A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents

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excerpt from the book..This volume comprises the papers of Benjamin Harrison and of GroverCleveland (second term). The events of these two Administrations ofeight years, though highly interesting, coming as they do down to March4, 1897, are so recent and fresh in the public mind that I need notcomment on them.This volume is the last of the series, except the Appendix and Indexvolume. The work of compiling was begun by me in April, 1895, just afterthe expiration of the Fifty-third Congress. I then anticipated thatI could complete the work easily within a year. Though I have given myentire time to the undertaking when not engaged in my official duties asa Representative, instead of completing it within the time mentioned ithas occupied me for nearly four years. The labor has been far greaterthan the Joint Committee on Printing or I supposed it would be. I hadno idea of the difficulties to overcome in obtaining the Presidentialpapers, especially the proclamations and Executive orders. In thePrefatory Note to Volume I, I said: "I have sought to bring togetherin the several volumes of the series all Presidential proclamations,addresses, messages, and communications to Congress excepting thosenominating persons to office and those which simply transmit treaties,and reports of heads of Departments which contain no recommendationfrom the Executive." But after the appearance of Volume I, and whilepreparing the contents of Volume II, I became convinced that I had madea mistake and that the work to be exhaustive should comprise everymessage of the Presidents transmitting reports of heads of Departmentsand other communications, no matter how brief or unintelligible thepapers were in themselves, and that to make them intelligible I shouldinsert editorial footnotes explaining them. Having acted upon the otheridea in making up Volume I and a portion of Volume II, quite a number ofsuch brief papers were intentionally omitted. Being convinced that allthe papers of the Executives should be inserted, the plan was modifiedaccordingly, and the endeavor was thereafter made to publish all ofthem. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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