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lution, whether disabled or not. Abuses at once began to be apparent, and many persons received money who were not entitled to it. From that time till the period of the Civil War, the general rule in the many successive pension acts that were passed was to extend the government's bounty. Since 1862 the pension laws have been more numerous and generous than ever, especially for the last few years, when a surplus in the national treasury has made Congress liberal in the extreme. One of the most conspicuous of these laws was the “Arrears of Pensions Act,” approved by President Hayes on January 25, 1879. It provided for the payment of pensions from the date of discharge or disability, and not from the date of application, as previous laws had provided in case the claim was not made within a certain time. The political parties seem of late years to be afraid of alienating the votes of soldiers if they refuse to pass the most extravagant laws. This particular bill was a measure rushed through by the claim agents almost without debate, and has given rise to countless abuses. Widows (till remarriage of soldiers or sailors who have died of wounds contracted in the line of duty in the United States service, children under sixteen, and mothers, and sisters under sixteen, who were dependent on the deceased, are entitled to a pension in the above order of priority. Only one full pension is allowed, and if it goes to children or to sisters, it is equally divided between them. It is impossible to enumerate all the causes for which pensions are granted, or the circumstances under which they are allowed. The United States is probably the most liberal nation in the world in this respect. The Forty-ninth Congress passed a multitude of private pension bills, most of which were vetoed by President Cleveland, and only one of which was passed over his veto. The amount paid by the gov. ernment in pensions in 1791 was $175,813.88. The smallest amount paid in one year was $62,902.10, in 1803; the largest was $118,548,959.71, in 1891. The largest amount paid up to the Civil War was $4,589,132.40, in 1833. The following table shows the number
of pensioners on the roll, and the disbursements on account of pensions since 1861 :
FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30.
1861. 1862. 1863. 1864. 1865. 1866. 1867. 1868. 1869. 1870 1871. 1872. 1873. 1874.. 1875. 1876 1877. 1878... 1879 1880, 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887. 1888. 1889 1890. 1891.
8,636 8,159 14,791 51,135 85,986 126,722 153,183 169,643 187,693 198,686 207,495 232,229 238,411 236,241 234,821 232,137 232,104 223,998 242,755 250, 802 268,830 285,697 303,658 322,756 345,125 365,783 406,007 452,557 489,725 537,944 676,160
$ 1,072,461 55
790,384 76 1,025,139 91 4,504,616 92 8,525, 153 11 13,459, 996 43 18,619, 956 46 24,010, 981 99 28,422,884 08 27,780,811 81 33,077 383 63 30,169,341 00 29,185,289 62 30,593, 749 56 29,683, 116 63 28,351,599 69 28,580, 157 04 26,844, 415 18 33,780,526 19 57,240,540 14 50,626,538 51 54,296, 280 54 60,431,972 85 57,273,536 74 65,693,706 72 64,584,270 45 74,815,486 85 76,646,146 37 89, 131, 968 44 106,493,890 19
118,548,959 71 $1,274,261,264 07
Pernicious Activity.-On July 14, 1886, President Cleveland directed a circular letters to the heads of departments in the service of the general government, warning them and their subordinates against using "their official positions in attempts to control political movements in their localities." The letter contained the following sentence: “Office-holders are neither disfranchised nor forbidden the exercise of political privileges; but their privileges are not enlarged, nor is their duty to party increased to pernicious activity by office-holding.'
Personal Liberty Laws.-A name given to laws passed by many of the Northern States for the purpose of impeding the operation of “fugitive slave laws.”
'They generally forbade the use of State jails for the purposes of the fugitive slave laws; forbade the State magistrates to act under them; provided counsel for the fugitives, and secured to them trial by jury and the benefit of 'habeas corpus.” The fugitive slave law of 1850 placed its operation entirely in the hands of federal officers. Changes were made in the personal liberty laws to correspond to the increased stringency of the laws of 1850. Most of the Northern States passed acts of this nature, and thus was the Compromise of 1850 met in the North. This was one of the main grievances that at this time so increased Southern bitterness against the North.
Personal Liberty Party. The strict enforcement in New York of laws directed against the sale of liquor on Sundays, caused the formation there of an organization favoring the abolition of such restrictions on the sale of liquor as are deemed to conflict with the liberty of the individual, that is, the total prohibition of its sale on
Sunday. This organization took the name of Personal Liberty Party, and in New York, on October 6, 1887, adopted a platform declaring that laws of the above description have notoriously failed to improve morality while they interfere with the personal liberty of the individual, and citing as people whose habits of life are thus interfered with the German element of our population who are “assiduous, temperate and law abiding people.
Personation is a fraud practiced in elections and consists in voting under different names at the same polling place.
Peruvian Guano Troubles.- In the early part of 1881 Chili had practically brought Peru to her feet in a war which the two countries had been waging against each other. Chili seemed inclined to press for a cession of the southern part of Peru as part of the war indemnity. This region is especially rich in guano deposits which have been found to be very valuable. Claims for discovering these deposits--the two principal ones being known as the Landreau and Cochet Claims—had for many years been pressed on the Peruvian government
without success, though the government had virtually acknowledged their justice. At this time they were owned by Americans, who, fearing that their claims would be hopeless if the territory should be transferred to Chili, sought the aid of our government to prevent Chili from acquiring the territory; it is asserted that the diplomacy of Blaine, Secretary of State at the time, was exerted in favor of this scheme, by reason of which fact he is sometimes referred to as the “guano statesman," and his foreign plans as a “guano policy.” Our Minister to Peru, General Stephen A. Hurlbut, seems to have threatened the displeasure of the United States should Chili insist on the cession. This was unwarranted, even by Blaine's instructions, and of course unjustified by the rules of international comity in a war with which we had nothing to do. When, however, Chili arrested Calderon, the President of that one of the two conflicting governments in Peru which we had recognized, President Arthur in December, 1881, sent a special envoy, William H. Trescott, of South Carolina, accompanied by Walker Blaine, son of the Secretary of State, to the scene of the difficulties. Blaine's instructions to Trescott implied that the administration felt some reason to suppose that Chili had intentionally offended us by the arrest of Calderon, and that we had determined to assume a severer tone with Chili. About this time Frelinghuysen succeeded Blaine. He revoked part of Blaine’s instructions to Trescott and ordered a more pacific course, and Trescott was soon recalled. Chili subsequently secured the coveted territory. It is asserted by some that government officials were interested in the guano claims and secured the following of a policy, so long as Blaine was Secretary, that must soon have plunged us into a war with Chili, had not a more pacific tone been adopted and our interference with Chili been brought to an end.
Pet Banks.-A naine applied to the State banks in which United States funds were deposited by President Jackson after he had removed these funds from the United States Bank.
Petition of Right.—The arbitrary course of action of Charles I., of England, led Parliament in 1628 to draw up a "petition of right,” which demanded that the king should not levy taxes without the consent of Parliament, nor try the people by court martial, nor imprison any one without due process of law. Charles agreed to it, and the liberties which had been secured to Englishmen by Magna Charta were thus confirmed and enlarged. The Petition of Right is one of the steps by which English-speaking people secured their protection froin tyrannical acts of the government. (See Magna Charta; Bill of Rights.)
Petition, Right of.—The right of petition is a right antedating the Constitution. It is embodied in Magna Charta, and again in the English Bill of Rights. It was a part of the common law in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. The First Amendment to that instrument created no new right by providing that “Congress shall make no law. abridging
the right of the people peaceably to assemble
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It simply declared an old right, and guarded it from interference on the part of Congress. The power to protect the right was not taken from the States. That power had resided in them, and it was left in their hands. Citizens must look to the State governments for its enforcement. But the right is implied in the idea of a republican government, and is therefore guaranteed by the national government (Constitution, Article 4, section 4). Minnesota, Virginia and West Virginia are the only States whose Constitutions make no mention of the right. A petitioner is not guilty of libel on account of the facts recited in his petition, even if these be false, unless malice is proven. Before December 12, 1853, all petitions to the House of Representatives were presented in the House, and the introduction of petitions relating to the abolition of slavery led to heated debates, and between 1836 and 1844 to rules that practically nullified the right. (See Gay Laws.) On the above date the rules were modified