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LIST OF PAPERS AND FOLLOWED BY AN INDEX OF
PERSONS AND SUBJECTS.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :
With devout gratitude to the bountiful Giver of all good, I congrat. ulate you that, at the beginning of your first regular session, you find our country blessed with health and peace and abundant harvests, and with encouraging prospects of an early return of general prosperity.
To complete and make permanent the pacification of the country continues to be, and, until it is fully accomplished, must remain, the most important of all our national interests. The earnest purpose of good citizens generally to unite their efforts in this endeavor is evident. It found decided expression in the resolutions announced in 1876, by the national conventions of the leading political parties of the country. There was a wide-spread apprehension that the momentous results in our progress as a nation, marked by the recent amendments to the Constitution, were in imminent jeopardy; that the good understanding which prompted their adoption, in the interest of a loyal devotion to the general welfare, might prove a barren truce, and that the two sec-, tions of the country, once engaged in civil strife, might be again almost as widely severed and disunited as they were when arrayed in arms against each other.
The course to be pursued, which in my judgment seemed wisest, in the presence of this emergency, was plainly indicated in my inaugural address. It pointed to the time, wbich all our people desire to see, when a genuine love of our whole country, and of all that concerns its true welfare, shall supplant the destructive forces of the mutual animosity of races and of sectional hostility. Opinions have differed widely as to the measures best calculated to secure this great end. This was to be expected. The measures adopted by the administration have been subjected to severe and varied criticism. Any course whatever which might have been entered upon would certainly have encountered distrust and opposition. These measures were, in my judgment, such as were most in harmony with the Constitution and with the genius of our people, and best adapted, under all the circumstances, to attain the end in view. Beneficent results, already apparent, prove that these endeavors are not to be regarded as a mere experiment, and should sustain and encourage us in our efforts. Already, in the brief period which has elapsed, the immediate effectiveness, no less than the justice of the course parsued, is demonstrated, and I have an abiding faith that time will furnish its ample vindication in the minds of the great majority of