Cover image for Presidential documents : the speeches, proclamations, and policies that have shaped the nation from Washington to Clinton
Presidential documents : the speeches, proclamations, and policies that have shaped the nation from Washington to Clinton
Israel, Fred L.
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 396 pages ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E176.1 .P889 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This is the most comprehensive single-volume edition of presidential documents available.
In this lively, authoritative and up-to-the moment collection, historians Fred L. Israel and J. F. Watts present over 200 famous and lesser-known key speeches, proclamations, letters and other decisive papers and provide a brief political and historical commentary on each selection. Either printed in full or excerpted in a clear, readily accessible format, these history-making documents include the most memorable moments in the Presidency, from George Washington's first Inaugural Address to Bill Clinton's comments after the end of his impeachment proceedings.

Author Notes

Fred L. Israel's previous works include the five-volume History of Presidential Elections 1789-1988(1988), which he co-edited with Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Runningfor President(1995). He is professor of History at City College at the City University of New York. J. F. Wattsis the editor of Seven Cultural Traditions: readings inWorld Civilizations from Prehistory to the 15th Century. He is professor of history at City College at the City University of New York.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
President George Washington's First Inaugural Address, 30 April 1789p. 5
President George Washington to Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, 16 February 1791 - The Evolution of the Cabinet and President George Washington to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, 25 November 1791 -- The Evolution of the Cabinetp. 8
President George Washington's Proclamation on Resistance to the Excise Tax, 15 September 1792p. 9
President George Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality, 22 April 1793p. 11
President George Washington's Proclamations on the Whiskey Insurrection, 7 August; 25 September 1794p. 12
Washington on the Role of the Army -- President George Washington to Major General Daniel Morgan, 27 March 1795p. 17
President George Washington's Farewell Address, 17 September 1796p. 18
President John Adams' Report to Congress on the XYZ Affair, 19 March 1798p. 25
President John Adams' Commission of John Marshall as Chief Justice, 31 January 1801p. 27
President Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1801p. 28
President Thomas Jefferson's First Annual Message to Congress, 8 December 1801p. 31
President Thomas Jefferson on the Importance of New Orleans, 18 April 1802p. 33
President Thomas Jefferson's Request for Appropriations for the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 18 January 1803p. 35
President Thomas Jefferson's Recommendation to End the African Slave Trade, 2 December 1806p. 38
President Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Message, 18 December 1807p. 38
President Thomas Jefferson Discusses the Non-Intercourse Act, 1 March 1809 and Jefferson to Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, 2 March 1809p. 39
President James Madison's Proclamation on West Florida, 27 October 1810p. 41
President James Madison's Proclamation Resuming Trade with France, 2 November 1810p. 43
President James Madison's War Message to Congress, 1 June 1812p. 44
President James Madison's Veto of the Second Bank of the United States, 30 January 1815 and President James Madison's Recommendation for a Second Bank of the United States, 5 December 1815p. 47
President James Monroe Comments on the Missouri Compromise -- Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 19 February 1820p. 50
President James Monroe's Veto of the Cumberland Road Bill, 4 May 1822p. 51
The Monroe Doctrine, 2 December 1823p. 54
President John Quincy Adams' Broad Plan of Internal Improvements, 6 December 1825p. 56
President Andrew Jackson's First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1829p. 59
President Andrew Jackson's Volunteer Toast, 13 April 1830p. 61
President Andrew Jackson's Veto of the Maysville Road Bill, 27 May 1830p. 62
President Andrew Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill, 10 July 1832p. 65
President Andrew Jackson's Proclamation to the People of South Carolina, 10 December 1832p. 70
President Andrew Jackson Orders Federal Troops to Suppress a Labor Strike, 29 January 1834p. 76
President Andrew Jackson's Message on the Removal of Southern Indians, 7 December 1835p. 77
President Andrew Jackson's Farewell Address, 4 March 1837p. 80
President Martin Van Buren's Independent Treasury Message, 4 September 1837p. 87
President Martin Van Buren's Proclamation of Neutrality in the Caroline Affair, 5 January 1838p. 91
President John Tyler's Request for Ratification of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, 11 August 1842p. 92
President John Tyler's Response to Governor Samuel W. King of Rhode Island, 28 May 1842p. 93
President John Tyler's Message Urging the Annexation of Texas, 22 April 1844p. 95
President John Tyler's Veto of the Revenue Cutters and Steamers Bill, 20 February 1845p. 98
President James K. Polk's Comments on Texas and Oregon in His Inaugural Address, 4 March 1845p. 99
President James K. Polk's Corollaries to the Monroe Doctrine, 2 December 1845p. 102
President James K. Polk's War Message to Congress, 11 May 1846p. 104
President James K. Polk's Announcement of the Discovery of Gold in California, 5 December 1848p. 106
President Zachary Taylor's Recommendation of Statehood for California, 4 December 1849p. 108
President Zachary Taylor's Request for Ratification of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, 22 April 1850p. 109
President Millard Fillmore's Defense of the Compromise of 1850, 2 December 1850p. 111
President Franklin Pierce's Request for Ratification of the Treaty of Kanagawa between the United States and Japan, 12 July 1854p. 113
President James Buchanan's Inaugural Address, 4 March 1857p. 114
President James Buchanan's Views on the Secession, 3 December 1860p. 117
President Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1861p. 120
President Abraham Lincoln's Message to Congress, 4 July 1861p. 127
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1 January 1863p. 132
President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, 19 November 1863p. 134
President Abraham Lincoln's Plan for Reconstruction, 8 December 1863p. 135
President Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, 4 March 1865p. 138
President Andrew Johnson Informs Congress that the Union Is Restored, 4 December 1865p. 140
President Andrew Johnson's Veto of the Freedmen's Bureau, 19 February 1866p. 142
President Andrew Johnson's Veto of the Civil Rights Act, 27 March 1866p. 146
President Andrew Johnson's Defense of His Views on Reconstruction, 3 December 1867p. 150
President Ulysses S. Grant's Decision Not to Dispatch Federal Troops to Quell a Race Riot in South Carolina, 26 July 1876p. 154
President Ulysses S. Grant's Acknowledgment of His Political Mistakes, 5 December 1876p. 156
President Rutherford B. hayes' Decision to Remove Federal Troops from the South, Ending Reconstruction, 22 April 1877p. 157
President Rutherford B. Hayes' Reflections on the Great Railroad Strikes, 5 August 1877p. 158
President James A. Garfield's Reflections on Political Patronage, 6-13 June 1881p. 159
President Chester A. Arthur Champions Civil Service Reform, 4 December 1882p. 160
President Grover Cleveland Vetoes Disaster Relief Legislation, 16 February 1887p. 164
President Grover Cleveland Attacks High Protective Tariffs, 3 December 1888p. 166
President Benjamin Harrison Retraces George Washington's Inaugural Route a Century Later, 30 April 1889p. 170
President Benjamin Harrison Announces the Construction of a Great Naval Fleet, 6 December 1892p. 172
President Grover Cleveland's Decision to Send Troops to Chicago to Counter the Pullman Strike, 8 July 1894p. 174
President Grover Cleveland's Defense of the Gold Standard, 28 January 1895p. 176
President Grover Cleveland's Threat of War with England, 17 December 1895p. 181
President William McKinley's Decision to Wage War on the Spanish Empire, 11 April 1898p. 184
President William McKinley's Explanation of the Acquisition of the Philippine Islands, 21 November 1899p. 193
President Theodore Roosevelt's Denunciation of "Bad" Trusts, 3 December 1901p. 195
President Theodore Roosevelt's Decision to Invoke Federal Legal Power against Financier J. P. Morgan, 5 September 1903p. 200
President Theodore Roosevelt Announces the "Roosevelt Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine, 6 December 1904p. 203
President Theodore Roosevelt Announces the Acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone, 7 December 1903p. 206
President Theodore Roosevelt on the Importance of Conservation, 11 November 1907p. 211
President William Howard Taft's Denunciation of Fellow Republican Theodore Roosevelt, 10 November 1912p. 213
President William Howard Taft's Espousal of "Dollar Diplomacy," 3 December 1912p. 214
President Woodrow Wilson Inaugurates the Presidential Press Conference, 22 March 1913p. 217
President Woodrow Wilson on the Establishment of the Federal Reserve System, 23 June 1913p. 220
President Woodrow Wilson's Agreement to the Re-segregation of the Federal Government, 23 July 1913, 29 July 1913, 8 September 1913p. 223
President Woodrow Wilson Orders the Invasion of Mexico, 20 April 1914p. 225
President Woodrow Wilson's Message of War against Germany, 2 April 1917p. 228
President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" Plan for Ending the War, 8 January 1918p. 236
President Warren G. Harding's First Annual Message, 6 December 1921p. 242
President Warren G. Harding's Confession of Incompetence, May 1922p. 243
President Calvin Coolidge's "Secret" Press Conference, 22 April 1927p. 244
President Herbert Hoover's Vision of Prosperity, 4 March 1929p. 246
President Herbert Hoover's Comments on the Stock Market Crash, 5 November 1929p. 247
President Herbert Hoover's Veto of a Bill for Public Power Authority in the Tennessee Valley, 3 March 1931p. 250
President Herbert Hoover's Prescription for Combating the Depression, 31 May 1932p. 252
President Herbert Hoover's Comments on the Veteran's "Bonus Army," 28 July 1932p. 255
President Herbert Hoover Defends His Political Principles, 12 October 1932p. 256
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1933p. 259
President Franklin D. Rosevelt's First "Fireside Chat," 12 March 1933p. 263
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Introduces the "Good Neighbor Policy," 12 April 1933p. 267
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Supports the Principle of Collective Bargaining, 5 July 1935p. 270
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Advocates Social Security, 14 August 1935p. 271
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Attempt to "Reform" the Supreme Court, 5 February 1937p. 273
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Announces the "Lend-Lease" Plan to Aid Great Britain, 10 June 1941p. 279
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Message of War against Japan, 8 December 1941p. 282
President Harry S. Truman Announces the Dropping of an Atomic Bomb on Japan, 6 August 1945p. 284
President Harry S. Truman Announces the "Truman Doctrine" to Counter the Soviet Union, 12 March 1947p. 285
President Harry S. Truman Announces Diplomatic Recognition of the State of Israel, 14 May 1948p. 291
President Harry S. Truman's "Whistlestop" Campaign for Reelection, 11 October 1948p. 292
President Harry S. Truman Fires General Douglas MacArthur, 11 April 1951p. 294
President Dwight D. Eisenhower Calls for the Interstate Highway System, 22 February 1955p. 297
President Dwight D. Eisenhower Calls for "Open Skies" to End the Cold War, 21 July 1955p. 300
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Decision to Send Federal Troops to Integrate Little Rock High School, 24 September 1957p. 303
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Comments on the "Military-Industrial Complex," 17 January 1961p. 307
President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961p. 311
President John F. Kennedy Introduces the Peace Corps, 1 March 1961p. 314
President John F. Kennedy Confronts the Cuban Missile Crisis, 27 October 1962p. 318
President John F. Kennedy Addresses the Nation on Civil Rights, 11 June 1963p. 320
President John F. Kennedy Speaks at the Berlin Wall, 26 June 1963p. 325
President Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" Plan, 22 May 1964p. 326
President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, 2 July 1964p. 330
President Lyndon B. Johnson's Early Foreboding about the War in Vietnam, 11 June 1964p. 333
President Richard M. Nixon Announces the Invasion of Cambodia, 28 April 1970p. 336
President Richard M. Nixon Speaks on the Desegregation of Southern Schools, 25 May 1971p. 342
President Richard M. Nixon and the "Opening" of China, 27 February 1972p. 344
President Richard M. Nixon Resigns from Office, 9 August 1974p. 346
President Gerald R. Ford Pardons Richard M. Nixon, 8 September 1974p. 350
President Jimmy Carter Returns the Canal Zone to Panama, 1 February 1978p. 353
President Jimmy Carter Presides over the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel, 26 March 1979p. 360
President Jimmy Carter Announces the Failure of the Iranian Hostage Rescue Mission, 25 April 1980p. 362
President Ronald Reagan Denounces the Soviet Union as an "Evil Empire," 8 March 1983p. 365
President Ronald Reagan Announces the "Star Wars" Missile Defense Concept, 23 March 1983p. 368
President Ronald Reagan Addresses the Nation on the Challenger Tragedy, 28 January 1986p. 371
President Ronald Reagan Announces Arms Control Agreement with the Soviet Union, 1 December 1987p. 373
President George Bush Announces War in the Persian Gulf, 16 January 1991p. 376
President Bill Clinton Proclaims the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, 8 December 1993p. 380
President Bill Clinton Denies White House Affair, 26 January 1998p. 385
President Bill Clinton's Comments at the End of the Attempt to Remove Him from Office, 12 February 1999p. 386
Indexp. 389