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

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light-house system, called for by the resolution of the Senate of the
8th of March last.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _April 16, 1838_.

Hon. JAMES K. POLK,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you copies of the letters,
documents, and communications called for by a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 7th of December last, received from the Secretary
of the Navy, to be annexed to his report of the 5th day of February
last, in relation to the delay of the sailing of the exploring
expedition.[29]

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 29: South Sea surveying and exploring expedition.]

WASHINGTON, _April 18, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I return the petition and papers of Econchatta Nico,[30] referred to
me by a resolution of the Senate of February 7, 1837, and transmit a
communication and accompanying papers from the Acting Secretary of
War, showing the failure of the attempt made, in conformity with the
resolution, to obtain indemnity for the petitioner by prosecuting the
depredators on his property, and also the causes of the failure. The
papers are returned and the report and documents of the Acting Secretary
of War submitted in order that Congress may devise such other mode of
relief as may seem proper.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 30: A chief of the Apalachicola Indians, for indemnification
for losses sustained by depredations on his property by white persons.]

WASHINGTON, _April 23, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
16th instant, relative to an attack on the steamboat _Columbia_ in the
Gulf of Mexico by a Mexican armed vessel, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _April 23, 1838_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit, for the consideration and action of the Senate,
communications from the Department of War, accompanying treaties with
the Indians in the State of New York, with the St. Regis band, and with
the Oneidas residing at Green Bay.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _April 26, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In partial compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 21st ultimo, calling for further information
on the relations between the United States and the Mexican Republic,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution
was referred.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _April 27, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their consideration with a view to its
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Republic of
Texas for marking the boundary between them, signed in this city by the
plenipotentiaries of the parties on the 25th instant.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, in answer to that part of their resolution of the
19th ultimo requesting the communication of all correspondence with any
foreign government in regard to the title or occupation of the territory
of the United States beyond the Rocky Mountains.

M. VAN BUREN.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, April 25, 1838_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred so much of the
resolution of the House of Representatives dated the 19th ultimo as
requests the President, if not incompatible with the public interest,
to communicate to that body all correspondence had with any foreign
government respecting the title or occupation of the territory of the
United States beyond the Rocky Mountains, has the honor to report to
the President that no recent communication on this subject has passed
between this Government and any foreign power, and that copies of the
correspondence growing out of previous discussions in which the question
of title or occupation of this territory was involved have been
heretofore communicated to the House and will be found among the
documents printed by their order. Document No. 65 of the House of
Representatives, contained in the fourth volume of State Papers of the
first session of the Nineteenth Congress, and that numbered 199, in the
fifth volume of State Papers of the first session of the Twentieth
Congress, are particularly referred to as immediately connected with
this subject.

Respectfully submitted.

JOHN FORSYTH.

WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report, and accompanying documents, from the
Acting Secretary of War, which contains the information[31] required by
the resolution of the 16th ultimo, respecting the officers of the Corps
of Engineers, the works upon which they were engaged during the last
year, and the other matters embraced in the resolution.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 31: List of officers of the Corps of Engineers and of the
works upon which they were employed during the year 1837.]

WASHINGTON, _May 2, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

The report of the Secretary of State transmitted by me to the House of
Representatives in compliance with their resolution of the 16th ultimo,
respecting an attack alleged to have been made by a Mexican armed vessel
upon an American steamboat, having stated that no information on the
subject had at that time reached the Department, I now transmit another
report from the same officer, communicating a copy of a note from the
Mexican minister, with an accompanying document, in reference to the act
alluded to, which have been received at the Department since the date of
the former report.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their consideration with a view to its
ratification, a convention signed at Houston on the 11th ultimo by Alcee
La Branche, charge d'affaires of the United States, and R.A. Irion,
secretary of state of the Republic of Texas, stipulating for the
adjustment and satisfaction of claims of citizens of the United States
on that Government in the cases of the brigs _Pocket_ and _Durango_.
This convention having been concluded in anticipation of the receipt
from the Department of a formal power for that purpose, an extract from
a dispatch of Mr. La Branche to the Secretary of State explanatory of
his motives for that act is also transmitted for the information of the
Senate.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _May 10, 1838_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I submit to the consideration of Congress a statement prepared by the
Secretary of the Treasury, by which it appears that the United States,
with over twenty-eight millions in deposit with the States and over
fifteen millions due from individuals and banks, are, from the situation
in which those funds are placed, in immediate danger of being rendered
unable to discharge with good faith and promptitude the various
pecuniary obligations of the Government. The occurrence of this result
has for some time been apprehended, and efforts made to avert it. As the
principal difficulty arises from a prohibition in the present law to
reissue such Treasury notes as might be paid in before they fell due,
and may be effectually obviated by giving the Treasury during the whole
year the benefit of the full amount originally authorized, the remedy
would seem to be obvious and easy.

The serious embarrassments likely to arise from a longer continuance
of the present state of things induces me respectfully to invite the
earliest attention of Congress to the subject which may be consistent
with a due regard to other public interests.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _May 11, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives reports from the
Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, with accompanying
papers, in answer to the resolution of the House of the 30th ultimo,
relating to the introduction of foreign paupers into the United States.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _May 19, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate the copy of a letter addressed to me
on the 28th ultimo by the governor of Maine, inclosing several resolves
of the legislature of that State, and claiming reimbursement from the
General Government of certain moneys paid to Ebenezer S. Greely, John
Baker, and others in compensation for losses and sufferings experienced
by them respectively under circumstances more fully explained in his
excellency's letter.

In the absence of any authority on the part of the Executive to satisfy
these claims, they are now submitted to Congress for consideration; and
I deem it proper at the same time, with reference to the observations
contained in Governor Kent's note above mentioned, to communicate to
the Senate copies of other papers connected with the subject of the
northeastern boundary of the United States, which, with the documents
already made public, will show the actual state of the negotiations with
Great Britain on the general question.

M. VAN BUREN.

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]

STATE OF MAINE, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

_Augusta, April 28, 1838_.

His Excellency MARTIN VAN BUREN,

_President of the United States_.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you a copy of a resolve[32] of the
legislature of this State in favor of Ebenezer S. Greely, also a copy of
a resolve[32] in favor of John Baker and others; and in compliance with
the request of the legislature I ask of the Government of the United
States a reimbursement of the several sums allowed thereby, which
several sums have been paid by this State to the individuals named in
the resolves.

The justice and propriety of granting this request, I can have no doubt,
will be apparent to you and to Congress when the circumstances under
which the allowances were made are called to mind.

Mr. Greely, acting as agent under a law of this State authorizing and
directing a census to be taken in unincorporated places, was forcibly
seized and imprisoned for several months, and then, without trial,
released.

John Baker and his associates named in the other resolve suffered
by imprisonment and otherwise for acting under a law of this State
incorporating the town of Madawaska in 1831. The State of Maine has
acknowledged by these and other resolves its sense of obligation to
remunerate in the first instance these sufferers in its cause and to
satisfy as far as it is able their claims upon its justice. But the
wrongs by which they suffered were committed by a foreign power with
whom we are now at peace. The State of Maine has no power to make war
or authorize reprisals. She can only look to the General Government
to assume the payment as an act of justice to a member of the Union
under the provisions of the Constitution and to demand redress and
remuneration from the authors of the wrong in the name of the United
States.

A minute recapitulation of the facts upon which these resolves are
founded is deemed entirely unnecessary and superfluous, as they have
heretofore been communicated and are well known to the Executive and
to Congress.

Maine has suffered too many repetitions of similar attempts to prevent
her from enjoying her rightful possessions and enforcing her just claims
to feel indifferent on the subject, and we look with confidence to the
General Government for protection and support. The amount of money,
although considerable, is of comparatively small importance when
contrasted with the principles involved and the effect which must result
from an immediate and ready assumption of the liability on the part of
the United States. Such an act would be highly gratifying to the people
of this State as evidence that their just claims and rights are fully
recognized by the United States, and that the strong arm of the Union
will be stretched out for their protection in every lawful effort to
maintain and enforce their claims, which they know and feel to be just
and unimpeachable and which they are determined to maintain.

I trust I shall be pardoned for earnestly urging immediate action on the
subject.

I had the honor to inclose to you, under date of the 28th of March last,
a copy of my message to the legislature and of the resolves of the
legislature of Maine in relation to the northeastern boundary, which
I have no doubt have received and will receive all the attention the
importance of the subjects therein discussed and acted on demands. You
will perceive that in accordance with your wishes I communicated the
proposition in relation to a conventional line of boundary, with the
letter of Mr. Forsyth addressed to the executive of Maine. The views and
wishes and determination of the executive and legislature, and I think
I may safely add of the people, of Maine are fully and distinctly set
forth in the documents referred to, communicated to you heretofore by
me. The proposition was distinct and definite, and the answer is equally
so, and I consider that it may be regarded as the fixed determination of
Maine to consent to no proposition on our part to vary the treaty line,
but to stand by that line as a definite, a practicable, and a fair one
until its impracticability is demonstrated. It is needless for me to
recapitulate the reasons upon which this determination is founded.
I refer you to the documents before alluded to for my own views on this
topic, sanctioned fully by the legislature. The duty devolving upon me
by your request I have endeavored to discharge in a spirit of profound
respect for the constituted officers of the General Government, and with
a single eye to the interest and honor of the United States and of
the State of Maine. The attitude assumed by Maine in relation to the
survey of the line of the treaty of 1783 has doubtless attracted your
attention. I feel it due to the State to say to you frankly and
unequivocally that this position was taken deliberately and with a full
consideration of all the circumstances of the case; but it was assumed
in no spirit of defiance or resistance and with no design to embarrass
the action of the General Government. Maine feels no desire to act alone
or independently on this question. She knows and feels that it is a
national question, and that it is the right and duty of the General
Government to move forward in effecting the object proposed.

I feel fully warranted in saying that Maine does not intend by this
expression of her determination to run the line in a certain contingency
to waive in the least degree her well-founded claim upon the General
Government to run, mark, and establish it. On the contrary, she will
most reluctantly yield the hope she now so strongly feels that it is
the intention of that Government to relieve her from the necessity of
throwing herself upon her own resources to assert and defend her most
unquestionable right. The wish of this State is that the first act
should be to run the line of the treaty of 1783 to ascertain the facts
in relation to the topography of the country and the exact spot where
the northwest angle of Nova Scotia may be found according to our
construction of the treaty language, and to place suitable monuments
along the whole line. Such a survey would not settle or determine any
rights, but it would express and declare our views and intentions. Such
a survey is not a warlike or offensive movement, and can not justly give
offense to the other party in the controversy. It is the unquestionable
right of litigants in a court of justice to make explorations of land
in dispute, and if either party declines a joint survey it may be made
_ex parte_ and surely the United States have never so far yielded the
actual possession to Great Britain as to preclude the right on our part
to ascertain for ourselves the absolute facts and to mark out the limits
of our claim and our alleged right. This act Maine asks, and asks
earnestly, the General Government to perform without delay. Such an
assumption of the controversy on the part of the United States would be
to Maine an assurance that her rights were duly regarded, and would
be steadily and perseveringly maintained. We want the name and the
authority of the United States, and there can be no doubt that an act
emanating from that source would be regarded by those interested on both
sides as of more importance than any act of an individual State. So far,
then, from any indifference on the part of Maine as to the action of the
General Government, or any desire to be driven to assume the performance
of the duty alluded to, she looks with intense anxiety and confident
hope to be relieved from this position. She believes it is alike due to
the honor of the United States and the rights of Maine that the General
Government should go forward in the work, and that there is less to
apprehend in the result from such a course than any other. But Maine
feels that the time for decisive action has come, that she can not be
satisfied to have the claim to absolute and exclusive jurisdiction of
a large part of her territory longer tolerated and acquiesced in. She
knows that it rightfully belongs to her jurisdiction, that it is hers by
a clear, perfect, and honest title--as clear, as perfect, and rightful
as her title to any portion of the State--and she can not consent
to have this title impaired or weakened by bold encroachments and
unscrupulous demands. She can not consent that a title transmitted
by the fathers of the Revolution shall be destroyed or defeated by
acquiescence in the adverse occupation of a foreign state, and that what
was once fairly yielded shall be reclaimed in utter defiance of a solemn
deed of cession. I am confident I am not mistaken in stating that the
legislature of Maine considered the question as fairly and plainly
before the National Government, and that if the present session of
Congress should close with a denial or postponement of the proposed
survey and no commission should be created by the Executive, as
contemplated in the resolution referred to, we should have a right
and be bound to regard such a delay or refusal as evidence of an
indisposition on the part of the General Government to accede to our
expressed views and wishes, and a denial of justice, and that Maine in
that event owed it to herself to cause the survey to be made under her
own authority. The duty of the executive of Maine is plainly pointed out
and made imperative and absolute by the resolves of the legislature, and
I certainly can not hesitate, so far as I have the means and power, to
execute their declared will.

The people of Maine, sir, are not desirous of conflict or war. Both
in their habits and their principles they love and wish for peace and
quiet within their borders. They are not ambitious to win laurels or to
acquire military glory by waging war with their neighbors, and least
of all are they desirous of a _border_ warfare, which may be the means
of sacrificing human life and engendering ill will and bad passions,
without bringing the controversy to a conclusion. They are scattered
over our thousand hills, engaged in their quiet and peaceful labors,
and it is the first wish of their hearts to live peaceably with all men
and all nations. They have no anxiety to extend our limits or to gain
territory by conquest, but there is a firm and determined spirit in this
people which can not brook insult and will not submit to intentional
injury. "They know their rights, and knowing dare maintain them" with
calm determination and deliberate purpose, and they appeal with
unshrinking confidence to their sister States and to the Government
which binds them together for effective support in this their purpose.

The crisis, as we believe, demands firm and decided language and the
expression of a determined design. Maine has never refused to acquiesce
in any fair and honorable mode of fixing the line _according to the
treaty of 1783_. I have no doubt (but upon this point I speak according
to my individual belief) that the mode proposed by Great Britain of
establishing the treaty line upon the face of the earth by a commission
composed of impartial and scientific men, to be elected by a friendly
power, would be satisfactory and acquiesced in by this State, but that
we should neither ask nor agree that any preliminary points should be
yielded by either party. We should only ask that the treaty should be
placed in their hands with directions to ascertain and run and fix the
line according to its plain language and obvious meaning.

Maine can never consent, as I apprehend, to yield the main points of the
case and then refer it to enable the judges to divide the subject-matter
of the controversy.

We feel that we now stand on the high vantage ground of truth and
justice, and that it can not be that any nation professing to act on the
principles of right and equity can stand up before the civilized world
and contest with unyielding pertinacity our claim. We have too much
respect for the nation from which we descended to believe that she will
sully her reputation by such persevering resistance.

I am conscious that the language and style of this communication are
unusual and probably undiplomatic; that there is more of the fervor of
feeling and the plain language of direct appeal than is usual in such
papers; but it is a subject of such vast importance to the State whose
interests have been in part intrusted to me and whose organ I am that I
can not speak in measured terms or indefinite language. On this subject
we have no ulterior views and no concealed objects. Our plans and our
policy are open and exposed to the view of all men. Maine has nothing
in either to conceal or disguise. She plainly and distinctly asks for
specific and definite action. In performing what I conceive to be
my duty I have been actuated by entire respect toward the General
Government and by the single desire to explain and enforce as well as
I was able our wishes and our rights. I can only add that we trust the
General Government will assume the performance of the act specified in
the resolution and relieve Maine from the necessity of independent
action.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,

EDWARD KENT.

[Footnote 32: Omitted.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, April 27, 1838_.

HENRY S. FOX, Esq., etc.:

The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has the honor,
by the directions of the President, to communicate to Mr. Fox, Her
Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary,
the result of the application of the General Government to the State
of Maine on the subject of the northeastern boundary line and the
resolution which the President has formed upon a careful consideration
thereof. By the accompanying papers,[33] received from the executive
of Maine, Mr. Fox will perceive that Maine declines to give a consent
to the negotiation for a conventional boundary, is disinclined to the
reference of the points in dispute to a new arbitration, but is yet
firmly persuaded that the line described in the treaty of 1783 can be
found and traced whenever the Governments of the United States and
Great Britain shall proceed to make the requisite investigations with
a predisposition to effect that very desirable object. Confidently
relying, as the President does, upon the assurances frequently repeated
by the British Government of the earnest desire to reach that result if
it is practicable, he has instructed the undersigned to announce to Mr.
Fox the willingness of this Government to enter into an arrangement with
Great Britain for the establishment of a joint commission of survey and
exploration upon the basis of the original American proposition and the
modifications offered by Her Majesty's Government.

The Secretary of State is therefore authorized to invite Mr. Fox to
a conference upon the subject at as early a day as his convenience
will permit, and the undersigned will be immediately furnished with a
requisite full power by the President to conclude a convention embracing
that object if Her Majesty's minister is duly empowered to proceed to
the negotiation of it on the part of Great Britain.

The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew to Mr. Fox the
expression of his distinguished consideration.

JOHN FORSYTH.

[Footnote 33: Omitted.]

WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1838_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH, etc.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your official note
of the 27th ultimo, in which you inclose to me a communication received
by the Federal Government from the executive of Maine upon the subject
of the northeastern boundary line, and in which you inform me that the
President is willing to enter into an arrangement with Her Majesty's
Government for the establishment of a joint commission of survey and
exploration upon the basis of the original American proposition and of
the modifications offered by Her Majesty's Government, as communicated
to you in my note of the 10th of January last, and you invite me to a
conference for the purpose of negotiating a convention that shall
embrace the above object if I am duly empowered by my Government to
proceed to such negotiation.

I have the honor to state to you in reply that my actual instructions
were fulfilled by the delivery of the communication which I addressed to
you on the 10th of January, and that I am not at present provided with
full powers for negotiating the proposed convention. I will forthwith,
however, transmit to Her Majesty's Government the note which I have had
the honor to receive from you in order that such fresh instructions may
be furnished to me or such other steps taken as the present situation of
the question may appear to Her Majesty's Government to require.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurance of my high
respect and consideration.

H.S. FOX.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, May 8, 1838_.

His Excellency EDWARD KENT,

_Governor of Maine_.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on the 22d ultimo of
the communication addressed to this Department by your excellency on
the 28th of March last, transmitting a printed copy of your message of
the 14th of the same month to the legislature of Maine, together with
certain resolves passed by that body, in relation to the northeastern
boundary of the State.

Although the answer thus given to the application made to you, by
direction of the President, under date of the 1st of March last, to
ascertain the sense of the State of Maine in regard to a conventional
line of boundary may be regarded as conclusive, I still deem it proper,
with reference to your excellency's message, to mark a misconception
which appears to have existed on your part when communicating to the
legislature the letter and documents received from this Department. This
is done with the greater freedom since the frank and liberal manner in
which your excellency invited the attention of that body to the subject
is highly appreciated by the President. The question therein presented
for consideration was not, as your excellency supposed, whether the
State of Maine should "take the lead in abandoning the treaty and
volunteer propositions for a conventional line," but simply whether the
government of Maine would consent that the General Government should
entertain a direct negotiation with the British Government for a
conventional line of boundary on the northeastern frontier of the United
States. Had that consent been given it would have been reasonable to
expect the proposition of a line from Great Britain, as it was that
power which particularly desired the resort to that mode of settling the
controversy. It was also the intention of the President so to arrange
the negotiation that the approbation of Maine to the boundary line
agreed upon should have been secured. It was with this view that in the
application to the State of Maine for its assent to a negotiation for a
conventional line express reference was made to such conditions as she
might think proper to prescribe. To all such as were, in the opinion of
the President, required by a proper regard for the security of Maine and
consistent with the Constitution he would have yielded a ready assent.
Of that character was he disposed to regard a condition that in a
negotiation for the final establishment of a new line, with power on the
part of the negotiators to stipulate for the cession or exchange of
territory as the interests and convenience of the parties might be found
to require, the State of Maine should be represented by commissioners of
her own selection and that their previous assent should be requisite to
make any treaty containing such stipulation binding upon her.

These suggestions are not now made as matter of complaint at the
decision which the State of Maine has come to on a matter in which she
was at perfect liberty to pursue the course she has adopted, but in
justice to the views of the President in making the application.

I am instructed to announce to your excellency that by direction of the
President, upon due consideration of the result of the late application
of the General Government to the State of Maine on the subject of the
northeastern boundary and in accordance with the expressed wishes of
her legislature, I have informed Mr. Fox of the willingness of this
Government to enter into an arrangement with that of Great Britain for
the establishment of a joint commission of survey and exploration upon
the basis of the original American proposition and the modifications
offered by Her Majesty's Government, and to apprise you that Mr. Fox,
being at present unprovided with full powers for negotiating the
proposed convention, has transmitted my communication to his Government
in order that such fresh instructions may be furnished to him or such
other steps taken as may be deemed expedient on its part.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your excellency's obedient
servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

WASHINGTON, _May 21, 1838_.

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

The accompanying copy of a communication addressed by the Secretary of
War to the Cherokee delegation is submitted to Congress in order that
such measures may be adopted as are required to carry into effect the
benevolent intentions of the Government toward the Cherokee Nation, and
which it is hoped will induce them to remove peaceably and contentedly
to their new homes in the West.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _May 24, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith submit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
explanatory of the manner in which extracts from certain newspapers
relating to the introduction of foreign paupers into this country, and
the steps taken to prevent it, became connected with his communication
to me on that subject, accompanying my message of the 11th instant.
Sensible that those extracts are of a character which would, if
attention had been directed to them, have prevented their transmission
to the House, I request permission to withdraw them.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _May 30, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, in answer to their resolution of the 28th instant,
relative to the claim[34] in the case of the ship _Mary_ and cargo, of
Baltimore.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 34: Against the Government of Holland.]

WASHINGTON, _May 31, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
28th instant, regarding the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the
United States, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom
the resolution was referred.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 1, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Negotiations have been opened with the Osage and Delaware Indians, in
compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th of January
last, for the relinquishment of certain school lands secured to them by
treaty. These relinquishments have been obtained on the terms authorized
by the resolution, and copies of them are herewith transmitted for the
information of the Senate.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 4, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, with accompanying papers, relating to the claim of
the orphan children of Peter Shackerly,[35] in answer to their
resolution of the 28th ultimo.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 35: Killed on board of the United States ship _Chesapeake_
when attacked by the British ship of war _Leopard_, June 22, 1807.]

WASHINGTON, _June 6, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the 4th instant, calling for any
communication received from the governors of the States of Georgia,
North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama in reference to the proposed
modification of the Cherokee treaty of 1835, I herewith inclose a report
of the Secretary of War, accompanied by a copy of a letter addressed by
him to the governor of Georgia and of his reply thereto. As stated by
the Secretary, no communication on that subject has been received from
either of the other executives mentioned.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 7, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives an account against the
United States, presented by Heman Cady, of Plattsburg, in the State of
New York, for services alleged to have been rendered as deputy marshal
for the northern district of New York from the 20th December, 1837, to
the 9th February, 1838, by direction of the attorney and marshal of the
United States for that district, in endeavoring to prevent the arming
and enlisting of men for the invasion of Canada. I also transmit
certain documents which were exhibited in support of the said account.
I recommend to the consideration of Congress the expediency of an
appropriation for the payment of this claim and of some general
provision for the liquidation and payment of others which may be
expected to be presented hereafter for services of a similar character
rendered before and after the passage of the act of the 20th March last,
for preserving the neutrality of the United States on the northern
frontier, which act imposes important duties upon the marshals and other
civil officers, but omits to provide for their remuneration or for the
reimbursement of their expenses.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 7, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having received satisfactory assurances from the Government of Ecuador
of its desire to negotiate a treaty of commerce on the most liberal
principles in place of the expired treaty made with the Republic of
Colombia, heretofore regulating our intercourse with Ecuador, it is my
design to give the requisite authority for that purpose to the charge
d'affaires of the United States about to be appointed for Peru, with
instructions to stop in Ecuador on his way to Lima as the agent of the
United States to accomplish that object. The only additional charges to
be incurred will be the expense of his journey from Panama to Quito, and
from thence to the place of embarkation for Lima, to be paid out of the
foreign-intercourse fund. I make this communication to the Senate that
an opportunity may be afforded for the expression of an opinion, if
it shall be deemed necessary, on the exercise of such a power by the
Executive without applying to the Senate for its approbation and
consent. In debate it has been sometimes asserted that this power,
frequently exercised without question or complaint, and leading to
no practical evil, as no arrangement made under such circumstances
can be obligatory upon the United States without being submitted to
the approbation of the Senate, is an encroachment upon its rightful
authority. It appears to have been considered that the annual
appropriation of a gross sum for the expenses of foreign intercourse is
intended, among other objects, to provide for the cost of such agencies,
and that the authority granted is the same as that frequently given to
the Secretary of State to form treaties with the representatives or
agents of foreign governments, upon the granting of which the Senate
never have been consulted.

Desiring in this and in all other instances to act with the most
cautious respect to the claims of other branches of the Government,
I bring this subject to the notice of the Senate that if it shall be
deemed proper to raise any question it may be discussed and decided
before and not after the power shall have been exercised.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _June 11, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit herewith, for consideration and action, a communication from
the Secretary of War and the treaty with the Otoe, Missouria, and Omaha
Indians therein referred to.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit, in compliance with a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 11th instant, reports from the Secretaries
of State, Treasury, and War, with the documents referred to by them
respectively. It will be seen that the outrage committed on the
steamboat _Sir Robert Peel_, under the British flag, within the waters
of the United States, and on the steamboat _Telegraph_, under the
American flag, at Brockville, in Upper Canada, have not been followed
by any demand by either Government on the other for redress. These acts
have been so far treated on each side as criminal offenses committed
within the jurisdiction of tribunals competent to inquire into the facts
and to punish the persons concerned in them. Investigations have been
made, some of the individuals inculpated have been arrested, and
prosecutions are in progress, the result of which can not be doubted.
The excited state of public feeling on the borders of Canada on both
sides of the line has occasioned the most painful anxiety to this
Government. Every effort has been and will be made to prevent the
success of the design, apparently formed and in the course of execution
by Canadians who have found a refuge within the territory, aided by a
few reckless persons of our own country, to involve the nation in a war
with a neighboring and friendly power. Such design can not succeed while
the two Governments appreciate and confidently rely upon the good faith
of each other in the performance of their respective duties. With a
fixed determination to use all the means in my power to put a speedy
and satisfactory termination to these border troubles, I have the most
confident assurances of the cordial cooperation of the British
authorities, at home and in the North American possessions, in the
accomplishment of a purpose so sincerely and earnestly desired by the
Governments and people both of the United States and Great Britain.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 28, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution passed by the House of Representatives
on the 23d instant, in respect to the new Treasury building, I submit
the inclosed report from the commissioners charged with a general
superintendence of the work, and which, with the documents annexed,
is believed to contain all the information desired.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _June 28, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I nominate Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer, of the Corps of Engineers, for the
brevet of colonel in the Army, agreeably to the recommendation of the
Secretary of War.

M. VAN BUREN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, _June 28, 1838_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: In submitting the name of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel S. Thayer,
of the Corps of Engineers, for the brevet of colonel for ten years'
faithful service in one grade it may be proper to state the
circumstances of his case.

When the law of 1812 regulating brevets was repealed by the act of June
30, 1834, all the officers of the Army who were known to be entitled to
the ordinary brevet promotion for ten years' faithful service in one
grade received on that day, by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, the brevet promotion to which they were respectively entitled.
The regulation which governed the subject under the law had reference
only to service with regularly organized bodies of troops, and valid
claims arising under it were generally known and easily understood at
the Adjutant-General's Office. If incidental cases occurred for which
the written regulations could not provide the rule, although equally
valid, such, nevertheless, may not in every instance have been known at
the War Department until specially represented by the party interested.
The case of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer happened to be one of those
incidental claims, and as soon as it was submitted for consideration its
validity was clearly seen and acknowledged. Had it been submitted to
the Department when the list was made out in June, 1834, it may not be
doubted that this highly meritorious and deserving officer would at the
time have received the brevet of colonel for "having served faithfully
as brevet lieutenant-colonel and performed the appropriate duties of
that grade for ten years," which, it may be seen, was due more than
_a year before the passage of the act repealing the law_.

In presenting now this deferred case for your favorable consideration
justice requires that I should advert to the valuable services
rendered to the Army and the country by Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer as
Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. In 1817 he found
that institution defective in all its branches, and without order; in
1833 he left it established upon a basis alike honorable to himself and
useful to the nation. These meritorious services constitute _another_
claim which entitles this officer to the notice of the Government, and
as they come fairly within one of the conditions of the law which yet
open the way to brevet promotion, the incentive it provides is fully
realized by the services that have been rendered.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

J.R. POINSETT.

WASHINGTON, _July 2, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report[36] from
the Secretary of State, together with the documents therein referred to
in answer to their resolution of the 28th of May last.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 36: Transmitting reports of the commissioners appointed under
the sixth and seventh articles of the treaty of Ghent to ascertain and
fix the boundary between the United States and the British possessions
in North America, etc.]

WASHINGTON, _July 3, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the War Department, in relation to the
investigations of the allegations of fraud committed on the Creek
Indians in the sales of their reservations authorized by the resolution
of that body of the 1st of July, 1836.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _July 4, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In further compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 21st of March last, requesting papers on
the subject of the relations between the United States and Mexico, I
transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution
was referred, supplementary to the report of that officer communicated
with my message to the House of Representatives of the 27th of April
last.

M. VAN BUREN.

WASHINGTON, _July 7, 1838_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.

SIR: In conformity with the resolution of the Senate, I transmit
herewith the report of Major-General Jesup,[27] together with a letter
from the Secretary of War.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 37: Relating to operations while commanding the army in
Florida.]

PROCLAMATIONS.

[From Statutes at Large (Little, Brown & Co.), Vol XI, p. 784.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas information having been received of a dangerous excitement on
the northern frontier of the United States in consequence of the civil
war begun in Canada, and instructions having been given to the United
States officers on that frontier and applications having been made
to the governors of the adjoining States to prevent any unlawful
interference on the part of our citizens in the contest unfortunately
commenced in the British Provinces, additional information has just been
received that, notwithstanding the proclamations of the governors of
the States of New York and Vermont exhorting their citizens to refrain
from any unlawful acts within the territory of the United States, and
notwithstanding the presence of the civil officers of the United States,
who by my directions have visited the scenes of commotion with a view
of impressing the citizens with a proper sense of their duty, the
excitement, instead of being appeased, is every day increasing in
degree; that arms and munitions of war and other supplies have been
procured by the insurgents in the United States; that a military force,
consisting in part, at least, of citizens of the United States, had been
actually organized, had congregated at Navy Island, and were still in
arms under the command of a citizen of the United States, and that they
were constantly receiving accessions and aid:

Now, therefore, to the end that the authority of the laws may be
maintained and the faith of treaties observed, I, Martin Van Buren,
do most earnestly exhort all citizens of the United States who have thus
violated their duties to return peaceably to their respective homes; and
I hereby warn them that any persons who shall compromit the neutrality
of this Government by interfering in an unlawful manner with the affairs
of the neighboring British Provinces will render themselves liable to
arrest and punishment under the laws of the United States, which will
be rigidly enforced; and, also, that they will receive no aid or
countenance from their Government, into whatever difficulties they
may be thrown by the violation of the laws of their country and the
territory of a neighboring and friendly nation.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 5th day of January,
A.D. 1838, and the sixty-second of the Independence of the United
States.

M. VAN BUREN.

By the President:
JOHN FORSYTH,
_Secretary of State_.

[From Statutes at Large (Little, Brown & Co.), Vol. XI, p. 785.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas there is too much reason to believe that citizens of the United
States, in disregard to the solemn warning heretofore given to them by
the proclamations issued by the Executive of the General Government and
by some of the governors of the States, have combined to disturb the
peace of the dominions of a neighboring and friendly nation; and

Whereas information has been given to me, derived from official and
other sources, that many citizens in different parts of the United
States are associated or associating for the same purpose; and

Whereas disturbances have actually broken out anew in different parts of
the two Canadas; and

Whereas a hostile invasion has been made by citizens of the United
States, in conjunction with Canadians and others, who, after forcibly
seizing upon the property of their peaceful neighbor for the purpose
of effecting their unlawful designs, are now in arms against the
authorities of Canada, in perfect disregard of their obligations as
American citizens and of the obligations of the Government of their
country to foreign nations:

Now, therefore, I have thought it necessary and proper to issue this
proclamation, calling upon every citizen of the United States neither to
give countenance nor encouragement of any kind to those who have thus
forfeited their claim to the protection of their country; upon those
misguided or deluded persons who are engaged in them to abandon projects
dangerous to their own country, fatal to those whom they profess a
desire to relieve, impracticable of execution without foreign aid, which
they can not rationally expect to obtain, and giving rise to imputations
(however unfounded) upon the honor and good faith of their own
Government; upon every officer, civil or military, and upon every
citizen, by the veneration due by all freemen to the laws which they
have assisted to enact for their own government, by his regard for the
honor and reputation of his country, by his love of order and respect
for the sacred code of laws by which national intercourse is regulated,
to use every effort in his power to arrest for trial and punishment
every offender against the laws providing for the performance of our
obligations to the other powers of the world. And I hereby warn all
those who have engaged in these criminal enterprises, if persisted in,
that, whatever may be the condition to which they may be reduced, they
must not expect the interference of this Government in any form on their
behalf, but will be left, reproached by every virtuous fellow-citizen,
to be dealt with according to the policy and justice of that Government
whose dominions they have, in defiance of the known wishes of their own
Government and without the shadow of justification or excuse,
nefariously invaded.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 21st day of
November, A.D. 1838, and the sixty-third of the Independence of the
United States.

M. VAN BUREN.

By the President:
JOHN FORSYTH,
_Secretary of State_.

SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _December 3, 1838_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I congratulate you on the favorable circumstances in the condition
of our country under which you reassemble for the performance of your
official duties. Though the anticipations of an abundant harvest have
not everywhere been realized, yet on the whole the labors of the
husbandman are rewarded with a bountiful return; industry prospers in
its various channels of business and enterprise; general health again
prevails through our vast diversity of climate; nothing threatens from
abroad the continuance of external peace; nor has anything at home
impaired the strength of those fraternal and domestic ties which
constitute the only guaranty to the success and permanency of our happy
Union, and which, formed in the hour of peril, have hitherto been
honorably sustained through every vicissitude in our national affairs.
These blessings, which evince the care and beneficence of Providence,
call for our devout and fervent gratitude.

We have not less reason to be grateful for other bounties bestowed by
the same munificent hand, and more exclusively our own.

The present year closes the first half century of our Federal
institutions, and our system, differing from all others in the
acknowledged practical and unlimited operation which it has for so long
a period given to the sovereignty of the people, has now been fully
tested by experience.

The Constitution devised by our forefathers as the framework and bond
of that system, then untried, has become a settled form of government;
not only preserving and protecting the great principles upon which it
was founded, but wonderfully promoting individual happiness and private
interests. Though subject to change and entire revocation whenever
deemed inadequate to all these purposes, yet such is the wisdom of its
construction and so stable has been the public sentiment that it remains
unaltered except in matters of detail comparatively unimportant. It has
proved amply sufficient for the various emergencies incident to our
condition as a nation. A formidable foreign war; agitating collisions
between domestic, and in some respects rival, sovereignties; temptations
to interfere in the intestine commotions of neighboring countries; the
dangerous influences that arise in periods of excessive prosperity, and
the antirepublican tendencies of associated wealth--these, with other
trials not less formidable, have all been encountered, and thus far
successfully resisted.

It was reserved for the American Union to test the advantages of a
government entirely dependent on the continual exercise of the popular
will, and our experience has shown that it is as beneficent in practice
as it is just in theory. Each successive change made in our local
institutions has contributed to extend the right of suffrage, has
increased the direct influence of the mass of the community, given
greater freedom to individual exertion, and restricted more and more the
powers of Government; yet the intelligence, prudence, and patriotism
of the people have kept pace with this augmented responsibility. In
no country has education been so widely diffused. Domestic peace has
nowhere so largely reigned. The close bonds of social intercourse have
in no instance prevailed with such harmony over a space so vast. All
forms of religion have united for the first time to diffuse charity and
piety, because for the first time in the history of nations all have
been totally untrammeled and absolutely free. The deepest recesses of
the wilderness have been penetrated; yet instead of the rudeness in the
social condition consequent upon such adventures elsewhere, numerous
communities have sprung up, already unrivaled in prosperity, general
intelligence, internal tranquillity, and the wisdom of their political
institutions. Internal improvement, the fruit of individual enterprise,
fostered by the protection of the States, has added new links to
the Confederation and fresh rewards to provident industry. Doubtful
questions of domestic policy have been quietly settled by mutual
forbearance, and agriculture, commerce, and manufactures minister to
each other. Taxation and public debt, the burdens which bear so heavily
upon all other countries, have pressed with comparative lightness upon
us. Without one entangling alliance, our friendship is prized by every
nation, and the rights of our citizens are everywhere respected,
because they are known to be guarded by a united, sensitive, and
watchful people.

To this practical operation of our institutions, so evident and
successful, we owe that increased attachment to them which is among the
most cheering exhibitions of popular sentiment and will prove their best
security in time to come against foreign or domestic assault.

This review of the results of our institutions for half a century,
without exciting a spirit of vain exultation, should serve to impress
upon us the great principles from which they have sprung--constant and
direct supervision by the people over every public measure, strict
forbearance on the part of the Government from exercising any doubtful
or disputed powers, and a cautious abstinence from all interference with
concerns which properly belong and are best left to State regulations
and individual enterprise.

Full information of the state of our foreign affairs having been
recently on different occasions submitted to Congress, I deem it
necessary now to bring to your notice only such events as have
subsequently occurred or are of such importance as to require particular
attention.

The most amicable dispositions continue to be exhibited by all the
nations with whom the Government and citizens of the United States have
an habitual intercourse. At the date of my last annual message Mexico
was the only nation which could not be included in so gratifying a
reference to our foreign relations.

I am happy to be now able to inform you that an advance has been made
toward the adjustment of our differences with that Republic and the
restoration of the customary good feeling between the two nations. This
important change has been effected by conciliatory negotiations that
have resulted in the conclusion of a treaty between the two Governments,
which, when ratified, will refer to the arbitrament of a friendly power
all the subjects of controversy between us growing out of injuries
to individuals. There is at present also reason to believe that an
equitable settlement of all disputed points will be attained without
further difficulty or unnecessary delay, and thus authorize the free
resumption of diplomatic intercourse with our sister Republic.

With respect to the northeastern boundary of the United States,
no official correspondence between this Government and that of Great
Britain has passed since that communicated to Congress toward the
close of their last session. The offer to negotiate a convention for
the appointment of a joint commission of survey and exploration I am,
however, assured will be met by Her Majesty's Government in a
conciliatory and friendly spirit, and instructions to enable the British
minister here to conclude such an arrangement will be transmitted to him
without needless delay. It is hoped and expected that these instructions
will be of a liberal character, and that this negotiation, if
successful, will prove to be an important step toward the satisfactory
and final adjustment of the controversy.

I had hoped that the respect for the laws and regard for the peace and
honor of their own country which have ever characterized the citizens of
the United States would have prevented any portion of them from using
any means to promote insurrection in the territory of a power with
which we are at peace, and with which the United States are desirous of
maintaining the most friendly relations. I regret deeply, however, to
be obliged to inform you that this has not been the case. Information
has been given to me, derived from official and other sources, that
many citizens of the United States have associated together to make
hostile incursions from our territory into Canada and to aid and abet
insurrection there, in violation of the obligations and laws of the
United States and in open disregard of their own duties as citizens.
This information has been in part confirmed by a hostile invasion
actually made by citizens of the United States, in conjunction with
Canadians and others, and accompanied by a forcible seizure of the
property of our citizens and an application thereof to the prosecution
of military operations against the authorities and people of Canada.

The results of these criminal assaults upon the peace and order
of a neighboring country have been, as was to be expected, fatally
destructive to the misguided or deluded persons engaged in them and
highly injurious to those in whose behalf they are professed to have
been undertaken. The authorities in Canada, from intelligence received
of such intended movements among our citizens, have felt themselves
obliged to take precautionary measures against them; have actually
embodied the militia and assumed an attitude to repel the invasion to
which they believed the colonies were exposed from the United States.
A state of feeling on both sides of the frontier has thus been produced
which called for prompt and vigorous interference. If an insurrection
existed in Canada, the amicable dispositions of the United States toward
Great Britain, as well as their duty to themselves, would lead them to
maintain a strict neutrality and to restrain their citizens from all
violations of the laws which have been passed for its enforcement. But
this Government recognizes a still higher obligation to repress all
attempts on the part of its citizens to disturb the peace of a country
where order prevails or has been reestablished. Depredations by our
citizens upon nations at peace with the United States, or combinations
for committing them, have at all times been regarded by the American
Government and people with the greatest abhorrence. Military incursions
by our citizens into countries so situated, and the commission of acts
of violence on the members thereof, in order to effect a change in their
government, or under any pretext whatever, have from the commencement of
our Government been held equally criminal on the part of those engaged
in them, and as much deserving of punishment as would be the disturbance
of the public peace by the perpetration of similar acts within our own
territory.

By no country or persons have these invaluable principles of
international law--principles the strict observance of which is so
indispensable to the preservation of social order in the world--been
more earnestly cherished or sacredly respected than by those great and
good men who first declared and finally established the independence
of our own country. They promulgated and maintained them at an early
and critical period in our history; they were subsequently embodied
in legislative enactments of a highly penal character, the faithful
enforcement of which has hitherto been, and will, I trust, always
continue to be, regarded as a duty inseparably associated with the
maintenance of our national honor. That the people of the United States
should feel an interest in the spread of political institutions as
free as they regard their own to be is natural, nor can a sincere
solicitude for the success of all those who are at any time in good
faith struggling for their acquisition be imputed to our citizens as a
crime. With the entire freedom of opinion and an undisguised expression
thereof on their part the Government has neither the right nor, I trust,
the disposition to interfere. But whether the interest or the honor of
the United States requires that they should be made a party to any such
struggle, and by inevitable consequence to the war which is waged in
its support, is a question which by our Constitution is wisely left to
Congress alone to decide. It is by the laws already made criminal in
our citizens to embarrass or anticipate that decision by unauthorized
military operations on their part. Offenses of this character, in
addition to their criminality as violations of the laws of our country,
have a direct tendency to draw down upon our own citizens at large the
multiplied evils of a foreign war and expose to injurious imputations
the good faith and honor of the country. As such they deserve to be
put down with promptitude and decision. I can not be mistaken, I am
confident, in counting on the cordial and general concurrence of our
fellow-citizens in this sentiment. A copy of the proclamation which
I have felt it my duty to issue is herewith communicated. I can not but
hope that the good sense and patriotism, the regard for the honor and
reputation of their country, the respect for the laws which they have
themselves enacted for their own government, and the love of order
for which the mass of our people have been so long and so justly
distinguished will deter the comparatively few who are engaged in
them from a further prosecution of such desperate enterprises. In the
meantime the existing laws have been and will continue to be faithfully
executed, and every effort will be made to carry them out in their full
extent. Whether they are sufficient or not to meet the actual state of
things on the Canadian frontier it is for Congress to decide.

It will appear from the correspondence herewith submitted that the
Government of Russia declines a renewal of the fourth article of the
convention of April, 1824, between the United States and His Imperial
Majesty, by the third article of which it is agreed that "hereafter
there shall not be formed by the citizens of the United States or under
the authority of the said States any establishment upon the northwest
coast of America, nor in any of the islands adjacent, to the north of
54 deg. 40' of north latitude, and that in the same manner there shall be
none formed by Russian subjects or under the authority of Russia south
of the same parallel;" and by the fourth article, "that during a term of
ten years, counting from the signature of the present convention, the
ships of both powers, or which belong to their citizens or subjects,
respectively, may reciprocally frequent, without any hindrance whatever,
the interior seas, gulfs, harbors, and creeks upon the coast mentioned
in the preceding article, for the purpose of fishing and trading with
the natives of the country." The reasons assigned for declining to renew
the provisions of this article are, briefly, that the only use made by
our citizens of the privileges it secures to them has been to supply
the Indians with spirituous liquors, ammunition, and firearms; that
this traffic has been excluded from the Russian trade; and as the
supplies furnished from the United States are injurious to the Russian
establishments on the northwest coast and calculated to produce
complaints between the two Governments, His Imperial Majesty thinks
it for the interest of both countries not to accede to the proposition
made by the American Government for the renewal of the article last
referred to.

The correspondence herewith communicated will show the grounds
upon which we contend that the citizens of the United States have,
independent of the provisions of the convention of 1824, a right to
trade with the natives upon the coast in question at unoccupied places,
liable, however, it is admitted, to be at any time extinguished by the
creation of Russian establishments at such points. This right is denied
by the Russian Government, which asserts that by the operation of the
treaty of 1824 each party agreed to waive the general right to land on
the vacant coasts on the respective sides of the degree of latitude
referred to, and accepted in lieu thereof the mutual privileges
mentioned in the fourth article. The capital and tonnage employed by
our citizens in their trade with the northwest coast of America will,
perhaps, on adverting to the official statements of the commerce and
navigation of the United States for the last few years, be deemed too
inconsiderable in amount to attract much attention; yet the subject
may in other respects deserve the careful consideration of Congress.

I regret to state that the blockade of the principal ports on the
eastern coast of Mexico, which, in consequence of differences between
that Republic and France, was instituted in May last, unfortunately
still continues, enforced by a competent French naval armament, and is
necessarily embarrassing to our own trade in the Gulf, in common with
that of other nations. Every disposition, however, is believed to exist
on the part of the French Government to render this measure as little
onerous as practicable to the interests of the citizens of the United
States and to those of neutral commerce, and it is to be hoped that an
early settlement of the difficulties between France and Mexico will soon
reestablish the harmonious relations formerly subsisting between them
and again open the ports of that Republic to the vessels of all friendly
nations.

A convention for marking that part of the boundary between the United
States and the Republic of Texas which extends from the mouth of the
Sabine to the Red River was concluded and signed at this city on the
25th of April last. It has since been ratified by both Governments, and
seasonable measures will be taken to carry it into effect on the part of
the United States.

The application of that Republic for admission into this Union, made in
August, 1837, and which was declined for reasons already made known to
you, has been formally withdrawn, as will appear from the accompanying
copy of the note of the minister plenipotentiary of Texas, which was
presented to the Secretary of State on the occasion of the exchange of
the ratifications of the convention above mentioned.

Copies of the convention with Texas, of a commercial treaty concluded
with the King of Greece, and of a similar treaty with the Peru-Bolivian
Confederation, the ratifications of which have been recently exchanged,
accompany this message, for the information of Congress and for such
legislative enactments as may be found necessary or expedient in
relation to either of them.

To watch over and foster the interests of a gradually increasing and
widely extended commerce, to guard the rights of American citizens whom
business or pleasure or other motives may tempt into distant climes,
and at the same time to cultivate those sentiments of mutual respect and
good will which experience has proved so beneficial in international
intercourse, the Government of the United States has deemed it expedient
from time to time to establish diplomatic connections with different
foreign states, by the appointment of representatives to reside within
their respective territories. I am gratified to be enabled to announce
to you that since the close of your last session these relations have
been opened under the happiest auspices with Austria and the Two
Sicilies, that new nominations have been made in the respective missions
of Russia, Brazil, Belgium, and Sweden and Norway in this country, and
that a minister extraordinary has been received, accredited to this
Government, from the Argentine Confederation.

An exposition of the fiscal affairs of the Government and of their
condition for the past year will be made to you by the Secretary of
the Treasury.

The available balance in the Treasury on the 1st of January next is
estimated at $2,765,342. The receipts of the year from customs and lands
will probably amount to $20,615,598. These usual sources of revenue
have been increased by an issue of Treasury notes, of which less than
$8,000,000, including interest and principal, will be outstanding at the
end of the year, and by the sale of one of the bonds of the Bank of the
United States for $2,254,871. The aggregate of means from these and
other sources, with the balance on hand on the 1st of January last, has
been applied to the payment of appropriations by Congress. The whole
expenditure for the year on their account, including the redemption of
more than eight millions of Treasury notes, constitutes an aggregate
of about $40,000,000, and will still leave in the Treasury the balance
before stated.

Nearly $8,000,000 of Treasury notes are to be paid during the coming
year in addition to the ordinary appropriations for the support of
Government. For both these purposes the resources of the Treasury will
undoubtedly be sufficient if the charges upon it are not increased
beyond the annual estimates. No excess, however, is likely to exist. Nor
can the postponed installment of the surplus revenue be deposited with
the States nor any considerable appropriations beyond the estimates be
made without causing a deficiency in the Treasury. The great caution,
advisable at all times, of limiting appropriations to the wants of the
public service is rendered necessary at present by the prospective and
rapid reduction of the tariff, while the vigilant jealousy evidently
excited among the people by the occurrences of the last few years
assures us that they expect from their representatives, and will sustain
them in the exercise of, the most rigid economy. Much can be effected
by postponing appropriations not immediately required for the ordinary
public service or for any pressing emergency, and much by reducing the
expenditures where the entire and immediate accomplishment of the
objects in view is not indispensable.

When we call to mind the recent and extreme embarrassments produced by
excessive issues of bank paper, aggravated by the unforeseen withdrawal
of much foreign capital and the inevitable derangement arising from the
distribution of the surplus revenue among the States as required by
Congress, and consider the heavy expenses incurred by the removal of
Indian tribes, by the military operations in Florida, and on account of
the unusually large appropriations made at the last two annual sessions
of Congress for other objects, we have striking evidence in the present
efficient state of our finances of the abundant resources of the country
to fulfill all its obligations. Nor is it less gratifying to find that
the general business of the community, deeply affected as it has been,
is reviving with additional vigor, chastened by the lessons of the
past and animated by the hopes of the future. By the curtailment
of paper issues, by curbing the sanguine and adventurous spirit of
speculation, and by the honorable application of all available means to
the fulfillment of obligations, confidence has been restored both at
home and abroad, and ease and facility secured to all the operations
of trade.

The agency of the Government in producing these results has been as
efficient as its powers and means permitted. By withholding from the
States the deposit of the fourth installment, and leaving several
millions at long credits with the banks, principally in one section of
the country, and more immediately beneficial to it, and at the same
time aiding the banks and commercial communities in other sections by
postponing the payment of bonds for duties to the amount of between four
and five millions of dollars; by an issue of Treasury notes as a means
to enable the Government to meet the consequences of their indulgences,
but affording at the same time facilities for remittance and exchange;
and by steadily declining to employ as general depositories of the
public revenues, or receive the notes of, all banks which refused to
redeem them with specie--by these measures, aided by the favorable
action of some of the banks and by the support and cooperation of a
large portion of the community, we have witnessed an early resumption
of specie payments in our great commercial capital, promptly followed
in almost every part of the United States. This result has been
alike salutary to the true interests of agriculture, commerce, and
manufactures; to public morals, respect for the laws, and that
confidence between man and man which is so essential in all our
social relations.

The contrast between the suspension of 1814 and that of 1837 is most
striking. The short duration of the latter, the prompt restoration
of business, the evident benefits resulting from an adherence by
the Government to the constitutional standard of value instead of
sanctioning the suspension by the receipt of irredeemable paper, and the
advantages derived from the large amount of specie introduced into the
country previous to 1837 afford a valuable illustration of the true
policy of the Government in such a crisis. Nor can the comparison fail
to remove the impression that a national bank is necessary in such
emergencies. Not only were specie payments resumed without its aid, but
exchanges have also been more rapidly restored than when it existed,
thereby showing that private capital, enterprise, and prudence are fully
adequate to these ends. On all these points experience seems to have
confirmed the views heretofore submitted to Congress. We have been
saved the mortification of seeing the distresses of the community for
the third time seized on to fasten upon the country so dangerous an
institution, and we may also hope that the business of individuals
will hereafter be relieved from the injurious effects of a continued
agitation of that disturbing subject. The limited influence of a
national bank in averting derangement in the exchanges of the country
or in compelling the resumption of specie payments is now not less
apparent than its tendency to increase inordinate speculation by sudden
expansions and contractions; its disposition to create panic and
embarrassment for the promotion of its own designs; its interference
with politics, and its far greater power for evil than for good, either
in regard to the local institutions or the operations of Government
itself. What was in these respects but apprehension or opinion when a
national bank was first established now stands confirmed by humiliating
experience. The scenes through which we have passed conclusively prove
how little our commerce, agriculture, manufactures, or finances require
such an institution, and what dangers are attendant on its power--a
power, I trust, never to be conferred by the American people upon their
Government, and still less upon individuals not responsible to them for
its unavoidable abuses.

My conviction of the necessity of further legislative provisions for
the safe-keeping and disbursement of the public moneys and my opinion
in regard to the measures best adapted to the accomplishment of those
objects have been already submitted to you. These have been strengthened
by recent events, and in the full conviction that time and experience
must still further demonstrate their propriety I feel it my duty, with
respectful deference to the conflicting views of others, again to invite
your attention to them.

With the exception of limited sums deposited in the few banks still
employed under the act of 1836, the amounts received for duties, and,
with very inconsiderable exceptions, those accruing from lands also,
have since the general suspension of specie payments by the deposit
banks been kept and disbursed by the Treasurer under his general legal
powers, subject to the superintendence of the Secretary of the Treasury.
The propriety of defining more specifically and of regulating by law the
exercise of this wide scope of Executive discretion has been already
submitted to Congress.

A change in the office of collector at one of our principal ports has
brought to light a defalcation of the gravest character, the particulars
of which will be laid before you in a special report from the Secretary
of the Treasury. By his report and the accompanying documents it will
be seen that the weekly returns of the defaulting officer apparently
exhibited throughout a faithful administration of the affairs intrusted
to his management. It, however, now appears that he commenced
abstracting the public moneys shortly after his appointment and
continued to do so, progressively increasing the amount, for the term
of more than seven years, embracing a portion of the period during which
the public moneys were deposited in the Bank of the United States, the
whole of that of the State bank deposit system, and concluding only on
his retirement from office, after that system had substantially failed
in consequence of the suspension of specie payments.

The way in which this defalcation was so long concealed and the steps
taken to indemnify the United States, as far as practicable, against
loss will also be presented to you. The case is one which imperatively
claims the attention of Congress and furnishes the strongest motive
for the establishment of a more severe and secure system for the
safe-keeping and disbursement of the public moneys than any that has
heretofore existed.

It seems proper, at all events, that by an early enactment similar to
that of other countries the application of public money by an officer
of Government to private uses should be made a felony and visited with
severe and ignominious punishment. This is already in effect the law
in respect to the Mint, and has been productive of the most salutary
results. Whatever system is adopted, such an enactment would be wise as
an independent measure, since much of the public moneys must in their
collection and ultimate disbursement pass twice through the hands of
public officers, in whatever manner they are intermediately kept.
The Government, it must be admitted, has been from its commencement
comparatively fortunate in this respect. But the appointing power can
not always be well advised in its selections, and the experience of
every country has shown that public officers are not at all times proof
against temptation. It is a duty, therefore, which the Government
owes, as well to the interests committed to its care as to the officers
themselves, to provide every guard against transgressions of this
character that is consistent with reason and humanity. Congress can not
be too jealous of the conduct of those who are intrusted with the public
money, and I shall at all times be disposed to encourage a watchful
discharge of this duty.

If a more direct cooperation on the part of Congress in the
supervision of the conduct of the officers intrusted with the custody
and application of the public money is deemed desirable, it will
give me pleasure to assist in the establishment of any judicious and
constitutional plan by which that object may be accomplished. You will
in your wisdom determine upon the propriety of adopting such a plan and
upon the measures necessary to its effectual execution. When the late
Bank of the United States was incorporated and made the depository of
the public moneys, a right was reserved to Congress to inspect at its
pleasure, by a committee of that body, the books and the proceedings of
the bank. In one of the States, whose banking institutions are supposed
to rank amongst the first in point of stability, they are subjected to
constant examination by commissioners appointed for that purpose, and
much of the success of its banking system is attributed to this watchful
supervision.

The same course has also, in view of its beneficial operation, been
adopted by an adjoining State, favorably known for the care it has
always bestowed upon whatever relates to its financial concerns.
I submit to your consideration whether a committee of Congress might
not be profitably employed in inspecting, at such intervals as might
be deemed proper, the affairs and accounts of officers intrusted with
the custody of the public moneys. The frequent performance of this duty
might be made obligatory on the committee in respect to those officers
who have large sums in their possession, and left discretionary in
respect to others. They might report to the Executive such defalcations
as were found to exist, with a view to a prompt removal from office
unless the default was satisfactorily accounted for, and report also
to Congress, at the commencement of each session, the result of
their examinations and proceedings. It does appear to me that with a
subjection of this class of public officers to the general supervision
of the Executive, to examinations by a committee of Congress at periods
of which they should have no previous notice, and to prosecution and
punishment as for felony for every breach of trust, the safe-keeping
of the public moneys might under the system proposed be placed on a
surer foundation than it has ever occupied since the establishment
of the Government.

The Secretary of the Treasury will lay before you additional information
containing new details on this interesting subject. To these I ask your
early attention. That it should have given rise to great diversity of
opinion can not be a subject of surprise. After the collection and
custody of the public moneys had been for so many years connected with
and made subsidiary to the advancement of private interests, a return
to the simple self-denying ordinances of the Constitution could not but
be difficult. But time and free discussion, eliciting the sentiments
of the people, and aided by that conciliatory spirit which has ever
characterized their course on great emergencies, were relied upon for a
satisfactory settlement of the question. Already has this anticipation,
on one important point at least--the impropriety of diverting public
money to private purposes--been fully realized. There is no reason to
suppose that legislation upon that branch of the subject would now be
embarrassed by a difference of opinion, or fail to receive the cordial
support of a large majority of our constituents.

The connection which formerly existed between the Government and banks
was in reality injurious to both, as well as to the general interests
of the community at large. It aggravated the disasters of trade and
the derangements of commercial intercourse, and administered new
excitements and additional means to wild and reckless speculations, the
disappointment of which threw the country into convulsions of panic, and
all but produced violence and bloodshed. The imprudent expansion of bank
credits, which was the natural result of the command of the revenues
of the State, furnished the resources for unbounded license in every
species of adventure, seduced industry from its regular and salutary
occupations by the hope of abundance without labor, and deranged the
social state by tempting all trades and professions into the vortex
of speculation on remote contingencies.

The same wide-spreading influence impeded also the resources of the
Government, curtailed its useful operations, embarrassed the fulfillment
of its obligations, and seriously interfered with the execution of
the laws. Large appropriations and oppressive taxes are the natural
consequences of such a connection, since they increase the profits
of those who are allowed to use the public funds, and make it their
interest that money should be accumulated and expenditures multiplied.
It is thus that a concentrated money power is tempted to become an
active agent in political affairs; and all past experience has shown
on which side that influence will be arrayed. We deceive ourselves if
we suppose that it will ever be found asserting and supporting the
rights of the community at large in opposition to the claims of the few.

In a government whose distinguishing characteristic should be a
diffusion and equalization of its benefits and burdens the advantage of
individuals will be augmented at the expense of the community at large.
Nor is it the nature of combinations for the acquisition of legislative
influence to confine their interference to the single object for which
they were originally formed. The temptation to extend it to other
matters is, on the contrary, not unfrequently too strong to be resisted.
The rightful influence in the direction of public affairs of the mass
of the people is therefore in no slight danger of being sensibly and
injuriously affected by giving to a comparatively small but very
efficient class a direct and exclusive personal interest in so important
a portion of the legislation of Congress as that which relates to the
custody of the public moneys. If laws acting upon private interests can
not always be avoided, they should be confined within the narrowest
limits, and left wherever possible to the legislatures of the States.
When not thus restricted they lead to combinations of powerful
associations, foster an influence necessarily selfish, and turn the
fair course of legislation to sinister ends rather than to objects
that advance public liberty and promote the general good.

The whole subject now rests with you, and I can not but express a hope
that some definite measure will be adopted at the present session.

It will not, I am sure, be deemed out of place for me here to remark
that the declaration of my views in opposition to the policy of
employing banks as depositories of the Government funds can not justly
be construed as indicative of hostility, official or personal, to those
institutions; or to repeat in this form and in connection with this
subject opinions which I have uniformly entertained and on all proper
occasions expressed. Though always opposed to their creation in the
form of exclusive privileges, and, as a State magistrate, aiming by
appropriate legislation to secure the community against the consequences
of their occasional mismanagement, I have yet ever wished to see them
protected in the exercise of rights conferred by law, and have never
doubted their utility when properly managed in promoting the interests
of trade, and through that channel the other interests of the community.
To the General Government they present themselves merely as State
institutions, having no necessary connection with its legislation or its
administration. Like other State establishments, they may be used or not
in conducting the affairs of the Government, as public policy and the
general interests of the Union may seem to require. The only safe or
proper principle upon which their intercourse with the Government can
be regulated is that which regulates their intercourse with the private
citizen--the conferring of mutual benefits. When the Government can
accomplish a financial operation better with the aid of the banks than
without it, it should be at liberty to seek that aid as it would the
services of a private banker or other capitalist or agent, giving the
preference to those who will serve it on the best terms. Nor can there
ever exist an interest in the officers of the General Government, as
such, inducing them to embarrass or annoy the State banks any more than
to incur the hostility of any other class of State institutions or of
private citizens. It is not in the nature of things that hostility to
these institutions can spring from this source, or any opposition to
their course of business, except when they themselves depart from the
objects of their creation and attempt to usurp powers not conferred
upon them or to subvert the standard of value established by the
Constitution. While opposition to their regular operations can not
exist in this quarter, resistance to any attempt to make the Government
dependent upon them for the successful administration of public affairs
is a matter of duty, as I trust it ever will be of inclination, no
matter from what motive or consideration the attempt may originate.

It is no more than just to the banks to say that in the late
emergency most of them firmly resisted the strongest temptations to
extend their paper issues when apparently sustained in a suspension of
specie payments by public opinion, even though in some cases invited
by legislative enactments. To this honorable course, aided by the
resistance of the General Government, acting in obedience to the
Constitution and laws of the United States, to the introduction of
an irredeemable paper medium, may be attributed in a great degree the
speedy restoration of our currency to a sound state and the business
of the country to its wonted prosperity.

The banks have but to continue in the same safe course and be content
in their appropriate sphere to avoid all interference from the General
Government and to derive from it all the protection and benefits which
it bestows on other State establishments, on the people of the States,
and on the States themselves. In this, their true position, they can
not but secure the confidence and good will of the people and the
Government, which they can only lose when, leaping from their legitimate
sphere, they attempt to control the legislation of the country and
pervert the operations of the Government to their own purposes.

Our experience under the act, passed at the last session, to grant
preemption rights to settlers on the public lands has as yet been too
limited to enable us to pronounce with safety upon the efficacy of its
provisions to carry out the wise and liberal policy of the Government in
that respect. There is, however, the best reason to anticipate favorable
results from its operation. The recommendations formerly submitted to
you in respect to a graduation of the price of the public lands remain
to be finally acted upon. Having found no reason to change the views
then expressed, your attention to them is again respectfully requested.

Every proper exertion has been made and will be continued to carry out
the wishes of Congress in relation to the tobacco trade, as indicated
in the several resolutions of the House of Representatives and the
legislation of the two branches. A favorable impression has, I trust,
been made in the different foreign countries to which particular
attention has been directed; and although we can not hope for an early
change in their policy, as in many of them a convenient and large
revenue is derived from monopolies in the fabrication and sale of this
article, yet, as these monopolies are really injurious to the people
where they are established, and the revenue derived from them may be
less injuriously and with equal facility obtained from another and a
liberal system of administration, we can not doubt that our efforts
will be eventually crowned with success if persisted in with temperate
firmness and sustained by prudent legislation.

In recommending to Congress the adoption of the necessary provisions
at this session for taking the next census or enumeration of the
inhabitants of the United States, the suggestion presents itself whether
the scope of the measure might not be usefully extended by causing it to
embrace authentic statistical returns of the great interests specially
intrusted to or necessarily affected by the legislation of Congress.

The accompanying report of the Secretary of War presents a satisfactory
account of the state of the Army and of the several branches of the
public service confided to the superintendence of that officer.

The law increasing and organizing the military establishment of the
United States has been nearly carried into effect, and the Army has
been extensively and usefully employed during the past season.

I would again call to your notice the subjects connected with
and essential to the military defenses of the country which were
submitted to you at the last session, but which were not acted upon,
as is supposed, for want of time. The most important of them is the
organization of the militia on the maritime and inland frontiers. This
measure is deemed important, as it is believed that it will furnish an
effective volunteer force in aid of the Regular Army, and may form the
basis of a general system of organization for the entire militia of
the United States. The erection of a national foundry and gunpowder
manufactory, and one for making small arms, the latter to be situated
at some point west of the Allegany Mountains, all appear to be of
sufficient importance to be again urged upon your attention.

The plan proposed by the Secretary of War for the distribution of the
forces of the United States in time of peace is well calculated to
promote regularity and economy in the fiscal administration of the
service, to preserve the discipline of the troops, and to render them
available for the maintenance of the peace and tranquillity of the
country. With this view, likewise, I recommend the adoption of the plan
presented by that officer for the defense of the western frontier. The
preservation of the lives and property of our fellow-citizens who are
settled upon that border country, as well as the existence of the Indian
population, which might be tempted by our want of preparation to rush
on their own destruction and attack the white settlements, all seem to
require that this subject should be acted upon without delay, and the
War Department authorized to place that country in a state of complete
defense against any assault from the numerous and warlike tribes which
are congregated on that border.

It affords me sincere pleasure to be able to apprise you of the entire
removal of the Cherokee Nation of Indians to their new homes west of the
Mississippi. The measures authorized by Congress at its last session,
with a view to the long-standing controversy with them, have had the
happiest effects. By an agreement concluded with them by the commanding
general in that country, who has performed the duties assigned to him
on the occasion with commendable energy and humanity, their removal has
been principally under the conduct of their own chiefs, and they have
emigrated without any apparent reluctance.

The successful accomplishment of this important object, the removal
also of the entire Creek Nation with the exception of a small number
of fugitives amongst the Seminoles in Florida, the progress already
made toward a speedy completion of the removal of the Chickasaws, the
Choctaws, the Pottawatamies, the Ottawas, and the Chippewas, with the
extensive purchases of Indian lands during the present year, have
rendered the speedy and successful result of the long-established policy
of the Government upon the subject of Indian affairs entirely certain.
The occasion is therefore deemed a proper one to place this policy in
such a point of view as will exonerate the Government of the United
States from the undeserved reproach which has been cast upon it through
several successive Administrations. That a mixed occupancy of the same
territory by the white and red man is incompatible with the safety
or happiness of either is a position in respect to which there has
long since ceased to be room for a difference of opinion. Reason and
experience have alike demonstrated its impracticability. The bitter
fruits of every attempt heretofore to overcome the barriers interposed
by nature have only been destruction, both physical and moral, to the
Indian, dangerous conflicts of authority between the Federal and State
Governments, and detriment to the individual prosperity of the citizen
as well as to the general improvement of the country. The remedial
policy, the principles of which were settled more than thirty years ago
under the Administration of Mr. Jefferson, consists in an extinction,
for a fair consideration, of the title to all the lands still occupied
by the Indians within the States and Territories of the United States;
their removal to a country west of the Mississippi much more extensive
and better adapted to their condition than that on which they then
resided; the guarantee to them by the United States of their exclusive
possession of that country forever, exempt from all intrusions by white
men, with ample provisions for their security against external violence
and internal dissensions, and the extension to them of suitable
facilities for their advancement in civilization. This has not been the
policy of particular Administrations only, but of each in succession
since the first attempt to carry it out under that of Mr. Monroe. All
have labored for its accomplishment, only with different degrees of
success. The manner of its execution has, it is true, from time to
time given rise to conflicts of opinion and unjust imputations; but in
respect to the wisdom and necessity of the policy itself there has not
from the beginning existed a doubt in the mind of any calm, judicious,
disinterested friend of the Indian race accustomed to reflection and
enlightened by experience.

Occupying the double character of contractor on its own account and
guardian for the parties contracted with, it was hardly to be expected
that the dealings of the Federal Government with the Indian tribes would
escape misrepresentation. That there occurred in the early settlement of
this country, as in all others where the civilized race has succeeded to
the possessions of the savage, instances of oppression and fraud on the
part of the former there is too much reason to believe. No such offenses
can, however, be justly charged upon this Government since it became
free to pursue its own course. Its dealings with the Indian tribes
have been just and friendly throughout; its efforts for their
civilization constant, and directed by the best feelings of humanity;
its watchfulness in protecting them from individual frauds unremitting;
its forbearance under the keenest provocations, the deepest injuries,
and the most flagrant outrages may challenge at least a comparison with
any nation, ancient or modern, in similar circumstances; and if in
future times a powerful, civilized, and happy nation of Indians shall
be found to exist within the limits of this northern continent it will
be owing to the consummation of that policy which has been so unjustly
assailed. Only a very brief reference to facts in confirmation of this
assertion can in this form be given, and you are therefore necessarily
referred to the report of the Secretary of War for further details.
To the Cherokees, whose case has perhaps excited the greatest share of
attention and sympathy, the United States have granted in fee, with a
perpetual guaranty of exclusive and peaceable possession, 13,554,135
acres of land on the west side of the Mississippi, eligibly situated, in
a healthy climate, and in all respects better suited to their condition
than the country they have left, in exchange for only 9,492,160 acres
on the east side of the same river. The United States have in addition
stipulated to pay them $5,600,000 for their interest in and improvements
on the lands thus relinquished, and $1,160,000 for subsistence and other
beneficial purposes, thereby putting it in their power to become one of
the most wealthy and independent separate communities of the same extent
in the world.

By the treaties made and ratified with the Miamies, the Chippewas, the
Sioux, the Sacs and Foxes, and the Winnebagoes during the last year the
Indian title to 18,458,000 acres has been extinguished. These purchases
have been much more extensive than those of any previous year, and have,
with other Indian expenses, borne very heavily upon the Treasury. They
leave, however, but a small quantity of unbought Indian lands within the
States and Territories, and the Legislature and Executive were equally
sensible of the propriety of a final and more speedy extinction of
Indian titles within those limits. The treaties, which were with a
single exception made in pursuance of previous appropriations for
defraying the expenses, have subsequently been ratified by the Senate,
and received the sanction of Congress by the appropriations necessary
to carry them into effect. Of the terms upon which these important
negotiations were concluded I can speak from direct knowledge, and
I feel no difficulty in affirming that the interest of the Indians in
the extensive territory embraced by them is to be paid for at its fair
value, and that no more favorable terms have been granted to the United
States than would have been reasonably expected in a negotiation with
civilized men fully capable of appreciating and protecting their own
rights. For the Indian title to 116,349,897 acres acquired since the
4th of March, 1829, the United States have paid $72,560,056 in permanent
annuities, lands, reservations for Indians, expenses of removal and
subsistence, merchandise, mechanical and agricultural establishments and
implements. When the heavy expenses incurred by the United States and
the circumstance that so large a portion of the entire territory will be
forever unsalable are considered, and this price is compared with that
for which the United States sell their own lands, no one can doubt that
justice has been done to the Indians in these purchases also. Certain
it is that the transactions of the Federal Government with the Indians
have been uniformly characterized by a sincere and paramount desire
to promote their welfare; and it must be a source of the highest
gratification to every friend to justice and humanity to learn that
notwithstanding the obstructions from time to time thrown in its way and
the difficulties which have arisen from the peculiar and impracticable
nature of the Indian character, the wise, humane, and undeviating policy
of the Government in this the most difficult of all our relations,
foreign or domestic, has at length been justified to the world in its
near approach to a happy and certain consummation.

The condition of the tribes which occupy the country set apart for them
in the West is highly prosperous, and encourages the hope of their early
civilization. They have for the most part abandoned the hunter state and
turned their attention to agricultural pursuits. All those who have been
established for any length of time in that fertile region maintain
themselves by their own industry. There are among them traders of no
inconsiderable capital, and planters exporting cotton to some extent,
but the greater number are small agriculturists, living in comfort upon
the produce of their farms. The recent emigrants, although they have in
some instances removed reluctantly, have readily acquiesced in their
unavoidable destiny. They have found at once a recompense for past
sufferings and an incentive to industrious habits in the abundance and
comforts around them. There is reason to believe that all these tribes
are friendly in their feelings toward the United States; and it is to
be hoped that the acquisition of individual wealth, the pursuits of
agriculture, and habits of industry will gradually subdue their warlike
propensities and incline them to maintain peace among themselves. To
effect this desirable object the attention of Congress is solicited
to the measures recommended by the Secretary of War for their future
government and protection, as well from each other as from the hostility

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