« PreviousContinue »
Bureau of Indexes and Archives of the Department of State, and which contained the full text of all the treaties and conventions that had been proclaimed up to January, 1889.
The present compilation contains, in a form adapted for convenient reference, the treaties, conventions, international acts, and other diplomatic agreements with foreign nations to which the United States is a party, that are in force at the time of going to press. Treaties that have expired by limitations contained in the text of the instrument, those that have been executed in pursuance of their provisions, those that have been abrogated or annulled by the contracting parties, and others that have ceased to be operative from various causes, have been omitted. There have been inserted however, a number of protocols, notes of exchange of ratifications, Senate resolutions advising and consenting to the ratifications, and other papers which, while not strictly of the character of treaties, seem to be necessary to explain the construction of their provisions in particular cases, or indicate their fulfillment. Before each engagement there is an historical statement of the action taken to effect its completion, and a succinct summary of the provisions embraced therein, arranged by the several articles. This latter is intended to supersede the marginal notes given in the former collections, and from it at a glance may be obtained the location of the various matters contained in the text.
The treaties that have become obsolete appear in chronological order of their conclusion, under the different countries, with a brief note of their effect, the dates of the various stages of action upon them up to the proclamation, a statement of the causes of their termination, the results of the various claims commissions, and where certain articles are revived by subsequent agreements their text is reprinted, with a synopsis of those that are omitted. The chronological list which it is directed shall be prepared has been arranged in the order of the negotiation of the different agreements, and, in order to indicate the time of their taking effect, the date of the President's proclamation is also given. For historical reference there is given also a table of the terms of office of the various Presidents and of the Secretaries of State.
In the preparation of this document the compiler acknowledges the kind assistance of the officials of the Department of State, and especially of Mr. Frederick Van Dyne, the assistant to the Solicitor of the State Department, who prepared the references to the Federal cases bearing on the treaties. Recourse has been had to the History and Digest of International Arbitrations of which the United States has been a Party, by Hon. John Bassett Moore, for the statements in reference to the results of the claims commissions and agreements. The compiler is also indebted for valuable assistance and suggestions in the arrangement of the volume to the force of the Government Printing Office.
HENRY L. BRYAN.
Washington City, April 11, 1899.
SECRETARIES OF STATE.
In the "Notes upon the foreign treaties of the United States," prepared by Hon. J. C. Bancroft Davis, and republished in the volume of Treaties and Conventions concluded between the United States and other Powers, Senate Executive Document No. 47, Forty-eighth Congress, second session, is given, in concise form, the history of the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States up to the time of the establishment of the Department of State. From these notes the following statement has been gathered:
On the 29th of November, 1775, Congress appointed a "Committee of Secret Correspondence," whose duty it would be to correspond with the friends of the colonies in other parts of the world. From the date of the appointment of this committee until the autumn of 1781, the management of the foreign affairs of the country was in the hands of committees of Congress. Robert R. Livingston, of New York, was then appointed "their Secretary of Foreign Affairs," and took the oath of office on the 20th of October, 1781. Livingston resigned in June, 1783, and Elias Boudinot, the President of Congress, acted officially as Secretary in the interim.
General Thomas Mifflin was chosen President of Congress on the 3d of November, 1783, at the beginning of a new Congress, and as such succeeded to Boudinot as ad interim Secretary. John Jay was elected Secretary May 24, 1784, but did not qualify until December 21, 1784, and he remained the Secretary of Foreign Affairs until the adoption of the Federal Constitution. On September 15, 1789, the President approved "An act to provide for the safe-keeping of the acts, records, and seal of the United States, and for other purposes," in the first section of which it was provided "that the Executive Department denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs shall hereafter be denominated the Department of State, and the principal officer therein shall be called the Secretary of State." Jefferson was appointed Secretary of State September 26, 1789, but did not enter upon the duties of his office until March 21, 1790. Jay, notwithstanding he had been selected to be Chief Justice, continued to fill the office of Secretary until Jefferson entered upon its duties, although never commissioned as such under the new government.
The following list contains the names of the different Secretaries, the Presidents by whom appointed, and the dates of their respective commissions: