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RELATING TO THE
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :
I congratulate you on the continued and increasing prosperity of our country. By the favor of Divine Providence we have been blessed, during the past year, with health, with abundant harvests, with profitable employment for all our people, and with contentment at home, and with peace and friendship with other nations. The occurrence of the twentyfourth election of Chief Magistrate has afforded another opportunity to the people of the United States to exhibit to the world a significant example of the peaceful and safe transmission of the power and authority of government from the public servants whose terms of office are about to expire, to their newly chosen successors. This example cannot fail to impress profoundly thoughtful people of other countries with the advantages which republican institutions afford. The immediate, general, and cheerful acquiescence of all good citizens in the result of the election, gives gratifying assurance to our country, and to its friends throughout the world, that a government based on the free consent of an intelligent and patriotic people possesses elements of strength, stability, and permanency not found in any other form of government.
Continued opposition to the full and free enjoyment of the rights of citizenship, conferred upon the colored people by the recent amendments to the Constitution, still prevails in several of the late slave-holding States. It has, perhaps, not been manifested in the recent election to any large extent in acts of violence or intimidation. It has, however, by fraudulent practices in connection with the ballots, with the regulations as to the places and manner of voting, and with counting, returning, and canvassing the votes cast, been successful in defeating the exercise of the right preservative of all rights—the right of suffrage-which the Constitution expressly confers upon our enfranchised citizens.
It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear. They prefer that no section of the country should be united in solid opposition to any other section. The disposition to refuse a prompt and hearty obedience to the equal-rights amendments to the Constitution is all that now stands in the way of a complete obliteration of sectional lines in our political contests. As long as either of these amendments is flagrantly violated