Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

came the medium of small exchange. From this General Spinner got his idea of fractional currency, and went before Congress with it which body readily adopted it by an act July 17, 1862, authorizing it to be used as currency in sums of less than five dollars.

Postal Service. The first mention of a postal seryice in the United States is that of the General Court of Massachusetts in 1639: “It is ordered that notice be given that Richard Fairbanks, his house in Boston is the place appointed for all letters which are brought from beyond the seas, or are to be sent thither to be left with him, and he is to take care that they are to be delivered or sent according to the direction. And he is allowed for every letter a penny, and must answer all miscarriages through his own neglect in this kind.”

Postmaster - General. (See Post-Office Department.)

Post-Office Department is one of the executive departments of the government. It was established by Act of May 8, 1794. The Postmaster-General, who is at its head, is a member of the President's Cabinet, by virtue of a custom that originated in the time of Andrew Jackson. His salary is $8,000 per annum. He is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The department has charge of the transmission of mail matter, the preparation of stamps and postal cards, the issue of money orders and postal notes, the establishment and discontinuance of post-offices, and the appointment of postmasters whose salaries are $1,000 or under; of these there were 61,387, June 30, 1891. During the fiscal year of 1891 the revenue of the department was $65,931,786, and its expenditures $71,662,463. In the transaction of this business the PostmasterGeneral is assisted by

SALARY. First Assistant..... .............................. ..............04.09

.$4,000 Second Assistapt... ................................... 4,000

4.000 Third Assistant....

4,000 Fourth Assistant................................................. 4,0w Superintendent of Foreign Mails................................. 8,0 Superintendent of Money Orders................................

The following is a complete list of all the Postmasters General:

NOT MEMBERS OF THE CABINET.

NAME.

STATE.

YEARS.

Samuel Osgood...............

Massachusetts..... Timothy Pickering..

Pennsylvania..... Joseph Habersham .

Georgia:: :: Gideon Granger....

Connecticut...... Return J. Meigs, Jr.

Ohio. ...... John McLean............

Ohio. ...........

[ocr errors]

MEMBERS OF THE CABINET.

NAME.

STATE.

YEARS.

William T. Barry .......... Kentucky.........
Amos Kendall...

Kentucky...
John M. Niles......

Connecticut Francis Granger......

New York... Charles A. Wickliffe

Kentucky.. Cave Johnson.........

Tennessee .... Jacob Collamer..

Vermont.. Nathan K. Hall. ..

New York ..... Samuel D. Hubbard..

Connecticut.... James Campbell..

Pennsylvania... Aaron V. Brown.....

Tennessee.... Joseph Holt ....

Kentucky....... Horatio King.....

Maine.........
Montgomery Blair.

Maryland..
William Dennison.....
Alexander W. Randall. Wisconsin...
John A. J. Creswell.

Maryland..
Marshall Jewell.

Connecticut James M. Tyner .....

Indiana..... David McK. Key...

Tennessee .... Horace Maynard....

Tennessee.... Thomas L. James.....

New York. Timothy O. Howe..

Wisconsin.. Walter Q. Gresham .....

Indiana........ Frank Hatton.........

Iowa......... William F. Vilas.....

Wisconsin....... D. M. Dickinson .....

Michigan.......... John Wanamaker .......... Pennsylvania.........

Ohio........

1829-1835. 1835-1840. 1840-1841. 1841-1841. 1841-1845. 1845-1849. 1849_1850. 1850-1852. 1852–1853. 1853–1857. 1857–1859. 1859-1861, 1861-1861. 1861–1864. 1864-1866. 1866-1869. 1869–1874. 1874–1876. 1876-1877. 1877-1880. 1880-1881. 1881-1881. 1881-1883. 1883–1884. 1884–1885. 1885-1887. 1887-1889 1889

President by Three Votes.—John Adams was so called, he having seventy-one electoral votes to sixtyeight for Jefferson.

Presidential Bee.—When a man has presidential aspirations and allows his public acts to be influenced by his desire to draw votes, his action is frequently ascribed to his having the presidential bee in his bonnet. The reference is probably to a certain uneasiness in the deportment of an individual under both circumstances.

Presidential Fever.—When a man is thought to be very anxious to become President, his acts are frequently explained on the theory that he has the presidential fever, as it is called, meaning thereby that his aspirations and his consequent desire to become popular have rendered his public acts abnormal, just as fever does the physical system.

Presidential Flag. (See Flag, Presidential.)

Presidential Succession.—The Constitution, Article 2, section 1, provides that “in case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation or inability to discharge ... the duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President," the power to provide for further contingencies being left with Congress. This Congress did by means of the Act of March 1, 1792. In cases of death, of removal by impeachment, or of resignation no difficulties are met with, but the power to declare the “inability” of the President in cases where the same is not on the surface, as in insanity, is lodged nowhere. In such a case the Vice-President would probably take it upon himself to act as President, and the Supreme Court would be the final judge of the validity of his acts. The law of 1792 declares that in case of inability of the Vice-President the office devolves on the president pro tempore of the Senate, and after him on the Speaker of the House, until a new election can be ordered. It also provided that the Secretary of State should notify the Executives of the States of any vacancy in the Executive office by reason of failure on the part of the Vice-President, and if at that date there be still two months intervening before the first Wednesday in December (the day on which the electors vote), then an election for President shall be ordered to be held within thirty-four days preceding the latter day. If the intervening time be less than two months, and the current presidential term expire on the 4th of March following, then no election for tho unexpired term takes place; but if the time be less than two months, and the term does not so expire, then a new election shall be ordered for the following year. The Twelfth Amendment provides that in cases in which the House has not exercised its right of choosing a President (when the choice falls to it) by March 4th following, the Vice-President shall act as President; but fails to provide for a contingency where neither President nor Vice-President is selected, and where no President pro tempore of the Senate has been chosen. The assassination of Garfield at a time when the House was not organized and while there was no President pro tempore of the Senate, led to agitation of the subject, and in 1883 a bill was introduced into the Senate to regulate this matter, but it was not considered by the House. In December, 1685, substantially the same bill was again introduced and this time passed. It was approved January 19, 1886. Its provisions are as follows: In case of inability on the part of both President and Vice-President, the Executive office falls to the Cabinet officers in the following order, provided the officer on whom it devolves has been confirmed by the Senate, and is by birth and otherwise qualified to hold the office: The Secretaries of State, of the Treasury, of War, the Attorney-General, the Postmaster-General, the Secretaries of the Navy, of the Interior. The officer thus selected serves out the unexpired term.

President Pro Tempore of the Senate. (See Vice-President of the United States.)

Presidents, Coincidence in the Ages of.—John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, each of them, except John Adams, was in his fifty-eighth year when inaugurated, as was also Washington. Each, except John Quincy Adams, closed his term in his sixty-sixth year. Each was, therefore, eight years older than his successor.

President of the United States. For the powers of the President, see Executive. Below is a list of the Presidents of the United States:

NAME.

STATE.

TERM.

[blocks in formation]

George Washington..........
* John Adams....
+ Thomas Jefferson...
+ James Madison..........
+ James Monroe .........
#John Quincy Adams...
& Andrew Jackson....
Martin Van Buren.....
William Henry Harriso
| John Tyler..
Ŝ James Knox Polk.
I Zachary Taylor .....
I Millard Fillmore ...
8 Franklin Pierce.....
& James Buchanan.....
(Abraham Lincoln.

Andrew Johnson.....
Í Ulysses Simpson Grant.
[Rutherford Birchard Hayes.
James Abram Garfield.
Chester Alan Arthur.....
Grover Cleveland.......
Benjamin Harrison....

Virginia.....
Tennessee.....
Louisiana.....
New York.....
New Hamps're
Pennsylvania.
Illinois.
Tennessee....
Illinois.
Ohio........
Ohio.
New York...
New York....
Indiana ...

April 30, 1789-1797 March 4, 1797–1801 March 4, 1801-1809 March 4, 1809–1817 March 4, 1817–1823 March 4, 1825—1829 March 4, 1829–1837 March 4, 1837-1841 March 4, 1841-1841 April 6, 1841-1845 March 4, 1845-1849 March 4, 1849—1850 July 10, 1850—1853 March 4, 1853–1857 March 4, 1857-1861 March 4, 1861–1865 April 15, 1865—1869 March 4, 1869–1877 March 4, 1877—1881 March 4, 1881-1881 Sept. 20, 1881–1885 March 4. 1885-1889 March 4, 1889—

Langraham chance

* Federalist.
+ Republican (Democratic).

# Coalition.
Democrat.

! Whig.
i Republican.

Presidents de Facto and de Jure. The presidential election of 1876 was practically decided by the Electoral Commission. Many of the adherents of Samuel J. Tilden, the defeated nominee, asserted that his defeat was the result of fraud, and to emphasize this belief they persisted in speaking of him as President de jure (by right) and of Rutherford B. Hayes, the successful candidate, as President de facto (actual President as distinguished from rightful President).

President's Message.—Article 2, section 3 of the Constitution declares that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." This section has led to the annual messages

« ForrigeFortsett »