efficiency as well as great dignity. Devoted to the 
work of legislation as well as administration, touching 
at times on the domain of a jealous and watchful Par- 
liament, it was the mainspring of government. The 
powerful status to which it had attained was the result 

1 Stabba, Cotutitutiotua Histom of BnglmUl, 4tti *i. II, 40 ff. Vor 
tbfl more recent viow, Bcldwin in Trmu. of the fioyol But. Boe., op. tit, 
p. 32. 

* StnbiM, CoMttiNtiottot SMory, U, 41. 

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of the eumnlatiTe effect of oastom rather than of 
statutory regulation.* 

In the fifteenth century nnder the house of Lan- 
caster the Council, now coming to be known as the 
Privy Council, reached its greatest power. Through 
force of many circumstances it was able to over- 
shadow alike the Crown, Parliament, and the people. 
It had fallen from its great traditions and its prestige 
by the time of Henry VII's accession} but it afforded 
the later Tudors, intent upon building up a great 
system of centralization, a royal instrument by means 
of which they were enabled to establish organized and 
efiScient rule throughout the kingdom. Under their 
sway the Privy Council gathered together and held 
all the threads of administration and diplomacy.* In 
its effectiveness as a Tndor organ, it has been char- 
acterized as "practically the predecessor of the 
modem Cabinet of Ministers."' 

Soon after the coming to the throne of the obstinate 
and injudicious line of the Stuarts, the problem of the 
relations of the King to his personal associates and 
close political advisers began to assume a foremost • 

(Baldwin, "Early Beeorda of thfl King's Council" in Amerieiui 
HirtorieoJ Beview (October, 1905), XI, 1-lS. " Antiquitiw of tbe 
King's Cooncil" in Engli$\ H{«toHeaI Bemev (January, 1906), XXI, 
1-20. "Tlie King's Council from Edirard I to Edward III" in Eng. 
HiMt. Bev. (Janoaiy, 1908), XXIII, 1-14. "The Privy Council of tlw 
Time of Biehard 11" in Amtr. Eitt. Bev. (October, 1906), XII, 1-li. 

• Dicey, PHtry CKHMeO; 3. F. Baldwin, aa prerioiuly cited; Lord 
Enatsce Percy, Tk« Frivy Covnoii wider tk« Tudor* (Btanliope Prii* 
ENay, 1007), pp. 1-2. 

^AeU of <ll0 Privy Cownoil o/ Snylond (154S-164T). J. B. Daaent, 
•d., I, Pr«fae«, Till. 

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place. By tiie beginning of the reign of Charles I it 
was clearly defined. What its solution would be was 
determined as a result of the political upheaval which 
followed. In the seventeenth century parliamentary 
government germinated. It developed markedly in 
the eighteenth century. The maturity of the system 
is one of the characteristic features of English govern- 
ment in the nineteenth century. 

The personal monarchy of Charles I, with all that 
it implied in the way of restriction of popular rights 
and widespread oppression, was more than a pro- 
gressive people could endure. At the very outset of 
the reign the claims of the Crown and Parliament were 
felt to be incompatible. The Commons demanded 
supremacy in the state and attempted to extract from 
the King a promise that he would change his ministers 
whenever the Commons were displeased with them. 
Parliament really was striving to make the govern- 
ment dependent upon itself. Li other words the idea 
of parliamentary leadership was assuming a positive 
and aggressive maturity. At the time, as perhaps 
never before, English popular opinion won not only 
expression but very capable direction. It was inevi- 
tably an epoch of experiment, but of experiment which 
often was made along conservative and older lines. 

The demand that the King submit to the guidance 
of such worthy counsellors as Parliament could trust 
was so frequently reiterated after 1640 that its reitera- 
tion is strong evidence that it had assumed the aspect 
of a very vital political principle. Among numerous 
instances it was clearly formulated in the petition pre- 

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ceding the Grand Bemonstrance (1641), in a document 
aoeording to whioh the King's subjects beg — 

That your Majesty will .... be pleased to remove from 
your conucil all Boch as persist to favour and promote an; 
of those pressures and cormptions wherewith your people 
have been grieved, and that for the future your Majesty will 
vouchsafe to employ such persons in your great and public 
afEairs, and to take such to be near you in places of trust, as 
yonr Parliament may have cause to confide in , . . .* 

Such a demand, vrhen put into practical shape, meant 
a government residing in a body of men acting under 
the control of Parliament. 

It is not necessary to analyze the steps taken or 
projected by the Long Parliament from 1640 onwards 
for tiie purpose of wresting from Charles certain 
special powers and thereby gaining control over 
administrative, financial, judicial, and military affairs. 
It is enough to say that by 1644 Parhament was fully 
determined in its purpose to control such matters. 
In the first half of tiiat year, in view of the indefinite 
continuance of the war, two ordinances were passed, 
dated respectively February 16 and May 22, which 
provided for the so-called Committee of Both King- 
doms. This Committee, composed of seven Peers, 

«S. B. Oardiner, CoMtiKiftonal Z>o(i>fli«nt« of t\t Puritan EmoEution 
(1SS9), p. 1S9. Oardiser prints bia Toliuiie for everyday use, and codm- 
qoeutly he omita old-fuhioned italice and numeniuB capital letters and 
some Boperfluoue commas. The same passage may be found in J. Bush- 
woTth, HittoHcal CoUection*, IV, 438. Cf. the simOar demand of the 
Oraud Beroonstrance, Qardiner's DocwnenU, pp. 131, 163, 154. See also 
the demand in tke Toi Propositione of June 24, 1041. Ibid., p. 92. Cf. 
pp. 125, 171 (Ninetera Propositions), 246, 340 (Htuuble Petition and 
Adrjee of 1857). 

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fourteen Commoners, and four Commissioners of the 
Scottish Parliament, was to "order and direct what- 
soeTcr doth or may concern the mana^g of the war 
.... and whatsoever may concern the peace of 
his Majmty's dominions." By Mr. Qardiner it is 
regarded as "the first attempt to give practical shape 
to the idea of a government residing in a hody of men 
acting nnder the control of Parliament."* Here, 
according to the same writer, the student of English 
institntiona comes npon "Ihe first germ of the modem 
Cabinet system." The Committee exercised "general 
ezeontive powers under responsibility to Parliament. 
.... Though it was not, like a modem Cabinet, com- 
posed of persons of only one shade of political opinion, 
the opinion that the war ought to be carried on with 
vigour was deradedly preponderant in it" "That 
the Committee thus institnted," he adds, "could never 
be more than an interesting experiment was the nat- 
ural result of the fact that the Parliament from which 
it sprang had no claim to be regarded as a national 

The Committee of Both Kingdoms disappeared in 
1648, within about four years of its creation. What 
the reader should observe is this: that the demand 

* B. B. Osfdiner, CmuMdKimal DooummU, latrod., pp. xliii-zliv, 190, 
192. The fint Ordinuice, it will ba obwrred, wu limited to tlirea 
moutha. Cf. C. H. Firth, T)t« Boute of Lord* Onring tlte Ciml War 
(1910), pp. 138-141. 

U OkTdiiteT, HUtory of tha Great Ciml War, I, 3S7 ff. Ab jet Oftrdiner 
ifl tlte onlj biatoriu who has given theee OrdinuicM anf earefol Atten- 
tion, Bltbongli Mr. Firth tonchea npon tliem in hia moet recent book, fke 
HoNM of Lord* dvrdig the Civit War. Cf. D. Hawon, Tlie lAfe of 
/oA» Maton, m (ftd. 1800), 41, 831, 5T9, S8S. 

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which called it into existence represented a sound and 
fundamental principle, which was repeatedly voiced 
or formulated during the epoch, and was never after- 
wards surrendered, at least by the more liberal 
leaders. In brief, the later and matured English 
Cabinet Committee was the oonsommate and practical 
achievement of this persistent demand. 

As the seventeenth centniy in England witnessed 
the cmde beginnings of parliamentary government, 
so that century first began to attach political signifi- 
cance to the term cabinet. The term had originally 
appeared in the language of the sixteenth century. 
Francis Bacon was among the earliest writers to 
reflect in his Essays^ its political sense. From 
Bacon's time it may be traced with many varieties of 
shadings through Speed, Walter Yonge, Massinger, 
Clarendon, Selden, Pepys, Sir John Beresby and 
Evelyn to Bolingbroke, Swift, Boger North, and other 
memoir writers of Queen Anne's and the Georgian 

An extract from the State Papers dated at London, 
Jane 8, 1622, reads as follows: "Chamberlain to 
Carleton. A Cabinet Council is talked of, to which 
the most secret and important business may be com- 
mitted. . . . ."" This is the earliest usage of the term 

UEd, 8. H. B«7iioldB (Oxford: 1801), p. 148, foot note •. 
» Bm Note 1 mt tbe end of thia ehftpt«r. 

naOendart of State Paper*— Domewtio (1019-1628), p. 404. Of . ilao 
Ibid. (162S-ieSS), pp. 150, 803. On April 23, 1629: "ThaN !• talk of 

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that I can discover in these valuable and miscellaneons 
sources. By the last decade of the century, however, 
the term is frequently found in them. 

The varied and often vague applications of the term 
it is needless to dwell upon. For much of the seven- 
teenth century it signified a body of royal counsellors 
or ministers which met in private, a committee of 
state apt to be concerned with such secret and informal 
measures as Parliament could not easily fathoin or 
control. It was seldom used without opprobrium even 
well into the eighteenth century. There is no better 
illnstration of this than in two discussions of the term 
as it cropped up in Parliament in the years 1692 and 
1711 respectively. 

" 'Cabinet-Council' [retorted an angry member in 
the House of Commons in November, 1692] is not a 
word to be fonnd in onr Law-books. We knew it not 
before ; we took it for a nick-name. Nothing can fail 
out more unhappily than to have a distinction made 
of the 'Cabinet' and 'Privy Council.' .... If some 
of the Privy Council must be trusted, and some not, 
to whom mnst any gentleman apply 1 Must he ask, 
'Who is a Cabinet-Connsellorf This creates mis- 

S Mlect«d OT Cabinet Council, whereto none are admitted but the Duke of 
Bucfcingham, the Lords Treasurer and Chamberlain, Lord Brooke, and 
Lord Conwaj. ' ' Walter Yonge probabl; refers to the same matter when 
he reeoTdi in Jnne, 16E5, thii entry in hii Diary (p. S3, Camden Society, 
1B48); "The King made choice of eii of the nobility for hii Council of 
the Cabinet." On July 14, 1630, Sir Thomas Boe referred to Sir Henry 
Vane — u Ur. Oardiner long since (18S6) pointed out — as one "who is 
of the Cabinet." Cal. of 8t. Papert—Domettic (1629-1631], p. 308. 
Aecording to Clarendon {Sittory, I, 263, ed. of 1626), within a few years 
the terms "Committee of State," "Junto," and "Cabinet Council" 
were used synonymously when a group of royal adTlsers was referred to. 

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tmst in the people "" "The method of the 

cabinet [declared anotiier member on the aame occa- 
sion] is not the method nor the practice of England 
.... things are concerted in the Cabinet, and then 

brought to the conncU If this method be, yon 

will never know who gives advice '"* 

In Jannary, 1711, discnssion arose in the Honse 
of Lords over the question of using the term 
cabinet council — as at first it was proposed to do — 
or ministers in a resolution of censure. It was 
objected that both terms were ambiguous. Both 
terms, moreover, were unknown to the law. Of the 
two, ministers or ministry was called "too copious" 
in its meaning, for the Cabinet Council, it was 
observed, did not take in all the ministers. The dis- 
cussion became strenuous and was delaying really 
important and pressing business, when the Earl of 
Peterborongh gave it an amusing turn by reminding 
his colleagues of a distinction with which he was 
familiar. He had heard, be said, that "the Privy 
Counsellors were such as were thought to know every 
thing and knew nothing ; and .... those of the Cabinet 
Council thought nobody knew any thing but them- 
selves "" 

However reproachful the reflections cast on the term 
by members of Parliament might be, "cabinet" or 
"cabinet council" was well recognized and in frequent 
use by the last decade of the seventeenth century. 

^FarUomMtary Hi$tory, V, 781. 
»IMi, T, 788. 
JiTWd., VI, BTlfl. 

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ThuB on Jnne 16, 1690, the Marqnis of Carmarthen, 
writing to King William HI, says: "The Lords of the 
Cabinet think. . . . ."" A week later: "Her Majesty 

is very diligent at cabinet oonndls The Queen 

hereapon called the cabinet conneil and gave several 

orders "" On September 5, 1694, there was 

recorded the draft of a summons "to the Cabinet 
Council to meet this day at 5 pjn. . . . .'"* 


Behind the term, which it has been comparatively 
easy to trace, was tbe thing — ^the Committee or Council 
of the Cabinet. It would certainly be vain to seek any 
precise beginnings for such a committee; the search 
for these wonld lead inevitably into a maze of prac- 
tices which are found far back in history. But two 
matters are tolerably clear: in the first place some such 
committee began to attract enough attention to be 
noted in the records of the first quarter of the seven- 
teenth century; and writers of authority in that cen- 
I tury regarded the Cabinet Committee as an o£fslv>ot 
1 of the Privy Council, itself the traditional organ of " 
executive power. Roger North, for example, basing 
bis statements on records left by his brother, Francis 
North, the Lord Keeper Guilford, intimately asso- 
ciated with the government of Charles II, could say 
of the Cabinet Council this : "as offices of the law, out 
of clerkships, spawn other offices, so this council was 

iTCoIendarj of State Paper*— DomMtid (1S90-1S91), p. S8. 

ujMd, p. 88. 

»Ibid. (1Q84-1(»S}, p. 89S. 

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derived from the Privy Conncil, which, originally, was 

the same thing Assemblies, at first, reasonably 

constituted of a due number and temper for dispatch 
of affairs committed to them, by improvident increase, 
came to be formal and troublesome, the certain conse- 
quence of multitude, and thereby a new institution 
becomes necessary: whereupon it is found easier and 
safer to substitute than to dissolve. Thus the cabinet 
council, which, at first, was but in the nature of a 
private conversation, came to be a formal council, and 
had the direction of most transactions of the govern- 
ment, foreign and domestic."*" Although this well- 
known passage may have been descriptive of what 
took place nnder Charles 11 near the opening of the 
reign, it can reasonably be interpreted as having had, 
in its author's mind, a more general and wider appli- 
cation. In the wider sense it affords a statement 
close to historic truth. 

Institutions have a way of appearing before they 
are named. And this postulate would tend to turn 
the stndent on the trail of the Cabinet Committee into 
the Tudor epoch. Knowledge of the workings of the 
Privy Coun<al within the epoch is stiil very incom- 
plete, but it is larger than that of the Stuart epoch, 
for as yet the acts of the Council after J.604 have not 
been printed." Under the Tudors the mass of admin- 

"B. North, Uvea of th« NortU (London: 1826, 3 vols. ), Tl, 60 61. 
Cf. Jaha TreDcbBTd, A Short Sittory of Standing Armw in England 
(16BS), for a Himilar Yiew. 

n Lord Eusteee Peiey, op. oil., pp. 36-39, 68 fl. Q. W. Protheio, 
Introd. to StaiKte* and ConttitvtioMl Doannentt (1669-162S), pp. 

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istrative, judicial and ezeontive business in the bands 
of the Privy Council was enormous. The size of the 
Council increased, eepecially under Edward VI and 
Mary. With larger tasks than ever to perfonn, it was 
inevitable that it should delegate some of its jurisdic- 
tion if not its anthority. Under Edward Vl and bis 
BuooesBor the work of the Privy Counral was divided 
among sundry committees, tbe most notable of which 
was probably the Committee of State of 1553. From 
this point Sir William B. Anson dates the permanency 
of the practice of diacassiug important bueineBS in an 
interior council. This committee may be regarded, 
aecording to the eame writer, as the precursor of the 
Committee of State of 1640 which Clarendon described 
as being termed by way of reproach a "Cabinet 
Council." "It seems," says Anson, "almost inevi- 
table that unless the entire Privy Council was often 
reconstituted the treatment of important matters mnst 
pass into tbe hands of a few. The Council would 
always contain men qualified for one canse or another 
to be Councillors of the Crown but not possessed of 
tbe practical sagacity, promptitude of judgment, and 
force of character whi(^ come into play when some 
crisis calls for immediate action and nothing that can 
be done is free from risk. The men who possess these 
qualities would be the men to form the ' Committee of 
State,' the 'junto,' tbe 'Cabinet.' "" 

B Anson, n« Law and Cuttom of t\e Cofutitwltoi, Pt II, The 
Ciown (Ed Ad., 1896), pp. 92-93. Anson draws his eonelusion from Bur- 
net's Hittory of Xht Btformatitm, T, 119, from tbe minntea of s CAbinet 
eouieil of Angost 14, 1AM (Tka S<ird\Bieke Papers, II, 147), uid from 
CUrendon '■ eomments in his Mittory, Bk. II, ss. 61, M. Iiord EwtM« 

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This truly notable oonclaaion which places the estab- 
lishment of the practice of interior councils — ^in other 
words the beginnings of the Cabinet Committee — ^back 
in the Tndor epodi is plausible. It rests npon insuffi- 
cient evidence to make it altogether convincing. What 
it helps to explain is this: the apjMarance under 
James I of a new political phrase; the apparent 
decline of the Privy Conncil in position and power 
nnder the Stuarts. 

The practice of advising with an inner ring of coun- 
cillors or of going even outside the Privy Council for 
advice was certain to arouse the suspicions of a watch* 
ful Parliament. It would seem, moreover, to give 
special point to Clarendon's observation regarding 
Charles I, that the King's failure properly to estimate 
the importance of the Privy Conncil as an institution 
and to maintain its authority was one of the chief 
causes which help to explain the fall of the monarchy.^ 
There is no doubt, however, that the practice of inner 
councils was continued nnder Charles II, but with cer- 
tain modifications that reveal some growing deference 
on the part of the monarch toward Parliament. Once 
back in England in 1660, the circumstances of the 
political situation forced upon Charles a large and 
unmanageable Privy CouncU. It was soon found 
expedient to divide it into various committees. Con- 
spicuous among these was the so-called Committee of 
Foreign Affairs. There was another committee, which 

Pn«7 det«eta in •«u« of the Marian and EIisftb«Uiui eommittees of tha 
PriT7 Conseil ^ananta of permanencj. Op. ott., p. 3S. 

B C. H. Firth in Snglitk HUtoricol Beviev, Jumuj', 1904, pp. 48 tt. 
(Art: "Clannaon's 'Hktoiy of the BetMUIon.' ") 

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Clarendon describes in this way. The King, he 
wrote — 

appointed the chancellor and some others to have frequent 
confiultatioiis with such members of the parliament who were 
most able and willing to serve him; and to concert all the 
wa^ and means by which the traBsactioDS in the houses 
might be carried with the more expedition, and attended with 
the beat saccess." 

This latter measure is snggestive of Temple's well- 
known plan of 1679, which proved to be a vain 
endeavor to establish a sort of mechanism by which 
Parliament and the King's Conndl could work 
together. But the complaint of the time was that 
some Cabinet Council "takes things out of the hands 
of the Privy Council"" — a complaint that wqs based 
on the conviction that so long as any inner committee 
of the Privy Council, called by whatever name, 
remained under royal control, such a committee must 
be only a variation of a time-worn means of sustaining 
the King's arbitrary power. 

The King's arbitrary power was precisely the tradi- 
tional feature of government which the more liberal 
English statesmen of the seventeenth century endeav- 
ored to find means to control. Inasmuch as the futnre 
liberties of the nation were felt to depend on the 
success or the failure of their efEort;s in this direction, 
the issue became the most vital one of the eentnry. 
As it matnred, it was destined to give form and 

"TJU lAfe of Edward Sari of Clarendon. B7 Himjwlf (Oxford: 
1857), I, 808. T. H. Liater, Life and Adminittration of Edward, Firgt 
Earl of Clarendon, II, 6 fl. 

" any >» Debate*, YI, aw. Dee«iib«r, IB78. 

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impetus to Bomerous ideas and practices. Among 
ideas was the conception of the importance and grow- 
ing need of some sort of parliamentaiy control over 
the King's advisers, especially over those inner coun- 
cils which were too apt to direct and sway his policy. 
Among practices may be noted those which prevailed 
during the period of the Long Parliament — the 
appointing of parliamentary committees for execntive 
purposes." Taken together, this conception and the 
practice of parliamentary executive committeeB may 
be regarded as the most important contribntions of 
the seventeenth century toward the formation of 
England's future government. 


The eighteenth century was marked by a steady bat 
rather unconscious development of parliamentary or 
committee government in England. The process had 
certainly begun long before that period, but it was 
invigorated by and rested upon ideals that were 
largely the outcome of the seventeenth-century strug- 
gles between King and Parliament. From the epoch 
of the Revolution which brought William and Mary 
to the throne, the problem was essentially this: the 
arrangement of political mechanism in a way such as 

■> ' ' The pr&etiee of appointing eonunitteM is aJmoHt as old m Parlia- 
ment itself, but the appointment of eommitteea for executive porpoua 
was the invention of the Berenteenth eentiuy .... it romaine MTtain 
that it waa the one method of the Long Parliament." Edward Jeuka, 
Tke CtrnttitvUonid ExperimeMt of t\6 Cotnmtmwealt\ (Cambridge Hist. 
Eeeajt, No. HI), p. 12. 

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would allow Parliament or more especially the House 
of Commons to gain control of the small and informal 
group of intimate royal advieerB sometimes termed 
the Cabinet Committee. It was ■ particularly to the 
credit of Robert Spencer, second Earl of Sunderland, 
perhaps the' most influential director of William's 
internal policy, that he pointed out to the King the 
importance of securing parliamentary support' by 
giving, the great offices to parliamentary leaders and 
making these, his ministers. Moreover, he perceived 
the advantages to be gained if the monarch could be 
induced to prefer one or the other of the two parties, 
Wbigs and Tories.*' Sunderland's advice was along 
these lines in the last decade of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, and helped toward the solution of the problem 
which proved to mean in the long run that Parliament 
wovld ultimately contain, nominate, guide and control 
its own eseeutive." 

Near the beginning of the eighteenth c^tnry within 
the reign of Anne there was an informal Cabinet Com- 
mittee, councillors and administrative oCScers who 
were exercising functions in the state that can be 
traced in part from those of the old Tudor office of 
Principal Secretary of State. There was no clear 
evidence that the individuals composing this com- 
mittee recognized their responsibility for the conduct 
of affairs. They owed as yet no special allegiance to 
any one of their number. And they were still unaware 
that their continuance in office would depend on the 

Dietimtary of Natioital Biography, LIU, 3SS ff. 
"John UoTle7, WalpoU (Eagliah Statesmen aer.), p. 139. 

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coDtinnaDce of the sapport of a majority of the Uoase 
of Commons." In unforeseen ways both oircomstaDces 
and personnel kept affecting the practices of govern- 
ment. But neither the meaning of circumstances nor 
the foFoe of personality could be determined easily or 
quickly in respect to their influence on the process of 
the development of committee government. 

Two conservative clauses in the Act of Settlement 
were summarily nullified in the early part of Anne's 
reign by being repealed." As originally passed, they 
raised a barrier directly in the way of parliamentary 
control over the ministry. Yet neither when they were 
first incorporated into the law nor when they were 
repealed, could men have onderstood their full bear- 
ing on the future of governmental mechanism. The 
Tories, eager to check the practices of interior coun- 
cils by reviving the authority of the Privy Council, 
were responsible for a provision of the Act of Settle- 
ment which declared that all matters properly cogni- 
zable in the Privy Connoil by the laws and onstoms of 
the realm were to be transacted there, and furthermore 
that all Privy Conneillors advising and consenting to 
any resolution most sign snoh resolution. Another 
provision ezdnded all servants of the Crown from the 
House of Commons. The restriction on a stateman'a 
liberty in the first provision was against the sentiment 
of the time. The second provision would have 
destroyed close relations between the ezecntive and the 
legislature, and by withdrawing ministers from the 

vAnaon, Law and Outom, Ft. n, p. 105. 
>4 AnM, 0. 8, M. E4, 20. 

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House of Commona wonld have weakened completely 
its inflnenoe. 

The directive forces of the century, the forces which 
carried parliamentary government well along towards 
maturity, were with the Whigs. And Walpole prob- 
ably did more than any single man within the century 
to establish what has been called the bias of the sys- 
tem. Many circumstances and many men aided in the 
process. The harmony of policy that existed between 
the Whig leaders and two such foreigners as Qeorge I 
and George It was a circumstance of paramount 
importance. The reactionary effort of George III, 
nourished as a youth on the conservative philosophy 
of Bolingbroke's Idea of a Patriot King, faUed miser- 
ably." Tet the fact of its failure was not to be foretold 
much before the close of the American Revolution. 
The Whigs had inherited the liberal traditions of 
government from the seventeenth century. Their 
ideas molded the Cabinet into a vital institution. 

There was no writer in the eighteenth century who 
attempted to make an exposition of the place of the 
Cabinet Committee in the English system of govern- 

Montesqnieu's Esprit des Lois, which appeared in 
1748, set forth an idealized view of the British Consti- 
tution which influenced a nnmber of conspicuous 
writers on law and government. The French author 

■iBoliuf broke '■ fatnoae teutj wm irritten &t a tinM (1738) vlien 
pftrliamentftTj govemmoit was At ft low ebb. Tbfl attempt, aajB Mt, 
Q. W, Alger, "to put this philoBophy into effect wee emong tbe eAiuea 
of the Bevolution which aeparated na from Oreftt Britkin." Atlantio 
JfontMy, NoTember, 1908, pp. S81-S8S. 

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perceived some of the great prineiples which had been 
at work and were making for the advancement of 
English political liberties. He was convinced that the 
secret of the Constitntion lay in the clear separation 
of the executive, the legislative, and the judicial 
powers. But he failed to see or to appreciate those 
sabtle features of parliamentary custom and prac- 
tice, on the basis of which the Cabinet was assiuaing 
the gaise of a working and organic institution." 

Blaokstone was the first legal writer in England 
over whom Montesquieu had a marked influence. The 
Commentaries were published between 1765 and 1769. 
Concerned primarily with the law of the Constitution, 
the work took no account of such a customary institu- 
tion aa the Cabinet. From the more general realm of 
history Blackstone ventured to draw the ordinary 
distinctions between the various parts of the mechan- 
ism of govermnent, and presented the optimistic con- 
clusion that the British Constitution afforded the best 
of all possible governments. However misonnd such 
views might be, they were not likely to detract much 
from the essential merits of the great treatise in which 
they were to be found, or to attract general attention. 
Yet it was jast these views that famished the means 
of bringing a young student of law and philosophy 
into his first prominence as a writer." 

Moved by his recollections of Blackstone 's lectures 
at Oxford, with which at the time he heard them 
(1763) he was inclined to disagree, and convinced of 

»EipeeiBl]7 Bk. XI, diap. S. 

nPkDl JkDflt, fiwtmrv de la Soiemse FoKUgue (1S87), H, S9»ff. 

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the nnliiBtoric and misleading natare of certain pas- 
sages in Blackstone's first volome, Jeremy Bentiiam 
published anonymously in 1776 A Fragment on Gov- 
ernment. In this pamphlet Bentham took Blackstone 
to task for his optimism, and discossed at some length 
his view of the British Constitution, dwelling npon 
the great lawyer's failnre (as he oonoeived it) to dis- 
tinguish clearly or adequately the executive from the 
legislative power. To Bentham the work of the Swiss 
writer, De Lolme, appealed as far more thoughtful and 
historically sonnd than Blackstone's. While Ben- 
tham 's criticism was amply justified, it rested on no 
intimate knowledge either of English history or of 
parliamentary practice, and was accordingly chiefly 
destructive. It is notable, however, as Bentham 's first 
effort to apply the scientific method to problems of 

The original edition of De Lolme's Constitution de 
I'Angleterre was published in 1771." Revised by 
its anthor several times and considerably elaborated, 
it assumed final form in 1784, and then included eleven 
chapters in addition to those it originally had con- 
tained, making a total of thirty-five chapters besides 
a brief Introduction and a bibliographical note. Trans- 
lated into English a few years after its first appear- 
ance, it attracted many readers, among them 
"Janius," Bentham, Alexander Hamilton and some 
other American statesmen. The work was no doubt 

M J FmjrMmt on Chvtrnment (London: 1778), Clutptflr m, British 
GDnatHotion, pp. 92-12S. LMli« Stephen, Tke BnglUh VtUitariant 
(N«w Tork: lOOQ), I, ISlff. 

* AmstetdMO, pp. 308. 

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Biiggested by Montesquieu's well-known views on the 
British Constitution, but in comparison with Montes- 
quieu it afforded a more systematic and detailed study 
of English governmental institutions, particularly of 
the English kingship and its supposed f unetions in the 
actual government of the kingdom. Unlike the work 
of Montesquieu, which took its final form on its first 
appearance in print, De Lolme's treatise was grad- 
ually developed from the original essay of 1771 over 
a period of thirteen momentons years. Yet it is true 
that its original form was set largely by impressions 
gathered by the author about the end of the first 
decade of George III'b rale. 

"The first pecniiarity of the English government 
as a free government," wrote De Lolme, "is its having 
a king — its having thrown into one place the whole 
mass .... of the executive power, and having inva- 
riably and forever fixed it there.'*" This postulate, 
expressed in some variety of ways, sounded a keynote 
of the treatise. The Constitution "placed all the exec- 
utive authority in the state out of the hands of those 
in whom the people trust."" "The English govern- 
ment will be no more .... when the representatives 
of the people shall hegm to share in the executive 

In discussing the legislative power De Lolme stated 
clearly that the representatives of the people in Par- 

* Th« ConttitttUtm of S*gland; or, an account of the EnKlioli OoTem- 
atmt, Bj J. L. De Lolme. A new «d. with Life «nd note* b^ John Mac- 
QngoT, U. P. (London: Bohn, 18SS), p. 148. 

"iMd., p. 2S7. 

»Ibtd., p. 31«. Cf. pp. 147, 26S, 300. 

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liament possessed the right of initiative in all matters 
of legislation." From the nation, he said, the Crown 
"receives the force with which it governs the nation. 
Its resonrces are official energy, and not compulsion — 
free action, and not fear."* He was careful to admit 
near the close of his work that in England there had 
never been "more than one assembly that conld supply 
the wants of the sovereign. This has always kept him 
in a state, not of a seeming, but of a real dependence 
on the representatives of the people for his necessary 
supplies ; and how low soever the liberty of the subject 
may at particular times have sunk, they have always 
found themselves possessed of the moat effectual 
means of restoring it, whenever they thought proper 
so to do."" Among his most matured considerations 
on the legislative power is the following passage taken 
from the concluding chapter of the work in its final 
form. "Two circumstanees more I shall mention 
here," he wrote, "as peculiar to England; namely, 
the constant attention of the legislature in providing 
for the int^^ts and welfare of the people, and the 
iudulgence^^Mi by them to their very prejudices: 
advantagd^'iHI which are, no doubt, the consequence 
of the general spirit that animates the whole English 
government, but are also particularly owing to the 
circumstance peculiar to it, of having lodged the active 
part of le^slation in the hands of the representatives 
of the nation, and committed the care of alleviating 

» Constitution of England, pp. 104, 167, SOT. 

»rbid., p. 800. 

« Hid., pp. 827-3E8. 

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the grievaDceB of the people to persons who either feel 
them, or see them nearly, and whose surest path to 
advancement and fame is to be active in finding 
remedies for them."** 

Quotations can give only the barest glimpse of 
De Lolme's views. He had a remarkable appreciation 
of that flexibihty of the English Constitntion in gen- 
eral, and certain factors in particular which afforded 
a balance among the different parts of the mechanism. 
Bnt he conld neither fally abandon nor forget Ms 
postulate as to the indivisibility of the executive, 
impressed as he was by his conviction of the fixed 
and dominant place of the King in the English scheme 
of government. He was consequently quite unable to 
give any really adequate account of the functions of 
the Ministry or the Cabinet. He did not understand 
the secret of their relations to Parliament on the one 
hand or to the King on the other. The conception of 
the Prime Minister, as to-day we understand it, dates 
only from the epoch of the younger Pitt;" De Lolme 
oonld not of oonrse have had it. Nor diJpAhave any 
notion of the functions of party govci^^Bit in oper- 
ating the machine. Yet it must be ^f^Bid that he 
was not simply an alert student ofniistory and law, 
but that he was likewise an observer of political prac- 
tices. His treatise was not profound, but it was clever 

**n>id., p. 3S8. UaeGregor, aditor of De Lolme in 1S53, wu moved 
to give in eouneetiaa with thii patma,ge a nots on the Cabiiwt aa a very 
SBMntial element in the government. Pp. 364-867. 

*) Sir William B, Anaon, AitiobiograpXy and FoKtieal Corretpemdmtet 
of Aiigu»tfU ffenry Third Dvka of Orafton, K. 6. (London: 1898), 
Zntrod., p. zxx. 



and incIiiBiye of much that waa of interest to statesmen. 
Altogether it remains as qoite the most remarkable 
exposition of the English government which was 
written during the last thirty years of the eighteenth 

It remained for a statesman peculiarly accomplished 
in the theory as well as in the practices of govem- 
ment to throw light on the true functions of the Min- 
istry in the eighteenth century. "There are but very 
few," wrote Edmund Burke, "who are capable of 
comparing and digesting what passes before their 
eyes at different times and occasions, so as to form 
the whole into a distinct system."* Of these few 
Burke may certainly be reckoned among his contem- 
poraries as the most distinguished one. In his well- 
known defence of the Whig system of party govern- 
ment, a pamphlet entitled Thoughts on the Cause of 
the Present Discontents (1770), Burke discerned some 
of the secrets of ministerial functions. While the pam- 
phlet was primarily an attack on the corrupt system 
of aristotfatic and court influence, a system which 

U No writer, so fu' as I know, haa ever Ltt«iid«d to tlie fact Ui&t De 
Lolme'f book wa^^kwped duTing the jnn from 1771 to 1784. The 
anthot covld hardl^^e changed his original views without easentiallj 
recaating tlM whole work. Tet the final revision indicatea that De 
Lolme'B views had changed in some respecti. He was inelin«d, I 
believe, in his last edition to assign a more vital place in the govern' 
mental machine to the House of Commons. One is tempted to conjecture 
tiiat, had he re-nritteD his book in the light of the younger Pitt 's long 
ministry (17S3-I801), De Lolme mi^t have produced a treatise in which 
the crneiaJ position of the Cabinet Committee would have been suggeatAd 
for the flist time. De Lolme died in 1806 or 1807. The beet brief sketch 
of his work and career is to be found in the Dietionary of National Biog- 
ropky, XIT, SiS ft. 

» Worlet (Boston: 1866), I, 442. 

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George m and the adherents of the ideal of a restored 
absolutiem tried to bnild up daring the decade after 
1760 and for some years following, it penetrated 
beneath the mere surface of history, for it afforded a 
sketch of political tendendes and practices since the 
revolntion of 1668. 

Briefly enmrnarized, the objects which the King and 
his followers sought were these: A court separated 
from the Ministry j a powerful body of adherents 
dependent on the King's personal favor; and a House 
of Commons alienated from the Ministry. As means 
to these ends it was necessary to exclude men of com- 
manding influence from the regular Cabinet of Min- 
isters; furthermore it was essential to nullify as far 
as possible the regular Cabinet by limiting Ministers 
to the confines of their regular departments and to 
discredit them in the eyes of the nation either for their 
character or through the odium which they might incur 
for approving unpopular acts; finally, by means of 
patronage and corruption, to put the majority of the 
House of Commons at the disposal of the court's 
agents. The nucleus of the system was an inner 
cabinet of "King's Friends.'"* 

Such objects and the means adopted to attain such 
objects were entirely out of accord with the progres- 
sive tendencies which had been active since the Bevo- 
lution. By slow degrees the burden of public affairs 
had come to rest on the Ministers. The Ministry, 

* Edward Jenks hfia munmu'iied theae points clearly in hia volnms 
cu tlie «Tolation of the eabiaet a7«t«m entitled Parlianwntarjr BngliMi 
(1003), p. 1»4. 

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having relieved the Crown of its oares, had somewhat 
tmconscioasly appropriated much of the Crown's 
authority, and was being held responsible by the 
House of Commons for acts which formed the basis 
of a national policy. "It must be remembered," 
wrote Burke, "that since the Bevolution .... the 
influence of the Crown had been always employed in 
supporting the ministers of state, and in carrying on 
the public business according to their opinions.'* 
Qeorge III had endeavored to change all this. "The 
power of the Crown, almost dead and rotten as Pre- 
rogative, has grown up anew with much more strength, 
and far less odium, under the name of Influence. "** 
To this influence, especially as it had been asserted 
in the House of Conunons, Burke was firmly opposed. 
"The House of Commons," he declared, "can never 
be a control on other parts of the government unless 
they are controlled themselves by their oonstituents ; 
and unless these constituents possess some right in 
the choice of that House, which it is not in the power 
of the House to take away."" In any event there must 
be, according to Burke, "but one administration; and 
that one composed of those who recommend them- 
selves to their sovereign through the opinion of 
their country, and not by their obsequiousness to a 
favorite."" In brief, the Cabinet must be trusted by 
the nation as well as by the King. 
Burke was writing no treatise on the British Con- 

« Works, I, 460. 
ttJWd., p. 444. 
«I6i<l, p. 503. 
MJbid., p. S8T. 

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BtitntioQ snoh as De Lolme had tried to make. His 
pamphlet was no text-book from which men of the day 
conld draw precise statements about the workings or 
the stractnre of ministerial government. He was 
imbued with the passion of a conservative reformer, 
and was bent npon calling attention to the attempt of 
the King to pnt the false and — as Burke conceived it — 
the dangerous philosophy of Bolingbroke's Patriot 
King into effect. Such an attempt was wholly out of 
accord with the progressive tendencies that had pre- 
vailed since the SUent Revolution, and was likely to 
interfere with the political life of the entire state. 
What Burke understood better perhaps than any man 
of his time was this — ^that no formal organization 
as set forth in a constitution or in the law can ever 
quite adequately represent the political life of the 
state. "The laws reach but a very little way," he 
wrote. "Constitute government how you please, 
infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the 
exercise of the powers which are left at large to the 
prudence and uprightness of ministers of State. Even 
all the use and potency of the laws depend upon 
them."** Such a sentiment, taken into account with 
the reasoning revealed throughout the pamphlet, may 
be taken to indicate some perception in Burke's mind 
of the change that was in course of accomplishment 
throughout the eighteenth century. The change 
amounted to a slow revolution. Its accomplishment 
through the custom rather than the law of the Oonsti- 
tution centered on the Cabinet Committee. Although 

niM(I.,p. 470. 

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no one in the eighteenth oentary expressed the fact — 
indeed, probably no one could have expressed it — ^the 
chief function of that committee was to bring abont 
a co-operation among the different forces of the state 
without interfering with the legal independence of 
those forces." 

At the bepnning of the nineteenth century party 
government by means of a Cabinet Committee drawn 
from the two Houses of Parliament for the conduct of 
the bnsiness of the state was an accomplished fact. 
It is true that through the Prime Minister the Crown 
was to exercise some influence. But the life of the 
Cabinet had come to be dependent on the maintenance 
of the confidence of the House of Commons. The 
Cabinet had drawn to itself not only the royal power 
over legislation, but also many of the most important 
legislative powers of Parliament." It was in fact the 
mainspring of government The time was nearly at 
hand when the historic processes of its subtle evolu- 
tion could be expounded and set forth with some 
degree of detail and clarity. 

In Hallam's Constitutional History of England 
from the Accession of Henry VII to the Death of 
George II — a work first published in 1827 — there is to 
be found a brief sketch of the seventeenth-century 

■B A. Lawrenu Lowell, The Oovemvtent of England, I, S3. Cf. Hor- 
legr, Burke, pp. 48 ff. Leekj', Bittory of the Eighteenth Century (Lon- 
don: fid ed., 18B3), III, lei ff. 

*> J. B«dlieli, The Procedure of the House of Comnone (Eng. trans., 
1908), I, 71 ff. 

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process of cleavage between the Privy Council and the 
Oabiuet Conunittee." As far aa it goes, this sketch is 
penetrating and carefnL It was not written, however, 
with the maturity of the cabinet system in view. 
Eallam dealt summarily with the reigns of Anne and 
the first two Georges. It was clearly not in his plan 
to forecast the results of the evolution of ministerial 
government, although some of the essential features 
in the process were presented in his account of 
William III and his three sneoessors. In truth the 
system of party government as well as the significance 
of the historic evolution of the Cabinet were likely to 
attract more attention after the reform measures of 
1832 than before. 

Macaulay was the first historian who wrote appre- 
ciatively of the English Cabinet. In the first volume 
of The History of England from the Accession of 
James the Second, which appeared in 1848, he wrote : 
"Few things in our history are more curious than the 
origin and growth of the power now possessed by 
the Cabinet .... During many years old-fashioned 
politicians continued to regard the Cabinet as an 
nnconstitntional and dangerous board. Nevertheless, 
it constantly became more and more important. It 
at length drew to itself the chief executive power, and 
has now been regarded, during several generations, 
as an essential part of our polity."" This passage was 
sufficiently explicit to promise well for a careful study 
of cabinet development when parliamentary affairs in 

Nparia: 1827, in, 4S6 ff. 

tSiftory (BoMon: Houghton, IDfflin, 1901), I, 20T-808. 

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the latter part of 1693 came under consideration. 
And juat before entering upon the intricate ciromn- 
stances of 1693-1696 — ^the period in which Macanlay 
discovered the first definite cine to a ministry united 
and leading in good order a majority of the Honse 
of Commona — ^he remarked: "No writer has yet 
attempted to trace the progress of the institntion, an 
institntion indispensable to the harmonicas working 
of onr other institntions."" Had he been able to carry 
oat the extensive plan of his work as originally he had 
contemplated it, Maoaalay might have left a valaable 
record of the historic evolution of the cabinet system 
of government from its seventeenth-centnry begin- 
nings to its nineteenth-century maturity. As it was, 
however, his work remained an illuminating narrative 
of English history only to the death of William III 
in 1702. So far as he concerned himself with the 
Cabinet, he differentiated skilfally the beginnings of 
the institution from the complicated elements of the 
seventeenth-century process. These beginnings he set 
forth in the light of the maturity of the system — a 
maturity so fully appreciated by him, that the reader 
to-day will find it difScult to discover a better state- 
ment of the theory of cabinet government than was 
written by Maoaulay in the twentieth chapter of his 

The year 1867 witnessed the appearance of three 
notable contributions to the literature of cabinet 

»Bittory, rv, 043. 

" nU., IV, 642 fl. Sir Conrten>7 Dbert cites the puuge in Om pref - 
net which he wrote tar the Engliah tranHlation ot Bedlieh, op. oU., pp. 

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history and to the eluoidation of the praetices of par- 
liamentary government. These contributions came 
from three writers living far apart, bat all of them 
residents of the British Empire. The writers were 
Walter Bagehot, editor of the Economist (London) ; 
William E. Heam, Professor of Modem History, 
Logic, and Political Economy in the University of 
Melbourne ; and Alphens Todd, Librarian of the Par- 
hament of Canada. Although Bagehot 's The English 
Constitution was published in 1867, it had first 
appeared, it should be said, in instalments in the pages 
of the Fortnightly Reviev), beginning in the first issue 
of that periodical of May 15, 1865. Heam's volume 
was entitled The Government of England: its Struc- 
ture and its Development." Todd, eager to help 
toward the formation of the confederation of the 
Canadian provinces, hurried into print early in 1867 
with a first volmne entitled, On Parliamentary Oov- 
emment in England: its Origin, Development, and 
Practical Operation. He was obliged to leave as part 
of a second volume the history of the origin, organiza- 
tion, and functions of the Cabinet. This second 
volume appeared in 1869. 

Taken together, these three works eluddated both 
the history and the intricate workings of cabinet gov- 
ernment as well probably as it was possible at the time 
to do. They indioated, moreover, how widespread 
and vital was the interest that had been aroused in 
an understanding of the matured system of the Eng- 

■ Second edition. Longmuu, Oreen, London! 188S. Heam died in 

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lish form of govemment. Behind this interest was 
the pressure of the agitation for the reform of Par- 
liament in England — an agitation which had achieved 
its first success in 1832 and was just oo the eve of its 
second; and the new governmental problems which 
were pushing for solution in Canada, Australia, and 
other British colonies. 

Bagehot was not interested to any extent in the 
history of the Cabinet or in the history of cabinet 
government. He was bent rather upon presenting 
vividly the workings of the English parliamentary 
system as actually it existed. Heam was something 
more of a historian — ^inclined to sketch or to trace the 
course of practices from more or less distant origins, 
and ever ready to observe comparisons or contrasts 
as he discovered them in different systems of polity. 
Yet he too was primarily concerned with the actual 
structure and activities of govemment. Todd, in con- 
trast to Bagehot and Heam, was possessed by the 
instinct of the antiquarian ; while by no means ignor- 
ing the field of current practices, he amassed a deal 
of historic lore, and so, in historical matter, he supple- 
mented to a great extent the work of his two contem- 
poraries. Versed as he was in the older aspects of 
his theme, he lacked the judgment of the trained 
scholar. His work was consequently prolix and over- 
burdened with details. But it has since lent itself 
readily to re-arrangement and condensation nnder the 
guiding hand of the late Sir Spencer Walpole." 

The real significance of Bagehot and Heam has been 

RLoagmaui, QrMn, 2 vota. London; 18&8. 

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80 well estimated by Mr. A. V. Dicey, late Vinerian 
Professor of Law at Oxford, that I venture to quote 
from him as follows : 

No author of modem timea .... has done bo much to eluci- 
date the intricate workings of English gOTemment as Bage- 
hot. HiB Engiish ConsUtution is so full of brightness, origi- 
nality, and wit, that few students notice how full it is also 
of knowledge, of wisdom, and of insight. The slight touches, 
for example, by which Bagehot paints the reahty of Cabinet 
government, are so amusing as to make a reader forget that 
Bagehot was the first author who explained in aecordanee 
with actual fact the true nature of the Cabinet and its real 
relation to the Crown and to Parliament. He is, in short, 
one of those rare teachers who have explained intricate 
matters with such complete clearness, as to make the public 
forget that what is now so clear ever needed explanation. 

To Heam he pays the following tribute : 

Professor Heam .... has approached English institutions 
from a new point of view, and has looked at them in a fresh 
light; he would be universally recognized among us as one 
of the most diBtinguished and ingenious exponents of the 
mysteries of the English constitution, had it not been for 
the fact that he made his fame as a professor, not in any 
of the seats of learning in the United Kingdom, but in the 
University of Melbourne. 

"From both these writers," adds Dicey, "we expect to 
learn, and do leam much, but .... we do not learn 
precisely what as lawyers we are in search of. The 
tmth is that both Bagehot and Professor Heam deal 
and mean to deal mainly with political nnderstandings 
or conventions and not with rules of law."* 

^iKtTodmation to th« 5tady of the Law of the ConttiUiUoH (Sth ed., 
1897), pp. 19-20. 

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In this last sentiment Dicey suggests a remarkable 
pecniiarity wjiich confronts any student of cabinet 
history. The Cabinet Council finds no recognition in 
the English statute book. It is the most characteristio 
feature in a system of government that developed out 
of many practical exigencies — exigencies which had to 
be met by a series-of conventions or political under- 
standings. It may fairly be asked whether an insti- 
tution so evolved could be described completely or 
thoroughly In any workt Probably not. At any rate, 
as Mr. Edward Jenks points out " there is no complete 
exposition of cabinet government in existence. Among 
scholars who have written since Bagehot, Heam, and 
Todd wrote, Sir William B. Anson, in his Lmo and 
Custom of the Constitution, has presented a dear 
survey of the field of lore on the Cabinet and has given 
a judiciooe accoont of cabinet organization and func- 
tions in the working government of England." 

It is no part of my aim to enter into the details of 
cabinet government or history in the nineteenth cen- 
tury. It is enough to have pointed out that not until 
the nineteenth century was the system of cabinet gov- 
ernment sufficiently well understood to be interpreted. 
I ^ American statesmen in the last quarter of the eight- 
(/ eenth century had, it may be assumed, few clear 
notions regarding the English Cabinet Committee. 
Had cabinet government, as we term it to-day, been 
far enough along in its development to have been 

tl Piirl«am«ntary Si^oland, p. 3M. 

■> Amon inaed the Ant adition of tliii work in two volmnM b«tne«n 

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interpreted Inoidly in the writings of English etates- 
men, it IB oonceirable that the system might hare 
exerted an influence on the formation of the struotnre 
of the American gorenmient. But among American 
writers of that day it is difficult to find any explicit 
references to the functions of the English Cabinet. Li 
a general way it was known to be an important factor 
in government. But the peculiar circumstances of its 
development and its practical workings were beyond 
most minds of the eighteenth century. 

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The most available guide to the historic usages of 
the term "cabinet" is the New English Dictionary 
(Oxford : 1888 ff.) s. v. cabinet. In the first edition of 
Johnson's Dictionary (1755) the phrase "Cabinet- 
council" is defined as — 

A council held in a private manner, with unosnal privacy 
and confidence. 

In the fourth edition (1773), revised by the author, 
Johnson differentiates another definition as follows : 

2. A select number of privy coonsellors supposed to be 
particularly trusted. 

This he bases upon a quotation from the poet, Gay, 
which was printed in the edition of 1755 as illustrative 
of the original definition. 

Before setting down the first usage of the phrase 
"cabinet-council" which I could find in the State 
Papers as under date of June 8, 1622, I examined 
some twenty-two volumes of the Calendars of State 
Papers — Domestic (London: 1858 ff.), which cover the 
period from 1603-1641. Among printed sources of par- 
ticular value to the student of usage are : The Clarke 
Papers, 4 vols., edited by C. H. Firth and found in the 
Publications of the Camden Society (1891 ff.). The 

Memoirs of Sir John Rereshy "Written by Himself. 

£<^ted by James J. Cartwright (London: 1875). Miss 
H. C. Foicroft's The Life and Letters of Sir George 

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SavUe (2 vols., London: 1898) gives niunerous extracts 
from hitherto nuprinted aonrcea, and contains a long 
chapter (VI) on Temple's scheme of a Privy CounciL 
Anson's Law and Custom of the Constitution (3d ed., 
vol n). The Crown, Pts. I and H [1907-1908] is an 
available and excellent guide to the sonrces, if one is 
studying historic nsage. My chapter was written 
before Anson's third edition was printed, hence I have 
referred to the second edition only, although the tiiird 
edition, it should be said, has some new materials on 
the historic evolution of the Cabinet. 

2. Fbou Macaulat to Baoehot : 1848-1865 : 

Two writers during these years helped to prepare 
the way for a better appreciation of Bagehot, Heam, 
and Todd. Heam in particular acknowledged his 
indebtedness to both of them. In 1858 there appeared 
an essay entitled Parliamentary Oovemment con- 
sidered with reference to a reform of Parliament 
(London: Bentley), written by the third Earl Grey 
( 1802-1894) . This essay contained several illuminating 
passages on the historic development of the Cabinet 
and the practical significance of the ministerial organi- 
zation. A London barrister, Homersham Cox, printed 
in 1854 a work entitled The British Commonwealth: or 
a commentary on the Institutions and Principles of 
British 'Government (London: Longmans). This 
touched on the Cabinet and gave a brief account of the 
secretariat. It was followed by a much more compre- 
hensive and important work by the same author in 
1863, The Institutions of the English Oovemment, etc 

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Book I contained a chapter on ' ' The Privy Council and 
the Cabinet Council*' (pp. 222-259); Book m com- 
prised a seriea of chaptera on ' 'Administrative Govern- 
ment" (pp. 589fF.). 

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HEN CongresB in 1789 provided by law for the 


establiBhment of three administrative Secre- 

taryships and an officer to be known as the Attorney- 
General, it was arranging machinery by means of 
which the chief magistrate might surronnd himself 
with fonr expert assistants, men qualified in foreign 
affairs, in finance, in army organization, and in the 
law!. Snch speakers as Fisher Ames, Madison, Vining, 
Sedgwick, and Boudinot voiced this truth in the 
debates on the organization of departments.* But no\ 
man of the time pnt the thought more directly than 
Washington when, In the coarse of a letter to the 
Ck)unt de Sionsiger mider date of May 2S, 1789, he 
wrote: "The impossibility that one man should be able 
^^ to perform all the great bnsiness of the state I take \ 
to have been the reason for instituting tb^ great ' 
departments, and appointing officers therein, to assist- 1 
the supreme magistrate in discharging the duties of 1 
his trust. "* A similar thought wals long afterward 
ezpresBed by Jefferson when, in 1823, he said to a 
friend that we had "fallen on the happiest of aU modes 
of constituting the executive, that of easing and aiding 

1 The drtwtM on tba aabject of the orgauiiation of the departments 
opened In the House of BepTeeentatiTee on Maj- 19, 1789. Jnnut* of 
CongTMt, I, 388 ft. For the idea that the principal officers were intended 
to be the President's assistants, see eepeeiallj' AnntAt, I, 402, SIS, S31, 
(M2, S48, M9. 

' The Writingi of George Waelrngton, ed. W. C. Ford, XI, 397-398, 

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our President, by permitting him to ohoose Secretaries 
of State, of finance, of war, and of the navy, with 
whom he may advise, either separately or all together, 
and remedy their decisions by adopting or controlling 
their opinions at his discretion.'" The advisory ftmc- 
tion of the principal officers was prominent in Jeffer- 
son's thought. 

An examinatioa of historic processes that had been 
at work for some years before 1789 may help to 
explain the establishments arranged for and will make 
the association of the principal officers with the Presi- 
dent seem not only natural but in some degree to have 
been foreordained. 


While John Adams was on his way to Philadelphia 
as a delegate in 1774 to the Continental Congress, he 
heard certain apprehensive comments over the prob- 
able deficiency of power in the coming Congress. The 
Congress, it was said, "will be like a legislative with- 
out an executive."* It would be wanting in adequate 
means to enforce obedience to its laws or to direct a 
policy. And this in fact proved to be the case. 

There was no plan of executive organization that 
met the approval of Congress when the Articles of 
Confederation were under consideration. These 
Articles contained no provision, consequently, for 
an executive. There was, to be sore, a presiding 
officer during regular sessions, president in name 

» Th« Writings of Thomtu Jefferson, ed. R A. WuhinKton, VTI, 821, 
« Worke of John Adanu, ad. C. V. Adams, II, S44. 

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alone. There was also an anomolouB Gommittee of 
the States which was to act during the recess of Con- 
gress.* An attempt to get the Committee to work in 
the smmner of 1784 proved a complete failnre.' 
Shortly before this significant experience, Thomas 
Jefferson left Congress, having been appointed pleni- 
potentiary to France. He liked to recall several years 
later that he "often proposed," when in the Conti- 
nental Congress, that all executive business be placed 
in the hands either of the Committee of the States or 
of another similar committee specially appointed by 
the Congress. He felt sure that one of the most funda- 
mental needs of the government of the Confederation 
was the separation of the executive from the two other 
departments, legislative and judiciary. Jefferson's 
theory was no doubt sound. He watched with distinct 
satisfaction any evidence that he could obtain during 
1786-1787, while he was still residing in Prance, of its 
recognition in the TTnited States, and particularly of 
its recognition by tiie men influential in altering the 
methods and form of government.' 

■Without doubt the Articles reflected a pretty wide- 
spread fear, prevalent espedally near the opening of 
the Kevolution, of the single executive placed over con- 
tinental conoeniB. The nation was resolved that it 
would submit on no account to a despot, called by what- 
ever name. A single-chambered body of delegates 
might, after the manner of an estates-general, serve 

■ ArtielM of Oonfederation, iz, x. 
'JtrnmaU of C<mffre*t, IZ, 1-29 foDowiiig the Indax. 
JDoeummiary Sittory of the Contlitulion, IV, 43, 217, £43, 249-250, 
278, 308, 314, 34S, 869, 411. 



the pnrposes of a central form of goTemment. The 
enforcement and administration of laws oonld be 
safely left to the states and to the state govemoTS or 

The administrative history of the government from 
1775 to 1789 was one long conmientarj npon the weak- 
ness of a national organization with only a single- 
chambered Congress at its head. The Congress 
attempted to control an organization that proved 
altogether difficult to manage. Lack of power at the 
head made the organization inefficient — so much so 
that at times it was on the point of disintegration. 
The exigencies of the war tended inevitably to develop 
a series of committees, boards, and other agencies — 
an administrative organization that amounted to an 
executive department co-ordinate with the legislative. 
These exigencies forced into the foreground the impor- 
tance and necessity, if not the general trustworthiness, 
of individual leadership, an idea that Robert Morris 
laid particular stress upon very early in the period 
of the Revolution.* 

In August, 1780, a meeting at Boston attended by 
delegates from the New England staj«s voiced a view 
that was becoming general. At this meeting it was 
urged that the "national Concerns of the United 
States be under the Superintendency and Direction of 
one supreme Head."* On January 29, 1781, James 

'December 19, 17T6. P. Force, Ameriean ArcMvet, 6th Mriee, III, 

* Procevdinffi of a Convention of DAegatei from »«venA of tft« Vmv- 
England State*, Beld at Botton, Amg%Mt 3-9, 1780. Ed. F. B. Hon^ 
(Albany: ]8«7)7p. 60. 

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Dnane wrote to "Washington, saying that "the people 
.... perceive the want of a common head to draw 
forth in some just proportion the resources of the 
several branches of the federal union."" Congress 
was coming to be regarded, especially by the army, as 
a very impotent body. And the impression oooasion- 
ally gained utterance that George Washington might 
wisely be made king." Indeed, one bold observer pro- 
posed in a private letter a plan looking toward some 
snch consummation: he regarded as desirable such a 
change of government as would result in — 

two distinct and well-oi^anized bodies : legislative and exeea- 
tire; whose powers and capacities shall be equal to the task 
of managing the unruly affaira of America. To effect this 
.... at the head of the last branch there must be a great 
and fearful executive officer to do anything ; the power of 
that officer must be greater than that which is hereditary in 
the house of Orange, and aa nearly like the head of that power 
we are contending with as can well be imagined, the name 
only excepted. . . . . " ^ 

This view which was conceived and written early in 
1783 was no doubt somewhat extremely expressed, for 
it was not intended for publication. Yet the general 
truth is there — a truth which Noah Webster stated 
fairly in his way not ^any months later. "Let the 
power of the whole," he said, "be brought to a single 

U Bancroft, Hirtory of the Formation of the CofuWuKon (4th ©d., 
1884), I, 283. 

UL. C. Hateb, The Adminittratitm of the Amerieon Bevolutitmary 
Army (1904), pp. 161 ff. 

u Bueroft, op. dt., I, 2M. 

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point and vested in a single person, and the execution 

of laws will be vigorous and de<dsive "" 

It was not difficult for the Philadelphia Convention 
in 1787 to determine at least on the form of esecntive. 
It should be a single one such as had been already 
widely advocated and was here and there forcibly 
illustrated in the state governor and his predecessor, 
the colonial governor. 


Meantime the principle of one-man power had 
already won its way to significant results in the prac- 
tices of government, for early in 1781 Congress passed 
several ordinances for the purpose of estabHshing 
four heads of departments, single officers who should 
assume direction over the organizations of foreign 
affairs, war, finance, and marine." 

For months there had been discussions in and out 
of Congress with reference to some such arrangement. 
On August 29, 1780, Congress approved the appoint- 
ment of a committee of five, Bobert B. Livingston 
chairman, "to report a plan for the revision and new 
arrangement of the civil executive departments." 
Early in September, Hamilton formulated his now 
famous plan of administrative organization which he 
communicated to James Duane." The subject of the 
proper administration of the finances was most fre- 

^Bket<3tet of American Policy (Hutford: 1780), p. 7. 
M Jwrtuib of Congreu, Juiour 10, 1781; Pebniwy 7, etc 
u TTorJu of AUaxmOer HtmOton (ed. Lodge), I, 22S ff. 

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quently in view. By November even Congrees was 
conTinoed that there must be "a single officer account- 
able to Congress*'" for the finances. There can be no 
doubt that the principle of holding one man respon- 
sible for the great administrative tasks was approved 
by most of the more liberal and oonstmotiTe states- 
men, such men for examples as Jay, Washington, tiie 
two Morrises, and Alexander Hamilton. And long 
before February, 1781, when Congress passed the | 
ordinances, men were considering the problem of ' 
' selecting persons fitted for the headships. Just after 
the first choice had been made, Washington received 
word from one of the Interested workers on behalf of 
the new project to this effect: '*We are," declared his 
correspondent, "about appointing the officers who are 
to be at the head of our great departments. Yesterday 
[February 20] Mr. Morris, without a vote against 
him .... was chosen financier. I cannot say he will 
accept, but have some hopes he will. Our finances 
want a Necker to arrange and reform them. Morris 
is, I betieve, the best qualified of any our country 
affords for the arduous undertaking. We shall in a 
day or two appoint the officers for the foreign affairs' 
and the marine. I wish we had men in these offices as 
well qualified to execute them as Morris in the 

The titles of the proposed new officials were to be 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs — altered in 1782 to 

u JountdU, NoVamtMr 24, 1780. 

"LeUer$ of Joteph Jonet. 1777-1787. Ed. W. C. Pord (1889), pp. 
69-70. Letter dated Philadelphia, Februarj SI. 

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Secretary to the United States of America for the 
Department of Foreign Affairs" — Superintendent of 
Finance, Secretary at War, and Secretary of Marine. 
Morris accepted the Superintendency in May, 1781. 
- Before the year was ont two Secretaries had likewise 
heen appointed, Bobert B. Livingston taking the head- 
ship of foreign affairs in September, and Benjamin 
Lincoln that of the war organization somewhat later 
in the autumn.'* 

The plan of placing administrative work under the 
responsibility of single heads marked the basis of 
administrative organization as we know it to-day. It 
is true, however, that the plan was not consistently 
maintained in practice through the trying years of the 
Confederation, nor was it altogether successful, for it 
was partly dependent upon a plodding and limping 
Congress, and partly upon diverse personalities, only 
two of whom proved to be men of first-rate adminis- 
trative ability. Congress appointed Major-General 
McDongall to the Marine Secretaryship on February 
27, but McDougall made certain conditions to the 
appointment which Congress was disinclined to accept, 
and accordingly the appointment was not arranged 
for. The work of the Marine Department was merged 
in the following September in that of the department 

^Becret JournaU of Congreta, II, CSO. 

UMorrii accepted hia sppointDMnt on Ha; 14, taking the Mtli of 
office Iat« in tbe followuig June. H. B. Learned in Amerioan Hittorical 
Sevi«v, April, IBOG, p. 56S. Livingaton wae appointed b; Congren on 
August 10 and accepted the following September £3. Q. Hunt in Ameri- 
eon Journal of International Law (October, 1B07), p. 878. Lincoln was 
appointed late in October. Jameeon'a Euayi, p. 163. 

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directed by Robert Morris." The finances themselves 
after Morris's resignation and retirement in the 
antnmn of 1784 were soon directed by a board of three 
commissioners, a reonrrenee to Bevolntionarj prac- 
tices. Only the two Departments of Foreign Affairs 
and War remained to 1789 under single heads." There 
is no evidence that any official analogous to the later 
federal Attomey-Qeneral was contemplated at this 

The new organization was a natural and for the most 
part' an indigenous development out of the drcmn- 
stances of the Revolution. We were creating rather 
than copying an administrative system. In tiie 
arrangements of 1781 there is no clear evidence of 
colonial precedents. Yet it seems only fair to assume 
that the statesmen of the Revolution could not have 
escaped the influence of British traditions and forms, > 
for the British secretariat had been maturing since 
the later days of the Tudors. The very titles of someH 
of the offices suggest foreign influence. "Secretary at \ 
War" was a title that went back at least to the period 
of Charles II." "Superintendent of Finance" was 
almost certainly adapted from the old French title of 
the Duo de Sully, superintendant des finances,^ It 
seems likely that French influence before 1781 ^ded 

^JoumdU at Congreti, February 27, March 30, 1781. C. 0. PaoUin, 
The Navy of the Avteriem BevoWtion (190$), pp. S18-22S. 

& Jtmmali of Congreei, VH-XIII, paitm, whara the whole trend of 
ehaugea may be easily followed by reliuiee on the indexee. 

BAnaon, Law and Ciutim, PL n, 378. 

B ' ' Ori^ of the Title Superinteadeut of Finance " by H. B. Learned 
in Ameriam SittorietU Beviev, April, 190B, X, G66-673. 

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^ UB in the general direction toward which we were 
' tending, for the principle of one-man power was prob- 
\ ably more satisfactorily matured in the administrative 
' organization of France than in that of any country. 
Hamilton, who took a pronounced interest in advocat- 
ing the principle in America, remarked regarding the 
proposed heads of departments that "these officers 
should have nearly the same powers and functions as 
those in France analogous to them."" It should not 
be forgotten in this coimection that Congress had not 
only been willing, but had actually taken steps to look 
abroad for snggestiona at a time when it was most 
puzzled about proper and effective methods of admin- 
istration. The very year of the French alliance 
(1778) they made a direct appeal to Dr. Richard Price, 
ihe well-known English writer on finance and a warm 
friend to the Bevolutionary cause, to come to America 
and help to reorganize the continental finances." Early 
in the following year Congress resolved to urge its 
European agents to inquire into any methods known 
abroad of administering departments of war, treasury, 
naval and other offices." 

The personnel of the new administrative system 
afforded during the years from 1781 to 1789 at least 
two very impressive examples of men of marked 
executive abilities." While Robert Morris and John 

M WotJu (od. H. C. Lodge), I, ES6. 

vWhaxtDn, Bevolutionary Diplovwtia Corrapondtnce, II, 474, 756, 

a Secret Journal* of Congress, II, 180 (JMinuT 25, 1779). 

BB. B. LiTingston at the bead of foraign affalra (1781-17S3) wm an 
abl« man. Am flnt iueumbeat of the poaition, h« had moeh to do in «■■ 

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Jay were techsioally subject to CongresB, in fact were 
the admimstrative officials of that body, they probably 
exercised large if not directive influence over it. 
Kobert Morris was all but alone in Mb knowledge of 
the problems of national finance. It was easy to char- 
acterize him as a "pecuniary dictator"" with refer- 
ence to Oougress as early as the autumn of 1781. 
Although he faced bitter opposition both in and out- 
side that body, there is no doubt that through his 
energy, tact, and careful planning the final triumph of 
the Sevolutionary cause was largely due." Morris 
retired from office on November 1, 1784. In the fol- 
lowing December, rather more than a month after 
Morris's retirement, John Jay undertook the task of 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs. He raised the office from 
what it had been, a clerkship under congressional 
direction, to the most dignified and inflnential post in 
the Confederation. Jay, like his predecessor living- 
aton, was privileged to appear on the floor of Congress, 
and occasionally spoke before Congress in an advisory 
capacity." About a year after Jay's accession to the 
post, Otto, French chargi d'affaires, remarked in a 
letter to Vergennes that "Mr. Jay espefflally has 

bkbliahing pneticM and was maeh liAmp«rad b^ an OTermtehful Con- 
grara. Madlaon eomidu'ed bim indifferent to the plaM. Hadiaon's 
Writingt (ed. Hunt), I, 141. For estimatM of LiTinpton we Hunt, 
Atnertetm /Mtrnol of International Lav (October, 1907), pp. 876 ff. 
Wltarton, op. eit., I, 5H-S97. 

" W. B. Beed, Life and Correipondenet of Jotepk Bted, 11, 2S6. 

"Wharton, op. cit., I, 28B, 600. 

« Secrel JonnuOt, IV, 109, 110. W. Jay, Tht Lift of John Jay, I, 
184, eOS, 236-887, £41-242. J. 6. Jenkina, Live* of the Governor* 
(18S1), p.114. JamMDn, £j«<iy«, pp. 164 fl. 

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acquired a peculiar ascendency over the members of 
Congress. AU important bnsinese passes through his 
hands."" Early in 1786 Otto spoke once more of the 
increasing political importance of the American Secre- 
tary, saying: "Congress seems to me to be guided 

only by his directions Congress .... does ntft 

perceive that it ceases to be anything more than the 

organ of its chief minister He inspires the 

majority of the resolntions of Congress."" 

Otto expressed some admiration for the whole sys- 
tem of administration as he had observed it. He went 
so far as to say in February, 1787, that "a regular 
system has been introduced into all the branches, .of 

the general administration The departments of 

foreign affairs, of war, of finances, are in the hands of 
trusty and capable men, whose integrity, wisdom, and 
circmnspection will stand every test. Secrecy is much 

better observed than during the war But this 

fine structure," he concluded, "is, unfortunately, use- 
less on account of the exhaustion of the treasury."" 

Whatever the theory of the secretarial positions was 
at the time of their creation in 1781, the conditions as 
time elapsed, notably the fact that Congress was an 
inefficient and diminishing body, inevitably forced the 
direction of affairs on the capable administrative 
officers. And it seems fair to assume, although the 
evidence is scanty, that John Jay became really what 
may be called the chief executive of the Confederation. 

n Bancroft, Formation of the Conttitution, I, 474. D«eemb«r 2S, 178&. 
"Hid., I, 4T9. Januarr 10, 1786. 
f Ibid., n, 411. rrt>niar7 10, 1767. 

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Indeed, with Bobert Morris as director of the couti- 
nental finances from June, 1781, to November, 1784, 
ancoeeded in the following December by Jay as head 
of the coontry's foreign affairs nntil March, 1790, the 
idea of an execntiye chief supported by administrative 
assistants nntrammeled by too intimate and control- 
ling a connection with Congress must, it would seem, 
have gained strength, for that idea had received in the 
almost continnons services of Morris and Jay clear 
and effective illustration. When arrangements for a 
change of government nnder the new Constitution 
were under way in 1788 and 1789, Jay, Morris, and 
Knox — ^the latter Secretary at War since March, 1785 
— were naturally considered for high places in the 
administrative work." 


Side by side with the practice of administration 
under great oflScers or heads of departments and apt 
to be associated with the expression of a conviction of 
the need of an executive chief, there appeared from 
1781 onwards various suggestions for combining prin- 
cipal officers of administration into a council. 

As early as February 10, 1781, just three days after 
Congress had arranged by ordinances for the new sec- 
retariat, an anonymous writer in the Petmsylvania 
Packet, expressing satisfaction that management by 
boards was to be superseded, commented on the new 

M Madison, Writingt (»d. Hunt), V, 303. Letter of November S, 
1788. Elbrid«e OeiT7 in AniuO* of Congre$$, ICar 20, 1789. 

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plan as follows: "Congress," he said in his qnaint 
fashion^ "hath determined on a measare which will 
give life and energy to our proceedings, both in civil 
and military line .... that of pntting a man at the 

head of each of the great departments As tiie 

persons who shall fill those offices have the fullest 
information respecting all onr affairs, they may render 
the public essential services and facilitate the business 
of Congress, if they were frequently to meet together 
to dehberate on them, and then to lay their opinions 
and plans before Congress. Much therefore will 
depend on tiieir having a good understanding and 

friendly intercourse among themselves " Two 

mouths later, on April 11, a simitar suggestion was 
thrown out by a nameless writer in the Pennsylv<vnia 
Gazette. Bemarking on the importance of the new 
system, aware of the large administrative duties likely 
to devolve npon the occupants of the new positions, 
the writer was convinced that tiiese officers "might, 
if they should be men of general knowledge beyond the 
line in which they act, be extremely useful in another 
capacity; for, possessing among themselves ample 
knowledge of everything relative to public affairs, they 
might meet frequently together, consult what ought 
to be done, and submit their sentiment to Congress. 
By this means mnch time and labor would be saved to 
Congress; and the public business would be carried 

on with regularity, vigor and expedition " 

For the first time in American history a comhi- 
nation of department heads as an advisory council to 
Congress conld be suggested as -ft' possibility in the 

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spring of 1781. The two foregoing plans were prob- 
ably made casually and without any reference to prece- 
dent, colonial or British. They came natnrally from 
the circmnstances of tiie American continental situa- 
tion. Both writers perceived that a connoil of well- 
informed and sagadons administratiTe officers could 
do something toward vitalizing and perhaps enforcing 
a congressional policy. The weakness or strength of 
any such body would depend upon the degree of its 
subordination to Congress and the mutual relations 
ezisting between it and Congress. To have given such 
a body of administrators a status around an ezecntive 
chief, himself relatively free from congressional con- 
trol, would have resulted in a combination very much 
akin to the l^ter President and Cabinet 

The maturing of thonght is evident in a more defi- 
nite proposal that was formulated about two years 
later. Pelatiah Webster, a merchant, resident in Phil- 
adelphia and a writer of some influence, printed a 
small pamphlet early in 1783 which was in substance 
a series of suggestions rather than a consistent plan 
for the alteration and improvement of the form of 
government of the Confederation. Webster believed 
in a bi-cameral Congress which' should consist of a 
Senate and a Commons. He assumed that there would 
be several heads of departments which he termed 
"great ministers of state." With these ministers he 
would have associated certain judicial officers. ' ' These 
ministers," he remarked, "will of course have the best 
information, and most perfect knowledge, of the state 
of the Nation, as far as it irelates to their several 

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departments, and will of course be able to give the best 

information to Congress "" He was inclined to 

reoommend that the miniBters give their information 
"in writing," bnt he perceived that Congress might 
choose to admit the ministers into their seasions for 
the purpose or granting them a hearing in debate, 
though not the right of voting. Herein the plan was 
clearly suggestive of British practices. That the min- 
isters should form a distinctive council was made plain 
in the following passage: 

The aforesaid great ministerB of state shall compose a 
Council of State, to whose anmber CongrecH may add three 
others, viz., one from New-England, one from the middle 
States, and one from the soutliem States, one of which to be 
appointed President by Cougreaa; to all of whom shall be 
committed the supreme execotiTe authority of the States 
.... who shall superintend all the executive departments, 
and appoint all executive officers." 

Webster was groping not without skill and regard 
to the existing government towards an improved form 
of executive organization. His President could not 
have been independent in any true sense, for he was 
too intimately associated with Congress. In fact he 
was the creation of Congress." The Council likewise 
must have been controlled and trammeled by Congress. 
But the real significance of the plan should be clearly 
borne in mind. In proposing to combine President 

■ A Diuertation em tlte Political Vnion and CotuUtution of tlie Thif 
teen United State* af North-America, ete. I quote from the reprint nhieh 
i« to be found in Webrter'g Political Euay (PhlUdelphia: 1791), omit- 
ting the old-faahioned italiea, p. £13. 

» Ibid., p. E2I. 

fibid., pp. S80, 221. 

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and heads of departments into a "Council of State" 
(employing a well-known phrase) and keeping in view 
the character of the body as representiiig the geo- 
graphical sections of the country, Felatiah Webster 
hit upon the dearest prototype that probably can be 
discovered for the later Cabinet Council. To Web- 
ster's President and Council was to be committed 
"the supreme executive authority of the States." 

The farther maturing of the conciliar idea in rela- 
tion to the formation of the Constitution and t^e 
establishment of the laws which provided for the 
creation of the chief administrative positions about 
the President can be traced during the years from 1787 
to 1789. The consideration of the subject is suffimently 
important to warrant the space of a separate chapter. 

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HiBioBY OF Administs&tion : 1775-1789 : 

The most careful diBcussion of administrative devel- 
opment and ideals daring the period is to be found in 
Francis Wharton's introductory chapters to The Revo- 
lutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United 
States, I, 251-666. J. C. Gnggenheimer's essay, "The 
Development of the Executive Departments, 1775- 
1789" in J. Franklin Jameson's Essays in the Consti- 
tutional History of the United States in the Formative 
Period, 1775-1789 (Boston : 1889) remains a clear study 
of the main facts and tendencies of administrative 
history. Q-aillard Hunt has contributed something to 
our knowledge of the administration of foreign affairs 
from 1775 to 1789 in his first paper printed as part of 
a History of the Department of State in The American 
Journal of International Law (October, 1907), I, pt. 
ii, 867 ff. Naval administration has found a very com- 
petent historian in Dr. Charles O. Paullin, The Navy 
of the American Revolution: its Administration, its 
Policy, and its Achievements (Cleveland: 1906). This 
work should be supplemented by an article by Dr. 
Fanllin, "Early Naval Administration under the Con- 
stitution," in the Proceedings of the United States 
Naval Institute for September, 1906, XXXII, 1001- 
1030, and by Dr. Gardner W. AUen 's Our Navy and the 
Barbary Corsairs (Boston: 1905). Such books aa 
W. G. Sumner's The Financier and the Finances of the 
American Revolution (New York: 2 vols., 1891), and 

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A. S. Bolles'e Financi^ History of the United States, 
I (New York: 1879), give the facts regarding financial 
adminiBtration. There is no special work of moment 
on either the' war adminiatration or that of the Post- 
Office during this period. 

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BY 1787 the conception of the pressing need of a 
form of oontineDtal ezecntiTe endowed with 
power and some degree of independence had gained 
consideration if not general acceptance among states- 
men in the United States. The practical failure of 
the government of the Confederation under congres- 
sional direction must have done much to enforce it. 
/'About this time John Adams probably expressed a 
I rather general view regarding executive power when 
I he declared that the "attention of the whole nation 
should be fixed upon one point, and the blame and 
censure, as well as the impeachment and vengeance 
for abuse of this power, should be directed solely to 
the ministers of one man." * In view of the growing 
strength of the conception, it is hardly surprising to 
discover that not a single plan of government was pre- 
sented to the Convention at Philadelphia which did not 
embody as a prominent feature some form of executive. 
Two leading theories regarding the executive came 
before the Convention for discussion. In advocating 

i"A Defence of the ConstitatioiiB of Goremineiit of tbe United 
State* of America," etc., in Worht, IV, SSS. ElMwhere in the same trea- 
tise AdaiDB MmmentB approvingly on the single executive. Ibid., pp. 290, 
STB, 39S, 589. Preface dated in London, "GroBvenor Square, January 1, 
1787." On June 6 following, Madiaon referred to this work in a lett«r 
to JefFareon, and eaid that it "has excited a good deal of attention. 
.... It will .... become a powerful engine in forming the public 
opinion." JtowmenUtry Eiitory of the Conditulfoti, TV, 1S3, 2S4-2S5, 
S14, SSS, 869. 

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one of these Soger Sherman of Gonneoticut took rather 
the most oonspicuous place, though he was seconded 
by Charles Pinckney, John Butledge and Colonel 
Gfeorge Mason. Madison, James Wilson and Qouver- 
nenr Morris argned ably for the other theory. Accord- 
ing to Sherman the executive power was nothing more 
than an institution for carrying the will of the legis- 
lature into effect, hence bxk^ power should be confided 
to one or more offidala appointed by the legislature 
and removable by the same body. Madison and his 
following, on the other hand, insisted that the exeeu- 
tive power should be representative of the people. Th% 
President should be president of the whole Union, and 
elected in such manner as to be justly styled the man 
of the people. It was a point of view that became 
especially familiar in the time of Andrew Jackson and 
his immediate successors, and was very impressively 
set forth in the last annual message of President Polk 
in December, 1848.* Madison insisted that the func- 
tions of the executive, moreover, should be united in 
one person who could be held responsible for his acts 
to the people alone. According to the latter theory, 
the executive must be independent of the legislature 
for the sake of acting at times as a check upon it. 

*MMgaget and Fapert of 1A« Pregidentt, ed. J. D. Biehardaon, 11, 
447 ff., S18, S9l, 649, 65E, 665. in, IS, 90, 176. IV, 664 fl. ObBerve in 
tluB connection th« Btatements of Senator W. C. Prenton of South Garo- 
tin* on January 24, 1842, in the U. B, Senato: "In tmth, there vai onlf 
one department of the Qovemment that waa tmlj Democratic, and that 
was tlie Exeeutira .... he [the President] waa the oa\j officer that 
came in on the broad basis of the whole Union, and was therefore the 

proper exponent of the popnlar will The Executive waa elected 

by the people of the United Statee." GkAe, S7 Cong., 2 sew, p. 167. 

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Madison's view met finally with the approbation of 
-the Convention. The result of Sherman's position, 
had it gained the day, wonld have been something 
much akin to the parliamentary system that is char- 
acterized nowadays as cabinet government. The chief 
magistrate would inevitably have been subordinated 
to the legislative will.' 

It was apparent from an early date in 1787 that 
some place was likely to be found in any useful scheme 
of national government for the "great ministerial 
officers." The question as to the mode of relating such 
officers to the parts — executive, legislative, judicial — 
of the new or altered structure afforded a minor, 
though difficult, problem. PerWps it was his appre- 
ciation of just this problem before the assembling of 
the Convention that moved Madison to remark in a 
letter to Washington that the "National supremacy 
in the Executive departments is liable to some diffi- 
culty, unless the officers administering them could be 
made appointable by the supreme Government."* 
Before he left the Convention in June, Hamilton was 
sure that the executive should "have the sole appoint- 
ment of the heads or chief -officers of the Departments 

>For Bherman'a position, Elliot, Debates (184S), Y, 140, 148, 192, 
322, SOS. The viewg of Madiaon, Wilson and otbera mKj be followed in 
EUiot, V, 142, 143, 144, 382, 324, 337, 360, 362-367 (pa«*{m), 396, 472, 
473, S16. QovemoT Simeon E. Baldwin haa stimm&riced dearly the two 
poaitionB in bii BMaj entitled "Absolute Power an American Instita- 
tion," in hia Tolome, Modem Polttieol JntHtutiont (18BB), pp. 87-89. 

< WHtingt oj JoniM JfoditoM (ed. Hnnt), n, 347. 

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of Finance, War, and Foreign Affairs. ' " The appoint- 
ment of snch officers would be the first duty of an 
executive, according to (Jouvemeur Morris's view 
which be expressed about a month later, on July 19* 
Such officers, he thought, "will exercise their functions 

in subordination to the executive Without these 

ministers, the executive can do nothing of conse- 

Early in the previous April Madison, having con- 
ceived the plan of associating the ministerial officers 
with the executive in a council of revision, communi- 
cated his idea to Bandolph.* But the suggestion was 
not involved in the Bandolph resolutions of the fol- 
lowing May 29; the comicil of revision was there made 
to include *'a convenient number of the national judi- 
ciary"' in place of the ministerial officers. And 
throughout the course of the debates, from June 4 to 
about the middle of August, Madison argued vigor- 
ously at intervals for the union of judicial officers with 
the chief magistrate in the business of revision. In 
this matter he was seconded by snch capable men as 
Wilson, Mason and Ellsworth.* 

Like Madison, Charles Finckney had at first favored 
the plan of joining the heads of the principal depart- 
ments in a council of revision, but apparently he 

I Elliot, Y, 20S. I DBO the eapitkliMtioii of the Maditm Paptn (ed. 
Oilpin), p. 8S1. 

* April 8. Eniat, V, 106. 

''Ibid., V, 128. Js7 had ezpreaaed this ume thought to Washington 
as eailj as Jannai? 7, 1787. Dooitntentary Biwtory of tAe Conttitution, 
TV, 56. 

'Ibid., V, 1S8, ISS, ie4-lM (p<)Mtm),388,34;«-840 (ptwtni), 378,428- 
431 (powtai). Eats M. BowUud, Th^ Life of George Maeon, II, 118 ff. 

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relinquished the idea "from a consideration that 
these conld be called on hy the exeoative magistrate 

whenever he pleased to consult them " At no 

time does he seem to have favored the view of admit- 
ting the judges into the business of revision. Bnt- 
ledge followed closely in the track of his youn^ 
oolleagne from South Carolina.* 

Out of the discussions over this subject there 
developed the plan of the qualified veto. And this 
veto the Convention decided finally to lodge in the 
hands of the President alone. 

A second plan for a council appeared in connection 
with the problem of arranging for the power of 
appointment. When Bandolph referred to this power 
as formidable, whether lodged in the hands of the 
executive or the legislature," he probably expressed 
a very common apprehension. At all events Colonel 
Mason, fearful of a possible coalition between the 
President and the Senate in the business of appoint- 
ments, recommended urgently the establishment of 
a distinct council of appointment, the body to be com- 
posed of six members appointed by vote of the states 
in the House of Bepresentatives, with the same dura- 
tion and rotation of office as the Senate, two selected 
from the eastern, two from the middle, and two from 
the southern states." The Convention, however, did 

* American HUtoricoi Review, IX, 743. EUiot, T, IfiS, 340, 420. 

u Angtut 84. EUiot, V, 475. 

^1 give tbe plui m set forth in Mason's "Objectiona" writt«n aoon 
after the ConTention had adjourned. K. U. Bonluid, Life of Oeorge 
Voton, II, 388. Uason ezprecaed luinaelf in a alightlf difforent and less 
maton wajr before th« Convention. Elliot, V, S22, SSO. In the Virginia 

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not favor the plan, agreeing that the President alone 
should nominate, but that he ahonld he ohliged to ask 
the advice and consent of the Senate hefore appoint- 
ments oonld he completed. The appointing power was 
thus shared. "From this fatal defect," declared 
Mason, "has arisen the improper power of the Senate 
in the appointment of public officers, and the alarming 
dependence and connection between that branch of the 
legislature and the supreme Executive."" 

Although leaders suoh as Wilson, Dickinson and 
Madison acknowledged some force in Mason's view, 
the weight of anthorit;^ was against the plan and 
probably more in accord with the reasonings of Bufns 
King. To King it seemed that most of the incon- 
veniences charged on the Senate would be incident 
to a separate council. King did not believe that "all 
the minute officers were to be appointed by the Sen- 
ate, or any other original source, but by the higher 
officers of the departments to which they belong." 
He was convinced, moreover, that the people would 
he alarmed at the unnecessary creation of a new and 
separate body "which must increase the expense as 
well as influence of the government."" 

The idea of a council of appointment was neither 
peonliar to nor ori^nal wi<^ Colonel Mason, although 
he was the leading exponent of it in the Philadelphia 
Convention. In various ways the colonial legislatures 

TStifying eonTention, on June IS, 1T68, Hbmh " appMhendMl • (touiieil 
wonld BiiM out of tbe Senate, which .... he thought duigeroaa." 
miiot, m, 4M. 

uBowluid, op. eil., U, 386. 

M EUiot, V, fi23 ff. 

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were wont to exercise control over appointments. In 
New York State after 1777 there was a special council 
of appointment — a group of senators annually named 
by the Assembly and representing districts." In 1783 
Pelatiah Webster conceived of a council of state for 
the national government as partly concerned with the 
business of appointments ; and this council, it will be 
recalled, was composed chiefly of the administrative 
beads of departments, and included also representa- 
tives from the three great sections of the country." 

Within a month after the adjournment of the Con- 
vention Richard Henry Lee expressed regret that a 
privy council of eleven members had not been pro- 
vided, this council to be chosen by the President and 
to be joined with that officer in civil and mihtary 
appointments." John Adams in London sent a letter 
to Jefferson in Paris, under date of December 6, and 

The Nomination and Appointment to all offices I woald have 
given to the Presideut, assisted only by a Privy Council of 
his own Creation, but not a vote or voice would I have given 
to the Senate or any Senator, nnless he were of the Privy 
Council "^ 

At about this time one of the reasons given by the 
dissenting minority of the Pennsylvania state con- 

uCAart«rt and ConititutioM, 2d ed. (1878), edited bj B. P. Poore, 
p. 1336. 

» Supra, di&p, n, p. 62. 

1* Letter d«ted New York, October 16, and addreMed to QoreriioT 
Bcwdolph. American Mtuevm, December, 17S7, II, 597. 

apoeimmtary Sittory of tU Comtitutitm, rv, 390. 

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vention for their opposition to tlie Constitution was 
that the "president general is dangeronsly connected \ 
with the senate." Fnrtheimore, it was their convie-/ 
tion that "the supreme executive powers ought to 
have been placed in the president, with a small inde- 
pendent council, made permanently responsible for 
every appointment to oflSce .... by having their 
opinion recorded."" In the New York state conven- 
tion, on Jnly 5, 1788, Melanoton Smith, on behalf of a 
conmiittee, recommended a very similar plan." Even 
as late as July, 1789, when the subject was merely of. 
speculative interest, in view of the fact that the new 
government was in operation, John Adams once more 
expressed himself to Roger Sherman on the same 
general topic, Adams arguing for a council of appoint- 
ment "selected by the President himself, at his pleas- 
ure, from among the senators, representatives, and 
nation at large," while Sherman was inclined to 
accept the arrangement for appointments which the 
Convention had provided." 

Thus efforts to establish two councils, a council of ^ 
revision and a council of appointment separate from 
the Senate, had failed. It will be well at this point 
to examine a third effort — that of establishing a coun- 
cil which had as its most striking characteristic the 
combination of the heads of departments as an advis- 
ory body to the chief magistrate. 

u Fentuylvonui Vaettei and Daily Advertiter at Deeanbor 18, 1T87. 
The "Bmbohb" were dated December 12. 
I* Elliot, Debate* (2d ed., 183S), n, 406. 
» Work* of Jokh AdatM, VI, 12T It. Letter written ibont Jolr 18. 

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In the recently discovered "Outline" of Charles 
Finckney's draft of a eonatitntion — a draft that was 
presented to the Convention on 'May 29 — ^the .Presi- 
dent was to "have a Bight to advise wil^ the Heads 
of the different Departments as his ConnciL*'" This 
was the first and single project for an advisoi7 coun- 
cil which was offered at the very beginning of the 
business of the Philadelphia gathering. It is remark- 
ably interesting as a cine to what was probably one 
of Pinckney's favorite projects. 

The thought of some such body was occasionally 
in the minds of certain members during the months 
of June and July. As early as June 1 Madison 
approved a single executive "when aided by a Council, 
who should have the right to advise and record their 
proceedings, hut not to control his authority."" Gerry 
likewise was in favor of annexing a council to the 
executive "in order to give weight and inspire confi- 
dence." The references are not explicit enough to 
indicate (at least in Qerry's ease) anything more than 
a vague and general notion. Somewhat clearer was 
Sherman's idea expressed three days later— on 
June 4 — when he remarked that "in all the states 
there was a council of advice, without which the first 

. magistrate could not act. A council he thought 
necessary to make the establiahment acceptable to the 

^ people. Even in Great Britain the King has a conn- 

» JmerMan Eittorioal Seviev), J11I7, 1904, IZ, 742. 

B/bt^, JaxMMj, 1898, III, 320. Notea of Uftjor WUlimm Pierce. 

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cil ; and though he appoints it himself, its advice has 
its weight with him, and attracts the confidence of the j 
people." Almost immediately after this suggestion / 
the Convention was inclined to approve of the single 
executive.** And they proceeded at once to grapple 
with the Bandolph project of a council of revision. 
In connection with the discussions of it both Pinokney 
and Butledge saw how easy it would be for the chief 
magistrate to advise with the principal officers or 
heads of departments and to obtain from them not 
only sound information on possible laws, but also 
helpful opinions on various other matters. Accord- 
ingly Pinckney and Butledge refused, partly, it would 
seem, from their quick recognition of its needlessness, 
to agree to the council of revision.** 

It was well along in the month of August before the 
Convention listened to any elaborated plan for an 
advisory council to the President. But on August IS 
Ellsworth, wishing that a council might be provided, 
suggested that it should be composed of the president 
of the Senate, the chief justice, and the ministers of 
foreign and domestic affairs, of war, of finance, and 
of marine. The project was sufficiently definite to 
bring Charles Pinckney to his feet with the reminder 
that G-ouvemeur Morris, then absent, had already 
given notice that he would present a plan for such a 
body. As for Pinckney, he indicated his own thought 
in the matter by asserting that "the President should 
be authorized to call for advice, or not, as he might 

» BHiot, V, 141, ICO, 161. 
M/bi<t, V, 165, S49. 

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choose. Oive him an able eouncil," oontinued Pinck- 
ney, "and it will thwart him; a weak one, and he will 
shelter himself under their sanction."* Two days 
later — on August 20 — (Jouvemeur Morris introduced 
an elaborated scheme for an advisory council. Pinck- 
ney's ori^nal project as well as his occasional refer- 
ences to the subject would seem to imply that he may 
have had a hand in the scheme. It should be observed, 
at any rate, that he seconded Morris's motion to bring 
it before the Convention just after having asserted 
his conviction (in writing) that no principal officer 
"shall be capable of holding, at the same time, any 
other office of trust or emolument, under the United 
States, or an individual state."" 

Morris's Council of State — such was its first title — 
was to be composed of seven members, all of whom, 
excepting the Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court, 
were to be appointed by the President. Besides the 
Chief-Justice and a "Secretary of State," the latter 
apparently nothing more than a chief-olerk or scribe 
to the council and a "public secretary" to the Presi- 
dent, there were five secretaries of departments — 
domestic affairs, commerce and finance, foreign 
affairs, war, and marine. As thus composed, the 
counml was designed to assist the President in con- 
ducting pnbHc affairs. It was furthermore provided 
that the President "may from time to time submit 
any matter to the discussion of the council of state, 
and he may require the written opinion of any one or 

« EUiot, V, *42. 
• Ibid., V, 446, 44S. 

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more of the memberB. Bnt he shall in all oases exer- 
cise his own judgment, and either conform to anch / 
opinions, or not, as he may think proper." / 

The plan went immediately to the Committee of 
Detail, of which John Bntledge was chairman, and 
appeared two days later, on Angnst 22, slightly 
modified." In its modified form there were to be eight 
members. The Committee, while retuning the Chief- 
Jostice, had discarded the rather onnecesaary Secre- 
tary of State, and had added to the five secretaries of 
departments the president of the Senate and the 
speaker of the House. They had thus combined in a 
"privy co u ncil"- — as it was newly termed — repre- 
— -^senttttives of the"teg^ative and the judiciary along 
with the great administrative officers. This privy 
council was to advise the President. Its advice, how- 
ever, should— the Committee employing Ellsworth's 
language — "not oonclade" him. The President must 
be alone responsible for any measures or opinions that 
he might adopt. 

There is no evidence to show that this scheme of an 
executive conndl was ever disoussed by the whole 
Convention. Among other postponed subjects it went 
at the end of August into the hands of a large com- 
mittee of eleven of which Morris himself was a 
member." Here we know from Morris's own atate- 

BIMd., T, 408. 

■• Ibid., V, 503. BoaidM Iforria on Um eommitt«e, there were Nich- 
oUa ODmait af New Hampehira, Bnfna King of MaMachasetts, Bherman 
of Connacticat, David Biearlej of New Jetaej, Jobn Diekfawon of Dela- 
ware, Daniel CarroU of Mairland, Madiaon of Vir^la, Hogli WiUlamaon 
of North OKTolina, Pierce Bntler of Sonth Carolioa, and Abraliam Bald- 
win of Otatpm — aO of whom tigned the Oonatitntion. 

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ment that the question of a connoil was considered,* 
but it was decided that the President, by persuading 
hia council to concur in wrong measures, would 
require its protection for them. On September 4 the 
barest suggestion of the original phraseology was 
agreed to: the President might "require the opinion 
in writing of the principal ofiBcer in each of .thfi^xecu-^ 
tive departments, upon any subject relating to the 
duties of their respective pfficeaJ"* This lao^age 
was all that survived of an elaborate plan for a coun- 
cil. It proved to be the basis in the Ganatitotion-S^ch 
helped to pradBtermine the President's Catunet Goun- 

It takes no very close scrutiny of the development 
of Morris's project, as thus far revealed in the 
sources, to conclude that it was first formulated about 
August 20 in response to a natural -feeling that the 
chief magistrate, however well endowed he might be, 
would require aid — some such council might assist 
him. That assistance could best be g^ven in the shape 
or mode of advice — an idea that was emphasized in 
the project as it re-appeared on August 22. It was 
finally determined on September 4 that advice should 
be restricted to opinions in writing. But aside from 
the important consideration that it left its stamp upon 
the Gonstitntion, this plan for an advisory council 
revealed a historic background which, so far as it can 
be discovered, should not be overlooked. 

The very titles, whether council of state or privy 

a Elliot, V, S25. 
»/WA, V, 607. 

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council, reflected phrases that had heen familiar to 
Americans for generations. The governor's conncil 
in its advisory capacity was referred to in colonial 
days often as the council of state,*^ and rarely as the 
privy council." In the state coDstitntlons of the Bevo- 
lationary epoch (1776-1789) both phrases appear, but 
the phrase privy council is no longer unusual.*' In the 
constitution of Virginia of 1776 the two phrases were 
used interchangeably. And there can be little doubt 
^hat they generally implied the same sort of political 
organ — as a rule they probably implied a body of men 
designed to stand in close relationship with the state 
governor as his assistants and advisers. 

Passing beyond the usage of terms, the state gov- 
ernors after 1775 as well as their councils of advisers 
were markedly dependent on the General Assemblies, 
by which as a rule they were okosen. In fact, neither 
governor nor council of state could have been intended 
to have much real freedom of action. It was a time 

DHening, Stat%U», I, 371, G15, 631, 537. E. I. HUler, Tlis Legit- 
tatwe of tke Frovinet of Virgmia (Columbift nniversity BtudiM, 
XXVin, 1907), pp. 28, 27. N. D. Merenen, Maryland at a Froprietam 
PrvviHee (1901), pp. 106107, 158, 160, 174 tt. E. B. Greene, The Pro- 
vincial Governor (Earriird EiatoTical Stndiea, VII, 1S9B}, p. 75. W. H. 
Fry, If em Hampshire at a Boyal Province (Columbia Uuiveraity Studies, 
XXIX, 1908), pp. 132, 134. 

> H. L. Osgood, American Coloniet in the Seventeenth Century 
(1904), n, eS-ee. Merenwa, llarsland, p. 369. See Nol« at th« end of 
tbie chapter. 

^ See the eonstitutione of Delaware, New Jeraej, Virginia, and the 
two coDBtitutions — 1776 and 1778 — of South Carolina. CkincluaionB in 
this and Bnceeeding paragraphs have been based on a comparative studj 
of the eighteen eoDstitutions which were formulated between I77S and 
1789. The texts need are those which are readilj acceeaible in Poore'a 
CAorlera and ContHUttiont (2 vols., 2d ed., 187S). 

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when there was widespread fear of one-man power. 
Most of the advisory bodies of the epoch appear to 
have been elected by ballot : ordinarily by joint ballot 
of the two houses, bnt occasionally by the two houses 
balloting separately for portions of the membership. 
In a few instancea members of the advisory council 
were taken in part from the people at large." The 
usual practice, however, was to compose the advisory 
council of men selected from the upper and lower 
honses. The privy connoil of ^ew Jersey, with its 
"three or more" members, was simply a selected 
group within Uie legislative council or upper house, 
a group intended to stand in an especially close rela- 
tion to the chief magistrate.* In a few of the states 
members of the advisory council retained seats in the 
legislature after their election as advisera." In other 
states the advisory coundl formed a separate body. 
Occasional statements in these early state constitu- 
tions, to the effect that records of advice given to the 
govemoi^ must be carefully kept, and that from time 
to time such records must be submitted to the inspec- 
tion of the legislatures, afford proof that the advisory 
councils were watched and that they were presumably 
considered as responsible, not to the governors, but 
to the popular bodies." The truth was well expressed 
by Madison when he said" to the Convention that 

MSoath Carolina (1T78) ; Virpiii«; UaaeftchuMtU. 
■ Poore, op. oit., p. 1312. 
MMai^Und; South Carolink (1776). 

t The Huaaehnsetta eonatitntion of 17S0, Artids V, wiU aerre aa an 

" jQlf 17. EUiot, V, S27. J11I7 21. f bid., p. 945. 

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"Experience had proved a tendency in' our govem- 
ment to throw all power 'into the le^slative vortex. 
The ezecntiveB of the states arM^ general little more 
than ciphers; the le^slatnres omnipotent." 

Whether the state governor's advisory oonnoil con- 
tained administrative ofBoers, it is impossible to say. 
The subject is a peculiarly difficult one for the inves- 
tigator, and still awaits treatment at the hands of some 
industrious and competent scholar. While it may be 
noted in passing that the constitution of North Caro- 
lina of 1776 expressly prohibited any secretary or 
attorney-general of that state from holding a seat in 
the council of state, it is certain that in pre-Bevoiu- 
tionary days the governor's council often included 
some variety of administrative officials~-such, for 
examples, as the surveyor-general of customs, the 
colony treasurer, the superintendent of Bidian affairs, 
the secretary of the province, the attorney-general, and 
others not so ei^y to specify.'* 

It was no doubt natural for Americans of the Revo- 
lutionary epoch still to think of the English institu- 
tion when the phrase privy council was spoken. ' In 
the very height of the quarrel with Great Britain, 
remarked James Iredell in 1763, "so wedded were our 
ideas to the institution of a Council, that the practice 
was generally if not universally followed at the forma- 
tion of onr governments, though we instituted Couu- 

M Merenwa, Uaryland, pp. 176 tt. W. B07 8mit]|, flotitk Carolina « a 
Boyal Province, 1719-1776 (1B08), pp. M, 86. tSSkn, LegUlature of 
Virsinio, p. 1«, E, P, Tanner, TAa Province of Nev) Jertey, 1664-1738 
(Columbia tJiuv«nitf StudiM, XXX, 190S), pp. 277, 282, 2»5. 

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oUb of a quite different nature **" The state- 
ment from such a source is enough to warn ns away 
from the view that there was any very definite or close 
analogy between the old English institution and the 
governor's coundt for advisory purposes, whether 
sueh a council was found in colonial times or during 
the period of the early state constitutions. 

The tradition of a council for advice and assistance 
was probably carried over from colonial days into the 
period of the Revolution and the years immediately 
following by the phrases "council of state*' and 
"privy council." It is possible that Morris and those 
interested with him in the project of an advisory 
council for the President may have been aware of 
certain colonial or state combinations in the shape of 
executive councils that served in some respects for 
examples. But in the absence of any specific evidence, 
it seems probable that the plan repeated or reflected 
suggestions made in connection with the central gov- 
ernment only as far back as 1781 or perhaps a little 
earlier. From about that time the evidence is clear 
that men were considering the desirability of co- 
operation among administrative officials for the pur- 
pose of assisting Congress. Any one ordinarily 
familiar in that day with English constitutional tradi- 
tions wonld naturally think of an executive as consult- 
ing with the great officers of state. The really crucial 
question in 1787 was : What officers, with due regard 

••■'Answen to Mt. Uaaon's Objwtiona to the New Constitation, " 
«te. B«print«d in P. L. Ford, Pamphlets m th« ConaUtution of the 
Vnittd Stotei (1888), p. S4S. 

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to the theory of a proper eeparatioii of powers, should 
be brooght into snoh close relations with the American 
President as to be easily consulted by him for the pur- 
pose of assisting him in his tasks? This question 
Morris attempted to answer when he formulated his 
plan of a council. 

As assistant to Bobert Morris, Superintendent of 
Finance, Gonvemenr Morris had had some oppor- 
tunity to test in practice any theories of administra- 
tion which he might have preconceived. Like Petatiah 
Webster, Morris included in his council a representa- 
tive of the judicial power. Webster had recommended 
that Congress obtain the opinions of the ministerial 
officers "in writing," for the purpose, no doubt, of 
holding them strictly and individually responsible for 
their advice. Presumably with similar intent Morris 
declared that the President "may require the written 
opinions" of members of his coonoil." He was, how- 
ever, unwilling to shackle the President by such 
advice — ^it need not "conclude" him. 

Brought forward by one of the most dating and 
brilliant among the younger members of the Conven- 
tion,** the plan was sure to attract attention, especially 
as it remained the single careful attempt during the 
entire course of proceedings to enforce the idea of an 
advisory oounciL It came from the hands of the 
Committee of Detail on August 22 in less simple form 
than that in which it was given to them, and accord- 

OAofiut to. 

tiBom at Morriiania, N. T., cm Janturj 81, 176E, but a resident of 
PeniujlTaiila in 1787 and a d«l^[at« from that state. 

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ingly tended' to hamper the President by forcing into 
oombinatiOD certain legislative and judicial factors 
which must in practice have defied the worting of an 
executive that was meant to-Jse largely independent of 
those factors and alone regp^sible. It was quite too 
complicated a problem, we may conclude, for any 
committee to re-adjust the plan in a way that would 
meet the wishes of a wearied Convention. But it is 
probable that it was neither hastily nor thoughtlessly 


It should be clear from the preceding considerations 
that there were offered to the Convention at one time 
or another more or less defiiiUe projeots for -Jiiree. 
councils with somewhat distinctive aims — a council of 
revision, a council 'of appointinent,, and a-oouncil of 
state or privy coimcil for the purpose of assisting and 
advising the President. The Convention disposed first 
of the possible need of a revisionary council by ^ving 
a carefully qualified veto power to the President. 

*S"TIie quMtioD of a eonneil," deelaiwd Morria on Boptomber 7, 
1787, "wu conHidered in Uw conunittM, where it waa jadgel tlwt tbe 
Preaideiit, bj perausding his coimcil to cooeur in his wrong meunras, 
would acquire their protection for tbem." Elliot, V, S25. It ia worth 
noting that some yean Uter Morris drew up, in French, a plea for a 
conneil of state in France. Section iii provided for a conncil eomposed 
of the following nine ofScials: Chancellor or minister of justice, a presi- 
dent of the council, and nuDiaters of the interior, flnaace, commerce, 
foreign affairs, war, marine, besides a seeretarj' of state entrusted ' ' with 
general charge of affairs." J. Sparks, The Lift of QoiMiemmr Morrit 
(1632), m, 481, 4SS, 480. 

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Toward the end of its labors it determined to divide 
the appointing power between President and Senate. 
It declined, finally, to accept the elaborated plan of an 
advisory oonDcil which Morris and others were inter- 
ested in arranging, and consequently left no word of 
snch a body in the final draft of the Constitntion. 

In the discnssiona of the period there are freqnent 
scattered references to the Senate as a "council to the 
President," "an advising body to the executive," a 
"council of appointment," or as a body associated 
with the President "to manage all our concerns with 
foreign nations."" These and others of a siaiilar 
nature represent a plausible and common assumption 
that the Senate, composed at the start of no more than 
twenty-six members and closely associated with the 
President by the letter of the Constitution in the mak- 
ing of treaties and in appointments, would serve as a 
council to the President. Some of the President's 
work mnst be accomplished by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate. The unforeseen tmth was that 
experience alone would prove — as it did — ^that there 
were essential difficultieB in the way of any real inti- 
ma<^ between the chief magistrate and the npper 
legislative house. 

From the establishment of principal officers in 1781 
tiirongh the proceedings of the Convention to Sjeptem- 

M Elliot, n, 47, £87, 306. m, 220, 211, 48B, 4B1, 4B8, 4M, 4M. 
y, S49. In an eMay entitled "The Senate of the United Statee," m- 
printed Id liia volume, A Frontier Toum and other Buagt (1900), Sena- 
tor H<ni7 Cabot Lodge baa developed clearly the hiitorie facta regard- 
ing the Senaton aa true cooftitutional adTieers of the Preaideot, pp. 
70 ff. 

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ber 17, 1787, there had been occasional bnt quite defi- 
nite recognition, as we have seen, that these officers 
were considered as assistauta either to Congress or, 
later, to the proposed executive magistrate. As early 
as 1783 Pelatiah Webster regarded them as fitted to 
have a share or voice in the business of appointnsent. 
It was Madison's first thought — as it was likewise 
Charles Pinekney's" — that they should be factors in a 
council for the revision of legislation. Bnt in view of 
another project before the Convention Madison sur- 
rendered his first opinion. And Pinckney and his 
colleague, Butledge, took the position that the Presi- 
dent, even without constitutional provision for such 
a council, could seek the advice and assistance of the 
principal officers in case he felt inclined to do so. 
Although the Convention failed to force them defi- 
nitely, by the law of the Constitution, into either a 
oonncil of revision or of appointment, it left no word 
in the text which would prevent the President from 
calling on the principal officers for advice and aid in 
the matter of a proposed veto or a proposed nomina- 
tion. In truth, viewed freely as assistants in accord- 
ance with the prevalent thought of the epoch, the 
principal officers might be asked for advice on a great 
many sorts of business with which the President would 
inevitably be concerned. 

It was this recognition of the principal officers as 
assistants that again may be traced in the autumn of 
1787. It was Ellsworth's idea, expressed in December, 
that "if any information is wanted, the heads of the 

«AmeTioan SuUtrieal Seview, IX, 743. 

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departments who are always at hand can best give it, 
and from the manner of their appointment will be 
trustworthy."" At about the same time James Wil- 
son reminded his hearers in the FennsylTBnia state 
convention that the President "will have before him 
the fullest information .... he will avail himself not 
only of records and official communications .... but 
he will have also the advice of the executive officers in 
the different departments. "" 

The clause in the Constitution** which asserted that 
the President might require the opinion in writing of 
the principal officers did not fail to call forth some 
comment. To Hamilton it appeared "as a mere redun- 
dancy .... as the right for which it provides would 
result of itself from the office."** To James Iredell, 
who fortunately elaborated his view in addressing 
the North Carolina state conventioD, the clause seemed 
to be "in some degree substituted for a council." 
Beferring to the principal officers, he said that "the 
necessity of their opinions being in writing, will 
render them more cautious in giving them, and make 
them responsible should they give advice manifestly 
improper." Inasmuch as the President would have 
extensive and important business to perform, ai^ued 
Iredell, he "should have the means of some assist- 

" D«eembn 10. Seprinted from TA« Conneetieut Coxront of tliat 
dat« b; P. li. Ford, Ettay» on tin ConttituUpn of th« United State* .... 
<1W2), p. 1S3. 

« Elliot, n, 146. December 1. 

• Article n, MC 2. 

• Harch Efi, ITSB. P. L. Pord's edition of The Psdvrolift (18S8), 
p. 497. 

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ance to enable him to disoharge his arduous employ- 
ment He can at no time want advice, if he 

desires it, ^ the principal officers will always he on 
tiie spot" He concluded that "every good that can 
be derived from the institntion of a council may be 
expected from the advice of these officers."" 

The fact that there was some complaint, particularly 
in the automn of 1787, because the Convention had 
left the chief magistrate unprovided with a council 
must not mislead ns. Writing from Paris, Jefferson 
expressed this complaint to several of his American 
friends after he had had an opportunity to read the 
text of the new Constitution.*' Richard Henry Lee 
wished "that a council of state, or privy council should 
be appointed to advise and assist in the arduous busi- 
ness assigned to the executive powers."" And there 
were others who expressed the same point of view. 
Notwithstanding these opinions, it can be shown, I 
believe, that there were a few minds sufficiently saga- 
cious and able to penetrate into the probable workings 
of the new system of government to see that a council 
of advisers was likely to come into existence so soon 
as the governmental machinery was well started. 
Only those, however, were capable of predicting the 
future institution who had known all the difficulties 
of adjustment by which the Convention had been con- 

"Elliot, rv, 108, 109, 110. J0I7 28, 1788. 

■1 JeSenon to John A.dmmi, NovKnber IS, 1787. J«ff«rwti to Chr- 
michael, Pecffnber 15. Doeianmtani Bigtory of the Cotutitution, IV, 
877, 408. 

■ Lett«r of October 16, 1767, in AmerietM Mutwm for Docembcir, II, 
B&7. Cf. PoowMntarv Sitlory, TV, 887, 416. 

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fronted in its considerations over the problem of an 
executive conncil when that problem had been defi- 
nitely presented to it by the matured plan for a conn- 
cil of state which MoTris and his aocomplicea had 

Although very unwilling to accept Morris's plan, 
Colonel Mason was probably in favor of an advisory 
executive council." But Mason formulated a crude 
plan that could have satisfied no large number of 
members of the Convention. And when he published 
his "Objections*' in the early automn of 1787, he 
declared explicitly and truly that the "President of 
the United States has no Constitutional Council." 
He went on to say, however, almost in the same 
breath, that "a Council of State will grow out of the 
principal officers of the great departments; the worst 
and most dangerous of all ingredients," he added, 
"for such a Council in a free country."" In the fol- 
lowing November Governor Clinton of New York re- 
iterated Mason's words, apparently foreseeing, like 

■■Septambei T, 1T87. Haaon morad to postpone eontidarktion of tlte 
cIbdm "and maj reqnife the opinion in writing of the piineip&l officvr 
in Mteh of the Executive Dopftrtmenta, " etc, in order to take np the 
following: " 'That it be an inotroction to the committee of the states 
to prepare a el&nae or elanses for eetabliihing an ezeenttTe cooneil, as 
a eoimeil of state for the President of the United States; to consist of 
■iz mem1)ers, two of whidi from the Eastern, two from the Middle, and 
two from the Sonthem States; with a rotation and duration of office 
similar to those of the Senate ; sneb eoondl to be appointed bj the legis- 
latnre, or bf the Senate.' " Elliot, V, &2S. 

H E. M. Bowland, Ufe of Oeorge Mason, U, 388. Cf. Itid., p. IIS. 
It shonld be noted that in the Virginia itate convention, on June 18, 
1788, HoBon there remarked that "he did not disapprore of the Presi- 
dent's consuKation with the priocipal officers." Elliot, in, 196. 

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Mason, the possible development of a council of state 
oat of the great officers." 

Very mnch more notable are certain remarks which 
can be fonnd in the pamphlet by Charles Pinekney 
entitled Observations on the Plan of Government 
Submitted to the Federal Convention, in Philadelphia, 
on the 28th of May, 1787." This pamphlet was prob- 
ably printed soon after the adjoamment of the Con- 
vention, for it was in Madison's hands on October 14, 
17875 There is no direct evidence as to the time when 
it was written. Althoagh its statements are not 
always consistent with the records of Pinckney's 
positions as taken during the debates of the Conven- 
tion," the document would seem to afford good evi- 
dence of its author's matured convictions, particularly 
on the sabject of an advisory council to the President. 

Near the opening of the Convention Pinekney pro- 
posed, as we have seen, that the President should be 
given the right to advise with the heads of the different 
departments "as his Council." On August 20 he 

■■"Letten of Cato," reprbited from Hm KttB Yorh JowtmlI hj P. L. 
Ford in liia Ettayt on th« Constitution, pp. 20S, 265. The original refer- 
eucM appeared on November 8 and 22, 1787. 

"New rorfc.— Printed by Franeia Childa. No date. Pp. S7. Tha 
copy I have used belongs to the Tale Library. It beara on the title-paga 
this statement; "By the Hon. Charles Pinekney, Esq., L. L. D.," etc 
Another print with the same pagination reads: "By Mr. Charles Pinek- 
ney," etc See Nation, XCin, 184. August 24, 1»11. 

H Writings of James Madison, V, 9. 

" For example, Pinekney flrst favored joining the heads of depart' 
menta in a eooncQ of rerislou, but be gave this np, according to his 
reported statement on Jane 6. Elliot, V, 169. The plan of a council of 
rention of principal officers appears In the Oburvations, pp. 8-9. 8as for 
a esrefol stndy of the remoanta of the original Pinekney Plan and tha 
Ohsenations, Ameriecn Ei*torie<a Beviev, IX, 73S ff. 

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seconded and probably approved of Morris's plan for 
a conncil to assist the President. Yet certain casual 
statements made by Pinokney in the Convention might 
be taken to indicate that he appreciated the difficulties 
of having any sach eombin,ation as the heads of depart- 
ments formally recognized in the Constitntion for a 
very specific purpose." However, referring in his 
pamphlet to four departments — ^foreign affairs, war, 
treastiry, and admiralty "when instituted" — he said 
of the PresidBUt: "He will havS a right to consider 
the principals of these Departments as his Council, 
and to reciuire their advice and assistance, whenever : 
ihe-dnties ofainroffice ahall render it necessary. By i 
this means," added Pinckney, "our Government will 
possess what it has always wanted, but never yet had, 
a Cabinet Council. An institution," he concluded, 
"essential in~ all Governments, whose situation or 
eoimeetions oblige them to have an intercourse with 

other powers "* 

This remarkable characterization of an institution 
unrecognized bythe Constitution, an institution which 
has become a familiar feature of American govern- 
ment, can hardly have been a mere suggestion or 
chance prophecy on Pinckney's part. Although among 
the youngest members of the Convention, he" had been 
active in the Continental Congress in 1786. He took 

» Elliot, V, 165, 349, 442. 

*■ O&MrvattofM, p. 10. 

B Piiiekii«]r wu born in 17fi8. J. B. O'NmU, BiograpMeal SketcJtes 
of tA« Beneh and Bar of Soutli CaroUna (18S9), II, 138 ff. John Fr&neis 
Unoer of Marytend iras born Maj 17, 1769, JBjnea Mercer Qarnott, 
BM^ropMcoI Sleeteh of Son, Jamea Uereer Qamett .... vith Mercer- 

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part at that time in the oonsideration of certain defi- 
cienmea of the goveniiuent of the Confederation. 
Moreover, his interest in the particular problem of 
sustaining the central government must then have been 
stimulated; and his ingenuity in helping to solve the 
problem was put to the test, for he acted as chairman 
of an important committee which worked over the 
whole matter and made a report of it," After this 
notable experience and his work as a member of the 
Convention, Pinokney's clear and confident character- 
ization may reasonably be taken to indicate not only 
that he appreciated the necessity of such a body in aid 
of the President, but also that he regarded it as almost 
assured by the common — and constitutional — assump- 
tion that there would be principal officers over the 
great departments. 

Pinckney's application of the English phrase "cabi- 
net council" to the combination of officers tEaf he fore- 
saw in the new scheme of government is probably the 
first that can be found." The phrase may be the casual 
feature in the passage. On the other hand, it probably 
indicates Pinckney's familiarity with the workings of 
tiie British Constitntion.*' At any rate at a time when 
most men were probably accustomed to term such a 
council either "council of state" or "privy council," 

0am«tt and Mercer Oenedlogiet (1910), p. S3. JonBthKii DftjtoB of Hew 
Jen«7 wu bom on Oetobsr 16, 1700. Cyclopaedia of Ameriomt Biog- 
raphy, II, 113. 

^Ameriam Rutorical B«vieie, IX, 738, 

oPftsl Leicester Ford calls this "the Unt suggestion of the bodj 
nnreeognixed bj the Constitntion." Nation, LX, 4S0. June 13, ISM. 

MPinekner's longest reeorded speech in theConrention shows rmtber 
turansi knowledge «f Ite Tii"gH"i' goramment. ElUot, T, 2U ff. June 8S. 

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-it is extraordinary and notable that the yonng South 
Carolina atatesman should have ventured to employ 
the phrase which became in the course of years perma- 
nently attached to the advisory body of the American 
President." Yet in this very connection it should be 
observed that when, in January, 1788, James Iredell 
of North Carolina attempted to answer Colonel 
Mason's particular objection to a possible council 
of state developing out of the prindpal cheers in 
combination, he reminded his readers that the single 
truly efficient council in the English government was 
"one formed of their great officers." "Notwithstand- 
ing their important Constitutional Council," he added, 
"every body knows that the whole movements of their 
government, where a council is consulted at all, are 
directed by their Cabinet Council, composed entirely 
of the principal officers of the great departments."** 
Iredell certainly would seem to have had no special 
fear of a body so composed. He was, moreover, clearly 
appreciative of these two facts : first, that the English 
Privy Council was at the tiine rather a belated sur- 
vival; second, that the English Cabinet Council was 
already understood by well-informed men to be the 
important source of directive power in the English 

*>Aii Ehiglish eomapondent of Washington, writing from Avignon, 
on Angnat EO, 1787, enclosed & plan of govsnunent for tha new nation. 
Thu plan reflect! numj peenliaritiea of tha Britiah aTetem, and particn- 
larlj reeommeud* a "cabinet eonneil," to be eompoaed of the chief 
nugiatrate and "anj foni of the great ofltcen of State." Docmmeiitarg 
Sittory, IV, 2H. 

MP. L. Ford, PompUeto, p. 848. 

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~ From Boc ^ ^*Y''^''"fi'. th^n, \w t'tiii *'"'ti"ii'f"''l"tj'T'!' 
may conclude jUiatGeprge MftSfilLQf Yircinia ftwH per — 
haps Governor Clinton of New York perceived-JEilii^. 
some degrefe' of clearness in^Uie nr*"'"" ntj n a n 44^ — 
probability that a council to the fntnre Pr esident 
would arise in a combination of the principal officers- 
Charles Pinckney was convinced that there .minXd ha — 
such a body : he characterized it adequately and named 
it — as it proved — ^witk startling aeesraey. Y et- tho-^ 
importance as well as the worfadngs of such a council, 
were it to take shape, would depend inevitably upon 
nomeroas future contingencies all but quite indeter- 
minable — the laws creating the departments, the num- 
ber of principal officers that Congress might decide 
upon, and the unknown human factors involved. 

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The Pbbasb "Pbivt Council" in the Colonies: 

It is almost imposeiltle to find references in print to 
the usage of "Privy Council" as applied to an Ameri- 
oan body in colonial times. Professor Herbert L. 
Osgood cites from the sources one nsage of the phrase 
as applied to the Ctovemor's Connoil in Maryland. 
This council, he writes, "stood toward the governor in 
a relation analogous to that occupied by the privy coon- 
oil toward the king in England. In 1642 the oounoU 
received for the first time a commission distinct from 
that of the ^vernor. In this it was caUed 'our privie 
Councell witiiin our said Province of Maryland,' and 
its members were empowered to meet with the gover- 
nor when and where he should direct, 'to treate, con- 
sult, deliberate and advise of all matters, causes and 

things which shall be discovered unto you * The 

peculiar function of the council, therefore, was to 
advise the governor and through him the proprietor, 
and without that advice the governor should not act." 
The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, H, 

Quite the best description that I can discover of the 
colonial conndl of state has been given by Dr. N. D. 
Mereness in his Maryland as a Proprietary Province, 
pp. 174-184. Mr. Clarence P. Qould of Johns Hopkins 
IJiiiversity has been kind enough to furnish me with 
additional information from the Maryland archives as 
follows : 

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The privy conneil aa used in MerenesB means onlj the ordi- 
nary cooncU of the colony — the same body as the Upper 
Honae, but sittmg with the goTemor aa a comicil of atate. 
.... The term "privy council" is sometimes applied to this 
body, but merely "the conneil" and "the council of state" 
are more common. "Privy cooncil" was used more fre- 
quently in the early dayt of the colony. Early commissions 
alw^B read "to be of oar Privy Council" or "to be of onr 
Privy Coandl of State" {Archives, 1, 114, 131, 201, 240, 242, 
251, etc.). In 1669 was framed an "Oathe of a Councellor 
of State," but in the oath the members of the council were 
referred to aa "privy Coaneellors" {Arch., V, 41). Again, 
a revenue act of 1671 provides for "the Privy Conneil of the 
Lord and Proprietary of this Province" (Quot«d L. H. J., 
May 21, 1739). Later on coonciUors' commisHions cease to 
be entered in full, and I have not been able to find what the 
proprietor himself continued to call the counciL Procla- 
mations, however, read "with the Advice of his Lordship's 
Council of State, ' ' and the two Houses usually spoke of it as 
the "council" or the "council of state" (L. H. J., 1739, May 
4, May 24, etc.). Private Letter of November 7, 1910. 

From thia it will be clear that the Privy Cooncil and 
the Cooncil of State were identical in Maryland. 




ALTHOUOH it did not expresBly enjoin executive 
departments, the Constitntion clearly contem- 
plated principal officers or heads of departments. 
AxMJordJngly the first Congress organized tinder the 
new system took into consideration early in its first 
session the subject of departmental arrangements. 

The congressional debates on the establishment of 
departments which were opened ia the Hoase of Bepre- 
Bentatives on May 19, 1789, revealed tendencies mak- 
ing toward administrative unity and hence real execu- 
tive efficiency on the part of the President. The dis- 
cnssions over the places and functions of the Secre- 
taries served to bring the administrative power of the 
President for the first time distinctly into view. Hence 
the large historic import of these discussions. In them 
the guiding influence of James Madison on the course 
of the debates is particularly apparent. Several 
matters became clear. 

In the first place, the tenure of office of the Secre- 
taries, quite unprovided for by the Constitntion, was 
settled as being at the pleasui'e of the appointing 
power. Again, the appointiug power was interpreted, 
after much diacussion, as inclnding tiie power of 

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removal, the Senate having merely a negative over 
appointments. With the power of removal in his 
hands it was felt that the President was likely to be 
a stronger director and more efficient supervisor of 
the national administration, for the power of removal 
helped to give the chief magistrate that control over 
the Secretaries and certain other officers, without 
which he ooald have been in no effective way respon- 
. / sible, as he was intended to be by the makers of the 
*' Constitution, for the entire execntive department.* 
And finally confidence between President and principal 
officers was seen by a few men to be essential to suc- 
cessfnl administration. 

The evidence on this last point is peculiarly perti- 
nent to our inquiry. "Without a confidence in the 
executive department," remarked Egbert Benson of 
New York, "its operation would be subject to per- 
petual discord." Speaking of the place of the Presi- 
dent, Fisher Ames of Massachusetts said: "The only 
bond between him and those he employs is the confi- 
dence he has in their integrity and talents ; when that 
confidence ceases, the principal ought to have power 
to remove those whom he can no longer trust with 
safety." Others spoke in a similar strain. Elbridge 
Gerry of Massachusetts, watchful of the rights of the 
states and dreading executive prerogative and any- 

i^nnol* of Congrett, I, 394 ff. MAdinm to E. Bwidolph (Uajr 31, 
1769) in Writings of Jamet MadMon, V, ST8. The debate bu been eai«- 
foUf analTied with Bpeeial reference to the appointing power by 
Professor Lucy M. Salmon in her Hiitory of tlu Appointing Power of 
the Frehdent is the Papert of the American Bittorieal Auooiation, I, 

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thing suj^Bting possible absolutiBm in the federal 
headship, was peonliarly prophetic. He reminded his 
ooUeagaes in the House that, not satisfied with having 
made the Secretaries "the OTeatnres of the law," they 
were "making them the mere creatures of the Presi- 
dent." He was himself satisfied that the Secretaries 
would become "a set of ministers .... to hold the 
reins of government." To the people he felt sure that 
the principal officers would appear as "consequential 
persons." "These officers," declared Gerry, "bearing 
the titles of minister at war, minister of state, minister 
for the finances, minister of foreign affairs, and how 
many more ministers I cannot say, will be made neces- 
sary to the President." He concluded that in fact the 
President "will be inclined to place more confidence 
in them than in the Senate."' In this last seutiment 
Gerry was really close to the view of his former col- 
league in the Philadelphia Convention, George Mason, 
when, in September, 1787, Mason had expressed his 
fear lest a council of state would grow out of the prin- 
cipal officers of the great departments.' 

Although neither G«rry nor any one else who took 
part in the long debates of 1789 said directly that the 
President and heads of departments were likely to 
form a coxmcil, yet the stray evidence just assembled 
would seem to give ground for inferring that the 
thought of such a combination as no remote possi- 
bility was occasionally near the surface of the debates. 

As ideas matured under Madison's able guidance, 

tAiMoU of Congreu, I, 40S, 49S, 463, 627. 
> Bee ehiqitei m, tmpn, p. 89. 

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. the House of BepresentatiTea proved to be willing to 

I arrange for the organization of three separate depart- 

i ments — foreign affairs (or state), war, treasury — 

I exactly the number that there had been nnder the old 

t gorermnent of the Confederation since 1781. Over 

every one of these departments it was finally decided 

to place a single chief officer. Naval affairs, it should 

be said, were transferred from the old Treasijry Board, 

in whose charge they had been since 1785, to the care 

of the Secretary of War.' An nnsncoessful effort 

nnder the lead of John Vining of Delaware, one of the 

yoonger members of the House, was made to establish 

a fourth department of domestic or home affairs.' 


The statutes* which established the three depart- 
ments revealed certain differences that should not be 
overlooked. Only the Departments of State and War 
were termed "executive." Their Secretaries were 
apparently intended to be solely responsible and snb- 
ordinate to the President. The Department of the 
Treasury, on the other hand, may have been intended 
to be within easy reach or control of the legislature. 
The point is worth a moment's consideration. 

According to the express language of the law, the 
Secretary of the Treasury was to "make report and 
give information to either branch of the legislature, 

tpAoUin, "EftTlj Naval Adminiatration Tuder tlie ConBtitatiou " in 
Proeeedwgi of tlu V. S. Nav<a IntUtute, September, 1006, XXXII, 
1001 ff. 

> Jtmolt of Congret, I, 3SS, 886, 412, 698-69C (poMtm). 

■ 1 Btat^ei at Large, pp. 26, 40, AS, 68. 

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in person or in writing, as he may be required, respect- 
ing all matters referred to him by the Senate or Honse 
of Bepresentatives, or whidi shall appertain to his 
office." There was not a word in the statute concern- - 
ing the President's power of direction, although the 
President must appoint the Secretary to the headship 
of a department in accordance with the Constitution. 
While, then, the Secretary of the Treasury, like the 
two other Secretaries, was certainly responsible to the 
President, he was apparently intended to be held in 
some sort of restraint by the legislature, for he was 
subject at any moment to the legislature's call. 

In the absence of direct evidence, there cannot bo 
much doubt that the peculiar position iu which the law 
of September 2, 1789, left the Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, was largely due to general recognition of the 
force of popular tradition and colonial precedent in the 
matter of financial administration. Heretofore, both 
in the colonies and in the states of the Revolutionary 
epoch, financial administration had been all but com* 
pletely within control of the popular bodies. One of 
the best-informed students of colonial praotiees has 
written that "by the close of Anne's reign, the colonial 
assemblies were, with few exceptions, enforcing their 
claim not merely to lay taxes and determine expendi- 
tures, but also to appoint the chief finan^al officer of 
the province."' In the two mature plans' for a consti- 

'B. B. OrMne, ProviiieidX America, 1690-1740 (Amar. NAtioa BoriM, 
voL 0), p. 77. Cf. B. P. Turner, T)te Frovinca of New Jvruji, pp. 8M, 
397, 400, 430, 433. 

■ TboM of An^fnat uid September 12. I>o(i«iMiilary Eittory, in, 
449, 7S4. 

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tution which marked the later stages of the work of 
the Philadelphia CoDvention, it -was proposed that 
Congress should have the appointment of a treasurer 
of the United States. "The people," nrged King 
and Oorham of Massachusetts, "are accnstomed and 
attached to that mode of appointing treasurers. ' ** But 
at the last moment it was decided to allow the Presi- 
dent to appoint the nation's treasurer — an innovation, 
asserted King and his colleague, which "will multiply 
objections to the system." Perhaps the arrangement 
of the Secretary of the Treasury's position in 1789 
under the restraint of Congress was partly owing to 
the action of the Convention in allowing the President 
to name the national treasurer. 

For many years after 1789 the peculiar place of the 
Secretary of the Treasury was a subject of occasional 
oonunent. As early as April 2, 1792, Jefferson alluded 
to it in his "Anas," casting a characteristic slur in 
this connection upon Alexander Hamilton, his unbe- 
loved colleague." In one way or another the subject 
came to the attention of every President before Jack- 
son. [The law, which allowed the head of the financial 
depar&nent to report annually and at other times to 
Congress, was sure to interfere with real unity of 
administration, espedally when Congress desired to 
get a report from the Secretary without previous com- 
munication with the President. Both Madison and 
Monroe during their terms as Presidents experienced 

* Elliot, Debatet, V, S42. 

u TFrttHV* of rkomw Jtfenon, I, 190. 

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special difficulties becanse of the oaUs of Congress on 
their Secretaries of the Treasury!^ 

President Jaokson left his contemporaries nnder no 
donbts as to his theory of the relation existing between 
him and any Secretary of the Treasury whom he might 
choose to associate with him. The episode which 
brought his theory into prominence was the so-called 
removal of the deposits. In connection with the epi- 
sode, Jackson, in September, 1833, developed his view 
of the proper functions and status of a cabinet officer 
such as the Secretary of the Treasury by virtually 
saying that, although the Secretary might be required 
by law to report to Congress instead of to the Presi- 
dent, the peculiar provision was never meant to exempt 
a Secretary from his obligation to sustain the Presi- 
dent in all matters of pnblic policy." The matter 
assumed almost at once a partisan aspect. Opponents 
of Jackson's policy toward the Bank — such men, for 
examples, as Henry Clay and Horace Binney — denied 
that the Treasury was an "executive department." 
Samuel J. Tilden, then a yonth just out of his teens, 
undertook to defend Jackson's view. Baaing his argu- 
ment upon a well-eelected number of historic incidents, 
Tilden made out a plausible case that since Hamilton's 
day the Treasury had usually been considered an 
executive department" It was the same conclusion 
which the Conmiittee of Ways and Means put upon 

auemoln of J. Q. Adamt, TV, 217, S00-90S. Cf. Work* of John 
Adamt. Vni, MS. 

11 Mestagei and Paperi, III, 6 It. 

uPebrnwy 14, 1834, Wrilmgt and SptacKe* of Samuel J. TOden, 
ed. John Bigelow (188S), I, 27 ff. 

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record in an elaborate report read to the House on 
Maroh 4, 1834." 

Two years later, in 1836, an effort was begun for the 
pnrpoBe of amending the Constitution in snch a way 
as to allow Congress to choose the Secretary of the 
Treasury. And during the suceeeding six years oppo- 
nents of Jackson's executive policy appealed now 
and again to Congress for similar amendments." The 
effort waa only one feature of the reaction against what 
seemed to be an unwarranted and high-handed policy 
on the part of the Democratic party. There were no 
doubt many sympathizera with the sentiment of Clay 
when, in the Senate, on January 24, 1842, he burst into 
the declaration that "during the last twelve years, the 
machine, driven by a reckless charioteer with frightful 
impetuosity, has been greatly jarred and jolted, and 
it needs careful examination and a thorough repair.*'" 
There was reason in this sort of plea. But nothing 
in the way of legislation ever came from the effort to 
put the Secretary of the Treasury's appointment into 
the hands of Congress. Whatever the intent of the 
makers of the law of 1789, in practice the Secretary 
of the Treasury has been regarded from Jackson's 
day as an officer nnder executive controL Moreover, 
in the language of the later law, the Department is 

M NOw '• Segitter, XLVI, 38 ff. (M»rch 15, 1834.) 
U These effcrts maj be followed in the Congresttonal Globe under the 
dstee: Febnuur IS, 183a, Junuuy 2, 1838, January 14, 1839, December 
89, 1811, and Juiiiu? 24, February 8, IS, 83, 28, March 4, 21, and 
AnguBt 80, 1842. They marked several wnioni of the 24th, SStli and 
STth CongTWBea. 

u Oiobe, 27 Conff., 8 mm. (1841-1842), p. 164. 

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recognized aa an "exeeative department." But it 
shonld also be noted that the old provision of 1789, 
whidi authorized the Secretary to "make report, and 
give information to either branch of the legislature 
in person or in writing," has not been altered." 


The Senate of 1789, acting perhaps on the assomp- 
tion of a place in the new goTermneut analogons to 
that of the colonial council or upper house — a body 
whi<di exercised some variety of Judicial functions — 
took the lead in the business of organiziug a judicial 
establishment. Its committee of eight, Ellsworth of 
Connecticut acting as chairman, appointed as early 
aa April 7, brought in a bill which resulted in the 
Judiciary Act of the following September." The 
final section (35) contained a brief provision for the 
office of the Attorney-General. Aside from hia func- 
tion as federal prosecutor, the Attorney-General was 
to be legal adviser to the President and heads of 
departments. This arrangement brought him into the 
range of executive control and made him, like the 
Secretaries, a ministerial officer. He waa head of no 
department in 1789, nor indeed — as we shall see later 
on — ^until 1870. His rank, like his salary, waa dia- 
tinctly below that of the three Secretaries. Yet from 

«Sni*ed StatMM (Sd ed., 187S), pp. 88-41. For a raMnt coniider- 
»tiaii of tlto plkce of the 8ecrct«T7 of tho TreasnTj is out wj^tMm, sea 
Frank J. Gooduow, Tha PrineipUi of Iha Adminittrative Law of th4 
United State* (190S), pp. 70S. 

u I Statute* ai Large, pp. 92 ff. 8«pt«mbw 24, 1789. 

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the oatset Washington reckoned the Attomey-Qeneral 
as an intimate adviser." 

The Judiciary Act, while nominally the result of the 
labors of a Senate committee, was probably shaped 
largely by the hand of Oliver Ellsworth, its chairman. 
It was Madison's recollection — expressed more than 
once — ^that the Senator from Connecticut drafted the 
bill, "and that it was not materially changed in its 
passage into a law." " But contemporary jottings on 
the course of the debate, made by Senator Maclay, 
himself a member of the committee, make the author- 
ship as ascribed to Ellsworth almost a certainty." 

The portion of the Act devoted to the Attomey- 
General's place is curiously brief. This brevity sug- 
gests the marked immaturity of the administrative- 
judicial system of the central government. Indeed, 
BO far as the central government is concerned, the 
office was an innovation, for no such office had been 
known to the Confederation. On the other hand, the 
English Attorney-Generalship, which doubtless fur- 
nished the men of 1789 with a model, was old and Well 
established." Moreover, there had been Attomeys- 
Oeneral in many of the colonies. In Virginia, for 
example, the office had been established some years 

IB The evidence for this I examine lat«r. See pp. 164 It., 181 It. 

'^Letterg and other Writmgi of Jamei Maduon, IV, 428. Of. Ihid., 

^Journal of WHliam Maelay, ed. E. 6. Maclay (1890), pp. 91, 97, 
101, 103, 105, «U. William (Jarrott Brown examines the eridenee care- 
full; and preecntB the general conolnaionfl admirably in his Life of 
OUuer EUtKorth (ISOS), pp. ISl ff. 

»Bir William B. Anson, Late and Cuttom, Pt II (8d ed., 1S96), pp. 
201 ff. 

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before 1650. Early in the eighteenth oentnry the 
Vir^nia Attomey-Qeneral had been expected to reside 
at Williamsburg, at the time the seat of the provincial 
government." Some of the states in the Bevoln- 
tionary epoch had Attomeys-GeneraL And both 
Pelatiah Webster in 1783 and Gonvemeur Morris in 
1787, it will be recalled, included a leading represen- 
tative of the legal profession in their separate plana 
for a council. 


We have seen how Congress provided in 1789 for 
laws which called for the appointments of three Secre- 
taries and an Attorney-General. Four positions were 
created, the occupants of which were to be the assist- 
ants of the President. Before turning to the next 
subject — the factors which br ought these o fficers int o 
a ^r egiden t's council — let us observe a statement set 
down by Gouverneur Morris, and printed in the spring 
of 1789. 

The statement in view occurs in a pamphlet by 
Morris entitled Observations on the Finances of the 
United States, in 1789. This pamphlet was partly the 
result of Morris's "maritime meditations" on his 
journey from America in the winter of 1788, but it was 
formulated later and was perhaps influenced by cer- 
tain conversations between Morris and Jefferson in 
Paris, the latter our nunister to France. Under date 

»0. p. CSutwood, Jtwtiee in CoIoamJ Virginia (Jolma Hopkiaa Unl- 
varritf StndiM, JnlyAagnat, lOOS). It is worth obwrring thst the State * 
of Oouneetieat had no Attomey-OenaTal until 18ST. Pitbtio Aet* for 1897, 
ehap. 191. Ma7 26, 1887. 

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of May 8, 1789, OonTemenr MorriB sent a copy of the 
pamphlet to his friend, Robert Morris, onoe Superin- 
tendent of Finance. In it there occurs tiiis passage : 

On no subject perhaps can it be more needful to take pre- 
cautions .... than on that of finance, both for the public 
secority aad for the repatation of the Ministers. It m^t 
therefore be wise to provide that tiie terms on which loans 
are to be made, and the manner of mftlring them, Bhoald be 
discussed and decided on, not only by the officers of the 
Finance departnAnt, but by the President and the other 
principal officers of State, such as the Secretaiy at War, and 
of Foreign AfEairs. These taken t<^ther might be very 
safely entrusted with the appropriation of the revenue .... 
their determinations would be secret." 

Here is a statement from the pen of the great pro- 
tagonist of the condliar idea in the Philadelphia Con- 
vention. It is not surprising that it should be in 
aooord mth earlier suggestions as to the advantages 
of a council of principal officers. Bnt it cQrtainlT indi - 
oates how very; natural waa.tha ooTw^tion oLaJ^resi- 

nings of the ne w gov ernment .in, 1789. 

H J. Bpuki, Life of Chmvemettr Morri*, TU, S-4, 471, 478. 

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alxeged authobship of the act sbtabubhufo thb 
Tbeasub; Dbpabtment: 

The first Congress, on Ma7 21, 1789, appointed a 
committee of eleven members to prepare bills for 
organizing the executive departments. The committee 
consisted of Messrs. Baldwin (chairman), Vining, 
LivermoTe, Madison, Benson, Bnrke, Fitzsimons, 
Bondinot, Wadsworth, (Jerry and Cadwalader 
{Annals of Congress, I, 412). There is no cine in 
contemporary records to any other than the com- 
mittee authorship of the act for a Treasmy Depart- 
ment. Yet Secretary John Qnincy Adams, under date 
of January 12, 1819, did not hestitate to ascribe the 
authorship of the act directly to Alexander ECamilton, 
as follows : 

The laws constitnti):^ the Departments were .... founded 
upon the same principle, with the exception of the Treasury 
Department, the law to establish which was drawn up by 
A. Hamilton, who was himself to be the Secretary, and whose 
object was to establish a direct intercourse between the mem- 
bers of the legislstnre and himself for his own purposes 

Memours of John Quincy Adamt, IV, 217. 

I have not discovered that any one of Hamilton's 
chief biographers takes any account of this statement. 
Although it is probably not deserving of mudi cre- 
dence, yet I think it worth citing, for it is possible that 
in the course of time new evidence on the subject may 
be brought to light. 

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THE Gonvention had hardly finished its work in 
SeptembeT, 1787, when Alexander Hamilton 
conjectured the probability that Waehington would 
be President in case the new form of government were 
acceptable to the people. "This," he added, "will 
insure a wise choice of men to administer the govern- 
ment and a good administration. A good administra< 
tion will conciliate the confidence and affection of the 
people and perhaps enable the government to acquire 
more consistency than the proposed constitution seems 
to promise for so great a Country." ^ 

By the summer of 1789, his election and inaugura- 
tion having taken place, and Congress having by that 
time made progress in arranging for the great depart- 
ments and the jadicial establishment, Washington was 
deeply concerned with the problem of surrounding 
himself with four assistants, men qualified in foreign 
affairs, in finance, in army organization, and in the 
law. The nominations for these appointments were 
of grave consequence to the first chief magistrate as 
well as to the country. And in the matter of selection 
the importance of a few guiding principles was per- 
fectly apparent. 

Washington sought for capable and eflcient men 
whose nsefulness had stood the test of some experience 

^ Doeimtntani Eiitory, TV, 290. Tbe remark! of Hamilton, from 
wbieh tbe ertnict is quoted, were undated, but were probably jotted 
down in Uie ear]; antnnm of 1787. 

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in colonial, state, or continental places. The whole 
Revolutionary epoch was one peculiarly likely to make 
or mar reputations. And Washington was well fitted 
to judge men who had been associated with him in the 
armies at that time. He seems to have been especially 
desirous of obtaining tried and worthy men in the 
various judicial posts tinder his control. Moreover, 
important places within his power of nomination he 
meant to distribute with due regard to the claims of 
the various states — the geographical factor was not 
to be overlooked. And finally what has been termed 
political orthodoxy — intent to support the new sys- 
tem of government — was taken into the account.* 

White such guiding principles were infiuential and 
to some extent considered in the President's choice of 
his principal officers, there can be no doubt that the 
claims of friendship played an important part in 
directing Washington's search for men to assist him. 
Intimately and confidentially associated with him as 
these men must be, it was very natural that Wash- 
ington decided finally to make three of the four 
appointments under consideration from among his 
personal friends. 

In the autmnn of 1788, several months before the 
first Congress assembled, men were gossiping about 

■ Mias Salmon discoMes theoe piinciplM caref nllj in her stndj of ttw 
appointing power. Fapert of Ihe Amer. SUt. Auoo., I, 314-319. Cf. 
C. R. FUh, rh« Civil Service and the Fatronage (Harvard Hist. Stndies, 
ToL ZI, 1005), pp. 6-10. 

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the possible incninbents of the principal offices. It 
was already assmned that nevly organized depart- 
ments of foreign affairs and war, when they shonld 
be arranged, wonld probably be placed under the 
supervision of the old Secretaries, John Jay and 
Qeneral Henry Knox. Madison, it was remarked, 
might well be "employed as minister for the home 
department.'" But Madison's election to the first 
national House of Representatives soon placed him 
outside the range of popular consideration for office. 
Moreover, as it proved, there was to be no separate 
home department arranged by Congress. Before 
Robert Morris was chosen Senator from Pennsylvania, 
it was natural to regard him as perhaps the most 
available head of the Treasury Department, should the 
old Treasury Board be superseded by a single Secre- 
tary. Even while the problem of arranging a Treasury 
Department was being discussed by the House, men 
referred easily to Morris as an example of what a 
single man of capacity in the position onght to be. 
"The gentleman," said Boudinot, "had asked where 
a proper character for a finander was to be foundt 
America has seen one man equal to the task." * "We 
had once a gentleman," remarked Gerry, "who filled 
such a department, and I believe the only one in the 
United States who had knowledge and abilities by any 
means competent to the business."* There was no 
doubt about Morris as being popularly considered the 

a November £0, 1788, D. HninphieTB to Jeffenon. Bancroft, Hiitory 
of tht Formation of tU ConttitvUoti, II, 4S(! (Appendix). 
• Ub7 20, 1789. AnndU of CongreMi, I, 410. 
tibid., I, 401. See Note 1 at tlie end of this cbApter. 

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most marked man for the headahip of the country's 
finances. Bnt as time advanced, at latest by the month 
of July, 1789, attention had more and more turned 
toward Alexander Hamilton. It is known that Chan- 
cellor Livingston had aspirations for the place. And 
John Jay may possibly for a time have considered it 
as within his range of ability.* 

The appointments of Hamilton and Knox were 
determined upon by President "Washington easily and 
probably in the early part of the simmier of 1789. 
Hamilton, conscious of having assisted in the move- 
ment toward a new constitution, felt an obligation to 
lend his aid in getting the machine into operation and 
regular motion. We know from his own statement 
that he did not hesitate to accept the proffer of the 
Treasury headship/ Both men were on terms of very 
close intimacy with the President. Associated with 
him in the Revolution, they had kept up a correspond- 
ence with him at intervals ever since. When Ejiox's 
income was at a low ebb, he had solicited Washington's 
recommendation to assist him in getting a place in the 
employ of the government of the Confederation. And 
partly through Washington's friendship he had been 
appointed Secretary at War by Congress in 1785.' 
Knox had certainly approved himself to the public by 

* Wntmgt of Jamet Madison (ed. Hnnt), V, 803, S0», S13, SIO, 824, 
370-371. Letter* and other Writing* («d. BivM), I, 42], 47Q-477, 4S4. 
m, 67. Work* of Alexander Hamilton («d. Lodge), VIII, 204, 254, 
2S0-2flO. J. C. HunUtOD, BepuWe, TV, 504. 

' U»r 2, 1797. Di. A. H. Hamilton, Intimate Life of Alexander 
Hamilton (I&IO), pp. 14-15. 

* F. 8. Drake, Memorials of the Boeietj/ of the Cincinnati of MassOr 
chiuett* (18T3), pp. 160-173. 

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his condtiet of the oM department.* In fact, in respect 
to fitness, the appointments of both Knox and Ham- 
ilton were in aocord with the most intelligent contem- 
porary opinion. 

In Joly, 1789, Washington was considering Edmnnd 
Randolph of Virginia for some place in the federal 
judicial eatabliBhment. Early in the following month, 
aided by the confidential advice of Madison, he had 
"almost determined" on the nomination of Bandolph 
to the Attomey-Oeneralship." When the proffer of the 
position Wf» made to Bandolph late in September, the 
President then deemed Randolph's acceptance of 
it as "problematical." The truth is that Bandolph 
accepted Washington's offer with hesitation, partly 
owing to the disordered condition of his private 
affairs — a condition which could be altered materially 
only by more of an inoome than he oonld expect as 
a low-salaried ofSce-bolder — and partly beeanse he 
desired to complete a revision of the laws of Virginia, 
a task on which at the moment he was engaged. As 
first Attorney-Genera! of the State of Virginia under 
its new constitution of 1776, and later as governor of 
that state who had naturally acted as spokesman of 
the Virginia delegation in the Philadelphia Conven- 
tion of 1787, Bandolph certainly bad a conspicuous 
claim to some sort of recognition nnder the new admin- 
istration, even though his political orthodoxy had not 
been of the most robust kind. Like Hamilton and 

■ For example, Me oration of Judge 3. H. VArnnm, deliveied at 
Marietta, Ohio, on Jul; 4, 1788. In American Mvtevm for Haj, 1789, 
V, 454-450. 

uj. Sparki, Writingt of George WaiMngton, X, 29. 

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Knoi, he had for yeara been on terms of intimate 
friendship with Washington. Indeed, there can be no 
donbt that the President felt a real affection for 

If the naming of Randolph as Attorney-General 
snggests Madison's Inflnence, the naming of Thomas 
Jefferson as Secretary of State shows it in the clearest 
possible light. 

The appointment of Jefferson is distinctly the most 
interesting of the fonr appointments nnder considera- 
tion. John Jay was what might be called the logical 
candidate for the headship of the country's foreign 
affairs In 1789. A man of relatively large experience 
abroad as well as one already known for his domi- 
nating inflnence on administration at home during the 
later years of the Confederation, and on friendly 
(though hardly intimate) terms with Washington," 
Jay seemed to the discerning mind of Madison to be 
assured of the position in the early smumer of 1789." 
Aocording, however, to the best available authority on 
Jay's life — ^that of his son — ^Washington gave to Jay 
the choice of "any office he might prefer." And so, 
at Ms own request, Jay was named as Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Conrt.** This dedsion of Jay probably 
led Washington directly to the consideration of 
Thomas Jefferson. 

, njPHMBfft of George Watkvngtm («d. W. C. Pord), XI, 438-484, 
4SO-470. U. D. Oonwar, Omilted (7)kiplar« in th« lAfe and Paper* of 
Bdmvnd SnndDlph (1888), pp. l£g ff. J. G. Hamilton, BejmbJie, IV, 31. 

BW. 0. Pord, Qeorge Watkingtofi, Mamorial ed. (1900), n, 163. 

u^ettsrt and other Wrimgg of Jama MatUton (ed. BifM), I, 476, 
477, 488. 

uw. 3»j> l^t' 0/ 'oAm •Toy (1883), I, £74. 

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Perhaps Jay helped to tana the President 'b atten- 
tion to Jefferson. It seems most probable, however, 
that Madison was the directive factor in the sitnation. 
He certainly did all that he could to bring Jefferson 
into a mood to acoept the place after it had been 
offered to him. Madison had been for years on terms 
of the closest friendship with Jefferson. He had kept 
Jefferson in France intimately informed of the prog- 
ress of events in the United States ever since Jeffer- 
son's departure in 1784. And in respect to the work 
of the Philadelphia Convention and the years just 
following, Madison was Jefferson's chief source of 
information. In May, 1789, Madison had sounded 
Jefferson for the apparent purpose of testing Jeffer- 
son's willingness to accept a possible home appoint- 
ment mider the new government. While both Jay and 
Madison were relied on by Washington for counsel 
during the momentous summer of 1789, it seems very 
probable that Madison's high regard for Jefferson and 
his well-known intimacy with him made Madison the 
real source of any special information, apart from 
^Jefferson's reputation, which the President could have 
desired. Washington and Jefferson, it should be 
observed, had never been on terms of intimacy. It is 
true that letters had passed between them occasion- 
ally. Long since Washington had expressed his regard 
for Jefferson, referring to him as "a man of discern- 
ment and liberality." Moreover, Washington had 
eagerly forwarded to Jefferson the Convention's 
adopted plan of a constitution on the day after the 
Convention adjourned, September 18, 1787, hoping 

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that he might be first to commnitieate the docnment to 
his fellow- Virginian acquaintance. As for Jefferson's 
reputation, it was conspicnously well established. He 
had been very useful at various times in the Conti- 
nental Congress. Like his friend, Edmtmd Bandolph, 
he had been governor of Virginia. And in 1789, with 
Franklin restored to his native land, Thomas Jefferson 
was unquestionably the best-known American then 
resident in Europe. He was not only a man of intel- 
lectual accomplishments, but he had proved himself 
as a practical statesman to be at least a man of great 

Landing at Norfolk, Virginia, in November, 1789, 
Jefferson for the first time heard of his appointment. 
For over two months following he hesitated about 
accepting it. He was very much disinclined to have 
other than foreign affairs to attend to in connection 
with the Department of State. While he was in a 
doubtful mood, Madison visited him in Virginia for 
the purpose, it wonld seem, of trying to obtain his con- 
sent to the appointment. Only after this visit and at 
the renewed and nrgent request of WaBhington, 
assured that the public was eager for his acceptance * 
of the position, did Jefferson give a half-hearted con- 
sent, reluctantly turn his face from France, and take 
up his new task in New York City on March 22, 1790." 

The four nominations were made to the Senate in 
September, 1789. They were confirmed without delay, 

UBaneroft, Hwttrry of the Fomtatio* of th« CoMtitwttM, I, ISI. 
DoMtmrntarv SMory o/ (k« CoHtttttttion, IV, 427. J^fnaa't Writingt 
{«d. P. I* Ford), Vin, 868, ft. note. 

H See Note 2 »t tbe end of this elwpteT, 

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and oommiBBionB were aooordingly issaed. Hamilton 
was first to enter upon hia duties on September 11, 
succeeding the Treasury Board of three commisBioners, 
Messrs. Walter Livingston, Samuel Osgood, and 
Arthur Lee. The next day General Knox, who had 
had charge of the old department of war since 1785, 
formally began his work under new direction. Jay 
conducted the business of the new Department of 
State at the request of the President until he was 
succeeded by Jefferson late in March, 1790. Randolph 
began his service on February 2, 1790," the day on 
which the judiciary establishment went into fnll opera- 
tion. Soon after that, however, he was obliged to 
return to Virginia on his wife's account. He was thus 
so much delayed that he actually handed his resigna- 
tion of the Attorney-Generalship to Washington. The 
resignation was not accepted, and Randolph was able 
to undertake the active duties of his post in the month 
of May. Only in May, 1790, with Jefferson, Hamilton, 
Ejiox, and Randolph in New York City, could the first 
administration be looked upon as really assembled." 

Here, then, were the simple facts previous to that 
variety of circumstances which were to induce Wash- 
ingtcm to combine his principal assistants into a eoun- 

"W. G. Bnitni, Oliver EOtworth, p. 197. " 

i> Bxeoutive Jotimal of the Senate, I, 26, 26, 32-33. M. D. Coamj, 
Omitted Ckapt«rj, etc., pp. 13S-136. In view of the difflraltjr of MMM 
to the Senate Executive Journal, I have foimd it most convenient, u a 
mle, on datei of nomiiiBitioni, etc., to cite Bobert Brent Moihet's Execu- 
tive Begitter (1903), an admiroblj and cArefnlly airwiged compilation.' 
Uoeher '■ book eontwna McnrAte liata of all the Cmbineti down to ita date 
of inoHice, including Teeorda of all commiNiona, and dates wheo active 
dntiee ware andertaken. 

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eJL -EJTBfc the ConstitatJ on imp lie^d-that-there were 
to be principal offioera and exeontive departments. 
Seo6ndrt7ongresB decreed that there Bhonid he three 
d^artments, and arranged atatntes providing for the 
creation of fonr principal offioare. Third, Washington 
nominated these officers ; and their i^q»ointanfflit8 were 
made final by the faroring attitude of the Senate and 
the iaanance of eommiaaions. 

Neither the Conatitntion nor the law brought the 
principal officers into a cooncil. When Senator Henry 
Cabot Lodge characterized the Cabinet as "statntory/' 
and declared that "the law alone creates the Cabinet,*' 
he waa either mistaken in his view or careless in his 
use of langnage." The law created the principal 
officers or members of the Cabinet. The Cabinet itself 
was the creation of President Washington. He began 
the practice of assembling his principal officers in 
oonniuL And this practice became in the course of 
time a settled cnstom. JThe simgle^trnthjs that the 
Cfthinet ih a eoatomarv, not r statntorr y.A^ ~ 

The financial requirements especially conspicuous 
during Washington's first term, the problems of onr 
commercial and foreign relations, the frontier ques- 
tions ii^volving the need of an army as well as the 
determination of onr attitude toward the Indians and 
to British and Spanish neighbors — all these and other 
matters called not only for the direction of a sagacious 
President, but also for the assistance of well-qualified 
experts. With these things in view, we may tnm to 

<*"Tbe 8enftt« of tha tTnit«d Btatw," nprlntod in A FroMier Town 
and Other S-agt (1800), pp. TS-71. 

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certain features of the hiBtoric process making for 
executive unity and force. 


From the outset Washington regarded the principal 
officers as his assistants." This view did not prevent 
the President from consulting others. But the exer- 
cise of his functions vas almost certain to bring the 
assistant officers into a council. The process of unifi- 
cation, depending to a large extent on personal rela- 
tions that very naturally often escaped record, was 
somewhat unconscious. A few well-authenticated facts 
will serve to make the process clear. 

Soon after the new government started, Washington 
asked for the opinions of his Secretaries on matters 
of importance separately, in conversations for the 
most part unrecorded, or in writing, in accordance 
with the letter of the Constitution. From Jefferson 
alone there were at least a dozen written opinions 
furnished before the close of the year, 1790.*' On the 
first question of diplomacy which confronted the 
administration, in respect to a possible war between 
Spain and Great Britain — a matter that involved the 
point as to whether a British force should be permitted 
to pass through our limits of territory on its way from 
Canada for the purpose of attacking the Spanish pos- 
sessions in the southwest — ^Washington asked for 
written opinions from Vice-President John Adams and 

iWHtingt (ed. W. C. Ford), XI, 897-398. May 2S, 1TS9. 
ajaffwMHi, WrWivi, V, 150 ff. 

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Chief-Justice Jay as well as from the three Secre- 
taries.'* Jay's opinioD, althongh perhaps defensible, 
was in reality an encroachment on the advisory fanc- 
tion of the Attorney-General." Custom had not yet 
made the advice of the Vice-President appear irregu- 
lar. In fact, during the first five years of his Presi- 
dency, Washington occasionally appealed to Adams 
for written advice ;" and at least once, as we shall see, 
had Adams summoned to a meeting of the Secretaries. 

On August 22 and again on August 24, 1789, Wash- " 
ington, accompanied by the Secretary of War, General ■ 
Knox, actually appeared in the chamber of the Senate 
to advise with the Senators in the matter of a proposed 
treaty with the Southern Indiana. According to 
Maolay's well-known record, the President seemed 
ready "to tread on the necks of the Senate" and to 
"bear down" the Senators* deliberations "with his 
personal anthority and presence. Form alone," 
declared Maclay, "wiU be left us. This will not do 
with Americans. But let the niatter work; it will soon 
cure itself."" And it did so, for there is no record of 
any similar meeting in later history. 

However prejudiced Maclay may have been in his 
aooount of the incident, there is no reason to doubt 

B rk« Vnited Statet and Spain (ed. W. C. Ford, BnioklTii: 1890), pp. 
7, 1«, 17, IS, 43, lOfl. 

uMimImt, Szetnttwe Segitter, pp. 98-M. Here ia Terealed » Bimilar 
flneToadanent, when Chief -Jnatice Hanliall, on Febni&iy BO, 1821, 
enlightened President Monroe sa to the time when Monroe should t&ke 
the osth of oiBee, the 4th of March, 1821, falling on a Bondnj. 

M jr. Adams's Worhi, Via, 469, 4BS, SIS. Jtnj 17, 1769; Aognst 27, 
1790; Jannnry 8, 1794. 

^Journal (ed. E. & Maclay), p. ISl. 

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that the ineffectiveness of any snch meeting became 
once and for all evident to President, Secretary, and 
Senators. The very ineffectiveness of the method 
mast have tended to make the President more depend- 
ent npon hla personal assistants, the heads of depart- 
ments and the Attorney-General, when tiie bnsiness 
of the government became in time very complicated. 
As for the incident itself, it was not wi^ont points of 
resemblance to experiences between the colonial gov- 
ernors and their councils." But we may be quite snre 
that neither Washington nor Knox was aware of any 
precedents for their oondnct in entering the upper 
house. The President acted upon the assumption of 
a clear constitutional privilege — a privilege, moreover, 
which is recognized to-day among the standing rules 
of the Senate, where provision is made for occasions 
when the President "shall meet the Senate .... for 
Executive business.'* 

T]£ice=iA -Jaaoaryf ].7 ^ ptiH ngai" "t-Wmfarrn^i-^ 
1792 — the problem arose as to whether the SecretajieB 
were to obtain hearings before the House^tlfS^re- 
sentatives. In the first instance Hamilton was ready 
and even desirous to present his ''Report on Pnblio 
Credit" in person, in accordance with the statute 
creating his position. The House refused to permit 
him to appear before it." In the second instance there 
was some effort on the part of certain members of the 
House to get both Knox and Hamilton before that 

■* Sm Note 3 at the end of tbi* chApter. 

BStttaU UatMol (edition of Februrj 0, IIKIS). BUnding Bal» 

K JiUMit of CoHffTe-, I, lOTS, 1081. n, 144S, UEK, 1S89, ete. 

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body in coimection with a discussion of the fsilare of 
St. Clair's expedition against the Indians. Inasmnoh 
as feeling ran high on this subject, it vas perhaps 
fortunate that the Hoose again refused to permit the 
Secretaries to appear. It was, at any rate, strongly 
ui^ed by Madison in this latter case that a precedent 
might be established whiSh would involve perplexing 
consequences in the f nture." 

Thus oiromnstanoes tended, in the first place, to keep 
President and Senate apart in matters calling for 
advice. In the second place, they drcnmscribed the 
positions of the Secretaries in such a way that inevi- 
tably the Secretaries regarded themselves as essen- 
tially and in most respects belonging to the Executive. 
Accordingly these very ciroomstances, it may be 
assumed, helped to unify the President and his per- 
sonal advisers. 

Tt^ 1 79T w n fin d tho o a Tlin a t a ridoBon on what oame 
to be cal led eab' npt "tftfttingn^ Congress having 
-«J9oSRr^d In March, Washington left Philadelphia for 
a tour in the Sonth. Spending several days at Mount 
Vernon on the way, he addressed a letter to the three 
Secretaries under date of April 4. He wrote: "I have 
to express my wish, if any serious and important oases 
(of which tiie probability is but too strong) should 
arise during my absence, that the Secretaries for the 
Departments of State, Treasury, and War, may hold 

v/frid., a Cong., 8 MU. (1798-1708), pp. 679-782. Norsmbw 18-8], 
1T92. For a esTafnl itudy of thsM mmttan, aM % papw bj HIM Msta |/ 
L. Hinadale onUtM "Tto CabliMt Mid OongrcM: An HistorieidM 
Inqniry," ia PntMaiin^gi of tt^e Ameriean PoKMool Science Ateoc 
(190S), n, 1S7-US. 

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consultations thereon, to determine whether they are 
of snch a nature as to demand my personal attendance 

at the seat of government Presuming that the 

Vice-President will have left the seat of government 
for Boston, I have not requested his opinion to be taken 
on the supposed emergency; shonld it be otherwise, 
I wish him also to be consulted."" In accordance with 
the suggestion, there was a meeting on April 11. The 
Vice-President and three Secretaries were present. 
Jefferson made a careful report of it in a letter to 
Washington. Loans, commerce, foreign relations, 
appointmaits, frontier troubles with the Indians, and 
other subjects aU came into the discussions. At inter- 
vals of about a fortnight during his absence that 
spring, the Secretary of State kept the President 
informed of the course of events, both domestic and 
foreign. But Jefferson made no statement as to hold- 
ing another meeting of the Secretaries.*' 

If the evidence of the "Anas" may be trusted in 
this connection, this was the single occasion on which 
Vice-President Adams was ever asked to, attend a 
cabinet meeting." It is true that, at the opening of 
John Adams's administration, friends of Jefferson, 
then Vice-President, were anxious that he should be 
admitted to the meetings of Adams's advisers. But 
Jefferson's theory of the office would not have aUowed 
the practice. "I consider my office as oonstitntlonally 
confined to legislative functions," he wrote to Elbridge 

» Waabin^D '■ Diary from 1789 to 1791 (ed. B. J. LoHhig), p. 192. 
WHtingi, XII, 84, foot note, aS. 
ttWriUng; V, 820 S. 
BJ«ir«T>oii, Writingt, I, 166. 

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Qeriy on May 13,^797, '*and I oould not take any 

part whatever in ezecntive eonsaltations, even vere it 

Although President Washington had taken time to 
arrange the business of the departments before leav- 
ing Philadelphia, apparently it bad no^ occurred to 
him to suggest meetings of his assistants until he was 
well on his way southwards. Was his failure to speak 
of the Attorney-General a mere oversight} It is 
impossible to say. It may have been simply that the 
President was aware that no legal problem was likely 
to arise which would require Randolph's judgment. 
At any rate the first recorded "cabinet" meeting 
seems to have been saggested in a singnlarly casual 

In 1792 there are several clear records of "cabinet" 
meetings. Thomas Jefferson has left some account 
of two of these, giving a few details. The first meet- 
ing was described as follows : 

Mar. 31. A meeting at the P's, present Th: J., A. H., H. K. 
& R[andolph] The subject waa the resoln of the H. of Bepr, 
of Mar. 27. to appt a commee to inquire into the cauaes of the 
failure of the late ezpdn under Maj. Qavl. St. Clair with 
power to call for snch persons, papers & reeordfl as may be 
necessary to assist their inquiries. The commee had written 
to Enox tor the original letters, instns, &c. The President 
he had called as to consult, merely because it was the first 
example, & he wished that so far as it shd become a precedent, 
it should be rightly conducted. He neither acknowledged 
nor denied, nor even doubted the propriety of what the house 

»Ibid., Vn, 120. Life Mid Corretpondmee of £»/«« King <«a. 
Cbatlm B. King), n, 167. 

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were doii% for he had not thought upon it. ... . We wen 
not prepared & wished time to think & enqoire." 

Taking time to oonsider the problemB, the Seoretaries 
and the Attorney-General came together once more. 
Jefferson outlined the second meeting in this wise: 

^pr, 2. Met again at P's on same subject. We had all con- 
sidered and were of one mind 1. that the house was an 
inqoest, & therefore might institute inqmries. 2. that they 
might call for papers generally. 3. that the Executive ought 
to commmiicate such papers as the public good would permit, 
& ought to refuse those the disclosure of which would injure 
the public. Consequently were to exercise a discretion. 
4. that neither the commee nor House had a right to call on . 
the head of a deptmt, who & whose papers were under the 
Presidt alone, but that the commee shd instmct their chair- 
man to more the house to address the President .... 
Hamilt. agrd with us in all these points except as to the 
power of the house to call on heads of departmts. He 
observed that as to his departmt the act constituting it had 
made it subject to Congress in some points, but he thot him- 
self not BO far subject as to be obliged to produce all papers 
they might call for .... in short he endeavd. to place him- 
self subject to the house when the Executive should propose 
what he did not like, & subject to the Executive, when the 
house shd propose anything disagreeable " 

The passages are interesting and important. Not 
only do they reveal the President and his principal 
assistants in conncil, bnt furthermore they indicate 
clearly the effort on the part of Washington to estab- 
lish sound precedents, and on the part of the Secre- 
taries and the Attorney-General to protect the eiecu- 

N Writiitgt, t, 180. 

M/bid., 1, 189-190. For dvUniM of otbn moBdiigi, /Hd., I, ire, SOS, 
810, ste. 

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tiye from any unfair invasion by the legislative power. 
In brief, the President's assistants meant to keep the 
ezecntive department, as far as it was possible, in an 
independent position in the government. 

In 1793 the meetings of the President's advisers 
were frequent, especially so after Washington's 
arrival in Philadelphia on April 17. The most notable 
of these was the meeting of April 19, at which the 
issnanoe of the so-called Neatrality Prodamation was 
unanimously agreed upon." Within a month from that 
time Jefferson referred to the meetings of the advisers 
as oocorring "ahnost every day."" There is abun- 
dant evidence to show that the assistants of the Presi- 
dent held many consultations through the summer 
until early in the month of September. About the first 
of November meetings were again renewed." The 
year was a very oritioal one, filled with problems of 
policy, about the right solution of which there was 
often much perplexity and grave doubt. 

The crisis of 1793 enforced the necessity of frequent 
mee tings on t he part of the President 's^Best-qualiliecr * 
advis ers. An d in aU lLkehhoQdji3ifaugbi3Iie JJaljiiet" ' 
for the first tii ncfojeibbc. in t o. popul a r view as a w o r k- : 
ing body, At any rate during the year the terms t 
"council," "conclave," and "cabinet" were occa- \ 
sionally applied to the four assistants of Washington, j 
The application of these terms rested on the obvious 
fact that the President was summoning to hia aid a 

"3. Spuka, ,7HMfi|7« of George WatMnffton, Z, 337, Ap|>«ndix, 

"JaffflTMHi, Writinfft, VI, SSO. -. 

itbid., I, £18 «. VI, 101 ff. 

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committee of officials somewhat similar to the English 
Cabinet Committee. There was nothing essentially 
new in snoh a committee, closely related on the one 
hand to administrative departments, and on tiie other 
as advisers to the chief magistrate. There is no evi- 
dence bat the term "cabinet" to show that in charac- 
terizing the President's advisers men took into 
account anything but tite superficial resemblance to 
the English institution. What probably we did, was 
to adopt a well-recognized English political term, the 
significance of which had been pretty well settled in 
the seventeenth oentnry. 

There is an occurrence in the smnmer of 1793 that 
should not escape attention, for while the result served 
to place a restriction on the President and his advis- 
ers, it likewise, by reason of that very fact, tended to 
mark more dearly the important sphere of effort to 
which the functions of the Cabinet must often be con- 
fined. We have already noted the circnmstances 
under which the Senate was found to be ineffective as 
a possible connoil of advice. We have also seen the 
House of Representatives on two separate occasions 
refuse to admit the Secretaries within their precincts. 
We may now observe the decision of the judges of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, when Washington 
ventured to ask them for an opioion. 

The President and his advisers, perplexed over the 
many legal problems arising under the treaties with 
France, concluded on July 12, 1793, to appeal directly 
for legal advice to the federal judges. The judges 
declined to respond. "It was, perhaps, fortunate for 

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the jndges and their suooesaorB," remarks Professor 
Thayer in commentmg on the occarrenoe, "that the 
questions then proposed came in so formidable a shape 
as they did. There were twenty-nine of them, and they 
fill three large octavo pages." .... Had they been 
brief and easily answered the Gonrt might, not 
improbably, have slipped into the adoption of a pre- 
cedent that wonld have engrafted the English usage 
npon onr national system. As it is ... . while the 
President may require the written opinion of his 
Cabinet, 'he does not possess a like authority in regard 
to the judicial department.' "" 

This request, it may be added, aocorded with a colo- 
nial practice of asking the judges for opinions. The 
usage went bac^ into fourteenth-century England. It 
is, moreover, still maintained to-day in a few of the 
states of the Union. Charles Pinckney had submitted 
a proposition to tiie Philadelphia Convention to allow 
the supreme executive to "have authority to require 
the opinions of the Supreme Judicial Court upon 
important questions of law, and npon solemn occa- 
sions. " But that body had not favored it.*' 

The bitter animosity which had arisen between 

MSparka, Writingtof O. Wathittgton, X, 54S-54S (Appendix). 

4* James Bndl«7 ThA^er, Ltgta B$*ay» (1906), pp. 68-61, foot iiot«, 
Cf. J. P. Biflhop, Nev Commentariet on the Criminal Laie (Stli «d. 
ChiuKo: 1692), 1,30 (fS2). 

o Elliot, Bebaiet, V, 44S. Angnst 20. J. B. Thafer, John Mar$haa 
(Bireraide Biographical Beriea, No. 9, 1901), pp. TO ff. Tbera are at 
least seren itatse that have provided for olitaining opinions from tlta 
judges of the highest court upon application b; the eiocntiTe ot the legis- 
latnre: Uasaachasetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Bhode Island, Florida, 
Colorado, and Sooth Dakota. ThaTer, Catet on Coufitutitmol Law 
(1896), I, 156, 175-178, 177-178, 181, 163, note, etc 

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Hamilton and Jefferson by the sommer of 1792, partly 
the result of natural differences of temperament and 
opinion, and partly, perhaps, the result of competing 
ambition, was aronsed by the intimate relations 
that the cironmstanoes of their respective XMsitions 
enforced. It is certainly remarkable that the asso- 
oiation of the first three Secretaries and the Attorney- 
General could have been maintained as long as it was. 
It is entirely unlikely that it could have lasted for any 
such period under any other President but Washing- 
ton. Jefferson was first in the group to surrender 
his post, retiring on the last day of December, 1793. 
Within a period of less than two years his three col- 
leagues had left the administration, Randolph having 
been virtually dismissed. Others succeeded these four 
men, but they had little to do with the creation of the 

In the next chapter I propose to give some attention 
to the significance of the term "cabinet," tracing it 
from its appearance in 1793 to the time when it made 
its way into a federal statute in 1907. 

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In the National Intelligencer of Febmaiy 34, 1845, 
there appeared what purported to be a reooUeotioii of 
(George W. P. Cnetis, grandson of Mrs. Washington, 
regarding Washington's offer of the Treasury head- 
ship in 1789 to Bobert Morris. The passage was 
reprinted and is accessible in the volnme entitled 
Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington. 
By G. W. P. Custis (1860), p. 349— a posthumons pub- 
lication which contains notes by Benson J. Lossing 
and a memoir by Custis 's daughter. It reads : 

In 1789, when the first president was on his way to the seat 
of the new goTemment, he stopped in Philadelphia at the 
honae of Robert Morris, and while consnlting with that emi- 
nent patriot and benefactor of America, as to the members 
of the first cabinet, Washington observed, "The treasury, 
Morris, will of course be yonr berth. After your invalnable 
services as financier of the Revolntion, no one can pretend to 
contest the office of secretary of the treasury with you," 
Bobert Morris respectfully bat firmly declined the appoint- 
ment, on the ground of his private affairs, and then aaid, 
' ' But my dear general, you will be no loser by my declining 
the secretaryship of the treasniy, for I can recommend to you 
a far cleverer fellow than I sm for your minister of finance, 
in the person of your former aid-de-c&mp, Colonel Hamil- 
ton." The president was amazed, and continued, "I always 
knew Colonel Hamilton to be a man of superior talents, but 
never supposed that he had any knowledge of finance." To 
which Morris replied, ' ' He knows everything, sir ; to a mind 
like ^1" noHiing conies flmiiw . . . . " 

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This aocoont is rather too circamstantial to 
appear trustworthy. The incident is said to have 
occurred in April, 1789, before Congress had set to 
work on the task of organizing departments. Wash- 
ington was quite as well fitted as Morris to know 
Hamilton's real interests, for he had been on terms 
of the greatest intimacy with him. There is perhaps 
a modicum of truth in it. Bat it Is impossible, in view 
of Cnstis's general unreliability, and the absence of 
contemporary evidence, to give it full credence. 

2. Jbffbbsokt's Appodtthbnt ab Sbobbtabt of State: 
The material for the study of this subject is very 
abundant. It seems worth while to collect together 
such sonrces as have been consulted in formulating the 
narrative : 

W. C. Rives, Jr., History of the Life and Timet of James 
Madison, III, 63-64. Letters and Other Writings of James 
Madison (ed. Rives), I, 459, 471-472, Writings of James 
Madison (ed. G. Hunt), V, 435-436. Writings of Thomas 
Jefferson (ed. P. L. Ford), V, 54, 95, 114^115, 134, 139-150. 
Writings of Oeorge Washington (ed. W. C. Ford), XI, 438- 
439, 467-469. J. C. Hamilton, Bepublic, IV, 31, 113, 115-117, 
474. Annals of Congress, Senate Proceedings, June 16, 18, 
1789. John Jay, Correspondence and Public Papers (ed. 
H. P. Johnston), III, 365, 366, 380-381. H. S. Randall, The 
Life of Thomas Jefferson, I, 554-555, 557, foot note. Memoir, 
Correspondence, and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas 
Jefferson (ed. T. J. Randolph, Charlottesville: 1829), I, 87-89, 
144-146. George Tncker, The Life of Thomas Jefferson 
(1837), I, 300. Autobiography, Reminiscences and Letters of 
John Trumbull from 1756 to 1841 (1841),-p. 154. Dicwy and 
Letters of Oouvemeur Morris (ed. Anne C. Morris), I, 230. 
Works of Alexander Hamilton (ed. Lodge), VIII, 260. 

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There are other references to the friendship exist- 
ing between MadiBon and Jefferson, but the student 
of the subject will discover them easily in following 
np the correspondence between the two men which 
extended over a great many years. 


There is an interesting and apposite paragraph on 
the colonial practice of the governor meeting with the 
legislative conneil or upper house in South Carolina, 
to be found in Dr. W. Boy Smith's South Carolina as 
a Royal Province, pp. 92-94 : 

During the proprietary and the early years of the royal 
period, His Excellency had a seat in the conneil in its legis- 

latire as well as in its executive and judicial capacities 

On April 11, 1739, the upper house resolved that the pres- 
ence of the governor or commander-in-chief dnring the sit- 
ting of the house was of an nnparliamentary nature and that 
they would enter into no debates during his presence. They 
had good precedents for this. Bichard West, special counsel 
to the Board of Trade, had given an opinion in 1725 that the 
governor could not legally vote when the council was sitting 
in a legislative capacity. In January, 1736, as the result of 
a contest in New York, the Board of Trade decided that 
Glovenior Cosby was neither to sit nor to vote in the council 
while it was acting as a branch of the legislature. When 
Gtovemor Glen arrived in the province in December, 1743, 
he became angry at the attempt to exclude him from the 
legislative cooncil, and made a speech endeavoring to show 
from the practice of the other provinces and the home govern- 
ment that he had a light to be present. His exclusion, he 
declared, was contrary to the British constitution, "for that 
the King's Throne in the House of Peers was not placed 
there as an ornament to the Boom, but because he had a right 

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to be tiiere, and the Lord Coke etye that the Parliament is 
composed of two hooaeB. The King and House of Lords 
make one House, and the Honae of Commons is the other." 
He went ou to say that he had the same right to be present 
that the King had in the House of Lords. Whether or not the 
council were as ignorant of the British constitution as Qov- 
ei^or Glen and were convinced by his arguments is not 
known. At any rate, they agreed that he might be present, 
provided he would never take any part in the debates or 
receive any messages coming to their house or give answer 
thereto. Glen did not like this purely ornamental position 
and made the serioos mistake of joining hands with the lower 
house in an attack on the legislative powers of the council. 
He seems to have attended the meetings occasionally until 
1749, and then to have ceased altogether. Finally, he came 
into their chamber on April 29, 1756, as they were reading a 
message previously sent by him. The reading was at once 

postponed and the house adjourned to the afternoon 

A conunittee report of the upper house, adopted May 7, 1745, 
during the controversy with Glen, calls attention to the con- 
fusion caused by the governor's presence in their chamber. 
.... The governors had not been content to call meetings 
before or after the aasembly business was done, but would 
have council meetings at intervals between and would con- 
tinue to sit in the great chair of the council chamber when 
the npper house met. The result was that members of the 
assembly coming np with messages were at a loss to know 
who was the president, as at one time the body would be a 
council, then again an upper house. 

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THE practice of consulting his prindpal offib«rB 
together in a council was began by President 
Washington in the early part of his first term. 14 was 
indirectly justified by Alexander Hamilton when, in 
1792, he remarked that the "success of every govern- 
ment .... must always naturally depend on the 
energy of the executive department. This energy 
again must materially depend on the union and mutual 
deference which subsists between the members of that | 
department, and the oonformity of their conduct witJi 
the views of the chief executive."' This was merely 
a mode of stating the theory that must have been 
behind the practice. In the course of years the prac- 
tice, followed out by the first President's successois, 
became a settled custom. The custom conformed to 
the need of any vigorous, well-organized, and care- 
fully directed central administration. In this way an 
administration could be closely associated and its 
work unified under the lead of the executive magis- 

To characterize Washington's principal officers as 
a body of advisers, th e En^rlish term " cabinet " came 
into use in 1793. It was well enongh known at the time 

1 H^ilton, Wt>rlc4, VI, 867. 

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as applicable to the important source of directive 
power in the English goTermnent, the Cabinet Com- 
mittee. It had been used by Charles Pinckney as early 
as 1787 to characterize what he, almost alone among 
his contemporaries, seems to hare foreseen as a prob- 
able development — an advisory committee to the 
j American chief magistrate.' In 1792 the phrase 
I "cabinet conncil" was applied locally to a gronp of 
New York state officials.* Bnt, after mnoh scrutiny 
of newspapers and printed correspondence, I have 
never been able to discover the term "cabinet" or 
"cabinet council" as applied to a combination of the 
nation's principal officers as a worMng body before 
the year 1793. 

At the risk of being wearisome, I venture to 
assemble such characteristic evidence as can be easily 
found on the usage of the term. In a letter of Jeffer- 
son to Madison of May 12, 1793, we find this senti- 
ment: "The Anglophobia has seized violently on 
three members of our oounciL"* On May 19 Jefferson 
referred to the group aS"^urconjdare.'* On June 13 
Madison was apparently first to apply the well-known 
English term, writing of the "discussions of the calu- 
net."* Again, on Jnly 22, he spoke of Hamilton's 
"cabinet efforts."' On August 2 Jefferson confided 
to his "Anas" a reflection on the differences of 

1 Supra, dutptoT m, I^OiJ 

* Life and Corretpoiidmtf^f Sufua King, I, 410. 

• Writings, VI, BSO. 
I Ibid., VI, 261. 

*Writingt (ed. Hnnt), VI, 138. 
Tftii, VI, IM. 

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opinion existing "in onr Cabinet."* On Angast 18 
Jefferson remarked on a paper "read in cabinet for 
tbe iBt time."* Senator Bnfns King of New York, 
under date of April 12, 1794, referred in his "Diary" 
to the "cabinet"" Early in tbe following year Madi- 
son, in writing to Jefferson, said : " I fancy the Cabinet 
are embarrassed."'^ Qnoting a letter written in Phila- 
delphia on October 14, 1795, the American Mercury, 
a newspaper published at Hartford, Connecticat, 
printed the phrase "ministerial cabinet."" And on 
the last day of that year, Jefferson, writing to his 
friend, William B. Giles, a member of the House of 
Representatives, said of a certain man that he "never 
gave an opinion in the cabinet against the rights of 
the people."" Writing of Pickering and Oliver Wol- 
oott to the Secretary of War, James McHenry, a cor- 
respondent of McHenry in 1796 declared them to be 
"without doubt your inferiors as Cabinet ministers."" 
Soon after he reached Philadelphia in the spring of 
1797, Jefferson recorded this fact about President 
Adams : "Monday, the 6th of March .... he had met 
his cabinet" for the first time." Representative Wil- 
liam Smitit of South Carolina, in a letter to Bnfus 
King, then minister to England, after describing the 

* Wniiitg*, I, S53. 
*Ihid,, VI, 8M. 

TIAfe and Corretpondenes, I, SIS. 
u Writingi, TI, 2Se. Juioarj 2S, 1706. 
B Novembm- 23, 1T9S. 

u TIm TttfereiiM la probablj to Edmund Bandolph. 
H B. C. Steiner, Life and CorretpoiUttnee of Jojum MeSmry (1907), 
p. 168. 

U Joffanon, Wnlimgt, I, 87S. 

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inangaration of Adams as President, said, under date 
of April 3, 1797, that the "Jacobins are flattering him 
and trying to cajole him to admit the V. P. into the 


The instances might he multiplied. Bnt snch as I 
have here collected, chosen somewhat at random over 
a period of about four years, will indicate clearly 
enough that the Cabinet was first characterized defi- 
nitely in the writings of a few leading statesmen who 
were in close touch as a rule with the affairs of 

> the national government. The institution was soon 
referred to in the newspapers of the time. I have not 
.discovered any reference to the body in the debates 
of Congress before the year 1798. On April 25 of that 
year, while the bill providing for the organization of 
a navy department was being discussed in the House 
of Representatives, Edward Livingston, at that time 
a resident of New York, referred unmistakably to the 
Cabinet as "the great oonnoil of the nation.'"' Not 
before Jefferson's administration were there any 
notable references to the Cabinet in Congress. The 
term "cabinet" may be found used in debate on Feb- 
ruary 27, 1802, in the House. It appeared again rather 
less than a year later in a discussion on January 11, 
1803. It was freely bandied about and criticised in 
a sensational argument directed against the admin- 
istration by John Randolph in March, 1806 — an occa- 
sion which revealed Randolph in one of his most 
queralouB moods foil of sound and fury against his 

K Life and Corretpondtnee of Buftu King, H, 107. 
VAnnaU of Congrett, 6 Cong., 2 mm (17e7-17B8), n, 1S&2. 

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opponents. It was one of these opponents, a member 
of the House from Pennsylvania, who was moved to 
make this reflection as part of his reply. "I wish," 
he declared, "the gentleman had deigned to inform ns 

I what he meant by a Cabinet. I perceive no such thing 
in the Constitntion or laws. I believe the phrase is 
peculiar to the Court of St. James, where the Ministers 
of the King are called the Cabinet." Troth, however, 
forced the speaker to add at once this statement of 
fact: "I have heard the Heads of Departments and 
the Attorney-General assembled by the President on 
great occasions, called the Cabinet."" 

There were few variations in the use of the term as 
time advanced. Probably by the close of Jefferson's 
administration, when the national government had 
been in operation for a period of twenty years, the 
functions of the Cabinet Committee of experts in aid 
of the chief magistrate were popularly understood. 
As an institution it had taken a distinct place. Cer- 
tainly Jefferson could say with good reason that the 
"third administration .... presented an example of 
harmony in a cabinet of six persons, to which perhaps 
history has furnished no parallel."" 


The oircnmstances which brought about the creation 
Qf_the Cabinet by Washington have been traced and 
set forth." Time and the inevitable demand for a firm 

urMd., Cong., 1 MM. (1805-lSOe), pp. Sei, 544-S65, S0O, 606, 744. 
uWritingt, IX, 807. 
''Supra, chapter T. 

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' execative policy gradually made the oonoeption of the 
significance of the Cabinet clear and molded the insti- 
tution into permanenoe. Here and tiwre^ notably in 
the writings of Hamilton and JeffersoD, the reader 
will come upon evidenoe to show that the oonception 
of the Cabinet was taking definite form. 

Attention has already been called to Hamilton's 
remarks in 1792 on the subject of the need of energy 
and unity in the executive.** In 1800 Hamilton 
expressed in a forcible way the theory on which 
every Cabinet in the American scheme of government 
must rest. This was his thought: "A President is not 
bound," he declared, "to conform to the advice of his 
ministers. He is even under no positive injunction to 
ask or require it. But the Constitution presumes that 
he will consult them; and the genius of our govern- 
ment and the public good reconmiend tiie practice. 
As the President nominates his ministers, and may 
displace them when he pleases, it must be his own 
fault if he be not surrounded by men who, for ability 
and integrity, deserve his confidence. And if his min- 
isters are of this character, the consulting of them will 
always be likely to be useful to himself and to the 

state When, unhappily, an ordinary man .... 

refrains from counselling with his constitutional 
advisers, he is very apt to fall into the hands of 
miserable intriguers."" 

This pfwsage, taken from one of the most bitter 

n Svpra, p. 138, 

■"'Poblio Ck>iidnat of John Adams" (IBOO), In Hunilton, Worit, 
VI, 419. 

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politioal iiiTectives that can be found, reflects the fact 
that the Cabinet Committee had reached a position at 
which its general fnnotions conld be easily defined by 
a man of insight. There is a sharp thmst at Presi- 
dent Adams's nnfortnnate experiences with his cabi- 
net advisers, vigorons enough to make any prospectiTe 
successor of Adams think carefully about the quali- 
ties of the men whom he might wish to place in the 
Secretaryships and the post of Attomey-Cteneral. 
The very contrast that Jefferaon's advisers — a most 
faarmoniouB combination — ^revealed, is an Indication 
that Jefferson was probably alive to the importance 
and utility of the institution. At any rate, in 1807, 
Jefferson expressed himself as follows: "For our 
government," he wrote, "although in theory subject 
to be directed by the onadvised will of the President, 
is, and from its origin has been a very different thing 
in practice .... all matters of importance or difS- 
cnlty are submitted to all the heads of departments 
composing the cabinet. .... So that in all important 
oases the Executive is in fact a directory."** 

It can be shown that the method of cabinet meetings 
which Washing^n had first suggested as far back as 
1791, Jefferson for the most part followed. Of it he 
said: "I practiced this method, because the harmony 
was so cordial among us all, that we never failed by 
a contribution of mutual views on the subject, to form 
an opinion acceptable to the whole ...."** It was 
not a method sanctioned by a strict interpretation of 

» Jefferson, Writing*, IX, 69, 70. 
»Ibid., TX, 278-274. 

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the Constitntion, as Jefferson was well enough aware. 
However, it accomplished things quickly and, in view 
of the many difficnlt probleme before a President, it 
was inevitably the most satisfactory and natural 

Even from John Randolph we get a glimpse of the 
theory of the place of the advisers in the government 
when, in November, 1803, he declared it to be "the 
essence of Government that one man cannot execute 
it alone; and that he is obliged to share it with 
heads of Departments, or with agents by some other 
name. The imbecility of human nature is such that 
he must participate power with others "" 

On the day that President Jefferson retired into 
private life, March 4, 1809, a close observer of execu- 
tive practices who had some doubts as to the ultimate 
stability of the existing form of execntive, had copy- 
righted (and soon after published) a pamphlet entitled 
Considerations on the Executive Government of the 
United States of America.^ The author was Augustus 
B. Woodward. Although he dated his essay at New 
York, he held at the time the position of Chief-Justice 
of the Territory of Michigan. The ideas in this 
pamphlet were to some extent fantastic and imprac- 
tical. Bnt several of them indicate a man of nnnsnal 
political sagacity and are worth attention.*' 

The keynote of Judge "Woodward's essay was 
sounded near the beginning where he declared his con- 

VAnndU of Congrett, 8 Cong., 1 bmb. (1803-lSM), p. ST3. 
"PlBthurfi, N. T.: 1809, pp. 87. 

V For other refl«etioni on Woodward, see chapter X, pp. 886 ff., and 
NoU 1 on p. 288. 

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Tiction that the "first shook which our government 
must sustain, endangering its existeDce, or menacing 
its stability, must be derived from the executive 
department. It is here the storm will arise," he con- 
tinued, "and in this quarter may we expect the first 
blow to OUT union. "" With this as a postulate, the 
author proceeded to set forth sundry matters, three 
of which have rather special significance in connection 
with the subject of this chapter. For Judge Wood- 
ward was the first writer, I believe, who deUberately 
presented an intelligent account of the development 
of the Cabinet. He had a true appreciation of the 
position of the Vice-President in the national organi- 
zation. Moreover, he commented with quite excep- 
tional insight on the rank of the Secretaries ; he dis- 
approved of the Secretaryship of State as a stepping 
stone to the office of President; and he doubted 
whether sufficient oare had been shown hitherto in the 
appointment of Secretaries of War and Navy. 

1. "It is understood," wrote Judge Woodward, 
"to have grown into a practice, under the American- 
administrations, to assemble the respective heads of' 
departments in consultation, on particular, important 
and leading measures. When thus assembled, popu- 
lar parlance has appropriated to them the epithet of 
the cabinet. But is it," he asked, "a constitutional 
council for the Presidentf He is authorized to require 
the opinion of any one of them in writing, on a matter 
falling within his proper department. To embody 
them, and to render them a council, is not contem- 

■ A. B. Woodmrd, CmMentUm; p. !&■ 

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1 plated by the Constitiition. Is it expedient that it 
should bef They are exclusively the seleotlon of the 
t*re8ident. Their qnalifioationa for their high appoint- 
iients are regulated rather by a particular, and per- 
oaps professional skillf than by the possession of 
general talent or general oonfidenco. The temptation 
to display singnlar abilities, or to increase relative 
oonseqnence, may prompt th^r advice. At all times, 
|too, they are dependent on the President for their 
(oontinnance in office." On the whole, he conelnded, 
this method of giving advice makes too great a demand 
on the offidaL "It is too severe a trial for humanity, 
nor does counsel given in the situation possess a title, 
as strong as might be desired, to the public respect."* 

2. "From the cabinet," he reminded his readers, 
"prEustice has excluded the Vice-President. There is 
therefore no situation in our government more trying 
to a man of real worth and sensibility. He may be 
called upon to mature measures, with the origia and 
progress of which he is unacquainted; measures to 
which he may be opposed, and which his intelligence 
might have corrected in their incipient stages."* 

3. "In our executive departments," continued 
Judge Woodward, "two have been considered as 
requiring talent and genius. Of these, practice has 
g^ven the precedence to the department of state. 
Twice has it determined the succession. Should it 
grow into a habit, and there is, perhaps, no reason 

^ Contidtrationt, pp. 2S-27, I have taken a few libertiM with Wood- 
ward's old-faahioned pnaetnatioii. 
■ IWd., pp. 8I-M. 

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that it should not, since the pnblie mind must neces* 
sarily have a channel for its approbation, and the 
situation of the Vice-President calls for no particular 
display of talent," the President becomes virtnally 
invested with the choice of his successor. Although 
our policy is pacific, yet the impression that the mili- 
tary departments do not require talent or genius, but 
professional skill and medianioal assiduity alone, 
ought not to be extensively received. If ever our 
nation, listening to the dictates of folly or yielding 
indulgence to her passions, should embark in the mad 
contests of the world, she may pay, by her ezistenoe, 

the forfeit of her mistake •*" 

"We need not concern ourselves with Judge Wood- 
ward's complicated plan which — calling of course for 
an amendment to the Constitution — provided for an 
executive directory of five persons, a President and 
four Councillors elected for five years, with madiinery 
BO arranged as to allow after the first year for the 
annual election of one new director, as often as there 
was a vacancy by regular retirement." The plan must 
have been summarily relegated at the time to the limbo 
of quickly-forgotten political fantasies. At all events, 
that is where it belonged. What is worth emphasis, 
however, is this: the author's clear statement of the 
method by which the Cabinet had come into being, and 
his sagacious reflections on the Vice-Presidency and 

nCf. Jflffenon to E. Qverj, writing on Jixj 13, 1797; "The wcond 
office of thii govemmflnt ia honorable And easy, ths fint is but a 8pl«adid 

V Conaiderattotu, p. 29. 

I) Ibid., Appendix, pp. 45 ff. 

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the secretariat. He presented his views on these sub- 
jects from the Btandpoint of one familiar with past 
administratiye practices, convinced that, nnless steps 
were taken to reform our political machinery and cus- 
toms, the Presidency was certain to be involved in 
fntore difficnlties. 

It should perhaps be added that Judge Woodward 
was reflecting and writing on his original theme as 
late as 1824. It may well have given him some satis- 
faction then to note that the "adnunistrations of the 
fourth and fifth Presidents have not been attended 
with the same felicitous circumstances, which charac- 
terized that of the third — an entire exemption from 
cabinet explosion and dissatisfaction."'' His convic- 
tion remained strong that the "difficulties of the gov- 
ernment of the human species still lie where they have 
always lain — in the constmction and in the action of 
the execntive power."" From the Cabinet it was still 
"the uniform course," as he wrote, "to exclude the 
Vice-President. Perhaps," he commented, "his con- 
stitutional fmiotion of being prolocntor of the Senate 
was deemed incompatible witii his being a member of 
the Cabinet. His attendance would frequentiy be 
inconvenient, and his possessing a voice in the delib- 
erations of the Senate might render it indelicate. 
That any dissatisfaction arose from this course being 
pursued, either at the time of its adoption, or subse- 
quently, has never been manifested."" He continued 

M The Preridenoy cf the United BtatM (New Toik: 188S. Pp. SS), p. 

'fliid., pp. S7-88. 
flbid., p. 9. 

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to desire some form of coaneil for the President that 
should be sanctioned by the Constitntion or at least 
by law, although he conld not tell exactly how to pro- 
vide for anch a body nnder the existing scheme of 
government." Bnt Ma spedal oontribution in the way 
of novelty at that time was — as we shall see later 
on' — a project for a department of domestic affairs, 
conoeming the Importance and vital necessity of which 
he felt assured. 

Turning once more to Congress, we oome upon 
Josiah Qnincy's savage arraignment of the govern- 
ment in power in January, 1813, for the project to 
invade Canada. In his speech, Qnincy seldom made 
any reference to the chief magistrate, James Madison. 
His invective was directed almost wholly against what 
he clearly regarded as the source of administrative 
policy and national disturbance — the Cabinet. His 
I thought suggests to-day, as it may have suggested at 
' the time it was voiced, the weakness of the chief mag- 
istrate. However that may be, the entire speech is 
peculiarly significant of the place the Cabinet could 
take by that time in the organization of the national 
government according to the opinion of a shrewd 
observer of govermnent practices. At least three pas- 
sages in the speech deserve attention. 

"I have some claim to speak," asserted Quinoy 
near the opening of his remarks, "concerning the 
, policy of the men who constitute the American cabi- 
inet. For eight years I have studied their history, 

wjWd, pp. M-87. 
"Owptar X, 2Mfl. 

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■ characters, and interests I say, then, sir, with- 
out hesitation, that, in mj judgment the emharrass- 
ment of our relations with Qreat Britain .... has 
' heen, is, and will continne to be, a main principle of 
the policy of this American cabinet."* As he 
, advanced in his argument, he declared : "It is a curious 
I fact, but DO less true than curious, that for these 
I twelve years past the whole affairs of this country have 
'; been managed and its fortunes reversed nnder the 
1 influence of a cabinet Uttle less than despotic, com- 
posed, to all efficient purposes, of two Virginians 

and a foreigner During this whole period the 

measures distinctly recommended have been adopted 
by the two Houses of Congress with as much uni- 
formity and with as little modification, too, as the 
measures of the British ministry have been adopted 
during the same period by the British Parliament. 
The connection between cabinet eonnoils and parlia- 
mentary acts is just as intimate in the one country as 
in the other."* 

It was near the conclusion of bis speech that Qnincy 
dwelt at some length on the "Virginia influenoe" as 
it had manifested itself in the Presidency. He con- 
sidered the Cabinet, he declared, as doing everything 
; in its po^erer to keep the succession in the Virginia line, 
in particular to make Monroe the successor of Madi- 
son. This was his grandiloquent and sensational out- 
hurst ; "This is the point on whidi the projects of the 

BJogiAh Quiuc)', BpeechM ^Uvered in tXe Congreu of the United 
Btalet .... 180S181S (edited bj hii son, Edmmid Qniney), pp. 379- 

"J6iA,pp. S97J98. 

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cabinet for the three years past have been brought to 
bear, that James the First should be made to continne 
four years longer. And this is the point on which the 
projects of the cabinet will be brought to bear for the 
three years to come, that James the Second shall 
be made to succeed, according to the fundamental 
rescripts of the Monticellian dynasty."*^ 

It is no part of this inquiry to consider the exas- 
peration aroused by this venomous assault of the 
Massachusetts Federalist upon his Republican oppo- 
nents. Olay met the attack on the administration a 
few days later in an eloquent and effective reply. 
Meantime an insignificant member. Representative 
Bhea, twitted Quincy because, as he said, "he talks 
profusely about something he calls a Cabinet, which, 
according to his talk, must know everything. A cabi- 
net I And pray, sir, what is a cabinet? .... in 
America, under the Constitntion of the United States, 
the word has no meaning applicable to any depart- 
ment of the Government. Ah I but it is delicious to 
follow anything carrying the fmne of Old England."" 
This was thoroughly ineffective — mere balderdash, of 
course. The element of truth in Quincy 's speech that 
oonld hardly be overlooked by any intelligent and calm 
judge was in substance this : that the American govern- 
ment had never been directed from the .st&rt ' 'bx- ^^ 
unadvised will ftf-fee^ President," Tb«U was Jeffer- 
son'econviction. No less explicit and truthfnl wee the 
statement br John McLean some years later when, as 

aii,id.,-p. 40S. 

HAru^aUofCongrnt, 12 Cons-. & mm. (1618-1813), p. 077. 

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PostmasteT-GeneTal under President John Qniuoy 
Adams, he declared to his friend, Edward Everett, 
that the "policy of those who are most intimately 
associated with the President, contribntes as much, 
and sometimes more, to form the character of the 

Administration, than the acts of its head "" 

Men might persist — as they did — ^in objecting to 
the word cabinet even long after the days of Jefferson 
and Josiah Qninoy. It is nevertheless tme that, by 
that time, term and institution had come into their 
American place. Henceforth the old English term 
characterized not so mneh a committee different in 
composition from the English Cabinet Committee as 
one differently related to the government of which it 
was a part. 


From most of the foreign visitors to the United 
States during the first few decades after 1789, there 
came almost nothing in the way of comment on our 
political institutions and practices which was either 
penetrating or informing. These visitors perceived 
some of the most obvious featnres of onr national gov- 
ernment. They frequently songht out and occasionally 
desoribed cleverly onr Presidents or other leading 
statesmen. But trailing, one after the other, over 
pretty much the same routes of slow and inconvenient 
travel, encountering similar types, and undergoing 
similar experiences, in the course of years they often 
dropped into rather stereotyped language, borrowed 

u VoMoehiJatti SUtoHoal Soeiets Frooeei^t, 8d wriM, I, S78. 
L«tt«r of Augiwt ST, 182S. 

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incidents, or otherwise padded their volumes when 
their own industry and inspiration had given oat. But 
a few of them will repay consideration, for they 
reflected at least surface appearances and popular 

In the spring of 1795, the Duo de La Bochef oucauld- 
Laancourt met General Knox in Philadelphia soon 
after Knox had resigned the Secretaryship of War. 
Later he visited Knox on at least two separate occa- 
sions at his home in the province of Maine. From this 
acquaintance it is probable that the French nobleman 
gained intimate knowledge of President Washington's 
administration. At any rate, in his Travels, he com- 
mented on the office of President, remarking that it was 
"not so well provided with the means of execution as 
not to require some accession of strength from the 
popularity of the man who holds it, and from the 
confidence reposed in him by his feUow-citizenB."** He 
referred to Jefferson's view of politios as one "adopted 
in the President's conndl."" Bnt he was careful to 
point out that the American executive had "no consti- 
tutional council."" 

Henceforth, for many years, the foreign observers 
said little or nothing abont the Presidency. Frances 
Wright, sometimes known by her married name of 
DaraBmont,,came to our shores in 1818 and spent 
several years. Her book, Views of Society and 
Manners in America, revealed an observer of unnsual 

M TranOt through the United Btate* of Nort^ Ameriea <n tht Yean 
1795, 1796, and 1797 (2 vola., London: 1799), n, 184. 
• IWi, H, BIB. 
«iWd., n, S50-S61. 

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disorimination with prepossessions decidedly in favor 
of American inBtitations. Among other things she 
wrote of the President and his Secretaries, contrasting 
them intelligently with the English Cabinet.*' It was 
a point of view seldom easily grasped by English 
travellers. After two years in America daring the 
term of President John Qnincy Adams, Captain Basil 
EEall remarked casually on the extreme importance of 
the execntive; but he considered it aa not well estab- 
lished even by that time." The violence of the election 
contests which preceded Jackson's terms was certain 
to arouse comment and some reflections on the presi- 
dential office. Many a foreign critic remarked on the 
contests, but the attempts to account for them led 
foreign writers into many vagaries and indicated much 
misconception as to the office of President. 

Acbille Mnrat, nephew of the first Napoleon, a resi- 
dent in America since 1821 and to some extent 
identified with Florida politics, recognized that the 
Attorney-General had a place as "part of the presi- 
dent's cabinet council." But he was unaware in 1832 
that Jackson had for three years been reckoning the 
Postmaster-General as one of his regular council 

Two Scotch visitors, James Stuart and Thomas Ham- 
ilton — the latter a younger brother of Sir William 

"Xjoudon: 18E2, 2d ed., pp. 333 B. ICadune Daruamcnt died at 
Cineiim&ti, OMo, in 18SB. 

4* TraveU tn Norfh AtntrUsa, in the Jtort lSi7 and IStS (2 Tola., 
Philadelphia: 18E9), II, 36-37. 

*»A Uoral and Politicai Bk«tek of tlu United Statee of Korth 
America (London: 1638), pp. 189, SOT. 

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Hamilton — referred with some interest to the Cabinet 
as they obserred it in Jackson 'b first term. ' ' Instances 
occurred," remarked Stoart, "even daring the short 
period of my stay at Washington, which led me to 
think that, instead of the house sending to the ministers 
for information, it would be attended with advantage 
that the secretaries of state, even if they had no vote, 
should be allowed to sit and speak in the house."** 
Hamilton, although meeting President Jackson and his 
Secretary of State in an intimate way, was unable to 
straighten out the simple facts about the Cabinet. Like 
Stuart, he looked upon it as curious that the ministers 
should be excluded "from even a deliberative voice in 
either branch of the legislature." Ever ready with 
explanations, he thus continued : 

It proceeds, no doubt, from that extreme jealous? of the 

ezecntive and is necessarily productive of much delay 

and inconveniflnce It is somewhat strange that the 

American constitution, which evidently presomes that every 
man in ofSce is a acoondrel, should have removed, in tliis 
instance, one of the strongest and most efScient securitieB for 
public virtue. .... A British minister cannot skulk in 
Downing Street, when the Commons of England are dis- 
cnasing the wisdom of bis measures, or the purity of his 

motives The oracles of an American minister are 

issued only from the shrine of his bureau The Ameri- 
cans .... in excluding their executive officers from all 
place in their representative bodies, have gratuitously dis- 
carded a powerful and efficient securi^ for the honest and 
upright administration of their affairs.*' 

■ IVee Tean in North Ameriea (S vola., Edinbm^: ISSS), IX, 12. 
n Men and Mannert m Aneriea. Bj the author of Cyril Thornton. 
(8 vol!., 2d Amor, ed., Philadolphia: 1S33), II, 34-S6. 

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There were far more accurate statements of the 
facta that lay behind the well-known schism in Jack- 
son *s first Cabinet, bnt no carefal student or reader 
should overlook the impressions of it whidi Mrs. 
TroUope recorded in her inimitable way." 

Before ooncluding this aspect of the snhjeot, let me 
die from a work that appeared in the summer of 1828 
under the title, Notions of the Americans. Pablished 
anonymously, but written by James Fenimore Cooper 
— ^then at the height of his renown — ^it was an attempt 
to make clear the falsity of European impressions 
about America. The author adopted as a means 
toward his object the artificial method of putting his 
observations and statements of fact into tiie month of 
a European travelling bachelor, member of a club of 
cosmopolites, who was persuaded to come to America 
on a visit and thence to send letters filled with his 
impressions to his friends. There was in the letters 
a great deal of current gossip, but some excellent 
statements of fact, among them this : 

Yos probably know already tliat the president of the United 
States is ajnisted hy a cabinet. It is composed of four secre- 
taries (state, treasmy, war, and navy), and of the attorney* 
general. As the president alone is answerable for his proper 
acts, these ministen have no further responsibility than as 
their own individaal agency is concerned. They have no 
seats in congron. .... It is an unsettled point whether 
congress has a right to admit the ministers to possess con- 
snltatiTe voice in the two houses. I think the better opinion 
is, that they have; but the practice has never yet been 

'' ' ■I}(HiM*tw Moimtri of the Avteriemu (2 voli, in one. London: 
1838), n, 181-1B2. 

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adopted. Indeed, there is a sort of fastidious delicacy 
observed on this subject, which, in effect, prevents the secre- 
taries from attending the debates even as anditors. I have 
never seen any member of the cabinet in the chamber of either 

body The exclusion of the ministers from the debates 

is thought, by many people, to be a defect, since, instead of 
the verbal explanations which they mi^bt give, if present, 
it is now necessary to make formal demands on the different 
departments for information. On the other hand, it is con- 
tended that the existing practice compels members to make 
themselves familiar with details, and that they are none the 
worse legislators for their labour. In no case could the 
ministers be allowed to vote, or even to propose a law, 
directly " 


It is not necessary to follow the term farther in much 
detail As early as 1803 it was need by Chief-Justice 
Marshall in the Supreme Court dedsion of Marburj/ 
ra. Madison.*^ Jackson was the first President, as one 
might expect, to use the term in an annual measage. It 
appeared in his first message of December 8, 1829, and 
may be discovered in a few other state papers issued 
or signed by hinj.*) Tyler again employed the term to 
characterize his ^visers in his fourth and last annual 
message of December 3, 1844. Since Tyler's adminis- 
tration the word has appeared occasionally in the 

f^Hotiont of tit Atiurieant: Picked up hj a Travelliiig Bachelor. 
(S Tolfl., London: 1828), II, 47 -SI, poMttn. For an efltimate of this work 
see Professor T. B. LoDnsbnTy's James FeiUmore Cooper (Amoieaii 
Uqk^ Letters Series), pp. 100 ff. 

iitU Oranch, Beportt, p. 170. 

WuM«aj7e» and Faperi of tktf Fre*id«nU (ed. BichardBon), II, 448. 
my^, 19, 8S, 198, 199, 210, 811, 812, 438, 097. 

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formal and public papers of some of the anooeeding 
Presidents. But its nse has been rare." 

There can be no donbt that careful scrutiny of the 
congressional debates would reveal occasional com- 
ments on the Cabinet and on the usage now and again 
of the term. As a more recent instance than any which 
baa been cited thus far, I may refer to a passage in 
connection with the debates in 1 87 pi just previous to 
the act for the re-organization of the judicial estab- 
lishment. Eon. William Lawrence, Representative 
from Ohio, had this to say i 

We sIbo nnderstaad that by usage there are certaia officers 
ef the Qovemment, heads of Departments, who are membeiB 
of what is called by common usage ' ' the Cabinet. " I am well 
aware that there is no law which organizea the Cabinet; but 
almost from the foundation of the Government the President 
has been in the habit of calling a council of the heads of 
Departments and taking their advice upon all important 
public matters ; and these officers acting in that capaci^ are 
in common parlance called "the Cabinet." Now, the Attor- 
ney General is one of the officers who, in accordance with 
this usage, has been consulted by the President.'' 

There was some further discussion of the term at that 
time. But it amounted to nothing but the distinct 
recognition of the fact of the well-known existence of 
the institution. The law had as yet taken no notice 
of it. 

That the term cabinet has at last gained a place in 
the language of the federal statute law is remai^ble 
enough to call for a brief explanation. In an act 

»if*woi7M, IV, 850, 869. V, 1«3, etc 

" aiobe, 41 Cong., S bcm., PL IV, pp. 30«S It. (^A^tQ 28, 1B70.) 

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approved and signed by President Eoosevelt on Feb- 
ruary 26, 1907, provision was made for increasing the 
salaries of the Secretaries, Attorney-General, and 
Postmaster-General from $8,000 — the snm at which 
they were fixed by law in 1874"— to $12,000. The part 
of the act with which we are concerned read as follows : 

See. 4. That on end after March fourth, nineteen hundred 

and seven, the compensation of the Speaker of the House of 
Bepresentativea, the Yice-President of the United States and 

(the heads of Executive Departments who are members of the 
President's Cabinet shall be at the rate of twelve tbousajid 
dollars per annnm each. ....'* 

Behind this mature formnlation was the customary 
story of a stmggle in Congress over the bill for appro- 
priations for the year, 1907-1908. Introduced into the 
Honse on the previous December 7, the bill was debated 
first, after its second reading, on the 10th. Foar days 
later — Friday, the 14th — ^Representative Ladus N. 
Littauer of New York proposed that the compensation 
of the heads of the executive departments "who are 
members of the President's Cabinet" shoold be at the 
rate of $12,000 per annnm. This proposition brought 
to his feet Representative James R. Mann of Illinois. 
Mr. Mann recognized at once the appearance in this 
suggestion of a term hitherto nnkuown to the statute 
law, and criticised the language accordingly. "I sup- 
pose the gentleman is aware," he began, "that there 

■ Act of 1874, dated Juiauj EO. 8m Appendix A for oD ehangM in 
the BalKTtea of the PrMident, Viee-Preaident, Emd pTincipftl officerg, 1789- 
IHW, p. 396. 

» 34 Statutei at Large, eh. 1935, p. 093. For salaij of the Beoretarj 
of Agrienltare, Ibid., eh. 2907, p. 1256. 

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is no place in the statutes where there is any recogni- 
tion of the President's Cabinet. The gentleman in his 
amendment," continued the speaker, "provides for an 
increase of salary for the heads of Departments who 
constitute the President's Cabinet. Would it not be 
wiser," he asked, "to designate the nine secretaries — 
the heads of the various Departments — who, in fact, 
constitute the Cabinet T" There was a brief succeed- 
ing colloquy over the matter between Messrs. Littaner 
and Hann. It had, however, only an ephemeral inter- 
est. The significant result was this — ^that the term 
cabinetjveiDi oonaoiously into the statuteTSw <rf the 
TTnited States. The course of the bill was not alto- 
gether smooth. But neither Senate nor House made 
any essential alteration in the language first proposed. 
It was language, as Bepresentative littauer remarked, 
whioh could not be misnnderstood, for it designated 
a perfectly well-known and real institution." 

iCongreitioma Beeord (1906-1907), PL I, p. SSI. The emuM of Um 
bill ina7 eaai]7 be followed from Deeembcir T to Febroarj 26, 1007. It 
passed the' Benate <m J&nuarj 14, but there were adjuetmsata to be set- 
tled with tlie HooM before it reached President Booeerelt 

Ht. Sidnej Low eaUed attention to the appeorsnce of the term Prims 
Minister in the opening cl&nM of the Treat]' of Berlin, where Beamns- 
fleld was eharaeteriied as ' ' First Lord of Her Majeetf 's TreasuTy, Prime 
Minister of England. ' ' This, he thinks, is the fint formal appearance of 
the term in an English public docoment. 6ov»rnanoe of England (1904), 
p. 154, "Until 1Q06," Bajs Mr. Lowell, "the Prime Minister, like the 
cabinet itself, was unknown to the law." In that jeax the position seems 
to have been recognized hy being accorded a place in the order of prece- 
denee. Oovemmeni of Sngland (190B), I, 06. Bee Hansard, Debate*, 
4 Ber., OLVI, 742 (Mar S, 1906). 

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OF all the great ofScea established in 1789, that of 
the Attorney-General was in some respects the 
least satisfactory in its organization. Attention has 
already been called to the brevity of that portion of 
the Judiciary Act devoted to the Attorney-General's 
place. This brevity suggests the immaturity of the 
administrative-judioial system of the central govern- 
ment. The office was an innovation in connection with 
that government. But the incmnbent, recognized as - 
legal adviser to the President and the heads of depart- 
ments, was inevitably brought within the range of 
exeontive control, and became, like the Secretaries, a 
ministerial officer.^ 

When, in 1790, Edmund Randolph, first of the 
Attorneys-General, wrote of himself as "a sort of 
mongrel between the State and U. S.; called an 
officer of some rank onder the latter, and yet thrust 
out to get a livelihood in the former,'" he oast no 
donbtfal reflection on the status and relation of his 
position. He knew that he was head of no department. 
Moreover, his salary of fifteen hundred dollars was so 
small that probably he could not have been expected 
to support himself by it. He was obliged to trust to 
legal practice to eke ont a living. There is no evidence 

1 1 Statutet at Large, p. 92. 

*H. D. Ooawsj, Omitted Chapten, p. 136. 

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to indicate that he was even expected to remain at the 
seat of government, although he was obliged to keep 

*in toi^ch with the President, at least by occasional 
eorres^oiraence.' ■ Andj>. should the federal business 
warrant it, the President might summon him to a con- 
ference with the Secretaries. He was certainly reck- 
oned an adviser in legal matters by Washington from 
the start. 

The place and functions of the Attorney-General 
remained for many years after 1789 subjects of reflec- 
tion on the part of thoughtful men. Several Presi- 
dents, beginning with James Madison, urged reform in 
the office, although apparently having no clear notions 
at first as to what measures of refonn were needed. 
The Attorneys-General themselves were helpful in the 
solution of the problem, none more so than 'William 
Wirt and Caleb Gushing. The problem became clearer 
under the stress of numerous circumstances in the 
growth and requirements of federal administration. 
By the close of the Civil War it was forced into the 

' foreground; and Congress, acting in 1870 after long 
deliberation, established the office on a new footing, 
giving the Attorney-General a place as head of the 
department of justice. The act of 1870, it should be 
added, made no change in law as to the duty of the 
Attorney-General in giving official opinions and advice. 

Before the outbreak of the war in 1812, Madiaon 
called attention to the large accumulation of business 
in the various departments of the government, in par- 

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tionlar in the war department, which was dispropor- 
tionately hnrdened. This aocmnulation was due 
largely to the peonliar state of onr foreign relations 
that for years had involved all the Seoretaries in 
exhausting labors. These relations had affected the 
entire administrative machinery of the federal gov- 
ernment.' As a farewell word in his last annual mes- 
sage of December, 1816, Madison urged npon Con- 
gress the propriety of establishing an additional 
executive department "to be charged with duties now 
overburdening other departments and with such as 
have not been annexed to any department.'" To 
another kindred matter he drew attention in these 
words: "The course of experience," he declared,, 
"recommends .... that the provision for the station 
of Attorney-General, whose residence at the seat of 
Qovemment, official connections with it, and the man- 
agement of the public business before the judiciary 
preclude an extensive participation in professional 
emoluments, be made more adequate to his services 
and his relinquishments, and that, with a view to his 
reasonable accommodation and to a proper depository 
of his official opinions and proceedings, there be 
included in the provision the usual appurtenances to 
a public office."* 

Such reflections coming from one of the leaders in 
the Philadelphia Convention, who had since had mudi 
experience in administrative work, were not easily 

■ April fiO. Special meonge in Meatage* and Paper*, I, 49S. 
* December 3. Ibid., 1, 577. 
*aid., I, 677-578. 

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overlooked by several of Madison's snecessorB in the 
Presidency. John Qnincy Adams, Jackson, and Polk 
all harked back to his remarks about the position of 
the Attomey-GeneraL Bnt the reflections, it may be 
observed, hinted at inddents in the past which have 
hitherto escaped any caref nl attention from historians. 

La 1814 an attempt had been made to enact a resi- 
dence requirement. In January of that year a reso- 
lution was introduced into the House for the express 
purpose of inquiring into the expediency of "making 
it the duty of the Attorney-General of the United 
States to keep his ofiBce at the seat of Government 
during the session of Congress." Evidently the 
House regarded the Attorney-General as the proper 
officer to aid it at times in respect to doubtful points 
of law. The resolntion prepared the way for a bill 
in conformity with it which, after sundry alterations, 
was passed by the House in April, but got no farther 
than a second reading in the Senate.* 

The biU met Madison's wishes, so far at least as the 
residence requirement was concerned. "I readily 
acknowledge," wrote the President, "that, in a gen- 
eral view, the object of the biU is not ineligible to the 
Executive."^ But Madison was disturbed when he 
learned that his able Attorney-General, William 
Finkney of Maryland, was ready to resign because of 

tAniuOt of Cimgret», 13 Cong., S mm. (IS1S-1S14), pp. 7M, 8SS-86S, 
1114-lllS, 20E3-80S4. Cf. HeiU7 Adanui, Sittory of the United BiatM, 
Vn, 398. 

^Wntmgs (ed. Bitm), H, S81. Th« iame odd dm of "ineligible" 
ma,j be seen in Ko. GO of The Federalitt, one more slight pieee of eri- 
deuce favoring M&diaon'a authorship of thst disputed nmnber. 

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the residence requirement likely to be enacted into 
law. Pinkney in fact did resign* some months before 
the fate of the resolution was known, for he was prob- 
ably chiefly dependent on private practice in Balti- 
more, the city in which he resided. In aooepting his 
resignation Madison wrote: "There may be instances 
where talents and services of peoaliar value outweigh 
the consideration of constant residence; and I have 
felt all the force of this truth since I have had the 
pleasure of numbering you among the partners of my 
public trust."* Madison exacted the stipulation from 
Richard Bush, Finkney's successor in the office, that 
during sessions of Congress he must reside at the seat 
of government." 

The salary of the Attomey-Q«neral was at this time 
three thousand dollars. It had started in 1789 at half 
that amount^ but was gradually increased and at 
length doubled in 1800. Bnt Congress was thereafter 
slow in increasing it. And it was not until 1853 that 
the salary of the office was placed on a par with that 
of the Secretaries and of the Postmaster-General. By 
the appropriation act of that year" — so far, at any 
rate, as salaries could mark imity and equality — the 
five Secretaries, along with the Postmaster-Oeneral 
and the Attorney-General, stood upon an equal foot- 

It will be observed that Madison implied that the 

*3sawrj is, 1814. 
» Writvngf, II, 581. 

^AnnaU of Congref, 14 Cong., S boss. (18I4-181T), p. eS9. 
uM&n^h 3, 1653. Foi aalarifla, see Appendix A to tttii Tolnme, p. 

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Attomey-Qeneral might have a oertain amotmt of 
private practice apart from his duties as a federal 
official The tmth is that snch practice was under- 
taken often by the early Attomeys-Ckneral. And I 
can find no very pronounced opinion regarding it until 
the days of Caleb Cnshing when Gushing recorded 
himself against it in a very vigorous way, as we shall 
see later in this chapter. 

Madison had said quite enou^ on the subject of 
the Attomey-Cteneralship to attract the attention of 
Congress. And in the session opening in December of 
1816, there was some effort made to work out various 
alterations. But nothing was immediately accom- 
plished. Economy was the watchword of the epoch. 
Nevertheless the reader of the congressional debates 
may gain some important tmths about the position 
and office of the Attorney-General from a stray letter 
of Monroe, at the moment Secretary of State, hut 
about to take office as President — a letter which 
Monroe addressed to Lowndes, chairman of the House 
Committee of Ways and Means. This letter was pro- 
duced in the House on January 21, 1817." 

"The Attorney General," said Monroe, "has been 
always, since the adoption of our Government, a mem- 
ber of the executive council, or cabinet. For that 
reason as well as for the better discharge of his other 
official duties, it is proper that he should reside at the 

seat of Government His duties in attending 

the cabinet deliberations are equal to those of any 
other member Being at the Seat of Govem- 

u Jnnob of Congreu, 14 Cong., 2 bmc <1816-ieiT), pp. 99B-700. 

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meut thronghout the year," Monroe oontinned, "his 
labors are increased by giving opinions to the different 

Departments and public officers Being on the 

spot, it may be supposed that he will often be resorted 
to verbally in the progress of current business. Such 
is the fact." Then turning to another aspect of the 
theme, Monroe declared: "The present Attomey- 
Oeneral [Bichard Bnsh] has not embarked in the 
practice of the local courts of the city of "Washington. 
The practice is, in itself, of little moment; and to 
engage in it upon a scale to make it, in any degree, 
worth his attention, would be incompatible with the 
oalls to which he is liable from the Executive, and the 
investigations due to other official engagements." 
Monroe knew that the office had been shabbily treated 
at the hands of Congress, for after ealling attention 
to the facts that it had no apartment for business, no 
clerk, and not even a messenger, he added that it had 
had neither stationery nor fueL "These have been 
supplied," he concluded, "by the officer himself, at bis 
own expense." 

Monroe's letter is an extraordinarily interesting and 
authoritative commentary on the primitive conditions 
that surrounded an officer of some rank in the national 
government of 1817. It came from the most expe- 
rienced and tried administrative official serving Madi- 
son, for Monroe bad held both the office of Secretary 
of State and that of Secretary of War, sometimes 
sustaining them together for brief periods during the 
six years preceding. It revealed a man thoroughly 
prepared to appredate the need of a capable occupant 

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of the office. Although it took Monroe some time to 
select his Attomey-Oeneral, he had good reason, as 
we shall presently see, to feel by the dose of his 
administration as President great satisfaction oyer 
his choice. 


William Wirt of Virginia accepted the post of 
Attorney-General offered him by President Monroe 
late in October, 1817, with a clear understandiag that 
there was nothing in the duties of his office to prevent 
him from carrying on general practice in Washington, 
where he took up his residence, or from attending 
occasional calls to Baltimore, Philadelphia or else- 
where, if time allowed." He knew, however, that his 
first obligation was to Monroe and to the regular 
duties of his new position. 

On the very day of his commission, November 13, 
he sketched on the fly-leaf of a record-book a simple 
plan which revealed his purpose of keeping careful 
records and of obtaining from the various heads of 
departments who nught consult him copies of all docu- 
ments concerning which he might be asked for opin- 
ions." Some months later, under date of March 27, 
1818, Wirt addressed a letter to Judge Hugh Nelson, 
chairman of the Jndiciary Committee of the Honse of 
Representatives. In this letter he set forth what he 

uj. p. Eenuadf, Uemairt of (he lAU of Wiaiam Wirt (1st «d., 
1849), II, 32. 

"Original record quoted in J. 8, Eaaby-Smith, The Department of 
Jvatiee: Itt History and Funetiow (1904), p. 10. 

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<]onceived to be certain defects of the law of 1789, that 
portion of the Jndioiary Act which established the 
office, and drew attention to such improTements as he 
hoped that Congress might be induced to make. It 
was an informing if not a oonstniotiye statement. It 
probably accomplished little, if any, change, for it 
never reached the Honse directly, so far as I can dis- 
cover, bnt was filed away with other committee mate- 
rial, and gained publicity only in 1849, fifteen years 
after Wirt's death, when it was printed at length in 
the Memoirs of the Life of WiUiam Wiri, written by 
Wirt's friend, John Pendleton Kennedy. At that time 
it attracted attention, especially among the mem- 
bers of the legal profession. Its substance merits 

Wirt began with an examination of the Jndiciary 
Act of September 24, 1789. There the duties of the 
Attorney-General were briefly set forth. They had not 
been more clearly elaborated in any later enactment. 
Wirt next sought for the records of opinions as given 
by his predecessors in the office — for letter-books, 
official correspondence and doonmentary evidence, but 
could not find a trace of these. Accordingly he con- 
cluded that there could have been neither consistency 
in the opinions nor uniformity in the practices of the 
Attorneys-General. He indicated that in various ways 
he had discovered that his foremnners had been called 
on for opinions from many sources — committees of 

iSKtomed]', llemo^t, H, 61-6S. The UontMy Law Beporter tia 
DMamber, 18S0, reprinta from Keiinedr the Wirt letter of 1818, eom- 
mentB on Kennedy's book, but nuJtee Mreral miMtfttetneuM about tlM 

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Congresa, district attorneys, collectors of customs and 
of public taxes, marshals, and even courts-martial. 
Clearly these practices went far beyond the provisions 
of law. Resting on courtesy merely, they impressed 
Wirt as dangerons. It was his opinion that "from the 
connection of the Attomey-G-eneral with the executive 
branch of the government .... his advice and opin- 
ions, given as Attorney-General, will have an official 
influence, beyond, and independent of, whatever 
intrinsic merit they may possess; and whether it be 
sound policy to permit this officer or any other under 
the government, even on the application of others, to 
extend the influence of his office beyond the pale of law, 
and to caase it to be felt, where the laws have not con- 
templated that it should be felt is the point which I beg 
leave to submit."" 

The conclusions which "Wirt drew may be sununar- 
ized. First, and above all things, provision should 
be made in law for keeping the records and preserving 
the documents of the office. This would make for con- 
sistency of opinions and uniformity of practices. 
Second, there should he a depository in the office of 
the Attorney-General for the statutes of the various 
States, statutes which might be needed at short notice 
for aid in solving legal problems. In this matter Wirt 
was asking simply for a special library to facilitate his 
work. Finally, he suggested that legal restrictions be 
placed on the duties of the officer for the obvious 
reason that one man could not find time to perform 
the work if he were obliged to attend to such misoella- 

>iKa>ii»cl7, n, 04. 

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neons calls as had been made npon the time and energy 
of his predecessors. The experience of several months 
had already shown to him that "very little time Is left 
to the Attorney-General to aid the salary of his office 
by individual engagements," a fact, he thought, which 
might accomit in part for the number of resignations 
which had oocnrred among his predecessors. 

This letter marks what may be regarded as the 
beginning of a new epoch_ in the history of the 
Attomey-Generars office. So far as the position of 
Attorney-General could be shaped and its functions 
vitalized, Wirt meant that these things should be done. 
It cannot be said that Wirt's suggestions influenced 
directly oongressional action, for there is no direct 
proof of such influence. But there was at last a man 
in the Attorney-Generalship who had a few definite 
ideas on the subject of organization which he was 
ready to make effective. This, at any rate, Congress 
must have understood. After his long occupancy — 
from 1817 to 1829 — ^the office had certainly risen in 
importance and was probably considered as more 
closely allied to the whole executive administration 
than ever before. 

The details of administrative organization it is not 
the province of this chapter to examine. It is enough 
to say that Wirt was provided by Congress with a clerk 
in 1818 and a small sum of money ($500) for office- 
room and stationery. In response to criticism over 
ineqaalities in the salaries of the Secretaries, these 
salaries were raised and equalized in 1819; and the 
salary of tile Attorney-General was increased at the 

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same time to thirty-five hnndred dollars. Some 
other improvements of a minor character were 

Early in his term Wirt had intimated to the House 
that by the law creating his position he ooold not be 
reckoned legal connsellor to that body. When, in 
January, 1820, the House sent an order for his ofiScial 
opinion on a certain snbjeot then before them, he 
deliberately declined to f^ve the opinion. " It is true, * ' 
he reasoned, "that, in this case, I should have the sanc- 
tion of the House .... and it is not less true that 
my respect for the House impels me strongly to obey 
the order. The precedent, however, would not be less 
dangerous on account of the parity of the motives in 

which it originated I may be wrong in my view 

of the subject; the order may be sanctioned by former 
precedents; bat my predecessors in office have left 
nothing for my guidance."" He was no less explicit 
about his duty when, sought by the Secretary of the 
Navy a few months later for aid, he declared: "As my 
official duty is confined to the ^ving my opinion on 
questions of law, I consider myself as having nothing 
to do with the settlement of controverted questions of 

A month after Wirt's death, his friend, Samnel L. 

iT^nnaU of Con^sM, 15 Gong., 1 mbb. (1817-1818), n, 177S, S66« 
(Act of April EO, 1818, mc. 6). Ibid., S mm. (1S18-161»), I, SI ff., 
n, E4S6 (Act of FebniMT 20, 1819). Eubj-Smith, Departflwiit of 
Jmtiice, p. 10, for sundrj detailf. 

^Hotue DooumenU, No. 08, p. 2 (16 Oong., 1 mm., toL V). Wirt's 
letter to the Hoom wu dated Febrnuj S, 1820. 

^Opinions, p. 2S4. April 3, 1820. (Souae ExeeuUae DocmmtitU, SS 
Cong., S MM., No. 123.) 



Southard — for some years his colleagne in the Cabi- 
net — gave a public address on Wirt's oareer, speaking 
on March 18, 1834, in the hall of the House of Bepre- 
sentatives at Washington. In discussing Wirt's opin- 
ions as Attorney-General, Southard said: "They all 
relate to matters of importance in the construction of 

the laws They will prevent much uncertainty 

in that office hereafter; afford one of the best collec- 
tions of materials for writing the legal and constitu- 
tional history of our country; and remain a proud 
monument to his industry, learning and talents.'"* 

In 1841, seven years after Wirt's death, the first 
volume of the series known as the Official Opinions of 
the Attorneys-General was authorized by Congress 
and issued.*' Similar volumes have been compiled and 
printed at intervals ever since; and they constitute 
to-day a well-known and useful set. They amount to 
official justifications of the conduct of our Presidents. 
Unlike our custom, it is the practice in England to 
regard the opinions of the law officers of the Crown 
as confidential — a practice which is considered by 
some writers as a very Berious loss to the body of 
English jurisprudence." 

In the first volume, Wirt's opinions filled over five 
hundred pages in a total of 1471. Not one of his eight 
predeoesBors was represented by much over thirty 
pages. The five men who came after him, serving in 
the office for almost exactly eleven years — from 1829 

* 8. L. Southard, A IH»cour/e on the ProfeMSional Cltaraoter and Vtt- 
t«e» of t]\« late Waiitm Wirt (1834), p. 36. 

t^Honte Bf. Doo'U, No. ISS (E6 Cong-i & bm^). 

B8S American Law Eeview (NovMiibei-DecambeT, 19U), pp. 924-925. 

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to 1841— equivalent in time to Wirt's single term, left 
on record 704 pages. No doubt the legal business of 
the federal government increased considerably under 
Jackson and his immediate successors. But perhaps 
Wirt's admirable example of industry may have had 
something to do with the activity of the Attorneys- 
General following him." 

In refusing to be led beyond the limits prescribed by 
taw, Wirt doubtless eontraoted the action of his office. 
The restrictions thus placed upon it, however, must 
have made its relations to Congress on the one hand 
and to the executive department on the other clearer 
and altogether better defined. They certainly tended 
to increase the usefulness of the Attomey-Cteneral as 
a member of tile Cabiaet. 


The administrative work of the government had by 
1830 increased enm^bnsly. This was due to some 
variety of causes: expansion of territory, growth of 
population, and development of commerce and wealth. 
The executive departments and the jndidary — con- 
fined, as they were for the most part, to their primi- 
tive and ori^nal organizations — were inadequately 
performing their functions. John Quincy Adams had 
appreciated this fact, and called attention to it in his 

UThe flgurea in thia paiagnph are the reaolt of & detailed ealenla- 
tion of tke page* in the Toliune of OpinioM already cited. To make th* 
matt«r quite clear, it should be said that included in the total of 1471 
pages there waa an appendix of odd opiniona, which extends from page 
1383 to page 1471. 

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first annual message." Apparently, however, he failed 
to accomplish anything toward remedying it. 

When Jackson became President and referred to the 
particular need of attending to the bnsiness of reor- 
ganizing the Attorney-General's office, and of placing 
that officer "on the same footing in all respects as the 
heads of the other departments," he found a Congress 
ready to heed his suggestion. Originally, as I have 
shown, the office bad left its incombent time for private 
praotioe. By Jaolcson's day it was reckoned "one of 
daily duty." Jackson believed it important that the 
Attorney-General should not be summoned away from 
the seat of government on anything but federal busi- 
ness. With a reasonable increase in salary and a resi- 
dence reqnirement, the officer, he thought, could be 
charged with the general superintendence of the gov- 
ernment's legal concems," 

In the spring of 1830 a bill bearing on the suggested 
reform was introduced into the Senate. These were 
its chief objects: to reorganize the office of the 
Attorney-General in such a way as to erect it into an 
executive department; to transfer to it from the 
Department of State the work of the Patent Office ; to 
give to the Attomey-GJeneral the superintendence of 
the collection of debts due the government; and to 
raise the salary of the Attorney-General to six thou- 
sand dollars — exactly the salary that was by that time 
provided for every one of the four Secretaries. Such 
arrangements, it was argued, would do away with the 

tt Message* and Papers, H, 314-315. 
•TMd., n, 46311., S27ff. 

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necessity, at any rate for some time to come, of organ- 
izing a Home Department — a subject which had been 
vigorously discussed for a good many years. The 
plan of the bill would, it was assumed, debar the 
Attomey-GIeneral from practice other than what he 
would be called on to conduct on behalf of the govern- 
ment in the Supreme Court. But the anomalous posi- 
tion of an Attomey-GJeneral so burdened must have 
been soon apparent. In particular the plan evidently 
ignored the essential fact that the Attorney-General 
was primarily a law officer. Accordingly it was easily 

Senator Daniel Webster opposed this bill. He had 
no faith in the attempt thus to forestall a Home De- 
partment. Moreover, he wished the Attomey-GIeneral 
still to enjoy the privilege of accepting private practice 
without too much restriction. The old salary ($3,500) 
was relatively low for the position, but not too low, 
it was urged, because the Attomey-G«neral could more 
than make up to himself the amount of compensation 
received by the Secretaries who were confined strictly 
to the work in their offices." According to the views 
of another Senator, to permit the Attomey-GIeneral to 
engage in private practice was not only a legitimate 
but even a desirable way of aiding him in his equip- 
ment for performing well his official duties." 

Although the bill failed, a plan was finally matured 
largely through Webster's efforts, formulated, and 

KBegitter of Debata (1829-1S30), VI, Pt. I, pp. 276, 322 fF., 404. 
VIbid., VI, Pt. I, p. 324. 
»/bW.,VI, PtI, p. 828. 

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enacted into law, by which a new official known as 
Sol icitor of the Treasury w aa provided, for the special 
purpose of aiding the Attorney-General in all suits 
pertaining to treasury claims. And for the additional 
responsibility involved in the new relationship, the 
salary of the Attomey-Qeneral was raised to four 
thousand dollars — an amount at which it remained 
until 1853." 

It is clear, from certain reflections in his second 
message of December 6, 1830, that President Jackson 
was dissatisfied with any such compromise measure. 
However useful in itself the provision for a Solicitor 
of the Treasury might be, it was not, according to the 
President, "calculated to supersede the necessity of 
extending the duties and powers of the Attorney- 
General's Office. On the contrary," Jackson asserted, 
"I am convinced that the public interest would be 
greatly promoted by giving to that officer' the general 
superintendence of the various law agents of the 
Government, and of all law proceedings, whether civil 
or crnninal, in which the United States may be inter- 
ested, allowing him at the same time such a compensa- 
tion as would enable him to devote his undivided atten- 
tion to the public business."" 

I cannot discover that Jackson ever again expressed 

V4 BtaWtet at Large, chap, eliii, sec 10. "And bt it fvrlher enacted. 
That it shall be the dutj of the attorney general .... at the reqaert 
of said solicitor, to adviae with and direct the said solicitor as to the 
manner of conducting the suits, proceedings, and prosecutions afoi«- 
■aid; and the attomej general shall receive in addition to his present 
•alarr, the sum of five hundred dollars per annum." l£a.j 29, 1830. 

» MeMaaget and Fapert, II, 527. 

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himself in print, after these utterances of 1830, on the 
subject of reforming the ofBoe of the Attomey- 
Qeneral. Something had been aocomplished to remedy 
defects. After Jackson, no President before Polk had 
anything to say on the subject. 

Polk argued in a vein similar to that which Jackson 
had made familiar. He, too, wished to increase the 
duties and responsibilitieB of the officer ; and he recom- 
mended that he be placed on the same footing as the 
heads of departments, for, as Polk said, "his resi- 
dence and constant attention at the seat of (Govern- 
ment are required."" Even then Congress paid no 
heed to the matter for several years. There can be 
no doubt that any projects of administrative reform 
were seriously interfered with by the war with 

In this connection account should perhaps be taken 
of a curiously interesting paragraph that may be 
found in a circular letter addressed by Polk, under 
date of February 17, 1845, to all the men to whom he 
extended invitations to become his cabinet associates. 
'*I disapprove the practice which has sometimes pre- 
vailed," he wrote, "of Cabinet officers absenting them- 
selves for long intervals of time from the seat of gov- 
ernment, and leaving the management of their depart- 
ments to chief clerks, or other less responsible 
persons than themselves. I expect myself to remain 
constantly at Washington, unless it may be that no 
public duty requires my presence, when I may be occa- 
sionally absent, but then only for a short time. It is," 

ajfeMu^M, IV, 415. 

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he oontmued, "by conforming to this mle that the 
Freaident and bis Cabiaet can have any assuranoe that 
abuBCB will be prevented, and that the subordinate 
executive ofiSoers connected vitii them reepectiTely vill 
faithfnlly perform their duty."" 

Polk of course exacted this significant condition 
from his firat Attorney-General, John Y. Mason of 
Virginia. Bnt l^e Attomey-G«neralship had two 
other occupants, Nathan Clifford of Maine and Isaac 
Toncsey of Connecticut — as it happened, the only two 
appointments (outside the (nrcle of original holders) 
to cabinet positions dnring the whole course of the 
administration from 1845 to 1849. From a very brief 
statement in the recently published Diary of President 
Polk, it appears that Polk exacted this original condi- 
tion from Clifford." There is no evidence about it in 
the case of Toucey. What we may be sure of is that 
Polk intended, so far as it was within his power, to 
establish the custom of keeping his cabinet assotuates 
in Washington during their terms of service, except 
for the briefest possible absences. 


There is good reason to believe that Caleb Gushing 
was the first Attorney-General of the United States 
who held himself strictly to the residence obligation — 

s Worht of Jamei B««hafwm (ed. Jobn Buaatt Uoon, 1900), VI, 

>S 7A« Diary of JameM K. PeUe dormg hia PrMidKief , 1845 to 1849 
(«cL Milo Uilton Qu&ife, Chicago! 1910), H, 193. Polk's memoT; i*onld 
seem Imm to be at fault in Mferring to the letter addresMd to ncli 
T of hie Cabinet aa "in Hareh, 1S4S." 

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an ideal, as we have seen, that had heen gaming ground 
since 1814 — and refrained from the general practice 
of the law during his term as a federal officer. 

Coming into office in March, 1853, just after the 
salar7 of the Attorney-General had been raised to 
eight thousand dollars. Cashing at the start was 
placed, in respect to salary, on a footing of equality 
with his cabinet associates. He had accordingly no 
very valid reason for entering into private practice 
in or outside of Washington. Like the other cabinet 
associates of Fierce, Cnshing kept his place through- 
out the fonr years' term. He left behind him a collec- 
tion of official opinions that for extent alone has never 
been equalled either before or since his day. They 
fill three in the series of volumes known as Official 
Opinions, twenty-seven of which have thus far (1911) 
been issaed.** 

It may be doubted whether Pierce had an abler 
associate among his advisers than Gushing, although 
Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War and William 
L. Maroy was at the head of the Department of State. 
Certainly there was no man in the Cabinet more 
trusted by the President. Pierce held him in the 
highest regard. That he was of great assistance in 
keeping the Cabinet together is a matter of authentic 

Cnshing left to posterity quite the most careful 
considerations on the historic development of the 

MCnahmg's opiniona 1111 TolDmes V, VI, and VII, axtcnding orer 
npwaida of BOOO pftgefl. 

'Memorial of Caleb CvsMng (Nawburyport: 1879), pp. 16Sff. 
T OpinUnu of tlu AUont«tt-OeneT<a, pp. 468-482. 

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Attomey-Oeueralship up to his time. These have been 
ocoasionally quoted since they were written and are 
well known. Like Wirt, Cnshing determined to under- 
stand the stmotore and functions of his office so far 
as the laws and the practices of his predecessors could 
reveal them. Instead of presenting his oondnsions — 
as Wirt had done — ^to the chairman of a committee of 
the House, he offered them directly to the President, 
in itself an acknowledgment of the relationship of his 
position. They were written under date of March 8, 
1854, at the end of his first year's experience. With 
the technioal portions of the "Opinion" relating to 
the Attorney-General and the courts, Uiis inquiry 
is not concerned. But it is important to notice 
occasional reflections which were obviously intended 
to throw light on the relation of the office to the 

According to the original theory of the office, the 
Attomey-GIeneral was prompted, if not authorized by 
the President, to engage in private practice of the law. 
This custom in the case of the English Attorney- 
General" — from whose office, it seemed probable to 
Gushing that we had borrowed certain features — ^was 
perfectiy well understood in 1789. 

Cnshing doubted the expediency of allowing the 
head of a department to continue in the practice of 
the law "under any circmnBtances." He was willing 
to admit that snch a custom might once have been 

" e OpwiioM of the AUorneyt-Omeral, pp. 326-3SS. I hsve fotmd it 
conTenient to lue the opinitm aa it appeared in the Ammcan Law Sagit- 
ter (SecamtMiT, 1SS6), V, 66 B. 

" Adbob, Law and Cmttotn of the ComHCkMor, Pt. n, pp. 201-208. 

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justifiable. "Formerly, in an age of simple manners, 
vhen the public expenditures were less, the number 
of places less, the population of the country less, the 
frequentation of the capital less, the ingenuity of self- 
interest less .... a secretary, eminent in the legal 
profession might, without the possibility of reproach 
or suspicion of evil, take charge of private suits or 
interests at the seat of government. He may do so 
now, perhaps ; but that is not so dear as it formerly 
was ; and it is not easy to perceive any distinction in 
this between what befits one and another head of 
department." As for himself, he remarked that, how- 
ever "all these tilings may be, the actual incumbent of 
this ofSce .... experiences that its necessary duties are 
quite sufficient to task to the utmost all the faculties 
of one man; and he willingly regards those recent 
acts, which have at length placed the salary of his 
office on equal footing with other public offices of 
the same class, as intimation at least that the Qovem- 
ment has the same precise claim on his services, in 
time and degree, as on those of the Secretary of State 
or the Secretary of the Treasury."" 

It must be clear from the passage that Gushing 
regarded himself not only as the peer of his cabinet 
associates, but as in some sense head of a department, 
although he occupied what the law termed an "Office." 
TUs was the conception of the position to whioh 
General Benjamin F. Butler alluded when, in 1879, 
in paying a tribute to Gushing, he declared that he had 
"raised the office of Attomey-Qeneral, and organized 

■^in«rio(ift Lav Beffitter, T, 08. 

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it to be in truth and in fact a department of the Gov- 
ernment."" At any rate, many of Cnshing's sngges- 
tions for a better organization of the work of the 
Attorney-General were enacted into the laws between 
March, 1854 — ^the date of his "Opinion" — and June, 
1870, when the Attorney-General wae named in the 
law as head of the Department of Justice* 

The English Attorney-General has never been reoog- 
nized as a member of the English Cabinet." When 
Bichard Sttsh was in England in 1818, after an expe- 
rience of bcveral years as Attorney-Genera! under 
President Madison, he could not help considering the 
absence of the English Attorney-General from the 
Cabinet as strange and worthy of comment, and later' 
he said that "in the complicated and daily workings 
of the machine of free government throughout a v^t 
empire, i could still see room for the constant pres- 
ence of the attorney-general in the calanet."*' The 
comment oame naturally out of his own experience, 
and probably reflected Bush's familiarity with the 
American tradition, for since the beginning of onr 
government the Attorney-General had been reckoned 
an intimate adviser of the President. We have an 
indirect statement from Washington on the point." 
Monroe expressed himself clearly in the matter, as we 

'^Xemoriat, op. sit., p. 160. 

« Eub7-8niitli, Tlu Departm&nt of Jvtiot, pp. 15 ff. 

Q Anaon, Law and Ctutom, Pt. H, p. 20B. 

^ Memoranda of a Betidenee at the Court of London (Sd «d., Pltilft- 
delphift: 1S33), p. 68. 

UO. W. UphAin, Ufe of TiffiolAy PieJc«ring (1867 ff.), m, S26. I 
have clt«d deftntte Inatuiees, in eliApt«T V of this volnine, of raeordi of 
cabinet meetings under WUhinstrai whieh Butdolph attended. 

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have seen. And such intiinate Bonrces as the Memoirs 
of John Quincy Adams, the Diary of President Polk, 
and — more recently still — the Diary of the Secretary 
of the Navy, Gideon Welles, have furnished ample 
proof of the American practice. 

Cnshing's reSections on the Cabinet were particu- 
larly illmninating. It was, he perceived, an important 
means of attaining unity in exeontiTe decision and 
action. This unity, he declared, "cannot be obtained 
by means of a plurality of persons wholly independent 
of one another, without corporate conjunction, and 
released from subjection to one determining will"** 
It was in substance the very point of view that Alex- 
ander Hamilton had taken of the matter as far back 
as 1792.» 

With reference to the principal officers Cashing 
remarked that "tiie established sense of the subordi- 
nation of all of them to the President has .... come 
to exist, partly by oonstmotion of the constitutional 
duty of the President to take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed, and his consequent necessary 
relation to the heads of departments, and partly by 
deduction from the analo^es of statutes."* About a 
year and a half after be had written these reflections 
he devoted an entire "Opinion" to a consideration of 
the relation of the President to the executive depart- 

M Ameriemt Law SegUtfr, V, 81. 
'■SHpro, chapter YI, p. 18S. 
M^DMriooK Law Etgitttr, V, 71. 

•lAnguBt 31, 1S6S. T Opiniont of the Attome^-OantnO, pp. 4S8- 

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CnBhing'B nsefnlaeBS to Pierce as a cabinet oonn- 
Bellor, his talents, Mb learning, and his persistent 
industry on behalf of the administration — all these 
matters shonld not make us overlook certain weak- 
nesses of which his contemporaries were aware. In 
1847 James Bnsaell Lowell — at the time rather less 
than thirty years of age — satirized Gushing in the 
Biglovj Papers: 

Qineral C is a dreffle smart man; 

He's ben on all sides thet give places or pelf; 
Bnt consistency still vox a part of hia plan,— 

He's ben tme to one par^ — an' thet ia himself. . . . .' 

Senator Benton of Missouri, in a speech delivered 
in July, 1856, acknowledged that Cashing was the 
"master-Bpirit" of Pierce's Cabinet, but— cleverly 
adapting a well-known passage from HMtdet — ^he burst 
into the assertion that he was "nnscropulous, double- 
sezed, donble-gendered, and hermaphroditic in poli- 
tics, with a binge in his knee, which he often crooks, 
that thrift may follow fawning." Li a word, Cushing 
governed by subserviency." 

Gushing was never able to win completely the trust 
of hia fellows. Yet he proved to be a naeful statesman. 
Both Buchanan and Grant at different times sought 
his aid. He was among the legal experts chosen as 
counsel to assist the Geneva Tribunal. President 
Grant actually named him as Chief-Justice of the 

■ Qnotod 1>7 J. F. Bltodn, ffwtory of tJte Vnil9d Statu ttnee t)te 
Comprixmiu of 18B0 (189S ff.)> I> SfiE. 

*• The whole pBaeage wm need b^ Von Holat, History of the ViMed 
BtatM, IV, 263, foot note. 

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Supreme Court, but was virtually forced at the last 
moment to withdraw his name from the Senate. 
Looking back over a long life, which extended from 
1800 to Jannary, 1879, it still seems fair to conclude 
that in no task did Caleb Cashing prove himself more 
useful than in that of the Attomey-Oeneralehip. He 
was the ablest organizer that the office had had eince 
its establishment in 1789.** 

The innumerable legal problems created by the 
Civil War or following closely in its traio brought 
great pressure of work on the office of the Attomey- 
Qeneral. By that period an administrative-indioifl l— 
organization had been developed that proved under 
the new ciroumstanoes distinctly out of joint Various 
legal officers in the separate departments gave opin- 
ions to the Secretaries which were at times incon- 
sistent with, if not aetuaUy opposed to, those of the 
Attomey-OeneraL Tasks were duplicated. In brief, 
there was no definite provision in law which tended to 
unify or bring to one master-mind the direction of the 
legal work of the government. As a consequence that 
work lacked symmetry and consistency. 

The four chief law-officers in 1861 — ^with the 
dates of their separate establishments — ^were the 
i\ ttiumft y-ftflTiftra] (1789), the Assistant Attgraey- 
Oener^(1859), the SoUdtor of the CoiirL o£ Claims 

■* I IwTe depoidod, for this ikateh, npcm Bbodw, Von Hobrt, and the 
mataruil in Um Mtmorial of 1879. Th* gensnliiAtion ia baa»d upon 
tbeM and th« parte of Cuhiiig's "Opiniona" that I haTa oMd. 

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(1855), and the SoUcitoiiJit^eTreaaju^ (1830). The 
latter officer was, aa we have seen, a rather anomalous 
factor in the Treasury Department who, for certain 
purposes, was under the direction of the Attomey- 
QeneraL Subordinate to these and controlled by the 
Attomey-O-eneral from 1861 there was a large corps 
of scattered district attorneys." The whole organiza- 
tion was very loosely knit and disjointed. It was 
truly said that the law business of the government 
daring the period of the Civil War "greatly outgrew 
the capacity of the persons authorized to transact it, 
and the ntunber of outside counsel .... appointed 
subsequently to 1861 was greater than all the commis- 
sioned law officers of the GJoveroment in every part 
of the country."" 

The cost of this extra counsel was large — how large, 
it would be quite impossible to say with any assurance 
of accuracy. Figures were brought forward in the 
House of Bepresentatives to show that nearly half a 
million dollars ($175,190.42) could be thus accounted 
for during a portion of the years from 1861 to 1867. 
More than half that amount ($258,018.44) went, it was 
said, to pay for extra legal counsel employed during 
the years 1868-1869. To William M. Evarts alone, 
fees for occasional legal aid to the government 
amounted, by 1867, to approximately fifty thousand 
dollars ($47,545.86). It is certainly well within the 
range of truth to say that the government was obliged 

■ Eut^-Smith, Bepartwtent of Jtutioe, pp. IB, 88-30. 
1Conore$*k>nal OUAe, «1 Cong., 2 mm., Pt. IV, p. 803S (AprQ £T, 

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to pay a htmdred thonsand dollara animally dnring 
the decade 1860-1870." 

These were significant facts. They were used, 
moreover, in Congress to direct attention to many 
administrative weaknesses in the federal organization. 
Whatever changes of organization might be accom- 
plished, it was felt that a department of justice must 
be provided. As late as the spring of 1870, when the 
bill for snch a department was almost matured, 
Thomas A. Jenckes of Bhode Island declared that the 
special reason why the committee had reported it 
"earlier than any other relating to the organization 
of the Departments is the great expense the Govern- 
ment have been pnt to in the conduct of the nnmerons 
litigations involving titles to property worth millions 
of dollars, rights to personal liberty, and all the 
numerous litigations which oan arise under the law 
of war."" 

The heritage of war expenditures had assumed such 
ominons proportions that in 1867 Congress appointed 
a ao-caUed Joint Conomittee on Betrenohmenta. This 
committee, impelled perhaps by certain recommenda- 
tions concerning the reorganization of the office set 
forth by Attorney-General Henry Stanbery, in De- 
cember of that year, was attracted to an investigation 
of the legal work of the government. On December 12, 
1867, Bepresentative Lawrence of Ohio offered a reso- 
lution looking toward a consolidation of all the law 

■*The figuna an gmtharad tnm the debaUa in the Houh of April 
£7, 1870. 

H Qiobe, Apiil 27, 1B70. 

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officers of the government at Washington into one 
department. That resolntion seems to mark the begin- 
ning of legislative effort. For more than two years 
following, the subject remained in the bac^^onnd of 
pnblic discnssion. It was lost to sight largely because 
of Bubjeots of a more pressing and sensational nature. 
Bnt it may be traced during the sessions of the Thirty- 
ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first Congresses. Finally, 
after a vigorous effort early in 1870 — admirably 
directed in the House by Jenckes — a measure was 
enacted and approved by President Q-rant on June 
22, 1870. This act erected the old Office of the 
Attorney-General into the Department of Justice." 

The chief purpose of this dbapter is to reveal the 
historic features of the Attomey-Oeneralship which 
throw light on the relations of the Attorney-General 
as a more or less efficient adviser and assistant to the 
President and his cabinet associates. Hence the act 
of 1870, apart from its more technical details, has a 
peculiar interest, for it represented a mature and 
honest effort to make effective an ideal with respect 
to the Attomey-Cfeneral that had been occasionally 
formulated since Andrew Jackson's day. The act 
really created no new department. Legal business in 
the various departments, hiUierto scattered and at 
loose ends, was transferred to the Attorney-General. 
By pladng the Attorney-General at last upon "pre- 
cisely .... the same footing as the other heads of 
Departments," the act made him in fact the chief law 

' Otobe, op. eit, p. 3039. Eubj-Bmitb, I>«piiri»i«nt of JvtUce, p. 17. 
16 Btatutet at Large, pp. 168-16S. 

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officer of the goTemment. In brief, it transformed the 
old office into a symmetrical orgamzation." 

There was an occasional remark during the debates 
that revealed perfect familiarity with old traditions, 
as when Representative Lawrence declared that the 
Cabinet "is the oreatnre of usage only. But since the 
establishment of the office of Attomey-Oeneral," he 
commented, "the Attorney-General has been a member 
of the Cabinet by usage jnst as much as any head of 
a Department. He ought to be in the Cabinet There 
ought not to be a Cabinet without a law officer."" We 
may be certain that Bichard Bush, had he been alive, 
would have taken the same view of the matter.** 

A chief object of the act of 1870 was to make it pos- 
sible to create a staff sufficiently large to transaot the 
law business of the government in all parts of the 
oonntry. If assistant counsel were employed, these 
extra men were to he designated either as assistant 
district attorneys or as asBistanta to the Attomey- 
Qeneral; and so, holding conomissions as such, they 
could be made — ^in fact they became — strictly respon- 
sible to the Attorney-General for the performance of 
duties that might be assigned to them." 

During the development of admimstrattve-legal 
work, law officers had been provided in the various 
executive departments from time to time as they were 
needed. "Following the precedent set in the creation 

■* Globe, (^ dt., p. 3007. April 28. 


" Supra, p. ISl. 

mgiobe, op. ciL, p. 3036. 

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of the Solicitor of the Treasury by the aot of 1830," 
remarked one speaker, "we have anthoiized the 
appointment of an assistant Solicitor of the Treasury, 
and also a Solidtor of the Internal Bevenne; and 
during the war we had a Solicitor of the War Depart- 
ment and an assistant Solicitor of the War Depart- 
ment "We also created a law o£Beer for the Navy 

Department, and in the course of time a law ofScer has 
been created for the Post-OflSce Department."* Sach 
facts revealed at once the possibilities of contradictory 
opinions coming from the varions legal ofiBoers, and 
the consequent confusion. 

In what way this confusion might affect the 
Attorney-General under the old regime, and so the 
President, may be readily seen from another passage 
in the debates of 1870. The President takes the opin- 
ions of the heads of departments, it was declared; 
"yet, as the law now stands, it is perfectly apparent 
that the law ofiScers of the several Departments may 
advise the heads of Departments in one way upon 
subjects of public importance affecting their Depart- 
ments, and the Attorney-General may advise the 
President and the Cabinet, when they are assembled, 
in a totally different way npon the same subject. Now 
.... it is utterly impossible that the President can 
intelligently advise Congress or act without embar- 
rassment on affairs relating to our international 
rights, obligations and duties when there is a law 
officer in the State Department, as now, advising the 
head of that Department in one way while the 

ViMd, p. 80SS. 

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Attomey-Q«neraI may be advising the President in a 

different way We have an ofBoer called an 

examiner of claims, the law officer of the State Depart- 
ment, advising the Secretary of State in matters 
affecting our foreign relations, onr duties and obli- 
gations, while the President and Cabinet are receiving 
advice from the Attomey-GJeneraL"" 

The act of 1870 brought the solicitors in the 
various departments under the nltimate control of 
the Attomey-QeneraL Whatever official opinions 
these solicitors might be called upon to give, must 
henceforth be recorded in the office of the Attomey- 
Qeneral. There, before they conld become the exec- 
utive law for the guidance of inferior officials, these 
opinions were stamped with the Attorney-General's 
final approval. "It is," asserted BepresentatiTe 
Jenckes, "for the purpose of having a unity of deci- 
sion, a unity of jurisprudence, if I may use that 
expression, in the executive law of the United States, 
that this bill proposes that all tiie law officers therein 
provided for shall be subordinate to one head."" 

The act made provision for the creation of one new 
law officer of large importance — ^the Solicitor-General 
of the United States. It was proposed to have in this 
new position "a man of sufficient learning, ability and 
experience that he can be sent to New Orleans or to 
New York, or into any court wherever the Govern- 
ment has any interest in litigation, and there present 
the case of the United States as it should be pre- 

■1 Olobe, op. eit., p. SOOS. 
■ lUd., p. 3086. 

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aented."*' The express langaage of the law reqnired 
him to be "learned in the law" — a requirement that 
had originally, in the law of 1789, heen exaoted of the 
Attorney-General, but for some unknown reason was 
omitted in the law of 1870, bo far as the latter officer 
was concerned. 

According to the characterization of Representative 
James A. Q-arfield, the act of June, 1870, was "sab- 
stantive legislation." There was comparatively little 
opposition to it in Congress, for it was easily seen that 
it placed the government's law work on an orderly 
and well-arranged basis. 


By an act approved on January 19, 1886," the Attor- 
ney-General was definitely reckoned as fourth in the 
line of possible suocession to the Presidency in case of 
the removal, death, resignation or inabihty of Presi- 
dent and Yice-PreBident. This act was due largely to 
the persistent efforts of Senator George F. Hoar of 
MassachuBettB. The occasion of these efforts was the 
conviction in the pnblic mind — aroused by the attempt 
in July, 1881, to kill President Garfield — of the grave 
and serious necessity of placing new safeguards about 
the life of the chief magistrate. 

The original law of March, 1792, which provided for 
the snccession to the Presidency, had declared that, in 
case of vacancy, "the President of the Senate pro 
tempore, and in case there shall be no President of the 

*»Ibid., p. 3036. 

■■24 Statnia at Large, p, 1, 

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Senate, then the Speaker of the House of Bepresenta- 
tiveB, for the time being, shall act ae President of the 
United States, until the disability be removed, or a 
President shall be elected.*** Even at the epoch of 
its formulation the prinmple underlying this lan- 
guage was not considered sound by such men as Madi- 
son, Gtouvemeur Morris, Livermore and Fitzsimons. 
There were saggestions at the time that it might be 
wiser to call on the Chief Justice of the Supreme Coort 
or the Secretary of State. And in the Philadelphia 
Convention, on August 27, 1787, Madison— with what 
seems in the Ugbt of the law of 1886 almost prophetic 
insight — ^had "suggested that the executive powers 
during a vacancy be administered by the persons com- 
posing the council to the President. * •* But the Senate, 
having originated the form of statement of the law of 
1792, were unwilling to alter it Accordingly the 
above language was at length adopted and went into 
the statute-book." 

The snbjeot of the succession was next brought con- 
spicuously into public notice in June, 1856, by Senator 
John J. Crittenden of Kentucky. Crittenden had 
become impressed by the fact that from the fourth of 
March to the first week of December in every second 
year there was no Speaker of the House of Represen- 
tatives. He was accordingly moved to present a reso- 
Intion to the Senate which called on the Judiciary 
Conmiittee of that body to examine the subject and 

«1 statute* at Large, p. 240. 
•* Elliot, Debate*, T, 480. 

« Jtinob of Congre** tmder dates of I>«e«iiiber 20, 17M, Jwrnary 10, 
13, October 24, November 16, 23, 80, December 1, 21, 1791, etc 

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make a report. On the following Angost 5 a report — 
familiarly known as the "Butler Beport" from 
Senator Pierce Butler of South Carolina, ohairman— 
was read to the Senate. The Beport was conolnded 
with a carefully formulated biU. The bill was never 
acted upon. The Beport, buried in a volume of Senate 
documents, was lost sight of and apparently forgotten 
for many years." 

The Butler Beport attempted to supplement the 
original law of 1792. On the assumption that there 
was no President of the Senate pro tempore or 
Speaker of the House, it declared "that the duties 
prescribed by act of Congress shall devolve on the fol- 
lowing ofScers : first, on the chief justice, when he has 
not participated in the trial of the President ; and next, 
on the justices of the Supreme Court, according to the 
date of their commissions. ' "* This was the single con- 
structive recommendation. It Is, however, worthy of 
note that the authors first of all stated their belief that 
the members of the Cabinet "in some prescribed 
order" were "the proper functionaries to fill the 
vacancy. In eases of death," continued the record, 
"they would be the persons most fit for the occasion. 
There are other drcumstances, however, which would 
make the cabinet officers unfit to occupy the place of 
the President. In case of his impeachment for high 
political offences, the cabinet might be implicated, as 
participes criminis, and ought not to be in position of 

M Smate DocytmenU (1866-1656), II, No. 260, pp. 7. The itbKU m».y 
be followed in the Congrattional Olobe, 34 OoDg., 1 aeaa. (lS55-lSfi6), 
Ft n, pp. 1476, 1930-lfiSl, 2020. 

<* Butler Beport, p. 6. 

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allies.'* The qneBtion, moreover, as to whether the 
Cabinet could be considered an official body after the 
fanctions of the President — ^its head — ^had terminated 
or were suspended, wf^ puzzling to the committee, 
and was left unanswered." 

Within a week of the shooting of Garfield, the Bntler 
Report was referred to in the public discussions over 
the possible consequences of the tragedy. In particu- 
lar Senator James B. Beck of Kentucky called atten- 
tion to it in a letter to the Louisville Courier-Jour- 
nal.^ In the following autumn — Garfield having died 
on September 19 — it happened that the country was 
without either a President of the Senate or a Speaker 
of the House of Representatives, for Congress had not 
yet assembled. Should the immediate successor of 
Garfield, President Arthur, die, there ensted no pro- 
vision in law for a new President. Statesmen were 
alarmed over a possible predicament. Efforts to 
remedy the defect of the law were begnn almost as 
soon as Congress assembled in December, 1881. And 
these efforts were continued at intervals during three 
successive Congresses — the Forty-seventh, the Forty- 
eighth, and the Forty-ninth. Senator Hoar's persist- 
ency was finally rewarded early in 1886. 

Hoar was the author of the bill that became the law. 
' ' I drew and introduced the existing law, ' ' he remarked 
many years later in his well-known Autobiography of 
Seventy Years, where he saw fit to quote the statute 
in its entirety." The substance of his bill seems to 

"Butler Sefort, pp. 4-S. 

Ti CrmgrtMionoi Beoord, December 16, 1S85. 

"11, 170-171; 

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have been snggested to him b^ certain remarks of his 
brother, Hon. Ebenezer B. Hoar, in a speech made by 
the latter in the House of Bepresentatlyes Bometime 
between 1873 and 1875." Introdnoing the subject of 
suocesBion in the last stage of bis effort, Senator Hoar 
remarked that one of the important alterations to be 
made in the existing law — ^that of 1792— ^was the sub- 
stitution of "members of the Cabinet in the order of 
their official seniority — the order in which the various 
Departments were created, except that the head of the 
Department of Justice, which is the last Department 
created by law, is continued in his old place as Attor- 
ney-GTeneral, ranking the heads of the Departments 
created since the original establishment of the Cabi- 

The passage furnishes an admirable statement of 
the prinoiple that the statute of 1886 carried into 
effect. In accoirdanoe with the passage the Attor- 
ney-General, who had been regarded as a cabinet- 
associate of the President from Washington's admin- 
istration, was definitely acknowledged as a peer among 
his oolleagaes — a position that he had actually held 
since 1853. 

ni hkve not been kble to diaeorar thia apeeeh mtUs seuming tb» 
CongrettitnuA 'Bteard over the jtm, 18T3-187S. Eou Mkiiowledg«d bii 
iadflbtedneM to bis brother oa December 16, 188G. 

n CwgTMtiorKU SeeorA, December K, 18SS. 

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The Attobnbt-Qbmbbal ajtd FsiyAiE Pbaoticb sikcb 

There is no conclasire evidence that I can discover 
which would indicate that Caleb Gushing (Attorney- 
General from 1853 to 1857), or any of his successors 
in the Attomey-Cbneralehip, have ever taken private 
law cases while they were aotiog as federal office- 
holders. This opinion is based upon a careful effort 
to exhtune evidence that would justify a contrary point 
of view. 

The problem may be formulated in this way : 

In case the Attomey-Gkneral found hiB Bolaiy inadequate, 
and determined for this or any other reason to take a small 
amount of private practice, would he be violating any cus- 
tom or mle of honor in undertaking itt In other words: 
Are there any instances between 1864 — ^the date of Cash- 
ing's well-known argument against the custom — and 1909, 
to indicate that the Attorney-General has at times, either 
with or without the knowledge of the Preeideut, accepted 
private cases which have not involved the interests of the 
federal government t 

At various times I have taken opportunity to pro- 
pound this problem to men living in Washington, D. C, 
who seemed likely to be able to throw light upon it. I 
have examined many law cases, in hopes of finding 
some clue here or there in the State Reports. In a 
vain effort to secure printed evidence, I was obliged to 
fall back on two different opinions, both of them 
common enough in Washington. 

Dcinzedoy Google 


A. An official assoeiated for a great many years 
with the Attomey-Oeueral's office, both before and 
since 1870, is positive that the Attorneys-General con- 
tinued, with perhaps an occasional exception, to accept 
private practice down to President Cleveland's first 
administration (1885). This official, indeed, specified 
a few instances since that time among the Attorneys- 
General who, he was sure, accepted private oases. He 
assnmed that in these various instances no rulp of 
honor and no custom were considered to be violated. 

B. The other opinion is a direct denial of this view. 
"No Attorney-General," runs the statement, "would 
think for a moment of accepting a private case while 
occupying the federal office." A well-known ex-Secre- 
tary of State, who has been deeply interested in the 
history of American diplomacy and political practices, 
holds to this view. Yet this particnlar gentleman was 
obliged, after careful inquiry, to admit that he dis- 
covered that opinion A was firmly believed by several 
officials with whom he had spoken. 

Of course men summoned from the active practice 
of the law to the Attomey-Generalship must frequently 
take the office while law cases in which they are inter- 
ested are still pending. It seems entirely probable 
that in such instances there may have to be a confi- 
dential understanding with the President in order that 
a man's regular practice may not suffer because of his 
new occupation. At any rate, lawyers owe certain 
obligations to their clients which cannot be surren- 
dered at once. Often, especially where an Attorney- 
General is a member of a firm, the legal work may be 

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asBumed and carried on bj the firm. Such leading 
firms in the past as Black & Phelan (J. S. Black, Attor- 
ney-Oeneral, 1857-1860), Speed & Smith (Joshua 
Speed, Attorney-Qeneral, 1864-1866), Thayer & Wil- 
liams (G. H. Williams, Attorney-General, 1872-1875), 
and Harmon, Colston, Goldsmith & Hoadley (Jndson 
Harmon, Attomey-Q«neral, 1895-1897), were not dis- 
Bolved because their leading member went to Wash- 
ington iu an official capacity. 

I submit the problem to the reader. I shotdd be glad 
to know where to find evidence that wonld afford a 
solution of it. 

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ON April 30, 1798, on the eve of probable war with 
France, President John Adams approved and 
signed a bill formulated for the purpose of establish- 
ing an ezecntive department to be called the Depart- 
ment of the Navy. The bill, enacted into law,^ was the 
ontoome of various ideas and oircnmBtances which had 
tended toward its formulation since the early days of 
the American Bevolntion. 


The first impulse toward a naval administrative 
organization came largely from New England, the 
commercial center of tiie colonies. It may be detected 
in 1775, soon after the oatbreak of the Bevolntionary 
War. The agricnltaral South showed, from the first 
disouBsions of the subject in the Continental Congress, 
some opposition to a navy. 

Neither the navy nor a naval administration, it 
should be remembered, came suddenly into existence. 
They were both the results of necessity. The very dr- 
cmnstances of war forced men to consider and to plan 
measures of protection on the sea, and some sort of 
central directive organization. Bhode Island was the 
first colony to commission vessels for a local or State 
navy. It should also be credited with bringing to the 

> 1 8tatmte» at Large, pp. 503 ff. 

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attention of Congress a set of resolations which 
served, after a hearing, as the starting point in the 
antuum of 1775 for a central administration of naval 

The naval administration of the Bevolutionaiy 
epoch proved in fact to be a series of rather crude 
experiments. Above the details of administration, 
standing ont as the more or less responsible centers of 
control, there were four ezeontive organs. With refer- 
ence to chronology they may be arranged as follows : 

1. The Naval Committee : October, 1775, to January, 1776. 

2. The Marine Committee : February, 1776, to December, 

3. The Board of Admiralty: December, 1779, to July, 

4. The Agent of Marine; September, 1781, to November, 

The changes were neither quite so sadden nor so defi- 
nite as the foregoing divisions and dates might lead 
the reader to believe. By a process of merging and 
absorption the so-called Naval Comndttee lost its 
identity in the snoceeding Marine Committee. As 
time elapsed — during the years, 1778-1779 — Congress 
hit upon the idea of executive boards, relatively small 
groups containing men outside Congress as well as 
members of that body. Such boards were utilized in 
other parts of the continental or central administra- 
tion, notably in connection with the finances and the 

> Jowrnoli of Congrtt*, October 3-DM«iiib«i B2, 1775 (paujm), Jolin 
Adams's IForfef, I, lU, 18T-18S. U, 408-46S, 470-481, 486. HI, «-12. 
IX, 464. Cf. C. O. PboIUh, T\t Navy of lk« America* BtwUitio»: ita 
Adminutration, ita Poltej, and ita AehierMiMnts (1M6), pp. 81 ff. 

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practioal business of the direction of the war. But 
nowhere did they work smoothly or effectively. In 
1780 an effort to place the varions administratiTe 
organizations under separate heads or Secretaries was, 
as elsewhere we have seen, matared and approved in 
Congress, favored by anch leading men as Hamilton, 
Jay, Washington, and the two Morriaee. The effort 
was vigorously opposed by Samael Adams and a 
respectable following. But the "constructive" or 
"concentrative" school, as it has been variously 
termed, finally gained the day in the spring of 1781.* 
On February 7, 1781, Congress adopted a plan which 
provided for the establishment of a Secretary of 
Marine, and prescribed that officer's duties. Two days 
later, February 9, the salary of the Secretary was 
fixed at five thousand dollars. Near the end of the 
month, on February 27, Congress elected Major- 
Oeneral Alexander McDoagall of New York to the new 
position. Months before, MoDougall had been thought 
of as a fit incumbent for the place by Alexander Ham- 
ilton. In various waye well qualified, McDougall made 
such conditions as to accepting the appointment that 
Congress felt forced finally to veto it. And there is no 
evidence that any other choice for the Secretaryship 
was ever again seriously considered. Thus the 
attempt to establish and fiU the new office failed. But 
it could hardly have been forgotten.* 

1 PanDin, op. dt., pp. 81 ff., 48, 82, 86-87, W, 181 ft., 103, 208, 810 S., 
£26. OnggonlifliiiMr in JunMon's Ettas; PP- 188 ff., 180 fl. The tenn 
"eoneaatrative" ia Pftollm's; FruieU Wharton dim " eoiiBtnietiT«. " 
Bev^^tttMoxy Diplomatio Corretpottdenoe, I, Introd., p. SSS. 

*Jomnwtt of Congrm under d*t«a indiealvd, and Mucb SO, 1781. 

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In the Bonuner of 1781 the subject of naval adminis- 
tratioD was on several occasions before Congress. 
Three committees tried at different times to solve the 
a'dministrative problems involved in the naval situa- 
tion. Late in Angast the third committee adopted a 
makeshift policy, agreeing "that for the present an 
agent of marine be appointed, with authority to direct, 
fit out, eqnip, and employ the ships and vessels of war 
belonging to the United States, according to such 
instmotionB as he shall, from time to time, receive 
from Congrese.*" A few days later, on September 7, 
Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance, was asked 
by Congress to assume all the powers and duties of the 
office "until an agent of marine be appointed by Con- 

Morris accepted the office on the following day, 
holding it nntil he resigned his Superintendency on 
November 1, 1784. By that time the need of a con- 
tinental navy for protection had passed. Such naval 
business as remained related chiefly to the settlement 
of naval accounts ; and it was placed in the hands of 
a few subordinates, men who had served under Morris, 
until the Board of Treasury, organized in X785, wound 
it up.* 

That for more than three years Eobert Morris not 
only managed the finances of the Revolution, but also 

SAngiut 29. 

(TIm ban details mn eeaHj followed in the /ownial* of Ctmgre»*, 
VII-Z. PanUin has throws ii«w li^t from an examtnation of the 
"Beeords and P^iera of the Continenta] Coogrees" In Waahington. 
Bee hia chapter, "The Secretary of Marine and the Agent of Marine," 
in hie Navy of tA« Amttioan SewAntition, pp. 210.ES1. 

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shouldered the bnrdens of naval administration, are 
facts that help to reveal his extraordinary capacity. 
He had been for a time vioe-preBident of the old 
Marine Committee. And during the trying winter of 
1776-1777, while Congress was at Baltimore, he 
remained in Philadelphia; and there, with very little 
assistance, he administered naval aifairs/ After Con- 
gress in 1781 had failed in their efforts to appoint 
McDongall as Secretary of Marine, it is cnrions to 
observe the way that naval affairs gravitated to 
Morris. No better characterization of this phase of 
his career has ever been written than this of Dr. Panl- 
lin. "He was invited," says Panllin, "to take upon 
himself more or less of the naval business by the 
urgent need of sending the eraisers on important 
errands, the helplessness of the Board of Admiralty, 
the inertia of Congress." "The figure," he continues, 
' ' that Morris presents at this time is that of the strong 
and confident man of affairs, sagacious, expeditions, 
and painstaking, who is surrounded by weaker men, 
hesitating, vacillating, and procrastinating in their 
administrative attempts."* In brief, Morris stands as 
the first important figure in the national administra- 
tion of naval affairs, just as he holds a simitar place in 
the history of American financial administration, 


In any satisfactory scheme of government — such, 
for example, as men were groping for during the 
yearsoftheConfederation (1781-1788)— a Secretary of 

r Pftnllin, op. eit., p. 90. 
»Ihid., pp. 210, 289-880. 

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Marine vas not usually overlooked. It was assumed 
that any robust and vigorous government must sustain 
a navy and provide for its effective administration. 
Yet to most men of that time it is probable that the 
conclusion of the Revolutionary War signified the dis- 
appearance of the need for a navy. Other matters 
seemed to be of relatively greater moment. The 
common view was soffioiently well expressed by John 
Adams. In a letter written to Thomas Jefferson at 
Paris, Adams remarked that a "disposition seems 
rather to prevail among our citizens to give up all 
ideas of navigation and naval power, and lay them- 
selves consequently at the meroy of foreigners."* The 
sentiment should not, however, disguise the fact that 
commerce at this time was already reviving and reach- 
ing out to some extent in the direction of Oriental 
ports. This commercial interest, characteristic of 
peaceful conditions, was bound to foster any incipient 
movement, such as can be found, toward a naval estab- 

For years a navy had been one of John Adams's 
cherished projects. In the opening years of the Bevo- 
lution he had labored for some effident form of naval 
administration; and he was the chief author of the 
rules for the government of the American navy, and 
articles to be signed by the oCGcers and men employed 
in that service, a code re-adopted much later, as we 
shall see, under the Constitution.'' While residing in 

• Adsnu '■ Worh», Vni, 412. Letter dated at London, J11I7 81, ITM. 

HJournob of Congreu, Novonber S3, SS, 8S, 1775, ete. PMilUn, op. 

ett., pp. 43 ff. Prooeedings of tlu U. 8. Nvtal InttiUte, TTTTT, loOB. 

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London, in lettera written during 1785-1786, Adams 
occasionally touched upon the snbject of an American 
navy. He wrote to Jefferson, saying: "I wish I could 
know the number of foreign ships which have entered 

the ports of the United States since the peace If 

all these ships and seamen were American, what 
materials would they furnish for a navy in a very few 
years, not more than eight or ten."" About a year 
later, on July 3, 1786, he expressed to Jefferson his 
conviction that a war with the Barbary States, whidi 
then seemed not impossible, might prove to be "a 
good occasion to begin a navy. ' *" He was willing to go 
almost any length, as he admitted, in urging on the 
government of the United States a naval establish- 
ment. Moreover, Jefferson himself was at the time 
distinctly in favor of war and against further payment 
of tribute to the Barbary powers, and hence quite as 
strong a believer as Adams in an American navy. He 
too considered a marine force a necessity, and 
remarked that it could "never endanger our liber- 
ties.''" It seems highly probable that, had either 
Adams or Jefferson been members of the first Con- 
gress in 1789, when that body was debating the whole 
problem of the organization of departments, they 
would both have urged the creation of a separate 
department of the navy. 

u Anpiat 8, 1786. Work*, VTH, E96. 

UJWd., p. 407. 

UAagnBt II, 1784. Latter to Honioe. Jellenoii's Writing* («d. 
Waahingrtoa), I, 806, Dr. G. W. A]l«n has dinmBwd carefolJy the two 
newi of Adune and Jeffaraon in 0*r Haray and th« Barbery Ct»noir» 
(190S), pp. SS ff. 

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In 1786 the Congress of the Confederation, stirred 
by the news of the depredations of the Mediterranean 
oorsairs on American shipping, w^it on record to the 
effect that "it is proper and expedient for the federal 
govemment to turn their earliest attention to the 
Marine Department, and that a committee be 
appointed to frame and report an ordinance for organ- 
izing the same.*"* The next year, late in the session 
of the Philadelphia Convention, Gouvemeur Morris 
declared that a "navy was essential to security, par- 
ticularly of the Sonthem States."" But, notwith- 
standing such snggestions, there was to be no separate 
naval establishment for the present, for Congress 
determined in 1789 to place such naval business as 
there might be directly in charge of the Secretary of 

The first section of the statute creating the Depart- 
ment of War referred to naval matters as clearly of 
minor importance." But naval business could not long 
remain so. For, in the first place, the Constitution had 
given Congress certain powers with reference to main- 
taining a navy. The President, moreover, was com- 
mander-in-chief of the navy. And since no State could 

xQaotod by PanQiD from "Becorda and Papers of the Continental 
Cougreaa, ' ' No. 2S, vol. II, 459, in Proeeedingt of tlie U. S. Naval Iiwti- 
lute, XXXn, 1002. 

u EUiot, Vebatet, V, 490. Aaguat 29. 

>■ 1 Btatuiet at Large, p. 50. " . . . . the Secretarj for the Depart- 
ment of War, who eball perform and execute ench datiee as ihall f nun 
time to tune be enjoined on or entrusted to him by the Preeident .... 
agreeably to the Constitation, relative to military commissions, or to 
land or naval forces, .ships, or warlike stores .... or to sneh other 
mattera reepeeting military or naval affaire." Not enotber refcoenoe 
to a navy occurs in the law. 

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own shipB of war in times of peace, oiroumstauces were 
sare in future to force some of these constitutional 
powers into active employment. 

In 1790 the Secretary of War, General Ejiox, was 
considering the possibility of getting together some 
armed vessele of war for the uses of the government. 
Early in January, 1791, the Senate, enlightened by 
Jefferson, Secretary of State, as to the conditions of 
Mediterranean trade, resolved "that the trade of the 
United States to the Mediterranean cannot be pro- 
tected but by a naval force ; and that it will be proper 
to resort to the same as soon as the state of the public 
finances will admit,"" Nothing came of this sugges- 
tion. Bat it reveals clearly enough that droum- 
stances beyond American control were already arous- 
ing and helping to shape public interest in a navy. 
These circumstances were to enforce vigorous action 
on the part of the national government, as we shall 
presently see, in 1794. 


Prom the year 1794 we may reckon what Knox 
termed the ' ' second commencement of a navy for the 
United States."" By a law of March 27, 1794, Con- 
gress provided for the building of six government 
vessels, a fleet sufficiently large, it was thonght, for 
"the protection of the commerce of the United States 
against the Algerine corsairs. " By a special provision 

V American State Papers, Foreign Belations, I, 108. 
u December 27, 1794. Beport to tha Hdum of B^reeeutativea in 
American State Paper*, Naval Affa^a, I, 6. 

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it was determined that "in case of peace with Aiders 
all work on the frigates should stop." Peace with 
Algiers came the next year (1795), but was not for- 
mally ratified by the Senate until March 2, 1796. The 
work of building the frigates had by that date reached 
such a stage of advancement that President Wash- 
ington soon requested Congress to consider the prob- 
lem of loss to the goremment ia case work were 
summarily suspended. In response to this suggestion 
CTongresB decided, by an act of April 20, that the Presi- 
dent should "cause to be completed, with aU con- 
venient expedition," three frigates. These ships, 
"launched the following year, were the United States, 
Constitution, and Constellation. They were the first 
of a long and honorable list."" The United States, 
built at Philadelphia, was laonohed on May 10, 1797; 
the Constitution, built at Boston, was launched Octo- 
ber 21 foUowiag; and the Constellation, bnilt at Balti- 
more, was launched on September 7. Pickering and 
Washington together helped to name the frigates." 

There was opposition to the enactment of March, 
1794. As the opposition to a navy in the Bevolution 
came at the outset chiefly from the South, so now, 
long after the navy of the Bevolution had disappeared, 
there came similar opposition from the same region. 
Although the enactment was directed to a spedfic 
object, it was generally regarded as likely to lead to 

i*Q. W. Allen, Our Hav^ and t\e Barbary Cortain, p. 08. Tha whol« 
sabJMt i« admirably trwt«d in thia aTrtbor'a fonrtb ebaptar, "Peac« 
trith Algien," pp. 43-68. 

> 0. 0. PaDllin, in Prooeed^gt of tSe V. S. Naval Institute, TTTTT, 

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a permanest naval establishment. Madison saw in a 
navy grave danger of international oomplieations. 
Others opposed a navy on financial grounds: the 
coontry was poor ; let the pnblic debt be first of all dis- 
charged. It would be better, It was suggested, to bny 
peace of the Algerines, as European states had done 
for many years. A few considered the navy as a real 
menace to liberty. But the more liberal majority — 
among whom should be reckoned William Smith of 
South Carolina — ^passed the law. Belying on the prob- 
able improvement of the nation's credit, sure of the 
need of organized protection to American commerce 
on the high seas, inasmnch as trade was rapidly 
increasing, this majority forced throagh Congress a 
measure that was to prove on the whole beneficent and 

In Washington's last annual message there was a 
memorable passage in this connection, in which the 
President dwelt on the desirability of building up a 
navy. "To an active external commerce," he wrote, 
"the protection of a naval force is indispensable .... 
it is in our own experience that the most sincere neu- 
trality is not a sufficient guard against the depreda- 
tions of nations at war. To secure respect to a neutral 
flag requires a naval force organized and ready to vin- 
dicate it from insult or aggression. This may even 
prevent the necessity of going to war by discouraging 
belligerent powers from committing snch violations of 
the rights of the neutral flag as may .... leave no other 
option These considerations," he concluded, 

^Baaod upon PAaUiu and Allen. 

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"invite the United States to look to the means, and 
to set about the gradual creation of a navy .... so 
that a fatnre war of Europe may not find onr com- 
merce in the same unprotected state in which it was 
found by the present."" 

With numerous circumstances all tending to empha- 
size the great utility of a national navy, witii the 
counsel of eminent statesmen advocating conservative 
but definite action looking toward the creation of a 
navy, together with the fact that there was already a 
small nucleus of national ships about ready to be 
launched, tTohn Adams's administration opened in 
March, 1797. 


From 1794, when navy business first assumed vital 
importance, to May, 1798, three Secretaries of War 
endeavored successively to manage that business in 
consultation with Presidents Washington and Adams. 
The truth has been very succinctly expressed in this 
way: "Knox superintended the navy for a little less 
than a year; Pickering for a little more than a year; 
and McHenry for a little more than two years."" Let 
us observe a few of the facts in the situation. 

The initial difficulties of the tasks of naval organi- 
zation were shouldered by Ejiox. It was Knox who 
planned the work of constructing six ships, of procur- 
ing materials and of selecting officers, naval agents, 
and skilled constructors. As early as June, 1794, 

s Meuagea and Paper*, I, 201. 

npanlliu in Froeetdingt of tk« V. 8. Naval Iiutitvte, XXXB, 1005. 

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Washington appointed sis captains in the navy, among 
these heing John Barry, Samael Nicholson, Richard 
Dale and Thomas Tmzton. These six officers were 
each to superintend the construction of a vessel, 
although Joshua Humphreys, a shipbuilder of Phila- 
delphia, was the designer of all the frigates.'* For the 
sake of distributing benefits among different localities, 
the six vessels were to be bnilt at as many different 
ports. In each shipyard such officials as were needed 
were provided. Thus a business organization was 
developed quickly near the start. 

Pickering for a brief period carried on the work that 
his predecessor had laid out. The keels of six vessels 
were completed and laid upon the blocks. Five of the 
sis vessels were named. The work went on under 
McHenry. But the strained relations between the 
United States and France — the actnal imminency of 
war early in 1798 — forced upon McHenry a grave 
responsibility such as neither Knox nor Pickering had 

In his first message addressed to the special session 
of Congress — a message dated May 16, 1797 — Presi- 
dent Adams, calling attention to the growing interest 
in commerce, spoke urgently of the need of establish- 
ing a permanent system of naval defence." The senti- 
ments of Adams were in accord with Washington's 
well-known views, and likewise with those of many less 

M A good akatdi cf Hnmphte^ is ^ven hj Q. W. AIleD, Ovr Naval 
War with France (1909), pp. 42 ff. 

■ For this and the preMding pftragT&pfa I haTe depended maeh en 
PanUin'fl article alieadj cited, pp. lOOS-1010. 

iUe$*aget and Paper*, I, 230'SS7. 

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diBtiDgoished members of the Federalist party. They 
were expressed only six days after the frigate United 
States was launched at Philadelphia, bat before any 
one of the three vessels was equipped for service. On 
July 1 following, Congress was moved to authorize 
the President to man and employ these vessels, and 
thus — as Dr. Panllin observes — realty committed the 
ooantry to a naval establishment. In accordance with 
this July law, the navy was to be governed by the rules 
and regulations of the old Bevolutionary navy, the 
code which John Adams had conceived nearly twenty- 
two years before." 

On November 22 Adams once more urged on Con- 
gress the need of protecting American commerce and 
of looking after the interests of seafaring citizens as 
well as those of others. In the following March, 
moved by the increasing danger of war with France as 
well as perhaps by the President's words, Congress 
prepared to act. On March 8, 1798, a committee of 
the House of Representatives reported in favor of a 
eommissioner of marine in the War Department "who 
should be employed in the immediate superintendence 
of the naval concerns of the United States.'* A fort- 
night later, on March 22, McHenry proposed separat- 
ing the naval business from that of the War Depart- 

Results were sure to follow. On Monday, April 2, 
Senator Willifun Bingham of Pennsylvania made a 

irPaulliii'a artiek, p. 1009. 

^Meitagtt and Fapert, I, 251, 250. Annali of Congreu nnder Harelt 
8. B. C. Steiner, Ufe and Corretpondenoe of Jame* MeEnry, p. 302. 
American State Paper*, Naval Affairt, I, 33-34,- 39. 

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motion favoring the appointment of a committee "to 
take into consideration the propriety of instituting a 
separate executive department, for the purpose of 
superintending and regulating the various objects 
connected with the Naval Establishment of the United 
States."" In accordance with this motion a conmiittee 
of three was appointed the next day. This committee 
reported a bill to the Senate on April 11. The bill 
passed that body, apparently withont much opposition, 
on April 16. The report of the Senate debate is very 
meagre. But we know that two Senators, Marshall of 
Kentucky and Paine of Vermont, each from an inland 
state, tried to limit the proposed measure in time, so 
that a navy department should serve only as a tem- 
porary expedient." 

The real ordeal came on April 25, in the debate in 
the House of Representatives on the question of allow- 
ing the bill to paas to its third reading. By a close 
vote — forty-seven to forty-one" — the bill went to its 
final reading, then was passed by the House — ^forty- 
two to twenty-seven — and was approved and signed 
by President Adams on April 30. 

The opposition in the House was vigorous. It lay to 
some extent along party lines, for the measure was 
regarded as distinctly Federalist. But it was gov- 
erned also by eoonomic considerations. In general the 
agricultural states opposed it, and the commercial 
states — chiefly north of the Potomac River — favored 

"Aniuit* of Cmgrut, S Cong., 2 som, (1797-1799), X, SU. 

"Ibid., I, 639-642. 

» See Table at the end of this eliaptffr. 

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it. It may be noted, however, that a majority of the 
BepresentatiTes from both New York and Pennsyl- 
vania were recorded againat it, while the six Bepre- 
Bentatives from Sonth Carolina were equally divided. 
Some of those who opposed the measure argned that 
a separate navy department was onder the circnm- 
stances mmecessary. Gallatin took this view. He 
believed that it might be wise to increase the personnel 
. of the War Department if the business of naval admin- 
istration drananded additional effort. From his 
standpoint, to organize a separate department was not 
only unnecessary but uneconomical. The new depart- 
ment would, he believed, increase expenses out of all 
proportion to its utility. To the suggestion made 
several times in the coarse of the debate that the Sec- 
retary of War had already too many burdens, and that 
a naval organization really demanded expert knowl- 
edge on the part of a Secretary, it was answered that 
it might prove expedient to appoint a War Secretary 
capable of understanding both army and navy admin- 
istration. There was doubtless some reflection here 
on McHenry, who was not a man of large ability. But 
in any event the difficulties of securing such doable 
qualifications in one man were obvious. 

In the course of his remarks in opposition to a techni- 
cal expert on ships as well fitted for the new place, 
Edward Livingston of New York was reported as 
saying that "if a shipbuilder was to have the appoint- 
ment, he could not think such a person fit to be one of 
the great council of the nation ; and it must be recol- 
lected," be added significantly, "that the person who 

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holds this office will become one of the cotmsellore of 
the President on all great ooncerns."" Quite tinwit- 
tingly Livingston here made the first clear reference 
to the President's Cabinet — reckoning from 1789 — 
that I have fonnd in the records of the debates of either 
the Senate or the House of BepresentatiyeB. 

The oircomstances of the political situation favored 
the qniok passage of the bill. There was already a 
nnolens, sure to grow, of a national navy. Moreover, 
the practices of the Revolution, with which men were 
in 1798 perfectly familiar, had set an earlier standard 
for a naval administration separate from that of war. 
President Adams was deeply interested in having a 
national naval organization. Most European conn- 
tries had such separate administrative organizations. 
Harrison Grey Otis, speaking on behalf of a separate 
naval Secretary, remarked that "it was necessary, 
even for the sake of appearances, to establish an office 

of this kind we ought to do it in conformity to the 

opinion of the European world. He thought $5,000 a 
year would be well expended in purchasing the good 
opinion of the European nations in thia respect, and 
particularly that of France." Such language was 
likely to arouse hostile comment, aa it did. When the 
same speaker reminded his colleagues from the agri- 
cultural states that a thriving, well-protected commerce 
meant certain gains to agriculture, he adduced a truth 
that could be neither overlooked nor denied." 

H^itiial* cf Ctmgrett, op. eit, n, 1S52. April 2S, I7B8. Bwpra, 
chapter VI, p. 138. 

»T1m Kceonnt raats on the reporta of tlw dibata in tlM Annait of 
CongrMi, 6 Oomg. (1797-1799), I, BS^Ml. II, 1426, 1S22, IStf-lSH, 

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On the first of May, John Adams sent to the Senate 
the name of Ckorge Cabot of Massachusetts to be Sec- 
retary of the Navy. The nomination was ratified on 
May 3, and a commission was issued on that day. 
Pickering notified Cabot of his appointment two days 
later, and at the same time sent him a personal letter 
to urge his acceptance. "In this new office," wrote 
Pickering, "the President wishes to find not only a 
person of practical knowledge in maritime affairs, but 

a statesman The pnblio advantages to be derived 

from your condnctiug the department yon can fully 
estimate, and your friends have anticipated. Although 
the formation of a navy has been contemplated these 
four years, it is at the present moment only that the 
establishment may be considered as commencing."** 

Cabot declined the appointment on May 11, probably 
from an honest belief in his own unfitness. He was a 
staunch Federalist — a man of ability according to 
contemporary judgment, and in touch and sympathy 
with such men as Pickering and Wolcott, members of 
the Cabinet. But he was naturally indolent, according 
to the view of his own great-grandson and biographer, 
and disliked publicity." The place certainly called for 
a man of force and thorough industry. Adams was 
fortunate in finding just such a one in Benjamin 
Stoddert of Maryland. Nominated to the office on May 

eupplementfld bj loiue aug^geMioaa taken from Panllin'a utide entitled 
"E&rly Nbt&I Administration under the Conatitation " and bitherto 

UH. 0. Lodge, Lift and Letttrt of George Cabot (2d ed., Boaton: 
187S), pp. 166 ff. 

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18, Stoddert was confinned hj the Senate and commis- 
sioned on May 21. Bnt he did not undertake the active 
duties of the position until the eighteenth of June." 

The Secretary of the Navy was the first ofiScial since 
1789 who became a member of the President's Cabinet. 
In the debates in Congress over the establishment of 
the new executive deparbuent it was assumed, as we 
have seen, that the official at its head would become a 
counsellor. And in practice President Adams made 
him one, setting an example in 1798 which has been fol- 
lowed ever since. Benjamin Stoddert was the first 
principal officer of Adams's own selection who entered 
the Cabinet. All the others — excepting John Marshall 
and Samuel Dexter who were chosen later and served 
in the Cabinet for comparatively brief periods — ^were 
a heritage from Washington's Presidency. Stoddert 
was not only a capable and far-sighted administrator 
— the true founder of the office ; but in the days follow- 
ing, when Adams was exasperated by intrigues among 
his confidential assistants, Stoddert seems to have 
remained faithful to his chief. It was especially 
important at the time that the President should have 
an intimate and expert assistant on whom, in naval 
matters, he might depend, for — as Dr. Gardner W. 
Allen has recently pointed out — hostilities between the 
United States and France continued to be acute for 
almost three years, and amounted to actual war, 
although war was declared on neither side.' 

'*Uoflber, Eteantive Begitter, p. SQ. 

" Our Vaoal War vith Franee, Prrfaee, p. vii. 

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There is one aspect of the establishment of the Sec- 
retaryship that should not be overlooked. The office 
developed naturally out of the necessity of differentiat- 
ing the adminiBtrative tasks which were burdening the 
War Department. There was no popular demand for 
it. It had to be forced into being — extracted from a 
Congress that contained both hostile and inert elements 
— ^by a few leaders who appreciated the more imme- 
diate needs of the government, and saw in the future 
the possibilities of a disastrous war as affecting a 
steadily increasing oonmierce. The larger aspects of 
the problem were set forth — as they should have been 
— by both Washington and John Adams. These men^ 
with the ud of their administrative assistants and 
certain enlightened members of Congress, after some 
years of effort, brought about the act of 1798. 

The Cabinet Council thus became a body composed of 
five regular members. It will be the aim of the next 
chapter to account for the addition to the Cabinet of 
a sixth member — ^the Postmaster-Qeneral. 

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Table showing the votes on the question of allowing 
the bill for the eatablishment of a separate Navy 
Department to go to its third reading in the House of 
Representatives on April 25, 1798 : 

Vermont . . . 
New Hampdiire . 
Bhode Island 
Connecticnt . . 
New York 
New Jerse? . 
Vu^pnia . 
North Carolina . 
Sotfth Carolina 
Eentncky . 






Total votes . 

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It is a matter of common knowledge that Jaokson 
was the first President to reckon the Postmaater- 
Qeneral a regular member of the Cabinet. In the latter 
part of the siunmer of 1828, about six months before 
Jackson's inaugaration, Edward Everett — at the' time 
a Representative in Congress from Massachusetts — 
in a letter written to Postmaster-Gkneral John McLean, 
remarked that the "Postmaster-Q«nl. ia not, by 
usage, a member of the Cabinet Council ; bat, as you 
justly observe, his functions are as delicate and impor- 
tant as those of any o£Bcer." In the opinion of both 
Everett and McLean, the Postmaster-Qeneral was in 
control of the greatest amount of patronage — greater 
by far than that of any other officer. Looking back 
over five years of service to 1823, the year of his 
appointment, McLean was inclined to believe that at 
that time the position of Postmaster-General was 
"the least desirable office in the oountry.'" It had 
certainly increased in importance under McLean's 
able management. But in order to explain the rise of 
the office to cabinet rank, it will be necessary briefly 
to consider some phases of its history. 


Crude postal arrangements for the benefit of the 
King and his Court existed in England from the early 

1 Correapondence between Edir&rd Brerett and John UeLe&n in 
XtutaekMgetU Hutoriool Society Froettdingt, 84 aer., I, Ml, 367. 

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part of the sixteenth oentuiy. These were under the 
direction of an official known ae Master of the Poets. 
In the seventeenth century the postal service was 
organized for the convenience of the more general 
public. It was administered by one or more persons 
— a Postmaster-Qeneral and his deputies — ^who acted 
under the supervision of one of the Secretaries of 
State. In 1710 an act of Queen Anne' introduced 
TLoiformity and consistency into an administration 
that had been hitherto crude and poorly arranged. 
The act was clearly designed to bring the distant parts 
of the realm and the colonies into closer toncfa 
with the central governmental organization in London. 
From 1710 to 1823 there were as a rule two English 

In colonial America there is very slight evidence of 
post roads and offices until the second half of the seven- 
teenth century. It is true that Massachusetts as early 
as 1639 and New Netherlands in 1657 made certain 
regulations for the purpose of securing the proper 
and safe transmission and delivery of letters "coming 
from beyond the Seas, or ... . sent thither." More- 
over, we are safe in surmising that such offshoots 
from the parent colony as the settlements on the Con- 
necticut Biver, and Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations were a probable means of enforcing the 
need of occasional commnnication, and so tended to 
encourage the establishment of at least a rough system 
of roads. About 1672 efforts were made to arrange 

19 Anne, & 10 in 5tatwtM at Large (London: 1763), IT, 434-445. 
1 AaMD, Law and Ourtom of the Congtiimtion, Pt. ZI, pp. 188-IS3. 

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post&l conuuTuiication between Boston and New York. 
Although not at first sncoessfnl, these efforts probably 
mark the time for the real beg^nnin^ of domestic 
postal service in the colonies. Other colonies followed 
the examples of New York and Massaohnsetts, or were 
indnoed by their own particular needs to organize 
some sort of system for transmitting letters from 
place to place, so that by 1689 at latest the subject of 
postal service had been widely discussed. Here and 
there actual plans were being carried out with some 
degree of success. Attempts on the part of the home 
government after 1660 to consolidate the colonies 
certainly had a tendency to foster a general plan for 
post roads and offices which should include most of the 
colonies within its range. Moreover, such men as 
(Jovemor Dongan of New York, Sir Edmund Andres, 
Lord Combnry, and William Penu all showed an 
active interest in making the movement effective.* 

Early in the last decade of the century a certain 
Thomas Neale, Master of the English Mint from 1679 
to 1699, obtained a patent from William and Mary 
which granted to him or to his executors and assignees 
for a period of twenty-one years the right to estabhsh 
a post — 

for the cOBTeyiog of Letters within or between Virginia 
Maryland Delaware New Torke New England East and West 
Jersey Pensilvania and Northward as far as our Dominions 
reach in America 

1 Mary E. WooUej, ' ' Eulj' History ot the OoIonlAl Port-OfSe*, ' ' pp. 
3S (pTOTidenee, B. I.: 1894), in No, n of Papert from the ffOlvfcal 
SMHJnory of Brovtt Vfiietnltji (ed. J. F. JuncMo). 

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Neale and his BnooeeBore were likewise privileged to 
nominate fit officers in the oolonies to carry out the 
details of organization — ^the arrangement of offices, 
roads, postal rates, and other matters essential to the 
efficacy of the plan. The patent was dated at TVest- 
minster Febmary 17, 169^. We are fortunate in 
having an exact copy of it easily accessible and in 
print.* It was the means of inatitnting the first royal 
intercolonial post in the American colonies. In April, 
1692, Neale nominated, and the English Postmasters- 
Cteneral appointed, Andrew Hamilton as manager of 
the general Post-Office in America, thus arranging for 
an officer who served as deputy Postmaster-General. 
Many of the colonies — notably New York and New 
Jersey (of which latter colony Hamilton became 
governor) — did their best to aid the measure. And 
although the organization limped along for some 
years, involving Neale in debt, it seems probable that 
it was useful to the oolonies, and that it had attained 
some degree of success by the time that the act of 
Anne, already referred to, went into effect. 

Thomas Neale was a character of no y Sw-promi- 
nence in England. He seems for many years to have 
been a favorite at Court. As early as Jane 20, 1664, 
he was noticed in Pepys's Diary. Thirty years later 
he fell under the observant eye of John Evelyn who 
had something to say about his business ventures and 
money-making schemes. He probably belonged to the 
class of confirmed officer-holders, and was a "deter- 

flbid., pp. BT-88, Here finrt printed hy Profeaor JuneMn who 
obMined an «xMt eopf from tbe Poblie Beeord OfB<« in London in 1801. 

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mined and adventurona specnlator, qoiok to seize any 
opportunity for personal profit."* He died about the 
close of the century, perhaps in 1699. There is not as 
yet the slightest evidence to indicate that he ever 
came to America. But his patent and the resulting 
postal organization form an interesting commentary 
on his life, and certainly marked an epoch in tiie his- 
tory of an American institution. 

Neale's esperiment did not prove remunerative to 
him. In fact, after a few years he found himself with- 
out resources, and shortly before his death, deeply in 
debt, he assigned his interest in the colonial organiza- 
tion to Hamilton and an Englishman by the name of 
West, to both of whom he was owing money. In the 
spring of 1703 Andrew Hamilton died, and for three 
or four years hie widow and West together seem to 
have managed the posts. By 1706 Mrs. Hamilton and 
West urged that the patent, which still had seven and 
a half years to run, might be extended for another 
term of twenty-one years. But the English Post- 
ma&ters-Oeneral, Cotton and Frankland, objected to 
the proposition, and favored the purchase of the patent 
by the home government. This accordingly was done 
in 1707, and the American postal service became 
thereby vested in the Crown. John Hamilton, son of 
Andrew, was appointed to his father's old place of 
deputy Postmaster-G-eneral, and retained it until 1722, 
when he resigned.^ 

*jBm«eoii, Ibid., p. Z5. I have r«lied on Profeaaor JameBcm'a BOtoa 
on Nesle's CKreer, which are added to Mies Woollen's monogiaph. 

T Ewbert Jajee, The History of th« Pott Offioe from ita Eatabliah- 
meat dDwn to 1636 (London: Beutley, 1893), pp. 114, 116. Hr. Joyce 

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The act of 1710 which reorganized the English Post- 
Office, although it was partly arranged in order to 
provide a war revenae, represented a phase of the 
general policy of Wiiliam and Mary, and their imme- 
diate BQCcessors. Henceforth the Crown meant to 
exercise its prerogative over varioas colonial matters. 
The act involved the control in America of a deputy 
PostmaBter-Qeneral. Yet it was not necessary for a 
while to disturb John Hamilton in his position. He 
had, from the time of the sale of the old patent in 1707, 
been under direction of the Crown authorities. It is 
perhaps worth noting that there was no express state- 
ment in the act directly referring to an American 
officiaL But frequent allusions to "her Majesty's Post- 
master-Gkneral .... and his Deputy and Deputies by 
him thereunto sufficiently authorized" gave clear legal 
basis for an American appoinbuent. The * ' chief Letter 
Office" in the colonies was designated as being at New 

There was some slight objection to the act of 1710 
as a measure of taxation, for there were explicit terms 
about the rates of postage. According to Lieutenant- 
Governor Alexander Spotswood, writing to the Board 
of Trade in 1718, the people of Vir^nia objected to the 
rates as a kind of tax which should have had the con- 
sent of their own General Assembly.* But the act was 
designed only incidentally to produce revenue. So far 
as it concerned the American colonies, it was prob- 

haa writt«a from the sonrcM an ezccHleiit diapter on "American Pasta, 
1692-1707," pp. 110 ff. 

«G. L. Beer, Britith Cobmial PoKoy, 17S4-176S (1907), p. 34, foot 

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ably primarily intended to bring them into closer rela- 
tions with the home government, although it could 
hardly help bringing them into closer union among 

Numerous colonists held the ofiSoe of deputy Post- 
master-Qeneral in America. Spotswood of Virginia, 
having for years been interested in perfecting 
postal arrangements, served in the position from 1730 
to 1739. But quite the most capable and distingoisbed 
occupant of the office before the Revolution was 
Benjamin Franklin. Franklin made the American 
colonial postal organization not only efficient, but also 
lucrative. It was said to have yielded to England by 
1774 a regular annual income of £3000 sterling.* The 
period of Franklin's service as deputy Postmaster- 
General extended from 1753 to 1774. In the latter year 
he was dismissed as one result of the dramatic and 
scathing invective directed against him by Solicitor- 
Q«neral Wedderbnm before the Committee of the 
Privy Council — an attack upon him for the part he had 
taken in procuring and making public the letters of 
Hutchinson and Oliver which were supposed to be dis- 
tinctly slurring on colonial men and measures. This 
bitter attack, followed by Franklin 'a ignominious dis- 
missal from office, aroused the American colonists to 
a high pitch of feeling against the English government, 
and induced them under what they regarded as the 
pressure of necessity to turn to the creation of an inde- 
pendent or so-called constitutional American Fost- 

« ArokiVM, I, SOI. 

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All through the early part of 1774 William Goddard, 
an energetic printer and newspaper editor of Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore, worked hard to organize an 
American postal establishment independent of Eng- 
land. Els plan, although clearly against the statute 
of 1710," met with very general enconragement. Vari- 
ous colonial Assemblies approved it. Moreover, it 
commended itself to several of the delegates to the 
First Continental Congress. There can be no doubt 
that Goddard *s efforts were influential in bringing 
about the first formal action in the matter which Con- 
gress took on July 26, 1775. On that day it was deter- 
mined "That a postmaster General be appointed for 
the United Colonies, who shall hold his office at Philad*, 
and shall be allowed a salary of 1000 dollars per an : for 
himself." To fill the position thus created, Benjamin 
Franklin was unanimously chosen on the same day. 
There were numerous details of organization arranged 
for by Congress at the time. These need not concern 
ns. It is simply important to observe that this action 
marked the tme beginning of an independent postal 
service under the direct control of the central conti- 
nental government." 

Throughout the period of the Bevolntion there were 
obvious difficulties in the way of any successful postal 
organization. These difficulties of various Mnds, but 
largely of an administrative nature, can be traced by 

u Section 17. 

u GodcUid '• work caJi 011I7 be nnderatood from an ejiaminatJon of 
the material! eoUeeted in Amvrican AroMvet, I, SD0-S04. IE, S30-S3T, 
«50, 803, 961-983, 1160. IV, 18«. VI, 1012-1013. 

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means of rather scanty entries in the Journals of Con- 
gress " It is enough to say that the Poat-Office, like 
other administratiTe work, was managed through com- 
mittees of Congress, although it was probably true 
that considerable freedom of direction had to be left 
to the Postmaster-General himself. Franklin went 
to France in 1776, the year following his appoint- 
ment. His place as Postmaster-General was taken 
by his son-in-law, Richard Bache. Bache in turn was 
succeeded early in 1782 by Ebenezer Hazard. Hazard 
retained office until Washington named his successor 
under the new govermuent in the antmnn of 17S9. It 
was certainly natural that the three holders of the 
office from 1775 to 1789 should have come from Penn- 
sylvania. For most of that period Pennsylvania — 
occupying a central geographical position well suited 
for administrative work that involved the interests of 
the thirteen oonunnnities — was the seat of the central 
governmental organization." 

It should perhaps be noted that in October, 17S2, a 
new ordinance — ^the result of experience and of an 
effort on the part of Congress to combine various 
scattered recommendations which had been offered 
from time to time — was formulated with rather excep- 
tional care. This October ordinance remained the fun* 
damental law of the postal organization until Septem- 
ber, 1789." 

U December %, 1775; Februarj 1, August 29-30, September 3, 177S, 

■'The dates for the respective appoiutmentB at Bache and Ha>ard 
were November 7, 177fi, and January 28, 1782. Bee JottriMlt. 

u Jbid., October 18 and December £«, 1782. 

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From the etandpoint of 1789 the postal organization 
had already proved to be an important factor in help- 
ing to unite the colonies and the states which were 
formed during the Revolutionary epoch. The roota 
of the organization extended farther back into colonial 
times than those of any central institution for admin- 
istrative purposes. In fact it must have gradually 
asBmned many of the characteristic features of an 
executive department from the days when, imder 
Neale'a patent early in the last decade of the seven- 
teenth centutT', it began to be efficient and generally 
useful." It was not strange that the proper readjust- 
ment of the postal organization under the new govern- 
ment took time to work out. On me other hand the 
Post-Office as a rather distinctively business or admin- 
istrative organization, as distinguished from those 
political organizations like the Treasury and the 
Department of State on which the very life of the 
nation depended, could be safely conducted, for a time 
at any rate, on the basis which the Congress of the 
Confederation bad provided. 

On September 9, 1789, the House of Bepresentatives 
proposed to continue postal arrangements on the basis 
of the old ordinances — "according to the rules and 
regrulations prescribed by the ordinances and resolu- 
tions of the late Congress." The Senate was dis- 
inclined to accept this suggestion, but it went no 
farther than to draw up a bill which provided for the 

II Profemor Jameaon called atteation iueidenUlljr to this point of 
view is hii DotM to Mi«i WooUey't monograph of IBM, op. eit., p. 2S. 

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temporary establishment of a Post-OflSce. This was 
finally passed and beoame the law, with President 
Washington's approval, on September 22. Three days 
later, on September 25, Washington sent the name of 
Samnel Osgood to the Senate as first Postmaster- 
Gleneral nnder the Constitntion. The nomination was 
ratified on the following day. Osgood entered npon 
his duties at once." 

Osgood, the first Postmaster-Oeneral, was a man 
of education and experience. He graduated at Har- 
vard College in 1770. Besides serving as an officer 
during the early days of the Bevolutionary War, he had 
taken an active part in framing the constitution of 
Massachusetts. He was elected to the Massachusetts 
Senate, but soon went to the Continental Congress. 
There, after several years of setrioe, he was chosen in 
1785 as one of the three Treasury Commissioners — 
offices that he and his two colleagaes had recently sur- 
rendered in order to make way for Hamilton, the new 
Secretary of the Treasury." 

There is abundant evidence clearly to indicate that 
the temporary arrangement of the postal organization 
was regarded at the time as far from satisfactory. 
Energy in its administration was lacking, and revenues 
were small. In the first fonr annual messages of 
Washington the need of adequate legal provision for 
the postal service was regularly brought to the atten- 
tion of Congress." But Congress, while by no means 

>* 1 StaUita at Large, p. 70. AniiaU of Congrea*, I, 80-68, 982-923, 
02T-S28. S. B. Mosher, Executive Begiater, p. 10. 

II Appleton, Cyclopaedia of American Biography, TV, 600. 

» Uenaget and Fapert of th« PrendenU, I, 66, «6, 88, 107, 128, 132. 

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inclined to disregard the Bnbject, was occupied with 
matters of more immediate importance. At length, 
after several temporary measures had been provided, 
a bill was signed on May 8, 1794, by Washington, which 
formed the first adequate legal and working basis 
for a permanent national Post-Office as a settled 

If the statutes which apply to the postal organiza- 
tion over the first forty years of its existence under the 
Constitution are closely observed, it will be found that 
the term "Department" was not used to characterize 
it for many years after 1789. At the outset the Post- 
master-General was, in the eyes of the law, an official 
in charge of the "Post-Office." At least as early as 
1810 the postal organization was definitely termed the 
"Post-Office Establishment."" The phrase **PoBt- 
Offioe Department" may be found in the statute law 
of Monroe's administration.^ Mnally, in the matter 
of legal phraseology, attention may be called to the 
fact that the Post-Office department was not termed 
an "Executive Department" until the revision of the 
statutes in 1873. This last matter is worth a moment' 

Soon after the close of the Civil War, Congress had 

u 1 jtalntM at Large, pp. 178, 818, 232, 857. The rsfoMDCM are to 
the Mta of Angnst 4, 1700; Uareli 3, 1701; P«bniai7 20, 1702; H&f 8, 

■ 2 Btatvtu at Large, p. S02. April 30, 1810. 

114 StaWtet at Large, p. 102. Hueb 3, 1826. Tha mppeannM of 
tk« word "deputment" in the Ute of Harcli 2, 1790, aad April 30, 
ISIO, wu ToerA-j ineidantAL I7nit«d Btatt* tb. Kmt&da (1837) in 6 
Cnneh, £«pi>rt» of Catea . ... in the United State* Cireitit Court of tha 
Dittriet of Cohtmb^ (1809), p. 27S. 

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e . 


forced upon it the task of reviBiiig, consolidating, and 
amending the statutes relating to the Post-Office 
Department. Over a period of several years the 
sabject was carefnlly considered untU the law of Jnne 
8, 1872, — the most elaborate statute in the legal history 
of the organization — was enacted." Curiously enough 
there was no reference in the entire act to the Depart- 
ment as being reckoned in terms "executive," 
although for years the Postmaster-General had been 
a member of the Cabinet. In the following year the 
first edition of the Revised Statutes was prepared. 
The edition was approved by President Q-rant on June 
22, 1874. There the language was for the first time 
explicit: "There shall be at the seat of Government 
an Executive Department to be known as the Post- 
Office Department. ' ' It seems probable that the failure 
to oharaoterize the Department as "Executive" in 1872 
was a mere oversight. Certainly the Post-Office 
Department was an Executive Department by virtue of 
construction rather than express legislation before the 
law of 1874 actually termed it "Executive."" 

Turning back to the early years of the postal organi- 
zation, it is clear from the debates in 1791 that there 
was at that time some fear of the executive power 
acquiring an influence over the Post-Office. There was 

B 17 SlofutM at Large, p. 28S. The debates which led np to tbe ket 
mxj be found in the Congretnoiua Oloht, 42 Cong., 8 mm. (1871-1872), 
Dee«mber S, 1871-Jium S, 187S, powm. 

o Mr. Middleton BeuuMi, librvian of the Ii»w Iiibr»r7 of Congren 
and the SupTune Court, has reaflsured me bb to the Bonndneee of this 
interpMtation. pTivate letter of April 1, 1000. Cf. 6 Crandi, Jleportt, 
op. eit., pp. 804, 810-811, 8S2, 888, 87S-S74, pMatdk 

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an impression that the organization, penetrating into 
all parts of the country, might somehow prove to be a 
dangerous political instrument if it should come under 
the control of ambitious and unscrupulous Presi- 
dents or Postmasters-Qeueral. "Through the medium 
of the post-o£Bce," remarked Representative Thomas 
Hartley of Pennsylvania, "a weighty influence may 
be obtained by the Execntive ; this is guarded against 
in England by prohibiting officers in the Post-Office 
Department from interfering in elections." On the 
same ooeasion Vining of Delaware expressed the hope 
that the President would be given no power in the 
business of establishing offices. To a good President, 
he argued, such power would be a burden. To an 
nnscmpnlous President, on the other hand, it would 
be dangerous "in those places only where his interests 
would be promoted." By removing offices of long 
standing, such a man might ''harass those he might 
suppose inimical to bis ambitious views."" 

According to the original act of September 22, 1789, 
the Postmaster-Gleneral was "to be subject to the 
direction of the President of the United States in 
performing the duties .of his office." This provision 
placed the officer from the outset within the range of 
executive control. But it should be observed that it 
implied that the Pre^dent might determine various 
matters, about which the law was sUent, in accordance 
with his own judgment. It. was Jefferson's opinion 
that postal affairs would come under the general 
supervision of the Secretary of State, inasmuch as the 

« AmtaU of Congren, S Cong., 1 bwi. <1701-1793), Dwsembw 6, 1701. 


State Department was intended to include many 
matters of a domestic nature. President Washington, 
however, adopted a different view. "The post office 
(as a branch of the Kevenue)," he wrote to Secretary 
Jefferson on October 20, 1792, "was annexed to the 
Treasury in the time of Mr. Osgood; & when Col° 
Pickering was appointed thereto, he was informed, as 
appears by my letter to him dated the 29 day of 
August, 1791, that be was to consider it in that light."" 
This explained why the first annual report of Post- 
master-General Osgood was addressed in 1790 to 
Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury." But it should 
also be observed that the theory of the Post-Office as 
part of the revenue system was in accord with that of 
the English government, and was favored and acted 
upon by the American Congress. 

As early as 1792 the law provided that the Post- 
master-Oeneral should render a quarterly account to 
the Secretary of the Treasury." The provision re- 
appeared in the matured statute of 1794." In 1797 the 
law prescribed an annual report from the Postmaater- 
GJeneral concerning certain post roads, such report to 
be rendered to Congress." In 1799 that officer was 
explicitly required to report annually to Congress 
"every post road which shall not, after the second year 
from its establishment, have produced one third of the 

» QaiUvd Hunt, quoting tiom MS. mutcm in American Jouniat of 
Iniemaiional Lav (Jannaij, 1009), m, 14S-148. 
Vjlftnol* of CottgrMt, U, E1M. 
f 1 Statute* at Large, p. 232. 
"Ibid., pp. 357 ff. 
"IWA, p. 612. 

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expense of earryiog the mail on the flame."*' The 
evidence of the law proved clearly that Congress 
regarded it as its dnty to keep close watch of the postal 
organization as a factor in the revenue system of the 

The practice of the Postmaster-General of maldng 
an annual report on the condition and needs of his '■ 
Department to the President — a practice familiar | 
enough to-day — originated in an apparently casual 
way under President Monroe. John Quincy Adams 
left this slight piece of evidence as a record of the 
origin of the practice. Commenting on Postmaster- 
Cl«neral John McLean — the official whom he had 
reappointed at the beginning of his term in March, 
1825, but who had served in the place under his pred- 
ecessor, President Monroe — ^A.dams wrote : 

I desired him to make me a report upon the concerns of the 
Department, which has been usual yearly since he came into 
the Post OfSce [in 1823]. It bad not heretofore been cus- 
tomary, bnt the practice was introduced within these few 
years by Mr. Monroe, and appears to be much approved." 

The practice, it would seem reasonable to conclude, 
indicated at the time of its origin an increasing per- 
ception on the part of Monroe of the desirabiUty of a 
more intimate knowledge of administrative needs, as 
well perhaps as a purpose to strengthen his power of 
directing the administration of an official whose work 
was becoming daily of greater importance to the 
government. At any rate, from Monroe's day to this 

» Ibid., p. 741. 

n Memoirs of JoJm (Juinas ASams, VII, M. Nov«mb«r 17, I82S. 

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the practice haB been followed, and amonnts to an 
established castom. 


The four Postmastera-Gleneral who succeeded Sam- 
uel Osgood — reckoning from Osgood's retirement in 
August, 1791, to July, 1823, — were men of no very 
marked distinction, with the single exception of 
Timothy Pickering. Aa a rale they had bad college 
educations, were lawyers by training, and had attained 
to some degree of political prominence in their various 
local communities or states before they were sum- 
moned to take charge of the national postal establish- 
ment. Gideon Granger of Connecticut assumed the 
office at the comparatively youthful age of thirty-four 
years, and held it continuously for upwards of twelve 
years, from November, 1801, to February 25, 1814. 
His son, Francis Granger of New York, served in the 
same office under President W. H. Harrison and for 
a few months under Harrison's successor. President 
Tyler. The choice by Monroe of John McLean in 1823 
brought to the head of the establishment as sixth 
Postmaster-General a young man of large ability and 
of positive merits as an organizer. In fact, McLean 
was the first really remarkable figure in the history 
of the office since 1789." 

Although a native of New Jeraey, where he was bom 
in Maroh, 1785, John McLean came to Washington 
from Ohio. There he had won a high reputation aa a 

3S, 78, SS, 00, 06, 183- 

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lawyer. In 1812, at the age of twenty-seven, he was 
sent to Congress from Gincinnati. Later he was 
elected a judge of the Ohio Supreme Court, a positiou 
which he resigned for the sake of beooming Commis- 
sioner of the General Land Office ui 1822. This latter 
place as well as the Postmaster-Q«neralship he prob- 
ably owed to his friendship for John C. Calhoun, Sec- 
retary of War in Monroe's Cabinet McLean acted 
as Postmaster-General for nearly six years (1823- 
1829), having been retained — like Southard and Wirt 
— by President John Quiney Adams in 1825. When he 
died in April, 1861, he had served for more than thirty 
years as an Associate Justice of the United States 
Supreme Court, a distinction conferred upon him by 
President Jackson in March, 1829. A consistent oppo- 
nent to the extension of slavery, he made himself par- 
ticularly well known to men of anti-slavery views by 
the (urcumstance of his opinion in the Dred Scott case 
in 1857, when he dissented along with his colleague, 
Justice Benjamin R. Curtis, from the decision ren- 
dered at that time by Chief -Justice Taney. On the eve 
of President Adams 's administration he had been sug- 
gested as fitted for a cabinet position." And, though 
he was acting on the Supreme Court bench, President 
Tyler, in September, 1841, nominated him as Secre- 
tary of War. The Senate confirmed the nomination 
without delay; and he was actually commissioned to 
the office. But he declined the appointment.* He was 

BAduns's Menurirt, TH, 864. Noremtwr 30, 1S27. 
»Ibtd., VI, eoa, 51«. Fabruarj II, Much 2, 182S. 
"MoBber, p. 131. 

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not merely among the list of men ' ' mentioned ' ' for the 
Presidency many times between 1830 and 1860. The 
Anti-Masonic party in 1830 intended to nominate 
Judge McLean as their candidate for the office of 
President, but were obliged finally to agree npon 
William "Wirt In 1835 the Ohio Legislature named 
McLean for President. In the "Whig oonvention of 
1848 he received two votes for President on the first 
ballot. Again in 1856 he was considered as an ehgible 
candidate by the American party. Finally, his name 
appeared on the first three ballots taken at the Chioago 
convention — the Bepablican gathering which distin- 
guished itself by nominating on the fourth ballot 
Abraham Lincoln. By that time he was, of course, too 
old a man to be considered seriously for the burden- 
some position of President, for he had passed bis 
seventy-fifth birthday in the previous month of 

McLean's years spent in Washington at the head of 
the postal adminiBtration were full of activity and 
accomplishment. He impressed the contemporaries 
of that epoch in his career — ^notably John Qninoy 
Adams and Edward Everett — as a man of force and 

K BetidM aathoritiM ftlroady cited in this paragraph, I hava depeodvd 
on E. Stanwood, Siitory of t\e Fretideney (18BS), pp. 166, IBS, 230, 
236, 264, 270, 2S9, 2M; J. B. Thajer, Catf on ConttiUtwnal Lav, I, 
402 fF.; W. B. Sprague, A Diaeoune dalivered Sunday Honing, AprU 7, 
18S1, in the Second Frethyierian Chureh, Albany, «n eotMnemoraiion of 
the Utt Bon. John MeLean, LL. D. (Albany: 1861) ; D. W. Clark, TA« 
Problem of Life; a funeral dinuinne on the oecaaiou of tbe deatii of Hon. 

John McLean, LL. D Preached in Weslej Chape), CiaeiDnati, at 

the Joint requeat of the Pastor and the family of the Deeeaaed, April 28, 
1861 (Clueinnati: 1661); Applston, Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 
TV, 144. 

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ability. From the outset, whatever the rank of his 
office might be — and he rated it low, aa we have seen — 
he was considered as the social if not the intellectual 
equal of such men as Calhoun, Wirt, and others high 
pp in administrative circles. Shortly before his 
inauguration as President, Secretary of State Adams 
and his wife dined at McLean's house in Georgetown." 
And later, President Adams was on terms of familiar 
intimacy with his Postmaster-Qeneral, consulting him 
on many matters which concerned the postal service. 

Adams's Memoirs are particularly enlightening on 
the more general features of McLean's work as Post- 
master-General. "Mr. McLean has greatly improved 
the condition of the Post-Office Department," com- 
mented the President on October 23, 1827, ". . . . and 
is perhaps the most efficient officer that has ever been 
in that place. But it is a place of more patronage and 
personal influence than those of all the other heads of 
Departments put together."" About a month later 
Adams remarked: "This officer, who came into that 
place in 1823, has given great satisfaction in the 
administration of it. For three or four years before, 
it had been a burden upon the Treasury, requiring 
annual appropriations of nearly a hundred thonsand 
dollars a year. Its condition since then has been con- 
stantly improving, and this year the receipts exceed 
the expenditures more than a hundred thomand 

" Memoirt, VI, 873, 4&1, 479, 4SS, MB. 
»Ibid., Vn, 3«. 

Tbid., vn, 363-384. November 30. The flgnrea in McLewi'a 
Beport of 1827 were |100,S1Z. Benatt Dootmentt, 80 Cong., 1 mm. 

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McLean's adminiatration of postal affairs was 
orderly and eoonomical. His first annual reports 
which, as we have seen, he was induced to make by 
President Monroe, were brief. As a rule, however, 
they revealed improving conditions in the finances 
of the establishment, notwithstanding eonspioaous 
increases In the number of post-offices and the mileage 
of post roads, as well as a large and steadily growing 
corps of employees which nnmbered in 1829 nearly 
thirty tbonsand.** By the close of McLean's term the 
country could reckon nearly eight thousand post- 
offices, although there had been but seventy-five in 
1789. In 1827, as evidence on the part of Congress of 
appreciation of the increasing burdens of the position, 
McLean's salary was advanced from four to six thou- 
sand dollars." The PosbnaBter-Q-eneral was thus 
placed in this respect on an equality with the four Sec- 
retaries in the Cabinet. 

The friendly relations existing between President 
Adams and his able Postmaster-General at the outset 
of the administration were not destined to last through 
the four-year term. As time elapsed, Adams became 
suspicious of McLean. He was clearly disturbed lest 
McLean, a friend of Calhoun and Andrew Jackson, 
might be induced to use his position and influence 

(1SS7-1620), I, 8se. From 1789 to 1831 there were onfy elevea y«tn in 
wUeh the Post-Offle* Deputment did not torn In some mtpliM to tlie 
Tr«MDi7. W. L. Wilflon, "The American Poat-Offiee," p. 259 in Tfce 
8Mp of State, bj Thaw at the Hehn (Boaton: 1903). 

** McLean 'a Beport of 1S28 giveB 26^56 peraona. Sauite Doewnentt, 
20 Cong., 2 MH., I, 180. 

u 4 StatMtet at Large, p. 239. Bee Appendix A to this voltune, p. 3M: 

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against the real welfare of the admimstration that he 
was serving. Clay, Secretary of State and distinctly 
the leading member of the Cabinet, was also suspicions 
of McLean, and revealed to the President in the spring 
of 1825 his bitter feeling against him." It was a time 
of small factions and disintegration of parties — a 
transition epoch in politics. Bnt Adams was not the 
man to act hastily, or to allow mere impressions to get 
the better of his judgment of McLean. Only toward 
the close of his Presidency do his Memoirs show deep- 
seated bitterness and contempt for what he was wont 
to call McLean's "dnplidty." 

There had been some disagreements between Adams 
and McLean about certain Post-Office appointments 
and other business relating to the postal administra- 
tion when, in the spring of 1828, the President was con- 
templating McLean's dismissal from office. Even th^ 
Adams felt obliged to admit that he could fix npon no 
positive act on McLean's part that would really justify 
dismissal. Clay was certainly eager to get rid of 
McLean, and probably influenced his cabinet associates 
as well as Adams by his hostile feelings, for the Cabinet 
was occasionally inclined to minimize McLean's claims 
to ability and accomplishment. There is not enough 
evidence on the basis of which to determine the whole 
ground of President Adams's later impression of 
McLean. He suspected him of intrigue and partisan- 
ship — ^it was neither necessary to prove it, nor perhaps 
possible to do so. The suspicion was enough to inter- 

« Adams '■ jr«motr«, VI, 689. Aprfl SO, 1820. 

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fere with friendly relations, even though it did not lead 
to an actual disnuesaL*' 

IfoLean held decided views as to the general func- 
tions of the Cabinet. Moreover, being a man of spirit, 
he was not likely to keep himself in strict subordination 
to a Cabinet which contained hostile elements which he 
could not quite respect. Recently it has become pos- 
sible to state McLean's views, for they were set forth 
by the Postmaster-General in a confidential corre- 
spondence with Edward Everett on the subject of 
patronage in elections — a correspondence first oom- 
mnnicated to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 
February, 1908." 

In the course of a letter to Everett of August 27, 
1828, McLean wrote: 

A wide diatinction ezuti between the members of the Cabi- 
net, and other offlcen of the gOTemmeut. There mast be 
unity in tfaia part of the ezecntive. The members of the 
Cabinet are the sustainerg of the President, and as questions 
are often, if not generally, decided by concnrrenee of the 
majority of them, it becomes the decifdou of the Cabinet, and 
each member is bonnd to support it. This is the condition 
<|on which the office is accepted. But, as other officers of the 
; government are not considted, and can have no influence in 
I the policy of the Cabinet, the same obligation is not imposed 
on them. 

Referring directly to himself, McLean said: "I would 
scorn to hold any office, as a creature of any adminis- 
tration. The Cabinet shall never think and decide for 
me, unless I am a member of it."* 

VMemoirt,VI,S29. YII, 275, 343, 349, 3fi6, SeS-SM, 944. Vm, SI. 
a Proeaedingt, Sd series. I, 3S9-S»3. 
• /Md., I, 387. 

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McLean soanded an unmistakable note of defiance 
in these utterances. He was evidently on the defen- 
sive. But, viewed from another standpoint, his words 
lead one straight to the thought that he had at least 
considered the question of his right, or rather his 
claims, to a place in the Cabinet. There, at any rate, 
he could have better defended himself against slurring 
insinuations, or the direct criticism which his col- 
leagues in the administrative work of the government 
might make against him. Although many circum- 
stances had helped to develop the office of Postmaster- 
General from 1789 to 1828, McLean, we may be sure, 
could claim to have done much to raise the office near 
to the rank of the Secretaryships. The subject of 
appointments was necessarily often before the Cabi- 
net. Begarding appointments the Po8tmaBter-Q«neral 
had often to be consulted outside the Cabinet. Why 
should not that official be given a place in the select 
group of the President's special adviserst 

There is but one clear instance, so far as I have yet 

been able to discover, of fi Postmaster-GJeneral being- 

^ invited jnto^ cabinet counoU before this time. The 

istance was recorde3^""By~Jolm Quincy Adams as 

icurring on January 5, 1822, when Postmaster- 
Gfeneral B. J. Meigs, Jr., was summoned into a meeting 
'k>f the Cabinet at President Monroe's, while an 
appointment — that of General Van Rensselaer to the 
Albany, N. T., post-office — was under consideration.* 
'While no doubt exceptional, it seems unlikely that this 
instance can be unique. Moreover, it may well be 

OUoMofri, V, 480ff. 

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doubted whether McLean himself would have Bub- 
scribed his signature to the confidential statement 
made to Everett — that "other officers of the govern- 
ment are not consnlted, and can have no infinenoe in 
the policy of the Cabinet" — ^had his words been 
intended for publication. He probably knew better. 


In the latter part of February, 1829, the list of Jack- 
son's proposed cabinet advisers became known. On 
February 23 Webster spoke of the "prodigious excite- 
ment .... produced by the new Cabinet List." He did 
not give the list, but he remarked that it "has set all 
Washington in a buz — friends rage, & foes laugh."" 
Two days later, without one word of comment, John 

Eoy Adams recorded the list in his Diary. Moljean 
named third on the list as Postmaster-Qeneral, 
wing Van Buren as Secretary of State, and 
Ingham as Secretary of the Treasury." On February 
26 the same list appeared in the Washington Tele- 
graph, a paper looked upon as the official organ of the 
new administration, and was copied widely. The 
announcement was of coarse a very interesting news 
item, but it was at once criticised as an act of dis- 
courtesy to the Senate, which must ratify the names 
before tbey could become appointments. The real 
innovation — and as such, quite worth comment — ^was 
the inclusion of the office of Postmaster-Qeneral in the 

« Letter* of Daniel Wehtter («d, C. H. Vm Tjno), pp. 141-142. 
«Jf«iw>«M, Vin, 00. 

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John McLean was never nominated hy Jackson to 
the Senate as Poatmaster-Oeneral ; but he served in 
that capacity— probably at Jackson *8 request — from 
March 4 to March 9, 1829. The dnties of that office fell 
to William T. Barry of Kentucky. Barry as Post- 
master-Qeneral became a cabinet associate just as 
McLean was first intended to be. Something had 
occurred between February 26 and March 7 to induce 
Jackson to alter his original plan, for on the latter day 
McLean was appointed as an Associate Justice of the 
Federal Supreme Court." 

In the absence of direct evidence from Jackson or 
McLean on the nature of what occurred, late in Feb- 
ruary or early in March, to change the original plan, 
we are obliged to depend npon at least three records 
left by three men, all of whom were in Washington at 
the time. The three men were ez-President John 
Qnincy Adams; Amos KendaU, an editor, politician, 
and friend of Jackson who served as Barry's successor 
at the head of postal affairs ; and Nathan Sargent, also 
an editor and newspaper correspondent who was 
employed during the latter part of his life in certain 
subordinate positions in the government service. As 
historic evidence these records are by no means of 
equal valae, as the reader can easily determine. 

1. Under date of March 6, 1829,.Adams stated that 
he had heard from Southard, former Secretary of the 
Navy in his Cabinet, that McLean "was nominated a 
Judge of the Supreme Court .... a totally new 
arrangement, made within the last two days — and 

m Mother, BseouUve Segieter, p. 108. 

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Mr. Bany of Kentucky, Postmaater-General." Pour 
dayB later, on Maroh 10, Adams wrote that McLean 
"declined serving aa the broom to sweep the post- 

2. The evidence of Amoa Kendall was muoh more 
oironmstantial, and read as follows : 

I waa not conmlted, and did not seek to know, the reasons 
which controlled the selection of the new Cabinet Miniatera. 
In onl7 (me instance was I in any way made acquainted with 

I those reasons. John McLean .... was a political friend of 
General Jackson who gave him the option of remaining at the 
head of the Post-Office Department, or accepting a seat on 
the bench of the Supreme Court then vacant. He decided 
to remain in the Department, but waa soon induced to change 
his mind by the mimagement of Duff Green. Green waa 
extremely proscriptive and nuioy postmaatera were very 
olmoziouB to him, some of them deservedly so. He presented 
certain cases to Mr. McLean and asked whether he would 
remove them, and was answered in the negative. He pre- 
sented the same cases to General Jackson, inquiring whether 
they ought not to be removed, and was answered in the 
affirmative. Mr. McLean was an aspirant to the Presidency, 
and very popular with the poatmogters; and when he found 
that he should probably not be able to protect them from 
removal without losing the favor of the President and bis 
friends, he changed his mind and signifled that upon reflec- 
tion he preferred the judgeship.*' 

3. Sargent's record was remarkably elaborate. 
While in essential accord with the evidence of both 
Adama and Kendall, it introduced several new ideas. 

njf«mo*r«, Yin, 99, 100-110. 

■1 A^UAiograplm of Amot Itenddll, ed. bj hb Mii-m-lAW, WiUiun 
Stiekoey (1672), pp. 804-809. 

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"What I am about to relate," wrote Sargent, "in 
regard to Jndge McLean's appointment was stated by 
Qeneral Cass, at General Porter's in my presence, on 
the evening after the conversation between Oeneral 
Jackson and Judge McLean .... ooonrred, and which, 
he said he had just had repeated to him by the latter 
gentleman, with whom we knew he was on very inti- 
mate terms. Mr. McLean had been Fostinaater- 
Qeneral about six years .... and was nnderstood, as 
he was 'a Jackson man,' to be an aspirant for the posi- 
tion of Secretary of War. Bnt, as Oeneral Jackson 
' I had detennined to put Major Eaton at the head of that 

(department, Mr. McLean's wishes could not be grati- 
fied. But the C^neral proposed that if he should 
remain where he was, the salary of the office should be 
\ raised, and it should be made a cabinet office. With 
\ this Mr. McLean was content, and the new arrange- 
I ment was soon publioly understood. It was known, 
■ however, that General Jackson would adopt the policy 
indicated by the Telegraph in the preceding November : 
viz., that of 'rewarding his friends and pwtishing his 
enemies.' As Mr. McLean had always refused to make 
appointments and removals upon the ground of party 
affinities, and had strongly condemned such a practice, 
the inquiry was naturally made, 'If General Jackson 
adopts this policy, what will Mr. McLean dot. Will he 
carry it out or refuse!' " 

At this point of the narrative Sargent proceeds to 
tell of the happenings as follows : 

The qnestiOD was so often put, and so emphatically answered 
by hia nearest friends in the negatiTe, that the Oeneral 

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deemed it proper to come to an QnderBtanding with, and sent 
for, Mr. McLean, to whom he stated that he should adopt tiie 
policy of removing from snch offices such persons as had, 
during the canvajBs for President, taken an active part in 
politics, and asbed whether he had any objection to this line 
of action. To this Mr. McLean replied in the negative, "but," 
said he, "if thia rule shoold be adopted, it will operate as 
well against your friends aa those of Mr. Adama, as it most 
be impartially execnted." To this Oeneral Jackaon made no 
reply ; but after waUdng up and down the room several times, 
as if cogitating with himaetf, he aaid, "Mr. McLean, will you 
accept a seat npoo the bench of the Supreme Courtl" Thia 
was answered in the affirmative; and he was in due time 
nominated, aa we, who had had the story related to us, 

Adams's brief statement that McLean declined to 
serve as "the broom to sweep the post-offices" would 
seem to contain the important truth. With McLean 
perfectly clear regarding the need of unity in the 
Cabinet, it is inconceivable that he should have 
accepted a place among Jackson's regular advisers 
under circumstances almost certain to compromise 
him. His principles would never have permitted him 
to eonntenance the dictation of an oatsider snch as 
Duflf Green, editor of the Telegraph. There was no 
reasonable basis for Sargent's belief that the question 
of salary had. anything to do with McE^an'a accepting 
or refusing the Postmaster-Q-eneralship. The office 
was already paid aa well as any of the Secretaryships. 
On the other hand, Sargent's view that McLean wonld 

» Public Jfen and JEvent* from the ConmiKiccnient of Mr. UonrtM^ 
AdioinUtratioD, ia 181T, to tha CIoso of Mr. Fillmore '■ .... in I8S3 
(PhilftdfllphU: 187B), I, 10S-l«e. 

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L be content with a cabinet place is interesting and 
f plansible, for it is in accord with the unmistakable 
. impression which McLean bad already conveyed con- 
I fidentially to Everett in his letter of th^ previons 
\ summer. It ia indeed possible that McLean himself 
may have suggested to Jackeon the importance as well 
as the desirability of giving a place in the Cabinet to 
the Postmaster-General. There is, however, no evi- 
dence on the point. We may be certain of this : that ao 
soon as McLean was convinced that Jackson had 
determined to ase the postal organization for personal 
and partisan purposes, he knew that he coald accept 
no place within Jackson's formal cirele of reputable 
advisers, for he had indicated to Everett, and pre- 
sumably to other friends, that he had clear ideals about 
the uses of political patronage. The Associate Justice- 
ship afforded him an honorable and, doubtless, a 
desirable way out of the dilemma. 

In introdneing the Postmaster-Cleneral into the 
circle of the Cabinet for the first time, President Jack- 
son inaugurated a practice that has become a settled 
onstom. There were, no doubt, reasons personal to 
Jackson for acting as he did in the matter. And these 
personal reasons have been dwelt upon by every writer 
who has attempted to study the epoch. On the other 
hand, far too little attention has hitherto been given 
to certain features ia the situation which tended in the 
long run — if not in Jackson's eyes — to justify the 
practice. The postal organization in 1829 had reached 

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a stage in its development when it may have seemed to 
the chief magistrate to demand closer relations 
between him and its administrative head, the Post- 
master-General It looked very much as though Presi- 
dent Monroe, late in his seoond term, had come to some 
such conclusion when he asked for an annual report 
from Postmaster-General McLean. Again, the fact 
that the significance of postal development — itself the 
result of complex and very far-reaching processes — 
was brought clearly before his contemporaries by 
McLean, revealed McLean as a man of marked admin- 
istrative ability and judgment whom Jackson could 
hardly afford to overlook. Already the burdens and 
responsibility of the office had assumed such import- 
ance in the eyes of Congress that that somewhat inert 
body had been willing to place it on a footiog of 
equality with the Secretaryships in respect to salary. 
In future the salary alone wonld be enough to attract 
rather a better type of man to it. 

There were, of course, dangers in introducing the 
Postmaster-General into the Cabinet, if it were 
assumed that the officer could become in that way the 
mere puppet of an unscrupulous President bent upon 
manipulating every appointment within his range to 
his personal ends. No doubt these dangers were to 
some extent realized under Jackson. And there was 
occasional criticism directed to exactly this aspect of 
the matter." But, after all, the presence of the Post- 
master-General in the Cabinet, or his absence from it, 

B Pliny Hilee, Portal Beform; Ita urgent NeCflaaity and Prarticability 
(18SS), p. lOS. 

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ooTild hardly restrain an nnscmpaloas President from 
questionable methods of influence over appoiutments 
within the postal organization. In any case, the power 
of that influence was bound to be to some degree in the 
President's hands. In introducing the Postmaster- 
General into the Cabinet, Jackson began a practice 
that probably tended, in the long run, to invigorate the 
workings of the postal establishment, notwithstanding 
the fact that Barry, successor to McLean in the office, 
made a conspicuously dismal record." 

By a curious coincidence in the following year- 
late in the autumn of 1830 — an English Postmaster- 
General, the fifth Duke of Richmond, was for the first 
time in the history of the English office given a seat in 
the Cabinet. The Duke of Richmond thus served in 
the ministry of Lord Grey until the spring of 1834." 
Since the opening of Queen Victoria's reign in 1837 
the English office has been regarded as political, usually 
changing its occupant with every change of ministry." 
The English Postmaster-General has . often been 
reckoned a member of the Cabinet since that time, 
although it was not until 1866 that he could be a mem- 
ber of the House of Commons. Among the more 
notable oocupants of the office, who have been members 
of English Cabinets, may be named; the Marquis of 
Clanricarde (1846-1852); the Duke of Argyll (1856- 

f^Utttage* and Papvrt, m, 116-117. Benatt Doctme»U, £3 Cong., 
1 seat. (1833-183S), I, 41-47. Ibid., 23 Cong., 2 mm., I, 40-45. Kondall, 
Aittobiograplty, p. SSI. Webster, Workt (ed. 1861), IV, 148 ff. 

■Bued upon an ttumin&tion of lists of the miniatries which appeared 
year by year in the Boyal Kdlendart from 1806. See Qrerille, Memoirt 
(ed. Henry Beeve, 1875), n, 68-88. m, 88. 

MLowdl, Ooventment of SngUtnd, I, IIS. 

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1859) ; the Earl of Elgin (1860) ; Lord Stanley of 
Alderley (1861-1865) ; Lord Hartington (1869-1872) ; 
and the Bight Honorable Lord John J. B. Manners 
(1875-1880). The English Postmaster-Oeneral has 
held a seat in nearly every Cabinet since 1892. 

There can be no doubt that, in both the English and 
the American govemmentB, the office of Postmaster- 
Oeneral has been regarded for the better part of a 
century as worthy of high political distinction. More- 
over, in each country that distinction would seem to be 
largely due to a recognition of the immense importance 
to the people of a well-administered postal organiza- 

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THE Seoretaryahip of the Interior established in 
1849^ is the last of the principal administratiTe 
offices which went back for its inception to the notable 
decade of 1780-1790, the epoch during which the Gon- 
stitntion was drawn up and ratified. The particular 
circumstance which forced the need of its establish- 
ment on Congress was the enormous burden of work 
that rested on the shoulders of the Secretary of the 
Treasury. This burden was partly due to the war with 
Meiioo which involved such resulting acquisitions of 
territory by the United States as New Mexico and 
California. It was increased by the addition of the 
Oregon country, which came to us in 1846 by treaty. 

Although the ideal which the statute of 1849 made 
effective was considerably older, the statute itself was 
the indirect result of suggestions on the part of Presi- 
dents, statesmen, and others familiar with administra- 
tive needs, which had been eipreased from time to time 
since the days of Madison's Presidency. 

When Pelatiah Webster printed his remarkable 
pamphlet in 1783 entitled A Dissertation on the Politi- 
cal Union and Constitution of the Thirteen United 

1 8tat»te» at Large, pp. 896 fl. Uarek 8, 1840. 

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States of North-America, he then proposed in his 
scheme of govenuQent that there should be a "Secre- 
tary of State/* an official who, as he phrased his 
thought, "takes knowledge of the general policy and 

inferno! goyemment I mention a Secretary of 

State," he added, "becanse all other nations have one 
.... the multiplicity of affairs which naturally fall 
into Ms office will grow so fast, that I imagine we shall 
soon be under necessity of appointing one."* Four 
years later, in his project of a Council of State pre- 
sented to the Philadelphia Convention, GouTemeur 
Morris arranged for a Secretary of Domestio Affairs 
whose business it should be to "attend to matters of 
general policy, the state of agriculture and manufac- 
tures, the opening of roads and navigations and 
the facilitating communications through the TTnited 
States.*" Likewise, in his plan of government for 
France drawn up a few years after 1787, Morris made 
provision for a "MiDister of the Interior."* 

In fact, the conception of some such administrative 
official, however crudely or variously expressed, was 
perfectly familiar to the epoch, Charles Pinokney's 
Observations contained references to a Home Depart- 
ment. Pinokney expressed himself as convinced of 
"the necessity which exists at present, and which must 
every day increase, of appointing a Secretary for the 
Home Department." Apparently he meant that such 
an officer should be made a member of the Cabinet 

*S»tay*, pp. 213-214. The pamphlet wu lint printed at PhiladdphU 
and pnbliihed on FebniaT7 16, 1783. 
1 EUiot, Debatet, V, 446. 
* Sparks, L^e of QotnemeHr Mcrria, HE, 4S1 ff. 

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GounciL' In the antuiuii of 1788 Madison was popu- 
larly considered as the right sort of man to be placed 
in charge of a Home Department under the Constitu- 
tion, should Congress decide to provide for such an 
organization.* In the early summer of 1789, during 
the conrse of the debates on the proper number and 
arrangement of departments, Representative John 
Vining of Delaware was the leading figure to propose 
and urge the establishment of a "Domestic" depart- 

While Congress was not inclined to establish an inde- 
pendent Home Department, it could not escape alto- 
gether the force of sentiment and the argmuents in 
favor of the suggested department. Aocordingly it 
provided a combination of the duties of a Home Depart- 
ment with those of Foreign Affairs. In other words it 
substituted a Department and Secretary of State in 
place of its first Intention, a Department and Secretary 
of Foreign Affairs. 

In the winter of 1789-1790, while Jefferson was hesi- 
tating about accepting the appointment as Secretary 
of State, he gave as one reason for hesitation his objec- 
tion to having domestic as well as foreign business to 
attend to. Jefferson confided the first hint of his objec- 
tion to his friend, William Short, in a letter of Decem- 
ber 14, 1789.' The next day Jefferson put his thought 

* GharlM Pinckn^, Obtematioru on th« Pkm of Ooventmmt tttbmitUd 
to the Federal Convention, pp. 10-11. 

* D. HumplkTeTB to Jefferaon, writing from Monut Vernon, Kovemb«r 
S9, 178S, in Bancroft, Hittory of tk« formatten of the Con*titution, II, 

Unnalf of CottgretK, I, 385-386, 412, 602-69S, foitint. 

* Jofferaoii, Writinga (ed. Ford), V, 130. 

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in these words addressed to PreBident Washington: 
"But when I contemplate the extent of that office^ 
embracing as it does the principal mass of domestic 
administration, together with the foreign, I cannot be 
insensible to my inequality to it."* On the following 
January 4, Madison, who had recently seen Jefferson 
at Monticello, made Jefferson's objection qoite clear to 
Washington. "I was sorry to find him," wrote Madi- 
son, "so little biassed in favor of the domestic service 
allotted to him, bnt was glad that his difficulties seemed 
to result chiefly from what I take to be an erroneous 
view of the kind and qnantity of business annexed to 
.... the foreign department. He apprehends," added 
Madison, "that it wiU far exceed the latter which has 
of itself no terrors to him."* 

The theoretical stage of the problem was concluded 
when Jefferson took office in March, 1790, and began to 
administer the business of the Department of State. 
Within a few months of that time he sent to bis col- 
league, Secretary Hamilton, an estimate of department 
expenses, reckoning them from April, 1790, for one 
year. It should be observed that Jefferson divided the 
expenses on the basis of the "Home Office" ($1836) 
and the "Foreign Office" ($2625). The figures are 
enough to indicate that the domestic functions of the 
Secretary of State were almost certain to be exten- 
sive." Moreover the next twenty years were to deter- 

« Wntmgg, V, 140. 

u E. 8. BandAU, Ufa of Thomat JafftrKm (1S58), I, EST, note 1. 

u Gftillaid Hunt in Amtriaui Jownui of IntemaUoiuU Lav {Jmanmrj, 
limt), m, 148. Waihington plaead tha ICiat nadsr Jaflanon^ eharga. 
Ibid., p. 146. 

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mine tuunistakably that the Secretaiy of State was to 
be overbnrcleaed with his manifold duties. In fact, by 
the spring of 1812, all the administratiTe departments 
were so pressed with work that President Madison 
addressed a speoial message to both House and Senate 
on the Babject." 

Madison's brief word written in the face of impend- 
ing war sonnded a note of warning that ooold not 
easily be overlooked. Some minor- changes, it is tme, 
had already been aocomplished, revealing the fact that 
Congress had not been quite heedless of the need of 
reforms and alterations in the departmental organiza- 
tions.** But these changes were not fondamental 
enough to afford relief. On June 12, exactly six days 
before Uie formal declaration of war with England, we 
oome upon the first elear recommendation of a Home 
Department arising from a congressional source after 

Near the beginning of a report read to the House of 
Bepreeentatives on that day — a report chiefly con- 
cerned with conditions that had prevailed for many 
years in the Patent Office as a subordinate division in 
the State Department — ^there occurred this definite 
suggestion: "Your committee, without entering into 
any detailed reasoning on the subject, offer for the con- 

u Meuagei and Fapera, 1, 409. April SO. 

^Aniuiit of Congreu, 10 Coog., S mm. (1808-1809}, pp. 847 ff., 362, 
387-388, 437, 443, 460-452, 461, 1046, 104B, ISBS, 1BS»-I6e0, lOTS, 18SI- 
183S (tut of ftct). 

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sideration of the Legialatare the propriety and neoes- 
aity of authorizing a Home Department, diBtinct from 
the departmentB already established by law. Such 
departments," continued the record, "are known to 
other Ck>vemments, and their benefits have been recog- 
nized in territories far less extensive than those of the 
United States.'"* This came from a oonuaittee of 
which Adam Seybert of Pennsylvania was chairman 
which had been appointed to examine into the organi- 
zation and workings of the Patent Establishment." On 
May 25 Seybert had addressed a letter to Monroe, the 
Secretary of State, asking for his observations on the 
subject, saying at the same time that the occasion 
might afford Monroe an opportunity to oatUne a plan 
for separating the Patent Establishment from the 
State Department." Monroe was harassed with work. 
However, he gave the matter some attention, and 
answered Seybert 's letter on June 10. In general 
Monroe was opposed to all inferior independent 
departments. The Patent Office, he thought, might as 
well remain in charge of the State Department. He 
admitted, however, that foreign affairs eonstituted in 
themselves a sufficient trust for the person at the head 
of the Department of State. "They are," he reflected, 
"very extensive, complicated and important, and are 
becoming more so daily."" 
There was an ominous tone in Monroe's reply which 

u Jnnalf of Congreu, 12 Cong. 1 mm. (ISll-lSlS), Pt. n, p. 217ft. 
«Ibid., p. 143S. 
ujbid., pp. SlWfl. 
a ma,, p. 2192. 

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could not have escaped attentive ears. At any rate 
Seybert's committee felt free to broach the subject of 
a new department to the House, declaring that foreign 
relations were essentially distinct "from many objects 
in the interior of our country." The report was 
printed. But no action was taken on its special sug- 
gestion of a Home Department, for the country was 
soon experiencing the stress and strain of war. 

By 1815 serious weakness^ extending down tvom. 
the principal offices through all the national adminis- 
trative organizations had become more real and were 
more evident than ever. Arrangements within the War 
Department were most unsatisfactory. Within this 
department Indian affairs had proved to be peculiarly 
troablesome. On March 2, 1815, the Senate passed a 
resolution requesting President Madison to instruct 
tiie Secretary of War to make a report on Indian 
affairs chiefly for the purpose, it would seem, of obtain- 
ing a sound basis of information on which to reorgan- 
ize that subordinate branch of administration. There 
was already some disposition to place Indian affairs 
in a department quite by themselves." 

At the moment the headship of the War Department 
was in a state of transition, consequently more than a 
year elapsed before the Senate's request was answered. 
Then came a report on Indian affairs from Secretary 
William H. Crawford ; it was dated March 13, 1816, and 
was communicated to the Senate on the following day. 
It was a long and well-considered docmnent. From 

u/Md., 18 Cong., 8 M8i. (1814181S), Til, 287-288. 

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certain casaal statements one gathers a clear impres- 
sion that Crawford was aware of the burdens to which 
most of the Secretaries in the separate departments 
had long been sabjeoted. He merely hinted at "the 
oreatioii of a separate and independent department" 
without giving any details of a plan. But he was snre 
that if a new department were eBtablished "much of 
the miscellaneous duties now belonging to the Depart- 
ment of State, ought to be transferred to it."" 

Bather more than a month later — on April 20 — 
Macon of North Carolina presented to the Senate a 
resolution. This was passed and yielded unforeseen 
results. The resolution follows : 

Resolved, ThaX tbe Secretaries of the Departments be 
directed to report jointly to the Senate, in tlie first week of 
the next session of Congress, a plan to insoie the annual 
settlement of the public acconntB, and a more certain accoont- 
ability of the public e:^enditQre, in their respective depart- 

The peculiar merit of the resolution was that It 
brought the prindpal officers together on tbe subject 
of the general organization of administrative work. 
By the foUowing December these officers, in consulta- 
tion with the President, had formulated a careful 
report. This report, after reviewing the principles on 
which the several departments were organized, dwell- 
ing with marked stress on the burdens of the Secretary 
of War, and commenting on the notable incongruity in 
having Indian affairs managed in comiection with the 

UjJDiericon State Papen, Indimt Affoira, II, se-SS. 

» JniwOf of Congreu, 14 Cong., 1 asH. (181S-1816), pp. S314Sa. 

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military establishment, proceeded to outline on the 
grounds of actual experience the first clear plan for a 
Home Department in our history. This was the plan 
which lay behind the recommendation of Madison made 
in his last annual message of December 3, 1816, where 

he remarked on "the expediency of an additional 

department in the executive branch of the Qovermnent 
.... to be charged with duties now overburdening other 
departments and with such as have not been annexed 
to any department."** 

Although the inspiration for it may have come in 
part from the Senate resolution, this first plan for a 
Home Department signed by all the principal officers 
except Attomey-Qeneral Bush may be truly termed a 
cabinet measure. It provided for a Secretary whose 
duty it should be to execute the orders of the President 
in so far as they concerned the following five adminis- 
trative divisions: (1) Territorial governments; (2) 
National Highways and Canals; (3) Oenerat Post- 
Office; (4) Patent Office; and (5) Indian Department. 
The plan was communicated to the Senate by Madison 
on December 9. 

Meantime steps had been taken in both the Senate 
and the House to consider that portion of the message 
which related to the possible establishment of an addi- 
tional executive department. William Lowndes of 
South Carolina, chairman of the committee of seven in 

BJfMKVM and Paper*, 1, 5T7; ^WMiIt of Congr'—, 14 Oong., S mm. 
(]8ig-lS17}, pp. 28-80. The raport appauad iu tha national InMH- 
geneer of BfttnTdaf, Dwember 21, 1816, tnd in NUm'i Segitter of that 

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the House chosen to consider the snbject, addreseed a 
letter to the Secretaries on December 22, asking among 
other qnestions whether the accoontability of public 
officers might not be sufficiently served without a new 
execntive department." The Secretaries answered the 
letter carefully on December 31. Their conclusion in 
response to Zxiwndes'a particular query was this : "We 
have no doubt that the just principles of accountability 
would be better preserved, and economy promoted, by 
the adoption of that measure. Equally satisfied are 
we," they added, "that other essential advantages 
would result from it."** 

On January 6, 1817, a bill for the purpose of estab- 
Ushing a Home Department was reported to the Senate 
by Senator Nathan Sanford of New York. The bill was 
similar in most respects to the "cabinet plan"; but it 
introduced the "District of Colmnbla" as a division of 
administration in the new department and omitted the 
division of ' * National Highways and Canals. ' ' Among 
minor readjustments it placed the Mint under the 
supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury. It ran 
a brief course in the Senate. On January 29, by a vote 
of twenty-three to eleven, the Senate refused to listen 
to a third reading. Two Senators of distinction 
opposed the measure, Bufus King of New York and 
Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, the latter a mem- 
ber of the special Senate committee which had intro- 
duced the bill. King recalled the discassions of 1789 
on a similar project, dwelling at length upon the oppo- 

a^niwt*, 14 Craig., 2 mm., pp. 607-W8. 
ajMd., p. OM. 

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sition at that time. He admitted that times had 
changed, yet he failed, he said, to find much reason 
for mnltiplying departments or for having — as he 
expressed it — two Departments of State. A new 
department implied that the Secretary "would have a 
place in the Cabinet, and be one of the President's 
counsellors." The bill reached the House on January 
20. The next day Lowndes read his correspondeuce 
with the Secretaries. Although the reply of the Secre- 
taries of December 31 was judicious, it could hardly 
have helped the progress of the bill, for it was in no 
way compelling or oouclosive of the need of a new 

The failure to establish a Home Department in 1817 
calls for a brief comment. President, Secretaries, 
certain Senators and Bepresentatives, and doubtless 
many of the more thoughtful citizens at all well 
informed about govermnent administration were in- 
clined to favor the measure, yet when the measure 
came to the point of actual construction and enact- 
ment, it was halted and in the end east out. To the 
reader of congressional and newspaper evidence cov- 
ering the years 1816-1817, two questions will be fre- 
quently suggested. It is impossible, moreover, to 
escape the belief that both qaestions were occasionally 
before the minds of men living in those days. 
(1) Could a Home Department be organized and 
administered with a view to economy t (2) Would its 
creation be a constitutional measure t 

Mlhid., pp. 18-19, £3-30, S3, 47, Si, 50, DO, 70, 74-76, 88, £34-239, 

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It should be remembered that the plan of a Home 
Department, while enforced by the growing burdens of 
adminiBtration — some of these burdens doubtless the 
direot result of the war, and others of much longer 
standing — originated in an effort to bring all the exist- 
ing departments into dear aoeoxmtability for their 
expenditures. Without more definite prinoiples of 
accountability than had hitherto existed, any addi- 
tional department would tend not only to increase the 
financial burdens of the government but to render the 
solntion of the basic problem more diffionlt. From the 
standpoint of improved admiuistration a Home Depart- 
ment would seem to have been amply justified by 1817. 
From the standpoint of national economy — a subject 
of special moment for the next decade— it was a meas- 
ure of doubtful consequences and mi^t, in view of 
other needs, be indefinitely postponed. 

There was doubt about the constitutionality of a 
Home Department. This was plainly revealed by an 
anonymous writer in the National Intelligencer who 
printed his reflections on the organization of executive 
departments on February 20 and 22, 1817.' Among 
other things this writer proposed to obtain a "general 
enactment for the construction of the departments'* 

■ The wTit«r, wbocm ba wma, showad Bome ingtoinltf. Hs f«Toi«d 
four principal dopartmants: (1) Bevemie; (2) Domeatie Affairs; <8) 
Foialgn Aflftin; (4) Wu. "Bomwtie Affairs," lie wrote, "natnrsDf 
elum attantion >iit«rioT to foreign affein." The War Dapartmont be 
dirided into two diTiaiona — ann^ and navj. Tlie baada or "condnctora" 
of tlieaa two dlriaions waia to eonatitnta a "Board of War." Domeatie 
affain tw placed in ira dlviaiona, Inelading Indian Affaira, the Poet- 
Offlee, tbe I^nd-Offlee, the Pat«nt Offlee, and tbe tlint. Wer« these 
aitiolaa written by Judge A. B. Woodwirdt 

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in the shape of an amendment to the Constitiition. 
Belief in the absence of constitutional power undoubt- 
edly made certain minds in 1817 peculiarly sensitive 
to and critical of what JackBon characterized many 
years later as tite "supposed tendency to increase 
.... the .... bias of the federal system toward the 
exercise of authority not delegated to it."" 

In this connection it should be noted that the project 
of a Home Department was inevitably entangled with 
that series of speculations which marked the entire 
movement for internal improvements — a movement 
which had its sources in the fundamental question of 
the proper disposition of the nation's money. There 
was apprehension lest the establishment of a Home 
Department would be used as an argument for 
enlar^ng the sphere of domestic legislation by the 
general government. 


In 1824 new light is shed upon the path of the inves- 
tigator bent upon accounting for the establishment of 
the Deparbnent of the Interior in 1849. Clay could 
declare in 1824 with conviction tiiat "a new world has 
come into being since the Constitution was adopted."" 
Already, three years before this utterance in the House 
of Representatives, John Quincy Adams, forced by 
what he characterized as "the increase of the inquisi- 
tive spirit in Congress" to make investigations into 

KDMember 8, ISEQ. Meuaget and Papen, II, MI-MS. 
ijaaaaxy 80, 1824. 

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his own department, recorded these comparisons and 

contrasts : 

The foreign correapondence .... remained mnch the same 

now as it was iu 1800 But the interior coireepondence 

then was with sixteen States ; it is now with twenty-four. It 
was then with a population of less than five, and now of more 
than nine miUions At that time there were in Con- 
gress ahont one hundred and thirty members; there are now 
upwards of two hundred and thirty. Then two or three 
octavo and one folio volume constituted all the docomenta 
printed at a session. Now there are from fifteen to twen^ 
volumes published every year. There are assuredly five calls 
from Congress for information and documents from the 
Departments for one that there was then. Every call requires 
a report." 

It was clear from these facts that the Secretary of 
State, unless he were robust and capable, might find 
his post burdensome in the extreme. 

There appeared in the National Journal of 1824 — a 
paper of that day recently established in Washington 
and edited by Peter Force — various articles written 
by Jadge Augustus B. Woodward. The first of these 
articles that concerns this inquiry was entitled "On 
the Necessity and Importance of a Department of 
Domestic Affairs, in the Government of the United 
States." Appearing on April 24, it was followed at 
irregular intervals by others which touched upon the 
subject of administrative organization or gave detailed 
consideration to different historical aspects of the 
Presidency. Judge Woodward had been a student of 
the American executive for years. Whatever he wrote 

■ jrofnofra of J. Q, AOamt, T, 23ft-840. Jwaxuij 19, 1821. 

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on his favorite theme was likely to be read by states- 
men and other careful observers of public affairs. On 
friendly terms with John Qninoy Adams, he is occa- 
sionally mentioned in Adams's Memoirs. Under date 
of Jnly 24, 1624, Adams wrote of Woodward's articles 
on the Presidency which were then appearing with 
some regularity. "They are," remarked Adams, 
"speculative and historical, referring to past events, 
but bearing so much upon those of the present time 
that I told him he was treading close upon warm 

Elaboration was the most notable feature of Judge 
Woodward's plan for a Department of Domestic 
Affairs. Under the Secretary for such a department 
he would have included eight commissioners to be 
charged with the oversight of the following bnreaux 
or administrative divisions; Science and Art, Public 
Economy, Posts, Public Lands, Mint, Patents, Indian 
Affairs, and Justice. He included in the bureau of 
Public Economy the superintendence and execution of 
internal improvements such as roads and canals, and 
such other matters as the care of unsettled public 
lands, the conservation of forests, slavery, mines, 
fisheries, and general police. The scheme attracted 
widespread notice and gained favorable comment here 
and there. But it lacked simplicity and failed to 
impress men high in administrative circles with its 

"JMd., VI, 401-402. See Note 1 at the ead of this chapter. 
''National JomdmI, April £4, Uaj 20, 1824. The ume artielce were 
raprinted abont a j»t l»t«r in the National Intelligeitoer of April 28, 

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In the autumn of 1824 President Monroe contem- 
plated recommending to Congress a Department of the 
Interior. His reason for not doing bo was recorded hj 
John Quincy Adams under date of April 25, 1825. 
Aocording to Adams, Monroe, having determined to 
recommend an increase in the number of the judges of 
the Supreme Court, was apprehensive lest "it would 
have too much the appearance of a projectiug spirit to 
recommend also additions to the Executive Depart- 
ment.*"* Nevertheless, juat at the close of the second 
session of the Eighteenth Congress, on March 3, 1825, 
a member of the House offered a resolution in favor of 
the establishment of a Home Department for the pur- 
pose of promoting agriculture, manufaotnres, science 
and the arts, and trade between the states by roads 
and canals. The resolution was promptly voted down 
— stamped at once with the disapprobation of the 

Saefa Washington papers as the Naiional Intelli- 
gencer and the National Journal persisted in keeping 
track of the general project. As late as November 10, 
1825 — not many weeks before the assembling of the 
Nineteenth Congress — ^the National Journal copied a 
series of "Bemarks" on the subject of a Home Depart- 
ment which had appeared in the American Athenaeum. 
"We shall feel grateful," concluded the writer in the 
Athenaeum, "if any gentlemen will favour us with a 
paper on this subject, writing in a truly national spirit, 

2S, and 28, 182S. Woodward eomiDiaiuMtod lomfl of his idsaa to ICadi- 
•on. Writtne» of MadiMon (ed. Etmt), tX, SM ff, 

n Uimoirg, VT, SS8-S3S. 

»B«i>ift«Tof DeTxae*. 18 Cong., S mm. (18M-ISSS), I, 740. 

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and tending to elucidate the advantages or disadvan- 
tages that may be expected to result from the estab- 
lishment of a Home Department for the United 

John Qitiney Adams was the first President after 
Madison to call pnblio attention to the need of an addi- 
tional executive department. Under the obl^ation of 
an "indispensable duty," he did so in his first annual 
message of December 6. Remarking that "the Depart- 
ments of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior, which 
early after the formation of the Government had been 
united in one, continue so united to this time, to the 
unquestionable detriment of the public service," he 
went on to refer deferentially to Madison's suggestion 
and said: 

The ezigenciea of the public nrvice and its unaroidable 
deficiencies .... have added yearly cnmulative weight to 
the considerations pregeQt«d by him as persnasiTe to the 
measure, and in Tecommending it to yoor deliberations I am 
happy to have the influence of his hi^ snthority in aid of 
the nudonbting ctmvictions of my own experience." 

Both Madison and Adams could speak with all the 
more authority on the subject because they had each 
had eight years of experience as Secretaries of State 
before they entered upon the work of the Presidency. 
This recommendation of President Adams had been 
carefully discussed by the Cabinet before it was made 
public, as we know from the record of the Memoirs." 
Bush of the Treasury Department urged the immediate 

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oommimication of the recomineudatioii in the mesaage. 
Clay, Secretary of State, while admitting that a new 
executive department "was of most urgent necessity," 
was inclined to believe that Congress could not be per- 
suaded to take any action In the matter. Nevertheless, 
the House promptly sought light on the subject* 
appointing a special committee, of which Daniel Web- 
ster was chairman." Little could Webster have 
dreamed that his interest in the subject, first aroused 
in 1825, was to continue over an interval of almost a 
quarter of a century, and that finally he was to take a 
leading part in the passing of the bill of 1849 which 
actually established the Interior Department. 

On the evening of December 16, Webster called on 
the President for the purpose, among other things, of 
obtaining from Adams his ideas. The President, like 
Clay, was in doubt about the attitude of Congress 
toward any such measure. From his record of the 
interview with Webster the reader may obtain a clear 
impression of his thought. 

I said [wrote Adams], if it was possible in any manner to 
obtain this from Congress it most be by a very short Act, 
expressing in very general terms the objects committed to it — 
the internal correspondence, the roads and canals, the Indians 
and the Patent Office. I referred him to the papers of Judge 
Woodward on a Home Department in the National Journal, 
but observed that was a plan upon a scale much too large for 
the approbation of Congress, to begin with. I have indeed 
' no expectation of success with this Congress for any such 
establishment even upon the simplest plan.* 

"Uemoirt, VII, 83; SegMer of Dehatei, 19 Cong., I bcm. (182S- 
1826), p. 787. 

iiMemoin, TH, 68-64. 

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The interview was apparently only the starting- 
point in the search for information. In the following 
January Webster addressed a letter on the subject to 
the four heads of departments, Clay, Bush, Barbour, 
and Southard. For some unknown reason Wirt, the 
Attorney-General, was ignored. Clay gave careful con- 
sideration to the letter, then answered it at length, 
approving the general plan and stating reasons why a 
Home Department seemed to him necessary. Bash 
declared himself too inexperienced in the business of 
the Treasury Department to have any decided opinion 
to offer. Barbour acknowledged that he would be glad 
to have pensions and Indian affairs off his shoulders as 
Secretary of War. Southard found his tasks as Secre- 
tary of the Navy not specially burdensome." 

That a bill was not only contemplated, but was 
actually in course of formulation at the time, would 
appear from Adams's reference on January 24 to "the 
proposed bill for the establishment of a Home Depart- 
ment," for the President added that "the duties to be 
assigned to it will be taken almost entirely from the 
Departments of State and of War. ' *" But the evidence 
after this on the progress of the matter is scant. It is 
certain that no definite action on the.subjeot was taken 
by Congress in 1826, although on May 22, the last day 
of the session, a report was made to the House and was 
placed on file." The subject seems never again during 

IB Senate DocumenU, £1 CoDg., 1 mm. (182B-1830), toI. II, No. 10», 
pp. 13. Here wiU be found the eoneepoiidence. 

Ititemoirg, YU, 109. 

■ Printod in Seriate DoeximenU, 21 Cong., 1 nee. (1829-1880), toL U, 
No. 109. The Beport omita tb« text of a bill in a mj which leads onci 

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Adams 'b term to have oome before Congress. Bnt 
Adams did not forget it, for as late as 1839, in a paper 
read before the New Tork Historieal Sodety on "The 
JubUee of the Constitution," he then deplored the 
absence of a Home Department. " 

President Jackson, like his predecessor, Adams, was 
impressed by the justness of Madison's plea for an 
additional executive department. He gave the subject 
brief consideration in his first annual message of 
December, 1829. The State Department had from an 
early period, as he remarked, been overburdened with 
business owing to many complications in oar foreign 
relations. These relations, moreover, had been very 
much extended because of large additions made to the 
number of independent nations. The remedy pro- 
posed, the establishment of a Home Department, had 
not met favorable attention from Congress * ' on aoconnt 
of its supposed tendency to increase gradually and 
imperceptibly, the already too strong bias of the 
federal system toward the exercise of authority not 
delegated to it." Accordingly, in view of the popular 
expression of opposition, he was himself disinclined to 
revive the old recommendation. Appreciating, how- 
ever, the importance of somehow relieving the Secre- 
tary of State of larger burdens, he ventured to call the 
attention of Congress to the problem." 

to Otink that Mnnoiiow the t«xt might hAVtt boen la«t bof om ths Beport 
WM printod. 

* The JubOM of the Coiutiiutim, A Diseonrae ddirared at tho leqneet 
of the New Tork Eiatorieal Bociet7, in the Ci^ of New Toik, on 
Tneadaj, the BOth ot April, 1839 (New TdA: 188»), p. 77. 

t^MetagM and Faptn, U, 4S1-U8. 

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CongreBs was inclined to respond to the suggestion. 
They endeavored to reorganize the office of the Attor> 
ney-(}eneral — a matter that Jackson considered of 
paramount importanoe — and carried out some slight 
alterations in that office during the spring of ISSO.** 
The debates on the matter in the Senate show clearly 
that Webster, Rowan of Kentncky, and Barton of Mis- 
souri all favored a Home Department. One thing was 
perfectly obvious at this time: the incongruity in 
having Indian affairs under the Secretary of War, the 
Patent Office in the State Department, and a Secretary 
of the Treasury who was obliged by law to consider 
and decide innumerable problems connected with the 
public lands." 

Just before his retirement from the Presidency 
Jackson put himself on record regarding the pros- 
perous condition of the executive departinents, refer- 
ring to the ability and integrity with which these 
departments had been oonducted." Somehow Jack- 
son's principal officers, it would seem, got on very 
well without a Home Department. But the topic of a 
Home Department cropped up in the newspapers occa- 
sionally after Jackson's term, for administrative 
hardens were constantly increasing and seemed to 

OSee ntpra, chapter VII, p. 173. 

0S«ffi*t«r ofDehatet (J829-1830), toI. VI, Pt. I, pp.276, 383-324. A 
text-book of the time remaxked: "It !■ tbe opinion of m&nj intelligent 
penon*, that tbe Isbora of condncting tbe goTsmment eonld be more 
ttaalj and eotTectl7 performed bj the establishmoit of « Home Depart- 
m«it. . . . ." William BnlliTan, The FotitictU CUut Booh (Boston: 
1S31), p. W. 

•> Mettagu and Papert, m, 259. 

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demand more careful differentiation than they had yet 


President Polk followed Jackson 's lead in more ways 
than one. Like Jackson he called attention in his first 
annual message of December, 1845, to the necessity of 
relieving the executive departments by rediatribnting 
various duties among them. The administrative 
organizations seemed to him in many places to be oat of 
joint. He commented especially on the duties of a 
domestic nature which rested on the shoulders of the 
Secretary of State, and suggested that the Patent Office 
might well be transferred to the office of the Attomey- 
GeneraL The tone of the recommendations was not 
robust and strong. The recommendations sounded as 
though Polk himself doubted whether, under the cir- 
cumstances of trouble with Mexico over the Texas 
situation, Congress would be inclined to undertake 
measures of administrative reform.* No such meas- 
ures at any rate were undertaken, for the war with 
Mexico soon absorbed attention and concentrated con- 
gressional effort on other matters. Yet the results of 
the war — particularly the acquisition of territory from 
Mexico — and the control of the Oregon country as the 
outcome of the treaty of 1846, were largely respon- 
sible for the ultimate attainment of a new department 
in 1849. 

• NatwiKd I%teaigene«T, Oetobar 21, Deconbei 8, 1841. Tbe Cm- 
otenofi Qaeettv abovt thia Kiim iraa Tigorona in ita approval of tlia 
project for a Home Departmvit. 

»MMtagu mi Pap«rt, IV, 114. 

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Polk's Cabinet was carefully selected. It contained 
several men of marked, ability : James Buchanan was 
Secretary of State j William L. Marcy was Secretary 
of War; and Robert J. Walker was Secretary of the 
Treasury. It was Walker who was largely responsible 
for arousing Congress to an appreciation of the vital 
need for the act, on the basis of which the Department 
of the Interior was organized in March, 1849. 

Bom in 1801 and educated in Pennsylvania, Bobert 
J. Walker, while a young man, moved to Natchez, Mis- 
sissippi, and there allied himself to some extent to 
southern interests. A lawyer by profession, he showed 
from early manhood a vigorous interest in politics and 
gained a leading position in advocating the candidacy 
of Andrew Jackson for the Presidency. Like Jackson 
he opposed nullification and the re-chartering of the 
United States Bank. He favored the Independent 
Treasary system. Although an owner of slaves, he 
could not approve many features of the slavery 
regime. Entering the national Senate from Missis- 
sippi at about the age of thirty-five, he was soon made 
chairman of the Senate Committee on PubUo Lands 
and engaged actively in the work of lawmaking. He 
was an uidefatigable expansionist, first favoring the 
recognition of the independence of the Texas republic, 
and later, in 1844, arguing for its annexation to the 
TJmted States. His fellow-citizens of Mississippi 
marked him as their dioice for the Vice-Presidency in 
the campaign of 1844. His selection the next year by 
President Polk as head of the Treasury Department 
fostered ability already apparent and gave him new 

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and unexpected opportunities to reveal unusual powers 
in constructlTe statesmanahip. His first report as 
Secretary of the Treasury raised a storm of debate 
and led to the so-called Walker Tariff Act of 1846, of 
which he was in reality the framer. During his later 
life he acted for a brief time (1857) as governor of 
Kansas, then in a condition of turmoil. When the war 
broke out between the states in 1861, Walker stood 
loyally by Lincoln's administration and worked for it. 
He was for a time employed by the federal govern- 
ment as financial agent and expert on business that 
took him to Europe where he was able to negotiate 
some heavy loans for the Union cause. He died in 
Washington, in November, 1869." 

On December 9, 1848, after serving nearly four years 
at the head of the Treasury Department, Walker was 
moved to make certain definite recommendations to 
Congress in his last annual report, for the purpose not 
only of relieving the Treasury Department from bur- 
dens, but also of altering the administrative organiza- 
tion in such a maimer as ultimately to promote — as he 
explained — ^the interests of the American people. His 
report was dated four days later than Polk's last 
annual message. There was a patriotic note in 
Walker's suggestions that could not have escaped even 
a casual reader. Indeed it seems fair to assume that 
the Secretary of the Treasury considered the report as 
his valedictory word to the American people, detiv- 

V Demoeratio Beviev (Febmapy, 1846), XVI, lS7-lUj Green Bag, 
XV, 101-106; Ameriean Bitiorical BevietB, X, 397; Appleton, Cyclopaedia 
of Ameriean Biography, VI, 329; TaoMig, Tariff Siitory, Sth ed., p. 114. 

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ered, as it was, from a position of marked prominence. 
His suggestions on administrative organization are 
worthy of carefnl attention, for behind them were ripe 
experience and association with men and measures of 
a momentous epoch. Inevitably they reflected the 
administrative deficiencies of an earlier time. 

At the outset of his suggestions Walker was perhaps 
unduly deferential to the supposed wisdom of Con- 
gress in respect to any action that that body might be 
inclined to take. However, he began his considera- 
tions by asserting that the Treasury organization was 
defective and that its deficiencies made it peculiarly 
burdensome to any man at its head. In his view there 
was real danger lest the department might be broken 
down by the very weight of its own machinery. 

Its varied and important datiee [he declared] , with the rapid 
increase of our area, business and population, can scarcely 
be all promptly and properly performed by any one secre- 
tary. Tet in detaching any of its duties from this depart- 
ment, the greatest care must be taken not to impair the unity, 
simplicity, and efficiency of the system , , , . there are 
important public duties having no necessary connexion with 
commerce or finance, that coold be most advantageously 
separated from the treasniy, and devolved upon a new 
department. . . . .* 

This comment led Walker to the presentation of a 
positive plan for the new deparbnent which should be 
placed under a "head" — "to be called tJie Secretary 
of the Interior, inasmuch as his duties would be oon- 

mSxmnMw Vwmmmla, 80 Cong., S mm. (1S48-1849), n. Doe. 7, 
p. as. 

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nected with those branches of the public service .... 
associated with our domestic affairs. The duties of 
this new department .... wonld be great and impor- 
tant, fully equal to those appertaining to the head of 
any other department except the treasury "* 

In Walker's plan there were five definite proposi- 
tions, all of which were involved later in the act of 
1849. In the new department he would place, first, the 
work of the General Land Office. Second, he would 
relieve the Secretary of the Treasury of sundry duties 
of supervision which had no necessary connection with 
finance, bnt were concerned with the expenses of the 
courts of the United States. Third, Indian affairs 
should have a place in the new department. Fourth, 
the Patent Office, taken from the supervision of the 
State Department, should come under the Secretary of 
the Interior. Finally, the Pension Office, a burden to 
the War Department, should also find a place under 
the new official. 

On the subject of the Land Office, Walker was 
especially detailed and informing. "The business of 
the Land Office," he wrote, "occupies a very large 
portion of the time of the Secretary of the Treasury 
every day, and his duties connected herewith must be 
greatly increased by the accession of our inmiense 
domain in Oregon, New Mexico, and California, 
especially in connexion with their valuable mineral 
lands, their private land claims, and conflieling titles. 
From all decisions of the Commissioner ....," he 
continued, "an appeal lies to the Secretary of the 

•U, op. eit, p. 87. 

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Treasury." Then he added this comment from Mb own 
experience : 

I have pronounced jndgment in upwards of five thonmnd 
cases, involving land titles, since the tenth of March, 1845. 
These are generally judicial questions .... requiring ofteu 
great labor and research, and having no necessary connexion 
with the duties of the Treasury I>epartment.'° 

Indian affairs called forth this statement : 

The duties now performed by the Commissioner of Indian 
AflaifB are most numerous .... and must be vastly 
increased with the great number of tribes scattered over 
Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, and California. .... These 
duties do not necessarily appertain to war, but to peace, and 
to our domestic relations with those tribes. .... This most 
inqrartant bureau, then, should be detached from the War 
Department, with which it has no necessary connezion." 

About two months after Walker's report had 
appeared, Samuel F. Vinton of Ohio, a leading Whig 
and chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means in 
the House, presented a bill approved by his committee 
for the purpose of organizing a Department of the 
Interior." Vinton promptly acknowledged that it had 
been prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury at the 
special request of the committee. "The bill," he 
declared, "with one or two unimportant alterations 
.... was the bill as it came from the hands of the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury." Some time daring the pre- 
vious month of January it appeared that Vinton had 

"IWd., p. 85. 
aibid., p. Sfl. 
BF«bni«i7 12, 1848. 

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visited Walker and had then urgently requested him to 
prepare a bill." 

This notable origin of the measure aroused not a 
word of comment in the debates in the House. One of 
the less conspicuous Senators, however, was moved to 
remark that it should have been "a cabinet measure." 
Lack of oo-operatlon oh the part of the other principal 
of&oera tended in bis opinion to condemn it." 

The House showed some opposition to the bill. 
Howell Cobb of Georgia, in the lead of the hostile 
elements, gave three reasons for opposing the bill. He 
dwelt at some length on the fact that no preceding 
Congress had ever been willing to sanction sueh a 
measure. He showed that a new department would 
increase considerably the federal patronage. More- 
over, it was certain, he argued, to add ' ' another cabinet 
officer to the Qovemment."* But Cobb and his fol- 
lowers failed to convince. On February 15 the bill 
passed the House by one hundred and twelve yeas to 
seventy-eight nays." This step had hardly been accom- 
plished when John Q. Palfrey of Massachusetts, the 
historian, moved to amend the title by striking out 
"Department of the Interior" and substituting for it 
"Home Department."* This suggestion of Palfrey, 
truly doctrinaire in view of the fact that tbere was no 
reference in the text of the bill to anything bnt a 
Department of the Interior, fixed the title in law with 

B Congreuioiua Globe, SO Cong., 2 mm. <1M8-1U0), ZZ, 514. 
HJMd., p. 687. AUm of Ofaio, lUnh S. 
HJMil., P.S16. 
»nid., p. MS. 
flbid^ p. 5M. 

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an incoDgmity that did not escape later oomment. 
Both Ewing and Stuart, first and third Secretaries of 
the Interior, referred to the matter." 

The Senate discnssions over the bill were vigorous 
and at times acrid. They were confined, however, to 
a single day and evening seaslon, for the bill was not 
reported by Senator B. M. T. Hunter of Virginia nntil 
Maroh 3, the last day of the Thirtieth Congress. 
Hunter was mild in his opposition by comparison with 
his colleague, Senator James M. Mason, grandson of 
Colonel George Mason, member of the Philadelphia 
Convention of 1787. Mason made quite the most bitter 
protest against the bill that the record of debate 
sho^ra ; and he was seconded in his position by John C. 
Calhoun. The leaders of the small Senate majority 
that favored the measure were Daniel Webster of 
Massachusetts and Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. 
Both these men argued ably and well. The biU passed 
the Senate by a vote of thirty-one yeas to twenty-five 

The particular note sounded by the Senate opposi- 
tion at different times in the course of the debate was 
first suggested by Hunter." It was not a new note, for 
Jackson's quick ear had detected it as far back as 
1829, and it was probably even then well known. It 
was the expression of fear of any tendency that 
seemed likely to increase, however imperceptibly, the 
bias of the federal system toward anthority not clearly 
delegated. The proposal in 1849 to create a new 

M See Note S at the end of this ebapter. 
"Globe, SO Cong., £ mm., p. 6S0. 
"Ibid., pp. 1170 ff. 

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department — even though the move was really scarcely 
more than a readjnstoient of existing organization — 
aroused this fear in a manner not easy to onderstaDd. 
The fear was expressed in some variety of ways. 
"Mr. President," exclaimed Calhoun, "there is some- 
thing ominous in the expression, 'The Secretary of the 
Interior.' This Qovemment .... was made to take 
charge of the exterior relations of the States. And 
if there had been no exterior relations, the Federal 

Government would never have existed Sir, the 

name 'Interior Department* itself indicates a great 

change in the public mind Everytiung apon the 

face of God's earth will go into the Home Depart- 
ment."" Senator Niles of Connecticut felt that "the 
whole tendency of this Government is .... to foster 
and enlarge the executive power which is becoming a 
maelstrom to swallow np all the power of the Govern- 

To Senator Mason the bill for the new department 
seemed a project destined to place industrial pursuits 
and other interior concerns under the management of 
the general government. He could not avoid the sec- 
tional note : 

Are we to increase this central power t More especially are 
we who belong to the South — who have very little more 
interest in this country than to have the protection of oar 
independence with the other States; from whom a great part 
of the revenue is drawn, and to whom very little of it is 
returned ; who pay everything to Federal power, and receive 
nothing for it. ... . 

a QUAt, BO Cong., e MM., p. 078. 
«/M(J., p. «71. 

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A little further along he declared : 

We hare yet some hope, although it may be impaired by the 

experience of every day, that the State organizations will yet 

ontliTe the overshadowing influence of this Federal Qovem- 


Into this confusion of thought and jnggling with 
words there came the clearer ideas of such men as 
Webster and Davis. "Why call this the Secretary of 
the Interiort" asked Webster in response to Cal- 
houn's rhetoric about a title. "The impression seems 
to be that we are going to carry the power of the Gov- 
ernment further into the interior I do not so 

understand it. Where is the powert It is only that 
certain powers heretofore exercised by certain agents 
are to be exercised by other agents. That is the whole 
of it"" To Webster, grown old in actire efforts for 
his country's welfare, Ms mind filled with recollections 
of the past, tiie historic aspect of the measure must 
have been deeply significant. ' * As far back as the time 
of Mr. Monroe," he said, "and up to tiiis time, persons 
most skilled and of the most experience in the admin- 
istration of this Clovemment, have recommended the 

creation of some other department Gentlemen 

can remember what .... Ur. Madison said on that 
subject." Then, in another vein, he added: 

It ia said, but not very conclusively, that we create offices 

from time to time, and make additions to salaries 

Well, the conntiy is increasing ; the business of the Govern- 
ment is increasing; there is a great deal more work to be 
done This bill may not be perfect But the 

«n«., p. 078. 
"J6«., p. 671. 

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popular branch of the Legislature has passed it It is here. 
It is my opinion that there is a general sense in the country 
that some sncfa provision is necessary .* 

Jefferson Davis was not forgetfnl of the force of an 
appeal to the past. He reminded his fellow Senators 
that several of the great Virginian Presidents were 
believers in the ideal of the bill. But perhaps his par- 
tionlar contribution to the debate was his reference in 
the following passage to the import of the bUl to the 
"new States," among which MissisBippi was at this 
time reckoned. "I feel a very peculiar interest in 
this measure," he asserted, "as every one who comes 
from a new State must feel." Then he said: 

We are peopling the public lands ; the inhabitants of the old 
States are the people of commerce. The Treasmy belongs to 
us in common. The Secretaries of the Treasury most be taken 
from those portions of the country where they have foreign 
commerce, and therefore tfa^ are men who ore not so inti- 
mately connected and acquainted with the relations and 
interests of the public lands in the new States." 

The implication was obvious that the interests of the 
new and the inland states were likely to be better 
guarded if the new department could be established. 

To several Democrats the fact that a new cabinet 
officer would have to be appointed was a disturbing 
thought. "We are aBsuming that those who are to 
succeed us require more advisers than we have had; 
we are doing that thing whidi they ought to do, if they 
think it is required."*' 

»Olobe, 30 Cong., 2 iew., p. 671. 
« Ibid., pp. 060-670. 
" Ibid., p. 670. 

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To the reader of the debates of 1849 the balance of 
argnment seems strongly in favor of the measure. So 
thonght the majority in both Senate and House. Late 
on the night of March 3 the bill was presented to 
President Polk for his signature. It was a long bill — 
too long to have received any very careful considera- 
tion from Polk during these last hours of his Presi- 
dency. "I had serious objections to it," wrote Polk 
several weeks later in his Diary, "but they were not 
of a constitutional character and I signed it with reluc- 
tance. I fear its consolidating tendency. I apprehend 
its practical operation will be to draw power from the 
states, where the Constitution has reserved it, and to 
extend the jurisdiction and power of the U. S. by 
consimetion to an nnwarrantable extent. Had I been 
a member of Congress I would have voted against it." 

In Polk's eyes the measure was inexpedient. It is 
altogether probable that, had he had more time, he 
would have vetoed it." Bat fortunately the long 
straggle ended as it did. Three days later, on March 
6, President Taylor sent to the Senate the name of 
Thomas Ewing of Ohio as first Secretary of the 
Interior. On March 8 Ewing, doly commissioned, 
entered upon Ms duties, taking his place as seventh 
member of the Cabinet. 

The plan of an Interior Department in 1848-1849 
was essentially a Democratic measure in its source. It 
was the direct result of the pressure of administrative 

<• Tlte Dmtv of Jamea K. Folk itermff Mt Preaidenoj/, IT, S71-S72. 

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bnrdens. There is no evidence to ahow that general 
opinion ontside administrative or congressional circles 
had anything whatever to do with it. It was certainly 
not the outcome of widespread demand or popular 

The establishment of the department was mainly 
dependent upon a House of Bepresentatives contain- 
ing a small Whig majority (one hundred and seventeen 
Whigs and one hundred and eleven Democrats) and 
upon a Democratic Senate (thirty-six Democrats and 
twenty-two Whigs)." Circumstances and a few clear- 
headed men happily combined to enforce its need. The 
war with Mexico was over and settled. The new 
regions added to the national domain during Folk's 
term had increased or were likely to increase the bur- 
dens of administration to such an extent as to make 
the demand for a new administrative ofiBcnal and organ- 
ization imperative." The ofiScial, Secretary of the 
Interior Department, was conceived of as one who 
would naturally assume the rank and position of a 
cabinet member. His department was bound to 
increase the range of the federal patronage. Knowl- 
edge of these facts served inevitably in Congress to 
smooth the way of the measure among Whig partisans, 
for Taylor was abont to take office as a Whig President 
in succession to a Democratic regime. Much was to be 
said in favor of the intrinsic merits of the plan. It 
would provide, as Webster pointed out, a necessary 
organization. The action of the Ways and Means 

<*6Iob«, 30 Cong., e MM., p. 519. 

to See Note 3 at the end of this chapter. 

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Cominittee, together Tvith the Tote on the bill in the 
House, afforded some evidence that the pablic was 
ready to approve such a readjastment of administra- 
tive work as would facilitate the tasks of the federal 
government which were growing year by year more 
numerous and more complicated. 

Though famitiar to pubUc men since the foundation 
period of the Constitution, and advocated more or less 
forcibly by sach characters as Madison, Monroe, John 
Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson, the idea of a 
Department of the Interior was newly conceived and 
clearly formulated by an experienced and public- 
spirited Secretary of the Treasury from Mississippi. 
For the plan of organization Robert J. "Walker has 
never received from any historian the credit that is 
his just due." He voiced the need and launched the 
project more carefully than any statesman before him. 
But it must not be overlooked that his plan was skil- 
fully and ably supported in a doubting Senate by two 
such leaders as Daniel Webster and Jefferson Davis. 

nsot Mtt Sehoutor, JSMpry of tlu Vnitea StaUt, V, 121. 

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1. JuiKii AnonsiTTB B. Woodwabd (o. 1775-1827) : 

Attention has already been called in Chapter VI to 
Judge Woodward's pamphlet of 1809 entitled Con- 
siderations on the Executive Oovemment of the United 
States of America (Platbuah, N. Y., pp. 87). In 1824 
Woodward was again writing on various phases of 
admimstrative work and taking a partionlar interest 
in the project for a Home Department — a subject, it 
should be said, which was not even mentioned in his 
pamphlet of 1809. Articles of his which I have 
observed will be found in the files of the National 
Journal of Washington, D. C, as follows : 

April 24, 1824. "On the NecMuty and Importance of a 
Department of Domestic Aflaits, in the Qovemment of 
the United States." 

May 29. "On the Distribntion of the Bareanx in a Depart- 
ment of Foreign Affairs : Supplementary to the discnasion 
on the neceaaity and importance of a Department of 
Domeetio Affairs. . . . ." 

M^ 27 to Aognst 31. At intervals between these dates there 
appeared about a dozen articles on The Presidency. 
These, together with the two foregoing articles, were 
collected and printed in the form of a pamphlet entitled : 
The Preaidency of the United States, by A B. Wood- 
ward (Xew York: 1825, pp. 88). The copyri^t date of 
this rare pamphlet was May 21, 1825. 

April 9, 1825. Letter from Willie Blount to Judge Woodward 
of Florida, dated March 14, 1825, approring Wood- 
ward's plan of a Department of Domestic Affairs. Wood- 
ward's reply. 

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Mfty 21. Letter of Migor H. Lee to Judge Woodward, dated 
April 14. Woodward *a reply. 
In the National Intelligencer of Waahiagton, D. C, 
of April 23, 26, and 28, 1825, Woodward's two articles 
that had appeared the year before in the Natiowd 
Journal of April 24 and May 29 were reprinted with a 
brief editorial comment on April 28 in favor of his 
plans. Id general, Woodward was opposed to what he 
termed the "cabinet system." His writings, however, 
do not leave the impression that he had any very defi- 
?ute or practical substitnte to offer in its place. In 
1824 he was appointed federal judge for the West 
District of Florida {National Intelligencer, Febmary 
26, 1825). The probable year of his death is given as 
1827 in Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biog- 
raphy, VI, 606. He appears to have been interested 
in science as well as government. Charles Moore has 
thrown some light on an earlier phase of Woodward's 
career in a slight sketch entitled Governor, Judge, and 
Priest: Detroit, 1605-1815. A paper read before the 
Witenagemote on Friday evening, October the Second, 
1891 (New York: pp. 24). For some additional in- 
formation about Judge Woodward, see T. M. Cooley'a 
Michigan (Amer. Commonwealth Series, Boston : 1905), 
and D. Q-. McCarty, The Territorial 'Governors of the 
Old Northwest (Iowa City: 1910). 


The first Secretary of the Interior, Thomas Ewiug, 
in his Seport of December 3, 1849, wrote ; 

The department is named in the title "A Home Department"; 
but the body of the act provided that it shall be called "The 

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Department of the Interior." The title of the act, being the 
part laat adopted in the process of enactment, ia believed to 
ezpren the intention of Congrees as to the name 

Secretary Alexander H. H. Stuart suggested, in his 
Report of December 2, 1850, that CoDgreas remoTe the 
ambignity. But nothing was done until the reviaion of 
the statutes in 1873, when the department was properly 

In respect to the incongruity between the title and 
the text of the act of 1849, I quote from a personal 
letter on the point sent to me under date of April 13, 
1910, by Mr. Middleton Beaman, then librarian of the 
Law library of Congress and the Supreme Court : 

So far as I know, the title of the act of 1849 is the only 
instance in which the title "Home Department" is lued in 
l^ialation. Examination of the indexes of the Statutes at 
Large from 1849 to 1873 discloses numerous instances of refer- 
ence to this department as the "Interior Department" .... 
The title of the original act cannot goTem the usage, aa the 
body of the act expressly declared that the department should 
be called ' ' The Department of the Interior. ' ' B7 well settled 
roles of statutory conatniction the title of an act can have no 
weight except where the provisions of the act itself are ambigu- 
ous. I therefore am of opinion that the ofBcial designation has 
always been "The Department of the Interior." 

3. GaowTH OP THE National Domain : 

The extent of the land acquisitions that were made 
to the United States in Polk's administration will be 
easily understood by the following table, taken from 
Professor T. N. Carver's article, ''Historical Sketch 

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of American Agriculture," in L. H. Bailey's Cyclo- 
pedia of American Agriculture {1907ff.)j IV, 50: 


Ceasions hy the States 

Louisiana Purchase . 

Oregon .... 

Wert Florida . . 

Florida .... 


1846: Region north of the Co- 
lumbia Biver . 
1848: California and New Mexico 614,439 
1853 : Gadsden Purchase . . 47,330 

819,815 square milea. 


It should be noted that none of the land in Texas 
belonged to the public domain, and that much of the 
land in California and New Mexico had been granted 
to private individuals before these regions came under 
the jurisdiction of the United States. 

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NEAR the close of Mr. Cleveland's first term of 
service as President, almost exactly a century 
after the government was inaugarated under Wash- 
ington, the Secretaryship of Agiicnltnre was estab- 
lished by the law of February 9, 1889.' Beckoning 
from 1789, the Secretary of Agriculture was the sixth 
principal officer to be termed Secretary. The depart- 
ment over which the new official was to preside *as the 
eighth to be characterized as "execntive." Moreover, 
the Secretary of Agriculture was the eighth member 
to take a place in the President's Cabinet Council. 

Since 1862 there had been a Department of Agri- 
culture over which there had been an officer called a 
Commissioner, but it had not been known hitherto as 
an executive department. Its aotivity, however, had 
been steadily extending for many years, so that, nnder 
the rearrangements of 1889 and some later statutes, 
the Depariment was seeking the remotest regions of 
the earth for crops suitable to the areas reclaimed by 
the government; it was mapping and analyzing soils, 
fostering the improvement of seeds and animals, tell- 
ing the fanner when and how and what to plant, and 
making war upon diseases of plants, animals and 
insect pests.* From its origin in the epoch of the Civil 

1 25 Stalulei at Lm-gt, pp. 06B ff. 

>Fi«deriek J. ToTnor, "Soeutl ForcM io Americwi HiMoiy," in 
Anteriean Biwtorioal Sniew (Januiy, ISIl), XVZ, 828. 

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War it was designed to promote the welfare of the 
American farmers, the industrial class on which the 
wealth of the nation inevitably rested. 

It would be misleading to (ate Hamilton's view, 
expressed in December, 1787, to the effect that the 
supervision of agriculture could never become one of 
the "desirable cares of a general jurisdiction,"' as at 
all widespread or generally acceptable at that time. 
Yet we may be sure that neither Hamilton nor any 
one of his great contemporaries could have appre- 
ciated the influence on institutions or the consequences 
of the westward movement of population, a movement 
beginning about the close of the American Revolution 
and continning for more than a century, until the West 
had been largely colonized, and there was no longer any 
really describable frontier line. The "westward- 
moving tide of population" which has been character- 
ized as "the greatest fact in American history"* 
tended to affect profoundly the whole course of 
domestic federal administration. In truth, it was prob- 
ably the most fundamental factor among many that 
were making toward the establishment of a national 
Department of Agriculture. A great variety of cir- 
cumstances aronsed popular interest in snob a Depart- 
ment. Once aroused and properly directed into effec- 
tive channels, this interest gained more or less capable 
direction at Washington, and finally exacted from 
somewhat unwilling and preoccupied legislators, at a 

> The FederaUat {«d. Ford), No. 17, p. 104. D«e«niboT S, 1787. 
*T. N. CuT«r, "Hiatorieal Skateh of AmericMi Agrieultore," in 
Lk H. Bkilaj'i Cyclopedia o^ Am«riem Agrimitttav, IV, 95. 

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critical moment of the Civil War, the desired organiza- 

At the outset attention should be called to two lines 
of effort, both of which had a perceptible and traceable 
influence in bringing about the establiahment of the 
Deparbnent in 1862 and the Secretaryship in 1889. In 
the first place, certain statesmen — men like Washing- 
ton who were themselveB practically interested in 
problems of farming — were apt to foresee from the 
latter days of the eighteenth century the ultimate 
desirability of some form of cehtral administrative 
organization, called variously by the names "Board," 
"Bureau," or "Department," which might be estab- 
lished at the seat of government for the purpose of 
representing, understanding, and aiding local inter- 
ests in farming. As time advanced* these men set 
themselves to work definitely for the object. In the 
second place, from an early period of our history there 
were to be foimd local or state Organizations which 
were designed to aid and foster farming interests. 
Many circumstances tended to bring these different 
organizations, having similar aims, into co-operating 
groups until at length a large and fairly representa- 
tive agricultural society was formed wbioh made one 
of its leading aims the establishment of a federal 
Department of Agriculture. By 1840, or a little later, 
the subject was given new significance because of the 
widespread feeling that a proper disposition of the 
public lands was likely to have a marked effect in 
ameliorating social conditions. And this feeling 
undoubtedly had its influence, botii in and outside 

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Congress, in enforcing the need of various legislative 
measures, notably those for a federal Department of 
Agriculture and the Homestead Acts. 

During the colonial period King and Parliament 
had occasionally, but in rather desultory fashion, 
attempted to encourage certain kinds of agricultural 
industry. This accorded well with the theory of colon- 
ization, for "the essential thing was that the colony 
produced commodities that the mother country would 
otherwise have to buy from foreigners. Hence greater 
stress was laid on colonies as sources of supply, than 
as markets for British manufactures."* The colonial 
legislatures themselves, appreciating, the ideal, some- 
times encouraged such industries as the raising of 
indigo, mulberry trees for silk culture, hemp, flax, and 
other products especially desirable to the home 
country. In the latter part of the eighteenth century, 
when England became interested in manufacturing and 
was passing into the epoch known as the Industrial 
Revolution, it was still the ideal that the colonies 
should attend to agricultural pursuits, partly as a 
means of keeping their inhabitants diverted from 
manufacturing. To the colonists in America agricul- 
ture was bound to be a most precious interest. 

In the latter part of 1789 President "Washington was 
in correspondence with a certain Baron Pollnitz, who 
seems to have had a farm for experimental purposes in 
the neighborhood of New York. In the early part of 

< a. L, Beer, Bntitk Cofamwl Polioy, 1714-1765, p. 185. 

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the next year, in the course of hia first annual message 
to Congress, Washington referred to agriculture as 
a pursuit that should be encouraged along with com- 
merce and manufactures.* Although the reference to 
agriculture was rather casual, it apparently induced 
PoUnitz to conunend to the President's attention the 
subject of establishing an experimental farm under 
the government's patronage. Washington replied 
cautiously to the suggestion, saying : 

I know not whether I can with propriety do any thing more 
at present than what I have already done. I have brought 
the subject in my speech at the opening of the present session 
of Congress before the national legislature. It rests with 
them to decide what measores ought afterwards to be adopted 
for promoting the socceaa of the great objects, which I have 
recommended to their attention.' 

After eight years of administrative experience, in 
bis last annual message, Washington once more 
renewed the subject and recommended a central estab- 
lishment or board of agriculture.* For the origin of 
the eonception of something akin to a department, 
bureau or board of agriculture in the United States 
the student need go no farther back than to the clos- 
ing decade of the eighteenth century. This utterance 
of President Washington on the subject in 1796 is 
among the earliest that can be found. The idea 
behind it was largely the oatoome of certain definite 
English precedents. 

> Meuagei and Fapwt, I, 66. 

TSpuka, WrUing* of George WoMkington, X, 68, 81. Lett«n of 
DoMoiber £9, 1789, ud Marcli 2S, 1700. 
■ Mettaget and Fapen, J, 808. 

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In 1793, through the indefatigable efforts of Sir 
John Sinclair, a yonng Scotch member of Parliament 
and a writer on agricnltnral topics, the government of 
Pitt agreed to the establishment of a Board of Agri- 
culture. To Arthur Young, Sinclair's friend, the plan 
seemed in January, 1793, to be preposterous. "Pray, 
don't give Ministers more credit than they deserve," 
wrote Young to Sinclair. "In manufactures and com- 
merce you may bet securely; but they never did, and 
never will do any thing for the plough. Your Board 
of Agriculture will be in the moon j if on earth, remem- 
ber I am to be secretary."* About the middle of the 
following May the plan, perhaps through the favoring 
influence of the King behind it, was carried through 
Parliament. There was opposition. Such statesmen 
as Hawkesbury, Sheridan, Grey, and Fox felt that the 
measure might be a "job" for the purpose of placing 
patronage in the hands of the government." But on 
August 23 the Board's charter was sealed. Sir John 
Sinclair was made president. Arthur Young, iii 
accordance with his wish, was made secretary. The 
English Board of Agriculture, thus established in 1793, 
lasted until 1817, in which latter year the government 
declined to make further appropriations for it. 

The organization of the EngHsh Board was this ; It 
was to be composed, in the first place, of certain gov- 
ernment officials and a number of lay coadjutors. 
This, as the central body, sent out to the farmers in all 

* Tha Corretpondence of the Bight Eoitowvble Sir John SiTiolair, Bart. 
(2 vola., Loudon: 1B31), I, 407. 

iiPtiTHomentarySietory, XXX, 949 It. Haf 10, 17, 1793. 

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parts of England lists of questions to be answered. 
Some competent person was chosen in every county, 
directed to draw up a survey of agricultaral conditions 
there and to return it to the Board. Under such an 
arrangement the Board was enabled to appreciate the 
needs of the various counties. In the course of time, 
by means of numerous publications — called " Com- 
munications " from 1802 to 1806 — ^the central Board 
furnished much information to the farmers. The 
information was of a kind to keep them in toudi with 
foreign improvements and give to them the means of 
tmderstanding new or advanced methods of agriculture. 
Moreover, the Board provided lectures in different 
places, and offered prizes for essays on various topics 
of importance. Account was taken in its publications 
of the statistics of population — a subject that was 
brought into prominence by the anonymous publication 
in 1798 of Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Popula- 
tion. When this first English Board of Agriculture 
went out of existence in 1817, there were numerous 
local organizations which were competent (if not 
actually designed) to carry on the educational work so 
well started. Among these were the Smithfield Club, 
the Highland Society, and the Bath and West of 
England Agricultural Society.^ 
Sir John Sinclair was an enthusiast in whatever he 

UBeflidce refarencM alraadf eit«d, I h&Te Ds«d bk tbcM paragraphB: 
B. H. Inglia P«lgrav«, Dietionary of Politieal Eeonomj/ (1694 It.), I, 
166-157. Diotionaty of Natiotua Biograp\s, hU, Z(I1-30S. Art. "Sir 
John Sinclair" (17S4-1835). Thia first Board is not to be confused 
with the preaent Board of ^^^ricoItiiTe established in 18S9, S& ft 53 Vict., 
c. 30. 

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undertook to do. He was, moreover, an indefatigable 
correspondent, constantly seeking intimacies with men 
who, he had reason to believe, would utilize his schemes 
or extend his ideas. With President "Washington and 
his four successors Sinclair carried on correspondence, 
much of which has been preserved and rendered easily 
accessible. He took occasion also to address other 
well-known and influential Americans, among them 
John Jay, Richard Rush, William Pinkney, Richard 
Peters, Gouvemenr Morris, and Colonel David Hum- 
phreys, most of whom had special interest in the pro- 
motion of agriculture. He was, of course, very much 
enlisted in the work of the English Board of Agricul- 
ture, of which he was president, first from 1793 to 1798, 
and again from 1806 to 1813. It was Sinclair who 
brought Washington to an understanding of the work 
of the English Board. He was influential, likewise, in 
inducing Washington to insert a paragraph regarding 
some such institution for the United States into his 
last annual message to Congress in 1796. 

To an EngHsh correspondent Washington wrote, 
under date of July 15, 1797, as follows: "I have 
endeavored," he said, "both in a public and private 
character to encourage the establishment of Boards of 

Agriculture in this country, but hitherto in vain 

Since the first establishment of the National Board of 
Agriculture in Great Britain, I have considered it as 
one of the moat valuable institutions of modem times, 
and conducted with so much ability and zeal as it 
appears to be under the auspices of Sir John Sinclair, 

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must be prodactive of great advantage to the Nation 
and to Mankind in (General. *"* 

In 1794 Washington, who had then been in corre- 
spondence with Sinclair for about two years, referred 
in an interested way to the plan of the English Board 
of Agriculture. He felt sure of its Importance, but he 
knew that for the present, at any rate, the plan was not 
likely to be adopted in the United States." Such a 
friendly reference, however, could not be overlooked 
or forgotten by the zealous young parliamentarian. 
Accordingly, it is not surprising that Sinclair, on hear- 
ing in the summer of 1796 of Washington's proposed 
retirement from the Presidency, expressed the hope 
that Washington would recommend to the American 
people "some agricultural establishment on a great 
scale, before you quit the reins of government. By 
that," continued Sinclair, "I mean a Board of Agri- 
culture, or some similar institution, at Philadelphia, 
with societies of agriculture in the capital of each state, 
to correspond with it. Such an establishment would 
soon enable the farmers of America to acquire agri- 
cultural knowledge, and .... afford them the means of 
communicating what they have learnt to their country- 
men .... it might be in my power, on various occa- 
sions, to give Qseful bints to America, were there any 
public institution to which they might be trans- 

This suggestion made an impression, for reference 
to it appeared in a letter of Washington written to 

u Writingi (ad. W. C. Ford), JTITT , 40<t-M7. 
U Sinclair, Correapond&nce, I, 280 S. II, IB-IB. 
UTMd., n, e. LetfOT d»ted London, 8apteaib«r 10, 17W. 

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Alexander Hamilton on November 2, 1796, while Wash- 
in^n had under consideration his last annual mes- 
sage to Congress. These were the President's words 
to Hamilton : 

Since I wrote to you from Mount Vernon .... I Teeeived a 
letter from Sir John Sinclair .... on the mbjeet of an 
agricultural establishment. — Thoogh not such an enthusiast 
as he ia, I am nevertheleaa deeply impressed with the benefits 
which would result from such an iitstitation, and if you see 
no impropriety in the measore, I would leave it as a recom- 
mendatory one in the Speech at the opening of the Session 
.... it is in my estimation a great national object, and if 
stated as folly as the occasion and circumstances will admit, 
I think it must appear so ... . whatever may be the recep- 
titm, or fate of the recomm^idation, I shall have discharged 
my duty in sabmitting it to the eonsideration of the Legis- 
lature. . . . ." 

The matter assumed sufficient importance for Wash- 
ington to ask Hamilton and John Jay for their "joint 
opinion" on it. 

About a month later President Washington's last 
message was delivered. Preceded by some general 
remarks on the primary importance of agrioultare, 
there was a passage referring directly to the substance 
of Sinclair's suggestions. Institutions for promoting 
agriculture, remarked the President, grow up and are 
supported by the public purse. To what object, he 
asked, can the public parse "be dedicated with greater 
propriety"? Then he continued: 

Among the means which have been employed to this end none 
have been attended with greater sncceas than the establish- 
ment of boarda .... charged with collecting and diffusing 

u Washington, WHtitifit, ZHI, 826. 

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iufonnatiori, and enabled by premimns and small pecuniaiy 
aids to encourage and assist a spirit of discovery and improve- 
ment. This species of eatablishment contributes doubly to 
the increase of improvement by stimulating to enterprise and 
experiment, and by drawing to a common center the results 
everywhere of individual skill and observation, and spreading 
them thence over the whole nation. Experience accordingly 
has shewn that they are very cheap instruments of immense 
national benefits.'* 

On December 10 the Senate responded, indicating 
their interest in this particular project. A few days 
later, on December 16, the House named a committee 
of three to consider the matter. On Janaary 17 fol- 
lowing, this House committee recommended a Society 
for the Promotion of Agriculture, having a secretary 
who should be paid by the national government. It 
was planned that the Society should be established at 
the seat of government, its membership including 
Senators, Representatives, Judges of the Supreme 
Court, the three Secretaries of Departments, the Attor- 
ney-General, "and such other persons as should choose 
to become members agreeably to the rules prescribed." 
At the annual meeting this miscellaneous membership 
was to elect officers and "a Board, to consist of not 
more than thirty persons which shall be called 'A 
Board of Agriculture.' "" The Society was to be 

This plan for a Society and a National Board of 
Agriculture was crude and at the tune impracticable. 
It was allowed to drop. "I am sorry," wrote Wash- 

^Meuagei and Fapert, I, 202. December J, 1796. 
iiAnniOa of Congreu, 4 Cong., 2 seea. (1796-1707), p. 1835. 

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iugton to Sinclair on Maroh 6, 1797, *' that nothing 

final in CongreBS has been decided respecting the estab- 
lishment of a National Board of Agriculture, recom- 
mended by me, at the opening of the session." There 
was DO opposition to the measure among members of 
CongreBS, Washington thought. The plan fell through 
because of limited time and the pressure of more 
important business. He remarked in a consoling tone 
that he thought it "highly probable that next session 
will bring thiB matter to matarity.*"* But, while the 
original plan was probably forgotten, Washington's 
suggestion in his message of December, 1796, was 
referred to frequently and for many years after its 
first utterance. 


Local associations for assisting farmers began to 
appear in the United States soon after the close of the 
Revolution. The year 1785 witnessed the commence- 
ment of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agri- 
culture (incorporated in 1809), and the Charleston 
(S. C.) Society for the Promotion of Agriculture. By 
1800 there were at least a dozen such organizations to 
be found here and there from the province of Maine 
southwards." No one of these was destined to have 
greater usefulness, through the character of its mem- 
bership as well as its publications, than the Massachn* 
setts Society for Promoting Agriculture (1792). In 
1803 the Society for Promoting Agriculture in Connec< 

>■ Sinclair, Corrttpottdwce, II, 26. 

i*Ba)Ifl7, Cyclopedia of American Agric%Ut%re, TV, 291. 

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tioat was Btarted, later to be known as the New Haven 
County Agricultural Society. Five years afterwards, 
in 1808, the Pennsylvania Society of A^cnltnre was 
organized. The mere list might be considerably 

The Berkshire Agricultural Society in western 
Massachusetts was established chiefly through the 
energetic efforts and foresight of Elkanah Watson 
in 1810. Watson worked toward this object from the 
time that he purchased a farm in Pittsfield in 1807. 
It appears, from his account of the matter, that in the 
autumn of that year he exhibited a pair of merino 
sheep "under the great elm tree in the public square, 
in Pittsfield." Soon afterward he addressed the 
farmers in that region for the purpose of getting them 
interested in the breeding of merinos, and inddentally 
conceived of the plan of an agricultural society. 
Arousing his neighbors to the importance of agricul- 
ture and cattle-breeding by a series of small agrical- 
tural exhibits and cattle shows, he finally succeeded in 
starting the Berkshire Society. The annual exhibi- 
tions gradually brought the Society into prominence. 
Watson lost no opportunity to extend its influence by 
writing and speaking of it, so that the Berkshire 
Society became the model of many similar organiza- 
tions in numerous states. By 1817 the Massachusetts 
le^slature was willing to assist the organization. 
Already the Society had become a powerful factor in 
the industrial life of western Massachusetts.** 

V Elkan&b Wataon, Hiitory of the Bitt, Frogret*, and Bmtting Con- 
dition of the Wttten Canal* in the State of New York .... together 
Kith tht Site, Progreae, and Siriitrng State of Modem Agrieuttural 

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In the long epooli of peace which sooceeded the war 
of 1812 American agricalture (like other forms of 
induBtiy) experienced changes which amounted to a 
profound transformation. It passed from its old basis 
of self-snfiSciency into a great and prolonged com- 
mercial stage in which its products were primarily 
intended for world-wide markets. The transformation 
was the result of many factors, chief among which 
were the rapid expansion of population westwards, the 
development of a public land policy, the growth of 
southern cotton, the application of science and inven- 
tion to farm products, and the development— especially 
remarkable after 1830 — of transportation. Under the 
spell of this process agricultural societies sprang up in 
many states of the Union ; there were district societies, 
county societies, and state societies to be found in the 
East, the South, the Middle and even the Far West. In 
1852 it was estimated that there were some three 
hundred active organizations in the thirty-one states 
and five territories." And by the opening of the Civil 
War, nine years later in 1861, such organizations prob- 
ably reached nearly a thousand in number — so notable 
was the deoade 1850-1860 for agricultural progress." 

Sooietiet, on the Berksltire Syttem .... (Albany; 1820), pp. lieiES, 
138 ff., 1T9S. I h&va used in thia aeeoimt D. J. Browne's "Progreaa 
and Public Bnconragement of Agrienltnre in Bubbik, PmmiA, end the 
Diut«d Btatei" appearing' in Executive Docvmenta, SB Cong., 1 mss. 
(185M8B8), rV, No. 80, pp. 1-SO. 

ft Journal of Itie Untied State* Agrioultvrat Society (WuUngtoD, 
D. C, Angoat, 1862), I, UL 

»B. P. Poore declared in Janaarr, 1860, that then were Ml agri- 
cnltnral organizationB on Uie booki of tbe United Statee Agricultural 
Bodetj of Waehington. Tlie Quarterly Journal of Agritmlture (Waah- 
ingtoD, April, 1860), Vm, 26. 

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By that time, too, many state boards of agricaltare had 
been formed, especially in the northern states. As 
early as 1791 New York had shown a very progressive 
spirit in beginning a series of annual reports on agri- 
onltnre; and early in 1820 had made provision for a 
state board of agricnltare, including appropriations 
for its farming interests.** 

There were influences working toward interstate 
organizations of agricultaral societies and interests 
from an early date. Cattle fairs had been known in 
colonial times.** In Wethersfietd, Connecticut, a fair for 
the display and sale of farming products was held in 
October, 1784. Legal provision was made by the 
authorities of the City of Washington in 1804-1805 
to enconrage the organization of fairs for the exhi- 
bition of cattle and merchandise. Within those two 
years there are records of three fairs held in Washing- 
ton. The ' ' Arlington Sheep-Shearing * '—organized 
yearly for a series of years previous to 1812 on the 
estate of George W. P. Oustis in northern Virginia — 
was a sort of fair. In fact, at least as early as 1810, 
Custis had outlined a project for a national agricul- 
tural organization which was to be partiy sustained by 
government funds. The project, it may be presumed, 
reflected vaguely President Washington's ideal of a 
national board of agriculture. 

The first careful organization of an interstate nature 

■)E. Wfttson, op. ott., pp. 152 If. W«taoti wnrted himself rigorooBlj 
for the att&iiiinant of a board of agricnltare in New York, the state in 
which he reaided after 181S. 

M/oHmal of ihe Vniied Stats* Agriaatwai BooUty, HI, 29. Pu- 
aage eit«d from tiie Uaryland Qatette of September 8, 1717. 

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was the Columbian Agricultural Society. This Society, 
sustained by the private subscriptions of such patrons 
aa Charles Carroll of Carrollton, John F. Mercer, 
Custis, and Joel Bariow, was definitely planned in 
November, 1809. It went out of existence in the winter 
of 1812 after having held six semi-annual exhibitions in 
Georgetown. It brought together at regular intervals 
products from the District, Maryland, and ^^rginia, in 
the shape of cattle, horses, sheep, and wares." 

While the war of 1812 interrupted commerce, it had 
only a slight effect upon agriculture. Cotton, sugar, 
and tobacco became more and more important crops 
after 1815 in the SouUl In the North and Middle West 
mixed farming made rapid advances. But when, in 
1816, Elkanah Watson conceived the idea of petitioning 
Congress for a National Board of Agriculture planned 
in accordance with President Washington's suggestion 
advanced twenty years earlier, he was almost sure to 
be disappointed. Watson's petition, sanctioned by and 
presented in the name of the Berkshire Association for 
the Promotion of Agriculture and Manufactures, was 
brought before the House of Representatives on Janu- 
ary 29, 1817. Nearly a month later, on February 21, a 
bill providing for the establishment of such a Board 
was read twice. That was the end of the matter." 

Congress, hurrying towards the close of its session, 
was distinctly opposed to any increase of administra- 
tive machinery and was striving to contract govem- 

■ZbJd., VII, lDe-124, See also Report of the Coamiiiionar of Agri- 
c«Jtw« for 1860, pp. 618 ff. 

n^KNoIt of Congreu, 1« Oong., 2 mm. (1818-1817), pp. 767-766, 

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ment appropriationa. Moreover, the ootrntry was 
hardly prepared for such a novel institntion ae a 
National Board of Agriculture. Watson himself was 
quite aware of the reasons for the failure of the project 
when he wrote of it a year or bo later and commented : 
"The diffusion of agricultural societies, in aU the 
states, wiU prepare the way. They will soon see the 
importance and necessity of such an institntion, to take 
a lead, especially in drawing from foreign conntries, 
through our consuls, all that can promote agriculture 
and the arts in America "" 


From an early period the government's consuls 
abroad reported to the State Department much infor- 
mation valuable to American farmers. Bare plants and 
seeds were frequently forwarded, and occasionally 
animals, as when, for example, William Jarvis, consul 
at Lisbon, aent to America in 1810 a large flock of 
merino sheep." Under date of March 26, 1819, the 
Secretary of the Treasury, William H. Crawford, 
addressed a circular letter to the American consuls 
asking them to procure from abroad useful seeds and 
plants as well as inventions. Crawford assured them 
that the collectors of the diflEerent ports of the United 
States would cheerfully co-operate in this interesting 
and beneficial imdertaking, thus becoming distributors 
of any collections of plants and seeds which might be 
consigned to them. "At present," he concluded, "no 

» E. WBtocm, op. oil., pp. 204 It. 

»0. H. Oreatliouw, BUtorieal BMok of tht V. B. J>epart««nt o/ 
Agricttttwe .... (WaBhiagton: ISOT, 8d nricion), p. 7. 

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expense can be authorized, in relation to these objects. 
Should the result of these snggestiona answer my 
expectations, it is possible that the attention of the 
national legislature may be attracted to the subject, 
and that some provisions may be made, especially in 

relation to useful inventioDB " Crawford's plan 

was certainly among the very first practical national 
measures for the promotion of American agriculture." 

About a year after Crawford's letter was written, 
Congress created a Committee on Agriculture, presum- 
ably for the purpose of devising ways and means for 
the encouragement of farming.'* Congress occasionally 
authorized the printing of some report or treatise per- 
taining to the subject for general distribution. But 
for years agricultural interests were looked after in 
desultory fashion until the Patent Office was reoi^TMi- 
i2ed in 1836. At that time there came into the new 
position — that of Commissioner of Patents — a man 
who appreciated the situation, particularly with 
respect to the lack of order and regularity in supply- 
ing information to the farmers, and who set deliber- 
ately about improving it. The first Commissioner of 
Patents was the son of Oliver Ellsworth, once Ohief- 
Justice of the Supreme Court — Henry L. Ellsworth of 
Connecticut, who served in the office from 1836 to 1845. ' 

From April, 1790, when the first law providing for 
patents was enacted, the State Department had been 
the repository for all patent records. At first Con- 

»E. Watson, op. oil., pp. 20S-20S. 

M^wnolj of Ctmgreu, IS Cong., 1 mm. (1823-18S4), pp. 1686, 16W. 
Tlie CominittM wi Agrienltnra ms ere«tad on Msj S, 1880. 

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gress entrusted the graoting of letters patent to the 
Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and tiie Attor- 
ney-General. Bnt in February, 1793, the privilege of 
granting patents was confined to the Secretary of 
State with the approval of the Attomey-Qeneral. In 
the coarse of years a clerk in the State Department, 
officiaUy known as Superintendent of Patents, was 
authorized. And this was the arrangement until 1836 
when the Patent Office was organized as a bureau in 
the State Department. Inasmuch as a very large pro- 
portion of patents involve improvements in imple- 
ments of agriculture or in processes for tilling the soil, 
the Patent Office was bound to form a center of inter- 
est to the farmers, especially as by law the Conunis- 
sioner of Patents was obliged to report snch statistics 
of agriculture as he might collect." 

Henry L. Ellsworth was a man of ideas. Trained at 
Yale College, where he was graduated in 1810, he 
entered for a time into the profession of law, prac- 
ticing in Hartford, Connecticnt. He was interested 
even in his younger days in the problems of farming, 
for he acted as secretary of the Hartford Agricultural 
Society long before he entered the government service. 
He saw something of life on the frontier and was for a 
while resident conmiissioner among the Indian tribes 
in Arkansas. In his first report as Commissioner of 

SI Btalutet at Large, pp. 109 ff., 818 ff., S ibid, pp. 117 ff. W. a 
Bobiuon, The Lav of Fatentt for Viefvi Invention* (S toU., 1S90), I, 
76 fl. Gaillaril Hunt aketehes the sarlj hirtarj' of tite Patent Offiee in 
"The HUtorj of the Daputmant of State," printed in The Amenea* 
Journal of Intentational Lav, Octobw, 19M, III, 900-912. 

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Patents he spoke of "the aid which husbandry might 
derive from tiie establishment of a regnlar system for 
the selection and distribution of grain and seeds of 
the choicest variety for agricultural purpoaes."" 
Largely through his influence the next year (1839), 
Congress was induced to make a puny appropriation 
of one thousand dollars — its first — for aiding agri- 
cultural interests. In the winter of 1841, becoming 
interested in the formation at Washington of the Agri- 
cultural Society of the United States, Ellsworth 
headed a oommittee of that organization in petitioning 
Congress in August, 1842, for a portion of the Smith- 
son bequest, for the purpose of promoting agriculture 
throughout the Union. The petition was tabled." 
Then in January, 1843, Ellsworth recommended in his 
annual report an agricultural bureau, although, he 
argued, even an agricultural clerkship might be made 
of much service to the farming interests." As the 
years passed, his annual reports were more and more 
widely read and sought for; and Congress lent its aid 
in distributing them. 

That Ellsworth actually succeeded in making a 
government document interesting, will be obvious from 
a passage under date of March 31, 1845, taken from 
John Quincy Adams's Memoirs. "I became immersed 
this morning," wrote Adams, "in the annual report of 
the Commissioner of the Patent Office, Henry L. Ells- 

KjSflutte DocummU, SS Cong., 2 seas. (183T-1S38), II, No. lOS, pp. 

sw. J. Bbeea, The BmitluonUM Jtufitution; Doenments r«1&tiTe to 
ita Origin ud History (1901), I, 238-23S. Infra, Appendix C, p. 402. 

»*Bmate DocimenU, 27 Cong,, 3 wew. (184&-1843), Ul, No. 1S9, p. 3. 

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worth — a docament which he has rendered so inter- 
estiiig that at the recent Bession of Congress the House 
ordered twenty-five thonsand extra copies of it to be 
printed for ciroulation by the members. He has for a 
suooession of years been improving it from year to 
year, till it forms a volume of five hundred pages, and 
a calendar of mechanical and agricultural inventions 
and discoveries more sought after than any other 
annual document published by Congress. Ellsworth 
has turned the Patent Office," declared Adams, "from 
a mere gim-orack shop into a great and highly useful 
public establishment." The conscientious old states- 
man, lured by Ellsworth's skill, thus concluded: 

I read the report this morning. It conanmed an hour of time, 
and diverted me from my prescribed and appropriate employ- 
ment; further, it seduced me to turn over for another hour 
and mor« the sabsequent pages and the appendix. .... As 
I proceeded, I found eoutinnal instigation to farther enqoiiy, 
and was finally obliged to break off so as not to lose the whole 

With small appropriations from Congress for the 
purpose of distributing seeds, carrying on investiga- 
tions, and collecting agricultural statistics, and an 
annual report filled with information for the farmers 
of the conntry, the Patent Office by 1845 had really 
assumed in many respects the fnnotions of an agri- 
cultural bureau. In fact, as Edmund Burke, successor 
to Ellsworth, pointed out, "the Patent Office is now 
[1846] regarded as the general head and representa- 
tive of the useful arts and the industrial interests of 

»XII, 1S8-189. 

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the oountiy." Burke's special suggestion was this: 
that "it might be employed in collecting the statisticB 
of all the great branches of national industry — agri- 
cultural, mamifaoturijig, commercial and mining."" 

Here and there the thought of centralizing farming 
interests at Washington was taking shape and find- 
ing expression. A southern writer, for example, in 
De Bow's Commercial Review, a publication that 
endeavored to represent agricultural and industrial 
matters of the South and West, contributing an 
article on "Agriculture of Louisiana" in May, 1847, 
remarked that a "national board of agriculture, com- 
prising great Intelligence, sagacity and judgment, 
which should have the whole subject of American 
production, agriculture, manufactures, and commerce 
before it, conld do more to indicate the true policy for 
each section to pursue, than can be acquired in any 
other way. This," continued the writer, "was the 
favorite plan of our illustrious Washington, and has 
been sedulously cherished and ably advocated by many 
of our most intelligent statesmen since.'" 

President Zachary Taylor, himself from Louisiana, 
was the first President after Washington who made 
a definite recommendation in his annual message 
approving some sort of central administrative organi- 
zation for agriculture. The recommendation, appear- 
ing in December, 1849, follows : 

No direct aid faaa been given by the General Oovemment to 
the improvement of agriculture except by the expenditure 

X Senate Documenta, 29 Coag., 1 tees. (1845-1846), VI, No. 807, p. 17. 
V III, 413. The anthoT wu B. L. AUeii of New Orlwns, L*. 

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of small sumfl for the collection and publication of agricnl- 
tural Btatifitica and for some chemical analyses, which have 
been thus far paid for ont of the patent fnnd. This aid is, 
in my opinion, wholly inadequate. To give to this leading 
branch of American industry the encouragement which it 
merits, I respectfully recommend the establishment of an 
agricultural bureau, to be connected with the Department of 
the Interior. To elerate the social condition of the agricol- 
tnrist, to increase his prosperity, and to extend his means 
of usefulness to his country, by multipljdn^ his sources of 
information, should be the study of every statesman and a 
primary object with every l^rislator." 

Although CongresB took no action on Taylor's 
recommendation, the passage in the message brought 
the subject once more into prominenpe at an epoch 
when both local and national authorities were to 
become satisfied that a bureau or department of agri- 
ooltnre was a necessary addition to the organization 
of the central government To get stioh an organiza- 
tion established was one of the many notable tasks 
of the next momentous decade. 


The more sensational episodes of the decade 1850- 
1860, influencing party politios and attracting wide- 
spread popular attention, have naturally enlisted the 
interest of historical writers concerned with the affairs 
of that time. These episodes have been emphasized 
somewhat to the neglect of oertain quiet, persistent, 
and normal social and industrial forces which, pushing 

^iituaga and Paptrt, V, 18. 

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ahead under the steady impetus of developing 
resources and western expansion, were making for 
various administrative and institutional changes of 
oonsequence. After 1830 the stream of foreign 
immigrants into the United States began noticeably 
to expand. The census of 1850 indicated that 1,713,- 
250 newGomers bad entered the country within a 
decade. Many of these were destined to take up lands 
in the West. Between 1850 and 1860 the influx of 
foreigners, attracted by the discovery of gold and 
alluring opportimities of various kinds, reached in 
numbers to 2,598,214; and there was only a slightly 
diminished number of foreign arrivals during the 
decade opened by the CivU War. By 1850 the South 
was conscious of having lost ground in the great strug- 
gle toward industrial improvement. The North and 
the West on the other hand were becoming more and 
more prosperous, and were equally conscious of the 

No writer has hitherto referred in any but the brief- 
est way to the establishment at Washington in 1852 of 
the United States Agricultural Society. Inasmuch as 
this Society was the means of arousing local interests 
in agriculture and focusing them on the problem of 
general moment — ^the problem of obtaining from Con- 
gress the establishment of a Bureau or Department of 
-. Agrioultare in the national government — it may be 
well to examine briefly its history, for the Society had 
a marked influence in the matter of the le^slation of 
1862 which finally determined that a Department 'of 
Agriculture should be organized. 


Efforts to form combinatioDS of agrionltnral organi- 
zations go back, aB we have seen, at least to the first 
decade of the nineteenth century. The Golnmblan 
Agricultural Society for the Promotion of Kural and 
Domestic Economy, established at Georgetown, D. C, 
in 1809 and lasting for three years, was the first care- 
fully constituted project of the kind, and might pos- 
sibly have gained a place of infiuence, had it not been 
for the War of 1812. Nothing of a similar nature can 
probably be discovered until the Agricoltnral Society 
of the United States was organized at Washington in 
December, 1841. Designed as a medium of communica- 
tion with agricnltural societies thronghout the Union, 
the Society planned definitely to work for the estab- 
lishment in the District of Columbia of a school of agri- 
culture (including lectures on many scientific subjects), 
an experimental farm, a periodical, and regular exhi- 
bitions or fairs. At the very outset, it determined to 
petition Congress for the purpose of obtaining for its 
objects the Smithson bequest, concerning the proper 
disposition of which there was at the moment much 
doubt. In some respects its aims were a duplication 
of tiiose of the National Institute for the Promotion of 
Science, an organization already a year or so old in 
1841; and consequently were not favored by certun 
infiuential men in Washington. On the other hand the 
Society enlisted the active interest of H. L. EUswortii, 
Commissioner of Patents, and of such leading Senators 
as Dixon H. Lewis of Alabama, and Robert J. Walker 
of Mississippi. John Stnart Skinner of Maryland, 
well known as the editor of the first agricultural paper 

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established in the United StBtes * Edmund EnfBn of 
Virginia, and Amoa Kendall of Kentaoky were con- 
nected with the Society in official capacities. Eon, 
James Meroer Qamett of Virginia, who had served his 
state in Congress and had acted for some twenty years 
as president of the Fredericksburg Agricultural 
Society, was chosen first and only president of the new 

The Agricnltnral Society of the United States held 
but one regular session after its start, the session of 
May 4-5, 1842. There was not the slightest evidence 
of enthusiasm about it. The tabling of the Society's 
petition for the Smithsoo bequest by Congress in the 
following August was the last incident in the So<nety*s 
history of which there is record. The time for such a 
sodety had not come. But its failure lay partly in the 
fact that it was largely the result of political forces ; 
it was neither representative of many agricultural 
societies nor sufficiently disinterested in its aims to 
make a widespread appeal to the farming class. It 
expressed a clear demand for government aid to agri- 
culture. Moreover, there cannot be the least doubt that 
many of its members woiild have approved heartily of 
petitions that had already begun to be addressed to 
Congress asking for annual government reports on 
agriooltural conditions in this country and abroad, or 
would have favored the demand for a national depart- 
ment of agriculture that was just beginning to be 

>*"TIie AnMTieaa S^annn." Baltimore, April 2, 1819-1862. 
VVaHottoI /DteO^ntoM-, Norsmbw, 184I,^Ha7, 1642. Ouii«tt'a 

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By the middle of the centary the time for making 
sporadic efforts on behalf of goTemment aid for agri- 
calture was nearly over. In 1850 the legislature of 
Pennsylvania put itself on record as favoring a 
National Board of Agriculture.** Bnt nothing came of 
the suggestion. At length, on May 20, 1852, throngh 
the co-operation of a group of men actively interested 
in various local agricnltural boards and socdeties scat- 
tered principally over the northeastern states — ^men 
keenly appreciative of the practioal truth that public 
improvements are bronght about by voluntary asso- 
ciation and combined effort — a call was sent out for 
a National Convention of Agriculturists to meet at 
Washington, D. C, on the 24th and 25th of the follow- 
ing June, for the purpose of forioing a national agri- 
cultural society. In response there assembled in 
Washington upwards of one hundred and fifty dele- 
gates who projected and organized the United States 
Agricultural Society. Hon. Marshall P. Wilder of 
Boston, one of the foremost projectors of the plan, a 
well-to-do merchant, very accomplished as a farmer 
and public spirited as a citizen, was chosen first presi- 

addieaa ma printed in tliie papei on Decvnber 21, IMl. Tha list of 
offiean will be found printed on December SO, and agnin, aa altered at 
tbe Maj aeeaion, on Maj 11, 1848. On Jannur 10, 1840, Joaepb L. 
Smith memorialised Congreie, aaking for an annnsl report on Agtieol- 
ture. Senate DoaimenU, S6 Cong., 1 eeaa. (1639-1840), III, No. 01. On 
Febmuy 3 following, J. L. ftnith and otbeni petitioned for a Depart. 
ment of Agriculture. Ibid., IV, No. 181. The Motional Intelligeneer of 
October 24, 1S4S, and Janaary El, 1843, throws some additional lig^t 
on tbe movement for a Department of Agiieulture at thia earlj time. 

*i Senate Miieellaneov* DotmmeitU, 31 Cong. 1 leM. (1840-1860), I, 
No. 107. 

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dent, and served as such until 1858. Vice-presidents 
were named — a long list, inolnding one representatiTe 
name from every one of the thirty-one states and five 
territories, as well as from the District of Colmnbia; 
and snch other officers as were essential to maintain 
the active work of a large and truly representative 
society. ' 

The Society as thus organized was a natural devel- 
opment of state and local institntions which for years 
had been gaining strength and working toward certain 
common ideals. Inevitably it drew to itself many of 
the leading fanners in the United States, and for ten 
years (1852-1862) expressed through its Journal the 
views on national and local affairs of the most enlight- 
ened and influential farming organizations in the 
country. From the very outset the Society tried to 
focus public attention on the proper solution of the 
problem of govermnent aid for the farmers. At every 
annual meeting it presented snch evidence of agricul- 
tural progress as could be discovered; and it discussed 
regularly, or urged the special project of, the establish- 
ment of a national Department of Agriculture with a 
cabinet officer at its head. 

Presidents Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan appeared 
at one time or another at the annual meetings of the 
United States Agricultural Society. Such heads of 
departments as Webster, Secretary of State, Alex- 
ander H. H. Stuart of Virginia, Robert McClelland of 
Michigan, and Jacob Thompson of Mississippi, Secre- 
taries of the Interior, and James Outhrie of Kentucky, 
Secretary of the Treasury, occasionally attended. By 

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1862 the Society had on its rolls as honorary members 
the five living ex-Presidents of the United States, as 
well as President Linoolu. Hany Senators and Repre- 
sentatives served as regularly qualified delegates to its 
sessions. Among its aotive members may be named 
such men as Stephai A. Douglas of Illinois, Justin S. 
Morrill of Vermont, Isaac Touoey of Ck>nneoticut, 
George E. Waring, Jr., and Horace Oreeley of New 
York, William Pitt Fessenden of Maine, Hobert W. 
Barnwell of South Carolina, Tench Tilghman of Mary- 
land, and James D. B. De Bow of Louisiana. 

Beginning with an exhibition of horses at Spring- 
field, Massachusetts, in the antmnn of 1853, the Society 
conducted a series of eight annual fairs, the others 
taking place at Springfield, Ohio (1854), Boston 
(1855), Philadelphia (1856), LouisviUe (1857), Rich- 
mond, Virginia (1858), Chicago (1859), and Cincinnati 
(1860). These fairs, always extending over a period 
of several days, were carefully planned, largely 
attended, and served as a means of bringing together 
from all parte of the country interesting specimens of 
grain, seeds, fiuit, cattle, horses, and agricultural 
machinery. On these field occasions the Society was 
addressed by men of such standing as Edward Everett, 
Roberi: C. Winthrop, Caleb Cushing, ex-President 
Tyler, and Senators Douglas and Crittenden. 

Prom ttie very beginning the United States Agri- 
cultural Society had prestige, and was sure to have 
influence, for it was altogether an important as well as 
a unique organization — a remarkable expression, in its 
way, of the fact characterizing the decade before the 

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Civil War that agriculture had at length become fash- 
ionable." Id order to pass judgment on the significance 
of the Society in relation to tlie movement toward the 
establishment of a national Department of Agriculture, 
the reader should bear in mind two sets of factors that 
mark the decade before the War. 

Firat, notwithstanding the criBia of 1857, the decade 
revealed great agricultural prosperity and develop- 
ment. Without entering into tiie detailed statistics of 
the decade, it may be said that the national wealth was 
more than doubled. So were the valaes of farms and 
faim property. There was a decrease in the produc- 
tion of sugar-<;8ne. But such leading staples as com, 
wheat, cotton, and wool increased enoimonsly. The 
mileage of railroads was more than tripled. And 
Congress, aware of the growing importance of agri- 
culture and doubtless influenced by knowledge of the 
fact, raised the annual appropriations for agriculture 
from $5,000 in 1853 to $10,000 in 1854. Prom 1854 to 
1860 inclusive, these appropriations averaged yearly 
slightly less than $47,000, indicating the legislative 
trend of the epoch." 

Second, in government circle there was throughout 
the decade a decided inclination in favor of establish- 
ing a Bureau of Agriculture, a plan which would have 
taken the work of collecting agricultural statistics 
from the charge of the Commissioner of Patents and 
have placed it under an official directly responsible to 

tCA^enltnre liaa at Icmgth b«Mme fiultionabU." B. P. Poora'a 
oponing MntonM at an articls in Uie /owkoI of the Dnited State* AgH- 
Mdfurol Bocietji for 1S64 (ed. W. B. King, Borton: 1865), H, 188. 

u Sm Note 1 at tlM end of thia chapter. 

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the Secretary of the Interior. At least two efforts 
toward this end were recorded within the decade: (i) 
an effort in Congress in 1853;** and (ii) a project of 
Buchanan's Secretary of the Interior (Jacob Thomp- 
son of Mississippi) in 1859 to place Hon. Thomas G. 
Glemson in direct charge of a Bureau." Bat although 
Glemson acted for a time as ' ' Supeiintendent of Agri- 
cultural Affairs" in the Patent Office, neither effort 
was successful 

Some other pieces of evidence afford further indica- 
tion of government interest in the problem of organi- 
zation. In 1857 D. J. Browne of the Patent Office, as 
the result of a trip abroad made for the purpose of 
investigating certain phases of European agriculture, 
printed a report in which he described public methods 
of encouraging agricultare in Russia and Prussia, and 
gave perhaps the earliest careful resume of what the 
United States government had done up to that time for 
the American farmers, together with a ■ historical 
sketch of American agriculture from its beginnings.* 
In the spring of the next year the House Committee 
on Agriculture was considering a bill which provided 
for a National Board of Agriculture." In 1860 Clem< 
son, then in charge as superintendent of the agricnl- 

» Journal <4 t\e U. 8. AffrUmttmrai Boetetf for 1804, H, 28. 

« Quarterly Journal of AgricitlttiTe (Juiuu7, 1S«0), VH, STT. Ibid., 
(AprU, 1860), Tni, 31, SI, S5-66, 169. [This it tha IfttwUtle of Um 
organ of the U. & A. Bocietj. See Note 3 at the end of the chapter.] 

i»Exeentive DocummU, 3S Cong., 1 leaa. (1857-1868), IV, No. SO, pp. 

tr Trantaetion* and UontUy Bulletin of th« U. 8. Agriouihtrdl 
Soeiety for 1868 (ed. B. P. Poore), Uardt Bnlletiii, VZ, 11. 

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tural division of the Patent Office, presented in his 
report a concise statement of the facts about agricnl- 
tnral departments, bnreans, and boards as he under- 
stood them to be in England, France, Spain, Belgium, 
Austriaj Russia, and Prussia. His division of the 
Patent Office he did not hesitate to characterize as an 
"embryotic organization," a mere expedient whicb 
should be altered, he thought, in a way to give it the 
independent standing of a Department. Such a 
Department, he declared, "shoald know no section, no 
latitude, no longitude. It should be subservient to no 
party other than the great party of production."" 

From the moment of its organization in June, 1852, 
to its last annual meeting of any oonseqaenoe in 
January, 1862, the United States Agricultural Society 
recorded itself time and again as favorable to the 
establishment of a Department of Agriculture with a 
Secretary of cabinet rank and position at its head. 
The protagonist of a Department in the Society, deter- 
mined, persistent, and never allowing any opportunity 
for the presentation of his favorite view to be lost, was 
a certain Charles B. Calvert of Maryland. Graduated 
at the University of Virginia in 1827, Calvert had been 
president of the Maryland Agricultural Society, and 
had devoted himself heart and soul to the promotion 
of farming interests. Serving his state in the legis- 
lature as a comparatively young man for brief terms, 
he was finally elected a Representative to the Thirty- 
seventh Congress (July 4, 1861-March 4, 1863) where 

*>HoiM« Bxeattive VoctmvnU, 36 Cong., 2 mm. (1860-1S61), No. 48, 
p. 11. 

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he acted as a member of the House Cktmmittee on Agri- 
onltore. He died in 1864." 

When, in 1852, the business committee of the Society^ 
recommended that the Society should work for the 
establishment of a national Department or Bureau of 
Agriculture, Calvert at onee opposed the bureau ideal. 
To the attitude of Senator Douglas and others oppos- 
ing either a department or a bureau, on the ground 
that either would provide places for politicians, and 
that occupants of such places would be removed at 
every change of administration, Calvert replied that 
he "would like to have a politician, a Cabinet Minister, 
at the head of agriculture. If this were the case, 
politics would be the better for it."" At the first 
annual meeting in February, 1853, he gained, after 
some opposition, the unanimous vote of the Society in 
favor of a memorial to CoDgress "to establish .... 
a Department of Agriculture, the head of which .... 
shall be a Cabinet 0£5cer. ' "* The next year he opposed 
before the Society a bill, then under consideration by 
a committee of Congress, which provided for a bureau. 
Others at that time came to his assistance, notably the 
eminent chemist, Professor James J. Mapes. "Talk 
of an Agricultural Bureau," declared Mapes, "and 
what would it amount toT He had no notion of the 
farming interest of the country being sifted down to a 
well-hole at the bottom of a Patent Office An 

**C. Lkumftu, Biographieai Annalt of the Civil Qovemment of t1t« 
United States (Washin^ni 187S), pp. 65-66. 

R Jowrnol of t/te U. 8. Agrioiaturat BooMy, I, 13-lS. 
n ibid., I, No. 2,pp. 16ff. 

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Agricoltural Department is absolutely necessary." 
For the second time the Society declared itself unani- 
mously for a Department." In 1855 Calvert depre- 
cated further efforts to gain any legislation from Con- 
gress. He suggested that the time was ripe for "the 
agriculturists of the whole country to meet in conven- 
tion, and determine for themselves what leg^lation is 
necessary for their protection. ' "** Impracticable aa the 
idea was, it was no more so than the proposition of 
B. B. French of Washington, D. C, who in the autumn 
of the same year propounded as a solution of difficul- 
ties that the farmers of the country should elect the 
head of a Department of Agriculture." "When a 
Cabinet Minister represents agriculture," said Calvert 
in 1856, * ' the farmer will be appreciated by the 
Government .... until .... such a representative takes 
his se&t in the Cabinet, the hope .... that the Govern^ 
ment will regard agriculture as its chief bulwark and 
cherish its advance accordingly, is fallacious."* 

In 1857, and again in 1858, President Marshall P. 
Wilder of the Society voiced in his annual addresses 
the Calvert view. Once more, in 1857, the Society 
voted in accordance with this view to memorialize 
Congress, asking for a Department "with a Cabinet 
Minister at its head. ' ' Id spite of the financial disturb- 
ance of 1857, Wilder beheved in 1858 that the time 
was near when the national government would come 

a Ibid., H, 28-20. 
BJbiA, in, 17-18. 
I* Ibid., in, ITB. 
Kibid., IV, 67. 

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more effectively than ever to the aid of the farming 

Notwithstanding overshadowing political issues 
already threatening to destroy the stability of the 
national goTemmental structure, there were signs 
favorable to Wilder's hopeful mood. Congress had 
appropriated in 1857 $75,000 for agriculture. Morrill 
was making headway with his Land Bill which, if suc- 
cessful, would donate millions of acres to the states to 
provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and tiie 
mechanic arts. A committee of Congress had under 
advisement the project of a National Board of Agri- 
culture. In 1859 an Advisory Board of Agriculturists 
met at the request of the House Committee on Agri- 
onltnre and, after discussion, made a report which 
recommended the creation of a Department with a 
cabinet officer at its head. This report was apparently 
suppressed in 1860, its specific recommendation having 
become known and having aroused in some parts of the 
coontry opposition." The sectional issues loomed 
large and were inevitably reflected in the United States 
Agricultural Society, tending to divide the members 
into groups. But Calvert held persistently to his origi- 
nal views, and at the four annual meetings, from 1859 
to 1862, was regularly recorded as urging his favorite 

At the annual meeting of the Society in 1860, Joseph 

■ /ounuit, V, 24, 2B, 88. TranMoctiont, etc, for 18B8, VT, 10. 

•r Qitarterly Jovnuil of Agriculture, VIII, 30-39. Other facta in tha 
paraKraph may be diaeoTered In the Society '■ periodical, VI- VII, poMtin. 

» Journal of AgrieuUure, VH, 18. Quartfrly Journal, Vm, S5. 
Vationol Intaiigeno«T, JtanMij 12, 1881. Joumai, X, SI tf. 

DcirzeSoy Google 


G. O. Kennedy, famous in his day as a statisticiaii, and 
superintendent of the eighth census, left an interesting 
estimate on record as to the influence of the United 
States Agricultural Society. "Having resided at this 
capital ever since the period of your organization as a 
society," he said, "and having carefully observed the 
effects of its influence upon the Government and the 
country, I can say from personal knowledge that, 
unknown perhaps to the most prominent and useful 
members of the association, and to those upon whom 
its effects have fallen, the society has been silently but 
surely working a revolution in the feelings of those 
charged with the direction of public affairs, and eaah. 
successiye administration appears to realize more and 
more the claims of agriculture upon its attention, and 
the necessity of complying with the general demand 
for ofSeial recognition of the importance of an interest 
heretofore much neglected. .... The only question of 
doubt appears now to be, not the propriety of doing 
something, bat how in a just and liberal spirit can the 
power of the ruling authority .... be best exerted to 
lend a helpiag hand to the support and elevation of the 
great mainstay of our national prosperity." It was 
Kennedy's view that the feeling among the people as 
well as io government circles would go on gathering 
strength "tmtil we have what other Governments have 
found it necessary to organize, a department devoted 
principally to the interests of agriculture. "" 

Almost the last vigorous utterance from an organi- 
zation whose work was praotically over in 1862 came 

■ /rariMJ, Vm, 81-88. 



from President W. B. Hubbard's address at the animal 
meeting of that year in which he urged the farmers of 
the conntry to give their BepresentatiTes in Congress 
no rest "until a Secretary of Agriculture, representing 
your combined interests, has a potential voice in the 
Cabinet of your President of the United States."* 
Just two days before this address a bill had been intro- 
duced into the House of Bepreaentatives, on January 
7, providing for the establishment of an Agricultural 
and Statistical Bureau. After being read twice, it was 
referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, 
which included io its personnel Charles B. Calvert of 

David P. Holloway of Indiana, Conunissioner of 
Patents in 1861, had a long series of considerations in 
his report for that year which led him by a roimdabout 
way to the conclusion that Congress ought to create a 
Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufac- 
tures, or (in other words) a Minister of Industry. His 
first idea had been to recommend merely a Commis- 
sioner of Agriculture, impressed as he was by the fact 
that three-fourths of the people were engaged in farm- 
ing. But almost everybody else, he reflected, was a 
laborer of some sort. Such foreign countries as 
France, Italy, and Prussia had succeeded in combining 
Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures under one 
headship, thus gaining economy, unity, and efficiency 

» Journal, X, 13-14. 

t^CongreiMvmal OUthe, 37 Cong., 2 mm. (1881-1802), Pt I, pp. 818, 

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of administration. Why should the United States not 
do sol He failed to detect any constitntional difficnl- 
ties in the way of such a project. Let the proposed 
Secretary or Minister of Industry be placed over a 
"Department of the Productive Arts." "We are," 
he wrote, "in the midst of a great revolution, not only 
social and pohtical, but industrial and economical. 
Thus far the best efforts of the great minds of the 
nation have necessarily been directed mainly to the con- 
sideration of the former; but the day is fast coming 
when the latter will command the attention that is its 
due." First of all, he knew, the rebellion must be 
crushed out. Its political consequences alone will call 
for the wisest statesmanship. But there are to be eco- 
nomic consequences. There will be a vast debt of 
many millions which will weigh heavily on all the pro- 
ductive interests. "These interests," he concluded, 
"must be recognized, fostered, and organized, that 
they may be equal to the burden and the extinguish- 
ment of this debt."" 

HoUoway 's view was more advanced than that of hia 
superior, the Secretary of the Interior, Caleb B. Smith, 
as presented in his annual report of November 30, 1861. 
"I feel constrained," said Smith, "to recommend the 
establishment of a Bureau of Agriculture and Statis- 
tics, the need whereof is not only realized by the heads 
of departments, bat is felt by every intelligent legis- 
lator."" Smith's suggestion would seem to be the true 

tSenate Exeeutine DocumenU, 37 Cong., 2 seaa. (1861-18S2), V, No. 
89, pp. S-10, powHn. 

"Senate Doeum«nU, 37 Cong., 2 teet. (ie61-18«2), I, No. 1. Beport 
of tlw Btentatj of the Intarior, pp. 4S1-1S2. 



BOUTce of Lincoln's recommendation to Congress in his 
annual message, three days later, of an "agrionltnral 
and statistical bareaii." The matter is chiefly inter- 
esting as the first recommendation of an agricnltnral 
burean in a presidential message since Taylor's in 
1849. It brought the subject into prominence. It was 
otherwise not notable, for the idea of some each organi- 
zation had been familiar enongh to Congressmen and 
others for years past Indeed, there were doubtless 
not a few who would have agreed heartily with Sena- 
tor Foster of Connecticat when, a few months later, he 
declared that he wonld not have ohosen this time to 
create either a Bureau or a Department. "We are 
engaged," he remarked, "in a struggle for national 
existence, and we need all our energies to be directed 
to that object and to that alone."** 

But action on the subject, to which Lincoln had once 
more drawn public attention, was soon called for, inas- 
miioh as several bills providing for an agricultural 
organization were introduced into Congress. Between 
January 7, 1862, the date of the introduction of a bill 
providing for an Agricaltnral and Statistical BaTean^ 
and February 11 following, the House Committee on 
Agriculture determined to recommend, not the plan of 
a Bureau which was Lincoln's suggestion, but that of 
a Department in charge of a Commissioner who should 
be appointed by the President. The bill was disposed 
of in the House of Representatives with great speed on 
February 17, winning almost the unanimous approval 

H Globe, op. cit., Pt. I, p. 17S6. Mftage* «md Ptv**! ^ 58-53. 

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of that body." The way had been carefully prepared 
by means of a report signed by all the memberB of 
the Committee, a report wMoh contained an admirable 
sketch of administrative progress toward the object 
of the bill since the tinae';n^heQ Ellsworth had been 
placed in charge of the Patent Office by Jackson in 1836. 
*'It may be asked," wrote the Committee, "why not 
have a minister of commerce, of mannfactures, as well 
as a minister of agriculture! In reply to this, the Com- 
mittee would state that in most countries these inter- 
ests are represented in the Govermnent by a distinct 
bureau or minister. But there is this also to be con- 
sidered. The commercial and manufacturing interests 
being locally limited and centralized, can easily combine 
and make themselves felt in the Halls of legislation and 

in the Executive Departments of the Government 

New York and Lowell have often more immediate influ- 
ence in directing and molding material legislation than 
all the farming interest in the country. Agriculture 
clad in homespun is very apt to be elbowed aside by 
capital attired in ten-dollar Yorkshire. Every govern- 
ment in Europe .... has an agricultural department 
connected with it."* 

Such comments suggested at the very outset the 
question of class legislation, and indirectly the consti- 
tutionality of the measure. Congress, however, was 
peculiarly free at the time from extremists of all sorts. 
There were no states-rights advocates to rise up, as 
Calhoun and Mason had done in the discussions of 1849 

■ QUibt, p. S57. Tha vote waa 122 jeu Mid only 7 nafa. 
^Pfid., pp. SSS'SSO. 



over the creation of a Department of the Interior, and 
object to the erection of an agricultural bureau or a 
department as a step taken by the central government 
to exercise overbearing or unwarrantable dominance 
over the states. That fear found at any rate no 
spokesman, although Senator Cowan at a later time 
expressed his belief that the bill was unconBtitntional.*' 

Some difficulties presented themselves in the Senate. 
These were, however, of an adjustable kind. The prob- 
lems propounded concerned chiefly the relations of the 
proposed organization : Should there be a Bureau in the 
Interior Department T Or, on the other hand, should 
there be a separate Department with a cabinet officer 
at its headf Efforts for both Bureau and Department 
could be cited from the immediate past. The arrange- 
ment of the pending bill was something of a departure 
from precedent. 

The petition of the United States Agricultural 
Society, asking for an independent Department, was 
referred to in the Senate diacusaion. The president of 
that Society had himself been before the Senate Com- 
mittee to urge the creation of a Department, convinced, 
however, that it should be disconnected "from any of 
the Departments of the QoTemment whose chief was 
appointed from political considerations."" This point 
of view, together with opposition against arranging for 
a Secretary who should go at once into the Cabinet, 
affords the probable clue to the result that at the head 
of the new Department there was placed a Conuois- 

*' Globe, op. dt., pp. 2014-2017, paatim. 
-Ibid., p. 2016. 

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sioner. Like much legislation that is aidnring, the 
arrangement was a compromise — an attempt to satiBfy 
in part the more advanced advocates snch aa Calvert, 
and the conservatives who were, at least in administra- 
tive circles, numerous. 

The objection to a cabinet officer, although voiced but 
once in the House by John E. Phelps of Missouri," 
drew out much comment in the Senate. "If we make it 
a Department," argued Senator Foster, "there will be 
a necessity for a greater amount of expenditure ; for the 
head of the Department of Agriculture wiU naturally 
consider himself somewhat slighted if he does not have 
a salary equal in amount to tiiat of other heads .... 
with a seat in the Cabinet."" Senator -John P. Hale 
of New Hampshire asserted that "the great anxiety to 
have agriculture elevated to a Department .... and 
finally to a seat in the Cabinet, for that is what it looks 
to, does not come from the men .... that lean upon 
their plow-handles; but it comes from the men who 
want them to take their hands off the plow-handle and 
vote for them at the ballot box .... Now there are 
seven heads of Departments, with places in the Cabinet 
.... this Agricultural Department will soon furnish 
another."" "I know people shake their heads," 
observed Senator J. F. Simmons of Bhode Island, one 
of the chief spokesmen for the bill. ' ' Senators seem to 
be determined to regard this measure as one proposing 
an independent Department headed by and by with a 

■ /Bid., p. 2098. 
»/6»<i., p. 17S6. 
njiid.,p. 2014. 

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oabinet officer. I do not know of any possible reason 
for apprehending it"" 

Signed by President Lincoln on May 15, 1862, the 
bill became law. Hon. Isaac Newton of Pennsylvama, 
previously in charge of the agricultural division of the 
Patent Office, was named as Commissioner — the first 
of a series of six such officials — and entered upon his 
duties on July 1 following. 

The sources of law-making opinion are often not 
easy to discover. But the evidence thus far gathered 
in this chapter has missed its object, if it does not indi- 
cate that the conviction which gained possession of 
Congress in 1862 and created an independent Depart- 
ment of Agriculture was the result of hard effort, 
persistent agitation, and widespread expression of 
views favorable to some such measure. In fact, the 
movement of thought had for years been directed to 
this end, influenced much, as of course it was, by the 
rapid growth of the country in population, resources, 
and wealth. The time had come when a Department 
of Agriculture could be exacted from Congress, not- 
withstanding the obvious fact that our political struc- 
ture was being shaken to its foundations. 


The Fiftieth Congress {December 5, 1887-Mar(^ 3, 
1889) was deluged with petitions and memorials asking 
that the grade of the Department of Agriculture be 
raised to "executive" rank in order that a Secretary 

n aiobe, op. eit., p. 201S. 

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might thaa be obtained to represent farming interests 
in the Cabinet. Many bills were drafted in response 
to Buch appeals. The agitation, however, was by no 
means new. For a period of many years Congress 
had been the recipient of similar petitions and appeals. 
Bills for the purpose of meetiDg such demands had 
heretofore been prepared; they had occasionally 
passed the ordeal of one or the other House, but were 
eventually lost through opposition. The so-called 
Hatch biU which was finally passed in a modified form 
and signed by President Cleveland in February, 1889, 
had mn a long course under various gnises since 
February, 1881. In brief, the problem of raising the 
grade of the Agricultural Department had occupied at 
times the attention of several Congresses for a period 
of fully eight years." 

By the spring of 1888 there was a very widespread 
impression, clearly recognized in Congress, that some- 
thing ought to be done to satisfy the persistent efforts 
on the part of farmers' associations to get "repre- 
sented in the Cabinet" of the President The more 
conservative Congressmen were still inclined to think 
that an Agricultural Bureau would serve all important 
purposes. Accordingly they protested mildly against 
the movement as likely to lead to paternalism and 
centralization. The most serious objections were 
voiced by Senators 0. H. Piatt of Connecticut, and 

^ CongrMtional Baeord, XIX, 1479, 9303. Representative W. H. 
Ekteh of Mtawuri cm Oetobei: 8, 1SS6, related the historf of variona 
meaauree f rom- Februaiy 7, 1881, their startiiig point in the third lession 
of the 46th Congreas. 

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William £. Chandler of New Hampshire, the latter 
onoe Secretary of the Navy in President Arthur^s 
Cabinet. "If a new department is to be created," 
argued Piatt on June 4, 1888, "it ought to be a depart- 
ment which should embrace within its parview all of 
the great business interests of the country. There is 
no reason,*' he continued, "why those people inter- 
ested in agriculture should be represented in the Cabi- 
net, and those who are interested in manufactures, or 
mining, or transportation, or commerce, should not 
be." Labor, from Piatt 'a standpoint, could on no 
account he overlooked. Several speakers, following 
ont the same line of thought, were inclined to favor a 
new department which should be termed a "Depart- 
ment of National Industries."" 

Senator Chandler, though favoring in some ways 
the movement for an executive Department of Agri- 
culture, reminded his colleagues of an argument 
against it that he had urged some years before. "The 
present members of the President's Cabinet," he 
declared on September 20, ' * are at the head of political 
departments of the Qovemment. They are all politi- 
cal ; they are all in some way connected with and essen- 
tial to the political government of the country. But 
agriculture is in no sense an essential of political 
government. The fostering of agrlcultnre is not a 
necessary part of government." Still further to illus- 
trate his position. Chandler remarked that the Depart- 
ments of State, Treasury, War, Navy, Justice, Inte- 
rior, and the Postal Establishment were "political." 

H^Mord, XIX, 4876, 8686 ff., 88U fl. 

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He waB oonTinoed that the creation of an ezecatlTe 
Department of Agrionltore would be a dUtinot breach 
in tradition — an opening for many dangerona possibil- 
ities in the future. Where the process of executive 
"establishments" might end, were the fanners to gain 
their object, no man ooold aay." 

These views of Senators Piatt and Chandler, while 
not essentially new, were forcibly presented. Chand- 
ler's position was clearly that of a constitutional 
lawyer, and was based upon the technical language of 
the law. In the eyes of some of the stricter construc- 
tionists in the Senate it appeared reasonable. Piatt 
was viewing the problem from a broader standpoint, 
interested in the possible claims of all classes, and 
somewhat fearful of anything that had the semblance 
of class legislation. However, Congress as a body 
failed to be determined or concluded by them. 

Senator Plumb of Kansas did not hesitate to answer 
Chandler. He refused to see any reasonable distino- 
tion between "political" and "non-political" depart- 
ments. The Cabinet did not, he contended, cover "the 
entire scope of proper administration." "We have," 
he continoed, "now a Department of Labor. Experi- 
ence with that department may prove after a time that 
it is desirable to make the person who presides over 
that department also a secretary .... while I can 
appreciate .... the feeling which the Senator from 
New Hampshire has derived no doubt from his expe- 
rience in the Cabinet of President Arthur, that when 
you have got a good thing it is well to have it at pretty 

^Ibid., pp. 8778, 6801 ff. 

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olose quarters and distributed among a very few 
persons, to make the crowd as small and therefore as 
select as possible, yet that idea is opposed to the 
republican theory of government." The only ques- 
tion — the real question, as he conceived the problem — 
was simply whether the agricultural interest "is of 
sufficient importance in itself .... to warrant the Con- 
gress of the United States in practically requiring the 
President to take into his coonoils .... the person who 
presides over the Department of Agriculture.*"* 

There were occasional expressions of opinion to the 
effect that the Cabinet was already large enough. 
"Perhaps in a multitude of counsellors there is 
safety," said Senator Piatt, "but," he added, ". . . . 
the ohief executive office is one which a great many 
advisers will only hamper."" There were various 
references in the long course of the debates to the 
practices of foreign countries in administering to the 
needs of the farming classes. Bnt these can have had 
little or no influence on the final solution of the 
matter." The second session of the Fiftieth Congress 
witnessed the settlement of the subject. The President 
approved the bill on Febraary 9, 1889. The Depart- 
ment of Agriculture was raised to the grade of an 
Executive Department with a Secretary over it of 
cabinet rank. On February 11 President Cleveland 
nominated Hon. Nonnan J. Colman of Missouri, who 
had acted as Commissioner of Agriculture since April, 

njtecord, XIX, S806. 

IT/bM., p. 4878. 

n Ibid., pp. MSOff., S60S. 

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1885, to the new Secretaryship, and Cohooan's nomina- 
tion was confirmed by the Senate on February 13." 

Once more, as in 1862, the desired end was attained 
throngh force of many circnmstaneeB aided by per- 
sistent and well-directed popular effort and thought. 
Although the final result was not equivalent to a 
National Board of Agriculture which Washington and 
his contemporaries a century earlier had wished to 
establish, the Department of Agriculture was intended 
to accomplish the work of such a Board, and very 
mnoh besides. 

nfbid., XZ, 1396, 1399, 141S, 1T64. UodiaT, ScMMlwe Bagittir, 
p. 2S1. By A eniigni eomeidmkM tha Britiah Boaid of Agrienltnie datM 
from tbe ame jttt, 82 * 53 Tiet, e. SO. 

1. ApPBOPBunoNB VOB Aaiiiom.TUBB : 1850-1865 ; 1900- 
The following figures are talEen from a maoh more 
elaborate table whioh will be found on page 91 of Mr. 
Charles H. Glreathouse's "Historical Sketch of the 
TJ. S. Department of Agriculture: its Objects and 
Present Organization" printed as Bulletin 3 of the 
United States Department of Agriculture (Wasbing- 
ton: 1907, pp. 97). Through the courtesy of Mr. 
Oreathonse, I have obtained and added the annual 
figures through 1912. 



18S0 « 5,500.00 1900 . 

1861 6,600.00 1901 . 

1852 6,000.00 1902 . 

1858 5,000.00 1903 . 

1864 10,000.00 1904 . 

1855 50,000.00 1905 . 

1866 30,000.00 1906 . 

1867 76,000.00* 1907 . 

1868 63,600.00 1908 . 

1859 60,000.00 1909 . 

1860 40,000.00 1910 . 

1861 60,000.00 I9I1 . 

1862 64,000.00 1912 . 

1863 80,000.00 

1864 199,770.00 

1866 112,304.00 

* Including ddlei«ne7 nppropri»ti»B. 


. .« 3,006,022.00 
. 12,996,036.00 

oy Google 


The annual appropriations were increased to upwards 
of $1,000,000 in 1888. Tbey have ranged from about 
$3,000,000 in 1900 to nearly $17,000,000 in 1912, 
steadily increasing during the period, except for a 
very trifling falling off in 1908. 

2. Last Mbktdto ot thb UirnED States AoBionxTtmAL 

SOCIETT IN 1881 : 

In a paper contributed to the Annual Beport of the 
Commissioner of Agriculture for 1866 (pp. 525-526), 
the curious reader will find a statement by Ben : Perley 
Foore about the Society as it then existed. The state- 
ment is given in the course of a sketchy "History of 
the Agriculture of the United States." What seems to 
have been the last meeting of the Society was recorded 
in a pamphlet, now very rare, entitled "Proceedings 
of the 29th Amiual Meeting of the United States Agri- 
cultural Society, January 12, 1881" (Washington: 
1881. Pp. 24). A copy of this pamphlet may be seen 
in the Library of the Department of Agriculture in 
Washington. The author was Major B. P. Poore, who 
was first appointed secretary of the Society in 1856. 

It appears that a mere handful of aged members 
attended the meeting held in the parlor of the Ebbitt 
House. Hon. John Merryman of Maryland presided, 
while Major Poore aoted as secretary, first reading the 
minutes of the twenty-eighth annual meeting. Presi- 
dent Merryman reviewed the early history of the 
So<aety, dwelling with special pride on the fact that it 
was the only "National Agricultural Association ever 
chartered by the Congress of the United States" 


(April 19, 1860) , and refleoting that it was a realization 
of the National Board of Agricoltnre reconunended by 
Geor^ WaBhington. Moreover, he took pride in the 
fact that the Society had nrged the estahlishment of 
a Department of Agriealture "ontil the desired result 
was attained." The record thns oontinues: 

Daring the war tlie officen and members of the United 
States AgrioaltiiTal Society were eitnmged. Some von Une 
nniformg and lome gr^, and were conipicnooB on hard- 
fonght fieldi or langniahed in military priwnu. The aociety 
waa, hoveTer, kept alire, and the annual meetings prewribed 
by the conatitation were r^fularly held. Measra. Tilghniaa 
of Maryland ; Hubbard of Ohio ; French and Corcoran of the 
District of Colombia; and Frederick Smyth of New Hamp- 
ahire wer« soeceaaiTely chosen presidents. The Secretaiy waa 
annually re-elected, and on the death of the Treasurer, Mr. 
Wm. M. French of New Hampshire, now a sojourner at Wash- 
ington, waa chosen. 

Asked what the fatore of the organization should be, 
the members indicated their desire to continue it. 
Merryman was named as president Vice-presidents 
to the number of forty-three were selected from most 
of the states, among them being Alexander H. 
Stephens of Cleorgia, Cassins M. Clay of Kentucky, 
Dr. G. B. Loring of Massachusetts, and General Bum- 
side of Bhode Island. A resolution of congratulation 
was framed to be sent to Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, then 
living, and regarded as the founder of the Society. 
**The meeting was not largely attended," commented 
Secretary Poore, "as no new annual or life members 
have been admitted since 1860, and those who joined 
before that time are generally too far advanced in life 

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to go far from their homes. It was, in fact, a re-union 
of veteran agrionlturists, and the meeting of old 
friends and oo-Iahorers was cordial and interesting." 
It was voted to arrange a program for the thirtieth 
annual meeting which should be held at the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture on Wednesday, January 11, 1882, 
at ten a.m. There is no record of any such meeting.' 
The simple truth seems to be that the puny gathering 
of 1881 was the last feeble but dignified gasp of an 
organization that had been in its day, before the Civil 
"War, powerful and really effective. 

3. The Fubucaiions of the UNr^ED States Aqbi- 


These consisted of ten volunea. The only set — ^not 
quite complete — ^that I have ever seen is in the Library 
of Congress. 

Volume I. Tke Joumol of ihs Vnited States Agricultural 

Society, Woahington: 1852 ff. 
No. 1. AogOBt, 1852. Pp. 144. Introd. Edgned by Daniel 

Lee, July, 1852. (Lee was at one time editor of the 

"Qenesee Fanner" of Rochester, N. T.) 
Ko. 2. Pp. 160. Ed. by J. C. G. Kennedy. 
Nob. 3-4. Pp. 279. Ed. by Wm. S. King. 

Yolnme II. The Journal of the United States Agricultural 
Society for 1854. Ed. by "William S. King. Boston : 1855. 
Pp. 256. 

* On J11I7 26, 188], the ConmiiMioiiai of Agrieoltara, G. B. Loring, 
sent aa luvitatioii to & Urge number of agriealtiiTUte over the Mtmtr^ 
to ■wnmhln in WBohington, D. C, at & eonventioa in Jannvr, 168S. Bee 
Proeeedingt of a ConvenUon of AgrioulturitU, held in the Department of 
AcTienltuTe, Jannuj 10 to 18. Waahingtoa: 1882. Pp. 204. 



Tolnme III. The Journal of ike United States Agricvitwal 
Society for 1855. Ed. by W. S. King. Boston: 1856. 
Pp. 263. 

Tolnme IV. The Journal of ths United Statet Agricvltural 
Society for 1856. Ed. by Wm. S. Kii^. BoatoD.- 1857. 
Thia conaiBts of Ft. I, pp. 82 (Boston : 1856) and pp. 272. 

Yolome Y. The Journal of the United States Agricultural 
Society for 1857. Ed. by Ben : Perley Poore. Welling- 
ton : 1858. Pp. 282. 

Volume VI. Tramactiont and Monthly Bulletin of the 
United States Agricultural Society for 1858. Ed. by 
Ben: Perley Poore. Washington: 1859. Pp.104. 
The "Monthly Bulletin" consisted of 11 nos, (Pebruary- 
December, inclnsiTe). The number for August is wanting 
in the Tolume in the Library of Congresa. The others 
contain 6 pages each except the number for Kovember, 
which has 12 pages. 

Volume VII. The Quarterly Journal of Agriculture (outside 
cover). Inside title: The Journal of Agriculture: com- 
prising the Transactions and the Correspondence of the 
United States Agricultural Society for 1859. Ed. by Ben : 
Perley Poore, Secretary, Washington : 1860. 
This volume consisted of "Transactions," etc., pp. 88. 
No. 1. April, 1859. Wanting. 
No. 2. July, pp. 104. 
No. 3. October, pp. 92. 
No. 4. Jannary, 1860, pp. 104. 

Volume VIII. The Quarterly Journal of Agriculturo. Ed. 
by Ben : Perley Poore. Washington: 1860. 
No. 1. April, 1860. 
Noa. 2-4. Wanting. 

Volume IX. Wanting. 

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Volmne X. The Qutu'terly JovnuU of Agrimttio'e. "Ed., iy 
Ben: Perley Poore. Waahington: 1862. 
No. 1. February, 1862, pp. 76. 

No other numbers to be found — ^probabfy the last regular 
issue of the periodieaL 

There is a stray pamphlet to be f onnd in the Library 
of the Department of Agriculture entitled: 

Proceedings of the S9th Annual Meeting of the United States 
Agricultural Society, January 12, 1881. WashiDgton; 
1881. Pp.24. 

This pamphlet was apparently edited by Major B. P. 
Poore, and is undoubtedly the last actoal record of the 
remnant of the Society. For some account of the meet- 
ing, see above Note 2. 

Attempts to diacover a complete file of the periodical 
outside 'Washington have proved unsuccessful. The 
Boston Public Library contains a few scattered num- 
bers of the Journal. 




ON February 14, 1903, President Roosevelt signed 
the bill which provided for the creation of the 
Ezecntive Department of Commerce and Labor with a 
Secretary at its head to be known as the Secretary of 
Commeroe and Labor.* Mr. George B. Oortelyon of 
New York was at onoe appointed to the new Secretary- 
ship, entering npon his dnties two days later in tem- 
porary headquarters at the White Honse. In the fol- 
lowing June permanent offices were formally opened m 
the New Willard Building on Fourteenth Street in 
Washington, and administrative work was there fully 
begun on July 1.' The Secretary of Commeroe and 
Labor thus became the ninth member of the Presi- 
dent's Cabinet. 

The act of 1903, like tiiat which created the Depart- 
ment of the Interior in 1849, provided in part for a re- 
adjustment of administrative burdens, particularly 
those resting upon the shoulders of the Secretary of 
the Treasury. It relieved likewise the Secretaries of 
State and of the Interior of some of their dnties, co- 
ordinating, adjusting, and focusing under one direction 
a large variety of work. There had been a alow but 
gradually swelling undercurrent of popular opinion 

1 88 jStatwtM dl Lore*, pp. e£S ff. 

■ OrffaiiUatioK oiul Law of tk« DeparltMKt of Coihmtre« and Labor 
(Wuhlngton : IBM. Doetuwiit No. IS), p. 22. 

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and effort making for some auoh organization for 
many years, certainly traceable with some degree of 
clearness since the close of the Civil War. Nnmerons 
ciroomatanees had aided the movement. Problems of 
commercial regulation had confronted the national 
government from the beginning. Notwithstanding the 
fact that local organizations of craftsmen can be dis- 
covered as far back in American history as the latter 
part of the eighteenth centnry, large national labor 
organizations did not assnme the proportion of a 
momentOQS and oompelling national factor demanding 
recognition in government administration nntil after 
the Civil "War. 

The problem of establishing satisfactory trade regu- 
lations with foreign conntries and between the states 
was at the very fonndation of the movement which 
forced a re-organization of the national form of gov- 
ernment in 1787 and led to the general acceptance of 
the Constitution in the following year. The problem 
was oarefnlly considered and discussed in many of its 
phases daring the formative period of the government. 
It came prominently forward in the sessions of the 
Philadelphia Convention. In GK}nvemenr Morris's 
plan for a Council of State as presented to the Cor 
vention on August 20, arrangement was there me 
for a "secretary of commerce and finance." W 
however, the plan had passed the ordeal of comn 
disonssion, no snch ofSoer appeared — ^there war 

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simply a secretary of finance.' A few years later, Id 
Morris's "Notes on the Form of a Constitution for 
France," a "minister of commerce" was mentioned.* 
The Federalist revealed the interest of both Hamilton 
and Madison in the general problem.' Among many 
Baggestions of the period it is worth while to call 
attention to two — those of Pela^iah Webster and 
Alexander Hamilton. 

Pelatiah Webster, ont of his mercantile experience, 
and because of a natural taste for speculating over the 
solution of various industrial problems, afforded his 
readers sundry reflections on the subject of govern- 
ment regulation of trade. Beferring in 1783 to mer- 
chants and manufacturers as a class, he wrote: "I 
could wish that Congress might have the benefit of that 
intensive and important information, which this body 
of men are very capable of laying before them .... 
the merchants are not only qualified to give the fvUesi 
tiind most important information to our supreme legis- 
lature, oonceming the state of our trade .... but are 
also the most likely to do it fairly and tndy and to 
forward .... every measure which operates to the 
convenience and benefit of oar commeree. .... I 
therefore humbly propose .... that they shall be per- 
mitted to form a chamber of commerce, and [that] 
their advice to Congress be demanded and admitted 

lEUiot, Delatet, V, MS, MB. Now that Hr, Ibz Farrknd'a Tkg 
Beeordt of th« Fedarat ConemfuM of 1787 (New Hitmi; 1»11. > nta.) 
u KTmilftble, anj one out refer to the diMUMiona over eommereA eaaOj 
hj mMDB of the eopiotu Index In Toltima m. 

<J. Spuk*, Lift of OoMwrnow Morrii, m, Miff, 
>P. Ii. Ford'* edition, eepeeikllr No. 48, pp. STEff., ud Ho. 60, pp. 
400 ff. 

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oonceming all bills before CongreBs as far as the same 
may affect the trade of the States."* 

In the concluding paragraphs of Hamilton's cele- 
brated "Report on Manufactures" there ooonrred a 
reference to a Board, the functions of which shonld 
involve looking after the proper distribution of any 
surplus arising from duties. A portion of the public 
income was "to constitute a fund for the operation of 
a board to be established for promoting arts, agri- 
culture, manufactures, and commerce. Of this institu- 
tion," said Hamilton, "different intimations have been 
given in the course of this report." Briefly sum- 
marized, the plan was this : the Board, consisting of 
three or more government officials, was to be authorized 
to spend money for the sake of inducing artists, manu- 
facturers, and skilful artisans to come to this country 
from abroad, or to draw forth by means of prizes 
all sorts of useful mechanical inventions and prac- 
tical discoveries. Voluntary contributions might be 
received, it was suggested, from any one interested in 
aiding these objects. The Board was, finally, to make 
an annual report to Congress of all receipts and expen- 

Neither Webster 's nor Hamilton 's plan was carefully 
worked out. Both plans were merely suggestive of 
possible methods of solving administrative problems 
arising from the requirements of trade, commerce, or 
industries of various kinds. They were symptomatic 

< Bttay* (1791), pp. S16-817. Bm ibo pp. 109, 202, 218-219, 232, 248, 
251, 254. 

T Ameriean State Paper*, Finanee, 1, 144. 



of a period when men were groping toward effective 

To Congress the Constittition had entmsted power 
to regolate trade and commerce. The Treasury De- 
partment chiefly, but also the State Department 
through its consolar and foreign oommeree bureaoB, 
were concerned in carrying ont such regulations in 
these matters as Congress might authorize. In the 
course of time the Department of the Interior (1849) 
and that of Agriculture (1862) were to oome to the 
rescue, in certain particulars, of both State and Treas- 
ury Departments. Moreover Congress, through grad- 
ual development of a system of standing committees, 
was thus to find a means whereby it might place itself 
in a position to understand and appreciate the most 
vital needs of the nation. The historic factors that lay 
behind the appearance of all the Secretaryships up to 
1889 have already been examined and set forth. As to 
the standing committees very little need be said. 
Beginning with provisions for two such committees in 
1795 — the Committee of Commerce, Manufactures, and 
Agricnlture, and the Committee of Ways and Means — 
Congress gradually added to them or sub-divided them 
so that, among a good many additional committees, 
note may he taken of the Committees on Manufactures 
(1819), on Agriculture (1820), on Railways and Canals 
(1831), on Appropriations (1865), on Banking and Cur- 
rency (1865), on Mines and Mining (1865), on Educa- 
tion and Labor (1867), on Labor (1883), and on Inter- 
state and Foreign Commerce (1891).* By means of 

*Ii. Q. HcCcmaehie, C<mgrf*ioital ComMJttoM (IftU), pp. Mftfl. 

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saoh committeea Congress pat off the necessity of pro- 
viding separate departments of administration for 
these varioas objects, and kept at the same time within 
its reach and control many of the subjects which might 
seem better provided for imder the specific direction of 
separate deparlznents with principal officers in charge. 


Not far from the middle of the nineteenth centnry 
efforts on the part of organizations closely concerned 
with various industries began to be made for the pur- 
pose of having established at the seat of govermuent 
either bureaus or independent departments which 
should collect, preserve, and distribute aocurate infor- 
mation about specific industries, and at the same time 
aid Congress in formulating the best sorts of legisla- 
tion. It was felt keenly, after the establishment of 
the Department of Agriculture in 1862, that the 
farmers had gained a peculiar advantage over other 
classes of workers. Inasmuch as the farmers were 
represented by a Department and Commissioner of 
Agricalture, it was not clear why the merchants, the 
manufacturers, the miners, and organized labor 
generally should not be granted similar representation 
in the national administration. From about the close 
of the Civil War attempts to bring about some such 
consummations form a pretty clearly defined move- 
ment. From 1864 to 1902 the list of appeals to Con- 
gress in the shape of resolutions and bills on behalf of 
Departments of Commerce, Manufactures, Mines and 
Mining, Industries, Navigation, and Labor is prodi- 

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gional^ large. There were those who thought that 
bureaus might serve every purpose. But far the 
greater number of bills were formulated for the sake of 
obtaimng departments or, as ocoasionaUy they were 
speoifieally termed. Executive Departments.* All these 
appeals were characteristic of an epoch of increas- 
ing prosperity, rapidly accumulating wealtii, and the 
growth of industrial organization. 

A glance at the trend of effort — at least so far aa 
that trend was revealed by congressional proceedu^^s 
— vindicates unmistakably that plans for a Department 
of Commerce or a Department of Commerce and 
Manufactures were most frequently presented to Con- 
gress, and occasionally gained some consideration. 
Behind the effort for such a Department were very 
persistent expressions of opinion favoring it which 
came from commercial conventions, the National Board 
of Trade, and other organizations of business men." 
The demand was echoed in political platforms. It was 
made at various hearings by witnesses before the 
Industrial Commission (1898-1901)." It was admir- 
ably and forcibly formulated at length in President 
Roosevelt's first annual message of December, 1901." 

■ A eci)iT«aieiitl7 amuged ftnd raffieientlj full bibliogrkphj of Isgialft- 
Uto proceedings in CougT«m •Jitieipating the Deputment of CommerM 
and Labor will be found in tbe Tolnine alreadj cited, Organitation and 
Law of tk« Department of Coinmeroe and Labor, pp. 18-21. 

MOoDTentions at Detroit (186Q) and at Boston (1888). The National 
Board of Trade memorialiied OongreM in 1874. Ibid., pp. 19, SI. 

aBtport (Washington: IBM ff.), TV, 177. VH, 16. IX, lniv. 
XIX, S7S ff. 

^Mtttaget and Faperi, Supplement (180B-1M2). Ed. bj O. B. 
Deritt, p. 328. 

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The eBtablishment of the ]iiterstate Commeroe Com- 
miBsion m 1887 probably had a tendency to delay the 
ontoome of the effort, for that attempt to eradicate 
the transportation evil of rebates oocnpied time and 
sapped the energy of commeroe committees of Con- 

Labor was almost as persistent an applicant for 
administratire recognition within the period as CSom- 
merce or Manofaotnres — first striving to obtain a 
Borean, and later (beginning early in the ninth 
decade) harassing Congress for a Department headed 
by a cabinet Secretary. By 1888 Labor appeared to 
be close to the attaimnent of its goal, for, in the first 
place, Congress granted it the Bnrean of Labor in 
Jane, 1884, in the Department of the Interior." Soon 
after the termination of the great Sonthwestem strike 
on the railroads in 1886, the Knights of Labor, then 
at the very acme of their career as an influential labor 
factor, had hopes that President Cleveland would suo- 
oeed in obtaining a Commission of Labor tliat might 
in future reduce the probability of such nnfortnnate 
occuTienoes as strikes. Cleveland was induced to 
draft a recommendation to Congress on the subject 
under date of April 22, 1886." But the project, not- 
withstanding executive assistance, failed to mature. 

For many years, as we have seen, the farmers of the 
country had been eager to have the Department of 
Agriculture raised to the dignity and importance of 

u June 27. £3 StatuteM at Large, pp. 00 S. 

i*Jf««*(VH and Paperi, Till, 394-307. Cf. Congrutional SecorA, 
XXZV, 1000 ff. {Jtaaarj 27, 1902.) 

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an Eseoutive Department. When that subjeot waa at 
length forced upon Congress, attempts were made to 
hare action taken on behalf of other industrial inter- 
ests, notably those of Organized Labor. Why, it was 
asked, should there not be a Secretary of Labor as 
well as of AgricaltnreT Congress was, however, in no 
mood to admit the claims of Labor to snch rank. As a 
sort of sop to Cerbems, the Bnrean of Labor was taken 
from the Department of the Literior and given an 
independent footing as the Department of Labor by an 
act of June 13, 1888." The matter was thns disposed 
of greatly to the chagrin of many laboring men. 
Hon. Carroll D. Wright continued his sway as Com- 
missioner of Labor. He was not the tind of man to 
satisfy the average labor organization, although as a 
trained statistician he proved eminently useful to the 
government during a long term of service. With all 
his ability and knowledge of industrial conditions, the 
laboring men protested that Wftght could never apeak 
with authority for the wage earner." 

After 1889, with a shrewd sense of the force of the 
movement backed by merchants, manufacturers, and 
others. Labor tagged close behind or travelled occa- 
sionally in oompany with Commerce, hoping thus to 
gain its object. As illnstrationB of this truth, it is 
worth noting that in 1896, 1897, and again in 1901 bills 
providing for a Department of Commerce, Labor, and 
Manufactures were introduced into Congreas." 

u 25 8tat*tM at Large, pp. 183 ff. 
^ Congrtuioital Beeord, XXXV, 1000. 

II Organiaxtion and Law of tk« Department of Commeret otul Labor, 
pp. 19, 21. 

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As one oonsiders the years 1898-1903 with, especial 
reference to the final oatoome, and keeps in mind 
impressions which reveal themselves in the debates iB 
Congress, three factors appear to have had marked 
influence — a compelling force — on the movement 
toward the creation of a new department. There was, 
first of all, the war with Spain in 1898, resulting in 
various acquisitions of territory to the United States. 
New administrative prohlems arose almost imme- 
diately, and called for more effective federal organiza- 
tion. This factor hardly calls for any detailed exami- 
nation. In the second place, there was very great 
complexity in the general industrial situation, a situa- 
tion clearly and forcibly set forth in the Roosevelt 
message of 1901. Consolidation of great business 
interests had been advancing rapidly. The Northern 
Securities merger attracted widespread attention as 
an effort to combine certain railroads in a way directly 
opposed to pnblic welfare. But it was only one of the 
more conspicuous illustrations of the whole movement 
toward industrial combination. Third, the strike of the 
anthracite eoal miners in 1902, coming at a time when 
there was a maturing conviction that something should 
be done to adjust the claims of the wage earning 
classes, was a factor in the industrial situation that 
assumed considerable political importance. Some 
attention to the Roosevelt message and to the debates 
in Congreaa over the passage of the law will serve to 
bring these two latter factors into perspective, and 
reveal their bearing. 

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Devoting a long section of his first annual message 
to a careful consideration of sodal and highly com- 
plicated industrial conditions which confronted the 
nation at the very outset of the twentieth centnry. 
President Boosevelt made a vigorous plea for improv- 
ing the machinery of government in such a way as 
might provide in future for more careful and effective 
legislation on aU matters which directly concerned the 
public welfare. In general he advocated, first, greater 
publicity — a knowledge of industrial and social facts- 
obtained, if necessary, by due process of law. In the 
second place, he advocated, on the basis of such knowl- 
edge, increased governmental supervision and regula- 
tion of all corporate interests of an interstate nature 
which were certain to affect, for better or worse, the 
general welfare. As one means to the contemplated 
ends, Mr. Boosevelt made this tangible proposal: 
"There should be created," he said, "a Cabinet officer, 
to be known as Secretary of Commerce and Industries, 
as provided in the bill introduced at the last session of 
the Congress. It should be his province to deal with 
commerce in its broadest sense ; including among many 
other things whatever concerns labor and all matters 
affecting the great business corporations and onr 
merchant marine. The course proposed," he con- 
tinued, **ia one phase of what should be a compre- 
hensive and far-reaching scheme of constructive 
statesmanship for the purpose of broadening our 
markets, securing our business interests on a safe 
basis, and making firm our new position in the inter- 
national industrial world; while scrupulously safe- 

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guarding the rights of wage worker and capitaliet, of 
investor and private citizen, so as to sectire equity as 
between man and man in this Bepnblio. With the 
sole exception of the farming interest," he added, "no 
one matter is of such vital moment to onr whole people 
as the welfare of the wage workers. If the farmer 
and the wage worker are well off, it is absolutely cer- 
tain that all others will be well off too.*' 

This passage, attracting attention, met generally 
with favorable comment. The special proposal, more- 
over, was in line with a long train of effort which, as 
we have seen, was making for some such office. The 
interests of both Commerce and Labor were empha- 
sized together as standing on the most intimate footing. 
Indeed, in the whole history of the growth of Execn- 
tive Deparbnents, it may be doubted whether there had 
ever been made a more timely or effective plea than 
was Mr. Roosevelt's in the winter of 1901. It touched 
Congress to the quick at the very climax of public 
effort for a new Department. 

Several bills under various titles, but all designed 
to provide for a new Department, were introduced 
into either the House or the Senate within the first 
few days after the opening of the Fifty-seventh Con- 
gress in December, 1901." For more than ten years — 
ever since, in fact. Senator Frye of Maine had pro- 
jected a plan for a Department of Conmierce and intro- 
duced it into the Senate on January 15, 1891 — one bill 
after another had appeared and been shelved. Bat 
Frye was remarkably persistent; he got a bill into the 

^Congrt-toMl Seeord, XSXV, 61, 63, 96, 12S, Hi. 


Fifty-fifth Congress on March 18, 1897, aod woo a 
hearing for his project in the Pifty-siith Congress. 
The bill of Senator Nelson of Minnesota which called 
simply for a Department of Commerce and was intro- 
duced on December 4, 1901 — the day after the Boose- 
Telt message had been delivered — ^was in all essentials 
equivalent to Senator Frye's most recent plan. It was 
destined, furthermore, after sandry alterations, to win 
the approval of President Roosevelt and Congress 
in February, 1903, and aooordingly became law. But 
its passage through both the Senate and the House 
was slow and hampered by difficulties. 

Late in January, 1902, the Senate decided to recog- 
nize Labor in the title, tiras oharaoterizing the pro- 
jected department as the Department of Commerce 
and Labor." The decision was not made without an 
effort that threw an interesting light on the whole 
course of the project. 

According to the plan, the Department of Labor, 
which had stood on an independent footing since 1888 
under supervision of a Commissioner, w^ to be merged 
in the new Department as the Bureau of Labor, still 
retaining a Commissioner who was, however, to be 
subject to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. 
Evidence was produced in the Senate to indicate that 
the old and enfeebled organization known as the 
Knights of Labor approved the new arrangement and 
merger. A Department of Commerce and Labor, con- 
taining a Labor Bureau, seemed to them preferable to 
an independent Department of Labor which (as they 

» Conj/rewtonol Beeord, ZZZV, SIS, 1051. 

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phrased it) had from the hegmnmg been oonduoted 
'*aa a personal asset of the Gommissioner." To the 
Knights of Labor the new measure appeared to be a 
step toward an execntlTe Department of Labor having 
a Secretary of cabinet rank at its head." The Ameri- 
can Federation of Labor, on the other hand, declined 
to favor any such plan. la. the eyes of the Federation 
it looked like a step backward, for it seemed to reduce 
the Bureau of Labor to virtually its original status of 
1884, when it had first been placed under the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. The efforts of Organized Labor 
to secure the independent Department of 1888 were 
apparently to count for nothing. "Questions often 
arise in the official family of the President," declared 
Mr. Samuel Gompers in a letter introduced into the 
Senate discussion, "in which justice, fair dealing, 
ethics, and the law and its admiiustration mnst fre- 
quently be under consideration, and," he added, 
"unless there is some representative of the workers 
competent to speak in their name, to advocate their 
cause, to convey to the executive head and his advisers 
the laborers' side of labor's contention, he and they 
must be deprived of valuable and far-reaching 

These two opposing points of view opened the way 
to much discussion, some of it futile and clearly 
inspired by political bias or partisan considerations. 
The dominant majority refused to be distracted from 
its position that the projected department was a real 

» Ibid., XXXV, 1000-1001. 
&/Md., X2XV, 8S3. 

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necessity, and declined to favor Labor, whether organ- | 

ized or unorganized, as an element that ooold fairly 
claim to be differentiated as a class from the other 
elements involved. As Senator Hanna declared with . 

force, the commercial and industrial interests of the i 

country had for a long time been demanding a depart- 
ment. These interests were really one and inclnded : 
labor of all kinds. Moreover, he urged, the interests 
of capital and labor were so intimately related as ' 
really to be identical and mntnal." 

Almost a fnU year elapsed before the bill was 
brought before the House of Bepresentatives — a year 
peculiarly memorable because of the great disturbance 
to industry whidi was the result of the strike of the 
anthracite eoal miners. Discussion was opened in the 
House on January 15, 1903, by Representative James R. 
Mann of Illinois who, with a remarkably clear under- 
standing of the whole course of departmental history, 
helped to bring the House to an intelligent considera- 
tion of the measure. Two days' later, on January 17, 
the bill passed its last ordeal, and was quickly adjusted 
by conference committees in a way to meet the appro- 
val of both Congress and the President." 

Representative Mann, calling attention to the efforts 
that had been made for years past to get commercial, 
manufacturing, mining, labor, and even educational 
interests represented in the Cabinet, reminded his 
colleagues that only two new Executive Deparbnents 

a CongremUmal Becord, XZXV, 914. 

»7b«d., ZZZVI, S4», SSSff., eBO-930, MS-946, I89S, IM0, 1M6- 
1M7, £006, eOSe, 2188. 

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— Interior and Agriculture — ^had been created within a 
century. "The original .... Executive Departmenta," 
he asseried, "were each created because of a necessity 
and propriety which was apparent. The Interior 
Department was created because at the time it seemed 
very desirable to relieve some of the other depart- 
ments of what were to them excrescences, and also to 
create an official adviser to the President who would 
give pariicolaT attention to the growth and develop- 
ment of oar country internally." Here the speaker 
dwelt on the distinction between the establishment of 
the Department of Agriculture in 1862 and that of its 
predecessors. Its establishment was a clear departure 
from the previous policy of the government. The 
Department of Agriculture was not, he showed, essen- 
tial to the administration of the government, although 
it had proved in the course of years to be immensely 
useful. Primarily it was a center for research and 
scientific investigation. That its success had much to 
do with the persistent demands of such other interests 
as Commerce and Manufactures for departmental 
recognition, he had no doubt. Many industrial inter- 
ests had increased since that day to such a degree of 
importance that they, as well as Agrionlture, could 
reasonably ask for recognition in the federal govern- 
ment. The Department of Commerce and Labor would 
afford a means of carrying on scientific research, the 
results of which could be used by all classes of the 
people, indeed by all the people "upon even terms." 
Investigations, he said, which "are now carried on in 
secret by the employees of some of the great corpora- 

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tions and nsed ezolnsively for the benefit of those cor- 
porations" ahonid be plaoed under the direction and 
snpervlBion of the new Department. One of its chief 
functions would be to furnish reliable statistics on all 
sorts of home industries ; and thus it would unify much 
statistical work.** 

In urging that the Bureau of Labor should be placed 
in the new Department, Mann reminded the opponents 
of the plan that a "Btatement or recommendation in 
the annual report of one of the Cabinet officers is likely 
to attract some attention; but the opinion or recom- 
mendation of the head of a branch of tiie service not 
connected with one of the general departments is apt 
to be overlooked — not from design, not from thought^ 
lessness .... but from lack of time and endurance."* 

Turning to the example of foreign countries, Mr. 
Mann directed attention to the British Board of Trade 
as in some respects analogous to the projected depart- 
ment. The British Board he regarded as having been 
influential in bringing about British supremacy in the 
world's commerce. He reminded his hearers that such 
countries as Germany, France, Belgium, Euasia, Spain, 
and several others had found it feasible to arrange for 
special ministries which gave careful attention to just 
such work — administrative and statistical — as the bill 

In view of the necessity of administrative enlarge- 
ment and of popular approval for such enlargement^ 

»i Congreaaional Etcord, XXXVI, 858-880 (pOMim). 
»J6W., XXX VI, 862. 
"I6W., XXX VI, 860. 

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the speaker was convinced that the time had come for 
the creation of another department. More than one 
department, however, could not wisely be organized. 
More than one new cabinet official should not be thrust 
on the President. "The President's Cabinet is extra- 
constitutional. It ... . exists voluntarily and by force 
of custom. It has become the custom, however .... 
when a department is created and the head thereof is 
denominated 'Secretary' .... to consider him as a 
cabinet officer. There is, of course, nothing to prevent 
the President from requesting the head of any other 
department to attend the meetings of ... . the Cabinet. 
But the force of custom as it now exists is very strong. 
No departure from it is likely to soon occur. The 
meetings of the Cabinet necessarily exercise a tre- 
mendous influence upon the policies of the Executive. 
A department which is represented in the Cabinet is 

thereby given a great advantage It never has been 

the policy of the President to unduly extend the size 
of his Cabinet. To add greatly to its numbers would 
destroy its efficiency. It never has been the policy, 
therefore, of Congress to easily create a new head of 
an executive department who, under the custom, would 
be entitled to the courtesy of a seat in the Cabinet.'" 
Mr. Mann's careful and illuminating speech fur- 
nished at the very outset a foundation of facts that 
tended in all probability to abbreviate the succeeding 
debate. But a factious minority felt bonnd to express 
itself against the measure. It was claimed, in the first 
place, that Labor, although not actually left out of the 

vihid., XXXVI, 8SB-869. 


proposed department, was reaUy subordinated and, 
by being confined to a mere Bureau, wonld be stripped 
of its existing dignity of an independent department." 
It was easy for Representative Richardson of Ala- 
bama to cite the Democratic platform of 1900, which 
had declared for a Department of Labor, and to con- 
trast it with the Republican platform of the same 
year which had declared for .a Department of Com- 
merce. He argned that the measure before the House 
had been drawn upon Republican lines and favored 
the commercial as differentiated from the labor class. 
"If," said the same speaker, alluding to very recent 
events, "there had been a secretary of labor in the 
Cabinet of the President having authority to speak for 
labor and to confer with the President, the President 
could have avoided the necessity of inviting Mr. 
Mitchell and other labor leaders to join the coal 
operators with him in conference in an effort to adjust 
the differences of the great anthracite coal strike. 
More than that," he continued, "had there been such 
a secretary then by the President, the creation of the 
Strike Commission, admitted to be unauthorized by 
law, would have been avoided."" "Tour Secretary of 
Commerce," asserted Representative C. F. Cochran of 
Missouri, "will be drawn from classes and your 
Department of Commerce will be dominated by influ- 
ences interested solely in increasing trade and the 
profits of traders."" Another speaker objected that 

» ConffTMHoMl SMord, ZXZVJ, SM. 

■ IWd., X3LIVI, 8«7. 

»7Wi, XHVI, Aptwndix, p. 1«. 

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there was no reference of any oonseqnenee to Labor. 
The new Department, he contended, was misnamed: 
"So far as labor is ooneemed in this ootintry, it is not 
recognized." The plan was simply one more effort to 
centralize all the interests of the people." 

Limited by such views, the minority struggled 
obstinately to foroe Congress to make a dear differ- 
ence in the bill between the interests of Capital and 
Labor. They refused to be satisfied by anything short 
of two departments — a Department of Labor and a 
Department of Commerce, each with its Secretary of 
cabinet rank. What in snbstanoe they wanted wonld 
have virtually forced Congress to declare ofiS<nally 
that "the best the statesmanship of the future can 
hope to do is to give these two classes a fair field and 
no favors and let th«n fight it out"" 


The Department of Commerce and Labor could have 
been established for no partisan ends. It was intended 
primarily as a means of affording reliable information 
to the people of the entire country on snoh subjects as 
trade, commerce, labor, and various sorts of indus- 
tries. Incidentally it relieved the overburdened 
Treasury Department of numerous charges. Among 
various transfers, it took over the Bureau of the 
Census from the Interior Department; and it relieved 
the Department of State of the Bureau of Foreign 
Commerce, the latter being made part of the Bnreati 

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of Statistics. The Bureau of Corporations and the 
Bureau of Manufactures were distinctly new creations 
in the Department. Mnch statistical and scientific 
work of the government was actually placed in the 
Department, and oonld be so placed at the discretion of 
the President in accordance with growing needs." 

In the whole coarse of the debates, very little was 
said as to the constitutionality of the proposed depart- 
ment, although there were casual reflections on the 
subject here and there. The Department of Commerce 
and Labor was not, strictly speaking, essential to the 
administration of the federal government Behind the 
movement for it there were many industrial and social 
factors which were likely to be greatly benefited by 
its creation. It came chiefly as a result of the intelli- 
gent recognition that government knowledge and 
supervision of those factors was necessary to the 
maintenance of the general welfare. The measure was 
clearly aMn to the act which established the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture in 1862. It too marked the depart- 
ure in administrative policy which that act had first 

For a great many years there had been an intelligent 
prejudice against enlarging the Cabinet This preju- 
dice had asserted itself even as far back as 1849 when 
the plan of a Department of the Interior was under 
discussion.'* It appeared in 1862, and was still more 

ass statute* at Large, p. 820. ProfsMor John A. FAijli« devote* a 
chapter (XVI) to the Department of Commerce and Labor in his TcJnme 
entitled The National Adminittration of the United Stattt of AMtriea 
(I»05), pp. 230-247. 

M Supra, chapter X, p. 284. 

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pronounced in 1888-1889 * In 1903 Mann 'a intelligent 
ontline of the growth of the Cabinet, from the very 
beginning under Washingrton, probably tended to 
reduce the force of any sach argument against the 
establiehment of the new Department. At any rate 
Mr. Mann indicated very directly that he had pondered 
oarefnlly the problem and would himself disapprove 
of much enlargement of the Cabinet. There was very 
little opposition to the bill that could have rested on 
the basis of this prejudice. Nevertheless the old 
prejudice is very likely to reappear in oormeotion with 
any future attempt to establish an additional execu- 
tive department, for there is good reason to believe 
that the Cabinet cannot now be enlarged without 
serionsly interfering with its usefulness as a con- 
sultative body. 

^i Supra, chapter XI, pp. 333, 33S. 

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IN the world of political progreBsion no goTemment, 
it la safe to say, can ever rest od quite its original 
plan. Eiperienoe, and oircomstances beyond the 
knowledge and control of one generation or aet of 
men make ancceeding generations constantly sensible 
of new wants, and force them to adopt political deTices 
which may help to satisfy such wants. "We must 
follow the natnre of onr affairs," sud Eldmnnd Burke, 
'*and conform ourselves to our situation. If we do, 
our objects are plain and oompaasable.**^ The fabric 
and the administrative machinery of government rest 
on the written laws. But the laws, as Burke very well 
understood, reach but a very little way. Administra- 
. tion, to be effective, mnst often depend on practices 
of which the written laws take little or no account. 
Behind the laws there are assumptions which give 
room for the exercise of individual judgment and dis- 
cretion essential to their proper execution. The field 
of political practices and devices has always been large . 
and ill defined. The student of history who wonld 
enter it can never do so by an easy road, for the 
various practices and devices within its bounds can 
seldom be seen or determined at a glance. 

1 WorJci, II, 357. Speech in the HoDBe of Common* on Febrnuy II, 

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The President 'a Cabinet is, and from the outBet of \ 
its existence has been, a politioal device not directly ' 
aooouM^d for in the statute lavs or in the Constitu- 
tion. Jit came into being as one result of the discre- 
tionary power with which the makers of the Consti- 
tution intended to endow the chief magistratoi^it was 
oreated by President Washington in the opening years 
of our government under the Constitution in response 
to a demand of the President for a board of qualified 
assistants and confidential advisers, a demand so fun- 
damental and natural as to be felt, but not anywhere 
at that time definitely formulated or at all clearly 

This board of assistants summoned by the first 
President was akin in stmctnre, if not also in func- 
tions, to some of the colonial Councils of State — 
occasionally called Privy Councils — and to the English 
Cabinet Council, the particular institution from which 
the President's Cabinet, by popular analogy, was 
named.* As early as 1783 Pelatiah Webster had con- 
ceived a similar board and termed it the Connoil of 
State in connection with his design for altering the 
government of the Confederation. It woald, indeed, 
perhaps be fair to say that Webster's Council of State 
foreshadowed the later Cabinet.' At any rate, a board 
of administrative ofiBcials or heads of departments as 
advisers to the President was foreseen as a possi- 
bility several years later, at the epoch of the Couven- 

• Supra, pp. 78 ff., 89-96, 186-138, 180, 155-158. 
'a«pra, pp. 62-63. 



tion of 1787, by a few of the more discerning states-, 
men then hard at work on the problem of establishing 
an efficient chief magistrate who shoald have control 
over a national system of administration. This pos- 
sible board was first termed the "Cabinet Connml" in 
1787 by Charles Pinekney of South Carolina in a pas- 
sage to be found in his Observations on the Plan of 
Government submitted to the Federal Convention* 
But such a board was not made practically assured 
. until the first Congress, during the spring and summer 
of 1789, had arranged the statutes which provided for 
four principal offices — ^three Secretaryships and the 
Attomey-Gleneralship} and until the Senate had in 
September of that year ratified Washington's appoint- 
ments to those offices.* 

As time elapsed, and the volume as well as the diver- 
sity of presidential and administratiTe tasks increased, 
five other offices were so arranged by the laws as to 
make it not only practicable but likewise desirable for 
the President to increase the original board from four 
to nine confidential assistants. Thus the President's 
Cabinet originated, and was formed, and grew into the 
institution which we know to-day. But the process of 
growth was slow, extending over a period of more than 
a century. 

With the establishment of the Secretaryship of the 
Navy in 1798* and the Secretaryship of the Interior in 
1849,^ together with the admission of the Postmaster- 

< Supra, pp. 90-M. 
(.Supra, pp. 97 ff., 110-n». 
• Supra, chapter VUX 
T Supra, chapter X. 

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General into the President's circle of regular advisers 
in 1629,* the Cabinet reached a stage of matarity, if 
not of political completion in its growth, by abont the 
middle of the nineteenth century, that ia to aay, after 
an existence of nearly sixty years. The occupants of 
the seven great offices, which by that time composed . 
the Council, were officers necessary to any vigorous 
and efficient central system of administration. From 
the standpoint of centralization it was certainly desir- 
able that such officera should be intimate with the 
President and his trusted advisers iu matters of public 
policy. While five out of the seven offices had been 
more or less definitely arranged by the statutes of 
1789 or a little later, the two remaining offices, the 
Secretaryships of the Navy and the Interior, were 
foreseen at that early day as likely in the course of 
years to become essential to a weU-managed and 
vigorons government. When these latter two Secre- 
taryships were created — relieving the older principal 
offices of various tasks, and meeting the pressure of 
new administrative needs — their creation completed 
the original ideal of an American secretariat, the ideal 
(let ns say) of the decade, 1780-1790. 

Within the third quarter of the nineteenth century 
sundry legislative enactments aided what may be 
called the process of cabinet unification, although none 
of the enactments, it shou ld be added, took any direct 
account of the Cabinet. (An act of March 3, 1853, 
placed the seven officials then forming the Council for 
the first time on an equal footing in the matter of sala- 

< Supra, eli«pt«r IZ. 

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ries.* This was the culmination of a Beries of occa- 
sional efforts, traceable from a maoh earlier date, to 
bring the salaries of the principal officers into nni- 
formity." Again, between 1870 and 1874, several 
alterations and various re-adjustments were made in 
the laws affecting tiie principal offices in ways to show 
that the statutes were being shaped into some degree 
of conformity with political practices of which they 
took no express account. 

The statutes of 1789, it may be recalled, had pro- 
vided for only two "executive" departments — ^the 
Departments of State and War.*^ The Department of 
the Navy was an "ezeontive" department from the 
date (1798) of its establishment; so likewise was the 
Department of the Interior from 1849. The law on 
the basis of which ^e Treasury Department had been 
originally organized contained certain peculiaritiea of 
language and intent which gave ground for the con- 
tention that the Secretary of the Treasury might be 
regarded as not only within the range of congressional 
control but also of congressional direction. President 
Jackson, however, asstmied that the Secretary of the 
Treasury was, to all intents and purposes, an ezeoa- 
tive official and, at least in matters involving presi- 
dential policy, strictly subject to the direction of the 
chief magiBtrate. Jackson, moreover, acted on the 
basis of this interpretation of the law, and accordingly 
established a precedent which could not be overlooked 

* 8m Appendix A, p. 396. 

u Bupra, pp. lOS, ISS, 161, 163, 169 ff., 173 fl., 178. 

i^Obaptor IV, mpni, p. 100. 

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in fatnre by his snooessors. When thy ntafntjia tpato 
re viaed in 1873 and approved the next year, the law a t 
le ngth defined the Treasury Departiopnt. «b a-n "g;[fiftn- 
tive department."" Frqm Vim to 1S70 the Attorney- 
General oecnpie d an^' O ffice." ijy tne act ot Jnne 22^ 
Ifl^j^JTn-hOBBinn lirnfl nf tJlfi "pTfp<''^tTv^fip]Tft]-f.rngnf" 
ofjuB^CeiS- By the proviBional law of 1789 the Post- 
^aster-Oeneral, while placed under the general direc- 
.tion of the President, was regarded as an official in 
charge of the "Poat-Office." In the slow process of 
^elaborating legal phraseology the Post-Office of 1789 
waa viewed aa an "Establishment" (1810), as a 
I "Department" (1825), and finally as an "Executive 
■^Department" (1874). But years before the clear 
enactment of 1874 the Po8t-0£Sce Department was con- 
sidered, by construction, as an executive department, 
and the Postmaater-Oeneral as "an executive officer 
of the United States.'"* It was the revision of the 
statutes in 1873 which finally disposed of the incon- 
gruous title of the Department of the Interior." 
( Thus the revision of the statutes in 1873 was largely 
\^an attempt to re-shape and make consistent a great 
f amonnt of legislation which had been lagging behind 
I the needs of the times, or was to some extent ontgrown. 
The officials of the Cabinet were henceforth all heads 

»Siipro, pp. 100-105. 

u Supra, cliapter VTI, 187 ff. 

UjSwpra, chapter IX, £31-232. The qnatation is from Benjamin F. 
Butkr'a opinion of Jone 10, 1S37, printed in United Stata vs. Kendall 
(1S37). BdUot wsa Attome; -General undw Jackson and Van Baren from 
1833 to 1838. 

<* Supra, ehaptfli X, Note 2, p. 289, for TemarkB on the "Hom«' 

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of "ezeoative" departments, and etriotly so recognized 
in the statates. 
Meantime Congress had been forced to establish the 

Pfjrflrfmwt nf \gpt>ii]fiirA in ISflg, r w^y anH jptift- 

pendent dejjartmeat h&Tiiig a CommisBJoner at its head 
who should be appointed by the Presijenl, The Com- 
missioner was required to report in writiog annually 
to Congress and to the President. The general design 
of the Department oontemplated the acquisition, and 
difFusion among the people, of "useful information on 
snbjects oonneoted with agriculture in the most general 
and comprehensive sense of that word." Further- 
more, the Department was * * to procure, propagate, and 
distribute among the people new and valuable seeds 
and plants."" 

The establishment of the Department of Agriculture 
in the second year of the GivU War marked a notable 
variation, if not a new phase, of administrative prog- 
ress and development. While the ideal of some such 
department was by no means new at that time, for it 
may be faintly traced from the closing years of the 
eighteenth century and with considerably greater 
clearness and consistency from about 1840, yet it was 
not regarded by the makers of the Constitution as 
essential to the government. The Secretaryship of 
Agriculture, in a word, was not involved in what I have 
chosen to call the original ideal of an American secre- 
tariat. Again, the Department of Agricnltnre is not 
and never has been primarily a political department. 
It was originally conceived as a department concerned 

u 18 Statuta at Larff4, pp. 387 ff. 

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with the education of the fanning classes. Its chief 
function has always been to supply careful informa- 
tion, and 80 to instmct and aid the farmers. Its estab- 
lishment was a clear recognition by the national gov- 
ernment of the importance of certain indastrial and 
social factors to the general welfare of the country. 
The organization of the Department was exacted from 
Congress at a critical period as the resnlt largely of a 
very persistent and intelligent popular demand. /After 
an existence of twenty-seven years under a GommiB- 
,sioner, the Department of Agriculture was given the 
standing in law of an "^ggitiye" department in 1889. 
It was then, fo r the fir st time, provided with a Secre- 
tary who went at once by custom into the Cabinet as 
its eighth member." j 

In 1888 the DepSrtinent of Labor — an outgrowth of 
the Bureau of Labor of 1884, which had been a sub- 
division in the Interior Department — ^was authorized 
by law. This, like the Department of Agriculture, was 
an independent department. It followed, in this 
respect, accordingly, the precedent of the earlier 
establishment of 1862. Moreover, it too came as the 
resolt of popular pressure and demand. Fifteen years 
later, in 1903, the Department of Labor was reduced 
to the status of a bureau in the newly created executive 
Department of Commerce and Labor. "With the estab- 
lishment of this last executive department in charge 
of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, provision 
was made for the ninth principal officer who was ^ven 
the customary cabinet place and rank. Thus, since 

« Chapter XI, tupra, pp. 2B2 ff. 



1849, two executive Secretaryshipa have been formed; 
and both of them have been largely the result of well- 
directed and widespread popular demand." 

When, in February, 1907, the term cabinet was for 
the first time in onr history oonscionsly introduced into 
the statute law of the United States,** the Cabinet was 
known to consist of nine principal officers, all of whom 
were heads of executive departments, and seven of 
whom were called Secretaries. Since 1903 there have 
been no independent departments in onr government 
not recognized as "executive," although our adminis- 
trative history has revealed in the past two such 
departments with commissioners not of cabinet rank 
or place at their heathy Just what constitutes an exec- 
utive department has.^wrfar as I know, never been 
definitely determined. This, however, is clear: When- 
ever a department has been created since 1789, and 
has been placed in charge of a prindpal officer termed 
a Secretary, it has been assumed for upwards of a cen- 
tury — in fact, ever since the establishment of the execu- 
tive Department of the Navy in 1798 — ^that such Secre- 
tary would become as a matter of course a member of 
the President's Cabinet CounoiL The first Secretaries 
of the Navy, of the Interior, of Agriculture, and of 
Commerce and Labor (Messrs. Stoddert of Maryland, 
Ewing of Ohio, Cohnan of Missouri, and Cortelyou of 
New York) were made members of the Cabinet so soon 
as they were commissioned to their respective posi- 
tions. In brief, the practice of Presidents in inviting 

u Ch>pt«r Xn, itpra, pp. 846 B. 
» Supra, pp. IM ff. 

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new ^eoretariesf into the Council has been invariable 
and in strict accord with this old assumption. The 
practice has established a cnstom that, it is certain, 
ooiiTd not be broken in fntnre without arousing com- 
ment.and calling for explanation or justification. 

Although the term cabinet has made its way into the 
federal law, it is by no meane clear that this unique 
usage would be interpreted by the courts as any recog- 
nition of the well-established political device which the 
term characterizes. When first the term came into 
popular vogue, it was the designation of a board of 
four presidential assistants summoned at convenient 
times for the purpose of helping the President by 
advice to carry out or to accomplish effectively hia . 
duties. To-day the term characterizes a similar and 
enlarged board, now and for many years past called 
together regularly for the same general purpose on 
Tuesdays and Fridays during the sessions of Congress, 
and occasionally — depending solely upon the wishes of 
the President — at other times. 


The President's Cabinet as a political device was at 
the outset an experiment. It came into existence 
naturally, and so very easily that its advent was 
unheralded — neither commented on nor explained. 
Although it was some years before it assomed the 
guise and the attributes of an institution, such a board 
had not been unforeseen. It called, however, for no 
special justification until it had proved to a measurable 

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degree its utility, and was somewhat generally appre- 
ciated or understood. 

As early as March, 1788, Alexander Hamilton 
expressed himself as strongly opposed to such a board 
if it were to be made a constitutional device : forced, 
that is to aay, by law on the President, and certain — 
as he conceived it — to restrain the President by giving 
advice which be would be obliged to follow. Hamilton, 
nevertheless, was perfectly clear in his view that the 
administrative officers should be regarded as "the 
assistants or deputies of the chief magistrate. ' ' These 
. assistants, he believed, should derive their office from 
I the President's appointment, "at least from his nomi- 
nation, and ought to be subject to his superintend- 
ence. ' *" He might have added that confidence between 
the President and his deputies was an essential ele- 
ment in the relationship. At any rate the debates in 
the first Congress of 1789 make it evident that by that 
time this element was not overlooked in the statutory 
arrangements of the principal offices.*' 

In 1792, after experience in the capacity of special 
adviser to President Washington, Hamilton remarked 
that the energy and success of the new government 
must depend on the union and mutual deference snb-- 
sisting between the principal officers, and on the con- 
formity of their conduct with the views of their chief, 
the President." Eight years later, in 1800, he set 
forth briefly the opinion that any efficient chief magis- 

» Tht fedenOtt (ed. Ford), No. 70, pp. 4Mff. No. 78, pp. 481.4SS. 
lUreh IS taxi 1», 17S8. 

t> Cbapter IV, ntpni, pp. 06 ff. 
B Chapter VI, wpra, p. ISS. 

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trate would find it useful, if not necessary, to consnlt 
his prinoipal officers or — as he then termed them — 
"his constitutional advisers."" This latter statement, 
taken into consideration with earlier reflections, is 
good enough ground for reckoning Hamilton as among 
the number of iVmerican statesmen who at that time 
justified the Cabinet in theory as well as in practice. 
In the first quarter of the nineteenth century it is not 
difficult to discover in scattered sources — ^in congres- 
sional debates, in the writings of Jefferson, Judge 
Augustus B. Woodward, and other American publi- 
cists — evidence of an nnderstanding, if not always 
approval, of the device. 

There have been, from the beginnings, three clear 
ideals underlying the conception of the American 
FresiHenoy. Without them, indeed, it is hardly con- 
ceivable that a board of presidential counsellors such ' 
as the Cabinet could originally have been formed, and 
gradually have been increased to its present size. 
There was, first, the ideal of unity in the executive ' 
power. There was, second, the ideal of the responsi- 
bility of the President to the people for the proper and 
faithful execution of the laws. There was, third, the 
ideal of allowing the President a limited but generous 
political discretion in his task of supervising, direct- 
ing, and removing — if necessary — his assistants, the 
principal officers. The first of these was perhaps the 
most fundamental, the outgrowth of experience. Bat 
all of them may be easily illustrated by passages taken 
from early and authoritative sources. 

B Ibid,, awpra, p. 140. 

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"I clearly ooncnr in opinion," wrote Hamilton in 
The Federalist, ". . . . with a writer" whom the cele- 
brated Junius pronoonoea to be 'deep, solid, and 
ingenions,' that 'the exeontive power is more easily 
confined when it is ONE ' ; that it is far more safe there 
BhoQld be a single object for the jealonsy and watchful- 
ness of the people; and, in a word, that all multiplica- 
tion of the GxecutiTe is rather dangerous than friendly 
to liberty."" 

"It is evidently the intention of the constitution," 
declared Madison, speaking in the first Honse of Repre- 
sentatives on June 16, 1789, "that the first Magistrate 
shonld be responsible for the ezeculive department; 
so far, therefore, as we do not make the officers who 
are to aid him in the duties of that department respon- 
sible to him, he is not responsible to his country. "** 

"By the constitution of the United States," said 
Marshall in 1803, "the president is invested with cer- 
tain important political powers, in the exercise of 
which he is to use his own discretion, and is account- 
able only to his country in his political character and 
to his own conscience. To aid him in the performance 
of these duties, he is authorized to appoint certain 
offieera, who act by his authority, and in conformity 
with his orders. In such cases," continued the Chief- 

** Do Lolme. 

■P. 474. Mareli IS, 1788. Gf. Amoi KendaU'i Btattmaot: "Thg 
AKWutive i« Ma anitj. The frajnera of the Constltntloit liftd atadied 
hiatoTj too well to impow on tkeir eonntir & diridod «x«eatiTa." Jana 
S4, 1837. 6 Cnneh, 5eportJ of CatM . . . . m tfe« Vnited StatM Cir- 
oojf Court of the DUtrtet of CoIwnMa, p. 107. 

*• AnnaU of Co^gntt, 1, 480. 

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Justice, "their acta are his acts; and whatever opinion 
may be entertained of the manner in which exeontive 
discretion may be used, still there exists, and can 
exist, no power to control that discretion. The subjects 
are political .... the decision of the exeontive is 

These three formulations of the ideals of executive 
unity, executive responsibility, and executive discre- 
tion, written in the early years of our government by 
three of the foremost stndents of the Constitution, 
reveal with admirable predsion the important ideals 
at the basis of the general conception of the American 
Presidency. It was these three ideals which helped'^ 
markedly toward the development of that office in con- 
sistency and efficiency. While it is true that these 
ideals were gravely endangered in Jackson's second 
term, especially in 1833 and 1834, when controversy 
raged over the question of the President's right to 
remove his Secretary of the Treasury, "William J. 
Bnane, and of the relation of that Secretaryship to the 
President;** and while the three ideals were tempora- 
rily shattered under President Johnson by the passage 
of the Tenure of Office Act of Mftreh 2, 1867, and by the 
Senate's arrogant claim of a right to destroy John- 
son's discretion in removing an obnoxious cabinet offi- 
cial, the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton ;" never- 

^Uoflmry tb. lituliton in 1 Craneli, Beportt (2d «d., N«w Yotk: 
1812), p. 165. 

"See Jacluon'a "Proteat" of April 15, 1834, in Meuagei ond 
Paper*, m, 69 ff for a t«llii]g ftrgument KgftiDst bis peneentorg. Supra, 
chapter TV, 103 ff. 

n QroTflT Cleveland preeented a diBceming view of thia whole mbject 
in ite hietorie relations in his eaaaj entitled ' ' The Independence of the 

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theless, it is also tme, I believe, that th^e three ideals 
may be said to hare stood the test of upwards of one 
hnndred and twenty years of government nnder the 
Constitution. For Jackson carried the day against his 
opponents ; and with the modification of the Tenure of 
Office Act in 1869, and its final repeal in 1887, the Pres- 
idency was restored onoe more to its pristine preroga- 
tives and powers. 

Aware of his responsibility to the people, entrusted, 
as he knew himself to be by the Constitution and the 
laws, with abundant discretion, aided by experience 
and ciroomstances in bringing his assistants into co- 
operation, Washington soon discovered as President 
that the method of asking for the opinions or advice 
of bis qualified asBistantB "in writing" was as a role 
impracticable and unnecessary. He listened to oral 
advice or counsel as a matter of conrse. Bnt in busi- 
ness of general importance he found the method of 
summoning a council at convenient times both natnral 

, and effective. Accordingly, within a few years after 
the opening of his Presidency, he adopted the method. 
It appealed to his successors as useful, and was fol- 

! lowed by all of them with more or less regularity. 
Thus in the conrse of time the practice of cabinet coun- 
cils assumed an institutional character. The Cabinet, 
in brief, achieved a distinct place in history. 

ExecntiTe," in Fr««i<{«Rtjal ProhUnt (ISM), pp. 9-76, iMMim. Tlw 
l^al upwt of the anbjeet was conunentod on hj W. M. Enuts in 
12 Opmiont of iA« Atione}i»-Omerai, pp. 13S, 446. The Sopreme Conrt 
exprenl^ declined to pus judgment on tlie conBtitutlooKl question of tbe 
Prnident's power of Temoral, althoagh it quoted at length from tlM 
legislative and judicial historj' at the subject in the ease of PanrniM tb. 
Unittd Stattt (1896). Bee 167 U. 8. StporU, pp. 334-33S, 340 ff. 

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It requires no great familiarity with the lore of 
cabinet meetings as these meetings are revealed in 
three sach records as the Memoirs of John Quincy 
Adams, the Diary of President Polk, and the fragmen- 
tary Diary of Gideon Welles as thns far available,". 
to discover how comparatively seldom written opinions 
have hitherto been demanded from the cabinet asso- 
ciates of various Presidents. Washington was prob- 
ably much more inclined to depend for advice upon 
such opinions than were any of his successors. "At 
each meeting of the Cabinet," w rote Po lk on Septem- 
ber 23, 1848, "I learn from each member what is being 
done in bis particular Department, and espedally if 
any question of doubt or difficulty has arisen. I have 
never," he added, "called for any written opinions 
from my Cabinet, preferring to take their opinions 
after discussion, in Cabinet & in the presence of each 
other. In this way harmony of opinion is more likely 
to exist."" While this illuminating statement should 
be taken only in its applicability to a single adminis- 
tration, it has been generally true since Washington's 
day that written opinions have been exceptional as a 
mode of taking advice.** Moreover, it has not been the 

KAtlaMic MoniMy, Febnuir-NorembeT, IQOS (Tbe War period: 
Jnlf 13, 1862-ApTa 22, 1866). Ibid, Febniuy, IBIO-Jumuj, 1911 
(The period of Beeonitractioii : April 21, ISeS-April 17, I66B). For 
comment on the nutruitworthiiieeB of this pneioua record aa printed thus 
far, see The Nation (New York) XC, Maj 12, 1910. Tlie Diar^ ifl now 
(September, 1011) promiaed for publieatioa in several Tolumes. 

aiMary, IV, 131. 

■i Based on much scattered evidene«, but largely on tbe aonrcea cited 
in the nairatiTe. Tbeee three aoareea alone afford msterialB on approxi- 
matelj 740 separata cabinet meetings. Polk's JHary ^Ids eridence on 
about 365 meetings of the Cabinet beld during hia term, ^et his reeordB 

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practice of PreBident Taft thus far to ask for written 
opinions on qneationa of policy." 


As related to the theor7 of the Calnnet, attention 
may foe directed at this point to a problem of presi- 
dential pradioe which arose early in the history of the 
institntion. There is some evidence to show that Presi- 
dent Washington was inclined, for several years after 
the opening of his Presidency, to call npon Vice- 
President John Adams for both written and oral 
opinions on matters of policy. On at least one occa- 
sion (April 11, 1791) Adams was summoned to a meet- 
ing of the Secretaries at the President's suggestion. 
At the time Washington was absent from Philadelphia, 
then the temporary seat of the national government. 
He assumed, it may be inferred, that during his 
absence and in view of the fact that the Senate was 
not in session, the Vice-Preaident would be the proper 
person to consult with the Secretaries. Jefferson 
believed that this appearance of the Vice-President at 
a cabinet session was unique. Whether this was true 
or not, Jefferson's avowed conception of the vice- 
presidential office — first expressed in 1797 — as being 
an office oonetitutionally limited to legislative func- 
tions, would hardly have permitted him, while he acted 
as Vice-President to John Adams, to take any part 

do not iMgin until August 26, 1845; thtj close vith tho ontry of Jim* 
2, 1849, some months after Polk's retirement from office. 

a Private letter to ths anthor, dated Febniwy 7, 1911, from the 8ee- 
retarj of War, Jacob M. Dickinson, who has since resigned his plac*. 

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in * * execative consnltationa. * *" We may be reaeonably 
certain, moreover, that during Mb own ProBidenoy 
Jefferson never thonght of inviting the Vice-President 
to BesBioDs of the Cabinet for this, if for no other, 
reason. As late as 1825 Judge Woodward, a shrewd 
observer of execntive practices, asserted that it had 
been the "uniform coarse" up to that time to exclude 
the Vice-President from the Cabinet." 

Close scrutiny of muc& printed cabinet data siaoe 
1825 has failed thus far to reveal a single authenti- 
cated instance of a Vice-President in attendance at a 
cabinet meeting. President Polk, who was throughout 
his four-year term on a friendly footing with Vice- 
President Qeorge M. Dallas, consulted Dallas freely 
on many matters of poli<^ which came at one time and 
another before the regular sessioiiA of the Cabinet. 
The Vice-President was asked ooeasionally to read 
portions of Polk's messages, in their less mature 
stages, and to make suggestions on these and other 
subjects. But, although Polk'e Diary indicates that 
the President sometimes invited outsiders into cabi- 
net meetings," it gives not a single record of Dallas's 
presence at such meetings. 

Within recent yelirs there has arisen a popular 
impression that 'N^oe-President Hobart, known to have 
been on intimate and friendly terms with President 
McKinley, was at times admitted to sessions of the 
Cabinet In referring to the intimacy between Hobart 

» B*pra, pp. 124 fl. 
> Supra, pp. 144 ff. 

■ ZKonr, I, 1«1. n, 47-48, 18Z-1SS, 2C4-26B, e72-27S, 4S8, 486. UI, 
1«8, 201. IV, 12S, IW-107. 

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and McEjnley, Mr. Hobart's biographer has tiiis to 

They were both friends and confederates. So certain was tite 
President of the loyalty and good jndgmeut of hia coUeagne, 
that the latter was consolted in all questions of general 
policy. .... It may be safely said that no measnre of im- 
portance was discussed with the Cabinet of which the Vice- 
President was not cognizant; and that members of the 
Cabinet, as well as the President, freely took counsel witii 
him. The unusual title given him in some of the papers in 
recognition of hia influence was "Assistant President"'' 

The passage here cited girea no authority to the view 
that Hobart attended sessions of the MoEinley Cabi- 
net. He may have done so. A good many Presidents 
have at different times invited ontsidera into cabinet 
meetings. It is reasonable to suppose that on occa- 
sions in the past it has been deemed a matter of simple 
wisdom and political ducretion for a President to 
summon a friendly Viee-President into a session of the 
Cabinet. Mr. McKinley seems to have consulted Vice- 
President Hobart very much as Polk consulted Vioe- 
President Dallas. The evidence does not allow ns at 
present to say anything more determinate. Here the 
matter must rest nntU some one who was a member of 
the McKinley Cabinet chooses to speak plainly. What 
is certain is this : that from the beginning of the gov- 
ernment the rule — ^the all bnt "uniform course" — ^has 
been to exclude the Yioe-President from the Cooncil. 
In several of the early projects for an executive 
council, notably in Ellsworth's project of Augnst 18, 

VDavid Uagie, Ufa of Oarret Augtuttu Eotart <1010), pp. l«S-lSft. 

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1787, the "president of the Senate" was to be found," 
The Constitation, however, finally left the Vice- 
President in a somewhat anomalous place: he is not 
a member of the Senate, although he presides over 
that body; and he has no vote on any matter unless 
the Senate is equally divided." Inasmuch as the Con- 
stitution did not expressly forbid the Vice-President 
to take part in executive business, the President was 
left at liberty to consult him if he chose to do so, while 
stiU shouldering the whole responsibility for his acts. 
It is presumably well that President and Vice- 
President should be always members of the same 
party, as indeed they have had to be ever since the 
Twelfth Amendment went into effect, for the Vice- 
President should understand and appreciate the party 
principles of the man whom he may be called upon 
suddenly to succeed. But appremation of principles is 
one thing; the sort of intimacy which should exist 
between a President and a close adviser is quite 
another. It was undoubtedly fortunate that Polk and 
Dallas remained in close touch and on terms of peculiar 
intimacy during Polk's trying administration. Such 
instances of intimacy, however, have been few and very 
infrequent in the history of the two ofllees." The Vice- 
President represents no Department. With his nomi- 
nation to office the^President has, as a rule, nothing 
whatever to do. He oconpies no such powerful position 
as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. While 

* Supra, eh&ptfli m, p. 75. 
»ArtieI«t, Me. S. 

« The three well-kuowit iutimaeiM are thoee of JBCkBon mod Van 
Boren, Polk and Dallae, and McEinlej and Eobart. 

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there have been a few men of great eminence in the 
Vioe-Presidenoy in the past, neverthelesB the office has 
been generally regarded as rather nndeeirable. Indeed, 
it has been deliberately declined or has gone begging on 
at least three separate occasions." What a man can 
accomplish in it mnst depend not alone on circom- 
stanoes often beyond control, bnt also on snob factors 
as the candidate's party position, hu political sagacity, 
and his personal force — all of these factors snre to 
affect his capacity to guide and influence Uie Senate. 
To force the Vioe-President into the Cabinet wonld 
seem, from the preceding considerations, to be as 
nnwise as it is reaUy imneoeasary. To do so, would 
be to limit the discretionary power of the President 
and to interfere with the unity of the executive — a 
limitation and an interference that wonld tend to alter 
two of the great ideals that have been recognized for 
years as at the very basis of the American Presidency. 
At all events, snoh helpful influence as the Vice- 
President can exert on matters involving execu- 
tive policy has been heretofore exerted outside the 

U Senator Silaa Wright of New York declinftd ut slnuMt nnuiimoiiB 
nominBtion in 1844 on the Polk ticket. Senator BanJBmiii Fittpatriek of 
Alabama dedined a Binulai nomination to mn on the Donglaa ticket la 
1860. In 1884 the eoBTODtion of the Auti-Uonopol; partr— a partj tbat 
had had no prior hiatorr and did not laat — nominated B«njamin 
7. Bntler of UBMBohnsetta for Prcaident. Learisg the Mttleroent of 
the nonuDRtion for Vic«-PrMid«&t to lla national eommlttee, that bod^ 
flnall^ determined to adopt QcneTal Alanaon H. Weat of MiMiMippi, 
candidate of the National or Oreeobaek part7, for the leeood poeition, 
XL Stanwood, Eiitory of the FreMmos, pp. 813-814, 886, 483. 

fl The Viea-Preddeacf has been much dfaenised in the nempapera of 
late jeaia. An a topic it was brought into apeoial proninenee b^ Hr, 

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The Senators have frequently been termed the "con- 
stitntional oonnsellors" of the President from the 
earliest days of the government. In a somewhat differ- 
ent sense the principal officers have likewise been 
termed "oonstitntioDal, oonnsellors" or "constitn- 
tional advisers" by careful writers. The Vice-Presi- 
dents have never been so called or so considered. 

Hamilton, as I have pointed out more than once,** 
referred to the principal officers or heads of depart- 
ments in 1800 as "constitutional advisers." In his 
"Opinion" of March 8, 1854, Attorney-General Cnsh- 
ing, writing of Washington's principal officers, 
asserted that those officers "were the immediate 
superior ministerial officers of the President, and his 
constitutional counsellors during the whole period of 
the administration."** Once more, in his "Opinion" 
of August 31, 1855, Gushing, directing attention to the 
statement in the Constitution that the President may 
require iu writing the advice of his principal officers, 
declared that for that reason "those officers are some- 
times characterized, and not improperly, as 'constitu- 
tional advisers* of the President."** In a special 

W. J. Bitui'b deelaratioii in midsommer, 1908, tlutt be propofed to 
Bdmit hia tuiuiing-in&te, Jobo W. Kern, into the Cabinet, ahonld he b« 
elected to the Prsaidaney in the following Navember. Long before thiB 
declBTBtion, Ur. Stjaa h&d diKimed the eabjeet in the flnt number of 
liis paper, The Commoner of JknuBiy 23, 1001. For editorials on tbe 
subject, aee the Nete York Timet, June 13, and July 17, lOOS; Tlu Sun 
(New York), Jnlj 19, 1906; and the Eartford Courant, Jnfy 3, 1008. 

uSwpra, pp. S, 140, 879. 

M s Opiniom, p. 330. 

« 7 Opmiotu, p. 460. 

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message to the Senate of December 12, 1867, President 
Johnson referred to his cabinet officers as "oonstitn- 
tional advisers."* Hamilton was perhaps writmg 
rapidly, currente calamo, and took some liberties 
with language. Cashing and Johnson, on the other 
hand, wrote deliberately — they intended that their 
words should be taken literally. In any case, this nsage 
of language, although it has been objected to," rests 
npou a perfectly rational theory of the adviBory 

It is tme that tiie principal (or cabinet) officers were 
not, like tiie Senate, created by the Constitntion. 
The principal offices are statutory. The statntes 
attempted to define the duties of their chief officers' or 
heads. Bnt one duty the statntes have never defined — 
the notable duty obligatory upon every head of a 
department to give advice to the President when asked 
to do 80 — for the sufficient reason that that duty has 
been imposed upon the heads of departments, what- 
ever their number, by the Constitntion itself. The 
exaction of such an obligation was left to the discretion 
of the President. When once the President called for 
an opinion, it must be forthcoming, for it is required 

M ItetMoffet and Papen, VI, SSS. 

VS. g. Senator Lftdge —.jt: "The membon of the Ckbinet tn ofton 
looMlr ipoken of as eonatitntional adTioen of the Praaidont. Ther are, 
H a matlAT of fact, nothing of Vb* aort. T^ are not created b7 the 
Gonatitntion, bnt \ij the laws. .... The Conatitntion eontemplatea the 
establlihinmt of axeentive departmenta, and tmj% that the Freaidwt mar 
raqtiin the opinion in miting of the hmda of meh departmanta, bnt 
theae departments can exist onl7 faj the pleaanre of Congren, and the 
President ia not bound to conmlt their ehiafs." The Benata, he eoa- 
elndee, ia "eonatitntional"; the Cafainet is "atattdoi?. " A FrmMtr 
Tom, etc (1906), p. TS. 

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by the fundamental law that it should be. On such an 
oocasion, argued President Johnson in his spe<dal 
message already cited, the head of a department "acts 
under the gravest obligations of law, for when he is 
called npon by the President for advice it is the Con- 
stitution which speaks to him. All his other duties are 
left by the Constitntion to be regulated by statute, but 
this duty was deemed so momentous that it is imposed 
by the Constitution itself."" 

Two ideas in respect to the CaMnet — the idea of 
unity of opinion and the idea of mutual confidence — 
appeared and were to some extent developed in John- 
son's message. Both ideas, moreover, have been more 
or less recurrent in the course of the history of the 
theory of the American Presidency. Indeed, they 
were alien neither to Hamilton's nor to Cashing's 
thought of the principal offices." 

Unity of opinion, according to President Johnson, 
is absolutely essential to the executive npon great 
questions of public policy or administration. He thus 
elaborated his thougiit: 

I do not elaim that a head of Department should have no 
otiier opinions than those of the Presideiit. He has the same 
right, in the conacientions dischai^ of daty, to entertain 
and express his own opinions as has the President. What I 
do claim ia that the President is the responsible head of the 
Administration, and when the opinions of a head of Depart- 
ment are irrecoDcilably opposed to those of the President in 
grave matters of policy and administration, there is bat one 
resnlt which can solve the difficnltr, and that is a severance 

■ MtttaffM mtd Fapen, TI, 687. 
» Supra, pp. 110, 136, 140, 182. 

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of the official relation. Thia in the past bictory of the Qorem- 
ment has always been the role, and it is a win one, for Boch 
diflerencea of opinion among iti memben most impair the 
efficiency of any Adminiatration.* 

To define all the relations existing between the heads 
of departments and the President would be a matter 
of great diflSonlty. The legal relations have been well 
enough defined by the statute laws which created the 
different principal ofSoes. The prindpal officers, how- 
ever, were placed by the Constitation in the position 
of assistants and advisers to the President. Accord- 
ingly, beyond the defined legal relations there are 
others not expressed, bnt neoessarily attendant npon 
these. This was Johnson's view: 

Chief among theae ii mntnal confidence. Thia relation ia so 
delicate that it ia aometimea hard to aay when or how it 
ceaaea. A aingle flagrant act may end it at onee, and then 
there ia no difficolty. Bat confidence may be just aa ^Factu- 
ally destroyed by a aeriea of caosea too subtle for demiuistra- 
tion. Aa it ia a plant of slow growth, so, too, it mi^ be alow 
in decay. . . . ." 

President Johnson's special message to the Senate 
of December, 1867, remains one of the most remark- 
able contributions to the political theory of the Presi- 
dency that can be foxmd in the whole range of Ameri- 
can state papers. In respect to the theory of the 
Cabinet, it was discerning and illuminating. The basic 
ideals of the Presidency — executive unity, executive 
responsibility, and executive discretion— were under- 
lying Johnson's thought. For them he was contend- ' 

" Utttage* and Papers, VI, 6SB, 

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ing. They mnst be sustained by all his printnpal 
officers. An officer who refused to sustain them, it 
most be the President's privilege — ^his right — ^to 
dismiss. The sense of subordination of all the prin- 
cipal officers to the President had long since come to 
exist partly by oonstmotiott of the oonstitational dnty 
of the President to take care that the laws be faith- 
fully executed, and partly by the analogies of statutes. 
Ill the very nature of things there must be corporate 
conjunction on matters of polioy, a board of advisers 
subject in all matters of doubt to one determining 

The Cabinet's usefulness as an advisory board has 
of course varied from time to time in the past in 
accordance with the different personal elements of 
which it has been composed. John Adams, Madison, 
Jackson, Tyler, Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant ». 
as Presidents aU experienced more or less serious d i ffi- f 
culties with their cabinet advisers. It is well enough 
known that both John Adams and Jackson were at 
times much disinclined to consult the body on matters 
of large and general importance. The Cabinet, how- 
ever, could not be ignored for long by any of the 
Presidents. The twenty-six Cabinets of American 
history — reckoning to the close of President Roose- 
velt 's administration in March, 1909, — have all con- 

■ I hsTe naed here Mrentl ideu deriTod from Caleb Onihing's two 
"Opinions" Alrsadr cited. 

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tained a naolens or coterie of able, experienced, and ^ 
weU-qnalified men. These men conld fairly claim and '^ 
obtain consideration from their chiefs, the twenty- 
six Presidents who appointed them, as co-ordinate 
factors in the work of assisting in execatiTe tasks. 
For the tmth is that great measures for the ooxmtry's 
welfare, often accredited to individual men, are seldom 
attained without the active efforts and earnest co- 
operation of many minds. 

01 Google 


A. Table of S&lariflB of Freaideat^ Vice-President, and Prin- 

cipal Officers: 1789-1909. 

B. Table to indicate the States of the Union from vbich the 

Principal Officers have been selected: 1789-1909. 

C. The Smithsaoian Institution and the Cabinet 
J). lost of Authoritiea. 

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i§ i ;§ ill i§ :§ ill i M ! : : ii i 

«- : :»»' :«'«»' :v iod* :ggo' :::::; :rf : 










i n M ; ; M i i ; ;i i i Ii : ; ; ; ;§ 



01 Google 


The SjlUbt ov th> Sbcbktabt op State (1909-1911) 

By a somewhat nniunal circumBtaiice in 1909, the uiiaxy of 
the Secretary of State was temporarily reduced to ita preTioas 
grade of $8,000, in order to allow Hon. Philander C. SJnox, 
member of the federal Senate from PennqrlTania, 1905-1911, 
to take office as Secretary of State in President Taft'a Cabi- 
net, la accordance with the Constitution, Article I, section 
6, paragraph 2 : 

No senator or representative shall, daring the time 
for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil 
office under the authority of the United States which 
shall have been created, or the emolumenta whereof 
shall have been increased, during such time ; and no 
person holding any office under the United States 
shall be a member of either house during hia continu- 
ance in office. 

The Legislative, Executive and Judicial Appropriation Act 
of February 26, 1907 (34 Statutea at Large, p. 993) fixed the 
annual compensation of heads of executive departments for 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, at $12,000. When Mr. 
Knox accepted the portfolio of Secretary of State a special 
act of Congress was passed repealing the above act in so far 
as the same related to the annual compensation of the Secre* 
tary of State, fixing the compensation of that position at the 
rate of $8,000 (Act of February 17, 1909. 35 Statutes at 
Large, chap. 137, p. 626). On March 5, 1911, the annual 
compensation of the Secretary of State was placed on the 
$12,000 basis. The Deficiency Appropriation Act of March 
4, 1911 (36 Statutes at Large, chap. 240, pp. 1289, 1290) 
provided additional eompensatim for that position for the 
period from March 6, 1911, to June 30, 1911, of $1,288.89, and 
the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Act of March 4, 1911 

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(36 Siatuiet at Large, chap. 237, p. 11S6) provided $12,000 u 
the wlary for the fiscal year ending Jnne 30, 1912. The 
salary of that place is now consequently the same as that of 
the other heads of executive departments. 

The case is not without precedent For a discnssioii of it, 
the reader mxy be referred to the debates in the Congrettiondt 
Record of Febmary 11, 13, IB, etc., 1909. 

The PsBtuuxNT's Pxbquisitbi 

From the beginning the President has had, besides a salary, 
certain perquisites. As early as September 24, 1789 (1 
Statutea at Large, ch. zix, 72) the President wss to have "the 
use of the fomitnre and other effects, now in his poMcsaion, 
belonging to the United States." The next year the law 
(Ibid., eh. xxviii, 130) made provision for the appointment of 
eomminionen with power to purchase land in the District 
of Columbia partly for the purpose of a building for the 
President. The Act of April 24, 1800 (2 Stafutea at Large, 
ch. xxxvii, 55) provided: 

That for the purpose of providing furniture for the 
house erected in the city of Washington, for the 
accommodation of the President of the United States, 
a sum not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars be ex- 
pended, under the direction of the heads of the 
several departments of state, of the treasury, of war, 
and of the navy. 

"An Act to provide for the Traveling Expenses of the 
President of the United States" (Jnne 23, 1906. 34 Statutes 
at Large, ch. 3523, p. 454) arranges : 

That hereafter there mi^ be expended for or on 
account of the traveling expenses of the President 
.... such sum as Congress may from time to time 
appropriate, not exceeding twenty-five thousand 
doUars per aimum, such sum when appropriated to 
be expended in the discretion of the President and 
accounted for on his certificate only. 

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By the Deficiency Appropriation Act of March 4, 1909 (39 
Statutes at Large, eh. 298, see. 1, p. 908), proviaion was made 
for the appropriation for a houaekeeper for the ExecatiTa 
Mansion, at the rate of $1,000 per annnfrij from March 4, 1909, 
to June 30, 1910. 


Table to indicate the States of the Umon from which 
the Prinoipal Officers have been chosen between 1789 
and 1909.* 

SiOBBTABm or State 

New York 
Virginia . 
Delaware . 

Ohio . . . 



South Carolina 
Michigan . 
New Jersey . 

Seorbitasibs or ths Tbkasubt 

New York .... 7 

PennnylTania ... 7 

Ohio . 





* The atatiaties ien wt forth hftv« been chiefly eompUed from 
Bobert B. Moeber'i EicemiUve Btgitter, The liate of Cabinetti ea printed 
in mch books u the newepftper almanaea »re quite nnieliftble. 

Conneeticat . 
Tennessee . 
Delaware . 
New Hampahire 
Iowa . . . 

DcirzeSoy Google 


Sbobbtabus of Wab 

New York 

8 Iowa . . . 

6 Loiiiaiana . . 

PflnnmrlTania . 

5 Mininippi . 

Ohio . . 

5 Kentucky . . 

Virginia . 

3 Minnesote 


3 Vermont . . 

GeorgiE . 

2 Wert Virginia 

SontlL Caroliiu 

2 Michigan . . 

UlinoiB . . 



PemmrhraQia ... 7 South Carolina 


6 Maine . . . 


6 Connecticut . 

Virginia . 

4, Missouri . . 


4 Oregon . . 

Ohio . . 

4 Arkansas . . 

New Tork 

8 Indiana . . 

Oeorgia . 

2 California 


1 New Jersey . 



Secbbtabibs of the Navt 

MaasachuMtta ... 6 South Carolina 

Virginia . . 

5 Indiana . . 


4 Wert Virginia 

New Tork 

4 Louisiana . . 

North Carolina 

4 AUbama . . 

New Jersey . 

3 Ulinoia . . 


2 California 


2 Michigan . . 

Connectient . 



New Tork .... 5 Vermont . . 

Eeatncky . 

4 Maine . . 

Tennessee . 

4 Ohio . . . 


4 Virginia . . 


4 Iowa . . . 


3 Michigan . . 


3 Wert VirginU 

Lidiana . 

2 Maaachnsetts 

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Ohio 4 Virginia . 

Miaaonri 4 lUinois 

Miehigao 2 Colorado . 

MiflBiMippi .... 2 Wisconsiii 

Indiana 2 Oeorgia . 

L)wa 2 New York 

Penn^lTania ... 1 



1 Nebraska . 
1 Iowa 

Sbcsitibies of Cohhsbce and Labob 
New York .... 2 California . . 

Total Appointicbntb to Prinoifal Offiois fboh t 

1. New York . . 



Miehigan . 


2. Peiuiqrlvania . 



Maine . . 




Delaware . 

. 4 

t Ohio . . . 





5. yiniiiia . . 



North Carolina 

. 4 

6. Marylsnd . . 





7. Eentnckr . . 



New Hampahii 

■0 . 8* 

8. Tenneffiee . . 



West Virginia 

. 3 

9. Indisns . . 



Vermont . 


10. Coimecticat . 



Loniaiana . 

. a 

11. Blinou . . 



Minnesota . 


12. lows . . . 



Alabama . 


13. Qeorgift . . 



Colorado . . 

. 1 

14. Wiaconnn . . 



Nebraska . 


16. HiMnri . . 





16. South Carolina 



Arkansas . 


17. Now Jeney . 


* NoTK: The flgnrw in tbia tebnlatioii will be mlilaading nnlwi tha 
T«adsr obMrrea that eartala isdividoals, holding two (raralj thno) eabi* 
net offlcM, ha*e Iwen rvekoned two ot thr«e tima, in aceorduiM with Uie 
faeta. No •uotmt haa been teken of the PoetmMteiB-GeneTel prior to 

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States not RBPBKSBNTn> in tee Fbincipal OmCBS: 
Bhode iBland Montana 

Florida Idaho 

Texas Waahington 

OUailOma Wyn ming 

Kanaaa Utah 

South Dakota Nevada 

North Dakota 


Thb Shithsoniait Institution and thb Cabinet 

The Smithsonian Institntion was organized for the 
purpose of administering a beqnest to the govem- 

18&0, when flirt tbo ofBee wm recogniied u evTTJng eabiset nnk. Tba 
foUowing D&mee will make the flgnree elemrer: 
L Nbw Yokk: B. P. Butler, W., Atg.; J. C. Spencw, W., Tr.; W, L. 
Uam, W., St; W. H. Enrte, Atg., St.; G. B. Cortelyon, a mnd 
!>., Pmg., Tr. ; E. Boot, W., St. 

2. PxNNSTbVAMU: B. Biuh, Atg., Tr.; J. 8. Black, Atg., St. 

3. Mabuchdsittb : T. Pickering, W., St; 8. Dexter, W.,Ti.; D. Web- 

ster, St (bu); B. Olner, Atg., St.; W. B: Moody, N., Atg. 

4. Ohio: T. Ewing, Tr., Int.; £. H. Stanton, Atg., W.; A. Taft, W,, 

Atg. ; J. Sherman, Tr., 8t 

5. TnoiKU : £. Bandolph, Atg., St. ; J. Monroe, St, W. ; A. P. Upehnr, 

St, N.; J. Y. Mason, N., Atg., N. 

«. MiftTLAKD: B. Smith, N., Atg., St; B. B. Tan<7, Atg., Tr.; 0. J. 
Bonaparte, N., Atg. 

7. Eintucxt: J, J. Crittenden, Atg. ihit); J. Holt, W., Pmg. 

9. Ikdiama: E. McColloch, Tr. <&w); W. Q. Gretham, Pmg., Tt.* 
10. C!oif NXCncUT : I. Toncey, Atg., N. 
18. OzoROU: W. H. Crawford, W,, Tr. 
14. WiacoNsrtf: W. P. Vilaa, Pmg., Int. 
16. SonTH CjIXOLIMA: J. O. Calhonn, W., 8L 
10. UAim: J. O. BUn«, St (M(). 
23. CALim»NiA : v. H. Hetealf , a and L., N. 
S4. Nkw HAUPSana: L. Woodbnrj', N,, Tr. 
88. Minnxbota: W. Windom, Tr. (bu). 

■ Mr. Oreriiam was eomnusaioned ■• Seeretarr «f State (18B8-1S9S) 
from minola — hia third cabinet appointment 

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ment of the United States by the will of James 
Smithson of London, a diBtingoished chemist and 
mineralogist, who died in Genoa, Italy, in 1829. It 
has, consequently, always occupied a peculiar relation 
to the government. Founded, after some opposition, 
"for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," it was 
first organized in Washington, D. C, by a law approved 
on August 10, 1846 (9 Statutes at Large, p. 102). The 
supervising and advisory body denominated an 
"Establishment" and placed over the Board of 
Begents — a body not wholly distinot from that Board 
— was to consist of the following members : the Presi- 
dent of the United States, the Vice-President, the six 
principal officers (all the cabinet officers of that day), 
the Chief-Justioe of the Supreme Court, the Commis- 
sioner of Patents, the Mayor of the City of Washington 
"during the time for which they shaU hold their 
respective offices, and such other persons as they may 
elect honorary members." In the course of years this 
original law was found to be quite out of accord in 
some respects with the development of national admin- 
istration. Ill the first place, the Secretary of the 
bterior, provided for by the law of March 3, 1849, had 
become the superior of the Commissioner of Patents. 
Again, there was no "Mayor" of Washington after 
1870. Finally, another Secretaryship — ^that of Agri- 
culture — ^was established by the law of February 9, 

Down to March 12, 1894, the date of a change in the 
original law of 1846, only a single Secretary of the 
Interior — Columbus Delano of Ohio, serving in that 

Dcinz.aoy Google 


office from 1870 to 1875 tmder President Qrant — had 
acted as an honorary member of the Establishment, 
elected, as he was, in 1872. The statute of March 12 

That the President, the Vice-President, the Ghief-Jnstiee, 
and the heads of the Executive Departments are hereby con- 
stitoted an eatablisbment by the name of the Smiths(Hiian 
lostitatioii, etc. (28 Statutes at Large, p. 41). 

By this change in the law, the Secretaries of the 
Interior and Agriculture became ez officio members of 
the Establishment, so that to-day, with one additional 
Secretaryship, that of Commerce and Labor arranged 
for by the law of February 14, 1903, all the cabinet 
officers are included in the Establishment of the Smith- 
sonian Institntion. 

For all details of this matter, see William J. Bhees's T\« 
Smitluoman Itutitution. 2 toU. Washington : 1901. 


List or AnTHOBinss 

The list of titles here printed includes every booh, 
pamphlet, or magazine article that has been directly 
cited in the notes of these Studies, together with titles 
of a very few volmnes not so cited. I have not fonnd 
it possible, for example, anywhere in the notes ade- 
quately to indicate my indebtedness to two such 
works as Professor Dicey's Law and Public Opinion 
and Professor Sidgwick's Development of Europam 
PoUty, for I hare not been conscious of their direct 

DC,. zed oy Google 


bearing apou 1117 theme. X have, on the other hand, 
gone to them frequently for stiinnlnB; and I am Bare 
that they have helped me here and there to formulate 
my thought. I have intentionally ignored in this 
list the usual and well-known bibliographical aids, 
although a few aids not bo well known have been in- 
cluded. Some readers may derive assistance from Ur. 
Appleton P. C. G-ri£Gn*B Select Lisi of Books on the 
Cabinets of England and America {Washington: 1903). 
It has not seemed worth while to include Congressional 
Documents, especially as these have been carefully 
referred to in the foot-notes whenever they have been 
serviceable, notably in Chapters VII-XI. 

Adamb, Henby: History of the United States [1801-1817]. 

9 Tola. New York: 1889-1891. 
Adah B, John : Worki .... with a Life of the Author, Notes, 

and Illustratioiis. B7 his Grandson, Charles Francis 
^ Adams. 10 vols. Boston: 1856. 
' Adams, John Quinoy : Memoirs .... comprising portions of 

his Diaiy from 1795 to 1848. Ed. b7 Charles Francis 

Adams. 12 vols. Philadelphia : 1874-1877. 

The Jubilee of the Constitution, A Discourse delivered at 

the Request of the New York Historical Society, in the 

City of New York, on Thursday, the 30th of April, 1839. 

New York: 1839. 
Alqeb, Gkobos W. : "Executive Aggreaaaa," In Atlantic 

Monthly, November, 1908. cii, 577-689. 
Allen, Gardnkb W. : Our Naval War with France. Boston : 


Our Navy and the Bfwbary Corsairs. Boston: 1905. 
A[llen], B. L.: "A^culture of Louisiana." In DeBow's 

Commercial Review of the South and West (New 

Orleans), May, 1847. iii, 412-419. 

DC,. zed oy Google 


Andrews, Coablbs M.: "British Committees, Conunisnoos, 
and Councils of Trade and Phmtations, 1622-1675." In 
Johna Hopkifu University Studies (1908), zxri. 

Anson, Sib William R., ed.: Autobiography and Political 
Correspondence of Augustus Henry, Third Duke of 
Grafton, S. 0. London: 1898. 

The Law and Custom of the Constitution. Part II. The 
Crown, 2d ed. Oxford : 1S96. 

Applbton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Ed. hy 
James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. 7 vols. New York : 

Aitoknbt-Genebal or the UHirra States: "Contrast be- 
tween Duties of the ... . and those of the Law Officer of 
the British Crown." Note in 38 American Law Review, 
NoTember-December, 1904. Pp. 924-925. 

Aucxw, L. : Le Conseil d' Btat avant et depuis 1789. Paris: 

Bacon, Francis : The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral. 
Ed. by S. H. Reynolds. Oxford: 1891. 

Baoehot, Walter: The English Constitution. Reprinted 
from the "Fortnightly Review." London: 1867. 

Baxxr, William S. : Washington after the Revolution, 1784- 
1799. Philadelphia : 1896. 

Bau>win, Jahes F. ; "Antiqoities of the King's Cooncil." 
In English Historical Review, Jannai?, 1906. xxi, 1-20. 
"Early Records of the King's Council." In American 
HistoriciU Review, October, 1905. xi, 1-15. "The Spin- 
nings of the King's Council." In Transactions of the 
Royid Historical Society (1905). xix, n. b. 27-59. "The 
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Bau>win, Simbon B. : Modem Political Institutions. Boston : 

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Bee eapedaUf eha^^. iv, "Abmlnto Power an Aioeiiaaii Invtito- 

tion," pp. 80-116. 
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tution of the United States of America. 4th ed. 2 toU. 

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York: 1907. 
[Benthah, Jereut] : A Fragment on Oovernment; being an 

Examination of What is Delivered, on the Subject of 

QovemmeDt in Qeneral, in the Introduction to Sir 

William Blackstone's Commeotaries. London: 1776. 
Bishop, Joel P. : New Commentariet on the Criminal Law. 

8th ed. 2 vols. Chicago : 1892. 
Blagestone, Sib William: Commentaries on the Laws of 

England. 4 toIb. Oxford : 1765-1769. 
BoLiNGHBOKS, FiRST YiscouNT : Works. 15 vols. London: 

1798.^ • 
Bollb8,iAlbekt S. : Financial History of the United States. 

Vol.'i, 1774-1789. New York: 1879. 
Bbowm, WiLLiAif O.: The Life of Oliver Ellsworth. New 

York; 1905. 
BsowNE, Daniel J. : " Progress and Pablic Encouragement 

of Agriculture in Russia, Prussia, and the United States. " 

In Executive Documents, 35 Cong., 1 sesa. (1857-1858), 

iv, No. 30, pp. 1-50. 
Bbucb, Philip A. : Institutional History of Virginia in the 

Seventeenth Century. 2 vols. New York: 1910. 

lUDminating glimpHea of the colonial AttonjeTB-Oeneral. 
Bbtcb, Jakes: The American Commonvjedlth. New and <> 

revised ed. 2 vols. New York : 1910. 
BuGHANAN, Jahks : Wofks Ed. bj John Bassett Moore. 

12 vols. Philadelphia: 1907-1911. 
BuBKB, Edmund: Works Revised ed. 12 vols. Boston: 

Bdttbbfiild, Kenton L.: "Farmers' Social Organizations." 

In L. H. Bailey's Cydopedia of American Agrievlture, 

iv (1909), S 

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CiUendars of State Papers, Domettic Series [1603-1641]. 22 
toIb. London: 1857 ff. /6»d. [1690-1695], 4 vola. Lon- 
don: 1898-1906. 

Gasvkr, Thohas N.: "Historical Sketch of American Agri- 
cultnre," In Bailey's Cyclopedia of Amer, Agriculture, 
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Cbitwood, Olivbb p.: "Justice in Colonial Virginia." In 
Johns Eopiins Univ. Studies (1905), xdii. 

Ci-ARBiNDON, Earl of : The Life of Edward, Earl of Clarendon. 
By Himself. 2 vols. Oxford : 1857. 
The History of the Rebellion and CwA Wars in England. 
Newed. 8 toU. Oxford: 1826. 

CiiABK, Davis W. : The Problem of Life; a Funeral Discourse 
on the Occasion of the Death of Hon. John McLean, 
LL. D. Preached in Cincinnati, April 28, 1861. Cin- 
cinnati : 1861. 

Clabks, William : The Clarke Papers. Selections .... ed. 
C. H. Firth. 4 vols. Camden Society and Boyal Histori- 
cal Society. London: 1891-1901. 

Clevbland, Gboveb : Presidential Problems. New York : 1904. 
TJsefnl eapMiallf for the flrat easftf, "The IndependenM of th« 
Eiecative," pp. 3-78. 

Colbman, Mas. Ann Maby : Life of John J. Crittenden, with 
Selections from his Correspondence and Speeches. 2 vols. 
PhiUdelphia: 1871. 

CouHEBCE AND Labor: Organization and Law of the De- 
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Connecticut : Public Acts for 1897. Hartford : 1898. 

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in the Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph. New York : 

CooLBT, Tbohas M.: Michigan. Boston: 1905. American 
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UMfnl for eonunenta on the cBT«er of Jnd^ A. B. Woodwafd. 

[Cooper, Jaues F.] : Notions of the Americans: Picked ap by 
a Travelling Bachelor. 2 vols. London : 1828. 

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For an agtlniAta ot this work, >m Jamea Panimore Cooper. Bj 
Tbomu B. Lcnmabni;. Boaton: 1883, pp. 100 ff. Ajner. Men ot 

Cox, HoHEBSEAH: Ths British Comtnonwealth: or a Com- 
mentary on the Institntions and Principles of British 
QoTemment. London : 1854. 

The Institutions of the English Oovemment; being an 
Account of the Constitution, Powers, and Procedure, of 
ite Legislative, Judicial, and AdminititratiTe Departments. 
London: 1863. 

CoseiHG, Cai^eb : Memorial of.. . . . Newburyport : 1879. 

"Office and Duties of Attorney-General." In 5 Ameri- 
can Imo Register (Philadelphia), December, 1856, pp. 

Cuems, GBOBtm W. P. : Becollections and Private Memoirs of 
Washington by his adopted Son; with a Memoir by his 
■ Daughter , , . , and Notes by B. J. LoagLng. New York : 

[Db Lolmb, JeanL.] : Constitution de I'Angleterre. Amster- 
dam: 1771. 

For Bketeli of the sathor, see DiotioTuoT/ of National Biography, 
ziT, 32S-327. 

The Constitution of England; or, an Account of the Eng- 
lish Government. New ed. with Life and Notes by John 
MseGregor, M. P. Bohn 'b Library, i^pndon : 1853. 

Dice?, Albbbt V. : Introduction to the $fiidy of the Law of the 
Constitution. 5th e± London : 1S97. 
Lectures on the Relation between Law and Public Opinion 
in England during the Nineteenth Century. London: 
1905. The Privy CouneU. Loudon ; 1887. 

Dictionary of National Biography. Eds. LeaUe Stephen 
and Sidney Lee.,,.4^018. London : 18854904. 

Dictionary of Political Economy. Ed. by R. H. Inglis Pal- 
grave, ivols. London : 1894-1899. 

i, ise-lm for a brief aMoiut of the English Board of Agprioiil- 
tnre, ITstlSl?. 

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Documentary History of the Conttitution of the United 
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Dbakb, Francis S. : MemoriaU of the Society of the Cincinnati 
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Hvpaaoi, L. : Let Minittret dant leM principaux Pays d'Europe 
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Eabbt-Smith, James S. : The Department of Justice: its EUs- 
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Eluot, Jonathan, ed. : The Debates in the Several State Con- 
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A mppleaieiitArr toIdim (t), WMhinKtoii: 1849, eoatuna the 
DobatM in the PUladelphia CmTntkni togatlwr with Mmdiaoa'* 

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to 1705-06. Ed. by W. Bray. New ed. 5 vols. London : 

Etkbett, Edwasd, and John McLxan : ' ' Letters between .... 
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of Secretaries, 217; appreciation 
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1829); on antboisMp of act 
eatabliahing TreMury Depart- 

ment, 100; sepecte of President, 
ISO, 102; harks back to Madi- 
son's message of 1810, 102; 
remarks (182G) by, on increase 
of administrative work, 172-178; 
records origin of practice of 
Postmaster-Qenaral making 
annoal report to President, 23S; 
impre«ions of John McLean, 
ZSS-244; contemplates McLean's 
dismissal, 241 ; list bj, of Jack- 
son's propoeed Cabinet (1829), 
244; comments by, on compara- 
tive burdens of Seoretaiy of 
State (1800 and 1821), 200; 
eonunent by, to Judge A. B. 
Woodward (1824), 207; records 
Monroe's reason for not men- 
tioning project of Interior De- 
partment in meeeoge, 268; urges 
new executive department 
(1825), 269, 287; interview with 
D. Webstar and obeervations by, 
270 ir.; deplorea lack of Home 
Department (1839), 272; com- 
ments by, on report of H. Tj. 
Ellsworth, Commissioner of Pat- 
ents, 311-312. Memoirg of, 
mentioned, 182, 241, 209, 8S3. 

Adama, Samuel: opposed (1760) to 
single headships, 201. 

Administration: dependence of, on 
practices as well as laws; diffl- 
colties of its history, 808. 

Administrative work: in the Bevo- 
lutionary epoch (1775-1789), 60, 
54, 55, 50, 200 tt. Otto's remarks 
on (1787), 58; influence of War 
of 1812 on, 100-161, 2S6ff.; 
eaneee of Increase by 1830, 172; 

DC,. zed oy Google 


Mexican Wu and, 170, £53, 274, 

386; J. Q. Adams '■ reflaetiooj 

(1821) on, 260; pniod (I78S 

ff.) of groping, 34B-350; War 

with Spain (1898) and, 305. 
Admiralty, Board of (I77fl fl.) : 

200; helpleamcM of, 203. 
Agricultural SocietiM: 

Agricultaral Soeiet]' of tha 17. 8. 

(1841), 311, 310-317. 

Bath and Weat of England, 298, 

Barkahire, Uaaa. (1610), SIM, 


Charleston, a C. (176S), 303. 

Colnmbian {1809-1812), 806-807, 


Conueetient (180S), 303-3u! 

Frederiekibnrg, Va., 317, 

Hartford, Conn., 810. 

Highland, 298. 

Marjland, 823. 

HasBaehosetta (1792), 803. 

New Earen County, 304. 

P«amaylvaBia (1808), 304. 

Philaddphia (I7S9), 303. 

U. 8. Agricnltnrsl Soeioty, 818- 
828; 8S2-S83; last meeting, 341- 
843; pabllcatious, 343-84S. 
Estimate of nQinbert of (1852; 
1861), 306; project of G. W. P. 
Ciutii (1810), 306; comment on 
diffniion of, 308. 

Agrieultnral Statea ; opposed estab- 
lishment of Navy Department, 
213 ff., 216, 219. 

Agriculture: Q. Morris's proTiaion 
(1787) for, 254; project to pro- 
mote (1825) by means of Home 
Department, 268; L. H. Bailey's 
Cyelopettia of Amerioa^, cited, 
291; popular Interest in, and im- 
portance of, 294 flF. ; eoeoiuage- 
nent of, by ParlisLment In colon- 

ial times, S95; Washington on, 
295-296, 299-303, passim; Uasaa- 
chusetts aids, 303, 304; changea 
in, after 181G, 305; progrees of 
administration of, in New York, 
306, note**; creation of conunit- 
tee on Agriculture (1820), 309, 
note *o ; references to Committee, 
324, 326, 828, 330, 331, S50; 
flrat appropriation for, by Oon- 
grees (1839), 311; faahionabia, 
320-321, note «>; derabprncMt 
(1890-1860), 321; iner«as» of 
appropriations for, 321, 340-841; 
goTemment interest in, 321-323, 
326; general recognition of im- 
portance of (1860), 327; akoteh 
of progrees (1836 If.), 381; fos- 
tering of, not an easMitial part 
of goTBmment (188S), SS6. 

Agriculture, American National 
Board of; Wsakington's sogges- 
tiona, 296, 299, 301-302; plan of, 
before House (1797), 302; reflec- 
tiDua OD plan, S02-303; a. W. P. 
Custis's Buggwtioa (1810), 306; 
E, Watson '■ project (1816) 
before Congress (1817), 307; 
iuflnenee of Washington's Bug- 
gestions traceable, 306, 307, 313, 
339, 842, 374; PennsylvanU 
Legislature (1860) favors, 318; 
House oonsiders bill for (1858), 
322, 326. 

Agriculture, British Board of 
(1798-1817): 297-298. 
British Board of (1889 ff.) : 2BS, 
note 11; 839, coteT*. 

Agriculture, Commissioner of 
(1862-1889) : 292, 328, 330, 838- 
333, 334, 338-339, 343, note *, 
391, 374, 376. Anwtal Ssporl 
(1866) of, cited, 341. 

Agricoltare, Department (1862) of, 

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and BacMtuTdkip <1S8») of; B, 
202; objaeta, S92-20S, SSO, 3S1, 
SSI, 374; popuUr mt«r«t in, 
263; indiridual leadenhip and 
orgKoiied efforts for, 2M; 
Waahington '■ rogKwtioiu (1769- 
1796), 2»e, 809-303; artabliab- 
nant of SaeretwTalup, 2M, 836, 
338-339, 37i; problem of daeade 
(1BS0-I86D), SlSff.; elaar de- 
mand for Dapartment about 
IS40, 317, 874; lat« arfumanta 
for and againtt 319, 323 ff. C. 
B. CalTerfa efforts for, S2S-S34, 
poMtM/ reeonunendatioiia of, 
326; effort! to make Department 
"azaentiva," 334 ff., SS8-8fi4; 
afltabliahmant (1802) maAed 
naw phaaa of adminiatratiTa de- 
velopmtnt, 834, 361, S74-S7S} 
romarka on, bj Hon, J, B. Ifann 
(1003), 300-361; refleetiona on, 
366, 374-876. 

"Agiienltnra of Lonleiana" 
(1847) bjr B. L. AUao, qootad, 
313, note*'. 

AKriealtnrista, National Coomtion 
of (1862), SIS. 

Alger, Qaorge W.; jadgment on 
Bolingbroke, 26, note''. 

A]gien (170S-1706): paaea with, 
208, 200. 

Allen, Dr. Oardner W. : work cited, 
64; on attitude of J. Adama and 
Jeffeiaon (1786 ff.) toward naral 
aatabli aliment, 205, note"; 
quoted on fliat frigatM latmched 
(1797), £08, Dot«]*; aketelt of 
jMhaa HiimplmTB referred to, 
211, note**; on boetiUtiea with 
Franca (ITOSff.) 817. 

Allan, Senator WiDiam, of Ohio, 
qootad, 280, not« **, 

Atnerieait Arehivti: important of, 

for nndantanding of W. Qod- 
dard'iwork (1774), 227, note". 

^m«noan Athenaeum (N, T.), 268. 

Amarican Federation of Itibor: 
tea lAbor, mfra. 

American Mereurg (Hartford, 
Conn.}, qnotad, 187. 

American Partj (1B66), 238. 

Amea, Piaher: 47, 08. 

"Anaa" of T. Jefferaon eitod, 108, 
124, 136. 

AndroB, Sir Edmund: ioter«at«d 
in colonial poetal aarrica, 288. 

Anne, QoaHi (1708-1714): IS, 84; 
Hallam on raign of, 87 ; colonial 
practice at close of raign In tha 
mattar of appointmenta of 6nan- 
eial officMB, 101; Aat (1710) 
reorganising postal adminiatra- 
tion, 221, 226-826. 

Anson, Sir William B.: views on 
origin of En^iih Cabinet, 80; 
his Lav and Ciutom of the Con- 
Mtitution estimated, 42, 46. 

Anti-Maaonie Part7, 238. 

Appleton's CyelopMdia of Ameri- 
(MM Biograpkf, 269. 

Appointmenta: in general, 48, 68, 
68-69, 70 ff., 76, 84, 85, B9, note 
■>, 07, 101, 102, 104, 107, 144, 
189, 250 ff.; control avvt, in 
coloQi&l time*, 72-73, 79-80, 101; 
in Qreat Britain, 7S; of heads 
(17S1), 63-S4, notai*, 60, 801- 
208 ; Waahington 's prineiplaa 
(1780), 110 ff., 131.183, 266.2S6; 
of Wirt (1817), 166; of O. 
Cabot and B. Stoddert (1798), 
216-217, 376; of J. UeLean 
(1323), 220, 236, 237, 244; of 
Andrew Hamilton (1602), 223; 
of John Hamilton (1707), 224; 
of A. Bpotswood (1730), 826; of 
B. Franklin <]763; 1775), 826, 

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227; of B. Bsebe and E. HaMid 
(1776; 1782), 828, note"; of 
8. Osgood (1789), 230; in Polk 'a 
Cabinet (184S), 275; of T. 
Swing (1B49),2SS, 376;of N. J. 
Colmui (1S89), 202, 338-339, 
376; of H. L. Ellsworth (1836), 
309; of I. Newton (1882), 334; 
of O. B. Cortelyou (1903), 34fl, 
376 ; tee Ooimcil of Appointment. 

Arbitnuy Power: ftttempta to con- 
trol in EuglAnd, 11, 12 a., 21-23, 
33 35; fear of, in America, 49, 
71, 73, 80, 8fl, 98-S9, 104, 121, 
122-123, 133 fl., 1M-H8, 193- 
194, 22S, £32-233, 2S0, 265, 272, 
281-283, 333 334, 364-365. 

Argyll, Dake of: PoBtmaater-Oen- 
eral, 251-252. 

"Arlington Sheep-Bhearing": tee 

ABTHUB, CHE8TEB A. (1881- 
1885) : 194, 336, 337. 

ArtieUi of Ctmfederatitm: no pro- 
vision for ezecDtive in, 48; sug- 
gest fear of executive power, 49. 

Assistant A ttornej- General 
(1859): 184. 

Attomej-Oeneral: tetablishment of 
OfBce, 6, 47, 105 ff., 107, J 

167, 873; 

unknown to Con- 

federation (1781-1788), 99, 106, 
159; in state eonstitations (1776 
fl.) 81, 107; officer not to sit in 
council of state (N. C), 81; 
nsnallj member of governor's 
council, 81 ; legal adviser to 
President and heads of depart- 
ments, 105, 1S9, 166; head of 
Department of Justice (1870 
fT.), 105, 160, 181, 187, 373; low 
rank and salary (1789), lOS; 
cabinet associate from outset, 
105-106, 139, 192, 196, 160, 164, 

181, 188, 19B; brief d^btition 
of duties, 106; known early in 
colonial days, 106-107; not 
known in Connecticut until 1897, 
107, noteU; E. Baadolph's 
appointment as first (1789), 
114-115, 118-119; advisory fonc- 
tion of, aneroached upon, 121, 
note "; not at fligt recorded 
cabinet meeting (1791), 125; 
present at many others, I29-1S6, 
164-165, 181-182; unsatisfactory 
organifation of Office of, 199- 
160, 161, 162, 164, 167 ft., 173 
fl., 176, 178 fl., 184 IT.; resi- 
dence reqnirement in Virginia, 
107; attempt at residence re- 
qairemant in federal law, 162- 
163, 164; raquiremeut exacted of 
1 (1814), 163, 166; private 
B of, 159, 161, 163, 164 ff., 
169, 173 fl., 178 S., 196-198; 
peer (1893) of cabinet aaso- 
ciates, 163, 195; Monroe's letter 
eonceming (1S17) quoted, 164- 
1S5; reflections on letter, 165- 
166; Wirt's appoiutmoit and 
servicce as (1817-1829), 166-172; 
epoch in Office of, 169; not l^al 
eoonsellor to House, 170; Ogioiai 
Opiniont (1841), 171; usefnlnsss 
of, in Cabinet, 172; attempt 
( 1830 ) at reorganiiation of 
Office of, 173-176, 273; Polk's 
views on (1845), 176-177, 274; 
Cushing's views on (1854 ff.), 
178-180; comparison with Eng- 
lish office, 179, 181; preasore on 
Office of, during Civil War, 184 
ff.; reorganiiation (1870), 187; 
comments on Judiciary Aet, 188- 
191 ; place of, in aet (1886) for 
presidential succcBsion, 191, 199; 
histarie baekgronnd of aet, 191- 

Dc,. zed oy Google 

1S4; in relation to gr&nting ot 
Patents, 310; eammentfl on 
salarj, 157, 159, 1S3, 173, 17i, 
175, note", 178, 180. See 
Appendix for Salary, 396; also 
Solicitoi-OoDeral, infra. 

Attoroey-OetieralBliip, EogliBh: 
serves as model to Amerieans, 
106, 179. 

Autobiography of Seventy Yean, 
b7 a. F. Hoai: qaoted, 194. 

Baehe, Bicliard : appointment as 
I (1776), 228, 

BaMn, Francis (1561-16S6) : usage 
of term "cabinet" in Bitayt, 15. 

Bagehot, Walter: estimate of his 
Englitk Conjtitutloli (1S65- 
1867), 3Bir., 42, 45; A. V. 
Dicey 'h characteriEation of his 

Baldwin, Abraham: chairman of 
committee on departments 
(1789), 109. 

Baldwin, James F.: qnoted, 9. 

Baldwin, Governor Simeon E. : 
Bwiunary of theories of eieov- 
tive ae set forth in the Conven- 
tion (1787), OS, note*. 

Barbara Fowen : Jefferson agsinst 
paj-ment of tribute to, 205. 

Barbonr, James: on Home Depait- 
ment project (1826), 271. 

Barlow, Joel: 307. 

Barnwell, Bobert W.: member of 
U. 8. AgTienltaral Soeietj, 320. 

Bany, Captain John: 211. 

Barry, William T.: Poatmaster- 
Qeneral (IS29-I835), 24S-E46, 

Barton, Senator David: 273. 

Beaconsfleld, Lord: 1S8, note^o. 

L, Uiddleton: on interpreta- 

tion of statutes (1872-1874), 
232; on title "Home Depart- 
ment" (1849), 290. 

Beck, Senator James B.: 194. 

Benson, Egbert: views on con- 
fidence between President and 
aasistants (1789), 98; on com- 
mittee to arrange departments, 

Bentham, Jeremy: disagreement 
with Bladutone as to English 
ConstitatioQ in his Fragment dm 
Government (1776), 27-28; ad- 
mirer of Be Lolme, 28. 

Benton, Senator Thomas H.: char- 
acterizes Caleb Cuahing (1S56), 

Berlin, Treaty of (1878), ISB, note 

Siglow Fapert (1847): eharaeteri- 
lation of Caleb Cashing quoted, 

Bingham, Senator William : sng- 
gests executive Department of the 
Navy (1798), 212-213. 

Binney, Horace : opposes President 
Jaehson, 103. 

Black, Jeremiah 8.: Attorney-Gen- 
eral, 198. 

Blackstone, Sir William : inflaenced 
by Monteeqniea ; Commentariet 
takes no aecoant of English Cabi- 
net; optimism aa to English 
system of govemmoit; lectares 
(1763) at Oxford, 87. 

Bloant, Willie: 288. 

Board of Trade: decision as to 
Oovemor Cosby (1736), 133; 
lit. Governor Spotswood of Va. 
in correspondence (1718) with, 
£25; reflections on, by Hon. 
J. R. Mann (1903), 362. 

Boards, System of Bevolntionary 
(1775 ff.) ! reflections on, GO, S6, 


59-60, 100, E0O-EO2, poM^m, 
SES, 348-3S0. 

Bolingbroke, Firat ViBCOttnt (1678- 
I7G1) ; eitsd on usage of "cabi- 
net," IS; i]iflv«ne« of Idaa of a 
Patriot King on Omrge in, 26; 
Burke's view (1770) of iti 
dangerous philosophy, 3S. 

Bollee, Albert 8. : on early flnftncial 
historj (1775-178B) of tbe U. S., 

Bootoo: Meeting of Delegates 
(1780), SOff.; postal arrauge- 
ments between, and New York, 

Boaton Public Library, 345. 

Boodiuot, Elias: 47; on oonunittee 
to arrange departments (1789), 
109; approval of B. Morris for 
Treasury headship, 118. 

Brown, William Qarrott: on Oliver 
Ellsworth's probable authorship 
of the Judiciary Act (1780), 106, 

Browne, D. J.; on European 
methods of eDCOQiaging agiienl- 
tare, 322. 

Bryan, William J. : remarks on 
Yies-Presideney, 388, note *'. 

1861): regard for C. Cashing, 
183; Secretary of State (1845- 
1840), 275; member of the U. 8. 
Agricultnral Society, 319 ; his 
Secretary of the Interior, 322; 
troublM with adTisers, 3B3. 

Bnrke, Aedanus: on committee to 
arrange departments (1780), 

Burke, Bdmond (1729-1797): de- 
fence of Whig system of govern- 
ment in his ThouffU* on the 
Ctnue of tuts FreaeiU Dumhi- 

Irnls (1770), 32; analysis of his 
thought, 33-34; estimate of pam- 
phlet and its philosophy, 34-30; 
quotation from speech (1780), 

Burke, Edmund (1809-1882): earn- 
menu on Patent Office (1846), 

Bnmside, Senator Ambrose E.: 

Butler, Benjuniu F. (of Mass.): 
tribute to Caleb Cushing, 180- 
181 ; nomination for Presidency, 
388, note •'. 

Butler, Benjamin F. (of N. T.): 
quotation from, in 17. rS. tb. Kelt- 
doll (1837), 373, note". 

Butler, Pierce (of 8. C.) : 193. 

Butler Beporl: quoted and anal- 
ysed, 193-194. 

"Cabinet"; English term, S; ori- 
gin and early political usage of, 
lS-18; not in English law-books 
(1602), 16; a nickname, 16; sig- 
ui£canee of, ander Qoeen Anne, 
17; not in English statutes, 42; 
guides to historic usage of, 44-4S ; 
early usage by Charles Pinefcney 
(1787), 91, 92, note ", 03, note ", 
94, 130, 370; usage by James Ire- 
dell (17SS), 93; popular usage 
(179311.), 5, 12S, 135 ff., 143, 
309; early reference to local 
(N. Y.) body (1792), 136; refer- 
ence to, in H. of B. (1T9B), 138, 
214-213; usage by Josiah 
Quincy (1813), 147-149; Bhea's 
usage (1S13), 149; John Mc- 
Lean's conception (1828), 149- 
150; usage in Marbvry vs. Modi- 
ion (1803), 155; in President 
Jackson's flrat annual mesaage 
(1829), 155; President Tyler's 

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usaga (1844), IGG; in the H. of 
B. (1870), 156; in federal law 
(1907), 6, 167-158, 376. 

Cabinet, BngliBh: begiimiiig*, 2-3, 
11, 14-lS, 13-23; a p&rliaaientar; 
cominitttie, 3 ; diatiDguiahed f ram 
ttM Privj Coaneil, 16-17; noted 
in the Berenteenth century under 
James I (1622), IS, 44; offshoot 
of the Priv7 Council, 18; powi- 
ble origin diseoverabla in Tudor 
epoch, 19 ff.; Anaon'a 
21 ; ioformal committee under 
Anne, 24; devdopment under 
yndg inflaeiice, 86; De LoIum 
(1771-1784) on the track of, 28 
ff., 32, note"; Bnrhe'a probabia 
appreciation of, 32 ff, ; status of, 
at opening of the uineteenth cen- 
tury, 36; Maeaulaj'a apprecia- 
tion of (1848 ff.), 37; latw 
nnderstandings of the, 38-42, 46- 
46; source of directive power in 
the English government, 2, 3, 93, 
136, 139; contrasted to Preai- 
denfa Cabinet, 8-4, 128, 139, 
150, 152, I6S, 369; Joaiah 
Qaincj '■ eompariaon (1S13), 
148; Bhea's reflection on 
(1S13), 149; no Attomej-Oen- 
eral in, IBl ; Postmaster- General 
first (1830) admitted into, 251. 

Cabinet, The President's; not an 
imitation, 2; baaic principle old, 
3; contrasted with English Cabi- 
net, 3-4, 12S, 139, 148 ff., 
369; responsibility of, to the 
President alone, 4, 53, 58-S9, 61, 
06 ff., 84, 98 ff., 123, 126, 182, 
242, 363, 370-371, 377 ff., 3S1 
fr. ; compared to conteil da ri 
E; first sumraoned by Washing- 
ton, 5 ff., 119, 123, 135, 139, 141, 
156, 370, 377, 382; 

siM (I78»-]903) of, 6, 100, lOS, 
107, 154, 158, 217 ff., 244, 249 
ff., 285, 286, 292, 346, 370, 37S, 
376; complete hiatory impossible, 



(1781), 60-61; Pdatiah Web- 
ster's project (1783), 61-63, 
369; Oouvernenr Morris's plan 
(1737), 7Sff.; Iredell's sugges- 
tions (1788), 87-88; G. Mason's 
prediction (17B7) and Governor 
Clinton's, 89-90, 94; Charles 
Pinckney'a plan (1787), 91-94; 
nnreeogniied by the Constitntion, 
6, 91, 143-144, 149, 369; ideal of, 
near surface of debate (1789), 
99; the basic fsetors of, 100 ff, 
107, 118-119; G. Morris'a sag- 
geation (1789), 108; appoint- 
menta (17S9-179D) to, 111-119; 
accurate lists of membership (to 
1903), 118, noteis; a customary 
body, created by Washington, S, 
6, 118 ff., 135, 369; H. a 
Iiodge'a view of (1906), eriti- 
ciied, 119; process of nniflea- 
tion, ISO 0.; first recorded meet- 
ing (1791) of, 121,123-124, 141, 
334; reflections on this meeting, 
125; other meetings under Wash- 
ington, 125-128; first brought 
clearly into view (1793), 127 ff.; 
not advised by Supreme Conrt 
Judges, 128-129; theory of, 135, 
143 ff., 149 ff., 154-165, 242, 369 
ff., 378 ff., 334,389 0.; first cabi- 
net meeting under J. Adams 
(1797), 137; popular under- 
standing of (1809), 139; har- 
mony under Jefferson, 139, 141; 
meetings under Jeffeiaon, 141- 
142; development of (1809), 
143; arraignment of Madison's 
Cabinet (1813), 147ff.; Me> 

-, Google 

of (1828), 
14&-150; trOiTelleni' eommentB 
on, ISOff.j misconceptions of, 
153, 154; Poatmaater-Oenenl ad- 
mitted to (182B), 162, 220, 244 
fl.; aebiBm (1830), ISi; com- 
position of (1828), 1S4; Hon. 
W. Lawrence on <18T0), 1S6; 
uwfulnesa of Attorney -Oeneral 
in, 172; Polk's circular letter to 
proposed am(»ciat«e (Febmaij, 
1S45) quoted, 176-177; comment! 
on Pieree'i eonncil (1893 ff.), 
176 ff.; CniliiiiK's views on, 180 
fF.; aignifleaaea of act for De- 
partment of Jnatiee to (1870), 

~187S. ; membeni of, aa auceee- 
Eon to President and Vice-Preai- 
dent (1850), 193 ff.; act for suc- 
cession (1886), 194-195; reflec- 
tions on J. Adams's council, 217 
ff., 23Sff., 393; instance (1822) 
of Peat m aster 'Oeueral being 
summoned to meeting, 243; re- 
flections OQ Jackson's council, 
244 ff., 393; plan of Madison's 
Cabinet for Home Department 
(1816), 261; J. q. Adama'e 
Cabinet diHCuues similar plan 
(1825), 269 0.; Folk's Cabinet 
(personnel), 275; objections to 
enlargement of, 280, 284, 332 ff., 
336 ff., 363, 366-367; demand for 
representative of farming inter- 
ests in, 323 ff., 328, 332 ff. ; Sena- 
tor O. H, Piatt's Tiew of (1888), 
336, 33S; Senator W. E. Chand- 
ler's new of (1888), 336-337; 
Senator P. B. Plum's view of 
(1888), 337-338; President 
Boosevelt'a advocaej of ninth 

.member of (1901), 356-857; 
Bamael Gompers's theory of, 
359; Hon. J. B. Mann's theory 

of (1903), 363; infinence om 
policj, 363; reflection on fnture 
enlargemcmt of, 367; a device, 
369, 377; reasons for creation of, 
369, 377, 382; its kinship, 2 ff., 
5fi, 60-Sl, 78 ff., 92 ff., 369; pro- 
cess of development ilim iiwiiil, 
370 ff. ; original ideal of Ameri- 
can secretariat attained (1850), 
371, 374; members of, all heads 
of "eseeutive" departmanta 
(1873 ff.), 373-374; addition of 
later SeeTetaryships, 376-376 ; 
present (1911) siae of, 877^ 
regular days for meetings (Tues- 
days and Fridays), 377; com- 
ments on Hamilton 's, Jefferson 'a 
and A. B. Woodward 's views of, 
378-379; ideals of Presidency 
affecting, 379 fl., 391 ff.; written 
opinions, 383-384; Vice-President 
in relation to, 384 ff. ; reflections 
on applicability of phrase "eon- 
stitntional advisers" to members 
of, 389 ff. ; H. C. Lodge 's objec- 
tion to phrase, 390, note •' ; Pre- 
sident Johnson *e theory of 
(1667), 390ff.; usefulness vari- 
able, 393-394; relation to Smith- 
sonian Institution (1646 B.), 403- 

Cabot, Oeorge: declines Nav; 8ee- 
retaryship (179S), 216. 

Cadwalader, Lambert: on commit- 
tee to arrange departments 
(1789), 109. 

Calhoon, John C; inflnmee over 
McLean's appointments, 237; 
comparison with McLean, 239; 
friendship for McLean, 240; 
opposed to Department of Inter- 
ior (1849), 261 ff., 331. 

Calvert, Charles B.: influvitiB] in 
movement for Department of 

DC,. zed oy Google 


Agriculture (1852 ff.), 323 ff.; 
work in H. of B., 328 ff. 

CMMda; project (181S) to inv&de, 

Capati&ns: (oniidora of French ab- 
•olDtiam, 2. 

Cannartlwii, Marquil of (Sir 
Thomas Osborne) : quoted, 18. 

CuToU, CharlM, of CuroUtou, 307. 

Carver, Profeeeor T. N. : quoted on 
nstioDal domain, 291; on more- 
ment of population westward, 
293, note *. 

Caw, Lewia: 247. 

Chandler, William B.: in PtMi- 
dent Arthur 't Cabinet; objee- 
tioQB (18S8) to raising grade of 
Agrieoltural Departmsnt, 336- 

Charlemagne, 2. 

Charlea I (1626-1649) : character- 
iatiea of epoch, lS-13; Loits Par- 
liament's effoTta against, 13-16, 
23; Committee of State of, 20; 
failnre to nnderBtand PrlTj 
Council, 21. 

Charlea II (1660-1686): reflections 
on Cabinet Committee in reign 
of, 18-19; practice of inner coun- 
cils, 21-22; attempts of govem- 
ment of, to consolidate colonies, 

Chicago Convention (I860}, 238. 

Chief -Justice : provision for, in 
Ellsworth's plan (1787) of ad- 
visory cooneil, 75; in 0, Mor- 
ris's plans, 76, 77, 84, note"; 
appointment of Jay, 115; written 
□pinions from, 120-121, note"; 
C Cnshing's nomination as, 183- 
184; snggeated as successor to 
President, 102, 193; mention of 
Roger B. Taney, 237. 

CiTteinnati GaeetU: 274, note". 

Civil War; increase of administra- 
tive problems due to, 160, 184, 
231 ff.; catabliBhment of Depart- 
ment of Agriculture during 
(1862), 292 ff., 333, 348, 366, 
374, 376; agricultural societisa 
at opening of, 306; immigrants 
during decade of, 315; Hollo- 
way'a reflections (1861) on eeo- 
namie consequencee of, 320 ; con- 
clusion of, marked beginnings of 
organiied effort for Department 
of Commerce and Labor, 346- 
347, 3S0ff. 

Clanriearde, Harquia of: 251. 

Clarendon, Earl of (1608-1674); 
usage of ' ' cabinet, " 15 ; de- 
scription of Committee of State 
(1040), 20; observation on Privy 
Council, 21. 

Clay, Caseins U.: 342. 

Clay, Henry : oppoeed to Jackson 'a 
theory of rdation between See- 
retaiy of Treasury and Presi- 
dent, 103; amtiment in Senate 
(1842), 104; replies to (Juincy'a 
attack on Madison's Cabinet 
(iai3), 149; hostility toward 
John McLean, 241; "new 
world" idea (1824), 26S; view 
of Home Department project 
(1825-1826), 270 ff, 

Clemson, Thomas O.: 322-323. 

1889; 1893-1897): 1B7; estab- 
lishment of Secretaryship of 
Agriculture nnder (1889), 292, 
335, 338, 375; nomination of 
N. J. Oolman, 338-33B, 376; 
recommends Commission of 
Labor (1886), 353; view of 
power of removal, 381, note ». 

Clifford, Kathan: Attomey-Q«n- 
eral of Polk, 177. 



Clinton, Qor. 0«orge: pTAdietion 
of Coundl ot Stmta (1787), 8»- 
90, 94. 

Cobb, Howell: oppoaition to Inter- 
ior Department (1849), 280. 

Coehrmn, Qutrles F.: 364. 

Ooke, Sir Bdw&rd: on Parliament, 

Oolman, Norman J. : flnt Secretary 
of AgTienlture (18S9), 338-339, 

Colonization : EngUah ideal of, E9S. 

Gommeree: development of, 172; 
reaching out into Orient (1783 
&.), 204; JefferKn on condituna 
ot Mediterranean, 207; need of 
organized protection for, 209, 
SIS ; WaahingtoQ '• rsfleetiona 
on, 209-210; J. Adams on, 211, 
212; ataadil)' inereaaing (1708), 
218; promotion througb Home 
Department (1825), S6S; min- 
ister of, S4, note", 331; in- 
flnenee on legislation, 331 ; iufln- 
ence on administration, 347, 348, 
3S4ir., 362, 365-366; congres- 
sional committees dealing with, 
360-351; efforts to obtain De- 
partment for, 35211., 357-358; 
interests of, similar to those of 
Labor, 357. 

Commerce and Finance: Secretary 
of, in Q. Horrie 's plan of conn- 
eil, 76. 

Commerce and Labor, Department 
and SecretarTship of (1903): 
established, 6, 346, 375; popular 
efforts behind, 346-347, 351 ff,, 
361, 366, 375; earliest snggw- 
tions (1763 ff.) of, 347-351; 
more definite movement toward, 
3S1-3S4; bibliographical mate- 
rials on, 352, Bota*; culmination 
of movements for, 3S5 ff. ; Booae- 

velt's snggestion (1001), 856- 
357; congressional proceedings, 
3G7-366; reflections on, 365-367; 
objects of, 301-362. 

Commercial States: in favor of 
Navy Department (1708), 213 
ff., 219. 

Committees: Marian and Eliza- 
bethan, SO, note"; of Detail 
(1787), 77, 83, 84; of Long 
Parliament (1640 ff.}, S3, note 
H; of State (1553; 1640), IS, 
note 11, 20; of the Privy Coon- 
eil, 21-22, 226; of the Sutea 
(1781 ff.), 49; of Ways and 
Means (1795 ff.), 103-104, 164, 
279, 286-287, 350; on organiia- 
tlon of Departments (1789), 
109; on postponed and nnlln- 
ished parts (August 31, 1787), 
77, noteM- ou BetrenchuMnts 
(1807), 186; standing (U. 8. 
Congreee), 350-351. 

"Commnnications"; 298. 

Confederation, Congreaa of the: 
sends Jefferson as plenipoten- 
tiary to France (1784), 40; in- 
efficiency of, 50, 54, 58; impo- 
tent in the eyes of the army, 51 ; 
control over adminiatrativa offi- 
cials, 57 ff.; projects to 
strengthen, 69 ff.; faila to make 
McDongall Secretary of Marine, 
64, SOI, 203; power of B. Morris 
and Jay over, 56-59; practical 
failure of, 66; appoints Knox 
Secretary at War (1786), 113; 
forced to consider plan for 
Marine Department (1786), 804. 

Congress: organiration of Depart- 
ments and Attorney- Generalship 
(1789), 5, 47, 97 ff., 107, 119, 
123, 132, S05, 370; cabinet offi- 
eeta and seats in, 1S4-1S5; Madl- 

Dc,. zed oy Google 

•on (1816) urges i 
departmait on, 101 ff. ; provision 
(lgl8-181») for Attarae7-a«D- 
«ntl '• Offleo, 169 ; authoriiei 
Ojtcfal Opitiioiu (1S41) iani«d, 
171; AltoTBtionB {1S30) inAttor- 
uey-OauralBliip, 173-175, 273 ; 
disreg^rda Polk 'b Buncationi 
(1S4G), 176; favon biU for De- 
partment of Juetice (1870), 191; 
proTidee for fleet (1794), £07- 
209; snthoriEee J. Aduu to 
emploj veesele, 212; attitude 
toward poetal arrBngemeiits 
(1789 ff.), &S0-S31; forced, after 
1866, to reorganiie Post-Office, 
234-2Sfi; reiBea Kalarj (1S2T) of 
Poetmaster-Oenerel, 240; reeog- 
niiee need for Interior Depart- 
ment, i6S, 275, E76-2S7, pattim; 
against Mparatiag Home Depart- 
ment (1769) from Foreign 
Aifaira, 2fiS; HadiBoo'i special 
menage to, on burdens of seeie- 
taiiat (1812), 207; deelaref war 
(1812), E57; do action on Home 
Department project (188S-18S6), 
271-272; favors aimilar project 
(1830), 273; aronsed to need of 
Agrienltura] Department, 2M- 
295, 334, 374; opposes inereaae 
of administrative maehlnerj 
(1817), 307-308; creates com- 
mittee on agriculture (1820), S09, 
uote*o, 322, 324; first appropria- 
tion (1839) for agriculture, 311; 
tables petittOQ of Agricultural 
Soeietj of the IT. & (1842), 811; 
Tajlor'B suggestion of agrieul- 
tural burean to (1849), 314; 
appropriations for agriculture 
(18S0 ff.), 321, 326, 340-341 ; 
memorialised bj tJ. S. Agrienl- 
tura] Soeistjr for a Department 

BX 439 

of Agricnlture, 324; freedtwa 
from extremista (1882), 331; 
petitions before, for Becretarj- 
ship of Agrioultnre, 834-33&} 
ebarteiB U. B. Agrieultoral So- 
ciety (18e0), 341-342; power to 
regulate commerce, 350; derelop- 
ment of standing committees, 
3&0-3S1; influsnce of President 
Boosevelt on (1901), 357; effort 
to establish ninth Department in, 
^68-365; indisposed nndulj to 
enlarge Cabinet, 363. Bee House 
of Bepreeentatives, and Senate, 

Consideration* on the StetmUnt 
Oovemtnmt of the V. S. (1809), 
bj A. B. Woodward, cited and 
quoted, 142 ff., 288. 

ConjtsIIation (frigate), 208,212. 

Conjfifvftoi (frigate), 208, 212. 

Constitution of the United 8UtMi 
imposes reaponaibilit; on Presi- 
dent, 4, 98, 879 ff.; helped to 
predetermine advisorj eonncil, 5, 
ee, 379, 390 ff.; contemplated 
principal officers, 5, 92, 97; 
allowed discretion to President, 
6, 86, 140ff., 379ff.; "opinions 
in writing," 5, 87 88, 120, 143, 
383 ff. ; change of government 
(1789) accomplished b^, 69; op- 
position to (1787),73; final draft 
of, 85; no provision for cooncil 
to President in, 8S, 91, 119, 189, 
144, 149, 151, 153, 869; C. Pinck- 
nej doubtful about advisability 
of having recognition of council 
in, 91 ; tenuro of office of secre- 
tariat unprovided by, 07; ap- 
pointing power arranged by, 
101 ; attempts to amsnd, in 
order to give Congress appoint- 
msnt of Secretary of the Tteea- 

., Google 

440 INj 

nry (1836 ff.), 104, not*"; 
Hunilton <ndi defects in, 110; 
eop7 of, sent bj Washington to 
JeffeTMn (1787), 116-117; pre- 
aumM President will consult 
prioeipsl officers, 140; no pro- 
vision for e»binet meetings in, 
141 -14£ ; presumptioa of, th&t 
everj offlee-holdar la & setnindrel, 
153; sarlT- na.TKl 
under, 204, £06-207 1 
tion of Post-Office statutes 
nnder, 231 fF.; need of amend- 
ment to, for Home Departmaat 
(1817), 263 S.; fonndntion of 
moTvnent toward, 347 ; power of 
regulating commerce in, 350; 
ideals of ezeeutive power in, 379 
ff.; Marshall on political dis- 
cretion Buthoriied b^, 380-881; 
anomaloiu place of Vice-Presi- 
dent in, 387 ; twelfth amendment 
of, 387; creates Senate, 300; 
imposition of adrisorj obligation 
on principal offiesn, 390-391. 

' ' Conititntional adviaerB " : A. 
Hamilton's characterization, of 
cabinet offlceia, 6, 140, 379, 389; 
applied to V. 8. Senators, 6S, 
note**, 389; C Cashing 's usage, 
389; President JohnaoD'a usage 
(1867), 300; Senator H. C. 
Iicdge's objections to phrase as 
applied to cabinet officers, 390, 
note *' ; reflections on usage, 
389-893, passim. 

"Constitutional connBellors"; see 
"Constitutional advisers," 

Continental Congrew; fails to 
approve any form of continental 
executive, 48; failure to control 
administration, SO ; devslopa 
, 90; provides single 

olBeers or heads of departmenta, 
63 ff, 201 ; indigenons system of, 
SS tt. ; diseusBBS naval adminia- 
tration, 19S; idea of eneotiTe 
boards in the, 200; proridsa for 
Secretary of Marine, 801; 
appoints PostmaBtets-Qeueral 
(1775; 1776), 227, 228, notei*. 
JemrnaU quoted, 227. 

Convmitioii, Philadelphia (1787): 
decides on form of natioiiaJ 
executive, 52, 75; llMoriee of 
executive before th^ 66-68; pro- 
ceedings of, witk ref aroMW to 
eoneiliar plans analysed, 68 ff. ; 
(i) Council of Bevision, 60-70; 
(ii) Council of Appointment with 
comments, 70-73; (iii) CouncO 
of Advice, 74-78, 83-84; historic 
background and comments on 
eoneiliar views before tba, 78-83, 
84-94; other references to, 101- 
102, 110, 114, 116, 120, 161, 
347, 360-370. 

Oooley, Thomas II.: liiOUffam 
cited, 289. 

Cooper, James Fen!mor«: bis l/O' 
tioM of the Amfriomu qnot«d, 

Corcoran, William W. : 342. 

Corabury, Lord; interest in colo- 
nial postal Bsrviee, 222. 

Corporations, Bursaa of (1908), 

Cortelyon, Oeorge B.: flnrt Secre- 
tary of Commerce and Labor, 
346, 376. 

Cosby, Qovemor William, of N«w 
York: 133. 

Cotton, Sir Bobert, English Post- 
raaster-Oeneral : 2S4. 

Council, Advisory: primitive forms 
and earliest aspects of an, in 
Orient and Oeeidwit, 1-3; in 

DC,. zed oy Google 


France, 2, 4-5, ft, S5, 96 ; general 
hirtorie factora and trend of de- 
velopment of, in EnglMid (Nor- 
man Oonqueet to abont 1600), 
3, B-36, poMtm, 42-43, 74-75, 98, 
note •«, 98, note *'>, 129 ; in 
American colonial and Beroln- 
tionary timei, 55, 71-T2, 78-82, 
pojwtm, 95-ee, JSQ, 133-134, 369; 
flret clear mggeationB of an 
American national (1781), 59 
IT., 82; P. Webater'B project 
(1763) of an, with reflections 
on it, «l-e3, 253-254, 369; C. 
Pinekney'H plan (1787) of an, 
74 if., 90-91, 94, 136, 254-255, 
370; Madison's, Omrj'a and B. 
Sherman's snggestions of an, 
74-7S, 98-99; O. Bllaworth'i mg- 
geetion of an, 7S; O. Morris's 
plana and *iein (1787-1789) of 
an, 76-78, 82-84, note •«, 108, 
£54; Iradell's view of an, 87-88, 
93; B. H. Lee's view of an, 88; 
Q. Hason 's view of an, 89, notea 
H and »*, 93, 94, 99; Q. din- 
ton's view of an, 89-BO, 94; 
created hy President Wsshing- 
toB, 5, 118 ff. Be* Cabinet, 
English; Cabinet, President 'i 
Convention, Philadelphia; Privy 

Conneil of Appointment: 70 If., 84- 
86, patiim. 

Council of Berioion ; 69 ff., 7S, 84, 
86, 90, note m. 

ConncO of State: 61-63, 76-82, 
poMfffl, 88 ff., 99, 254, 369; H. L, 
Osgood's qnotation on, in Uarj- 
land, 95; N. D. Mereness and 
C. P. Gould on, 95-96. 

Cowan, Senator Bdgar: doubts 
eonstitntionalitr of Agrieohnral 
Department (1862), 33. 

Cox, Homenham: works hj, 46-46. 

Crawford, William H.: soggesta 
new department (1816), ES9- 
800; his plan >■ Seeretary of 
the Treaaorj (1819) in aid of 
agriculture, 308-309. 

Crittraden, John J. : on preaiden- 
tial ancceseion (1656), 192; ad- 
dresses U. 8. Agrieoltural Society 
at Chicago, 320. 

Curia regii: 9. 

Curtis, Benjamin B. : dinents from 
opinion in Dred Scott ease 
(1857), 237. 

Guahing-, Caleb: snggeata reform in 
Attorn^-Oeneralahlp, 160, 178- 
180; on private practice of 
Attomey-Oeneral, 164, 178, 106; 
on residence obligation, 177; ap- 
pointment of, 178; "Opinions" 
of, and his relations to President 
Pierce and Cabinet, 178, ISO; his 
theory of Cabinet, 182; com- 
pared with A. Hamilton, 182, 
891; wtimateof 183-164; mem- 
ber of T7. 8. Agricnltnrat Society, 
320 ; application of ' ' constita- 
tioual counaellorB, ' ' 389. 

CoBtis, Oeorge W. P. : BecaleotioJU 
quoted on offer of Treasury De- 
partment (1739) to B. Monia, 
131 ; general nntnutwortbinees 
of, 132; Arlington Sheep-Shear- 
ing of, 306; projects national 
agricultural eoeietj (1810), 306; 
among foundera of Columbian 
Agricultural Society (1609), 307. 

Dale, Captain Bicbard: 211. 
Dallas, Oeorge U.: intimacy as 

Vice-Preeident with Polk, 386 ff. 
Darusmont, Hme.: m« Wrigjbt, 

Davis, Jefferson : Secretary of Wu, 



178; fftvon Dapkitnunt o( the 
Interior (1849) u Senator, 281, 
283, 284, 287. 

D&jton, JonathAii: joongeBt mem- 
ber of PhilAdelpbia Convention 
(1787), 91, note". 

Do Bow, Jamee D. B.: hu Con- 
neroiat Sevi«v cit«d, 313; mem- 
ber of U. 8. Agricnltnrsl Soeiety, 

DeluH>, ColDubtia: 404. 

De Lolme, Jean L. ; inflnonoe of, 
over J. Bentliun, A. Hamilton 
and others through hii Comtitu- 
Uon dc VAngUterrt (1771), 26; 
influence of Honteaqniea on, 28- 
29; nnalysig of work of, SO-31; 
eatimate of, 31-32, note", 35; 
quoted br HvniltoD (1788) on 
nnitj of exeeative, 380. 

"Department": aa applied toU. S. 
Poat-Office, 231, note ", 232, 373. 

Department of the Productive 
Arte: 329. 

Department! ; contemplated is Con- 
Btltotion, 5, 92, 97, 119; move- 
ment toward, in Bevolvtion, 52 
ff., 201 ff.; flve, in Q. Morrie's 
plan toreouneil (1787), 76; four, 
in C. Pinekne^'e plan, 91; de- 
bates in 1780 on, 97-100; "ez- 
ecntive" as applied to, 100 fF., 
Znn.; committee (1789) on, 
109; rank of, 144; luggeetion 
that Attoraej-Oeneral (1830) be 
raiaed to bead of one of, 173; 
relation of President to the, 
182; minor changes in (1812), 
£57; lack of proper differentia- 
tion of taeka in, 273 S.; com- 
ment! on, 333; trend of efforts 
(1865 fl.) for, 351 ff. Bee Prin- 
cipal OfBcers, infra. 

Dexter, Samuel: 217. 

IMory «/ Janu K. Potk: cited, 
177, 182, 285, 383, 385. 

Dtory of Gideon WMm: cited, 182, 
363, note". 

Dic«7, Profeseoi Albert V.: esti- 
mate bj, of Bagehet and W. E. 
Besjn, 41 ; peculiarity of Eng- 
liah cabinet hiatory, 42; genenl 
obligation to, 404. 

Dickinson, Hon. Jacob H.; anthor- 
itj (1911) for practice of 
written opinions under President 
Taft, 384, note**. 

DiekinaoD, John: 71. 

Diocletian: 2. 

DiMcrtatitm on the PoIMcaJ Unitm 
and ConttituUon of lAe TMrteeM 
United State* (1763), by Pel«- 
tiah Webster: cited, 62, not»*!, 

District Attomeje: 18S, 166. 

Domestic Affairs. See Home De- 
partment; Interior Department, 

Dongan, Governor Thomas: 222, 

Douglas, Stephen A.: member of 
V. S. AgTicultural Society, 320; 
opposed to either Bureau or De- 
partment of Agrienlture, 324. 

Downing Street: 1S3. 

Dred Seott ease: 237. 

Dnane, James: favors single heads 
(1780), 50 ff. 

Duane, William J. : removal of, 
commented on, 103 ff., 381-382. 

Eaton, John H.: Secretary of War, 

Edward VI (1547-1SS3): Piivy 

Council under, 20. 
Elgin, Earl of: 2G2. 
Ellsworth, Henry L.; Commissioner 

of Patents (]88«-184S>, S0», 331 

DC,. zed oy Google 

aksteli of, 310 ff. 
■gricultural buresn (1843), 311; 
eommenta of J. Q. Adama 
(184S) on, 311-31Z; aeeomplidi- 
mesta ol, 312-313; intareat in 
Smithw)!! bequest, 311, 31S, 

£llBwortli, Oliver: f&voTB Uadi- 
Bon 'b idea for a council of ravi- 
aion (1787), 69; plan for 
advisorj council, 76; influence 
of, on Q. Horrit's rariMd plan 
of adTifory connci), 77; wishea 
principal offiriera to give advice, 
86-ST; chaiimuiD of committee in 
Senate (1789) to arrange judi- 
cial eatablishment, 105; probable 
author of Judiciary Act, 100; 
hij son, Henrj L., 309. 

Eatatee -General : aimilaritj' to Oon- 
gresB of Confeder«tion, 49-SO. 

Evarta, William M.: fees of, for 
legal aerricea, ISS; cited on legal 
aspect of preaidential power of 
removal, 381, note". 

ErelTD, John (1620-1706}: cited 
on usage of "cabinet," 15; 
charactoriied Thomaa Nesle in 
hia Diary, 223. 

Everett, Edward: J. McLean's 
idea of Cabinet conve7«d to, 160, 
242; Bepr«aentative from Hassa- 
ehusetta, 220; ronarka of, on 
office of Postmaater-Oeneral 
(1828), 220; impreMiona of J. 
UcLean, 238, 242, 244, 249; ad- 
dresaed U. S, Agricultural 8o- 
ciety (185S), 320. 

Ewing, Thomas: remarka on incon- 
gruit; in title of Department of 
Interior (1849). 281, 289-290. 

Examiner of Claims (State De- 
partment) : 1«0. 

Executive, American; oni^ of the, 
3, 50 ff., 68, 67, 69, 70, 72, 76, 

^X 443 

76, 86, 97, 98, 102 ff., 110, 119, 
120, 122 ff., 139, 140, 163, 169, 
172, 179, 182, 189-190, 200-201, 
235, 240, 242, 890, 260, 280, 371, 
373-374, 378 ff., 388, 392; re- 
sponsibilttj of the, 4, 7, 67, 73, 

77, 84, 87, 98 ff., 154, 182, 379 
ff., 387, 391, 392; discretion of 
the, 48, 7S ff., 83, 86 fF., 99, 119, 
126, 136, 139 0., 149-150, 156, 
179, 188, 217, 233 ff., 369, 379 
ff., 388, 390, 392; fear of the, 
49, 80, 233; independutce of 
the, 49, 62, 66 ff., 78, 74, 83, 84, 
126 ff., 170, 172; single form of, 
approved bj the Philadelphia 
Convention (1787), 62, 75, 380, 
note ■ ; theories of, before 
the Convention, 66-68; a direc- 
tor7, 141, 142, 149-160; atabUitr 
of, doubted, 142-143; travellere' 

I the, 150 ff. 

f^irs: nature of, in colonial and 
Hevolutionarj times, 304, 306; 
in Wethersfleld, Conn. (1784), 
Washington, D. C. (1804 ff.), 
306 ; " Arlington Sheep-Shear- 
Jng," 306; of the U. & Agri- 
cultDral Society (1893 ff.), 320. 

Farrand, Max: comment on his 
fiecorda of lfc« FecUroX Conven- 
tion (1B11),348, note>. 

Federalist, The: cine to possible 
authorship of No. 60 of, 163, 
noteT; reveala interest of 
Buthois in general problema of 
commerce regulation, 348; quo- 
tation from, on unitj of the 
executive, 380, note *'. 

Feeaenden, William Pitt: member 
of n. S. Agricultural Society, 



1853): attendB U. 8. Agriciil- 
taral Soeiet/, 319. 

Finance : ministar of, in Elli- 
worth's project of an sdriiory 
coanei] (1787), 75; miniiMr of, 
in O. Morria'B plan for Fr«neb 
govemuMnt, 84, not« ** ; Mere- 
tmrj of eonun«TM and, in Q. 
Uorria'i plan of adviaoiy conn- 
cil (1787), 76. Set TreMnry, 
Department of the, and 8«CTe- 
taryihip of the, infra. 

Finances, Colonial and Beroln- 
tionaij; conunauta on metlioda 
of administering, 50, 52-S3, 5S- 
5», pauim, 04-65, «9, 76, 77, SI, 
83, 91, 100 «., 107-108, 200-203, 

Firth, Charles H.: talcea account 
of Committee of Both Eing- 
doniB, 14, not«B* and ">; editor 
of the Clarke Paper*, 44. 

FiBheriea, Barean for (18E4) : 267. 

Fltrpatrick, Benjamin : declines 
Vice-Presidencj (1860), 388, 

Fitisinone, Thomas: on committee 
to arrange departments (1789), 
109; objects to principle (1792) 
of law of presidential bdccss- 
aion, 192. 

Force, Peter: 266. 

Ford, Paul Leicester ; comment on 
C. Pinokney's suggestion (1787) 
of a Cabinet Coancil, 92, note ■■. 

Foreign Affairs: committee of, 
nnder Charles II, 21 ; minister 
(or Secretary) of, 53-55, pasevin, 
75, 76, 84, note", 91, 100, lOS; 
Senate's share in, 86; eompli- 
cat«d conditions in administra- 
tion of, 161, 272. See State, De- 
partment and Secretarysbip of, 

"Foreign Office": 256. 

Forests: eonserration of (1824), 

Foeter, Senator La Fayett« &: 
doabtfnl about Bnrean or D*- 
partment of Agricoltore, 330; 
comments on salary of head of 
Department of Agrienltnre 
(1862), 333. 

Foi, Charlee Jamee: 297. 

Foseroft, Hiss H. C: lAft and 
Letter* of George SavUe, 44-45. 

France: councils in, 2, 4-5, S; T. 
Jefferaon goes (1784) to, 49; 
inSueoee of, on American sys- 
tem of administration, S3, 55-56; 
alliance of U. 8. (1778) with, 
56; Jefferson in (1784-1789), 72, 
107, 116, 204; O. Morris's plan 
of government for, 84, note**, 
254, 348; Q. Morris goes (1788) 
to, 107; Jefferson leaves, 117; 
crisis in D. S. (1793) due to, 127, 
128; strained relations (1796 
ff.) with, 211, 212; U. a navy 
and, 21S; actual war (1798 ff.) 
with, 217; Franklin goes (1776) 
to, 228; system of agrieultnral 
admin istration in, 323, 328, 862. 

Frankland, Sir Thomas: 224. 

Franklin, Benjamin; European 
reputation of, in 1769, 117; 
deputy Postmaster-G-enfiral 
(1753-1774), and servic« of, 
226; Wedderbum'e attack on, 
and dismissal of, 226; appoint- 
ment of, Bs first national Poet- 
master-General (1775), 227; 
salary of, 227 ; departure of 
(1776), for France, 228. 

French, Benjamin B.: scheme of 
elective headship for national 
Department of Agrienltnre 

DC,. zed oy Google 

(1859), 325; preaidwt of V. B. 
Agricultaral Societj, 342. 

French, William M.: 342. 

Frye, William P.: plan for De- 
partment of Commeree (1891), 
3S7; efCorte of, f&voring snch 
■Ji organization, 357-35S. 

OalUtin, Albert: Jonah Quiney's 
rafarmee (1813) to, 148; op- 
poaed Nav7 Department bill 
(1TS8) in H. of B., 213. 

Oardiner, Sunael Bairaon; eited 
on the Grand Bemonatranee, 13, 
note*; views of, on the Commit- 
te« of Both Kingdoms (1644 
ff.), 13-15, not«». »o. ". 

quoted (1870), 191; political sig- 
nificance of the shooting of, and 
death of, ]»1 ff., 104. 

Gamett, James Meresr: pissident 
of the Agricultural Soeietj of 
the U. 8. (1641-1843), 317, 

Gay, John : 44. 

General Land Office: 237, 278-279. 

Genera Tribunal: 183. 

George I (1714-1727): sabnussiTe 
to Whig leaders, 26 ; Hallam on 
the reign of, 37. 

George II (1727-1760): submissive 
to Whig leaders, 26; Hallam on 
the reign of, 37. 

George III (1760-1820): influ- 
enced by Boliugbroke's Idta of 
a Patriot King (1738), 26; re- 
actionary efforts of, failed, 26; 
ideal of restored absolutism of, 
attacked by Barke, 33-35 ; Board 
of AgTicnltore (1793-1817) fa- 
vored by, 297. 

Qerry, Elbridge: suggests eouDcil 
(1787) to President, 74; fears 

powers of secretariat (1789), 
S8-99; Tieire compared with G. 
Mason 's, 99 ; on committee 
(1769) to arrange departments, 
109 ; approves B. Morris aa 
financier, 112; Jefferson's letter 
to (1797), on vice-presidential 
functions quoted, 124-125, 3S5; 
Jefferson 'h comment to, on presi- 
dential and vice-presidential of- 
flees, 145, note^. 

Giles, William B. : 137. 

Glen, Governor James: controversy 
as to right of, to enter Upper 
Honse in 8. a, 133-134. 

Qoddard, William : his efforts 
(1774-1775) for an independent 
national Post-Office, with com- 
ment, 227. 

Qompers, Samuel : opposes bill for 
Department of Commeree and 
Labor, 359. 

Goadnow, Professor Frank J,; cited 
for theory of Secretaryship of 
the Treasury, 105, note ". 

Gorbam, Nathaniel: on appoint- 
ment of national treasurer, 102. 

Gould, Clarence P.: on Maryland 
conacil of state and privy coun- 
cil, 95-S6. 

OovernoT, Judge and Priest 
(1891), by Charles Moore: 289. 

Grand Bemonttrance (1641) 
quoted, 13. 

Granger, Francis: Postmaster-Gen- 
eral (1841), 236. 

Granger, Gideon: Postmaster-Gtan- 
erat (1801-1814), 236. 

GBANT, ULYSSES 8. (1869- 
1877) : seeks aid of Caleb Cash- 
ing, 1S3; approves bill for De- 
partment of Justice (1870), 187j 
approves first edition of the 


446 INI 

Bevited StatMte* (1S74), 232; 

trouble with Cabinet, 393. 
GroathODBe, Charles H.: quotations 

f Tom his Rittorical Sketch of the 

U. S. Department of Affrievlture 

(1907), with Bupplementarj data 

from, 340-341. 
Qreelej, Horace: member of U. 8. 

Agricultural Soeietj, 3E0. 
Qreen, Duff : inflaeneo of, over 

JackioD, 24flS. 
Oreene, Evarts B. : on colonial prac- 
tice of appointment, 101. 
Orey, Charlei (Second Earl): 261, 

Grey, Henrr Oeorge (Third Earl) : 

comment on hia Parlvmentary 

Government (1S6S),45. 
Gnggenheimer, Jaj C. : eontribntion 

to adminiatratiTe historj (1773- 

17SB), «4. 
Oothrie, James; Seoretarj of the 

Treasury (1S63-18S7), attands 

meeting of the U. 8. Agrienl- 

tural Societj, 319. 

Hale, John P.: view of Agricul- 
tural Department (1662), 33S. 

Rail, Captain Basil; remarks on 
executive in U. 8., 152. 

Hallam, Henry : estimate of Con- 
itiiutional Bittory (1827) in 
respect to English Cabinet, 36- 

Hamilton, Alexander: eharaeteriiea 
principal officers as "constitu- 
tional adTisers," G, 140, 379, 
389; student of De Lolme, 28, 
380, note " ; plan for head- 
ahipg (1780), BZff., 201; ang- 
geetion of French influence over 
administrative plan, SB; viewi 
of, on appointments of heads of 
departments, 68-69; "opinions 

in writing" a mere redundauej, 
87; slurred' by JeSerson, lOS, 
126; a J. TUden'B view (1834) 
of, 103; alleged aathor of act 
tor Treaaufy Department 
(1789), 109, 126; predieU 
Washington (1787) as flrrt Pre- 
sident, 110, note 1 ; appointment 
of, as first Secretary of the 
TroBsury, 113-114, 118, 131132; 
wish to present Beport on Public 
Credit to U. of B. in parson, 
122 ; attempts to have him app«ar 
before H. of B. faU (1790 and 
1792), 122-123; at cabinet meet- 
ings, 123 ff., 125-126; hostility 
of, toward JefFereon, 129-130; 
theory of Cabinet, 135, 140-141, 
378-379; "cabinet efforts" of, 
136; Writingt of, for eoneeptim 
of Cabinet, 140 ff., 378-379; 
criticism of J. Adams (1800), 
140; riews ol, on executive com- 
pared with those of Cusliing, 
182, 391 ; iuggeetion of He- 
DoQgall (1760) for Seeretary- 
Bhip of Marine, 201 ; Pootmaater- 
Oensral Osgood (1790) reports 
to, 234; Jefferson's estimate of 
State Department expenaea 
(17D01791) made to, 26S; view 
(1787) of agricultural adminia- 
trationj 293; influence of, over 
Washington's last annua] mes- 
sage (1790), 300-301; int«re8t 
of, in general problem (1787- 
1788) of government r^ulation 
of commerce, 34S ; his Board for 
promoting Arts, Agriculture, 
Uanufacturee, and Commerce 
(1791), 348 ff.; opposed to con- 
Btitationol conneil for President 
(1788), 878; on unity of exoen- 
tive, 880, 391. . 

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Hamilton, Andrew: Qcvemor of 
New Jergaj, in duLrge of colonial 
Post-office (16»2fr.),223; deatb 
of, 224. 

Haaulton, Mra. Andrew: 224. 

Hamilton, John: 224, 22S. 

Hamilton, Thomaa: eonunenta on 
Cabinet, 152-1S3. 

Hamilton, Sir William: ISEISS. 

£ainlsl.' paraphrsM of parage 
(Act ni, ie. ii), 183. 

Hiwna, Senator Hareos A. : 360, 

Humon, JudMn: Attoniey-QeiMral 
(I89S-18»7), 196. 

(1841): 236. 

Hartington, Lord: 262. 

Hartley, Thomas: Bxprewwi fear of 
eieentire power (1791), 233. 

Hatch, William H.: eftorta of, to 
raiM Department of Agrienlturs 
(1861 IT.) to executive rank, 335, 
note", ti. 

Hawkeeborj, Lord (Charlea Jenkin- 
aon) : 297. 

Huard, Ebenezer: 226, note". 

Heads of Departments. Bw Prin- 
cipal Officer*, «t/ra. 

Heam, Professor William E.: esti- 
mate of Government o/ fnjiland 
(1867), 39 ff., 42, 4E; Professor 
Dicey'e characteriiation of work 
of, 41. 

Henrj IZ (11S4-1189): 10. 

HeaT7 HI (1216-1272): Bishop 
Stabbs's jodgment regarding, 
and claims of Common Council 
as to great officen, 10. 

Henry VII (1485-150B) : Privy 
Covncit at acceBsion of, 11. 

Hinsdale, Mary L.: study of rela- 
tion of Cabinet to Congress, 123, 
note ». 
Hoar, Ebenezer B.: 105, note^. 

Hoiur, Senator Qeorge Frisbie: on 
presidential eaecession, ISl; 
antbor of act (1686), 194. 

Hobart, Garret A. (Vice-Presi- 
dent) : relation of, to UcEinley's 
Cabinet, 38£ ff, ; intimacy of, 
with McEinley, 387, note <•". 

Holloway, David P. : recommends 
Secretaryship of Agrieoltore 
(1861), 328; reflections of, on 
economic conseqneneee of Civil 
War, 329. 

Hoist, Hermann E. voo: 183, 
note", 184, note"). 

Home Department, and Secretary- 
ship of the: urged by Tining 
(1760), 100, 266; Madison sug- 
geated for, 112; not favored by 
Congress, 112 ; Judge A. B. 
Woodward's project of (1824), 
147, 267; suggestion of (1630), 
174; idea of, familiar to decade 
(17801790), 2S3; favored by C. 
Pinckney (1787), 254-265; first 
clear recommendation (1812) of 
a, 257-256; reflections on recom- 
mendation, 256-259; cabinet 
pUn (leifl) for a, 261; fate of 
biU (1817) for, 262-263; reflee- 
tioQB on remit, 2S3-26S; plan 
of, favored by leading stateamen 
(1825), 268; biU for a (1826), 
271; report on bill, 271, note"; 
Jackson's view of (1829), 272; 
newspaper comment on need of 
a (1837 ff.), 273, 274, note". 
See Interior, Departm«nt and 
Secretaryship of the, in/ra. 

"Home Office": 206. 

Homestead Acta; 290. 

House of Commons: rise to eon- 
trolling position, 28 ft. ; Whig 
inflnence in the, 26; De Lolme's 
view of the, 29-31, 32, note"; 


448 im 

plan to alleoate (1760 ff.) from 
MiniBtrj, 33; principle in, of 
holding Ministr; reeponBible, 
34; Burke's ideal for the, 34-35; 
eonlldenee of tbo, in Minurtr/, 
36; pKTtj ^Temment workable 
through the, 24, 37, 3S; elucida- 
tion of modem place of the, in 
the English Bcheme, 39-40. 
House of Bepreaentativee : Speaker 
of, in rerioed plan of Q. Morris's 
advisory council (1787), 77 j 
Hamilton's desire to be beard 
in the (1790), 122; attempts to 
admit Knoz and Hamilton to, 
123, 128; resolution (1792) of 
the, diBcuBsed bj Cabinet, 12S- 
120; Buggestions that Secretaries 
sit in, or hare consultative voice 
in debates of the, 153, 1S5; 
salary of the Speaker of the 
(1907), 157; passes bill (1S14) 
for residence requirement lot 
Attorney-General, 162; Wirt de- 
dinee to give opinion to the, 
170; Southard 's address on Wirt 
given (1834) in the HaU of the, 
171 ; proceedings in the, prior to 
establishing (1870) eiecntive 
Department of Justice, 185 ff.; 
Speaker of, in line of presiden- 
tial succession (1792 ff.), nZ; 
country without Speaker of 
(1881), 194; committee in, favors 
(1798) commissioner of marine, 
212; aUitude of the, on bUl for 
Navy Department, 213 ff.; vote 
in the, on question of third read- 
ing of bill, 219; attitude (I78S) 
of the, toward postal arrange- 
ments, 229; suggestion (1812) to 
the, on need of Home Depart- 
ment, 257-258; against Home De- 
partment (1817 and 1825), 263, 

£68 ; appointa committee to con- 
sider merits of Home Depart- 
ment (1825), 270; diseuasee and 
accepts bill for Interior Depart- 
ment (184B), 279-881; recom- 
mends national agricultural so- 
ciety and board (1796-1797), 
802; fails to act on plan (1817) 
for National Board of Agricul- 
ture, 307; orders extra issue of 
H. L. Ellsworth's Patent Beport, 
312; bill for Agricultural Bnreau 
before, 328 ; proceedings in the, 
on biU (1862) for AgriealtDral 
Department, 330 ff.; bills in the, 
for ninth department debated, 
367; proceedings in the, for biD 
for Department of Commerce and 
Labor (1901 ff.), 360-365; 
Speaker of the, compared with 
Vice-President, 387, Bee Con- 
gress, nipra; Senate, infra, 

Hubbard, W. B.: 328, 332, 343. 

Humphreys, David: 299. 

Humphreys, Joshua: 211. 

Hunt, Gaillard: contributes to his- 
tory of administration of foreign 
affairs (177Sff.),64; quotation 
from, as to Poft-Office, 234; 
quotation from, as to Mint, 256, 
note »i. 

Hunter, Bobert M. T. : reports bUl 
(1849) for Department of the 
Interior to Senate, 281. 

EutehinsoD, Qovemor Thomas: 
letters of, made public, 226. 

Idea of a Pofriol Ki»g by Vis- 
count Bolingbroke: influence of, 
over Qeorge III, 26, note ", 

nbert, Sir Courtenay: approves 
Uaeanlay'e statement of the 
theory of cabinet government, 38, 

DC,. zed oy Google 


Immigration: flgarea on (1830- 
1870), 315. 

Indians : sttitade toward, 119; 
proposed treatj with (17S9), 
121; St. Clair'H expedition 
against, 123; troubles with, dis- 
cniBsad by Washington *s Cabinet, 
124; department for, suggeeted 
(1825), 270. 

Indian Affaits: burden at, on War 
Department, 259, 260-261, 271, 
273, 27S; report on, \ij Secre- 
tary W. H. Crawford (1816), 
2S9-260; projecto to place, in 
Home De^Hutment (1S16}, 261, 
264, iiot« " ; A. B. Wood- 
ward'H plan (1824) for, 267; 
J. Q. Adams's view (1825) of, 
270; B. J. Walker's plan (1848) 
for, S78, 279. 

iDdnetrial CommiBsion (1898- 
1901) : 352. 

iDdoBtrial Berolutlon: 295. 

Industriefl, Department of Na- 
tional: suggested (1S88), 336. 

Ingham, Samuel D.: 244. 

Interior, Department and Secre- 
taryship of : establishment 
(1849) of, 6, 253 If., 2S5 ff., 
370; early suggestions and plane 
for a, 75, 76, 84, note •■, 100, 
2S3-265; morement (1824 ff.) 
toward a, 265-274; attainment, 
274-2S5, 370 ; reflections on 
eetablishmeut of a, 285-287; 
remarks on title of act establish- 
ing a, 289-290, 372; Z. Taylor's 
"Dggeation (1849) to place agri- 
CQltnral bnrean under the, 313- 
314; plan to place agricultural 
affairs directly under, 321-322; 
comes to aid of Trusnry Depart- 
ment, 276 IT., 8S0; Bureau of 
Labor (1884) placed under, 353; 

Bureau of Labor taken (1888) 
from, 3S4; remarks on, by James 
B. Mann (1903), 360-361; 
Bureau of Census (1903) taken 
from, 365. See Adams, J. Q.; 
DaTis, Jefferson, tupra; Jackson, 
Andrew ; Madison ; Monroe; 
Morris, Q.; Pinekney, C; Polk; 
Vining; Walker, E. J.; Web- 
ster, D.; Webster, P.; Wood- 
ward, A. B., infra. 

Internal Improvements: sonriMS of 
movement, 265 ; included in A. B. 
Woodward's Bureau of Public 
Economy, 267. 

Internal Bevsnue, Solicitor of: 

Interstate Commerce Commission 
(1887): 353. 

Iredell, James: reflection of, on 
governor's council as dissimilar 
to English preeedmta, 61-32; 
'■opinions in writing" a substi- 
tute for council of adviee, 87-88; 
usage of phrsM (1788) "cabi- 
net council," 93. 

1837) : tbeory of executive under 
his Presidency, 67, not«>, 379, 
381 ff.; relation between, and his 
Secretary of the Treasury, 103, 
372-373, 381-382; views of oppo- 
nents of, 103 104, 372 ff., 381 
ff.; admits Postmaster-Oenentl to 
Cabinet (1829), 152, 220, 244, 
245, 249 ff., 370-371; meets 
Thomas Hamilton, 153; schism 
in Cabinet of, 154; usage of 
"cabinet" in state papers of, 
155 ; influenced by Madison 's 
views regarding Ofllee of the 
Attorney 'Oeneral, 162; suggests 
re-organisation of Attomey-Oen- 


450 INI 

.enlahip, 173, 187; dlMktiriied 
with reaolta of Buggoatiou (1830), 
175-176; inauguration of, 220; 
appointi J. McLean to Baprsme 
Court (1S29), 237, £40, 24S, 249; 
comments on flrgt cabinet ap- 
pointmeuti of, 244 i character- 
ixea teodenej of federal B;nitem 
of government, 26S, 272, 2B1; 
impresBed bj Madison's suggea- 
tioD of m Home Department, 
872, Se7; comnMnta on pros- 
perons condition and good man- 
agement of exeentive depsit- 
mHita under him, 273; ideals of 
Preaidenej endangered under, 
381-382; intimacj of, with Tan 
Buren (Vice-Preiident), 387, 
note *" ; trotiblee with Cabinet 
euggeated, 393. 

Jamea I (1603-1626): appearance 
of term "cabinet council" 
ODder (1S22), IS; signiflcance 
of term, 21. 

James II (1065-1088): Macaulay 
on the reign of, 37. 

Jameeon, J. Franklin: editor, 64; 
procurea copy of Neale 'e Patent 
andprintait (lB94),es3,note>; 
views regarding Neale useful, 
224, note*; snggeetiona regard- 
ing colonial origin of Post-Office, 
229, note '». 

JarviH, William: 308. 

Jaj, John: in favor of single 
heads (1780), 63, 201; Secre- 
tarj of Foreign Affain (1784 
ff,), 57 fr., 115, 118; admired br 
French cfcar^rf d'affairea. Otto, 
S7-S8; chief executive ofBcer of 
Confederation, 68 ; considered 
for high place (1783 ff.). 59, 
112; aspirant for Seeretarj«hip 
of Treasury, 113; logical candi- 

date for head of Btate Depart- 
ment, 115; named AiBt (Siiaf- 
Justice, 1 1 S ; written opinion as 
Chief-Justice given to Washing- 
ton, 120-121; correspondent of 
Sir J. Sinclair, 299; Washington 
advisee with, as to last annual 
message (1790), 301. 

Jay, William: Life of John Jay 
quoted, 115. 

1809) : ideal of the advisory 
function of the secretariat 
(1823), 47-48; minister to 
France (1784 ff.), 49, 107, 116, 
117; alludee to organization of 
Treasury Secretaryship, 102; ap- 
pointment of, as Secretary of 
State, lis ff.; friendship with 
Madison, 116-117, 132 (biblio- 
graphy), 133; not intimate with 
Washington before 17Bfi, 116; 
reputation of (1789), 117; hesi- 
tation of, in accepting Secre- 
taryship, 117, 255-S56; written 
opinions of, under Washington, 
120; reports cabinet meetings 
(1791) to Washington, 124; 
theory of Vice-Presidency 
(1797), 124-12S, 384-386; pre- 
sent at cabinet meetings (1792), 
125-126; hostility toward Ham- 
ilton, 129-130; reaignation of, 
130; usage of term "cabinet," 
and conception of term, 136, 
137, 139, 140 ff., 149, 379; cabi- 
net meetings nnder, 141-142; 
comment on offices of President 
and Vice-President, 145, note»; 
reflections of, on need (1786 ff.) 
of an American navy, 204-805; 
on conditions of Mediterranean 
commerce (1791), 807; view of, 
as to place of postal affairs in 

DC,. zed oy Google 

adminirtrstioii, 233-234; idea of 
domwtic businsM aiui«zed to 
State Department, SSS-2S6; eeti- 
mate of State Dopartment es- 
pensee, SS6. 

Jecckee, Thomaa A.: 186, 187, 190. 

Jeski, Edward: view of lignifl- 
caucB of executive eommitteei 
during the Long Parliament, 23, 
note **; impoeaibility of complete 
exposition of cabinet govern- 
ment, 42. 

John (IlM-1216) : organised conn- 
cil tuder, 10. 

1809) ; comment on relatione of, 
to Senate (1667), 381; naage of 
"constitutional adviBera," 390 j 
theory of Cabinet (1867), and 
reflections on it, 391-393; 
troubles with Cftbinet suggested, 

Johnson, Samuel: dollnitiona of 
"cabinet eouncO" in hit Die- 
tionary (1759 ff.), 44. 

Jojce, Herbert : on American Poet* 
(1693-1707), 224, note^. 

J«ba«0 of th« Conttitution (1S39) 
bj J. Q. Adams: reference to, 

jAtdiciary Act (1789): origin of 
and comment on, 105-106, 159; 
Wirt's comments (1818) on, 167 
ff. ; C. Gushing '■ comments 
(1S54) on, 179 ff. 

Jndiciarj Committee; receives 
Wirt's letter (1818), 166; re- 
ports on succession to Presidencj, 
192 ff. 

"Junius": familiar with De 
Lolme, 28. 

Junto of 1640: 20. 

Justice, Department of: ertablish- 
inent (1870), 160, 181, 187, 373; 

'Z 451 

snggeetiona (1830) for, 173; 
Cushing's plan, looking toward, 
180-181; maturing of bill for a, 
188-1S7; not a new organization, 
187-188; Senator G. F. Hoar's 
comment on, 195; Judge A. B. 
Woodward's suggestion (1824), 

Kendall, Amos: Postmaster -Gen- 
eral (1835-1840), 245; evidence 
of, on appointment of McLean 
(1829) to Supreme Conrt, 246; 
member of Agricultural Soeietj 
of the U. 8. (1841-1842), 317; 
comment (1837) on nnitj of the 
executive, 380, note >». 

Kennedy, John Pendleton : Memoift 
of Wirl (1849) cited and com- 
mented on, 167. 

Kennedy, Joseph C. 6.: comments 
on influence (1860) of U. S. 
Agricultural Society, 326-327; 
predicta Department of Agricul- 
ture, 327. 

Kern, John W. : 388, note •». 

King, Bufus: opposed to council of 
appointment (1787), 71 ; com- 
ment on appointment of TJ. 8. 
Treasurer, 102; usage of "cabi- 
net" by, 137; "Diary" quoted, 
137; opposes bill for Home De- 
partment (1817) in Senate, 262- 

' ' King 'a Friends " : 33. 

Kingship; ideal of primitive (Ho- 
meric, Homan, Hebrew, Cler- 
m«nic), 1. 

Knighta of Labor: urge (1886) 
Commission of Labor, 353 ; favor 
(1903) Department of Commerce 
and Labor, 3S8-359. 

Knox, Henry: Secretary at War 
(1785-1789), 59, 112, 113, 118; 

., Google 

appoiutmant (1789) ss Secretaiy 
of War, llEfl. ; reaignatioa 
(1794) of, 130, 151; in Senate 
Ebamber (1TS9), 121-1S2; at cabi- 
net meetingB, 123 (F., 125-126; 
visited bj La Boehefoueauld- 
Lumconrt, 151; eoueemed with 
naval affairs (1790 ff.), 207; 
work of, in connection with 
' ' second commencement of the 
nary" (1794), 207, 210-211. 
Enoi, Philaoder C: salary of, u 
Secretary of 8tat« (1909-1911), 

Labor: origias of organiied, 347; 
efforts at recognition (1865 ff.) 
in federal administration, 346- 
347, 351 ff., 359; oppoaitioo of 
American Federation of, to Da- 
partment of Commerce and 
Labor, 359 ; impression of sab- 
ordination of, in federal admin- 
istration, 364 ff., 375; intereeta 
of, similar to those of 

Labor, Bnreaa (1S84) of: 353 ff., 

Labor, Bnreau (1903) of: 358, 

362, 364, 375. 
Labor, Commissioner of: 364, 358. 
lAbor, Department (1SS8) of: 

337, 353-354, 358 ff., 364. 
Land: i«« Territorial Expaueion, 

La BoehefoDeanld-Lianeourt, Due 

de: visits Genera] H. Enox; 

comments on presidential office 

in his TraveU, 151. 
Lawrence, Hon. William: quoted 

{IS70} on significance of the 

Cabinet, and on practice of 

reckoning the Attomey-Qeneral 

» member of the body, 156, 188. 

Lee, Arthur; member of Treaaniy 
Board (1785 ff.), 118. 

Lee, Major H.: 289. 

Lee, Biebard H.: favors conncil of 
appointment (1787), 72; also 
advisory council for Preeident, 

Lewis, DizoQ H.: 316. 

Library of Congress: 343. 

1865) : nomination of, 238; 
member of U. 8. Agrieoltural 
Society, 320; recommends Burean 
of Agriculture (1861), 330; 
signs (1862) bill creating De- 
partment of Agricnltnre, 334; 
troubles in Cabinet of, suggested, 

Lincoln, Benjamin: Secretary at 
War, 54, note ". 

Littaner, Hon. Lucius N, : intro- 
duces term "Cabinet" into fed- 
eral law (1907), 157-158. 

Livermore, Samuel: on committee 
(1789) to organize departments, 
109 ; objects to principle of mc- 
eeosion (1792) t« Presidency, 

Livingston, Edward: reforenea of, 
to Cabinet in CongrcBs (1798), 
138, 214-215. 

Livingston, Bobert B. : on com- 
mittee (1780) to arraiige de- 
partments, 62; appointed as first 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs 
(1781), 54, note"; estimate of, 
56, note"; aspirant for Secre- 
tary of Treasury (1789), 113. 

Livingston, Walter: member of 
Treasury Board (1786 ff.), 118. 

Lodge, Senator Henry Cabot: on 
Senators as true constitntional 
advisers of the President, 85, 
note ** ; comment on language of. 

DC,. zed oy Google 


regttrding the Cabiaat, 119; wti- 
m&tM G. Cabot, hia KQCMtor, 216 ; 
theory of ■ignifleauM of "con- 
atitntional AdTiwis," 390, not« 

Loring, Dr. Qeorge B.; 342, 343, 

Loaaing, Bauson J.: editor, 131. 

Loaiaville Cour*0r-/o«nuil cited, 

Lonnabury, Profeaaor Thomaa B.; 
cited on J. F. Coopor'a Notion* 
of th» Anierioatu (1828), ISS, 

Low, Bidaey; on naoge of "Prime 
Miniater," 1S8, note". 

Lowell, A. Lawrence: qaotation 
from Bovernment of England, 
1S8, note M. 

Lowell, Jamee B. ; quoted on C. 
Cnshing, 183. 

Lowndee, William : Monroe 'a letter 
to, on Attomej-Oeneralatiip, 164- 
ISS; correepoDileBee of, on advia- 
abilitj (1816) of creating new 
ezecntive department, £61 S. 

Hacanla^, Thomaa B.: lint bia- 
torian to appreciate hiator^ of 
English Cbbinet (Hittorjf of 
England, 1848 ff.), 37 ff.; esti- 
mate of, 38, 4S. 

McClelland, Bobert: Becretarj of 
the Interior (1853-18ST), at 
moetinge of U. 8. Agricultnial 
Society, 819. 

McDongall, Major-Oeneral Alex- 
ander: appointment (1781) to 
Marine BecretarTahip, C4, 201; 
failure to qnidify, SOI, BOS. 

McHenry, Dr. Jamea: Secretary of 
War (1796-1800), 137; naval 
affairs under, 210 S.; hia ability 
estimated, 214. 

1901) : friendly relation of, with 
Viee-Preaideut Hobart, 3811 ff.; 
freely eonsnlted Hobart, 386; 
intimacy of, with Hobart com- 
pared with other similar intima- 
cies, 387, note*>. 

Maclay, WiUiami on anthorship of 
Judiciary Act (1789), 106, note 
■1; aceonnt of Washington 'a 
reception (1789) in the Senate, 

McLean, John: his conception of 
Cabinet, 149-150, 242; appoint- 
ment of, as PoHtmaater-Oeneral, 
220, 236 ff . ; comment of, on 
rank of office, 220, 239; views 
of patronage, 220, 242, 249; 
cbaraeteritation of, and study of 
hia serrices, 236 ft. ; euggeated 
(ISSO) for cabinet place, 237; 
decllnea ^>pointnient (1841) as 
Secretary of War, 237; candi- 
date for Presidency, 237-238, 
246 ; impressions of, upon Presi- 
dent J. Q. Adams and E. Everett, 
238 jr.; efficiency of, 239-243, 
pouiffl, 250; development of an- 
tagonism between, and Preeident 
Adanu, 240 ff. ; problema of ap- 
pointments and removals, 241, 
246 O. ; quoted on patronage, 
242; proposed as member of 
Jackson 's first Cabinet, 244 ; evi- 
dence of J. Q. Adams, Kendall, 
and Sargent on appointment to 
Supreme Court (1829), 246 ff.; 
alleged aapirant (1829) for See- 
retarysliip of War, 247; com- 
ment on salary of, 240, 248. 

Macon, Nathaniel: resolution 
(1816) of, quoted, 260; signifl- 
cance of reaolotion, 260 ff. 

MADISON, JAMES (1809-1817): 


MtunAto of B. B. Liriaggtcm, 56, 
nota " ; theory of exMutWe in 
ConvaiitioD (1737), 67-S6; com- 
mont on AdminiBtrative offieara, 
6S; plan of council of Toviaion, 
49, 86 i see* force in Muon'a 
project for council of appoint- 
mnt, 71 ; raggasta adTiaoty coun- 
cil, 74; on weakaaaa of atata 
exeentivM, SO-Sl; raeaivea C. 
Pinckney'a Obaervation; 90; 
guiding influence in debatea on 
departments (178S), 07 ff., 9»- 
100; difBcultiea aa Preeident, 102- 
103, 146 ft., 303; on sathonhip 
of JadieiaTT' Act, 100; on eoat- 
mittae (1789) to arrange depart- 
ments, 109; anggeated for Home 
Department (1788), IIS, 255; 
influence of, on appointmentg of 
E. Bandolph and T. Jefferson, 
114-117; visit to Jefferson, 117, 
256 ; f riaudahip of, for Jefferson, 
llSff., 132 (bibliography), 133; 
disBpprovaa of allowing Seere- 
tariee to appear in H. of B., 123 ; 
usage by, of term "cabinet," 
136, 1ST; Cabinet of, attacked by 
J. Quincy, 147 ff.; nrgee (1816) 
reform in office of Attomey-Oen- 
eral, 160 S. ; influwce of, on 
Preaidents J. <]. Adama, JaeksoD, 
and PoU, 162, 173 ff., 176, 269, 
272; fsTon reeidence reqaire- 
ment (1814) for Attomey-Qen- 
eral, 162, 163 ; possible author of 
No. SO of The FedertUvit, 162, 
note ' ; comments on W. Pink- 
ney'B reaignation (1814), 163; 
on private practice of Attomej- 
Qeneral, 161, 163-164; objects to 
principle of law (1702) of preei- 
dential euecession, 102; his pro- 
phetic suggestion as to sueceesion 

li of, against 

(1787), 192; 
naval eatabliahmant, 
menage (1812) on bnidena of 
principal offieen, 2S7; directs 
W. B. Crawford to report on 
Indian Affain, 250; recommends 
additional executive department 
(1816), 261, 287; D. Wefaster's 
reference to (1849), 283; interest 
of, in problem of federal r^nla- 
tion of commerce, 348; qnot«d 
(1780) on mponsibilitj of ex- 
ecutivB, 380. 

MalthuB, Thomas: Snag oh lk« 
FrineipU of FopxOation (1796) 
referred to, 298. 

Uann, Hon. James B.: opposes 
introduction of "Cabinet" into 
federal law (1907), 157-158; 
leading debater in H. of B. 
(1003) favoring Department of 
Commerce and Labor, 360; 
sketches history of administra- 
tive departments, 3B0 ff. ; reflec- 
tions on his efforts, 363, 367. 

Maonera, Bt. Hon. Lord John J. 
R.: 252. 

Mannfaetnree: G. Morria'a provi- 
sion (1787) for, 254; idea of 
promoting, by eatabliahmant of 
a Home Department (182S), 
268; SQggeation (1862) of a 
minister for, 331 ; influence of, 
on legislation, 331; P. Webster 
(1783) on, 348-349; A. Hamil- 
ton ("B<^rt") on, 349-360; 
committee (1819) on, eatab- 
lished, 360; trend of efCort for 
federal recognition of, in admin- 
istrative office, 351 ff. 

If apes. Professor James J.: 
opposes Bureau and favora 
(1854) Department of Agrienl- 
tnre, 324-325. 

Jforbttry v& Maditon (1803): 
cited, IBS; qaotad, SSO-SSl. 

Marej, Wim&m L.: 178, E7S. 

Maiine, Agent of (17S1 fl.) : EOO; 
B. Morria '■ nork in cspaeitf of, 

Mftrine, Commtgaioner of {17S8) : 
saggeatod, 212. 

Marine, Hinister or 8eoretar7 of: 
office Mtablialied (1781), 64; 
MeBougall elected but fails to 
qnaliff, 61, EOl, S03; work of, 
done bj B. Uorria, 54-6S, 202 ff. 
general refleetiona oa need ol 
203-S04; provision for, in EUg 
worth's plan of cotmeil (1787), 
75; in O. Morrie't plan, 70, 84, 
note " ; in C. Pinekne; 'a plan, 
01. Sea Navy, infra. 

Marine Committee (1776-1770) 
200; viee-preaident of, 203. 

Marshall, Senator Hnmphrej: op- 
poeed permanent naval estab- 
liahment, 213. 

Marshall, John : written opinion as 
Chief-Juatiee to Freaident Mon- 
roe (1821), 121, note**; naea 
term "cabinet*' (1803), 15S; in 
J, Adama'a Cabinet (1800-1801), 
217; formnlatee ideal of execu- 
tive discretion, 380-381. 

Mary (1563-1508) : divisions in 
Privy Council of, 20, 

Maryland : Oovemor's council in, 
95; council of state in, OS-06: 
Archival and Jovntnl of Lotear 
Hmua of, cited, 90. 

Mason, Colonel G^rge: favors 
(1787) Sherman's theory of the 
eiecntive, 67; agrees with Madi- 
son aa to cotincil of reviaion, 69; 
feara appointing power, 70; pro- 
jecbi plan for conncil of appoint- 
ment, 70, note 

SX 455 

plan of, 71; oppoaed Q. Morria 'a 
idea of conitcil of state, bnt 
favored advisory conncil, 8S, 
notea ■> and ■• ; predicta later 
Cabinet, 89-00, 94, 99; views 
compared with those of E. Qerry, 
99; grandson of, opposed to 
Interior Department (1S4S), B81. 

Msaon, James M. : opposes Interior 
Department, 281 fC., 331. 

Mason, John T.: Attomey-Oeneral 
(1845-1846), 177. 

Massachusetts : colonial post 
(1639) in, 221. 

Massachneetta Historical Society: 
correspondence (1826) between 
E. Everett and John McLean on 
patronage commnnLcated (1908) 
to, 242. 

Massinger, Philip (1583-1040): 
cited on usage of "cabinet," 

Mei^, Betum J., Jr.: SEunmoned 
(1822) as FoBtmaster-GflUeral 
into cabinet meeting, 243. 

Mercer, John F.: member of Con- 
vention (1787), 91, note"; 
interested in Columbian Agri- 
cultural Society, 307. 

MerenesB, Newton D.: cited on 
Maryland council of state {Mary- 
land as a Proprietary Province), 

Merryman, John : 341,342. 

Mexico, War with : checks admin- 
istrative reform in U. 8., 176, 
274; increase of administrative 
burdens due to, 253; aids move- 
ment toward Interior Depart- 
ment, 274, 286. 

Mines, Bureau of: snggested 
(1824), 267. 

Mint: Master of the English, 222; 
placed by Washington nnder 


4S6 INI 

Bute DaputiMnt, 256, note >■ ; 
proJMt (1817) to place, under 
Tnaaarj t&ito, 262; anggeetion 
to pUee in Department of 
Domestic Affairs, 2M, note**, 

UiteheU, John: 364. 

diffienlties as President, 102-103, 
146; written opinion given to, 
b7 Cbief-Jnstiee M««T.nii, 121, 
note )■ ; " Vir^inin Inflnenee, ' ' 
148-149 ; letter on Attonej- 
Ooueralihlp quoted, 164-16S; 
same letter referred to, 181-182; 
re&ectiona on letter, 16S-166; 
appointment of W. Wirt (1817), 
166; "PoBt-OOlce Department" 
(182S), 231; originates practice 
of asking annual report from 
Postmaster-General, S3S-236, 240, 
850; nominatae J. McLean as 
Postmaster-Qeueral (1823), 236; 
■nmmoiis B. J. Meigs, Jr., to 
cabinet meeting (1822), 243; 
ideas (1812) on Home Depart- 
ment, 258; favors (1824) De- 
partment of the Interior, 268, 
287; D. Webster's reference 
(1S4B) to, 283. 

Montesquieu: Etprit daa Lott re- 
ferred to, 26 fl. 

" Monticellian djimsty": 149. 

Morrill, Justin 8.: member of 
U. 8. Agricoltoral Societ}', 320; 
progreas of bie Land Bill, 326. 

Morris, Oonvemeur: favore (1780) 
single beadshipe, 53, 201 ; in 
accord with Madison 's theory of 
the executive (1787), 67; view 
of, regarding appointments of 
principal officers, 69; plan of, for 
council of state, 7B ff. ; composi- 
tion, functions, and object of 

each eonncil, 76-77; on eommittee 
llnal)7 t« consider Tinflntshttit 
parts, 77, note >■; prseedents for 
idea and plan of, 78 ft. ; signill- 
eance of plan of, 88-83; aketcb 
of experience of, 83-84; failure 
of plan of, explained, 84, note 
*■, SS; plan of, oppoeed b; O. 
Mason, 69; law-oIDeer in eonneil 
of, 107; later (1789) conception 
of council in Obtervatumt of, 
107-108; friendlr with B. 
Morris, 108; objects to princqile 
of law (1792) for presidentia) 
snccessioii, 198; favors (1787) 
navel establishment, 200; func- 
tions of Secretary of Domeetie 
Aflaits (1787), 2S4; correspon- 
dent of 8ir J. Sinclair, 299; his 
Becretarj of Commerce and Fi- 
nance, and Minister of Commerce 
(1787 if.), 347-348. 

Morris, Bobert: favors single heads 
(1776 tt.), 50, 53, 201; appoint- 
ment of, as Superintendent of 
Finance (1781), 53-54, note'*; 
conducts naval affairs, 54-55, 
202-20S; retirement (1784) of, 
65, 57, 202; comments on execu- 
tive ability of, 56 ff., 203 ; <qppa- 
sition to, 57; sstimate of, 59, 
203; assisted by O. Morris, S3; 
O. Morris '■ Obtervatiort* sent to, 
108; Buggested as first Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, 112-113; 
chosen Senator, 112; alleged 
offer of Treasury portfolio to, 

Moeher, Bobert Brent : comment on 
his ExeaUifBe Segiitar (1903), 
118, notei*. 

Moustier, Count de: 47. 

Murat, Achille: eommants on ad- 
ministrative officers, 162. 

DC,. zed oy Google 

Kational Domain. See Territoris] 
Ezpuiaioii, infra. 

Nktional Inatitnt* for the Promo- 
tion of SeiflDM; 316. 

Satiinud Intenigencer : mantioned, 
131, 268, 289; qoot«d (1817) on 
question of constitationsJitT' of 
B Home Department, 264, note 
21, 265. 

national Journal: mentioned, E66, 
268, 288, 280. 

Naval Committee (1T7S-17T0): 

NsTj: starting-point (1775) of 
national, 200; origine of, 201 ft. ; 
Preaideot eomnuuider-in-eluef of, 
206; aeeond eommeneemeut 
(1794) of, 207; feei of, in 
Booth, 20B-200; argomenta 
againat national, 2 OB. 

Navf, Department and Secretary- 
ahip of the: eetablishmant 
(1708) of the, 6, 190 S., 213, 
370, 372; statna of naval organi- 
■ation (1769), 100; organiiation 
of, diaenssed, 13S, 206; lan- 
oflieer for the, 189; origins of, 
201-213; subject of, forced 
(17S6) before the Congress of 
ttte Confederation, 206; involved 
nnder War Department, 206, 
not« ^< ; anslytis of debates 
(I79B) in Senate and Houu, 
213-215, 219; O. Cabot's ap- 
pointment to, 216; B. Stoddert's 
appointment to, 216-217; com- 
ment on eBtablishment of, 217- 

Navy, Seeretarr of the: Wirt de- 
dinea to give opinion to, on qnes- 
tion of fact, 170. 

Neale, Thomas: quotation from 
patent issued to, 222; signifi- 

cance of patent of, 223-224, 289; 
sketch of, 223-224. 

Necker, Jaeqnee: 53. 

Nelson, Judge Hugh: latter to, 
from W. Wirt analTud and 
quoted, 166 S. 

Nelson, Senator Knute: 358. 

Neutrality: Washington's refleo- 
tions on sincere, 209. 

Neutrality Proclamation (1703) : 
agreed npon by Cabinet, 127. 

New England : commercial inter- 
ests of, 199. 

New Jersey: Privy Council of, 80. 

New Mexico: 2S3, 27S, 27S, 291. 

New Netherlands : colonial post 
(1657) in, 221. 

Newton, Isaac: first eommissioner 
of agricaltore (1862), 334. 

New York City: seat of govern- 
ment (1700), 117; soeemblingof 
principal officers in, 118; postal 
communication ( 1S72) between, 
and Boston, 221-222; seat of 
colonial Poet-OfBce, 225. 

New York Historical Society: J.Q, 
Adams addressee (1830), 272. 

New Tork State: council of ap- 
pointment in, 72; cabinet coun- 
cil (1792) in government of, 
136; opposition to Navy Depart- 
ment (1798) from, 214 j pro- 
gressive spirit in regard to aiding 
agriculture in, 306. 

Nicholson, Captain Bamoel; 211. 

Nilea, Senator John U.: opposea 
Department of tbe Int«rior 
(1649), 282. 

Norfolk, Va. : landing-place of Jef- 
ferson (1789), 117. 

Norman Conquest: institutional 
significance of period of, 9. 

North, Boger (1663-1734) : cited on 
usage of "cabinet," IB; his ex< 


planBtum of development of tbe 
Cabinet ont of the PriTj Goun- 
ca, 18-lB. 
Nortbern BeeuritiCB Merger: 356. 

Objection* b/ George Mason : eited, 

Obiervationt on tlu Finaneei of 
the United States, in 17Sg b; 
OouveruflUT Morria: quoted, 107- 

Obtervatiom on tlte pUm of Gov- 
eniment lubmitted to (ft« Fed- 
eral ConventHMt, bf Charles 
Piockner: eited or quoted, BO- 
91, &S4-2S5, 370. 

Oliver, Andrew: £26. 

Opinions, judicial: usage regard- 
ing, in England, the eolouiea, 
and the states of tbe Union, 129, 

Opinitnu of the Attomeyi-General: 
origin of, 171; Wirt's cwntribn- 
tion to, 171-172, note"; C. 
Cuabing's contribution to, 178. 

Opinions in writing: provision in 
CoDStitation for, 6, 78, 87; P. 
Webster's suggestion (1783) as 
to, 62; a. Morris's idea of, 7S- 
77; practice of, among colonial 
and state governors, SO; com- 
parison between P. Webster's 
and G. Morris '■ ideas of, S3 ; 
Iredell's view of, 87-88; Wash- 
ington 's practice regarding, 1£0- 
121, note^, 882; James B. 
Thayer on practice of, 129; 
Judge A. B. Woodward on, 143; 
comments on prevailing practice 
regarding, 382 (T. 

Orange, House of i 51. 

Ordinances of 1781: 52, 63, 59; 
significance of system provided 

by, 66 If.; inllnenoed by British 
and French traditions, 55-56. 

Oregon Conntry: 263, 274, 278, 279, 

Osgood, Profenor Herbert H: 
quoted on colonial nsage and 
idea of ' ' privy council, " 95 ; 
American Coloniee tn the Beven- 
teenfA Century by, cited, 95. 

Osgood, Samnsl: on Treasury 
Board (17S5fr.), US, 230; 
appointed as Postmaoter-QeDeiml 
(1789), 2£S, 230; sketch of, 230; 
reports to A. Hamilton (1790), 
234; successors (17eM8S3) of, 
eharacteriied, 236. 

Otis, Harrison Grey: reaaans of, 
favoring Navy Department 
(179S), 215. 

Otto, Frrach ehargS d'affoirea: 
approbation for John Jay, 57 IT.; 
comments of, on Jay's import- 
ance, with geueral expression of 
admiration for administrative 
systeni, 5S. 

Paine, Senator Elijah: 813. 

Palfrey, John Gorhsm : accountable 
for ' ' Home Department ' ' incon- 
gruity (184S), 880-2S1. 

Parliament : gains control of Cabi- 
net, 2; undeveloped under Henry 
III, 10; increasing power of, in 
fourteenth century, 10-11; snb- 
missive to Crown and Priry 
Council, 11; increasing strength 
of, under Btuarts, 12-13, 16; 
steps of Long, to control King, 
I3-1S, 23 ; suspicious of inner 
councils, 21 -22 ; mechanism of, 
in coatrolling King adjoating 
itself, 22 ff. ; House of Commons 
gaining direction of, through 
Cabinet, 24 ff. See House of 



Commons, tvpra; al»o following 

ParlUmenUirj' Qoi'aniiiieiit : origins 
of, in sixteenth and seventsenth 
Mnturiea, II, IBB,; devetopmsnt 
of, in HTenteenth and eighteenth 
centuries, 12, 22 fl.; directive 
torcea of, nith Whigi, 26; ms- 
tuTing of BTStem of, in nineteenth 
e«ntni7, 12, 36 (f., as-M; influ- 
ence of reform measures (1632) 
on, 37; Mocsnlaj on, 3S; no iu- 
fiuenee of, in United States 
(1775-1780), 42-43. Ses Cabinet, 
English; Parliament, wpra. 

Fartont vs. United filatet (1890) : 
eited, 381, note". 

Patent Office: anggestions to 
transfer, from State Depart- 
ment (1630), 173; organisation 
(1812) of, 257-258; project to 
place onder Home Department 
(1816), 261, 264, note»; Judge 
Woodward'B suggestion (1824) 
as to, S67; J. Q. Adams's view 
(182S) of, 270; Polk's snggea- 
tion (1845) as to, 274; B. J. 
Walker's plan (1848) for, 278; 
aids farming intereata, 309 S.; 
origin and derdopment of the, 
309-313; superintendent of agri- 
caltural affairs in the, 322. 

Patents, Commissioner and Super- 
intendent of, 309 ff. 

Patronage: correspondence of E. 
Everett and J. UcLean on, 220; 
in Poet-Offlce Department, 239; 
increase of, basis of some opposi- 
tion to Interior Department 
(1849), 280, 286; in England, 

Paullin, Charlee O. : contribates to 
administrative history of the 
Navy in the Hevolntionary epoch. 

64; uae of "concentrative," 
201, note'; diaracterisatioD of 
"R, Morris, 203; quoted on pro- 
ject (1786) of a Uarine Depart- 
ment, 206; quoted on naval 
affairs (1794 ff.), 210, 212. 

Penn, William: 222, 

Penmylvania Gaaette (1781): 
quoted on plan of council, 60. 

Fenntslvania Paelcet (1781): 
quoted on plan of council, G9-60. 

Pension Office: B. J. Walker's 
plan (1848) for, 278. 

PepTS, Samuel (1633-1703): usage 
of term "cabinet," IS; Diary 
reference (1664) to T. Neale, 

Percy, Lord Eustace: on Privy 
Council under Tudors, 20, note >*. 

Peterborough, Ear] of (Charle* 
Mordaunt) quoted (1711), 17. 

Peters, Richard; 299. 

Phelps, Hon. John E. : objects to 
new cabinet officer (1862), 838. 

Philadelphia ; seat of Bevolutionary 
postal administration, 227, 228. 

Pickering, Timothy: in J. Adams's 
Cabinet, 137; helps to name the 
frigates, 208 ; naval affairs 
under, 210, 211; letter urging 
O. Cabot's acceptance of naval 
Secretaryship quoted, 816 ; in- 
structed as Postmaster -Oeneral 
by Washington, 234; his distinc- 
tion, 236. 

1857): Cabinet of, commented 
on, 178, 1S3; regard of, for C. 
Cushing, 178; member of TJ, 8. 
Agricultnral Society, 319. 

Pinckney, Charles: in accord with 
B. Sherman's theory (178T) of 
the executive, 67; views of, as 
to council of revi^n, 69-70, 76, 


86, H, DOU"; "Outline" of, 
uid flnt fuggestian of tAviaoTj 
eonnci), 74; f»voii Piwdant 
ftdviiing' with principU ofBeen, 
IB; doabti of, regmrding EDb- 
worth'* plan of eotuieil, 75-76; 
NContU plan of O. Iforrla, 76, 
90-91 ; ObirmotMN* of, eit«d and 
qnotod, 90 ff., 2S4-2S6, 370; two 
Sittaring title-pagM to pamphlet 
of, iW, tiota ■■ ; eommenta on eon- 
ciliar plan of, 90 ff.; naaga of 
term "cabinet Moneil" b^, 91 
ff., 130, 370; familiant7 of, with 
tradition* of Britiah hiatorr, 92, 
note ■* ; propoaal of, to allow 
esecutivfl to demand opinions of 
Supreme Coort Judges, 120; in 
favor (1787) of Home Depart- 
ment, £54-255. 

Pinknej, William: Teeignatioii 
(1814) aa Attoraej-OMieral, 16i- 
163, note*; correqiondent of Sir 
J. Sinclair, 299. 

Pitt, William (the joonger): 
Prime Minister in modern aenee, 
31 ; period of Miniatr7 of, 32, 
note"; EnKlieb Board of Agri- 
culture (1793 ff.) eetabliahed 
under, 207. 

Piatt, Senator OrriDe H.: objee- 
tions (1868) of, to raising rank 
ef Department of Agriculture, 
and so increaaing liie of Cabi- 
net, 83S-S38, pataim. 

Plumb, Senator Preaton B.: on 
Seeretarjship of Agricnltnre 
(1888), 337-338. 

Political Clati Book (1831) hj W. 
SnlliTen: quoted on Home De- 
partment, 273, note •«. 

POLK, JAMES K. (1845-1849): 
theory of eieentive (1848) of, 
67; influence of Madison 'h view 

of tbe Attomej-OeneraUup on, 
162; on organiaation of tbe 
Attorner-aeneral 'i Office 
(1845), 176; on eaanal abeeneea 
of cabinet officers from dntiea in 
Washington (1845), 176-177; 
his lapse of memorj, 177, not« 
■■; influence of Jaekaon orer, 
274; Cabinet of, carefnllr 
ehoaen, 27S; aigna bill (IS49) 
for Interior Department, £85; 
Diary of, qooted (1648) on prac- 
tice of writtea opinions, 383; 
eridence of, on number of cabi- 
net meetings (1845-1640), 383, 
note " ; f rimdahip of, for Viee- 
Preaident Dallaa, 38S, 387, note 
*"; invitea outaiden (but not 
Viee-Preiident) into cabinet 
meetings, 38S. 

Pfillniti, Baron: correepondent of 
President Washington, 205-206. 

Poore, B. P.: eatimatea number of 
agricultural societiea on bocAs 
(1660) of U. S. Agricultural 
Societj, 305, note"; character- 
isee agriculture, 381, note *'; 
statement of, cited regarding 
U. S. Agricultural Society (e. 
1865), 341; bis "History of 
Agriculture" (1866), 341; ac- 
count of last meeting of V. S. 
Agricultural Society { 1 881 ) , 
341 ff. 

Population: growth (1830) of, 
1 72 ; J. Q. Adami 'a commmt 
(1821) on, 266; import&oce of 
weatem movement of, 203, 305; 
increase of, holpful in enforcing 
need of Department of Agricul- 
ture (1862), 334. 

Porter, David : 247. 

admitted (1829) to Cabinet, I5S, 

£20, 232, 844, 245, 249 S., 370- 
371; commentH on BBiMTj (1907) 
of, 197; (18S3), 163; (1827), 
240 [tet Table A, Appendix, 
396] ; aizth member of Cabinet, 
218; orjgine of office of, 220- 
228; Bubjeet to President '■ 
direction, 233, 373; reports 
(1790) to Seeretair of the 
TreBBOTj, 234; origin of annual 
report of, 235-236; development 
of office (17S9-1828) of, 243; 
comments on office of, 244 ff., 
249 ff.} J. HcLean'e brief ser- 
vice as, under Jackson, 245; 
eomparison of, with Snglish 
PoBtDUBter-OeBeral, 2S1-262. 

Postmaster-Oflneral (British) : 
orlgina of office of, 220-221; 
Cotton and Frankland in office 
of, 224; quotation regarding, 
frcon Act of 1710, 225; admitted 
into Cabinet for flrst time 
(1830), 251; might be member 
of the House of Commons (1866 
ff.), 251; eompariMQ of, with 
American, 251-252. 

Poet-Office, Colonial: origina of, 
221-222, 229; Neale's efforts 
for, 222 ff.; luceeeding arrange- 
ments of, 224-226. 

Poet-Offlee, Constitotional Ameri- 
can (1774): W. Goddard's work 
for, 228-227. 

Post-Office, Continental (1775- 
178S): 227-229. 

Post-Office, Federal (1789 ff.): 
temporary arrangements (1769- 
1794) of, nnaatisfaetory, 230- 
231 ; permaneot establishment 
(1794) of, 231; eommenU on 
legal phraseology concerning, 
S81-232, 373; re-organiiation 
(1872) of, 232; Wi 

EX 461 

conception of, 234; conditions 
of, under McLean, 239 ff.; sug- 
geetion to place (1S16) in Home 
Department, 261, 264, note"; 
similar suggeetion (1824), 267. 

Post-Office Department (Ameri- 
can): law-officer for the, 189; 
reflections on character iiatione 
of the, in the statutes, 231-232, 
373; theory of the, 234-236, 373, 
note'*; surplueee of the, com- 
mon (1789-1834), 23S, note". 

Poet-Office Department (British) : 
officers in the, prohibited from 
interfering at elections, 233. 

Poets, Master of the: 221. 

President: single officer approved, 
S2, 75; P. Webster's conception 
of, 62; theories of the office of, 
in the Convention (17B7), 66-68; 
intended to be independent of 
CoDgreae and reeponeible, 84, 98; 
administratiTe power of the, 
clearly in view, 97; appointing 
power of the, 97-98, note >, 101 ; 
ideal of confidence between tbe, 
and principal officers (1769), 
98-99; appoints national treas- 
urer, 102; requirements of the, 
119; circunutancee uniting the, 
with the principal officers, 123; 
not to be advised by Supreme 
Oonrt Judges, 128-129; office of 
tbe, "a splendid misery," 145, 
note*!; influence of the, on the 
Bucceesion, 146; McLean's con- 
ception of the office of the, 149- 
150; travellers* eommente on the 
office of the, ISO ff. ; suceeesion, 
in the office of, 191-19S; ideals 
underlying the office of, dis- 
euesed, 379 ff . ; relation of the, 
to Vice-President in matt«r of 
counsel, 367; Johnson's defence 


462 im 

at tlie id«ala of tli« offiee of, 
392-393; aaiATj al the, 396 
(Table A.); perqumitaa of tbe, 
398-399. Bte EieeutiTe, Ameri- 
ean, ivpra. 

Pretidmon of tite United Btatet 
(TTu), hj A. B. Woodw&rd: 
quoted, 146-147; cited, 286. 

Praetou, Seofttor W. C: theory 
(1B42) of pieeidential ofSce, 67, 

Price, Dr. Bichard: 56. 

Prime Minister: fuuetione of, 3, 
36; modem conception of, 31; 
usage of phrsso (1878), &nd 
roeognitioD of, in order of pre- 
cedence (1906), 168, note<*. 

Principal Officers: considered aa 
' ' conetitutional adrisers, ' ' 5, 
140, 379, 389 ff.; ideal of, ae 
aasiBtsnts, 47-48, 78, 85 ff., 107, 
110, 118 fl., 122, 12fi(f., 378, 
SOS; should assist in appoint- 
ments, 62, 86; appointed I17 
President, 68-69; adviaoij fone- 
tlons of, 75 ff.; Iredell's view 
(1788) of, 87-88; Q. Uason and 
Q. Clinton (1787) predict coun- 
cil of state from combination of, 
89-90; C. Pincknej's prediction 
and TiewB of a Cabinet Gonncil 
of, 90-94, J36, 370; assumed b^ 
Conatitation, 92, 119; abonld be 
in Cabinet (1787), 93, note*>; 
tenure of olOce of, 97; remoTal 
of, 98, 140, 381, note**, 382, 
391 ff.; conldence between, and 
President, 98-99, 135, 140, 182, 
3T8, 38T, 391 ff.; four (1789) 
provided, 97 B. ; Washington 's 
principles in appointing, 110- 
III; factors making for eombi- 
oation of, 119 ff.; qualiflcationa 
of, 144-I4C, 214; snggeetion that 

tbej sit either in H. of B. or 
Senate, 153, 154; ealarisa (1907) 
of, 157; (1853), 163, 178; (See 
Table A, Appendix, 396); ssnae 
of subordination to President, 
ISS, 37S; burdensome duties of, 
256-260, pouun,- joint plan 
(1816) of, for Home Depart- 
ment, 261; letter of, to W. 
Lowndea quoted, 262 ; states from 
which choice of, has been made 
(1789-1909), 399 ff. See under 
titles of various departmanta 
and headships. 

Privy Council (American) : ideals 
(1787) of an, 72-73, 88; revised 
title of O. Morris's eouneil of 
state, 77 ; historic naage aad sig- 
nificance of phrase, 78 fl., 82, 92- 
93, 95-96, 369; advisory body to 
colonial and state govemors, 79 
ff.; modes of selection of, 80; 
compoeition of, doubtful, 81; 
unlike English inatitation, 81-82. 

Prlvj Council (British): origins 
of, 2, II S.; its effectiveness 
under Tudors (1485-1603), II, 
19-20; predeceeeor of modern 
English Cabinet, 11 ; differen- 
tiated from Cabinet Council, 18, 
17; Boger North's explanation 
of relation of, to Cabinet Coun- 
cil, 18-19 ; divisions of, under 
Edward TI and snceessors, 20, 
SI; unmanageable under Charles 
n, 21-82; attempt to revive 
anthoritj' of, under Anne, i5; 
Hallam on, 36-37; Sir W. Tnn- 
ple'e sehNDe (1679) for, 22, 45; 
belated institution (1787), 93; 
Wedderbum 'b invective before 
committee of the, 226. 

Proeeediitgi of the t3t\ Annual 
Meeting of the U, 8. Agrieitl- 

DC,. zed oy Google 

turaJ BoeUty (1861) : cited and 
snaljwd, 341 ff. 
Public Lands. See TeirltorUl Ei- 

Qaine^, Joiiali: BTTaigament 
(1813) of Madison Cabinet, 147 
If.; Tflfl«ctioiiB OS incident, 149- 

Bnndolph, Edmund: learna of 
Uadieon 'a plan of council of 
r«viaian, 60; BeaolntionH (1787) 
of, 09; fear of appointing power, 
70; bia conncil of rerieion taken 
np b7 th« Convention, 76; ap- 
pointment of, aa fiiqt Attorney- 
General (1789), 114-115, 118- 
119; favored hj Madiaon's influ- 
ence, 114; claim* of , for position, 
114-115; resignation of, refused, 
118; not present at first recorded 
cabinet meeting, 125; preeent at 
other meetings, 125-126; diamis- 
Ml from Cabinet (1795), 130; 
reflections (1790) of, on his 
position, 159, 

Bandolph, John: remarks on Cabi- 
net (1806), 138-139; theOTy 
(1803) of place of adTiaen in 
government, 142. 

Bemoval of Depositai 103. 

"Beport on Mannfaeturea," bj A. 
Hamilton : eit«d and quoted, 340. 

"Beport on Public Credit," bf A, 
Hamilton: cited, ISS. 

Baresbj', Sir John (1634-1689): 
eitad on usage of "cabinet," 
15; Memoin of, 44. 

Beeldence requirement: of Vir- 
ginia Attomej-Oeneral, 107; at- 
tempt to enact law (1814) con- 
cerning, for federal Attome?- 

BZ 463 

General, 162; exacted of B. 
Rush, 163; Jackson in favor of, 
173; Polk's exaction of, from 
cabinet MwoeUtas (1845 fl.), 176- 
177; Cnabing held to, 177; 
growth of ideal of, 178. 

Bevision of StstutM (1S7S-1874) : 
as affecting Departmenta and 
headships, 104-105, 231-232, 2B0, 
373; general objects of, 373-374. 

Bevolutionary War: enforced need 
of naval administration, 190, 
£04; hindrance to postal admin- 
istration, 227-22B; relation of 
western movement of population 
to, 293. 

Bhea, John: 149. 

Bhode Island: conimisaiona naval 
vessela, 199; starts movement for 
continental naval organisation, 

Bhodee, James Ford: quoted, 183, 
note " ; dependence on, 184, 

Biehardson, Hon. William: 364. 

Bichmond, Fifth Dnke of (Charles 
Gordon -Lennox) ; first English 
Postmaster-General in Cabinet 
(1S30), 251, note". 

Beads ; G. Morris 's provision 
(1767) for, 254; administrative 
division for national, suggested 
(IB16), SOI, 262; another sug- 
gestion (1S24) for federal ad- 
ministration of, 267. See Inter- 
nal Improvements, mpra, 

1009) ; appearance under, of term 
"Cabinet" in federal law 
(1907), 6, 166 ff., 376; signs 
bill (1903) for Departmoit of 
Commerce and Labor, appointing 
Secretarj, 346, 368, 360; foimn- 
lates demand for new d^tart- 



mwt (]B01), 352, 355; aiuajaU 
of portion of message of, 356- 
357; MnduBioQ of term of, 393. 

Bowan, Senator John: 273. 

BoiHn, Edmund: 31T. 

Boah, Biehard: required aa Attor- 
n«7-Oenwal (1814-1817) to re- 
side at seat of govamment, 163, 
165; refleetiona of, on Engliah 
Attornaj-Qeneral (1818) in 
MBmoranda, 181, 188; does not 
sign pUn (1810) for Home De- 
partment, £61 ; remarks on Home 
Department project (1825-1826), 
269 ft.; eorrespandent of Bir. J. 
Sinclair, 29S. 

Bntledge, Jolm: fsvon B, Sher- 
man's theor7 (1787) of ezecn- 
tWe, 67; followi 0. Pinckney's 
view sa to eoDscJl of reTision, 
69-70, TS, 86; faTors executive 
advising with principal offleen, 
T5; chairman of Committee of 
Detail, 77. 

St. Clair's expedition: 123, 125- 

Salariea: coininentB on, 157, 159, 
103, 169170, 178 ff., 175, note ", 
178, 201, 227, 240, 247, 250, 283, 
333, 371-372. See for changes 
in aalaries of President, Vice- 
President, and principal ofScen 
(1789-1900) Table A, Appendix, 
390; aUo Note, pp. 397-3S8, for 
the salary of the Secretary of 
State (1909-1911). 

Salmon, Prof eesor Luey M. : on 
appointing power, 98, note <, 

Sanford, Nathan: £62. 

Sargent, Nathan : evidence of, on 
McLean appointment (1829) to 
Supreme Court, 24S B. 

Science and Art: snggestiona (1824, 
182S) to place nnder Home De- 
partment, 207, 208. 

Secretariat (American) : original 
ideal of, 301, 370-371, 374; latCT 
aspects of, 371 ff. 

Secretaries of Departments: en- 
titled by cuatom to cabinet rank, 
6, 214-215, 217, 218, 284 ff., 292, 
323 ff., 332 ff., 334 B., 340, 354, 
3S6, 359, 362 ff., 375-377, poMim. 

Secretary of colony : in governor 's 
council, 81. 

Sedgwick, Theodore: 47. 

Selden, John (1584-1054) : on naagv 
of "cabinet," 15. 

Senate: appointing power of, 71, 
85; share of, in foreign affair* 
and treaty making, 85; ineffec- 
tive aa intimate conncil of advice, 
85, 121 ff., 128; committee of, 
arranges (1789) jndicial eatab- 
lishment, 105; confirms Waahing- 
ton's appointments, 117-118, 370; 
reception of Washington and 
Knox by, 121-122; standing rule 
of, quoted, 122; defeats resi- 
dence requirement bill (1814), 
162; biU to re-adjnst Attorney- 
Generalship (1830) before, 173- 
174; fails to ratify Cnahing's 
appointment to Supreme Conrt, 
183; originates law (1792) of 
Baecmsion, 192; enlightened by 
Jefferson as to Mediterranean 
commerce, 207; ratiflas peftce 
with Algiers (1796), 208; passes 
bill for Navy Department, 213; 
ntiJles appointments of G. Cbbot 
and B. Stoddart, 210-217; atti- 
tude of, toward postal arrange- 
ments (1789), 229-230; ratifiea 
Osgood's appointment, 230; rati- 
fies McLean's appointment 

DC,. zed oy Google 

(1641), 237; dittecnrtcBj towud, 
244; r«qiiMtB report from Madi- 
Bon on Indian affain (1815), 
S5B; Crawford'* report (1S16) 
to, 299-260; reeulta of Macon's 
resolntion paaaed by, 200 ff. ; 
faUnie of plan for Homo De- 
partment before, E6I 263; B. J. 
Walker'* plan of Interior De- 
partment before, 881 ff.; ratifiee 
Ewing '■ appointment (1849 ) , 
2S9 ; interest of, in Waahin^on '■ 
plan for board of a^icnlture, 
302; debate in, on biU (1862) 
for Department of Agriealtnre, 
332 ff.: couflrm* N. J. Colman'* 
appointment (1889), 339; bill* 
in, for ninth department, 357 ; re- 
eognizM Labor, 368 ; bean letter 
of S. GompeiB against arran^- 
ment of Department of Com- 
merce and Labor, 859; Vice- 
Preeident not a member of, 389; 
created hj Conatitntion, 390. 
See Eonee of BepreeentatiTes, 

Senate, President of: in Glla- 
worth'a plan of advisory coun- 
cil, 7S, 386-387; in revised plan 
of G. Horria 's eouneil, 77 ; 
Jnd^ Woodward 's comments 
on, 144; goTemment (I8S1) 
without, 194. See Vice-Preei- 
dent, infra. 

Seybert, Adam: reeommnida Home 
Department (1B12), 298 ff.; 
Uonroe's letter to, qnoted, 258. 

Sheridan, Biehard B. : 297. 

Sherman, Soger: theory of execu- 
tive of, 67; discoBse* council of 
appointment (1789) with J. 
Adams, 73; favors advisory 
eonnci], 74-76. 

Short, William: 255. 

EX 46S 

Sid^wick, Professor Hrairy: gm- 

eral obligation to, 404. 
Simmons, Senator Jamee T.; 

remark* on Department of Agri- 

enlture, 883-334. 
Sinclair, Sir John: originator of 

British Board of Agrieolture 

(1793 B.), 297 B.; ideals of, and 

inflnenee on Washington, 297- 

303, ptuttm. 
Skinner, John Stuart: editor of 

' ' American Farmer, ' ' 3 16-31 7, 

Slavery; burean for, suggested, 

Smith, Caleb B,: recommends 
(1861) Bnrean of Agricoltore, 

Smith, Jooeph L.: 317, uot««. 

Smith, Helancton: idea of conucil 
of appointment (1788), 73. 

Smith, Hon. William, of 8. C: 
favors national navy, 137-138, 

Smith, ProfMBor W. Boy: quota- 
tion from South Carolina an a 
Soyal Province, on colonial prac- 
tices, 133-134. 

Smithson, James: 404. 

Smithson Bequeet: sought (1841- 
1642) for agriculture, 316, 317. 

Smithsonian Institution ; relation 
of Cabinet to, 403-404. 

Smyth, Frederick: 842. 

Solicitor-General of the 17. S. 
(1870): creation at, snd fnne- 
tiooe, 190-191. See Attorney- 
General, mpra. 

South: opposed national navy, 199, 
208; O. Morris favora navy on 
behalf of, 206; comparison 
(1850) of, with North, 315. 

Southard, Samuel L.: remarks 
(1834) on W. Wirt, 170-171; re- 


appoinbnent (1826) to Navy 
BepBrtment, 237, 245; eonvajs 
to J. Q. AdAma mmor of Me- 
Lean's appouitnient to 8npi«iM 
CoDTt (1829), 245; view of, as 
to Home Deportment <1826), 

South Oarolina: attitude of, toward 
Navy Department plan, 214, 219. 

Spain: threatened war (17B0) with 
Great Britain, 120; influence on 
administration of war with, in 
1S9S, 355. 

Speed, John (1542-1629) : cited <m 
earlj usage of "cabinet," 15. 

Speed, Joahua: 198. 

Spencer, Bobert. See Sunderland, 

Bpotiwood, Alexander: wTit«e to 
Board of Trade (1718), 22B; 
deputy Poatmaater-Oeueral (1730 
ff.), 226. 

Stanley, Lord, of Alderley: 262. 

Stanton, Edwin M. : 381. 

State, Department and Secretary- 
ahip of: organization (17SEI) of, 
47, 100, 255, 372; in Q. UoniB's 
adviBory council (1787), 76j in 
French council planned by Q. 
MoTTii, 84, note<s; precedence 
of, 144 ; influence in determining 
■neceesion to Preeidency, 144- 
145, 192; Patent Office in rela- 
tion to, 173, 257, 273, 309 ff.; 
laW-officor for, 189, 190; impor- 
tance of, in national adminiatra- 
tion, S29; Jeffereon's view of 
poatal afFairs with reference to, 
234; P. Webster's plan (17SS) 
for, 254; inclusion of domestic 
affairs, 255, 289; mint in rela- 
tion to, 256, note n ; bnrdene on, 
266 ff., 272; projects to relieve 
the, 25S ff.; B. J. Walker's views 

regarding the, 277-278; agrienl- 
tore in relation to, 308; rdieved 
of sundry burdens, 346, 350, 
S65; relation of, to trade and 
CCMumerce, 350; Bureau of For- * 
eign Commerce taken (1903) 
from, 365; included in original 
ideal of American secretariat, 
370 ff. See Foreign Affairs; alto 
Home Department and Secretary- 
ship of the, lupra. 

Stale Papers, CaJendara of: cit«d, 
15, note i>, 18; comment on, 44. 

State BepoTts: 198. 

Statistics, Bureau of: 366-366. 

Stephens, Alexander H.: in 17. 8. 
Agricultural Socioty, 342. 

Stoddert, Benjamin : appointment 
of, as Secretary of the Navy 
(1798-1601) and reflections on, 

Strike Commission: 364. 

Strikes: Southwestern (1886), 353; 
Anthracite Coal Miners' (1902), 
355, 3eO, 364. 

Stuart, Alexander H. H.: remarks 
on title ' ' Home Departmoit, ' ' 
261, 290; member of TJ. 8. Agri- 
cultural Soeie^, 319. 

Stuart, Jamea: comments on Cabi- 
net, 152-163, 

Stnbbs, Bishop: view as to King 'a 
Council, 10. 

Solly, Due de: 65. 

Sunmor, Prof eesor W. G. : on Bevo- 
lutionary flnancas, 64. 

Sunderland, Second Earl of (Bob- 
ert Spencer), influence on cabinet 
government, 24. 

Superintendent of Finance (17S1- 
1764): B. Morris's appointmeot 
as, 53, 54; resignation of Morris 
BS, 55 ; French origin of title, 5S, 
note ». 



SaperinMudent of Indian Aflain: 
in governor '■ eotmeil, 81. 

Supreme Comt »f the 17. S. : judges 
of, decline to Bdviae President, 
J2g-]£P; use of term "cabinet" 
(1808) by, 15B; declines (ISH) 
to pass judgment on eonetitn- 
tione] qneation of presidential 
power of removkl, 881, note ". 
See Chief -Jnetice, Jupro. 

SnrveyoT-Oeneral of Customs: in 
governor's eouueil, 81. 

Swift, Jonathao (1667-1745) : cited 
on usage of "cabinet," IS. 

TAFT, WILLIAM H. (1909- 

....): practice as to written 

opinions, 383-384. 
Taney, Soger B. • 237, 

1850) ; appointmeDt of T. Ewing 

(1849), 285; takes office, 286; 

recommendation of Bureau of 

Agriculture, 313-314, 330. 
Teieyropk, V. S.: S44, 247, 248. 
Temple, Sir William: scheme of 

1679, S2, 45. 
Tenvre of Office Act (1867), 381, 

note", 382. 
Territorial Expansion : conuueute 

on, 172, 253, 274, 286, 290-291, 

2S3, 294, 305, 315, 355. 
TerritOTial Govemora of the Olv 

JVortkuiMt, by D, O. McCarty: 

cited, 289. 
Texas: 274, 275, 279, 291. 
Thayer, Professor James B.: 

quoted, 128-129. 
Thompson, Jacob: at meetings of 

U. 8. Agricultural Society, 319; 

plans to establish (1859) Bureau 

of Agriculture, 322. 
Tilden, Samuel J.: defends Jack- 

son's conception of Treaenry 
Department (1834), 103. 

Tilghmu, Tench: 380, 342. 

Todd, Alpbeus: eatimate of his On 
Parliamentary Oovervwttnt (1867- 
1869), 39 ff., 42, 45. 

Toueey, Isaac: 177, 320. 

Trade, National Board of: SB2, 

Tranaportation : comments on, SOS, 
321, 850; evil of rebates in, 863. 

Travellers' comments: 160 ff. 

Treasurer of Colony: in governor '• 
council, 81. 

Treasurer of U. S.; appointment 
of, 108. 

Treasury, Department and Seere- 
taryship of the: organiisd 
(1789), 47, 100, 372; included in 
C. Pinckney's Cabinet Council 
(1787), 91; was it an "exeeu- 
tive department"! lOOfl., 372- 
373, 381-382; poeaible explana- 
tion of peenliaiities of, 101-102; 
Jefferson's allusion (1792) to, 
102; efforts (1836ir.) to have 
Congress appoint heed, 104; B. 
Moiris auggeetod (1789) for, 
112-113; Hamilton's appoint- 
ment to, 11&-114, 118; importance 
of, to national government, 229 ; 
early theory of Poet-OfBoe in 
relation to, 234-23S; burden of 
Post-Office on the, 239; in rela- 
tion to public lands, 273, 277 ff., 
279, 284; R. J. Walker's plan of 
relieving (1846), 276 fC.; relief 
provided for, 285 IT., 290-291, 846, 
350, 361, 365; regulation of trade 
and commerce by, 360. 8m 
Finance, Finances, supra; Treas- 
Hury, Solicitor of; Treasury 
Board, infra. 

Treasury, Solicitor of the; eom- 


TreainTj Board ; orgsniifttiou 
(1785) of, SS, 100, 112; pei- 
aoDn«l of, 118; winds np Bevo- 
lutionarj naval bnsmest, 202 ; 
disbaDdmait of, 230. 

Trollopa, Mra. Pr&ucM M. : imprefl- 
■iona of Jaeksoa'a Cabinet, 154. 

Tmzton, Captain Thomaa: 211. 

TTLEB, JOHN (1841-J845): 
□sage of "cabinet" bj, 109; 
appointment of HcLean (1S41), 
237; addraeaM U. 8. Agiiealtaral 
Society, 320; Buggestion of 
troubles in Cabinet of, 393. 

United Statti (frigate) : 208, 212. 
United States AgricultnTal Society. 

See Agricnlttual Societies, tvpra. 
United States vb. Kendall (1837) : 

cited, 231, note", 373, note"; 

qnotation from, 380, note ". 

VAN BtlBEN, MAETIN {1837- 
1841): Secretary of State under 
Jackson, 242; intimacy of, aa 
Vice-President witli Preaident 
Jackson, 387, note*. 

Vane, Sir Henry: "of the Cabi' 
net" (1630), IS, note i>. 

Van BeuBMlaer, Oeneral Solomon: 
appointment of , diseuaaed (1822) 
in cabinet aession, 243. 

Vamum, Judge Joseph M,; appro- 
val of Enoi as Secretary at 
War, 114, note». 

Vergennee, Coant de: 57. 

Veto of President. See Council of 
Be vision, tupra. 

Vice-President : written opinion 
(ITBO) of, 121; at cabinet ses- 
sion (1791), 123-124, 384; urged 

(]7e7) to take part in cabinet 
eonanltationa, 124-125, 188, 3S4- 
385; Judge Woodward's views 
regarding, 143 ff., 385; ofBee of, 
calls for no special talent, 145; 
salary (1907) of, 157 (5m Table 
A, Appendix, 396) ; soeeeasion of, 
IBl ff. ; reflections on relation of, 
to Cabinet, 384 9.; anomaloua 
position of, 387; compared with 
Speaker of H. of B., 387; three 
famous intimsciee in oSee of, 
387, note *" ; not a constitutional 
adviser, 389. 

Victoria, Queen (1837-1001): Pwt- 
master-Qeneralsliip during reign 
of, 261-252. 

Vining, John: n rpre sse e ideal of 
sasistsnt functions of priueipal 
officers, 47; urges (1789) Home 
Department, 100, £55; on com- 
mittee to arrange departments, 
109 ; on danger of allowing 
Pr«eident to eatabliali poBt-offieea, 

Vinton, Hon. Samuel V.: introdueee 
bill for Interior Department 
(1849), 279-280. 

Virginia; Attorneys-General in, 
before 1650, 106-107; reaidence 
requirement in, 1 07 ; laws of, 
revised by B. Randolph, 114; T. 
Jefferson governor of, 117; E. 
Randolph's return to, 118; objec- 
tions in, to British postal regnla- 
tions, 225. 

"Virginia Influence": Qnine^^ 
remarks (1SI3) on, 148-14S. 

Wadsworth, Jeremiah: 109. 

Walker, Robert J.: Secretary of 
the Treasury (1845-1849), sketch 
of career of, 275-276; plan for 
Interior Department (1848), 277- 

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279; eotiinste of, 287; member 
of AgricultnTsl Soeietj of U. S. 
(IMl-1842), 316. 

Wslpole, Sir Bobert: iaflaenee of 
on eabinet goveiniiMnt, 2S. 

Walpole, Sir Spencer: revialon of 
Todd Ok Parliamentary Qovern- 
metit, 40, note *■. 

War, Board of: roggeatioii (1817) 
for, 864, note ". 

Wbt, Departmtuit &ud Becietory- 
■hip of : preliminaij inggeBtioni 
for ertablichment of, 75, 76, 64, 
note4*,91; ertablishment (1789) 
of, 47, 100, 206, note", 372; 
Knox'e appointment to, 113 ff.; 
qoaliAcationa of he&d of, 148; in 
clMTga of naval bnaineae (1760- 
1798), 206ff.; propo«al of eom- 
mioaioDer of marine imder, SIS; 
MeHenrj wialNa ■eparation of 
miTal afFain under, 218; bnr- 
dena of, 160-161, 214, 257 ff., 
271, 278; McLean 'b appointment 
(1841) to, 237; relation of, to 
Patents, 310. 

War, a^ateUrj at (1781-1789): 
S4, 5S, 108, llS-lli; origin of 
title of, 5S. 

War Department, Solicitor of the: 

War of 1S12: adminiatTative bnr- 
deni dne to, 160-161, 259; proba- 
ble interference of, with project 
for Home Department (1812), 
2SB; effect of, on commerce and 
agricnltnre, 307, 316. 

Waring, Qeorge E., Jr.; 320. 

1797): creates conneil of asaiat- 
anta, 6-7, paitin, 118 ff., 136, 
141, 869, 382; ideal of, as to 
principal offleera, 47; aaggeation 
of, aa King, SI; favorod aingle 


S3, 201; Madiaon'a 
t (1787) to, regarding ad- 
miniatTative ofSeera, 6S; Bngliik 
correspondent (1787) recom- 
mends Cabinet Council to, B8, 
note ■■ ; reckons Attome7-Qen- 
oral a cabinet anociate, lOB-106, 
leO, 181, note ** ; probable 
Preudent (1787), 110; elected 
and inangnrated, 110, 292; prin- 
ciples of, in appoiatments, 110- 
111; regard of, for dainu of 
fiieudahip. 111 ; appointments 
of, aa assistants, 113 ff., 370; 
Madison's inflnence over, 114, 
116-117, 296; affecUon for E. 
Bandolpb, 115; friendship of, 
with Jay, 115, 116; forwards 
Constitntion (1787) to Jefferson, 
116; refnasl of, to accept Ban- 
dolph'B resignation (1790), 118; 
probl«ma of Preeidene; of, 119; 
views of, regarding principal 
officers, llB-120; takes opinions 
in writing, lSO-121, 382, 384; 
advises with Senate, 120-121; 
tour of, in Sonth, 123; requests 
meeting (1791) of principal offi- 
cers, 123-124, 141; cabinet meet- 
ings at lionse of, 126-128; desire 
of, to Mtablish sound precedente, 
125 ff. ; Supreme Conrt declines 
to advise, 128-129; skill of, in 
liolding Cabinet together, 180; 
alleged offer of Treasury by, to 
B. HorriB, 131-132; favor* build- 
ing national navy, 208; quota- 
tion from last annual m o w age 
of, regarding navy, 209-210; ^- 
pointment of captains (1794) 
by, 210-211; in accord with J. 
Adama on need of navy, 911; 
appreciation of larger aspeete of 
naval problems by, 218; appoints 

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8. Osgood to PoBt-Office (1788), 
S28, 280; urges adeqiuto legal 
provtaioiia for Poat-OfBce, 230; 
annexea Poat-Offles to Treuurj, 
&34; Jefferson *■ idea of domes- 
tic bueineM in 8tat« Depart- 
ment convened to, 266-E66 ; 
placM Mint in State Depsrtmeat, 
2Sfl, i)jite » ; interest of, in 
fanniagf, 294; eorreapondeace of , 
with Piillaiti, 2S5-£Se; influence 
of Sir J. Sinclair over, S&S tt. ; 
proposed retirvnent of, from 
Praaidency, 300; preparation hj, 
of last aanual meeeago, 300-302; 
reflactioiiB of, and commentB on 
ideal of Board of Agriculture, 
306, 307, 313, 339, 342. 

Waghington, Martha: 13]. 

Watson, Elkanali: founder of Berk' 
shire Agricultural Society, 304; 
exertion of, for state board of 
agriculture in N. Y., 30e, note 
"; plana National Board of 
Agriculture (1816), 307-308. 

Wealth ; leflectiona on development 
of, 172, 816, 321, 334, 353. 

Webster, Daniel: aid of, in re- 
organ isation of Attomej-Oen- 
eral's Office (1830), 174; ap- 
proval of private practice of 
Attomej-QeneraJ, 174; on s 
geetion for Home Department 
(1830), 174, 273; approves ci 
tion (1830) of Solicitor of the 
Treasury, 174-17S; comments by, 
on Jackson's flrat Cabinet, 244; 
beginning (163.^) of interest of, 
in project of Home Department, 
270; visit of, to President J. Q. 
Adams, 270 ; comments on his 
letter (1826) to Secretariea, 
271; work of, for Interior De- 
partment (1849), 281, £83-234, 

280, 287; attends meeting 
(1852) of U. S. Agrienltnnl 
Society, 319. 

Webster, Noah: urges (1785) 
aingle national eieentive, 51-32. 

Webster, Pelatiah: proposal 
(1783) for altering continental 
form of government, 61 ff.; plan 
of, for council of state, 62, 369; 
reflections on plan of, and esti- 
mate of its importance, 62-03; 
ideal of appointing power, 62, 
72, S6 ; comparison of plan of, 
with O. Morris's, 63; law-officer 
in council of, 107; raeomniends 
Secretary of State (for internal 
affairs), 253 254; idea of, re- 
garding a National Chambw of 
Commerce, 348 -3 GO, pataim. 

Wedderburn, Alexander: attack of, 
on B. Franklin, 226. 

Welles, Gideon. See Diary, tttpra. 

West, Alanson H.; 388, note«i. 

Wast, r 224. i 

West, Bichard: 133. 

Wharton, Francis: contribution to i 
history of admin iatrative devel- 
opment (1775-1789), 64; use of I 
"constructive," 201, note*. | 

Whig Convention (1848): 236. 

Wilder, Marshall P.: relations of, 
to n. S. Agrienltaral Society, ' 
31Sff.; voieea "Calvert view," 
favoring Department of Agri- , 
culture, 325; prediction by, of 
Department of Agriculture, 325- | 
320; resolution of congratulation I 
(1881) sent to, 342. 

William III and Mary (1689- | 
1702): arrangement of cabinet 
mechanism in proeees of forma- 
tion under, 23 ff.; Hallam on 
reign of, 37; Maeaulay on rtiga 

Dcinzeaoy Google 

of, 38; policy ot, m to colonial 
in>tt«ra, 225. 

"WillianiB, George H.: 198. 

"Wiboii, Junes: theorj of executive 
fevored (1787) hj, 67; favora 
council of Toviiion, 69; Reea 
force in Maaon'e view of conncn 
of appointment, Tl; regaidH 
principal officers aa St to give 
advice, 87. 

WilBOD, William L. : on American 
PoBt-Office, 239, Bote s". 

Winthrop, Bobert C: 320. 

Wirt, William: refonnB Attomey- 
Qeneral'a Office, 160; acceptance 
of Attorney -Oeneralsliip, 168 j 
letter of, to Jadge NeJeon quoted 
and analjied, 166-169; eetimate 
of work of, 109-172; comparison 
□f, with C. Cnahing, 179; re- 
appointed by J. Q. Adams 
(182S), 237; candidate of, for 
Prceideucy (JS30), 238; com- 
pariBon of, with J. Mcliean, 239; 
ignored (18E6) in plan of Home 
Department, 271. 

Wolcott, Oliver: 187, 216. 

Woodward, Augustus Brevoort: 
Contiderations (1809) of, quoted, 
142 ff.; analysia of thought of, 
with comments, 142-146; Fresi- 
deiuty (1825) of, quoted with 
conunenti, 146-147; eetimate of, 
142, 143, 266-267, not««>, 288- 
289, 379, 385; plan bj, for execu- 
tive directory, 14S; possible ang- 
gsstion of, for admin iatrative re- 
organilation (1817), 264, note 
", 265. 

Wright, Hon. Carroll D.: 354. 

Wright, Francea: conunents of, on 
English and American aecre- 
tariat, in her Viewt of Society, 
151-152; death of, 152, note". 

Wright, Sitae: declines Vice-Presi- 
dency (1844), 388, note«>. 

Written Opinions. See Opinions in 
writing, fupro. 

Yonge, Walter: cited on early 
ueage of "cabinet," IS, note". 

Young, Arthur: quoted on plan of 
British Board of Agriculture 
(1763 fr.) 297. 


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