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similar Indian confederacies. It was a growth from the common institutions of the Indian family. Underneath these delusive pictures a council of chiefs is revealed, which was the natural and legitimate instrument of government under Indian institutions. No other form of government was possible among them. They had, beside, which was an equally legitimate part of this system, an elective and deposable war-chief (Teuchtli), the power to elect and to depose being held by a fixed constituency ever present, and ready to act when occasion required. The Aztec organization stood plainly before the Spaniards as a confederacy of Indian tribes. Nothing but the grossest perversion of obvious facts could have enabled Spanish writers to fabricate the Aztec monarchy out of a democratic organization.

Without ascertaining the unit of their social system, if organized in gentes, as they probably were, and without gaining any knowledge of the organization that did exist, they boldly invented for the Aztecs a monarchy, with high feudal characteristics, out of the reception of Cortes by their principal warchief, and such other flimsy materials as Montezuma’s dinner. This misconception has stood, through American indolence, quite as long as it deserves to stand.

When we have learned to speak of the American Indians in language adapted to Indian life and Indian institutions, they will become comprehensible. So long as we apply to their social organizations and domestic institutions terms adapted to the organizations and to the institutions of civilized society, we caricature the Indians and deceive ourselves. There was neither a political society, nor a state, nor any civilization in America when it was discovered ; and, excluding the Eskimos, but one race of Indians, the Red Race.

LEWIS H. MORGAN.

1876.]

The Consular System of the United States.

309

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C

ART. III. - THE CONSULAR SYSTEM OF THE UNITED STATES.

For more than sixty years after the organization of the government of the United States, the consular system received very little attention from Congress. Acts were early passed defining the duties of consuls and granting them the necessary powers for the transaction of their business. The appointment of consuls was left to the discretion of the President, unguided and unhampered by legislation, under the general power conferred by the Constitution on him “ by and with the advice and consent of the Senate” to “appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls.” The only consuls for the payment of salaries to whom provision was made by law during the first thirty or forty years of the Republic, were those in the Barbary States, on the north coast of Africa, and this provision was made for reasons connected with our political relations with those piratical powers. Such other consuls as the President saw fit, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint, to reside at whatever place in the world was expressed in the commission, received no salaries, and were paid, if paid at all, for their own services, by commissions or fees, although some small allowances from the treasury were made for expenses. Long after the establishment of salaries for consuls in the Barbary States, provision was made by law for the payment of a moderate salary to the consul at London, and this officer was for a long series of years the only salaried consul of the United States resident in any wholly civilized country. Under this system, it is impossible to deny that there were many consuls, foreign subjects as well as native citizens, who gave excellent service to the United States without compensation. But it is equally true that, especially during the latter part of the period of which we are speaking, to wit, the first sixty years of the government under the Constitution, the meagreness of the emolument at the vast majority of posts caused the office of consul to fall in many instances into the hands of unworthy persons. Meanwhile there grew to be a few places where the consular fees amounted to a large sum, and these of course were the chosen VOL. CXXIII. NO. 251.

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berths of Presidential favorites; not always so worthily bestowed as when President Pierce, in 1853, appointed Nathaniel Hawthorne to be consul at Liverpool, where the fees, then belonging to the consul, were believed to amount to at least $ 20,000 annually. The fees returned to the treasury by the consul at that port in 1873 were $37,530.

As lately as that same year 1853, according to the report then made by the fifth auditor of the treasury, who is charged with the oversight.of consular accounts, there were but ten posts where consuls of the United States received salaries, namely, London ; the three posts in the Barbary States ; that at Alexandria in Egypt (then recently established); two others at Beirut and Smyrna, in the Turkish dominions; and three in China. There were two hundred and fourteen other consuls and commercial agents in the different quarters of the world without salaries, making two hundred and twenty-four persons in the service.

It was not until 1855 that Congress made an attempt to reduce the consular service to a somewhat symmetrical system. A comprehensive act was passed that year, which, however, it was found necessary to repeal, revise, and re-enact in a modified form the next year. It was the aim of this measure, both before and after the revision, to provide fixed salaries for the consuls at all important posts, and to require the return to the treasury of the fees collected at such places. Only the consuls at places where the fees were inconsiderable were to be compensated by the fees. This revised act of 18th August, 1856, has been the basis of the system for the last nineteen years. But gross anomalies, as might have been anticipated, grew up under it. In process of time (partly owing to changes in the laws which will presently be explained) large amounts of fees were collected at places where the amount had formerly been inconsiderable. Instead of promptly withdrawing these places from the schedule of consulates compensated by fees, Congress strove to cope with the difficulty by enactments limiting the amount of fees to be retained by any consul. Meanwhile the authorized allowances for expenses that were obviously necessary were excessively meagre; so that an honest administration of the service was beset with difficulties.

or three years.

Within the last few years, however, under a more watchful supervision by the State Department of the working of the consular service, several important improvements in the system have been brought about by the legislation of Congress, culminating in the year 1874, and the occasion is favorable for a general survey of the establishment, as provided for by existing laws. We are the more inclined to this duty, because at the present session of Congress, the House of Representatives, in the debates upon the bill providing for the diplomatic and consular service for the next financial year (beginning July 1, 1876), and in the passage of the bill in that branch with reduced appropriations under several heads, has manifested a disposition to cancel and undo some of the good work which had been effected by the legislation of the preceding two

The reader will understand that we are confining ourselves to the consular as distinguished from the diplomatic service. We make this distinction, because the two services are essentially different. They are alike in the circumstances that both require the employment of public officers in foreign countries, and both relate to the protection of the interests of the nation and its citizens abroad; but in other respects they have little in common. The attack in the House of Representatives last February was more vigorous upon the diplomatic salaries and appropriations than on those attached to the consular service. The latter, nevertheless, were not spared ; although, as the figures we shall adduce will show, the basis on which the system had been established by previous legislation yields a handsome surplus of fees collected by consuls, and by them actually paid into the treasury, over and above its whole cost to the government.

The consular system of the United States as thus established contemplates the employment at fixed salaries, for the payment of which provision is made in the annual appropriation acts passed by Congress, of seventeen consuls-general and one hundred and sixty-eight consuls. In this enumeration are included among the consuls-general the officer in Egypt, whose official title is “ agent and consul-general,” and the officer at Constantinople, who is “secretary of legation and consul-general,” but not the officers in Hayti and Liberia, each

of whom bears the official title of " minister-resident and consul-general,” and who are considered as belonging to the diplomatic service. The schedule of consuls includes some places where the actual title of the officer is “commercial agent." The duties of a commercial agent are precisely the same as those of a consul, the only difference in the office being this, that a consul requires, besides the appointment from his own government, an exequatur or instrument acknowledging his official position from the government to which he is accredited, while a commercial agent requires no exequatur. The law as it now stands in the Revised Statutes, derived from the act of 1856 (the act of 1855 having been conspicuously imperfect in this respect), is careful, in express terms, not to attempt to fix the grade of the officer whom the President may appoint at any place. Congress holds the purse-strings and makes the appropriations for the salaries; but if the President sees fit to appoint a consul in lieu of a commercial agent at any place, or vice versa, or a consul-general instead of a consul or commercial agent, the salary attached to the post is available for the compensation of the officer thus appointed. The President, moreover, with the advice and consent of the Senate, may appoint a consul-general or consul to serve without a salary at any other place.

The schedule of salaries established by law for consuls-general and consuls, but applying as we have said also to six commercial agents, is the following:

SCHEDULE OF CONSULAR SALARIES ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF Cox

GRESS OF JUNE 11, 1874.

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Consuls General. 4 (London, Paris, Havana, and Rio Janeiro), at $ 6,000 $ 24,000 2 (Calcutta and Shanghai), .

5,000 10,000 1 (Melbourne),

4,500 4,500 3 (Berlin, Kanagawa, and Montreal),

4,000 12,000 1 (agent and consul-general at Cairo, Egypt), 4,000 4,000 4 (Constantinople, Frankfort, Rome and Vienna), 3,000 12,000 2 (Mexico and St. Petersburg), .

2,000 4,000 17

$ 70,500

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