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Title: A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 5, part 3: Franklin Pierce
Author: Richardson, James D. (James Daniel), 1843-1914
Language: English
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A COMPILATION OF THE MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS

BY JAMES D. RICHARDSON


Franklin Pierce

March 4, 1853, to March 4, 1857



Franklin Pierce


Franklin Pierce was born in Hillsboro, N.H., November 23, 1804. Was
the fourth son of Benjamin and Anna Pierce. His father was a citizen of
Massachusetts; was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, attaining the
rank of captain and brevet major. After peace was declared he removed
from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and located near what is now
Hillsboro. His first wife was Elizabeth Andrews, who died at an early
age. His second wife, the mother of Franklin Pierce, was Anna Kendrick,
of Amherst, N.H. He was sheriff of his county, a member of the State
legislature and of the governor's council, and was twice chosen governor
of his State (as a Democrat), first in 1827 and again in 1829, For many
years he was declared to be "the most influential man in New Hampshire,"
He died in 1839. Franklin was given an academic education in well-known
institutions at Hancock, Francestown, and Exeter, and in 1820 was sent
to Bowdoin College, His college mates there were John P. Hale, his
future political rival; Professor Calvin E. Stowe; Sergeant S. Prentiss,
the distinguished orator; Henry W. Longfellow, and Nathaniel Hawthorne,
his future biographer and lifelong friend. He graduated in 1824, being
third in his class. After taking his degree he began the study of law
at Portsmouth in the office of Levi Woodbury, where he remained about
a year. Afterwards spent two years in the law school at Northampton,
Mass., and in the office of Judge Edmund Parker, at Amherst, N.H.
In 1827 was admitted to the bar and began practice in his native
town. Espoused the cause of Andrew Jackson with ardor, and in 1829 was
elected to represent his native town in the legislature, where by three
subsequent elections he served four years, the last two as speaker.
In 1833 was elected to represent his native district in the lower House
of Congress, where he remained four years; served on the Judiciary and
other important committees. His first important speech in the House was
delivered in 1834 upon the necessity of economy and of watchfulness
against frauds in the payment of Revolutionary claims. In 1834 married
Miss Jane Means Appleton, daughter of Rev. Jesse Appleton, president of
Bowdoin College. In 1837 was elected to the United States Senate. On
account of ill health of his wife, deeming it best for her to return to
New Hampshire, on June 28, 1842, resigned his seat, and returning to his
home resumed the practice of the law. In 1838 he changed his residence
from Hillsboro to Concord. In 1845 declined an appointment to the United
States Senate to fill a vacancy. Also declined the nomination for
governor, tendered by the Democratic State convention, and in 1845 an
appointment to the office of Attorney-General of the United States,
tendered by President Polk. In 1846, when the war with Mexico began, he
enlisted as a private in a volunteer company organized at Concord; was
soon afterwards commissioned colonel of the Ninth Regiment of Infantry;
March 3, 1847, was commissioned brigadier-general in the Volunteer Army,
and on March 27 embarked for Mexico, arriving at Vera Cruz June 28.
August 6, 1847, joined General Scott with his brigade at Puebla, and
soon set out for the capture of the City of Mexico. Took part in the
battle of Contreras September 19, 1847, in which engagement he was
severely injured by being thrown from his horse. The next day, not
having recovered, he undertook to accompany his brigade in action
against the enemy, when he fainted. He persisted in remaining on duty
in the subsequent operations of the Army. His conduct and services were
spoken of in high terms by his superior officers, Generals Scott, Worth,
and Pillow. Before the battle of Molino del Rey was appointed one of the
American commissioners in the effort for peace, a truce being declared
for that purpose. The effort failed and the fighting was renewed.
Participated in the battle of Molino del Rey and continued on duty till
peace was declared. Resigned his commission in March, 1848, and returned
to his home. The same month the legislature of his State voted him
a sword of honor in appreciation of his services in the war. Resumed
his law practice and was highly successful. In 1850 was a member
of the constitutional convention which met at Concord to amend the
constitution of New Hampshire, and was chosen to preside over its
deliberations; he favored the removal of the religious-test clause in
the old constitution, by which Roman Catholics were disqualified from
holding office in the State, and also the abolition of any "property
qualification;" he carried these amendments through the convention,
but the people defeated them at the election. In January, 1852, the
Democratic State convention of New Hampshire declared for him for
President, but in a letter January 12 he positively refused to permit
the delegation to present his name. The national convention of the party
met at Baltimore June 1, 1852. On the fourth day he was nominated for
President, and was elected in November, receiving 254 electoral votes,
while his opponent, General Scott, received only 42. Was inaugurated
March 4, 1853. In 1856 he was voted for by his friends in the national
Democratic convention for renomination, but was unsuccessful. Upon the
expiration of his term as President he retired to his home at Concord,
where he resided the remainder of his life. Died October 8, 1869, and
was buried at Concord.



INAUGURAL ADDRESS.


My Countrymen: It is a relief to feel that no heart but my own can know
the personal regret and bitter sorrow over which I have been borne to a
position so suitable for others rather than desirable for myself.

The circumstances under which I have been called for a limited period to
preside over the destinies of the Republic fill me with a profound sense
of responsibility, but with nothing like shrinking apprehension. I
repair to the post assigned me not as to one sought, but in obedience to
the unsolicited expression of your will, answerable only for a fearless,
faithful, and diligent exercise of my best powers. I ought to be,
and am, truly grateful for the rare manifestation of the nation's
confidence; but this, so far from lightening my obligations, only adds
to their weight. You have summoned me in my weakness; you must sustain
me by your strength. When looking for the fulfillment of reasonable
requirements, you will not be unmindful of the great changes which have
occurred, even within the last quarter of a century, and the consequent
augmentation and complexity of duties imposed in the administration both
of your home and foreign affairs.

Whether the elements of inherent force in the Republic have kept pace
with its unparalleled progression in territory, population, and wealth
has been the subject of earnest thought and discussion on both sides of
the ocean. Less than sixty-four years ago the Father of his Country made
"the" then "recent accession of the important State of North Carolina
to the Constitution of the United States" one of the subjects of his
special congratulation. At that moment, however, when the agitation
consequent upon the Revolutionary struggle had hardly subsided, when
we were just emerging from the weakness and embarrassments of the
Confederation, there was an evident consciousness of vigor equal to the
great mission so wisely and bravely fulfilled by our fathers. It was not
a presumptuous assurance, but a calm faith, springing from a clear view
of the sources of power in a government constituted like ours. It is
no paradox to say that although comparatively weak the new-born nation
was intrinsically strong. Inconsiderable in population and apparent
resources, it was upheld by a broad and intelligent comprehension of
rights and an all-pervading purpose to maintain them, stronger than
armaments. It came from the furnace of the Revolution, tempered to the
necessities of the times. The thoughts of the men of that day were as
practical as their sentiments were patriotic. They wasted no portion of
their energies upon idle and delusive speculations, but with a firm
and fearless step advanced beyond the governmental landmarks which had
hitherto circumscribed the limits of human freedom and planted their
standard, where it has stood against dangers which have threatened from
abroad, and internal agitation, which has at times fearfully menaced at
home. They proved themselves equal to the solution of the great problem,
to understand which their minds had been illuminated by the dawning
lights of the Revolution. The object sought was not a thing dreamed
of; it was a thing realized. They had exhibited not only the power to
achieve, but, what all history affirms to be So much more unusual, the
capacity to maintain. The oppressed throughout the world from that day
to the present have turned their eyes hitherward, not to find those
lights extinguished or to fear lest they should wane, but to be
constantly cheered by their steady and increasing radiance.

In this our country has, in my judgment, thus far fulfilled its highest
duty to suffering humanity. It has spoken and will continue to speak,
not only by its words, but by its acts, the language of sympathy,
encouragement, and hope to those who earnestly listen to tones which
pronounce for the largest rational liberty. But after all, the most
animating encouragement and potent appeal for freedom will be its own
history--its trials and its triumphs. Preeminently, the power of our
advocacy reposes in our example; but no example, be it remembered,
can be powerful for lasting good, whatever apparent advantages may be
gained, which is not based upon eternal principles of right and justice.
Our fathers decided for themselves, both upon the hour to declare and
the hour to strike. They were their own judges of the circumstances
under which it became them to pledge to each other "their lives, their
fortunes, and their sacred honor" for the acquisition of the priceless
inheritance transmitted to us. The energy with which that great conflict
was opened and, under the guidance of a manifest and beneficent
Providence, the uncomplaining endurance with which it was prosecuted to
its consummation were only surpassed by the wisdom and patriotic spirit
of concession which characterized all the counsels of the early fathers.

One of the most impressive evidences of that wisdom is to be found in
the fact that the actual working of our system has dispelled a degree of
solicitude which at the outset disturbed bold hearts and far-reaching
intellects. The apprehension of dangers from extended territory,
multiplied States, accumulated wealth, and augmented population has
proved to be unfounded. The stars upon your banner have become nearly
threefold their original number; your densely populated possessions
skirt the shores of the two great oceans; and yet this vast increase
of people and territory has not only shown itself compatible with
the harmonious action of the States and Federal Government in their
respective constitutional spheres, but has afforded an additional
guaranty of the strength and integrity of both.

With an experience thus suggestive and cheering, the policy of my
Administration will not be controlled by any timid forebodings of evil
from expansion. Indeed, it is not to be disguised that our attitude as a
nation and our position on the globe render the acquisition of certain
possessions not within our jurisdiction eminently important for our
protection, if not in the future essential for the preservation of the
rights of commerce and the peace of the world. Should they be obtained,
it will be through no grasping spirit, but with a view to obvious
national interest and security, and in a manner entirely consistent with
the strictest observance of national faith. We have nothing in our
history or position to invite aggression; we have everything to beckon
us to the cultivation of relations of peace and amity with all nations.
Purposes, therefore, at once just and pacific will be significantly
marked in the conduct of our foreign affairs. I intend that my
Administration shall leave no blot upon our fair record, and trust I may
safely give the assurance that no act within the legitimate scope of my
constitutional control will be tolerated on the part of any portion of
our citizens which can not challenge a ready justification before the
tribunal of the civilized world. An Administration would be unworthy of
confidence at home or respect abroad should it cease to be influenced by
the conviction that no apparent advantage can be purchased at a price so
dear as that of national wrong or dishonor. It is not your privilege as
a nation to speak of a distant past. The striking incidents of your
history, replete with instruction and furnishing abundant grounds for
hopeful confidence, are comprised in a period comparatively brief.
But if your past is limited, your future is boundless. Its obligations
throng the unexplored pathway of advancement, and will be limitless as
duration. Hence a sound and comprehensive policy should embrace not less
the distant future than the urgent present.

The great objects of our pursuit as a people are best to be attained by
peace, and are entirely consistent with the tranquillity and interests
of the rest of mankind. With the neighboring nations upon our continent
we should cultivate kindly and fraternal relations. We can desire
nothing in regard to them so much as to see them consolidate their
strength and pursue the paths of prosperity and happiness. If in the
course of their growth we should open new channels of trade and create
additional facilities for friendly intercourse, the benefits realized
will be equal and mutual, Of the complicated European systems of
national polity we have heretofore been independent. From their wars,
their tumults, and anxieties we have been, happily, almost entirely
exempt. Whilst these are confined to the nations which gave them
existence, and within their legitimate jurisdiction, they can not affect
us except as they appeal to our Sympathies in the cause of human freedom
and universal advancement. But the vast interests of commerce are
common to all mankind, and the advantages of trade and international
intercourse must always present a noble field for the moral influence
of a great people.

With these views firmly and honestly carried out, we have a right to
expect, and shall under all circumstances require, prompt reciprocity.
The rights which belong to us as a nation are not alone to be regarded,
but those which pertain to every citizen in his individual capacity, at
home and abroad, must be sacredly maintained. So long as he can discern
every star in its place upon that ensign, without wealth to purchase
for him preferment or title to secure for him place, it will be his
privilege, and must be his acknowledged right, to stand unabashed even
in the presence of princes, with a proud consciousness that he is
himself one of a nation of sovereigns and that he can not in legitimate
pursuit wander so far from home that the agent whom he shall leave
behind in the place which I now occupy will not see that no rude hand
of power or tyrannical passion is laid upon him with impunity. He must
realize that upon every sea and on every soil where our enterprise may
rightfully seek the protection of our flag American citizenship is an
inviolable panoply for the security of American rights. And in this
connection it can hardly be necessary to reaffirm a principle which
should now be regarded as fundamental. The rights, security, and repose
of this Confederacy reject the idea of interference or colonization on
this side of the ocean by any foreign power beyond present jurisdiction
as utterly inadmissible.

The opportunities of observation furnished by my brief experience as a
soldier confirmed in my own mind the opinion, entertained and acted upon
by others from the formation of the Government, that the maintenance of
large standing armies in our country would be not only dangerous, but
unnecessary. They also illustrated the importance--I might well say
the absolute necessity--of the military science and practical skill
furnished in such an eminent degree by the institution which has made
your Army what it is, under the discipline and instruction of officers
not more distinguished for their solid attainments, gallantry, and
devotion to the public service than for unobtrusive bearing and high
moral tone. The Army as organized must be the nucleus around which in
every time of need the strength of your military power, the sure bulwark
of your defense--a national militia--may be readily formed into a
well-disciplined and efficient organization. And the skill and
self-devotion of the Navy assure you that you may take the performance
of the past as a pledge for the future, and may confidently expect that
the flag which has waved its untarnished folds over every sea will still
float in undiminished honor. But these, like many other subjects, will
be appropriately brought at a future time to the attention of the
coordinate branches of the Government, to which I shall always look
with profound respect and with trustful confidence that they will accord
to me the aid and support which I shall so much need and which their
experience and wisdom will readily suggest.

In the administration of domestic affairs you expect a devoted
integrity in the public service and an observance of rigid economy
in all departments, so marked as never justly to be questioned. If this
reasonable expectation be not realized, I frankly confess that one of
your leading hopes is doomed to disappointment, and that my efforts
in a very important particular must result in a humiliating failure.
Offices can be properly regarded only in the light of aids for the
accomplishment of these objects, and as occupancy can confer no
prerogative nor importunate desire for preferment any claim, the public
interest imperatively demands that they be considered with sole
reference to the duties to be performed. Good citizens may well claim
the protection of good laws and the benign influence of good government,
but a claim for office is what the people of a republic should never
recognize. No reasonable man of any party will expect the Administration
to be so regardless of its responsibility and of the obvious elements
of success as to retain persons known to be under the influence of
political hostility and partisan prejudice in positions which will
require not only severe labor, but cordial cooperation. Having no
implied engagements to ratify, no rewards to bestow, no resentments to
remember, and no personal wishes to consult in selections for official
station, I shall fulfill this difficult and delicate trust, admitting
no motive as worthy either of my character or position which does not
contemplate an efficient discharge of duty and the best interests of my
country. I acknowledge my obligations to the masses of my countrymen,
and to them alone. Higher objects than personal aggrandizement gave
direction and energy to their exertions in the late canvass, and
they shall not be disappointed. They require at my hands diligence,
integrity, and capacity wherever there are duties to be performed.
Without these qualities in their public servants, more stringent laws
for the prevention or punishment of fraud, negligence, and peculation
will be vain. With them they will be unnecessary.

But these are not the only points to which you look for vigilant
watchfulness. The dangers of a concentration of all power in the
general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious
to be disregarded. You have a right, therefore, to expect your agents
in every department to regard strictly the limits imposed upon them
by the Constitution of the United States. The great scheme of our
constitutional liberty rests upon a proper distribution of power
between the State and Federal authorities, and experience has shown
that the harmony and happiness of our people must depend upon a just
discrimination between the separate rights and responsibilities of
the States and your common rights and obligations under the General
Government; and here, in my opinion, are the considerations which should
form the true basis of future concord in regard to the questions which
have most seriously disturbed public tranquillity. If the Federal
Government will confine itself to the exercise of powers clearly granted
by the Constitution, it can hardly happen that its action upon any
question should endanger the institutions of the States or interfere
with their right to manage matters strictly domestic according to the
will of their own people.

In expressing briefly my views upon an important subject which has
recently agitated the nation to almost a fearful degree, I am moved by
no other impulse than a most earnest desire for the perpetuation of that
Union which has made us what we are, showering upon us blessings and
conferring a power and influence which our fathers could hardly have
anticipated, even with their most sanguine hopes directed to a far-off
future. The sentiments I now announce were not unknown before the
expression of the voice which called me here. My own position upon this
subject was clear and unequivocal, upon the record of my words and my
acts, and it is only recurred to at this time because silence might
perhaps be misconstrued. With the Union my best and dearest earthly
hopes are entwined. Without it what are we individually or collectively?
What becomes of the noblest field ever opened for the advancement of our
race in religion, in government, in the arts, and in all that dignifies
and adorns mankind? From that radiant constellation which both illumines
our own way and points out to struggling nations their course, let but a
single star be lost, and, if there be not utter darkness, the luster of
the whole is dimmed. Do my countrymen need any assurance that such a
catastrophe is not to overtake them while I possess the power to stay
it? It is with me an earnest and vital belief that as the Union has been
the source, under Providence, of our prosperity to this time, so it is
the surest pledge of a continuance of the blessings we have enjoyed, and
which we are sacredly bound to transmit undiminished to our children.
The field of calm and free discussion in our country is open, and will
always be so, but never has been and never can be traversed for good
in a spirit of sectionalism and uncharitableness. The founders of the
Republic dealt with things as they were presented to them, in a spirit
of self-sacrificing patriotism, and, as time has proved, with a
comprehensive wisdom which it will always be safe for us to consult.
Every measure tending to strengthen the fraternal feelings of all the
members of our Union has had my heartfelt approbation. To every theory
of society or government, whether the offspring of feverish ambition
or of morbid enthusiasm, calculated to dissolve the bonds of law
and affection which unite us, I shall interpose a ready and stern
resistance. I believe that involuntary servitude, as it exists in
different States of this Confederacy, is recognized by the Constitution.
I believe that it stands like any other admitted right, and that the
States where it exists are entitled to efficient remedies to enforce the
constitutional provisions. I hold that the laws of 1850, commonly called
the "compromise measures," are strictly constitutional and to be
unhesitatingly carried into effect. I believe that the constituted
authorities of this Republic are bound to regard the rights of the South
in this respect as they would view any other legal and constitutional
right, and that the laws to enforce them should be respected and obeyed,
not with a reluctance encouraged by abstract opinions as to their
propriety in a different state of society, but cheerfully and according
to the decisions of the tribunal to which their exposition belongs.
Such have been, and are, my convictions, and upon them I shall act.
I fervently hope that the question is at rest, and that no sectional or
ambitious or fanatical excitement may again threaten the durability of
our institutions or obscure the light of our prosperity.

But let not the foundation of our hope rest upon man's wisdom. It will
not be sufficient that sectional prejudices find no place in the public
deliberations. It will not be sufficient that the rash counsels of human
passion are rejected. It must be felt that there is no national security
but in the nation's humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His
overruling providence.

We have been carried in safety through a perilous crisis. Wise counsels,
like those which gave us the Constitution, prevailed to uphold it. Let
the period be remembered as an admonition, and not as an encouragement,
in any section of the Union, to make experiments where experiments are
fraught with such fearful hazard. Let it be impressed upon all hearts
that, beautiful as our fabric is, no earthly power or wisdom could ever
reunite its broken fragments. Standing, as I do, almost within view
of the green slopes of Monticello, and, as it were, within reach of
the tomb of Washington, with all the cherished memories of the past
gathering around me like so many eloquent voices of exhortation from
heaven, I can express no better hope for my country than that the kind
Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to
preserve the blessings they have inherited.

MARCH 4, 1853.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 17th instant,
respecting certain propositions to Nicaragua and Costa Rica relative to
the settlement of the territorial controversies between the States and
Governments bordering on the river San Juan, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1853_.

_To the Senate_:


The eleventh article of the treaty with the Chickasaw Indians of the
20th October, 1832, provides that certain moneys arising from the sales
of the lands ceded by that treaty shall be laid out under the direction
of the President of the United States, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, in such safe and valuable stock as he may approve
of, for the benefit of the Chickasaw Nation.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury of the 15th instant,
herewith transmitted, shows that the sum of $58,100 5 per cent stock,
created under the act of 3d March, 1843, now stands on the books of the
Treasury in the name of the Secretary of the Treasury, as trustee for
the Chickasaw national fund. This stock, by the terms of its issue, is
redeemable on the 1st July next, when interest thereon will cease. It
therefore becomes my duty to lay before the Senate the subject of
reinvesting this amount under the same trust.

The second section of the act of 11th September, 1841 (the first section
of which repeals the provisions of the act of 7th July, 1838, directing
the investment of the Smithsonian fund in the stocks of the States),
enacts that "all other funds held in trust by the United States, and the
annual interest accruing thereon, when not otherwise required by treaty,
shall in like manner be invested in stocks of the United States bearing
a like rate of interest."

I submit to the Senate whether it will advise and consent that the
Secretary of the Treasury be authorized, under my direction, to reinvest
the above-mentioned sum of $58,100 in stocks of the United States under
the same trust.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 18th of January last,
calling for further correspondence touching the revolution in France of
December, 1851, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents by which it was accompanied.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE CHAMBER, _March 25, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I nominate Mrs. Mary Berard to be deputy postmaster at "West Point,"
N.Y., the commissions for said office having exceeded $1,000 for the
year ending the 30th June, 1852. Mrs. B. has held said office since the
12th of May, 1848, under an appointment of the Post-Office Department.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE ORDERS.


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _March 23, 1853_.

Believing that the public interests involved in the erection of the
wings of the United States Capitol will be promoted by the exercise of
a general supervision and control of the whole work by a skillful and
competent officer of the Corps of Engineers or of the Topographical
Corps, and as the officers of those corps are more immediately amenable
to the Secretary of War, I hereby direct that the jurisdiction
heretofore exercised over the said work by the Department of the
Interior be transferred to the War Department, and request that the
Secretary of War will designate to the President a suitable officer
to take charge of the same.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

WASHINGTON, _April 20, 1853_.

The President has, with deep sorrow, received information that the
Vice-President of the United States, William R. King, died on the 18th
instant at his residence in Alabama.

In testimony of respect for eminent station, exalted character, and,
higher and above all station, for a career of public service and
devotion to this Union which for duration and usefulness is almost
without a parallel in the history of the Republic, the labors of the
various Departments will be suspended.

The Secretaries of War and Navy will issue orders that appropriate
military and naval honors be rendered to the memory of one to whom such
a tribute will not be formal, but heartfelt from a people the deceased
has so faithfully served.

The public offices will be closed to-morrow and badges of mourning be
placed on the Executive Mansion and all the Executive Departments at
Washington.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



GENERAL ORDERS, No. II.


WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, April 20, 1853_.

I. The following order announces to the Army the death of William Rufus
King, late Vice-President of the United States:


WAR DEPARTMENT,

_Washington, April 20, 1853_.

With deep sorrow the President announces to the Army the death of
William Rufus King, Vice-President of the United States, who died on the
evening of Monday, the 18th instant, at his residence in Dallas County,
Ala.

Called into the service of his country at a period in life when but few
are prepared to enter upon its realities, his long career of public
usefulness at home and abroad has always been honored by the public
confidence, and was closed in the second office within the gift of the
people.

From sympathy with his relatives and the American people for their loss
and from respect for his distinguished public services, the President
directs that appropriate honors to his memory be paid by the Army.

JEFFERSON DAVIS,

_Secretary of War_.


II. On the day next succeeding the receipt of this order at each
military post the troops will be paraded at 10 o'clock a.m. and this
order read to them.

The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

At dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired. Commencing at 12 o'clock m.
seventeen minute guns will be fired and at the close of the day the
national salute of thirty-one guns.

The usual badge of mourning will be worn by officers of the Army and the
colors of the several regiments will be put in mourning for the period
of three months.

By order:

S. COOPER,

_Adjutant-General_.



[From the Daily National Intelligencer, April 21, 1853.]

GENERAL ORDER.

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

_April 20, 1853_.

With deep sorrow the President announces to the officers of the Navy
and Marine Corps the death of William Rufus King, Vice-President of the
United States, who died on the evening of Monday, the 18th instant, at
his residence in Alabama.

Called into the service of his country at a period of life when but few
are prepared to enter upon its realities, his long career of public
usefulness at home and abroad has always been honored by the public
confidence, and was closed in the second office within the gift of the
people.

From sympathy with his relatives and the American people for their loss
and from respect for his distinguished public services, the President
directs that appropriate honors be paid to his memory at each of the
navy-yards and naval stations and on board all the public vessels in
commission on the day after this order is received by firing at dawn
of day thirteen guns, at 12 o'clock m. seventeen minute guns, and at
the close of the day the national salute, by carrying their flags at
half-mast one day, and by the officers wearing crape on the left arm
for three months.

J.C. DOBBIN,

_Secretary of the Navy_.



FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, D.C., _December 5, 1853_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The interest with which the people of the Republic anticipate the
assembling of Congress and the fulfillment on that occasion of the duty
imposed upon a new President is one of the best evidences of their
capacity to realize the hopes of the founders of a political system
at once complex and symmetrical. While the different branches of the
Government are to a certain extent independent of each other, the duties
of all alike have direct reference to the source of power. Fortunately,
under this system no man is so high and none so humble in the scale of
public station as to escape from the scrutiny or to be exempt from the
responsibility which all official functions imply.

Upon the justice and intelligence of the masses, in a government thus
organized, is the sole reliance of the confederacy and the only security
for honest and earnest devotion to its interests against the usurpations
and encroachments of power on the one hand and the assaults of personal
ambition on the other.

The interest of which I have spoken is inseparable from an inquiring,
self-governing community, but stimulated, doubtless, at the present time
by the unsettled condition of our relations with several foreign powers,
by the new obligations resulting from a sudden extension of the field of
enterprise, by the spirit with which that field has been entered and the
amazing energy with which its resources for meeting the demands of
humanity have been developed.

Although disease, assuming at one time the characteristics of a
widespread and devastating pestilence, has left its sad traces upon
some portions of our country, we have still the most abundant cause
for reverent thankfulness to God for an accumulation of signal mercies
showered upon us as a nation. It is well that a consciousness of rapid
advancement and increasing strength be habitually associated with an
abiding sense of dependence upon Him who holds in His hands the destiny
of men and of nations.

Recognizing the wisdom of the broad principle of absolute religious
toleration proclaimed in our fundamental law, and rejoicing in the
benign influence which it has exerted upon our social and political
condition, I should shrink from a clear duty did I fail to express
my deepest conviction that we can place no secure reliance upon any
apparent progress if it be not sustained by national integrity, resting
upon the great truths affirmed and illustrated by divine revelation.
In the midst of our sorrow for the afflicted and suffering, it has been
consoling to see how promptly disaster made true neighbors of districts
and cities separated widely from each other, and cheering to watch the
strength of that common bond of brotherhood which unites all hearts, in
all parts of this Union, when danger threatens from abroad or calamity
impends over us at home.

Our diplomatic relations with foreign powers have undergone no essential
change since the adjournment of the last Congress. With some of them
questions of a disturbing character are still pending, but there are
good reasons to believe that these may all be amicably adjusted.

For some years past Great Britain has so construed the first article of
the convention of the 20th of April, 1818, in regard to the fisheries
on the northeastern coast, as to exclude our citizens from some of the
fishing grounds to which they freely resorted for nearly a quarter of a
century subsequent to the date of that treaty. The United States have
never acquiesced in this construction, but have always claimed for
their fishermen all the rights which they had so long enjoyed without
molestation. With a view to remove all difficulties on the subject,
to extend the rights of our fishermen beyond the limits fixed by the
convention of 1818, and to regulate trade between the United States and
the British North American Provinces, a negotiation has been opened with
a fair prospect of a favorable result. To protect our fishermen in the
enjoyment of their rights and prevent collision between them and British
fishermen, I deemed it expedient to station a naval force in that
quarter during the fishing season.

Embarrassing questions have also arisen between the two Governments in
regard to Central America. Great Britain has proposed to settle them by
an amicable arrangement, and our minister at London is instructed to
enter into negotiations on that subject.

A commission for adjusting the claims of our citizens against Great
Britain and those of British subjects against the United States,
organized under the convention of the 8th of February last, is now
sitting in London for the transaction of business.

It is in many respects desirable that the boundary line between the
United States and the British Provinces in the northwest, as designated
in the convention of the 15th of June, 1846, and especially that part
which separates the Territory of Washington from the British possessions
on the north, should be traced and marked. I therefore present the
subject to your notice.

With France our relations continue on the most friendly footing. The
extensive commerce between the United States and that country might,
it is conceived, be released from some unnecessary restrictions to
the mutual advantage of both parties. With a view to this object,
some progress has been made in negotiating a treaty of commerce and
navigation.

Independently of our valuable trade with Spain, we have important
political relations with her growing out of our neighborhood to the
islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. I am happy to announce that since the
last Congress no attempts have been made by unauthorized expeditions
within the United States against either of those colonies. Should any
movement be manifested within our limits, all the means at my command
will be vigorously exerted to repress it. Several annoying occurrences
have taken place at Havana, or in the vicinity of the island of Cuba,
between our citizens and the Spanish authorities. Considering the
proximity of that island to our shores, lying, as it does, in the track
of trade between some of our principal cities, and the suspicious
vigilance with which foreign intercourse, particularly that with the
United States, is there guarded, a repetition of such occurrences may
well be apprehended.

As no diplomatic intercourse is allowed between our consul at Havana
and the Captain-General of Cuba, ready explanations can not be made or
prompt redress afforded where injury has resulted. All complaint on the
part of our citizens under the present arrangement must be, in the first
place, presented to this Government and then referred to Spain. Spain
again refers it to her local authorities in Cuba for investigation, and
postpones an answer till she has heard from those authorities. To avoid
these irritating and vexatious delays, a proposition has been made to
provide for a direct appeal for redress to the Captain-General by our
consul in behalf of our injured fellow-citizens. Hitherto the Government
of Spain has declined to enter into any such arrangement. This course
on her part is deeply regretted, for without some arrangement of this
kind the good understanding between the two countries may be exposed to
occasional interruption. Our minister at Madrid is instructed to renew
the proposition and to press it again upon the consideration of Her
Catholic Majesty's Government.

For several years Spain has been calling the attention of this
Government to a claim for losses by some of her subjects in the case
of the schooner _Amistad_. This claim is believed to rest on the
obligations imposed by our existing treaty with that country. Its
justice was admitted in our diplomatic correspondence with the Spanish
Government as early as March, 1847, and one of my predecessors, in his
annual message of that year, recommended that provision should be made
for its payment. In January last it was again submitted to Congress by
the Executive. It has received a favorable consideration by committees
of both branches, but as yet there has been no final action upon it. I
conceive that good faith requires its prompt adjustment, and I present
it to your early and favorable consideration.

Martin Koszta, a Hungarian by birth, came to this country in 1850, and
declared his intention in due form of law to become a citizen of the
United States. After remaining here nearly two years he visited Turkey.
While at Smyrna he was forcibly seized, taken on board an Austrian brig
of war then lying in the harbor of that place, and there confined in
irons, with the avowed design to take him into the dominions of Austria.
Our consul at Smyrna and legation at Constantinople interposed for
his release, but their efforts were ineffectual. While thus in prison
Commander Ingraham, with the United States ship of war _St. Louis_,
arrived at Smyrna, and after inquiring into the circumstances of the
case came to the conclusion that Koszta was entitled to the protection
of this Government, and took energetic and prompt measures for his
release. Under an arrangement between the agents of the United States
and of Austria, he was transferred to the custody of the French
consul-general at Smyrna, there to remain until he should be disposed of
by the mutual agreement of the consuls of the respective Governments at
that place. Pursuant to that agreement, he has been released, and is now
in the United States. The Emperor of Austria has made the conduct of our
officers who took part in this transaction a subject of grave complaint.
Regarding Koszta as still his subject, and claiming a right to seize
him within the limits of the Turkish Empire, he has demanded of this
Government its consent to the surrender of the prisoner, a disavowal of
the acts of its agents, and satisfaction for the alleged outrage. After
a careful consideration of the case I came to the conclusion that Koszta
was seized without legal authority at Smyrna; that he was wrongfully
detained on board of the Austrian brig of war; that at the time of his
seizure he was clothed with the nationality of the United States, and
that the acts of our officers, under the circumstances of the case,
were justifiable, and their conduct has been fully approved by me,
and a compliance with the several demands of the Emperor of Austria has
been declined.

For a more full account of this transaction and my views in regard
to it I refer to the correspondence between the chargé d'affaires of
Austria and the Secretary of State, which is herewith transmitted. The
principles and policy therein maintained on the part of the United
States will, whenever a proper occasion occurs, be applied and enforced.

The condition of China at this time renders it probable that some
important changes will occur in that vast Empire which will lead to a
more unrestricted intercourse with it. The commissioner to that country
who has been recently appointed is instructed to avail himself of all
occasions to open and extend our commercial relations, not only with the
Empire of China, but with other Asiatic nations.

In 1852 an expedition was sent to Japan, under the command of Commodore
Perry, for the purpose of opening commercial intercourse with that
Empire. Intelligence has been received of his arrival there and of his
having made known to the Emperor of Japan the object of his visit. But
it is not yet ascertained how far the Emperor will be disposed to
abandon his restrictive policy and open that populous country to a
commercial intercourse with the United States.

It has been my earnest desire to maintain friendly intercourse with the
Governments upon this continent and to aid them in preserving good
understanding among themselves. With Mexico a dispute has arisen as
to the true boundary line between our Territory of New Mexico and the
Mexican State of Chihuahua. A former commissioner of the United States,
employed in running that line pursuant to the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, made a serious mistake in determining the initial point on
the Rio Grande; but inasmuch as his decision was clearly a departure
from the directions for tracing the boundary contained in that treaty,
and was not concurred in by the surveyor appointed on the part of the
United States, whose concurrence was necessary to give validity to that
decision, this Government is not concluded thereby; but that of Mexico
takes a different view of the subject.

There are also other questions of considerable magnitude pending between
the two Republics. Our minister in Mexico has ample instructions to
adjust them. Negotiations have been opened, but sufficient progress has
not been made therein to enable me to speak of the probable result.
Impressed with the importance of maintaining amicable relations with
that Republic and of yielding with liberality to all her just claims,
it is reasonable to expect that an arrangement mutually satisfactory to
both countries may be concluded and a lasting friendship between them
confirmed and perpetuated.

Congress having provided for a full mission to the States of Central
America, a minister was sent thither in July last. As yet he has had
time to visit only one of these States (Nicaragua), where he was
received in the most friendly manner. It is hoped that his presence and
good offices will have a benign effect in composing the dissensions
which prevail among them, and in establishing still more intimate and
friendly relations between them respectively and between each of them
and the United States.

Considering the vast regions of this continent and the number of states
which would be made accessible by the free navigation of the river
Amazon, particular attention has been given to this subject. Brazil,
through whose territories it passes into the ocean, has hitherto
persisted in a policy so restricted in regard to the use of this river
as to obstruct and nearly exclude foreign commercial intercourse with
the States which lie upon its tributaries and upper branches. Our
minister to that country is instructed to obtain a relaxation of that
policy and to use his efforts to induce the Brazilian Government to open
to common use, under proper safeguards, this great natural highway for
international trade. Several of the South American States are deeply
interested in this attempt to secure the free navigation of the Amazon,
and it is reasonable to expect their cooperation in the measure. As the
advantages of free commercial intercourse among nations are better
understood, more liberal views are generally entertained as to the
common rights of all to the free use of those means which nature has
provided for international communication. To these more liberal and
enlightened views it is hoped that Brazil will conform her policy and
remove all unnecessary restrictions upon the free use of a river which
traverses so many states and so large a part of the continent. I am
happy to inform you that the Republic of Paraguay and the Argentine
Confederation have yielded to the liberal policy still resisted by
Brazil in regard to the navigable rivers within their respective
territories. Treaties embracing this subject, among others, have been
negotiated with these Governments, which will be submitted to the Senate
at the present session.

A new branch of commerce, important to the agricultural interests of
the United States, has within a few years past been opened with Peru.
Notwithstanding the inexhaustible deposits of guano upon the islands of
that country, considerable difficulties are experienced in obtaining the
requisite supply. Measures have been taken to remove these difficulties
and to secure a more abundant importation of the article. Unfortunately,
there has been a serious collision between our citizens who have
resorted to the Chincha Islands for it and the Peruvian authorities
stationed there. Redress for the outrages committed by the latter was
promptly demanded by our minister at Lima. This subject is now under
consideration, and there is reason to believe that Peru is disposed to
offer adequate indemnity to the aggrieved parties.

We are thus not only at peace with all foreign countries, but, in regard
to political affairs, are exempt from any cause of serious disquietude
in our domestic relations.

The controversies which have agitated the country heretofore are passing
away with the causes which produced them and the passions which they had
awakened; or, if any trace of them remains, it may be reasonably hoped
that it will only be perceived in the zealous rivalry of all good
citizens to testify their respect for the rights of the States, their
devotion to the Union, and their common determination that each one of
the States, its institutions, its welfare, and its domestic peace, shall
be held alike secure under the sacred aegis of the Constitution.

This new league of amity and of mutual confidence and support into which
the people of the Republic have entered happily affords inducement and
opportunity for the adoption of a more comprehensive and unembarrassed
line of policy and action as to the great material interests of the
country, whether regarded in themselves or in connection with the powers
of the civilized world.

The United States have continued gradually and steadily to expand
through acquisitions of territory, which, how much soever some of them
may have been questioned, are now universally seen and admitted to have
been wise in policy, just in character, and a great element in the
advancement of our country, and with it of the human race, in freedom,
in prosperity, and in happiness. The thirteen States have grown to be
thirty-one, with relations reaching to Europe on the one side and on the
other to the distant realms of Asia.

I am deeply sensible of the immense responsibility which the present
magnitude of the Republic and the diversity and multiplicity of its
interests devolves upon me, the alleviation of which, so far as relates
to the immediate conduct of the public business, is, first, in my
reliance on the wisdom and patriotism of the two Houses of Congress,
and, secondly, in the directions afforded me by the principles of public
polity affirmed by our fathers of the epoch of 1798, sanctioned by long
experience, and consecrated anew by the overwhelming voice of the people
of the United States.

Recurring to these principles, which constitute the organic basis of
union, we perceive that vast as are the functions and the duties of
the Federal Government, vested in or intrusted to its three great
departments--the legislative, executive, and judicial--yet the
substantive power, the popular force, and the large capacities for
social and material development exist in the respective States, which,
all being of themselves well-constituted republics, as they preceded
so they alone are capable of maintaining and perpetuating the American
Union. The Federal Government has its appropriate line of action in the
specific and limited powers conferred on it by the Constitution, chiefly
as to those things in which the States have a common interest in their
relations to one another and to foreign governments, while the great
mass of interests which belong to cultivated men--the ordinary business
of life, the springs of industry, all the diversified personal and
domestic affairs of society--rest securely upon the general reserved
powers of the people of the several States. There is the effective
democracy of the nation, and there the vital essence of its being and
its greatness.

Of the practical consequences which flow from the nature of the Federal
Government, the primary one is the duty of administering with integrity
and fidelity the high trust reposed in it by the Constitution,
especially in the application of the public funds as drawn by taxation
from the people and appropriated to specific objects by Congress.

Happily, I have no occasion to suggest any radical changes in the
financial policy of the Government. Ours is almost, if not absolutely,
the solitary power of Christendom having a surplus revenue drawn
immediately from imposts on commerce, and therefore measured by the
spontaneous enterprise and national prosperity of the country, with
such indirect relation to agriculture, manufactures, and the products
of the earth and sea as to violate no constitutional doctrine and yet
vigorously promote the general welfare. Neither as to the sources of the
public treasure nor as to the manner of keeping and managing it does any
grave controversy now prevail, there being a general acquiescence in the
wisdom of the present system.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will exhibit in detail the
state of the public finances and the condition of the various branches
of the public service administered by that Department of the Government.

The revenue of the country, levied almost insensibly to the taxpayer,
goes on from year to year, increasing beyond either the interests or the
prospective wants of the Government.

At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1852, there remained in
the Treasury a balance of $14,632,136. The public revenue for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1853, amounted to $58,931,865 from customs and to
$2,405,708 from public lands and other miscellaneous sources, amounting
together to $61,337,574, while the public expenditures for the same
period, exclusive of payments on account of the public debt, amounted
to $43,554,262, leaving a balance of $32,425,447 of receipts above
expenditures.

This fact of increasing surplus in the Treasury became the subject of
anxious consideration at a very early period of my Administration, and
the path of duty in regard to it seemed to me obvious and clear, namely:
First, to apply the surplus revenue to the discharge of the public debt
so far as it could judiciously be done, and, secondly, to devise means
for the gradual reduction of the revenue to the standard of the public
exigencies.

Of these objects the first has been in the course of accomplishment in
a manner and to a degree highly satisfactory. The amount of the public
debt of all classes was on the 4th of March, 1853, $69,190,037, payments
on account of which have been made since that period to the amount of
$12,703,329, leaving unpaid and in continuous course of liquidation the
sum of $56,486,708. These payments, although made at the market price of
the respective classes of stocks, have been effected readily and to the
general advantage of the Treasury, and have at the same time proved of
signal utility in the relief they have incidentally afforded to the
money market and to the industrial and commercial pursuits of the
country.

The second of the above-mentioned objects, that of the reduction of the
tariff, is of great importance, and the plan suggested by the Secretary
of the Treasury, which is to reduce the duties on certain articles and
to add to the free list many articles now taxed, and especially such as
enter into manufactures and are not largely, or at all, produced in the
country, is commended to your candid and careful consideration.

You will find in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, also,
abundant proof of the entire adequacy of the present fiscal system
to meet all the requirements of the public service, and that, while
properly administered, it operates to the advantage of the community
in ordinary business relations.

I respectfully ask your attention to sundry suggestions of improvements
in the settlement of accounts, especially as regards the large sums of
outstanding arrears due to the Government, and of other reforms in the
administrative action of his Department which are indicated by the
Secretary; as also to the progress made in the construction of marine
hospitals, custom-houses, and of a new mint in California and assay
office in the city of New York, heretofore provided for by Congress, and
also to the eminently successful progress of the Coast Survey and of the
Light-House Board.

Among the objects meriting your attention will be important
recommendations from the Secretaries of War and Navy. I am fully
satisfied that the Navy of the United States is not in a condition
of strength and efficiency commensurate with the magnitude of our
commercial and other interests, and commend to your especial attention
the suggestions on this subject made by the Secretary of the Navy.
I respectfully submit that the Army, which under our system must always
be regarded with the highest interest as a nucleus around which the
volunteer forces of the nation gather in the hour of danger, requires
augmentation, or modification, to adapt it to the present extended
limits and frontier relations of the country and the condition of the
Indian tribes in the interior of the continent, the necessity of which
will appear in the communications of the Secretaries of War and the
Interior.

In the administration of the Post-Office Department for the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1853, the gross expenditure was $7,982,756, and the
gross receipts during the same period $5,942,734, showing that the
current revenue failed to meet the current expenses of the Department
by the sum of $2,042,032. The causes which, under the present postal
system and laws, led inevitably to this result are fully explained by
the report of the Postmaster-General, one great cause being the enormous
rates the Department has been compelled to pay for mail service rendered
by railroad companies.

The exhibit in the report of the Postmaster-General of the income and
expenditures by mail steamers will be found peculiarly interesting and
of a character to demand the immediate action of Congress.

Numerous and flagrant frauds upon the Pension Bureau have been brought
to light within the last year, and in some instances merited punishments
inflicted; but, unfortunately, in others guilty parties have escaped,
not through the want of sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, but
in consequence of the provisions of limitation in the existing laws.

From the nature of these claims, the remoteness of the tribunals to pass
upon them, and the mode in which the proof is of necessity furnished,
temptations to crime have been greatly stimulated by the obvious
difficulties of detection. The defects in the law upon this subject are
so apparent and so fatal to the ends of justice that your early action
relating to it is most desirable.

During the last fiscal year 9,819,411 acres of the public lands have
been surveyed and 10,363,891 acres brought into market. Within the
same period the sales by public purchase and private entry amounted to
1,083,495 acres; located under military bounty-land warrants, 6,142,360
acres; located under other certificates, 9,427 acres; ceded to the
States as swamp lands, 16,684,253 acres; selected for railroad and other
objects under acts of Congress, 1,427,457 acres; total amount of lands
disposed of within the fiscal year, 25,346,992 acres, which is an
increase in quantity sold and located under land warrants and grants
of 12,231,818 acres over the fiscal year immediately preceding. The
quantity of land sold during the second and third quarters of 1852 was
334,451 acres; the amount received therefor was $623,687. The quantity
sold the second and third quarters of the year 1853 was 1,609,919 acres,
and the amount received therefor $2,226,876.

The whole number of land warrants issued under existing laws prior to
the 30th of September last was 266,042, of which there were outstanding
at that date 66,947. The quantity of land required to satisfy these
outstanding warrants is 4,778,120 acres.

Warrants have been issued to 30th of September last under the act
of 11th February, 1847, calling for 12,879,280 acres, under acts of
September 28, 1850, and March 22, 1852, calling for 12,505,360 acres,
making a total of 25,384,640 acres.

It is believed that experience has verified the wisdom and justice of
the present system with regard to the public domain in most essential
particulars.

You will perceive from the report of the Secretary of the Interior that
opinions which have often been expressed in relation to the operation of
the land system as not being a source of revenue to the Federal Treasury
were erroneous. The net profits from the sale of the public lands to
June 30, 1853, amounted to the sum of $53,289,465.

I recommend the extension of the land system over the Territories of
Utah and New Mexico, with such modifications as their peculiarities may
require.

Regarding our public domain as chiefly valuable to provide homes for
the industrious and enterprising, I am not prepared to recommend any
essential change in the land system, except by modifications in favor
of the actual settler and an extension of the preemption principle in
certain cases, for reasons and on grounds which will be fully developed
in the reports to be laid before you.

Congress, representing the proprietors of the territorial domain and
charged especially with power to dispose of territory belonging to
the United States, has for a long course of years, beginning with the
Administration of Mr. Jefferson, exercised the power to construct roads
within the Territories, and there are so many and obvious distinctions
between this exercise of power and that of making roads within the
States that the former has never been considered subject to such
objections as apply to the latter; and such may now be considered the
settled construction of the power of the Federal Government upon the
subject.

Numerous applications have been and no doubt will continue to be made
for grants of land in aid of the construction of railways. It is not
believed to be within the intent and meaning of the Constitution that
the power to dispose of the public domain should be used otherwise than
might be expected from a prudent proprietor, and therefore that grants
of land to aid in the construction of roads should be restricted to
cases where it would be for the interest of a proprietor under like
circumstances thus to contribute to the construction of these works.
For the practical operation of such grants thus far in advancing the
interests of the States in which the works are located, and at the same
time the substantial interests of all the other States, by enhancing the
value and promoting the rapid sale of the public domain, I refer you
to the report of the Secretary of the Interior. A careful examination,
however, will show that this experience is the result of a just
discrimination and will be far from affording encouragement to a
reckless or indiscriminate extension of the principle.

I commend to your favorable consideration the men of genius of our
country who by their inventions and discoveries in science and arts have
contributed largely to the improvements of the age without, in many
instances, securing for themselves anything like an adequate reward.
For many interesting details upon this subject I refer you to the
appropriate reports, and especially urge upon your early attention the
apparently slight, but really important, modifications of existing laws
therein suggested.

The liberal spirit which has so long marked the action of Congress in
relation to the District of Columbia will, I have no doubt, continue to
be manifested.

The erection of an asylum for the insane of the District of Columbia and
of the Army and Navy of the United States has been somewhat retarded by
the great demand for materials and labor during the past summer, but
full preparation for the reception of patients before the return of
another winter is anticipated; and there is the best reason to believe,
from the plan and contemplated arrangements which have been devised,
with the large experience furnished within the last few years in
relation to the nature and treatment of the disease, that it will prove
an asylum indeed to this most helpless and afflicted class of sufferers
and stand as a noble monument of wisdom and mercy.

Under the acts of Congress of August 31, 1852, and of March 3, 1853,
designed to secure for the cities of Washington and Georgetown an
abundant supply of good and wholesome water, it became my duty to
examine the report and plans of the engineer who had charge of the
surveys under the act first named. The best, if not the only, plan
calculated to secure permanently the object sought was that which
contemplates taking the water from the Great Falls of the Potomac,
and consequently I gave to it my approval.

For the progress and present condition of this important work and for
its demands so far as appropriations are concerned I refer you to the
report of the Secretary of War.

The present judicial system of the United States has now been in
operation for so long a period of time and has in its general theory and
much of its details become so familiar to the country and acquired so
entirely the public confidence that if modified in any respect it should
only be in those particulars which may adapt it to the increased extent,
population, and legal business of the United States. In this relation
the organization of the courts is now confessedly inadequate to the
duties to be performed by them, in consequence of which the States of
Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, and California, and districts of other
States, are in effect excluded from the full benefits of the general
system by the functions of the circuit court being devolved on the
district judges in all those States or parts of States.

The spirit of the Constitution and a due regard to justice require
that all the States of the Union should be placed on the same footing
in regard to the judicial tribunals. I therefore commend to your
consideration this important subject, which in my judgment demands the
speedy action of Congress. I will present to you, if deemed desirable,
a plan which I am prepared to recommend for the enlargement and
modification of the present judicial system.

The act of Congress establishing the Smithsonian Institution provided
that the President of the United States and other persons therein
designated should constitute an "establishment" by that name, and that
the members should hold stated and special meetings for the supervision
of the affairs of the Institution. The organization not having taken
place, it seemed to me proper that it should be effected without delay.
This has been done; and an occasion was thereby presented for inspecting
the condition of the Institution and appreciating its successful
progress thus far and its high promise of great and general usefulness.

I have omitted to ask your favorable consideration for the estimates of
works of a local character in twenty-seven of the thirty-one States,
amounting to $1,754,500, because, independently of the grounds which
have so often been urged against the application of the Federal revenue
for works of this character, inequality, with consequent injustice, is
inherent in the nature of the proposition, and because the plan has
proved entirely inadequate to the accomplishment of the objects sought.

The subject of internal improvements, claiming alike the interest
and good will of all, has, nevertheless, been the basis of much
political discussion and has stood as a deep-graven line of division
between statesmen of eminent ability and patriotism. The rule of strict
construction of all powers delegated by the States to the General
Government has arrayed itself from time to time against the rapid
progress of expenditures from the National Treasury on works of a local
character within the States. Memorable as an epoch in the history of
this subject is the message of President Jackson of the 27th of May,
1830, which met the system of internal improvements in its comparative
infancy; but so rapid had been its growth that the projected
appropriations in that year for works of this character had risen to
the alarming amount of more than $100,000,000.

In that message the President admitted the difficulty of bringing back
the operations of the Government to the construction of the Constitution
set up in 1798, and marked it as an admonitory proof of the necessity of
guarding that instrument with sleepless vigilance against the authority
of precedents which had not the sanction of its most plainly defined
powers.

Our Government exists under a written compact between sovereign States,
uniting for specific objects and with specific grants to their general
agent. If, then, in the progress of its administration there have been
departures from the terms and intent of the compact, it is and will ever
be proper to refer back to the fixed standard which our fathers left us
and to make a stern effort to conform our action to it. It would seem
that the fact of a principle having been resisted from the first by many
of the wisest and most patriotic men of the Republic, and a policy
having provoked constant strife without arriving at a conclusion which
can be regarded as satisfactory to its most earnest advocates, should
suggest the inquiry whether there may not be a plan likely to be crowned
by happier results. Without perceiving any sound distinction or
intending to assert any principle as opposed to improvements needed for
the protection of internal commerce which does not equally apply to
improvements upon the seaboard for the protection of foreign commerce,
I submit to you whether it may not be safely anticipated that if the
policy were once settled against appropriations by the General
Government for local improvements for the benefit of commerce,
localities requiring expenditures would not, by modes and means clearly
legitimate and proper, raise the fund necessary for such constructions
as the safety or other interests of their commerce might require.

If that can be regarded as a system which in the experience of more than
thirty years has at no time so commanded the public judgment as to give
it the character of a settled policy; which, though it has produced some
works of conceded importance, has been attended with an expenditure
quite disproportionate to their value and has resulted in squandering
large sums upon objects which have answered no valuable purpose, the
interests of all the States require it to be abandoned unless hopes may
be indulged for the future which find no warrant in the past.

With an anxious desire for the completion of the works which are
regarded by all good citizens with sincere interest, I have deemed it my
duty to ask at your hands a deliberate reconsideration of the question,
with a hope that, animated by a desire to promote the permanent and
substantial interests of the country, your wisdom may prove equal to the
task of devising and maturing a plan which, applied to this subject, may
promise something better than constant strife, the suspension of the
powers of local enterprise, the exciting of vain hopes, and the
disappointment of cherished expectations.

In expending the appropriations made by the last Congress several cases
have arisen in relation to works for the improvement of harbors which
involve questions as to the right of soil and jurisdiction, and have
threatened conflict between the authority of the State and General
Governments. The right to construct a breakwater, jetty, or dam would
seem necessarily to carry with it the power to protect and preserve such
constructions. This can only be effectually done by having jurisdiction
over the soil. But no clause of the Constitution is found on which to
rest the claim of the United States to exercise jurisdiction over the
soil of a State except that conferred by the eighth section of the first
article of the Constitution. It is, then, submitted whether, in all
cases where constructions are to be erected by the General Government,
the right of soil should not first be obtained and legislative provision
be made to cover all such cases.

For the progress made in the construction of roads within the
Territories, as provided for in the appropriations of the last Congress,
I refer you to the report of the Secretary of War.

There is one subject of a domestic nature which, from its intrinsic
importance and the many interesting questions of future policy which it
involves, can not fail to receive your early attention. I allude to the
means of communication by which different parts of the wide expanse of
our country are to be placed in closer connection for purposes both
of defense and commercial intercourse, and more especially such as
appertain to the communication of those great divisions of the Union
which lie on the opposite sides of the Rocky Mountains.

That the Government has not been unmindful of this heretofore is
apparent from the aid it has afforded through appropriations for mail
facilities and other purposes. But the general subject will now present
itself under aspects more imposing and more purely national by reason of
the surveys ordered by Congress, and now in the process of completion,
for communication by railway across the continent, and wholly within the
limits of the United States.

The power to declare war, to raise and support armies, to provide and
maintain a navy, and to call forth the militia to execute the laws,
suppress insurrections, and repel invasions was conferred upon Congress
as means to provide for the common defense and to protect a territory
and a population now widespread and vastly multiplied. As incidental to
and indispensable for the exercise of this power, it must sometimes be
necessary to construct military roads and protect harbors of refuge.
To appropriations by Congress for such objects no sound objection can
be raised. Happily for our country, its peaceful policy and rapidly
increasing population impose upon us no urgent necessity for
preparation, and leave but few trackless deserts between assailable
points and a patriotic people ever ready and generally able to protect
them. These necessary links the enterprise and energy of our people are
steadily and boldly struggling to supply. All experience affirms that
wherever private enterprise will avail it is most wise for the General
Government to leave to that and individual watchfulness the location and
execution of all means of communication.

The surveys before alluded to were designed to ascertain the most
practicable and economical route for a railroad from the river
Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. Parties are now in the field making
explorations, where previous examinations had not supplied sufficient
data and where there was the best reason to hope the object sought might
be found. The means and time being both limited, it is not to be
expected that all the accurate knowledge desired will be obtained, but
it is hoped that much and important information will be added to the
stock previously possessed, and that partial, if not full, reports of
the surveys ordered will be received in time for transmission to the two
Houses of Congress on or before the first Monday in February next, as
required by the act of appropriation. The magnitude of the enterprise
contemplated has aroused and will doubtless continue to excite a
very general interest throughout the country. In its political, its
commercial, and its military bearings it has varied, great, and
increasing claims to consideration. The heavy expense, the great delay,
and, at times, fatality attending travel by either of the Isthmus routes
have demonstrated the advantage which would result from interterritorial
communication by such safe and rapid means as a railroad would supply.

These difficulties, which have been encountered in a period of peace,
would be magnified and still further increased in time of war. But
whilst the embarrassments already encountered and others under new
contingencies to be anticipated may serve strikingly to exhibit the
importance of such a work, neither these nor all considerations combined
can have an appreciable value when weighed against the obligation
strictly to adhere to the Constitution and faithfully to execute the
powers it confers.

Within this limit and to the extent of the interest of the Government
involved it would seem both expedient and proper if an economical and
practicable route shall be found to aid by all constitutional means
in the construction of a road which will unite by speedy transit the
populations of the Pacific and Atlantic States. To guard against
misconception, it should be remarked that although the power to
construct or aid in the construction of a road within the limits of
a Territory is not embarrassed by that question of jurisdiction which
would arise within the limits of a State, it is, nevertheless, held
to be of doubtful power and more than doubtful propriety, even within
the limits of a Territory, for the General Government to undertake
to administer the affairs of a railroad, a canal, or other similar
construction, and therefore that its connection with a work of this
character should be incidental rather than primary. I will only add
at present that, fully appreciating the magnitude of the subject and
solicitous that the Atlantic and Pacific shores of the Republic may be
bound together by inseparable ties of common interest, as well as of
common fealty and attachment to the Union, I shall be disposed, so far
as my own action is concerned, to follow the lights of the Constitution
as expounded and illustrated by those whose opinions and expositions
constitute the standard of my political faith in regard to the powers
of the Federal Government. It is, I trust, not necessary to say that
no grandeur of enterprise and no present urgent inducement promising
popular favor will lead me to disregard those lights or to depart from
that path which experience has proved to be safe, and which is now
radiant with the glow of prosperity and legitimate constitutional
progress. We can afford to wait, but we can not afford to overlook
the ark of our security.

It is no part of my purpose to give prominence to any subject which may
properly be regarded as set at rest by the deliberate judgment of the
people. But while the present is bright with promise and the future full
of demand and inducement for the exercise of active intelligence, the
past can never be without useful lessons of admonition and instruction.
If its dangers serve not as beacons, they will evidently fail to fulfill
the object of a wise design. When the grave shall have closed over
all who are now endeavoring to meet the obligations of duty, the year
1850 will be recurred to as a period filled with anxious apprehension.
A successful war had just terminated. Peace brought with it a vast
augmentation of territory. Disturbing questions arose bearing upon the
domestic institutions of one portion of the Confederacy and involving
the constitutional rights of the States. But notwithstanding differences
of opinion and sentiment which then existed in relation to details and
specific provisions, the acquiescence of distinguished citizens, whose
devotion to the Union can never be doubted, has given renewed vigor to
our institutions and restored a sense of repose and security to the
public mind throughout the Confederacy. That this repose is to suffer
no shock during my official term, if I have power to avert it, those
who placed me here may be assured. The wisdom of men who knew what
independence cost, who had put all at stake upon the issue of the
Revolutionary struggle, disposed of the subject to which I refer in the
only way consistent with the Union of these States and with the march of
power and prosperity which has made us what we are. It is a significant
fact that from the adoption of the Constitution until the officers and
soldiers of the Revolution had passed to their graves, or, through the
infirmities of age and wounds, had ceased to participate actively in
public affairs, there was not merely a quiet acquiescence in, but a
prompt vindication of, the constitutional rights of the States. The
reserved powers were scrupulously respected. No statesman put forth the
narrow views of casuists to justify interference and agitation, but
the spirit of the compact was regarded as sacred in the eye of honor
and indispensable for the great experiment of civil liberty, which,
environed by inherent difficulties, was yet borne forward in apparent
weakness by a power superior to all obstacles. There is no condemnation
which the voice of freedom will not pronounce upon us should we prove
faithless to this great trust. While men inhabiting different parts of
this vast continent can no more be expected to hold the same opinions or
entertain the same sentiments than every variety of climate or soil can
be expected to furnish the same agricultural products, they can unite
in a common object and sustain common principles essential to the
maintenance of that object. The gallant men of the South and the North
could stand together during the struggle of the Revolution; they could
stand together in the more trying period which succeeded the clangor of
arms. As their united valor was adequate to all the trials of the camp
and dangers of the field, so their united wisdom proved equal to the
greater task of founding upon a deep and broad basis institutions which
it has been our privilege to enjoy and will ever be our most sacred
duty to sustain. It is but the feeble expression of a faith strong and
universal to say that their sons, whose blood mingled so often upon the
same field during the War of 1812 and who have more recently borne in
triumph the flag of the country upon a foreign soil, will never permit
alienation of feeling to weaken the power of their united efforts nor
internal dissensions to paralyze the great arm of freedom, uplifted for
the vindication of self-government.

I have thus briefly presented such suggestions as seem to me especially
worthy of your consideration. In providing for the present you can
hardly fail to avail yourselves of the light which the experience of the
past casts upon the future.

The growth of our population has now brought us, in the destined career
of our national history, to a point at which it well behooves us to
expand our vision over the vast prospective.

The successive decennial returns of the census since the adoption of the
Constitution have revealed a law of steady, progressive development,
which may be stated in general terms as a duplication every quarter
century. Carried forward from the point already reached for only a short
period of time, as applicable to the existence of a nation, this law of
progress, if unchecked, will bring us to almost incredible results.
A large allowance for a diminished proportional effect of emigration
would not very materially reduce the estimate, while the increased
average duration of human life known to have already resulted from the
scientific and hygienic improvements of the past fifty years will tend
to keep up through the next fifty, or perhaps hundred, the same ratio
of growth which has been thus revealed in our past progress; and to the
influence of these causes may be added the influx of laboring masses
from eastern Asia to the Pacific side of our possessions, together
with the probable accession of the populations already existing in
other parts of our hemisphere, which within the period in question will
feel with yearly increasing force the natural attraction of so vast,
powerful, and prosperous a confederation of self-governing republics and
will seek the privilege of being admitted within its safe and happy
bosom, transferring with themselves, by a peaceful and healthy process
of incorporation, spacious regions of virgin and exuberant soil, which
are destined to swarm with the fast-growing and fast-spreading millions
of our race.

These considerations seem fully to justify the presumption that
the law of population above stated will continue to act with
undiminished effect through at least the next half century, and that
thousands of persons who have already arrived at maturity and are now
exercising the rights of freemen will close their eyes on the spectacle
of more than 100,000,000 of population embraced within the majestic
proportions of the American Union. It is not merely as an interesting
topic of speculation that I present these views for your consideration.
They have important practical bearings upon all the political duties we
are called upon to perform. Heretofore our system of government has
worked on what may be termed a miniature scale in comparison with the
development which it must thus assume within a future so near at hand
as scarcely to be beyond the present of the existing generation.

It is evident that a confederation so vast and so varied, both in
numbers and in territorial extent, in habits and in interests, could
only be kept in national cohesion by the strictest fidelity to the
principles of the Constitution as understood by those who have adhered
to the most restricted construction of the powers granted by the people
and the States. Interpreted and applied according to those principles,
the great compact adapts itself with healthy ease and freedom to an
unlimited extension of that benign system of federative self-government
of which it is our glorious and, I trust, immortal charter. Let us,
then, with redoubled vigilance, be on our guard against yielding to the
temptation of the exercise of doubtful powers, even under the pressure
of the motives of conceded temporary advantage and apparent temporary
expediency.

The minimum of Federal government compatible with the maintenance of
national unity and efficient action in our relations with the rest of
the world should afford the rule and measure of construction of our
powers under the general clauses of the Constitution. A spirit of strict
deference to the sovereign rights and dignity of every State, rather
than a disposition to subordinate the States into a provincial relation
to the central authority, should characterize all our exercise of the
respective powers temporarily vested in us as a sacred trust from the
generous confidence of our constituents.

In like manner, as a manifestly indispensable condition of the
perpetuation of the Union and of the realization of that magnificent
national future adverted to, does the duty become yearly stronger and
clearer upon us, as citizens of the several States, to cultivate a
fraternal and affectionate spirit, language, and conduct in regard to
other States and in relation to the varied interests, institutions, and
habits of sentiment and opinion which may respectively characterize
them. Mutual forbearance, respect, and noninterference in our personal
action as citizens and an enlarged exercise of the most liberal
principles of comity in the public dealings of State with State, whether
in legislation or in the execution of laws, are the means to perpetuate
that confidence and fraternity the decay of which a mere political
union, on so vast a scale, could not long survive.

In still another point of view is an important practical duty suggested
by this consideration of the magnitude of dimensions to which our
political system, with its corresponding machinery of government,
is so rapidly expanding. With increased vigilance does it require us
to cultivate the cardinal virtues of public frugality and official
integrity and purity. Public affairs ought to be so conducted that a
settled conviction shall pervade the entire Union that nothing short of
the highest tone and standard of public morality marks every part of
the administration and legislation of the General Government. Thus will
the federal system, whatever expansion time and progress may give it,
continue more and more deeply rooted in the love and confidence of the
people.

That wise economy which is as far removed from parsimony as from corrupt
and corrupting extravagance; that single regard for the public good
which will frown upon all attempts to approach the Treasury with
insidious projects of private interest cloaked under public pretexts;
that sound fiscal administration which, in the legislative department,
guards against the dangerous temptations incident to overflowing
revenue, and, in the executive, maintains an unsleeping watchfulness
against the tendency of all national expenditure to extravagance, while
they are admitted elementary political duties, may, I trust, be deemed
as properly adverted to and urged in view of the more impressive sense
of that necessity which is directly suggested by the considerations now
presented.

Since the adjournment of Congress the Vice-President of the United
States has passed from the scenes of earth, without having entered upon
the duties of the station to which he had been called by the voice of
his countrymen. Having occupied almost continuously for more than thirty
years a seat in one or the other of the two Houses of Congress, and
having by his singular purity and wisdom secured unbounded confidence
and universal respect, his failing health was watched by the nation
with painful solicitude. His loss to the country, under all the
circumstances, has been justly regarded as irreparable.

In compliance with the act of Congress of March 2, 1853, the oath of
office was administered to him on the 24th of that month at Ariadne
estate, near Matanzas, in the island of Cuba; but his strength gradually
declined, and was hardly sufficient to enable him to return to his home
in Alabama, where, on the 18th day of April, in the most calm and
peaceful way, his long and eminently useful career was terminated.

Entertaining unlimited confidence in your intelligent and patriotic
devotion to the public interest, and being conscious of no motives on
my part which are not inseparable from the honor and advancement of my
country, I hope it may be my privilege to deserve and secure not only
your cordial cooperation in great public measures, but also those
relations of mutual confidence and regard which it is always so
desirable to cultivate between members of coordinate branches of the
Government.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolutions of the Senate of the 17th of August, 1852,
and 23d of February last, requesting a copy of correspondence relative
to the claim on the Government of Portugal in the case of the brig
_General Armstrong_, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State,
to whose Department the resolutions were referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation between
the United States and Paraguay, concluded on the 4th of March last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:


I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty for the free navigation of the rivers Parana and
Uruguay between the United States and the Argentine Confederation,
concluded on the 10th of July last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:


I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation between
the United States and the Argentine Confederation, concluded on the 27th
of July last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:


I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for the mutual extradition of fugitives
from justice in certain cases, concluded at London on the 12th day of
September last between the Government of the United States and the
Kingdom of Bavaria.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:


I transmit certain documents in answer to the resolution of the Senate
of the 6th of April ultimo, requesting information in regard to
transactions between Captain Hollins, of the _Cyane_, and the
authorities at San Juan de Nicaragua.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:


In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 18th January, 1853,
in regard to the claims of American citizens against Hayti and to the
correspondence of the special agent sent to Hayti and St. Domingo in
1849, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents
by which it is accompanied.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 31, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:


I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying papers,[1] in answer to their resolution of the 12th
instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 1: Correspondence relative to the treaty of Wathington of July
4, 1850, between Great Britain and the United States]



WASHINGTON CITY, _January 9, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate a letter from the Secretary of the
Interior, accompanied by a report of the result of an investigation of
the charge of fraud and misconduct in office alleged against Alexander
Ramsey, superintendent of Indian affairs in Minnesota, which I have
caused to be made in compliance with the Senate's resolution of the 5th
of April last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d
of January, 1854, I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter of the
Secretary of the Navy and the papers[2] accompanying it.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 2: Correspondence with and orders to commanders of vessels or
squadrons on the Atlantic coast of British North America relative to
protecting the rights of fishing and navigation secured to citizens of
the United States under treaties with Great Britain.]



WASHINGTON, _January 19, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[3] in compliance with the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 3d instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 3: Relating to seizure and imprisonment by Spanish authorities
at Puerto Rico of officers and crew of schooner _North Carolina_.]



WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a report of the Secretary of State, together with
the set of works illustrative of the exhibition in London of 1851 to
which it refers, in order that such disposal may be made of them as may
be deemed advisable.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[4] in compliance with a resolution of the Senate
of the 23d instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 4: Relating to a complimentary mission to the United States of
Archbishop Gaetano Bedini, apostolic nuncio to the Empire of Brazil, for
the purpose of conveying, in the name of Pope Pius IX, sentiments of
regard for the President of the United States.]



WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[5] in compliance with the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 30th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 5: Correspondence with the American charge to Austria relative
to the claim of Simon Tousig to the protection of the United States.]



EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _February 4, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit to the Senate herewith, for their constitutional action
thereon, a treaty negotiated on the 27th of July, 1853, by Agent Thomas
Fitzpatrick, on behalf of the United States, with the Comanche, Kiowa,
and Apache Indians inhabiting the territory on the Arkansas River.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _February 4, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit to the Senate herewith, for their constitutional action
thereon, two treaties, one negotiated on the 10th day of September,
1853, by Superintendent Joel Palmer and Agent Samuel H. Culver, on the
part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the bands of
the Rogue River tribe of Indians in Oregon; the other negotiated on
the 19th of the same month, on behalf of the Government by the said
superintendent, with the chiefs of the Crow Creek band of Umpqua Indians
in said Territory.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State upon the subject of the
resolution[6] of the House of Representatives of the 14th of December
last, and recommend that the appropriation therein suggested as being
necessary to enable him to comply with the resolution be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 6: Requesting a statement of the privileges and restrictions
of the commercial intercourse of the United States with foreign nations
and a comparative statement between the tariff of the United States and
other nations.]



WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy,
accompanied by the second part of Lieutenant Herndon's report of the
exploration of the valley of the Amazon and its tributaries, made by him
in connection with Lieutenant Lardner Gibbon under instructions from the
Navy Department.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 10th, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty between the United States and the Mexican
Republic, signed by the plenipotentiaries of the parties in the City of
Mexico on the 30th of December last. Certain amendments are proposed to
the instrument, as hereinafter specified, viz:

In order to make the duties and obligations stipulated in the second
article reciprocal, it is proposed to add to that article the following:


  And the Government of Mexico agrees that the stipulations contained in
  this article to be performed by the United States shall be reciprocal,
  and Mexico shall be under like obligations to the United States and the
  citizens thereof as those hereinabove imposed on the latter in favor of
  the Republic of Mexico and Mexican citizens.


It is also recommended that for the third article of the original treaty
the following shall be adopted as a substitute:


  In consideration of the grants received by the United States and the
  obligations relinquished by the Mexican Republic pursuant to this
  treaty, the former agree to pay to the latter the sum of $15,000,000
  in gold or silver coin at the Treasury at Washington, one-fifth of
  the amount on the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty at
  Washington and the remaining four-fifths in monthly installments of
  three millions each, with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum
  until the whole be paid, the Government of the United States reserving
  the right to pay up the whole sum of fifteen millions at an earlier
  date, as may be to it convenient.

  The United States also agree to assume all the claims of their citizens
  against the Mexican Republic which may have arisen under treaty or
  the law of nations since the date of the signature of the treaty of
  Guadalupe, and the Mexican Republic agrees to exonerate the United
  States of America from all claims of Mexico or Mexican citizens which
  may have arisen under treaty or the law of nations since the date of
  the treaty of Guadalupe, so that each Government, in the most formal
  and effective manner, shall be exempted and exonerated of all such
  obligations to each other respectively.


I also recommend that the eighth article be modified by striking out all
after the word "attempts" in the twenty-third line of that article. The
part to be omitted is as follows:


  They mutually and especially obligate themselves, in all cases of such
  lawless enterprises which may not have been prevented through the civil
  authorities before formation, to aid with the naval and military forces,
  on due notice being given by the aggrieved party of the aggressions of
  the citizens and subjects of the other, so that the lawless adventurers
  may be pursued and overtaken on the high seas, their elements of war
  destroyed, and the deluded captives held responsible in their persons
  and meet with the merited retribution inflicted by the laws of nations
  against all such disturbers of the peace and happiness of contiguous and
  friendly powers. It being understood that in all cases of successful
  pursuit and capture the delinquents so captured shall be judged and
  punished by the government of that nation to which the vessel capturing
  them may belong, conformably to the laws of each nation.


At the close of the instrument it will also be advisable to substitute
"seventy-eighth" for "seventy-seventh" year of the Independence of the
United States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 13, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, an additional article to the convention for the
establishment of international copyright, which was concluded at
Washington on the 17th of February, 1853, between the United States of
America and Her Britannic Majesty, extending the time limited in that
convention for the exchange of the ratifications of the same.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents[7] therein referred to, in compliance with the resolution of
the Senate of the 13th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 7: Relating to the repair of the United States frigate
_Susquehanna_ at Rio de Janeiro.]



WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[8] in compliance with their resolution of the 2d
ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 8: Communications from the American legation at Constantinople
respecting the seizure of Martin Koszta by Austrian authorities at
Smyrna.]



WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In accordance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 13th instant, requesting information respecting negotiations with
Peru for the removal of restrictions upon the exportation of guano,
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with the
correspondence therein referred to.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 23d January last, "that the President of the United States
be respectfully requested to furnish this House with copies of all
contracts made by and correspondence subsequently with the Chief of
the Bureau of Topographical Engineers for furnishing materials of wood
and stone for improving the harbors and rivers on Lake Michigan, under
and by virtue of the act making appropriations for the improvement of
certain harbors and rivers," approved August 30, 1852, I transmit
a letter of the Secretary of War submitting a report of the Colonel
of Topographical Engineers inclosing copies of the contracts and
correspondence called for.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th of December last,
requesting me to present to the Senate the plan referred to in my annual
message to Congress, and recommended therein, for the enlargement and
modification of the present judicial system of the United States,
I transmit a report from the Attorney-General, to whom the resolution
was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Attorney-General, in answer to
the resolutions of the House of the 22d of December, requesting me to
communicate to the House the plan for the modification and enlargement
of the judicial system of the United States, recommended in my annual
message to Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 7, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents[9] therein referred to, in answer to the resolution of the
Senate of the 26th March, 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 9: Correspondence with R.C. Schenck, United States minister to
Brazil, relative to the African slave trade.]



WASHINGTON, _March 7, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents[10] therein referred to, in answer to the resolution of the
Senate in executive session of the 3d January, 1854.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 10: Correspondence with the Mexican Republic touching the
eleventh article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and copies of
instructions on that subject to the United States minister to Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _March 11, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate a report of the Secretary of State,
with accompanying documents,[11] in compliance with their resolution of
the 9th of March, 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 11: Correspondence relative to the imprisonment, etc., of James
H. West in the island of Cuba.]



WASHINGTON, _March 14, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In transmitting to the Senate the report of the Secretary of
State, together with the documents therein referred to, being the
correspondence called for by the resolution of that body of the 9th of
January last, I deem it proper to state briefly the reasons which have
deterred me from sending to the Senate for ratification the proposed
convention between the United States of America and the United Mexican
States, concluded by the respective plenipotentiaries of the two
Governments on the 21st day of March, 1853, on the subject of a transit
way across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Without adverting to the want of authority on the part of the American
minister to conclude any such convention, or to the action of this
Government in relation to the rights of certain of its citizens under
the grant for a like object originally made to Josè Garay, the
objections to it upon its face are numerous, and should, in my judgment,
be regarded as conclusive.

Prominent among these objections is the fact that the convention binds
us to a foreign Government, to guarantee the contract of a private
company with that Government for the construction of the contemplated
transit way, "to protect the persons engaged and property employed in
the construction of the said work from the commencement thereof to
its completion against all confiscation, spoliation, or violence of
whatsoever nature," and to guarantee the entire security of the capital
invested therein during the continuance of the contract. Such is the
substance of the second and third articles.

Hence it will be perceived that the obligations which this Government is
asked to assume are not to terminate in a few years, or even with the
present generation.

And again: "If the regulations which may be prescribed concerning the
traffic on said transit way shall be clearly contrary to the spirit and
intention of this convention," even then this Government is not to be at
liberty to withdraw its "protection and guaranty" without first giving
one year's notice to the Mexican Government.

When the fact is duly considered that the responsibility of this
Government is thus pledged for a long series of years to the interests
of a private company established for purposes of internal improvement,
in a foreign country, and that country peculiarly subject to civil wars
and other public vicissitudes, it will be seen how comprehensive and
embarrassing would be those engagements to the Government of the United
States.

Not less important than this objection is the consideration that the
United States can not agree to the terms of this convention without
disregarding the provisions of the eighth article of the convention
which this Government entered into with Great Britain on April 19, 1850,
which expressly includes any interoceanic communication whatever by the
Isthmus of Tehuantepec. However inconvenient may be the conditions of
that convention, still they exist, and the obligations of good faith
rest alike upon the United States and Great Britain.

Without enlarging upon these and other questionable features of the
proposed convention which will suggest themselves to your minds, I will
only add that after the most careful consideration I have deemed it my
duty not to ask for its ratification by the Senate.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 15, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
10th instant, I herewith transmit a report of the Secretary of State,
containing all the information received at the Department in relation to
the seizure of the _Black Warrior_ at Havana on the 28th ultimo.

There have been in the course of a few years past many other instances
of aggression upon our commerce, violations of the rights of American
citizens, and insults to the national flag by the Spanish authorities in
Cuba, and all attempts to obtain redress have led to protracted, and as
yet fruitless, negotiations.

The documents in these cases are voluminous, and when prepared will be
sent to Congress.

Those now transmitted relate exclusively to the seizure of the _Black
Warrior_, and present so clear a case of wrong that it would be
reasonable to expect full indemnity therefor as soon as this
unjustifiable and offensive conduct shall be made known to Her Catholic
Majesty's Government; but similar expectations in other cases have not
been realized.

The offending party is at our doors with large powers for aggression,
but none, it is alleged, for reparation. The source of redress is in
another hemisphere, and the answers to our just complaints made to the
home Government are but the repetition of excuses rendered by inferior
officials to their superiors in reply to representations of misconduct.
The peculiar situation of the parties has undoubtedly much aggravated
the annoyances and injuries which our citizens have suffered from the
Cuban authorities, and Spain does not seem to appreciate to its full
extent her responsibility for the conduct of these authorities. In
giving very extraordinary powers to them she owes it to justice and
to her friendly relations with this Government to guard with great
vigilance against the exorbitant exercise of these powers, and in case
of injuries to provide for prompt redress.

I have already taken measures to present to the Government of Spain the
wanton injury of the Cuban authorities in the detention and seizure of
the _Black Warrior_, and to demand immediate indemnity for the injury
which has thereby resulted to our citizens.

In view of the position of the island of Cuba, its proximity to our
coast, the relations which it must ever bear to our commercial and
other interests, it is vain to expect that a series of unfriendly
acts infringing our commercial rights and the adoption of a policy
threatening the honor and security of these States can long consist
with peaceful relations.

In case the measures taken for amicable adjustment of our difficulties
with Spain should, unfortunately, fail, I shall not hesitate to use the
authority and means which Congress may grant to insure the observance of
our just rights, to obtain redress for injuries received, and to
vindicate the honor of our flag.

In anticipation of that contingency, which I earnestly hope may not
arise, I suggest to Congress the propriety of adopting such provisional
measures as the exigency may seem to demand.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, March 17, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action, two
treaties recently negotiated by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, as
commissioner on the part of the United States, with the delegates now at
the seat of Government representing the confederated tribes of Otoes and
Missourias and the Omaha Indians, for the extinguishment of their titles
to lands west of the Missouri River.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, March 18. 1854_.

Hon. LINN BOYD,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

SIR: I transmit to you herewith a report of the present date from the
Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by a tabular statement containing
the information[12] called for by resolution of the House of
Representatives adopted the 13th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 12: Area of each State and Territory; extent of the public
domain remaining in each State and Territory, and the extent alienated
by sales, grants, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 15th instant, adopted
in executive session, I transmit confidentially a report from the
Secretary of State and the documents[13] by which it was accompanied.
Pursuant to the suggestion in the report, it is desirable that such of
the papers as may be originals should be returned to the Department of
State.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 13: Instructions and correspondence relative to the negotiation
of the treaty with Mexico of December 30, 1853, etc.]



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_March 25, 1854_.

Hon. LENN BOYD,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_:

I communicate to the House of Representatives herewith a report from the
Secretary of the Interior, dated the 24th instant, containing so much of
the information called for by the resolution of the 17th instant as it
is practicable or compatible with the public interest to furnish at
the present time, respecting the proceedings which have been had and
negotiations entered into for the extinguishment of the Indian titles
to lands west of the States of Missouri and Iowa.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 29, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 21st instant, adopted
in executive session, relative to the claims of the Mexican Government
and of citizens of the Mexican Republic on this Government, and of
citizens of the United States on the Government of that Republic, I
transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution
was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 31, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant,
requesting a confidential communication of information touching the
expedition under the authority of this Government for the purpose of
opening trade with Japan, I transmit a report from the Secretary of
State, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 1, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State in reply to the
resolution of the Senate of the 27th ultimo.

That part of the document which purports to recite my official
instructions is strictly correct; that which is avowedly unofficial and
unauthorized, it can hardly be necessary for me to say, in view of the
documents already before the Senate, does not convey a correct
impression of my "views and wishes."

At no time after an intention was entertained of sending Mr. Ward as
special agent to Mexico was either the Garay grant or the convention
entered into by Mr. Conkling alluded to otherwise than as subjects which
might embarrass the negotiation of the treaty, and were consequently not
included in the instructions.

While the departure of Mr. Ward, under any circumstances or in any
respect, from the instructions committed to him is a matter of regret,
it is just to say that, although he failed to convey in his letter to
General Gadsden the correct import of remarks made by me anterior to his
appointment as special agent, I impute to him no design of
misrepresentation.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 5, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report of the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[14] in compliance with their resolution of
the 14th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 14: Correspondence relative to the seizure of Martin Koszta
by Austrian authorities at Smyrna.]



WASHINGTON, _April 5, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report of the
Secretary of State, with accompanying documents,[15] in further compliance
with their resolution of the 10th of March, 1854.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 15: Relating to violations of the rights of American citizens
by Spanish authorities and their refusal to allow United States vessels
to enter ports of Cuba, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _April 5, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[16] from the Secretary of State, in answer
to the resolution of the Senate in executive session of the 3d instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 16: Relating to expeditions organized in California for the
invasion of Sonora, Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _April 8, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report[17] of the
Secretary of State, in answer to their resolution of the 3d instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 17: Stating that the correspondence relative to the refusal
by the authorities of Cuba to permit the United States mail steamer
_Crescent City_ to land mail and passengers at Havana had been
transmitted with the message to the House of April 5, 1854.]



WASHINGTON, _April 10, 1854_

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith a communication from the Secretary
of the Interior, accompanied by the articles of a convention recently
entered into for an exchange of country for the future residence of the
Winnebago Indians, and recommend their ratification with the amendment
suggested by the Secretary of the Interior.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 11, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[18] from the Secretary of State, in reply
to the Senate's resolution of yesterday passed in executive session.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 18: Relating to claims growing out of the eleventh article of
the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.]



WASHINGTON, _April 12, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[19] in compliance with the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 4th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 19: Correspondence relative to the seizure of Martin Koszta
by Austrian authorities at Smyrna.]



WASHINGTON, _April 13, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[20] from the Secretary of State, in reply
to the resolution of the Senate adopted in executive session yesterday.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 20: Relating to the abrogation of the eleventh article of the
treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _April 24, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of the Attorney-General,
suggesting modifications in the manner of conducting the legal business
of the Government, which are respectfully commended to your favorable
consideration.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[The same message was also addressed to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives.]



WASHINGTON, _April 27, 1834_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a correspondence between the Secretary
of State and Her Britannic Majesty's minister accredited to this
Government, and between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the
Treasury, relative to the expediency of further measures for the safety,
health, and comfort of immigrants to the United States by sea. As it is
probable that further legislation may be necessary for the purpose of
securing those desirable objects, I commend the subject to the
consideration of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 2, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit the report[21] of the Secretary of State in compliance with a
resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th ultimo.

It is presumed that the omission from the resolution of the usual
clause giving the Executive a discretion in its answer was accidental, and
as there does not appear to be anything in the accompanying papers
which upon public considerations should require them to be withheld,
they are communicated accordingly.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 21: Relating to the application of Rev. James Cook Richmond for
redress of wrongs alleged to have been committed by Austrian authorities
in Pest, and to the refusal to grant an exequatur upon the commission of
the United States consul appointed for Trieste.]



WASHINGTON, _May 5, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents,[22] in compliance with the resolution of the Senate of
the 12th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 22: Correspondence relative to the arrest and detention at
Bremen of Conrad Schmidt, and arrest and maltreatment at Heidelberg of
E.T. Dana, W.B. Dingle, and David Ramsay, all citizens of the United
States; correspondence with the King of Prussia relative to religious
toleration.]



WASHINGTON, _May 5, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[23] from the Secretary of State, together
with the documents therein referred to, in compliance with the resolution
of the Senate of the 12th January last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 23: Relating to the impressment of seamen from the United
States whale ship _Addison_ at Valparaiso, and imprisonment of William
A. Stewart, an American citizen, at Valparaiso on the charge of murder,
and on conviction released by Chilean authorities.]



WASHINGTON, _May 11, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[24] in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 1st instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 24: Relating to the rights accorded to neutrals and the rights
claimed by belligerents in the war between certain European powers.]



WASHINGTON, _May 20, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[25] in compliance with the Senate's resolution
of the 30th of January last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 25: Correspondence relative to the difficulties between Rev.
Jonas King and the Government of Greece.]



WASHINGTON, _May 23, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, on the subject of
documents[26] called for by the resolution of the Senate of the 9th
instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 26: Researches of H.S. Sanford, late chargé d'affaires at
Paris, on the condition of penal law in continental Europe, etc.; also a
"Memoir on the Administrative Changes in France since the Revolution of
1848," by H.S. Sanford.]



WASHINGTON, _May 25, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, four several treaties recently negotiated in this city by
George W. Manypenny, as commissioner on the part of the United States,
with the delegates of the Delaware, Ioway, Kickapoo, and Sac and Fox
tribes of Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 29, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty negotiated on the 12th instant at the Falls of Wolf
River, in Wisconsin, by Francis Huebschmann, superintendent of Indian
affairs for the northern superintendency, and the Menomonee Indians, by
the chiefs, headmen, and warriors of that tribe.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 30, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[27] in compliance with the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 20th December last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 27: Correspondence relative to the imposition of Sound dues,
etc., upon United States commerce to the Baltic.]



WASHINGTON, _June 12, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[28] in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 24th of April last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 28: Relating to the instructions referred to by President
Monroe in his annual message of December 2, 1823, on the subject of the
issue of commissions to private armed vessels.]



WASHINGTON, _June 19, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[29] in compliance with the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 30th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 29: Correspondence of the American minister to Turkey relative
to the expulsion of the Greeks from Constantinople.]



WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have received information that the Government of Mexico has agreed to
the several amendments proposed by the Senate to the treaty between the
United States and the Republic of Mexico signed on the 30th of December
last, and has authorized its envoy extraordinary to this Government to
exchange the ratifications thereof. The time within which the
ratifications can be exchanged will expire on the 30th instant.

There is a provision in the treaty for the payment by the United States
to Mexico of the sum of $7,000,000 on the exchange of ratifications and
the further sum of $3,000,000 when the boundaries of the ceded territory
shall be settled.

To be enabled to comply with the stipulation according to the terms
of the treaty relative to the payments therein mentioned, it will be
necessary that Congress should make an appropriation of $7,000,000 for
that purpose before the 30th instant, and also the further sum of
$3,000,000, to be paid when the boundaries shall be established.

I therefore respectfully request that these sums may be put at the
disposal of the Executive.

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a copy of the said
treaty.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty extending the right of fishing and regulating the
commerce and navigation between Her Britannic Majesty's possessions in
North America and the United States, concluded in this city on the 5th
instant between the United States and Her Britannic Majesty.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 24, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress the copy of two communications of the 26th ultimo
and 4th instant, respectively, from Her Britannic Majesty's minister
accredited to this Government to the Secretary of State, relative to the
health on shipboard of immigrants from foreign countries to the United
States. This was the subject of my message to Congress of the 27th of
April last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON CITY, _June 29, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, three treaties recently negotiated in this city by George
W. Manypenny, as commissioner on the part of the United States; one
concluded on the 19th ultimo with the delegates of the Shawnee Indians,
one on the 5th instant with the Miami Indians, and the other on the 30th
ultimo with the united tribes of Kaskaskia and Peoria and Wea and
Piankeshaw Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 3, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, an article of agreement made on the 13th day of June, 1854,
by William H. Garrett, agent on the part of the United States, and a
delegation of Creek Indians, supplementary to the Creek treaty of 1838.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 5, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 1st instant, I
herewith return the articles of convention made and concluded with the
Winnebago Indians on the 6th of August, 1853, together with the Senate
resolution of the 9th ultimo, advising and consenting to the
ratification of the same with amendments.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 12, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith the inclosed communication from the Secretary of the
Navy, respecting the observations of Lieutenant James M. Gillis, of the
United States Navy, and the accompanying documents.[30]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 30: Report of the United States naval astronomical expedition
to the Southern Hemisphere.]



WASHINGTON, _July 12, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty between the United States and the Empire of
Japan, signed at Kanagawa on the 31st day of March last by the
plenipotentiaries of the two Governments. The Chinese and Dutch
translations of the instrument and the chart and sketch to which it
refers are also herewith communicated.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 17, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and Her Britannic
Majesty for the extension of the period limited for the duration of the
mixed commission under convention between the United States and Great
Britain of the 8th of February, 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 19, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[31] in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 6th of February last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 31: Correspondence of Humphrey Marshall, commissioner to China.]



WASHINGTON, _July 22, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have this day given my signature to the "Act making further
appropriations for the improvement of the Cape Fear River, in North
Carolina."

The occasion seems to render it proper for me to deviate from the
ordinary course of announcing the approval of bills by an oral statement
only, and, for the purpose of preventing any misapprehension which might
otherwise arise from the phraseology of this act, to communicate
in writing that my approval is given to it on the ground that the
obstructions which the proposed appropriation is intended to remove
are the result of acts of the General Government.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 24, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention concerning the rights of neutrals, concluded
in this city on the 22d instant between the United States and His
Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 26, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to the
resolution of the Senate of the 23d of May last, relative to the slave
trade in the island of Cuba.

The information contained in the papers accompanying the report will, it
is believed, be considered important, and perhaps necessary to enable
the Senate to form an opinion upon the subjects to which they relate;
but doubts may be entertained in regard to the expediency of publishing
some of the documents at this juncture.

This communication is accordingly addressed to the Senate in executive
session, in order that a discretion may be exercised in regard to its
publication.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 27, 1854_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 24th instant,
requesting me to cause to be transmitted to the Senate the Fourth
Meteorological Report of Professor Espy, the accompanying papers and
charts are respectfully submitted.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the Senate resolution of the 10th July instant,
requesting that I would "cause to be communicated to the Senate copies
of all the correspondence and other official documents on file in
the Department of the Interior respecting the claims of persons for
services performed and supplies and subsistence furnished to Indians
in California under contracts with Indian agents in the year 1851, and
embracing the names of claimants, the amount, respectively, of their
claims, on what account created and by what authority, if any,"
I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Interior,
accompanied by copies of all the papers called for which have not
heretofore been furnished. As it appears that most of the papers called
for were communicated to the Senate at its first and special sessions
of the Thirty-second Congress, I have not supposed that it was the
intention of the Senate to have them again sent, and I have therefore
not directed them to be copied.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 31, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 28th instant,
requesting information in respect to the bombardment of San Juan de
Nicaragua, I transmit reports from the Secretaries of State and of the
Navy, with the documents which accompanied them.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 31, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 28th
instant, requesting information in regard to the destruction of San Juan
de Nicaragua, I transmit reports from the Secretaries of State and of
the Navy, with the documents accompanying them.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 1, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I hasten to respond briefly to the resolution of the Senate of this
date, "requesting the President to inform the Senate, if in his opinion
it be not incompatible with the public interest, whether anything has
arisen since the date of his message to the House of Representatives of
the 15th of March last concerning our relations with the Government of
Spain which in his opinion may dispense with the suggestions therein
contained touching the propriety of 'provisional measures' by Congress
to meet any exigency that may arise in the recess of Congress affecting
those relations."

In the message to the House of Representatives referred to I availed
myself of the occasion to present the following reflections and
suggestions:


  In view of the position of the island of Cuba, its proximity to our
  coast, the relations which it must ever bear to our commercial and
  other interests, it is vain to expect that a series of unfriendly
  acts infringing our commercial rights and the adoption of a policy
  threatening the honor and security of these States can long consist
  with peaceful relations.

  In case the measures taken for amicable adjustment of our difficulties
  with Spain should, unfortunately, fail, I shall not hesitate to use the
  authority and means which Congress may grant to insure the observance
  of our just rights, to obtain redress for injuries received, and to
  vindicate the honor of our flag.

  In anticipation of that contingency, which I earnestly hope may not
  arise, I suggest to Congress the propriety of adopting such provisional
  measures as the exigency may seem to demand.


The two Houses of Congress may have anticipated that the hope then
expressed would be realized before the period of its adjournment,
and that our relations with Spain would have assumed a satisfactory
condition, so as to remove past causes of complaint and afford better
security for tranquillity and justice in the future. But I am
constrained to say that such is not the fact. The formal demand for
immediate reparation in the case of the _Black Warrior_, instead of
having been met on the part of Spain by prompt satisfaction, has only
served to call forth a justification of the local authorities of Cuba,
and thus to transfer the responsibility for their acts to the Spanish
Government itself.

Meanwhile information, not only reliable in its nature, but of an
official character, was received to the effect that preparation was
making within the limits of the United States by private individuals
under military organization for a descent upon the island of Cuba with
a view to wrest that colony from the dominion of Spain. International
comity, the obligations of treaties, and the express provisions of law
alike required, in my judgment, that all the constitutional power of
the Executive should be exerted to prevent the consummation of such a
violation of positive law and of that good faith on which mainly the
amicable relations of neighboring nations must depend. In conformity
with these convictions of public duty, a proclamation was issued to warn
all persons not to participate in the contemplated enterprise and to
invoke the interposition in this behalf of the proper officers of the
Government. No provocation whatever can justify private expeditions of
hostility against a country at peace with the United States. The power
to declare war is vested by the Constitution in Congress, and the
experience of our past history leaves no room to doubt that the wisdom
of this arrangement of constitutional power will continue to be verified
whenever the national interest and honor shall demand a resort to
ultimate measures of redress. Pending negotiations by the Executive,
and before the action of Congress, individuals could not be permitted
to embarrass the operations of the one and usurp the powers of the other
of these depositaries of the functions of Government.

I have only to add that nothing has arisen since the date of my former
message to "dispense with the suggestions therein contained touching the
propriety of provisional measures by Congress."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 2, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying documents,[32] in answer to the resolution of the Senate
of the 5th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 32: Correspondence relative to the imprisonment of George
Marsden and to the seizure of the cargo of the American bark _Griffon_
by the authorities of Brazil.]



WASHINGTON, _August 2, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to you a copy of a treaty between the United States
and Great Britain, negotiated at Washington on the 5th of June last.
It has been concurred in by the Senate, and I have no doubt that the
ratifications of it will be soon exchanged. It will be observed that by
the provision of the fifth article the treaty does not go into operation
until after legislation thereon by the respective parties.

Should Congress at its present session pass the requisite law on the
part of the United States to give effect to its stipulations, the
fishing grounds on the coasts of the British North American Provinces,
from which our fishermen have been heretofore excluded, may be opened to
them during the present season, and apprehended collisions between them
and British fishermen avoided.

For this reason and for the purpose of securing to the citizens of the
United States at the earliest practicable period other advantages which
it is believed they will derive from this treaty, I recommend the
passage by Congress at the present session of such a law as is necessary
on the part of the United States to give effect to its provisions.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



VETO MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _May 3, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The bill entitled "An act making a grant of public lands to the several
States for the benefit of indigent insane persons," which was presented
to me on the 27th ultimo, has been maturely considered, and is returned
to the Senate, the House in which it originated, with a statement of the
objections which have required me to withhold from it my approval.

In the performance of this duty, prescribed by the Constitution, I have
been compelled to resist the deep sympathies of my own heart in favor
of the humane purpose sought to be accomplished and to overcome the
reluctance with which I dissent from the conclusions of the two Houses
of Congress, and present my own opinions in opposition to the action of
a coordinate branch of the Government which possesses so fully my
confidence and respect.

If in presenting my objections to this bill I should say more than
strictly belongs to the measure or is required for the discharge of my
official obligation, let it be attributed to a sincere desire to justify
my act before those whose good opinion I so highly value and to that
earnestness which springs from my deliberate conviction that a strict
adherence to the terms and purposes of the federal compact offers the
best, if not the only, security for the preservation of our blessed
inheritance of representative liberty.

The bill provides in substance:

First. That 10,000,000 acres of land be granted to the several States,
to be apportioned among them in the compound ratio of the geographical
area and representation of said States in the House of Representatives.

Second. That wherever there are public lands in a State subject to sale
at the regular price of private entry, the proportion of said 10,000,000
acres falling to such State shall be selected from such lands within it,
and that to the States in which there are no such public lands land
scrip shall be issued to the amount of their distributive shares,
respectively, said scrip not to be entered by said States, but to be
sold by them and subject to entry by their assignees: _Provided_, That
none of it shall be sold at less than $1 per acre, under penalty of
forfeiture of the same to the United States.

Third. That the expenses of the management and superintendence of said
lands and of the moneys received therefrom shall be paid by the States
to which they may belong out of the treasury of said States.

Fourth. That the gross proceeds of the sales of such lands or land scrip
so granted shall be invested by the several States in safe stocks, to
constitute a perpetual fund, the principal of which shall remain forever
undiminished, and the interest to be appropriated to the maintenance of
the indigent insane within the several States.

Fifth. That annual returns of lands or scrip sold shall be made by the
States to the Secretary of the Interior, and the whole grant be subject
to certain conditions and limitations prescribed in the bill, to be
assented to by legislative acts of said States.

This bill therefore proposes that the Federal Government shall make
provision to the amount of the value of 10,000,000 acres of land for an
eleemosynary object within the several States, to be administered by the
political authority of the same; and it presents at the threshold the
question whether any such act on the part of the Federal Government
is warranted and sanctioned by the Constitution, the provisions and
principles of which are to be protected and sustained as a first and
paramount duty.

It can not be questioned that if Congress has power to make provision
for the indigent insane without the limits of this District it has the
same power to provide for the indigent who are not insane, and thus
to transfer to the Federal Government the charge of all the poor in
all the States. It has the same power to provide hospitals and other
local establishments for the care and cure of every species of human
infirmity, and thus to assume all that duty of either public
philanthropy or public necessity to the dependent, the orphan, the
sick, or the needy which is now discharged by the States themselves
or by corporate institutions or private endowments existing under the
legislation of the States. The whole field of public beneficence is
thrown open to the care and culture of the Federal Government. Generous
impulses no longer encounter the limitations and control of our
imperious fundamental law; for however worthy may be the present object
in itself, it is only one of a class. It is not exclusively worthy of
benevolent regard. Whatever considerations dictate sympathy for this
particular object apply in like manner, if not in the same degree, to
idiocy, to physical disease, to extreme destitution. If Congress may
and ought to provide for any one of these objects, it may and ought to
provide for them all. And if it be done in this case, what answer shall
be given when Congress shall be called upon, as it doubtless will be, to
pursue a similar course of legislation in the others? It will obviously
be vain to reply that the object is worthy, but that the application has
taken a wrong direction. The power will have been deliberately assumed,
the general obligation will by this act have been acknowledged, and the
question of means and expediency will alone be left for consideration.
The decision upon the principle in any one case determines it for the
whole class. The question presented, therefore, clearly is upon the
constitutionality and propriety of the Federal Government assuming
to enter into a novel and vast field of legislation, namely, that of
providing for the care and support of all those among the people of the
United States who by any form of calamity become fit objects of public
philanthropy.

I readily and, I trust, feelingly acknowledge the duty incumbent on us
all as men and citizens, and as among the highest and holiest of our
duties, to provide for those who, in the mysterious order of Providence,
are subject to want and to disease of body or mind; but I can not find
any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the
great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so
would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the
Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of
these States is founded. And if it were admissible to contemplate the
exercise of this power for any object whatever, I can not avoid the
belief that it would in the end be prejudicial rather than beneficial in
the noble offices of charity to have the charge of them transferred from
the States to the Federal Government. Are we not too prone to forget
that the Federal Union is the creature of the States, not they of
the Federal Union? We were the inhabitants of colonies distinct in
local government one from the other before the Revolution. By that
Revolution the colonies each became an independent State. They achieved
that independence and secured its recognition by the agency of a
consulting body, which, from being an assembly of the ministers of
distinct sovereignties instructed to agree to no form of government
which did not leave the domestic concerns of each State to itself, was
appropriately denominated a Congress. When, having tried the experiment
of the Confederation, they resolved to change that for the present
Federal Union, and thus to confer on the Federal Government more ample
authority, they scrupulously measured such of the functions of their
cherished sovereignty as they chose to delegate to the General
Government. With this aim and to this end the fathers of the Republic
framed the Constitution, in and by which the independent and sovereign
States united themselves for certain specified objects and purposes, and
for those only, leaving all powers not therein set forth as conferred on
one or another of the three great departments--the legislative, the
executive, and the judicial--indubitably with the States. And when the
people of the several States had in their State conventions, and thus
alone, given effect and force to the Constitution, not content that any
doubt should in future arise as to the scope and character of this act,
they ingrafted thereon the explicit declaration that "the powers not
delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by
it to the States are reserved to the States respectively or to the
people." Can it be controverted that the great mass of the business
of Government--that involved in the social relations, the internal
arrangements of the body politic, the mental and moral culture of men,
the development of local resources of wealth, the punishment of crimes
in general, the preservation of order, the relief of the needy or
otherwise unfortunate members of society--did in practice remain with
the States; that none of these objects of local concern are by the
Constitution expressly or impliedly prohibited to the States, and that
none of them are by any express language of the Constitution transferred
to the United States? Can it be claimed that any of these functions
of local administration and legislation are vested in the Federal
Government by any implication? I have never found anything in the
Constitution which is susceptible of such a construction. No one of
the enumerated powers touches the subject or has even a remote analogy
to it. The powers conferred upon the United States have reference to
federal relations, or to the means of accomplishing or executing things
of federal relation. So also of the same character are the powers taken
away from the States by enumeration. In either case the powers granted
and the powers restricted were so granted or so restricted only where
it was requisite for the maintenance of peace and harmony between the
States or for the purpose of protecting their common interests and
defending their common sovereignty against aggression from abroad or
insurrection at home.

I shall not discuss at length the question of power sometimes claimed
for the General Government under the clause of the eighth section of the
Constitution, which gives Congress the power "to lay and collect taxes,
duties, imposts, and excises, to pay debts and provide for the common
defense and general welfare of the United States," because if it has not
already been settled upon sound reason and authority it never will be.
I take the received and just construction of that article, as if written
to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises _in order_ to pay
the debts and _in order_ to provide for the common defense and general
welfare. It is not a substantive general power to provide for the
welfare of the United States, but is a limitation on the grant of power
to raise money by taxes, duties, and imposts. If it were otherwise, all
the rest of the Constitution, consisting of carefully enumerated and
cautiously guarded grants of specific powers, would have been useless,
if not delusive. It would be impossible in that view to escape from the
conclusion that these were inserted only to mislead for the present,
and, instead of enlightening and defining the pathway of the future,
to involve its action in the mazes of doubtful construction. Such a
conclusion the character of the men who framed that sacred instrument
will never permit us to form. Indeed, to suppose it susceptible of any
other construction would be to consign all the rights of the States and
of the people of the States to the mere discretion of Congress, and thus
to clothe the Federal Government with authority to control the sovereign
States, by which they would have been dwarfed into provinces or
departments and all sovereignty vested in an absolute consolidated
central power, against which the spirit of liberty has so often and
in so many countries struggled in vain. In my judgment you can not by
tributes to humanity make any adequate compensation for the wrong you
would inflict by removing the sources of power and political action from
those who are to be thereby affected. If the time shall ever arrive
when, for an object appealing, however strongly, to our sympathies,
the dignity of the States shall bow to the dictation of Congress by
conforming their legislation thereto, when the power and majesty and
honor of those who created shall become subordinate to the thing of
their creation, I but feebly utter my apprehensions when I express
my firm conviction that we shall see "the beginning of the end."

Fortunately, we are not left in doubt as to the purpose of the
Constitution any more than as to its express language, for although the
history of its formation, as recorded in the Madison Papers, shows that
the Federal Government in its present form emerged from the conflict of
opposing influences which have continued to divide statesmen from that
day to this, yet the rule of clearly defined powers and of strict
construction presided over the actual conclusion and subsequent adoption
of the Constitution. President Madison, in the Federalist, says:


  The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution are few and defined.
  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and
  indefinite. ... Its [the General Government's] jurisdiction extends to
  certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a
  residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.


In the same spirit President Jefferson invokes "the support of
the State governments in all their rights as the most competent
administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks
against anti-republican tendencies;" and President Jackson said that our
true strength and wisdom are not promoted by invasions of the rights and
powers of the several States, but that, on the contrary, they consist
"not in binding the States more closely to the center, but in leaving
each more unobstructed in its proper orbit."

The framers of the Constitution, in refusing to confer on the Federal
Government any jurisdiction over these purely local objects, in my
judgment manifested a wise forecast and broad comprehension of the true
interests of these objects themselves. It is clear that public charities
within the States can be efficiently administered only by their
authority. The bill before me concedes this, for it does not commit the
funds it provides to the administration of any other authority.

I can not but repeat what I have before expressed, that if the several
States, many of which have already laid the foundation of munificent
establishments of local beneficence, and nearly all of which are
proceeding to establish them, shall be led to suppose, as, should this
bill become a law, they will be, that Congress is to make provision for
such objects, the fountains of charity will be dried up at home, and the
several States, instead of bestowing their own means on the social wants
of their own people, may themselves, through the strong temptation which
appeals to states as to individuals, become humble suppliants for the
bounty of the Federal Government, reversing their true relations to
this Union.

Having stated my views of the limitation of the powers conferred by
the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, I deem it
proper to call attention to the third section of the fourth article
and to the provisions of the sixth article bearing directly upon
the question under consideration, which, instead of aiding the claim
to power exercised in this case, tend, it is believed, strongly to
illustrate and explain positions which, even without such support,
I can not regard as questionable. The third section of the fourth
article of the Constitution is in the following terms:


  The Congress shall have power to _dispose_ of and make all needful rules
  and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging
  to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so
  construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States or of any
  particular State.


The sixth article is as follows, to wit, 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.


For a correct understanding of the terms used in the third section of
the fourth article, above quoted, reference should be had to the history
of the times in which the Constitution was formed and adopted. It was
decided upon in convention on the 17th September, 1787, and by it
Congress was empowered "to dispose of," etc., "the territory or other
property belonging to the United States." The only territory then
belonging to the United States was that then recently ceded by the
several States, to wit: By New York in 1781, by Virginia in 1784, by
Massachusetts in 1785, and by South Carolina in August, 1787, only
the month before the formation of the Constitution. The cession from
Virginia contained the following provision:


  That all the lands within the territory so ceded to the United States,
  and not reserved for or appropriated to any of the before-mentioned
  purposes or disposed of in bounties to the officers and soldiers of the
  American Army, shall be considered a common fund for the use and benefit
  of such of the United States as have become or shall become members of
  the Confederation or Federal Alliance of the said States, Virginia
  included, according to their usual respective proportions in the general
  charge and expenditure, and shall be faithfully and _bona fide disposed
  of_ for that purpose and for no other use or purpose whatsoever.


Here the object for which these lands are to be disposed of is clearly
set forth, and the power to dispose of them granted by the third section
of the fourth article of the Constitution clearly contemplates such
disposition only. If such be the fact, and in my mind there can be no
doubt of it, then you have again not only no implication in favor of the
contemplated grant, but the strongest authority against it. Furthermore,
this bill is in violation of the faith of the Government pledged in the
act of January 28, 1847. The nineteenth section of that act declares:


  That for the payment of the stock which may be created under the
  provisions of this act the sales of the public lands are hereby pledged;
  and it is hereby made the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to use
  and apply all moneys which may be received into the Treasury for the
  sales of the public lands after the 1st day of January, 1848, first,
  to pay the interest on all stocks issued by virtue of this act, and,
  secondly, to use the balance of said receipts, after paying the interest
  aforesaid, in the purchase of said stocks at their market value, etc.


The debts then contracted have not been liquidated, and the language of
this section and the obligations of the United States under it are too
plain to need comment.

I have been unable to discover any distinction on constitutional grounds
or grounds of expediency between an appropriation of $10,000,000
directly from the money in the Treasury for the object contemplated and
the appropriation of lands presented for my sanction, and yet I can not
doubt that if the bill proposed $10,000,000 from the Treasury of the
United States for the support of the indigent insane in the several
States that the constitutional question involved in the act would have
attracted forcibly the attention of Congress.

I respectfully submit that in a constitutional point of view it is
wholly immaterial whether the appropriation be in money or in land.

The public domain is the common property of the Union just as much as
the surplus proceeds of that and of duties on imports remaining
unexpended in the Treasury. As such it has been pledged, is now pledged,
and may need to be so pledged again for public indebtedness.

As property it is distinguished from actual money chiefly in this
respect, that its profitable management sometimes requires that portions
of it be appropriated to local objects in the States wherein it may
happen to lie, as would be done by any prudent proprietor to enhance the
sale value of his private domain. All such grants of land are in fact
a disposal of it for value received, but they afford no precedent or
constitutional reason for giving away the public lands. Still less do
they give sanction to appropriations for objects which have not been
intrusted to the Federal Government, and therefore belong exclusively
to the States.

To assume that the public lands are applicable to ordinary State
objects, whether of public structures, police, charity, or expenses of
State administration, would be to disregard to the amount of the value
of the public lands all the limitations of the Constitution and confound
to that extent all distinctions between the rights and powers of the
States and those of the United States; for if the public lands may be
applied to the support of the poor, whether sane or insane, if the
disposal of them and their proceeds be not subject to the ordinary
limitations of the Constitution, then Congress possesses unqualified
power to provide for expenditures in the States by means of the public
lands, even to the degree of defraying the salaries of governors,
judges, and all other expenses of the government and internal
administration within the several States.

The conclusion from the general survey of the whole subject is to
my mind irresistible, and closes the question both of right and of
expediency so far as regards the principle of the appropriation proposed
in this bill. Would not the admission of such power in Congress to
dispose of the public domain work the practical abrogation of some
of the most important provisions of the Constitution?

If the systematic reservation of a definite portion of the public lands
(the sixteenth sections) in the States for the purposes of education and
occasional grants for similar purposes be cited as contradicting these
conclusions, the answer as it appears to me is obvious and satisfactory.
Such reservations and grants, besides being a part of the conditions on
which the proprietary right of the United States is maintained, along
with the eminent domain of a particular State, and by which the public
land remains free from taxation in the State in which it lies as long
as it remains the property of the United States, are the acts of a mere
landowner disposing of a small share of his property in a way to augment
the value of the residue and in this mode to encourage the early
occupation of it by the industrious and intelligent pioneer.

The great example of apparent donation of lands to the States likely
to be relied upon as sustaining the principles of this bill is the
relinquishment of swamp lands to the States in which they are situated,
but this also, like other grants already referred to, was based
expressly upon grounds clearly distinguishable in principle from any
which can be assumed for the bill herewith returned, viz, upon the
interest and duty of the proprietor. They were charged, and not without
reason, to be a nuisance to the inhabitants of the surrounding country.
The measure was predicated not only upon the ground of the disease
inflicted upon the people of the States, which the United States could
not justify as a just and honest proprietor, but also upon an express
limitation of the application of the proceeds in the first instance
to purposes of levees and drains, thus protecting the health of the
inhabitants and at the same time enhancing the value of the remaining
lands belonging to the General Government.

It is not to be denied that Congress, while administering the public
lands as a proprietor within the principle distinctly announced in my
annual message, may sometimes have failed to distinguish accurately
between objects which are and which are not within its constitutional
powers.

After the most careful examination I find but two examples in the acts
of Congress which furnish any precedent for the present bill, and those
examples will, in my opinion, serve rather as a warning than as an
inducement to tread in the same path.

The first is the act of March 3, 1819, granting a township of land to
the Connecticut asylum for the education of the deaf and dumb; the
second, that of April 5, 1826, making a similar grant of land to the
Kentucky asylum for teaching the deaf and dumb--the first more than
thirty years after the adoption of the Constitution and the second more
than a quarter of a century ago. These acts were unimportant as to the
amount appropriated, and so far as I can ascertain were passed on two
grounds: First, that the object was a charitable one, and, secondly,
that it was national. To say that it was a charitable object is only
to say that it was an object of expenditure proper for the competent
authority; but it no more tended to show that it was a proper object of
expenditure by the United States than is any other purely local object
appealing to the best sympathies of the human heart in any of the
States. And the suggestion that a school for the mental culture of the
deaf and dumb in Connecticut or Kentucky is a national object only
shows how loosely this expression has been used when the purpose was
to procure appropriations by Congress. It is not perceived how a school
of this character is otherwise national than is any establishment of
religious or moral instruction. All the pursuits of industry, everything
which promotes the material or intellectual well-being of the race,
every ear of corn or boll of cotton which grows, is national in the same
sense, for each one of these things goes to swell the aggregate of
national prosperity and happiness of the United States; but it confounds
all meaning of language to say that these things are "national," as
equivalent to "Federal," so as to come within any of the classes of
appropriation for which Congress is authorized by the Constitution
to legislate.

It is a marked point of the history of the Constitution that when it was
proposed to empower Congress to establish a university the proposition
was confined to the District intended for the future seat of Government
of the United States, and that even that proposed clause was omitted in
consideration of the exclusive powers conferred on Congress to legislate
for that District. Could a more decisive indication of the true
construction and the spirit of the Constitution in regard to all matters
of this nature have been given? It proves that such objects were
considered by the Convention as appertaining to local legislation only;
that they were not comprehended, either expressly or by implication,
in the grant of general power to Congress, and that consequently they
remained with the several States.

The general result at which I have arrived is the necessary consequence
of those views of the relative rights, powers, and duties of the States
and of the Federal Government which I have long entertained and often
expressed and in reference to which my convictions do but increase in
force with time and experience.

I have thus discharged the unwelcome duty of respectfully stating my
objections to this bill, with which I cheerfully submit the whole
subject to the wisdom of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 4, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have received the bill entitled "An act making appropriations for the
repair, preservation, and completion of certain public works heretofore
commenced under the authority of law." It reaches me in the expiring
hours of the session, and time does not allow full opportunity for
examining and considering its provisions or of stating at length the
reasons which forbid me to give it my signature.

It belongs to that class of measures which are commonly known as
internal improvements by the General Government, and which from a very
early period have been deemed of doubtful constitutionality and
expediency, and have thus failed to obtain the approbation of successive
Chief Magistrates.

On such an examination of this bill as it has been in my power to make,
I recognize in it certain provisions national in their character, and
which, if they stood alone, it would be compatible with my convictions
of public duty to assent to; but at the same time, it embraces others
which are merely local, and not, in my judgment, warranted by any safe
or true construction of the Constitution.

To make proper and sound discriminations between these different
provisions would require a deliberate discussion of general principles,
as well as a careful scrutiny of details for the purpose of rightfully
applying those principles to each separate item of appropriation.

Public opinion with regard to the value and importance of internal
improvements in the country is undivided. There is a disposition on all
hands to have them prosecuted with energy and to see the benefits sought
to be attained by them fully realized.

The prominent point of difference between those who have been regarded
as the friends of a system of internal improvements by the General
Government and those adverse to such a system has been one of
constitutional power, though more or less connected with considerations
of expediency.

My own judgment, it is well known, has on both grounds been opposed to
"a general system of internal improvements" by the Federal Government. I
have entertained the most serious doubts from the inherent difficulties
of its application, as well as from past unsatisfactory experience,
whether the power could be so exercised by the General Government as to
render its use advantageous either to the country at large or effectual
for the accomplishment of the object contemplated.

I shall consider it incumbent on me to present to Congress at its next
session a matured view of the whole subject, and to endeavor to define,
approximately at least, and according to my own convictions, what
appropriations of this nature by the General Government the great
interests of the United States require and the Constitution will admit
and sanction, in case no substitute should be devised capable of
reconciling differences both of constitutionality and expediency.

In the absence of the requisite means and time for duly considering the
whole subject at present and discussing such possible substitute, it
becomes necessary to return this bill to the House of Representatives,
in which it originated, and for the reasons thus briefly submitted to
the consideration of Congress to withhold from it my approval.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



[The following message is inserted here because it is an exposition of
the reasons of the President for the veto of August 4, 1854, immediately
preceding.]

WASHINGTON, _December 30, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In returning to the House of Representatives, in which it originated,
a bill entitled "An act making appropriations for the repair,
preservation, and completion of certain public works heretofore
commenced under the authority of law," it became necessary for me, owing
to the late day at which the bill was passed, to state my objections
to it very briefly, announcing at the same time a purpose to resume
the subject for more deliberate discussion at the present session of
Congress; for, while by no means insensible of the arduousness of the
task thus undertaken by me, I conceived that the two Houses were
entitled to an exposition of the considerations which had induced
dissent on my part from their conclusions in this instance.

The great constitutional question of the power of the General Government
in relation to internal improvements has been the subject of earnest
difference of opinion at every period of the history of the United
States. Annual and special messages of successive Presidents have been
occupied with it, sometimes in remarks on the general topic and
frequently in objection to particular bills. The conflicting sentiments
of eminent statesmen, expressed in Congress or in conventions called
expressly to devise, if possible, some plan calculated to relieve the
subject of the embarrassments with which it is environed, while they
have directed public attention strongly to the magnitude of the
interests involved, have yet left unsettled the limits, not merely of
expediency, but of constitutional power, in relation to works of this
class by the General Government.

What is intended by the phrase "internal improvements"? What does it
embrace and what exclude? No such language is found in the Constitution.
Not only is it not an expression of ascertainable constitutional power,
but it has no sufficient exactness of meaning to be of any value as the
basis of a safe conclusion either of constitutional law or of practical
statesmanship.

President John Quincy Adams, in claiming on one occasion, after his
retirement from office, the authorship of the idea of introducing into
the administration of the affairs of the General Government "a permanent
and regular system" of internal improvements, speaks of it as a system
by which "the whole Union would have been checkered over with railroads
and canals," affording "high wages and constant employment to hundreds
of thousands of laborers;" and he places it in express contrast with the
construction of such works by the legislation of the States and by
private enterprise.

It is quite obvious that if there be any constitutional power which
authorizes the construction of "railroads and canals" by Congress, the
same power must comprehend turnpikes and ordinary carriage roads; nay, it
must extend to the construction of bridges, to the draining of marshes,
to the erection of levees, to the construction of canals of irrigation;
in a word, to all the possible means of the material improvement of the
earth, by developing its natural resources anywhere and everywhere, even
within the proper jurisdiction of the several States. But if there be
any constitutional power thus comprehensive in its nature, must not the
same power embrace within its scope other kinds of improvement of equal
utility in themselves and equally important to the welfare of the whole
country? President Jefferson, while intimating the expediency of so
amending the Constitution as to comprise objects of physical progress
and well-being, does not fail to perceive that "other objects of public
improvement," including "public education" by name, belong to the same
class of powers. In fact, not only public instruction, but hospitals,
establishments of science and art, libraries, and, indeed, everything
appertaining to the internal welfare of the country, are just as much
objects of internal improvement, or, in other words, of internal
utility, as canals and railways.

The admission of the power in either of its senses implies its existence
in the other; and since if it exists at all it involves dangerous
augmentation of the political functions and of the patronage of the
Federal Government, we ought to see clearly by what clause or clauses of
the Constitution it is conferred.

I have had occasion more than once to express, and deem it proper now
to repeat, that it is, in my judgment, to be taken for granted, as a
fundamental proposition not requiring elucidation, that the Federal
Government is the creature of the individual States and of the people
of the States severally; that the sovereign power was in them alone;
that all the powers of the Federal Government are derivative ones, the
enumeration and limitations of which are contained in the instrument
which organized it; and by express terms "the powers not delegated to
the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States
are reserved to the States respectively or to the people."

Starting from this foundation of our constitutional faith and proceeding
to inquire in what part of the Constitution the power of making
appropriations for internal improvements is found, it is necessary to
reject all idea of there being any grant of power in the preamble.
When that instrument says, "We, the people of the United States, in
order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic
tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general
welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our
posterity," it only declares the inducements and the anticipated results
of the things ordained and established by it. To assume that anything
more can be designed by the language of the preamble would be to
convert all the body of the Constitution, with its carefully weighed
enumerations and limitations, into mere surplusage. The same may be said
of the phrase in the grant of the power to Congress "to pay the debts
and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United
States;" or, to construe the words more exactly, they are not
significant of grant or concession, but of restriction of the specific
grants, having the effect of saying that in laying and collecting
taxes for each of the precise objects of power granted to the General
Government Congress must exercise any such definite and undoubted power
in strict subordination to the purpose of the common defense and general
welfare of all the States.

There being no specific grant in the Constitution of a power to sanction
appropriations for internal improvements, and no general provision broad
enough to cover any such indefinite object, it becomes necessary to look
for particular powers to which one or another of the things included in
the phrase "internal improvements" may be referred.

In the discussions of this question by the advocates of the organization
of a "general system of internal improvements" under the auspices of the
Federal Government, reliance is had for the justification of the measure
on several of the powers expressly granted to Congress, such as to
establish post-offices and post-roads, to declare war, to provide and
maintain a navy, to raise and support armies, to regulate commerce, and
to dispose of the territory and other public property of the United
States,

As to the last of these sources of power, that of disposing of the
territory and other public property of the United States, it may be
conceded that it authorizes Congress, in the management of the public
property, to make improvements essential to the successful execution of
the trust; but this must be the primary object of any such improvement,
and it would be an abuse of the trust to sacrifice the interest of the
property to incidental purposes.

As to the other assumed sources of a general power over internal
improvements, they being specific powers of which this is supposed to be
the incident, if the framers of the Constitution, wise and thoughtful
men as they were, intended to confer on Congress the power over a
subject so wide as the whole field of internal improvements, it is
remarkable that they did not use language clearly to express it, or, in
other words, that they did not give it as a distinct and substantive
power instead of making it the implied incident of some other one; for
such is the magnitude of the supposed incidental power and its capacity
of expansion that any system established under it would exceed each of
the others in the amount of expenditure and number of the persons
employed, which would thus be thrown upon the General Government.

This position may be illustrated by taking as a single example one of
the many things comprehended clearly in the idea of "a general system of
internal improvements," namely, roads. Let it be supposed that the power
to construct roads over the whole Union, according to the suggestion of
President J.Q. Adams in 1807, whilst a member of the Senate of the
United States, had been conceded. Congress would have begun, in
pursuance of the state of knowledge at the time, by constructing
turnpikes; then, as knowledge advanced, it would have constructed
canals, and at the present time it would have been embarked in an almost
limitless scheme of railroads.

Now there are in the United States, the results of State or private
enterprise, upward of 17,000 miles of railroads and 5,000 miles of
canals; in all, 22,000 miles, the total cost of which may be estimated
at little short of $600,000,000; and if the same works had been
constructed by the Federal Government, supposing the thing to have
been practicable, the cost would have probably been not less than
$900,000,000. The number of persons employed in superintending,
managing, and keeping up these canals and railroads may be stated at
126,000 or thereabouts, to which are to be added 70,000 or 80,000
employed on the railroads in construction, making a total of at least
200,000 persons, representing in families nearly 1,000,000 souls,
employed on or maintained by this one class of public works in the
United States.

In view of all this, it is not easy to estimate the disastrous
consequences which must have resulted from such extended local
improvements being undertaken by the General Government. State
legislation upon this subject would have been suspended and private
enterprise paralyzed, while applications for appropriations would have
perverted the legislation of Congress, exhausted the National Treasury,
and left the people burdened with a heavy public debt, beyond the
capacity of generations to discharge.

Is it conceivable that the framers of the Constitution intended that
authority drawing after it such immense consequences should be inferred
by implication as the incident of enumerated powers? I can not think
this, and the impossibility of supposing it would be still more glaring
if similar calculations were carried out in regard to the numerous
objects of material, moral, and political usefulness of which the idea
of internal improvement admits. It may be safely inferred that if the
framers of the Constitution had intended to confer the power to make
appropriations for the objects indicated, it would have been enumerated
among the grants expressly made to Congress.. When, therefore, any one
of the powers actually enumerated is adduced or referred to as the
ground of an assumption to warrant the incidental or implied power of
"internal improvement," that hypothesis must be rejected, or at least
can be no further admitted than as the particular act of internal
improvement may happen to be necessary to the exercise of the granted
power. Thus, when the object of a given road, the clearing of a
particular channel, or the construction of a particular harbor of refuge
is manifestly required by the exigencies of the naval or military
service of the country, then it seems to me undeniable that it may be
constitutionally comprehended in the powers to declare war, to provide
and maintain a navy, and to raise and support armies. At the same time,
it would be a misuse of these powers and a violation of the Constitution
to undertake to build upon them a great system of internal improvements.
And similar reasoning applies to the assumption of any such power as
is involved in that to establish post-roads and to regulate commerce.
If the particular improvement, whether by land or sea, be necessary to
the execution of the enumerated powers, then, but not otherwise, it
falls within the jurisdiction of Congress. To this extent only can
the power be claimed as the incident of any express grant to the
Federal Government.

But there is one clause of the Constitution in which it has been
suggested that express authority to construct works of internal
improvement has been conferred on Congress, namely, that which empowers
it "to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such
district (not exceeding 10 miles square) as may by cession of particular
States and the acceptance of Congress become the seat of the Government
of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places
purchased by the consent of the legislature of the State in which the
same shall be for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards,
and _other needful buildings_..." But any such supposition will be seen
to be groundless when this provision is carefully examined and compared
with other parts of the Constitution.

It is undoubtedly true that "like authority" refers back to "exclusive
legislation in all cases whatsoever" as applied to the District of
Columbia, and there is in the District no division of powers as between
the General and the State Governments.

In those places which the United States has purchased or retains within
any of the States--sites for dockyards or forts, for example--legal
process of the given State is still permitted to run for some purposes,
and therefore the jurisdiction of the United States is not absolutely
perfect. But let us assume for the argument's sake that the jurisdiction
of the United States in a tract of land ceded to it for the purpose of a
dockyard or fort by Virginia or Maryland is as complete as in that ceded
by them for the seat of Government, and then proceed to analyze this
clause of the Constitution.

It provides that Congress shall have certain legislative authority over
all places purchased by the United States for certain purposes. It
implies that Congress has otherwise the power to purchase. But where
does Congress get the power to purchase? Manifestly it must be from some
other clause of the Constitution, for it is not conferred by this one.
Now, as it is a fundamental principle that the Constitution is one of
limited powers, the authority to purchase must be conferred in one of
the enumerations of legislative power; so that the power to purchase is
itself not an unlimited one, but is limited by the objects in regard to
which legislative authority is directly conferred.

The other expressions of the clause in question confirm this
conclusion, since the jurisdiction is given as to places purchased
for certain enumerated objects or purposes. Of these the first great
division--forts, magazines, arsenals, and dockyards--is obviously
referable to recognized heads of specific constitutional power. There
remains only the phrase "and other _needful_ buildings." Wherefore
needful? Needful for any possible purpose within the whole range of
the business of society and of Government? Clearly not; but only such
"buildings" as are "needful" to the United States in the exercise of
any of the powers conferred on Congress.

Thus the United States need, in the exercise of admitted powers, not
only forts, magazines, arsenals, and dockyards, but also court-houses,
prisons, custom-houses, and post-offices within the respective States.
Places for the erection of such buildings the General Government may
constitutionally purchase, and, having purchased them, the jurisdiction
over them belongs to the United States. So if the General Government has
the power to build a light-house or a beacon, it may purchase a place
for that object; and having purchased it, then this clause of the
Constitution gives jurisdiction over it. Still, the power to purchase
for the purpose of erecting a light-house or beacon must depend on the
existence of the power to erect, and if that power exists it must be
sought after in some other clause of the Constitution.

From whatever point of view, therefore, the subject is regarded, whether
as a question of express or implied power, the conclusion is the same,
that Congress has no constitutional authority to carry on a system of
internal improvements; and in this conviction the system has been
steadily opposed by the soundest expositors of the functions of the
Government.

It is not to be supposed that in no conceivable case shall there be
doubt as to whether a given object be or not a necessary incident
of the military, naval, or any other power. As man is imperfect, so
are his methods of uttering his thoughts. Human language, save in
expressions for the exact sciences, must always fail to preclude all
possibility of controversy. Hence it is that in one branch of the
subject--the question of the power of Congress to make appropriations
in aid of navigation--there is less of positive conviction than in
regard to the general subject; and it therefore seems proper in this
respect to revert to the history of the practice of the Government.

Among the very earliest acts of the first session of Congress was that
for the establishment and support of light-houses, approved by President
Washington on the 7th of August, 1789, which contains the following
provisions:


  That all expenses which shall accrue from and after the 15th day of
  August, 1789, in the necessary support, maintenance, and repairs of
  all light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers erected, placed, or
  sunk before the passing of this act at the entrance of or within any
  bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the
  navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the Treasury
  of the United States: _Provided, nevertheless_, That none of the said
  expenses shall continue to be so defrayed after the expiration of one
  year from the day aforesaid unless such light-houses, beacons, buoys,
  and public piers shall in the meantime be ceded to and vested in the
  United States by the State or States, respectively, in which the same
  may be, together with the lands and tenements thereunto belonging and
  together with the jurisdiction of the same.


Acts containing appropriations for this class of public works were
passed in 1791, 1792, 1793, and so on from year to year down to the
present time; and the tenor of these acts, when examined with reference
to other parts of the subject, is worthy of special consideration.

It is a remarkable fact that for a period of more than thirty years
after the adoption of the Constitution all appropriations of this class
were confined, with scarcely an apparent exception, to the construction
of light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers and the stakage of
channels; to render navigation "safe and easy," it is true, but only
by indicating to the navigator obstacles in his way, not by removing
those obstacles nor in any other respect changing, artificially, the
preexisting natural condition of the earth and sea. It is obvious,
however, that works of art for the removal of natural impediments to
navigation, or to prevent their formation, or for supplying harbors
where these do not exist, are also means of rendering navigation safe
and easy, and may in supposable cases be the most efficient, as well as
the most economical, of such means. Nevertheless, it is not until the
year 1824 that in an act to improve the navigation of the rivers Ohio
and Mississippi and in another act making appropriations for deepening
the channel leading into the harbor of Presque Isle, on Lake Erie, and
for repairing Plymouth Beach, in Massachusetts Bay, we have any example
of an appropriation for the improvement of harbors in the nature of
those provided for in the bill returned by me to the House of
Representatives.

It appears not probable that the abstinence of Congress in this respect
is attributable altogether to considerations of economy or to any
failure to perceive that the removal of an obstacle to navigation might
be not less useful than the indication of it for avoidance, and it may
be well assumed that the course of legislation so long pursued was
induced, in whole or in part, by solicitous consideration in regard to
the constitutional power over such matters vested in Congress.

One other peculiarity in this course of legislation is not less
remarkable. It is that when the General Government first took charge of
lighthouses and beacons it required the works themselves and the lands
on which they were situated to be ceded to the United States. And
although for a time this precaution was neglected in the case of new
works, in the sequel it was provided by general laws that no light-house
should be constructed on any site previous to the jurisdiction over the
same being ceded to the United States.

Constitutional authority for the construction and support of many of the
public works of this nature, it is certain, may be found in the power
of Congress to maintain a navy and provide for the general defense; but
their number, and in many instances their location, preclude the idea of
their being fully justified as necessary and proper incidents of that
power. And they do not seem susceptible of being referred to any other
of the specific powers vested in Congress by the Constitution, unless it
be that to raise revenue in so far as this relates to navigation. The
practice under all my predecessors in office, the express admissions of
some of them, and absence of denial by any sufficiently manifest their
belief that the power to erect light-houses, beacons, and piers is
possessed by the General Government. In the acts of Congress, as we
have already seen, the inducement and object of the appropriations
are expressly declared, those appropriations being for "light-houses,
beacons, buoys, and public piers" erected or placed "within any bay,
inlet, harbor, or port of the United States for rendering the navigation
thereof easy and safe."

If it be contended that this review of the history of appropriations
of this class leads to the inference that, beyond the purposes of
national defense and maintenance of a navy, there is authority in the
Constitution to construct certain works in aid of navigation, it is
at the same time to be remembered that the conclusions thus deduced
from cotemporaneous construction and long-continued acquiescence are
themselves directly suggestive of limitations of constitutionality, as
well as expediency, regarding the nature and the description of those
aids to navigation which Congress may provide as incident to the revenue
power; for at this point controversy begins, not so much as to the
principle as to its application.

In accordance with long-established legislative usage, Congress may
construct light-houses and beacons and provide, as it does, other means
to prevent shipwrecks on the coasts of the United States. But the
General Government can not go beyond this and make improvements of
rivers and harbors of the nature and to the degree of all the provisions
of the bill of the last session of Congress.

To justify such extended power, it has been urged that if it be
constitutional to appropriate money for the purpose of pointing out,
by the construction of light-houses or beacons, where an obstacle to
navigation exists, it is equally so to remove such obstacle or to avoid
it by the creation of an artificial channel; that if the object be
lawful, then the means adopted solely with reference to the end must
be lawful, and that therefore it is not material, constitutionally
speaking, whether a given obstruction to navigation be indicated for
avoidance or be actually avoided by excavating a new channel; that if
it be a legitimate object of expenditure to preserve a ship from wreck
by means of a beacon or of revenue cutters, it must be not less so
to provide places of safety by the improvement of harbors, or, where
none exist, by their artificial construction; and thence the argument
naturally passes to the propriety of improving rivers for the benefit
of internal navigation, because all these objects are of more or less
importance to the commercial as well as the naval interests of the
United States.

The answer to all this is that the question of opening speedy and easy
communication to and through all parts of the country is substantially
the same, whether done by land or water; that the uses of roads and
canals in facilitating commercial intercourse and uniting by community
of interests the most remote quarters of the country by land
communication are the same in their nature as the uses of navigable
waters; and that therefore the question of the facilities and aids to
be provided to navigation, by whatsoever means, is but a subdivision of
the great question of the constitutionality and expediency of internal
improvements by the General Government. In confirmation of this it is to
be remarked that one of the most important acts of appropriation of this
class, that of the year 1833, under the Administration of President
Jackson, by including together and providing for in one bill as well
river and harbor works as road works, impliedly recognizes the fact that
they are alike branches of the same great subject of internal
improvements.

As the population, territory, and wealth of the country increased and
settlements extended into remote regions, the necessity for additional
means of communication impressed itself upon all minds with a force
which had not been experienced at the date of the formation of the
Constitution, and more and more embarrassed those who were most anxious
to abstain scrupulously from any exercise of doubtful power. Hence the
recognition in the messages of Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe
of the eminent desirableness of such works, with admission that some of
them could lawfully and should be conducted by the General Government,
but with obvious uncertainty of opinion as to the line between such
as are constitutional and such as are not, such as ought to receive
appropriations from Congress and such as ought to be consigned to
private enterprise or the legislation of the several States.

This uncertainty has not been removed by the practical working of our
institutions in later times; for although the acquisition of additional
territory and the application of steam to the propulsion of vessels have
greatly magnified the importance of internal commerce, this fact has at
the same time complicated the question of the power of the General
Government over the present subject.

In fine, a careful review of the opinions of all my predecessors and of
the legislative history of the country does not indicate any fixed rule
by which to decide what, of the infinite variety of possible river and
harbor improvements, are within the scope of the power delegated by
the Constitution; and the question still remains unsettled. President
Jackson conceded the constitutionality, under suitable circumstances, of
the improvement of rivers and harbors through the agency of Congress,
and President Polk admitted the propriety of the establishment and
support by appropriations from the Treasury of light-houses, beacons,
buoys, and other improvements within the bays, inlets, and harbors of
the ocean and lake coasts immediately connected with foreign commerce.

But if the distinction thus made rests upon the differences between
foreign and domestic commerce it can not be restricted thereby to the
bays, inlets, and harbors of the oceans and lakes, because foreign
commerce has already penetrated thousands of miles into the interior
of the continent by means of our great rivers, and will continue so to
extend itself with the progress of settlement until it reaches the limit
of navigability.

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution the vast Valley of the
Mississippi, now teeming with population and supplying almost boundless
resources, was literally an unexplored wilderness. Our advancement has
outstripped even the most sanguine anticipations of the fathers of
the Republic, and it illustrates the fact that no rule is admissible
which undertakes to discriminate, so far as regards river and harbor
improvements, between the Atlantic or Pacific coasts and the great lakes
and rivers of the interior regions of North America. Indeed, it is quite
erroneous to suppose that any such discrimination has ever existed
in the practice of the Government. To the contrary of which is the
significant fact, before stated, that when, after abstaining from all
such appropriations for more than thirty years, Congress entered upon
the policy of improving the navigation of rivers and harbors, it
commenced with the rivers Mississippi and Ohio.

The Congress of the Union, adopting in this respect one of the ideas of
that of the Confederation, has taken heed to declare from time to time,
as occasion required, either in acts for disposing of the public lands
in the Territories or in acts for admitting new States, that all
navigable rivers within the same "shall be deemed to be and remain
public highways."

Out of this condition of things arose a question which at successive
periods of our public annals has occupied the attention of the best
minds in the Union. This question is, What waters are public navigable
waters, so as not to be of State character and jurisdiction, but of
Federal jurisdiction and character, in the intent of the Constitution
and of Congress? A proximate, but imperfect, answer to this important
question is furnished by the acts of Congress and the decisions of the
Supreme Court of the United States defining the constitutional limits of
the maritime jurisdiction of the General Government. That jurisdiction
is entirely independent of the revenue power. It is not derived from
that, nor is it measured thereby.

In that act of Congress which, in the first year of the Government,
organized our judicial system, and which, whether we look to the
subject, the comprehensive wisdom with which it was treated, or the
deference with which its provisions have come to be regarded, is only
second to the Constitution itself, there is a section in which the
statesmen who framed the Constitution have placed on record their
construction of it in this matter. It enacts that the district courts of
the United States "shall have exclusive cognizance of all civil cases
of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, including all seizures under
the law of impost, navigation, or trade of the United States, when the
seizures are made on waters which are navigable from the sea by vessels
of 10 or more tons burden, within their respective districts, as well
as upon the high seas." In this cotemporaneous exposition of the
Constitution there is no trace or suggestion that nationality of
jurisdiction is limited to the sea, or even to tide waters. The law is
marked by a sagacious apprehension of the fact that the Great Lakes
and the Mississippi were navigable waters of the United States even
then, before the acquisition of Louisiana had made wholly our own the
territorial greatness of the West. It repudiates unequivocally the rule
of the common law, according to which the question of whether a water
is public navigable water or not depends on whether it is salt or not,
and therefore, in a river, confines that quality to tide water--a rule
resulting from the geographical condition of England and applicable to
an island, with small and narrow streams, the only navigable portion of
which, for ships, is in immediate contact with the ocean, but wholly
inapplicable to the great inland fresh-water seas of America and its
mighty rivers, with secondary branches exceeding in magnitude the
largest rivers of Great Britain.

At a later period it is true that, in disregard of the more
comprehensive definition of navigability afforded by that act of
Congress, it was for a time held by many that the rule established for
England was to be received in the United States, the effect of which was
to exclude from the jurisdiction of the General Government not only the
waters of the Mississippi, but also those of the Great Lakes. To this
construction it was with truth objected that, in so far as concerns the
lakes, they are in fact seas, although of freshwater; that they are the
natural marine communications between a series of populous States and
between them and the possessions of a foreign nation; that they are
actually navigated by ships of commerce of the largest capacity; that
they had once been and might again be the scene of foreign war; and that
therefore it was doing violence to all reason to undertake by means of
an arbitrary doctrine of technical foreign law to exclude such waters
from the jurisdiction of the General Government. In regard to the river
Mississippi, it was objected that to draw a line across that river at
the point of ebb and flood of tide, and say that the part below was
public navigable water and the part above not, while in the latter the
water was at least equally deep and navigable and its commerce as rich
as in the former, with numerous ports of foreign entry and delivery, was
to sanction a distinction artificial and unjust, because regardless of
the real fact of navigability.

We may conceive that some such considerations led to the enactment in
the year 1845 of an act in addition to that of 1789, declaring that--


  The district courts of the United States shall have, possess, and
  exercise the same jurisdiction in matters of contract and tort arising
  in, upon, or concerning steamboats and other vessels of 20 tons burden
  and upward, enrolled and licensed for the coasting trade and at the time
  employed in business of commerce and navigation between ports and places
  in different States and Territories upon the lakes and navigable waters
  connecting said lakes, as is now possessed and exercised by the said
  courts in cases of the like steamboats and other vessels employed in
  navigation and commerce upon the high seas or tide waters within the
  admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States.


It is observable that the act of 1789 applies the jurisdiction of the
United States to all "waters which are navigable from the sea" for
vessels of 10 tons burden, and that of 1845 extends the jurisdiction to
enrolled vessels of 20 tons burden, on the lakes and navigable waters
connecting said lakes, though not waters navigable from the sea,
provided such vessels be employed between places in different States and
Territories.

Thus it appears that these provisions of law in effect prescribe
conditions by which to determine whether any waters are public navigable
waters, subject to the authority of the Federal Government. The
conditions include all waters, whether salt or fresh, and whether of
sea, lake, or river, provided they be capable of navigation by vessels
of a certain tonnage, and for commerce either between the United States
and foreign countries or between any two or more of the States or
Territories of the Union. This excludes water wholly within any
particular State, and not used as the means of commercial communication
with any other State, and subject to be improved or obstructed at will
by the State within which it may happen to be.

The constitutionality of these provisions of statute has been called
in question. Their constitutionality has been maintained, however,
by repeated decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, and
they are therefore the law of the land by the concurrent act of the
legislative, the executive, and the judicial departments of the
Government. Regarded as affording a criterion of what is navigable
water, and as such subject to the maritime jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court and of Congress, these acts are objectionable in this, that the
rule of navigability is an arbitrary one, that Congress may repeal
the present rule and adopt a new one, and that thus a legislative
definition will be able to restrict or enlarge the limits of
constitutional power. Yet this variableness of standard seems inherent
in the nature of things. At any rate, neither the First Congress,
composed of the statesmen of the era when the Constitution was adopted,
nor any subsequent Congress has afforded us the means of attaining
greater precision of construction as to this part of the Constitution.

This reflection may serve to relieve from undeserved reproach an
idea of one of the greatest men of the Republic--President Jackson.
He, seeking amid all the difficulties of the subject for some practical
rule of action in regard to appropriations for the improvement of rivers
and harbors, prescribed for his own official conduct the rule of
confining such appropriations to "places below the ports of entry or
delivery established by law." He saw clearly, as the authors of the
above-mentioned acts of 1789 and 1845 did, that there is no inflexible
natural line of discrimination between what is national and what local
by means of which to determine absolutely and unerringly at what point
on a river the jurisdiction of the United States shall end. He
perceived, and of course admitted, that the Constitution, while
conferring on the General Government some power of action to render
navigation safe and easy, had of necessity left to Congress much of
discretion in this matter. He confided in the patriotism of Congress to
exercise that discretion wisely, not permitting himself to suppose it
possible that a port of entry or delivery would ever be established by
law for the express and only purpose of evading the Constitution.

It remains, therefore, to consider the question of the measure of
discretion in the exercise by Congress of the power to provide for the
improvement of rivers and harbors, and also that of the legitimate
responsibility of the Executive in the same relation.

In matters of legislation of the most unquestionable constitutionality
it is always material to consider what amount of public money shall be
appropriated for any particular object. The same consideration applies
with augmented force to a class of appropriations which are in their
nature peculiarly prone to run to excess, and which, being made in the
exercise of incidental powers, have intrinsic tendency to overstep the
bounds of constitutionality.

If an appropriation for improving the navigability of a river or
deepening or protecting a harbor have reference to military or naval
purposes, then its rightfulness, whether in amount or in the objects
to which it is applied, depends, manifestly, on the military or naval
exigency; and the subject-matter affords its own measure of legislative
discretion. But if the appropriation for such an object have no distinct
relation to the military or naval wants of the country, and is wholly,
or even mainly, intended to promote the revenue from commerce, then the
very vagueness of the proposed purpose of the expenditure constitutes
a perpetual admonition of reserve and caution. Through disregard of
this it is undeniable that in many cases appropriations of this nature
have been made unwisely, without accomplishing beneficial results
commensurate with the cost, and sometimes for evil rather than good,
independently of their dubious relation to the Constitution.

Among the radical changes of the course of legislation in these matters
which, in my judgment, the public interest demands, one is a return to
the primitive idea of Congress, which required in this class of public
works, as in all others, a conveyance of the soil and a cession of the
jurisdiction to the United States. I think this condition ought never to
have been waived in the case of any harbor improvement of a permanent
nature, as where piers, jetties, sea walls, and other like works are to
be constructed and maintained. It would powerfully tend to counteract
endeavors to obtain appropriations of a local character and chiefly
calculated to promote individual interests. The want of such a provision
is the occasion of abuses in regard to existing works, exposing them to
private encroachment without sufficient means of redress by law. Indeed,
the absence in such cases of a cession of jurisdiction has constituted
one of the constitutional objections to appropriations of this class.
It is not easy to perceive any sufficient reason for requiring it in
the case of arsenals or forts which does not equally apply to all other
public works. If to be constructed and maintained by Congress in the
exercise of a constitutional power of appropriation, they should be
brought within the jurisdiction of the United States.

There is another measure of precaution in regard to such appropriations
which seems to me to be worthy of the consideration of Congress. It is
to make appropriation for every work in a separate bill, so that each
one shall stand on its own independent merits, and if it pass shall
do so under circumstances of legislative scrutiny entitling it to be
regarded as of general interest and a proper subject of charge on the
Treasury of the Union.

During that period of time in which the country had not come to look to
Congress for appropriations of this nature several of the States whose
productions or geographical position invited foreign commerce had
entered upon plans for the improvement of their harbors by themselves
and through means of support drawn directly from that commerce, in
virtue of an express constitutional power, needing for its exercise
only the permission of Congress. Harbor improvements thus constructed
and maintained, the expenditures upon them being defrayed by the very
facilities they afford, are a voluntary charge on those only who see fit
to avail themselves of such facilities, and can be justly complained of
by none. On the other hand, so long as these improvements are carried on
by appropriations from the Treasury the benefits will continue to inure
to those alone who enjoy the facilities afforded, while the expenditure
will be a burden upon the whole country and the discrimination a double
injury to places equally requiring improvement, but not equally favored
by appropriations.

These considerations, added to the embarrassments of the whole question,
amply suffice to suggest the policy of confining appropriations by the
General Government to works necessary to the execution of its undoubted
powers and of leaving all others to individual enterprise or to the
separate States, to be provided for out of their own resources or by
recurrence to the provision of the Constitution which authorizes the
States to lay duties of tonnage with the consent of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas information has been received by me that an unlawful expedition
has been fitted out in the State of California with a view to invade
Mexico, a nation maintaining friendly relations with the United States,
and that other expeditions are organizing within the United States for
the same unlawful purpose; and

Whereas certain citizens and inhabitants of this country, unmindful
of their obligations and duties and of the rights of a friendly power,
have participated and are about to participate in these enterprises,
so derogatory to our national character and so threatening to our
tranquillity, and are thereby incurring the severe penalties imposed
by law against such offenders:

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States,
have issued this my proclamation, warning all persons who shall connect
themselves with any such enterprise or expedition that the penalties
of the law denounced against such criminal conduct will be rigidly
enforced; and I exhort all good citizens, as they regard our national
character, as they respect our laws or the law of nations, as they
value the blessings of peace and the welfare of their country,
to discountenance and by all lawful means prevent such criminal
enterprises; and I call upon all officers of this Government, civil
and military, to use any efforts which may be in their power to arrest
for trial and punishment every such offender.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
this 18th day of January, A.D. 1854, and the seventy-eighth of the
Independence of the United States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas information has been received that sundry persons, citizens of
the United States and others residing therein, are engaged in organizing
and fitting out a military expedition for the invasion of the island of
Cuba; and

Whereas the said undertaking is contrary to the spirit and express
stipulations of treaties between the United States and Spain, derogatory
to the character of this nation, and in violation of the obvious duties
and obligations of faithful and patriotic citizens; and

Whereas it is the duty of the constituted authorities of the United
States to hold and maintain the control of the great question of peace
or war, and not suffer the same to be lawlessly complicated under any
pretense whatever; and

Whereas to that end all private enterprises of a hostile character
within the United States against any foreign power with which the United
States are at peace are forbidden and declared to be a high misdemeanor
by an express act of Congress:

Now, therefore, in virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution in
the President of the United States, I do issue this proclamation to warn
all persons that the General Government claims it as a right and duty to
interpose itself for the honor of its flag, the rights of its citizens,
the national security, and the preservation of the public tranquillity,
from whatever quarter menaced, and it will not fail to prosecute with
due energy all those who, unmindful of their own and their country's
fame, presume thus to disregard the laws of the land and our treaty
obligations.

I earnestly exhort all good citizens to discountenance and prevent any
movement in conflict with law and national faith, especially charging
the several district attorneys, collectors, and other officers of the
United States, civil or military, having lawful power in the premises,
to exert the same for the purpose of maintaining the authority and
preserving the peace of the United States.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
the 31st day of May, A.D. 1854, and the seventy-eighth of the
Independence Of the United States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 4_, _1854_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The past has been an eventful year, and will be hereafter referred to as
a marked epoch in the history of the world. While we have been happily
preserved from the calamities of war, our domestic prosperity has not
been entirely uninterrupted. The crops in portions of the country have
been nearly cut off. Disease has prevailed to a greater extent than
usual, and the sacrifice of human life through casualties by sea and
land is without parallel. But the pestilence has swept by, and restored
salubrity invites the absent to their homes and the return of business
to its ordinary channels. If the earth has rewarded the labor of the
husbandman less bountifully than in preceding seasons, it has left him
with abundance for domestic wants and a large surplus for exportation.
In the present, therefore, as in the past, we find ample grounds for
reverent thankfulness to the God of grace and providence for His
protecting care and merciful dealings with us as a people.

Although our attention has been arrested by painful interest in passing
events, yet our country feels no more than the slight vibrations of the
convulsions which have shaken Europe. As individuals we can not repress
sympathy with human suffering nor regret for the causes which produce
it; as a nation we are reminded that whatever interrupts the peace or
checks the prosperity of any part of Christendom tends more or less
to involve our own. The condition of States is not unlike that of
individuals; they are mutually dependent upon each other. Amicable
relations between them and reciprocal good will are essential for the
promotion of whatever is desirable in their moral, social, and political
condition. Hence it has been my earnest endeavor to maintain peace and
friendly intercourse with all nations.

The wise theory of this Government, so early adopted and steadily
pursued, of avoiding all entangling alliances has hitherto exempted
it from many complications in which it would otherwise have become
involved. Notwithstanding this our clearly defined and well-sustained
course of action and our geographical position, so remote from Europe,
increasing disposition has been manifested by some of its Governments to
supervise and in certain respects to direct our foreign policy. In plans
for adjusting the balance of power among themselves they have assumed to
take us into account, and would constrain us to conform our conduct to
their views. One or another of the powers of Europe has from time to
time undertaken to enforce arbitrary regulations contrary in many
respects to established principles of international law. That law the
United States have in their foreign intercourse uniformly respected and
observed, and they can not recognize any such interpolations therein as
the temporary interests of others may suggest. They do not admit that
the sovereigns of one continent or of a particular community of states
can legislate for all others.

Leaving the transatlantic nations to adjust their political system in
the way they may think best for their common welfare, the independent
powers of this continent may well assert the right to be exempt from all
annoying interference on their part. Systematic abstinence from intimate
political connection with distant foreign nations does not conflict with
giving the widest range to our foreign commerce. This distinction, so
clearly marked in history, seems to have been overlooked or disregarded
by some leading foreign states. Our refusal to be brought within and
subjected to their peculiar system has, I fear, created a jealous
distrust of our conduct and induced on their part occasional acts of
disturbing effect upon our foreign relations. Our present attitude and
past course give assurances, which should not be questioned, that our
purposes are not aggressive nor threatening to the safety and welfare of
other nations. Our military establishment in time of peace is adapted to
maintain exterior defenses and to preserve order among the aboriginal
tribes within the limits of the Union. Our naval force is intended only
for the protection of our citizens abroad and of our commerce, diffused,
as it is, over all the seas of the globe. The Government of the United
States, being essentially pacific in policy, stands prepared to repel
invasion by the voluntary service of a patriotic people, and provides no
permanent means of foreign aggression. These considerations should allay
all apprehension that we are disposed to encroach on the rights or
endanger the security of other states.

Some European powers have regarded with disquieting concern the
territorial expansion of the United States. This rapid growth has
resulted from the legitimate exercise of sovereign rights belonging
alike to all nations, and by many liberally exercised. Under such
circumstances it could hardly have been expected that those among them
which have within a comparatively recent period subdued and absorbed
ancient kingdoms, planted their standards on every continent, and now
possess or claim the control of the islands of every ocean as their
appropriate domain would look with unfriendly sentiments upon the
acquisitions of this country, in every instance honorably obtained, or
would feel themselves justified in imputing our advancement to a spirit
of aggression or to a passion for political predominance.

Our foreign commerce has reached a magnitude and extent nearly equal to
that of the first maritime power of the earth, and exceeding that of any
other. Over this great interest, in which not only our merchants, but
all classes of citizens, at least indirectly, are concerned, it is
the duty of the executive and legislative branches of the Government
to exercise a careful supervision and adopt proper measures for its
protection. The policy which I had in view in regard to this interest
embraces its future as well as its present security. Long experience has
shown that, in general, when the principal powers of Europe are engaged
in war the rights of neutral nations are endangered. This consideration
led, in the progress of the War of our Independence, to the formation of
the celebrated confederacy of armed neutrality, a primary object of
which was to assert the doctrine that free ships make free goods, except
in the case of articles contraband of war--a doctrine which from the
very commencement of our national being has been a cherished idea of the
statesmen of this country. At one period or another every maritime power
has by some solemn treaty stipulation recognized that principle, and it
might have been hoped that it would come to be universally received and
respected as a rule of international law. But the refusal of one power
prevented this, and in the next great war which ensued--that of the
French Revolution--it failed to be respected among the belligerent
States of Europe. Notwithstanding this, the principle is generally
admitted to be a sound and salutary one, so much so that at the
commencement of the existing war in Europe Great Britain and France
announced their purpose to observe it for the present; not, however, as
a recognized international right, but as a mere concession for the time
being. The cooperation, however, of these two powerful maritime nations
in the interest of neutral rights appeared to me to afford an occasion
inviting and justifying on the part of the United States a renewed
effort to make the doctrine in question a principle of international
law, by means of special conventions between the several powers of
Europe and America. Accordingly, a proposition embracing not only the
rule that free ships make free goods, except contraband articles, but
also the less contested one that neutral property other than contraband,
though on board enemy's ships, shall be exempt from confiscation, has
been submitted by this Government to those of Europe and America.

Russia acted promptly in this matter, and a convention was concluded
between that country and the United States providing for the observance
of the principles announced, not only as between themselves, but also
as between them and all other nations which shall enter into like
stipulations. None of the other powers have as yet taken final action on
the subject. I am not aware, however, that any objection to the proposed
stipulations has been made, but, on the contrary, they are acknowledged
to be essential to the security of neutral commerce, and the only
apparent obstacle to their general adoption is in the possibility that
it may be encumbered by inadmissible conditions.

The King of the Two Sicilies has expressed to our minister at Naples his
readiness to concur in our proposition relative to neutral rights and to
enter into a convention on that subject.

The King of Prussia entirely approves of the project of a treaty to
the same effect submitted to him, but proposes an additional article
providing for the renunciation of privateering. Such an article,
for most obvious reasons, is much desired by nations having naval
establishments large in proportion to their foreign commerce. If it
were adopted as an international rule, the commerce of a nation having
comparatively a small naval force would be very much at the mercy of its
enemy in case of war with a power of decided naval superiority. The bare
statement of the condition in which the United States would be placed,
after having surrendered the right to resort to privateers, in the
event of war with a belligerent of naval supremacy will show that this
Government could never listen to such a proposition. The navy of the
first maritime power in Europe is at least ten times as large as that of
the United States. The foreign commerce of the two countries is nearly
equal, and about equally exposed to hostile depredations. In war between
that power and the United States, without resort on our part to our
mercantile marine the means of our enemy to inflict injury upon our
commerce would be tenfold greater than ours to retaliate. We could not
extricate our country from this unequal condition, with such an enemy,
unless we at once departed from our present peaceful policy and became a
great naval power. Nor would this country be better situated in war with
one of the secondary naval powers. Though the naval disparity would be
less, the greater extent and more exposed condition of our widespread
commerce would give any of them a like advantage over us.

The proposition to enter into engagements to forego a resort to
privateers in case this country should be forced into war with a great
naval power is not entitled to more favorable consideration than would
be a proposition to agree not to accept the services of volunteers for
operations on land. When the honor or the rights of our country require
it to assume a hostile attitude, it confidently relies upon the
patriotism of its citizens, not ordinarily devoted to the military
profession, to augment the Army and the Navy so as to make them fully
adequate to the emergency which calls them into action. The proposal to
surrender the right to employ privateers is professedly founded upon the
principle that private property of unoffending noncombatants, though
enemies, should be exempt from the ravages of war; but the proposed
surrender goes but little way in carrying out that principle, which
equally requires that such private property should not be seized or
molested by national ships of war. Should the leading powers of Europe
concur in proposing as a rule of international law to exempt private
property upon the ocean from seizure by public armed cruisers as well
as by privateers, the United States will readily meet them upon that
broad ground.

Since the adjournment of Congress the ratifications of the treaty
between the United States and Great Britain relative to coast fisheries
and to reciprocal trade with the British North American Provinces have
been exchanged, and some of its anticipated advantages are already
enjoyed by us, although its full execution was to abide certain acts of
legislation not yet fully performed. So soon as it was ratified Great
Britain opened to our commerce the free navigation of the river St.
Lawrence and to our fishermen unmolested access to the shores and bays,
from which they had been previously excluded, on the coasts of her North
American Provinces; in return for which she asked for the introduction
free of duty into the ports of the United States of the fish caught
on the same coast by British fishermen. This being the compensation
stipulated in the treaty for privileges of the highest importance and
value to the United States, which were thus voluntarily yielded before
it became effective, the request seemed to me to be a reasonable one;
but it could not be acceded to from want of authority to suspend our
laws imposing duties upon all foreign fish. In the meantime the Treasury
Department issued a regulation for ascertaining the duties paid or
secured by bonds on fish caught on the coasts of the British Provinces
and brought to our markets by British subjects after the fishing grounds
had been made fully accessible to the citizens of the United States.
I recommend to your favorable consideration a proposition, which will
be submitted to you, for authority to refund the duties and cancel the
bonds thus received. The Provinces of Canada and New Brunswick have
also anticipated the full operation of the treaty by legislative
arrangements, respectively, to admit free of duty the products of
the United States mentioned in the free list of the treaty; and an
arrangement similar to that regarding British fish has been made for
duties now chargeable on the products of those Provinces enumerated in
the same free list and introduced therefrom into the United States, a
proposition for refunding which will, in my judgment, be in like manner
entitled to your favorable consideration.

There is difference of opinion between the United States and Great
Britain as to the boundary line of the Territory of Washington adjoining
the British possessions on the Pacific, which has already led to
difficulties on the part of the citizens and local authorities of the
two Governments. I recommend that provision be made for a commission,
to be joined by one on the part of Her Britannic Majesty, for the
purpose of running and establishing the line in controversy. Certain
stipulations of the third and fourth articles of the treaty concluded by
the United States and Great Britain in 1846, regarding possessory rights
of the Hudsons Bay Company and property of the Pugets Sound Agricultural
Company, have given rise to serious disputes, and it is important to
all concerned that summary means of settling them amicably should be
devised. I have reason to believe that an arrangement can be made on
just terms for the extinguishment of the rights in question, embracing
also the right of the Hudsons Bay Company to the navigation of the river
Columbia; and I therefore suggest to your consideration the expediency
of making a contingent appropriation for that purpose.

France was the early and efficient ally of the United States in
their struggle for independence. From that time to the present, with
occasional slight interruptions, cordial relations of friendship have
existed between the Governments and people of the two countries. The
kindly sentiments cherished alike by both nations have led to extensive
social and commercial intercourse, which I trust will not be interrupted
or checked by any casual event of an apparently unsatisfactory
character. The French consul at San Francisco was not long since brought
into the United States district court at that place by compulsory
process as a witness in favor of another foreign consul, in violation,
as the French Government conceives, of his privileges under our consular
convention with France. There being nothing in the transaction which
could imply any disrespect to France or its consul, such explanation
has been made as, I hope, will be satisfactory. Subsequently
misunderstanding arose on the subject of the French Government having,
as it appeared, abruptly excluded the American minister to Spain from
passing through France on his way from London to Madrid. But that
Government has unequivocally disavowed any design to deny the right of
transit to the minister of the United States, and after explanations to
this effect he has resumed his journey and actually returned through
France to Spain. I herewith lay before Congress the correspondence on
this subject between our envoy at Paris and the minister of foreign
relations of the French Government.

The position of our affairs with Spain remains as at the close of the
last session. Internal agitation, assuming very nearly the character
of political revolution, has recently convulsed that country. The late
ministers were violently expelled from power, and men of very different
views in relation to its internal affairs have succeeded. Since this
change there has been no propitious opportunity to resume and press
on negotiations for the adjustment of serious questions of difficulty
between the Spanish Government and the United States. There is reason
to believe that our minister will find the present Government more
favorably inclined than the preceding to comply with our just demands
and to make suitable arrangements for restoring harmony and preserving
peace between the two countries.

Negotiations are pending with Denmark to discontinue the practice of
levying tolls on our vessels and their cargoes passing through the
Sound. I do not doubt that we can claim exemption therefrom as a matter
of right. It is admitted on all hands that this exaction is sanctioned,
not by the general principles of the law of nations, but only by special
conventions which most of the commercial nations have entered into with
Denmark. The fifth article of our treaty of 1826 with Denmark provides
that there shall not be paid on the vessels of the United States and
their cargoes when passing through the Sound higher duties than those of
the most favored nations. This may be regarded as an implied agreement
to submit to the tolls during the continuance of the treaty, and
consequently may embarrass the assertion of our right to be released
therefrom. There are also other provisions in the treaty which ought to
be modified. It was to remain in force for ten years and until one year
after either party should give notice to the other of intention to
terminate it. I deem it expedient that the contemplated notice should
be given to the Government of Denmark.

The naval expedition dispatched about two years since for the purpose
of establishing relations with the Empire of Japan has been ably and
skillfully conducted to a successful termination by the officer to whom
it was intrusted. A treaty opening certain of the ports of that populous
country has been negotiated, and in order to give full effect thereto it
only remains to exchange ratifications and adopt requisite commercial
regulations.

The treaty lately concluded between the United States and Mexico settled
some of our most embarrassing difficulties with that country, but
numerous claims upon it for wrongs and injuries to our citizens remained
unadjusted, and many new cases have been recently added to the former
list of grievances. Our legation has been earnest in its endeavors to
obtain from the Mexican Government a favorable consideration of these
claims, but hitherto without success. This failure is probably in some
measure to be ascribed to the disturbed condition of that country.
It has been my anxious desire to maintain friendly relations with
the Mexican Republic and to cause its rights and territories to be
respected, not only by our citizens, but by foreigners who have resorted
to the United States for the purpose of organizing hostile expeditions
against some of the States of that Republic. The defenseless condition
in which its frontiers have been left has stimulated lawless adventurers
to embark in these enterprises and greatly increased the difficulty of
enforcing our obligations of neutrality. Regarding it as my solemn duty
to fulfill efficiently these obligations, not only toward Mexico, but
other foreign nations, I have exerted all the powers with which I am
invested to defeat such proceedings and bring to punishment those who by
taking a part therein violated our laws. The energy and activity of our
civil and military authorities have frustrated the designs of those who
meditated expeditions of this character except in two instances. One of
these, composed of foreigners, was at first countenanced and aided by
the Mexican Government itself, it having been deceived as to their
real object. The other, small in number, eluded the vigilance of the
magistrates at San Francisco and succeeded in reaching the Mexican
territories; but the effective measures taken by this Government
compelled the abandonment of the undertaking.

The commission to establish the new line between the United States and
Mexico, according to the provisions of the treaty of the 30th of
December last, has been organized, and the work is already commenced.

Our treaties with the Argentine Confederation and with the Republics of
Uruguay and Paraguay secure to us the free navigation of the river La
Plata and some of its larger tributaries, but the same success has not
attended our endeavors to open the Amazon. The reasons in favor of the
free use of that river I had occasion to present fully in a former
message, and, considering the cordial relations which have long existed
between this Government and Brazil, it may be expected that pending
negotiations will eventually reach a favorable result.

Convenient means of transit between the several parts of a country
are not only desirable for the objects of commercial and personal
communication, but essential to its existence under one government.
Separated, as are the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States,
by the whole breadth of the continent, still the inhabitants of each
are closely bound together by community of origin and institutions and
by strong attachment to the Union. Hence the constant and increasing
intercourse and vast interchange of commercial productions between
these remote divisions of the Republic. At the present time the most
practicable and only commodious routes for communication between them
are by the way of the isthmus of Central America. It is the duty of the
Government to secure these avenues against all danger of interruption.

In relation to Central America, perplexing questions existed between
the United States and Great Britain at the time of the cession of
California. These, as well as questions which subsequently arose
concerning interoceanic communication across the Isthmus, were,
as it was supposed, adjusted by the treaty of April 19, 1850, but,
unfortunately, they have been reopened by serious misunderstanding as
to the import of some of its provisions, a readjustment of which is now
under consideration. Our minister at London has made strenuous efforts
to accomplish this desirable object, but has not yet found it possible
to bring the negotiations to a termination.

As incidental to these questions, I deem it proper to notice an
occurrence which happened in Central America near the close of the
last session of Congress. So soon as the necessity was perceived of
establishing interoceanic communications across the Isthmus a company
was organized, under the authority of the State of Nicaragua, but
composed for the most part of citizens of the United States, for the
purpose of opening such a transit way by the river San Juan and Lake
Nicaragua, which soon became an eligible and much used route in the
transportation of our citizens and their property between the Atlantic
and Pacific. Meanwhile, and in anticipation of the completion and
importance of this transit way, a number of adventurers had taken
possession of the old Spanish port at the mouth of the river San Juan
in open defiance of the State or States of Central America, which
upon their becoming independent had rightfully succeeded to the local
sovereignty and jurisdiction of Spain. These adventurers undertook to
change the name of the place from San Juan del Norte to Greytown, and
though at first pretending to act as the subjects of the fictitious
sovereign of the Mosquito Indians, they subsequently repudiated the
control of any power whatever, assumed to adopt a distinct political
organization, and declared themselves an independent sovereign state.
If at some time a faint hope was entertained that they might become
a stable and respectable community, that hope soon vanished. They
proceeded to assert unfounded claims to civil jurisdiction over Punta
Arenas, a position on the opposite side of the river San Juan, which was
in possession, under a title wholly independent of them, of citizens of
the United States interested in the Nicaragua Transit Company, and which
was indispensably necessary to the prosperous operation of that route
across the Isthmus. The company resisted their groundless claims,
whereupon they proceeded to destroy some of its buildings and attempted
violently to dispossess it.

At a later period they organized a strong force for the purpose of
demolishing the establishment at Punta Arenas, but this mischievous
design was defeated by the interposition of one of our ships of war at
that time in the harbor of San Juan. Subsequently to this, in May last,
a body of men from Greytown crossed over to Punta Arenas, arrogating
authority to arrest on the charge of murder a captain of one of the
steamboats of the Transit Company. Being well aware that the claim to
exercise jurisdiction there would be resisted then, as it had been on
previous occasions, they went prepared to assert it by force of arms.
Our minister to Central America happened to be present on that occasion.
Believing that the captain of the steamboat was innocent (for he
witnessed the transaction on which the charge was founded), and
believing also that the intruding party, having no jurisdiction over
the place where they proposed to make the arrest, would encounter
desperate resistance if they persisted in their purpose, he interposed,
effectually, to prevent violence and bloodshed. The American minister
afterwards visited Greytown, and whilst he was there a mob, including
certain of the so-called public functionaries of the place, surrounded
the house in which he was, avowing that they had come to arrest him by
order of some person exercising the chief authority. While parleying
with them he was wounded by a missile from the crowd. A boat dispatched
from the American steamer _Northern Light_ to release him from the
perilous situation in which he was understood to be was fired into by
the town guard and compelled to return. These incidents, together with
the known character of the population of Greytown and their excited
state, induced just apprehensions that the lives and property of our
citizens at Punta Arenas would be in imminent danger after the departure
of the steamer, with her passengers, for New York, unless a guard was
left for their protection. For this purpose, and in order to insure the
safety of passengers and property passing over the route, a temporary
force was organized, at considerable expense to the United States, for
which provision was made at the last session of Congress.

This pretended community, a heterogeneous assemblage gathered from
various countries, and composed for the most part of blacks and persons
of mixed blood, had previously given other indications of mischievous
and dangerous propensities. Early in the same month property was
clandestinely abstracted from the depot of the Transit Company and taken
to Greytown. The plunderers obtained shelter there and their pursuers
were driven back by its people, who not only protected the wrongdoers
and shared the plunder, but treated with rudeness and violence those who
sought to recover their property.

Such, in substance, are the facts submitted to my consideration, and
proved by trustworthy evidence. I could not doubt that the case demanded
the interposition of this Government. Justice required that reparation
should be made for so many and such gross wrongs, and that a course of
insolence and plunder, tending directly to the insecurity of the lives
of numerous travelers and of the rich treasure belonging to our citizens
passing over this transit way, should be peremptorily arrested. Whatever
it might be in other respects, the community in question, in power to do
mischief, was not despicable. It was well provided with ordnance, small
arms, and ammunition, and might easily seize on the unarmed boats,
freighted with millions of property, which passed almost daily within
its reach. It did not profess to belong to any regular government, and
had, in fact, no recognized dependence on or connection with anyone
to which the United States or their injured citizens might apply for
redress or which could be held responsible in any way for the outrages
committed. Not standing before the world in the attitude of an organized
political society, being neither competent to exercise the rights nor to
discharge the obligations of a government, it was, in fact, a marauding
establishment too dangerous to be disregarded and too guilty to pass
unpunished, and yet incapable of being treated in any other way than
as a piratical resort of outlaws or a camp of savages depredating on
emigrant trains or caravans and the frontier settlements of civilized
states.

Reasonable notice was given to the people of Greytown that this
Government required them to repair the injuries they had done to our
citizens and to make suitable apology for their insult of our minister,
and that a ship of war would be dispatched thither to enforce compliance
with these demands. But the notice passed unheeded. Thereupon a
commander of the Navy, in charge of the sloop of war _Cyane_, was
ordered to repeat the demands and to insist upon a compliance therewith.
Finding that neither the populace nor those assuming to have authority
over them manifested any disposition to make the required reparation,
or even to offer excuse for their conduct, he warned them by a public
proclamation that if they did not give satisfaction within a time
specified he would bombard the town. By this procedure he afforded
them opportunity to provide for their personal safety. To those also
who desired to avoid loss of property in the punishment about to be
inflicted on the offending town he furnished the means of removing their
effects by the boats of his own ship and of a steamer which he procured
and tendered to them for that purpose. At length, perceiving no
disposition on the part of the town to comply with his requisitions, he
appealed to the commander of Her Britannic Majesty's schooner _Bermuda_,
who was seen to have intercourse and apparently much influence with the
leaders among them, to interpose and persuade them to take some course
calculated to save the necessity of resorting to the extreme measure
indicated in his proclamation; but that officer, instead of acceding to
the request, did nothing more than to protest against the contemplated
bombardment. No steps of any sort were taken by the people to give the
satisfaction required. No individuals, if any there were, who regarded
themselves as not responsible for the misconduct of the community
adopted any means to separate themselves from the fate of the guilty.
The several charges on which the demands for redress were founded had
been publicly known to all for some time, and were again announced
to them. They did not deny any of these charges; they offered no
explanation, nothing in extenuation of their conduct, but contumaciously
refused to hold any intercourse with the commander of the _Cyane_.
By their obstinate silence they seemed rather desirous to provoke
chastisement than to escape it. There is ample reason to believe that
this conduct of wanton defiance on their part is imputable chiefly to
the delusive idea that the American Government would be deterred from
punishing them through fear of displeasing a formidable foreign power,
which they presumed to think looked with complacency upon their
aggressive and insulting deportment toward the United States. The
_Cyane_ at length fired upon the town. Before much injury had been done
the fire was twice suspended in order to afford opportunity for an
arrangement, but this was declined. Most of the buildings of the place,
of little value generally, were in the sequel destroyed, but, owing to
the considerate precautions taken by our naval commander, there was no
destruction of life.

When the _Cyane_ was ordered to Central America, it was confidently
hoped and expected that no occasion would arise for "a resort to
violence and destruction of property and loss of life." Instructions to
that effect were given to her commander; and no extreme act would have
been requisite had not the people themselves, by their extraordinary
conduct in the affair, frustrated all the possible mild measures for
obtaining satisfaction. A withdrawal from the place, the object of his
visit entirely defeated, would under the circumstances in which the
commander of the _Cyane_ found himself have been absolute abandonment
of all claim of our citizens for indemnification and submissive
acquiescence in national indignity. It would have encouraged in these
lawless men a spirit of insolence and rapine most dangerous to the lives
and property of our citizens at Punta Arenas, and probably emboldened
them to grasp at the treasures and valuable merchandise continually
passing over the Nicaragua route. It certainly would have been most
satisfactory to me if the objects of the _Cyane's_ mission could have
been consummated without any act of public force, but the arrogant
contumacy of the offenders rendered it impossible to avoid the
alternative either to break up their establishment or to leave them
impressed with the idea that they might persevere with impunity in
a career of insolence and plunder.

This transaction has been the subject of complaint on the part of some
foreign powers, and has been characterized with more of harshness than
of justice. If comparisons were to be instituted, it would not be
difficult to present repeated instances in the history of states
standing in the very front of modern civilization where communities far
less offending and more defenseless than Greytown have been chastised
with much greater severity, and where not cities only have been laid in
ruins, but human life has been recklessly sacrificed and the blood of
the innocent made profusely to mingle with that of the guilty.

Passing from foreign to domestic affairs, your attention is naturally
directed to the financial condition of the country, always a subject
of general interest. For complete and exact information regarding the
finances and the various branches of the public service connected
therewith I refer you to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury,
from which it will appear that the amount of revenue during the last
fiscal year from all sources was $73,549,705, and that the public
expenditures for the same period, exclusive of payments on account of
the public debt, amounted to $51,018,249. During the same period the
payments made in redemption of the public debt, including interest and
premium, amounted to $24,336,380. To the sum total of the receipts of
that year is to be added a balance remaining in the Treasury at the
commencement thereof, amounting to $21,942,892; and at the close of the
same year a corresponding balance, amounting to $20,137,967, of receipts
above expenditures also remained in the Treasury. Although, in the
opinion of the Secretary of the Treasury, the receipts of the current
fiscal year are not likely to equal in amount those of the last, yet
they will undoubtedly exceed the amount of expenditures by at least
$15,000,000. I shall therefore continue to direct that the surplus
revenue be applied, so far as it can be judiciously and economically
done, to the reduction of the public debt, the amount of which at the
commencement of the last fiscal year was $67,340,628; of which there had
been paid on the 20th day of November, 1854, the sum of $22,365,172,
leaving a balance of outstanding public debt of only $44,975,456,
redeemable at different periods within fourteen years. There are also
remnants of other Government stocks, most of which are already due, and
on which the interest has ceased, but which have not yet been presented
for payment, amounting to $233,179. This statement exhibits the fact
that the annual income of the Government greatly exceeds the amount of
its public debt, which latter remains unpaid only because the time of
payment has not yet matured, and it can not be discharged at once except
at the option of public creditors, who prefer to retain the securities
of the United States; and the other fact, not less striking, that the
annual revenue from all sources exceeds by many millions of dollars
the amount needed for a prudent and economical administration of the
Government.

The estimates presented to Congress from the different Executive
Departments at the last session amounted to $38,406,581 and the
appropriations made to the sum of $58,116,958. Of this excess of
appropriations over estimates, however, more than twenty millions was
applicable to extraordinary objects, having no reference to the usual
annual expenditures. Among these objects was embraced ten millions to
meet the third article of the treaty between the United States and
Mexico; so that, in fact, for objects of ordinary expenditure the
appropriations were limited to considerably less than $40,000,000.
I therefore renew my recommendation for a reduction of the duties on
imports. The report of the Secretary of the Treasury presents a series
of tables showing the operation of the revenue system for several
successive years; and as the general principle of reduction of duties
with a view to revenue, and not protection, may now be regarded as the
settled policy of the country, I trust that little difficulty will be
encountered in settling the details of a measure to that effect.

In connection with this subject I recommend a change in the laws, which
recent experience has shown to be essential to the protection of the
Government. There is no express provision of law requiring the records
and papers of a public character of the several officers of the
Government to be left in their offices for the use of their successors,
nor any provision declaring it felony on their part to make false
entries in the books or return false accounts. In the absence of such
express provision by law, the outgoing officers in many instances have
claimed and exercised the right to take into their own possession
important books and papers, on the ground that these were their private
property, and have placed them beyond the reach of the Government.
Conduct of this character, brought in several instances to the notice of
the present Secretary of the Treasury, naturally awakened his suspicion,
and resulted in the disclosure that at four ports--namely, Oswego,
Toledo, Sandusky, and Milwaukee--the Treasury had, by false entries,
been defrauded within the four years next preceding March, 1853, of the
sum of $198,000. The great difficulty with which the detection of these
frauds has been attended, in consequence of the abstraction of books and
papers by the retiring officers, and the facility with which similar
frauds in the public service may be perpetrated render the necessity of
new legal enactments in the respects above referred to quite obvious.
For other material modifications of the revenue laws which seem to me
desirable, I refer you to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury.
That report and the tables which accompany it furnish ample proofs of
the solid foundation on which the financial security of the country
rests and of the salutary influence of the independent-treasury system
upon commerce and all monetary operations.

The experience of the last year furnishes additional reasons, I regret
to say, of a painful character, for the recommendation heretofore made
to provide for increasing the military force employed in the Territory
inhabited by the Indians. The settlers on the frontier have suffered
much from the incursions of predatory bands, and large parties of
emigrants to our Pacific possessions have been massacred with impunity.
The recurrence of such scenes can only be prevented by teaching these
wild tribes the power of and their responsibility to the United States.
From the garrisons of our frontier posts it is only possible to detach
troops in small bodies; and though these have on all occasions displayed
a gallantry and a stern devotion to duty which on a larger field would
have commanded universal admiration, they have usually suffered severely
in these conflicts with superior numbers, and have sometimes been
entirely sacrificed. All the disposable force of the Army is already
employed on this service, and is known to be wholly inadequate to the
protection which should be afforded. The public mind of the country has
been recently shocked by savage atrocities committed upon defenseless
emigrants and border settlements, and hardly less by the unnecessary
destruction of valuable lives where inadequate detachments of troops
have undertaken to furnish the needed aid. Without increase of the
military force these scenes will be repeated, it is to be feared, on
a larger scale and with more disastrous consequences. Congress, I am
sure, will perceive that the plainest duties and responsibilities of
Government are involved in this question, and I doubt not that prompt
action may be confidently anticipated when delay must be attended by
such fearful hazards.

The bill of the last session providing for an increase of the pay of
the rank and file of the Army has had beneficial results, not only in
facilitating enlistments, but in obvious improvement in the class of men
who enter the service. I regret that corresponding consideration was not
bestowed on the officers, who, in view of their character and services
and the expenses to which they are necessarily subject, receive at
present what is, in my judgment, inadequate compensation.

The valuable services constantly rendered by the Army and its
inestimable importance as the nucleus around which the volunteer forces
of the nation can promptly gather in the hour of danger, sufficiently
attest the wisdom of maintaining a military peace establishment; but the
theory of our system and the wise practice under it require that any
proposed augmentation in time of peace be only commensurate with our
extended limits and frontier relations. While scrupulously adhering
to this principle, I find in existing circumstances a necessity for
increase of our military force, and it is believed that four new
regiments, two of infantry and two of mounted men, will be sufficient to
meet the present exigency. If it were necessary carefully to weigh the
cost in a case of such urgency, it would be shown that the additional
expense would be comparatively light.

With the increase of the numerical force of the Army should, I think, be
combined certain measures of reform in its organic arrangement and
administration. The present organization is the result of partial
legislation often directed to special objects and interests; and the
laws regulating rank and command, having been adopted many years ago
from the British code, are not always applicable to our service. It is
not surprising, therefore, that the system should be deficient in the
symmetry and simplicity essential to the harmonious working of its
several parts, and require a careful revision.

The present organization, by maintaining large staff corps or
departments, separates many officers from that close connection with
troops and those active duties in the field which are deemed requisite
to qualify them for the varied responsibilities of high command. Were
the duties of the Army staff mainly discharged by officers detached
from their regiments, it is believed that the special service would be
equally well performed and the discipline and instruction of the Army be
improved. While due regard to the security of the rights of officers and
to the nice sense of honor which should be cultivated among them would
seem to exact compliance with the established rule of promotion in
ordinary cases, still it can hardly be doubted that the range of
promotion by selection, which is now practically confined to the grade
of general officers, might be somewhat extended with benefit to the
public service. Observance of the rule of seniority sometimes leads,
especially in time of peace, to the promotion of officers who, after
meritorious and even distinguished service, may have been rendered
by age or infirmity incapable of performing active duty, and whose
advancement, therefore, would tend to impair the efficiency of the Army.
Suitable provision for this class of officers, by the creation of a
retired list, would remedy the evil without wounding the just pride of
men who by past services have established a claim to high consideration.
In again commending this measure to the favorable consideration of
Congress I would suggest that the power of placing officers on the
retired list be limited to one year. The practical operation of the
measure would thus be tested, and if after the lapse of years there
should be occasion to renew the provision it can be reproduced with any
improvements which experience may indicate. The present organization
of the artillery into regiments is liable to obvious objections. The
service of artillery is that of batteries, and an organization of
batteries into a corps of artillery would be more consistent with the
nature of their duties. A large part of the troops now called artillery
are, and have been, on duty as infantry, the distinction between the
two arms being merely nominal. This nominal artillery in our service is
disproportionate to the whole force and greater than the wants of the
country demand. I therefore commend the discontinuance of a distinction
which has no foundation in either the arms used or the character of the
service expected to be performed.

In connection with the proposition for the increase of the Army, I have
presented these suggestions with regard to certain measures of reform as
the complement of a system which would produce the happiest results from
a given expenditure, and which, I hope, may attract the early attention
and be deemed worthy of the approval of Congress.

The recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy having reference to
more ample provisions for the discipline and general improvement in the
character of seamen and for the reorganization and gradual increase of
the Navy I deem eminently worthy of your favorable consideration. The
principles which have controlled our policy in relation to the permanent
military force by sea and land are sound, consistent with the theory
of our system, and should by no means be disregarded. But, limiting
the force to the objects particularly set forth in the preceding part
of this message, we should not overlook the present magnitude and
prospective extension of our commercial marine, nor fail to give due
weight to the fact that besides the 2,000 miles of Atlantic seaboard
we have now a Pacific coast stretching from Mexico to the British
possessions in the north, teeming with wealth and enterprise and
demanding the constant presence of ships of war. The augmentation of
the Navy has not kept pace with the duties properly and profitably
assigned to it in time of peace, and it is inadequate for the large
field of its operations, not merely in the present, but still more in
the progressively increasing exigencies of the commerce of the United
States. I cordially approve of the proposed apprentice system for our
national vessels recommended by the Secretary of the Navy.

The occurrence during the last few months of marine disasters of the
most tragic nature, involving great loss of human life, has produced
intense emotions of sympathy and sorrow throughout the country. It
may well be doubted whether all these calamitous events are wholly
attributable to the necessary and inevitable dangers of the sea. The
merchants, mariners, and shipbuilders of the United States are, it is
true, unsurpassed in far-reaching enterprise, skill, intelligence, and
courage by any others in the world. But with the increasing amount of
our commercial tonnage in the aggregate and the larger size and improved
equipment of the ships now constructed a deficiency in the supply of
reliable seamen begins to be very seriously felt. The inconvenience may
perhaps be met in part by due regulation for the introduction into our
merchant ships of indented apprentices, which, while it would afford
useful and eligible occupation to numerous young men, would have a
tendency to raise the character of seamen as a class. And it is
deserving of serious reflection whether it may not be desirable to
revise the existing laws for the maintenance of discipline at sea, upon
which the security of life and property on the ocean must to so great
an extent depend. Although much attention has already been given by
Congress to the proper construction and arrangement of steam vessels and
all passenger ships, still it is believed that the resources of science
and mechanical skill in this direction have not been exhausted. No good
reason exists for the marked distinction which appears upon our statutes
between the laws for protecting life and property at sea and those for
protecting them on land. In most of the States severe penalties are
provided to punish conductors of trains, engineers, and others employed
in the transportation of persons by railway or by steamboats on rivers.
Why should not the same principle be applied to acts of insubordination,
cowardice, or other misconduct on the part of masters and mariners
producing injury or death to passengers on the high seas, beyond the
jurisdiction of any of the States, and where such delinquencies can be
reached only by the power of Congress? The whole subject is earnestly
commended to your consideration.

The report of the Postmaster-General, to which you are referred for many
interesting details in relation to this important and rapidly extending
branch of the public service, shows that the expenditure of the year
ending June 30, 1854, including $133,483 of balance due to foreign
offices, amounted to $8,710,907. The gross receipts during the same
period amounted to $6,955,586, exhibiting an expenditure over income
of $1,755,321 and a diminution of deficiency as compared with the last
year of $361,756. The increase of the revenue of the Department for the
year ending June 30, 1854, over the preceding year was $970,399, No
proportionate increase, however, can be anticipated for the current
year, in consequence of the act of Congress of June 23, 1854, providing
for increased compensation to all postmasters. From these statements it
is apparent that the Post-Office Department, instead of defraying its
expenses according to the design at the time of its creation, is now,
and under existing laws must continue to be, to no small extent a charge
upon the general Treasury. The cost of mail transportation during the
year ending June 30, 1854, exceeds the cost of the preceding year
by $495,074. I again call your attention to the subject of mail
transportation by ocean steamers, and commend the suggestions of the
Postmaster-General to your early attention.

During the last fiscal year 11,070,935 acres of the public lands have
been surveyed and 8,190,017 acres brought into market. The number of
acres sold is 7,035,735 and the amount received therefor $9,285,533.
The aggregate amount of lands sold, located under military scrip and
land warrants, selected as swamp lands by States, and by locating
under grants for roads is upward of 23,000,000 acres. The increase of
lands sold over the previous year is about 6,000,000 acres, and the
sales during the first two quarters of the current year present the
extraordinary result of five and a half millions sold, exceeding by
nearly 4,000,000 acres the sales of the corresponding quarters of the
last year.

The commendable policy of the Government in relation to setting apart
public domain for those who have served their country in time of war is
illustrated by the fact that since 1790 no less than 30,000,000 acres
have been applied to this object.

The suggestions which I submitted in my annual message of last year in
reference to grants of land in aid of the construction of railways were
less full and explicit than the magnitude of the subject and subsequent
developments would seem to render proper and desirable. Of the soundness
of the principle then asserted with regard to the limitation of the
power of Congress I entertain no doubt, but in its application it is not
enough that the value of lands in a particular locality may be enhanced;
that, in fact, a larger amount of money may probably be received in a
given time for alternate sections than could have been realized for
all the sections without the impulse and influence of the proposed
improvements. A prudent proprietor looks beyond limited sections of his
domain, beyond present results to the ultimate effect which a particular
line of policy is likely to produce upon all his possessions and
interests. The Government, which is trustee in this matter for the
people of the States, is bound to take the same wise and comprehensive
view. Prior to and during the last session of Congress upward of
30,000,000 acres of land were withdrawn from public sale with a view
to applications for grants of this character pending before Congress.
A careful review of the whole subject led me to direct that all such
orders be abrogated and the lands restored to market, and instructions
were immediately given to that effect. The applications at the last
session contemplated the construction of more than 5,000 miles of road
and grants to the amount of nearly 20,000,000 acres of the public
domain. Even admitting the right on the part of Congress to be
unquestionable, is it quite clear that the proposed grants would be
productive of good, and not evil? The different projects are confined
for the present to eleven States of this Union and one Territory. The
reasons assigned for the grants show that it is proposed to put the
works speedily in process of construction. When we reflect that since
the commencement of the construction of railways in the United States,
stimulated, as they have been, by the large dividends realized from
the earlier works over the great thoroughfares and between the most
important points of commerce and population, encouraged by State
legislation, and pressed forward by the amazing energy of private
enterprise, only 17,000 miles have been completed in all the States in a
quarter of a century; when we see the crippled condition of many works
commenced and prosecuted upon what were deemed to be sound principles
and safe calculations; when we contemplate the enormous absorption
of capital withdrawn from the ordinary channels of business, the
extravagant rates of interest at this moment paid to continue
operations, the bankruptcies, not merely in money but in character, and
the inevitable effect upon finances generally, can it be doubted that
the tendency is to run to excess in this matter? Is it wise to augment
this excess by encouraging hopes of sudden wealth expected to flow
from magnificent schemes dependent upon the action of Congress? Does
the spirit which has produced such results need to be stimulated or
checked? Is it not the better rule to leave all these works to private
enterprise, regulated and, when expedient, aided by the cooperation of
States? If constructed by private capital the stimulant and the check go
together and furnish a salutary restraint against speculative schemes
and extravagance. But it is manifest that with the most effective guards
there is danger of going too fast and too far.

We may well pause before a proposition contemplating a simultaneous
movement for the construction of railroads which in extent will equal,
exclusive of the great Pacific road and all its branches, nearly
one-third of the entire length of such works now completed in the United
States, and which can not cost with equipments less than $150,000,000.
The dangers likely to result from combinations of interests of this
character can hardly be overestimated. But independently of these
considerations, where is the accurate knowledge, the comprehensive
intelligence, which shall discriminate between the relative claims of
these twenty-eight proposed roads in eleven States and one Territory?
Where will you begin and where end? If to enable these companies to
execute their proposed works it is necessary that the aid of the General
Government be primarily given, the policy will present a problem so
comprehensive in its bearings and so important to our political and
social well-being as to claim in anticipation the severest analysis.
Entertaining these views, I recur with satisfaction to the experience
and action of the last session of Congress as furnishing assurance that
the subject will not fail to elicit a careful reexamination and rigid
scrutiny.

It was my intention to present on this occasion some suggestions
regarding internal improvements by the General Government, which want
of time at the close of the last session prevented my submitting on
the return to the House of Representatives with objections of the bill
entitled "An act making appropriations for the repair, preservation,
and completion of certain public works heretofore commenced under the
authority of law;" but the space in this communication already occupied
with other matter of immediate public exigency constrains me to reserve
that subject for a special message, which will be transmitted to the two
Houses of Congress at an early day.

The judicial establishment of the United States requires modification,
and certain reforms in the manner of conducting the legal business of
the Government are also much needed; but as I have addressed you upon
both of these subjects at length before, I have only to call your
attention to the suggestions then made.

My former recommendations in relation to suitable provision for various
objects of deep interest to the inhabitants of the District of Columbia
are renewed. Many of these objects partake largely of a national
character, and are important independently of their relation to the
prosperity of the only considerable organized community in the Union
entirely unrepresented in Congress.

I have thus presented suggestions on such subjects as appear to me to
be of particular interest or importance, and therefore most worthy of
consideration during the short remaining period allotted to the labors
of the present Congress.

Our forefathers of the thirteen united colonies, in acquiring their
independence and in founding this Republic of the United States of
America, have devolved upon us, their descendants, the greatest and the
most noble trust ever committed to the hands of man, imposing upon all,
and especially such as the public will may have invested for the time
being with political functions, the most sacred obligations. We have to
maintain inviolate the great doctrine of the inherent right of popular
self-government; to reconcile the largest liberty of the individual
citizen with complete security of the public order; to render cheerful
obedience to the laws of the land, to unite in enforcing their
execution, and to frown indignantly on all combinations to resist
them; to harmonize a sincere and ardent devotion to the institutions
of religious faith with the most universal religious toleration; to
preserve the rights of all by causing each to respect those of the
other; to carry forward every social improvement to the uttermost limit
of human perfectibility, by the free action of mind upon mind, not by
the obtrusive intervention of misapplied force; to uphold the integrity
and guard the limitations of our organic law; to preserve sacred
from all touch of usurpation, as the very palladium of our political
salvation, the reserved rights and powers of the several States and of
the people; to cherish with loyal fealty and devoted affection this
Union, as the only sure foundation on which the hopes of civil liberty
rest; to administer government with vigilant integrity and rigid
economy; to cultivate peace and friendship with foreign nations, and to
demand and exact equal justice from all, but to do wrong to none; to
eschew intermeddling with the national policy and the domestic repose of
other governments, and to repel it from our own; never to shrink from
war when the rights and the honor of the country call us to arms, but
to cultivate in preference the arts of peace, seek enlargement of the
rights of neutrality, and elevate and liberalize the intercourse of
nations; and by such just and honorable means, and such only, whilst
exalting the condition of the Republic, to assure to it the legitimate
influence and the benign authority of a great example amongst all the
powers of Christendom.

Under the solemnity of these convictions the blessing of Almighty God is
earnestly invoked to attend upon your deliberations and upon all the
counsels and acts of the Government, to the end that, with common zeal
and common efforts, we may, in humble submission to the divine will,
cooperate for the promotion of the supreme good of these United States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _December 5, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to approval,
a compact between the United States and the royal Government of Lew
Chew, entered into at Napa on the 11th day of July last, for securing
certain privileges to vessels of the United States resorting to the Lew
Chew Islands.

A copy of the instructions of the Secretary of State upon the subject is
also herewith transmitted.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 5, 1894_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for regulating the right of inheriting and
acquiring property, concluded in this city on the 21st day of August
last between the United States and His Highness the Duke of Brunswick
and Luneburg.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 11, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

An act for the relief of the legal representatives of Samuel Prioleau,
deceased, which provided for the payment of the sum of $6,928.60 to the
legal representatives of said Prioleau by the proper accounting officer
of the Treasury, was approved by me July 27, 1854. It having been
ascertained that the identical claim provided for in this act was
liquidated and paid under the provisions of the general act of August 4,
1790, and of the special act of January 24, 1795, the First Comptroller
of the Treasury declined to give effect to the law first above referred
to without communicating the facts for my consideration. This refusal
I regard as fully justified by the facts upon which it was predicated.

In view of the destruction of valuable papers by fire in the building
occupied by the Treasury Department in 1814 and again in 1833, it is not
surprising that cases like this should, more than seventy years after
the transaction with which they were connected, be involved in much
doubt. The report of the Comptroller, however, shows conclusively by
record evidence still preserved in the Department and elsewhere that the
sum of $6,122.44, with $3,918.36 interest thereon from the date of the
destruction of the property, making the sum of $10,040.80, was allowed
to Samuel Prioleau under the act for his relief passed in 1795.

That amount was reported by the Auditor to the Comptroller on the
4th day of February, 1795, to be funded as follows, to wit.


  Two thirds of $6,122.44 called 6 per cent stock   $4,081.63
  One third called deferred stock                    2,040.81
  Interest on the principal, called 3 per cent stock 3,918.36

  Total                                             10,040.80

  On the books of the loan office of South Carolina, under date of April
  27, 1795 is an entry showing that there was issued of the funded 6 per
  cent stock to

  Samuel Prioleau                                    4,081.63
  Of the deferred stock                              2,040.81
  Of the 3 per cent stock                            3,918.36

  Total                                             10,040.80


On the ledger of said loan office an account was opened with Samuel
Prioleau, in which he was credited with the three items of stock and
deputed by the transfer of each certificate to certain persons named,
under dates of May 20, 1795, August 24, 1795, and April 19, 1796.

These records show that the account of Samuel Prioleau, required to be
settled by the act of January 28, 1795, was settled; that the value of
the property destroyed was allowed; that the amount so found due was
funded by said Prioleau and entered by his order on the loan-office
books of South Carolina, and soon thereafter by him sold and
transferred. That the entire funded debt of the United States was long
since paid is matter of history.

It is apparent that the claim has been prosecuted under a
misapprehension on the part of the present claimants.

I present the evidence in the case collected by the First Comptroller
and embodied in his report for your consideration, together with a copy
of a letter just received by that officer from the executor of P.G.
Prioleau, and respectfully recommend the repeal of the act of July 27,
1854.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 11, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:


I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[33] in compliance with the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 27th of July last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 33: Correspondence of the American consul-general at Cairo
relative to the expulsion of the Greeks from Egypt.]



WASHINGTON, _December 11, 1854_.

_To the Senate_:

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury,
requesting authority to invest the sum of $6,561.80, received from the
sales of lands in the Chickasaw cession, in stocks for the benefit of
the Chickasaw national fund, as required by the eleventh article of the
treaty with the Chickasaws of the 20th October, 1832, and the act of
Congress of 11th September, 1841.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Herewith I transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with
accompanying papers,[34] in answer to the resolution of the Senate
of the 3d of August last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 34: Correspondence relative to difficulties between Rev.
Jonas King and the Government of Greece.]



WASHINGTON, _December 16, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[35] in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 27th of July last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 35: Relating to the case of Walter M. Gibson, held in duress by
the Dutch authorities at Batavia, island of Java, on a charge of having
attempted to excite the native chiefs of Sumatra to throw off their
allegiance to the Dutch Government.]



WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, with accompanying papers,
in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 2d of
August last, requesting such information as may be in the possession of
the War Department touching the cause of any difficulties which may have
arisen between the Creek and Seminole Indians since their removal west
of the Mississippi and other matters concerning the tribes.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 20, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made at the Neosho Agency on the 12th August, 1854, by
Andrew J. Dorn, commissioner on the part of the United States, and the
chiefs and warriors of the Quapaw tribe of Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 20, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made by Andrew J. Dorn, commissioner on the part
of the United States, on the 23d of August, 1854, and the chiefs and
warriors of the Senecas of Sandusky and the Senecas and Shawnees of
Lewistown, designated by the treaty of 1832 as the United Nation of
Seneca and Shawnee Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 20, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made at La Pointe, Wis., on the 30th of September,
1854, by Henry C. Gilbert and David B. Harriman, commissioners on the
part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the Chippewas
of Lake Superior and the Mississippi.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 26, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 5th instant,
requesting me, if not incompatible with the public interests, to
communicate to that body "copies of all instructions and correspondence
between the different Departments of the Government and Major-General
Wool, commanding the Pacific division of the Army, in regard to his
operations on that coast," I transmit the accompanying documents.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[For message of December 30, 1854, giving an exposition of the reasons
of the President for vetoing "An act making appropriations for the
repair, preservation, and completion of certain public works heretofore
commenced under the authority of law," see pp. 257-271.]



WASHINGTON, D.C., _January 1, 1855_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In response to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
11th ultimo, requesting the President "to communicate to this House
any proposition which may have been made to the Government by the city
authorities of Memphis relative to the navy-yard property recently ceded
to that city, together with his views and those of the Navy Department
as to the propriety of accepting the proposed re-cession and of
reestablishing a naval depot and yard of construction at Memphis,"
I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of the Navy, and have
only to add my concurrence in the views by him presented.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, an article of agreement and convention made and concluded on
the 9th day of December, 1854, between the United States, by George
Hepner, United States Indian agent, and the chiefs and headmen of the
confederate tribes of Otoe and Missouria Indians, being a supplement to
the treaty made between the United States and said confederate tribes on
the 15th day of March, 1854.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 10, 1855_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Attorney-General, with the
accompanying documents, communicating the information required by the
following resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 28th ultimo:

  _Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to
  communicate to this House any information possessed by him regarding a
  suit instituted in the Territory of Minnesota by or in the name of the
  United States against the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad Company.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 11, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 3d instant,
requesting "a statement of the names of the ministers, chargés
d'affaires, and the secretaries of legation of the United States
appointed since the 4th of March, 1849, together with the dates of
their commissions, the time of the commencement of their compensation,
of their departure for their posts, and of their entering upon their
official duties thereat," I transmit the accompanying report from the
Secretary of State.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 16, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a letter of the Secretary of War upon the subject of
Indian hostilities. The employment of volunteer troops, as suggested by
the Secretary, seems to afford the only practicable means of providing
for the present emergency.

There is much reason to believe that other cases similar in character
to those particularly referred to in the accompanying papers will at
an early day require vigorous measures and the exhibition of a strong
military force. The proposed temporary provision to meet a special
demand, so far from obviating, in my judgment only serves to illustrate
the urgent necessity of an increase of the Regular Army, at least to
the extent recommended in my late annual message. Unless by the plan
proposed, or some other equally effective, a force can be early brought
into the field adequate to the suppression of existing hostilities, the
combination of predatory bands will be extended and the difficulty of
restoring order and security greatly magnified. On the other hand,
without a permanent military force of sufficient strength to control
the unfriendly Indians, it may be expected that hostilities will soon
be renewed and that years of border warfare will afflict the country,
retarding the progress of settlement, exposing emigrant trains to savage
barbarities and consuming millions of the public money.

The state of things made known in various letters recently received
at the War Department, extracts from a portion of which are herewith
inclosed, is calculated to augment the deep solicitude which this matter
has for some time past awakened, and which has been earnestly expressed
in previous messages and in the annual reports of the Secretary of War.

I respectfully submit that the facts now communicated urgently call for
immediate action on the part of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 17, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 5th
of December last, requesting copies of correspondence[36] between
Major-General Wool and the different Departments of the Government,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by
which it was accompanied.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 36: Relating to affairs on the Pacific Coast.]



WASHINGTON, _January 19, 1855_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In further compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 27th of July last, upon the subject of the case
of Walter M. Gibson, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 19, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith a letter from the Secretary of the
Interior, dated the 18th instant, covering a communication from the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, with accompanying papers, and asking
that certain appropriations be made for the service of the Indian
Department.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 22, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, with accompanying papers, and recommend that
the appropriation[37] therein asked for be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 37: For payment of interest due the Cherokee Indians.]



WASHINGTON, _January 24, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of the Interior and the
Postmaster-General, together with accompanying documents, communicating
what has been done in execution of the act of Congress of August 2,
1854, entitled "An act to provide for the accommodation of the courts
of the United States in the cities of New York and Philadelphia."

I have deemed it best under the circumstances not to enter into
contracts for the purchase of sites, but to submit all proposals made,
in response to public advertisement for several weeks in the principal
newspapers in each of the cities designated, to Congress, for such
action as it may deem proper to take in fulfillment of the original
design of the before-mentioned act.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 29, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress herewith a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, with accompanying papers, and recommend that
the appropriations therein asked for be made.

I avail myself of the occasion to suggest a modification of existing
laws, with a view to enable me more effectually to carry into execution
the treaties with the different Indian tribes in Kansas Territory.

With an earnest desire to promote the early settlement of the ceded
lands, as well as those held in trust and to be sold for the benefit of
the Indians, I shall exercise all the power intrusted to me to maintain
strictly and in good faith our treaty obligations.

I respectfully recommend that provisions be made by law requiring the
lands which are to be sold on account of the Indians by the Government
to be appraised and classified; a minimum price to be fixed, for a less
sum than which no sales shall be made without further provision of law;
and authorizing the sale of the lands in such quantities and at such
times and places as the obligations of the Government, the rights of
the Indian tribes, and the public interest, with reference to speedy
settlement, may render expedient.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 6th of December
last, requesting the President "to communicate to the Senate, if in his
opinion not incompatible with the public interest, the instructions,
correspondence, and other documents relating to the naval expedition to
Japan, and the proceedings and negotiations resulting in a treaty with
the Government thereof," I transmit the inclosed report from the
Secretary of the Navy, with the accompanying documents.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 1, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, with a view to ratification, a convention
which was concluded between the United States and Mexico at the City
of Mexico on the 8th day of January last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 4, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith, for its consideration, the
accompanying papers from the Secretary of the Interior, on the subject
of the proviso of the act of July 31, 1854, in relation to the removal
of the California Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 4, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress the accompanying papers[38] from the Secretary
of the Interior, and recommend that the appropriations therein asked for
may be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 38: Relating to the expenses necessary to be incurred in
colonizing the Texas Indians.]



WASHINGTON, _February 5, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at
the city of Washington on the 31st day of January, 1855, by George W.
Manypenny, as commissioner on the part of the United States, and the
chiefs and delegates of the Wyandott tribe of Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 11th ultimo, in
relation to the case of Francis W. Rice,[39] late United States consul
at Acapulco, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying documents.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 39: Arrested and imprisoned at Acapulco, Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1855_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report[40] from the Secretary of State, in answer
to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 40: Stating that the information relative to the applicability
to the Spanish colonies of the treaty of 1795 with Spain, and whether
American citizens residing in said colonies are entitled to the benefits
of its provisions, had been already transmitted.]



WASHINGTON, _February 7, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its advice with regard to ratification,
a convention for the mutual extradition of fugitives from justice in
certain cases between the United States and His Majesty the King of
Hanover, signed by the plenipotentiaries of the two Governments at
London on the 18th of January last. An extract from a dispatch of Mr.
Buchanan to the Secretary of State relative to the convention is also
herewith communicated.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 7, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith a letter and accompanying papers from
the Secretary of the Interior, of the 5th instant, on the subject of the
colonization of the Indians in the State of California, and recommend
that the appropriation therein asked for may be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 7, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress the accompanying letter from the Secretary of
the Interior, with its inclosure, on the subject of a treaty between the
United States and the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior, and recommend
that the appropriation therein asked for may be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith a report from the Secretary of
the Treasury, and also one from the Secretary of the Interior, with
accompanying papers, containing information called for by the resolution
adopted by the Senate on the 30th ultimo, respecting the advance of
public moneys to the marshal of the United States for the western
district of Arkansas.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, the articles of convention and agreement between the Choctaw
and Chickasaw tribes of Indians made on the 4th day of November, 1854,
at Doaksville, near Fort Towson, Choctaw Nation.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 12, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The resolution of the Senate of the 11th of December last, requesting a
copy of the official correspondence relative to the late difficulties
between the consul of France at San Francisco and the authorities of the
United States in California, has been under consideration, and it was
hoped that the negotiations on the subject might have been brought to
a close, so as to have obviated any objection to a compliance with the
resolution at this session of Congress. Those negotiations, however, are
still pending, but I entertain a confident expectation that the affair
will be definitely and satisfactorily adjusted prior to the next
session.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and His Majesty the
King of the Netherlands, upon the subject of the admission of the United
States consuls into the ports of the Dutch colonies.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and His Majesty
the King of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, relative to the rights of
neutrals during war.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 17, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter[41] of the Secretary of the Interior and
accompanying paper, for the consideration of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 41: Recommending an appropriation to supply a deficit in the
amount held on Indian account, caused by the failure of Selden, Withers
& Co., with whom it was deposited.]



WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate,
a treaty made on the 15th day of November, 1854, by Joel Palmer,
superintendent of Indian affairs, on the part of the United States, and
the chiefs and headmen of the Rogue River Indians in Oregon Territory.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate, a
treaty made by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian
affairs in Washington Territory, on the part of the United States,
and the chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the Nesqually, Puyallup,
Steilacoom, Squawksin, S'Homamish, Ste'h-chass, F'peeksin, Squi-aitl,
and Sa-heh-wamish tribes and bands of Indians occupying the lands lying
around the head of Pugets Sound and the adjacent inlets in Washington
Territory.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the constitutional action of the Senate, two
treaties, one made on the 18th day of November, 1854, by Joel Palmer,
superintendent of Indian affairs, on the part of the United States, and
the chiefs and headmen of the Quil-si-eton and Na-hel-ta bands of the
Chasta tribe of Indians, the Cow-non-ti-co, Sa-cher-i-ton, and Na-al-ye
bands of Scotans, and the Grave Creek band of Umpqua Indians in Oregon
Territory; the other, made on the 29th of November, 1854, by Joel
Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs, on the part of the United
States, and the chiefs and headmen of the confederated bands of the
Umpqua tribe of Indians and the Calaponas, residing in Umpqua Valley,
Oregon Territory.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, with the accompanying paper, and recommend
that the appropriation[42] therein asked for be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 42: For extending and improving the culvert running from the
United States Capitol Grounds down the center of South Capitol street
toward the canal.]



WASHINGTON, _February 22, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 21st instant, I
transmit a report from the Secretary of State, inclosing a copy of the
letter[43] addressed to the Department of State on the 17th November,
1852, by Mr. Joaquin J. de Osma, envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary of the Republic of Peru.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 43: Proposing a settlement of the Lobos Islands controversy.]



WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, with accompanying estimates, and recommend
that the appropriation[44] therein asked for be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 44: To fulfill treaty stipulations with the Wyandotte Indians.]



WASHINGTON, _February 24, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 22d instant,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, together with the copy
of a communication from Francis W. Rice,[45] therein referred to.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 45: Late United States consul at Acapulco, relative to outrages
committed upon him by authorities of Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _February 26, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of the Navy, in compliance
with a resolution of the Senate of the 20th instant, requesting the
President "to communicate to the Senate a copy of the order issued by
the Navy Department to the officer in command of the Home Squadron in
pursuance of which the United States sloop of war _Albany_ was ordered
on her last cruise to Carthagena and Aspinwall, etc.; also of the orders
given by such officer to Commander Gerry to proceed upon such cruise,
and also of any reports or letters from the captain of the _Albany_ on
the necessity of repairs to said vessel."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress herewith a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, and recommend that the appropriation[46]
therein asked for be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 46: For surveying public lands in the northern part of
Minnesota Territory acquired from the Chippewa Indians.]



WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a letter of
this date from the Secretary of the Interior, and accompanying paper,
recommending certain appropriations[47] on account of the Indian service.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 47: For running the boundary line between the Chickasaw and
Choctaw nations of Indians and for negotiations with the Menominee
Indians.]



WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made in this city on the 22d instant between the
United States and the Mississippi, the Pillager, and the Lake
Winnibigoshish bands of Chippewa Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

For eminent services in the late war with Mexico, I nominate
Major-General Winfield Scott, of the Army of the United States, to be
lieutenant-general by brevet in the same, to take rank as such from
March 29, 1847, the day on which the United States forces under his
command captured Vera Cruz and the castle of San Juan de Ulua.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made and concluded in this city on the 27th day of
February, 1855, between George W. Manypenny, commissioner on the part of
the United States, and the chiefs and delegates of the Winnebago tribe
of Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith a copy of an act of the legislature
of the State of Texas, approved the 11th of February, 1854, making
partial provision for running and marking the boundary line between the
said State and the territories of the United States from the point where
the said line leaves the Red River to its intersection with the Rio
Grande, and appropriating $10,000 toward carrying the same into effect,
when the United States shall have made provision by the enactment of
a law for the appointment of the necessary officers to join in the
execution of said survey.

It will be perceived from the accompanying papers that the early
demarcation of said boundary line is urgently desired on the part of
Texas, and, acquiescing in the importance thereof, I recommend that
provision be made by law for the appointment of officers to act in
conjunction with those to be appointed by the State of Texas, and that
the sum of $10,000 at least be appropriated for the payment of their
salaries and necessary incidental expenses.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 2, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, the articles of a treaty negotiated on the 4th of January,
1855, between Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs in Oregon,
and the chiefs of certain confederated tribes of Indians residing in the
Willamette Valley of Oregon.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE MANSION, _March 2, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith submit a report of the Secretary of War, containing all the
information that can now be furnished in reply to the resolution of the
Senate of the 28th ultimo, requesting "a statement of the number of
muskets, rifles, and other arms and equipments delivered to the State
arsenals, respectively, the number remaining on hand, and the number
sold and accounted for; also, the date and amount of such sales."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 2, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress herewith a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, with accompanying papers,[48] and recommend
that the appropriations therein asked for be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 48: Estimates of appropriations necessary for carrying out the
bounty-land law.]



WASHINGTON, _March 2, 1855_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress herewith a communication of this date from the
Secretary of the Interior, with its inclosure,[49] and recommend that the
appropriations therein asked for be made.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 49: Additional estimate of appropriations necessary for pay of
Indian agents.]



WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1855_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, with accompanying documents,[50] in answer to their
resolutions of the 30th of January and 23d February last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 50: Correspondence relative to the causes disturbing the
friendly relations between Spain and the United States and instructions
to United States diplomatic agents relative to the same; correspondence
relative to Cuba, etc.]



VETO MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _February 17, 1855_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have received and carefully considered the bill entitled "An act
to provide for the ascertainment of claims of American citizens for
spoliations committed by the French prior to the 31st of July, 1801,"
and in the discharge of a duty imperatively enjoined on me by the
Constitution I return the same with my objections to the House of
Representatives, in which it originated.

In the organization of the Government of the United States the
legislative and executive functions were separated and placed in
distinct hands. Although the President is required from time to time
to recommend to the consideration of Congress such measures as he shall
judge necessary and expedient, his participation in the formal business
of legislation is limited to the single duty, in a certain contingency,
of demanding for a bill a particular form of vote prescribed by the
Constitution before it can become a law. He is not invested with power
to defeat legislation by an absolute veto, but only to restrain it, and
is charged with the duty, in case he disapproves a measure, of invoking
a second and a more deliberate and solemn consideration of it on the
part of Congress. It is not incumbent on the President to sign a bill
as a matter of course, and thus merely to authenticate the action of
Congress, for he must exercise intelligent judgment or be faithless to
the trust reposed in him. If he approve a bill, he shall sign it, but
if not he shall return it with his objections to that House in which
it shall have originated for such further action as the Constitution
demands, which is its enactment, if at all, not by a bare numerical
majority, as in the first instance, but by a constitutional majority
of two-thirds of both Houses.

While the Constitution thus confers on the legislative bodies the
complete power of legislation in all cases, it proceeds, in the spirit
of justice, to provide for the protection of the responsibility of the
President. It does not compel him to affix the signature of approval to
any bill unless it actually have his approbation; for while it requires
him to sign if he approve, it, in my judgment, imposes upon him the duty
of withholding his signature if he do not approve. In the execution of
his official duty in this respect he is not to perform a mere mechanical
part, but is to decide and act according to conscientious convictions of
the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the proposed law. In a matter as to
which he is doubtful in his own mind he may well defer to the majority
of the two Houses. Individual members of the respective Houses, owing to
the nature, variety, and amount of business pending, must necessarily
rely for their guidance in many, perhaps most, cases, when the matters
involved are not of popular interest, upon the investigation of
appropriate committees, or, it may be, that of a single member, whose
attention has been particularly directed to the subject. For similar
reasons, but even to a greater extent, from the number and variety of
subjects daily urged upon his attention, the President naturally relies
much upon the investigation had and the results arrived at by the two
Houses, and hence those results, in large classes of cases, constitute
the basis upon which his approval rests. The President's responsibility
is to the whole people of the United States, as that of a Senator is to
the people of a particular State, that of a Representative to the people
of a State or district; and it may be safely assumed that he will not
resort to the clearly defined and limited power of arresting legislation
and calling for reconsideration of any measure except in obedience
to requirements of duty. When, however, he entertains a decisive and
fixed conclusion, not merely of the unconstitutionality, but of the
impropriety, or injustice in other respects, of any measure, if he
declare that he approves it he is false to his oath, and he deliberately
disregards his constitutional obligations.

I cheerfully recognize the weight of authority which attaches to the
action of a majority of the two Houses. But in this case, as in some
others, the framers of our Constitution, for wise considerations of
public good, provided that nothing less than a two-thirds vote of one
or both of the Houses of Congress shall become effective to bind the
coordinate departments of the Government, the people, and the several
States. If there be anything of seeming invidiousness in the official
right thus conferred on the President, it is in appearance only, for the
same right of approving or disapproving a bill, according to each one's
own judgment, is conferred on every member of the Senate and of the
House of Representatives.

It is apparent, therefore, that the circumstances must be extraordinary
which would induce the President to withhold approval from a bill
involving no violation of the Constitution. The amount of the claims
proposed to be discharged by the bill before me, the nature of the
transactions in which those claims are alleged to have originated,
the length of time during which they have occupied the attention of
Congress and the country, present such an exigency. Their history
renders it impossible that a President who has participated to any
considerable degree in public affairs could have failed to form
respecting them a decided opinion upon what he would deem satisfactory
grounds. Nevertheless, instead of resting on former opinions, it has
seemed to me proper to review and more carefully examine the whole
subject, so as satisfactorily to determine the nature and extent of my
obligations in the premises.

I feel called upon at the threshold to notice an assertion, often
repeated, that the refusal of the United States to satisfy these claims
in the manner provided by the present bill rests as a stain on the
justice of our country. If it be so, the imputation on the public honor
is aggravated by the consideration that the claims are coeval with the
present century, and it has been a persistent wrong during that whole
period of time. The allegation is that private property has been taken
for public use without just compensation, in violation of express
provision of the Constitution, and that reparation has been withheld
and justice denied until the injured parties have for the most part
descended to the grave. But it is not to be forgotten or overlooked that
those who represented the people in different capacities at the time
when the alleged obligations were incurred, and to whom the charge of
injustice attaches in the first instance, have also passed away and
borne with them the special information which controlled their decision
and, it may be well presumed, constituted the justification of their
acts.

If, however, the charge in question be well founded, although its
admission would inscribe on our history a page which we might desire
most of all to obliterate, and although, if true, it must painfully
disturb our confidence in the justice and the high sense of moral and
political responsibility of those whose memories we have been taught
to cherish with so much reverence and respect, still we have only one
course of action left to us, and that is to make the most prompt and
ample reparation in our power and consign the wrong as far as may be
to forgetfulness.

But no such heavy sentence of condemnation should be lightly passed upon
the sagacious and patriotic men who participated in the transactions out
of which these claims are supposed to have arisen, and who, from their
ample means of knowledge of the general subject in its minute details
and from their official position, are peculiarly responsible for
whatever there is of wrong or injustice in the decisions of the
Government.

Their justification consists in that which constitutes the objection to
the present bill, namely, the absence of any indebtedness on the part
of the United States. The charge of denial of justice in this case, and
consequent stain upon our national character, has not yet been indorsed
by the American people. But if it were otherwise, this bill, so far from
relieving the past, would only stamp on the present a more deep and
indelible stigma. It admits the justice of the claims, concedes that
payment has been wrongfully withheld for fifty years, and then proposes
not to pay them, but to compound with the public creditors by providing
that, whether the claims shall be presented or not, whether the sum
appropriated shall pay much or little of what shall be found due, the
law itself shall constitute a perpetual bar to all future demands. This
is not, in my judgment, the way to atone for wrongs if they exist, nor
to meet subsisting obligations.

If new facts, not known or not accessible during the Administration of
Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, or Mr. Monroe, had since been brought to
light, or new sources of information discovered, this would greatly
relieve the subject of embarrassment. But nothing of this nature has
occurred.

That those eminent statesmen had the best means of arriving at a correct
conclusion no one will deny. That they never recognized the alleged
obligation on the part of the Government is shown by the history of
their respective Administrations. Indeed, it stands not as a matter of
controlling authority, but as a fact of history, that these claims have
never since our existence as a nation been deemed by any President
worthy of recommendation to Congress.

Claims to payment can rest only on the plea of indebtedness on the part
of the Government. This requires that it should be shown that the United
States have incurred liability to the claimants, either by such acts as
deprived them of their property or by having actually taken it for
public use without making just compensation for it.

The first branch of the proposition--that on which an equitable claim
to be indemnified by the United States for losses sustained might
rest--requires at least a cursory examination of the history of the
transactions on which the claims depend. The first link which in the
chain of events arrests attention is the treaties of alliance and of
amity and commerce between the United States and France negotiated in
1778. By those treaties peculiar privileges were secured to the armed
vessels of each of the contracting parties in the ports of the other,
the freedom of trade was greatly enlarged, and mutual obligations were
incurred by each to guarantee to the other their territorial possessions
in America.

In 1792-93, when war broke out between France and Great Britain, the
former claimed privileges in American ports which our Government did
not admit as deducible from the treaties of 1778, and which it was held
were in conflict with obligations to the other belligerent powers. The
liberal principle of one of the treaties referred to--that free ships
make free goods, and that subsistence and supplies were not contraband
of war unless destined to a blockaded port--was found, in a commercial
view, to operate disadvantageously to France as compared with her enemy,
Great Britain, the latter asserting, under the law of nations, the right
to capture as contraband supplies when bound for an enemy's port.

Induced mainly, it is believed, by these considerations, the Government
of France decreed on the 9th of May, 1793, the first year of the war,
that "the French people are no longer permitted to fulfill toward the
neutral powers in general the vows they have so often manifested, and
which they constantly make for the full and entire liberty of commerce
and navigation," and, as a counter measure to the course of Great
Britain, authorized the seizure of neutral vessels bound to an enemy's
port in like manner as that was done by her great maritime rival.
This decree was made to act retrospectively, and to continue until the
enemies of France should desist from depredations on the neutral vessels
bound to the ports of France. Then followed the embargo, by which our
vessels were detained in Bordeaux; the seizure of British goods on
board of our ships, and of the property of American citizens under the
pretense that it belonged to English subjects, and the imprisonment of
American citizens captured on the high seas.

Against these infractions of existing treaties and violations of our
rights as a neutral power we complained and remonstrated. For the
property of our injured citizens we demanded that due compensation
should be made, and from 1793 to 1797 used every means, ordinary and
extraordinary, to obtain redress by negotiation. In the last-mentioned
year these efforts were met by a refusal to receive a minister sent
by our Government with special instructions to represent the amicable
disposition of the Government and people of the United States and their
desire to remove jealousies and to restore confidence by showing that
the complaints against them were groundless. Failing in this, another
attempt to adjust all differences between the two Republics was made in
the form of an extraordinary mission, composed of three distinguished
citizens, but the refusal to receive was offensively repeated, and thus
terminated this last effort to preserve peace and restore kind relations
with our early friend and ally, to whom a debt of gratitude was due
which the American people have never been willing to depreciate or to
forget. Years of negotiation had not only failed to secure indemnity
for our citizens and exemption from further depredation, but these
long-continued efforts had brought upon the Government the suspension
of diplomatic intercourse with France and such indignities as to induce
President Adams, in his message of May 16, 1797, to Congress, convened
in special session, to present it as the particular matter for their
consideration and to speak of it in terms of the highest indignation.
Thenceforward the action of our Government assumed a character which
clearly indicates that hope was no longer entertained from the amicable
feeling or justice of the Government of France, and hence the subsequent
measures were those of force.

On the 28th of May, 1798, an act was passed for the employment of the
Navy of the United States against "armed vessels of the Republic of
France," and authorized their capture if "found hovering on the coast
of the United States for the purpose of committing depredations on the
vessels belonging to the citizens thereof;" on the 18th of June, 1798,
an act was passed prohibiting commercial intercourse with France under
the penalty of the forfeiture of the vessels so employed; on the 25th
of June, the same year, an act to arm the merchant marine to oppose
searches, capture aggressors, and recapture American vessels taken by
the French; on the 28th of June, same year, an act for the condemnation
and sale of French vessels captured by authority of the act of 28th of
May preceding; on the 27th of July, same year, an act abrogating the
treaties and the convention which had been concluded between the United
States and France, and declaring "that the same shall not henceforth
be regarded as legally obligatory on the Government or citizens of the
United States;" on the 9th of the same month an act was passed which
enlarged the limits of the hostilities then existing by authorizing our
public vessels to capture armed vessels of France wherever found upon
the high seas, and conferred power on the President to issue commissions
to private armed vessels to engage in like service.

These acts, though short of a declaration of war, which would put ail
the citizens of each country in hostility with those of the other, were,
nevertheless, actual war, partial in its application, maritime in its
character, but which required the expenditure of much of our public
treasure and much of the blood of our patriotic citizens, who, in
vessels but little suited to the purposes of war, went forth to battle
on the high seas for the rights and security of their fellow-citizens
and to repel indignities offered to the national honor.

It is not, then, because of any failure to use all available means,
diplomatic and military, to obtain reparation that liability for private
claims can have been incurred by the United States, and if there is any
pretense for such liability it must flow from the action, not from the
neglect, of the United States. The first complaint on the part of France
was against the proclamation of President Washington of April 22, 1793.
At that early period in the war which involved Austria, Prussia,
Sardinia, the United Netherlands, and Great Britain on the one part and
France on the other, the great and wise man who was the Chief Executive,
as he was and had been the guardian of our then infant Republic,
proclaimed that "the duty and interest of the United States require that
they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct
friendly and impartial toward the belligerent powers." This attitude of
neutrality, it was pretended, was in disregard of the obligations of
alliance between the United States and France. And this, together with
the often-renewed complaint that the stipulations of the treaties of
1778 had not been observed and executed by the United States, formed the
pretext for the series of outrages upon our Government and its citizens
which finally drove us to seek redress and safety by an appeal to force.
The treaties of 1778, so long the subject of French complaints, are now
understood to be the foundation upon which are laid these claims of
indemnity from the United States for spoliations committed by the French
prior to 1800. The act of our Government which abrogated not only the
treaties of 1778, but also the subsequent consular convention of 1788,
has already been referred to, and it may be well here to inquire what
the course of France was in relation thereto. By the decrees of 9th of
May, 1793, 7th of July, 1796, and 2d of March, 1797, the stipulations
which were then and subsequently most important to the United States
were rendered wholly inoperative. The highly injurious effects which
these decrees are known to have produced show how vital were the
provisions of treaty which they violated, and make manifest the
incontrovertible right of the United States to declare, as the
consequence of these acts of the other contracting party, the treaties
at an end.

The next step in this inquiry is whether the act declaring the treaties
null and void was ever repealed, or whether by any other means the
treaties were ever revived so as to be either the subject or the source
of national obligation. The war which has been described was terminated
by the treaty of Paris of 1800, and to that instrument it is necessary
to turn to find how much of preexisting obligations between the two
Governments outlived the hostilities in which they had been engaged.
By the second article of the treaty of 1800 it was declared that the
ministers plenipotentiary of the two parties not being able to agree
respecting the treaties of alliance, amity, and commerce of 1778 and the
convention of 1788, nor upon the indemnities mutually due or claimed,
the parties will negotiate further on these subjects at a convenient
time; and until they shall have agreed upon these points the said
treaties and convention shall have no operation.

When the treaty was submitted to the Senate of the United States, the
second article was disagreed to and the treaty amended by striking it
out and inserting a provision that the convention then made should
continue in force eight years from the date of ratification, which
convention, thus amended, was accepted by the First Consul of France,
with the addition of a note explanatory of his construction of the
convention, to the effect that by the retrenchment of the second article
the two States renounce the respective pretensions which were the object
of the said article.

It will be perceived by the language of the second article, as
originally framed by the negotiators, that they had found themselves
unable to adjust the controversies on which years of diplomacy and of
hostilities had been expended, and that they were at last compelled to
postpone the discussion of those questions to that most indefinite
period, a "convenient time." All, then, of these subjects which was
revived by the convention was the right to renew, when it should be
convenient to the parties, a discussion which had already exhausted
negotiation, involved the two countries in a maritime war, and on which
the parties had approached no nearer to concurrence than they were when
the controversy began.

The obligations of the treaties of 1778 and the convention of 1788 were
mutual, and estimated to be equal. But however onerous they may have
been to the United States, they had been abrogated, and were not revived
by the convention of 1800, but expressly spoken of as suspended until an
event which could only occur by the pleasure of the United States. It
seems clear, then, that the United States were relieved of no obligation
to France by the retrenchment of the second article of the convention,
and if thereby France was relieved of any valid claims against her the
United States received no consideration in return, and that if private
property was taken by the United States from their own citizens it was
not for public use. But it is here proper to inquire whether the United
States did relieve France from valid claims against her on the part of
citizens of the United States, and did thus deprive them of their
property.

The complaints and counter complaints of the two Governments had been
that treaties were violated and that both public and individual rights
and interests had been sacrificed. The correspondence of our ministers
engaged in negotiations, both before and after the convention of 1800,
sufficiently proves how hopeless was the effort to obtain full indemnity
from France for injuries inflicted on our commerce from 1793 to 1800,
unless it should be by an account in which the rival pretensions of the
two Governments should each be acknowledged and the balance struck
between them.

It is supposable, and may be inferred from the contemporaneous history
as probable, that had the United States agreed in 1800 to revive the
treaties of 1778 and 1788 with the construction which France had placed
upon them, that the latter Government would, on the other hand, have
agreed to make indemnity for those spoliations which were committed
under the pretext that the United States were faithless to the
obligations of the alliance between the two countries.

Hence the conclusion that the United States did not sacrifice private
rights or property to get rid of public obligations, but only refused to
reassume public obligations for the purpose of obtaining the recognition
of the claims of American citizens on the part of France.

All those claims which the French Government was willing to admit were
carefully provided for elsewhere in the convention, and the declaration
of the First Consul, which was appended in his additional note, had no
other application than to the claims which had been mutually made by the
Governments, but on which they had never approximated to an adjustment.
In confirmation of the fact that our Government did not intend to cease
from the prosecution of the just claims of our citizens against France,
reference is here made to the annual message of President Jefferson of
December 8, 1801, which opens with expressions of his gratification at
the restoration of peace among sister nations; and, after speaking of
the assurances received from all nations with whom we had principal
relations and of the confidence thus inspired that our peace with them
would not have been disturbed if they had continued at war with each
other, he proceeds to say:


  But a cessation of irregularities which had affected the commerce of
  neutral nations, and of the irritations and injuries produced by them,
  can not but add to this confidence, and strengthens at the same time the
  hope that wrongs committed on unoffending friends under a pressure of
  circumstances will now be reviewed with candor, and will be considered
  as founding just claims of retribution for the past and new assurance
  for the future.


The zeal and diligence with which the claims of our citizens against
France were prosecuted appear in the diplomatic correspondence of the
three years next succeeding the convention of 1800, and the effect of
these efforts is made manifest in the convention of 1803, in which
provision was made for payment of a class of cases the consideration of
which France had at all previous periods refused to entertain, and which
are of that very class which it has been often assumed were released by
striking out the second article of the convention of 1800. This is shown
by reference to the preamble and to the fourth and fifth articles of the
convention of 1803, by which were admitted among the debts due by France
to citizens of the United States the amounts chargeable for "prizes made
at sea in which the appeal has been properly lodged within the time
mentioned in the said convention of the 30th of September, 1800;" and
this class was further defined to be only "captures of which the council
of prizes shall have ordered restitution, it being well understood that
the claimant can not have recourse to the United States otherwise than
he might have had to the French Republic, and only in case of the
insufficiency of the captors."

If, as was affirmed on all hands, the convention of 1803 was intended
to close all questions between the Governments of France and the United
States, and 20,000,000 francs were set apart as a sum which might
exceed, but could not fall short of, the debts due by France to the
citizens of the United States, how are we to reconcile the claim now
presented with the estimates made by those who were of the time and
immediately connected with the events, and whose intelligence and
integrity have in no small degree contributed to the character and
prosperity of the country in which we live? Is it rational to assume
that the claimants who now present themselves for indemnity by the
United States represent debts which would have been admitted and paid by
France but for the intervention of the United States? And is it possible
to escape from the effect of the voluminous evidence tending to
establish the fact that France resisted all these claims; that it was
only after long and skillful negotiation that the agents of the United
States obtained the recognition of such of the claims as were provided
for in the conventions of 1800 and 1803? And is it not conclusive
against any pretensions of possible success on the part of the
claimants, if left unaided to make their applications to France, that
the only debts due to American citizens which have been paid by France
are those which were assumed by the United States as part of the
consideration in the purchase of Louisiana?

There is little which is creditable either to the judgment or patriotism
of those of our fellow-citizens who at this day arraign the justice,
the fidelity, or love of country of the men who founded the Republic in
representing them as having bartered away the property of individuals to
escape from public obligations, and then to have withheld from them just
compensation. It has been gratifying to me in tracing the history of
these claims to find that ample evidence exists to refute an accusation
which would impeach the purity, the justice, and the magnanimity of the
illustrious men who guided and controlled the early destinies of the
Republic.

I pass from this review of the history of the subject, and, omitting
many substantial objections to these claims, proceed to examine somewhat
more closely the only grounds upon which they can by possibility be
maintained.

Before entering on this it may be proper to state distinctly certain
propositions which it is admitted on all hands are essential to prove
the obligations of the Government.

First. That at the date of the treaty of September 30, 1800, these
claims were valid and subsisting as against France.

Second. That they were released or extinguished by the United States in
that treaty and by the manner of its ratification.

Third. That they were so released or extinguished for a consideration
valuable to the Government, but in which the claimants had no more
interest than any other citizens.

The convention between the French Republic and the United States of
America signed at Paris on the 30th day of September, 1800, purports
in the preamble to be founded on the equal desire of the First Consul
(Napoleon Bonaparte) and the President of the United States to terminate
the differences which have arisen between the two States. It declares,
in the first place, that there shall be firm, inviolable, and universal
peace and a true and sincere friendship between the French Republic and
the United States. Next it proceeds, in the second, third, fourth, and
fifth articles, to make provision in sundry respects, having reference
to past differences and the transition from the state of war between the
two countries to that of general and permanent peace. Finally, in the
residue of the twenty-seventh article, it stipulates anew the conditions
of amity and intercourse, commercial and political, thereafter to exist,
and, of course, to be substituted in place of the previous conditions of
the treaties of alliance and of commerce and the consular convention,
which are thus tacitly but unequivocally recognized as no longer in
force, but in effect abrogated, either by the state of war or by the
political action of the two Republics.

Except in so far as the whole convention goes to establish the fact that
the previous treaties were admitted on both sides to be at an end, none
of the articles are directly material to the present question save the
following:


  ART. II. The ministers plenipotentiary of the two parties not being able
  to agree at present respecting the treaty of alliance of 6th February,
  1778, the treaty of amity and commerce of the same date, and the
  convention of 14th of November, 1788, nor upon the indemnities mutually
  due or claimed, the parties will negotiate further on these subjects at
  a convenient time; and until they may have agreed upon these points the
  said treaties and convention shall have no operation, and the relations
  of the two countries shall be regulated as follows:

       *       *       *       *       *

  ART. V. The debts contracted by one of the two nations with individuals
  of the other, or by the individuals of one with the individuals of the
  other, shall be paid, or the payment may be prosecuted, in the same
  manner as if there had been no misunderstanding between the two States.
  But this clause shall not extend to indemnities claimed on account of
  captures or confiscations.


On this convention being submitted to the Senate of the United States,
they consented and advised to its ratification with the following
proviso:


  _Provided_, That the second article be expunged, and that the following
  article be added or inserted: It is agreed that the present convention
  shall be in force for the term of eight years from the time of the
  exchange of ratifications.


The spirit and purpose of this change are apparent and unmistakable.
The convention as signed by the respective plenipotentiaries did not
adjust all the points of controversy. Both nations, however, desired the
restoration of peace. Accordingly, as to those matters in the relations
of the two countries concerning which they could agree, they did agree
for the time being; and as to the rest, concerning which they could not
agree, they suspended and postponed further negotiation.

They abandoned no pretensions, they relinquished no right on either
side, but simply adjourned the question until "a convenient time."
Meanwhile, and until the arrival of such convenient time, the relations
of the two countries were to be regulated by the stipulations of the
convention.

Of course the convention was on its face a temporary and provisional
one, but in the worst possible form of prospective termination. It was
to cease at a convenient time. But how should that convenient time be
ascertained? It is plain that such a stipulation, while professedly not
disposing of the present controversy, had within itself the germ of a
fresh one, for the two Governments might at any moment fall into dispute
on the question whether that convenient time had or had not arrived.
The Senate of the United States anticipated and prevented this question
by the only possible expedient; that is, the designation of a precise
date. This being done, the remaining parts of the second article became
superfluous and useless, for as all the provisions of the convention
would expire in eight years, it would necessarily follow that
negotiations must be renewed within that period, more especially as the
operation of the amendment which covered the whole convention was that
even the stipulation of peace in the first article became temporary and
expired in eight years, whereas that article, and that article alone,
was permanent according to the original tenor of the convention.

The convention thus amended, being submitted to the First Consul, was
ratified by him, his act of acceptance being accompanied with the
following declaratory note:


  The Government of the United States having added in its ratification
  that the convention should be in force for the space of eight years, and
  having omitted the second article, the Government of the French Republic
  consents to accept, ratify, and confirm the above convention with the
  addition importing that the convention shall be in force for the space
  of eight years and with the retrenchment of the second article:
  _Provided_, That by this retrenchment the two States renounce the
  respective pretensions which are the object of the said article.


The convention, as thus ratified by the First Consul, having been again
submitted to the Senate of the United States, that body resolved that
"they considered the convention as fully ratified," and returned the
same to the President for promulgation, and it was accordingly
promulgated in the usual form by President Jefferson.

Now it is clear that in simply resolving that "they considered the
convention as fully ratified" the Senate did in fact abstain from any
express declaration of dissent or assent to the construction put by the
First Consul on the retrenchment of the second article. If any inference
beyond this can be drawn from their resolution, it is that they regarded
the proviso annexed by the First Consul to his declaration of acceptance
as foreign to the subject, as nugatory, or as without consequence or
effect. Notwithstanding this proviso, they considered the ratification
as full. If the new proviso made any change in the previous import of
the convention, then it was not full; and in considering it a full
ratification they in substance deny that the proviso did in any respect
change the tenor of the convention.

By the second article, as it originally stood, neither Republic had
relinquished its existing rights or pretensions, either as to other
previous treaties or the indemnities mutually due or claimed, but
only deferred the consideration of them to a convenient time. By the
amendment of the Senate of the United States that convenient time,
instead of being left indefinite, was fixed at eight years; but no
right or pretension of either party was surrendered or abandoned.

If the Senate erred in assuming that the proviso added by the First
Consul did not affect the question, then the transaction would amount
to nothing more than to have raised a new question, to be disposed of
on resuming the negotiations, namely, the question whether the proviso
of the First Consul did or not modify or impair the effect of the
convention as it had been ratified by the Senate.

That such, and such only, was the true meaning and effect of the
transaction; that it was not, and was not intended to be, a
relinquishment by the United States of any existing claim on France, and
especially that it was not an abandonment of any claims of individual
citizens, nor the set off of these against any conceded national
obligations to France, is shown by the fact that President Jefferson did
at once resume and prosecute to successful conclusion negotiations to
obtain from France indemnification for the claims of citizens of the
United States existing at the date of that convention; for on the 30th
of April, 1803, three treaties were concluded at Paris between the
United States of America and the French Republic, one of which embraced
the cession of Louisiana; another stipulated for the payment of
60,000,000 francs by the United States to France; and a third provided
that, for the satisfaction of sums due by France to citizens of the
United States at the conclusion of the convention of September 30, 1800,
and in express compliance with the second and fifth articles thereof,
a further sum of 20,000,000 francs should be appropriated and paid by
the United States. In the preamble to the first of these treaties, which
ceded Louisiana, it is set forth that--


  The President of the United States of America and the First Consul of
  the French Republic, in the name of the French people, desiring to
  remove all source of misunderstanding relative to objects of discussion
  mentioned in the second and fifth articles of the convention of the 8th
  Vendémiaire, an 9 (30th September, 1800), relative to the rights claimed
  by the United States in virtue of the treaty concluded at Madrid the
  27th of October, 1795, between His Catholic Majesty and the said United
  States, and willing to strengthen the union and friendship which at the
  time of the said convention was happily reestablished between the two
  nations, have respectively named their plenipotentiaries, ... who ...
  have agreed to the following articles.


Here is the most distinct and categorical declaration of the two
Governments that the matters of claim in the second article of the
convention of 1800 had not been ceded away, relinquished, or set off,
but they were still subsisting subjects of demand against France. The
same declaration appears in equally emphatic language in the third of
these treaties, bearing the same date, the preamble of which recites
that--


  The President of the United States of America and the First Consul of
  the French Republic, in the name of the French people, having by a
  treaty of this date terminated all difficulties relative to Louisiana
  and established on a solid foundation the friendship which unites the
  two nations, and being desirous, in compliance with the second and fifth
  articles of the convention of the 8th Vendémiaire, ninth year of the
  French Republic (30th September, 1800), to secure the payment of the
  sums due by France to the citizens of the United States, have appointed
  plenipotentiaries--


who agreed to the following among other articles:


  ART. I. The debts due by France to citizens of the United States,
  contracted before the 8th of Vendémiaire, ninth year of the French
  Republic (30th September, 1800), shall be paid according to the
  following regulations, with interest at 6 per cent, to commence from
  the periods when the accounts and vouchers were presented to the
  French Government.

  ART. II. The debts provided for by the preceding article are those whose
  result is comprised in the conjectural note annexed to the present
  convention, and which, with the interest, can not exceed the sum of
  20,000,000 francs. The claims comprised in the said note which fall
  within the exceptions of the following articles shall not be admitted
  to the benefit of this provision.

       *       *       *       *       *

  ART. IV. It is expressly agreed that the preceding articles shall
  comprehend no debts but such as are due to citizens of the United States
  who have been and are yet creditors of France for supplies, for
  embargoes, and prizes made at sea in which the appeal has been properly
  lodged within the time mentioned in the said convention, 8th
  Vendémiaire, ninth year (30th September, 1800).

  ART. V. The preceding articles shall apply only, first, to captures of
  which the council of prizes shall have ordered restitution, it being
  well understood that the claimant can not have recourse to the United
  States otherwise than he might have had to the Government of the French
  Republic, and only in case of insufficiency of the captors; second, the
  debts mentioned in the said fifth article of the convention, contracted
  before the 8th Vendémiaire, an 9 (30th September, 1800), the payment of
  which has been heretofore claimed of the actual Government of France
  and for which the creditors have a right to the protection of the
  United States; the said fifth article does not comprehend prizes whose
  condemnation has been or shall be confirmed. It is the express intention
  of the contracting parties not to extend the benefit of the present
  convention to reclamations of American citizens who shall have
  established houses of commerce in France, England, or other countries
  than the United States, in partnership with foreigners, and who by
  that reason and the nature of their commerce ought to be regarded as
  domiciliated in the places where such houses exist. All agreements and
  bargains concerning merchandise which shall not be the property of
  American citizens are equally excepted from the benefit of the said
  convention, saving, however, to such persons their claims in like manner
  as if this treaty had not been made.

       *       *       *       *       *

  ART. XII. In case of claims for debts contracted by the Government of
  France with citizens of the United States since the 8th Vendémiaire,
  ninth year (30th September, 1800), not being comprised in this
  convention, may be pursued, and the payment demanded in the same manner
  as if it had not been made.


Other articles of the treaty provide for the appointment of agents to
liquidate the claims intended to be secured, and for the payment of them
as allowed at the Treasury of the United States. The following is the
concluding clause of the tenth article:


  The rejection of any claim shall have no other effect than to exempt
  the United States from the payment of it, the French Government
  reserving to itself the right to decide definitively on such claim so
  far as it concerns itself.


Now, from the provisions of the treaties thus collated the following
deductions undeniably follow, namely:

First. Neither the second article of the convention of 1800, as it
originally stood, nor the retrenchment of that article, nor the proviso
in the ratification by the First Consul, nor the action of the Senate of
the United States thereon, was regarded by either France or the United
States as the renouncement of any claims of American citizens against
France.

Second. On the contrary, in the treaties of 1803 the two Governments
took up the question precisely where it was left on the day of the
signature of that of 1800, without suggestion on the part of France that
the claims of our citizens were excluded by the retrenchment of the
second article or the note of the First Consul, and proceeded to make
ample provision for such as France could be induced to admit were justly
due, and they were accordingly discharged in full, with interest, by the
United States in the stead and behalf of France.

Third. The United States, not having admitted in the convention of
1800 that they were under any obligations to France by reason of the
abrogation of the treaties of 1778 and 1788, persevered in this view of
the question by the tenor of the treaties of 1803, and therefore had no
such national obligation to discharge, and did not, either in purpose
or in fact, at any time undertake to discharge themselves from any such
obligation at the expense and with the property of individual citizens
of the United States.

Fourth. By the treaties of 1803 the United States obtained from France
the acknowledgment and payment, as part of the indemnity for the cession
of Louisiana, of claims of citizens of the United States for spoliations,
so far as France would admit her liability in the premises; but even then
the United States did not relinquish any claim of American citizens not
provided for by those treaties; so far from it, to the honor of France be
it remembered, she expressly reserved to herself the right to reconsider
any rejected claims of citizens of the United States.

Fifth. As to claims of citizens of the United States against France,
which had been the subject of controversy between the two countries
prior to the signature of the convention of 1800, and the further
consideration of which was reserved for a more convenient time by the
second article of that convention, for these claims, and these only,
provision was made in the treaties of 1803, all other claims being
expressly excluded by them from their scope and purview.

It is not to be overlooked, though not necessary to the conclusion,
that by the convention between France and the United States of the
4th of July, 1831, complete provision was made for the liquidation,
discharge, and payment on both sides of all claims of citizens of either
against the other for unlawful seizures, captures, sequestrations, or
destructions of the vessels, cargoes, or other property, without any
limitation of time, so as in terms to run back to the date of the
last preceding settlement, at least to that of 1803, if not to the
commencement of our national relations with France.

This review of the successive treaties between France and the United
States has brought my mind to the undoubting conviction that while
the United States have in the most ample and the completest manner
discharged their duty toward such of their citizens as may have been at
any time aggrieved by acts of the French Government, so also France has
honorably discharged herself of all obligations in the premises toward
the United States. To concede what this bill assumes would be to impute
undeserved reproach both to France and to the United States.

I am, of course, aware that the bill proposes only to provide
indemnification for such valid claims of citizens of the United States
against France as shall not have been stipulated for and embraced in
any of the treaties enumerated. But in excluding all such claims it
excludes all, in fact, for which, during the negotiations, France could
be persuaded to agree that she was in any wise liable to the United
States or our citizens. What remains? And for what is five millions
appropriated? In view of what has been said there would seem to be no
ground on which to raise a liability of the United States, unless it be
the assumption that the United States are to be considered the insurer
and the guarantor of all claims, of whatever nature, which any
individual citizen may have against a foreign nation.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 3_, [_1855_.]

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return herewith to the House of Representatives, in which it
originated, the bill entitled "An act making appropriations for
the transportation of the United States mail, by ocean steamers and
otherwise, during the fiscal years ending the 30th of June, 1855, and
the 30th of June, 1856," with a brief statement of the reasons which
prevent its receiving my approval. The bill provides, among other
things, that--


  The following sums be, and the same are hereby, appropriated, to be
  paid out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for
  the year ending the 30th of June, 1856:

  For transportation of the mails from New York to Liverpool and back,
  $858,000; and that the proviso contained in the first section of the
  act entitled "An act to supply deficiencies in the appropriations for
  the service of the fiscal year ending the 30th of June, 1852," approved
  the 21st of July, 1852, be, and the same is hereby, repealed:
  _Provided_, That Edward K. Collins and his associates shall proceed
  with all due diligence to build another steamship, in accordance with
  the terms of their contract, and have the same ready for the mail
  service in two years from and after the passage of this act; and if the
  said steamship is not ready within the time above mentioned, by reason
  of any neglect or want of diligence on their part, then the said Edward
  K. Collins and his associates shall carry the United States mails
  between New York and Liverpool from the expiration of the said two
  years, every fortnight, free of any charge to the Government, until the
  new steamship shall have commenced the said mail service.


The original contract was predicated upon the proposition of E.K.
Collins of March 6, 1846, made with abundant means of knowledge as to
the advantages and disadvantages of the terms which he then submitted
for the acceptance of the Government. The proposition was in the
following terms:


  WASHINGTON, _March 6, 1846_.

  E.K. Collins and his associates propose to carry the United States mail
  between New York and Liverpool twice each month during eight months of
  the year and once a month during the other four months for the sum of
  $385,000 per annum, payable quarterly. For this purpose they will agree
  to build five steamships of not less than 2,000 tons measurement and of
  1,000 horsepower each, which vessels shall be built for great speed and
  sufficiently strong for war purposes.

  Four of said vessels to be ready for service in eighteen months from
  the signing of the contract. The fifth vessel to be built as early as
  possibly practicable, and when not employed in the mail service to be
  subject to the orders of the Government for carrying dispatches, for
  which service a fair compensation is to be paid. Contract to be for
  the term of ten years. It is also proposed to secure to the United
  States the privilege of purchasing said steamships whenever they
  may be required for public purposes, at a fair valuation, to be
  ascertained by appraisers appointed by the United States and by the
  owners.

  EDWARD K. COLLINS.


The act of March 3, 1847, provides--


  That from and immediately after the passage of this act it shall
  be the duty of the Secretary of the Navy to accept, on the part of
  the Government of the United States, the proposals of E.K. Collins
  and his associates, of the city of New York, submitted to the
  Postmaster-General, and dated at Washington, March 6, 1846, for
  the transportation of the United States mail between New York and
  Liverpool, and to contract with the said E.K. Collins and his
  associates for the faithful fulfillment of the stipulations therein
  contained, and in accordance with the provisions of this act.


And under this proposition and enactment the original contract was
made.

According to the terms of that contract the parties were to receive from
the United States for twenty round trips each year the sum of $19,250
the trip, or $385,000 per annum; and they were to construct and provide
five ships of a stipulated size and quality for the performance of this
or other service for the Government.

Of the ships contracted for, only four have been furnished--the
_Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic_, and _Baltic_--and the present bill proposes
to dispense entirely with the original condition of a fifth ship, by
only requiring the construction of one, which would but supply the
place of the _Arctic_, recently lost by peril of the sea. Certain minor
conditions involving expense to the contractors, among which was one
for the accommodation and subsistence of a certain number of passed
midshipmen on each vessel, had previously been dispensed with on the
part of the United States.

By act of Congress of July 21, 1852, the amount of compensation to
the contractors was increased from $19,250 to $33,000 a trip and the
number of trips from twenty to twenty-six each year, making the whole
compensation $858,000 per annum. During the period of time from the
commencement of the service of these contractors, on the 27th of April,
1850, to the end of the last fiscal year, June 30, 1854, the sum paid
to them by the United States amounted to $2,620,906, without reckoning
public money advanced on loan to aid them in the construction of the
ships; while the whole amount of postages derived to the Department has
been only $734,056, showing an excess of expenditure above receipts of
$1,886,440 to the charge of the Government. In the meantime, in addition
to the payments from the Treasury, the parties have been in the
enjoyment of large receipts from the transportation of passengers and
merchandise, the profits of which are in addition to the amount allowed
by the United States.

It does not appear that the liberal conditions heretofore enjoyed by
the parties were less than a proper compensation for the service to be
performed, including whatever there may have been of hazard in a new
undertaking, nor that any hardship can be justly alleged calling for
relief on the part of the Government.

On the other hand, the construction of five ships of great speed,
and sufficiently strong for war purposes, and the services of passed
midshipmen on board of them, so as thus to augment the contingent force
and the actual efficiency of the Navy, were among the inducements of the
Government to enter into the contract.

The act of July 21, 1852, provides "that it shall be in the power of
Congress at any time after the 31st day of December, 1854, to terminate
the arrangement for the additional allowance herein provided for upon
giving six months' notice;" and it will be seen that, with the exception
of the six additional trips required by the act of July 21, 1852, there
has been no departure from the original engagement but to relieve
the contractors from obligation, and yet by the act last named the
compensation was increased from $385,000 to $858,000, with no other
protection to the public interests provided than the right which
Congress reserved to itself to terminate the contract, so far as this
increased compensation was concerned, after six months' notice. This
last provision, certainly a primary consideration for the more generous
action of the Government, the present bill proposes to repeal, so as to
leave Congress no power to terminate the new arrangement.

To this repeal the objections are, in my mind, insuperable, because in
terms it deprives the United States of all future discretion as to the
increased service and compensation, whatever changes may occur in the
art of navigation, its expenses, or the policy and political condition
of the country. The gravity of this objection is enhanced by other
considerations. While the contractors are to be paid a compensation
nearly double the rate of the original contract, they are exempted from
several of its conditions, which has the effect of adding still more to
that rate; while the further advantage is conceded to them of placing
their new privileges beyond the control even of Congress.

It will be regarded as a less serious objection than that already
stated, but one which should not be overlooked, that the privileges
bestowed upon the contractors are without corresponding advantages to
the Government, which receives no sufficient pecuniary or other return
for the immense outlay involved, which could obtain the same service of
other parties at less cost, and which, if the bill becomes a law, will
pay them a large amount of public money without adequate consideration;
that is, will in effect confer a gratuity whilst nominally making
provision for the transportation of the mails of the United States.

To provide for making a donation of such magnitude and to give to the
arrangement the character of permanence which this bill proposes would
be to deprive commercial enterprise of the benefits of free competition
and to establish a monopoly in violation of the soundest principles of
public policy and of doubtful compatibility with the Constitution.

I am, of course, not unmindful of the fact that the bill comprises
various other appropriations which are more or less important to the
public interests, for which reason my objections to it are communicated
at the first meeting of the House following its presentation to me, in
the hope that by amendment to bills now pending or otherwise suitable
provision for all the objects in question may be made before the
adjournment of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



PROCLAMATIONS.


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of the Congress of the United States approved the
5th day of August, 1854, entitled "An act to carry into effect a
treaty between the United States and Great Britain signed on the 5th
day of June, 1854," it is provided that whenever the President of the
United States shall receive satisfactory evidence that the Imperial
Parliament of Great Britain and the Provincial Parliaments of Canada,
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edwards Island have passed laws
on their part to give full effect to the provisions of the said treaty,
he is authorized to issue his proclamation declaring that he has such
evidence; and

Whereas satisfactory information has been received by me that the
Imperial Parliament of Great Britain and the Provincial Parliaments
of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edwards Island have
passed laws on their part to give full effect to the provisions of the
treaty aforesaid:

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States
of America, do hereby declare and proclaim that from this date the
following articles, being the growth and produce of the said Provinces
of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edwards Island, to
wit: Grain, flour, and breadstuffs of all kinds; animals of all kinds;
fresh, smoked, and salted meats; cotton wool, seeds and vegetables,
undried fruits, dried fruits, fish of all kinds, products of fish and
all other creatures living in the water, poultry, eggs; hides, furs,
skins, or tails, undressed; stone or marble in its crude or unwrought
state, slate, butter, cheese, tallow, lard, horns, manures, ores of
metals of all kinds, coal, pitch, tar, turpentine, ashes; timber and
lumber of all kinds, round, hewed, and sawed, unmanufactured in whole
or in part; firewood; plants, shrubs, and trees; pelts, wool, fish oil,
rice, broom corn, and bark; gypsum, ground or unground; hewn or wrought
or unwrought burr or grind stones; dyestuffs; flax, hemp, and tow,
unmanufactured; unmanufactured tobacco, rags--shall be introduced into
the United States free of duty so long as the said treaty shall remain
in force, subject, however, to be suspended in relation to the trade
with Canada on the condition mentioned in the fourth article of the said
treaty, and that all the other provisions of the said treaty shall go
into effect and be observed on the part of the United States.

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 16th day of March,
A.D. 1855, and of the Independence of the United States the
seventy-ninth.

[SEAL.]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the act of Congress of the 28th of September, 1850, entitled "An
act to create additional collection districts in the State of California
and to change the existing district therein, and to modify the existing
collection districts in the United States," extends to merchandise
warehoused under bond the privilege of being exported to the British
North American Provinces adjoining the United States in the manner
prescribed in the act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1845, which
designates certain frontier ports through which merchandise may be
exported, and further provides "that such other ports situated on the
frontiers of the United States adjoining the British North American
Provinces as may hereafter be found expedient may have extended to them
the like privileges on the recommendation of the Secretary of the
Treasury and proclamation duly made by the President of the United
States specially designating the ports to which the aforesaid privileges
are to be extended:"

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States of
America, in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary of the
Treasury, do hereby declare and proclaim that the ports of Rouses Point,
Cape Vincent, Suspension Bridge, and Dunkirk, in the State of New York;
Swanton, Alburg, and Island Pond, in the State of Vermont; Toledo, in
the State of Ohio; Chicago, in the State of Illinois; Milwaukee, in the
State of Wisconsin; Michilimackinac, in the State of Michigan; Eastport,
in the State of Maine; and Pembina, in the Territory of Minnesota, are
and shall be entitled to all the privileges in regard to the exportation
of merchandise in bond to the British North American Provinces adjoining
the United States which are extended to the ports enumerated in the
seventh section of the act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1845,
aforesaid, from and after the date of this proclamation.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 2d day of July, A.D. 1855, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the seventy-ninth.

[SEAL]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



THIRD ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 31, 1855_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The Constitution of the United States provides that Congress shall
assemble annually on the first Monday of December, and it has been usual
for the President to make no communication of a public character to the
Senate and House of Representatives until advised of their readiness to
receive it. I have deferred to this usage until the close of the first
month of the session, but my convictions of duty will not permit me
longer to postpone the discharge of the obligation enjoined by the
Constitution upon the President "to give to the Congress information of
the state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such
measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

It is matter of congratulation that the Republic is tranquilly advancing
in a career of prosperity and peace.

Whilst relations of amity continue to exist between the United States
and all foreign powers, with some of them grave questions are depending
which may require the consideration of Congress.

Of such questions, the most important is that which has arisen out of
the negotiations with Great Britain in reference to Central America.

By the convention concluded between the two Governments on the 19th of
April, 1850, both parties covenanted that "neither will ever" "occupy,
or fortify, or colonize, or assume or exercise any dominion over
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central
America."

It was the undoubted understanding of the United States in making this
treaty that all the present States of the former Republic of Central
America and the entire territory of each would thenceforth enjoy
complete independence, and that both contracting parties engaged equally
and to the same extent, for the present and for the future, that if
either then had any claim of right in Central America such claim and all
occupation or authority under it were unreservedly relinquished by the
stipulations of the convention, and that no dominion was thereafter to
be exercised or assumed in any part of Central America by Great Britain
or the United States.

This Government consented to restrictions in regard to a region of
country wherein we had specific and peculiar interests only upon the
conviction that the like restrictions were in the same sense obligatory
on Great Britain. But for this understanding of the force and effect of
the convention it would never have been concluded by us.

So clear was this understanding on the part of the United States that in
correspondence contemporaneous with the ratification of the convention
it was distinctly expressed that the mutual covenants of nonoccupation
were not intended to apply to the British establishment at the Balize.
This qualification is to be ascribed to the fact that, in virtue of
successive treaties with previous sovereigns of the country, Great
Britain had obtained a concession of the right to cut mahogany or
dye-woods at the Balize, but with positive exclusion of all domain
or sovereignty; and thus it confirms the natural construction and
understood import of the treaty as to all the rest of the region
to which the stipulations applied.

It, however, became apparent at an early day after entering upon the
discharge of my present functions that Great Britain still continued in
the exercise or assertion of large authority in all that part of Central
America commonly called the Mosquito Coast, and covering the entire
length of the State of Nicaragua and a part of Costa Rica; that she
regarded the Balize as her absolute domain and was gradually extending
its limits at the expense of the State of Honduras, and that she had
formally colonized a considerable insular group known as the Bay
Islands, and belonging of right to that State.

All these acts or pretensions of Great Britain, being contrary to the
rights of the States of Central America and to the manifest tenor of her
stipulations with the United States as understood by this Government,
have been made the subject of negotiation through the American minister
in London. I transmit herewith the instructions to him on the subject
and the correspondence between him and the British secretary for foreign
affairs, by which you will perceive that the two Governments differ
widely and irreconcilably as to the construction of the convention and
its effect on their respective relations to Central America.

Great Britain so construes the convention as to maintain unchanged all
her previous pretensions over the Mosquito Coast and in different parts
of Central America. These pretensions as to the Mosquito Coast are
founded on the assumption of political relation between Great Britain
and the remnant of a tribe of Indians on that coast, entered into at a
time when the whole country was a colonial possession of Spain. It can
not be successfully controverted that by the public law of Europe and
America no possible act of such Indians or their predecessors could
confer on Great Britain any political rights.

Great Britain does not allege the assent of Spain as the origin of her
claims on the Mosquito Coast. She has, on the contrary, by repeated and
successive treaties renounced and relinquished all pretensions of her
own and recognized the full and sovereign rights of Spain in the most
unequivocal terms. Yet these pretensions, so without solid foundation
in the beginning and thus repeatedly abjured, were at a recent period
revived by Great Britain against the Central American States, the
legitimate successors to all the ancient jurisdiction of Spain in that
region. They were first applied only to a defined part of the coast of
Nicaragua, afterwards to the whole of its Atlantic coast, and lastly to
a part of the coast of Costa Rica, and they are now reasserted to this
extent notwithstanding engagements to the United States.

On the eastern coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica the interference of
Great Britain, though exerted at one time in the form of military
occupation of the port of San Juan del Norte, then in the peaceful
possession of the appropriate authorities of the Central American
States, is now presented by her as the rightful exercise of a
protectorship over the Mosquito tribe of Indians.

But the establishment at the Balize, now reaching far beyond its
treaty limits into the State of Honduras, and that of the Bay Islands,
appertaining of right to the same State, are as distinctly colonial
governments as those of Jamaica or Canada, and therefore contrary to the
very letter, as well as the spirit, of the convention with the United
States as it was at the time of ratification and now is understood by
this Government.

The interpretation which the British Government thus, in assertion
and act, persists in ascribing to the convention entirely changes
its character. While it holds us to all our obligations, it in a
great measure releases Great Britain from those which constituted the
consideration of this Government for entering into the convention. It
is impossible, in my judgment, for the United States to acquiesce in
such a construction of the respective relations of the two Governments
to Central America.

To a renewed call by this Government upon Great Britain to abide by and
carry into effect the stipulations of the convention according to its
obvious import by withdrawing from the possession or colonization of
portions of the Central American States of Honduras, Nicaragua, and
Costa Rica, the British Government has at length replied, affirming that
the operation of the treaty is prospective only and did not require
Great Britain to abandon or contract any possessions held by her in
Central America at the date of its conclusion.

This reply substitutes a partial issue in the place of the general one
presented by the United States. The British Government passes over the
question of the rights of Great Britain, real or supposed, in Central
America, and assumes that she had such rights at the date of the treaty
and that those rights comprehended the protectorship of the Mosquito
Indians, the extended jurisdiction and limits of the Balize, and the
colony of the Bay Islands, and thereupon proceeds by implication to
infer that if the stipulations of the treaty be merely future in effect
Great Britain may still continue to hold the contested portions of
Central America. The United States can not admit either the inference
or the premises. We steadily deny that at the date of the treaty Great
Britain had any possessions there other than the limited and peculiar
establishment at the Balize, and maintain that if she had any they were
surrendered by the convention.

This Government, recognizing the obligations of the treaty, has, of
course, desired to see it executed in good faith by both parties, and
in the discussion, therefore, has not looked to rights which we might
assert independently of the treaty in consideration of our geographical
position and of other circumstances which create for us relations to the
Central American States different from those of any government of
Europe.

The British Government, in its last communication, although well knowing
the views of the United States, still declares that it sees no reason
why a conciliatory spirit may not enable the two Governments to overcome
all obstacles to a satisfactory adjustment of the subject.

Assured of the correctness of the construction of the treaty constantly
adhered to by this Government and resolved to insist on the rights
of the United States, yet actuated also by the same desire which is
avowed by the British Government, to remove all causes of serious
misunderstanding between two nations associated by so many ties of
interest and kindred, it has appeared to me proper not to consider
an amicable solution of the controversy hopeless.

There is, however, reason to apprehend that with Great Britain in the
actual occupation of the disputed territories, and the treaty therefore
practically null so far as regards our rights, this international
difficulty can not long remain undetermined without involving in serious
danger the friendly relations which it is the interest as well as the
duty of both countries to cherish and preserve. It will afford me
sincere gratification if future efforts shall result in the success
anticipated heretofore with more confidence than the aspect of the case
permits me now to entertain.

One other subject of discussion between the United States and Great
Britain has grown out of the attempt, which the exigencies of the war in
which she is engaged with Russia induced her to make, to draw recruits
from the United States.

It is the traditional and settled policy of the United States to
maintain impartial neutrality during the wars which from time to time
occur among the great powers of the world. Performing all the duties of
neutrality toward the respective belligerent states, we may reasonably
expect them not to interfere with our lawful enjoyment of its benefits.
Notwithstanding the existence of such hostilities, our citizens retained
the individual right to continue all their accustomed pursuits, by land
or by sea, at home or abroad, subject only to such restrictions in this
relation as the laws of war, the usage of nations, or special treaties
may impose; and it is our sovereign right that our territory and
jurisdiction shall not be invaded by either of the belligerent parties
for the transit of their armies, the operations of their fleets, the
levy of troops for their service, the fitting out of cruisers by or
against either, or any other act or incident of war. And these
undeniable rights of neutrality, individual and national, the United
States will under no circumstances surrender.

In pursuance of this policy, the laws of the United States do not
forbid their citizens to sell to either of the belligerent powers
articles contraband of war or take munitions of war or soldiers on
board their private ships for transportation; and although in so doing
the individual citizen exposes his property or person to some of the
hazards of war, his acts do not involve any breach of national neutrality
nor of themselves implicate the Government. Thus, during the progress
of the present war in Europe, our citizens have, without national
responsibility therefor, sold gunpowder and arms to all buyers,
regardless of the destination of those articles. Our merchantmen have
been, and still continue to be, largely employed by Great Britain and by
France in transporting troops, provisions, and munitions of war to the
principal seat of military operations and in bringing home their sick
and wounded soldiers; but such use of our mercantile marine is not
interdicted either by the international or by our municipal law, and
therefore does not compromit our neutral relations with Russia.

But our municipal law, in accordance with the law of nations,
peremptorily forbids not only foreigners, but our own citizens, to fit
out within the United States a vessel to commit hostilities against any
state with which the United States are at peace, or to increase the
force of any foreign armed vessel intended for such hostilities against
a friendly state.

Whatever concern may have been felt by either of the belligerent powers
lest private armed cruisers or other vessels in the service of one might
be fitted out in the ports of this country to depredate on the property
of the other, all such fears have proved to be utterly groundless. Our
citizens have been withheld from any such act or purpose by good faith
and by respect for the law.

While the laws of the Union are thus peremptory in their prohibition of
the equipment or armament of belligerent cruisers in our ports, they
provide not less absolutely that no person shall, within the territory
or jurisdiction of the United States, enlist or enter himself, or hire
or retain another person to enlist or enter himself, or to go beyond the
limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted
or entered, in the service of any foreign state, either as a soldier or
as a marine or seaman on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque,
or privateer. And these enactments are also in strict conformity with
the law of nations, which declares that no state has the right to raise
troops for land or sea service in another state without its consent, and
that, whether forbidden by the municipal law or not, the very attempt to
do it without such consent is an attack on the national sovereignty.

Such being the public rights and the municipal law of the United States,
no solicitude on the subject was entertained by this Government when,
a year since, the British Parliament passed an act to provide for the
enlistment of foreigners in the military service of Great Britain.
Nothing on the face of the act or in its public history indicated that
the British Government proposed to attempt recruitment in the United
States, nor did it ever give intimation of such intention to this
Government. It was matter of surprise, therefore, to find subsequently
that the engagement of persons within the United States to proceed to
Halifax, in the British Province of Nova Scotia, and there enlist in the
service of Great Britain, was going on extensively, with little or no
disguise. Ordinary legal steps were immediately taken to arrest and
punish parties concerned, and so put an end to acts infringing the
municipal law and derogatory to our sovereignty. Meanwhile suitable
representations on the subject were addressed to the British Government.

Thereupon it became known, by the admission of the British Government
itself, that the attempt to draw recruits from this country originated
with it, or at least had its approval and sanction; but it also appeared
that the public agents engaged in it had "stringent instructions" not to
violate the municipal law of the United States.

It is difficult to understand how it should have been supposed that
troops could be raised here by Great Britain without violation of the
municipal law. The unmistakable object of the law was to prevent every
such act which if performed must be either in violation of the law or in
studied evasion of it, and in either alternative the act done would be
alike injurious to the sovereignty of the United States.

In the meantime the matter acquired additional importance by the
recruitments in the United States not being discontinued, and the
disclosure of the fact that they were prosecuted upon a systematic plan
devised by official authority; that recruiting rendezvous had been
opened in our principal cities and depots for the reception of recruits
established on our frontier, and the whole business conducted under the
supervision and by the regular cooperation of British officers, civil
and military, some in the North American Provinces and some in the
United States. The complicity of those officers in an undertaking which
could only be accomplished by defying our laws, throwing suspicion over
our attitude of neutrality, and disregarding our territorial rights is
conclusively proved by the evidence elicited on the trial of such of
their agents as have been apprehended and convicted. Some of the
officers thus implicated are of high official position, and many of them
beyond our jurisdiction, so that legal proceedings could not reach the
source of the mischief.

These considerations, and the fact that the cause of complaint was not a
mere casual occurrence, but a deliberate design, entered upon with full
knowledge of our laws and national policy and conducted by responsible
public functionaries, impelled me to present the case to the British
Government, in order to secure not only a cessation of the wrong, but
its reparation. The subject is still under discussion, the result of
which will be communicated to you in due time.

I repeat the recommendation submitted to the last Congress, that
provision be made for the appointment of a commissioner, in connection
with Great Britain, to survey and establish the boundary line which
divides the Territory of Washington from the contiguous British
possessions. By reason of the extent and importance of the country
in dispute, there has been imminent danger of collision between the
subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States,
including their respective authorities, in that quarter. The prospect of
a speedy arrangement has contributed hitherto to induce on both sides
forbearance to assert by force what each claims as a right. Continuance
of delay on the part of the two Governments to act in the matter will
increase the dangers and difficulties of the controversy.

Misunderstanding exists as to the extent, character, and value of the
possessory rights of the Hudsons Bay Company and the property of the
Pugets Sound Agricultural Company reserved in our treaty with Great
Britain relative to the Territory of Oregon. I have reason to believe
that a cession of the rights of both companies to the United States,
which would be the readiest means of terminating all questions, can be
obtained on reasonable terms, and with a view to this end I present the
subject to the attention of Congress.

The colony of Newfoundland, having enacted the laws required by the
treaty of the 5th of June, 1854, is now placed on the same footing in
respect to commercial intercourse with the United States as the other
British North American Provinces.

The commission which that treaty contemplated, for determining the
rights of fishery in rivers and mouths of rivers on the coasts of
the United States and the British North American Provinces, has been
organized, and has commenced its labors, to complete which there are
needed further appropriations for the service of another season.

In pursuance of the authority conferred by a resolution of the Senate of
the United States passed on the 3d of March last, notice was given to
Denmark on the 14th day of April of the intention of this Government
to avail itself of the stipulation of the subsisting convention of
friendship, commerce, and navigation between that Kingdom and the United
States whereby either party might after ten years terminate the same at
the expiration of one year from the date of notice for that purpose.

The considerations which led me to call the attention of Congress to
that convention and induced the Senate to adopt the resolution referred
to still continue in full force. The convention contains an article
which, although it does not directly engage the United States to submit
to the imposition of tolls on the vessels and cargoes of Americans
passing into or from the Baltic Sea during the continuance of the
treaty, yet may by possibility be construed as implying such submission.
The exaction of those tolls not being justified by any principle of
international law, it became the right and duty of the United States to
relieve themselves from the implication of engagement on the subject,
so as to be perfectly free to act in the premises in such way as their
public interests and honor shall demand.

I remain of the opinion that the United States ought not to submit to
the payment of the Sound dues, not so much because of their amount,
which is a secondary matter, but because it is in effect the recognition
of the right of Denmark to treat one of the great maritime highways of
nations as a close sea, and prevent the navigation of it as a privilege,
for which tribute may be imposed upon those who have occasion to use it.

This Government on a former occasion, not unlike the present, signalized
its determination to maintain the freedom of the seas and of the great
natural channels of navigation. The Barbary States had for a long time
coerced the payment of tribute from all nations whose ships frequented
the Mediterranean. To the last demand of such payment made by them the
United States, although suffering less by their depredations than many
other nations, returned the explicit answer that we preferred war to
tribute, and thus opened the way to the relief of the commerce of the
world from an ignominious tax, so long submitted to by the more powerful
nations of Europe.

If the manner of payment of the Sound dues differ from that of the
tribute formerly conceded to the Barbary States, still their exaction
by Denmark has no better foundation in right. Each was in its origin
nothing but a tax on a common natural right, extorted by those who were
at that time able to obstruct the free and secure enjoyment of it, but
who no longer possess that power.

Denmark, while resisting our assertion of the freedom of the Baltic
Sound and Belts, has indicated a readiness to make some new arrangement
on the subject, and has invited the governments interested, including
the United States, to be represented in a convention to assemble for the
purpose of receiving and considering a proposition which she intends to
submit for the capitalization of the Sound dues and the distribution of
the sum to be paid as commutation among the governments according to
the respective proportions of their maritime commerce to and from the
Baltic. I have declined, in behalf of the United States, to accept this
invitation, for the most cogent reasons. One is that Denmark does not
offer to submit to the convention the question of her right to levy the
Sound dues. The second is that if the convention were allowed to take
cognizance of that particular question, still it would not be competent
to deal with the great international principle involved, which affects
the right in other cases of navigation and commercial freedom, as well
as that of access to the Baltic. Above all, by the express terms of the
proposition it is contemplated that the consideration of the Sound dues
shall be commingled with and made subordinate to a matter wholly
extraneous--the balance of power among the Governments of Europe.

While, however, rejecting this proposition and insisting on the right
of free transit into and from the Baltic, I have expressed to Denmark
a willingness on the part of the United States to share liberally with
other powers in compensating her for any advantages which commerce shall
hereafter derive from expenditures made by her for the improvement and
safety of the navigation of the Sound or Belts.

I lay before you herewith sundry documents on the subject, in which my
views are more fully disclosed. Should no satisfactory arrangement be
soon concluded, I shall again call your attention to the subject, with
recommendation of such measures as may appear to be required in order to
assert and secure the rights of the United States, so far as they are
affected by the pretensions of Denmark.

I announce with much gratification that since the adjournment of the
last Congress the question then existing between this Government and
that of France respecting the French consul at San Francisco has been
satisfactorily determined, and that the relations of the two Governments
continue to be of the most friendly nature.

A question, also, which has been pending for several years between
the United States and the Kingdom of Greece, growing out of the
sequestration by public authorities of that country of property
belonging to the present American consul at Athens, and which had been
the subject of very earnest discussion heretofore, has recently been
settled to the satisfaction of the party interested and of both
Governments.

With Spain peaceful relations are still maintained, and some progress
has been made in securing the redress of wrongs complained of by this
Government. Spain has not only disavowed and disapproved the conduct
of the officers who illegally seized and detained the steamer _Black
Warrior_ at Havana, but has also paid the sum claimed as indemnity for
the loss thereby inflicted on citizens of the United States.

In consequence of a destructive hurricane which visited Cuba in 1844,
the supreme authority of that island issued a decree permitting the
importation for the period of six months of certain building materials
and provisions free of duty, but revoked it when about half the period
only had elapsed, to the injury of citizens of the United States who had
proceeded to act on the faith of that decree. The Spanish Government
refused indemnification to the parties aggrieved until recently, when it
was assented to, payment being promised to be made so soon as the amount
due can be ascertained.

Satisfaction claimed for the arrest and search of the steamer _El
Dorado_ has not yet been accorded, but there is reason to believe that
it will be; and that case, with others, continues to be urged on the
attention of the Spanish Government. I do not abandon the hope of
concluding with Spain some general arrangement which, if it do not
wholly prevent the recurrence of difficulties in Cuba, will render them
less frequent, and, whenever they shall occur, facilitate their more
speedy settlement.

The interposition of this Government has been invoked by many of its
citizens on account of injuries done to their persons and property for
which the Mexican Republic is responsible. The unhappy situation of that
country for some time past has not allowed its Government to give due
consideration to claims of private reparation, and has appeared to
call for and justify some forbearance in such matters on the part
of this Government. But if the revolutionary movements which have
lately occurred in that Republic end in the organization of a stable
government, urgent appeals to its justice will then be made, and, it
may be hoped, with success, for the redress of all complaints of our
citizens.

In regard to the American Republics, which from their proximity and
other considerations have peculiar relations to this Government, while
it has been my constant aim strictly to observe all the obligations of
political friendship and of good neighborhood, obstacles to this have
arisen in some of them from their own insufficient power to check
lawless irruptions, which in effect throws most of the task on the
United States. Thus it is that the distracted internal condition of the
State of Nicaragua has made it incumbent on me to appeal to the good
faith of our citizens to abstain from unlawful intervention in its
affairs and to adopt preventive measures to the same end, which on a
similar occasion had the best results in reassuring the peace of the
Mexican States of Sonora and Lower California.

Since the last session of Congress a treaty of amity, commerce, and
navigation and for the surrender of fugitive criminals with the Kingdom
of the Two Sicilies; a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation
with Nicaragua, and a convention of commercial reciprocity with the
Hawaiian Kingdom have been negotiated. The latter Kingdom and the
State of Nicaragua have also acceded to a declaration recognizing as
international rights the principles contained in the convention between
the United States and Russia of July 22, 1854. These treaties and
conventions will be laid before the Senate for ratification.

The statements made in my last annual message respecting the anticipated
receipts and expenditures of the Treasury have been substantially
verified.

It appears from the report of the Secretary of the Treasury that the
receipts during the last fiscal year, ending June 30, 1855, from all
sources were $65,003,930, and that the public expenditures for the same
period, exclusive of payments on account of the public debt, amounted to
$56,365,393. During the same period the payments made in redemption of
the public debt, including interest and premium, amounted to $9,844,528.

The balance in the Treasury at the beginning of the present fiscal year,
July 1, 1855, was $18,931,976; the receipts for the first quarter and
the estimated receipts for the remaining three quarters amount together
to $67,918,734; thus affording in all, as the available resources of the
current fiscal year, the sum of $86,856,710.

If to the actual expenditures of the first quarter of the current
fiscal year be added the probable expenditures for the remaining three
quarters, as estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury, the sum total
will be $71,226,846, thereby leaving an estimated balance in the
Treasury on July 1, 1856, of $15,623,863.41.

In the above-estimated expenditures of the present fiscal year are
included $3,000,000 to meet the last installment of the ten millions
provided for in the late treaty with Mexico and $7,750,000 appropriated
on account of the debt due to Texas, which two sums make an aggregate
amount of $10,750,000 and reduce the expenditures, actual or estimated,
for ordinary objects of the year to the sum of $60,476,000.

The amount of the public debt at the commencement of the present fiscal
year was $40,583,631, and, deduction being made of subsequent payments,
the whole public debt of the Federal Government remaining at this time
is less than $40,000,000. The remnant of certain other Government
stocks, amounting to $243,000, referred to in my last message as
outstanding, has since been paid.

I am fully persuaded that it would be difficult to devise a system
superior to that by which the fiscal business of the Government is
now conducted. Notwithstanding the great number of public agents of
collection and disbursement, it is believed that the checks and guards
provided, including the requirement of monthly returns, render it
scarcely possible for any considerable fraud on the part of those agents
or neglect involving hazard of serious public loss to escape detection.
I renew, however, the recommendation heretofore made by me of the
enactment of a law declaring it felony on the part of public officers
to insert false entries in their books of record or account or to make
false returns, and also requiring them on the termination of their
service to deliver to their successors all books, records, and other
objects of a public nature in their custody.

Derived, as our public revenue is, in chief part from duties on imports,
its magnitude affords gratifying evidence of the prosperity, not only of
our commerce, but of the other great interests upon which that depends.

The principle that all moneys not required for the current expenses of
the Government should remain for active employment in the hands of the
people and the conspicuous fact that the annual revenue from all sources
exceeds by many millions of dollars the amount needed for a prudent and
economical administration of public affairs can not fail to suggest the
propriety of an early revision and reduction of the tariff of duties on
imports. It is now so generally conceded that the purpose of revenue
alone can justify the imposition of duties on imports that in
readjusting the impost tables and schedules, which unquestionably
require essential modifications, a departure from the principles of the
present tariff is not anticipated.

The Army during the past year has been actively engaged in defending the
Indian frontier, the state of the service permitting but few and small
garrisons in our permanent fortifications. The additional regiments
authorized at the last session of Congress have been recruited and
organized, and a large portion of the troops have already been sent to
the field. All the duties which devolve on the military establishment
have been satisfactorily performed, and the dangers and privations
incident to the character of the service required of our troops have
furnished additional evidence of their courage, zeal, and capacity to
meet any requisition which their country may make upon them. For the
details of the military operations, the distribution of the troops, and
additional provisions required for the military service, I refer to the
report of the Secretary of War and the accompanying documents.

Experience gathered from events which have transpired since my last
annual message has but served to confirm the opinion then expressed of
the propriety of making provision by a retired list for disabled
officers and for increased compensation to the officers retained on the
list for active duty. All the reasons which existed when these measures
were recommended on former occasions continue without modification,
except so far as circumstances have given to some of them additional
force. The recommendations heretofore made for a partial reorganization
of the Army are also renewed. The thorough elementary education given
to those officers who commence their service with the grade of cadet
qualifies them to a considerable extent to perform the duties of every
arm of the service; but to give the highest efficiency to artillery
requires the practice and special study of many years, and it is not,
therefore, believed to be advisable to maintain in time of peace a
larger force of that arm than can be usually employed in the duties
appertaining to the service of field and siege artillery. The duties of
the staff in all its various branches belong to the movements of troops,
and the efficiency of an army in the field would materially depend upon
the ability with which those duties are discharged. It is not, as in
the case of the artillery, a specialty, but requires also an intimate
knowledge of the duties of an officer of the line, and it is not doubted
that to complete the education of an officer for either the line or the
general staff it is desirable that he shall have served in both. With
this view, it was recommended on a former occasion that the duties of
the staff should be mainly performed by details from the line, and, with
conviction of the advantages which would result from such a change,
it is again presented for the consideration of Congress.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy, herewith submitted, exhibits in
full the naval operations of the past year, together with the present
condition of the service, and it makes suggestions of further
legislation, to which your attention is invited.

The construction of the six steam frigates for which appropriations were
made by the last Congress has proceeded in the most satisfactory manner
and with such expedition as to warrant the belief that they will be
ready for service early in the coming spring. Important as this addition
to our naval force is, it still remains inadequate to the contingent
exigencies of the protection of the extensive seacoast and vast
commercial interests of the United States. In view of this fact and of
the acknowledged wisdom of the policy of a gradual and systematic
increase of the Navy an appropriation is recommended for the
construction of six steam sloops of war.

In regard to the steps taken in execution of the act of Congress to
promote the efficiency of the Navy, it is unnecessary for me to say more
than to express entire concurrence in the observations on that subject
presented by the Secretary in his report.

It will be perceived by the report of the Postmaster-General that
the gross expenditure of the Department for the last fiscal year was
$9,968,342 and the gross receipts $7,342,136, making an excess of
expenditure over receipts of $2,626,206; and that the cost of mail
transportation during that year was $674,952 greater than the previous
year. Much of the heavy expenditures to which the Treasury is thus
subjected is to be ascribed to the large quantity of printed matter
conveyed by the mails, either franked or liable to no postage by law or
to very low rates of postage compared with that charged on letters, and
to the great cost of mail service on railroads and by ocean steamers.
The suggestions of the Postmaster-General on the subject deserve the
consideration of Congress.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior will engage your attention
as well for useful suggestions it contains as for the interest and
importance of the subjects to which they refer.

The aggregate amount of public land sold during the last fiscal year,
located with military scrip or land warrants, taken up under grants for
roads, and selected as swamp lands by States is 24,557,409 acres, of
which the portion sold was 15,729,524 acres, yielding in receipts the
sum of $11,485,380. In the same period of time 8,723,854 acres have been
surveyed, but, in consideration of the quantity already subject to
entry, no additional tracts have been brought into market.

The peculiar relation of the General Government to the District of
Columbia renders it proper to commend to your care not only its material
but also its moral interests, including education, more especially in
those parts of the District outside of the cities of Washington and
Georgetown.

The commissioners appointed to revise and codify the laws of the
District have made such progress in the performance of their task as to
insure its completion in the time prescribed by the act of Congress.

Information has recently been received that the peace of the settlements
in the Territories of Oregon and Washington is disturbed by hostilities
on the part of the Indians, with indications of extensive combinations
of a hostile character among the tribes in that quarter, the more
serious in their possible effect by reason of the undetermined foreign
interests existing in those Territories, to which your attention has
already been especially invited. Efficient measures have been taken,
which, it is believed, will restore quiet and afford protection to our
citizens.

In the Territory of Kansas there have been acts prejudicial to good
order, but as yet none have occurred under circumstances to justify the
interposition of the Federal Executive. That could only be in case of
obstruction to Federal law or of organized resistance to Territorial
law, assuming the character of insurrection, which, if it should occur,
it would be my duty promptly to overcome and suppress. I cherish the
hope, however, that the occurrence of any such untoward event will be
prevented by the sound sense of the people of the Territory, who by its
organic law, possessing the right to determine their own domestic
institutions, are entitled while deporting themselves peacefully to the
free exercise of that right, and must be protected in the enjoyment of
it without interference on the part of the citizens of any of the
States.

The southern boundary line of this Territory has never been surveyed and
established. The rapidly extending settlements in that region and the
fact that the main route between Independence, in the State of Missouri,
and New Mexico is contiguous in this line suggest the probability that
embarrassing questions of jurisdiction may consequently arise. For these
and other considerations I commend the subject to your early attention.

I have thus passed in review the general state of the Union, including
such particular concerns of the Federal Government, whether of domestic
or foreign relation, as it appeared to me desirable and useful to bring
to the special notice of Congress. Unlike the great States of Europe and
Asia and many of those of America, these United States are wasting
their strength neither in foreign war nor domestic strife. Whatever
of discontent or public dissatisfaction exists is attributable to the
imperfections of human nature or is incident to all governments, however
perfect, which human wisdom can devise. Such subjects of political
agitation as occupy the public mind consist to a great extent of
exaggeration of inevitable evils, or overzeal in social improvement, or
mere imagination of grievance, having but remote connection with any
of the constitutional functions or duties of the Federal Government.
To whatever extent these questions exhibit a tendency menacing to the
stability of the Constitution or the integrity of the Union, and no
further, they demand the consideration of the Executive and require
to be presented by him to Congress.

Before the thirteen colonies became a confederation of independent
States they were associated only by community of transatlantic origin,
by geographical position, and by the mutual tie of common dependence on
Great Britain. When that tie was sundered they severally assumed the
powers and rights of absolute self-government. The municipal and social
institutions of each, its laws of property and of personal relation,
even its political organization, were such only as each one chose to
establish, wholly without interference from any other. In the language
of the Declaration of Independence, each State had "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." The
several colonies differed in climate, in soil, in natural productions,
in religion, in systems of education, in legislation, and in the forms
of political administration, and they continued to differ in these
respects when they voluntarily allied themselves as States to carry
on the War of the Revolution.

The object of that war was to disenthrall the united colonies from
foreign rule, which had proved to be oppressive, and to separate them
permanently from the mother country. The political result was the
foundation of a Federal Republic of the free white men of the colonies,
constituted, as they were, in distinct and reciprocally independent
State governments. As for the subject races, whether Indian or
African, the wise and brave statesmen of that day, being engaged in
no extravagant scheme of social change, left them as they were, and
thus preserved themselves and their posterity from the anarchy and the
ever-recurring civil wars which have prevailed in other revolutionized
European colonies of America.

When the confederated States found it convenient to modify the
conditions of their association by giving to the General Government
direct access in some respects to the people of the States, instead of
confining it to action on the States as such, they proceeded to frame
the existing Constitution, adhering steadily to one guiding thought,
which was to delegate only such power as was necessary and proper to the
execution of specific purposes, or, in other words, to retain as much as
possible consistently with those purposes of the independent powers of
the individual States. For objects of common defense and security, they
intrusted to the General Government certain carefully defined functions,
leaving all others as the undelegated rights of the separate independent
sovereignties.

Such is the constitutional theory of our Government, the practical
observance of which has carried us, and us alone among modern republics,
through nearly three generations of time without the cost of one drop
of blood shed in civil war. With freedom and concert of action, it has
enabled us to contend successfully on the battlefield against foreign
foes, has elevated the feeble colonies into powerful States, and has
raised our industrial productions and our commerce which transports them
to the level of the richest and the greatest nations of Europe. And the
admirable adaptation of our political institutions to their objects,
combining local self-government with aggregate strength, has established
the practicability of a government like ours to cover a continent with
confederate states.

The Congress of the United States is in effect that congress of
sovereignties which good men in the Old World have sought for, but
could never attain, and which imparts to America an exemption from the
mutable leagues for common action, from the wars, the mutual invasions,
and vague aspirations after the balance of power which convulse from
time to time the Governments of Europe. Our cooperative action rests
in the conditions of permanent confederation prescribed by the
Constitution. Our balance of power is in the separate reserved rights
of the States and their equal representation in the Senate. That
independent sovereignty in every one of the States, with its reserved
rights of local self-government assured to each by their coequal power
in the Senate, was the fundamental condition of the Constitution.
Without it the Union would never have existed. However desirous the
larger States might be to reorganize the Government so as to give
to their population its proportionate weight in the common counsels,
they knew it was impossible unless they conceded to the smaller ones
authority to exercise at least a negative influence on all the measures
of the Government, whether legislative or executive, through their equal
representation in the Senate. Indeed, the larger States themselves could
not have failed to perceive that the same power was equally necessary
to them for the security of their own domestic interests against the
aggregate force of the General Government. In a word, the original
States went into this permanent league on the agreed premises of
exerting their common strength for the defense of the whole and of
all its parts, but of utterly excluding all capability of reciprocal
aggression. Each solemnly bound itself to all the others neither to
undertake nor permit any encroachment upon or intermeddling with
another's reserved rights.

Where it was deemed expedient particular rights of the States were
expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, but in all things besides
these rights were guarded by the limitation of the powers granted and by
express reservation of all powers not granted in the compact of union.
Thus the great power of taxation was limited to purposes of common
defense and general welfare, excluding objects appertaining to the local
legislation of the several States; and those purposes of general welfare
and common defense were afterwards defined by specific enumeration as
being matters only of co-relation between the States themselves or
between them and foreign governments, which, because of their common and
general nature, could not be left to the separate control of each State.

Of the circumstances of local condition, interest, and rights in which
a portion of the States, constituting one great section of the Union,
differed from the rest and from another section, the most important was
the peculiarity of a larger relative colored population in the Southern
than in the Northern States.

A population of this class, held in subjection, existed in nearly all
the States, but was more numerous and of more serious concernment in the
South than in the North on account of natural differences of climate and
production; and it was foreseen that, for the same reasons, while this
population would diminish and sooner or later cease to exist in some
States, it might increase in others. The peculiar character and
magnitude of this question of local rights, not in material relations
only, but still more in social ones, caused it to enter into the special
stipulations of the Constitution.

Hence, while the General Government, as well by the enumerated powers
granted to it as by those not enumerated, and therefore refused to it,
was forbidden to touch this matter in the sense of attack or offense,
it was placed under the general safeguard of the Union in the sense of
defense against either invasion or domestic violence, like all other
local interests of the several States. Each State expressly stipulated,
as well for itself as for each and all of its citizens, and every
citizen of each State became solemnly bound by his allegiance to the
Constitution that any person held to service or labor in one State,
escaping into another, should not, in consequence of any law or
regulation thereof, be discharged from such service or labor, but should
be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor
might be due by the laws of his State.

Thus and thus only, by the reciprocal guaranty of all the rights of
every State against interference on the part of another, was the present
form of government established by our fathers and transmitted to us, and
by no other means is it possible for it to exist. If one State ceases
to respect the rights of another and obtrusively intermeddles with its
local interests; if a portion of the States assume to impose their
institutions on the others or refuse to fulfill their obligations to
them, we are no longer united, friendly States, but distracted, hostile
ones, with little capacity left of common advantage, but abundant means
of reciprocal injury and mischief. Practically it is immaterial whether
aggressive interference between the States or deliberate refusal on the
part of any one of them to comply with constitutional obligations arise
from erroneous conviction or blind prejudice, whether it be perpetrated
by direction or indirection. In either case it is full of threat and of
danger to the durability of the Union.

Placed in the office of Chief Magistrate as the executive agent of the
whole country, bound to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,
and specially enjoined by the Constitution to give information to
Congress on the state of the Union, it would be palpable neglect of duty
on my part to pass over a subject like this, which beyond all things at
the present time vitally concerns individual and public security.

It has been matter of painful regret to see States conspicuous for their
services in founding this Republic and equally sharing its advantages
disregard their constitutional obligations to it. Although conscious
of their inability to heal admitted and palpable social evils of their
own, and which are completely within their jurisdiction, they engage
in the offensive and hopeless undertaking of reforming the domestic
institutions of other States, wholly beyond their control and authority.
In the vain pursuit of ends by them entirely unattainable, and which
they may not legally attempt to compass, they peril the very existence
of the Constitution and all the countless benefits which it has
conferred. While the people of the Southern States confine their
attention to their own affairs, not presuming officiously to intermeddle
with the social institutions of the Northern States, too many of the
inhabitants of the latter are permanently organized in associations to
inflict injury on the former by wrongful acts, which would be cause of
war as between foreign powers and only fail to be such in our system
because perpetrated under cover of the Union.

Is it possible to present this subject as truth and the occasion require
without noticing the reiterated but groundless allegation that the
South has persistently asserted claims and obtained advantages in the
practical administration of the General Government to the prejudice of
the North, and in which the latter has acquiesced? That is, the States
which either promote or tolerate attacks on the rights of persons and of
property in other States, to disguise their own injustice, pretend or
imagine, and constantly aver, that they, whose constitutional rights are
thus systematically assailed, are themselves the aggressors. At the
present time this imputed aggression, resting, as it does, only in the
vague declamatory charges of political agitators, resolves itself into
misapprehension, or misinterpretation, of the principles and facts of
the political organization of the new Territories of the United States.

What is the voice of history? When the ordinance which provided for the
government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio and for its
eventual subdivision into new States was adopted in the Congress of the
Confederation, it is not to be supposed that the question of future
relative power as between the States which retained and those which did
not retain a numerous colored population escaped notice or failed to
be considered. And yet the concession of that vast territory to the
interests and opinions of the Northern States, a territory now the seat
of five among the largest members of the Union, was in great measure the
act of the State of Virginia and of the South.

When Louisiana was acquired by the United States, it was an acquisition
not less to the North than to the South; for while it was important to
the country at the mouth of the river Mississippi to become the emporium
of the country above it, so also it was even more important to the whole
Union to have that emporium; and although the new province, by reason of
its imperfect settlement, was mainly regarded as on the Gulf of Mexico,
yet in fact it extended to the opposite boundaries of the United States,
with far greater breadth above than below, and was in territory, as in
everything else, equally at least an accession to the Northern States.
It is mere delusion and prejudice, therefore, to speak of Louisiana as
acquisition in the special interest of the South.

The patriotic and just men who participated in that act were influenced
by motives far above all sectional jealousies. It was in truth the great
event which, by completing for us the possession of the Valley of the
Mississippi, with commercial access to the Gulf of Mexico, imparted
unity and strength to the whole Confederation and attached together by
indissoluble ties the East and the West, as well as the North and the
South.

As to Florida, that was but the transfer by Spain to the United States
of territory on the east side of the river Mississippi in exchange for
large territory which the United States transferred to Spain on the west
side of that river, as the entire diplomatic history of the transaction
serves to demonstrate. Moreover, it was an acquisition demanded by the
commercial interests and the security of the whole Union.

In the meantime the people of the United States had grown up to a proper
consciousness of their strength, and in a brief contest with France and
in a second serious war with Great Britain they had shaken off all which
remained of undue reverence for Europe, and emerged from the atmosphere
of those transatlantic influences which surrounded the infant Republic,
and had begun to turn their attention to the full and systematic
development of the internal resources of the Union.

Among the evanescent controversies of that period the most conspicuous
was the question of regulation by Congress of the social condition of
the future States to be founded in the territory of Louisiana.

The ordinance for the government of the territory northwest of the river
Ohio had contained a provision which prohibited the use of servile labor
therein, subject to the condition of the extraditions of fugitives from
service due in any other part of the United States. Subsequently to the
adoption of the Constitution this provision ceased to remain as a law,
for its operation as such was absolutely superseded by the Constitution.
But the recollection of the fact excited the zeal of social propagandism
in some sections of the Confederation, and when a second State, that of
Missouri, came to be formed in the territory of Louisiana proposition
was made to extend to the latter territory the restriction originally
applied to the country situated between the rivers Ohio and Mississippi.

Most questionable as was this proposition in all its constitutional
relations, nevertheless it received the sanction of Congress, with
some slight modifications of line, to save the existing rights of the
intended new State. It was reluctantly acquiesced in by Southern States
as a sacrifice to the cause of peace and of the Union, not only of the
rights stipulated by the treaty of Louisiana, but of the principle
of equality among the States guaranteed by the Constitution. It was
received by the Northern States with angry and resentful condemnation
and complaint, because it did not concede all which they had exactingly
demanded. Having passed through the forms of legislation, it took its
place in the statute book, standing open to repeal, like any other act
of doubtful constitutionality, subject to be pronounced null and void by
the courts of law, and possessing no possible efficacy to control the
rights of the States which might thereafter be organized out of any part
of the original territory of Louisiana.

In all this, if any aggression there were, any innovation upon
preexisting rights, to which portion of the Union are they justly
chargeable?

This controversy passed away with the occasion, nothing surviving it
save the dormant letter of the statute.

But long afterwards, when by the proposed accession of the Republic of
Texas the United States were to take their next step in territorial
greatness, a similar contingency occurred and became the occasion for
systematized attempts to intervene in the domestic affairs of one
section of the Union, in defiance of their rights as States and of the
stipulations of the Constitution. These attempts assumed a practical
direction in the shape of persevering endeavors by some of the
Representatives in both Houses of Congress to deprive the Southern
States of the supposed benefit of the provisions of the act authorizing
the organization of the State of Missouri.

But the good sense of the people and the vital force of the Constitution
triumphed over sectional prejudice and the political errors of the day,
and the State of Texas returned to the Union as she was, with social
institutions which her people had chosen for themselves and with express
agreement by the reannexing act that she should be susceptible of
subdivision into a plurality of States.

Whatever advantage the interests of the Southern States, as such, gained
by this were far inferior in results, as they unfolded in the progress
of time, to those which sprang from previous concessions made by the
South.

To every thoughtful friend of the Union, to the true lovers of their
country, to all who longed and labored for the full success of this
great experiment of republican institutions, it was cause of gratulation
that such an opportunity had occurred to illustrate our advancing power
on this continent and to furnish to the world additional assurance of
the strength and stability of the Constitution. Who would wish to see
Florida still a European colony? Who would rejoice to hail Texas
as a lone star instead of one in the galaxy of States? Who does not
appreciate the incalculable benefits of the acquisition of Louisiana?
And yet narrow views and sectional purposes would inevitably have
excluded them all from the Union.

But another struggle on the same point ensued when our victorious
armies returned from Mexico and it devolved on Congress to provide for
the territories acquired by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The great
relations of the subject had now become distinct and clear to the
perception of the public mind, which appreciated the evils of sectional
controversy upon the question of the admission of new States. In that
crisis intense solicitude pervaded the nation. But the patriotic
impulses of the popular heart, guided by the admonitory advice of the
Father of his Country, rose superior to all the difficulties of the
incorporation of a new empire into the Union. In the counsels of
Congress there was manifested extreme antagonism of opinion and
action between some Representatives, who sought by the abusive and
unconstitutional employment of the legislative powers of the Government
to interfere in the condition of the inchoate States and to impose their
own social theories upon the latter, and other Representatives, who
repelled the interposition of the General Government in this respect and
maintained the self-constituting rights of the States. In truth, the
thing attempted was in form alone action of the General Government,
while in reality it was the endeavor, by abuse of legislative power,
to force the ideas of internal policy entertained in particular States
upon allied independent States. Once more the Constitution and the
Union triumphed signally. The new territories were organized without
restrictions on the disputed point, and were thus left to judge in that
particular for themselves; and the sense of constitutional faith proved
vigorous enough in Congress not only to accomplish this primary object,
but also the incidental and hardly less important one of so amending the
provisions of the statute for the extradition of fugitives, from service
as to place that public duty under the safeguard of the General
Government, and thus relieve it from obstacles raised up by the
legislation of some of the States.

Vain declamation regarding the provisions of law for the extradition of
fugitives from service, with occasional episodes of frantic effort to
obstruct their execution by riot and murder, continued for a brief time
to agitate certain localities. But the true principle of leaving each
State and Territory to regulate its own laws of labor according to its
own sense of right and expediency had acquired fast hold of the public
judgment, to such a degree that by common consent it was observed in the
organization of the Territory of Washington.

When, more recently, it became requisite to organize the Territories
of Nebraska and Kansas, it was the natural and legitimate, if not the
inevitable, consequence of previous events and legislation that the same
great and sound principle which had already been applied to Utah and New
Mexico should be applied to them--that they should stand exempt from the
restrictions proposed in the act relative to the State of Missouri.

These restrictions were, in the estimation of many thoughtful men, null
from the beginning, unauthorized by the Constitution, contrary to the
treaty stipulations for the cession of Louisiana, and inconsistent with
the equality of these States.

They had been stripped of all moral authority by persistent efforts to
procure their indirect repeal through contradictory enactments. They had
been practically abrogated by the legislation attending the organization
of Utah, New Mexico, and Washington. If any vitality remained in them it
would have been taken away, in effect, by the new Territorial acts in
the form originally proposed to the Senate at the first session of the
last Congress. It was manly and ingenuous, as well as patriotic and
just, to do this directly and plainly, and thus relieve the statute book
of an act which might be of possible future injury, but of no possible
future benefit; and the measure of its repeal was the final consummation
and complete recognition of the principle that no portion of the United
States shall undertake through assumption of the powers of the General
Government to dictate the social institutions of any other portion.

The scope and effect of the language of repeal were not left in doubt.
It was declared in terms to be "the true intent and meaning of this act
not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it
therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and
regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to
the Constitution of the United States."

The measure could not be withstood upon its merits alone. It was
attacked with violence on the false or delusive pretext that it
constituted a breach of faith. Never was objection more utterly
destitute of substantial justification. When before was it imagined by
sensible men that a regulative or declarative statute, whether enacted
ten or forty years ago, is irrepealable; that an act of Congress is
above the Constitution? If, indeed, there were in the facts any cause to
impute bad faith, it would attach to those only who have never ceased,
from the time of the enactment of the restrictive provision to the
present day, to denounce and condemn it; who have constantly refused
to complete it by needful supplementary legislation; who have spared no
exertion to deprive it of moral force; who have themselves again and
again attempted its repeal by the enactment of incompatible provisions,
and who, by the inevitable reactionary effect of their own violence
on the subject, awakened the country to perception of the true
constitutional principle of leaving the matter involved to the
discretion of the people of the respective existing or incipient States.

It is not pretended that this principle or any other precludes the
possibility of evils in practice, disturbed, as political action is
liable to be, by human passions. No form of government is exempt from
inconveniences; but in this case they are the result of the abuse, and
not of the legitimate exercise, of the powers reserved or conferred in
the organization of a Territory. They are not to be charged to the great
principle of popular sovereignty. On the contrary, they disappear before
the intelligence and patriotism of the people, exerting through the
ballot box their peaceful and silent but irresistible power.

If the friends of the Constitution are to have another struggle, its
enemies could not present a more acceptable issue than that of a State
whose constitution clearly embraces "a republican form of government"
being excluded from the Union because its domestic institutions may not
in all respects comport with the ideas of what is wise and expedient
entertained in some other State. Fresh from groundless imputations of
breach of faith against others, men will commence the agitation of this
new question with indubitable violation of an express compact between
the independent sovereign powers of the United States and of the
Republic of Texas, as well as of the older and equally solemn compacts
which assure the equality of all the States.

But deplorable as would be such a violation of compact in itself and
in all its direct consequences, that is the very least of the evils
involved. When sectional agitators shall have succeeded in forcing on
this issue, can their pretensions fail to be met by counter pretensions?
Will not different States be compelled, respectively, to meet extremes
with extremes? And if either extreme carry its point, what is that so
far forth but dissolution of the Union? If a new State, formed from the
territory of the United States, be absolutely excluded from admission
therein, that fact of itself constitutes the disruption of union between
it and the other States. But the process of dissolution could not
stop there. Would not a sectional decision producing such result by a
majority of votes, either Northern or Southern, of necessity drive out
the oppressed and aggrieved minority and place in presence of each other
two irreconcilably hostile confederations?

It is necessary to speak thus plainly of projects the offspring of that
sectional agitation now prevailing in some of the States, which are as
impracticable as they are unconstitutional, and which if persevered in
must and will end calamitously. It is either disunion and civil war
or it is mere angry, idle, aimless disturbance of public peace and
tranquillity. Disunion for what? If the passionate rage of fanaticism
and partisan spirit did not force the fact upon our attention, it would
be difficult to believe that any considerable portion of the people of
this enlightened country could have so surrendered themselves to a
fanatical devotion to the supposed interests of the relatively few
Africans in the United States as totally to abandon and disregard
the interests of the 25,000,000 Americans; to trample under foot the
injunctions of moral and constitutional obligation, and to engage in
plans of vindictive hostility against those who are associated with them
in the enjoyment of the common, heritage of our national institutions.

Nor is it hostility against their fellow-citizens of one section of the
Union alone. The interests, the honor, the duty, the peace, and the
prosperity of the people of all sections are equally involved and
imperiled in this question. And are patriotic men in any part of the
Union prepared on such issue thus madly to invite all the consequences
of the forfeiture of their constitutional engagements? It is impossible.
The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain
against the unshaken rock of the Constitution. I shall never doubt it.
I know that the Union is stronger a thousand times than all the wild
and chimerical schemes of social change which are generated one after
another in the unstable minds of visionary sophists and interested
agitators. I rely confidently on the patriotism of the people, on the
dignity and self-respect of the States, on the wisdom of Congress, and,
above all, on the continued gracious favor of Almighty God to maintain
against all enemies, whether at home or abroad, the sanctity of the
Constitution and the integrity of the Union.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _December 26, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 17th instant,
I send herewith the "memorial of citizens of New Orleans, complaining
of the irregularity of the mail service between Washington and New
Orleans." I deem it proper also to transmit with the memorial my note
of the 18th instant to the memorialists and a copy of the letter of the
Postmaster-General therein referred to.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty between the United States and Nicaragua, signed at Granada on
the 20th day of June, A.D. 1855.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
and a declaration as to the construction thereof, both signed at Naples
on the 1st day of October last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty between the United States and His Majesty the King of the
Hawaiian Islands, signed in Washington the 20th day of July, A.D. 1855.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON CITY, _January 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
the following-described Indian treaties, negotiated by George W.
Manypenny and Henry C. Gilbert, as commissioners on the part of the
United States:

A. Treaty with the Chippewas of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River,
dated 2d August, 1855.

B. Treaty with the Chippewas of Sault Ste. Marie, dated August 2, 1855.

C. Treaty with the Ottawas and Chippewas, dated July 31, 1855.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 11, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying document,[51] in answer to their resolution of yesterday.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 51: Letter of Lord John Russell declaring that the British
Government intends to adhere to the treaty of Washington of April 19,
1850, and not to assume any sovereignty in Central America.]



WASHINGTON CITY, _January 21, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith a letter from the Secretary of
the Interior, accompanying six several treaties negotiated by Governor
Meriwether, of New Mexico, with the Indians in that Territory, for its
constitutional action thereon.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty between the United States and the Choctaw and
Chickasaw tribes of Indians, made and concluded in this city on the
22d day of June, 1855.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 24, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Circumstances have occurred to disturb the course of governmental
organization in the Territory of Kansas and produce there a condition of
things which renders it incumbent on me to call your attention to the
subject and urgently to recommend the adoption by you of such measures
of legislation as the grave exigencies of the case appear to require.

A brief exposition of the circumstances referred to and of their causes
will be necessary to the full understanding of the recommendations which
it is proposed to submit.

The act to organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas was a
manifestation of the legislative opinion of Congress on two great
points of constitutional construction: One, that the designation of
the boundaries of a new Territory and provision for its political
organization and administration as a Territory are measures which of
right fall within the powers of the General Government; and the other,
that the inhabitants of any such Territory, considered as an inchoate
State, are entitled, in the exercise of self-government, to determine
for themselves what shall be their own domestic institutions, subject
only to the Constitution and the laws duly enacted by Congress under
it and to the power of the existing States to decide, according to
the provisions and principles of the Constitution, at what time the
Territory shall be received as a State into the Union. Such are the
great political rights which are solemnly declared and affirmed by
that act.

Based upon this theory, the act of Congress defined for each Territory
the outlines of republican government, distributing public authority
among lawfully created agents--executive, judicial, and legislative--to
be appointed either by the General Government or by the Territory.
The legislative functions were intrusted to a council and a house of
representatives, duly elected, and empowered to enact all the local laws
which they might deem essential to their prosperity, happiness, and good
government. Acting in the same spirit, Congress also defined the persons
who were in the first instance to be considered as the people of each
Territory, enacting that every free white male inhabitant of the same
above the age of 21 years, being an actual resident thereof and
possessing the qualifications hereafter described, should be entitled
to vote at the first election and be eligible to any office within the
Territory, but that the qualification of voters and holding office at
all subsequent elections should be such as might be prescribed by the
legislative assembly; provided, however, that the right of suffrage and
of holding office should be exercised only by citizens of the United
States and those who should have declared on oath their intention to
become such and have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the
United States and the provisions of the act; and provided further, that
no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine or other person in the Army or
Navy of the United States or attached to troops in their service should
be allowed to vote or hold office in either Territory by reason of being
on service therein.

Such of the public officers of the Territories as by the provisions
of the act were to be appointed by the General Government, including
the governors, were appointed and commissioned in due season, the law
having been enacted on the 30th of May, 1854, and the commission of
the governor of the Territory of Nebraska being dated on the 2d day of
August, 1854, and of the Territory of Kansas on the 29th day of June,
1854. Among the duties imposed by the act on the governors was that of
directing and superintending the political organization of the
respective Territories.

The governor of Kansas was required to cause a census or enumeration
of the inhabitants and qualified voters of the several counties and
districts of the Territory to be taken by such persons and in such mode
as he might designate and appoint; to appoint and direct the time and
places of holding the first elections, and the manner of conducting
them, both as to the persons to superintend such elections and the
returns thereof; to declare the number of the members of the council
and the house of representatives for each county or district; to
declare what persons might appear to be duly elected, and to appoint
the time and place of the first meeting of the legislative assembly.
In substance, the same duties were devolved on the governor of Nebraska.

While by this act the principle of constitution for each of the
Territories was one and the same and the details of organic legislation
regarding both were as nearly as could be identical, and while the
Territory of Nebraska was tranquilly and successfully organized in the
due course of law, and its first legislative assembly met on the 16th
of January, 1855, the organization of Kansas was long delayed, and has
been attended with serious difficulties and embarrassments, partly the
consequence of local maladministration and partly of the unjustifiable
interference of the inhabitants of some of the States, foreign by
residence, interests, and rights to the Territory.

The governor of the Territory of Kansas, commissioned as before stated,
on the 29th of June, 1854, did not reach the designated seat of his
government until the 7th of the ensuing October, and even then failed
to make the first step in its legal organization, that of ordering the
census or enumeration of its inhabitants, until so late a day that the
election of the members of the legislative assembly did not take place
until the 30th of March, 1855, nor its meeting until the 2d of July,
1855. So that for a year after the Territory was constituted by the act
of Congress and the officers to be appointed by the Federal Executive
had been commissioned it was without a complete government, without any
legislative authority, without local law, and, of course, without the
ordinary guaranties of peace and public order.

In other respects the governor, instead of exercising constant vigilance
and putting forth all his energies to prevent or counteract the
tendencies to illegality which are prone to exist in all imperfectly
organized and newly associated communities, allowed his attention to be
diverted from official obligations by other objects, and himself set
an example of the violation of law in the performance of acts which
rendered it my duty in the sequel to remove him from the office of chief
executive magistrate of the Territory.

Before the requisite preparation was accomplished for election of a
Territorial legislature, an election of Delegate to Congress had been
held in the Territory on the 29th day of November, 1854, and the
Delegate took his seat in the House of Representatives without
challenge. If arrangements had been perfected by the governor so that
the election for members of the legislative assembly might be held in
the several precincts at the same time as for Delegate to Congress, any
question appertaining to the qualification of the persons voting as
people of the Territory would have passed necessarily and at once under
the supervision of Congress, as the judge of the validity of the return
of the Delegate, and would have been determined before conflicting
passions had become inflamed by time, and before opportunity could have
been afforded for systematic interference of the people of individual
States.

This interference, in so far as concerns its primary causes and its
immediate commencement, was one of the incidents of that pernicious
agitation on the subject of the condition of the colored persons held
to service in some of the States which has so long disturbed the repose
of our country and excited individuals, otherwise patriotic and law
abiding, to toil with misdirected zeal in the attempt to propagate their
social theories by the perversion and abuse of the powers of Congress.

The persons and the parties whom the tenor of the act to organize the
Territories of Nebraska and Kansas thwarted in the endeavor to impose,
through the agency of Congress, their particular views of social
organization on the people of the future new States now perceiving
that the policy of leaving the inhabitants of each State to judge for
themselves in this respect was ineradicably rooted in the convictions
of the people of the Union, then had recourse, in the pursuit of
their general object, to the extraordinary measure of propagandist
colonization of the Territory of Kansas to prevent the free and natural
action of its inhabitants in its internal organization, and thus to
anticipate or to force the determination of that question in this
inchoate State.

With such views associations were organized in some of the States, and
their purposes were proclaimed through the press in language extremely
irritating and offensive to those of whom the colonists were to become
the neighbors. Those designs and acts had the necessary consequence to
awaken emotions of intense indignation in States near to the Territory
of Kansas, and especially in the adjoining State of Missouri, whose
domestic peace was thus the most directly endangered; but they are far
from justifying the illegal and reprehensible countermovements which
ensued.

Under these inauspicious circumstances the primary elections for members
of the legislative assembly were held in most, if not all, of the
precincts at the time and the places and by the persons designated and
appointed by the governor according to law.

Angry accusations that illegal votes had been polled abounded on all
sides, and imputations were made both of fraud and violence. But the
governor, in the exercise of the power and the discharge of the duty
conferred and imposed by law on him alone, officially received and
considered the returns, declared a large majority of the members of
the council and the house of representatives "duly elected," withheld
certificates from others because of alleged illegality of votes,
appointed a new election to supply the places of the persons not
certified, and thus at length, in all the forms of statute, and with
his own official authentication, complete legality was given to the
first legislative assembly of the Territory.

Those decisions of the returning officers and of the governor are final,
except that by the parliamentary usage of the country applied to the
organic law it may be conceded that each house of the assembly must have
been competent to determine in the last resort the qualifications and
the election of its members. The subject was by its nature one
appertaining exclusively to the jurisdiction of the local authorities
of the Territory. Whatever irregularities may have occurred in the
elections, it seems too late now to raise that question. At all events,
it is a question as to which, neither now nor at any previous time, has
the least possible legal authority been possessed by the President of
the United States. For all present purposes the legislative body thus
constituted and elected was the legitimate legislative assembly of the
Territory.

Accordingly the governor by proclamation convened the assembly thus
elected to meet at a place called Pawnee City; the two houses met and
were duly organized in the ordinary parliamentary form; each sent to and
received from the governor the official communications usual on such
occasions; an elaborate message opening the session was communicated by
the governor, and the general business of legislation was entered upon
by the legislative assembly.

But after a few days the assembly resolved to adjourn to another place
in the Territory. A law was accordingly passed, against the consent
of the governor, but in due form otherwise, to remove the seat of
government temporarily to the "Shawnee Manual Labor School" (or
mission), and thither the assembly proceeded. After this, receiving
a bill for the establishment of a ferry at the town of Kickapoo, the
governor refused to sign it, and by special message assigned for reason
of refusal not anything objectionable in the bill itself nor any
pretense of the illegality or incompetency of the assembly as such, but
only the fact that the assembly had by its act transferred the seat of
government temporarily from Pawnee City to the Shawnee Mission. For
the same reason he continued to refuse to sign other bills until in the
course of a few days he by official message communicated to the assembly
the fact that he had received notification of the termination of his
functions as governor, and that the duties of the office were legally
devolved on the secretary of the Territory; thus to the last recognizing
the body as a duly elected and constituted legislative assembly.

It will be perceived that if any constitutional defect attached to the
legislative acts of the assembly it is not pretended to consist in
irregularity of election or want of qualification of the members,
but only in the change of its place of session. However trivial this
objection may seem to be, it requires to be considered, because upon it
is founded all that superstructure of acts, plainly against law, which
now threaten the peace, not only of the Territory of Kansas, but of
the Union.

Such an objection to the proceedings of the legislative assembly was
of exceptionable origin, for the reason that by the express terms of
the organic law the seat of government of the Territory was "located
temporarily at Fort Leavenworth;" and yet the governor himself remained
there less than two months, and of his own discretion transferred the
seat of government to the Shawnee Mission, where it in fact was at the
time the assembly were called to meet at Pawnee City. If the governor
had any such right to change temporarily the seat of government, still
more had the legislative assembly. The objections are of exceptionable
origin for the further reason that the place indicated by the governor,
without having any exclusive claim of preference in itself, was a
proposed town site only, which he and others were attempting to
locate unlawfully upon land within a military reservation, and for
participation in which illegal act the commandant of the post, a
superior officer in the Army, has been dismissed by sentence of
court-martial. Nor is it easy to see why the legislative assembly might
not with propriety pass the Territorial act transferring its sittings to
the Shawnee Mission. If it could not, that must be on account of some
prohibitory or incompatible provision of act of Congress; but no such
provision exists. The organic act, as already quoted, says "the seat
of government is hereby located temporarily at Fort Leavenworth;" and
it then provides that certain of the public buildings there "may be
occupied and used under the direction of the governor and legislative
assembly." These expressions might possibly be construed to imply that
when, in a previous section of the act, it was enacted that "the first
legislative assembly shall meet at such place and on such day as
the governor shall appoint," the word "place" means place at Fort
Leavenworth, not place anywhere in the Territory. If so, the governor
would have been the first to err in this matter, not only in himself
having removed the seat of government to the Shawnee Mission, but in
again removing it to Pawnee City. If there was any departure from the
letter of the law, therefore, it was his in both instances. But however
this may be, it is most unreasonable to suppose that by the terms of
the organic act Congress intended to do impliedly what it has not done
expressly--that is, to forbid to the legislative assembly the power
to choose any place it might see fit as the temporary seat of its
deliberations. That is proved by the significant language of one of
the subsequent acts of Congress on the subject--that of March 3,
1855--which, in making appropriation for public buildings of the
Territory, enacts that the same shall not be expended "until the
legislature of said Territory shall have fixed by law the permanent
seat of government." Congress in these expressions does not profess
to be granting the power to fix the permanent seat of government, but
recognizes the power as one already granted. But how? Undoubtedly by the
comprehensive provision of the organic act itself, which declares that
"the legislative power of the Territory shall extend to all rightful
subjects of legislation consistent with the Constitution of the United
States and the provisions of this act." If in view of this act the
legislative assembly had the large power to fix the permanent seat
of government at any place in its discretion, of course by the same
enactment it had the less and the included power to fix it temporarily.

Nevertheless, the allegation that the acts of the legislative assembly
were illegal by reason of this removal of its place of session was
brought forward to justify the first great movement in disregard of
law within the Territory. One of the acts of the legislative assembly
provided for the election of a Delegate to the present Congress, and a
Delegate was elected under that law. But subsequently to this a portion
of the people of the Territory proceeded without authority of law to
elect another Delegate.

Following upon this movement was another and more important one of the
same general character. Persons confessedly not constituting the body
politic or all the inhabitants, but merely a party of the inhabitants,
and without law, have undertaken to summon a convention for the purpose
of transforming the Territory into a State, and have framed a
constitution, adopted it, and under it elected a governor and other
officers and a Representative to Congress. In extenuation of these
illegal acts it is alleged that the States of California, Michigan, and
others were self-organized, and as such were admitted into the Union
without a previous enabling act of Congress. It is true that while
in a majority of cases a previous act of Congress has been passed to
authorize the Territory to present itself as a State, and that this is
deemed the most regular course, yet such an act has not been held to be
indispensable, and in some cases the Territory has proceeded without it,
and has nevertheless been admitted into the Union as a State. It lies
with Congress to authorize beforehand or to confirm afterwards, in
its discretion. But in no instance has a State been admitted upon the
application of persons acting against authorities duly constituted by
act of Congress. In every case it is the people of the Territory, not
a party among them, who have the power to form a constitution and ask
for admission as a State. No principle of public law, no practice or
precedent under the Constitution of the United States, no rule of
reason, right, or common sense, confers any such power as that now
claimed by a mere party in the Territory. In fact what has been done
is of revolutionary character. It is avowedly so in motive and in aim
as respects the local law of the Territory. It will become treasonable
insurrection if it reach the length of organized resistance by force to
the fundamental or any other Federal law and to the authority of the
General Government. In such an event the path of duty for the Executive
is plain. The Constitution requiring him to take care that the laws of
the United States be faithfully executed, if they be opposed in the
Territory of Kansas he may, and should, place at the disposal of the
marshal any public force of the United States which happens to be within
the jurisdiction, to be used as a portion of the _posse comitatus_; and
if that do not suffice to maintain order, then he may call forth the
militia of one or more States for that object, or employ for the same
object any part of the land or naval force of the United States. So,
also, if the obstruction be to the laws of the Territory, and it be
duly presented to him as a case of insurrection, he may employ for its
suppression the militia of any State or the land or naval force of the
United States. And if the Territory be invaded by the citizens of other
States, whether for the purpose of deciding elections or for any other,
and the local authorities find themselves unable to repel or withstand
it, they will be entitled to, and upon the fact being fully ascertained
they shall most certainly receive, the aid of the General Government.

But it is not the duty of the President of the United States to
volunteer interposition by force to preserve the purity of elections
either in a State or Territory. To do so would be subversive of public
freedom. And whether a law be wise or unwise, just or unjust, is not a
question for him to judge. If it be constitutional--that is, if it be
the law of the land--it is his duty to cause it to be executed, or to
sustain the authorities of any State or Territory in executing it in
opposition to all insurrectionary movements.

Our system affords no justification of revolutionary acts, for the
constitutional means of relieving the people of unjust administration
and laws, by a change of public agents and by repeal, are ample, and
more prompt and effective than illegal violence. These means must be
scrupulously guarded, this great prerogative of popular sovereignty
sacredly respected.

It is the undoubted right of the peaceable and orderly people of the
Territory of Kansas to elect their own legislative body, make their
own laws, and regulate their own social institutions, without foreign
or domestic molestation. Interference on the one hand to procure the
abolition or prohibition of slave labor in the Territory has produced
mischievous interference on the other for its maintenance or
introduction. One wrong begets another. Statements entirely unfounded,
or grossly exaggerated, concerning events within the Territory are
sedulously diffused through remote States to feed the flame of sectional
animosity there, and the agitators there exert themselves indefatigably
in return to encourage and stimulate strife within the Territory.

The inflammatory agitation, of which the present is but a part, has for
twenty years produced nothing save unmitigated evil, North and South.
But for it the character of the domestic institutions of the future new
State would have been a matter of too little interest to the inhabitants
of the contiguous States, personally or collectively, to produce among
them any political emotion. Climate, soil, production, hopes of rapid
advancement and the pursuit of happiness on the part of the settlers
themselves, with good wishes, but with no interference from without,
would have quietly determined the question which is at this time of such
disturbing character.

But we are constrained to turn our attention to the circumstances of
embarrassment as they now exist. It is the duty of the people of Kansas
to discountenance every act or purpose of resistance to its laws. Above
all, the emergency appeals to the citizens of the States, and especially
of those contiguous to the Territory, neither by intervention of
nonresidents in elections nor by unauthorized military force to attempt
to encroach upon or usurp the authority of the inhabitants of the
Territory.

No citizen of our country should permit himself to forget that he is a
part of its Government and entitled to be heard in the determination
of its policy and its measures, and that therefore the highest
considerations of personal honor and patriotism require him to maintain
by whatever of power or influence he may possess the integrity of the
laws of the Republic.

Entertaining these views, it will be my imperative duty to exert the
whole power of the Federal Executive to support public order in the
Territory; to vindicate its laws, whether Federal or local, against all
attempts of organized resistance, and so to protect its people in the
establishment of their own institutions, undisturbed by encroachment
from without, and in the full enjoyment of the rights of self-government
assured to them by the Constitution and the organic act of Congress.

Although serious and threatening disturbances in the Territory of
Kansas, announced to me by the governor in December last, were speedily
quieted without the effusion of blood and in a satisfactory manner,
there is, I regret to say, reason to apprehend that disorders will
continue to occur there, with increasing tendency to violence, until
some decisive measure be taken to dispose of the question itself which
constitutes the inducement or occasion of internal agitation and of
external interference.

This, it seems to me, can best be accomplished by providing that when
the inhabitants of Kansas may desire it and shall be of sufficient
number to constitute a State, a convention of delegates, duly elected by
the qualified voters, shall assemble to frame a constitution, and thus
to prepare through regular and lawful means for its admission into the
Union as a State.

I respectfully recommend the enactment of a law to that effect.

I recommend also that a special appropriation be made to defray any
expense which may become requisite in the execution of the laws or the
maintenance of public order in the Territory of Kansas.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

By the inclosed letter of the Secretary of the Treasury it appears that
$24,233 belonging to the Chickasaw Indians should be invested in stocks
of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
I therefore recommend that the necessary authority be given for that
purpose.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 28, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to
the resolution of the Senate of the 10th of January, calling for the
correspondence between the Secretary of State and Edward Worrell while
the latter was acting as consul at Matanzas in relation to the estates
of deceased American citizens on the island of Cuba.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January, 1856_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith a copy of the "proceedings of the court-martial in
the case of Colonel Montgomery, of the United States Army," as requested
by the resolution of the Senate of the 7th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further compliance with the Senate's resolution adopted in executive
session on the 15th January last, in respect to the correspondence
relating to the estates of deceased American citizens on the island of
Cuba, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with the papers
which accompanied it.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to the
resolution of the Senate of the 17th ultimo, requesting transcripts
of certain correspondence and other papers touching the Republics of
Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the Mosquito Indians, and the convention
between the United States and Great Britain of April 19, 1850.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 4th instant,
requesting transcripts of certain papers relative to the affairs of the
Territory of Kansas, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and
the documents which accompanied it.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a report of the Secretary of War and accompanying
documents, also of the Secretary of the Navy and accompanying documents,
in answer to a resolution of the Senate passed the 11th February,
"that the President of the United States be requested to communicate
to the Senate copies of all the correspondence between the different
Departments of the Government and the officers of the Army and Navy
(not heretofore communicated) on the Pacific Coast touching the Indian
disturbances in California, Oregon, and Washington."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit a copy of a letter of the 7th of March last from the acting
commissioner of the United States in China, and of the regulations and
notification which accompanied it, for such revision thereof as Congress
may deem expedient, pursuant to the sixth section of the act approved
11th August, 1848.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made and concluded on the 17th October, 1855, by and
between A. Cumming and Isaac I. Stevens, commissioners on the part of
the United States, and the Blackfeet and other tribes of Indians on the
Upper Missouri and Yellowstone rivers.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 26, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit and recommend to the favorable consideration of
Congress a communication from the Secretary of War, asking a special
appropriation of $3,000,000 to prepare armaments and ammunition for the
fortifications, to increase the supply of improved small arms, and to
apply recent improvements to arms of old patterns belonging to the
United States and the several States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 25th instant,
I transmit reports[52] from the Secretary of State and the
Attorney-General, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 52: Relating to the enlistment of soldiers within the United
States by agents of the British Government.]



WASHINGTON, _February 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[53] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of yesterday.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 53: Relating to an offer of the British Government to refer
to the arbitrament of some friendly power the questions of difference
between the United States and Great Britain upon the construction of
the convention of April 19, 1850.]



WASHINGTON, _March 4, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report on the commercial relations of the United States
with all foreign nations, in answer to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of December 14, 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March, 4, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, two treaties recently negotiated by Francis Huebochmann, the
superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern superintendency, one
with the Menominee Indians and the other with the Stockbridge and Munsee
Indians, and more particularly referred to in the accompanying
communications of the Secretary of the Interior of this date.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 21st ultimo,
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Interior, with
accompanying papers.[54]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 54: Correspondence relative to transportation of the mails,
etc., over the Illinois Central Railroad.]



EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _March 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I present herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Interior,
in relation to Indian disturbances in the Territories of Oregon and
Washington, and recommending an immediate appropriation of $300,000.
I commend this subject to your early consideration.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 26th ultimo, requesting
information in regard to the site selected for the building to be used
for the preservation of the ordnance, arms, etc., of the United States,
under the act approved March 3, 1855, I transmit a letter from the
Secretary of War, with an accompanying report of the Chief of Ordnance,
containing the information.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 10, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 21st ultimo,
requesting the President of the United States to "communicate to
the Senate any correspondence which may have taken place between the
Illinois Central Railroad Company and any of the Departments of the
Government," etc., I transmit herewith communications from the Secretary
of the Treasury and from the Postmaster-General, together with the
accompanying papers.[55]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 55: Correspondence relative to transportation of the mails,
etc., over the Illinois Central Railroad.]



WASHINGTON, _March 14, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith communicate to the House of Representatives, in compliance
with their resolution of the 28th ultimo, a report from the Secretary
of the Interior, containing such information as is in possession of his
Department touching the cause of the difficulties existing between the
Creek and Seminole Indians since their emigration west of the
Mississippi River.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the
Secretary of War, with copies prepared in compliance with a resolution
of the House of the 28th ultimo, requesting "copies of all
correspondence, documents, and papers in relation to the compensation
and emoluments of Brevet Lieutenant-General Scott under the joint
resolution of Congress approved February 15, 1855."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

MARCH 17, 1856.



WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th
ultimo, on the subject of correspondence between this Government and
that of Great Britain touching the Clayton and Bulwer convention,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution
was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress the copy of a correspondence which has recently
taken place between Her Britannic Majesty's minister accredited to this
Government and the Secretary of State, in order that the expediency of
sanctioning the acceptance by the officers of the United States who were
in the American expedition in search of Sir John Franklin of such token
of thankfulness as may be offered to them on the part of Her Majesty's
Government for their services on the occasion referred to may be taken
into consideration.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 26th ultimo,
I herewith communicate "a copy of the report, with the maps, of an
exploration of the Big Witchitaw and the head waters of the Brazos
rivers, made by Captain R.B. Marcy, of the United States Army, while
engaged in locating lands for the Indians of Texas in the year 1854."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 24, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
18th of last month, requesting the transmission of documents touching
the affairs of the Territory of Kansas, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, March 24, 1856_.

Hon. NATHANIEL P. BANKS,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives, in obedience to
their resolution of the 17th instant, a communication from the Secretary
of the Interior, accompanied by a copy of the report of Superintendent
Cumming in regard to his late expedition among the tribes of Indians on
the Upper Missouri.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 1, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Grand Duchy
of Baden for the mutual surrender of fugitive criminals, concluded at
Berlin on the 10th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 27th ultimo, requesting
additional documents relating to the condition of affairs in Kansas
Territory, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the
resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 9, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In execution of an act of Congress entitled "An act to provide for the
accommodation of the courts of the United States for the district of
Maryland and for a post-office at Baltimore city, Md.," approved
February 17, 1855, I communicate herewith, for the consideration of
Congress, copies of conditional contracts which I have caused to be
executed for two sites, with buildings thereon, together with plans
and estimates for fitting up and furnishing the same.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 9, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
document,[56] in compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 4th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 56: Dispatch from the United States minister at Naples relative
to the saving from shipwreck of certain American vessels and their crews
by officers of the Neapolitan navy and marine service.]



WASHINGTON, _April 10th, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of the Interior, with
accompanying documents, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate
of the 6th ultimo. The documents, it is believed, contain all the
information in the Executive Departments upon the subject[57] to which
the resolution refers.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 57: Claim of Richard W. Thompson for alleged services to the
Menominee Indians.]



WASHINGTON, _April, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith a letter from the Secretary of the
Interior and a copy of a conditional contract entered into, under
instructions from that Department, for the purchase of a lot and
the building thereon, for the use of the United States courts at
Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, and recommend that an
appropriation of $78,000 be made to complete the same.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of War, with the
accompanying documents, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the
7th instant, respecting "the steps pursued in execution of the clause
of the act making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses
of the Government, approved March 3, 1855, which provides for the
construction of an armory for the District of Columbia."

The selection of the site was made after a full hearing of the parties
interested and a personal examination by myself of all the sites
suggested as suitable for the purpose.

It will be perceived upon an examination of the accompanying documents
that although two additional purposes were added by Congress after
the estimate of the War Department was made, and the expense of the
structure consequently increased, still by the terms of my indorsement
on the report of the colonel of ordnance fixing the site, the size and
arrangement of the building were to be such that it could be _completed_
without exceeding the appropriation of $30,000, and that this
requirement has been strictly adhered to in every stage of the
proceedings.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying documents, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of
the 20th ultimo, respecting the adjustment of the boundary line and the
payment of the three millions under the treaty with Mexico of the 30th
June [December], 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 17, 1856_.

The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I transmit herewith reports of the Secretaries of the War and
Interior Departments, in response to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 31st ultimo, calling for information in relation
to the origin, progress, and present condition of Indian hostilities in
the Territories of Oregon and Washington, and also of the means which
have been adopted to preserve peace and protect the inhabitants of said
Territories.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying documents, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the
24th February, 1855, in relation to the settlement of the controversy
respecting the Lobos Islands.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report[58] from the
Secretary of State, in answer to their resolution of the 7th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 58: Relating to indemnification by the Spanish Government of
the captains, owners, and crews of the bark _Georgiana_ and the brig
_Susan Loud_ for their capture and confiscation by the Spanish
authorities.]



WASHINGTON, _May 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I communicate herewith a letter of the Postmaster-General, with
accompanying correspondence, in relation to mail transportation between
our Atlantic and Pacific possessions, and earnestly commend the subject
to the early consideration of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter from the Secretary of War, with
accompanying papers, in response to a resolution of the Senate of the
21st ultimo, upon the subject of damages which will be "incurred by the
United States in case of the repeal of so much of the act of March 3,
1855, as provides for the construction of an armory in the District of
Columbia," and also a further answer from the Secretary of War to the
resolution of the Senate of the 7th ultimo, requesting a full report
of the steps pursued in execution of the clause of the act making
appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of the Government,
approved March 2, 1855, which provides for the construction of the
armory in this District before referred to.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 15, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith reports of the Secretary of State, the Secretary
of the Navy, and the Attorney-General, in reply to a resolution of the
Senate of the 24th of March last, and also to a resolution of the House
of Representatives of the 8th of May instant, both having reference to
the routes of transit between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through
the Republics of New Granada and Nicaragua and to the condition of
affairs in Central America.

These documents relate to questions of the highest importance and
interest to the people of the United States.

The narrow isthmus which connects the continents of North and South
America, by the facilities it affords for easy transit between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans, rendered the countries of Central America
an object of special consideration to all maritime nations, which has
been greatly augmented in modern times by the operation of changes in
commercial relations, especially those produced by the general use of
steam as a motive power by land and sea. To us, on account of its
geographical position and of our political interest as an American State
of primary magnitude, that isthmus is of peculiar importance, just as
the Isthmus of Suez is, for corresponding reasons, to the maritime
powers of Europe. But above all, the importance to the United States of
securing free transit across the American isthmus has rendered it of
paramount interest to us since the settlement of the Territories of
Oregon and Washington and the accession of California to the Union.

Impelled by these considerations, the United States took steps at an
early day to assure suitable means of commercial transit by canal
railway, or otherwise across this isthmus.

We concluded, in the first place, a treaty of peace, amity, navigation,
and commerce with the Republic of New Granada, among the conditions of
which was a stipulation on the part of New Granada guaranteeing to the
United States the right of way or transit across that part of the
Isthmus which lies in the territory of New Granada, in consideration of
which the United States guaranteed in respect of the same territory the
rights of sovereignty and property of New Granada.

The effect of this treaty was to afford to the people of the United
States facilities for at once opening a common road from Chagres to
Panama and for at length constructing a railway in the same direction,
to connect regularly with steamships, for the transportation of mails,
specie, and passengers to and fro between the Atlantic and Pacific
States and Territories of the United States.

The United States also endeavored, but unsuccessfully, to obtain from
the Mexican Republic the cession of the right of way at the northern
extremity of the Isthmus by Tehuantepec, and that line of communication
continues to be an object of solicitude to the people of this Republic.

In the meantime, intervening between the Republic of New Granada and
the Mexican Republic lie the States of Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras,
Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, the several members of the former Republic of
Central America. Here, in the territory of the Central American States,
is the narrowest part of the Isthmus, and hither, of course, public
attention has been directed as the most inviting field for enterprises
of interoceanic communication between the opposite shores of America,
and more especially to the territory of the States of Nicaragua and
Honduras.

Paramount to that of any European State, as was the interest of
the United States in the security and freedom of projected lines of
travel across the Isthmus by the way of Nicaragua and Honduras, still
we did not yield in this respect to any suggestions of territorial
aggrandizement, or even of exclusive advantage, either of communication
or of commerce. Opportunities had not been wanting to the United States
to procure such advantage by peaceful means and with full and free
assent of those who alone had any legitimate authority in the matter.
We disregarded those opportunities from considerations alike of domestic
and foreign policy, just as, even to the present day, we have persevered
in a system of justice and respect for the rights and interests of
others as well as our own in regard to each and all of the States of
Central America.

It was with surprise and regret, therefore, that the United States
learned a few days after the conclusion of the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, by which the United States became, with the consent of the
Mexican Republic, the rightful owners of California, and thus invested
with augmented special interest in the political condition of Central
America, that a military expedition, under the authority of the British
Government, had landed at San Juan del Norte, in the State of Nicaragua,
and taken forcible possession of that port, the necessary terminus of
any canal or railway across the Isthmus within the territories of
Nicaragua.

It did not diminish the unwelcomeness to us of this act on the part of
Great Britain to find that she assumed to justify it on the ground of
an alleged protectorship of a small and obscure band of uncivilized
Indians, whose proper name had even become lost to history, who did not
constitute a state capable of territorial sovereignty either in fact or
of right, and all political interest in whom and in the territory they
occupied Great Britain had previously renounced by successive treaties
with Spain when Spain was sovereign to the country and subsequently with
independent Spanish America.

Nevertheless, and injuriously affected as the United States conceived
themselves to have been by this act of the British Government and by its
occupation about the same time of insular and of continental portions
of the territory of the State of Honduras, we remembered the many and
powerful ties and mutual interests by which Great Britain and the United
States are associated, and we proceeded in earnest good faith and with
a sincere desire to do whatever might strengthen the bonds of peace
between us to negotiate with Great Britain a convention to assure the
perfect neutrality of all interoceanic communications across the Isthmus
and, as the indispensable condition of such neutrality, the absolute
independence of the States of Central America and their complete
sovereignty within the limits of their own territory as well against
Great Britain as against the United States. We supposed we had
accomplished that object by the convention of April 19, 1850, which
would never have been signed nor ratified on the part of the United
States but for the conviction that in virtue of its provisions neither
Great Britain nor the United States was thereafter to exercise any
territorial sovereignty in fact or in name in any part of Central
America, however or whensoever acquired, either before or afterwards.
The essential object of the convention--the neutralization of the
Isthmus--would, of course, become a nullity if either Great Britain
or the United States were to continue to hold exclusively islands or
mainland of the Isthmus, and more especially if, under any claim of
protectorship of Indians, either Government were to remain forever
sovereign in fact of the Atlantic shores of the three States of Costa
Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

I have already communicated to the two Houses of Congress full
information of the protracted and hitherto fruitless efforts which the
United States have made to arrange this international question with
Great Britain. It is referred to on the present occasion only because of
its intimate connection with the special object now to be brought to the
attention of Congress.

The unsettled political condition of some of the Spanish American
Republics has never ceased to be regarded by this Government with
solicitude and regret on their own account, while it has been the source
of continual embarrassment in our public and private relations with
them. In the midst of the violent revolutions and the wars by which they
are continually agitated, their public authorities are unable to afford
due protection to foreigners and to foreign interests within their
territory, or even to defend their own soil against individual
aggressors, foreign or domestic, the burden of the inconveniences and
losses of which therefore devolves in no inconsiderable degree upon the
foreign states associated with them in close relations of geographical
vicinity or of commercial intercourse.

Such is more emphatically the situation of the United States
with respect to the Republics of Mexico and of Central America.
Notwithstanding, however, the relative remoteness of the European
States from America, facts of the same order have not failed to appear
conspicuously in their intercourse with Spanish American Republics.
Great Britain has repeatedly been constrained to recur to measures of
force for the protection of British interests in those countries. France
found it necessary to attack the castle of San Juan de Uloa and even to
debark troops at Vera Cruz in order to obtain redress of wrongs done to
Frenchmen in Mexico.

What is memorable in this respect in the conduct and policy of the
United States is that while it would be as easy for us to annex and
absorb new territories in America as it is for European States to do
this in Asia or Africa, and while if done by us it might be justified as
well on the alleged ground of the advantage which would accrue therefrom
to the territories annexed and absorbed, yet we have abstained from
doing it, in obedience to considerations of right not less than of
policy; and that while the courageous and self-reliant spirit of our
people prompts them to hardy enterprises, and they occasionally yield to
the temptation of taking part in the troubles of countries near at hand,
where they know how potential their influence, moral and material, must
be, the American Government has uniformly and steadily resisted all
attempts of individuals in the United States to undertake armed
aggression against friendly Spanish American Republics.

While the present incumbent of the executive office has been in
discharge of its duties he has never failed to exert all the authority
in him vested to repress such enterprises, because they are in violation
of the law of the land, which the Constitution requires him to execute
faithfully; because they are contrary to the policy of the Government,
and because to permit them would be a departure from good faith toward
those American Republics in amity with us, which are entitled to, and
will never cease to enjoy, in their calamities the cordial sympathy, and
in their prosperity the efficient good will, of the Government and of
the people of the United States.

To say that our laws in this respect are sometimes violated or
successfully evaded is only to say what is true of all laws in all
countries, but not more so in the United States than in any one whatever
of the countries of Europe. Suffice it to repeat that the laws of
the United States prohibiting all foreign military enlistments or
expeditions within our territory have been executed with impartial
good faith, and, so far as the nature of things permits, as well in
repression of private persons as of the official agents of other
Governments, both of Europe and America.

Among the Central American Republics to which modern events have
imparted most prominence is that of Nicaragua, by reason of its
particular position on the Isthmus. Citizens of the United States have
established in its territory a regular interoceanic transit route,
second only in utility and value to the one previously established in
the territory of New Granada. The condition of Nicaragua would, it is
believed, have been much more prosperous than it has been but for the
occupation of its only Atlantic port by a foreign power, and of the
disturbing authority set up and sustained by the same power in a portion
of its territory, by means of which its domestic sovereignty was
impaired, its public lands were withheld from settlement, and it was
deprived of all the maritime revenue which it would otherwise collect
on imported merchandise at San Juan del Norte.

In these circumstances of the political debility of the Republic of
Nicaragua, and when its inhabitants were exhausted by long-continued
civil war between parties neither of them strong enough to overcome
the other or permanently maintain internal tranquillity, one of
the contending factions of the Republic invited the assistance and
cooperation of a small body of citizens of the United States from the
State of California, whose presence, as it appears, put an end at once
to civil war and restored apparent order throughout the territory of
Nicaragua, with a new administration, having at its head a distinguished
individual, by birth a citizen of the Republic, D. Patricio Rivas,
as its provisional President.

It is the established policy of the United States to recognize all
governments without question of their source or their organization, or
of the means by which the governing persons attain their power, provided
there be a government _de facto_ accepted by the people of the country,
and with reserve only of the time as to the recognition of revolutionary
governments arising out of the subdivision of parent states with which
we are in relations of amity. We do not go behind the fact of a foreign
government exercising actual power to investigate questions of
legitimacy; we do not inquire into the causes which may have led to
a change of government. To us it is indifferent whether a successful
revolution has been aided by foreign intervention or not; whether
insurrection has overthrown existing government, and another has been
established in its place according to preexisting forms or in a manner
adopted for the occasion by those whom we may find in the actual
possession of power. All these matters we leave to the people and
public authorities of the particular country to determine; and their
determination, whether it be by positive action or by ascertained
acquiescence, is to us a sufficient warranty of the legitimacy of
the new government.

During the sixty-seven years which have elapsed since the establishment
of the existing Government of the United States, in all which time this
Union has maintained undisturbed domestic tranquillity, we have had
occasion to recognize governments _de facto_, founded either by domestic
revolution or by military invasion from abroad, in many of the
Governments of Europe.

It is the more imperatively necessary to apply this rule to the
Spanish American Republics, in consideration of the frequent and not
seldom anomalous changes of organization or administration which they
undergo and the revolutionary nature of most of these changes, of
which the recent series of revolutions in the Mexican Republic is an
example, where five successive revolutionary governments have made
their appearance in the course of a few months and been recognized
successively, each as the political power of that country, by the
United States.

When, therefore, some time since, a new minister from the Republic of
Nicaragua presented himself, bearing the commission of President Rivas,
he must and would have been received as such, unless he was found
on inquiry subject to personal exception, but for the absence of
satisfactory information upon the question whether President Rivas was
_in fact_ the head of an established Government of the Republic of
Nicaragua, doubt as to which arose not only from the circumstances of
his avowed association with armed emigrants recently from the United
States, but that the proposed minister himself was of that class of
persons, and not otherwise or previously a citizen of Nicaragua.

Another minister from the Republic of Nicaragua has now presented
himself, and has been received as such, satisfactory evidence appearing
that he represents the Government _de facto_ and, so far as such exists,
the Government _de jure_ of that Republic.

That reception, while in accordance with the established policy of the
United States, was likewise called for by the most imperative special
exigencies, which require that this Government shall enter at once into
diplomatic relations with that of Nicaragua. In the first place, a
difference has occurred between the Government of President Rivas and
the Nicaragua Transit Company, which involves the necessity of inquiry
into rights of citizens of the United States, who allege that they
have been aggrieved by the acts of the former and claim protection
and redress at the hands of their Government. In the second place,
the interoceanic communication by the way of Nicaragua is effectually
interrupted, and the persons and property of unoffending private
citizens of the United States in that country require the attention of
their Government. Neither of these objects can receive due consideration
without resumption of diplomatic intercourse with the Government of
Nicaragua.

Further than this, the documents communicated show that while the
interoceanic transit by the way of Nicaragua is cut off, disturbances
at Panama have occurred to obstruct, temporarily at least, that by the
way of New Granada, involving the sacrifice of the lives and property
of citizens of the United States. A special commissioner has been
dispatched to Panama to investigate the facts of this occurrence with a
view particularly to the redress of parties aggrieved. But measures of
another class will be demanded for the future security of interoceanic
communication by this as by the other routes of the Isthmus.

It would be difficult to suggest a single object of interest, external
or internal, more important to the United States than the maintenance
of the communication, by land and sea, between the Atlantic and Pacific
States and Territories of the Union It is a material element of the
national integrity and sovereignty.

I have adopted such precautionary measures and have taken such action
for the purpose of affording security to the several transit routes
of Central America and to the persons and property of citizens of
the United States connected with or using the same as are within my
constitutional power and as existing circumstances have seemed to
demand. Should these measures prove inadequate to the object, that
fact will be communicated to Congress with such recommendations as
the exigency of the case may indicate.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, May 16, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I communicate to Congress a report from the Secretary of the Interior,
containing estimates of appropriations required in the fulfillment of
treaty stipulations with certain Indian tribes, and recommend that the
appropriations asked for be made in the manner therein suggested.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 19, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
7th ultimo, requesting the President "to communicate what information he
may possess in regard to citizens of the United States being engaged in
the slave trade, or in the transportation in American ships of coolies
from China to Cuba and other countries with the intention of placing or
continuing them in a state of slavery or servitude, and whether such
traffic is not, in his opinion, a violation of the spirit of existing
treaties, rendering those engaged in it liable to indictment for piracy;
and especially that he be requested to communicate to this House the
facts and circumstances attending the shipment from China of some 500
coolies in the ship _Sea Witch_, of the city of New York, lately wrecked
on the coast of Cuba," I transmit the accompanying report of the
Secretary of State.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 20, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a copy of and extracts from dispatches of the late minister
of the United States at London, and of his correspondence with Lord
Clarendon which accompanied them, relative to the enlistment of soldiers
for the British army within the United States by agents of the
Government of Great Britain. These dispatches have been received since
my message to the Senate upon the subject of the 2th of February last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 22, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I communicate herewith a report from the Secretary of War, in response
to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 12th instant,
requesting me to inform the House "whether United States soldiers have
been employed in the Territory of Kansas to arrest persons charged with
a violation of certain supposed laws enacted by a supposed legislature
assembled at Shawnee Mission."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have ceased to hold intercourse with the envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary of Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland near this Government.

In making communication of this fact it has been deemed by me proper
also to lay before Congress the considerations of indispensable public
duty which have led to the adoption of a measure of so much importance.
They appear in the documents herewith transmitted to both Houses.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 17th of January
last, requesting a copy of any official correspondence not previously
communicated touching the construction and purport of the convention
between the United States and Great Britain of the 19th of April, 1850,
I transmit a copy of an instruction of the 24th instant from the
Secretary of State to the minister of the United States at London.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:


I herewith communicate a letter of the 26th instant from the Secretary
of the Interior, and accompanying papers, relative to the conflict of
jurisdiction between the Federal and Cherokee courts and the inadequacy
of protection against the intrusion of improper persons into the
Cherokee country, and recommend the subject to the consideration of
Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 3, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report[59] from the Secretary of State, in answer to a
resolution of the House of Representatives of the 29th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 59: Stating that no information relative to the action of
the leading powers of Europe on the subject of privateering has been
officially communicated by any foreign government.]



WASHINGTON, _June 4, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
8th of last month, requesting information in regard to a contemplated
imposition of additional duties on American leaf tobacco by the
Zollverein or Commercial Union of the German States, I transmit a report
from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 13, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
18th of February last, requesting me to communicate to the House "the
report of Captain E.B. Boutwell, and all the documents accompanying it,
relative to the operations of the United States sloop of war _John
Adams_, under his command, at the Fejee Islands in the year 1855,"
I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of the Navy.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 18, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents,[60] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 16th
instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 60: Instructions to Mr Buchanan, late minister to England,
on the subject of free ships making free goods, and letter from Mr.
Buchanan to Lord Clarendon on the same subject.]



WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Interior and
accompanying papers, respecting the sum of $16,024.80 now in the hands
of the agent of the Choctaw Indians, being a balance remaining from the
sales of Choctaw orphan reservations under the nineteenth article of the
treaty of 1830, and commend the subject to the favorable consideration
of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _June 23, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for the mutual delivery of criminals
fugitives from justice in certain cases, and for other purposes,
concluded at The Hague on the 29th ultimo between the United States
and His Majesty the King of the Netherlands.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 3, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In response to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 18th
ultimo, requesting me to inform the House "what measures, if any, have
been taken to carry out the provisions of a late act of Congress
authorizing the President to contract with Hiram Powers, the great
American sculptor, now in Italy, for some work of art for the new
Capitol, and appropriating $25,000 for that purpose," I transmit
herewith copies of three letters--one from Mr. Powers to Hon. Edward
Everett and two from myself to the same gentleman.

Since the date of my letter of July 24, 1855, I have communicated with
Mr. Everett upon the subject verbally and in writing, and the final
proposition on my part, resulting therefrom, will be found in the
accompanying extract of a letter dated June 5, 1856.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 7 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 6th ultimo,
respecting the location of the District armory upon the Mall in this
city, I transmit the accompanying report from the Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 7, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention for the mutual delivery of criminals
fugitives from justice between the United States and Austria, signed
in this city on the 3d instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 8, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I communicate herewith a report of the Secretary of War, in reply to a
resolution of the House of the 25th ultimo, "on the subject of Indian
hostilities in Oregon and Washington Territories."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 11, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to a resolution of the Senate of May 23, requesting a "detailed
statement of the sums which have been paid to newspapers published in
Washington for advertisements or other printing published or executed
under the orders or by authority of the several Departments since the
4th day of March, 1853," I communicate herewith reports from the several
Departments.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 15, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit a copy of a letter of November 27, 1854, from the
commissioner of the United States in China, and of the regulations,
orders, and decrees which accompanied it, for such revision thereof as
Congress may deem expedient, pursuant to the sixth section of the act
approved August 11, 1848.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, July 21, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith a letter from the Postmaster-General
and a copy of a conditional contract entered into under instructions
from me for the purchase of a lot and building thereon for a post-office
in the city of Philadelphia, together with a copy of a report of Edward
Clark, architect of the Patent Office building, in relation to the site
and building selected, and recommend that an appropriation of $250,000
be made to complete the purchase, and also an appropriation of $50,000
to make the required alterations and furnish the necessary cases, boxes,
etc., to fit it up for a city post-office.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 22, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, and
extradition between the United States and the Republic of Chili,
signed at Santiago, in that Republic, on the 27th of May last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 24, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I herewith present to Congress a copy of "minutes of a council held
at Fort Pierre, Nebraska Territory, on the 1st day of March, 1856,
by Brevet Brigadier-General William S. Harney, United States Army,
commanding the Sioux expedition, with the delegations from nine of the
bands of the Sioux;" also copies of sundry papers upon the same subject.

Regarding the stipulations between General Harney and the nine bands of
the Sioux as just and desirable, both for the United States and for the
Indians, I respectfully recommend an appropriation by Congress of the
sum of $100,000 to enable the Government to execute the stipulations
entered into by General Harney.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made and concluded at Múckl-te-oh, or Point Elliott, by Isaac
I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of Washington
Territory, on the part of the United States, and chiefs, headmen, and
delegates of the Dwámish, Suquámish, Sk-táhl-mish, Sam-áhmish,
Smalh-kamish, Skope-áhmish, St-káh-mish, Snoquálmoo, Skai-wha-mish,
N'Quentl-má-mish, Sk-táh-le-jum, Stoluck-whá-mish, Sno-ho-mish, Ská-git,
Kik-i-állus, Swin-á-mish, Squin-ah-mish, Sah-ku-méhu, Noo-whá-há,
Nook-wa-cháh-mish, Mee-sée-qua-guilch, Cho-bah-áh-bish, and other allied
and subordinate tribes and bands of Indians in said Territory.

Also a treaty made and concluded at Hahd Skus, or Point no Point, on the
26th day of January, 1855, by and between the same commissioner on the
part of the United States and the chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the
different villages of the S'Klallams Indians in said Territory.

Also a treaty made and concluded at Neah Bay on the 31st day of January,
1855, by and between the same commissioner on the part of the United
States and the chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the same villages of
the Makah tribe of Indians in the said Territory.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made and concluded by and between Isaac I. Stevens, governor
and superintendent of Indian affairs of the Territory of Washington, on
the part of the United States, and the chiefs, headmen, and delegates
of the different tribes and bands of the Qui-nai-elt and Quil-leh-ute
Indians in Washington Territory.

Said treaty was made on the 1st of July, 1855, and 25th January, 1856.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made and concluded at the treaty ground at Hell Gate, in the
Bitter Root Valley, on the 16th day of July, 1855, by and between Isaac
I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the
Territory of Washington, on the part of the United States, and the
chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the confederate tribes of the
Flathead, Koo-tenay, and Upper Pend d'Oreilles Indians, who by the
treaty are constituted a nation, under the name of the Flat Head Nation.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made and concluded at Wasco, near the Dalles of the Columbia
River, in Oregon Territory, by and between Joel Palmer, superintendent
of Indian affairs, on the part of the United States, and the chiefs
and headmen of the confederated tribes and bands of Walla-Wallas and
Was-coes Indians residing in middle Oregon. Said treaty was made on
the 25th day of June, 1855.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made and concluded on the 21st day of December, 1855, by and
between Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs, on the part of
the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the Mo-lal-la-las, or
Molel, tribe of Indians in Oregon Territory.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made on the 9th of June, 1855, by and between Isaac I. Stevens,
governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of the Territory of
Washington, and Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs of the
Territory of Oregon, on the part of the United States, and the chiefs,
headmen, and delegates of the Walla-Wallas, Cayuses, and Umatilla tribes
and bands of Indians, who for the purposes of the treaty are to be
regarded as one nation. Also a treaty made on the 11th of June, 1855, by
and between the same commissioners on the part of the United States and
the chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the Nez Percé tribe of Indians.

The lands ceded by the treaties herewith lie partly in Washington and
partly in Oregon Territories.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty made and concluded at Camp Stevens, Walla Walla Valley, on the
9th day of June, 1855, by and between Isaac I. Stevens, governor of and
superintendent of Indian affairs for Washington Territory, on the part
of the United States, and the head chiefs, chiefs, headmen, and
delegates of the Yakama, Palouse, Pisquouse, Wenatshapam, Klikatat,
Klin-quit, Kow-was-say-ee, Li-ay-was, Skin-pah, Wish-ham, Shyiks,
Oche-chotes, Kah-milt-pah, and Se-ap-cat tribes and bands of Indians,
who for the purposes of the treaty are to be known as the "Yakama"
Nation of Indians.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _July 30, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

By the sixteenth article of the treaty of 4th March, 1853, between the
United States and the Republic of Paraguay, as amended by a resolution
of the Senate of the 1st May, 1854, it was provided that the exchange
of the ratifications of that instrument should be effected within
twenty-four months of its date; that is, on or before the 4th
March, 1855.

From circumstances, however, over which the Government of the United
States had no control, but which are not supposed to indicate any
indisposition on the part of the Paraguayan Government to consummate
the final formalities necessary to give full force and validity to the
treaty, the exchange of ratifications has not yet been effected.

A similar condition exists in regard to the treaty between the United
States and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay of the 28th August, 1852.
The Senate, by a resolution of 13th June, 1854, extended the time within
which the ratifications of that treaty might be exchanged to thirty
months from its date. That limit, however, has expired, and the exchange
has not been effected.

I deem it expedient to direct a renewal of negotiations with the
Governments referred to, with a view to secure the exchange of the
ratifications of these important conventions. But as the limit
prescribed by the Senate in both cases has passed by, it is necessary
that authority be conferred on the Executive for that purpose.

I consequently recommend that the Senate sanction an exchange of the
ratifications of the treaties above mentioned at any time which may be
deemed expedient by the President within three years from the date of
the resolution to that effect.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 1, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to Congress herewith the report of Major W.H. Emory,
United States commissioner, on the survey of the boundary between
the United States and the Republic of Mexico, referred to in the
accompanying letter of this date from the Secretary of the Interior.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, August 4, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the House of Representatives a report of the
Secretary of War, in reply to a resolution of the House requesting
"information in regard to the construction of the Capitol and
Post-Office extensions."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_August 4, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a report of the Secretary of War, in response
to a resolution of the Senate calling for information in relation to
instructions "issued to any military officer in command in Kansas to
disperse any unarmed meeting of the people of that Territory, or to
prevent by military power any assemblage of the people of that
Territory."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 4, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 1st instant, requesting
a copy of papers touching recent events in the Territory of Washington,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by
which it was accompanied.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, August 6, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 28th ultimo,
requesting the President to inform the Senate in relation to any
application "by the governor of the State of California to maintain the
laws and peace of the said State against the usurped authority of an
organization calling itself the committee of vigilance in the city and
county of San Francisco," and also "to lay before the Senate whatever
information he may have in respect to the proceedings of the said
committee of vigilance," I transmit the accompanying reports from the
Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 8, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith submit to the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty negotiated with the Creek and Seminole Indians, together with
the accompanying papers.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 9, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

With a message of the 23d of June last I transmitted, for the
consideration of the Senate, a convention for the mutual delivery
of criminals fugitives from justice in certain cases, and for other
purposes, concluded at The Hague on the 29th of May last between the
United States and His Majesty the King of the Netherlands. Deeming it
advisable to withdraw that instrument from the consideration of the
Senate, I request that it may be returned to me.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, and for the
surrender of fugitive criminals, between the United States and the
Republic of Venezuela, signed at Caracas on the 10th of July last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

AUGUST 9, 1856.



WASHINGTON, _August 11, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 3d March, 1855,
requesting information relative to the proceedings of the commissioners
for the adjustment of claims under the convention with Great Britain of
the 8th of February, 1853, I transmit a report from the Secretary of
State, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 11, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of War, in reply to a
resolution of the House of Representatives of May 26, 1856, in relation
to the Capitol and Post-Office extensions.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 12, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[61] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of yesterday.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 61: Relating to "The declaration concerning maritime law,"
adopted by the plenipotentiaries of Great Britain, Austria, France,
Prussia, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey at Paris April 16, 1856.]



WASHINGTON, _August 12, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 7th instant,
in relation to the refusal of the Government of Honduras to receive
a commercial agent from this country, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the documents which accompanied it.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 13, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, inclosing
a report of Captain M.C. Meigs, stating that the sum of $750,000 will be
necessary for the prosecution of the Capitol extension until the close
of the next session of Congress, and recommend that that amount may be
appropriated.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 15, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 4th
instant, requesting a copy of letters and papers touching the pardons
or remission of the imprisonment of Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres in
August, 1852, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom
the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 15, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War, in relation
to an error in a communication[62] of Captain Meigs.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 62: Relating to the Capitol extension.]



WASHINGTON, _August 16, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant,
in relation to the public accounts of John C. Fremont, I transmit the
accompanying report from the Secretary of the Treasury, to whom the
resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 16, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
17th April, 1856, requesting me to have prepared and presented to the
House of Representatives "a statement showing the appropriations made
by the Thirty-first, Thirty-second, and Thirty-third Congresses,
distinguishing the appropriations made at each session of each Congress,
distinguishing also the appropriations made on the recommendations of
the President, heads of Departments, or heads of bureaus from those that
were made without such recommendation, and showing what expenditures
have been made by the Government in each fiscal year, commencing with
the 1st day of July, 1850, and ending on the 30th day of June, 1855; and
also what, if any, defalcations have occurred from the 30th day of June,
1850, to the 1st day of July, 1855, and the amount of such defalcations
severally, and such other information as may be in his power bearing
upon the matters above mentioned," I submit the following reports from
the Secretaries of the Treasury, War, Navy, and Interior Departments and
the Postmaster-General.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



VETO MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _May 19, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I return herewith to the Senate, in which it originated, the bill
entitled "An act to remove obstructions to navigation in the mouth of
the Mississippi River at the Southwest Pass and Pass à l'Outre," which
proposes to appropriate a sum of money, to be expended under the
superintendence of the Secretary of War, "for the opening and keeping
open ship channels of sufficient capacity to accommodate the wants of
commerce through the Southwest Pass and Pass à l'Outre, leading from
the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico."

In a communication addressed by me to the two Houses of Congress on the
30th of December, 1854, my views were exhibited in full on the subject
of the relation of the General Government to internal improvements.
I set forth on that occasion the constitutional impediments, which in
my mind are insuperable, to the prosecution of a system of internal
improvements by means of appropriations from the Treasury of the United
States, more especially the consideration that the Constitution does
not confer on the General Government any express power to make such
appropriations, that they are not a necessary and proper incident of
any of the express powers, and that the assumption of authority on
the part of the Federal Government to commence and carry on a general
system of internal improvements, while exceptionable for the want of
constitutional power, is in other respects prejudicial to the several
interests and inconsistent with the true relation to one another of
the Union and of the individual States.

These objections apply to the whole system of internal improvements,
whether such improvements consist of works on land or in navigable
waters, either of the seacoast or of the interior lakes or rivers.

I have not been able, after the most careful reflection, to regard the
bill before me in any other light than as part of a general system of
internal improvements, and therefore feel constrained to submit it,
with these objections, to the reconsideration of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 19, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I return herewith to the Senate, in which it originated, a bill
entitled "An act making an appropriation for deepening the channel
over the St. Clair flats, in the State of Michigan," and submit it for
reconsideration, because it is, in my judgment, liable to the objections
to the prosecution of internal improvements by the General Government
which have already been presented by me in previous communications to
Congress.

In considering this bill under the restriction that the power of
Congress to construct a work of internal improvement is limited to cases
in which the work is manifestly needful and proper for the execution
of some one or more of the powers expressly delegated to the General
Government, I have not been able to find for the proposed expenditure
any such relation, unless it be to the power to provide for the common
defense and to maintain an army and navy. But a careful examination of
the subject, with the aid of information officially received since my
last annual message was communicated to Congress, has convinced me that
the expenditure of the sum proposed would serve no valuable purpose as
contributing to the common defense, because all which could be effected
by it would be to afford a channel of 12 feet depth and of so temporary
a character that unless the work was done immediately before the
necessity for its use should arise it could not be relied on for the
vessels of even the small draft the passage of which it would permit.

Under existing circumstances, therefore, it can not be considered
as a necessary means for the common defense, and is subject to those
objections which apply to other works designed to facilitate commerce
and contribute to the convenience and local prosperity of those more
immediately concerned--an object not to be constitutionally and justly
attained by the taxation of the people of the whole country.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _May 22, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having considered the bill, which originated in the Senate, entitled "An
act making an appropriation for deepening the channel over the flats of
the St. Marys River, in the State of Michigan," it is herewith returned
without my approval.

The appropriation proposed by this bill is not, in my judgment, a
necessary means for the execution of any of the expressly granted powers
of the Federal Government. The work contemplated belongs to a general
class of improvements, embracing roads, rivers, and canals, designed
to afford additional facilities for intercourse and for the transit of
commerce, and no reason has been suggested to my mind for excepting
it from the objections which apply to appropriations by the General
Government for deepening the channels of rivers wherever shoals or other
obstacles impede their navigation, and thus obstruct communication
and impose restraints upon commerce within the States or between the
States or Territories of the Union. I therefore submit it to the
reconsideration of Congress, on account of the same objections which
have been presented in my previous communications on the subject of
internal improvements.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 11, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I return herewith to the House of Representatives, in which it
originated, a bill entitled "An act for continuing the improvement of
the Des Moines Rapids, in the Mississippi River," and submit it for
reconsideration, because it is, in my judgment, liable to the objections
to the prosecution of internal improvements by the General Government
set forth at length in a communication addressed by me to the two Houses
of Congress on the 30th day of December, 1854, and in other subsequent
messages upon the same subject, to which on this occasion I respectfully
refer.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _August 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I return herewith to the Senate, in which it originated, a bill entitled
"An act for the improvement of the navigation of the Patapsco River and
to render the port of Baltimore accessible to the war steamers of the
United States," and submit it for reconsideration, because it is, in
my judgment, liable to the objections to the prosecution of internal
improvements by the General Government set forth at length in a
communication addressed by me to the two Houses of Congress on the
30th day of December, 1854, and other subsequent messages upon the
same subject, to which on this occasion I respectfully refer.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



PROCLAMATIONS.


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas information has been received by me that sundry persons,
citizens of the United States and others resident therein, are
preparing, within the jurisdiction of the same, to enlist, or enter
themselves, or to hire or retain others to participate in military
operations within the State of Nicaragua:

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States, do
warn all persons against connecting themselves with any such enterprise
or undertaking, as being contrary to their duty as good citizens and to
the laws of their country and threatening to the peace of the United
States.

I do further admonish all persons who may depart from the United States,
either singly or in numbers, organized or unorganized, for any such
purpose, that they will thereby cease to be entitled to the protection
of this Government.

I exhort all good citizens to discountenance and prevent any such
disreputable and criminal undertaking as aforesaid, charging all
officers, civil and military, having lawful power in the premises,
to exercise the same for the purpose of maintaining the authority
and enforcing the laws of the United States.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed to these presents.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, the 8th day of December, 1855, and
of the Independence of the United States the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas on the second section of an act of the Congress of the United
States approved the 5th day of August, 1854, entitled "An act to carry
into effect a treaty between the United States and Great Britain signed
on the 5th day of June, 1854," it is provided that whenever the island
of Newfoundland shall give its consent to the application of the
stipulations and provisions of the said treaty to that Province and the
legislature thereof and the Imperial Parliament shall pass the necessary
laws for that purpose, grain, flour, and breadstuffs of all kinds;
animals of all kinds; fresh, smoked, and salted meats; cotton wool,
seeds and vegetables, undried fruits, dried fruits, fish of all kinds,
products of fish and all other creatures living in the water, poultry,
eggs; hides, furs, skins, or tails, undressed; stone or marble in its
crude or unwrought state, slate, butter, cheese, tallow, lard, horns,
manures, ores of metals of all kinds, coal, pitch, tar, turpentine,
ashes; timber and lumber of all kinds, round, hewed, and sawed,
unmanufactured in whole or in part; firewood; plants, shrubs, and trees;
pelts, wool, fish oil, rice, broom corn, and bark; gypsum, ground or
unground; hewn or wrought or unwrought burr or grind stones, dyestuffs;
flax, hemp, and tow, unmanufactured; unmanufactured tobacco, and
rags--shall be admitted free of duty from that Province into the United
States from and after the date of a proclamation by the President of the
United States declaring that he has satisfactory evidence that the said
Province has consented in a due and proper manner to have the provisions
of the treaty extended to it and to allow the United States the full
benefits of all the stipulations therein contained; and

Whereas I have satisfactory evidence that the Province of Newfoundland
has consented in a due and proper manner to have the provisions of the
aforesaid treaty extended to it and to allow the United States the full
benefits of all the stipulations therein contained, so far as they are
applicable to that Province:

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States of
America, do hereby declare and proclaim that from this date the articles
enumerated in the preamble of this proclamation, being the growth and
produce of the British North American colonies, shall be admitted from
the aforesaid Province of Newfoundland into the United States free of
duty so long as the aforesaid treaty shall remain in force.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed to these presents.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, the 12th day of December, A.D. 1855,
and of the Independence of the United States the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas indications exist that public tranquillity and the supremacy of
law in the Territory of Kansas are endangered by the reprehensible acts
or purposes of persons, both within and without the same, who propose
to direct and control its political organization by force. It appearing
that combinations have been formed therein to resist the execution of
the Territorial laws, and thus in effect subvert by violence all present
constitutional and legal authority; it also appearing that persons
residing without the Territory, but near its borders, contemplate armed
intervention in the affairs thereof; it also appearing that other
persons, inhabitants of remote States, are collecting money, engaging
men, and providing arms for the same purpose; and it further appearing
that combinations within the Territory are endeavoring, by the agency of
emissaries and otherwise, to induce individual States of the Union to
intervene in the affairs thereof, in violation of the Constitution of
the United States; and

Whereas all such plans for the determination of the future institutions
of the Territory, if carried into action from within the same, will
constitute the fact of insurrection, and if from without that of
invasive aggression, and will in either case justify and require the
forcible interposition of the whole power of the General Government,
as well to maintain the laws of the Territory as those of the Union:

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States, do
issue this my proclamation to command all persons engaged in unlawful
combinations against the constituted authority of the Territory of
Kansas or of the United States to disperse and retire peaceably to their
respective abodes, and to warn all such persons that any attempted
insurrection in said Territory or aggressive intrusion into the same
will be resisted not only by the employment of the local militia, but
also by that of any available forces of the United States, to the end
of assuring immunity from violence and full protection to the persons,
property, and civil rights of all peaceable and law-abiding inhabitants
of the Territory.

If, in any part of the Union, the fury of faction or fanaticism,
inflamed into disregard of the great principles of popular sovereignty
which, under the Constitution, are fundamental in the whole structure
of our institutions is to bring on the country the dire calamity of
an arbitrament of arms in that Territory, it shall be between lawless
violence on the one side and conservative force on the other, wielded
by legal authority of the General Government.

I call on the citizens, both of adjoining and of distant States, to
abstain from unauthorized intermeddling in the local concerns of the
Territory, admonishing them that its organic law is to be executed with
impartial justice, that all individual acts of illegal interference
will incur condign punishment, and that any endeavor to intervene by
organized force will be firmly withstood.

I invoke all good citizens to promote order by rendering obedience
to the law, to seek remedy for temporary evils by peaceful means,
to discountenance and repulse the counsels and the instigations of
agitators and of disorganizers, and to testify their attachment to
their country, their pride in its greatness, their appreciation of
the blessings they enjoy, and their determination that republican
institutions shall not fail in their hands by cooperating to uphold the
majesty of the laws and to vindicate the sanctity of the Constitution.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed to these presents.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, the 11th day of February, A.D. 1856,
and of the Independence of the United States the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



FRANKLIN PIERCE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

_To all whom it may concern_:

Whereas by letters patent under the seal of the United States bearing
date the 2d day of March, A.D. 1843, the President recognized Anthony
Barclay as consul of Her Britannic Majesty at New York and declared him
free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as are
allowed to the consuls of the most favored nations, but, for good and
sufficient reasons, it is deemed proper that he should no longer
exercise the said functions within the United States:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Franklin Pierce, President of
the United States of America, do hereby declare that the powers and
privileges conferred as aforesaid on the said Anthony Barclay are
revoked and annulled.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and
the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 28th day of May,
A.D. 1856, and of the Independence of the United States of America
the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



FRANKLIN PIERCE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

_To all whom it may concern_:

Whereas by letters patent under the seal of the United States bearing
date the 2d day of August, A.D. 1853, the President recognized George
Benvenuto Mathew as consul of Her Britannic Majesty at Philadelphia and
declared him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and
privileges as are allowed to the consuls of the most favored nations,
but, for good and sufficient reasons, it is deemed proper that he should
no longer exercise the said functions within the United States:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Franklin Pierce, President of
the United States of America, do hereby declare that the powers and
privileges conferred as aforesaid on the said George Benvenuto Mathew
are revoked and annulled.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and
the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 28th day of May,
A.D. 1856, and of the Independence of the United States of America
the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



FRANKLIN PIERCE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

_To all whom it may concern_:

Whereas by letters patent under the seal of the United States bearing
date the 17th day of August, A.D. 1852, the President recognized Charles
Rowcroft as consul of Her Britannic Majesty at Cincinnati and declared
him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as
are allowed to the consuls of the most favored nations, but, for good
and sufficient reasons, it is deemed proper that he should no longer
exercise the said functions within the United States:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Franklin Pierce, President of
the United States of America, do hereby declare that the powers and
privileges conferred as aforesaid on the said Charles Rowcroft are
revoked and annulled.

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent and
the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 28th day of May,
A.D. 1856, and of the Independence of the United States of America
the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, pursuant to the first article of the treaty between the United
States and the Mexican Republic of the 30th day of December, 1853, the
true limits between the territories of the contracting parties were
declared to be as follows:

Retaining the same dividing line between the two Californias as already
defined and established according to the fifth article of the treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo, the limits between the two Republics shall be as
follows:

Beginning in the Gulf of Mexico 3 leagues from land, opposite the mouth
of the Rio Grande, as provided in the fifth article of the treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo; thence, as defined in the said article, up the middle
of that river to the point where the parallel of 31° 47' north latitude
crosses the same; thence due west 100 miles; thence south to the
parallel of 31° 20' north latitude; thence along the said parallel of
31° 20' to the one hundred and eleventh meridian of longitude west of
Greenwich; thence in a straight line to a point on the Colorado River 20
English miles below the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers; thence
up the middle of the said river Colorado until it intersects the present
line between the United States and Mexico.

And whereas the said dividing line has been surveyed, marked out, and
established by the respective commissioners of the contracting parties,
pursuant to the same article of the said treaty:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Franklin Pierce, President of the
United States of America, do hereby declare to all whom it may concern
that the line aforesaid shall be held and considered as the boundary
between the United States and the Mexican Republic and shall be
respected as such by the United States and the citizens thereof.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be
hereunto affixed.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 2d day of June,
A.D. 1856, and of the Independence of the United States the eightieth.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas whilst hostilities exist with various Indian tribes on the
remote frontiers of the United States, and whilst in other respects the
public peace is seriously threatened, Congress has adjourned without
granting necessary supplies for the Army, depriving the Executive of
the power to perform his duty in relation to the common defense and
security, and an extraordinary occasion has thus arisen for assembling
the two Houses of Congress, I do therefore by this my proclamation
convene the said Houses to meet in the Capitol, at the city of
Washington, on Thursday, the 21st day of August instant, hereby
requiring the respective Senators and Representatives then and there
to assemble to consult and determine on such measures as the state of
the Union may seem to require.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be
hereunto affixed and signed the same with my hand.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Washington, the 18th day of August, A.D. 1856, and
of the Independence of the United States the eighty-first.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By order:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.



SPECIAL SESSION MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _August 21, 1856_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In consequence of the failure of Congress at its recent session to make
provision for the support of the Army, it became imperatively incumbent
on me to exercise the power which the Constitution confers on the
Executive for extraordinary occasions, and promptly to convene the two
Houses in order to afford them an opportunity of reconsidering a subject
of such vital interest to the peace and welfare of the Union.

With the exception of a partial authority vested by law in the Secretary
of War to contract for the supply of clothing and subsistence, the Army
is wholly dependent on the appropriations annually made by Congress.
The omission of Congress to act in this respect before the termination of
the fiscal year had already caused embarrassments to the service, which
were overcome only in expectation of appropriations before the close
of the present month. If the requisite funds be not speedily provided,
the Executive will no longer be able to furnish the transportation,
equipments, and munitions which are essential to the effectiveness of a
military force in the field. With no provision for the pay of troops the
contracts of enlistment would be broken and the Army must in effect be
disbanded, the consequences of which would be so disastrous as to demand
all possible efforts to avert the calamity.

It is not merely that the officers and enlisted men of the Army are to
be thus deprived of the pay and emoluments to which they are entitled by
standing laws; that the construction of arms at the public armories, the
repair and construction of ordnance at the arsenals, and the manufacture
of military clothing and camp equipage must be discontinued, and the
persons connected with this branch of the public service thus be
deprived suddenly of the employment essential to their subsistence;
nor is it merely the waste consequent on the forced abandonment of the
seaboard fortifications and of the interior military posts and other
establishments, and the enormous expense of recruiting and reorganizing
the Army and again distributing it over the vast regions which it now
occupies. These are evils which may, it is true, be repaired hereafter
by taxes imposed on the country; but other evils are involved, which no
expenditures, however lavish, could remedy, in comparison with which
local and personal injuries or interests sink into insignificance.

A great part of the Army is situated on the remote frontier or in the
deserts and mountains of the interior. To discharge large bodies of men
in such places without the means of regaining their homes, and where
few, if any, could obtain subsistence by honest industry, would be to
subject them to suffering and temptation, with disregard of justice and
right most derogatory to the Government.

In the Territories of Washington and Oregon numerous bands of Indians
are in arms and are waging a war of extermination against the white
inhabitants; and although our troops are actively carrying on the
campaign, we have no intelligence as yet of a successful result. On the
Western plains, notwithstanding the imposing display of military force
recently made there and the chastisement inflicted on the rebellious
tribes, others, far from being dismayed, have manifested hostile
intentions and been guilty of outrages which, if not designed to provoke
a conflict, serve to show that the apprehension of it is insufficient
wholly to restrain their vicious propensities. A strong force in the
State of Texas has produced a temporary suspension of hostilities there,
but in New Mexico incessant activity on the part of the troops is
required to keep in check the marauding tribes which infest that
Territory. The hostile Indians have not been removed from the State of
Florida, and the withdrawal of the troops therefrom, leaving that object
unaccomplished, would be most injurious to the inhabitants and a breach
of the positive engagement of the General Government.

To refuse supplies to the Army, therefore, is to compel the complete
cessation of all its operations and its practical disbandment, and thus
to invite hordes of predatory savages from the Western plains and the
Rocky Mountains to spread devastation along a frontier of more than
4,000 miles in extent and to deliver up the sparse population of a vast
tract of country to rapine and murder.

Such, in substance, would be the direct and immediate effects of
the refusal of Congress, for the first time in the history of the
Government, to grant supplies for the maintenance of the Army--the
inevitable waste of millions of public treasure; the infliction of
extreme wrong upon all persons connected with the military establishment
by service, employment, or contracts; the recall of our forces from the
field; the fearful sacrifice of life and incalculable destruction of
property on the remote frontiers; the striking of our national flag
on the battlements of the fortresses which defend our maritime cities
against foreign invasion; the violation of the public honor and good
faith, and the discredit of the United States in the eyes of the
civilized world.

I confidently trust that these considerations, and others appertaining
to the domestic peace of the country which can not fail to suggest
themselves to every patriotic mind, will on reflection be duly
appreciated by both Houses of Congress and induce the enactment of the
requisite provisions of law for the support of the Army of the United
States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



SPECIAL MESSAGE.


EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, August 21, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of War, in relation to
the balances remaining in the Treasury from the last appropriation for
the support of the Army.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 2, 1856_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The Constitution requires that the President shall from time to time not
only recommend to the consideration of Congress such measures as he may
judge necessary and expedient, but also that he shall give information
to them of the state of the Union. To do this fully involves exposition
of all matters in the actual condition of the country, domestic or
foreign, which essentially concern the general welfare. While performing
his constitutional duty in this respect, the President does not speak
merely to express personal convictions, but as the executive minister of
the Government, enabled by his position and called upon by his official
obligations to scan with an impartial eye the interests of the whole and
of every part of the United States.

Of the condition of the domestic interests of the Union--its agriculture,
mines, manufactures, navigation, and commerce--it is necessary only to
say that the internal prosperity of the country, its continuous and
steady advancement in wealth and population and in private as well
as public well-being, attest the wisdom of our institutions and the
predominant spirit of intelligence and patriotism which, notwithstanding
occasional irregularities of opinion or action resulting from popular
freedom, has distinguished and characterized the people of America.

In the brief interval between the termination of the last and the
commencement of the present session of Congress the public mind has been
occupied with the care of selecting for another constitutional term the
President and Vice-President of the United States.

The determination of the persons who are of right, or contingently, to
preside over the administration of the Government is under our system
committed to the States and the people. We appeal to them, by their
voice pronounced in the forms of law, to call whomsoever they will to
the high post of Chief Magistrate.

And thus it is that as the Senators represent the respective States of
the Union and the members of the House of Representatives the several
constituencies of each State, so the President represents the aggregate
population of the United States. Their election of him is the explicit
and solemn act of the sole sovereign authority of the Union.

It is impossible to misapprehend the great principles which by their
recent political action the people of the United States have sanctioned
and announced.

They have asserted the constitutional equality of each and all of the
States of the Union as States; they have affirmed the constitutional
equality of each and all of the citizens of the United States as
citizens, whatever their religion, wherever their birth or their
residence; they have maintained the inviolability of the constitutional
rights of the different sections of the Union, and they have proclaimed
their devoted and unalterable attachment to the Union and to the
Constitution, as objects of interest superior to all subjects of local
or sectional controversy, as the safeguard of the rights of all, as the
spirit and the essence of the liberty, peace, and greatness of the
Republic.

In doing this they have at the same time emphatically condemned the idea
of organizing in these United States mere geographical parties, of
marshaling in hostile array toward each other the different parts of the
country, North or South, East or West.

Schemes of this nature, fraught with incalculable mischief, and which
the considerate sense of the people has rejected, could have had
countenance in no part of the country had they not been disguised by
suggestions plausible in appearance, acting upon an excited state of the
public mind, induced by causes temporary in their character and, it is
to be hoped, transient in their influence.

Perfect liberty of association for political objects and the widest
scope of discussion are the received and ordinary conditions of
government in our country. Our institutions, framed in the spirit
of confidence in the intelligence and integrity of the people, do not
forbid citizens, either individually or associated together, to attack
by writing, speech, or any other methods short of physical force the
Constitution and the very existence of the Union. Under the shelter
of this great liberty, and protected by the laws and usages of the
Government they assail, associations have been formed in some of the
States of individuals who, pretending to seek only to prevent the spread
of the institution of slavery into the present or future inchoate States
of the Union, are really inflamed with desire to change the domestic
institutions of existing States. To accomplish their objects they
dedicate themselves to the odious task of depreciating the government
organization which stands in their way and of calumniating with
indiscriminate invective not only the citizens of particular States with
whose laws they find fault, but all others of their fellow-citizens
throughout the country who do not participate with them in their
assaults upon the Constitution, framed and adopted by our fathers, and
claiming for the privileges it has secured and the blessings it has
conferred the steady support and grateful reverence of their children.
They seek an object which they well know to be a revolutionary one.
They are perfectly aware that the change in the relative condition of
the white and black races in the slaveholding States which they would
promote is beyond their lawful authority; that to them it is a foreign
object; that it can not be effected by any peaceful instrumentality of
theirs; that for them and the States of which they are citizens the
only path to its accomplishment is through burning cities, and ravaged
fields, and slaughtered populations, and all there is most terrible in
foreign complicated with civil and servile war; and that the first step
in the attempt is the forcible disruption of a country embracing in its
broad bosom a degree of liberty and an amount of individual and public
prosperity to which there is no parallel in history, and substituting in
its place hostile governments, driven at once and inevitably into mutual
devastation and fratricidal carnage, transforming the now peaceful and
felicitous brotherhood into a vast permanent camp of armed men like the
rival monarchies of Europe and Asia. Well knowing that such, and such
only, are the means and the consequences of their plans and purposes,
they endeavor to prepare the people of the United States for civil war
by doing everything in their power to deprive the Constitution and the
laws of moral authority and to undermine the fabric of the Union by
appeals to passion and sectional prejudice, by indoctrinating its people
with reciprocal hatred, and by educating them to stand face to face as
enemies, rather than shoulder to shoulder as friends.

It is by the agency of such unwarrantable interference, foreign and
domestic, that the minds of many otherwise good citizens have been so
inflamed into the passionate condemnation of the domestic institutions
of the Southern States as at length to pass insensibly to almost equally
passionate hostility toward their fellow-citizens of those States, and
thus finally to fall into temporary fellowship with the avowed and
active enemies of the Constitution. Ardently attached to liberty in the
abstract, they do not stop to consider practically how the objects they
would attain can be accomplished, nor to reflect that, even if the evil
were as great as they deem it, they have no remedy to apply, and that it
can be only aggravated by their violence and unconstitutional action.
A question which is one of the most difficult of all the problems of
social institution, political economy, and statesmanship they treat
with unreasoning intemperance of thought and language. Extremes beget
extremes. Violent attack from the North finds its inevitable consequence
in the growth of a spirit of angry defiance at the South. Thus in the
progress of events we had reached that consummation, which the voice of
the people has now so pointedly rebuked, of the attempt of a portion of
the States, by a sectional organization and movement, to usurp the
control of the Government of the United States.

I confidently believe that the great body of those who inconsiderately
took this fatal step are sincerely attached to the Constitution and the
Union. They would upon deliberation shrink with unaffected horror from
any conscious act of disunion or civil war. But they have entered into
a path which leads nowhere unless it be to civil war and disunion, and
which has no other possible outlet. They have proceeded thus far in
that direction in consequence of the successive stages of their progress
having consisted of a series of secondary issues, each of which
professed to be confined within constitutional and peaceful limits, but
which attempted indirectly what few men were willing to do directly;
that is, to act aggressively against the constitutional rights of
nearly one-half of the thirty-one States.

In the long series of acts of indirect aggression, the first was the
strenuous agitation by citizens of the Northern States, in Congress and
out of it, of the question of negro emancipation in the Southern States.

The second step in this path of evil consisted of acts of the people
of the Northern States, and in several instances of their governments,
aimed to facilitate the escape of persons held to service in the
Southern States and to prevent their extradition when reclaimed
according to law and in virtue of express provisions of the
Constitution. To promote this object, legislative enactments and other
means were adopted to take away or defeat rights which the Constitution
solemnly guaranteed. In order to nullify the then existing act of
Congress concerning the extradition of fugitives from service, laws were
enacted in many States forbidding their officers, under the severest
penalties, to participate in the execution of any act of Congress
whatever. In this way that system of harmonious cooperation between the
authorities of the United States and of the several States, for the
maintenance of their common institutions, which existed in the early
years of the Republic was destroyed; conflicts of jurisdiction came to
be frequent, and Congress found itself compelled, for the support of
the Constitution and the vindication of its power, to authorize the
appointment of new officers charged with the execution of its acts, as
if they and the officers of the States were the ministers, respectively,
of foreign governments in a state of mutual hostility rather than
fellow-magistrates of a common country peacefully subsisting under the
protection of one well-constituted Union. Thus here also aggression was
followed by reaction, and the attacks upon the Constitution at this
point did but serve to raise up new barriers for its defense and
security.

The third stage of this unhappy sectional controversy was in
connection with the organization of Territorial governments and
the admission of new States into the Union. When it was proposed to
admit the State of Maine, by separation of territory from that of
Massachusetts, and the State of Missouri, formed of a portion of the
territory ceded by France to the United States, representatives in
Congress objected to the admission of the latter unless with conditions
suited to particular views of public policy. The imposition of such a
condition was successfully resisted; but at the same period the question
was presented of imposing restrictions upon the residue of the territory
ceded by France. That question was for the time disposed of by the
adoption of a geographical line of limitation.

In this connection it should not be forgotten that when France, of
her own accord, resolved, for considerations of the most far-sighted
sagacity, to cede Louisiana to the United States, and that accession was
accepted by the United States, the latter expressly engaged 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;" that is to say, while it remains in a Territorial condition
its inhabitants are maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of
their liberty and property, with a right then to pass into the condition
of States on a footing of perfect equality with the original States.

The enactment which established the restrictive geographical line was
acquiesced in rather than approved by the States of the Union. It stood
on the statute book, however, for a number of years; and the people of
the respective States acquiesced in the reenactment of the principle as
applied to the State of Texas, and it was proposed to acquiesce in its
further application to the territory acquired by the United States
from Mexico. But this proposition was successfully resisted by the
representatives from the Northern States, who, regardless of the statute
line, insisted upon applying restriction to the new territory generally,
whether lying north or south of it, thereby repealing it as a
legislative compromise, and, on the part of the North, persistently
violating the compact, if compact there was.

Thereupon this enactment ceased to have binding virtue in any sense,
whether as respects the North or the South, and so in effect it was
treated on the occasion of the admission of the State of California and
the organization of the Territories of New Mexico, Utah, and Washington.

Such was the state of this question when the time arrived for the
organization of the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. In the progress
of constitutional inquiry and reflection it had now at length come to
be seen clearly that Congress does not possess constitutional power to
impose restrictions of this character upon any present or future State
of the Union. In a long series of decisions, on the fullest argument and
after the most deliberate consideration, the Supreme Court of the United
States had finally determined this point in every form under which the
question could arise, whether as affecting public or private rights--in
questions of the public domain, of religion, of navigation, and of
servitude.

The several States of the Union are by force of the Constitution coequal
in domestic legislative power. Congress can not change a law of domestic
relation in the State of Maine; no more can it in the State of Missouri.
Any statute which proposes to do this is a mere nullity; it takes away
no right, it confers none. If it remains on the statute book unrepealed,
it remains there only as a monument of error and a beacon of warning to
the legislator and the statesman. To repeal it will be only to remove
imperfection from the statutes, without affecting, either in the sense
of permission or of prohibition, the action of the States or of their
citizens.

Still, when the nominal restriction of this nature, already a dead
letter in law, was in terms repealed by the last Congress, in a clause
of the act organizing the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, that
repeal was made the occasion of a widespread and dangerous agitation.

It was alleged that the original enactment being a compact of perpetual
moral obligation, its repeal constituted an odious breach of faith.

An act of Congress, while it remains unrepealed, more especially if it
be constitutionally valid in the judgment of those public functionaries
whose duty it is to pronounce on that point, is undoubtedly binding on
the conscience of each good citizen of the Republic. But in what sense
can it be asserted that the enactment in question was invested with
perpetuity and entitled to the respect of a solemn compact? Between whom
was the compact? No distinct contending powers of the Government, no
separate sections of the Union treating as such, entered into treaty
stipulations on the subject. It was a mere clause of an act of Congress,
and, like any other controverted matter of legislation, received its
final shape and was passed by compromise of the conflicting opinions or
sentiments of the members of Congress. But if it had moral authority
over men's consciences, to whom did this authority attach? Not to those
of the North, who had repeatedly refused to confirm it by extension
and who had zealously striven to establish other and incompatible
regulations upon the subject. And if, as it thus appears, the supposed
compact had no obligatory force as to the North, of course it could not
have had any as to the South, for all such compacts must be mutual and
of reciprocal obligation.

It has not unfrequently happened that lawgivers, with undue estimation
of the value of the law they give or in the view of imparting to it
peculiar strength, make it perpetual in terms; but they can not thus
bind the conscience, the judgment, and the will of those who may succeed
them, invested with similar responsibilities and clothed with equal
authority. More careful investigation may prove the law to be unsound
in principle. Experience may show it to be imperfect in detail and
impracticable in execution. And then both reason and right combine
not merely to justify but to require its repeal.

The Constitution, supreme, as it is, over all the departments of the
Government--legislative, executive, and judicial--is open to amendment
by its very terms; and Congress or the States may, in their discretion,
propose amendment to it, solemn compact though it in truth is between
the sovereign States of the Union. In the present instance a political
enactment which had ceased to have legal power or authority of any kind
was repealed. The position assumed that Congress had no moral right to
enact such repeal was strange enough, and singularly so in view of the
fact that the argument came from those who openly refused obedience
to existing laws of the land, having the same popular designation and
quality as compromise acts; nay, more, who unequivocally disregarded
and condemned the most positive and obligatory injunctions of the
Constitution itself, and sought by every means within their reach to
deprive a portion of their fellow-citizens of the equal enjoyment of
those rights and privileges guaranteed alike to all by the fundamental
compact of our Union.

This argument against the repeal of the statute line in question was
accompanied by another of congenial character and equally with the
former destitute of foundation in reason and truth. It was imputed that
the measure originated in the conception of extending the limits of
slave labor beyond those previously assigned to it, and that such was
its natural as well as intended effect; and these baseless assumptions
were made, in the Northern States, the ground of unceasing assault upon
constitutional right.

The repeal in terms of a statute, which was already obsolete and also
null for unconstitutionality, could have no influence to obstruct or
to promote the propagation of conflicting views of political or social
institution. When the act organizing the Territories of Kansas and
Nebraska was passed, the inherent effect upon that portion of the
public domain thus opened to legal settlement was to admit settlers
from all the States of the Union alike, each with his convictions of
public policy and private interest, there to found, in their discretion,
subject to such limitations as the Constitution and acts of Congress
might prescribe, new States, hereafter to be admitted into the Union.
It was a free field, open alike to all, whether the statute line of
assumed restriction were repealed or not. That repeal did not open to
free competition of the diverse opinions and domestic institutions a
field which without such repeal would have been closed against them;
it found that field of competition already opened, in fact and in law.
All the repeal did was to relieve the statute book of an objectionable
enactment, unconstitutional in effect and injurious in terms to a large
portion of the States.

Is it the fact that in all the unsettled regions of the United States,
if emigration be left free to act in this respect for itself, without
legal prohibitions on either side, slave labor will spontaneously go
everywhere in preference to free labor? Is it the fact that the peculiar
domestic institutions of the Southern States possess relatively so much
of vigor that wheresoever an avenue is freely opened to all the world
they will penetrate to the exclusion of those of the Northern States?
Is it the fact that the former enjoy, compared with the latter, such
irresistibly superior vitality, independent of climate, soil, and all
other accidental circumstances, as to be able to produce the supposed
result in spite of the assumed moral and natural obstacles to its
accomplishment and of the more numerous population of the Northern
States?

The argument of those who advocate the enactment of new laws of
restriction and condemn the repeal of old ones in effect avers that
their particular views of government have no self-extending or
self-sustaining power of their own, and will go nowhere unless forced by
act of Congress. And if Congress do but pause for a moment in the policy
of stern coercion; if it venture to try the experiment of leaving men to
judge for themselves what institutions will best suit them; if it be not
strained up to perpetual legislative exertion on this point--if Congress
proceed thus to act in the very spirit of liberty, it is at once charged
with aiming to extend slave labor into all the new Territories of the
United States.

Of course these imputations on the intentions of Congress in this
respect, conceived, as they were, in prejudice and disseminated in
passion, are utterly destitute of any justification in the nature of
things and contrary to all the fundamental doctrines and principles of
civil liberty and self-government.

While, therefore, in general, the people of the Northern States
have never at any time arrogated for the Federal Government the
power to interfere directly with the domestic condition of persons
in the Southern States, but, on the contrary, have disavowed all such
intentions and have shrunk from conspicuous affiliation with those few
who pursue their fanatical objects avowedly through the contemplated
means of revolutionary change of the Government and with acceptance of
the necessary consequences--a civil and servile war--yet many citizens
have suffered themselves to be drawn into one evanescent political issue
of agitation after another, appertaining to the same set of opinions,
and which subsided as rapidly as they arose when it came to be seen, as
it uniformly did, that they were incompatible with the compacts of the
Constitution and the existence of the Union. Thus when the acts of some
of the States to nullify the existing extradition law imposed upon
Congress the duty of passing a new one, the country was invited by
agitators to enter into party organization for its repeal; but that
agitation speedily ceased by reason of the impracticability of its
object. So when the statute restriction upon the institutions of new
States by a geographical line had been repealed, the country was urged
to demand its restoration, and that project also died almost with its
birth. Then followed the cry of alarm from the North against imputed
Southern encroachments, which cry sprang in reality from the spirit of
revolutionary attack on the domestic institutions of the South, and,
after a troubled existence of a few months, has been rebuked by the
voice of a patriotic people.

Of this last agitation, one lamentable feature was that it was carried
on at the immediate expense of the peace and happiness of the people of
the Territory of Kansas. That was made the battlefield, not so much of
opposing factions or interests within itself as of the conflicting
passions of the whole people of the United States. Revolutionary
disorder in Kansas had its origin in projects of intervention
deliberately arranged by certain members of that Congress which enacted
the law for the organization of the Territory; and when propagandist
colonization of Kansas had thus been undertaken in one section of the
Union for the systematic promotion of its peculiar views of policy there
ensued as a matter of course a counteraction with opposite views in
other sections of the Union.

In consequence of these and other incidents, many acts of disorder,
it is undeniable, have been perpetrated in Kansas, to the occasional
interruption rather than the permanent suspension of regular government.
Aggressive and most reprehensible incursions into the Territory were
undertaken both in the North and the South, and entered it on its
northern border by the way of Iowa, as well as on the eastern by way
of Missouri; and there has existed within it a state of insurrection
against the constituted authorities, not without countenance from
inconsiderate persons in each of the great sections of the Union. But
the difficulties in that Territory have been extravagantly exaggerated
for purposes of political agitation elsewhere. The number and gravity of
the acts of violence have been magnified partly by statements entirely
untrue and partly by reiterated accounts of the same rumors or facts.
Thus the Territory has been seemingly filled with extreme violence,
when the whole amount of such acts has not been greater than what
occasionally passes before us in single cities to the regret of all
good citizens, but without being regarded as of general or permanent
political consequence.

Imputed irregularities in the elections had in Kansas, like occasional
irregularities of the same description in the States, were beyond the
sphere of action of the Executive. But incidents of actual violence or
of organized obstruction of law, pertinaciously renewed from time to
time, have been met as they occurred by such means as were available and
as the circumstances required, and nothing of this character now remains
to affect the general peace of the Union. The attempt of a part of the
inhabitants of the Territory to erect a revolutionary government, though
sedulously encouraged and supplied with pecuniary aid from active agents
of disorder in some of the States, has completely failed. Bodies of
armed men, foreign to the Territory, have been prevented from entering
or compelled to leave it; predatory bands, engaged in acts of rapine
under cover of the existing political disturbances, have been arrested
or dispersed, and every well-disposed person is now enabled once more to
devote himself in peace to the pursuits of prosperous industry, for the
prosecution of which he undertook to participate in the settlement of
the Territory.

It affords me unmingled satisfaction thus to announce the peaceful
condition of things in Kansas, especially considering the means to which
it was necessary to have recourse for the attainment of the end, namely,
the employment of a part of the military force of the United States. The
withdrawal of that force from its proper duty of defending the country
against foreign foes or the savages of the frontier to employ it for
the suppression of domestic insurrection is, when the exigency occurs,
a matter of the most earnest solicitude. On this occasion of imperative
necessity it has been done with the best results, and my satisfaction
in the attainment of such results by such means is greatly enhanced by
the consideration that, through the wisdom and energy of the present
executive of Kansas and the prudence, firmness, and vigilance of the
military officers on duty there tranquillity has been restored without
one drop of blood having been shed in its accomplishment by the forces
of the United States.

The restoration of comparative tranquillity in that Territory furnishes
the means of observing calmly and appreciating at their just value the
events which have occurred there and the discussions of which the
government of the Territory has been the subject.

We perceive that controversy concerning its future domestic institutions
was inevitable; that no human prudence, no form of legislation, no
wisdom on the part of Congress, could have prevented it.

It is idle to suppose that the particular provisions of their organic
law were the cause of agitation. Those provisions were but the occasion,
or the pretext, of an agitation which was inherent in the nature of
things. Congress legislated upon the subject in such terms as were most
consonant with the principle of popular sovereignty which underlies our
Government. It could not have legislated otherwise without doing
violence to another great principle of our institutions--the
imprescriptible right of equality of the several States.

We perceive also that sectional interests and party passions have been
the great impediment to the salutary operation of the organic principles
adopted and the chief cause of the successive disturbances in Kansas,
The assumption that because in the organization of the Territories of
Nebraska and Kansas Congress abstained from imposing restraints upon
them to which certain other Territories had been subject, therefore
disorders occurred in the latter Territory, is emphatically contradicted
by the fact that none have occurred in the former. Those disorders were
not the consequence, in Kansas, of the freedom of self-government
conceded to that Territory by Congress, but of unjust interference on
the part of persons not inhabitants of the Territory. Such interference,
wherever it has exhibited itself by acts of insurrectionary character or
of obstruction to process of law, has been repelled or suppressed by all
the means which the Constitution and the laws place in the hands of the
Executive.

In those parts of the United States where, by reason of the inflamed
state of the public mind, false rumors and misrepresentations have
the greatest currency it has been assumed that it was the duty of the
Executive not only to suppress insurrectionary movements in Kansas,
but also to see to the regularity of local elections. It needs little
argument to show that the President has no such power. All government in
the United States rests substantially upon popular election. The freedom
of elections is liable to be impaired by the intrusion of unlawful votes
or the exclusion of lawful ones, by improper influences, by violence,
or by fraud. But the people of the United States are themselves the
all-sufficient guardians of their own rights, and to suppose that they
will not remedy in due season any such incidents of civil freedom is
to suppose them to have ceased to be capable of self-government. The
President of the United States has not power to interpose in elections,
to see to their freedom, to canvass their votes, or to pass upon their
legality in the Territories any more than in the States. If he had such
power the Government might be republican in form, but it would be a
monarchy in fact; and if he had undertaken to exercise it in the case of
Kansas he would have been justly subject to the charge of usurpation and
of violation of the dearest rights of the people of the United States.

Unwise laws, equally with irregularities at elections, are in periods
of great excitement the occasional incidents of even the freest and
best political institutions; but all experience demonstrates that in a
country like ours, where the right of self-constitution exists in the
completest form, the attempt to remedy unwise legislation by resort
to revolution is totally out of place, inasmuch as existing legal
institutions afford more prompt and efficacious means for the redress
of wrong.

I confidently trust that now, when the peaceful condition of Kansas
affords opportunity for calm reflection and wise legislation, either
the legislative assembly of the Territory or Congress will see that
no act shall remain on its statute book violative of the provisions
of the Constitution or subversive of the great objects for which
that was ordained and established, and will take all other necessary
steps to assure to its inhabitants the enjoyment, without obstruction or
abridgment, of all the constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities
of citizens of the United States, as contemplated by the organic law of
the Territory.

Full information in relation to recent events in this Territory will be
found in the documents communicated herewith from the Departments of
State and War.

I refer you to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for
particular information concerning the financial condition of the
Government and the various branches of the public service connected
with the Treasury Department.

During the last fiscal year the receipts from customs were for the first
time more than $64,000,000, and from all sources $73,918,141, which,
with the balance on hand up to the 1st of July, 1855, made the total
resources of the year amount to $92,850,117. The expenditures, including
$3,000,000 in execution of the treaty with Mexico and excluding sums
paid on account of the public debt, amounted to $60,172,401, and
including the latter to $72,948,792, the payment on this account having
amounted to $12,776,390.

On the 4th of March, 1853, the amount of the public debt was
$69,129,937. There was a subsequent increase of $2,750,000 for the debt
of Texas, making a total of $71,879,937. Of this the sum of $45,525,319,
including premium, has been discharged, reducing the debt to
$30,963,909, all which might be paid within a year without embarrassing
the public service, but being not yet due and only redeemable at the
option of the holder, can not be pressed to payment by the Government.

On examining the expenditures of the last five years it will be seen
that the average, deducting payments on account of the public debt and
$10,000,000 paid by treaty to Mexico, has been but about $48,000,000.
It is believed that under an economical administration of the Government
the average expenditure for the ensuing five years will not exceed that
sum, unless extraordinary occasion for its increase should occur. The
acts granting bounty lands will soon have been executed, while the
extension of our frontier settlements will cause a continued demand
for lands and augmented receipts, probably, from that source. These
considerations will justify a reduction of the revenue from customs
so as not to exceed forty-eight or fifty million dollars. I think the
exigency for such reduction is imperative, and again urge it upon the
consideration of Congress.

The amount of reduction, as well as the manner of effecting it,
are questions of great and general interest, it being essential to
industrial enterprise and the public prosperity, as well as the dictate
of obvious justice, that the burden of taxation be made to rest as
equally as possible upon all classes and all sections and interests
of the country.

I have heretofore recommended to your consideration the revision of
the revenue laws, prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the
Treasury, and also legislation upon some special questions affecting the
business of that Department, more especially the enactment of a law to
punish the abstraction of official books or papers from the files of the
Government and requiring all such books and papers and all other public
property to be turned over by the outgoing officer to his successor;
of a law requiring disbursing officers to deposit all public money in
the vaults of the Treasury or in other legal depositories, where the
same are conveniently accessible, and a law to extend existing penal
provisions to all persons who may become possessed of public money by
deposit or otherwise and who shall refuse or neglect on due demand to
pay the same into the Treasury. I invite your attention anew to each
of these objects.

The Army during the past year has been so constantly employed against
hostile Indians in various quarters that it can scarcely be said, with
propriety of language, to have been a peace establishment. Its duties
have been satisfactorily performed, and we have reason to expect as
a result of the year's operations greater security to the frontier
inhabitants than has been hitherto enjoyed. Extensive combinations among
the hostile Indians of the Territories of Washington and Oregon at one
time threatened the devastation of the newly formed settlements of that
remote portion of the country. From recent information we are permitted
to hope that the energetic and successful operations conducted there
will prevent such combinations in future and secure to those Territories
an opportunity to make steady progress in the development of their
agricultural and mineral resources.

Legislation has been recommended by me on previous occasions to cure
defects in the existing organization and to increase the efficiency of
the Army, and further observation has but served to confirm me in the
views then expressed and to enforce on my mind the conviction that such
measures are not only proper, but necessary.

I have, in addition, to invite the attention of Congress to a change of
policy in the distribution of troops and to the necessity of providing
a more rapid increase of the military armament. For details of these
and other subjects relating to the Army I refer to the report of the
Secretary of War.

The condition of the Navy is not merely satisfactory, but exhibits the
most gratifying evidences of increased vigor. As it is comparatively
small, it is more important that it should be as complete as possible
in all the elements of strength; that it should be efficient in the
character of its officers, in the zeal and discipline of its men, in the
reliability of its ordnance, and in the capacity of its ships. In all
these various qualities the Navy has made great progress within the last
few years. The execution of the law of Congress of February 28, 1855,
"to promote the efficiency of the Navy," has been attended by the most
advantageous results. The law for promoting discipline among the men
is found convenient and salutary. The system of granting an honorable
discharge to faithful seamen on the expiration of the period of their
enlistment and permitting them to reenlist after a leave of absence
of a few months without cessation of pay is highly beneficial in its
influence. The apprentice system recently adopted is evidently destined
to incorporate into the service a large number of our countrymen,
hitherto so difficult to procure. Several hundred American boys are
now on a three years' cruise in our national vessels and will return
well-trained seamen. In the Ordnance Department there is a decided and
gratifying indication of progress, creditable to it and to the country.
The suggestions of the Secretary of the Navy in regard to further
improvement in that branch of the service I commend to your favorable
action.

The new frigates ordered by Congress are now afloat and two of them in
active service. They are superior models of naval architecture, and with
their formidable battery add largely to public strength and security.
I concur in the views expressed by the Secretary of the Department in
favor of a still further increase of our naval force.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior presents facts and views
in relation to internal affairs over which the supervision of his
Department extends of much interest and importance.

The aggregate sales of the public lands during the last fiscal year
amount to 9,227,878 acres, for which has been received the sum of
$8,821,414. During the same period there have been located with military
scrip and land warrants and for other purposes 30,100,230 acres, thus
making a total aggregate of 39,328,108 acres. On the 30th of September
last surveys had been made of 16,873,699 acres, a large proportion of
which is ready for market.

The suggestions in this report in regard to the complication and
progressive expansion of the business of the different bureaus of the
Department, to the pension system, to the colonization of Indian tribes,
and the recommendations in relation to various improvements in the
District of Columbia are especially commended to your consideration.

The report of the Postmaster-General presents fully the condition of
that Department of the Government. Its expenditures for the last fiscal
year were $10,407,868 and its gross receipts $7,620,801, making an
excess of expenditure over receipts of $2,787,046. The deficiency
of this Department is thus $744,000 greater than for the year ending
June 30, 1853. Of this deficiency $330,000 is to be attributed to the
additional compensation allowed to postmasters by the act of Congress
of June 22, 1854. The mail facilities in every part of the country have
been very much increased in that period, and the large addition of
railroad service, amounting to 7,908 miles, has added largely to the
cost of transportation.

The inconsiderable augmentation of the income of the Post-Office
Department under the reduced rates of postage and its increasing
expenditures must for the present make it dependent to some extent
upon the Treasury for support. The recommendations of the
Postmaster-General in relation to the abolition of the franking
privilege and his views on the establishment of mail steamship lines
deserve the consideration of Congress. I also call the special attention
of Congress to the statement of the Postmaster-General respecting the
sums now paid for the transportation of mails to the Panama Railroad
Company, and commend to their early and favorable consideration the
suggestions of that officer in relation to new contracts for mail
transportation upon that route, and also upon the Tehuantepec and
Nicaragua routes.

The United States continue in the enjoyment of amicable relations with
all foreign powers.

When my last annual message was transmitted to Congress two subjects of
controversy, one relating to the enlistment of soldiers in this country
for foreign service and the other to Central America, threatened to
disturb the good understanding between the United States and Great
Britain. Of the progress and termination of the former question you were
informed at the time, and the other is now in the way of satisfactory
adjustment.

The object of the convention between the United States and Great Britain
of the 19th of April, 1850, was to secure for the benefit of all nations
the neutrality and the common use of any transit way or interoceanic
communication across the Isthmus of Panama which might be opened within
the limits of Central America. The pretensions subsequently asserted by
Great Britain to dominion or control over territories in or near two of
the routes, those of Nicaragua and Honduras, were deemed by the United
States not merely incompatible with the main object of the treaty, but
opposed even to its express stipulations. Occasion of controversy on
this point has been removed by an additional treaty, which our minister
at London has concluded, and which will be immediately submitted to
the Senate for its consideration. Should the proposed supplemental
arrangement be concurred in by all the parties to be affected by it,
the objects contemplated by the original convention will have been
fully attained.

The treaty between the United States and Great Britain of the 5th of
June, 1854, which went into effective operation in 1855, put an end to
causes of irritation between the two countries, by securing to the
United States the right of fishery on the coast of the British North
American Provinces, with advantages equal to those enjoyed by British
subjects. Besides the signal benefits of this treaty to a large class of
our citizens engaged in a pursuit connected to no inconsiderable degree
with our national prosperity and strength, it has had a favorable effect
upon other interests in the provision it made for reciprocal freedom of
trade between the United States and the British Provinces in America.

The exports of domestic articles to those Provinces during the last year
amounted to more than $22,000,000, exceeding those of the preceding year
by nearly $7,000,000; and the imports therefrom during the same period
amounted to more than twenty-one million, an increase of six million
upon those of the previous year.

The improved condition of this branch of our commerce is mainly
attributable to the above-mentioned treaty.

Provision was made in the first article of that treaty for a commission
to designate the mouths of rivers to which the common right of fishery
on the coast of the United States and the British Provinces was not to
extend. This commission has been employed a part of two seasons, but
without much progress in accomplishing the object for which it was
instituted, in consequence of a serious difference of opinion between
the commissioners, not only as to the precise point where the rivers
terminate, but in many instances as to what constitutes a river. These
difficulties, however, may be overcome by resort to the umpirage
provided for by the treaty.

The efforts perseveringly prosecuted since the commencement of my
Administration to relieve our trade to the Baltic from the exaction of
Sound dues by Denmark have not yet been attended with success. Other
governments have also sought to obtain a like relief to their commerce,
and Denmark was thus induced to propose an arrangement to all the
European powers interested in the subject, and the manner in which her
proposition was received warranting her to believe that a satisfactory
arrangement with them could soon be concluded, she made a strong appeal
to this Government for temporary suspension of definite action on its
part, in consideration of the embarrassment which might result to her
European negotiations by an immediate adjustment of the question with
the United States. This request has been acceded to upon the condition
that the sums collected after the 16th of June last and until the 16th
of June next from vessels and cargoes belonging to our merchants are to
be considered as paid under protest and subject to future adjustment.
There is reason to believe that an arrangement between Denmark and the
maritime powers of Europe on the subject will be soon concluded, and
that the pending negotiation with the United States may then be resumed
and terminated in a satisfactory manner.

With Spain no new difficulties have arisen, nor has much progress been
made in the adjustment of pending ones.

Negotiations entered into for the purpose of relieving our commercial
intercourse with the island of Cuba of some of its burdens and providing
for the more speedy settlement of local disputes growing out of that
intercourse have not yet been attended with any results.

Soon after the commencement of the late war in Europe this Government
submitted to the consideration of all maritime nations two principles
for the security of neutral commerce--one that the neutral flag should
cover enemies' goods, except articles contraband of war, and the other
that neutral property on board merchant vessels of belligerents should
be exempt from condemnation, with the exception of contraband articles.
These were not presented as new rules of international law, having
been generally claimed by neutrals, though not always admitted by
belligerents. One of the parties to the war (Russia), as well as several
neutral powers, promptly acceded to these propositions, and the two
other principal belligerents (Great Britain and France) having consented
to observe them for the present occasion, a favorable opportunity seemed
to be presented for obtaining a general recognition of them, both in
Europe and America.

But Great Britain and France, in common with most of the States of
Europe, while forbearing to reject, did not affirmatively act upon the
overtures of the United States.

While the question was in this position the representatives of Russia,
France, Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, and Turkey, assembled
at Paris, took into consideration the subject of maritime rights,
and put forth a declaration containing the two principles which this
Government had submitted nearly two years before to the consideration
of maritime powers, and adding thereto the following propositions:
"Privateering is and remains abolished," and "Blockades in order to
be binding must be effective; that is to say, maintained by a force
sufficient really to prevent access to the coast of the enemy;" and to
the declaration thus composed of four points, two of which had already
been proposed by the United States, this Government has been invited to
accede by all the powers represented at Paris except Great Britain and
Turkey. To the last of the two additional propositions--that in relation
to blockades--there can certainly be no objection. It is merely the
definition of what shall constitute the effectual investment of a
blockaded place, a definition for which this Government has always
contended, claiming indemnity for losses where a practical violation
of the rule thus defined has been injurious to our commerce. As to the
remaining, article of the declaration of the conference of Paris, that
"privateering is and remains abolished," I certainly can not ascribe to
the powers represented in the conference of Paris any but liberal and
philanthropic views in the attempt to change the unquestionable rule of
maritime law in regard to privateering. Their proposition was doubtless
intended to imply approval of the principle that private property upon
the ocean, although it might belong to the citizens of a belligerent
state, should be exempted from capture; and had that proposition been so
framed as to give full effect to the principle, it would have received
my ready assent on behalf of the United States. But the measure proposed
is inadequate to that purpose. It is true that if adopted private
property upon the ocean would be withdrawn from one mode of plunder,
but left exposed meanwhile to another mode, which could be used with
increased effectiveness. The aggressive capacity of great naval powers
would be thereby augmented, while the defensive ability of others would
be reduced. Though the surrender of the means of prosecuting hostilities
by employing privateers, as proposed by the conference of Paris, is
mutual in terms, yet in practical effect it would be the relinquishment
of a right of little value to one class of states, but of essential
importance to another and a far larger class. It ought not to have been
anticipated that a measure so inadequate to the accomplishment of the
proposed object and so unequal in its operation would receive the assent
of all maritime powers. Private property would be still left to the
depredations of the public armed cruisers.

I have expressed a readiness on the part of this Government to accede
to all the principles contained in the declaration of the conference of
Paris provided that the one relating to the abandonment of privateering
can be so amended as to effect the object for which, as is presumed, it
was intended--the immunity of private property on the ocean from hostile
capture. To effect this object, it is proposed to add to the declaration
that "privateering is and remains abolished" the following amendment:


  And that the private property of subjects and citizens of a belligerent
  on the high seas shall be exempt from seizure by the public armed
  vessels of the other belligerent, except it be contraband.


This amendment has been presented not only to the powers which have
asked our assent to the declaration to abolish privateering, but to all
other maritime states. Thus far it has not been rejected by any, and is
favorably entertained by all which have made any communication in reply.

Several of the governments regarding with favor the proposition of
the United States have delayed definitive action upon it only for the
purpose of consulting with others, parties to the conference of Paris.
I have the satisfaction of stating, however, that the Emperor of Russia
has entirely and explicitly approved of that modification and will
cooperate in endeavoring to obtain the assent of other powers, and that
assurances of a similar purport have been received in relation to the
disposition of the Emperor of the French.

The present aspect of this important subject allows us to cherish the
hope that a principle so humane in its character, so just and equal in
its operation, so essential to the prosperity of commercial nations, and
so consonant to the sentiments of this enlightened period of the world
will command the approbation of all maritime powers, and thus be
incorporated into the code of international law.

My views on the subject are more fully set forth in the reply of the
Secretary of State, a copy of which is herewith transmitted, to the
communications on the subject made to this Government, especially to
the communication of France.

The Government of the United States has at all times regarded with
friendly interest the other States of America, formerly, like this
country, European colonies, and now independent members of the great
family of nations. But the unsettled condition of some of them,
distracted by frequent revolutions, and thus incapable of regular and
firm internal administration, has tended to embarrass occasionally our
public intercourse by reason of wrongs which our citizens suffer at
their hands, and which they are slow to redress.

Unfortunately, it is against the Republic of Mexico, with which it
is our special desire to maintain a good understanding, that such
complaints are most numerous; and although earnestly urged upon its
attention, they have not as yet received the consideration which this
Government had a right to expect. While reparation for past injuries has
been withheld, others have been added. The political condition of that
country, however, has been such as to demand forbearance on the part of
the United States. I shall continue my efforts to procure for the wrongs
of our citizens that redress which is indispensable to the continued
friendly association of the two Republics.

The peculiar condition of affairs in Nicaragua in the early part of the
present year rendered it important that this Government should have
diplomatic relations with that State. Through its territory had been
opened one of the principal thoroughfares across the isthmus connecting
North and South America, on which a vast amount of property was
transported and to which our citizens resorted in great numbers in
passing between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States.
The protection of both required that the existing power in that State
should be regarded as a responsible Government, and its minister was
accordingly received. But he remained here only a short time. Soon
thereafter the political affairs of Nicaragua underwent unfavorable
change and became involved in much uncertainty and confusion. Diplomatic
representatives from two contending parties have been recently sent to
this Government, but with the imperfect information possessed it was not
possible to decide which was the Government _de facto_, and, awaiting
further developments, I have refused to receive either.

Questions of the most serious nature are pending between the United
States and the Republic of New Granada. The Government of that Republic
undertook a year since to impose tonnage duties on foreign vessels in
her ports, but the purpose was resisted by this Government as being
contrary to existing treaty stipulations with the United States and
to rights conferred by charter upon the Panama Railroad Company, and
was accordingly relinquished at that time, it being admitted that our
vessels were entitled to be exempt from tonnage duty in the free ports
of Panama and Aspinwall. But the purpose has been recently revived on
the part of New Granada by the enactment of a law to subject vessels
visiting her ports to the tonnage duty of 40 cents per ton, and although
the law has not been put in force, yet the right to enforce it is still
asserted and may at any time be acted on by the Government of that
Republic.

The Congress of New Granada has also enacted a law during the last
year which levies a tax of more than $3 on every pound of mail matter
transported across the Isthmus. The sum thus required to be paid on
the mails of the United States would be nearly $2,000,000 annually in
addition to the large sum payable by contract to the Panama Railroad
Company. If the only objection to this exaction were the exorbitancy
of its amount, it could not be submitted to by the United States.

The imposition of it, however, would obviously contravene our treaty
with New Granada and infringe the contract of that Republic with the
Panama Railroad Company. The law providing for this tax was by its terms
to take effect on the ist of September last, but the local authorities
on the Isthmus have been induced to suspend its execution and to await
further instructions on the subject from the Government of the Republic.
I am not yet advised of the determination of that Government. If a
measure so extraordinary in its character and so clearly contrary to
treaty stipulations and the contract rights of the Panama Railroad
Company, composed mostly of American citizens, should be persisted
in, it will be the duty of the United States to resist its execution.

I regret exceedingly that occasion exists to invite your attention to
a subject of still graver import in our relations with the Republic of
New Granada. On the 15th day of April last a riotous assemblage of the
inhabitants of Panama committed a violent and outrageous attack on the
premises of the railroad company and the passengers and other persons
in or near the same, involving the death of several citizens of the
United States, the pillage of many others, and the destruction of a
large amount of property belonging to the railroad company. I caused
full investigation of that event to be made, and the result shows
satisfactorily that complete responsibility for what occurred attaches
to the Government of New Granada. I have therefore demanded of that
Government that the perpetrators of the wrongs in question should be
punished; that provision should be made for the families of citizens of
the United States who were killed, with full indemnity for the property
pillaged or destroyed.

The present condition of the Isthmus of Panama, in so far as regards
the security of persons and property passing over it, requires serious
consideration. Recent incidents tend to show that the local authorities
can not be relied on to maintain the public peace of Panama, and there
is just ground for apprehension that a portion of the inhabitants are
meditating further outrages, without adequate measures for the security
and protection of persons or property having been taken, either by the
State of Panama or by the General Government of New Granada.

Under the guaranties of treaty, citizens of the United States have, by
the outlay of several million dollars, constructed a railroad across
the Isthmus, and it has become the main route between our Atlantic
and Pacific possessions, over which multitudes of our citizens and a
vast amount of property are constantly passing; to the security and
protection of all which and the continuance of the public advantages
involved it is impossible for the Government of the United States to
be indifferent.

I have deemed the danger of the recurrence of scenes of lawless violence
in this quarter so imminent as to make it my duty to station a part of
our naval force in the harbors of Panama and Aspinwall, in order to
protect the persons and property of the citizens of the United States
in those ports and to insure to them safe passage across the Isthmus.
And it would, in my judgment, be unwise to withdraw the naval force now
in those ports until, by the spontaneous action of the Republic of New
Granada or otherwise, some adequate arrangement shall have been made for
the protection and security of a line of interoceanic communication, so
important at this time not to the United States only, but to all other
maritime states, both of Europe and America.

Meanwhile negotiations have been instituted, by means of a special
commission, to obtain from New Granada full indemnity for injuries
sustained by our citizens on the Isthmus and satisfactory security
for the general interests of the United States.

In addressing to you my last annual message the occasion seems to me
an appropriate one to express my congratulations, in view of the peace,
greatness, and felicity which the United States now possess and enjoy.
To point you to the state of the various Departments of the Government
and of all the great branches of the public service, civil and military,
in order to speak of the intelligence and the integrity which pervades
the whole, would be to indicate but imperfectly the administrative
condition of the country and the beneficial effects of that on the
general welfare. Nor would it suffice to say that the nation is actually
at peace at home and abroad; that its industrial interests are
prosperous; that the canvas of its mariners whitens every sea, and the
plow of its husbandmen is marching steadily onward to the bloodless
conquest of the continent; that cities and populous States are springing
up, as if by enchantment, from the bosom of our Western wilds, and that
the courageous energy of our people is making of these United States
the great Republic of the world. These results have not been attained
without passing through trials and perils, by experience of which,
and thus only, nations can harden into manhood. Our forefathers were
trained to the wisdom which conceived and the courage which achieved
independence by the circumstances which surrounded them, and they were
thus made capable of the creation of the Republic. It devolved on the
next generation to consolidate the work of the Revolution, to deliver
the country entirely from the influences of conflicting transatlantic
partialities or antipathies which attached to our colonial and
Revolutionary history, and to organize the practical operation of
the constitutional and legal institutions of the Union. To us of
this generation remains the not less noble task of maintaining and
extending the national power. We have at length reached that stage
of our country's career in which the dangers to be encountered and
the exertions to be made are the incidents, not of weakness, but of
strength. In foreign relations we have to attemper our power to the less
happy condition of other Republics in America and to place ourselves in
the calmness and conscious dignity of right by the side of the greatest
and wealthiest of the Empires of Europe. In domestic relations we have
to guard against the shock of the discontents, the ambitions, the
interests, and the exuberant, and therefore sometimes irregular,
impulses of opinion or of action which are the natural product of the
present political elevation, the self-reliance, and the restless spirit
of enterprise of the people of the United States.

I shall prepare to surrender the Executive trust to my successor and
retire to private life with sentiments of profound gratitude to the good
Providence which during the period of my Administration has vouchsafed
to carry the country through many difficulties, domestic and foreign,
and which enables me to contemplate the spectacle of amicable and
respectful relations between ours and all other governments and the
establishment of constitutional order and tranquillity throughout the
Union.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _December 2, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report[63] from the Secretary of State, in
compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
7th of August last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 63: Stating that the correspondence in the Departments of State
and of the Navy relative to Hamet Caramally had been transmitted to
Congress.]



WASHINGTON, _December 8, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty between the United States and Siam, concluded
at Bangkok on the 29th day of May last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 10, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty for the settlement of the questions which have
come into discussion between the United States and Great Britain
relative to Central America, concluded and signed at London on the
17th day of October last between the United States and Great Britain.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit a copy of a letter of the 20th of May last from the
commissioner of the United States in China, and of the decree and
regulations[64] which accompanied it, for such revision thereof as
Congress may deem expedient, pursuant to the sixth section of the
act approved 11th August, 1848.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 64: For judicial jurisdiction by acting consuls or vice-consuls
of the United States in China.]



WASHINGTON, _December 15, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress an extract from a letter of the 22d ultimo from
the governor of the Territory of Kansas to the Secretary of State, with
a copy of the executive minutes[65] to which it refers. These documents
have been received since the date of my message at the opening of the
present session.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 65: Containing a history of Kansas affairs.]



WASHINGTON, _December 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with, a resolution of the Senate of the 23d instant,
requesting the President "to communicate to the Senate, if not
incompatible with the public interest, such information as he may have
concerning the present condition and prospects of a proposed plan for
connecting by submarine wires the magnetic telegraph lines on this
continent and Europe," I transmit the accompanying report from the
Secretary of State.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 6, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[66] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 2d instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 66: Relating to the refusal of the minister to the United
States from the Netherlands to testify before the criminal court of
the District of Columbia.]



WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 4th August, 1856,
and 9th January instant, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary
of State, together with the documents[67] therein referred to.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 67: Relating to the claims of certain American citizens for
losses consequent upon their expulsion by Venezuelan authorities from
one of the Aves Islands, while collecting guano.]



WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I again transmit to the Senate, for its advice and consent with a
view to ratification, the convention between the United States and
His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, for the mutual delivery
of criminals fugitives from justice in certain cases, and for
other purposes, which was concluded at The Hague on the 29th day
of May, 1856.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[68] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th
instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 68: Correspondence and documents connected with the treaty
concluded at London between the United States and Great Britain
October 17, 1856, relative to Central America.]



WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1857_.

The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
22d ultimo, in relation to information with regard to expenditures and
liabilities for persons called into the service of the United States
in the Territory of Kansas, I transmit the accompanying report of the
Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 13, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Republic
of Peru relative to the rights of neutrals at sea, signed at Lima by
the plenipotentiaries of the parties on the 22d of July last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 16, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made and concluded at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Territory, on the 16th day of December, 1856, between Indian Agent
Benjamin F. Robinson, commissioner on the part of the United States,
the principal men of the Christian Indians, and Gottleib F. Oehler, on
behalf of the board of elders of the northern diocese of the Church of
the United Brethren in the United States of America.

Among the papers which accompany the treaty is a communication from the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, containing a recommendation, concurred
in by the Secretary of the Interior, that the treaty be ratified with
an amendment which is therein explained.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 19, 1857_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Soon after the close of the last session of Congress I directed steps to
be taken to carry into effect the joint resolution of August 28, 1856
relative to the restoration of the ship _Resolute_ to Her Britannic
Majesty's service. The ship was purchased of the salvors at the sum
appropriated for the purchase, and "after being fully repaired and
equipped" was sent to England under control of the Secretary of the
Navy, The letter from Her Majesty's minister for foreign affairs, now
communicated to Congress in conformity with his request, and copies of
correspondence from the files of the Departments of State and of the
Navy, also transmitted herewith, will apprise you of the manner in which
the joint resolution has been fully executed and show how agreeable the
proceeding has been to Her Majesty's Government.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.


WASHINGTON, _January, 1857_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress copies of a communication from His Excellency
Andrew Johnson, governor of the State of Tennessee, tendering to the
Government of the United States "500 acres of the late residence of
Andrew Jackson, deceased, including the mansion, tomb, and other
improvements, known as the Hermitage," upon the terms and conditions
of an act of the legislature of said State, a copy of which is also
herewith communicated.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 20, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In response to a resolution of January 5, 1857, requesting the President
to inform the House of Representatives "by what authority a Government
architect is employed and paid for designing and erecting all public
buildings, and also for placing said buildings under the supervision
of military engineers," I submit the accompanying reports from the
Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 21, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In further compliance with resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 22d ultimo, calling upon me for "statements of the amounts of money
paid and liabilities incurred for the pay, support, and other expenses
of persons called into the service of the United States in the Territory
of Kansas, either under the designation of the militia of Kansas or of
posses summoned by the civil officers in that Territory, since the date
of its establishment; also statements of the amounts paid to marshals,
sheriffs, and other deputies, and to witnesses and for other expenses in
the arrest, detention, and trial of persons charged in said Territory
with treason against the United States or with violations of the alleged
laws of said Territory," I transmit a report from the Secretary of the
Treasury, with accompanying documents.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 28, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made and concluded at Grand Portage, in the Territory
of Minnesota, on the 16th day of September, 1856, between Henry C.
Gilbert, Indian agent, acting as commissioner on the part of the United
States, and the Bois Porte bands of Chippewa Indians, by their chiefs
and headmen.

The treaty is accompanied by communications from the Secretary of the
Interior, transmitting a letter to him from the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs and a report from Agent Gilbert of the 24th December, 1856.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate passed December 23, 1856,
requesting "any information upon the files of the Department in relation
to pay and emoluments of Lieutenant-General Scott or his staff under the
resolution of February 15, 1855, which may not have been communicated in
Executive Document No. 56, first session Thirty-fourth Congress," and a
resolution passed December 30, requesting "a statement of all payments
and allowances which have been made, and of all claims which have been
disallowed, to Brevet Lieutenant-General Scott from the date when he
joined the army serving in Mexico up to December 1, 1856," and "also
copies of all correspondence on file in the Executive Departments
relating to said claims, payments, or allowances," I herewith transmit
a report of the Secretary of War, to whom the resolutions were referred
in order that the information, statements, and copies of correspondence
therein required might be prepared and furnished.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 4, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolutions of the Senate of yesterday, adopted in
executive session, I transmit reports[69] from the Secretary of State,
to whom they were referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 69: Relating to the convention between Great Britain and
Honduras respecting the island of Ruatan.]



WASHINGTON, _February 4, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents,[70] in answer to the resolution of the
House of December 26, 1854.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 70: Consular returns on shipping, shipbuilding, etc., in
foreign countries.]



WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[71] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 30th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 71: Relating to the proclamation of martial law in Washington
Territory, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _February 11, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 5th
instant, requesting me to communicate transcripts of papers relative
to the proclamation of martial law by Governor Stevens, of Washington
Territory, I transmit the accompanying report from the Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 11, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a treaty of friendship and commerce between the United
States and the Shah of Persia, signed by the plenipotentiaries of the
parties at Constantinople on the 13th of December last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 11, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at the
places and dates therein named by Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian
affairs, on the part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen
of the confederate tribes and bands of Indians residing along the coast
west of the summit of the Coast Range of mountains and between the
Columbia River on the north and the southern boundary of Oregon on the
south. A letter from the Secretary of the Interior, including one from
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, accompanies the treaty.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
19th ultimo, requesting me "to furnish to the House all correspondence
and documents, not incompatible with the public interest, relating to
Indian affairs in the Department of the Pacific, those of the Interior
as well as those of the War Department," I transmit the accompanying
report and documents from the Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter of the Secretary of War, recommending
an appropriation of $10,000 for the purpose of instituting a series of
researches for the discovery of a more efficient mode of manufacturing
niter.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 16, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 4th of August
last, calling for information in relation to certain internal
improvements, I transmit reports[72] from the Secretary of the Treasury
and the Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 72: Appropriations made by Congress within eleven years for
light-houses, beacons, buoys, etc, on Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron,
St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, and Champlain; duties collected and expenses
of collection at each of the lake ports annually for eleven fiscal
years, ending June 30, 1856; tonnage of the lake ports, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit for the consideration of the Senate with a view to
ratification a consular convention between the United States and the
Republic of Chili, signed by the plenipotentiaries of the parties at
the city of Santiago on the 1st day of December last.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[73] in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 6th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 73: Relating to the claim of F. Dainese for salary, expenses,
etc., while acting consul at Constantinople.]



_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Attorney-General, in reply to
the resolution[74] of the Senate in executive session of the 19th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

FEBRUARY 23, 1857.

[Footnote 74: Asking whether Samuel D. Lecompte has been allowed to
perform the functions of chief justice of the Territory of Kansas
since the nomination of J.O. Harrison to that office.]



_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a report from the Attorney-General, in reply
to the resolution of the Senate of the 20th instant, asking for
correspondence of Samuel D. Lecompte, chief justice of the Territory
of Kansas.[75]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

FEBRUARY 23, 1857.

[Footnote 75: Explanatory of his judicial conduct in the Territory of
Kansas.]



WASHINGTON, _March 2, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter[76] from the Secretary of the Navy,
in response to a resolution of the Senate of August 15, 1856.

Concurring in the views presented in the documents to which the
Secretary of the Navy refers, I am not prepared at this time to
recommend any legislation on the subject.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 76: Relating to the discontinuance or change of location of
any navy-yard or naval station on the Atlantic Seaboard.]



WASHINGTON, _March 2, 1857_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 20th ultimo, in
relation to correspondence between the Treasury and Interior Departments
and Edward F. Beale, late superintendent of Indian affairs in California,
and accounts of remittances, etc., I transmit the accompanying
report from the Secretary of the Treasury.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1857_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

As a further answer to resolutions of the House of Representatives
adopted on the 6th and 10th of February, I transmit a second report
from the Secretary of State, relating to the "accounts," "claims," and
"difficulties" at Constantinople, referred to in said resolutions.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.



PROCLAMATION.


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the Senate
should be convened at 12 o'clock on the 4th of March next to receive and
act upon such communications as may be made to it on the part of the
Executive:

Now, therefore, I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States, have
considered it to be my duty to issue this my proclamation, declaring
that an extraordinary occasion requires the Senate of the United States
to convene for the transaction of business at the Capitol, in the city
of Washington, on the 4th day of March next, at 12 o'clock at noon of
that day, of which all who shall at that time be entitled to act as
members of that body are hereby required to take notice.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington,
this 16th day of February, A.D. 1857, and of the Independence of the
United States the eighty-first.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

By the President:
  W.L. MARCY,
    _Secretary of State_.





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