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The Secretary of State.—The Secretary of State has in his charge all business between our own and other governments. He conducts the correspondence with our ministers and other agents in foreign countries, and with the representatives of other countries here. All communications respecting boundary and other treaties are also under the direction of this department, and a special clerk compiles and preserves all statistics relating to our foreign commerce. This department also files all acts and proceedings of Congress, and attends to the publication of the same and their distribution throughout the country.

The Secretary of the Treasury.—This department has charge of all moneys paid into the Treasury of the United States, also of all disbursements, the auditing of accounts, and the collection of revenue. It supervises the mint and coinage of money, and has charge of the coast survey, including the erection and management of lighthouses. The marine hospitals of the government are under its direction, and it controls the regulation and appointments of all custom houses. It also supervises the lifesaving service, and has control of the National Board of Health.

The Secretary of War.-It has in its charge all business growing out of the military affairs of the government, attends to the paying of troops and the furnishing of all army supplies; it supervises the erection of forts, and all work of military engineering. This department has also in charge the publication of official records of the war, an enormous work, which has already taken a number of years. All the Archives captured from, or surrendered by, the Confederate Government are in charge of this

bureau of records. The Military Academy at West Point is under the War Department.

The Secretary of the Navy.-The Navy Department was at first included in the War Department, but in 1798 the two branches of the service were separated. It supervises the building and repairs of all vessels, docks, and wharves, and enlistment and discipline of sailors, together with all supplies needed by them. The Naval Academy at Annapolis is under the Navy Department.

The Secretary of the Interior.—This department has charge of all matters relating to the sale and survey of the public lands; the adjudication and payment of pensions; the treaties with the Indian tribes of the West; the issue of letters patent to inventors, the collection of statistics on the progress of education, the supervision of the accounts of railroads, the investigation of labor troubles, and collection of statistics thereon. The Secretary of the Interior has also charge of the mining interests of the government, of the census of the United States, and of the receiving and arranging of printed journals of Congress, and other books printed and purchased for the use of the government.

The Postmaster-General.—He has the supervision of all the post offices of the country, their names, establishment and discontinuance of postoffices, the modes of carrying the mail, the issue of stamps, the receipt of the revenue of the office, and all other matters connected with the management and transportation of the mails. The duties of the head of this department have now a scope that would amaze the ghost of the first official appointed, could he be permitted to re-visit the scenes of his earthly labors.

The Attorney-General.--The Attorney-General is required

to act as attorney for the United States in all suits in the Supreme Court; he is also the legal adviser of the President and the heads of departments, and of the Solicitor of the Treasury. He is further charged with the superintendence of all United States district attorneys and marshals, with the examination of all applications to the President for pardons, and with the transfer of all land purchased by the United States for government buildings, etc. The name “ Department of Justice," by which this division of the Cabinet is now largely known, was given to it in 1870

The Secretary of Agriculture.—This department, which prior to 1889 belonged to the Interior Department, collects and gives useful information on agriculture. From it, new and valuable seeds and plants can be had; for it is the duty of the Secretary to cultivate them and furnish them to the farmers upon application. He also investigates the diseases of plants and animals, makes analysis of soils, minerals, liquids, and fertilizers, and prepares reports on the same, which are distributed in all parts of the country. In 1891, the Weather Bureau was transferred to the Agricultural Department from the War Department.

The Vice-President. This officer is chosen at the same time and in the same manner as the President, except that when the Presidential electors fail to choose a VicePresident, that duty devolves upon the Senate. The choice must then be made from the two candidates having the highest numbers of votes cast by the Electoral College. Richard M. Johnson, elected in February, 1837, is the only Vice-President that has been chosen by the Senate. The qualifications and term of office are the same as those of the President, but the only duty the

Vice-President is called upon to perform is to preside over the Senate, unless the President cannot, for any cause, perform the duties of his office.



Organization. The judicial power of the United States is vested in a Supreme Court and such inferior courts as Congress may establish. Judges of the United States courts are appointed by the President with the advice aná consent of the Senate, and they all hold their office during life or good behavior. They may retire upon a pension, at the age of seventy or over, after having served continuously for ten years. The Supreme Court holds annual sessions in the Capitol at Washington, commencing on the second Monday in October. The court, at present, consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices, any six of whom constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The decision of a quorum stands as the decision of the court, although very often the dissenting views of a minority are published.

Jurisdiction. In any suit at law relating to ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and in those in which a State is a party, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction. It decides cases appealed from the decision of the judges of the inferior courts of the United States, as well as of certain State courts. Any law of Congress or State legislature, if in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, is unconstitutional, and, if so decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, is null and void.


Names. The inferior courts established by Congress are the Circuit, Appellate, District, and Territorial courts, the Court of the District of Columbia, the Court of Claims, and the Consular Courts.

Circuit Court.-The Circuit Court of the United States has jurisdiction over certain civil cases in which a State or an alien is a party, or in certain cases when suit is brought by a citizen of one State against a citizen of another. For the purpose of properly dividing the work of this court, the states are divided into nine circuits, each having two or three judges. One judge of the United States Supreme Court is assigned to each circuit, and it is his duty to hold at least one term of the Circuit Court in his circuit, once in every two years, at each of the regular places of meeting of that court.

Appellate Court.-So many cases are appealed to the Supreme Court that it is apt to get several years behind in its business. To decide some of these cases, and thus relieve the higher court, an Appellate Court was provided for each of the nine circuits.

District Court.-The District Court has jurisdiction over criminal offences against the federal laws, as well as over many civil cases. There are now sixty-four districts.

Territorial Courts.-A Territory has a Supreme Court, with three judges appointed by the President, and generally three district courts, presided over by one of its Supreme Court judges. There are also courts in some counties; they are presided over by the judge of the district in which the county is located.

Court of the District of Columbia. The court of the District of Columbia exercises jurisdiction over civil and

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