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Catalogue of the
Exhibit of the Department of State
at the
Panama-Pacific International Exposition

San Francisco, California 1915

Great Seal of U.S.A.

Government Printing Office 1915

Panama-Pacific International Exposition Seal

Ben G. Davis
Chief Clerk and Representative of the Department of State
Alice M. Blandford
Clinton R. Whitney
Assistant Representatives in charge of Exhibit
Bryan Davis

The Department of State deals essentially with all matters of relationship between our own and foreign governments. It conducts all correspondence with the Ambassadors, Ministers, and Consuls of the United States and with the representatives of foreign powers accredited to the United States. It is also the medium of official dealings and correspondence between the President and the Chief Executives of the several States. The Great Seal of the United States is in its custody and is affixed by it to all Executive proclamations, to various commissions, and to warrants for the extradition of fugitives from justice. Within the State Department are filed all treaties made with foreign States and all laws of the United States. Its archives are replete with papers and documents priceless in historical value. Passports are granted and issued and exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States are given through this Department. It publishes the laws and resolutions of Congress, the amendments to the Constitution, and proclamations declaring the admission of new States into the Union. The Secretary of State is regarded as the first in rank among the members of the Cabinet and sits at the right of the President in the sessions of the Cabinet.

The exhibit of the Department of State has been prepared with a view to instruct as well as to interest and to present as graphically as possible a few of the principal activities with which it has to deal. Owing to the great value, historically, of its many interesting documents and the necessity of the greatest care for their preservation, it has been impracticable to exhibit the original papers. Those in the exhibit are photographic reproductions and are accurate and faithful representations, even to the ripened color with which time has mellowed those of our early history.

Case No. 1.

The Declaration of Independence.

Generally considered the greatest and most important of all our state papers. The first draft, herewith shown, appears in the handwriting of its author, Thomas Jefferson. This draft was submitted to a committee consisting of Mr. Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert H. Livingston. Mr. Jefferson's original draft was changed somewhat by the committee before it was reported to Congress for consideration. These changes are apparent in the copy shown and are said to have been made by Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin.

In the Journal of Congress of July 19, 1776, it was directed "That the declaration passed on the Fourth of July he fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and style of the Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America; and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress." On August 2 the Declaration, as engrossed under the above order, was signed by all the members of Congress present. The original engrossed copy of the Declaration is on parchment. In 1823 a facsimile was made, under the order of President Monroe, and the parchment injured, no doubt due to the process employed. Subsequently the text and the signatures began to fade, and in 1891 it was hermetically sealed between sheets of glass and placed in a steel cabinet with the original signed copy of the Constitution, where it now reposes, locked and sealed, and, shown only upon direct order of the Secretary of State.

In this case is shown also a drawing of the house at the southwest corner of Market and Seventh Streets, Philadelphia, in which Jefferson wrote the draft of the Declaration; a photograph of the steel safe in the Department of State in which is preserved the original, engrossed copy of the Declaration and the original engrossed copy of the Constitution; a drawing of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, in which Congress held its sessions; and a photograph of the Liberty Bell which acclaimed "Liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof."

Case No. 2.

The Constitution of the United States.

This case contains photographic reproductions of the engrossed sheets of the Constitution of the United States. The originals, like the Declaration of Independence, were engrossed upon parchment sheets, upon which time has made its impress. For their safe preservation these engrossed copies were withdrawn from exhibition and are protected between sheets of glass and deposited in a steel safe in the Library of the Department and are shown only upon written order of the Secretary of State.

Case No. 3.

The Amendments to the Constitution.

In this case are shown photographic reproductions of the seventeen amendments to the Constitution. The seventeenth amendment is shown in detail for the purpose of illustrating the method by which the Constituton is amended. There is shown the joint resolution as introduced into Congress, the printed copy of the resolution, the report of the committees thereon, the engrossed copy of the joint resolution, a copy of the letters of the Secretary of State to the various States of the Union informing them of the submission of the amendment, a reply from one of the States transmitting the ratification of its legislature, and finally the proclamation of the Secretary of State putting the amendment into effect, it having been ratified by the necessary three-fourths of the States.

Case No. 4.

The Making of a Treaty.

The preliminary negotiations leading to the presentation of a treaty usually cover an extended period of time. These negotiations are sometimes verbal between proper representatives of the contracting governments, sometimes by notes, memoires or other forms of diplomatic correspondence, and frequently by all the methods cited.

Upon conclusion of negotiations, the text of the treaty having been agreed upon, it is then prepared for signature either by printing or engrossing. After signature it is forwarded by the President for transmission to the Senate, should he deem it advisable to do so.

In the Senate the treaty is referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations for consideration, and if reported favorably and the Senate gives its advice and consent to ratification of the treaty by the President, that ratification is then prepared, signed by the President and the Secretary of State, and the seal of the United States attached.

The treaty having been ratified by the other contracting party and the Department of State so notified, the Secretary of State informs the representative of the other contracting party of the time for the exchange of ratifications. Upon the day set the representative of the other power appears at the Department of State with an "exchange copy" of his government, which he hands to the Secretary of State and receives in return the "exchange copy" prepared by the Government of the United States.

At the time of exchange the plenipotentiaries sign a "protocol of exchange," setting forth that the copies "having been carefully compared and found conformable to each other, the change took place this day, etc" The treaty is then made public by proclamation of the President in the United States and in the other country in conformity with its mode of procedure.

The reproduced treaty shown in this exhibit is between the United States and Great Britain and is one of the thirty similar "peace treaties" negotiated with foreign governments providing for investigation in all cases of dispute. These treaties follow the "peace plan" of President Wilson and Secretary Bryan, which provides, in effect, for the prevention of any hostilities until a year of investigation has been given to matters in dispute.

There is also shown in this exhibit the interior and exterior of the cover of the "exchange copy" of the United States and the leather envelope in which it is enclosed.

Case No. 5.

Samples of Treaties.

This exhibit reproduces, in part, some of the most interesting of the treaties during the history of the United States. There is shown a portion of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain at the close of the War with Spain. This treaty was negotiated and signed in Paris, and in connection therewith is shown an etching illustrating a meeting of the commissioners who conducted the peace negotiations and signed the treaty.

There is also shown a copy of a portion of the Jay Treaty and of a treaty with Tripoli. The Panama Treaty, by the terms of which the United States built the Panama Canal, is shown in full, together with photographs of Secretary Hay and Minister P. Bunau-Varilla, who represented their respective governments in the negotiations leading to the treaty.

Case No. 6.

Illustrating the Forms of Proclamations of the Presidents.

Those shown are-
(1) The Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, probably the most important of this type of Presidential papers;

(2) A Proclamation of President Adams;

(3) The first Thanksgiving Proclamation, issued by President Washington, and

(4) The last Thanksgiving Proclamation, issued by President Wilson.


Relief of American Citizens Who were Stranded Abroad at the Outbreak of the European Conflict in August, 1914.

File exhibit consists of actual communications and the action of the Department thereon. It is estimated that upward of a quarter of a million of Americans were in Europe at the time of the unexpected outbreak of hostilities. Most of these were financially dependent upon letters of credit, traveler's checks, express orders, etc. The refusal of foreign banks to cash not only commercial paper of this character but drafts a well, and the cancellation of sailings of steamers upon which many of our people had booked and paid for return passage, created an unprecedented and extraordinary situation. Through its foreign service the Department of State inaugurated immediate measures of relief and vigorously and strenuously exerted its efforts in file supplying of funds and the transportation of Americans to their homes. Unique in this exhibit is the first page of a cablegram of eight hundred typewritten pages, transmitting an aggregate of two and a half millions of dollars to thousands of our stranded citizens.

Case No. 7.

The Making of a Law.

Thousands of bills are introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the two-year life of a Congress, but a comparatively few succeed in safely ascending the various steps that lead to final enactment into law. This exhibit represents succinctly the progress of a bill from its inception to its completion. There is shown the draft of the bill as prepared by the Member of Congress introducing it; the printed copy, with its serial house number; the printed report of the proper house committee to whom it has been referred and by whom it has been considered; the bill as reported with amendment and as it is reported to the Senate. Then follows the bill as finally agreed upon, its passage certified by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and approved by the President. It will be noted that this approved copy is neatly printed upon parchment and is the permanent and authentic record which is filed in the archives of the Department of State. Finally is shown the "slip law" printed for general distribution.


The Great Seal of the United States.

This exhibit illustrates the various designs proposed for the Great Seal from the inception of the National Government to the present time. The large illuminated seal in the center represents the design as finally adopted and perfected. The obverse of the seal is represented in the small illuminated design to the right of the reverse. The obverse has never been cut, but represents the accepted design. The following is a description of the Great Seal as finally decided upon January 20, 1782:

The device for an armorial achievement and reverse of the Great Seal for the United States in Congress assembled, is as follows:

"ARMS. Paleways of thirteen pieces, argent and gules; a chief, azure; the escutcheon on the breast of the American eagle displayed proper, holding in his dexter talon an olive branch, and in his sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this motto, 'E pluribus Unum.'

"For the CREST. Over the head of the eagle, which appears above the escutcheon, a glory, or, breaking through a cloud, proper, and surrounding thirteen stars forming a constellation, argent, on an azure field.

"REVERSE. A pyramid unfinished. In the zenith, an eye in a triangle, surrounded with a glory proper. Over the eye these words, 'Annuit Coeptis.' On the base of the pyramid the numerical letters MDCCLXXVI. And underneath the following motto, 'Novis Ordo Seclorum.'

The Great Seal has a most limited use and is strictly guarded by law. The Secretary of State is its custodian, but even he has no authority to affix it to any paper that does not bear the signature of the President. The signature of the President is a warrant for affixing the Great Seal, and the Great Seal is only to be affixed to an instrument which is complete. It is never affixed to a commission until the commission is signed. There is shown in the exhibit a blank form or approval signed by the President, which is authority for attaching the Great Seal to any instrument, and in illustration showing the usual method of affixing the Great Seal to papers.

Case No. 8.

Forms of Diplomatic Correspondence.

Illustrating the formality with which correspondence is conducted between nations on occasions of ceremony. The letters shown from our own Government, signed by President Wilson, are actual copies of letters recently sent. These communications are engrossed by expert penmen in the State Department and follow the established and prescribed rules of diplomatic etiquette as applied to correspondence.

Photographic copies of ceremonial letters from the heads of foreign powers to our own Government as follows

1. Letter dated November 30, 1888, from Victoria, Queen of England, announcing the birth of a Prince.

2. Letter dated September 9, 1879, from King George, of Greece, announcing the birth of a Prince.

3. Letter dated February 7, 1806, from Emperor Napoleon, of France, announcing the marriage of his son Eugene.

4. Letter dated June 21, 1888, from Emperor Wilhelm, of Germany, announcing his accession to the throne.

5. Letter dated July 19, 1882, from the Queen of Madagascar, sending envoys to the United States.

6. Letter from the Shah of Persia acknowledging receipt of the President's letter recalling Minister Pratt.

7. Letter dated December 1, 1892, from President Diaz, of Mexico, announcing his reelection.

Case No. 9.

Forms of Commissions Issued by the Department of State.

A commission is the formal written authority conferring certain powers or privileges and authorizing or commanding the performance of certain duties. The exhibit comprises copies of commissions issued to a Minister, an Ambassador, a Secretary of Embassy, a Consul General, and a Cabinet Member. There is also shown the form of official recognition of a foreign Consul duly accredited to the United States.


A passport is a formal document issued by a proper government official to a citizen of that government, certifying to his citizenship, authorizing him to leave the country of which he is a subject and requesting protection for him abroad. The passport is presented to the government of a foreign state as an authentication of the identity and character of the holder, and upon being visaed by the proper official thereof becomes a substantial means of protection. Passports are issued by the Department of State and a fee of $1 is prescribed by law.

There is shown in the exhibit a general passport, a passport which has been visaed by a foreign government, and a special passport, the latter issued chiefly to government officials traveling abroad. There is also shown a form of emergency passport issued to a foreigner in the process of obtaining citizenship, a form of extradition for the return of criminals apprehended in foreign lands, and a form of certification attached to papers for legal use abroad.

Case No. 10.

Jefferson Writing Desk.

The Thomas Jefferson writing desk on which the original draft of the Declaration of Independence was written. This desk was given by Jefferson to Joseph Coolidge in accordance with the following memorandum by Jefferson:

Th. Jefferson gives this writing desk to Joseph Coolidge just as a memorial of affection, It was made from a drawing of his own by Ben Randall, cabinetmaker, of Philadelphia, with whom he first lodged on his arrival in that city in May, 1776, and is the identical one on which he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Politics, as well as religion, has its superstitions. These, gaining strength with time, may one day give imaginary value to this relic for its association with the birth of the great charter of our independence.

Monticello, November 18, 1825.

There is also shown in this case a whale's tooth which was sent as a treaty by the King of the Fiji Islands and one of the "peace treaty paper weights" designed by Secretary Bryan as a souvenir for the representatives of foreign governments who have signed with him the thirty peace treaties recently negotiated. These paper weights are made from melted swords.

Case No. 11.

Shipwrecked American Seamen.

Under authority granted by the Act of July 28, 1866, the State Department, on behalf of the Government, presents various gifts to officers and members of the crews of foreign vessels instrumental in the rescue of shipwrecked American seamen. In this case is exhibited the usual form in which this gift is made, namely, binocular marine glasses, gold watch with chain and compass charm, and gold medals.

Cases Nos. 12 and 13.

Decorations Conferred upon American Citizens.

Under the provisions of the Constitution, officials of the United States are prohibited from accepting any titles or gifts from foreign governments, except by authority of Congress. Notwithstanding this constitutional prohibition, a number of decorations and gifts have been conferred upon American officials. These are filed in the Department of State and are delivered to the recipients only upon authority especially, and rarely, granted by Congress. The exhibit illustrates the general nature and form of the decorations.

Screen No. 1.

Photographs of the first building and of the present building occupied by the Department of State and a perspective drawing of the proposed new State Department building.

Photographs of the various buildings that have been used as Capitols of the United States and of the present Capitol.

Screen No. 2.

Map of the world, upon which is designated the location of United States embassies, legations, consulates, and consular agencies. Embassies are designated by red pins, legations by black pins, and consulates and consular agencies by yellow pins. Photographs of the following officials of the Department of State: The Director of the Consular Service, Mr. Wilbur J. Carr; the Chief of the Diplomatic Bureau, Mr. Sydney Y. Smith; The Chief of the Consular Bureau, Mr. Herbert C. Hengstler.

Map of the United States, showing its territorial expansion from the original States to its present proportions. Photographs of the following officials of the Department of State: The Assistant Secretary, Mr. John E. Osborne; the Second Assistant Secretary, Mr. Alva A. Adee; the Third Assistant Secretary, Mr, William Phillips; the Counsellor, Mr. Robert Lansing; the Solicitor, Mr. Cone Johnson; the Chief Clerk, Mr. Ben G. Davis.

Screen No. 3.

Photographs of the Diplomatic Corps, the representatives of all the foreign governments accredited to the United States.

Pictures of all the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Screen No. 4.

The Exhibit of the Pan American Union.

The Pan American Union was established in 1889-90 for the purpose of developing and maintaining closer relations of commerce and friendship between the twenty-one Republics of the Western Hemisphere. It is sustained by contributions from the American Republics in proportion to their population and is governed by a board composed of their diplomatic representatives at Washington and the Secretary of State of the United States, who is ex officio its chairman. Its chief executive officer is the Director General, elected by this governing board, each government having one vote in his selection. The Pan American Union publishes a monthly magazine in four editions (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), containing information about the resources, commerce, and general progress of the American Republics, as well as maps and geographical sketches of these countries, handbooks of trade, travel and description, and special reports on tariffs, improvements, concessions, new laws, etc.

The Pan American Union occupies a handsome marble structure on Seventeenth Street, in Washington, near the White House. The artistic beauty of this building will he apparent from the photographic views shown in the exhibit. In addition to views of the building the exhibit consists of portraits of the Director General, Mr, Barrett; the Assistant Director, Mr. Yánes; and the Chief Clerk, Mr. Adams; a group photograph of the governing board and samples of the publications issued by the Union.

Government Print Office Seal

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