Downes v. Bidwell/Opinion of the Court
[Syllabus from pages 244-247 intentionally omitted]
This was an action begun in the circuit court by Downes, doing business under the firm name of S. B. Downes & Co., against the collector of the port of New York, to recover back duties to the amount of $659.35 exacted and paid under protest upon certain oranges consigned to the plaintiff at New York, and brought thither from the port of San Juan in the island of Porto Rico during the month of November, 1900, after the passage of the act temporarily providing a civil government and revenues for ths island of Porto Rico, known as the Foraker act.
The district attorney demurred to the complaint for the want of jurisdiction in the court, and for insufficiency of its averments. The demurrer was sustained, and the complaint dismissed. Whereupon plaintiff sued out this writ of error.
Messrs. Frederic R. Coudert, Jr., and Paul Fuller for plaintiff in error.
Solicitor General Richards and Attorney General Griggs for defendant in error.
This case involves the question whether merchandise brought into the port of New York from Porto Rico since the passage of the Foraker act is exempt from duty, notwithstanding the 3d section of that act which requires the payment of '15 per centum of the duties which are required to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles of merchandise imported from foreign countries.'
1. The exception to the jurisdiction of the court is not well taken. By Rev. Stat. § 629, subd. 4, the circuit courts are vested with jurisdiction 'of all suits at law or in equity arising under any act providing for revenue from imports or tonnage,' irrespective of the amount involved. This section should be construed in connection with § 643, which provides for the removal from state courts to circuit courts of the United States of suits against revenue officers 'on account of any act done under color of his office, or of any such [revenue] law, or on account of any right, title, or authority claimed by such officer or other person under any such law.' Both these sections are taken from the act of March 2, 1833 (4 Stat. at L. 632, chap. 57) commonly known as the force bill, and are evidently intended to include all actions against customs officers acting under color of their office. While, as we have held in De Lima v. Bidwell, 181 U.S. --, ante, 743, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 743, Actions against the collector to recover back duties assessed upon nonimportable property are not 'customs cases' in the sense of the administrative act, they are, nevertheless, actions arising under an act to provide for a revenue from imports, in the sense of § 629, since they are for acts done by a collector under color of his office. This subdivision of § 629 was not repealed by the jurisdictional act of 1875, or the subsequent act of August 13, 1888, since these acts were 'not intended to interfere with the prior statutes conferring jurisdiction upon the circuit or district courts in special cases and over particular subjects. United States v. Mooney, 116 U.S. 104, 107, 29 L. ed. 550, 552, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 304, 306. See also Merchants' Ins. Co. v. Ritchie, 5 Wall. 541, 18 L. ed. 540; Philadelphia v. The Collector, 5 Wall. 720, sub nom. Philadelphia v. Diehl, 18 L. ed. 614; Hornthall v. The Collector, 9 Wall. 560, sub nom. Hornthall v. Keary, 19 L. ed. 560 As the case 'involves the construction or application of the Constitution,' as well as the constitutionality of a law of the United States, the writ of error was properly sued out from this court.
2. In the case of De Lima v. Bidwell just decided, 181 U.S. -, ante, 743, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 743, we held that, upon the ratification of the treaty of peace with Spain, Porto Rico ceased to be a foreign country, and became a territory of the United States, and that duties were no longer collectible upon merchandise brought from that island. We are now asked to hold that it became a part of the United States within that provision of the Constitution which declares that 'all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.' Art. 1, § 8. If Porto Rico be a part of the United States, the Foraker act imposing duties upon its products is unconstitutional, not only by reason of a violation of the uniformity clause, but because by § 9 'vessels bound to or from one state' cannot 'be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.'
The case also involves the broader question whether the revenue clauses of the Constitution extend of their own force to our newly acquired territories. The Constitution itself does not answer the question. Its solution must be found in the nature of the government created by that instrument, in the opinion of its contemporaries, in the practical construction put upon it by Congress, and in the decisions of this court.
The Federal government was created in 1777 by the union of thirteen colonies of Great Britain in 'certain articles of confederation and perpetual union,' the first one of which declared that 'the stile of this confederacy shall be the United States of America.' Each member of the confederacy was denominated a state. Provision was made for the representation of each state by not less than two nor more than seven delegates; but no mention was made of territories or other lands, except in article 11, which authorized the admission of Canada, upon its 'acceding to this confederation,' and of other colonies if such admission were agreed to by nine states. At this time several states made claims to large tracts of land in the unsettled west, which they were at first indisposed to relinquish. Disputes over these lands became so acrid as nearly to defeat the confederacy, before it was fairly put in operation. Several of the states refused to ratify the articles, because the convention had taken no steps to settle the titles to these lands upon principles of equity and sound policy; but all of them, through fear of being accused of disloyalty, finally yielded their claims, though Maryland held out until 1781. Most of these states in the meantime having ceded their interests in these lands, the confederate Congress, in 1787, created the first territorial government northwest of the Ohio river, provided for local self-government, a bill of rights, a representation in Congress by a delegate, who should have a seat 'with a right of debating, but not of voting,' and for the ultimate formation of states therefrom, and their admission into the Union on an equal footing with the original states.
The confederacy, owing to well-known historical reasons, having proven a failure, a new Constitution was formed in 1787 by 'the people of the United States' 'for the United States of America,' as its preamble declares. All legislative powers were vested in a Congress consisting of representatives from the several states, but no provision was made for the admission of delegates from the territories, and no mention was made of territories as separate portions of the Union, except that Congress was empowered 'to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.' At this time all of the states had ceded their unappropriated lands except North Carolina and Georgia. It was thought by Chief Justice Taney in the Dred Scott Case, 19 How. 393, 436, 15 L. ed. 691, 713, that the sole object of the territorial clause was 'to transfer to the new government the property then held in common by the states, and to give to that government power to apply it to the objects for which it had been destined by mutual agreement among the states before their league was dissolved;' that the power 'to make needful rules and regulations' was not intended to give the powers of sovereignty, or to authorize the establishment of territorial governments,-in short, that these words were used in a proprietary, and not in a political, sense. But, as we observed in De Lima v. Bidwell, the power to establish territorial governments has been too long exercised by Congress and acquiesced in by this court to be deemed an unsettled question. Indeed, in the Dred Scott Case it was admitted to be the inevitable consequence of the right to acquire territory.
It is sufficient to observe in relation to these three fundamental instruments, that it can nowhere be inferred that the territories were considered a part of the United States. The Constitution was created by the people of the United States, as a union of states, to be governed solely by representatives of the states; and even the provision relied upon here, that all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform 'throughout the United States,' is explained by subsequent provisions of the Constitution, that 'no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state,' and 'no preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another; nor shall vessels bound to or from one state be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.' In short, the Constitution deals with states, their people, and their representatives.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude 'within the United States, or in any place subject to their jurisdiction,' is also significant as showing that there may be places within the jurisdiction of the United States that are no part of the Union. To say that the phraseology of this amendment was due to the fact that it was intended to prohibit slavery in the seceded states, under a possible interpretation that those states were no longer a part of the Union, is to confess the very point in issue, since it involves an admission that, if these states were not a part of the Union, they were still subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
Upon the other hand, the 14th Amendment, upon the subject of citizenship, declares only that 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the state wherein they reside.' Here there is a limitation to persons born or naturalized in the United States, which is not extended to persons born in any place 'subject to their jurisdiction.'
The question of the legal relations between the states and the newly acquired territories first became the subject of public discussion in connection with the purchase of Louisiana in 1803. This purchase arose primarily from the fixed policy of Spain to exclude all foreign commerce from the Mississippi. This restriction became intolerable to the large number of immigrants who were leaving the eastern states to settle in the fertile valley of that river and its tributaries. After several futile attempts to secure the free navigation of that river by treaty, advantage was taken of the exhaustion of Spain in her war with France, and a provision inserted in the treaty of October 27, 1795, by which the Mississippi river was opened to the commerce of the United States. 8 Stat. at L. 138, 140, art. 4. In October, 1800, by the secret treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain retroceded to France the territory of Louisiana. This treaty created such a ferment in this country that James Monroe was sent as minister extraordinary with discretionary powers to co-operate with Livingston, then minister to France, in the purchase of New Orleans, for which Congress appropriated $2,000,000. To the surprise of the negotiators, Bonaparte invited them to make an offer for the whole of Louisiana at a price finally fixed at $15,000,000. It is well known that Mr. Jefferson entertained grave doubts as to his power to make the purchase, or, rather, as to his right to annex the territory and make it part of the United States, and had instructed Mr. Livingston to make no agreement to that effect in the treaty, as he believed it could not be legally done. Owing to a new war between England and France being upon the point of breaking out, there was need for haste in the negotiations, and Mr. Livingston took the responsibility of disobeying his instructions, and, probably owing to the insistence of Bonaparte, consented to the 3d article of the treaty, which provided that 'the inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess.' [8 Stat. at L. 202.] This evidently committed the government to the ultimate, but not to the immediate, admission of Louisiana as a state, and postponed its incorporation into the Union to the pleasure of Congress. In regard to this, Mr. Jefferson, in a letter to Senator Breckinridge of Kentucky, of August 12, 1803, used the following language: 'This treaty must, of course, be laid before both Houses, because both have important functions to exercise respecting it. They, I presume, will see their duty to their country in ratifying and paying for it, so as to secure a good which would otherwise probably be never again in their power. But I suppose they must then appeal to the nation for an additional article to the Constitution approving and confirming an act which the nation had not previously authorized. The Constitution has made no provision for holding foreign territory, still less for incorporating foreign nations into our Union. The Executive, in seizing the fugitive occurrence which so much advances the good of our country, have done an act beyond the Constitution.'
To cover the questions raised by this purchase Mr. Jefferson prepared two amendments to the Constitution, the first of which declared that 'the province of Louisiana is incorporated with the United States and made part thereof;' and the second of which was couched in a little different language, viz.: 'Louisiana, as ceded by France to the United States, is made a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall be citizens, and stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing as other citizens in analogous situations.' But by the time Congress assembled, October 17, 1803, either the argument of his friends or the pressing necessity of the situation seems to have dispelled his doubts regarding his power under the Constitution, since in his message to Congress he referred the whole matter to that body, saying that 'with the wisdom of Congress it will rest to take those ulterior measures which may be necessary for the immediate occupation and temporary government of the country; for its incorporation into the Union.' Jefferson's Writings, vol. 8, p. 269.
The raising of money to provide for the purchase of this territory, and the act providing a civil government, gave rise to an animated debate in Congress, in which two questions were prominently presented: First, whether the provision for the ultimate incorporation of Louisiana into the Union was constitutional; and, second, whether the 7th article of the treaty admitting the ships of Spain and France for the next twelve years 'into the ports of New Orleans, and in all other legal ports of entry within the ceded territory, in the same manner as the ships of the United States coming directly from France or Spain, or any of their colonies, without being subject to any other or greater duty on merchandise or other or greater tonnage than that paid by the citizens of the United States' [8 Stat. at L. 204], was an unlawful discrimination in favor of those ports and an infringement upon art. 1, § 9, of the Constitution, that no preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another.' This article of the treaty contained the further stipulation that 'during the space of time above mentioned to other nation shall have a right to the same privileges in the ports of the ceded territory; . . . and it is well understood that the object of the above article is to favor the manufactures, commerce, freight, and navigation of France and Spain.'
It is unnecessary to enter into the details of this debate. The arguments of individual legislators are no proper subject for judicial comment. They are so often influenced by personal or political considerations, or by the assumed necessities of the situation, that they can hardly be considered even as the deliberate views of the persons who make them, much less as dictating the construction to be put upon the Constitution by the courts. United States v. Union P. R. Co. 91 U.S. 72, 79, 23 L. ed, 224, 228. Suffice it to say that the administration party took the ground that, under the constitutional power to make treaties, there was ample power to acquire territory, and to hold and govern it under laws to be passed by Congress; and that as Louisiana was incorporated into the Union as a territory, and not as a state, a stipulation for citizenship became necessary; that as a state they would not have needed a stipulation for the safety of their liberty, property, and religion, but as territory this stipulation would govern and restrain the undefined powers of Congress to 'make rules and regulations' for territories. The Federalists admitted the power of Congress to acquire and hold territory, but denied its power to incorporate it into the Union under the Constitution as it then stood.
They also attacked the 7th article of the treaty, discriminating in favor of French and Spanish ships, as a distinct violation of the Constitution against preference being given to the ports of one state over those of another. The administration party, through Mr. Elliott of Vermont, replied to this that 'the states, as such, were equal and intended to preserve that equality; and the provision of the Constitution alluded to was calculated to prevent Congress from making any odious discrimination or distinctions between particular states. It was not contemplated that this provision would have application to colonial or territorial acquisitions.' Said Mr. Nicholson of Maryland, speaking for the administration: It [Louisiana] is in the nature of a colony whose commerce may be regulated without any reference to the Constitution. Had it been the island of Cuba which was ceded to us, under a similar condition of admitting French and Spanish vessels for a limited time into Havana, could it possibly have been contended that this would be giving a preference to the ports of one state over those of another, or that the uniformity of duties, imposts, and excises throughout the United States would have been destroyed? And because Louisiana lies adjacent to our own territory is it to be viewed in a different light?'
As a sequence to this debate two bills were passed, one October 31, 1803 (2 Stat. at L. 245, chap. 1), authorizing the President to take possession of the territory and to continue the existing government, and the other November 10, 1803 (2 Stat. at L. 245, chap. 2), making provision for the payment of the purchase price. These acts continued in force until March 26, 1804, when a new act was passed providing for a temporary government (2 Stat. at L. 283, chap. 38), and vesting all legislative powers in a governor and legislative council, to be appointed by the President. These statutes may be taken as expressing the views of Congress, first, that territory may be lawfully acquired by treaty, with a provision for its ultimate incorporation into the Union; and, second, that a discrimination in favor of certain foreign vessels trading with the ports of a newly acquired territory is no violation of that clause of the Constitution (art. 1, § 9) that declares that no preference shall be given to the ports of one state over those of another. It is evident that the constitutionality of this discrimination can only be supported upon the theory that ports of territories are not ports of state within the meaning of the Constitution.
The same construction was adhered to in the treaty with Spain for the purchase of Florida (8 Stat. at L. 252) the 6th article of which provided that the inhabitants should 'be incorporated into the Union of the United States, as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution;' and the 15th article of which agreed that Spanish vessels coming directly from Spanish ports and laden with productions of Spanish growth or manufacture should be admitted, for the term of twelve years, to the ports of Pensacola and St. Augustine 'without paying other or higher duties on their cargoes, or of tonnage, than will be paid by the vessels of the United States,' and that 'during the said term no other nation shall enjoy the same privileges within the ceded territories.'
So, too, in the act annexing the Republic of Hawaii, there was a provision continuing in effect the customs relations of the Hawaiian islands with the United States and other countries, the effect of which was to compel the collection in those islands of a duty upon certain articles, whether coming from the United States or other countries, much greater than the duty provided by the general tariff law then in force. This was a discrimination against the Hawaiian ports wholly inconsistent with the revenue clauses of the Constitution, if such clauses were there operative.
The very treaty with Spain under discussion in this case contains similar discriminative provisions, which are apparently irreconcilable with the Constitution, if that instrument be held to extend to these islands immediately upon their cession to the United States. By article 4 the United States agree, for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, to admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States,'-a privilege not extending to any other ports. It was a clear breach of the uniformity clause in question, and a manifest excess of authority on the part of the commissioners, if ports of the Philippine islands be ports of the United States.
So, too, by article 13, 'Spanish scientific, literary, and artistic works . . . shall be continued to be admitted free of duty in such territories for the period of ten years, to be reckoned from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.' This is also a clear discrimination in favor of Spanish literary productions into particular ports.
Notwithstanding these provisions for the incorporation of territories into the Union, Congress, not only in organizing the territory of Louisiana by act of March 26, 1804, but all other territories carved out of this vast inheritance, has assumed that the Constitution did not extend to them of its own force, and has in each case made special provision, either that their legislatures shall pass no law inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, or that the Constitution or laws of the United States shall be the supreme law of such territories. Finally, in Rev. Stat. § 1891, a general provision was enacted that 'the Constitution and all laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and effect within all the organized territories, and in every territory hereafter organized, as elsewhere within the United States.'
So, too, on March 6, 1820 (3 Stat. at L. 545, chap. 22), in an act authorizing the people of Missouri to form a state government, after a heated debate, Congress declared that in the territory of Louisiana north of 36x 30' slavery should be forever prohibited. It is true that, for reasons which have become historical, this act was declared to be unconstitutional in Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 15 L. ed. 691, but it is none the less a distinct annunciation by Congress of power over property in the territories, which it obviously did not possess in the several states.
The researches of counsel have collated a large number of other instances in which Congress has in its enactments recognized the fact that provisions intended for the states did not embrace the territories, unless specially mentioned. These are found in the laws prohibiting the slave trade with 'the United States or territories thereof;' or equipping ships 'in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States;' in the internal revenue laws, in the early ones of which no provision was made for the collection of taxes in the territory not included within the boundaries of the existing states, and others of which extended them expressly to the territories, or 'within the exterior boundaries of the United States;' and in the acts extending the internal revenue laws to the territories of Alaska and Oklahoma. It would prolong this opinion unnecessarily to set forth the provisions of these acts in detail. It is sufficient to say that Congress has or has not applied the revenue laws to the territories, as the circumstances of each case seemed to require, and has specifically legislated for the territories whenever it was its intention to execute laws beyond the limits of the states. Indeed, whatever may have been the fluctuations of opinion in other bodies (and even this court has not been exempt from them), Congress has been consistent in recognizing the difference between the states and territories under the Constitution.
The decisions of this court upon this subject have not been altogether harmonious. Some of them are based upon the theory that the Constitution does not apply to the territories without legislation. Other cases, arising from territories where such legislation has been had, contain language which would justify the inference that such legislation was unnecessary, and that the Constitution took effect immediately upon the cession of the territory to the United States. It may be remarked, upon the threshold of an analysis of these cases, that too much weight must not be given to general expressions found in several opinions that the power of Congress over territories is complete and supreme, because these words may be interpreted as meaning only supreme under the Constitution; her, upon the other hand, to general statements that the Constitution covers the territories as well as the states, since in such cases it will be found that acts of Congress had already extended the Constitution to such territories, and that thereby it subordinated, not only its own acts, but those of the territorial legislatures, to what had become the supreme law of the land. 'It is a maxim not to be disregarded that general expressions, in every opinion, are to be taken in connection with the case in which those expressions are used. If they go beyond the case, they may be respected, but ought not to control the judgment in a subsequent suit when the very point is presented for decision. The reason of this maxim is obvious. The question actually before the court is investigated with care, and considered in its full extent. Other principles which may serve to illustrate it are considered in their relation to the case decided, but their possible bearing on all other cases is seldom completely investigated.' Cohen v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 399, 5 L. ed. 257, 290.
The earliest case is that of Hepburn v. Ellzey, 2 Cranch, 445, 2 L. ed. 332, in which this court held that, under that clause of the Constitution limiting the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States to controversies between citizens of different states, a citizen of the District of Columbia could not maintain an action in the circuit court of the United States. It was argued that the word 'state.' in that connection, was used simply to denote a distinct political society. 'But,' said the Chief Justice, 'as the act of Congress obviously used the word 'state' in reference to that term as used in the Constitution, it becomes necessary to inquire whether Columbia is a state in the sense of that instrument. The result of that examination is a conviction that the members of the American confederacy only are the states contemplated in the Constitution, . . . and excludes from the term the signification attached to it by writers on the law of nations.' This case was followed in Barney v. Baltimore, 6 Wall. 280, 18 L. ed. 825, and quite recently in Hooe v. Jamieson, 166 U.S. 395, 41 L. ed. 1049, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 596. The same rule was applied to citizens of territories in New Orleans v. Winter, 1 Wheat. 91, 4 L. ed. 44, in which an attempt was made to distinguish a territory from the District of Columbia. But it was said that 'neither of them is a state in the sense in which that term is used in the Constitution.' In Scott v. Jones, 5 How. 343, 12 L. ed. 181, and in Miners' Bank v. Iowa ex rel. District Prosecuting Attorney, 12 How. 1, 13 L. ed. 867, it was held that under the judiciary act, permitting writs of error to the supreme court of a state in cases where the validity of a state statute is drawn in question, an act of a territorial legislature was not within the contemplation of Congress.
Loughborough v. Blake, 5 Wheat. 317, 5 L. ed. 98, was an action of trespass or, as appears by the original record, replevin, brought in the circuit court for the District of Columbia to try the right of Congress to impose a direct tax for general purposes on that District. 3 Stat. at L. 216, chap. 60. It was insisted that Congress could act in a double capacity: in one as legislating for the states; in the other as a local legislature for the District of Columbia. In the latter character, it was admitted that the power of levying direct taxes might be exercised, but for District purposes only, as a state legislature might tax for state purposes; but that it could not legislate for the District under art. 1, § 8, giving to Congress the power 'to lay and collect taxes, imposts, and excises,' which 'shall be uniform throughout the United States,' inasmuch as the District was no part of the United States. It was held that the grant of this power was a general one without limitation as to place, and consequently extended to all places over which the government extends; and that it extended to the District of Columbia as a constituent part of the United States. The fact that art. 1, § 2, declares that 'representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states . . . according to their respective numbers' furnished a standard by which taxes were apportioned, but not to exempt any part of the country from their operation. 'The words used do not mean that direct taxes shall be imposed on states only which are represented, or shall be apportioned to representatives; but that direct taxation, in its application to states, shall be apportioned to numbers.' That art. 1, § 9, ¶4, declaring that direct taxes shall be laid in proportion to the census, was applicable to the District of Columbia, 'and will enable Congress to apportion on it its just and equal share of the burden, with the same accuracy as on the respective states. If the tax be laid in this proportion, it is within the very words of the restriction. It is a tax in proportion to the census or enumeration referred to.' It was further held that the words of the 9th section did not 'in terms require that the system of direct taxation, when resorted to, shall be extended to the territories, as the words of the 2d section require that it shall be extended to all the states. They therefore may, without violence, be understood to give a rule when the territories shall be taxed, without imposing the necessity of taxing them.'
There could be no doubt as to the correctness of this conclusion, so far, at least, as it applied to the District of Columbia. This District had been a part of the states of Maryland and Virginia. It had been subject to the Constitution, and was a part of the United States. The Constitution had attached to it irrevocably. There are steps which can never be taken backward. The tie that bound the states of Maryland and Virginia to the Constitution could not be dissolved, without at least the consent of the Federal and state governments to a formal separation. The mere cession of the District of Columbia to the Federal government relinquished the authority of the states, but it did not take it out of the United States or from under the aegis of the Constitution. Neither party had ever consented to that construction of the cession. If, before the District was set off, Congress had passed an unconstitutional act affecting its inhabitants, it would have been void. If done after the District was created, it would have been equally void; in other words, Congress could not do indirectly, by carving out the District, what it could not do directly. The District still remained a part of the United States, protected by the Constitution. Indeed, it would have been a fanciful construction to hold that territory which had been once a part of the United States ceased to be such by being ceded directly to the Federal government.
In delivering the opinion, however, the Chief Justice made certain observations which have occasioned some embarrassment in other cases. 'The power,' said he, 'to lay and collect duties, imposts, and excises may be exercised, and must be exercised, throughout the United States. Does this term designate the whole, or any particular portion of the American empire? Certainly this question can admit but of one answer. It is the name given to our great Republic which is composed of states and territories. The District of Columbia, or the territory west of the Missouri, is not less within the United States than Maryland or Pennsylvania; and it is not less necessary, on the principles of our Constitution, that uniformity in the imposition of imposts, duties, and excises should be observed in the one than in the other. Since, then, the power to lay and collect taxes, which includes direct taxes, is obviously coextensive with the power to lay and collect duties, imposts, and excises, and since the latter extends throughout the United States, it follows that the power to impose direct taxes also extends throughout the United States.' So far as applicable to the District of Columbia, these observations are entirely sound. So far as they apply to the territories, they were not called for by the exigencies of the case.
In line with Loughborough v. Blake is the case of Callan v. Wilson, 127 U.S. 540, 32 L. ed. 223, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1301, in which the provisions of the Constitution relating to trial by jury were held to be in force in the District of Columbia. Upon the other hand, in De Geofroy v. Riggs 133 U.S. 258, 33 L. ed. 642, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 295, the District of Columbia, as a political community, was held to be one of 'the states of the Union' within the meaning of that term as used in a consular convention of February 23, 1853, with France. The 7th article of that convention provided that in all the states of the Union whose existing laws permitted it Frenchmen should enjoy the right of holding, disposing of, and inheriting property in the same manner as citizens of the United States; and as to the states of the Union by whose existing laws aliens were not permitted to hold real estate the President engaged to recommend to them the passage of such laws as might be necessary for the purpose of conferring this right. The court was of opinion that if these terms, 'states of the Union,' were held to exclude the District of Columbia and the territories, our government would be placed in the inconsistent position of stipulating that French citizens should enjoy the right of holding, disposing of, and inheriting property in like manner as citizens of the United States, in states whose laws permitted it, and engaging that the President should recommend the passage of laws conferring that right in states whose laws did not permit aliens to hold real estate, while at the same time refusing to citizens of France holding property in the District of Columbia and in some of the territories, where the power of the United States is in that respect unlimited, a like release from the disabilities of alienage, 'thus discriminating against them in favor of citizens of France holding property in states having similar legislation. No plausible motive can be assigned for such discrimination. A right which the government of the United States apparently desires that citizens of France should enjoy in all the states it would hardly refuse to them in the district embracing its capital, or in any of its own territorial dependencies.'
This case may be considered as establishing the principle that, in dealing with foreign sovereignties, the term 'United States' has a broader meaning than when used in the Constitution, and includes all territories subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal government, wherever located. In its treaties and conventions with foreign nations this government is a unit. This is so, not because the territories comprised a part of the government established by the people of the states in their Constitution, but because the Federal government is the only authorized organ of the territories, as well as of the states, in their foreign relations. By art. 1, § 10, of the Constitution, 'no state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation, . . . [or] enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power.' It would be absurd to hold that the territories, which are much less independent than the states, and are under the direct control and tutelage of the general government, possess a power in this particular which is thus expressly forbidden to the states.
It may be added in this connection, that to put at rest all doubts regarding the applicability of the Constitution to the District of Columbia, Congress by the act of February 21, 1871 (16 Stat. at L. 419, 426, chap. 62, § 34), specifically extended the Constitution and laws of the United States to this District.
The case of American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L. ed. 242, originated in a libel filed in the district court for South Carolina, for the possession of 356 bales of cotton which had been wrecked on the coast of Florida, abandoned to the insurance companies, and subsequently brought to Charleston. Canter claimed the cotton as bona fide purchaser at a marshal's sale at Key West, by virtue of a decree of a territorial court consisting of a notary and five jurors, proceeding under an act of the governor and legislative council of Florida. The case turned upon the question whether the sale by that court was effectual to devest the interest of the underwriters. The district judge pronounced the proceedings a nullity, and rendered a decree from which both parties appealed to the circuit court. The circuit court reversed the decree of the district court upon the ground that the proceedings of the court at Key West were legal, and transferred the property to Canter, the alleged purchaser.
The opinion of the circuit court was delivered by Mr. Justice Johnson, of the Supreme Court, and is published in full in a note in Peters's Reports. It was argued that the Constitution vested the admiralty jurisdiction exclusively in the general government; that the legislature of Florida had exercised an illegal power in organizing this court, and that its decrees were void. On the other hand, it was insisted that this was a court of separate and distinct jurisdiction from the courts of the United States, and as such its acts were not to be reviewed in a foreign tribunal, such as was the court of South Carolina; 'that the district of Florida was no part of the United States, but only an acquisition or dependency, and as such the Constitution per se had no binding effect in or over it.' 'It becomes,' said the court 'indispensable to the solution of these difficulties that we should conceive a just idea of the relation in which Florida stands to the United States. . . . And, first, it is obvious that there is a material distinction between the territory now under consideration and that which is acquired from the aborigines (whether by purchase or conquest) within the acknowledged limits of the United States, as also that which is acquired by the establishment of a disputed line. As to both these there can be no question that the sovereignty of the state or territory within which it lies, and of the United States, immediately attached, producing a complete subjection to all the laws and institutions of the two governments, local and general, unless modified by treaty. The question now to be considered relates to territories previously subject to the acknowledged jurisdiction of another sovereign, such as was Florida to the Crown of Spain. And on this subject we have the most explicit proof that the understanding of our public functionaries is that the government and laws of the United States do not extend to such territory by the mere act of cession. For in the act of Congress of March 30, 1822, § 9, we have an enumeration of the acts of Congress which are to be held in force in the territory; and in the 10th section an enumeration, in the nature of a bill of rights, of privileges and immunities which could not be denied to the inhabitants of the territory if they came under the Constitution by the mere act of cession. . . . These states, this territory, and future states to be admitted into the Union are the sole objects of the Constitution; there is no express provision whatever made in the Constitution for the acquisition or government of territories beyond those limits.' He further held that the right of acquiring territory was altogether incidental to the treaty-making power; that their government was left to Congress; that the territory of Florida did 'not stand in the relation of a state to the United States;' that the acts establishing a territorial government were the Constitution of Florida; that while, under these acts, the territorial legislature could enact nothing inconsistent with what Congress had made inherent and permanent in the territorial government, it had not done so in organizing the court at Key West.
From the decree of the circuit court the underwriters appealed to this court, and the question was argued whether the circuit court was correct in drawing a distinction between territories existing at the date of the Constitution and territories subsequently acquired. The main contention of the appellants was that the superior courts of Florida had been vested by Congress with exclusive jurisdiction in all admiralty and maritime cases; that salvage was such a case, and therefore any law of Florida giving jurisdiction in salvage cases to any other court was unconstitutional. On behalf of the purchaser it was argued that the Constitution and laws of the United States were not per se in force in Florida, nor the inhabitants citizens of the United States; that the Constitution was established by the people of the United States for the United States; that if the Constitution were in force in Florida it was unnecessary to pass an act extending the laws of the United States to Florida. 'What is Florida?' said Mr. Webster. 'It is no part of the United States. How can it be? How is it represented? Do the laws of the United States reach Florida? Not unless by particular provisions.'
The opinion of Mr. Chief Justice Marshall in this case should be read in connection with art. 3, §§ 1 and 2, of the Constitution, vesting 'the judicial power of the United States' in 'one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges both of the Supreme and inferior courts shall hold their offices during good behavior,' etc. He held that the court 'should take into view the relation in which Florida stands to the United States;' that territory ceded by treaty 'becomes a part of the nation to which it is annexed, either on the terms stipulated in the treaty of cession, or on such as its new master shall impose.' That Florida, upon the conclusion of the treaty, became a territory of the United States and subject to the power of Congress under the territorial clause of the Constitution. The acts providing a territorial government for Florida were examined in detail. He held that the judicial clause of the Constitution, above quoted, did not apply to Florida; that the judges of the superior courts of Florida held their office for four years; that 'these courts are not, then, constitutional courts in which the judicial power conferred by the Constitution on the general government can be deposited;' that 'they are legislative courts, created in virtue of the general right of sovereignty which exists in the government,' or in virtue of the territorial clause of the Constitution; that the jurisdiction with which they are invested is not a part of judicial power of the Constitution, but is conferred by Congress in the exercise of those general powers which that body possesses over the territories of the United States; and that in legislating for them Congress exercises the combined powers of the general and of a state government. The act of the territorial legislature creating the court in question was held not to be 'inconsistent with the laws and Constitution of the United States,' and the decree of the circuit court was affirmed.
As the only judicial power vested in Congress is to create courts whose judges shall hold their offices during good behavior, it necessarily follows that, if Congress authorizes the creation of courts and the appointment of judges for a limited time, it must act independently of the Constitution and upon territory which is not part of the United States within the meaning of the Constitution. In delivering his opinion in this case Mr. Chief Justice Marshall made no reference whatever to the prior case of Loughborough v. Blake, 5 Wheat. 317, 5 L. ed. 98, in which he had intimated that the territories were part of the United States. But if they be a part of the United States, it is difficult to see how Congress could create courts in such territories, except under the judicial clause of the Constitution. The power to make needful rules and regulations would certainly not authorize anything inconsistent with the Constitution if it applied to the territories. Certainly no such court could be created within a state, except under the restrictions of the judicial clause. It is sufficient to say that this case has ever since been accepted as authority for the proposition that the judicial clause of the Constitution has no application to courts created in the territories, and that with respect to them Congress has a power wholly unrestricted by it. We must assume as a logical inference from this case that the other powers vested in Congress by the Constitution have no application to these territories, or that the judicial clause is exceptional in that particular.
This case was followed in Benner v. Porter, 9 How. 235, 13 L. ed. 119, in which it was held that the jurisdiction of these territorial courts ceased upon the admission of Florida into the Union, Mr. Justice Nelson remarking of them (p. 242, L. ed. p. 122), that 'they are not organized under the Constitution, nor subject to its complex distribution of the powers of government, as the organic law; but are the creations, exclusively, of the legislative department, and subject to its supervision and control. Whether or not there are provisions in that instrument which extend to and act upon these territorial governments, it is not now material to examine. We are speaking here of those provisions that refer particularly to the distinction between Federal and state jurisdiction. . . . (p. 244, L. ed. p. 123). Neither were they organized by Congress under the Constitution, as they were invested with powers and jurisdiction which that body were incapable of conferring upon a court within the limits of a state.' To the same effect are Clinton v. Englebrecht, 13 Wall. 434, 20 L. ed. 659; Good v. Martin, 95 U.S. 90, 98, 24 L. ed. 341, 344; and McAllister v. United States, 141 U.S. 174, 35 L. ed. 693, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 949.
That the power over the territories is vested in Congress without limitation, and that this power has been considered the foundation upon which the territorial governments rest, was also asserted by Chief Justice Marshall in M'Culloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 422, 4 L. ed. 579, 605, and in United States v. Gratiot, 14 Pet. 526, 10 L. ed. 573. So, too, in Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 34 L. ed. 478, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 792, in holding that Congress had power to repeal the charter of the church, Mr. Justice Bradley used the following forceful language: 'The power of Congress over the territories of the United States is general and plenary, arising from and incidental to the right to acquire the territory itself, and from the power given by the Constitution to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States. It would be absurd to hold that the United States has power to acquire territory, and no power to govern it when acquired. The power to acquire territory, other than the territory northwest of the Ohio river (which belonged to the United States at the adoption of the Constitution), is derived from the treaty-making power and the power to declare and carry on war. The incidents of these powers are those of national sovereignty and belong to all independent governments. The power to make acquisitions of territory by conquest, by treaty, and by cession is an incident of national sovereignty. The territory of Louisiana, when acquired from France, and the territories west of the Rocky mountains, when acquired from Mexico, became the absolute property and domain of the United States, subject to such conditions as the government, in its diplomatic negotiations, had seen fit to accept relating to the rights of the people then inhabiting those territories. Having rightfully acquired said territories, the United States government was the only one which could impose laws upon them, and its sovereignty over them was complete. . . . Doubtless Congress, in legislating for the territories, would be subject to those fundamental limitations in favor of personal rights which are formulated in the Constitution and its amendments, but those limitations would exist rather by inference and the general spirit of the Constitution, from which Congress derives all its powers, than by any express and direct application of its provisions.' See also, to the same effect First Nat. Bank v. Yankton County, 101 U.S. 129, 25 L. ed. 1046; Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 29 L. ed. 47, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 747.
In Webster v. Reid, 11 How. 437, 13 L. ed. 761, it was held that a law of the territory of Iowa, which prohibited the trial by jury of certain actions at law founded on contract to recover payment for services, was void; but the case is of little value as bearing upon the question of the extension of the Constitution to that territory, inasmuch as the organic law of the territory of Iowa, by express provision and by reference, extended the laws of the United States, including the ordinance of 1787 (which provided expressly for jury trials), so far as they were applicable; and the case was put upon this ground. 5 Stat. at L. 235, 239, chap. 96, § 12.
In Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L. ed. 244, a law of the territory of Utah, providing for grand juries of fifteen persons, was held to be constitutional, though Rev. Stat. § 808, required that a grand jury impaneled before any circuit or district court of the United States shall consist of not less than sixteen nor more than twenty-three persons. Section 808 was held to apply only to the circuit and district courts. The territorial courts were free to act in obedience to their own laws.
In Ross's Case, 140 U.S. 453, sub nom. Ross v. McIntyre, 35 L. ed. 581, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 897, petitioner had been convicted by the American consular tribunal in Japan, of a murder committed upon an American vessel in the harbor of Yokohama, and sentenced to death. There was no indictment by a grand jury, and no trial by a petit jury. This court affirmed the conviction, holding that the Constitution had no application, since it was ordained and established 'for the United States of America,' and not for countries outside of their limits. 'The guaranties it affords against accusation of capital or infamous crimes, except by indictment or presentment by a grand jury, and for an impartial trial by a jury when thus accused, apply only to citizens and others within the United States, or who are brought there for trial for alleged offenses committed elsewhere, and not to residents or temporary sojourners abroad.'
In Springville v. Thomas, 166 U.S. 707, 41 L. ed. 1172, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 717, it was held that a verdict returned by less than the whole number of jurors was invalid because in contravention of the 7th Amendment to the Constitution and the act of Congress of April 7, 1874 (18 Stat. at L. 27, chap. 80), which provide 'that no party has been or shall be deprived of the right of trial by jury in cases cognizable at common law.' It was also intimated that Congress 'could not impart the power to change the constitutional rule,' which was obviously true with respect to Utah, since the organic act of that territory (9 Stat. at L. 458, chap. 51, § 17) had expressly extended to it the Constitution and laws of the United States. As we have already held, that provision, once made, could not be withdrawn. If the Constitution could be withdrawn directly, it could be nullified indirectly by acts passed inconsistent with it. The Constitution would thus cease to exist as such, and become of no greater authority than an ordinary act of Congress. In American Pub. Co. v. Fisher, 166 U.S. 464, 41 L. ed. 1079, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 618, a similar law providing for majority verdicts was put upon the express ground above stated, that the organic act of Utah extended the Constitution over that territory. These rulings were repeated in Thompson v. Utah, 170 U.S. 343, 42 L. ed. 1061, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 620, and applied to felonies committed before the territory became a state, although the state Constitution continued the same provision.
Eliminating, then, from the opinions of this court all expressions unnecessary to the disposition of the particular case, and gleaning therefrom the exact point decided in each, the following propositions may be considered as established:
1. That the District of Columbia and the territories are not states within the judicial clause of the Constitution giving jurisdiction in cases between citizens of different states;
2. That territories are not states within the meaning of Rev. Stat. § 709, permitting writs of error from this court in cases where the validity of a state statute is drawn in question;
3. That the District of Columbia and the territories are states as that word is used in treaties with foreign powers, with respect to the ownership, disposition, and inheritance of property;
4. That the territories are not within the clause of the Constitution providing for the creation of a supreme court and such inferior courts as Congress may see fit to establish;
5. That the Constitution does not apply to foreign countries or to trials therein conducted, and that Congress may lawfully provide for such trials before consular tribunals, without the intervention of a grand or petit jury;
6. That where the Constitution has been once formally extended by Congress to territories, neither Congress nor the territorial legislature can enact laws inconsistent therewith.
The case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 15 L. ed. 691, remains to be considered. This was an action of trespass vi et armis brought in the circuit court for the district of Missouri by Scott, alleging himself to be a citizen of Missouri, against Sandford, a citizen of New York. Defendant pleaded to the jurisdiction that Scott was not a citizen of the state of Missouri, because a negro of African descent, whose ancestors were imported as negro slaves. Plaintiff demurred to this plea and the demurrer was sustained; whereupon, by stipulation of counsel and with leave of the court, defendant pleaded in bar the general issue, and specially that the plaintiff was a slave and the lawful property of defendant, and, as such, he had a right to restrain him. The wife and children of the plaintiff were also involved in the suit.
The facts in brief were that plaintiff had been a slave belonging to Dr. Emerson, a surgeon in the army; that in 1834 Emerson took the plaintiff from the state of Missouri to Rock Island, Illinois, and subsequently to Fort Snelling, Minnesota (then known as Upper Louisiana), and held him there until 1838. Scott married his wife there, of whom the children were subsequently born. In 1838 they returned to Missouri.
Two questions were presented by the record: First, whether the circuit court had jurisdiction; and, second, if it had jurisdiction, was the judgment erroneous or not? With regard to the first question, the court stated that it was its duty 'to decide whether the facts stated in the plea are or are not sufficient to show that the plaintiff is not entitled to sue as a citizen in a court of the United States,' and that the question was whether 'a negro whose ancestors were imported into this country and sold as slaves became a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such became entitled to all the rights and privileges and immunities guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen, one of which rights is the privilege of suing in a court of the United States.' It was held that he was not, and was not included under the word 'citizens' in the Constitution, and therefore could claim 'none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States;' that it did not follow, because he had all the rights and privileges of a citizen of a state, he must be a citizen of the United States; that no state could by any law of its own 'introduce a new member into the political community created by the Constitution;' that the African race was not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted the Declaration of Independence. The question of the status of negroes in England and the several states was considered at great length by the Chief Justice, and the conclusion reached that Scott was not a citizen of Missouri, and that the circuit court had no jurisdiction of the case.
This was sufficient to dispose of the case without reference to the question of slavery; but, as the plaintiff insisted upon his title to freedom and citizenship by the fact that he and his wife, though born slaves, were taken by their owner and kept four years in Illinois and Minnesota, they thereby became and upon their return to Missouri became citizens of that state, the Chief Justice proceeded to discuss the question whether Scott was still a slave. As the court had decided against his citizenship upon the plea in abatement, it was insisted that further decision upon the question of his freedom or slavery was extrajudicial and mere obiter dicta. But the Chief Justice held that the correction of one error in the court below did not deprive the appellate court of the power of examining further into the record and correcting any other material error which may have been committed; that the error of an inferior court in actually pronouncing judgment for one of the parties, in a case in which it had no jurisdiction, can be looked into or corrected by this court, even though it had decided a similar question presented in the pleadings.
Proceeding to decide the case upon the merits, he held that the territorial clause of the Constitution was confined to the territory which belonged to the United States at the time the Constitution was adopted, and did not apply to territory subsequently acquired from a foreign government.
In further examining the question as to what provision of the Constitution authorizes the Federal government to acquire territory outside of the original limits of the United States, and what powers it may exercise therein over the person or property of a citizen of the United States, he made use of the following expressions, upon which great reliance is placed by the plaintiff in this case (p. 446, L. ed. p. 718): 'There is certainly no power given by the Constitution to the Federal government to establish or maintain colonies bordering on the United States or at a distance, to be ruled and governed at its own pleasure; . . . and if a new state is admitted, it needs no further legislation by Congress, because the Constitution itself defines the relative rights and powers and duties of the state, and the citizens of the state, and the Federal government. But no power is given to acquire a territory to be held and governed permanently in that character.'
He further held that citizens who migrate to a territory cannot be ruled as mere colonists, and that, while Congress had the power of legislating over territories until states were formed from them, it could not deprive a citizen of his property merely because he brought it into a particular territory of the United States, and that this doctrine applied to slaves as well as to other property. Hence, it followed that the act of Congress which prohibited a citizen from holding and owning slaves in territories north of 36x 30' (known as the Missouri Compromise) was unconstitutional and void, and the fact that Scott was carried into such territory, referring to what is now known as Minnesota, did not entitle him to his freedom.
He further held that whether he was made free by being taken into the free state of Illinois and being kept there two years depended upon the laws of Missouri, and not those of Illinois, and that by the decisions of the highest court of that state his status as a slave continued, notwithstanding his residence of two years in Illinois.
It must be admitted that this case is a strong authority in favor of the plaintiff, and if the opinion of the Chief Justice be taken at its full value it is decisive in his favor. We are not, however, bound to overlook the fact, that, before the Chief Justice gave utterance to his opinion upon the merits, he had already disposed of the case adversely to the plaintiff upon the question of jurisdiction, and that, in view of the excited political condition of the country at the time, it is unfortunate that he felt compelled to discuss the question upon the merits, particularly so in view of the fact that it involved a ruling that an act of Congress which had been acquiesced in for thirty years was declared unconstitutional. It would appear from the opinion of Mr. Justice Wayne that the real reason for discussing these constitutional questions was that 'there had become such a difference of opinion' about them 'that the peace and harmony of the country required the settlement of them by judicial decision.' p. 455, L. ed. p. 721. The attempt was not successful. It is sufficient to say that the country did not acquiesce in the opinion, and that the Civil War, which shortly thereafter followed, produced such changes in judicial, as well as public, sentiment as to seriously impair the authority of this case.
While there is much in the opinion of the Chief Justice which tends to prove that he thought all the provisions of the Constitution extended of their own force to the territories west of the Mississippi, the question actually decided is readily distinguishable from the one involved in the cause under consideration. The power to prohibit slavery in the territories is so different from the power to impose duties upon territorial products, and depends upon such different provisions of the Constitution, that they can scarcely be considered as analogous, unless we assume broadly that every clause of the Constitution attaches to the territories as well as to the states,-a claim quite inconsistent with the position of the court in the Canter Case. If the assumption be true that slaves are indistinguishable from other property, the inference from the Dred Scott Case is irresistible that Congress had no power to prohibit their introduction into a territory. It would scarcely be insisted that Congress could with one hand invite settlers to locate in the territories of the United States, and with the other deny them the right to take their property and belongings with them. The two are so inseparable from each other that one could scarcely be granted and the other withheld without an exercise of arbitrary power inconsistent with the underlying principles of a free government. It might indeed be claimed with great plausibility that such a law would amount to a deprivation of property within the 14th Amendment. The difficulty with the Dred Scott Case was that the court refused to make a distinction between property in general and a wholly exceptional class of property. Mr. Benton tersely stated the distinction by saying that the Virginian might carry his slaves into the territories, but he could not carry with him the Virginian law which made him a slave.
In his history of the Dred Scott Case, Mr. Benton states that the doctrine that the Constitution extended to territories as well as to states first made its appearance in the Senate in the session of 1848-1849, by an attempt to amend a bill giving territorial government to California, New Mexico, and Utah (itself 'hitched on' to a general appropriation bill), by adding the words 'that the Constitution of the United States and all and singular the several acts of Congress (describing them) be and the same hereby are extended and given full force and efficacy in said territories.' Says Mr. Benton: 'The novelty and strangeness of this proposition called up Mr. Webster, who repulsed as an absurdity and as an impossibility the scheme of extending the Constitution to the territories, declaring that instrument to have been made for states, not territories; that Congress governed the territories independently of the Constitution and incompatibly with it; that no part of it went to a territory but what Congress chose to send; that it could not act of itself anywhere, not even in the states for which it was made, and that it required an act of Congress to put it in operation before it had effect anywhere Mr. Clay was of the same opinion and added: 'Now, really, I must say the idea that eo instanti upon the consummation of the treaty, the Constitution of the United States spread itself over the acquired territory and carried along with it the institution of slavery is so irreconcilable with my comprehension, or any reason I possess, that I hardly know how to meet it.' Upon the other hand, Mr. Calhoun boldly avowed his intent to carry slavery into them under the wing of the Constitution, and denounced as enemies of the south all who opposed it.'
The amendment was rejected by the House, and a contest brought on which threatened the loss of the general appropriation bill in which this amendment was incorporated, and the Senate finally receded from its amendment. 'Such,' said Mr. Benton, 'were the portentous circumstances under which this new doctrine first revealed itself in the American Senate, and then as needing legislative sanction requiring an act of Congress to carry the Constitution into the territories and to give it force and efficacy there.' Of the Dred Scott Case he says: 'I conclude this introductory note with recurring to the great fundamental error of the court (father of all the political errors), that of assuming the extension of the Constitution to the territories. I call it assuming, for it seems to be a naked assumption without a reason to support it, or a leg to stand upon, condemned by the Constitution itself and the whole history of its formation and administration. Who were the parties to it? The states alone. Their delegates framed it in the Federal convention; their citizens adopted it in the state conventions. The Northwest Territory was then in existence and it had been for three years; yet it had no voice either in the framing or adopting of the instrument, no delegate at Philadelphia, no submission of it to their will for adoption. The preamble shows it made by states. Territories are not alluded to in it.'
Finally, in summing up the results of the decisions holding the invalidity of the Missouri Compromise and the self-extension of the Constitution to the territories, he declares 'that the decisions conflict with the uniform action of all the departments of the Federal government from its foundation to the present time, and cannot be received as rules governing Congress and the people without reversing that action, and admitting the political supremacy of the court, and accepting an altered Constitution from its hands and taking a new and portentous point of departure in the working of the government.'
To sustain the judgment in the case under consideration, it by no means becomes necessary to show that none of the articles of the Constitution apply to the island of Porto Rico. There is a clear distinction between such prohibitions as go to the very root of the power of Congress to act at all, irrespective of time of place, and such as are operative only 'throughout the United States' or among the several states.
Thus, when the Constitution declares that 'no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed,' and that 'no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,' it goes to the competency of Congress to pass a bill of that description. Perhaps the same remark may apply to the 1st Amendment, that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.' We do not wish, however, to be understood as expressing an opinion how far the bill of rights contained in the first eight amendments is of general and how far of local application.
Upon the other hand, when the Constitution declares that all duties shall be uniform 'throughout the United States,' it becomes necessary to inquire whether there be any territory over which Congress has jurisdiction which is not a part of the 'United States,' by which term we understand the states whose people united to form the Constitution, and such as have since been admitted to the Union upon an equality with them. Not only did the people in adopting the 13th Amendment thus recognize a distinction between the United States and 'any place subject to their jurisdiction,' but Congress itself, in the act of March 27, 1804 (2 Stat. at L. 298, chap. 56), providing for the proof of public records, applied the provisions of the act, not only to 'every court and office within the United States,' but to the 'courts and offices of the respective territories of the United States and countries subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,' as to the courts and offices of the several states. This classification, adopted by the Eighth Congress, is carried into the Revised Statutes as follows:
'Sec. 905. The acts of the legislature of any state or territory, or of any country subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, shall be authenticated,' etc.
'Sec. 906. All records and exemplifications of books which may be kept in any public office of and state or territory, or of any country subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,' etc.
Unless these words are to be rejected as meaningless, we must treat them as a recognition by Congress of the fact that there may be teritories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which are not of the United States.
In determining the meaning of the words of article 1, section 8, 'uniform throughout the United States,' we are bound to consider, not only the provisions forbidding preference being given to the ports of one state over those of another (to which attention has already been called), but the other clauses declaring that no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state, and that no state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any imposts or duties upon imports or exports, nor any duty on tonnage. The object of all of these was to protect the states which united in forming the Constitution from discriminations by Congress, which would operate unfairly or injuriously upon some states and not equally upon others. The opinion of Mr. Justice White in Knowlton v. Moore, 178 U.S. 41, 44 L. ed. 969, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 747, contains an elaborate historical review of the proceedings in the convention, which resulted in the adoption of these different clauses and their arrangement, and he there comes to the conclusion (p. 105, L. ed. p. 995, Sup. Ct. Rep. p. 772) that 'although the provision as to preference between ports and that regarding uniformity of duties, imposts, and excises were one in purpose, one in their adoption,' they were originally placed together, and 'became separated only in arranging the Constitution for the purpose of style.' Thus construed together, the purpose is irresistible that the words 'throughout the United States' are indistinguishable from the words 'among or between the several states,' and that these prohibitions were intended to apply only to commerce between ports of the several states as they then existed or should thereafter be admitted to the Union.
Indeed, the practical interpretation put by Congress upon the Constitution has been long continued and uniform to the effect that the Constitution is applicable to territories acquired by purchase or conquest, only when and so far as Congress shall so direct. Notwithstanding its duty to 'guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government' (art. 4, § 4), by which we understand, according to the definition of Webster, 'a government in which the supreme power resides in the whole body of the people, and is exercised by representatives elected by them,' Congress did not hesitate, in the original organization of the territories of Louisiana, Florida, the Northwest Territory, and its subdivisions of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin and still more recently in the case of Alaska, to establish a form of government bearing a much greater analogy to a British Crown colony than a republican state of America, and to vest the legislative power either in a governor and council, or a governor and judges, to be appointed by the President. It was not until they had attained a certain population that power was given them to organize a legislature by vote of the people. In all these cases, as well as in territories subsequently organized west of the Mississippi, Congress thought it necessary either to extend to Constitution and laws of the United States over them, or to declare that the inhabitants should be entitled to enjoy the right of trial by jury, of bail, and of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, as well as other privileges of the bill of rights.
We are also of opinion that the power to acquire territory by treaty implies, not only the power to govern such territory, but to prescribe upon what terms the United States will receive its inhabitants, and what their status shall be in what Chief Justice Marshall termed the 'American empire.' There seems to be no middle ground between this position and the doctrine that if their inhabitants do not become, immediately upon annexation, citizens of the United States, their children thereafter born, whether savages or civilized, are such, and entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens. If such be their status, the consequences will be extremely serious. Indeed, it is doubtful if Congress would ever assent to the annexation of territory upon the condition that its inhabitants, however foreign they may be to our habits, traditions, and modes of life, shall become at once citizens of the United States. In all its treaties hitherto the treaty-making power has made special provision for this subject; in the cases of Louisiana and Florida, by stipulating that 'the inhabitants shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible . . . to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States;' in the case of Mexico, that they should 'be incorporated into the Union, and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States;' in the case of Alaska, that the inhabitants who remained three years, 'with the exception of uncivilized native tribes, shall be admitted to the enjoyment of all the rights,' etc; and in the case of Porto Rico and the Philippines, 'that the civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants . . . shall be determined by Congress.' In all these cases there is an implied denial of the right of the inhabitants to American citizenship until Congress by further action shall signify its assent thereto.
Grave apprehensions of danger are felt by many eminent men,-a fear lest an unrestrained possession of power on the part of Congress may lead to unjust and oppressive legislation in which the natural rights of territories, or their inhabitants, may be engulfed in a centralized despotism. These rears, however, find no justification in the action of Congress in the past century, nor in the conduct of the British Parliament towards its outlying possessions since the American Revolution. Indeed, in the only instance in which this court has declared an act of Congress unconstitutional as trespassing upon the rights of territories (the Missouri Compromise), such action was dictated by motives of humanity and justice, and so far commanded popular approval as to be embodied in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. There are certain principles of natural justice inherent in the Anglo-Saxon character, which need no expression in constitutions or statutes to give them effect or to secure dependencies against legislation manifestly hostile to their real interests. Even in the Foraker act itself, the constitutionality of which is so vigorously assailed, power was given to the legislative assembly of Porto Rico to repeal the very tariff in question in this case, a power it has not seen fit to exercise. The words of Chief Justice Marshall in Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 6 L. ed. 23, with respect to the power of Congress to regulate commerce, are pertinent in this connection: 'This power,' said he, 'like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution. . . . The wisdom and discretion of Congress, their identity with the people, and the influence which their constituents possess at elections, are in this, as in many other instances.-as that, for example, of declaring war,-the sole restraints on which they have relied to secure them from its abuse. They are the restraints on which the people must often rely solely in all representative governments.'
So too, in Johnson v. M'Intosh, 8 Wheat. 543, 583, 5 L. ed. 681, 691, it was said by him:
'The title by conquest is acquired and maintained by force. The conqueror prescribes its limits. Humanity, however, acting on public opinion, has established, as a general rule, that the conquered shall not be wantonly oppressed, and that their condition shall remain as eligible as is compatible with the objects of the conquest. Most usually they are incorporated with the victorious nation and become subjects or citizens of the government with which they are connected. The new and old members of the society mingle with each other; the distinction between them is gradually lost, and they make one people. Where this incorporation is practicable humanity demands, and a wise policy requires, that the rights of the conquered to property should remain unimpaired; that the new subjects should be governed as equitably as the old; and that confidence in their security should gradually banish the painful sense of being separated from their ancient connections and united by force to strangers.
'When the conquest is complete, and the conquered inhabitants can be blended with the conquerors, or safely governed as a distinct people, public opinion, which not even the conqueror can disregard, imposes these restraints upon him; and he cannot neglect them without injury to his fame and hazard to his power.'
The following remarks of Mr. Justice White in the case of Knowlton v. Moore, 178 U.S. 109, 44 L. ed. 996, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 774, in which the court upheld the progressive features of the legacy tax, are also pertinent:
'The grave consequences which it is asserted must arise in the future if the right to levy a progressive tax be recognized involves in its ultimate aspect the mere assertion that free and representative government is a failure, and that the grossest abuses of power are foreshadowed unless the courts usurp a purely legislative function. If a case should ever arise where an arbitrary and confiscatory exaction is imposed, bearing the guise of a progressive or any other form of tax, it will be time enough to consider whether the judicial power can afford a remedy by applying inherent and fundamental principles for the protection of the individual, even though there be no express authority in the Constitution to do so.'
It is obvious that in the annexation of outlying and distant possessions grave questions will arise from differences of race, habits, laws, and customs of the people, and from differences of soil, climate, and production, which may require action on the part of Congress that would be quite unnecessary in the annexation of contiguous territory inhabited only by people of the same race, or by scattered bodies of native Indians.
We suggest, without intending to decide, that there may be a distinction between certain natural rights enforced in the Constitution by prohibitions against interference with them, and what may be termed artificial or remedial rights which are peculiar to our own system of jurisprudence. Of the former class are the rights to one's own religious opinions and to a public expression of them, or, as sometimes said, to worship God according to the dictates of one's own conscience; the right to personal liberty and individual property; to freedom of speech and of the press; to free access to courts of justice, to due process of law, and to an equal protection of the laws; to immunities from unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as cruel and unusual punishments; and to such other immunities as are indispensable to a free government. Of the latter class are the rights to citizenship, to suffrage (Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 22 L. ed. 627), and to the particular methods of procedure pointed out in the Constitution, which are peculiar to Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, and some of which have already been held by the states to be unnecessary to the proper protection of individuals.
Whatever may be finally decided by the American people as to the status of these islands and their inhabitants,-whether they shall be introduced into the sisterhood of states or be permitted to form independent governments,-it does not follow that in the meantime, a waiting that decision, the people are in the matter of personal rights unprotected by the provisions of our Constitution and subject to the merely arbitrary control of Congress. Even if regarded as aliens, they are entitled under the principles of the Constitution to be protected in life, liberty, and property. This has been frequently held by this court in respect to the Chinese, even when aliens, not possessed of the political rights of citizens of the United States. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 30 L. ed. 220, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1064; Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698, 37 L. ed. 905, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1016; Lem Moon Sing, 158 U.S. 538, 547, 39 L. ed. 1082, 1085, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 962; Wong Wing v. United States, 163 U.S. 228, 41 L. ed. 140, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 977. We do not desire, however, to anticipate the difficulties which would naturally arise in this connection, but merely to disclaim any intention to hold that the inhabitants of these territories are subject to an unrestrained power on the part of Congress to deal with them upon the theory that they have no rights which it is bound to respect.
Large powers must necessarily be intrusted to Congress in dealing with these problems, and we are bound to assume that they will be judiciously exercised. That these powers may be abused is possible. But the same may be said of its powers under the Constitution as well as outside of it. Human wisdom has never devised a form of government so perfect that it may not be perverted to bad purposes. It is never conclusive to argue against the possession of certain powers from possible abuses of them. It is safe to say that if Congress should venture upon legislation manifestly dictated by selfish interests, it would receive quick rebuke at the hands of the people. Indeed, it is scarcely possible that Congress could do a greater injustice to these islands than would be involved in holding that it could not impose upon the states taxes and excises without extending the same taxes to them. Such requirement would bring them at once within our internal revenue system, including stamps, licenses, excises, and all the paraphernalia of that system, and apply it to territories which have had no experience of this kind, and where it would prove an intolerable burden.
This subject was carefully considered by the Senate committee in charge of the Foraker bill, which found, after an examination of the facts, that property in Porto Rico was already burdened with a private debt amounting probably to $30,000,000; that no system of property taxation was or ever had been in force in the island, and that it probably would require two years to inaugurate one and secure returns from it; that the revenues had always been chiefly raised by duties on imports and exports, and that our internal revenue laws, if applied in that island, would prove oppressive and ruinous to many people and interests; that to undertake to collect our heavy internal revenue tax, far heavier than Spain ever imposed upon their products and vocations, would be to invite violations of the law so innumerable as to make prosecutions impossible, and to almost certainly alienate and destroy the friendship and good will of that people for the United States.
In passing upon the questions involved in this and kindred cases, we ought not to overlook the fact that, while the Constitution was intended to establish a permanent form of government for the states which should elect to take advantage of its conditions, and continue for an indefinite future, the vast possibilities of that future could never have entered the minds of its framers. The states had but recently emerged from a war with one of the most powerful nations of Europe, were disheartened by the failure of the confederacy, and were doubtful as to the feasibility of a stronger union. Their territory was confined to a narrow strip of land on the Atlantic coast from Canada to Florida, with a somewhat indefinite claim to territory beyond the Alleghanies, where their sovereignty was disputed by tribes of hostile Indians supported, as was popularly believed, by the British, who had never formally delivered possession under the treaty of peace. The vast territory beyond the Mississippi, which formerly had been claimed by France, since 1762 had belonged to Spain, still a powerful nation and the owner of a great part of the Western Hemisphere. Under these circumstances it is little wonder that the question of annexing these territories was not made a subject of debate. The difficulties of bringing about a union of the states were so great, the objections to it seemed so formidable, that the whole thought of the convention centered upon surmounting these obstacles. The question of territories was dismissed with a single clause, apparently applicable only to the territories then existing, giving Congress the power to govern and dispose of them.
Had the acquisition of other territories been contemplated as a possibility, could it have been foreseen that, within little more than one hundred years, we were destined to acquire, not only the whole vast region between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but the Russian possessions in America and distant islands in the Pacific, it is incredible that no provision should have been made for them, and the question whether the Constitution should or should not extend to them have been definitely settled. If it be once conceded that we are at liberty to acquire foreign territory, a presumption arises that our power with respect to such territories is the same power which other nations have been accustomed to exercise with respect to territories acquired by them. If, in limiting the power which Congress was to exercise within the United States, it was also intended to limit it with regard to such territories as the people of the United States should thereafter acquire, such limitations should have been expressed. Instead of that, we find the Constitution speaking only to states, except in the territorial clause, which is absolute in its terms, and suggestive of no limitations upon the power of Congress in dealing with them. The states could only delegate to Congress such powers as they themselves possessed, and as they had no power to acquire new territory they had none to delegate in that connection. The logical inference from this is that if Congress had power to acquire new territory, which is conceded, that power was not hampered by the constitutional provisions. If, upon the other hand, we assume that the territorial clause of the Constitution was not intended to be restricted to such territory as the United States then possessed, there is nothing in the Constitution to indicate that the power of Congress in dealing with them was intended to be restricted by any of the other provisions.
There is a provision that 'new states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union.' These words, of course, carry the Constitution with them, but nothing is said regarding the acquisition of new territories or the extension of the Constitution over them. The liberality of Congress in legislating the Constitution into all our contiguous territories has undoubtedly fostered the impression that it went there by its own force, but there is nothing in the Constitution itself, and little in the interpretation put upon it, to confirm that impression. There is not even an analogy to the provisions of an ordinary mortgage, for its attachment to after-acquired property, without which it covers only property existing at the date of the mortgage. In short, there is absolute silence upon the subject. The executive and legislative departments of the government have for more than a century interpreted this silence as precluding the idea that the Constitution attached to these territories as soon as acquired, and unless such interpretation be manifestly contrary to the letter or spirit of the Constitution, it should be followed by the judicial department. Cooley, Const. Lim. §§ 81-85. Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 57, 28 L. ed. 349, 351, 4 Sup. Ct. Rep. 279; Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 691, 36 L. ed. 294, 309, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 495.
Patriotic and intelligent men may differ widely as to the desireableness of this or that acquisition, but this is solely a political question. We can only consider this aspect of the case so far as to say that no construction of the Constitution should be adopted which would prevent Congress from considering each case upon its merits, unless the language of the instrument imperatively demand it. A false step at this time might be fatal to the development of what Chief Justice Marshall called the American empire. Choice in some cases, the natural gravitation of small bodies towards large ones in others, the result of a successful war in still others, may bring about conditions which would render the annexation of distant possessions desirable. If those possessions are inhabited by alien races, differing from us in religion, customs, laws, methods of taxation, and modes of thought, the administration of government and justice, according to Anglo-Saxon principles, may for a time be impossible; and the question at once arises whether large concessions ought not to be made for a time, that ultimately our own theories may be carried out, and the blessings of a free government under the Constitution extended to them. We decline to hold that there is anything in the Constitution to forbid such action.
We are therefore of opinion that the island of Porto Rico is a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States within the revenue clauses of the Constitution; that the Foraker act is constitutional, so far as it imposes duties upon imports from such island, and that the plaintiff cannot recover back the duties exacted in this case.
The judgment of the Circuit Court is therefore affirmed.
Mr. Justice White, with whom concurred Mr. Justice Shiras and Mr. Justice McKenna, uniting in the judgment of affirmance:
Mr. Justice Brown, in announcing the judgment of affirmance, has in his opinion stated his reasons for his concurrence in such judgment. In the result I likewise concur. As, however, the reasons which cause me to do so are different from, if not in conflict with, those expressed in that opinion, if its meaning is by me not misconceived, it becomes my duty to state the convictions which control me.
The recovery sought is the amount of duty paid on merchandise which came into the United States from Porto Rico after July 1, 1900. The exaction was made in virtue of the act of Congress approved April 12, 1900, entitled 'An Act Temporarily to Provide Revenue and a Civil Government for Porto Rico, and for Other Purposes.' 31 Stat. at L. 77. The right to recover is predicated on the assumption that Porto Rico, by the ratification of the treaty with Spain, became incorporated into the United States, and therefore the act of Congress which imposed the duty in question is repugnant to article 1, § 8, clause 1, of the Constitution providing that 'the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.' Subsidiarily, it is contended that the duty collected was also repugnant to the export and preference clauses of the Constitution. But as the case concerns no duty on goods going from the United States to Porto Rico, this proposition must depend also on the hypothesis that the provisions of the Constitution referred to apply to Porto Rico because that island has been incorporated into the United States. It is hence manifest that this latter contention is involved in the previous one, and need not be separately considered.
The arguments at bar embrace many propositions which seem to me to be irrelevant, or, if relevant, to be so contrary to reason and so in conflict with previous decisions of this court as to cause them to require but a passing notice. To eliminate all controversies of this character, and thus to come to the pivotal contentions which the case involves, let me state and concede the soundness of some principles, referring, in doing so, in the margin to the authorities by which they are sustained, and making such comment on some of them as may to me appear necessary.
First. The government of the United States was born of the Constitution, and all powers which it enjoys or may exercise must be either derived expressly or by implication from that instrument. Ever then, when an act of any department is challenged because not warranted by the Constitution, the existence of the authority is to be ascertained by determining whether the power has been conferred by the Constitution, either in express terms or by lawful implication, to be drawn from the express authority conferred, or deduced as an attribute which legitimately inheres in the nature of the powers given, and which flows from the character of the government established by the Constitution. In other words, while confined to its constitutional orbit, the government of the United States is supreme within its lawful sphere. 
Second. Every function of the government being thus derived from the Constitution, it follows that that instrument is everywhere and at all times potential in so far as its provisions are applicable. 
Third. Hence it is that wherever a power is given by the Constitution, and there is a limitation imposed on the authority, such restriction operates upon and confines every action on the subject within its constitutional limits. 
Fourth. Consequently it is impossible to conceive that, where conditions are brought about to which any particular provision of the Constitution applies, its controlling influence may be frustrated by the action of any or all of the departments of the government. Those departments, when discharging, within the limits of their constitutional power, the duties which rest on them, may of course deal with the subjects committed to them in such a way as to cause the matter dealt with to come under the control of provisions of the Constitution which may not have been previously applicable. But this does not conflict with the doctrine just stated, or presuppose that the Constitution may or may not be applicable at the election of any agency of the government.
Fifth. The Constitution has undoubtedly conferred on Congress the right to create such municipal organizations as it may deem best for all the territories of the United States, whether they have been incorporated or not, to give to the inhabitants as respects the local governments such degree of representation as may be conducive to the public well-being, to deprive such territory of representative government if it is considered just to do so, and to change such local governments at discretion. 
The plenitude of the power of Congress as just stated is conceded by both sides to this controversy. It has been manifest from the earliest days, and so many examples are afforded of it that to refer to them seems superfluous. However, there is an instance which exemplifies the exercise of the power substantially in all its forms, in such an apt way that reference is made to it. The instance referred to is the District of Columbia, which has had from the beginning different forms of government conferred upon it by Congress, some largely representative, others only partially so, until, at the present time, the people of the District live under a local government totally devoid of local representation, in the elective sense, administered solely by officers appointed by the President, Congress, in which the District has no representative in effect, acting as the local legislature.
In some adjudged cases the power to locally govern at discretion has been declared to arise as an incident to the right to acquire territory. In others it has been rested upon the clause of § 3, article 4, of the Constitution, which vests Congress with the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property of the United States.  But this divergence, if not conflict of opinion, does not imply that the authority of Congress to govern the territories is outside of the Constitution, since in either case the right is founded on the Constitution, although referred to different provisions of that instrument.
While, therefore, there is no express or implied limitation on Congress in exercising its power to create local governments for any and all of the territories, by which that body is restrained from the widest latitude of discretion, it does not follow that there may not be inherent, although unexpressed, principles which are the basis of all free government which cannot be with impunity transcended.  But this does not suggest that every express limitation of the Constitution which is applicable has not force, but only signifies that even in cases where there is no direct command of the Constitution which applies, there may nevertheless be restrictions of so fundamental a nature that they cannot be transgressed, although not expressed in so many words in the Constitution.
Sixth. As Congress in governing the territories is subject to the Constitution, it results that all the limitations of the Constitution which are applicable to Congress in exercising this authority necessarily limit its power on this subject. It follows, also, that every provision of the Constitution which is applicable to the territories is also controlling therein. To justify a departure from this elementary principle by a criticism of the opinion of Mr. Chief Justice Taney in Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 15 L. ed. 691, appears to me to be unwarranted. Whatever may be the view entertained of the correctness of the opinion of the court in that case, in so far as it interpreted a particular provision of the Constitution concerning slavery, and decided that as so construed it was in force in the territories, this in no way affects the principle which that decision announced, that the applicable provisions of the Constitution were operative. That doctrine was concurred in by the dissenting judges, as the following excerpts demonstrate. Thus Mr. Justice McLean, in the course of his dissenting opinion, said (19 How. 542, 15 L. ed. 757):
'In organizing the government of a territory, Congress is limited to means appropriate to the attainment of the constitutional object. No powers can be exercised which are prohibited by the Constitution, or which are contrary to its spirit.' Mr. Justice Curtis, also, in the dissent expressed by him, said (p. 614, L. ed. p. 787):
'If, then, this clause does contain a power to legislate respecting the territory, what are the limits of that power?
'To this I answer that, in common with all other legislative powers of Congress, it finds limits in the express prohibitions on Congress not to do certain things; that, in the exercise of the legislative power, Congress cannot pass an ex post facto law or bill of attainder; and so in respect to each of the other prohibitions contained in the Constitution.'
Seventh. In the case of the territories, as in every other instance, when a provision of the Constitution is invoked, the question which arises is, not whether the Constitution is operative, for that is self-evident, but whether the provision relied on is applicable.
Eighth. As Congress derives its authority to levy local taxes for local purposes within the territories, not from the general grant of power to tax as expressed in the Constitution, it follows that its right to locally tax is not to be measured by the provision empowering Congress 'to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises,' and is not restrained by the requirement of uniformity throughout the United States. But the power just referred to, as well as the qualification of uniformity, restrains Congress from imposing an impost duty on goods coming into the United States from a territory which has been incorporated into and forms a part of the United States. This results because the clause of the Constitution in question does not confer upon Congress power to impose such an impost duty on goods coming from one part of the United States to another part thereof, and such duty, besides, would be repugnant to the requirement of uniformity throughout the United States. 
To question the principle above stated on the assumption that the rulings on this subject of Mr. Chief Justice Marshall in Loughborough borough v. Blake were mere dicta seems to me to be entirely inadmissible. And, besides, if such view was justified, the principle would still find support in the decision in Woodruff v. Parham, and that decision, in this regard, was affirmed by this court in Brown v. Houston, 114 U.S. 622, 29 L. ed. 257, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1091 and Fairbank v. United States, 181 U.S. 283, ante, 648, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 648.
From these conceded propositions it follows that Congress in legislating for Porto Rico was only empowered to act within the Constitution and subject to its applicable limitations, and that every provision of the Constitution which applied to a country situated as was that island was potential in Porto Rico.
And the determination of what particular provision of the Constitution is applicable, generally speaking, in all cases, involves an inquiry into the situation of the territory and its relations to the United States. This is well illustrated by some of the decisions of this court which are cited in the margin.  Some of these decisions hold on the one hand that, growing out of the presumably ephemeral nature of a territorial government, the provisions of the Constitution relating to the life tenure of judges is inapplicable to courts created by Congress, even in territories which are incorporated into the United States, and some, on the other hand, decide that the provisions as to common-law juries found in the Constitution are applicable under like conditions; that is to say, although the judge presiding over a jury need not have the constitutional tenure, yet the jury must be in accordance with the Constitution. And the application of the provision of the Constitution relating to juries has been also considered in a different aspect, the case being noted in the margin. 
The question involved was the constitutionality of the statutes of the United States conferring power on ministers and consuls to try American citizens for crimes committed in certain foreign countries. Rev. Stat. 4083-4086. The court held the provisions in question not to be repugnant to the Constitution, and that a conviction for a felony without a previous indictment by a grand jury, or the summoning of a petty jury, was valid.
It was decided that the provisions of the Constitution relating to grand and petty juries were inapplicable to consular courts exercising their jurisdiction in certain countries foreign to the United States. But this did not import that the government of the United States in creating and conferring jurisdiction on consuls and ministers acted outside of the Constitution, since it was expressly held that the power to call such courts into being and to confer upon them the right to try, in the foreign countries in question, American citizens, was deducible from the treaty-making power as conferred by the Constitution. The court said (p. 463, L. ed. p. 585, Sup. Ct. Rep. p. 900):
'The treaty-making power vested in our government extends to all proper subjects of negotiation with foreign governments. It can, equally with any of the former or present governments of Europe, make treaties providing for the exercise of judicial authority in other countries by its officers appointed to reside therein.'
In other words, the case concerned, not the question of a power outside the Constitution, but simply whether certain provisions of the Constitution were applicable to the authority exercised under the circumstances which the case presented.
Albeit, as a general rule, the status of a particular territory has to be taken in view when the applicability of any provision of the Constitution is questioned, it does not follow, when the Constitution has absolutely withheld from the government all power on a given subject, that such an inquiry is necessary. Undoubtedly there are general prohibitions in the Constitution in favor of the liberty and property of the citizen, which are not mere regulations as to the form and manner in which a conceded power may be exercised, but which are an absolute denial of all authority under any circumstances or conditions to do particular acts. In the nature of things, limitations of this character cannot be under any circumstances transcended, because of the complete absence of power.
The distinction which exists between the two characters of restrictions-those which regulate a granted power and those which withdraw all authority on a particular subject-has in effect been always conceded, even by those who most strenuously insisted on the erroneous principle that the Constitution did not apply to Congress in legislating for the territories, and was not operative in such districts of country. No one had more broadly asserted this principle than Mr. Webster. Indeed, the support which that proposition receives from expressions of that illustrious man have been mainly relied upon to sustain it, and yet there can be no doubt that, even while insisting upon such principle, it was conceded by Mr. Webster that those positive prohibitions of the Constitution which withhold all power on a particular subject were always applicable. His views of the principal proposition and his concession as to the existence of the qualification are clearly shown by a debate which took place in the Senate on February 24, 1849, on an amendment offered by Mr. Walker extending the Constitution and certain laws of the United States over California and New Mexico. Mr. Webster, in support of his conception that the Constitution did not, generally speaking, control Congress in legislating for the territories or operate in such districts, said as follows (20 Cong. Globe, App. p. 272):
'Mr. President, it is of importance that we should seek to have clear ideas and correct notions of the question which this amendment of the member from Wisconsin has presented to us; and especially that we should seek to get some conception of what is meant by the proposition, in a law, to 'extend the Constitution of the United States to the territories.' Why, sir, the thing is utterly impossible. All the legislation in the world, in this general form, could not accomplish it. There is no cause for the operation of the legislative power in such a matter as that. The Constitution, what is it-we extend the Constitution of the United States by law to a territory? What is the Constitution of the United States? Is not its very first principle that all within its influence and comprehension shall be represented in the legislature which it establishes, with not only the right of debate and the right to vote in both Houses of Congress, but a right to partake in the choice of the President and Vice President? And can we by law extend these rights, or any of them, to a territory of the United States? Everybody will see that it is altogether impracticable.'
Thereupon, the following colloquy ensued between Mr. Underwood and Mr. Webster (Ibid. 281-282):
'Mr. Underwood: 'The learned Senator from Massachusetts says, and says most appropriately and forcibly, that the principles of the Constitution are obligatory upon us even while legislating for the territories. That is true, I admit, in its fullest force, but if it is obligatory upon us while legislating for the territories, is it possible that it will not be equally obligatory upon the officers who are appointed to administer the laws in these territories?'
'Mr. Webster: 'I never said it was not obligatory upon them. What I said was, that in making laws for these territories it was the high duty of Congress to regard those great principles in the Constitution intended for the security of personal liberty and for the security of property.'
'Mr. Underwood: '. . . Suppose we provide by our legislation that nobody shall be appointed to an office there who professes the Catholic religion. What do we do by an act of this sort?'
'Mr. Webster: 'We violate the Constitution, which says that no religious test shall be required as qualification for office."
And this was the state of opinion generally prevailing in the Free Soil and Republican parties, since the resistance of those parties to the extension of slavery into the territories, while in a broad sense predicated on the proposition that the Constitution was not generally controlling in the territories, was sustained by express reliance upon the 5th Amendment to the Constitution forbidding Congress from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Every platform adopted by those parties down to and including 1860, while propounding the general doctrine, also in effect declared the rule just stated. I append in the margin an excerpt from the platform of the Free Soil party adopted in 1842. 
The conceptions embodied in these resolutions were in almost identical language reiterated in the platform of the Liberty party in 1843, in that of the Free Soil party in 1852, and in the platform of the Republican party in 1856. Stanwood, Hist. of Presidency, pp. 218, 253, 254, and 271. In effect, the same thought was repeated in the declaration of principles made by the Republican party convention in 1860, when Mr. Lincoln was nominated, as will be seen from an excerpt therefrom set out in the margin. 
The doctrine that those absolute withdrawals of power which the Constitution has made in favor of human liberty are applicable to every condition or status has been clearly pointed out by this court in Chicago, R. I. & P. R. Co. v. McGlinn (1885) 114 U.S. 542, 29 L. ed. 270, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1005, where, speaking through Mr. Justice Field, the court said (p. 546, L. ed. p. 271, Sup. Ct. Rep. p. 1006):
'It is a general rule of public law, recognized and acted upon by the United States, that whenever political jurisdiction and legislative power over any territory are transferred from one nation of sovereign to another the municipal laws of the country that is, laws which are intended for the protection of private rights-continue in force until abrogated or changed by the new government or sovereign. By the cession, public property passes from one government to the other, but private property remains as before, and with it those municipal laws which are designed to secure its peaceful use and enjoyment. As a matter of course, all laws, ordinances, and regulations in conflict with the political character, institutions, and constitution of the new government are at once displaced. Thus, upon a cession of political jurisdiction and legislative power-and the latter is involved in the former-to the United States, the laws of the country in support of an established religion, or abridging the freedom of the press, or authorizing cruel and unusual punishments, and the like, would at once cease to be of obligatory force, without any declaration to that effect; and the laws of the country on other subjects would necessarily be superseded by existing laws of the new government upon the same matters. But with respect to other laws affecting the possession, use, and transfer of property, and designed to secure good order and peace in the community, and promote its health and prosperity, which are strictly of a municipal character, the rule is general that a change of government leaves them in force until, by direct action of the new government, they are altered or repealed. American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 542, 7 L. ed. 255; Halleck, International Law, chap. 34, § 14.'
There is in reason, then, no room in this case to contend that Congress can destroy the liberties of the people of Porto Rico by exercising in their regard powers against freedom and justice which the Constitution has absolutely denied. There can also be no controversy as to the right of Congress to locally govern the island of Porto Rico as its wisdom may decide, and in so doing to accord only such degree of representative government as may be determined on by that body. There can also be no contention as to the authority of Congress to levy such local taxes in Porto Rico as it may choose, even although the amount of the local burden so levied be manifold more onerous than is the duty with which this case is concerned. But as the duty in question was not a local tax, since it was levied in the United States on goods coming from Porto Rico, it follows that, if that island was a part of the United States, the duty was repugnant to the Constitution, since the authority to levy an impost duty conferred by the Constitution on Congress does not, as I have conceded, include the right to lay such a burden on goods coming from one to another part of the United States. And, besides, if Porto Rico was a part of the United States the exaction was repugnant to the uniformity clause.
The sole and only issue, then, is not whether Congress has taxed Porto Rico without representation,-for, whether the tax was local or national, it could have been imposed although Porto Rico had no representative local government and was not represented in Congress,-but is whether the particular tax in question was levied in such form as to cause it to be repugnant to the Constitution. This is to be resolved by answering the inquiry, Had Porto Rico, at the time of the passage of the act in question, been incorporated into and become an integral part of the United States?
On the one hand, it is affirmed that, although Porto Rico had been ceded by the treaty with Spain to the United States, the cession was accompanied by such conditions as prevented that island from becoming an integral part of the United States, at least temporarily and until Congress had so determined. On the other hand, it is insisted that by the fact of cession to the United States alone, irrespective of any conditions found in the treaty, Porto Rico became a part of the United States and was incorporated into it. It is incompatible with the Constitution, it is argued, for the government of the United States to accept a cession of territory from a foreign country without complete incorporation following as an immediate result, and therefore it is contended that it is immaterial to inquire what were the conditions of the cession, since if there were any which were intended to prevent incorporation they were repugnant to the Constitution and void. The result of the argument is that the government of the United States is absolutely without power to acquire and hold territory as property or as appurtenant to the United States. These conflicting contentions are asserted to be sanctioned by many adjudications of this court and by various acts of the executive and legislative branches of the government; both sides, in many instances, referring to the same decisions and to the like acts, but deducing contrary conclusions from them. From this it comes to pass that it will be impossible to weigh the authorities relied upon without ascertaining the subject-matter to which they refer, in order to determine their proper influence. For this reason, in the orderly discussion of the controversy, I propose to consider the subject from the Constitution itself, as a matter of first impression, from that instrument as illustrated by the history of the government, and as construed by the previous decisions of this court. By this process, if accurately carried out, it will follow that the true solution of the question will be ascertained, both deductively and inductively, and the result, besides, will be adequately proved.
It may not be doubted that by the general principles of the law of nations every government which is sovereign within its sphere of action possesses as an inherent attribute the power to acquire territory by discovery, by agreement or treaty, and by conquest. It cannot also be gainsaid that, as a general rule, wherever a government acquires territory as a result of any of the modes above stated, the relation of the territory to the new government is to be determined by the acquiring power in the absence of stipulations upon the subject. These general principles of the law of nations are thus stated by Halleck in his treatise on International Law, page 126:
'A state may acquire property or domain in various ways; its title may be acquired originally by mere occupancy, and confirmed by the presumption arising from the lapse of time; or by discovery and lawful possession; or by conquest, confirmed by treaty or tacit consent; or by grant, cession, purchase, or exchange; in fine, by any of the recognized modes by which private property is acquired by individuals. It is not our object to enter into any general discussion of these several modes of acquisition, any further than may be necessary to distinguish the character of certain rights of property which are the peculiar objects of international jurisprudence. Wheaton, International Law, pt. 2, chap. 4, §§ 1, 4, 5; 1 Phillimore, International Law, §§ 221-227; Grotius, de Jur. Bel. ac. Pac., lib. 2, chap. 4; Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. 2, chaps. 7 and 11; Rutherford, Inst. b. 1, chap. 3, b. 2, chap. 9; Puffendorf, de Jur. Nat. et. Gent., lib. 4, chaps. 4-6; Moser, Versuch, etc., b. 5, chap. 9; Martens, Precis du Droit des Gens. §§ 35 et seq.; Schmaltz, Droit des Gens, liv. 4, chap. 1; Kluber, Droit des Gens, §§ 125, 126; Heffter, Droit International, § 76; Ortolan, Domaine International, §§ 53 et seq.; Bowyer, Universal Public Law, chap. 28; Bello, Derecho Internacional, pt. 1, chap. 4; Riquelme, Derecho, Pub. Int., lib. 1, title 1, chap. 2; Burlamaqui, Droit de la Nat. et des Gens, tome 4, pt. 3, chap. 5.'
Speaking of a change of sovereignty, Halleck says (pp. 76, 814):
'Chap. 3, § 23. The sovereignty of a state may be lost in various ways. It may be vanquished by a foreign power, and become incorporated into the conquering state as a province or as one of its component parts; or it may voluntarily unite itself with another in such a way that its independent existence as a state will entirely cease.
* * * * *
'Chap. 33, § 3. If the hostile nation be subdued and the entire state conquered, a question arises as to the manner in which the conqueror may treat it without transgressing the just bounds established by the rights of conquest. If he simply replaces the former sovereign, and, on the submission of the people, governs them according to the laws of the state, they can have no cause of complaint. Again, if he incorporate them with his former states, giving to them the rights, privileges, and immunities of his own subjects, he does for them all that is due from a humane and equitable conqueror to his vanquished foes. But if the conquered are a fierce, savage, and restless people, he may, according to the degree of their indocility, govern them with a tighter rein, so as to curb their 'impetuosity, and to keep them under subjection.' Moreover, the rights of conquest may, in certain cases, justify him in imposing a tribute or other burthen, either a compensation for the expenses of the war or as a punishment for the injustice he has suffered from them . . . Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. 3, ch. 13, § 201; 2 Curtius, History, etc., liv. 7, cap. 8; Grotius, de Bel. ac Pac. lib. 3, caps. 8, 15; Puffendorf, de Jur. Nat. et Gent. lib. 8, cap. 6, § 24; Real, Science du Gouvernement, tome 5, ch. 2, § 5; Heffter, Droit International, § 124; Abegg. Untersuchungen, etc., p. 86.'
In American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L. ed. 242, the general doctrine was thus summarized in the opinion delivered by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall (p. 542, L. ed. p. 255):
'If it [conquered territory] be ceded by the treaty, the acquisition is confirmed, and the ceded territory becomes a part of the nation to which it is annexed, either on the terms stipulated in the treaty of cession or on such as its new master shall impose.'
When our forefathers threw off their allegiance to Great Britain and established a republican government, assuredly they deemed that the nation which they called into being was endowed with those general powers to acquire territory which all independent governments in virtue of their sovereignty enjoyed. This is demonstrated by the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which reads as follows:
'As free and independent states, they [the United States of America] have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.'
That under the Confederation it was considered that the government of the United States had authority to acquire territory like any other sovereignty is clearly established by the 11th of the Articles of Confederation.
The decisions of this court leave no room for question that, under the Constitution, the government of the United States, in virtue of its sovereignty, supreme within the sphere of its delegated power, has the full right to acquire territory enjoyed by every other sovereign nation.
In American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L. ed. 242, the court, by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, said (p. 542, L. ed. p. 255):
'The Constitution confers absolutely on the government of the Union the powers of making war and of making treaties; consequently, that government possesses the power of acquiring territory, either by conquest or by treaty.'
In United States v. Huckabee (1872) 16 Wall. 414, 21 L. ed. 457, the court speaking through Mr. Justice Clifford, said (p. 434, L. ed. p. 464):
'Power to acquire territory either by conquest or treaty is vested by the Constitution in the United States. Conquered territory, however, is usually held as a mere military occupation until the fate of the nation from which it is conquered is determined; but if the nation is entirely subdued, or in case it be destroyed and ceases to exist, the right of occupation becomes permanent, and the title vests absolutely in the conqueror. American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L. ed. 242; 30 Hogsheads of Sugar v. Boyle, 9 Cranch, 195, 3 L. ed. 702; Shanks v. Dupont, 3 Pet. 246, 7 L. ed. 668; United States v. Rice, 4 Wheat. 254, 4 L. ed. 564; The Amy Warwick, 2 Sprague, 143, Fed. Cas. No. 342; Johnson v. M'Intosh, 8 Wheat. 588, 5 L. ed. 692. Complete conquest, by whatever mode it may be perfected, carries with it all the rights of the former government; or, in other words, the conqueror, by the completion of his conquest, becomes the absolute owner of the property conquered from the enemy nation or state. His rights are no longer limited to mere occupation of what he has taken into his actual possession, but they extend to all the property and rights of the conquered state, including even debts as well as personal and real property. Halleck, International Law, 839; Elphinstone v. Bedreechund, 1 Knapp, P. C. C. 329; Vattel, 365; 3 Phillimore, International Law, 505.'
In Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. v. United States (1889) 136 U.S. 1, 34 L. ed. 478, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 792, Mr. Justice Bradley, announcing the opinion of the court declared (p. 42, L. ed. p. 491, Sup. Ct. Rep. p. 802):
'The power to acquire territory, other than the territory northwest of the Ohio river (which belonged to the United States at the adoption of the Constitution), is derived from the treaty-making power and the power to declare and carry on war. The incidents of these powers are those of national sovereignty, and belong to all independent governments. The power to make acquisitions of territory by conquest, by treaty, and by cession is an incident of national sovereignty. The territory of Louisiana, when acquired from France, and the territories west of the Rocky mountains, when acquired from Mexico, became the absolute property and domain of the United States, subject to such conditions as the government, in its diplomatic negotiations, had seen fit to accept relating to the rights of the people then inhabiting those territories.'
Indeed, it is superfluous to cite authorities establishing the right of the government of the United States to acquire territory, in view of the possession of the Northwest Territory when the Constitution was framed and the cessions to the general government by various states subsequent to the adoption of the Constitution, and in view also of the vast extension of the territory of the United States brought about since the existence of the Constitution by substantially every form of acquisition known to the law of nations. Thus, in part at least, 'the title of the United States to Oregon was founded upon original discovery and actual settlement by citizens of the United States, authorized or approved by the government of the United States.' Shively v. Bowlby, 152 U.S. 50, 38 L. ed. 349, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 566. The province of Louisiana was ceded by France in 1803; the Floridas were transferred by Spain in 1819; Texas was admitted into the Union by compact with Congress in 1845; California and New Mexico were acquired by the treaty with Mexico of 1848, and other western territory from Mexico by the treaty of 1853; numerous islands have been brought within the dominion of the United States under the authority of the act of August 18, 1856, chap. 164, usually designated as the Guano islands act, re-enacted in Revised Statutes, §§ 5570-5578; Alaska was ceded by Russia in 1867; Medway island, the western end of the Hawaiian group, 1,200 miles from Honolulu, was acquired in 1867, and $50,000 was expended in efforts to make it a naval station; on the renewal of a treaty with Hawaii November 9, 1887, Pearl harbor was leased for a permanent naval station; by joint resolution of Congress the Hawaiian islands came under the sovereignty of the United States in 1898; and on April 30, 1900, an act for the government of Hawaii was approved, by which the Hawaiian islands were given the status of an incorporated territory; on May 21, 1890, there was proclaimed by the President an agreement, concluded and signed with Germany and Great Britain, for the joint administration of the Samoan islands (26 Stat. at L. 1497); and on February 16, 1900 (31 Stat. at L. --, there was proclaimed a convention between the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, by which Germany and Great Britain renounced in favor of the United States all their rights and claims over and in respect to the island of Tutuilla and all other islands of the Samoan group east of longitude 171x west of Greenwich. And finally the treaty with Spain which terminated the recent war was ratified.
It is worthy of remark that, beginning in the administration of President Jefferson, the acquisition of foreign territory above referred to were largely made while that political party was in power which announced as its fundamental tenet the duty of strictly construing the Constitution, and it is true to say that all shades of political opinion have admitted the power to acquire and lent their aid to its accomplishment. And the power has been asserted in instances where it has not been exercised. Thus, during the administration of President Pierce, in 1854, a draft of a treaty for the annexation of Hawaii was agreed upon, but, owing to the death of the King of the Hawaiian islands, was not executed. The 2d article of the proposed treaty provided as follows (Ex. Doc. Senate, 55th Congress, 2d sess., Report No. 681, Calendar No. 747, p. 91):
The Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands shall be incorporated into the American Union as a state, enjoying the same degree of sovereignty as other states, and admitted as such as soon as it can be done in consistency with the principles and requirements of the Federal Constitution, to all the rights, privileges, and immunities of a state as aforesaid, on a perfect equality with the other states of the Union.
It is insisted, however, conceding the right of the government of the United States to acquire territory, as all such territory when acquired becomes absolutely incorporated into the United States, every provision of the Constitution which would apply under that situation is controlling in such acquired territory. This, however, is but to admit the power to acquire, and immediately to deny its beneficial existence.
The general principle of the law of nations, already stated, is that acquired territory, in the absence of agreement to the contrary, will bear such relation to the acquiring government as may be by it determined. To concede to the government of the United States the right to acquire, and to strip it of all power to protect the birthright of its own citizens and to provide for the well being of the acquired territory by such enactments as may in view of its condition be essential, is, in effect, to say that the United States is helpless in the family of nations, and does not possess that authority which has at all times been treated as an incident of the right to acquire. Let me illustrate the accuracy of this statement. Take a case of discovery. Citizens of the United States discover an unknown island, peopled with an uncivilized race, yet rich in soil, and valuable to the United States for commercial and strategic reasons. Clearly, by the law of nations, the right to ratify such acquisition and thus to acquire the territory would pertain to the government of the United States. Johnson v. M'Intosh, 8 Wheat. 543, 595, 5 L. ed. 681, 694; Martin v. Waddell, 16 Pet. 367, 409, 10 L. ed. 997, 1012; Jones v. United States, 137 U.S. 202, 212, 34 L. ed. 691, 695, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 80; Shively v. Bowlby, 152 U.S. 1, 50, 38 L. ed. 331, 349, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 548. Can it be denied that such right could not be practically exercised if the result would be to endow the inhabitants with citizenship of the United States and to subject them, not only to local, but also to an equal proportion of national, taxes, even although the consequence would be to entail ruin on the discovered territory, and to inflict grave detriment on the United States, to arise both from the dislocation of its fiscal system and the immediate bestowal of citizenship on those absolutely unfit to receive it?
The practice of the government has been otherwise. As early as 1856 Congress enacted the Guano islands act, heretofore referred to, which by § 1 provided that when any citizen of the United States shall 'discover a deposit of guano on any island, rock, or key not within the lawful jurisdiction of any other government, and not occupied by the citizens of any other government, and shall take peaceable possession thereof, and occupy the same, said island, rock, or key may, at the discretion of the President of the United States, be considered as appertaining to the United States.' 11 Stat. at L. 119, chap. 164; Rev. Stat. § 5570. Under the act referred to, it was stated in argument, that the government now holds and protects American citizens in the occupation of some seventy islands. The statute came under consideration in Jones v. United States, 137 U.S. 202, 34 L. ed. 691, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 80, where the question was whether or not the act was valid, and it was decided that the act was a lawful exercise of power, and that islands thus acquired were 'appurtenant' to the United States. The court, in the course of the opinion, speaking through Mr. Justice Gray, said (p. 212, L. ed. p. 695, Sup. Ct. Rep. p. 83):
'By the law of nations, recognized by all civilized states, dominion of new territory may be acquired by discovery and occupation, as well as by cession or conquest; and when citizens or subjects of one nation, in its name and by its authority or with its assent, take and hold actual, continuous, and useful possession (although only for the purpose of carrying on a particular business, such as catching and curing fish or working mines) of territory unoccupied by any other government of its citizens, the nation to which they belong may exercise such jurisdiction and for such period as it sees fit over territory so acquired. This principle affords ample warrant for the legislation of Congress concerning guano islands. Vattel, lib. 1, chap. 18; Wheaton, International Law, 8th ed. §§ 161, 165, 176, note 104; Halleck, International Law, chap. 6, §§ 7, 15; 1 Phillimore, International Law, 3d ed. §§ 227, 229, 230, 232, 242; 1 Calvo, Droit International, 4th ed. §§ 266, 277, 300; Whiton v. Albany City Ins. Co. 109 Mass. 24, 31.
And these considerations concerning discovery are equally applicable to ownership resulting from conquest. A just war is declared, and in its prosecution the territory of the enemy is invaded and occupied. Would not the war, even if waged successfully, be fraught with danger if the effect of occupation was to necessarily incorporate an alien and hostile people into the United States? Take another illustration. Suppose at the termination of a war the hostile government had been overthrown, and the entire territory or a portion thereof was occupied by the United States, and there was no government to treat with or none willing to cede by treaty, and thus it became necessary for the United States to hold the conquered country for an indefinite period, or at least until such time as Congress deemed that it should be either released or retained because it was apt for incorporation into the United States. If holding was to have the effect which is now claimed for it, would not the exercise of judgment respecting the retention be so fraught with danger to the American people that it could not be safely exercised?
Yet again. Suppose the United States, in consequence of outrages perpetrated upon its citizens, was obliged to move its armies or send its fleets to obtain redress, and it came to pass that an expensive war resulted and culminated in the occupation of a portion of the territory of the enemy, and that the retention of such territory-an event illustrated by examples in history-could alone enable the United States to recover the pecuniary loss it had suffered. And suppose, further, that to do so would require occupation for an indefinite period, dependent upon whether or not payment was made of the required indemnity. It being true that incorporation must necessarily follow the retention of the territory, it would result that the United States must abandon all hope of recouping itself for the loss suffered by the unjust war, and hence the whole burden would be entailed upon the people of the United States. This would be a necessary consequence, because if the United States did not hold the territory as security for the needed indemnity it could not collect such indemnity, and, on the other hand, if incorporation must follow from holding the territory the uniformity provision of the Constitution would prevent the assessment of the cost of the war solely upon the newly acquired country. In this, as in the case of discovery, the traditions and practices of the government demonstrate the unsoundness of the contention. Congress on May 13, 1846, declared that war existed with Mexico. In the summer of that year New Mexico and California were subdued by the American arms, and the military occupation which followed continued until after the treaty of peace was ratified, in May, 1848. Tampico, a Mexican port, was occupied by our forces on November 15, 1846, and possession was not surrendered until after the ratification. In the spring of 1847 President Polk, through the Secretary of the Treasury, prepared a tariff of duties on imports and tonnage which was put in force in the conquered country. 1 Senate Documents, First Session, 30th Congress, pp. 562, 569. By this tariff, duties were laid as well on merchandise, exported from the United States as from other countries, except as to supplies for our army, and on May 10, 1847, an exemption from tonnage duties was accorded to 'all vessels chartered by the United States to convey supplies of any and all descriptions to our army and navy, and actually laden with supplies.' Ibid. 583. An interesting debate respecting the constitutionality of this action of the President is contained in 18 Cong. Globe, First Session, 30th Congress, at pp. 478, 479, 484-489, 495, 498, etc.
In Fleming v. Page, 9 How. 603, 13 L. ed. 276, it was held that the revenue officials properly treated Tampico as a port of a foreign country during the occupation by the military forces of the United States, and that duties on imports into the United States from Tampico were lawfully levied under the general tariff act of 1846. Thus, although Tampico was in the possession of the United States, and the court expressly held that in an international sense the port was a part of the territory of the United States, yet it was decided that in the sense of the revenue laws Tampico was a foreign country. The special tariff act promulgated by President Polk was in force in New Mexico and California until after notice was received of the ratification of the treaty of peace. In Cross v. Harrison, 16 How. 164, 14 L. ed. 889, certain collections of impost duties on goods brought from foreign countries into California prior to the time when official notification had been received in California that the treaty of cession had been ratified, as well as impost duties levied after the receipt of such notice, were called in question. The duties collected prior to the receipt of notice were laid at the rate fixed by the tariff promulgated by the President; those laid after the notification conformed to the general tariff laws of the United States. The court decided that all the duties collected were valid. The court undoubtedly in the course of its opinion said that immediately upon the ratification of the treaty California became a part of the United States and subject to its revenue laws. However, the opinion pointedly referred to a letter of the Secretary of the Treasury directing the enforcement of the tariff laws of the United States, upon the express ground that Congress had enacted laws which recognized the treaty of cession. Besides, the decision was expressly placed upon the conditions of the treaty, and it was stated, in so many words, that a different rule would have been applied had the stipulations in the treaty been of a different character.
But, it is argued, all the instances previously referred to may be conceded, for they but illustrate the rule inter arma sitent leges. Hence, they do not apply to acts done after the cessation of hostilities when a treaty of peace has been concluded. This not only begs the question, but also embodies a fallacy. A case has been supposed in which it was impossible to make a treaty because of the unwillingness or disappearance of the hostile government, and therefore the occupation necessarily continued, although actual war had ceased. The fallacy lies in admitting the right to exercise the power, if only it is exerted by the military arm of the government, but denying it wherever the civil power comes in to regulate and make the conditions more in accord with the spirit of our free institutions. Why it can be thought, although under the Constitution the military arm of the government is in effect the creature of Congress, that such arm may exercise a power without violating the Constitution, and yet Congress-the creator-may not regulate, I fail to comprehend.
This further argument, however, is advanced. Granting that Congress may regulate without incorporating, where the military arm has taken possession of foreign territory, and where there has been or can be no treaty, this does not concern the decision of this case, since there is here involved no regulation, but an actual cession to the United States of territory by treaty. The general rule of the law of nations, by which the acquiring government fixes the status of acquired territory, it is urged, does not apply to the government of the United States, because it is incompatible with the Constitution that that government should hold territory under a cession and administer it as a dependency without its becoming incorporated. This claim, I have previously said, rests on the erroneous assumption that the United States under the Constitution is stripped of those powers which are absolutely inherent in and essential to national existnece. The certainty of this is illustrated by the examples already made use of in the supposed cases of discovery and conquest.
If the authority by treaty is limited as is suggested, then it will be impossible to terminate a successful war by acquiring territory through a treaty, without immediately incorporating such territory into the United States. Let me, however, eliminate the case of war, and consider the treaty-making power as subserving the purposes of the peaceful evolution of national life. Suppose the necessity of acquiring a naval station or a coaling station on an island inhabited with people utterly unfit for American citizenship and totally incapable of bearing their proportionate burden of the national expense. Could such island, under the rule which is now insisted upon, be taken? Suppose, again, the acquisition of territory for an interoceanic canal, where an inhabited strip of land on either side is essential to the United States for the preservation of the work. Can it be denied that, if the requirements of the Constitution as to taxation are to immediately control, it might be impossible by treaty to accomplish the desired result?
While no particular provision of the Constitution is referred to, to sustain the argument that it is impossible to acquire territory by treaty without immediate and absolute incorporation, it is said that the spirit of the Constitution excludes the conception of property or dependencies possessed by the United States and which are not so completely incorporated as to be in all respects a part of the United States; that the theory upon which the Constitution proceeds is that of confederated and independent states, and that no territory, therefore, can be acquired which does not contemplate statehood, and excludes the acquisition of any territory which is not in a position to be treated as an integral part of the United States. But this reasoning is based on political, and not judicial, considerations. Conceding that the conception upon which the Constitution proceeds is that no territory, as a general rule, should be acquired unless the territory may reasonably be expected to be worthy of statehood, the determination of when such blessing is to be bestowed is wholly a political question, and the aid of the judiciary cannot be invoked to usurp political discretion in order to save the Constitution from imaginary or even real dangers. The Constitution may not be saved by destroying its fundamental limitations.
Let me come, however, to a consideration of the express powers which are conferred by the Constitution, to show how unwarranted is the principle of immediate incorporation, which is here so strenuously insisted on. In doing so it is conceded at once that the true rule of construction is not to consider one provision of the Constitution alone, but to contemplate all, and therefore to limit one conceded attribute by those qualifications which naturally result from the other powers granted by that instrument, so that the whole may be interpreted by the spirit which vivifies, and not by the letter which killeth. Undoubtedly, the power to carry on war and to make treaties implies also the exercise of those incidents which ordinarily inhere in them. Indeed, in view of the rule of construction which I have just conceded-that all powers conferred by the Constitution must be interpreted with reference to the nature of the government and be construed in harmony with related provisions of the Constitution it seems to me impossible to conceive that the treaty-making power by a mere cession can incorporate an alien people into the United States without the express or implied approval of Congress. And from this it must follow that there can be no foundation for the assertion that, where the treaty-making power has inserted conditions which preclude incorporation until Congress has acted in respect thereto, such conditions are void and incorporation results in spite thereof. If the treaty-making power can absolutely, without the consent of Congress, incorporate territory, and if that power may not insert conditions against incorporation, it must follow that the treaty-making power is endowed by the Constitution with the most unlimited right, susceptible of destroying every other provision of the Constitution; that is, it may wreck our institutions. If the proposition be true, then millions of inhabitants of alien territory, if acquired by treaty, can, without the desire or consent of the people of the United States speaking through Congress, be immediately and irrevocably incorporated into the United States, and the whole structure of the government be overthrown. While thus aggrandizing the treaty-making power on the one hand, the construction at the same time minimizes it on the other, in that it strips that authority of any right to acquire territory upon any condition which would guard the people of the United States from the evil of immediate incorporation. The treaty-making power, then, under this contention, instead of having the symmetrical functions which belong to it from its very nature, becomes distorted,-vested with the right to destroy upon the one hand, and deprived of all power to protect the government on the other.
And, looked at from another point of view, the effect of the principle asserted is equally antagonistic, not only to the express provisions, but to the spirit of the Constitution in other respects. Thus, if it be true that the treaty-making power has the authority which is asserted, what becomes of that branch of Congress which is peculiarly the representative of the people of the United States, and what is left of the functions of that body under the Constitution? For, although the House of Representatives might be unwilling to agree to the incorporation of alien races, it would be impotent to prevent its accomplishment, and the express provisions conferring upon Congress the power to regulate commerce, the right to raise revenue,-bills for which, by the Constitution, must originate in the House of Representatives,-and the authority to prescribe uniform naturalization laws, would be in effect set at naught by the treaty-making power. And the consequent result-incorporation-would be beyond all future control of or remedy by the American people, since, at once and without hope of redress or power of change, incorporation by the treaty would have been brought about. The inconsistency of the position is at once manifest. The basis of the argument is that the treaty must be considered to have incorporated, because acquisition presupposes the exercise of judgment as to fitness for immediate incorporation. But the deduction drawn is, although the judgment exercised is against immediate incorporation and this result is plainly expressed, the conditions are void because no judgment against incorporation can be called into play.
All the confusion and dangers above indicated, however, it is argued, are more imaginary than real, since, although it be conceded that the treaty-making power has the right by cession to incorporate without the consent of Congress, that body may correct the evil by availing itself of the provision of the Constitution giving to Congress the right to dispose of the territory and other property of the United States. This assumes that there has been absolute incorporation by the treaty-making power on the one hand, and yet asserts that Congress may deal with the territory as if it had not been incorporated into the United States. In other words, the argument adopts conflicting theories of the Constitution, and applies them both at the same time. I am not unmindful that there has been some contrariety of decision on the subject of the meaning of the clause empowering Congress to dispose of the territories and other property of the United States, some adjudged cases treating that article as referring to property as such, and others deriving from it the general grant of power to govern territories. In view, however, of the relations of the territories to the government of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and the solemn pledge then existing that they should forever 'remain a part of the Confederacy of the United States of America,' I cannot resist the belief that the theory that the disposing clause relates as well to a relinquishment or cession of sovereignty as to a mere transfer of rights of property is altogether erroneous.
Observe, again, the inconsistency of this argument. It considers, on the one hand, that so vital is the question of incorporation that no alien territory may be acquired by a cession without absolutely endowing the territory with incorporation and the inhabitants with resulting citizenship, because, under our system of government, the assumption that a territory and its inhabitants may be held by any other title than one incorporating is impossible to be thought of. And yet, to avoid the evil consequences which must follow from accepting this proposition, the argument is that all citizenship of the United States is precarious and fleeting, subject to be sold at any moment like any other property. That is to say, to protect a newly acquired people in their presumed rights, it is essential to degrade the whole body of American citizenship.
The reasoning which has sometimes been indulged in by those who asserted that the Constitution was not at all operative in the territories is that, as they were acquired by purchase, the right to buy included the right to sell. This has been met by the proposition that if the country purchased and its inhabitants became incorporated into the United States, it came under the shelter of the Constitution, and no power existed to sell American citizens. In conformity to the principles which I have admitted it is impossible for me to say at one and the same time that territory is an integral part of the United States protected by the Constitution, and yet the safeguards, privileges, rights, and immunities which arise from this situation are so ephemeral in their character that by a mere act of sale they may be destroyed. And applying this reasoning to the provisions of the treaty under consideration, to me it seems indubitable that if the treaty with Spain incorporated all the territory ceded into the United States, it resulted that the millions of people to whom that treaty related were, without the consent of the American people as expressed by Congress, and without any hope of relief, indissolubly made a part of our common country.
Undoubtedly, the thought that under the Constitution power to dispose of people and territory, and thus to annihilate the rights of American citizens, was contrary to the conceptions of the Constitution entertained by Washington and Jefferson. In the written suggestions of Mr. Jefferson, when Secretary of State, reported to President Washington in March, 1792, on the subject of proposed negotiations between the United States and Spain, which were intended to be communicated by way of instruction to the commissioners of the United States appointed to manage such negotiations, it was observed, in discussing the possibility as to compensation being demanded by Spain 'for the ascertainment of our right' to navigate the lower part of the Mississippi, as follows:
'We have nothing else' (than a relinquishment of certain claims on Spain) 'to give in exchange. For as to territory, we have neither the right nor the disposition to alienate an inch of what belongs to any member of our Union. Such a proposition therefore is totally inadmissible, and not to be treated for a moment.' Ford's Writings of Jefferson, vol. 5, p. 476.
The rough draft of these observations was submitted to Mr. Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury, for suggestions, previously to sending it to the President, some time before March 5, and Hamilton made the following (among other) notes upon it:
'Page 25. Is it true that the United States have no right to alienate an inch of the territory in question, except in the case of necessity intimated in another place? Or will it be useful to avow the denial of such a right? It is apprehended that the doctrine which restricts the alienation of territory to cases of extreme necessity is applicable rather to peopled territory than to waste and uninhabited districts. Positions restraining the right of the United States to accommodate to exigencies which may arise ought ever to be advanced with great caution.' Ford's Writings of Jefferson, vol. 5, p. 443.
Respecting this note, Mr. Jefferson commented as follows:
'The power to alienate the unpeopled territories of any state is not among the enumerated powers given by the Constitution to the general government, and if we may go out of that instrument and accommodate to exigencies which may arise by alienating the unpeopled territory of a state, we may accommodate ourselves a little more by alienating that which is peopled, and still a little more by selling the people themselves. A shade or two more in the degree of exigency is all that will be requisite, and of that degree we shall ourselves be the judges. However, may it not be hoped that these questions are forever laid to rest by the 12th Amendment once made a part of the Constitution, declaring expressly that 'the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states respectively?' And if the general government has no power to alienate the territory of a state, it is too irresistible an argument to deny ourselves the use of it on the present occasion.' Ibid.
The opinions of Mr. Jefferson, however, met the approval of President Washington. On March 18, 1792, in inclosing to the commissioners to Spain their commission, he said, among other things:
'You will herewith receive your commission; as also observations on these several subjects reported to the President and approved by him, which will therefore serve as instructions for you. These expressing minutely the sense of our government, and what they wish to have done, it is unnecessary for me to do more here than desire you to pursue these objects unremittingly,' etc. Ford's Writings of Jefferson, vol. 5, p. 456.
When the subject-matter to which the negotiations related is considered, it becomes evident that the word 'state' as above used related merely to territory which was either claimed by some of the states, as Mississippi territory was by Georgia, or to the Northwest Territory, embraced within the ordinance of 1787, or the territory south of the Ohio (Tennessee), which had also been endowed with all the rights and privileges conferred by that ordinance, and all which territory had originally been ceded by states to the United States under express stipulations that such ceded territory should be ultimately formed into states of the Union. And this meaning of the word 'state' is absolutely in accord with what I shall hereafter have occasion to demonstrate was the conception entertained by Mr. Jefferson of what constituted the United States.
True, from the exigency of a calamitous war or the necessity of a settlement of boundaries, it may be that citizens of the United States may be expatriated by the action of the treaty-making power, impliedly or expressly ratified by Congress.
But the arising of these particular conditions cannot justify the general proposition that territory which is an integral part of the United States may, as a mere act of sale, be disposed of. If, however, the right to dispose of an incorporated American territory and citizens by the mere exertion of the power to sell be conceded, arguendo, it would not relieve the dilemma. It is ever true that, where a malign principle is adopted, as long as the error is adhered to it must continue to produce its baleful results. Certainly, if there be no power to acquire subject to a condition, it must follow that there is no authority to dispose of subject to conditions, since it cannot be that the mere change of form of the transaction could bestow a power which the Constitution has not conferred. It would follow, then, that any conditions annexed to a disposition which looked to the protection of the people of the United States, or to enable them to safeguard the disposal of territory, would be void; and thus it would be that either the United States must hold on absolutely, or must dispose of unconditionally.
A practical illustration will at once make the consequences clear. Suppose Congress should determine that the millions of inhabitants of the Philippine islands should not continue appurtenant to the United States, but that they should be allowed to establish an autonomous government, outside of the Constitution of the United States, coupled, however, with such conditions providing for control as far only as essential to the guaranty of life and property and to protect against foreign encroachment. If the proposition of incorporation be well founded, at once the question would arise whether the ability to impose these conditions existed, since no power was conferred by the Constitution to annex conditions which would limit the disposition. And if it be that the question of whether territory is immediately fit for incorporation when it is acquired is a judicial, and not a legislative one, it would follow that the validity of the conditions would also come within the scope of judicial authority, and thus the entire political policy of the government be alone controlled by the judiciary.
The theory as to the treaty-making power upon which the argument which has just been commented upon rests, it is now proposed to be shown, is refuted by the history of the government from the beginning. There has not been a single cession made from the time of the Confederation up to the present day, excluding the recent treaty with Spain, which has not contained stipulations to the effect that the United States through Congress would either not disincorporate or would incorporate the ceded territory into the United States. There were such conditions in the deed of cession by Virginia when it conveyed the Northwest Territory to the United States. Like conditions were attached by North Carolina to the cession whereby the territory south of the Ohio, now Tennessee, was transferred. Similar provisions were contained in the cession by Georgia of the Mississippi territory, now the states of Alabama and Mississippi. Such agreements were also expressed in the treaty of 1803, ceding Louisiana; that of 1819, ceding the Floridas, and in the treaties of 1848 and 1853, by which a large extent of territory was ceded to this country, as also in the Alaska treaty of 1867. To adopt the limitations on the treaty-making power now insisted upon would presuppose that every one of these conditions thus sedulously provided for were superfluous, since the guaranties which they afforded would have obtained, although they were not expressly provided for.
When the various treaties by which foreign territory has been acquired are considered in the light of the circumstances which surrounded them, it becomes to my mind clearly established that the treaty-making power was always deemed to be devoid of authority to incorporate territory into the United States without the assent, express or implied, of Congress, and that no question to the contrary has ever been even mooted. To appreciate this it is essential to bear in mind what the words 'United States' signified at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. When by the treaty of peace with Great Britain the independence of the United States was acknowledged, it is unquestioned that all the territory within the boundaries defined in that treaty, whatever may have been the disputes as to title, substantially belonged to particular states. The entire territory was part of the United States, and all the native white inhabitants were citizens of the United States and endowed with the rights and privileges arising from that relation. When, as has already been said, the Northwest Territory was ceded by Virginia, it was expressly stipulated that the rights of the inhabitants in this regard should be respected. The ordinance of 1787, providing for the government of the Northwest Territory, fulfilled this promise on behalf of the Confederation. Without undertaking to reproduce the text of the ordinance, it suffices to say that in contained a bill of rights, a promise of ultimate statehood, and it provided (italics mine) that 'the said territory and the states which may be formed therein shall ever remain a part of this Confederacy of the United States of America, subject to the Articles of Confederation, and to such alterations therein as shall be constitutionally made, and to all the acts and ordinances of the United States in Congress assembled, conformably thereto.' It submitted the inhabitants to a liability for a tax to pay their proportional part of the public debt and the expenses of the government, to be assessed by the rule of apportionment which governed the states of the Confederation. It forbade slavery within the territory, and contained a stipulation that the provisions of the ordinance should ever remain unalterable unless by common consent.
Thus it was at the adoption of the Constitution, the United States, as a geographical unit and as a governmental conception both in the international and domestic sense, consisted not only of states, but also of territories, all the native white inhabitants being endowed with citizenship, protected by pledges of a common union, and, except as to political advantages, all enjoying equal rights and freedom, and safeguarded by substantially similar guaranties, all being under the obligation to contribute their proportionate share for the liquidation of the debt and future expenses of the general government.
The opinion has been expressed that the ordinance of 1787 became inoperative and a nullity on the adoption of the Constitution (Taney, Ch. J., in Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 438, 15 L. ed. 713), while, on the other hand, it has been said that the ordinance of 1787 was 'the most solemn of all engagements,' and became a part of the Constitution of the United States by reason of the 6th article, which provided that 'all debts contracted and engagements entered into before the adoption of this Constitution shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution as under the Confederation.' Per Baldwin, J., concurring opinion in Pollard v. Kibbe, 14 Pet. 417, 10 L. ed. 521, and per Catron, J., in dissenting opinion in Strader. Graham, 10 How. 98, 13 L. ed. 343. Whatever view may be taken of this difference of legal opinion, my mind refuses to assent to the conclusion that under the Constitution the provision of the Northwest Territory ordinance making such territory forever a part of the Confederation was not binding on the government of the United States when the Constitution was formed. When it is borne in mind that large tracts of this territory were reserved for distribution among the Continental soldiers, it is impossible for me to believe that it was ever considered that the result of the cession was to take the Northwest Territory out of the Union, the necessary effect of which would have been to expatriate the very men who by their suffering and valor had secured the liberty of their united country. Can it be conceived that North Carolina, after the adoption of the Constitution, would cede to the general government the territory south of the Ohio river, intending thereby to expatriate those dauntless mountaineers of North Carolina who had shed lustre upon the Revolutionary arms by the victory of King's mountain? And the rights bestowed by Congress after the adoption of the Constitution, as I shall proceed to demonstrate, were utterly incompatible with such a theory.
Beyond question, in one of the early laws enacted at the first session of the First Congress, the binding force of the ordinance was recognized, and certain of its provisions concerning the appointment of officers in the territory were amended to conform the ordinance to the new Constitution. 1 Stat. at L. 50, chap. 8.
In view of this it cannot, it seems to me, be doubted that the United States continued to be composed of states and territories, all forming an integral part thereof and incorporated therein, as was the case prior to the adoption of the Constitution. Subsequently, the territory now embraced in the state of Tennessee was ceded to the United States by the state of North Carolina. In order to insure the rights of the native inhabitants, it was expressly stipulated that the inhabitants of the ceded territory should enjoy all the rights, privileges, benefits, and advantages set forth in the ordinance 'of the late Congress for the government of the western territory of the United States.' A condition was, however, inserted in the cession, that no regulation should be made by Congress tending to emancipate slaves. By act of April 2, 1790 (1 Stat. at L. 106, chap. 6) this cession was accepted. And at the same session, on May 26, 1790, an act was passed for the government of this territory, under the designation of 'the territory of the United States south of the Ohio river.' 1 Stat. at L. 123, chap. 14. This act, except as to the prohibition which was found in the Northwest Territory ordinance as to slavery, in express terms declared that the inhabitants of the territory should enjoy all the rights conferred by that ordinance.
A government for the Mississippi territory was organized on April 7, 1798. 1 Stat. at L. 549, chap. 28. The land embraced was claimed by the state of Georgia, and her rights were saved by the act. The 6th section thereof provided as follows:
'Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That from and after the establishment of the said government, the people of the aforesaid territory shall be entitled to and enjoy, all and singular, the rights, privileges, and advantages granted to the people of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, in and by the aforesaid ordinance of the thirteenth day of July, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, in as full and ample a manner as the same are possessed and enjoyed by the people of the said last-mentioned territory.'
Thus clearly defined by boundaries, by common citizenship, by like guaranties, stood the United States when the plan of acquiring by purchase from France the province of Louisiana was conceived by President Jefferson. Naturally, the suggestion which arose was the power on the part of the government of the United States, under the Constitution, to incorporate into the United States-a Union then composed, as I have stated, of states and territories-a foreign province inhabited by an alien people, and thus make them partakers in the American commonwealth. Mr. Jefferson, not doubting the power of the United States to acquire, consulted Attorney General Lincoln as to the right by treaty to stipulate for incorporation. By that officer Mr. Jefferson was, in effect, advised that the power to incorporate, that is, to share the privileges and immunities of the people of the United States with a foreign population, required the consent of the people of the United States, and it was suggested, therefore, that if a treaty of cession were made containing such agreements it should be put in the form of a change of boundaries, instead of a cession, so as thereby to bring the territory within the United States. The letter of Mr. Lincoln was sent by President Jefferson to Mr. Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Gallatin did not agree as to the propriety of the expedient suggested by Mr. Lincoln. In a letter to President Jefferson, in effect so stating, he said:
'But does any constitutional objection really exist? To me it would appear (1) that the United States as a nation have an inherent right to acquire territory; (2) that whenever that acquisition is by treaty, the same constituted authorities in which the treaty-making power is vested have a constitutional right to sanction the acquisition; (3) that whenever the territory has been acquired Congress have the power either of admitting into the Union as a new state, or of annexing to a state, with the consent of that state, or of making regulations for the government of such territory.' Gallatin's Writings, vol. 1, p. 11, etc.
To this letter President Jefferson replied in January, 1803, clearly showing that he thought there was no question whatever of the right of the United States to acquire, but that he did not believe incorporation could be stipulated for and carried into effect without the consent of the people of the United States. He said (italics mine):
'You are right, in my opinion, as to Mr. L.'s proposition: There is no constitutional difficulty as to the acquisition of territory, and whether when acquired it may be taken into the Union by the Constitution as it now stands will become a question of expediency. I think it will be safer not to permit the enlargement of the Union but by amendment of the Constitution.' Gallatin's Writings, vol. 1, p. 115.
And the views of Mr. Madison, then Secretary of State, exactly conformed to those of President Jefferson, for, on March 2, 1803, in a letter to the commissioners who were negotiating the treaty, he said:
'To incorporate the inhabitants of the hereby ceded territory with the citizens of the United States, being a provision which cannot now be made, it is to be expected from the character and policy of the United States that such incorporation will take place without unnecessary delay.' 2 State Papers, 540.
Let us pause for a moment to accentuate the irreconcilable conflict which exists between the interpretation given to the Constitution at the time of the Louisiana treaty by Jefferson and Madison, and the import of that instrument as now insisted upon. You are to negotiate, said Madison to the commissioners, to obtain a cession of the territory, but you must not under any circumstances agree 'to incorporate the inhabitants of the hereby ceded territory with the citizens of the United States, being a provision which cannot now be made.' Under the theory now urged, Mr. Madison should have said: You are to negotiate for the cession of the territory of Louisiana to the United States, and if deemed by you expedient in accomplishing this purpose, you may provide for the immediate incorporation of the inhabitants of the acquired territory into the United States. This you can freely do because the Constitution of the United States has conferred upon the treaty-making power the absolute right to bring all the alien people residing in acquired territory into the United States, and thus divide with them the rights which peculiarly belong to the citizens of the United States. Indeed, it is immaterial whether you make such agreements, since by the effect of the Constitution, without reference to any agreements which you may make for that purpose, all the alien territory and its inhabitants will instantly become incorporated into the United States if the territory is acquired.
Without going into details, it suffices to say that a compliance with the instructions given them would have prevented the negotiators on behalf of the United States from inserting in the treaty any provision looking even to the ultimate incorporation of the acquired territory into the United States. In view of the emergency and exigencies of the negotiations, however, the commissioners were constrained to make such a stipulation, and the treaty provided as follows:
'Art. 3. The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess.' 8 Stat. at L. 202.
Weighing the provisions just quoted, it is evident they refute the theory of incorporation arising at once from the mere force of a treaty, even although such result be directly contrary to any provisions which a treaty may contain. Mark the language. It expresses a promise: 'The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States. . . .' Observe how guardedly the fulfilment of this pledge is postponed until its accomplishment is made possible by the will of the American people, since it is to be executed only 'as soon as possible according to the principles of the Federal Constitution.' If the view now urged be true, this wise circumspection was unnecessary, and, indeed, as I have previously said, the entire proviso was superfluous, since everything which it assured for the future was immediately and unalterably to arise.
It is said, however, that the treaty for the purchase of Louisiana took for granted that the territory ceded would be immediately incorporated into the United States, and hence the guaranties contained in the treaty related, not to such incorporation, but was a pledge that the ceded territory was to be made a part of the Union as a state. The minutest analysis, however, of the clauses of the treaty, fails to disclose any reference to a promise of statehood, and hence it can only be that the pledges made referred to incorporation into the United States. This will further appear when the opinions of Jefferson and Madison and their acts on the subject are reviewed. The argument proceeds upon the theory that the words of the treaty, 'shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States,' could only have referred to a promise of statehood, since the then existing and incorporated territories were not a part of the Union of the United States, as that Union consisted only of the states. But this has been shown to be unfounded, since the 'Union of the United States' was composed of states and territories, both having been embraced within the boundaries fixed by the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States which terminated the Revolutionary War, the latter, the territories, embracing districts of country which were ceded by the states to the United States under the express pledge that they should forever remain a part thereof. That this conception of the Union composing the United States was the understanding of Jefferson and Madison, and indeed of all those who participated in the events which preceded and led up to the Louisiana treaty, results from what I have already said, and will be additionally demonstrated by statements to be hereafter made. Again, the inconsistency of the argument is evident. Thus, while the premise upon which it proceeds is that foreign territory, when acquired, becomes at once a part of the United States, despite conditions in the treaty expressly excluding such consequence, it yet endeavors to escape the refutation of such theory which arises from the history of the government by the contention that the territories which were a part of the United States were not component constituents of the Union which composed the United States. I do not understand how foreign territory which has been acquired by treaty can be asserted to have been absolutely incorporated into the United States as a part thereof despite conditions to the contrary inserted in the treaty, and yet the assertion be made that the territories which, as I have said, were in the United States originally as a part of the states, and which were ceded by them upon express condition that they should forever so remain a part of the United States, were not a part of the Union composing the United States. The argument, indeed, reduces itself to this, that for the purpose of incorporating foreign territory into the United States domestic territory must be disincorporated. In other words, that the Union must be, at least in theory, dismembered for the purpose of maintaining the doctrine of the immediate incorporation of alien territory.
That Mr. Jefferson deemed the provision of the treaty relating to incorporation to be repugnant to the Constitution is unquestioned. While he conceded, as has been seen, the right to acquire, he doubted the power to incorporate the territory into the United States without the consent of the people by a consitutional amendment. In July, 1803, he proposed two drafts of a proposed amendment, which he thought ought to be submitted to the people of the United States to enable them to ratify the terms of the treaty. The first of these, which is dated July, 1803, is printed in the margin. 
The second and revised amendment was as follows:
'Louisiana, as ceded by France to the United States, is made a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall be citizens, and stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations. Save only that, as to the portion thereof lying north of the latitude of the mouth of Arcana river, no new state shall be established nor any grants of land made therein other than to Indians in exchange for equivalent portions of lands occupied by them until an amendment of the Constitution shall be made for those purposes.
'Florida also, whensoever it may be rightfully obtained, shall become a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall thereupon become citizens, and shall stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations.' Ford's Writings of Jefferson, vol. 8, p. 241.
It is strenuously insisted that Mr. Jefferson's conviction on the subject of the repugnancy of the treaty to the Constitution was based alone upon the fact that he thought the treaty exceeded the limits of the Constitution, because he deemed that it provided for the admission, according to the Constitution, of the acquired territory as a new state or states into the Union, and hence, for the purpose of conferring this power, he drafted the amendment. The contention is refuted by two considerations: The first, because the two forms of amendment which Mr. Jefferson prepared did not purport to confer any power upon Congress to admit new states; and, second, they absolutely forbade Congress from admitting a new state out of a described part of the territory without a further amendment to the Constitution. It cannot be conceived that Mr. Jefferson would have drafted an amendment to cure a defect which he thought existed, and yet say nothing in the amendment on the subject of such defect. And, moreover, it cannot be conceived that he drafted an amendment to confer a power he supposed to be wanting under the Constitution, and thus ratify the treaty, and yet in the very amendment withhold in express terms, as to a part of the ceded territory, the authority which it was the purpose of the amendment to confer.
I excerpt in the margin  two letters from Mr. Jefferson, one written under date of July 7, 1803, to William Dunbar, and the other dated September 7, 1803, to Wilson Cary Nicholas, which show clearly the difficulties which were in the mind of Mr. Jefferson, and which remove all doubt concerning the meaning of the amendment which he wrote and the adoption of which he deemed necessary to cure any supposed want of power concerning the treaty would be provided for.
These letters show that Mr. Jefferson bore in mind the fact that the Constitution in express terms delegated to Congress the power to admit new states, and therefore no further authority on this subject was required. But he thought this power in Congress was confined to the area embraced within the limits of the United States, as existing at the adoption of the Constitution. To fulfil the stipulations of the treaty so as to cause the ceded territory to become a part of the United States, Mr. Jefferson deemed an amendment to the Constitution to be essential. For this reason the amendment which he formulated declared that the territory ceded was to be 'a part of the United States, and its white inhabitants shall be citizens, and stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations.' What these words meant is not open to doubt when it is observed that they were but the paraphrase of the following words, which were contained in the first proposed amendment which Mr. Jefferson wrote: 'Vesting the inhabitants thereof with all rights possessed by other territorial citizens of the United States,'-which clearly show that it was the want of power to incorporate the ceded country into the United States as a territory which was in Mr. Jefferson's mind, and to accomplish which result he thought an amendment to the Constitution was required. This provision of the amendment applied to all of the territory ceded, and therefore brought it all into the United States, and hence placed it in a position where the power of Congress to admit new states would have attached to it. As Mr. Jefferson deemed that every requirement of the treaty would be fulfilled by incorporation, and that it would be unwise to form a new state out of the upper part of the new territory, after thus providing for the complete execution of the treaty by incorporation of all the territory into the United States, he inserted a provision forbidding Congress from admitting a new state out of a part of the territory.
With the debates which took place on the subject of the treaty I need not particularly concern myself. Some shared Mr. Jefferson's doubts as to the right of the treaty-making power to incorporate the territory into the United States without an amendment of the Constitution; others deemed that the provision of the treaty was but a promise that Congress would ultimately incorporate as a territory, and, until by the action of Congress this latter result was brought about, full power of legislation to govern as deemed best was vested in Congress. This latter view prevailed. Mr. Jefferson's proposed amendment to the Constitution, therefore, was never adopted by Congress, and hence was never submitted to the people.
An act was approved on October 31, 1803 (2 Stat. at L. 245, chap. 1) 'to enable the President of the United States to take possession of the territories ceded by France to the United States by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for the temporary government thereof.' The provisions of this act were absolutely incompatible with the conception that the territory had been incorporated into the United States by virtue of the cession. On November 10, 1803 (2 Stat. at L. 245, chap. 2), an act was passed providing for the issue of stock to raise the funds to pay for the territory. On February 24, 1804 (2 Stat. at L. 251, chap. 13), an act was approved which expressly extended certain revenue and other laws over the ceded country. On March 26, 1804 (2 Stat. at L. 283, chap. 38), an act was passed dividing the 'province of Louisiana' into Orleans territory on the south and the district of Louisiana to the north. This act extended over the territory of Orleans a large number of the general laws of the United States, and provided a form of government. For the purposes of government the district of Louisiana was attached to the territory of Indiana, which had been carved out of the Northwest Territory. Although the area described as Orleans territory was thus under the authority of a territorial government, and many laws of the United States had been extended by act of Congress to it, it was manifest that Mr. Jefferson thought that the requirement of the treaty that it should be incorporated into the United States had not been complied with.
In a letter written to Mr. Madison on July 14, 1804, Mr. Jefferson, speaking of the treaty of cession, said (Ford's Writings of Jefferson, vol. 8, p. 313):
'The inclosed reclamations of Girod & Chote against the claims of Bapstroop to a monopoly of the Indian commerce supposed to be under the protection of the 3d article of the Louisiana convention, as well as some other claims to abusive grants, will probably force us to meet that question. The article has been worded with remarkable caution on the part of our negotiators. It is that the inhabitants shall be admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of our Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens, and, in the meantime, en attendant, shall be maintained in their liberty, property, and religion. That is, that they shall continue under the protection of the treaty until the principles of our Constitution can be extended to them, when the protection of the treaty is to cease, and that of our own principles to take its place. But as this could not be done at once, it has been provided to be as soon as our rules will admit. Accordingly, Congress has begun by extending about twenty particular laws by their titles, to Louisiana. Among these is the act concerning intercourse with the Indians, which establishes a system of commerce with them admitting no monopoly. That class of rights, therefore, are now taken from under the treaty and placed under the principles of our laws. I imagine it will be necessary to express an opinion to Governor Claiborne on this subject, after you shall have made up one.' In another letter to Mr. Madison, under date of August 15, 1804, Mr. Jefferson said (Ibid. p. 315):
'I am so much impressed with the expediency of putting a termination to the right of France to patronize the rights of Louisiana, which will cease with their complete adoption as citizens of the United States, that I hope to see that take place on the meeting of Congress.'
At the following session of Congress, on March 2, 1805 (2 Stat. at L. 322, chap. 23), an act was approved, which, among other purposes, doubtless was intended to fulfil the hope expressed by Mr. Jefferson in the letter just quoted. That act, in the 1st section, provided that the inhabitants of the territory of Orleans 'shall be entitled to and enjoy all the rights, privileges, and advantages secured by the said ordinance' (that is, the ordinance of 1787) 'and now enjoyed by the people of the Mississippi territory.' As will be remembered, the ordinance of 1787 had been extended to that territory. 1 Stat. at L. 550, chap. 28. Thus, strictly in accord with the thought embodied in the amendments contemplated by Mr. Jefferson, citizenship was conferred, and the territory of Orleans was incorporated into the United States to fulfil the requirements of the treaty, by placing it exactly in the position which it would have occupied had it been within the boundaries of the United States as a territory at the time the Constitution was framed. It is pertinent to recall that the treaty contained stipulations giving certain preferences and commercial privileges for a stated period to the vessels of French and Spanish subjects, and that, even after the action of Congress above stated, this condition of the treaty continued to be enforced, thus demonstrating that even after the incorporation of the territory the express provisions conferring a temporary right which the treaty had stipulated for and which Congress had recognized were not destroyed, the effect being that incorporation as to such matter was for the time being in abeyance.
The upper part of the province of Louisiana, designated by the act of March 26, 1804 (2 Stat. at L. 283, chap. 38), as the district of Louisiana, and by the act of March 3, 1805 (2 Stat. at L. 331, chap. 31), as the territory of Louisiana, was created the territory of Missouri on June 4, 1812. 2 Stat. at L. 743, chap. 95. By this latter act, though the ordinance of 1787 was not in express terms extended over the territory,-probably owing to the slavery agitation,-the inhabitants of the territory were accorded substantially all the rights of the inhabitants of the Northwest Territory. Citizenship was in effect recognized in the 9th section, while the 14th section contained an elaborate declaration of the rights secured to the people of the territory.
Pausing to analyze the practical construction which resulted from the acquisition of the vast domain covered by the Louisiana purchase, it indubitably results, first, that it was conceded by every shade of opinion that the government of the United States had the undoubted right to acquire, hold, and govern the territory as a possession, and that incorporation into the United States could under no circumstances arise solely from a treaty of cession, even although it contained provisions for the accomplishment of such result; second, it was strenuously denied by many eminent men that, in acquiring territory, citizenship could be conferred upon the inhabitants within the acquired territory; in other words, that the territory could be incorporated into the United States without an amendment to the Constitution; and, third, that the opinion which prevailed was that, although the treaty might stipulate for incorporation and citizenship under the Constitution, such agreements by the treaty-making power were but promises depending for their fulfilment on the furture action of Congress. In accordance with this view the territory acquired by the Louisiana purchase was governed as a mere dependency until, conformably to the suggestion of Mr. Jefferson, it was by the action of Congress incorporated as a territory into the United States, and the same rights were conferred in the same mode by which other territories had previously been incorporated, that is, by bestowing the privileges of citizenship and the rights and immunities which pertained to the Northwest Territory.
Florida was ceded by treaty signed on February 22, 1819. 8 Stat. at L. 252. While drafted in accordance with the precedent afforded by the treaty ceding Louisiana, the Florida treaty was slightly modified in its phraseology, probably to meet the view that under the Constitution Congress had the right to determine the time when incorporation was to arise. Acting under the precedent afforded by the Louisiana case, Congress adopted a plan of government which was wholly inconsistent with the theory that the territory had been incorporated. General Jackson was appointed governor under this act, and exercised a degree of authority entirely in conflict with the conception that the territory was a part of the United States, in the sense of incorporation, and that those provisions of the Constitution which would have been applicable under that hypothesis were then in force. It will serve no useful purpose to go through the gradations of legislation adopted as to Florida. Suffice it to say that in 1822 (3 Stat. at L. 654, chap. 13), an act was passed as in the case of Missouri, and presumably for the same reason, which, while not referring to the Northwest Territory ordinance, in effect endowed the inhabitants of that territory with the rights granted by such ordinance.
This treaty also, it is to be remarked, contained discriminatory commercial provisions incompatible with the conception of immediate incorporation arising from the treaty, and they were enforced by the executive officers of the government.
The intensity of the political differences which existed at the outbreak of hostilities with Mexico and at the termination of the war with that country, and the subject around which such conflicts of opinion centered, probably explain why the treaty of peace with Mexico departed from the form adopted in the previous treaties concerning Florida and Louisiana. That treaty, instead of expressing a cession in the form previously adopted, whether intentionally or not I am unable, of course, to say, resorted to the expedient suggested by Attorney General Lincoln to President Jefferson, and accomplished the cession by changing the boundaries of the two countries; in other words, by bringing the acquired territory within the described boundaries of the United States. The treaty, besides, contained a stipulation for rights of citizenship; in other words, a provision equivalent in terms to those used in the previous treaties to which I have referred. The controversy which was then flagrant on the subject of slavery prevented the passage of bill giving California a territorial form of government, and California, after considerable delay, was therefore directly admitted into the Union as a state. After the ratification of the treaty various laws were enacted by Congress, which in effect treated the territory as acquired by the United States; and the executive officers of the government, conceiving that these acts were an implied or express ratification of the provisions of the treaty by Congress, acted upon the assumption that the provisions of the treaty were thus made operative, and hence incorporation had thus become efficacious.
Ascertaining the general rule from the provisions of this latter treaty and the practical execution which it received, it will be seen that the precedents established in the cases of Louisiana and Florida were departed from to a certain extent; that is, the rule was considered to be that where the treaty, in express terms, brought the territory within the boundaries of the United States and provided for incorporation, and the treaty was expressly or impliedly recognized by Congress, the provisions of the treaty ought to be given immediate effect. But this did not conflict with the general principles of the law of nations which I have at the outset stated, but enforced it, since the action taken assumed, not that incorporation was brought about by the treat-making power wholly without the consent of Congress, but only that, as the treaty provided for incorporation in express terms, and Congress had acted without repudiating it, its provisions should be at once enforced.
Without referring in detail to the acquisition from Russia of Alaska, it suffices to say that that treaty also contained provisions for incorporation, and was acted upon exactly in accord with the practical construction applied in the case of the acquisitions from Mexico, as just stated. However, the treaty ceding Alaska contained an express provision excluding from citizenship the uncivilized native tribes, and it has been nowhere contended that this condition of exclusion was inoperative because of the want of power under the Constitution in the treaty-making authority to so provide, which must be the case if the limitation on the treaty-making power, which is here asserted, be well founded. The treaty concerning Alaska, therefore, adds cogency to the conception established by every act of the government from the foundation,-that the condition of a treaty, when expressly or impliedly ratified by Congress, becomes the measure by which the rights arising from the treaty are to be adjusted.
The demonstration which it seems to me is afforded by the review which has preceded is, besides, sustained by various other acts of the government which to me are wholly inexplicable except upon the theory that it was admitted that the government of the United States had the power to acquire and hold territory without immediately incorporating it. Take, for instance, the simultaneous acquisition and admission of Texas, which was admitted into the Union as a state by joint resolution of Congress, instead of by treaty. To what grant of power under the Constitution can this action be referred, unless it be admitted that Congress is vested with the right to determine when incorporation arises? It cannot be traced to the authority conferred on Congress to admit new states, for to adopt that theory would be to presuppose that this power gave the prerogative of conferring statehood on wholly foreign territory. But this I have incidentally shown is a mistaken conception. Hence, it must be that the action of Congress at one and the same time fulfilled the function of incorporation; and, this being so, the privilege of statehood was added. But I shall not prolong this opinion by occupying time in referring to the many other acts of the government which further refute the correctness of the propositions which are here insisted on and which I have previously shown to be without merit. In concluding my appreciation of the history of the government, attention is called to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which to my mind seems to be conclusive. The 1st section of the amendment, the italics being mine, reads as follows: 'Sec. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.' Obviously this provision recognized that there may be places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, but which are not incorporated into it, and hence are not within the United States in the completest sense of those words.
Let me now proceed to show that the decisions of this court, without a single exception, are absolutely in accord with the true rule as evolved from a correct construction of the Constitution as a matter of first impression, and as shown by the history of the government which has been previously epitomized. As it is appropriate here, I repeat the quotation which has heretofore been made from the opinion, delivered by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, in American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L. ed. 242, where, considering the Florida treaty, the court said (p. 542, L. ed. p. 255):
'The usage of the world is, if a nation be not entirely subdued, to consider the holding of conquered territory as a mere military occupation until its fate shall be determined at the treaty of peace. If it be ceded by the treaty the acquisition is confirmed, and the ceded territory becomes a part of the nation to which it is annexed, either on the terms stipulated in the treaty of cession or on such as its new master shall impose.'
In Fleming v. Page the court, speaking through Mr. Chief Justice Taney, discussing the acts of the military forces of the United States while holding possession of Mexican territory, said (9 How. 614, 13 L. ed. 281):
'The United States, it is true, may extend its boundaries by conquest or treaty, and may demand the cession of territory as the condition of peace in order to indemnify its citizens for the injuries they have suffered, or to reimburse the government for the expenses of the war. But this can be done only by the treaty-making power or the legislative authority.'
In Cross v. Harrison, 16 How. 164, 14 L. ed. 889, the question for decision, as I have previously observed, was as to the legality of certain duties collected both before and after the ratification of the treaty of peace, on foreign merchandise imported into California. Part of the duties collected were assessed upon importations made by local officials before notice had been received of the ratification of the treaty of peace, and when duties were laid under a tariff which had been promulgated by the President. Other duties were imposed subsequent to the receipt of notification of the ratification, and these latter duties were laid according to the tariff as provided in the laws of the United States. All the exactions were upheld. The court decided that, prior to and up to the receipt of notice of the ratification of the treaty, the local government lawfully imposed the tariff then in force in California, although it differed from that provided by Congress, and that subsequent to the receipt of notice of the ratification of the treaty the duty prescribed by the act of Congress, which the President had ordered the local officials to enforce, could be lawfully collected. The opinion undoubtedly expressed the thought that by the ratification of the treaty in question, which, as I have shown, not only included the ceded territory within the boundaries of the United States, but also expressly provided for incorporation, the territory had become a part of the United States, and the body of the opinion quoted the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, which referred to the enactment of laws of Congress by which the treaty had been impliedly ratified. The decision of the court as to duties imposed subsequent to the receipt of notice of the ratification of the treaty of peace undoubtedly took the fact I have just stated into view, and, in addition, was unmistakably proceeded upon the nature of the rights which the treaty conferred. No comment can obscure or do away with the patent fact, namely, that it was unequivocally decided that if different provisions had been found in the treaty a contrary result would have followed. Thus, speaking through Mr. Justice Wayne, the court said (16 How. 197, 14 L. ed. 903):
'By the ratification of the treaty California became a part of the United States. And, as there is nothing differently stipulated in the treaty with respect to commerce, it became instantly bound and privileged by the laws which Congress had passed to raise a revenue from duties on imports and tonnage.'
It is, then, as I think, indubitably settled by the principles of the law of nations, by the nature of the government created under the Constitution, by the express and implied powers conferred upon that government by the Constitution, by the mode in which those powers have been executed from the beginning, and by an unbroken lien of decisions of this court, first announced by Marshall and followed and lucidly expounded by Taney, that the treaty-making power cannot incorporate territory into the United States without the express or implied assent of Congress, that it may insert in a treaty conditions against immediate incorporation, and that on the other hand, when it has expressed in the treaty the conditions favorable to incorporation they will, if the treaty be not repudiated by Congress, have the force of the law of the land, and therefore by the fulfilment of such conditions cause incorporation to result. It must follow, therefore, that where a treaty contains no conditions for incorporation, and, above all, where it not only has no such conditions, but expressly provides to the contrary, that incorporation does not arise until in the wisdom of Congress it is deemed that the acquired territory has reached that state where it is proper that it should enter into and form a part of the American family.
Does, then, the treaty in question contain a provision for incorporation, or does it, on the contrary, stipulate that incorporation shall not take place from the mere effect of the treaty and until Congress has so determined?-is then the only question remaining for consideration.
The provisions of the treaty with respect to the status of Porto Rico and its inhabitants are as follows:
Spain cedes to the United States the Island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam, in the Marianas or Ladrones.
Spanish subjects, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the territory over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom, retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce, and professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making, before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be held to have renounced it and to have adopted the nationality of the territory in which they may reside.
The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by the Congress.
The inhabitants of the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion.
It is to me obvious that the above-quoted provisions of the treaty do not stipulate for incorporation, but, on the contrary, expressly provide that the 'civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded' shall be determined by Congress. When the rights to which this careful provision refers are put in juxtaposition with those which have been deemed essential from the foundation of the government to bring about incorporation, all of which have been previously referred to, I cannot doubt that the express purpose of the treaty was not only to leave the status of the territory to be determined by Congress, but to prevent the treaty from operating to the contrary. Of course, it is evident that the express or implied acquiescence by Congress in a treaty so framed cannot import that a result was brought about which the treaty itself-giving effect to its provisions-could not produce. And, in addition, the provisions of the act by which the duty here in question was imposed, taken as a whole, seem to me plainly to manifest the intention of Congress that, for the present at least, Porto Rico is not to be incorporated into the United States.
The fact that the act directs the officers to swear to support the Constitution does not militate against this view, for, as I have conceded, whether the island be incorporated or not, the applicable provisions of the Constitution are there in force. A further analysis of the provisions of the act seems to me not to be required in view of the fact that as the act was reported from the committee it contained a provision conferring citizenship upon the inhabitants of Porto Rico, and this was stricken out in the Senate. The argument, therefore, can only be that rights were conferred, which, after consideration, it was determined should not be granted. Moreover I fail to see how it is possible, on the one hand, to declare that Congress in passing the act had exceeded its powers by treating Porto Rico as not incorporated into the United States, and, at the same time, it be said that the provisions of the act itself amount to an incorporation of Porto Rico into the United States, although the treaty had not previously done so. It in reason cannot be that the act is void because it seeks to keep the island disincorporated, and, at the same time, that material provisions are not to be enforced because the act does incorporate. Two irreconcilable views of that act cannot be taken at the same time, the consequence being to cause it to be unconstitutional.
In what has preceded I have in effect considered every substantial proposition, and have either conceded or reviewed every authority referred to as establishing that immediate incorporation resulted from the treaty of cession which is under consideration. Indeed, the whole argument in favor of the view that immediate incorporation followed upon the ratification of the treaty in its last analysis necessarily comes to this: Since it has been decided that incorporation flows from a treaty which provides for that result, when its provisions have been expressly or impliedly approved by Congress, it must follow that the same effect flows from a treaty which expressly stipulates to the contrary, even although the condition to that end has been approved by Congress. That is to say, the argument is this: Because a provision for incorporation when ratified incorporates, therefore a provision against incorporation must also produce the very consequence which it expressly provides against.
The result of what has been said is that while in an international sense Porto Rico was not a foreign country, since it was subject to the sovereignty of and was owned by the United States, it was foreign to the United States in a domestic sense, because the island had not been incorporated into the United States, but was merely appurtenant thereto as a possession. As a necessary consequence, the impost in question assessed on coming from Porto Rico into the United States after the cession was within the power of Congress, and that body was not, moreover, as to such impost, controlled by the clause requiring that imposts should be uniform throughout the United States; in other words, the provision of the Constitution just referred to was not applicable to Congress in legislating for Porto Rico.
Incidentally I have heretofore pointed out that the arguments of expediency pressed with so much earnestness and ability concern the legislative, and not the judicial, department of the government. But it may be observed that, even if the disastrous consequences which are foreshadowed as arising from conceding that the government of the United States may hold property without incorporation were to tempt me to depart from what seems to me to be the plain line of judicial duty, reason admonishes me that so doing would not serve to prevent the grave evils which it is insisted must come, but, on the contrary, would only render them more dangerous. This must be the result, since, as already said, it seems to me it is not open to serious dispute that the military arm of the government of the United States may hold and occupy conquered territory without incorporation for such length of time as may seem appropriate to Congress in the exercise of its discretion. The denial of the right of the civil power to do so would not, therefore, prevent the holding of territory by the United States if it was deemed best by the political department of the government, but would simply necessitate that it should be exercised by the military instead of by the civil power.
And to me it further seems apparent that another and more disastrous result than that just stated would follow as a consequence of an attempt to cause judicial judgment to invade the domain of legislative discretion. Quite recently one of the stipulations contained in the treaty with Spain which is now under consideration came under review by this court. By the provision in question Spain relinquished 'all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.' It was further provided in the treaty as follows:
'And as the island is upon the evacuation by Spain to be occupied by the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupation shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may under international law result from the fact of its occupation, and for the protection of life and property.'
It cannot, it is submitted, be questioned that, under this provision of the treaty, as long as the occupation of the United States lasts, the benign sovereignty of the United States extends over and dominates the island of Cuba. Likewise, it is not, it seems to me, questionable that the period when that sovereignty is to cease is to be determined by the legislative department of the government of the United States in the exercise of the great duties imposed upon it, and with the sense of the responsibility which it owes to the people of the United States, and the high respect which it of course feels for all the moral obligations by which the government of the United States may, either expressly or impliedly, be bound. Considering the provisions of this treaty, and reviewing the pledges of this government extraneous to that instrument, by which the sovereignty of Cuba is to be held by the United States for the benefit of the people of Cuba and for their account, to be relinquished to them when the conditions justify its accomplishment, this court uranimously held in Neely v. Henkel, 180 U.S. 109, ante, 302, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 302, that Cuba was not incorporated into the United States, and was a foreign country. It follows from this decision that it is lawful for the United States to take possession of and hold in the exercise of its sovereign power a particular territory, without incorporating it into the United States, if there be obligations of honor and good faith which, although not expressed in the treaty, nevertheless sacredly bind the United States to terminate the dominion and control when, in its political discretion, the situation is ripe to enable it to do so. Conceding, then, for the purpose of the argument, it to be true that it would be a violation of duty under the Constitution for the legislative department, in the exercise of its discretion, to accept a cession of and permanently hold territory which is not intended to be incorporated, the presumption necessarily must be that that department, which within its lawful sphere is but the expression of the political conscience of the people of the United States, will be faithful to its duty under the Constitution, and therefore, when the unfitness of particular territory for incorporation is demonstrated, the occupation will terminate. I cannot conceive how it can be held that pledges made to an alien people can be treated as more sacred than is that great pledge given by every member of every department of the government of the United States to support and defend the Constitution.
But if it can be supposed-which, of course, I do not think to be conceivable-that the judiciary would be authorized to draw to itself by an act of usurpation purely political functions, upon the theory that if such wrong is not committed a greater harm will arise, because the other departments of the government will forget their duty to the Constitution and wantonly transcend its limitations, I am further admonished that any judicial action in this case which would be predicated upon such an unwarranted conception would be absolutely unavailing. It cannot be denied that under the rule clearly settled in Neely v. Henkel, 180 U.S. 109, ante, 302, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 302, the sovereignty of the United States may be extended over foreign territory to remain paramount until, in the discretion of the political department of the government of the United States, it be relinquished. This method, then, of dealing with foreign territory, would in any event be available. Thus, the enthralling of the treaty-making power, which would result from holding that no territory could be acquired by treaty of cession without immediate incorporation, would only result in compelling a resort to the subterfuge of relinquishment of sovereignty, and thus indirection would take the place of directness of action,-a course which would be incompatible with the dignity and honor of the government.
- Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch, 176, 2 L. ed. 73 et seq.; Martin v. Hunter, 1 Wheat. 326, 4 L. ed. 102; New Orleans v. United States, 10 Pet. 662, 736, 9 L. ed. 573, 602; De Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258, 266, 33 L. ed. 642, 644, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 295; United States v. Gettysburg Electric R. Co. 160 U.S. 668, 679, 40 L. ed. 576, 580, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 427, and cases cited.
- The City of Panama, 101 U.S. 453, 460, 25 L. ed. 1061, 1064; Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 716, 738, 37 L. ed. 914, 921, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1016.
- Monongahela Nav. Co. v. United States, 148 U.S. 312, 336, 37 L. ed. 463, 471, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 622; Interstate Commerce Commission v. Brimson, 154 U.S. 447, 479, 38 L. ed. 1047, 1058, 4 Inters. Com. Rep. 545, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1125; United States v. Joint Traffic Asso. 171 U.S. 571, 43 L. ed. 288, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 25.
- United States v. Kagama, 118 U.S. 375, 378, 30 L. ed. 228, 229, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1109; Shively v. Bowlby, 152 U.S. 1, 48, 38 L. ed. 331, 349, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 548.
- Sere v. Pitot, 6 Cranch, 332, 336, 3 L. ed. 240, 241; M'Culloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 421, 4 L. ed. 579, 605; American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 542, 7 L. ed. 242, 255; United States v. Gratiot, 14 Pet. 526, 537, 10 L. ed. 573, 578; Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 448, 15 L. ed. 718; Clinton v. Englebrecht, 13 Wall. 434, 447, 20 L. ed. 659, 662; Hamilton v. Dillin, 21 Wall. 73, 93, 22 L. ed. 528, 532; First Nat. Bank v. Yankton County, 101 U.S. 129, 132, 25 L. ed. 1046, 1047; The City of Panama, 101 U.S. 453, 457, sub nom. The City of Panama v. Phelps, 25 L. ed. 1061, 1062; Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 44, 29 L. ed. 47, 57, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 747; United States v. Kagama, 118 U.S. 375, 380, 30 L. ed. 228, 230, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1109; Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 42, 34 L. ed. 478, 490, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 792; Boyd v. Nebraska ex rel. Thayer, 143 U.S. 135, 169, 36 L. ed. 103, 112, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 375.
- Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 44, 34 L. ed. 478, 491, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 792.
- Loughborough v. Blake, 5 Wheat. 317, 322, 5 L. ed. 98, 99; Woodruff v. Parham, 8 Wall. 123, 133, 19 L. ed. 382, 385; Brown v. Houston, 114 U.S. 622, 628, 29 L. ed. 257, 259, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1091; Fairbank v. United States, 181, U.S. 283, ante, 648, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 648.
- American Ins. Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L. ed. 242; Benner v. Porter, 9 How. 235, 13 L. ed. 119; Webster v. Reid, 11 How. 437, 460, 13 L. ed. 761, 770; Clinton v. Englebrecht, 13 Wall. 434, 20 L. ed. 659; Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L. ed. 244; Callan v. Wilson, 127 U.S. 540, 32 L. ed. 223, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1301; McAllister v. United States, 141 U.S. 174, 35 L. ed. 693, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 949; Springville v. Thomas, 166 U.S. 707, 41 L. ed. 1172, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 717; Bauman v. Ross, 167 U.S. 548, 42 L. ed. 270, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 966; Thompson v. Utah, 170 U.S. 343, 42 L. ed. 1061, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 620; Capital Traction Co. v. Hof, 174 U.S. 1, 43 L. ed. 873, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 580; Black v. Jackson, 177 U.S. 363, 44 L. ed. 807, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 648.
- Re Ross, 140 U.S. 453, 461, 462, 463, sub nom. Ross v. McIntyre, 35 L. ed. 581, 585, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 897.
- Extract from the Free Soil Party Platform of 1842 (Standwood, Hist. of Presidency, p. 240):
- Excerpt from Declarations Made in the Platform of the Republican Party in 1860 (Stanwood, Hist. of Presidency, p. 293):
- First draft of Mr. Jefferson's proposed amendment to the Constitution: 'The province of Louisiana is incorporated with the United States and made part thereof. The rights of occupancy in the soil and of self-government are confirmed to Indian inhabitants as they now exist.' It then proceeded with other provisions relative to Indian rights and possession and exchange of lands, and forbidding Congress to dispose of the lands otherwise than is therein provided without further amendment to the Constitution. This draft closes thus: 'Except as to that portion thereof which lies south of the latitude of 31x, which, whenever they deem expedient, they may enact into a territorial government, either separate or as making part with one on the eastern side of the river, vesting the inhabitants thereof with all rights possessed by other territorial citizens of the United States.' Writings of Jefferson, edited by Ford, vol. 8, p. 241.
- Letter to William Dunbar of July 7, 1803;
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Sec. 3. That on and after the passage of this act all merchandise coming into the United States from Porto Rico and coming into Porto Rico from the United States shall be entered at the several ports of entry upon payment of fifteen per centum of the duties which are required to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles of merchandise imported from foreign countries; and in addition thereto, upon articles of merchandise of Porto Rican manufacture coming into the United States and withdrawn for consumption or sale, upon payment of a tax equal to the internal revenue tax imposed in the United States upon the like articles of merchandise of domestic manufacture; such tax to be paid by internal revenue stamp or stamps to be purchased and provided by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and to be procured from the collector of internal revenue at or most convenient to the port of entry of said merchandise in the United States, and to be affixed under such regulations as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall prescribe; and on all articles of merchandise of United States manufacture coming into Porto Rico, in addition to the duty above provided, upon payment of a tax equal in rate and amount to the internal revenue tax imposed in Porto Rico upon the like articles of Porto Rican manufacture: Provided, That on and after the date when this act shall take effect all merchandise and articles, except coffee, not dutiable under the tariff laws of the United States, and all merchandise and articles entered in Porto Rico free of duty under orders heretofore made by the Secretary of War, shall be admitted
into the several ports thereof, when imported from the United States, free of duty, all laws or parts of laws to the contrary notwithstanding; and whenever the legislative assembly of Porto Rico shall have enacted and put into operation a system of local taxation to meet the necessities of the government of Porto Rico, by this act established, and shall by resolution duly passed so notify the President, he shall make proclamation thereof, and thereupon all tariff duties on merchandise and articles going into Porto Rico from the United States or coming into the United States from Porto Rico shall cease, and from and after such date all such merchandise and articles shall be entered at the several ports of entry free of duty; and in no event shall any duties be collected after the first day of March, nineteen hundred and two, on merchandise and articles going into Porto Rico from the United States or coming into the United states from Porto Rico.
Sec. 4. That the duties and taxes collected in Porto Rico in pursuance of this act, less the cost of collecting the same, and the gross amount of all collections of duties and taxes in the United States upon articles of merchandise coming from Porto Rico, shall not be covered into the general fund of the Treasury, but shall be held as a separate fund, and shall be placed at the disposal of the President to be used for the government and benefit of Porto Rico until the government of Porto Rico herein provided for shall have been organized, when all moneys theretofore collected under the provisions hereof, then unexpended, shall be transferred to the local treasury of Porto Rico, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall designate the several ports and sub-ports of entry into Porto Rico, and shall make such rules and regulations and appoint such agents as may be necessary to collect the duties and taxes authorized to be levied, collected, and paid in Porto Rico by the provisions of this act, and he shall fix the compensation and provide for the payment thereof of all such officers, agents, and assistants as he may find it necessary to employ to carry out the provisions hereof: Provided, however, That as soon as a civil government for Porto Rico shall have been organized in accordance with the provisions of this act, and notice thereof shall have been given to the President, he shall make proclamation thereof, and thereafter all collections of duties and taxes in Porto Rico under the provisions of this act shall be paid into the treasury of Porto Rico, to be expended as required by law for the government and benefit thereof, instead of being paid into the Treasury of the United States.
Sec. 5: That on and after the day when this act shall go into effect all goods, wares, and merchandise previously imported from Porto Rico, for which no entry has been made, and all goods, wares, and merchandise previously entered without payment of duty and under bond for warehousing, transportation, or any other purpose, for which no permit of delivery to the importer or his agent has been issued, shall be subjected to the duties imposed by this act, and to no other duty, upon the entry or the withdrawal
thereof: Provided, That when duties are based upon the weight of merchandise deposited in any public or private bonded warehouse said duties shall be levied and collected upon the weight of such merchandise at the time of its entry.
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Sec. 38. That no export duties shall be levied or collected on exports from Porto Rico; but taxes and assessments on property, and license fees for franchises, privileges, and concessions may be imposed for the purposes of the insular and municipal governments, respectively, as may be provided and defined by act of the legislative assembly; and where necessary to anticipate taxes and revenues, bonds and other obligations may be issued by Porto Rico or any municipal government therein as may be provided by law to provide for expenditures authorized by law, and to protect the public credit, and to reimburse the United States for any moneys which have been or may be expended out of the emergency fund of the War Department for the relief of the industrial conditions of Porto Rico caused by the hurricane of August eighth, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine: Provided, however, That no public indebtedness of Porto Rico or of any municipality thereof shall be authorized or allowed in excess of seven per centum of the aggregate tax valuation of its property.