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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents by James D. Richardson

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In reference to countries where the local authorities are strong
enough to enforce the laws, the difficulty here indicated can seldom
happen; but where this is not the case and the local authorities do not
possess the physical power, even if they possess the will, to protect
our citizens within their limits recent experience has shown that
the American Executive should itself be authorized to render this
protection. Such a grant of authority, thus limited in its extent,
could in no just sense be regarded as a transfer of the war-making
power to the Executive, but only as an appropriate exercise of that
power by the body to whom it exclusively belongs. The riot at Panama
in 1856, in which a great number of our citizens lost their lives,
furnishes a pointed illustration of the necessity which may arise for
the exertion of this authority.

I therefore earnestly recommend to Congress, on whom the responsibility
exclusively rests, to pass a law before their adjournment conferring on
the President the power to protect the lives and property of American
citizens in the cases which I have indicated, under such restrictions
and conditions as they may deem advisable. The knowledge that such a
law exists would of itself go far to prevent the outrages which it is
intended to redress and to render the employment of force unnecessary.

Without this the President may be placed in a painful position before
the meeting of the next Congress. In the present disturbed condition of
Mexico and one or more of the other Republics south of us, no person can
foresee what occurrences may take place before that period. In case
of emergency, our citizens, seeing that they do not enjoy the same
protection with subjects of European Governments, will have just cause
to complain. On the other hand, should the Executive interpose, and
especially should the result prove disastrous and valuable lives be
lost, he might subject himself to severe censure for having assumed a
power not confided to him by the Constitution. It is to guard against
this contingency that I now appeal to Congress.

Having thus recommended to Congress a measure which I deem necessary and
expedient for the interest and honor of the country, I leave the whole
subject to their wisdom and discretion.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, two conventions between the United States and China,
one providing for the adjustment of claims of citizens of the United
States on the Government of that Empire, the other for the regulation
of trade, both signed at Shanghai on the 8th of November last. A copy
of the dispatches of Mr. Reed to the Department of State on the subject
is also herewith transmitted.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _February 25, 1859_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with the
accompanying documents, in obedience to the resolution of the House of
Representatives adopted on the 28th of January, requesting the President
of the United States "to communicate to this House a copy of all
instructions given to the commanders of our African squadron since the
ratification of the treaty of 1842, called the Washington treaty, with
a copy or statement of whatever regulations were entered into by the
commanders of the two squadrons for more fully accomplishing the object
of the eighth article of said treaty," etc.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _February 26, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 23d instant, requesting
a copy of certain letters of Horatio J. Perry, late secretary to the
legation of the United States at Madrid, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, with the documents which accompanied it.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _March 1, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War, with
accompanying paper, in obedience to the resolution of the Senate
adopted 23d February, requesting the President of the United States
"to communicate to the Senate a copy of the opinion of Judge Brewer
in the Great Falls land condemnation case, involving a claim for
damages to be paid by the United States."

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _March 2, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in executive session, the report of the
Secretary of State, with the accompanying documents, in reply to the
resolution of the Senate adopted in open session on the 11th January
last, relating to outrages committed on citizens of the United States
on the Isthmus of Panama.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
25th ultimo, I transmit a copy of the report of the special agent of the
United States recently sent to Vancouvers Island and British Columbia.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

MARCH 3, 1859.

WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1859_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

An imperative sense of duty compels me to make an appeal to Congress
to preserve the credit of the country. This is the last day of the
present Congress, and no provision has yet been made for the payment
of appropriations and to meet the outstanding Treasury notes issued
under the authority of law. From the information which has already
been communicated to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury it is
manifest that the ordinary receipts into the Treasury, even under the
most favorable circumstances, will scarcely meet the ordinary expenses
of the Government during the remainder of the present fiscal year,
ending on the 30th of June. At that time nearly eighteen millions of
Treasury notes will have become due, and many of those not yet due are
daily paid for duties at the different ports, and there will be no
means in the Treasury to meet them. Thus the country, which is full of
resources, will be dishonored before the world, and the American people,
who are a debt-paying people, will be disgraced by the omission on our
part to do our duty. It is impossible to avoid this catastrophe unless
we make provision this very day to meet the lawful demands on the public
Treasury. If this were the first instead of the last session of a
Congress, the case would be different. You might then be convened by
proclamation for to-morrow morning. But there are now thirteen States of
the Union, entitled to seventy-eight Representatives, in which none have
been elected. It will therefore be impracticable for a large majority
of these States to elect their Members before the Treasury shall be
compelled to stop payment.

Under these circumstances I earnestly recommend to Congress to make
provision within the few remaining hours of the session for the
preservation of the public credit. The urgency of the case not only
justifies but demands that, if necessary, this shall be done by a
separate bill. We ought to incur no risk when the good faith of the
country is at stake.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

VETO MESSAGES.[10]

[Footnote 10: The first is a pocket veto.]

WASHINGTON, _January 7, 1859_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

On the last day of the last session of Congress, as appears by the
Journal of the House of Representatives, "a joint resolution in regard
to the carrying the United States mails from Saint Josephs, Missouri,
to Placerville, California," was presented to me for my approval. This
resolution authorized and directed the Postmaster-General "to order an
increase of speed upon said route, requiring the mails to be carried
through in thirty days, instead of thirty-eight days, according to the
existing contract: _Provided_, The same can be done upon a _pro rata_
increase of compensation to the contractors."

I did not approve this joint resolution: First, because it was presented
to me at so late a period that I had not the time necessary on the
day of the adjournment of the last session for an investigation of
the subject. Besides, no injury could result to the public, as the
Postmaster-General already possessed the discretionary power under
existing laws to increase the speed upon this as well as all other
mail routes.

Second. Because the Postmaster-General, at the moment in the Capitol,
informed me that the contractors themselves had offered to increase the
speed on this route to thirty instead of thirty-eight days at a less
cost than that authorized by the joint resolution. Upon subsequent
examination it has been ascertained at the Post-Office Department that
their bid, which is still depending, proposes to perform this service
for a sum less by $49,000 than that authorized by the resolution.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _February 24, 1859_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I return with my objections to the House of Representatives, in which
it originated, the bill entitled "An act donating public lands to the
several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the
benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts," presented to me on the
18th instant.

This bill makes a donation to the several States of 20,000 acres of
the public lands for each Senator and Representative in the present
Congress, and also an additional donation of 20,000 acres for each
additional Representative to which any State may be entitled under
the census of 1860.

According to a report from the Interior Department, based upon the
present number of Senators and Representatives, the lands given to the
States amount to 6,060,000 acres, and their value, at the minimum
Government price of $1.25 per acre, to $7,575,000.

The object of this gift, as stated by the bill, is "the endowment,
support, and maintenance of at least one college [in each State] where
the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific or
classical studies, to teach such branches of learning as are related to
agriculture and the mechanic arts, as the legislatures of the States may
respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical
education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and
professions in life."

As there does not appear from the bill to be any beneficiaries in
existence to which this endowment can be applied, each State is required
"to provide, within five years at least, not less than one college, or
the grant to said State shall cease." In that event the "said State
shall be bound to pay the United States the amount received of any lands
previously sold, and that the title to purchasers under the State shall
be valid."

The grant in land itself is confined to such States as have public lands
within their limits worth $1.25 per acre in the opinion of the governor.
For the remaining States the Secretary of the Interior is directed to
issue "land scrip to the amount of their distributive shares in acres
under the provisions of this act, said scrip to be sold by said States,
and the proceeds thereof applied to the uses and purposes prescribed in
this act, and for no other use or purpose whatsoever." The lands are
granted and the scrip is to be issued "in sections or subdivisions of
sections of not less than one-quarter of a section."

According to an estimate from the Interior Department, the number of
acres which will probably be accepted by States having public lands
within their own limits will not exceed 580,000 acres (and it may be
much less), leaving a balance of 5,480,000 acres to be provided for by
scrip. These grants of land and land scrip to each of the thirty-three
States are made upon certain conditions, the principal of which is that
if the fund shall be lost or diminished on account of unfortunate
investments or otherwise the deficiency shall be replaced and made good
by the respective States.

I shall now proceed to state my objections to this bill. I deem it to be
both inexpedient and unconstitutional.

1. This bill has been passed at a period when we can with great
difficulty raise sufficient revenue to sustain the expenses of the
Government. Should it become a law the Treasury will be deprived of the
whole, or nearly the whole, of our income from the sale of public lands,
which for the next fiscal year has been estimated at $5,000,000.

A bare statement of the case will make this evident. The minimum price
at which we dispose of our lands is $1.25 per acre. At the present
moment, however, the price has been reduced to those who purchase the
bounty-land warrants of the old soldiers to 85 cents per acre, and of
these warrants there are still outstanding and unlocated, as appears by
a report (February 12, 1859) from the General Land Office, the amount
of 11,990,391 acres. This has already greatly reduced the current sales
by the Government and diminished the revenue from this source. If in
addition thirty-three States shall enter the market with their land
scrip, the price must be greatly reduced below even 85 cents per acre,
as much to the prejudice of the old soldiers who have not already parted
with their land warrants as to Government. It is easy to perceive that
with this glut of the market Government can sell little or no lands at
$1.25 per acre, when the price of bounty-land warrants and scrip shall
be reduced to half this sum. This source of revenue will be almost
entirely dried up. Under the bill the States may sell their land scrip
at any price it may bring. There is no limitation whatever in this
respect. Indeed, they must sell for what the scrip will bring, for
without this fund they can not proceed to establish their colleges
within the five years to which they are limited. It is manifest,
therefore, that to the extent to which this bill will prevent the sale
of public lands at $1.25 per acre, to that amount it will have precisely
the same effect upon the Treasury as if we should impose a tax to create
a loan to endow these State colleges.

Surely the present is the most unpropitious moment which could have been
selected for the passage of this bill.

2. Waiving for the present the question of constitutional power,
what effect will this bill have on the relations established between
the Federal and State Governments? The Constitution is a grant to
Congress of a few enumerated but most important powers, relating chiefly
to war, peace, foreign and domestic commerce, negotiation, and other
subjects which can be best or alone exercised beneficially by the common
Government. All other powers are reserved to the States and to the
people. For the efficient and harmonious working of both, it is
necessary that their several spheres of action should be kept distinct
from each other. This alone can prevent conflict and mutual injury.
Should the time ever arrive when the State governments shall look to the
Federal Treasury for the means of supporting themselves and maintaining
their systems of education and internal policy, the character of both
Governments will be greatly deteriorated. The representatives of the
States and of the people, feeling a more immediate interest in obtaining
money to lighten the burdens of their constituents than for the
promotion of the more distant objects intrusted to the Federal
Government, will naturally incline to obtain means from the Federal
Government for State purposes. If a question shall arise between an
appropriation of land or money to carry into effect the objects of the
Federal Government and those of the States, their feelings will be
enlisted in favor of the latter. This is human nature; and hence the
necessity of keeping the two Governments entirely distinct. The
preponderance of this home feeling has been manifested by the passage of
the present bill. The establishment of these colleges has prevailed over
the pressing wants of the common Treasury. No nation ever had such an
inheritance as we possess in the public lands. These ought to be managed
with the utmost care, but at the same time with a liberal spirit toward
actual settlers.

In the first year of a war with a powerful naval nation the revenue from
customs must in a great degree cease. A resort to loans will then become
necessary, and these can always be obtained, as our fathers obtained
them, on advantageous terms by pledging the public lands as security.
In this view of the subject it would be wiser to grant money to the
States for domestic purposes than to squander away the public lands
and transfer them in large bodies into the hands of speculators.

A successful struggle on the part of the State governments with the
General Government for the public lands would deprive the latter of
the means of performing its high duties, especially at critical and
dangerous periods. Besides, it would operate with equal detriment to the
best interests of the States. It would remove the most wholesome of all
restraints on legislative bodies--that of being obliged to raise money
by taxation from their constituents--and would lead to extravagance, if
not to corruption. What is obtained easily and without responsibility
will be lavishly expended.

3. This bill, should it become a law, will operate greatly to the injury
of the new States. The progress of settlements and the increase of an
industrious population owning an interest in the soil they cultivate
are the causes which will build them up into great and flourishing
commonwealths. Nothing could be more prejudicial to their interests than
for wealthy individuals to acquire large tracts of the public land and
hold them for speculative purposes. The low price to which this land
scrip will probably be reduced will tempt speculators to buy it in large
amounts and locate it on the best lands belonging to the Government. The
eventual consequence must be that the men who desire to cultivate the
soil will be compelled to purchase these very lands at rates much higher
than the price at which they could be obtained from the Government.

4. It is extremely doubtful, to say the least, whether this bill
would contribute to the advancement of agriculture and the mechanic
arts--objects the dignity and value of which can not be too highly
appreciated.

The Federal Government, which makes the donation, has confessedly no
constitutional power to follow it into the States and enforce the
application of the fund to the intended objects. As donors we shall
possess no control over our own gift after it shall have passed from
our hands. It is true that the State legislatures are required to
stipulate that they will faithfully execute the trust in the manner
prescribed by the bill. But should they fail to do this, what would be
the consequence? The Federal Government has no power, and ought to have
no power, to compel the execution of the trust. It would be in as
helpless a condition as if, even in this, the time of great need, we
were to demand any portion of the many millions of surplus revenue
deposited with the States for safekeeping under the act of 1836.

5. This bill will injuriously interfere with existing colleges in the
different States, in many of which agriculture is taught as a science
and in all of which it ought to be so taught. These institutions of
learning have grown up with the growth of the country, under the
fostering care of the States and the munificence of individuals, to meet
the advancing demands for education. They have proved great blessings to
the people. Many, indeed most, of them are poor and sustain themselves
with difficulty. What the effect will be on these institutions of
creating an indefinite number of rival colleges sustained by the
endowment of the Federal Government it is not difficult to determine.

Under this bill it is provided that scientific and classical studies
shall not be excluded from them. Indeed, it would be almost impossible
to sustain them without such a provision, for no father would incur the
expense of sending a son to one of these institutions for the sole
purpose of making him a scientific farmer or mechanic. The bill itself
negatives this idea, and declares that their object is "to promote the
liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several
pursuits and professions of life." This certainly ought to be the
case. In this view of the subject it would be far better, if such an
appropriation of land must be made to institutions of learning in
the several States, to apply it directly to the establishment of
professorships of agriculture and the mechanic arts in existing
colleges, without the intervention of the State legislatures. It would
be difficult to foresee how these legislatures will manage this fund.
Each Representative in Congress for whose district the proportion of
20,000 acres has been granted will probably insist that the proceeds
shall be expended within its limits. There will undoubtedly be a
struggle between different localities in each State concerning the
division of the gift, which may end in disappointing the hopes of the
true friends of agriculture. For this state of things we are without
remedy. Not so in regard to State colleges. We might grant land to these
corporations to establish agricultural and mechanical professorships,
and should they fail to comply with the conditions on which they
accepted the grant we might enforce specific performance of these
before the ordinary courts of justice.

6. But does Congress possess the power under the Constitution to make a
donation of public lands to the different States of the Union to provide
colleges for the purpose of educating their own people?

I presume the general proposition is undeniable that Congress does not
possess the power to appropriate money in the Treasury, raised by taxes
on the people of the United States, for the purpose of educating the
people of the respective States. It will not be pretended that any such
power is to be found among the specific powers granted to Congress nor
that "it is necessary and proper for carrying into execution" any one of
these powers. Should Congress exercise such a power, this would be to
break down the barriers which have been so carefully constructed in the
Constitution to separate Federal from State authority. We should then
not only "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises" for
Federal purposes, but for every State purpose which Congress might deem
expedient or useful. This would be an actual consolidation of the
Federal and State Governments so far as the great taxing and money power
is concerned, and constitute a sort of partnership between the two in
the Treasury of the United States, equally ruinous to both.

But it is contended that the public lands are placed upon a different
footing from money raised by taxation and that the proceeds arising from
their sale are not subject to the limitations of the Constitution, but
may be appropriated or given away by Congress, at its own discretion,
to States, corporations, or individuals for any purpose they may deem
expedient.

The advocates of this bill attempt to sustain their position upon the
language of the second clause of the third section of the fourth article
of the Constitution, which declares that "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." They
contend that by a fair interpretation of the words "dispose of" in this
clause Congress possesses the power to make this gift of public lands
to the States for purposes of education.

It would require clear and strong evidence to induce the belief that the
framers of the Constitution, after having limited the powers of Congress
to certain precise and specific objects, intended by employing the words
"dispose of" to give that body unlimited power over the vast public
domain. It would be a strange anomaly, indeed, to have created two
funds--the one by taxation, confined to the execution of the enumerated
powers delegated to Congress, and the other from the public lands,
applicable to all subjects, foreign and domestic, which Congress might
designate; that this fund should be "disposed of," not to pay the debts
of the United States, nor "to raise and support armies," nor "to provide
and maintain a navy," nor to accomplish any one of the other great
objects enumerated in the Constitution, but be diverted from them to
pay the debts of the States, to educate their people, and to carry into
effect any other measure of their domestic policy. This would be to
confer upon Congress a vast and irresponsible authority, utterly at war
with the well-known jealousy of Federal power which prevailed at the
formation of the Constitution. The natural intendment would be that as
the Constitution confined Congress to well-defined specific powers, the
funds placed at their command, whether in land or money, should be
appropriated to the performance of the duties corresponding with these
powers. If not, a Government has been created with all its other powers
carefully limited, but without any limitation in respect to the public
lands.

But I can not so read the words "dispose of" as to make them embrace
the idea of "giving away." The true meaning of words is always to be
ascertained by the subject to which they are applied and the known
general intent of the lawgiver. Congress is a trustee under the
Constitution for the people of the United States to "dispose of" their
public lands, and I think I may venture to assert with confidence that
no case can be found in which a trustee in the position of Congress has
been authorized to "_dispose of_" property by its owner where it has
been held that these words authorized such trustee to give away the fund
intrusted to his care. No trustee, when called upon to account for the
disposition of the property placed under his management before any
judicial tribunal, would venture to present such a plea in his defense.
The true meaning of these words is clearly stated by Chief Justice Taney
in delivering the opinion of the court (19 Howard, p. 436). He says in
reference to this clause of the Constitution:

It begins its enumeration of powers by that of disposing; in other
words, making sale of the lands or raising money from them, which, as we
have already said, was the main object of the cession (from the States),
and which is the first thing provided for in the article.

It is unnecessary to refer to the history of the times to establish the
known fact that this statement of the Chief Justice is perfectly well
founded. That it never was intended by the framers of the Constitution
that these lands should be given away by Congress is manifest from the
concluding portion of the same clause. By it Congress has power not only
"to dispose of" the territory, but of the "other property of the United
States." In the language of the Chief Justice (p. 437):

And the same power of making needful rules respecting the territory is
in precisely the same language applied to the other property of the
United States, associating the power over the territory in this respect
with the power over movable or personal property; that is, the ships,
arms, or munitions of war which then belonged in common to the State
sovereignties.

The question is still clearer in regard to the public lands in the
States and Territories within the Louisiana and Florida purchases.
These lands were paid for out of the public Treasury from money raised
by taxation. Now if Congress had no power to appropriate the money with
which these lands were purchased, is it not clear that the power over
the lands is equally limited? The mere conversion of this money into
land could not confer upon Congress new power over the disposition of
land which they had not possessed over money. If it could, then a
trustee, by changing the character of the fund intrusted to his care for
special objects from money into land, might give the land away or devote
it to any purpose he thought proper, however foreign from the trust.
The inference is irresistible that this land partakes of the very same
character with the money paid for it, and can be devoted to no objects
different from those to which the money could have been devoted. If this
were not the case, then by the purchase of a new territory from a
foreign government out of the public Treasury Congress could enlarge
their own powers and appropriate the proceeds of the sales of the land
thus purchased, at their own discretion, to other and far different
objects from what they could have applied the purchase money which had
been raised by taxation.

It has been asserted truly that Congress in numerous instances have
granted lands for the purposes of education. These grants have been
chiefly, if not exclusively, made to the new States as they successively
entered the Union, and consisted at the first of one section and
afterwards of two sections of the public land in each township for
the use of schools, as well as of additional sections for a State
university. Such grants are not, in my opinion, a violation of the
Constitution. The United States is a great landed proprietor, and from
the very nature of this relation it is both the right and the duty of
Congress as their trustee to manage these lands as any other prudent
proprietor would manage them for his own best advantage. Now no
consideration could be presented of a stronger character to induce the
American people to brave the difficulties and hardships of frontier life
and to settle upon these lands and to purchase them at a fair price
than to give to them and to their children an assurance of the means of
education. If any prudent individual had held these lands, he could not
have adopted a wiser course to bring them into market and enhance their
value than to give a portion of them for purposes of education. As a
mere speculation he would pursue this course. No person will contend
that donations of land to all the States of the Union for the erection
of colleges within the limits of each can be embraced by this principle.
It can not be pretended that an agricultural college in New York or
Virginia would aid the settlement or facilitate the sale of public lands
in Minnesota or California. This can not possibly be embraced within the
authority which a prudent proprietor of land would exercise over his own
possessions. I purposely avoid any attempt to define what portions of
land may be granted, and for what purposes, to improve the value and
promote the settlement and sale of the remainder without violating the
Constitution. In this case I adopt the rule that "sufficient unto the
day is the evil thereof."

JAMES BUCHANAN.

PROCLAMATION.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas an extraordinary occasion has occurred rendering it necessary
and proper that the Senate of the United States shall be convened to
receive and act upon such communications as have been or may be made
to it on the part of the Executive:

Now, therefore, I, James Buchanan, President of the United States, do
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
next month, at 12 o'clock at noon of that day, of which all who shall
then 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 26th day of February, A.D. 1859, and of the Independence of the
United States the eighty-third.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

By the President:
LEWIS CASS,
_Secretary of State_.

SPECIAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _March 9, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

It has become my sad duty to announce to the Senate the death of Aaron
V. Brown, late Postmaster-General, at his residence in this city on
yesterday morning at twenty minutes past 9 o'clock.

The death of this distinguished public officer, especially at the
present moment, when his eminent services are so much needed, is a great
loss to his country. He was able, honest, and indefatigable in the
discharge of his high and responsible duties, whilst his benevolent
heart and his kind deportment endeared him to all who approached him.

Submitting, as I do, with humble resignation to the will of Divine
Providence in this calamitous dispensation, I shall ever cherish his
memory with affectionate regard.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

[From the Evening Star, March 10, 1859.]

GENERAL ORDER.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

_Washington, March 8, 1859_.

Under instructions from the President of the United States, the
Secretary of War with unfeigned sorrow announces to the Army the decease
of the Hon. A.V. Brown, Postmaster-General, which occurred in this city
at an early hour this morning.

An enlightened statesman and a distinguished and able member of the
General Government has thus been stricken down at his post. The nation
will mourn the afflicting dispensation which has left so great a void in
its councils. A worthy and estimable citizen has been removed from the
circle of his numerous friends. Society will mingle its grief with the
patriotic regrets which the loss of a statesman will not fail to call
forth.

While the President, with the surviving members of the Cabinet, the
legislative and judicial departments of the Government, will unite in
every testimonial the sad occasion demands, it is fitting a similar
respect should be shown to the memory of the distinguished deceased
by the national arms of defense. Accordingly, half-hour guns will be
fired from sunrise to sunset at every garrisoned military post the
day succeeding the receipt of this order, the national flag will be
displayed at half-staff during the same time, and officers of the Army
will wear for three months the proper badge of military mourning.

The War Department and its bureaus will be closed until the day
succeeding the funeral obsequies.

JOHN B FLOYD,

_Secretary of War_.

[From the Daily National Intelligencer, March 10, 1859.]

GENERAL ORDER.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, _March 9, 1859_.

The Secretary of the Navy, by the direction of the President, announces
to the Navy and to the Marine Corps the lamented death of the Hon. Aaron
V. Brown, Postmaster-General of the United States. He died at his
residence in the city of Washington on the 8th of the present month.

As a mark of respect to his high character, his eminent position, and
great public services, it is directed that on the day after the receipt
of this order by the different navy-yards and stations and vessels of
war of the United States in commission the flags be hoisted at half-mast
from sunrise to sunset and that seventeen minute guns be fired at noon.

Officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will wear crape on the left arm
for thirty days.

The Navy Department will be draped in mourning and will be closed until
after the funeral.

ISAAC TOUCEY,

_Secretary of the Navy_.

THIRD ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 19, 1859_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Our deep and heartfelt gratitude is due to that Almighty Power which
has bestowed upon us such varied and numerous blessings throughout
the past year. The general health of the country has been excellent,
our harvests have been unusually plentiful, and prosperity smiles
throughout the land. Indeed, notwithstanding our demerits, we have much
reason to believe from the past events in our history that we have
enjoyed the special protection of Divine Providence ever since our
origin as a nation. We have been exposed to many threatening and
alarming difficulties in our progress, but on each successive occasion
the impending cloud has been dissipated at the moment it appeared ready
to burst upon our head, and the danger to our institutions has passed
away. May we ever be under the divine guidance and protection.

Whilst it is the duty of the President "from time to time to give to
Congress information of the state of the Union," I shall not refer in
detail to the recent sad and bloody occurrences at Harpers Ferry. Still,
it is proper to observe that these events, however bad and cruel in
themselves, derive their chief importance from the apprehension that
they are but symptoms of an incurable disease in the public mind, which
may break out in still more dangerous outrages and terminate at last in
an open war by the North to abolish slavery in the South.

Whilst for myself I entertain no such apprehension, they ought to
afford a solemn warning to us all to beware of the approach of danger.
Our Union is a stake of such inestimable value as to demand our constant
and watchful vigilance for its preservation. In this view, let me
implore my countrymen, North and South, to cultivate the ancient
feelings of mutual forbearance and good will toward each other and
strive to allay the demon spirit of sectional hatred and strife now
alive in the land. This advice proceeds from the heart of an old public
functionary whose service commenced in the last generation, among the
wise and conservative statesmen of that day, now nearly all passed away,
and whose first and dearest earthly wish is to leave his country
tranquil, prosperous, united, and powerful.

We ought to reflect that in this age, and especially in this country,
there is an incessant flux and reflux of public opinion. Questions which
in their day assumed a most threatening aspect have now nearly gone from
the memory of men. They are "volcanoes burnt out, and on the lava and
ashes and squalid scoria of old eruptions grow the peaceful olive, the
cheering vine, and the sustaining corn." Such, in my opinion, will prove
to be the fate of the present sectional excitement should those who
wisely seek to apply the remedy continue always to confine their efforts
within the pale of the Constitution. If this course be pursued, the
existing agitation on the subject of domestic slavery, like everything
human, will have its day and give place to other and less threatening
controversies. Public opinion in this country is all-powerful, and when
it reaches a dangerous excess upon any question the good sense of the
people will furnish the corrective and bring it back within safe limits.
Still, to hasten this auspicious result at the present crisis we ought
to remember that every rational creature must be presumed to intend the
natural consequences of his own teachings. Those who announce abstract
doctrines subversive of the Constitution and the Union must not be
surprised should their heated partisans advance one step further and
attempt by violence to carry these doctrines into practical effect. In
this view of the subject, it ought never to be forgotten that however
great may have been the political advantages resulting from the Union
to every portion of our common country, these would all prove to be as
nothing should the time ever arrive when they can not be enjoyed without
serious danger to the personal safety of the people of fifteen members
of the Confederacy. If the peace of the domestic fireside throughout
these States should ever be invaded, if the mothers of families within
this extensive region should not be able to retire to rest at night
without suffering dreadful apprehensions of what may be their own fate
and that of their children before the morning, it would be vain to
recount to such a people the political benefits which result to them
from the Union. Self-preservation is the first instinct of nature, and
therefore any state of society in which the sword is all the time
suspended over the heads of the people must at last become intolerable.
But I indulge in no such gloomy forebodings. On the contrary, I firmly
believe that the events at Harpers Ferry, by causing the people to pause
and reflect upon the possible peril to their cherished institutions,
will be the means under Providence of allaying the existing excitement
and preventing further outbreaks of a similar character. They will
resolve that the Constitution and the Union shall not be endangered by
rash counsels, knowing that should "the silver cord be loosed or the
golden bowl be broken ... at the fountain" human power could never
reunite the scattered and hostile fragments.

I cordially congratulate you upon the final settlement by the
Supreme Court of the United States of the question of slavery in the
Territories, which had presented an aspect so truly formidable at the
commencement of my Administration. The right has been established of
every citizen to take his property of any kind, including slaves,
into the common Territories belonging equally to all the States of
the Confederacy, and to have it protected there under the Federal
Constitution. Neither Congress nor a Territorial legislature nor any
human power has any authority to annul or impair this vested right.
The supreme judicial tribunal of the country, which is a coordinate
branch of the Government, has sanctioned and affirmed these principles
of constitutional law, so manifestly just in themselves and so well
calculated to promote peace and harmony among the States. It is a
striking proof of the sense of justice which is inherent in our people
that the property in slaves has never been disturbed, to my knowledge,
in any of the Territories. Even throughout the late troubles in Kansas
there has not been any attempt, as I am credibly informed, to interfere
in a single instance with the right of the master. Had any such attempt
been made, the judiciary would doubtless have afforded an adequate
remedy. Should they fail to do this hereafter, it will then be time
enough to strengthen their hands by further legislation. Had it been
decided that either Congress or the Territorial legislature possess the
power to annul or impair the right to property in slaves, the evil would
be intolerable. In the latter event there would be a struggle for a
majority of the members of the legislature at each successive election,
and the sacred rights of property held under the Federal Constitution
would depend for the time being on the result. The agitation would thus
be rendered incessant whilst the Territorial condition remained, and its
baneful influence would keep alive a dangerous excitement among the
people of the several States.

Thus has the status of a Territory during the intermediate period from
its first settlement until it shall become a State been irrevocably
fixed by the final decision of the Supreme Court. Fortunate has this
been for the prosperity of the Territories, as well as the tranquillity
of the States. Now emigrants from the North and the South, the East and
the West, will meet in the Territories on a common platform, having
brought with them that species of property best adapted, in their own
opinion, to promote their welfare. From natural causes the slavery
question will in each case soon virtually settle itself, and before
the Territory is prepared for admission as a State into the Union this
decision, one way or the other, will have been a foregone conclusion.
Meanwhile the settlement of the new Territory will proceed without
serious interruption, and its progress and prosperity will not be
endangered or retarded by violent political struggles.

When in the progress of events the inhabitants of any Territory shall
have reached the number required to form a State, they will then proceed
in a regular manner and in the exercise of the rights of popular
sovereignty to form a constitution preparatory to admission into the
Union. After this has been done, to employ the language of the Kansas
and Nebraska act, they "shall be received into the Union with or without
slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their
admission." This sound principle has happily been recognized in some
form or other by an almost unanimous vote of both Houses of the last
Congress.

All lawful means at my command have been employed, and shall continue to
be employed, to execute the laws against the African slave trade. After
a most careful and rigorous examination of our coasts and a thorough
investigation of the subject, we have not been able to discover that any
slaves have been imported into the United States except the cargo by the
_Wanderer_, numbering between three and four hundred. Those engaged in
this unlawful enterprise have been rigorously prosecuted, but not with
as much success as their crimes have deserved. A number of them are
still under prosecution.

Our history proves that the fathers of the Republic, in advance
of all other nations, condemned the African slave trade. It was,
notwithstanding, deemed expedient by the framers of the Constitution to
deprive Congress of the power to prohibit "the migration or importation
of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to
admit" "prior to the year 1808." It will be seen that this restriction
on the power of Congress was confined to such States only as might think
proper to admit the importation of slaves. It did not extend to other
States or to the trade carried on abroad. Accordingly, we find that so
early as the 22d March, 1794, Congress passed an act imposing severe
penalties and punishments upon citizens and residents of the United
States who should engage in this trade between foreign nations. The
provisions of this act were extended and enforced by the act of 10th
May, 1800.

Again, the States themselves had a clear right to waive the
constitutional privilege intended for their benefit, and to prohibit
by their own laws this trade at any time they thought proper previous
to 1808. Several of them exercised this right before that period, and
among them some containing the greatest number of slaves. This gave
to Congress the immediate power to act in regard to all such States,
because they themselves had removed the constitutional barrier. Congress
accordingly passed an act on 28th February, 1803, "to prevent the
importation of certain persons into certain States where by the laws
thereof their admission is prohibited." In this manner the importation
of African slaves into the United States was to a great extent
prohibited some years in advance of 1808.

As the year 1808 approached Congress determined not to suffer this trade
to exist even for a single day after they had the power to abolish it.
On the 2d of March, 1807, they passed an act, to take effect "from and
after the 1st day of January, 1808," prohibiting the importation of
African slaves into the United States. This was followed by subsequent
acts of a similar character, to which I need not specially refer. Such
were the principles and such the practice of our ancestors more than
fifty years ago in regard to the African slave trade. It did not occur
to the revered patriots who had been delegates to the Convention, and
afterwards became members of Congress, that in passing these laws they
had violated the Constitution which they had framed with so much care
and deliberation. They supposed that to prohibit Congress in express
terms from exercising a specified power before an appointed day
necessarily involved the right to exercise this power after that day
had arrived.

If this were not the case, the framers of the Constitution had expended
much labor in vain. Had they imagined that Congress would possess no
power to prohibit the trade either before or after 1808, they would not
have taken so much care to protect the States against the exercise of
this power before that period. Nay, more, they would not have attached
such vast importance to this provision as to have excluded it from the
possibility of future repeal or amendment, to which other portions
of the Constitution were exposed. It would, then, have been wholly
unnecessary to ingraft on the fifth article of the Constitution,
prescribing the mode of its own future amendment, the proviso "that no
amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner
affect" the provision in the Constitution securing to the States the
right to admit the importation of African slaves previous to that
period. According to the adverse construction, the clause itself, on
which so much care and discussion had been employed by the members of
the Convention, was an absolute nullity from the beginning, and all
that has since been done under it a mere usurpation.

It was well and wise to confer this power on Congress, because had
it been left to the States its efficient exercise would have been
impossible. In that event any one State could have effectually continued
the trade, not only for itself, but for all the other slave States,
though never so much against their will. And why? Because African
slaves, when once brought within the limits of any one State in
accordance with its laws, can not practically be excluded from any State
where slavery exists. And even if all the States had separately passed
laws prohibiting the importation of slaves, these laws would have failed
of effect for want of a naval force to capture the slavers and to guard
the coast. Such a force no State can employ in time of peace without the
consent of Congress.

These acts of Congress, it is believed, have, with very rare and
insignificant exceptions, accomplished their purpose. For a period of
more than half a century there has been no perceptible addition to the
number of our domestic slaves. During this period their advancement in
civilization has far surpassed that of any other portion of the African
race. The light and the blessings of Christianity have been extended
to them, and both their moral and physical condition has been greatly
improved.

Reopen the trade and it would be difficult to determine whether the
effect would be more deleterious on the interests of the master or on
those of the native-born slave. Of the evils to the master, the one most
to be dreaded would be the introduction of wild, heathen, and ignorant
barbarians among the sober, orderly, and quiet slaves whose ancestors
have been on the soil for several generations. This might tend to
barbarize, demoralize, and exasperate the whole mass and produce most
deplorable consequences.

The effect upon the existing slave would, if possible, be still more
deplorable. At present he is treated with kindness and humanity.
He is well fed, well clothed, and not overworked. His condition is
incomparably better than that of the coolies which modern nations of
high civilization have employed as a substitute for African slaves. Both
the philanthropy and the self-interest of the master have combined to
produce this humane result. But let this trade be reopened and what will
be the effect? The same to a considerable extent as on a neighboring
island, the only spot now on earth where the African slave trade is
openly tolerated, and this in defiance of solemn treaties with a power
abundantly able at any moment to enforce their execution. There the
master, intent upon present gain, extorts from the slave as much labor
as his physical powers are capable of enduring, knowing that when death
comes to his relief his place can be supplied at a price reduced to the
lowest point by the competition of rival African slave traders. Should
this ever be the case in our country, which I do not deem possible, the
present useful character of the domestic institution, wherein those too
old and too young to work are provided for with care and humanity and
those capable of labor are not overtasked, would undergo an unfortunate
change. The feeling of reciprocal dependence and attachment which now
exists between master and slave would be converted into mutual distrust
and hostility.

But we are obliged as a Christian and moral nation to consider what
would be the effect upon unhappy Africa itself if we should reopen the
slave trade. This would give the trade an impulse and extension which
it has never had, even in its palmiest days. The numerous victims
required to supply it would convert the whole slave coast into a perfect
pandemonium, for which this country would be held responsible in the
eyes both of God and man. Its petty tribes would then be constantly
engaged in predatory wars against each other for the purpose of seizing
slaves to supply the American market. All hopes of African civilization
would thus be ended.

On the other hand, when a market for African slaves shall no longer be
furnished in Cuba, and thus all the world be closed against this trade,
we may then indulge a reasonable hope for the gradual improvement of
Africa. The chief motive of war among the tribes will cease whenever
there is no longer any demand for slaves. The resources of that fertile
but miserable country might then be developed by the hand of industry
and afford subjects for legitimate foreign and domestic commerce. In
this manner Christianity and civilization may gradually penetrate the
existing gloom.

The wisdom of the course pursued by this Government toward China has
been vindicated by the event. Whilst we sustained a neutral position in
the war waged by Great Britain and France against the Chinese Empire,
our late minister, in obedience to his instructions, judiciously
cooperated with the ministers of these powers in all peaceful measures
to secure by treaty the just concessions demanded by the interests of
foreign commerce. The result is that satisfactory treaties have been
concluded with China by the respective ministers of the United States,
Great Britain, France, and Russia. Our "treaty, or general convention,
of peace, amity, and commerce" with that Empire was concluded at
Tien-tsin on the 18th June, 1858, and was ratified by the President,
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the 21st December
following. On the 15th December, 1858, John E. Ward, a distinguished
citizen of Georgia, was duly commissioned as envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary to China.

He left the United States for the place of his destination on the 5th of
February, 1859, bearing with him the ratified copy of this treaty, and
arrived at Shanghai on the 28th May. From thence he proceeded to Peking
on the 16th June, but did not arrive in that city until the 27th July.
According to the terms of the treaty, the ratifications were to be
exchanged on or before the 18th June, 1859. This was rendered impossible
by reasons and events beyond his control, not necessary to detail; but
still it is due to the Chinese authorities at Shanghai to state that
they always assured him no advantage should be taken of the delay, and
this pledge has been faithfully redeemed.

On the arrival of Mr. Ward at Peking he requested an audience of the
Emperor to present his letter of credence. This he did not obtain, in
consequence of his very proper refusal to submit to the humiliating
ceremonies required by the etiquette of this strange people in
approaching their sovereign. Nevertheless, the interviews on this
question were conducted in the most friendly spirit and with all due
regard to his personal feelings and the honor of his country. When a
presentation to His Majesty was found to be impossible, the letter
of credence from the President was received with peculiar honors by
Kweiliang, "the Emperor's prime minister and the second man in the
Empire to the Emperor himself." The ratifications of the treaty were
afterwards, on the 16th of August, exchanged in proper form at
Pei-tsang. As the exchange did not take place until after the day
prescribed by the treaty, it is deemed proper before its publication
again to submit it to the Senate. It is but simple justice to the
Chinese authorities to observe that throughout the whole transaction
they appear to have acted in good faith and in a friendly spirit toward
the United States. It is true this has been done after their own
peculiar fashion; but we ought to regard with a lenient eye the ancient
customs of an empire dating back for thousands of years, so far as this
may be consistent with our own national honor. The conduct of our
minister on the occasion has received my entire approbation.

In order to carry out the spirit of this treaty and to give it full
effect it became necessary to conclude two supplemental conventions, the
one for the adjustment and satisfaction of the claims of our citizens
and the other to fix the tariff on imports and exports and to regulate
the transit duties and trade of our merchants with China. This duty was
satisfactorily performed by our late minister. These conventions bear
date at Shanghai on the 8th November, 1858. Having been considered in
the light of binding agreements subsidiary to the principal treaty, and
to be carried into execution without delay, they do not provide for any
formal ratification or exchange of ratifications by the contracting
parties. This was not deemed necessary by the Chinese, who are already
proceeding in good faith to satisfy the claims of our citizens and, it
is hoped, to carry out the other provisions of the conventions. Still,
I thought it was proper to submit them to the Senate, by which they were
ratified on the 3d of March, 1859. The ratified copies, however, did not
reach Shanghai until after the departure of our minister to Peking, and
these conventions could not, therefore, be exchanged at the same time
with the principal treaty. No doubt is entertained that they will be
ratified and exchanged by the Chinese Government should this be thought
advisable; but under the circumstances presented I shall consider them
binding engagements from their date on both parties, and cause them to
be published as such for the information and guidance of our merchants
trading with the Chinese Empire.

It affords me much satisfaction to inform you that all our difficulties
with the Republic of Paraguay have been satisfactorily adjusted. It
happily did not become necessary to employ the force for this purpose
which Congress had placed at my command under the joint resolution of
2d June, 1858. On the contrary, the President of that Republic, in a
friendly spirit, acceded promptly to the just and reasonable demands
of the Government of the United States. Our commissioner arrived at
Assumption, the capital of the Republic, on the 25th of January, 1859,
and left it on the 17th of February, having in three weeks ably and
successfully accomplished all the objects of his mission. The treaties
which he has concluded will be immediately submitted to the Senate.

In the view that the employment of other than peaceful means might
become necessary to obtain "just satisfaction" from Paraguay, a strong
naval force was concentrated in the waters of the La Plata to await
contingencies whilst our commissioner ascended the rivers to Assumption.
The Navy Department is entitled to great credit for the promptness,
efficiency, and economy with which this expedition was fitted out and
conducted. It consisted of 19 armed vessels, great and small, carrying
200 guns and 2,500 men, all under the command of the veteran and gallant
Shubrick. The entire expenses of the expedition have been defrayed out
of the ordinary appropriations for the naval service, except the sum of
$289,000, applied to the purchase of seven of the steamers constituting
a part of it, under the authority of the naval appropriation act of the
3d March last. It is believed that these steamers are worth more than
their cost, and they are all now usefully and actively employed in the
naval service.

The appearance of so large a force, fitted out in such a prompt manner,
in the far-distant waters of the La Plata, and the admirable conduct of
the officers and men employed in it, have had a happy effect in favor of
our country throughout all that remote portion of the world.

Our relations with the great Empires of France and Russia, as well as
with all other governments on the continent of Europe, unless we may
except that of Spain, happily continue to be of the most friendly
character. In my last annual message I presented a statement of the
unsatisfactory condition of our relations with Spain, and I regret
to say that this has not materially improved.

Without special reference to other claims, even the "Cuban claims," the
payment of which has been ably urged by our ministers, and in which
more than a hundred of our citizens are directly interested, remain
unsatisfied, notwithstanding both their justice and their amount
($128,635.54) had been recognized and ascertained by the Spanish
Government itself.

I again recommend that an appropriation be made "to be paid to
the Spanish Government for the purpose of distribution among the
claimants in the _Amistad_ case." In common with two of my predecessors,
I entertain no doubt that this is required by our treaty with Spain of
the 27th October, 1795. The failure to discharge this obligation has
been employed by the cabinet of Madrid as a reason against the
settlement of our claims.

I need not repeat the arguments which I urged in my last annual message
in favor of the acquisition of Cuba by fair purchase. My opinions on
that measure remain unchanged. I therefore again invite the serious
attention of Congress to this important subject. Without a recognition
of this policy on their part it will be almost impossible to institute
negotiations with any reasonable prospect of success.

Until a recent period there was good reason to believe that I should be
able to announce to you on the present occasion that our difficulties
with Great Britain arising out of the Clayton and Bulwer treaty had been
finally adjusted in a manner alike honorable and satisfactory to both
parties. From causes, however, which the British Government had not
anticipated, they have not yet completed treaty arrangements with the
Republics of Honduras and Nicaragua, in pursuance of the understanding
between the two Governments. It is, nevertheless, confidently expected
that this good work will ere long be accomplished.

Whilst indulging the hope that no other subject remained which could
disturb the good understanding between the two countries, the question
arising out of the adverse claims of the parties to the island of San
Juan, under the Oregon treaty of the 15th June, 1846, suddenly assumed
a threatening prominence. In order to prevent unfortunate collisions
on that remote frontier, the late Secretary of State, on the 17th July,
1855, addressed a note to Mr. Crampton, then British minister at
Washington, communicating to him a copy of the instructions which
he (Mr. Marcy) had given on the 14th July to Governor Stevens, of
Washington Territory, having a special reference to an "apprehended
conflict between our citizens and the British subjects on the island
of San Juan." To prevent this the governor was instructed "that the
officers of the Territory should abstain from all acts on the disputed
grounds which are calculated to provoke any conflicts, so far as it can
be done without implying the concession to the authorities of Great
Britain of an exclusive right over the premises. The title ought to be
settled before either party should attempt to exclude the other by force
or exercise complete and exclusive sovereign rights within the fairly
disputed limits."

In acknowledging the receipt on the next day of Mr. Marcy's note the
British minister expressed his entire concurrence "in the propriety
of the course recommended to the governor of Washington Territory
by your [Mr. Marcy's] instructions to that officer," and stating
that he had "lost no time in transmitting a copy of that document
to the Governor-General of British North America" and had "earnestly
recommended to His Excellency to take such measures as to him may appear
best calculated to secure on the part of the British local authorities
and the inhabitants of the neighborhood of the line in question the
exercise of the same spirit of forbearance which is inculcated by you
[Mr. Marcy] on the authorities and citizens of the United States."

Thus matters remained upon the faith of this arrangement until the 9th
July last, when General Harney paid a visit to the island. He found upon
it twenty-five American residents with their families, and also an
establishment of the Hudsons Bay Company for the purpose of raising
sheep. A short time before his arrival one of these residents had shot
an animal belonging to the company whilst trespassing upon his premises,
for which, however, he offered to pay twice its value, but that was
refused. Soon after "the chief factor of the company at Victoria, Mr.
Dalles, son-in-law of Governor Douglas, came to the island in the
British sloop of war _Satellite_ and threatened to take this American
[Mr. Cutler] by force to Victoria to answer for the trespass he had
committed. The American seized his rifle and told Mr. Dalles if any
such attempt was made he would kill him upon the spot. The affair
then ended."

Under these circumstances the American settlers presented a petition to
the General "through the United States inspector of customs, Mr. Hubbs,
to place a force upon the island to protect them from the Indians, as
well as the oppressive interference of the authorities of the Hudsons
Bay Company at Victoria with their rights as American citizens." The
General immediately responded to this petition, and ordered Captain
George E. Pickett, Ninth Infantry, "to establish his company on
Bellevue, or San Juan Island, on some suitable position near the harbor
at the southeastern extremity." This order was promptly obeyed and a
military post was established at the place designated. The force was
afterwards increased, so that by the last return the whole number of
troops then on the island amounted in the aggregate to 691 men.

Whilst I do not deem it proper on the present occasion to go further
into the subject and discuss the weight which ought to be attached to
the statements of the British colonial authorities contesting the
accuracy of the information on which the gallant General acted, it was
due to him that I should thus present his own reasons for issuing the
order to Captain Pickett. From these it is quite clear his object was
to prevent the British authorities on Vancouvers Island from exercising
jurisdiction over American residents on the island of San Juan, as
well as to protect them against the incursions of the Indians. Much
excitement prevailed for some time throughout that region, and serious
danger of collision between the parties was apprehended. The British
had a large naval force in the vicinity, and it is but an act of simple
justice to the admiral on that station to state that he wisely and
discreetly forbore to commit any hostile act, but determined to refer
the whole affair to his Government and await their instructions.

This aspect of the matter, in my opinion, demanded serious attention.
It would have been a great calamity for both nations had they been
precipitated into acts of hostility, not on the question of title to
the island, but merely concerning what should be its condition during
the intervening period whilst the two Governments might be employed
in settling the question to which of them it belongs. For this reason
Lieutenant-General Scott was dispatched, on the 17th of September last,
to Washington Territory to take immediate command of the United States
forces on the Pacific Coast, should he deem this necessary. The main
object of his mission was to carry out the spirit of the precautionary
arrangement between the late Secretary of State and the British
minister, and thus to preserve the peace and prevent collision between
the British and American authorities pending the negotiations between
the two Governments. Entertaining no doubt of the validity of our title,
I need scarcely add that in any event American citizens were to be
placed on a footing at least as favorable as that of British subjects,
it being understood that Captain Pickett's company should remain on the
island. It is proper to observe that, considering the distance from the
scene of action and in ignorance of what might have transpired on the
spot before the General's arrival, it was necessary to leave much to
his discretion; and I am happy to state the event has proven that
this discretion could not have been intrusted to more competent
hands. General Scott has recently returned from his mission, having
successfully accomplished its objects, and there is no longer any good
reason to apprehend a collision between the forces of the two countries
during the pendency of the existing negotiations.

I regret to inform you that there has been no improvement in the affairs
of Mexico since my last annual message, and I am again obliged to ask
the earnest attention of Congress to the unhappy condition of that
Republic.

The constituent Congress of Mexico, which adjourned on the 17th
February, 1857, adopted a constitution and provided for a popular
election. This took place in the following July (1857), and General
Comonfort was chosen President almost without opposition. At the same
election a new Congress was chosen, whose first session commenced on the
16th of September (1857). By the constitution of 1857 the Presidential
term was to begin on the 1st of December (1857) and continue for four
years. On that day General Comonfort appeared before the assembled
Congress in the City of Mexico, took the oath to support the new
constitution, and was duly inaugurated as President. Within a month
afterwards he had been driven from the capital and a military rebellion
had assigned the supreme power of the Republic to General Zuloaga. The
constitution provided that in the absence of the President his office
should devolve upon the chief justice of the supreme court; and General
Comonfort having left the country, this functionary, General Juarez,
proceeded to form at Guanajuato a constitutional Government. Before this
was officially known, however, at the capital the Government of Zuloaga
had been recognized by the entire diplomatic corps, including the
minister of the United States, as the _de facto_ Government of Mexico.
The constitutional President, nevertheless, maintained his position with
firmness, and was soon established, with his cabinet, at Vera Cruz.
Meanwhile the Government of Zuloaga was earnestly resisted in many parts
of the Republic, and even in the capital, a portion of the army having
pronounced against it, its functions were declared terminated, and an
assembly of citizens was invited for the choice of a new President. This
assembly elected General Miramon, but that officer repudiated the plan
under which he was chosen, and Zuloaga was thus restored to his previous
position. He assumed it, however, only to withdraw from it; and Miramon,
having become by his appointment "President substitute," continues with
that title at the head of the insurgent party.

In my last annual message I communicated to Congress the circumstances
under which the late minister of the United States suspended his
official relations with the central Government and withdrew from the
country. It was impossible to maintain friendly intercourse with a
government like that at the capital, under whose usurped authority
wrongs were constantly committed, but never redressed. Had this been an
established government, with its power extending by the consent of the
people over the whole of Mexico, a resort to hostilities against it
would have been quite justifiable, and, indeed, necessary. But the
country was a prey to civil war, and it was hoped that the success of
the constitutional President might lead to a condition of things less
injurious to the United States. This success became so probable that in
January last I employed a reliable agent to visit Mexico and report to
me the actual condition and prospects of the contending parties. In
consequence of his report and from information which reached me from
other sources favorable to the prospects of the constitutional cause,
I felt justified in appointing a new minister to Mexico, who might
embrace the earliest suitable opportunity of restoring our diplomatic
relations with that Republic. For this purpose a distinguished citizen
of Maryland was selected, who proceeded on his mission on the 8th of
March last, with discretionary authority to recognize the Government of
President Juarez if on his arrival in Mexico he should find it entitled
to such recognition according to the established practice of the United
States.

On the 7th of April following Mr. McLane presented his credentials to
President Juarez, having no hesitation "in pronouncing the Government
of Juarez to be the only existing government of the Republic." He was
cordially received by the authorities at Vera Cruz, and they have ever
since manifested the most friendly disposition toward the United States.

Unhappily, however, the constitutional Government has not been able to
establish its power over the whole Republic.

It is supported by a large majority of the people and the States,
but there are important parts of the country where it can enforce
no obedience.

General Miramon maintains himself at the capital, and in some of the
distant Provinces there are military governors who pay little respect
to the decrees of either Government. In the meantime the excesses which
always attend upon civil war, especially in Mexico, are constantly
recurring. Outrages of the worst description are committed both upon
persons and property. There is scarcely any form of injury which has
not been suffered by our citizens in Mexico during the last few years.
We have been nominally at peace with that Republic, but "so far as the
interests of our commerce, or of our citizens who have visited the
country as merchants, shipmasters, or in other capacities, are
concerned, we might as well have been at war." Life has been insecure,
property unprotected, and trade impossible except at a risk of loss
which prudent men can not be expected to incur. Important contracts,
involving large expenditures, entered into by the central Government,
have been set at defiance by the local governments. Peaceful American
residents, occupying their rightful possessions, have been suddenly
expelled the country, in defiance of treaties and by the mere force of
arbitrary power. Even the course of justice has not been safe from
control, and a recent decree of Miramon permits the intervention of
Government in all suits where either party is a foreigner. Vessels of
the United States have been seized without law, and a consular officer
who protested against such seizure has been fined and imprisoned for
disrespect to the authorities. Military contributions have been levied
in violation of every principle of right, and the American who resisted
the lawless demand has had his property forcibly taken away and has been
himself banished. From a conflict of authority in different parts of
the country tariff duties which have been paid in one place have been
exacted over again in another place. Large numbers of our citizens have
been arrested and imprisoned without any form of examination or any
opportunity for a hearing, and even when released have only obtained
their liberty after much suffering and injury, and without any hope of
redress. The wholesale massacre of Crabbe and his associates without
trial in Sonora, as well as the seizure and murder of four sick
Americans who had taken shelter in the house of an American upon the
soil of the United States, was communicated to Congress at its last
session. Murders of a still more atrocious character have been
committed in the very heart of Mexico, under the authority of Miramon's
Government, during the present year. Some of these were only worthy
of a barbarous age, and if they had not been clearly proven would have
seemed impossible in a country which claims to be civilized. Of this
description was the brutal massacre in April last, by order of General
Marquez, of three American physicians who were seized in the hospital at
Tacubaya while attending upon the sick and the dying of both parties,
and without trial, as without crime, were hurried away to speedy
execution. Little less shocking was the recent fate of Ormond Chase,
who was shot in Tepic on the 7th of August by order of the same Mexican
general, not only without a trial, but without any conjecture by his
friends of the cause of his arrest. He is represented as a young man of
good character and intelligence, who had made numerous friends in Tepic
by the courage and humanity which he had displayed on several trying
occasions; and his death was as unexpected as it was shocking to the
whole community. Other outrages might be enumerated, but these are
sufficient to illustrate the wretched state of the country and the
unprotected condition of the persons and property of our citizens
in Mexico.

In all these cases our ministers have been constant and faithful in
their demands for redress, but both they and this Government, which they
have successively represented, have been wholly powerless to make their
demands effective. Their testimony in this respect and in reference to
the only remedy which in their judgments would meet the exigency has
been both uniform and emphatic. "Nothing but a manifestation of the
power of the Government of the United States," wrote our late minister
in 1856, "and of its purpose to punish these wrongs will avail. I assure
you that the universal belief here is that there is nothing to be
apprehended from the Government of the United States, and that local
Mexican officials can commit these outrages upon American citizens with
absolute impunity." "I hope the President," wrote our present minister
in August last, "will feel authorized to ask from Congress the power to
enter Mexico with the military forces of the United States at the call
of the constitutional authorities, in order to protect the citizens
and the treaty rights of the United States. Unless such a power is
conferred upon him, neither the one nor the other will be respected in
the existing state of anarchy and disorder, and the outrages already
perpetrated will never be chastised; and, as I assured you in my No. 23,
all these evils must increase until every vestige of order and
government disappears from the country." I have been reluctantly led
to the same opinion, and in justice to my countrymen who have suffered
wrongs from Mexico and who may still suffer them I feel bound to
announce this conclusion to Congress.

The case presented, however, is not merely a case of individual claims,
although our just claims against Mexico have reached a very large
amount; nor is it merely the case of protection to the lives and
property of the few Americans who may still remain in Mexico, although
the life and property of every American citizen ought to be sacredly
protected in every quarter of the world; but it is a question which
relates to the future as well as to the present and the past, and which
involves, indirectly at least, the whole subject of our duty to Mexico
as a neighboring State. The exercise of the power of the United States
in that country to redress the wrongs and protect the rights of our own
citizens is none the less to be desired because efficient and necessary
aid may thus be rendered at the same time to restore peace and order to
Mexico itself. In the accomplishment of this result the people of the
United States must necessarily feel a deep and earnest interest. Mexico
ought to be a rich and prosperous and powerful Republic. She possesses
an extensive territory, a fertile soil, and an incalculable store of
mineral wealth. She occupies an important position between the Gulf and
the ocean for transit routes and for commerce. Is it possible that such
a country as this can be given up to anarchy and ruin without an effort
from any quarter for its rescue and its safety? Will the commercial
nations of the world, which have so many interests connected with
it, remain wholly indifferent to such a result? Can the United States
especially, which ought to share most largely in its commercial
intercourse, allow their immediate neighbor thus to destroy itself and
injure them? Yet without support from some quarter it is impossible to
perceive how Mexico can resume her position among nations and enter upon
a career which promises any good results. The aid which she requires,
and which the interests of all commercial countries require that she
should have, it belongs to this Government to render, not only by
virtue of our neighborhood to Mexico, along whose territory we have a
continuous frontier of nearly a thousand miles, but by virtue also of
our established policy, which is inconsistent with the intervention
of any European power in the domestic concerns of that Republic.

The wrongs which we have suffered from Mexico are before the world and
must deeply impress every American citizen. A government which is either
unable or unwilling to redress such wrongs is derelict to its highest
duties. The difficulty consists in selecting and enforcing the remedy.
We may in vain apply to the constitutional Government at Vera Cruz,
although it is well disposed to do us justice, for adequate redress.
Whilst its authority is acknowledged in all the important ports and
throughout the seacoasts of the Republic, its power does not extend to
the City of Mexico and the States in its vicinity, where nearly all
the recent outrages have been committed on American citizens. We must
penetrate into the interior before we can reach the offenders, and this
can only be done by passing through the territory in the occupation of
the constitutional Government. The most acceptable and least difficult
mode of accomplishing the object will be to act in concert with that
Government. Their consent and their aid might, I believe, be obtained;
but if not, our obligation to protect our own citizens in their just
rights secured by treaty would not be the less imperative. For these
reasons I recommend to Congress to pass a law authorizing the President,
under such conditions as they may deem expedient, to employ a sufficient
military force to enter Mexico for the purpose of obtaining indemnity
for the past and security for the future. I purposely refrain from any
suggestion as to whether this force shall consist of regular troops or
volunteers, or both. This question may be most appropriately left to the
decision of Congress. I would merely observe that should volunteers be
selected such a force could be easily raised in this country among those
who sympathize with the sufferings of our unfortunate fellow-citizens
in Mexico and with the unhappy condition of that Republic. Such an
accession to the forces of the constitutional Government would enable
it soon to reach the City of Mexico and extend its power over the whole
Republic. In that event there is no reason to doubt that the just claims
of our citizens would be satisfied and adequate redress obtained for the
injuries inflicted upon them. The constitutional Government have ever
evinced a strong desire to do justice, and this might be secured in
advance by a preliminary treaty.

It may be said that these measures will, at least indirectly, be
inconsistent with our wise and settled policy not to interfere in the
domestic concerns of foreign nations. But does not the present case
fairly constitute an exception? An adjoining Republic is in a state
of anarchy and confusion from which she has proved wholly unable to
extricate herself. She is entirely destitute of the power to maintain
peace upon her borders or to prevent the incursions of banditti into our
territory. In her fate and in her fortune, in her power to establish and
maintain a settled government, we have a far deeper interest, socially,
commercially, and politically, than any other nation. She is now a wreck
upon the ocean, drifting about as she is impelled by different factions.
As a good neighbor, shall we not extend to her a helping hand to save
her? If we do not, it would not be surprising should some other nation
undertake the task, and thus force us to interfere at last, under
circumstances of increased difficulty, for the maintenance of our
established policy.

I repeat the recommendation contained in my last annual message that
authority may be given to the President to establish one or more
temporary military posts across the Mexican line in Sonora and
Chihuahua, where these may be necessary to protect the lives and
property of American and Mexican citizens against the incursions and
depredations of the Indians, as well as of lawless rovers, on that
remote region. The establishment of one such post at a point called
Arispe, in Sonora, in a country now almost depopulated by the hostile
inroads of the Indians from our side of the line, would, it is believed,
have prevented much injury and many cruelties during the past season.
A state of lawlessness and violence prevails on that distant frontier.
Life and property are there wholly insecure. The population of Arizona,
now numbering more than 10,000 souls, are practically destitute of
government, of laws, or of any regular administration of justice.
Murder, rapine, and other crimes are committed with impunity. I
therefore again call the attention of Congress to the necessity for
establishing a Territorial government over Arizona.

The treaty with Nicaragua of the 16th of February, 1857, to which I
referred in my last annual message, failed to receive the ratification
of the Government of that Republic, for reasons which I need not
enumerate. A similar treaty has been since concluded between the
parties, bearing date on the 16th March, 1859, which has already been
ratified by the Nicaraguan Congress. This will be immediately submitted
to the Senate for their ratification. Its provisions can not, I think,
fail to be acceptable to the people of both countries.

Our claims against the Governments of Costa Rica and Nicaragua remain
unredressed, though they are pressed in an earnest manner and not
without hope of success.

I deem it to be my duty once more earnestly to recommend to Congress
the passage of a law authorizing the President to employ the naval
force at his command for the purpose of protecting the lives and
property of American citizens passing in transit across the Panama,
Nicaragua, and Tehuantepec routes against sudden and lawless outbreaks
and depredations. I shall not repeat the arguments employed in former
messages in support of this measure. Suffice it to say that the lives of
many of our people and the security of vast amounts of treasure passing
and repassing over one or more of these routes between the Atlantic and
Pacific may be deeply involved in the action of Congress on this
subject.

I would also again recommend to Congress that authority be given to
the President to employ the naval force to protect American merchant
vessels, their crews and cargoes, against violent and lawless seizure
and confiscation in the ports of Mexico and the Spanish American States
when these countries may be in a disturbed and revolutionary condition.
The mere knowledge that such an authority had been conferred, as I have
already stated, would of itself in a great degree prevent the evil.
Neither would this require any additional appropriation for the naval
service.

The chief objection urged against the grant of this authority is that
Congress by conferring it would violate the Constitution; that it
would be a transfer of the war-making, or, strictly speaking, the
war-declaring, power to the Executive. If this were well founded, it
would, of course, be conclusive. A very brief examination, however,
will place this objection at rest.

Congress possess the sole and exclusive power under the Constitution "to
declare war." They alone can "raise and support armies" and "provide
and maintain a navy." But after Congress shall have declared war and
provided the force necessary to carry it on the President, as Commander
in Chief of the Army and Navy, can alone employ this force in making war
against the enemy. This is the plain language, and history proves that
it was the well-known intention of the framers, of the Constitution.

It will not be denied that the general "power to declare war" is without
limitation and embraces within itself not only what writers on the law
of nations term a public or perfect war, but also an imperfect war,
and, in short, every species of hostility, however confined or limited.
Without the authority of Congress the President can not fire a hostile
gun in any case except to repel the attacks of an enemy. It will not be
doubted that under this power Congress could, if they thought proper,
authorize the President to employ the force at his command to seize a
vessel belonging to an American citizen which had been illegally and
unjustly captured in a foreign port and restore it to its owner. But can
Congress only act after the fact, after the mischief has been done? Have
they no power to confer upon the President the authority in advance to
furnish instant redress should such a case afterwards occur? Must they
wait until the mischief has been done, and can they apply the remedy
only when it is too late? To confer this authority to meet future
cases under circumstances strictly specified is as clearly within the
war-declaring power as such an authority conferred upon the President by
act of Congress after the deed had been done. In the progress of a great
nation many exigencies must arise imperatively requiring that Congress
should authorize the President to act promptly on certain conditions
which may or may not afterwards arise. Our history has already presented
a number of such cases. I shall refer only to the latest.

Under the resolution of June 2, 1858, "for the adjustment of
difficulties with the Republic of Paraguay," the President is
"authorized to adopt such measures and use such force as in his
judgment may be necessary and advisable in the event of a refusal of
just satisfaction by the Government of Paraguay." "Just satisfaction"
for what? For "the attack on the United States steamer _Water Witch_"
and "other matters referred to in the annual message of the President."
Here the power is expressly granted upon the condition that the
Government of Paraguay shall refuse to render this "just satisfaction."
In this and other similar cases Congress have conferred upon the
President power in advance to employ the Army and Navy upon the
happening of contingent future events; and this most certainly is
embraced within the power to declare war.

Now, if this conditional and contingent power could be constitutionally
conferred upon the President in the case of Paraguay, why may it not be
conferred for the purpose of protecting the lives and property of
American citizens in the event that they may be violently and unlawfully
attacked in passing over the transit routes to and from California or
assailed by the seizure of their vessels in a foreign port? To deny this
power is to render the Navy in a great degree useless for the protection
of the lives and property of American citizens in countries where
neither protection nor redress can be otherwise obtained.

The Thirty-fifth Congress terminated on the 3d of March, 1859, without
having passed the "act making appropriations for the service of the
Post-Office Department during the fiscal year ending the 30th of June,
1860." This act also contained an appropriation "to supply deficiencies
in the revenue of the Post-Office Department for the year ending 30th
June, 1859." I believe this is the first instance since the origin of
the Federal Government, now more than seventy years ago, when any
Congress went out of existence without having passed all the general
appropriation bills necessary to carry on the Government until the
regular period for the meeting of a new Congress. This event imposed on
the Executive a grave responsibility. It presented a choice of evils.

Had this omission of duty occurred at the first session of the last
Congress, the remedy would have been plain. I might then have instantly
recalled them to complete their work, and this without expense to the
Government. But on the 4th of March last there were fifteen of the
thirty-three States which had not elected any Representatives to the
present Congress. Had Congress been called together immediately, these
States would have been virtually disfranchised. If an intermediate
period had been selected, several of the States would have been
compelled to hold extra sessions of their legislatures, at great
inconvenience and expense, to provide for elections at an earlier day
than that previously fixed by law. In the regular course ten of these
States would not elect until after the beginning of August, and five
of these ten not until October and November.

On the other hand, when I came to examine carefully the condition of the
Post-Office Department, I did not meet as many or as great difficulties
as I had apprehended. Had the bill which failed been confined to
appropriations for the fiscal year ending on the 30th June next, there
would have been no reason of pressing importance for the call of an
extra session. Nothing would become due on contracts (those with
railroad companies only excepted) for carrying the mail for the first
quarter of the present fiscal year, commencing on the 1st of July, until
the 1st of December--less than one week before the meeting of the
present Congress. The reason is that the mail contractors for this and
the current year did not complete their first quarter's service until
the 30th September last, and by the terms of their contracts sixty
days more are allowed for the settlement of their accounts before the
Department could be called upon for payment.

The great difficulty and the great hardship consisted in the failure
to provide for the payment of the deficiency in the fiscal year ending
the 30th June, 1859. The Department had entered into contracts, in
obedience to existing laws, for the service of that fiscal year, and
the contractors were fairly entitled to their compensation as it became
due. The deficiency as stated in the bill amounted to $3,838,728, but
after a careful settlement of all these accounts it has been ascertained
that it amounts to $4,296,009. With the scanty means at his command the
Postmaster-General has managed to pay that portion of this deficiency
which occurred in the first two quarters of the past fiscal year, ending
on the 31st December last. In the meantime the contractors themselves,
under these trying circumstances, have behaved in a manner worthy
of all commendation. They had one resource in the midst of their
embarrassments. After the amount due to each of them had been
ascertained and finally settled according to law, this became a specific
debt of record against the United States, which enabled them to borrow
money on this unquestionable security. Still, they were obliged to
pay interest in consequence of the default of Congress, and on every
principle of justice ought to receive interest from the Government.
This interest should commence from the date when a warrant would have
issued for the payment of the principal had an appropriation been made
for this purpose. Calculated up to the 1st December, it will not exceed
$96,660--a sum not to be taken into account when contrasted with the
great difficulties and embarrassments of a public and private character,
both to the people and the States, which would have resulted from
convening and holding a special session of Congress.

For these reasons I recommend the passage of a bill at as early a day
as may be practicable to provide for the payment of the amount, with
interest, due to these last-mentioned contractors, as well as to make
the necessary appropriations for the service of the Post-Office
Department for the current fiscal year.

The failure to pass the Post-Office bill necessarily gives birth
to serious reflections. Congress, by refusing to pass the general
appropriation bills necessary to carry on the Government, may not only
arrest its action, but might even destroy its existence. The Army, the
Navy, the judiciary, in short, every department of the Government,
can no longer perform their functions if Congress refuse the money
necessary for their support. If this failure should teach the country
the necessity of electing a full Congress in sufficient time to enable
the President to convene them in any emergency, even immediately after
the old Congress has expired, it will have been productive of great
good. In a time of sudden and alarming danger, foreign or domestic,
which all nations must expect to encounter in their progress, the very
salvation of our institutions may be staked upon the assembling of
Congress without delay. If under such circumstances the President should
find himself in the condition in which he was placed at the close of the
last Congress, with nearly half the States of the Union destitute of
representatives, the consequences might be disastrous. I therefore
recommend to Congress to carry into effect the provisions of the
Constitution on this subject, and to pass a law appointing some day
previous to the 4th March in each year of odd number for the election
of Representatives throughout all the States. They have already
appointed a day for the election of electors for President and
Vice-President, and this measure has been approved by the country.

I would again express a most decided opinion in favor of the
construction of a Pacific railroad, for the reasons stated in my two
last annual messages. When I reflect upon what would be the defenseless
condition of our States and Territories west of the Rocky Mountains in
case of a war with a naval power sufficiently strong to interrupt all
intercourse with them by the routes across the Isthmus, I am still more
convinced than ever of the vast importance of this railroad. I have
never doubted the constitutional competency of Congress to provide for
its construction, but this exclusively under the war-making power.
Besides, the Constitution expressly requires as an imperative duty that
"the United States shall protect each of them [the States] against
invasion." I am at a loss to conceive how this protection can be
afforded to California and Oregon against such a naval power by any
other means. I repeat the opinion contained in my last annual message
that it would be inexpedient for the Government to undertake this great
work by agents of its own appointment and under its direct and exclusive
control. This would increase the patronage of the Executive to a
dangerous extent and would foster a system of jobbing and corruption
which no vigilance on the part of Federal officials could prevent.
The construction of this road ought, therefore, to be intrusted to
incorporated companies or other agencies who would exercise that
active and vigilant supervision over it which can be inspired alone by
a sense of corporate and individual interest. I venture to assert that
the additional cost of transporting troops, munitions of war, and
necessary supplies for the Army across the vast intervening plains to
our possessions on the Pacific Coast would be greater in such a war
than the whole amount required to construct the road. And yet this
resort would after all be inadequate for their defense and protection.

We have yet scarcely recovered from the habits of extravagant
expenditure produced by our overflowing Treasury during several years
prior to the commencement of my Administration. The financial reverses
which we have since experienced ought to teach us all to scrutinize
our expenditures with the greatest vigilance and to reduce them to the
lowest possible point. The Executive Departments of the Government
have devoted themselves to the accomplishment of this object with
considerable success, as will appear from their different reports and
estimates. To these I invite the scrutiny of Congress, for the purpose
of reducing them still lower, if this be practicable consistent with
the great public interests of the country. In aid of the policy of
retrenchment, I pledge myself to examine closely the bills appropriating
lands or money, so that if any of these should inadvertently pass both
Houses, as must sometimes be the case, I may afford them an opportunity
for reconsideration. At the same time, we ought never to forget that
true public economy consists not in withholding the means necessary
to accomplish important national objects confided to us by the
Constitution, but in taking care that the money appropriated for these
purposes shall be faithfully and frugally expended.

It will appear from the report of the Secretary of the Treasury that it
is extremely doubtful, to say the least, whether we shall be able to
pass through the present and the next fiscal year without providing
additional revenue. This can only be accomplished by strictly confining
the appropriations within the estimates of the different Departments,
without making an allowance for any additional expenditures which
Congress may think proper, in their discretion, to authorize, and
without providing for the redemption of any portion of the $20,000,000
of Treasury notes which have been already issued. In the event of a
deficiency, which I consider probable, this ought never to be supplied
by a resort to additional loans. It would be a ruinous practice in the
days of peace and prosperity to go on increasing the national debt to
meet the ordinary expenses of the Government. This policy would cripple
our resources and impair our credit in case the existence of war should
render it necessary to borrow money. Should such a deficiency occur as
I apprehend, I would recommend that the necessary revenue be raised by
an increase of our present duties on imports. I need not repeat the
opinions expressed in my last annual message as to the best mode and
manner of accomplishing this object, and shall now merely observe that
these have since undergone no change.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will explain in detail the
operations of that Department of the Government.

The receipts into the Treasury from all sources during the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1859, including the loan authorized by the act of June
14, 1858, and the issues of Treasury notes authorized by existing laws,
were $81,692,471.01, which sum, with the balance of $6,398,316.10
remaining in the Treasury at the commencement of that fiscal year, made
an aggregate for the service of the year of $88,090,787.11.

The public expenditures during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1859,
amounted to $83,751,511.57. Of this sum $17,405,285.44 were applied to
the payment of interest on the public debt and the redemption of the
issues of Treasury notes. The expenditures for all other branches of the
public service during that fiscal year were therefore $66,346,226.13.

The balance remaining in the Treasury on the 1st July, 1859, being the
commencement of the present fiscal year, was $4,339,275.54.

The receipts into the Treasury during the first quarter of the present
fiscal year, commencing July 1, 1859, were $20,618,865.85. Of this
amount $3,821,300 was received on account of the loan and the issue of
Treasury notes, the amount of $16,797,565.85 having been received during
the quarter from the ordinary sources of public revenue. The estimated
receipts for the remaining three quarters of the present fiscal year,
to June 30, 1860, are $50,426,400. Of this amount it is estimated that
$5,756,400 will be received for Treasury notes which may be reissued
under the fifth section of the act of 3d March last, and $1,170,000 on
account of the loan authorized by the act of June 14, 1858, making
$6,926,400 from these extraordinary sources, and $43,500,000 from the
ordinary sources of the public revenue, making an aggregate, with the
balance in the Treasury on the 1st July, 1859, of $75,384,541.89 for
the estimated means of the present fiscal year, ending June 30, 1860.

The expenditures during the first quarter of the present fiscal year
were $20,007,174.76. Four million six hundred and sixty-four thousand
three hundred and sixty-six dollars and seventy-six cents of this sum
were applied to the payment of interest on the public debt and the
redemption of the issues of Treasury notes, and the remainder, being
$15,342,808, were applied to ordinary expenditures during the quarter.
The estimated expenditures during the remaining three quarters, to June
30, 1860, are $40,995,558.23, of which sum $2,886,621.34 are estimated
for the interest on the public debt. The ascertained and estimated
expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1860, on account of
the public debt are accordingly $7,550,988.10, and for the ordinary
expenditures of the Government $53,451,744.89, making an aggregate of
$61,-002,732.99, leaving an estimated balance in the Treasury on June
30, 1860, of $14,381,808.40.

The estimated receipts during the next fiscal year, ending June 30,
1861, are $66,225,000, which, with the balance estimated, as before
stated, as remaining in the Treasury on the 30th June, 1860, will make
an aggregate for the service of the next fiscal year of $80,606,808.40.

The estimated expenditures during the next fiscal year, ending 30th
June, 1861, are $66,714,928.79. Of this amount $3,386,621.34 will be
required to pay the interest on the public debt, leaving the sum of
$63,328,307.45 for the estimated ordinary expenditures during the fiscal
year ending 30th June, 1861. Upon these estimates a balance will be left
in the Treasury on the 30th June, 1861, of $13,891,879.61.

But this balance, as well as that estimated to remain in the Treasury on
the 1st July, 1860, will be reduced by such appropriations as shall be
made by law to carry into effect certain Indian treaties during the
present fiscal year, asked for by the Secretary of the Interior, to the
amount of $539,350; and upon the estimates of the Postmaster-General for
the service of his Department the last fiscal year, ending 30th June,
1859, amounting to $4,296,009, together with the further estimate of
that officer for the service of the present fiscal year, ending 30th
June, 1860, being $5,526,324, making an aggregate of $10,361,683.

Should these appropriations be made as requested by the proper
Departments, the balance in the Treasury on the 30th June, 1861,
will not, it is estimated, exceed $3,530,196.61.

I transmit herewith the reports of the Secretaries of War, of the Navy,
of the Interior, and of the Postmaster-General. They each contain
valuable information and important recommendations well worthy of the
serious consideration of Congress.

It will appear from the report of the Secretary of War that the Army
expenditures have been materially reduced by a system of rigid economy,
which in his opinion offers every guaranty that the reduction will be
permanent. The estimates of the Department for the next have been
reduced nearly $2,000,000 below the estimates for the present fiscal
year and $500,000 below the amount granted for this year at the last
session of Congress.

The expenditures of the Post-Office Department during the past fiscal
year, ending on the 30th June, 1859, exclusive of payments for mail
service specially provided for by Congress out of the general Treasury,
amounted to $14,964,493.33 and its receipts to $7,968,484.07, showing a
deficiency to be supplied from the Treasury of $6,996,009.26, against
$5,235,677.15 for the year ending 30th June, 1858. The increased cost of
transportation, growing out of the expansion of the service required by
Congress, explains this rapid augmentation of the expenditures. It is
gratifying, however, to observe an increase of receipts for the year
ending on the 30th of June, 1859, equal to $481,691.21 compared with
those in the year ending on the 30th June, 1858.

It is estimated that the deficiency for the current fiscal year
will be $5,988,424.04, but that for the year ending 30th June, 1861,
it will not exceed $1,342,473.90 should Congress adopt the measures of
reform proposed and urged by the Postmaster-General. Since the month
of March retrenchments have been made in the expenditures amounting to
$1,826,471 annually, which, however, did not take effect until after
the commencement of the present fiscal year. The period seems to have
arrived for determining the question whether this Department shall
become a permanent and ever-increasing charge upon the Treasury, or
shall be permitted to resume the self-sustaining policy which had
so long controlled its administration. The course of legislation
recommended by the Postmaster-General for the relief of the Department
from its present embarrassments and for restoring it to its original
independence is deserving of your early and earnest consideration.

In conclusion I would again commend to the just liberality of Congress
the local interests of the District of Columbia. Surely the city bearing
the name of Washington, and destined, I trust, for ages to be the
capital of our united, free, and prosperous Confederacy, has strong
claims on our favorable regard.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State and the
papers referred to therein, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of
the 21st of December last, in relation to the suspension of diplomatic
relations with Mexico by the United States legation in that country.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _December 16, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having ratified the treaty between the United States and the Empire of
China, pursuant to the advice and consent of the Senate as expressed
in their resolution of the 15th of December last, I lost no time in
forwarding my ratification thither, in the hope that it might reach that
country in season to be exchanged for the ratification of the Emperor
within the time limited for that purpose. Unforeseen circumstances,
however, retarded the exchange until the 16th of August last. I
consequently submit the instrument anew to the Senate, in order that
they may declare their assent to the postponement of the exchange of
the ratifications in such way as they may deem most expedient.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, with a view to ratification, a treaty of
friendship, commerce, and navigation concluded at Asuncion on the 4th of
February last between the plenipotentiaries of the United States and
Paraguay.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a treaty of friendship and commerce between the United States and
Nicaragua, signed by their respective plenipotentiaries at Managua on
the 16th March last, together with papers explanatory of the same, of
which a list is herewith furnished.

I invite attention especially to the last document accompanying the
treaty, being a translation of a note of 26th September ultimo from Mr.
Molina, charge d'affaires _ad interim_ of Nicaragua, to the Secretary of
State, together with the translation of the ratification of the treaty
by the Nicaraguan Government, thereto annexed.

The amendment stipulated in the second article of the decree of
ratification by Nicaragua is in conformity with the views of this
Government, to which the omitted clause was obnoxious, as will be seen
by reference to the note of the Secretary of State to Mr. Trisarri of
26th May, 1859, a copy of which is among the documents referred to.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1859_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, with a view to ratification, the special
convention concluded at Asuncion on the 4th of February last between the
plenipotentiaries of the United States and Paraguay, providing for the
settlement of the claims of the United States and Paraguay Navigation
Company.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

WASHINGTON, _January 4, 1860_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
a "treaty of transits and commerce between the United States of America
and the Mexican Republic," and also a "convention to enforce treaty
stipulations" between the same parties, both of which were signed by the
plenipotentiaries of the respective Governments at Vera Cruz on the 14th
December ultimo.

I also transmit a copy of a dispatch of the minister of the United
States accredited to the Mexican Government to the Secretary of State,
relative to these instruments.

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