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

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call for and justify some forbearance in such matters on the part
of this Government. But if the revolutionary movements which have
lately occurred in that Republic end in the organization of a stable
government, urgent appeals to its justice will then be made, and, it
may be hoped, with success, for the redress of all complaints of our
citizens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, _December 26, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1855_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON CITY, _January 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

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

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

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _January 11, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

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

WASHINGTON CITY, _January 21, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _January 24, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before the requisite preparation was accomplished for election of a
Territorial legislature, an election of Delegate to Congress had been
held in the Territory on the 29th day of November, 1854, and the
Delegate took his seat in the House of Representatives without
challenge. If arrangements had been perfected by the governor so that
the election for members of the legislative assembly might be held in
the several precincts at the same time as for Delegate to Congress, any
question appertaining to the qualification of the persons voting as
people of the Territory would have passed necessarily and at once under
the supervision of Congress, as the judge of the validity of the return
of the Delegate, and would have been determined before conflicting
passions had become inflamed by time, and before opportunity could have
been afforded for systematic interference of the people of individual
States.

This interference, in so far as concerns its primary causes and its
immediate commencement, was one of the incidents of that pernicious
agitation on the subject of the condition of the colored persons held
to service in some of the States which has so long disturbed the repose
of our country and excited individuals, otherwise patriotic and law
abiding, to toil with misdirected zeal in the attempt to propagate their
social theories by the perversion and abuse of the powers of Congress.

The persons and the parties whom the tenor of the act to organize the
Territories of Nebraska and Kansas thwarted in the endeavor to impose,
through the agency of Congress, their particular views of social
organization on the people of the future new States now perceiving
that the policy of leaving the inhabitants of each State to judge for
themselves in this respect was ineradicably rooted in the convictions
of the people of the Union, then had recourse, in the pursuit of
their general object, to the extraordinary measure of propagandist
colonization of the Territory of Kansas to prevent the free and natural
action of its inhabitants in its internal organization, and thus to
anticipate or to force the determination of that question in this
inchoate State.

With such views associations were organized in some of the States, and
their purposes were proclaimed through the press in language extremely
irritating and offensive to those of whom the colonists were to become
the neighbors. Those designs and acts had the necessary consequence to
awaken emotions of intense indignation in States near to the Territory
of Kansas, and especially in the adjoining State of Missouri, whose
domestic peace was thus the most directly endangered; but they are far
from justifying the illegal and reprehensible countermovements which
ensued.

Under these inauspicious circumstances the primary elections for members
of the legislative assembly were held in most, if not all, of the
precincts at the time and the places and by the persons designated and
appointed by the governor according to law.

Angry accusations that illegal votes had been polled abounded on all
sides, and imputations were made both of fraud and violence. But the
governor, in the exercise of the power and the discharge of the duty
conferred and imposed by law on him alone, officially received and
considered the returns, declared a large majority of the members of
the council and the house of representatives "duly elected," withheld
certificates from others because of alleged illegality of votes,
appointed a new election to supply the places of the persons not
certified, and thus at length, in all the forms of statute, and with
his own official authentication, complete legality was given to the
first legislative assembly of the Territory.

Those decisions of the returning officers and of the governor are final,
except that by the parliamentary usage of the country applied to the
organic law it may be conceded that each house of the assembly must have
been competent to determine in the last resort the qualifications and
the election of its members. The subject was by its nature one
appertaining exclusively to the jurisdiction of the local authorities
of the Territory. Whatever irregularities may have occurred in the
elections, it seems too late now to raise that question. At all events,
it is a question as to which, neither now nor at any previous time, has
the least possible legal authority been possessed by the President of
the United States. For all present purposes the legislative body thus
constituted and elected was the legitimate legislative assembly of the
Territory.

Accordingly the governor by proclamation convened the assembly thus
elected to meet at a place called Pawnee City; the two houses met and
were duly organized in the ordinary parliamentary form; each sent to and
received from the governor the official communications usual on such
occasions; an elaborate message opening the session was communicated by
the governor, and the general business of legislation was entered upon
by the legislative assembly.

But after a few days the assembly resolved to adjourn to another place
in the Territory. A law was accordingly passed, against the consent
of the governor, but in due form otherwise, to remove the seat of
government temporarily to the "Shawnee Manual Labor School" (or
mission), and thither the assembly proceeded. After this, receiving
a bill for the establishment of a ferry at the town of Kickapoo, the
governor refused to sign it, and by special message assigned for reason
of refusal not anything objectionable in the bill itself nor any
pretense of the illegality or incompetency of the assembly as such, but
only the fact that the assembly had by its act transferred the seat of
government temporarily from Pawnee City to the Shawnee Mission. For
the same reason he continued to refuse to sign other bills until in the
course of a few days he by official message communicated to the assembly
the fact that he had received notification of the termination of his
functions as governor, and that the duties of the office were legally
devolved on the secretary of the Territory; thus to the last recognizing
the body as a duly elected and constituted legislative assembly.

It will be perceived that if any constitutional defect attached to the
legislative acts of the assembly it is not pretended to consist in
irregularity of election or want of qualification of the members,
but only in the change of its place of session. However trivial this
objection may seem to be, it requires to be considered, because upon it
is founded all that superstructure of acts, plainly against law, which
now threaten the peace, not only of the Territory of Kansas, but of
the Union.

Such an objection to the proceedings of the legislative assembly was
of exceptionable origin, for the reason that by the express terms of
the organic law the seat of government of the Territory was "located
temporarily at Fort Leavenworth;" and yet the governor himself remained
there less than two months, and of his own discretion transferred the
seat of government to the Shawnee Mission, where it in fact was at the
time the assembly were called to meet at Pawnee City. If the governor
had any such right to change temporarily the seat of government, still
more had the legislative assembly. The objections are of exceptionable
origin for the further reason that the place indicated by the governor,
without having any exclusive claim of preference in itself, was a
proposed town site only, which he and others were attempting to
locate unlawfully upon land within a military reservation, and for
participation in which illegal act the commandant of the post, a
superior officer in the Army, has been dismissed by sentence of
court-martial. Nor is it easy to see why the legislative assembly might
not with propriety pass the Territorial act transferring its sittings to
the Shawnee Mission. If it could not, that must be on account of some
prohibitory or incompatible provision of act of Congress; but no such
provision exists. The organic act, as already quoted, says "the seat
of government is hereby located temporarily at Fort Leavenworth;" and
it then provides that certain of the public buildings there "may be
occupied and used under the direction of the governor and legislative
assembly." These expressions might possibly be construed to imply that
when, in a previous section of the act, it was enacted that "the first
legislative assembly shall meet at such place and on such day as
the governor shall appoint," the word "place" means place at Fort
Leavenworth, not place anywhere in the Territory. If so, the governor
would have been the first to err in this matter, not only in himself
having removed the seat of government to the Shawnee Mission, but in
again removing it to Pawnee City. If there was any departure from the
letter of the law, therefore, it was his in both instances. But however
this may be, it is most unreasonable to suppose that by the terms of
the organic act Congress intended to do impliedly what it has not done
expressly--that is, to forbid to the legislative assembly the power
to choose any place it might see fit as the temporary seat of its
deliberations. That is proved by the significant language of one of
the subsequent acts of Congress on the subject--that of March 3,
1855--which, in making appropriation for public buildings of the
Territory, enacts that the same shall not be expended "until the
legislature of said Territory shall have fixed by law the permanent
seat of government." Congress in these expressions does not profess
to be granting the power to fix the permanent seat of government, but
recognizes the power as one already granted. But how? Undoubtedly by the
comprehensive provision of the organic act itself, which declares that
"the legislative power of the Territory shall extend to all rightful
subjects of legislation consistent with the Constitution of the United
States and the provisions of this act." If in view of this act the
legislative assembly had the large power to fix the permanent seat
of government at any place in its discretion, of course by the same
enactment it had the less and the included power to fix it temporarily.

Nevertheless, the allegation that the acts of the legislative assembly
were illegal by reason of this removal of its place of session was
brought forward to justify the first great movement in disregard of
law within the Territory. One of the acts of the legislative assembly
provided for the election of a Delegate to the present Congress, and a
Delegate was elected under that law. But subsequently to this a portion
of the people of the Territory proceeded without authority of law to
elect another Delegate.

Following upon this movement was another and more important one of the
same general character. Persons confessedly not constituting the body
politic or all the inhabitants, but merely a party of the inhabitants,
and without law, have undertaken to summon a convention for the purpose
of transforming the Territory into a State, and have framed a
constitution, adopted it, and under it elected a governor and other
officers and a Representative to Congress. In extenuation of these
illegal acts it is alleged that the States of California, Michigan, and
others were self-organized, and as such were admitted into the Union
without a previous enabling act of Congress. It is true that while
in a majority of cases a previous act of Congress has been passed to
authorize the Territory to present itself as a State, and that this is
deemed the most regular course, yet such an act has not been held to be
indispensable, and in some cases the Territory has proceeded without it,
and has nevertheless been admitted into the Union as a State. It lies
with Congress to authorize beforehand or to confirm afterwards, in
its discretion. But in no instance has a State been admitted upon the
application of persons acting against authorities duly constituted by
act of Congress. In every case it is the people of the Territory, not
a party among them, who have the power to form a constitution and ask
for admission as a State. No principle of public law, no practice or
precedent under the Constitution of the United States, no rule of
reason, right, or common sense, confers any such power as that now
claimed by a mere party in the Territory. In fact what has been done
is of revolutionary character. It is avowedly so in motive and in aim
as respects the local law of the Territory. It will become treasonable
insurrection if it reach the length of organized resistance by force to
the fundamental or any other Federal law and to the authority of the
General Government. In such an event the path of duty for the Executive
is plain. The Constitution requiring him to take care that the laws of
the United States be faithfully executed, if they be opposed in the
Territory of Kansas he may, and should, place at the disposal of the
marshal any public force of the United States which happens to be within
the jurisdiction, to be used as a portion of the _posse comitatus_; and
if that do not suffice to maintain order, then he may call forth the
militia of one or more States for that object, or employ for the same
object any part of the land or naval force of the United States. So,
also, if the obstruction be to the laws of the Territory, and it be
duly presented to him as a case of insurrection, he may employ for its
suppression the militia of any State or the land or naval force of the
United States. And if the Territory be invaded by the citizens of other
States, whether for the purpose of deciding elections or for any other,
and the local authorities find themselves unable to repel or withstand
it, they will be entitled to, and upon the fact being fully ascertained
they shall most certainly receive, the aid of the General Government.

But it is not the duty of the President of the United States to
volunteer interposition by force to preserve the purity of elections
either in a State or Territory. To do so would be subversive of public
freedom. And whether a law be wise or unwise, just or unjust, is not a
question for him to judge. If it be constitutional--that is, if it be
the law of the land--it is his duty to cause it to be executed, or to
sustain the authorities of any State or Territory in executing it in
opposition to all insurrectionary movements.

Our system affords no justification of revolutionary acts, for the
constitutional means of relieving the people of unjust administration
and laws, by a change of public agents and by repeal, are ample, and
more prompt and effective than illegal violence. These means must be
scrupulously guarded, this great prerogative of popular sovereignty
sacredly respected.

It is the undoubted right of the peaceable and orderly people of the
Territory of Kansas to elect their own legislative body, make their
own laws, and regulate their own social institutions, without foreign
or domestic molestation. Interference on the one hand to procure the
abolition or prohibition of slave labor in the Territory has produced
mischievous interference on the other for its maintenance or
introduction. One wrong begets another. Statements entirely unfounded,
or grossly exaggerated, concerning events within the Territory are
sedulously diffused through remote States to feed the flame of sectional
animosity there, and the agitators there exert themselves indefatigably
in return to encourage and stimulate strife within the Territory.

The inflammatory agitation, of which the present is but a part, has for
twenty years produced nothing save unmitigated evil, North and South.
But for it the character of the domestic institutions of the future new
State would have been a matter of too little interest to the inhabitants
of the contiguous States, personally or collectively, to produce among
them any political emotion. Climate, soil, production, hopes of rapid
advancement and the pursuit of happiness on the part of the settlers
themselves, with good wishes, but with no interference from without,
would have quietly determined the question which is at this time of such
disturbing character.

But we are constrained to turn our attention to the circumstances of
embarrassment as they now exist. It is the duty of the people of Kansas
to discountenance every act or purpose of resistance to its laws. Above
all, the emergency appeals to the citizens of the States, and especially
of those contiguous to the Territory, neither by intervention of
nonresidents in elections nor by unauthorized military force to attempt
to encroach upon or usurp the authority of the inhabitants of the
Territory.

No citizen of our country should permit himself to forget that he is a
part of its Government and entitled to be heard in the determination
of its policy and its measures, and that therefore the highest
considerations of personal honor and patriotism require him to maintain
by whatever of power or influence he may possess the integrity of the
laws of the Republic.

Entertaining these views, it will be my imperative duty to exert the
whole power of the Federal Executive to support public order in the
Territory; to vindicate its laws, whether Federal or local, against all
attempts of organized resistance, and so to protect its people in the
establishment of their own institutions, undisturbed by encroachment
from without, and in the full enjoyment of the rights of self-government
assured to them by the Constitution and the organic act of Congress.

Although serious and threatening disturbances in the Territory of
Kansas, announced to me by the governor in December last, were speedily
quieted without the effusion of blood and in a satisfactory manner,
there is, I regret to say, reason to apprehend that disorders will
continue to occur there, with increasing tendency to violence, until
some decisive measure be taken to dispose of the question itself which
constitutes the inducement or occasion of internal agitation and of
external interference.

This, it seems to me, can best be accomplished by providing that when
the inhabitants of Kansas may desire it and shall be of sufficient
number to constitute a State, a convention of delegates, duly elected by
the qualified voters, shall assemble to frame a constitution, and thus
to prepare through regular and lawful means for its admission into the
Union as a State.

I respectfully recommend the enactment of a law to that effect.

I recommend also that a special appropriation be made to defray any
expense which may become requisite in the execution of the laws or the
maintenance of public order in the Territory of Kansas.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

By the inclosed letter of the Secretary of the Treasury it appears that
$24,233 belonging to the Chickasaw Indians should be invested in stocks
of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
I therefore recommend that the necessary authority be given for that
purpose.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _January 28, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to
the resolution of the Senate of the 10th of January, calling for the
correspondence between the Secretary of State and Edward Worrell while
the latter was acting as consul at Matanzas in relation to the estates
of deceased American citizens on the island of Cuba.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _January, 1856_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith a copy of the "proceedings of the court-martial in
the case of Colonel Montgomery, of the United States Army," as requested
by the resolution of the Senate of the 7th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further compliance with the Senate's resolution adopted in executive
session on the 15th January last, in respect to the correspondence
relating to the estates of deceased American citizens on the island of
Cuba, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with the papers
which accompanied it.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to the
resolution of the Senate of the 17th ultimo, requesting transcripts
of certain correspondence and other papers touching the Republics of
Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the Mosquito Indians, and the convention
between the United States and Great Britain of April 19, 1850.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 4th instant,
requesting transcripts of certain papers relative to the affairs of the
Territory of Kansas, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and
the documents which accompanied it.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a report of the Secretary of War and accompanying
documents, also of the Secretary of the Navy and accompanying documents,
in answer to a resolution of the Senate passed the 11th February,
"that the President of the United States be requested to communicate
to the Senate copies of all the correspondence between the different
Departments of the Government and the officers of the Army and Navy
(not heretofore communicated) on the Pacific Coast touching the Indian
disturbances in California, Oregon, and Washington."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit a copy of a letter of the 7th of March last from the acting
commissioner of the United States in China, and of the regulations and
notification which accompanied it, for such revision thereof as Congress
may deem expedient, pursuant to the sixth section of the act approved
11th August, 1848.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, a treaty made and concluded on the 17th October, 1855, by and
between A. Cumming and Isaac I. Stevens, commissioners on the part of
the United States, and the Blackfeet and other tribes of Indians on the
Upper Missouri and Yellowstone rivers.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 26, 1856_.

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

I herewith transmit and recommend to the favorable consideration of
Congress a communication from the Secretary of War, asking a special
appropriation of $3,000,000 to prepare armaments and ammunition for the
fortifications, to increase the supply of improved small arms, and to
apply recent improvements to arms of old patterns belonging to the
United States and the several States.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 25th instant,
I transmit reports[52] from the Secretary of State and the
Attorney-General, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 52: Relating to the enlistment of soldiers within the United
States by agents of the British Government.]

WASHINGTON, _February 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers,[53] in answer to the resolution of the Senate of yesterday.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 53: Relating to an offer of the British Government to refer
to the arbitrament of some friendly power the questions of difference
between the United States and Great Britain upon the construction of
the convention of April 19, 1850.]

WASHINGTON, _March 4, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report on the commercial relations of the United States
with all foreign nations, in answer to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of December 14, 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March, 4, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate, for its constitutional action
thereon, two treaties recently negotiated by Francis Huebochmann, the
superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern superintendency, one
with the Menominee Indians and the other with the Stockbridge and Munsee
Indians, and more particularly referred to in the accompanying
communications of the Secretary of the Interior of this date.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 21st ultimo,
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Interior, with
accompanying papers.[54]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 54: Correspondence relative to transportation of the mails,
etc., over the Illinois Central Railroad.]

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _March 5, 1856_.

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

I present herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Interior,
in relation to Indian disturbances in the Territories of Oregon and
Washington, and recommending an immediate appropriation of $300,000.
I commend this subject to your early consideration.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March 5, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 26th ultimo, requesting
information in regard to the site selected for the building to be used
for the preservation of the ordnance, arms, etc., of the United States,
under the act approved March 3, 1855, I transmit a letter from the
Secretary of War, with an accompanying report of the Chief of Ordnance,
containing the information.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March 10, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 21st ultimo,
requesting the President of the United States to "communicate to
the Senate any correspondence which may have taken place between the
Illinois Central Railroad Company and any of the Departments of the
Government," etc., I transmit herewith communications from the Secretary
of the Treasury and from the Postmaster-General, together with the
accompanying papers.[55]

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 55: Correspondence relative to transportation of the mails,
etc., over the Illinois Central Railroad.]

WASHINGTON, _March 14, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith communicate to the House of Representatives, in compliance
with their resolution of the 28th ultimo, a report from the Secretary
of the Interior, containing such information as is in possession of his
Department touching the cause of the difficulties existing between the
Creek and Seminole Indians since their emigration west of the
Mississippi River.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the
Secretary of War, with copies prepared in compliance with a resolution
of the House of the 28th ultimo, requesting "copies of all
correspondence, documents, and papers in relation to the compensation
and emoluments of Brevet Lieutenant-General Scott under the joint
resolution of Congress approved February 15, 1855."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

MARCH 17, 1856.

WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th
ultimo, on the subject of correspondence between this Government and
that of Great Britain touching the Clayton and Bulwer convention,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution
was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress the copy of a correspondence which has recently
taken place between Her Britannic Majesty's minister accredited to this
Government and the Secretary of State, in order that the expediency of
sanctioning the acceptance by the officers of the United States who were
in the American expedition in search of Sir John Franklin of such token
of thankfulness as may be offered to them on the part of Her Majesty's
Government for their services on the occasion referred to may be taken
into consideration.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 26th ultimo,
I herewith communicate "a copy of the report, with the maps, of an
exploration of the Big Witchitaw and the head waters of the Brazos
rivers, made by Captain R.B. Marcy, of the United States Army, while
engaged in locating lands for the Indians of Texas in the year 1854."

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _March 24, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
18th of last month, requesting the transmission of documents touching
the affairs of the Territory of Kansas, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, March 24, 1856_.

Hon. NATHANIEL P. BANKS,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives, in obedience to
their resolution of the 17th instant, a communication from the Secretary
of the Interior, accompanied by a copy of the report of Superintendent
Cumming in regard to his late expedition among the tribes of Indians on
the Upper Missouri.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 1, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Grand Duchy
of Baden for the mutual surrender of fugitive criminals, concluded at
Berlin on the 10th ultimo.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 27th ultimo, requesting
additional documents relating to the condition of affairs in Kansas
Territory, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the
resolution was referred.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 9, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In execution of an act of Congress entitled "An act to provide for the
accommodation of the courts of the United States for the district of
Maryland and for a post-office at Baltimore city, Md.," approved
February 17, 1855, I communicate herewith, for the consideration of
Congress, copies of conditional contracts which I have caused to be
executed for two sites, with buildings thereon, together with plans
and estimates for fitting up and furnishing the same.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 9, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
document,[56] in compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 4th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 56: Dispatch from the United States minister at Naples relative
to the saving from shipwreck of certain American vessels and their crews
by officers of the Neapolitan navy and marine service.]

WASHINGTON, _April 10th, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of the Interior, with
accompanying documents, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate
of the 6th ultimo. The documents, it is believed, contain all the
information in the Executive Departments upon the subject[57] to which
the resolution refers.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 57: Claim of Richard W. Thompson for alleged services to the
Menominee Indians.]

WASHINGTON, _April, 1856_.

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

I communicate to Congress herewith a letter from the Secretary of the
Interior and a copy of a conditional contract entered into, under
instructions from that Department, for the purchase of a lot and
the building thereon, for the use of the United States courts at
Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, and recommend that an
appropriation of $78,000 be made to complete the same.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of War, with the
accompanying documents, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the
7th instant, respecting "the steps pursued in execution of the clause
of the act making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses
of the Government, approved March 3, 1855, which provides for the
construction of an armory for the District of Columbia."

The selection of the site was made after a full hearing of the parties
interested and a personal examination by myself of all the sites
suggested as suitable for the purpose.

It will be perceived upon an examination of the accompanying documents
that although two additional purposes were added by Congress after
the estimate of the War Department was made, and the expense of the
structure consequently increased, still by the terms of my indorsement
on the report of the colonel of ordnance fixing the site, the size and
arrangement of the building were to be such that it could be _completed_
without exceeding the appropriation of $30,000, and that this
requirement has been strictly adhered to in every stage of the
proceedings.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 14, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying documents, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of
the 20th ultimo, respecting the adjustment of the boundary line and the
payment of the three millions under the treaty with Mexico of the 30th
June [December], 1853.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 17, 1856_.

The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I transmit herewith reports of the Secretaries of the War and
Interior Departments, in response to the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 31st ultimo, calling for information in relation
to the origin, progress, and present condition of Indian hostilities in
the Territories of Oregon and Washington, and also of the means which
have been adopted to preserve peace and protect the inhabitants of said
Territories.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 29, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the report of the Secretary of State, with the
accompanying documents, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the
24th February, 1855, in relation to the settlement of the controversy
respecting the Lobos Islands.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1856_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report[58] from the
Secretary of State, in answer to their resolution of the 7th instant.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

[Footnote 58: Relating to indemnification by the Spanish Government of
the captains, owners, and crews of the bark _Georgiana_ and the brig
_Susan Loud_ for their capture and confiscation by the Spanish
authorities.]

WASHINGTON, _May 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I communicate herewith a letter of the Postmaster-General, with
accompanying correspondence, in relation to mail transportation between
our Atlantic and Pacific possessions, and earnestly commend the subject
to the early consideration of Congress.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _May 3, 1856_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter from the Secretary of War, with
accompanying papers, in response to a resolution of the Senate of the
21st ultimo, upon the subject of damages which will be "incurred by the
United States in case of the repeal of so much of the act of March 3,
1855, as provides for the construction of an armory in the District of
Columbia," and also a further answer from the Secretary of War to the
resolution of the Senate of the 7th ultimo, requesting a full report
of the steps pursued in execution of the clause of the act making
appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of the Government,
approved March 2, 1855, which provides for the construction of the
armory in this District before referred to.

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

WASHINGTON, _May 15, 1856_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith reports of the Secretary of State, the Secretary
of the Navy, and the Attorney-General, in reply to a resolution of the
Senate of the 24th of March last, and also to a resolution of the House
of Representatives of the 8th of May instant, both having reference to
the routes of transit between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through
the Republics of New Granada and Nicaragua and to the condition of
affairs in Central America.

These documents relate to questions of the highest importance and
interest to the people of the United States.

The narrow isthmus which connects the continents of North and South
America, by the facilities it affords for easy transit between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans, rendered the countries of Central America
an object of special consideration to all maritime nations, which has
been greatly augmented in modern times by the operation of changes in
commercial relations, especially those produced by the general use of
steam as a motive power by land and sea. To us, on account of its
geographical position and of our political interest as an American State
of primary magnitude, that isthmus is of peculiar importance, just as
the Isthmus of Suez is, for corresponding reasons, to the maritime
powers of Europe. But above all, the importance to the United States of
securing free transit across the American isthmus has rendered it of
paramount interest to us since the settlement of the Territories of
Oregon and Washington and the accession of California to the Union.

Impelled by these considerations, the United States took steps at an
early day to assure suitable means of commercial transit by canal
railway, or otherwise across this isthmus.

We concluded, in the first place, a treaty of peace, amity, navigation,
and commerce with the Republic of New Granada, among the conditions of
which was a stipulation on the part of New Granada guaranteeing to the
United States the right of way or transit across that part of the
Isthmus which lies in the territory of New Granada, in consideration of
which the United States guaranteed in respect of the same territory the
rights of sovereignty and property of New Granada.

The effect of this treaty was to afford to the people of the United
States facilities for at once opening a common road from Chagres to
Panama and for at length constructing a railway in the same direction,
to connect regularly with steamships, for the transportation of mails,
specie, and passengers to and fro between the Atlantic and Pacific
States and Territories of the United States.

The United States also endeavored, but unsuccessfully, to obtain from
the Mexican Republic the cession of the right of way at the northern
extremity of the Isthmus by Tehuantepec, and that line of communication
continues to be an object of solicitude to the people of this Republic.

In the meantime, intervening between the Republic of New Granada and
the Mexican Republic lie the States of Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras,
Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, the several members of the former Republic of
Central America. Here, in the territory of the Central American States,
is the narrowest part of the Isthmus, and hither, of course, public
attention has been directed as the most inviting field for enterprises
of interoceanic communication between the opposite shores of America,
and more especially to the territory of the States of Nicaragua and
Honduras.

Paramount to that of any European State, as was the interest of
the United States in the security and freedom of projected lines of
travel across the Isthmus by the way of Nicaragua and Honduras, still
we did not yield in this respect to any suggestions of territorial
aggrandizement, or even of exclusive advantage, either of communication
or of commerce. Opportunities had not been wanting to the United States
to procure such advantage by peaceful means and with full and free
assent of those who alone had any legitimate authority in the matter.
We disregarded those opportunities from considerations alike of domestic
and foreign policy, just as, even to the present day, we have persevered
in a system of justice and respect for the rights and interests of
others as well as our own in regard to each and all of the States of
Central America.

It was with surprise and regret, therefore, that the United States
learned a few days after the conclusion of the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, by which the United States became, with the consent of the
Mexican Republic, the rightful owners of California, and thus invested
with augmented special interest in the political condition of Central
America, that a military expedition, under the authority of the British
Government, had landed at San Juan del Norte, in the State of Nicaragua,
and taken forcible possession of that port, the necessary terminus of
any canal or railway across the Isthmus within the territories of
Nicaragua.

It did not diminish the unwelcomeness to us of this act on the part of
Great Britain to find that she assumed to justify it on the ground of
an alleged protectorship of a small and obscure band of uncivilized
Indians, whose proper name had even become lost to history, who did not
constitute a state capable of territorial sovereignty either in fact or
of right, and all political interest in whom and in the territory they
occupied Great Britain had previously renounced by successive treaties
with Spain when Spain was sovereign to the country and subsequently with
independent Spanish America.

Nevertheless, and injuriously affected as the United States conceived
themselves to have been by this act of the British Government and by its
occupation about the same time of insular and of continental portions
of the territory of the State of Honduras, we remembered the many and
powerful ties and mutual interests by which Great Britain and the United
States are associated, and we proceeded in earnest good faith and with
a sincere desire to do whatever might strengthen the bonds of peace
between us to negotiate with Great Britain a convention to assure the
perfect neutrality of all interoceanic communications across the Isthmus
and, as the indispensable condition of such neutrality, the absolute
independence of the States of Central America and their complete
sovereignty within the limits of their own territory as well against
Great Britain as against the United States. We supposed we had
accomplished that object by the convention of April 19, 1850, which
would never have been signed nor ratified on the part of the United
States but for the conviction that in virtue of its provisions neither
Great Britain nor the United States was thereafter to exercise any
territorial sovereignty in fact or in name in any part of Central
America, however or whensoever acquired, either before or afterwards.
The essential object of the convention--the neutralization of the
Isthmus--would, of course, become a nullity if either Great Britain
or the United States were to continue to hold exclusively islands or
mainland of the Isthmus, and more especially if, under any claim of
protectorship of Indians, either Government were to remain forever
sovereign in fact of the Atlantic shores of the three States of Costa
Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

I have already communicated to the two Houses of Congress full
information of the protracted and hitherto fruitless efforts which the
United States have made to arrange this international question with
Great Britain. It is referred to on the present occasion only because of
its intimate connection with the special object now to be brought to the
attention of Congress.

The unsettled political condition of some of the Spanish American
Republics has never ceased to be regarded by this Government with
solicitude and regret on their own account, while it has been the source
of continual embarrassment in our public and private relations with
them. In the midst of the violent revolutions and the wars by which they
are continually agitated, their public authorities are unable to afford
due protection to foreigners and to foreign interests within their
territory, or even to defend their own soil against individual
aggressors, foreign or domestic, the burden of the inconveniences and
losses of which therefore devolves in no inconsiderable degree upon the
foreign states associated with them in close relations of geographical
vicinity or of commercial intercourse.

Such is more emphatically the situation of the United States
with respect to the Republics of Mexico and of Central America.
Notwithstanding, however, the relative remoteness of the European
States from America, facts of the same order have not failed to appear
conspicuously in their intercourse with Spanish American Republics.
Great Britain has repeatedly been constrained to recur to measures of
force for the protection of British interests in those countries. France
found it necessary to attack the castle of San Juan de Uloa and even to
debark troops at Vera Cruz in order to obtain redress of wrongs done to
Frenchmen in Mexico.

What is memorable in this respect in the conduct and policy of the
United States is that while it would be as easy for us to annex and
absorb new territories in America as it is for European States to do
this in Asia or Africa, and while if done by us it might be justified as
well on the alleged ground of the advantage which would accrue therefrom
to the territories annexed and absorbed, yet we have abstained from
doing it, in obedience to considerations of right not less than of
policy; and that while the courageous and self-reliant spirit of our
people prompts them to hardy enterprises, and they occasionally yield to
the temptation of taking part in the troubles of countries near at hand,
where they know how potential their influence, moral and material, must
be, the American Government has uniformly and steadily resisted all
attempts of individuals in the United States to undertake armed
aggression against friendly Spanish American Republics.

While the present incumbent of the executive office has been in
discharge of its duties he has never failed to exert all the authority
in him vested to repress such enterprises, because they are in violation
of the law of the land, which the Constitution requires him to execute

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