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

Part 4 out of 9

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and extension. To this end our policy has been heretofore wisely
directed to the constant employment of a force sufficient to guard our
commerce, and to the rapid accumulation of the materials which are
necessary to repair our vessels and construct with ease such new ones
as may be required in a state of war.

In accordance with this policy, I recommend to your consideration the
erection of the additional dry dock described by the Secretary of the
Navy, and also the construction of the steam batteries to which he has
referred, for the purpose of testing their efficacy as auxiliaries to
the system of defense now in use.

The report of the Postmaster-General herewith submitted exhibits the
condition and prospects of that Department. From that document it
appears that there was a deficit in the funds of the Department at
the commencement of the present year beyond its available means of
$315,599.98, which on the 1st July last had been reduced to $268,092.74.
It appears also that the revenues for the coming year will exceed the
expenditures about $270,000, which, with the excess of revenue which
will result from the operations of the current half year, may be
expected, independently of any increase in the gross amount of postages,
to supply the entire deficit before the end of 1835. But as this
calculation is based on the gross amount of postages which had accrued
within the period embraced by the times of striking the balances, it is
obvious that without a progressive increase in the amount of postages
the existing retrenchments must be persevered in through the year 1836
that the Department may accumulate a surplus fund sufficient to place
it in a condition of perfect ease.

It will be observed that the revenues of the Post-Office Department,
though they have increased, and their amount is above that of any former
year, have yet fallen short of the estimates more than $100,000. This is
attributed in a great degree to the increase of free letters growing out
of the extension and abuse of the franking privilege. There has been a
gradual increase in the number of executive offices to which it has been
granted, and by an act passed in March, 1833, it was extended to members
of Congress throughout the whole year. It is believed that a revision of
the laws relative to the franking privilege, with some enactments to
enforce more rigidly the restrictions under which it is granted, would
operate beneficially to the country, by enabling the Department at an
earlier period to restore the mail facilities that have been withdrawn,
and to extend them more widely, as the growing settlements of the
country may require.

To a measure so important to the Government and so just to our
constituents, who ask no exclusive privileges for themselves and are not
willing to concede them to others, I earnestly recommend the serious
attention of Congress.

The importance of the Post-Office Department and the magnitude to which
it has grown, both in its revenues and in its operations, seem to demand
its reorganization by law. The whole of its receipts and disbursements
have hitherto been left entirely to Executive control and individual
discretion. The principle is as sound in relation to this as to any
other Department of the Government, that as little discretion should be
confided to the executive officer who controls it as is compatible with
its efficiency. It is therefore earnestly recommended that it be
organized with an auditor and treasurer of its own, appointed by the
President and Senate, who shall be branches of the Treasury Department.

Your attention is again respectfully invited to the defect which exists
in the judicial system of the United States. Nothing can be more
desirable than the uniform operation of the Federal judiciary throughout
the several States, all of which, standing on the same footing as
members of the Union, have equal rights to the advantages and benefits
resulting from its laws. This object is not attained by the judicial
acts now in force, because they leave one-fourth of the States without
circuit courts.

It is undoubtedly the duty of Congress to place all the States on the
same footing in this respect, either by the creation of an additional
number of associate judges or by an enlargement of the circuits assigned
to those already appointed so as to include the new States. Whatever may
be the difficulty in a proper organization of the judicial system so as
to secure its efficiency and uniformity in all parts of the Union and at
the same time to avoid such an increase of judges as would encumber the
supreme appellate tribunal, it should not be allowed to weigh against
the great injustice which the present operation of the system produces.

I trust that I may be also pardoned for renewing the recommendation
I have so often submitted to your attention in regard to the mode of
electing the President and Vice-President of the United States. All the
reflection I have been able to bestow upon the subject increases my
conviction that the best interests of the country will be promoted by
the adoption of some plan which will secure in all contingencies that
important right of sovereignty to the direct control of the people.
Could this be attained, and the terms of those officers be limited to a
single period of either four or six years, I think our liberties would
possess an additional safeguard.

At your last session I called the attention of Congress to the
destruction of the public building occupied by the Treasury Department.
As the public interest requires that another building should be erected
with as little delay as possible, it is hoped that the means will be
seasonably provided and that they will be ample enough to authorize such
an enlargement and improvement in the plan of the building as will more
effectually accommodate the public officers and secure the public
documents deposited in it from the casualties of fire.

I have not been able to satisfy myself that the bill entitled "An act to
improve the navigation of the Wabash River," which was sent to me at the
close of your last session, ought to pass, and I have therefore withheld
from it my approval and now return it to the Senate, the body in which
it originated.

There can be no question connected with the administration of public
affairs more important or more difficult to be satisfactorily dealt with
than that which relates to the rightful authority and proper action of
the Federal Government upon the subject of internal improvements. To
inherent embarrassments have been added others resulting from the course
of our legislation concerning it.

I have heretofore communicated freely with Congress upon this subject,
and in adverting to it again I can not refrain from expressing my
increased conviction of its extreme importance as well in regard to
its bearing upon the maintenance of the Constitution and the prudent
management of the public revenue as on account of its disturbing effect
upon the harmony of the Union.

We are in no danger from violations of the Constitution by which
encroachments are made upon the personal rights of the citizen. The
sentence of condemnation long since pronounced by the American people
upon acts of that character will, I doubt not, continue to prove as
salutary in its effects as it is irreversible in its nature. But against
the dangers of unconstitutional acts which, instead of menacing the
vengeance of offended authority, proffer local advantages and bring
in their train the patronage of the Government, we are, I fear, not so
safe. To suppose that because our Government has been instituted for the
benefit of the people it must therefore have the power to do whatever
may seem to conduce to the public good is an error into which even
honest minds are too apt to fall. In yielding themselves to this fallacy
they overlook the great considerations in which the Federal Constitution
was founded. They forget that in consequence of the conceded diversities
in the interest and condition of the different States it was foreseen at
the period of its adoption that although a particular measure of the
Government might be beneficial and proper in one State it might be the
reverse in another; that it was for this reason the States would not
consent to make a grant to the Federal Government of the general and
usual powers of government, but of such only as were specifically
enumerated, and the probable effects of which they could, as they
thought, safely anticipate; and they forget also the paramount
obligation upon all to abide by the compact then so solemnly and, as
it was hoped, so firmly established. In addition to the dangers to the
Constitution springing from the sources I have stated, there has been
one which was perhaps greater than all. I allude to the materials which
this subject has afforded for sinister appeals to selfish feelings, and
the opinion heretofore so extensively entertained of its adaptation to
the purposes of personal ambition. With such stimulants it is not
surprising that the acts and pretensions of the Federal Government in
this behalf should sometimes have been carried to an alarming extent.
The questions which have arisen upon this subject have related--

First. To the power of making internal improvements within the limits of
a State, with the right of territorial jurisdiction, sufficient at least
for their preservation and use.

Second. To the right of appropriating money in aid of such works when
carried on by a State or by a company in virtue of State authority,
surrendering the claim of jurisdiction; and

Third. To the propriety of appropriation for improvements of a
particular class, viz, for light-houses, beacons, buoys, public piers,
and for the removal of sand bars, sawyers, and other temporary and
partial impediments in our navigable rivers and harbors.

The claims of power for the General Government upon each of these
points certainly present matter of the deepest interest. The first is,
however, of much the greatest importance, inasmuch as, in addition to
the dangers of unequal and improvident expenditures of public moneys
common to all, there is superadded to that the conflicting jurisdictions
of the respective governments. Federal jurisdiction, at least to the
extent I have stated, has been justly regarded by its advocates as
necessarily appurtenant to the power in question, if that exists by
the Constitution. That the most injurious conflicts would unavoidably
arise between the respective jurisdictions of the State and Federal
Governments in the absence of a constitutional provision marking out
their respective boundaries can not be doubted. The local advantages to
be obtained would induce the States to overlook in the beginning the
dangers and difficulties to which they might ultimately be exposed. The
powers exercised by the Federal Government would soon be regarded with
jealousy by the State authorities, and originating as they must from
implication or assumption, it would be impossible to affix to them
certain and safe limits. Opportunities and temptations to the assumption
of power incompatible with State sovereignty would be increased and
those barriers which resist the tendency of our system toward
consolidation greatly weakened. The officers and agents of the General
Government might not always have the discretion to abstain from
intermeddling with State concerns, and if they did they would not always
escape the suspicion of having done so. Collisions and consequent
irritations would spring up; that harmony which should ever exist
between the General Government and each member of the Confederacy would
be frequently interrupted; a spirit of contention would be engendered
and the dangers of disunion greatly multiplied.

Yet we all know that notwithstanding these grave objections this
dangerous doctrine was at one time apparently proceeding to its final
establishment with fearful rapidity. The desire to embark the Federal
Government in works of internal improvement prevailed in the highest
degree during the first session of the first Congress that I had the
honor to meet in my present situation. When the bill authorizing a
subscription on the part of the United States for stock in the Maysville
and Lexington Turnpike Company passed the two Houses, there had been
reported by the Committees of Internal Improvements bills containing
appropriations for such objects, inclusive of those for the Cumberland
road and for harbors and light-houses, to the amount of $106,000,000. In
this amount was included authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to
subscribe for the stock of different companies to a great extent, and
the residue was principally for the direct construction of roads by this
Government. In addition to these projects, which had been presented to
the two Houses under the sanction and recommendation of their respective
Committees on Internal Improvements, there were then still pending
before the committees, and in memorials to Congress presented but not
referred, different projects for works of a similar character, the
expense of which can not be estimated with certainty, but must have
exceeded $100,000,000.

Regarding the bill authorizing a subscription to the stock of the
Maysville and Lexington Turnpike Company as the entering wedge of a
system which, however weak at first, might soon become strong enough to
rive the bands of the Union asunder, and believing that if its passage
was acquiesced in by the Executive and the people there would no longer
be any limitation upon the authority of the General Government in
respect to the appropriation of money for such objects, I deemed it an
imperative duty to withhold from it the Executive approval. Although
from the obviously local character of that work I might well have
contented myself with a refusal to approve the bill upon that ground,
yet sensible of the vital importance of the subject, and anxious that
my views and opinions in regard to the whole matter should be fully
understood by Congress and by my constituents, I felt it my duty to go
further. I therefore embraced that early occasion to apprise Congress
that in my opinion the Constitution did not confer upon it the power
to authorize the construction of ordinary roads and canals within the
limits of a State and to say, respectfully, that no bill admitting such
a power could receive my official sanction. I did so in the confident
expectation that the speedy settlement of the public mind upon the whole
subject would be greatly facilitated by the difference between the two
Houses and myself, and that the harmonious action of the several
departments of the Federal Government in regard to it would be
ultimately secured.

So far, at least, as it regards this branch of the subject, my best
hopes have been realized. Nearly four years have elapsed, and several
sessions of Congress have intervened, and no attempt within my
recollection has been made to induce Congress to exercise this power.
The applications for the construction of roads and canals which were
formerly multiplied upon your files are no longer presented, and we have
good reason to infer that the current of public sentiment has become
so decided against the pretension as effectually to discourage its
reassertion. So thinking, I derive the greatest satisfaction from the
conviction that thus much at least has been secured upon this important
and embarrassing subject.

From attempts to appropriate the national funds to objects which are
confessedly of a local character we can not, I trust, have anything
further to apprehend. My views in regard to the expediency of making
appropriations for works which are claimed to be of a national character
and prosecuted under State authority--assuming that Congress have the
right to do so--were stated in my annual message to Congress in 1830,
and also in that containing my objections to the Maysville road bill.

So thoroughly convinced am I that no such appropriations ought to
be made by Congress until a suitable constitutional provision is
made upon the subject, and so essential do I regard the point to the
highest interests of our country, that I could not consider myself as
discharging my duty to my constituents in giving the Executive sanction
to any bill containing such an appropriation. If the people of the
United States desire that the public Treasury shall be resorted to for
the means to prosecute such works, they will concur in an amendment of
the Constitution prescribing a rule by which the national character
of the works is to be tested, and by which the greatest practicable
equality of benefits may be secured to each member of the Confederacy.
The effects of such a regulation would be most salutary in preventing
unprofitable expenditures, in securing our legislation from the
pernicious consequences of a scramble for the favors of Government,
and in repressing the spirit of discontent which must inevitably arise
from an unequal distribution of treasures which belong alike to all.

There is another class of appropriations for what may be called, without
impropriety, internal improvements, which have always been regarded as
standing upon different grounds from those to which I have referred. I
allude to such as have for their object the improvement of our harbors,
the removal of partial and temporary obstructions in our navigable
rivers, for the facility and security of our foreign commerce. The
grounds upon which I distinguished appropriations of this character from
others have already been stated to Congress. I will now only add that at
the first session of Congress under the new Constitution it was provided
by law that all expenses which should accrue from and after the 15th day
of August, 1789, in the necessary support and maintenance and repairs of
all light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers erected, placed, or
sunk before the passage of the act within any bay, inlet, harbor, or
port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and
safe, should be defrayed out of the Treasury of the United States, and,
further, that it should be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury
to provide by contracts, with the approbation of the President, for
rebuilding when necessary and keeping in good repair the light-houses,
beacons, buoys, and public piers in the several States, and for
furnishing them with supplies. Appropriations for similar objects have
been continued from that time to the present without interruption or
dispute. As a natural consequence of the increase and extension of our
foreign commerce, ports of entry and delivery have been multiplied and
established, not only upon our seaboard, but in the interior of the
country upon our lakes and navigable rivers. The convenience and
safety of this commerce have led to the gradual extension of these
expenditures; to the erection of light-houses, the placing, planting,
and sinking of buoys, beacons, and piers, and to the removal of partial
and temporary obstructions in our navigable rivers and in the harbors
upon our Great Lakes as well as on the seaboard. Although I have
expressed to Congress my apprehension that these expenditures have
sometimes been extravagant and disproportionate to the advantages to be
derived from them, I have not felt it to be my duty to refuse my assent
to bills containing them, and have contented myself to follow in this
respect in the footsteps of all my predecessors. Sensible, however, from
experience and observation of the great abuses to which the unrestricted
exercise of this authority by Congress was exposed, I have prescribed a
limitation for the government of my own conduct by which expenditures of
this character are confined to places below the ports of entry or
delivery established by law. I am very sensible that this restriction is
not as satisfactory as could be desired, and that much embarrassment may
be caused to the executive department in its execution by appropriations
for remote and not well-understood objects. But as neither my own
reflections nor the lights which I may properly derive from other
sources have supplied me with a better, I shall continue to apply my
best exertions to a faithful application of the rule upon which it is
founded. I sincerely regret that I could not give my assent to the bill
entitled "An act to improve the navigation of the Wabash River;" but
I could not have done so without receding from the ground which I have,
upon the fullest consideration, taken upon this subject, and of which
Congress has been heretofore apprised, and without throwing the subject
again open to abuses which no good citizen entertaining my opinions
could desire.

I rely upon the intelligence and candor of my fellow-citizens, in whose
liberal indulgence I have already so largely participated, for a correct
appreciation of my motives in interposing as I have done on this and
other occasions checks to a course of legislation which, without in the
slightest degree calling in question the motives of others, I consider
as sanctioning improper and unconstitutional expenditures of public
treasure.

I am not hostile to internal improvements, and wish to see them extended
to every part of the country. But I am fully persuaded, if they are not
commenced in a proper manner, confined to proper objects, and conducted
under an authority generally conceded to be rightful, that a successful
prosecution of them can not be reasonably expected. The attempt will
meet with resistance where it might otherwise receive support, and
instead of strengthening the bonds of our Confederacy it will only
multiply and aggravate the causes of disunion.

ANDREW JACKSON.

SPECIAL MESSAGES

WASHINGTON, _December 4, 1834_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a communication addressed to me by M. George
Washington Lafayette, accompanying a copy of the Declaration of
Independence engraved on copper, which his illustrious father bequeathed
to Congress to be placed in their library as a last tribute of respect,
patriotic love, and affection for his adopted country.

I have a mournful satisfaction in transmitting this precious bequest of
that great and good man who through a long life, under many vicissitudes
and in both hemispheres, sustained the principles of civil liberty
asserted in that memorable Declaration, and who from his youth to the
last moment of his life cherished for our beloved country the most
generous attachment.

ANDREW JACKSON.

The bequest accompanies the message to the House of Representatives.

A.J.

PARIS, _June 15, 1834_.

SIR: A great misfortune has given me more than one solemn and important
duty to fulfill, and the ardent desire of accomplishing with fidelity my
father's last will emboldens me to claim the patronage of the President
of the United States and his benevolent intervention when I am obliged
respectfully and mournfully to address the Senate and Representatives of
a whole nation.

Our forever beloved parent possessed a copper plate on which was
inscribed the first engraved copy of the American Declaration of
Independence, and his last intention in departing this world was that
the precious plate should be presented to the Congress of the United
States, to be deposited in their library as a last tribute of respect,
patriotic love, and affection for his adopted country.

Will it be permitted to me, a faithful disciple of that American school
whose principles are so admirably exposed in that immortal Declaration,
to hope that you, sir, would do me the honor to communicate this letter
to both Houses of Congress at the same time that in the name of his
afflicted family you would present to them my venerated father's gift?

In craving such an important favor, sir, the son of General Lafayette,
the adopted grandson of Washington, knows and shall never forget that he
would become unworthy of it if he was ever to cease to be a French and
American patriot. With the utmost respect, I am, sir, your devoted and
obedient servant,

GEORGE W. LAFAYETTE.

WASHINGTON, _December 10, 1834_.

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

The joint resolutions of Congress unanimously expressing their
sensibility on the intelligence of the death of General Lafayette were
communicated, in compliance with their will, to George Washington
Lafayette and the other members of the family of that illustrious man.
By their request I now present the heartfelt acknowledgments of the
surviving descendants of our beloved friend for that highly valued proof
of the sympathy of the United States.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _June 27, 1834_.

GEORGE WASHINGTON LAFAYETTE AND THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OF THE
LATE GENERAL LAFAYETTE:

In compliance with the will of Congress, I transmit to you the joint
resolutions of the two Houses unanimously expressing the sensibility
with which they received the intelligence of the death of "General
Lafayette, the friend of the United States, the friend of Washington,
and the friend of liberty;" and I also assure you of the condolence of
this whole nation in the irreparable bereavement which by that event you
have sustained.

In complying with the request of Congress I can not omit the occasion of
offering you my own condolence in the great loss you have sustained, and
of expressing my admiration of the eminent virtues of the distinguished
patriot whom it has pleased Providence to remove to his high reward.

I also pray you to be persuaded that your individual welfare and
prosperity will always be with me objects of that solicitude which the
illustrious services of the great friend and benefactor of my country
are calculated to awaken.

ANDREW JACKSON,

_President of the United States_.

RESOLUTION manifesting the sensibility of the two Houses of Congress and
of the nation on the occasion of the decease of General Lafayette.

_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the two Houses of
Congress have received with the profoundest sensibility intelligence of
the death of General Lafayette, the friend of the United States, the
friend of Washington, and the friend of liberty.

_And be it further resolved_, That the sacrifices and efforts of this
illustrious person in the cause of our country during her struggle for
independence, and the affectionate interest which he has at all times
manifested for the success of her political institutions, claim from the
Government and people of the United States an expression of condolence
for his loss, veneration for his virtues, and gratitude for his
services.

_And be it further resolved_, That the President of the United States be
requested to address, together with a copy of the above resolutions, a
letter to George Washington Lafayette and the other members of his
family, assuring them of the condolence of this whole nation in their
irreparable bereavement.

_And be it further resolved_, That the members of the two Houses of
Congress will wear a badge of mourning for thirty days, and that it be
recommended to the people of the United States to wear a similar badge
for the same period.

_And be it further resolved_, That the halls of the Houses be dressed in
mourning for the residue of the session.

_And be it further resolved_, That John Quincy Adams be requested to
deliver an oration on the life and character of General Lafayette before
the two Houses of Congress at the next session.

JNO. BELL,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

M. VAN BUREN,

_Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate_.

Approved, June 26, 1834.

ANDREW JACKSON.

LA GRANGE, _October 21, 1834_.

SIR: The resolution of Congress communicated to me by your honored favor
of the 27th of June, that glorious testimony of American national
affection for my beloved and venerated father, has been received by his
family with the deepest sense of the most respectful and, give me leave
to say, filial gratitude.

And now, sir, that we experience the benefits of such a high and
soothing sympathy, we find ourselves called to the honor of addressing
to the people and Congress of the United States our heartfelt and
dutiful thanks.

Sir, you were the friend of my father, and the kind letter which
accompanied the precious message seems to be for us a sufficient
authorization to our claiming once more your honorable assistance for
the accomplishment of a duty dear to our hearts. We most fervently wish
that the homage of our everlasting devotion to a nation whose tears
have deigned to mingle with ours should be offered to both Houses
of Congress. Transmitted by you, sir, that homage shall be rendered
acceptable, and we earnestly pray you, sir, to present it in our name.
Our gratitude shall be forever adequate to the obligation.

The resolution which so powerfully honors my father's memory shall be
deposited as a most sacred family property in that room of mourning
where once his son and grandsons used to receive with avidity from him
lessons of patriotism and active love of liberty. There the daily
contemplation of it will more and more impress their minds with that
encouraging conviction that the affection and esteem of a free nation
is the most desirable reward that can be obtained on earth.

With the utmost respect, sir, I have the honor to be, your devoted and
obedient servant,

GEORGE W. LAFAYETTE.

WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1834_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 10th instant, calling for any information which the President may
possess respecting the burning of the building occupied by the Treasury
Department in the year 1833, I transmit herewith the papers containing
the inquiry into the cause of that disaster, which was directed and made
soon after its occurrence.

Accompanying this inquiry I also transmit a particular report from Mr.
McLane, who was then Secretary of the Treasury, stating all the facts
relating to the subject which were within the knowledge of the officers
of the Department and such losses of records and papers as were
ascertained to have been sustained.

ANDREW JACKSON.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of the Senate, papers showing
the terms on which the united tribes of the Chippewas, Ottawas, and
Potawatamies are willing to accede to the amendments contained in the
resolution of the Senate of the 22d of May last, ratifying conditionally
the treaty which had been concluded with them on the 26th day of
September, 1833.

ANDREW JACKSON.

DECEMBER 15, 1834.

WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1834_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, together
with the papers relative to the execution of the treaty of the 4th of
July, 1831, between the United States and France, requested by their
resolution of the ---- instant.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 27, 1834_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House a report from the Secretary of State, together
with the papers relating to the refusal of the French Government to make
provision for the execution of the treaty between the United States and
France concluded on the 4th July, 1831, requested by their resolution of
the 24th instant.

ANDREW JACKSON.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, December 27, 1834_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution
of the House of Representatives of the 24th instant, requesting the
President of the United States "to communicate to the House, if not in
his opinion incompatible with the public interest, any communications or
correspondence which may have taken place between our minister at Paris
and the French Government, or between the minister from France to this
Government and the Secretary of State, on the subject of the refusal of
the French Government to make provision for the execution of the treaty
concluded between the United States and France on the 4th July, 1831,"
has the honor of reporting to the President copies of the papers desired
by that resolution.

It will be perceived that no authority was given to either of
the charges d'affaires who succeeded Mr. Rives to enter into any
correspondence with the French Government in regard to the merits of
the convention, or in relation to its execution, except to urge the
prompt delivery of the papers stipulated for in the sixth article and to
apprise that Government of the arrangement made for receiving payment of
the first installment.

All which is respectfully submitted.

JOHN FORSYTH.

WASHINGTON, _January 5, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives passed on
the 24th ultimo, I transmit a report[10] from the Secretary of State upon
the subject.

ANDREW JACKSON.

[Footnote 10: Relating to claims of American citizens upon the Mexican
Government.]

WASHINGTON, _January 6, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives passed on the
27th ultimo, I transmit a report made to me by the Secretary of State on
the subject; and I have to acquaint the House that the negotiation for
the settlement of the northeastern boundary being now in progress, it
would, in my opinion, be incompatible with the public interest to lay
before the House any communications which have been had between the two
Governments since the period alluded to in the resolution.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 13, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of the 8th instant,
requesting "copies of every circular or letter of instruction emanating
from the Treasury or War Departments since the 30th day of June last,
and addressed to either the receiving or the disbursing officers
stationed in States wherein land offices are established or public works
are constructing under the authority of Congress," I transmit herewith
reports from the Secretaries of the Treasury and War Departments,
containing the information sought for.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 13, 1835_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have received the resolution of the Senate of the 9th instant,
requesting me to communicate "a copy of any report made by any director
or directors of the Bank of the United States appointed by the
Government, purporting to give information to the Executive of certain
notes and bills of exchange discounted at the Bank of the United States
for account and benefit of George Poindexter, a member of the Senate;
also the name or names of such director or directors."

In my replies to the resolutions of the Senate of the 11th December,
1833, and of 12th of June, 1834, the former passed in their legislative
and the latter in their executive capacity, I had occasion to state the
objections to requests of this nature, and to vindicate in this respect
the constitutional rights of the executive department. The views then
expressed remain unchanged, and as I think them peculiarly applicable to
the present occasion I should feel myself required to decline any reply
to the resolution before me were there not reason to apprehend that
persons now in nomination before the Senate might possibly by such a
course be exposed to improper and injurious imputations.

The resolution of the Senate, standing alone, would seem to be adopted
with the view of obtaining information in regard to the transactions
which may have been had between a particular member of the Senate and
the Bank of the United States. It can, however, scarcely be supposed
that such was its object, inasmuch as the Senate have it in their power
to obtain any information they may desire on this subject from their own
committee, who have been freely allowed, as appears by their published
report, to make examinations of the books and proceedings of the bank,
peremptorily denied to the Government directors, and not even allowed
to the committee of the House of Representatives. It must therefore be
presumed that the resolution has reference to some other matter, and on
referring to the Executive Journal of the Senate I find therein such
proceedings as in my judgment fully to authorize the apprehension
stated.

Under these circumstances, and for the purpose of preventing
misapprehension and injustice, I think it proper to communicate herewith
a copy of the only report made to me by any director or directors of the
Bank of the United States appointed by the Government, since the report
of the 19th of August, 1833, which is already in the possession of
the Senate. It will be perceived that the paper herewith transmitted
contains no information whatever as to the discounting of notes or bills
of exchange for the account and benefit of the member of the Senate
named in their resolution, nor have I at any time received from the
Government directors any report purporting to give any such information.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 29, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report[11] from the
Secretary of State, upon the subject of a resolution of the 22d instant,
which was referred to that officer, together with the papers referred to
in the said report.

ANDREW JACKSON.

[Footnote 11: Relating to commerce with Cuba and Puerto Rico.]

WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

With, reference to the claim of the granddaughters of the Marshal de
Rochambeau, and in addition to the papers formerly communicated relating
to the same subject, I now transmit to the House of Representatives, for
their consideration, a memorial to the Congress of the United States
from the Countess d'Ambrugeac and the Marquise de la Goree, together
with the letter which accompanied it. Translations of these documents
are also sent.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I submit to Congress a report from the Secretary of War, containing the
evidence of certain claims to reservations under the fourteenth article
of the treaty of 1830 with the Choctaws, which the locating agent has
reserved from sale in conformity with instructions from the President,
who did not consider himself authorized to direct their location.

Should Congress consider the claims just, it will be proper to pass a
law authorizing their location, or satisfying them in some other way.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of
State, accompanied with extracts from certain dispatches received from
the minister of the United States at Paris, which are communicated in
compliance with a resolution of the House of the 31st ultimo. Being of
opinion that the residue of the dispatches of that minister can not at
present be laid before the House consistently with the public interest,
I decline transmitting them. In doing so, however, I deem proper to
state that whenever any communication shall be received exhibiting any
change in the condition of the business referred to in the resolution
information will be promptly transmitted to Congress.

ANDREW JACKSON.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 5, 1835_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 31st ultimo, requesting the President
"to communicate to that House, if not incompatible with the public
interest, any correspondence with the Government of France and any
dispatches received from the minister of the United States at Paris, not
hitherto communicated to the House, in relation to the failure of the
French Government to carry into effect any stipulation of the treaty
of the 4th day of July, 1831," has the honor to report to the President
that as far as is known to the Department no correspondence has taken
place with the Government of France since that communicated to the
House on the 27th December last. The Secretary is not aware that the
dispatches received from the minister of the United States at Paris
present any material fact which does not appear in the correspondence
already transmitted. He nevertheless incloses so much of those
dispatches written subsequently to the commencement of the present
session of the French Chambers as may serve to shew the state of the
business to which they relate since that time, and also that portion of
an early dispatch which contains the substance of the assurances made to
him by His Majesty the King of the French at a formal audience granted
to him for the purpose of presenting his credentials, and he submits for
the President's consideration whether the residue can consistently with
the public interest be now laid before the House.

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Livingston to the Secretary of State of the United States_.

[Extracts.]

PARIS, _October 4, 1833_.

SIR: On Monday I presented my letter of credence to the King, on which
occasion I made the address to him a copy of which is inclosed.

* * * * *

His answer was long and earnest. I can not pretend to give you the words
of it, but in substance it was a warm expression of his good feeling
toward the United States for the hospitality he had received there,
etc. ... "As to the convention," he said, "assure your Government that
unavoidable circumstances alone prevented its immediate execution, but
it will be faithfully performed. Assure your Government of this," he
repeated, "the necessary laws will be passed at the next meeting of the
Chambers. I tell you this not only as King, but as an individual whose
promise will be fulfilled."

_Mr. Livingston to the Secretary of State_.

[Extracts.]

PARIS, _November 22, 1834_.

* * * * *

I do not hope for any decision on our affairs before the middle of
January. One motive for delay is an expectation that the message of the
President may arrive before the discussion, and that it may contain
something to show a strong national feeling on the subject. _This is
not mere conjecture; I know the fact_. And I repeat now from a full
knowledge of the case what I have more than once stated in my former
dispatches as my firm persuasion, that the moderate tone taken by our
Government when the rejection was first known was attributed by some
to indifference or to a conviction on the part of the President that
he would not be supported in any strong measure by the people, and by
others to a consciousness that the convention had given us more than we
were entitled to ask.

* * * * *

I saw last night an influential member of the Chamber, who told me
that, ... and that the King had spoken of our affairs and appeared
extremely anxious to secure the passage of the law. I mention this as
one of the many circumstances which, independent of official assurances,
convince me that the King is sincere, and now I have no doubt of the
sincerity of his cabinet. From all this you may imagine the anxiety I
shall feel for the arrival of the President's message. On its tone will
depend very much, not only the payment of our claims, but our national
reputation for energy. I have no doubt it will be such as to attain both
of these important objects.

_Mr. Livingston to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Extract.]

PARIS, _December 6, 1834_.

* * * * *

The Chambers were convened on the 1st instant under very exciting
circumstances, the ministers individually and the papers supposed to
speak their language having previously announced a design to enter into
a full explanation of their conduct, to answer all interrogations, and
place their continuance in office on the question of approval by the
Chambers of their measures.

This, as you will see by the papers, they have frankly and explicitly
done, and after a warm debate of two days, which has just closed, they
have gained a decided victory. This gives them confidence, permanence,
and, I hope, influence enough to carry the treaty. I shall now urge the
presentation of the law at as early a day as possible, and although I do
not yet feel very certain of success, my hopes of it are naturally much
increased by the vote of this evening. The conversations I have had
with the King and with all the ministers convince me that now they are
perfectly in earnest and united on the question, and that it will be
urged with zeal and ability.

Many of the deputies, too, with whom I have entered into explanations on
the subject, seem now convinced that the interest as well as the honor
of the nation requires the fulfillment of their engagements. This gives
me hopes that the endeavors I shall continue to make without ceasing
until the question is decided may be successful.

The intimation I have conceived myself authorized to make of the serious
consequences that may be expected from another rejection of the law, and
of the firm determination of our Government to admit of no reduction or
change in the treaty, I think has had an effect. On the whole, I repeat
that without being at all confident I now entertain better hopes than I
have for some time past done.

_Mr. Livingston to the Secretary of State_.

[Extracts.]

PARIS, _December 22, 1834_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State, etc._

SIR: Our diplomatic relations with this Government are on the most
extraordinary footing. With the executive branch I have little to
discuss, for they agree with me in every material point on the subject
of the treaty. With the legislature, where the great difficulty arises,
I can have no official communication. Yet, deeply impressed with the
importance to my fellow-citizens of securing the indemnity to which
they are entitled, and to the country of enforcing the execution of
engagements solemnly made to it, as well as of preventing a rupture,
which must infallibly follow the final refusal to execute the
convention, I have felt it a duty to use every proper endeavor to
avoid this evil. This has been and continues to be a subject of much
embarrassment.

* * * * *

My last dispatch (6th December) was written immediately after the vote
of the Chamber of Deputies had, as it was thought, secured a majority
to the administration, and it naturally excited hopes which that
supposition was calculated to inspire. I soon found, however, both from
the tone of the administration press and from the language of the King
and all the ministers with whom I conferred on the subject, that they
were not willing to put their popularity to the test on our question.

It will not be made one on the determination of which the ministers are
willing to risk their portfolios. The very next day after the debate the
ministerial gazette (Les Debats) declared that, satisfied with the
approbation the Chamber had given to their system, it was at perfect
liberty to exercise its discretion as to particular measures which do
not form _an essential part of that system_; and the communications I
subsequently had with the King and the ministers confirmed me in the
opinion that the law for executing our convention was to be considered
as one of those free questions. I combated this opinion, and asked
whether the faithful observance of treaties was not _an essential part
of their_ system, and, if so, whether it did not come within their rule.
Without answering this argument, I was told of the endeavors they were
making to secure the passage of the law by preparing the statement[12]
mentioned in my former dispatch. This, it is said, is nearly finished,
and from what I know of its tenor it will produce all the effect that
truth and justice can be expected to have on prejudice and party spirit.

The decision not to make it a cabinet question will not be without its
favorable operation; ... some of the leaders of the opposition, who may
not be willing to take the responsibility of a rupture between the two
nations by breaking the treaty, when they are convinced that instead of
forcing the ministers to resign they will themselves only incur the
odium of having caused the national breach. In this view of the subject
I shall be much aided if by the tenor of the President's message it is
seen that we shall resent the breach of faith they contemplate.

It is on all hands conceded that it would be imprudent to press the
decision before the next month, when the exposition will be printed
and laid before the Chambers.

* * * * *

On the whole, I am far from being sanguine of success in the endeavors
which I shall not cease to make for the accomplishment of this important
object of my mission, and I expect with some solicitude the instructions
for my conduct in the probable case of a rejection of the law.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

[Footnote 12: A memoir to be laid before the commission which may be
appointed to examine the law, intended to contain all the arguments and
facts by which it is to be supported.]

WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1835_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have received the resolution of the Senate of the 2d instant,
requesting me to communicate copies of the charges, if any, which may
have been made to me against the official conduct of Gideon Fitz, late
surveyor-general south of the State of Tennessee, which caused his
removal from office.

The resolution is preceded by a preamble which alleges as reasons for
this request that the causes which may have produced the removal of the
officer referred to may contain information necessary to the action of
the Senate on the nomination of his successor and to the investigation
now in progress respecting the frauds in the sales of the public lands.

This is another of those calls for information made upon me by the
Senate which have, in my judgment, either related to the subjects
exclusively belonging to the executive department or otherwise
encroached on the constitutional powers of the Executive. Without
conceding the right of the Senate to make either of these requests,
I have yet, for the various reasons heretofore assigned in my several
replies, deemed it expedient to comply with several of them. It is now,
however, my solemn conviction that I ought no longer, from any motive
nor in any degree, to yield to these unconstitutional demands. Their
continued repetition imposes on me, as the representative and trustee of
the American people, the painful but imperious duty of resisting to the
utmost any further encroachment on the rights of the Executive. This
course is especially due to the present resolution. The President in
cases of this nature possesses the exclusive power of removal from
office, and, under the sanctions of his official oath and of his
liability to impeachment, he is bound to exercise it whenever the public
welfare shall require. If, on the other hand, from corrupt motives he
abuses this power, he is exposed to the same responsibilities. On no
principle known to our institutions can he be required to account
for the manner in which he discharges this portion of his public
duties, save only in the mode and under the forms prescribed by the
Constitution. The suggestion that the charges a copy of which is
requested by the Senate "may contain information necessary to their
action" on a nomination now before them can not vary the principle.
There is no necessary connection between the two subjects, and even if
there were the Senate have no right to call for that portion of these
matters which appertains to the separate and independent action of the
Executive. The intimation that these charges may also be necessary
"to the investigation now in progress respecting frauds in the sales of
public lands" is still more insufficient to authorize the present call.
Those investigations were instituted and have thus far been conducted
by the Senate in their legislative capacity, and with the view, it
is presumed, to some legislative action. If the President has in his
possession any information on the subject of such frauds, it is his duty
to communicate it to Congress, and it may undoubtedly be called for by
either House sitting in its legislative capacity, though even from such
a call all matters properly belonging to the exclusive duties of the
President must of necessity be exempted.

The resolution now before me purports to have been passed in executive
session, and I am bound to presume that if the information requested
therein should be communicated it would be applied in secret session to
"the investigation of frauds in the sales of the public lands." But,
if so applied, the distinction between the executive and legislative
functions of the Senate would not only be destroyed, but the citizen
whose conduct is impeached would lose one of his valuable securities,
that which is afforded by a public investigation in the presence of his
accusers and of the witnesses against him. Besides, a compliance with
the present resolution would in all probability subject the conduct and
motives of the President in the case of Mr. Fitz to the review of the
Senate when not sitting as judges on an impeachment, and even if this
consequence should not occur in the present case the compliance of the
Executive might hereafter be quoted as a precedent for similar and
repeated applications,

Such a result, if acquiesced in, would ultimately subject the
independent constitutional action of the Executive in a matter of great
national concernment to the domination and control of the Senate; if not
acquiesced in, it would lead to collisions between coordinate branches
of the Government, well calculated to expose the parties to indignity
and reproach and to inflict on the public interest serious and lasting
mischief.

I therefore decline a compliance with so much of the resolution of the
Senate as requests "copies of the charges, if any," in relation to Mr.
Fitz, and in doing so must be distinctly understood as neither affirming
nor denying that any such charges were made; but as the Senate may
lawfully call upon the President for information properly appertaining
to nominations submitted to them, I have the honor, in this respect, to
reply that I have none to give them in the case of the person nominated
as successor to Mr. Fitz, except that I believe him, from sources
entitled to the highest credit, to be well qualified in abilities and
character to discharge the duties of the office in question.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1835_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I beg leave to call the attention of Congress to the accompanying
communication from the Secretary of War, from which it appears that the
"act for the relief of Benedict Alford and Robert Brush," although
signed and duly certified by the proper officers as having passed the
two Houses of Congress at their last session, had not in fact obtained
the sanction of that body when it was presented to the President for his
approval.

Under these circumstances it is thought that the subject is worthy of
the consideration of Congress.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 16, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, for their consideration, a
petition to the Congress of the United States from Adelaide de Grasse
de Grochamps, one of the surviving daughters of the Count de Grasse,
together with the letter which accompanied it. Translations of these
papers are also sent.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1835_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

Since my message a few days ago relating to Choctaw reservations other
documents on the same subject have been received from the locating
agent, which are mentioned in the accompanying report of the Secretary
of War, and which I also transmit herewith for the information and
consideration of Congress.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1835_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate as to the
ratification of the same, four treaties for Potawatamie reservations,
concluded by General Marshall in December last.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1835_.

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

I transmit to Congress a report from the Secretary of State, with copies
of all the letters received from Mr. Livingston since the message to the
House of Representatives of the 6th instant, of the instructions given
to that minister, and of all the late correspondence with the French
Government in Paris or in Washington, except a note of Mr. Serurier,
which, for the reasons stated in the report, is not now communicated.

It will be seen that I have deemed it my duty to instruct Mr. Livingston
to quit France with his legation and return to the United States if an
appropriation for the fulfillment of the convention shall be refused by
the Chambers.

The subject being now in all its present aspects before Congress, whose
right it is to decide what measures are to be pursued in that event, I
deem it unnecessary to make further recommendation, being confident that
on their part everything will be done to maintain the rights and honor
of the country which the occasion requires.

ANDREW JACKSON.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 25, 1835_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Secretary of State has the honor to submit to the President copies
of all the letters received from Mr. Livingston since the message to the
House of Representatives of the 6th instant, of the instructions given
to that minister, and of all the late correspondence with the French
Government in Paris or in Washington, except the last note of M.
Serurier, which it has been considered necessary to submit to the
Government of France before it is made public or answered, that it may
be ascertained whether some exceptionable expressions are to be taken
as the result of a settled purpose in that Government or as the mere
ebullition of the minister's indiscretion.

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Livingston to Mr. Forsyth_.

No. 70.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

_Paris, January 11, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH.

SIR: Believing that it would be important for me to receive the
dispatches you might think it necessary to send with the President's
message, I ventured on incurring the expense of a courier to bring it
to me as soon as it should arrive at Havre. Mr. Beasley accordingly,
on the arrival of the _Sully_, dispatched a messenger with my letters
received by that vessel, and a New York newspaper containing the
message, but without any communication from the Department, so that
your No. 43 is still the last which I have to acknowledge. The courier
arrived at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 8th. Other copies were the
same morning received by the estafette, and the contents, being soon
known, caused the greatest sensation, which as yet is, I think,
unfavorable--the few members of the opposition who would have voted for
the execution of the treaty now declaring that they can not do it under
the threat of reprisals, and the great body of that party making use
of the effect it has on national pride to gain proselytes from the
ministerial side of the Chamber, in which I have no doubt they have
in a great degree for the time succeeded.

The ministers are aware of this, and will not, I think, immediately
urge the consideration of the law, as I have no doubt they were prepared
to do when the message arrived. Should Congress propose commercial
restrictions or determine to wait to the end of the session before they
act, this will be considered as a vote against reprisals, and then the
law will be proposed and I think carried. But I ought not to conceal
from you that the excitement is at present very great; that their pride
is deeply wounded by what they call an attempt to coerce them by threats
to the payment of a sum which they persist, in opposition to the
plainest proof, in declaring not to be due. This feeling is fostered by
the language of our opposition papers, particularly by the Intelligencer
and New York Courier, extracts from which have been sent on by
Americans, declaring them to be the sentiments of a majority of the
people. These, as you will see, are translated and republished here,
with such comments as they might have been expected and undoubtedly were
intended to produce, and if hostilities should take place between the
two countries those persons may flatter themselves with having the
credit of a great share in producing them. The only letter I have
received from home is from one of my family. This, to my great
satisfaction, informs me that the President will be supported by
all parties, and I am told that this is the language of some of the
opposition papers; but as they are not sent to the legation I can not
tell in what degree this support can be depended upon. Whether the
energetic language of the message will be made the pretext with some or
be the cause with others among the deputies for rejecting the law can
not, of course, be yet conjectured with any great degree of probability,
but I think it will have a good effect. It has certainly raised us in
the estimation of other powers, if I may judge from the demeanor of
their representatives here, and my own opinion is that as soon as the
first excitement subsides it will operate favorably on the counsels of
France. Already some of the journals begin to change their tone, and I
am much mistaken if the opposition here, finding that we are in earnest,
will incur the responsibility of a rupture between the two nations,
which they see must take place if the treaty be rejected. The funds
experienced a considerable fall as soon as the message was known, and
insurance rose. In short, it has made them feel the commercial as well
as political importance of our country.

The Comte de Rigny had requested me to communicate the message to him as
soon as it should be received. This I promised to do, and accordingly on
the morning of the 8th, to avoid any mistake as to the mode of making
the communication, I carried the paper to him myself, telling him that
I had received a gazette containing a paper said to be the message of
the President, which I delivered to him in compliance with my promise;
but I requested him to observe that it was not an authentic paper,
nor was it delivered in pursuance of instructions, nor in my official
character. I thought it, for obvious reasons, necessary to be very
explicit on this point, and he properly understood me, as he had not yet
read the message. Little more passed at the interview, and I thought of
it, but not immediately, to seek another. I shall probably, however, see
him to-night, and shall then appoint some time for a further conference,
of which I will by this same packet give you the result.

Mr. Middleton has just arrived from Madrid with the inscriptions for the
Spanish indemnity and a draft for the first payment of interest. His
instructions are, he says, to leave them with me, but as I have heard
nothing from the Department I shall advise the depositing them with
Rothschild to wait the directions of the President.

The importance of obtaining the earliest intelligence at this crisis of
our affairs with France has induced me to direct that my letters should
be sent by the estafette from Havre, and that if any important advice
should be received at such an hour in the day as would give a courier
an advance of some hours over the estafette, that a special messenger
should be dispatched with it.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient
servant,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

_Mr. Livingston to Mr. Forsyth_.

No. 71.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

_Paris, January 14, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH.

SIR: The intended conference with the minister for foreign affairs of
which I spoke to you in my last (No. 70) took place yesterday morning. I
began it by expressing my regret that a communication from the President
to Congress had been so much misrepresented in that part which related
to France as to be construed into a measure of hostilities. It was, I
said, part of a consultation between different members of our Government
as to the proper course to be pursued if the legislative body of France
should persevere in refusing to provide the means of complying with a
treaty formally made; that the President, as was his duty, stated the
facts truly and in moderate language, without any irritating comment;
that in further pursuance of his official duty he declared the different
modes of redress which the law of nations permitted in order to avoid
hostilities, expressing, as he ought to do, his reasons for preferring
one of them; that in all this there was nothing addressed to the French
nation; and I likened it to a proceeding well known in the French law
(a family council in which the concerns and interests are discussed),
but of which in our case the debates were necessarily public; that a
further elucidation of the nature of this document might be drawn from
the circumstance that no instructions had been given to communicate it
to the French Government, and that if a gazette containing it had been
delivered it was at the request of his excellency, and expressly
declared to be a private communication, not an official one. I further
stated that I made this communication without instructions, merely
to counteract misapprehensions and from an earnest desire to rectify
errors which might have serious consequences. I added that it was very
unfortunate that an earlier call of the Chambers had not been made in
consequence of Mr. Serurier's promise, the noncompliance with which was
of a nature to cause serious disquietude with the Government of the
United States. I found immediately that this was the part of the
message that had most seriously affected the King, for Comte de Rigny
immediately took up the argument, endeavoring to show that the
Government had acted in good faith, relying principally on the danger
of a second rejection had the Chambers been called at an early day
expressly for this object I replied by repeating that the declaration
made by Mr. Serurier was a positive and formal one, and that it had
produced a forbearance on the part of the President to lay the state of
the case before Congress. In this conference, which was a long one, we
both regretted that any misunderstanding should interrupt the good
intelligence of two nations having so many reasons to preserve it and so
few of conflicting interests. He told me (what I knew before) that the
exposition was prepared, and that the law would have been presented the
day after that on which the message was received. He showed me the
document, read part of it to me, and expressed regret that the language
of the message prevented it being sent in. I said that I hoped the
excitement would soon subside and give place to better feelings, in
which I thought he joined with much sincerity. It is perhaps necessary
to add that an allusion was made by me to the change of ministry in
November and the reinstatement of the present ministers, which I told
him I had considered as a most favorable occurrence, and that I had so
expressed myself in my communications to you, but that this circumstance
was unknown at Washington when the message was delivered; and I added
that the hopes of success held out in the communication to which I
referred and the assurances it contained that the ministers would
zealously urge the adoption of the law might probably have imparted the
same hopes to the President and have induced some change in the measure
he had recommended, but that the formation of the Dupin ministry, if
known, must have had a very bad effect on the President's mind, as
many of that ministry were known to be hostile to the treaty.

When I took leave the minister requested me to reflect on the
propriety of presenting a note of our conversation, which he said should
be formal or otherwise, as I should desire. I told him I would do so,
and inform him on the next morning by 11 o'clock. We parted, as I
thought, on friendly terms, and in the evening, meeting him at the
Austrian ambassador's, I told him that on reflection I had determined to
wait the arrival of the packet of the 16th before I gave the note, to
which he made no objection. After all this you may judge of my surprise
when last night about 10 o'clock I received the letter copy of which is
inclosed, and which necessarily closes my mission. In my reply I shall
take care to throw the responsibility of breaking up the diplomatic
intercourse between the countries where it ought to rest, and will not
fail to expose the misstatements which you will observe are contained in
the minister's note, both as respects my Government and myself; but the
late hour at which I received the Comte de Rigny's note and the almost
immediate departure of the packet may prevent my sending you a copy of
my communication to him, which I shall use the utmost diligence in
preparing.

The law, it is said, will be presented to-day, and I have very
little doubt that it will pass. The ministerial phalanx, reenforced by
those of the opposition (and they are not a few) who will not take the
responsibility of involving the country in the difficulties which they
now see must ensue, will be sufficient to carry the vote. The recall of
Serurier and the notice to me are measures which are resorted to to save
the pride of the Government and the nation.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient
servant,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

_From Count de Rigny to Mr. Livingston_.

[Translation.]

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

_Paris, January 13, 1835_.

Hon. EDWARD LIVINGSTON, etc.

SIR: You have well comprehended the nature of the impressions produced
upon the King's Government by the message which His Excellency President
Jackson addressed on the 1st of December to the Congress of the United
States. Nothing certainly could have prepared us for it. Even though
the complaints expressed in it had been as just as they are in reality
unjust, we should still have had a right to be astonished on receiving
the first communication of them in such a form.

In the explanations which I am now about to make I can not enter upon
the consideration of any facts other than those occurring subsequently
to the vote by which the last Chamber of Deputies refused the
appropriation necessary for the payment stipulated in the treaty of July
4. However this vote may have been regarded by the Government of the
United States, it is evident that by accepting (_accueillant_) the
promise of the King's Government to bring on a second deliberation
before the new legislature it had in fact postponed all discussion and
all recrimination on the subject of this first refusal until another
decision should have either repealed or confirmed it. This postponement
therefore sets aside for the time all difficulties arising either justly
or unjustly from the rejection of the treaty or from the delay by which
it had been preceded; and although the message begins by enumerating
them, I think proper, in order to confine myself to the matter in
question, only to reply to the imputations made on account of subsequent
occurrences.

The reproaches which President Jackson considers himself authorized to
address to France may be summed up in a few words. The King's Government
promised to present the treaty of July 4 again to the Chambers as soon
as they could be assembled. They were assembled on the 31st of July, and
the treaty has not yet been presented to them. Such is exactly the whole
substance of the President's argumentation, and nothing can be easier
than to refute it.

I may first observe that the assembling of the Chambers on the 31st of
July, in obedience to a legal prescription that they should be called
together within a stated period after a dissolution of the Chamber of
Deputies, was nothing more than a piece of formality, and if President
Jackson had attended to the internal mechanism of our administrative
system he would have been convinced that the session of 1835 could not
have really commenced at that session of 1834. Everyone knew beforehand
that after a fortnight spent in the forms of installation it would be
adjourned.

The President of the United States considers that the bill relative to
the American claims should have been presented to the Chamber within
that fortnight. I can not understand the propriety of this reproach. The
bill was explicitly announced in the speech from the throne on the very
day on which the Chambers met. This was all that was required to make
known the opinion and design of the Government, and to prevent that
species of moral proscription to which absolute silence would have given
authority. With regard to the mere act of presentation so long before
discussion could possibly take place, this proceeding would have been so
unusual and extraordinary that it might have increased the unfavorable
prepossessions of the public, already too numerous, without producing
any real advantage in return. Above all, the result which the President
had in view, of being able to announce the new vote of the Chamber of
Deputies in his message, would not have been attained.

President Jackson expresses his regrets that your solicitations
(_instances_) had not determined the King's Government to call the
Chambers together at an earlier day. How soon soever they may have been
called, the simplest calculation will serve to shew that the discussions
in our Chambers could not have been known in the United States at the
opening of Congress, and the President's regret is therefore unfounded.

Moreover, the same obstacles and the same administrative reasons which
rendered a real session impossible during the months of July or August
were almost equally opposed to its taking place before the last weeks
of the year. The head of a government like that of the United States
should be able to comprehend more clearly than anyone else those moral
impossibilities which arise from the fixed character of the principles
of a constitutional regime, and to see that in such a system the
administration is subject to constant and regular forms, from which
no special interest, however important, can authorize a deviation.

It is, then, evident that far from meriting the reproach of failing
to comply with its engagements, far from having deferred, either
voluntarily or from negligence, the accomplishment of its promises, the
King's Government, ever occupied in the design of fulfilling them, was
only arrested for a moment by insurmountable obstacles. This appears
from the explanations now given, and I must add that the greater part of
them have already been presented by M. Serurier to the Government of the
United States, which by its silence seemed to acknowledge their full
value.

It is worthy of remark that on the 1st of December, the day on which
President Jackson signed the message to Congress, and remarked with
severity that nearly a month was to elapse before the assembling of
the Chambers, they were in reality assembled in virtue of a royal
ordinance calling them together at a period earlier than that first
proposed. Their assemblage was not indeed immediately followed by the
presentment of the bill relative to the American claims, but you, sir,
know better than any other person the causes of this new delay. You
yourself requested us not to endanger the success of this important
affair by mingling its discussion with debates of a different nature,
as their mere coincidence might have the effect of bringing other
influences into play than those by which it should naturally be
governed. By this request, sir, you clearly shewed that you had with
your judicious spirit correctly appreciated the situation of things and
the means of advancing the cause which you were called to defend. And
permit me to add that the course which you have thought proper to adopt
on this point is the best justification of that which we ourselves have
for some months been pursuing in obedience to the necessities inherent
in our political organization, and in order to insure as far as lies in
our power the success of the new attempt which we were preparing to make
in the Chamber.

However this may be, the King's Government, freed from the internal
difficulties the force of which you have yourself so formally admitted,
was preparing to present the bill for giving sanction to the treaty of
July 4, when the strange message of December 1 came and obliged it again
to deliberate on the course which it should pursue.

The King's Government, though deeply wounded by imputations to which
I will not give a name, having demonstrated their purely gratuitous
character, still does not wish to retreat absolutely from a
determination already taken in a spirit of good faith and justice. How
great soever may be the difficulties caused by the provocation which
President Jackson has given, and by the irritation which it has produced
in the public mind, it will ask the Chambers for an appropriation of
twenty-five millions in order to meet the engagements of July 4; but at
the same time His Majesty has considered it due to his own dignity no
longer to leave his minister exposed to hear language so offensive to
France. M. Serurier will receive orders to return to France.

Such, sir, are the determinations of which I am charged immediately to
inform you, in order that you may make them known to the Government of
the United States and that you may yourself take those measures which
may seem to you to be the natural consequences of this communication.
The passports which you may desire are therefore at your disposition.

Accept, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.

DE RIGNY.

_Mr. Livingston to Mr. Forsyth_.

No. 72.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

_Paris, January 15, 1835_.

SIR: Having determined to send Mr. Brown, one of the gentlemen
attached to the legation, to Havre with my dispatches, I have just time
to add to them the copy of the note which I have sent to the Comte de
Rigny. The course indicated by it was adopted after the best reflections
I could give to the subject, and I hope will meet the approbation of
the President. My first impressions were that I ought to follow my
inclinations, demand my passports, and leave the Kingdom. This would at
once have freed me from a situation extremely painful and embarrassing;
but a closer attention convinced me that by so doing I should give to
the French Government the advantage they expect to derive from the
equivocal terms of their note, which, as occasions might serve, they
might represent as a suggestion only, leaving upon me the responsibility
of breaking up the diplomatic intercourse between the two countries if
I demanded my passports; or, if I did not, and they found the course
convenient, they might call it an order to depart which I had not
complied with. Baron Rothschild also called on me yesterday, saying that
he had conversed with the Comte de Rigny, who assured him that the note
was not intended as a notice to depart, and that he would be glad to see
me on the subject. I answered that I could have no verbal explanations
on the subject, to which he replied that he had suggested the writing
a note on the subject, but that the minister had declined any written
communication. Rothschild added that he had made an appointment with the
Comte de Rigny for 6 o'clock, and would see me again at night, and he
called to say that there had been a misunderstanding as to the time of
appointment, and that he had not seen Mr. de Rigny, but would see him
this morning. But in the meantime I determined on sending my note, not
only for the reasons contained in it, which appeared to me conclusive,
but because I found that the course was the correct one in diplomacy,
and that to ask for a passport merely because the Government near which
the minister was accredited had suggested it would be considered as
committing the dignity of his own; that the universal practice in such
cases was to wait the order to depart, and not by a voluntary demand
of passports exonerate the foreign Government from the odium and
responsibility of so violent a measure. My note will force them to take
their ground. If the answer is that they intended only a suggestion
which I may follow or not, as I choose, I will remain, but keep aloof
until I receive your directions. If, on the other hand, I am told
to depart, I will retire to Holland or England, and there wait the
President's orders. In either case the derangement will be extremely
expensive and my situation very disagreeable. The law was not presented
yesterday, but will be to-day, and I have been informed that it is to be
introduced by an expose throwing all the blame of the present state of
things on Mr. Serurier and me for not truly representing the opinions of
our respective Governments. They may treat their own minister as they
please, but they shall not, without exposure, presume to judge of my
conduct and make me the scapegoat for their sins. The truth is, they
are sadly embarrassed. If the law should be rejected, I should not be
surprised if they anticipated our reprisals by the seizure of our
vessels in port or the attack of our ships in the Mediterranean with a
superior force. I shall without delay inform Commodore Patterson of the
state of things, that he may be on his guard, having already sent him a
copy of the message.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

_Mr. Livingston to the Count de Rigny_.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

_Paris, January 14, 1835_.

His Excellency COUNT DE RIGNY, etc.:

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of
the United States of America, received late last night the note of His
Excellency the Count de Rigny, minister secretary of state for foreign
affairs, dated the 13th instant.

The undersigned sees with great surprise as well as regret that a
communication made by one branch of the Government of the United States
to another, not addressed to that of His Majesty the King of the French,
nor even communicated to it, is alleged as the motive for a measure
which not only increases actual subjects of irritation, but which
necessarily cuts off all the usual means of restoring harmony to two
nations who have the same interests, commercial and political, to unite
them, and none but factitious subjects for collision.

The grave matter in the body of his excellency's note demands and will
receive a full answer. It is to the concluding part that his attention
is now requested. The undersigned, after being informed that it is the
intention of His Majesty's Government to recall Mr. Serurier, is told
"that this information is given to the undersigned in order that he may
communicate it to his Government and in order that he may himself take
those measures which may appear to him the natural result of that
communication, and that in consequence thereof the passports which he
might require are at his disposition." This phrase may be considered as
an intimation of the course which, in the opinion of His Majesty's
Government, the undersigned ought to pursue as the natural result of Mr.
Serurier's recall, or it may be construed, as it seems to have been by
the public, into a direction by His Majesty's Government to the minister
of the United States to cease his functions and leave the country.

It is necessary in a matter involving such grave consequences that there
should be no misunderstanding, the two categories demanding a line of
conduct entirely different the one from the other.

In the first, he can take no directions or follow no suggestions
but those given by his own Government, which he has been sent here to
represent. The recall of the minister of France on the grounds alleged
could not have been anticipated. Of course no instructions have been
given to the undersigned on the subject, and he will not take upon
himself the responsibility which he would incur by a voluntary demand
of his passports, although made on the suggestion of His Majesty's
Government. If this be the sense of the passage in question, the duty
of the undersigned can not be mistaken. He will transmit the note of
His Excellency the Comte de Rigny to his Government and wait its
instructions. Widely different will be his conduct if he is informed
that the conclusion of the Comte de Rigny's note is intended as a
direction that he should quit the French territory. This he will without
delay comply with on being so informed and on receiving the passports
necessary for his protection until he shall leave the Kingdom.

Leaving the responsibility of this measure where it ought to rest, the
undersigned has the honor to renew to His Excellency the Comte de Rigny
the assurance, etc.

EDW'D LIVINGSTON.

_Mr. Livingston to Mr. Forsyth_.

No. 73.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

_Paris, January 16, 1935_.

Hon. J. FORSYTH, etc.

SIR: The wind being unfavorable, I hope that this letter may arrive in
time for the packet.

By the inclosed semiofficial paper you will see that a law has been
presented for effecting the payment of 25,000,000 francs capital to the
United States, for which the budgets of the six years next succeeding
this are affected, and with a condition annexed that our Government
shall have done nothing to affect the interests of France. It would seem
from this that they mean to pay nothing but the capital, and that only
in six years from this time; but as the law refers to the treaty for
execution of which it provides, I presume the intention of the ministry
can not be to make any change in it, and that the phraseology is in
conformity to their usual forms. At any rate, I shall, notwithstanding
the situation in which I am placed in relation to this Government,
endeavor to obtain some explanation on this point.

The packet of the 16th arrived, but to my great regret brought me no
dispatches, and having received none subsequent to your No. 43, and that
not giving me any indication of the conduct that would be expected from
me in the event of such measures as might have been expected on the
arrival of the President's message, I have been left altogether to the
guidance of my own sense of duty under circumstances of much difficulty.
I have endeavored to shape my course through them in such a way as to
maintain the dignity of my Government and preserve peace, and, if
possible, restore the good understanding that existed between the two
countries. From the view of the motives of the President's message
contained in the answer of the Globe to the article in the Intelligencer
I am happy in believing that the representations I have made to the
Comte de Rigny, as detailed in my No. 71, are those entertained by the
Government, and that I have not, in this at least, gone further than it
would have directed me to do had I been favored with your instructions.

I have no answer yet to my note to the Comte de Rigny, a copy of which
was sent by my last dispatch, nor can I form any new conjecture as to
the event.

The inclosed paper contains a notice that I had been received by the
King. This is unfounded, and shall be contradicted. I shall not in the
present state of things make my appearance at court, and only in cases
where it is indispensable have any communication with the minister.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient, humble
servant,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Livingston_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 13, 1835_.

EDWARD LIVINGSTON, Esq.

SIR: To relieve the anxiety expressed in your late communication to the
Department of State as to the course to be pursued in the event of the
rejection by the Chamber of Deputies of the law to appropriate funds
to carry into effect the treaty of 4th July, 1831, I am directed by
the President to inform you that if Congress shall adjourn without
prescribing some definite course of action, as soon as it is known here
that the law of appropriation has been again rejected by the French
Chamber a frigate will be immediately dispatched to Havre to bring you
back to the United States, with such instructions as the state of the
question may then render necessary and proper.

I am, sir, etc.,

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Livingston_.

No. 49.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 24, 1835_.

EDWARD LIVINGSTON, Esq.,

_Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary_.

SIR: Your dispatches to No. 73 have been received at the Department--No.
73 by yesterday's mail. Nos. 70, 71, 72 were delayed until this morning
by the mismanagement of the young man to whose care they were committed
by the captain of the packet _Sully_ in New York.

In the very unexpected and unpleasant position in which you have been
placed I am directed by the President to say to you that he approves of
your conduct as well becoming the representative of a Government ever
slow to manifest resentment and eager only to fulfill the obligations
of justice and good faith, but at the same time to inform you that he
should have felt no surprise and certainly would have expressed no
displeasure had you yielded to the impulse of national pride and at once
have quitted France, with the whole legation, on the receipt of the
Count de Rigny's note of the 13th of January. M. Serurier, having
received his orders, has terminated his ministerial career by the
transmission of a note, a copy of which and of all the correspondence
had with him is herewith inclosed. M. Pageot has been presented to me
as charged with the affairs of France on the recall of the minister.

The note of the Count de Rigny having no doubt, according to your
intention, received from you an appropriate reply, it is only necessary
for me now to say that the Count is entirely mistaken in supposing that
any explanations have been given here by M. Serurier of the causes that
have led to the disregard or postponement of the engagements entered
into by France after the rejection of the appropriation by the last
Chamber of Deputies, and of which he was the organ. No written
communication whatever has been made on the subject, and none verbally
made of sufficient importance to be recorded, a silence with regard to
which could have been justly the foundation of any inference that the
President was satisfied that the course of the French administration was
either reconcilable to the assurances given him or necessary to secure
a majority of the Chamber of Deputies.

The last note of M. Serurier will be the subject of separate
instructions, which will be immediately prepared and forwarded to you.

In the present position of our relations with France the President
directs that if the appropriation to execute the treaty shall be or
shall have been rejected by the French legislature, you forthwith quit
the territory of France, with all the legation, and return to the United
States by the ship of war which shall be in readiness at Havre to bring
you back to your own country. If the appropriation be made, you may
retire to England or Holland, leaving Mr. Barton in charge of affairs.
Notify the Department of the place selected as your temporary residence
and await further instructions.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Serurier to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State of the United States_.

SIR: I have just received orders from my Government which make it
necessary for me to demand of you an immediate audience. I therefore
request you to name the hour at which it will suit you to receive me at
the Department of State.

I have the honor to be, with great consideration, sir, your obedient,
humble servant,

SERURIER.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Serurier_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 23, 1835_.

M. SERURIER,

_Envoy Extraordinary, etc., of the King of the French_:

Official information having been received by the President of the recall
of Mr. Serurier by his Government, and the papers of the morning having
announced the arrival of a French sloop of war at New York for the
supposed object of carrying him from the United States, the undersigned,
Secretary of State of the United States, tenders to Mr. Serurier all
possible facilities in the power of this Government to afford to enable
him to comply speedily with the orders he may have received or may
receive.

The undersigned avails himself of the occasion to renew to Mr. Serurier
the assurance of his very great consideration.

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Serurier_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 23, 1835_.

The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, informs M.
Serurier, in reply to his note of this instant, demanding the indication
of an hour for an immediate audience, that he is ready to receive in
writing any communication the minister of France desires to have made
to the Government of the United States.

The undersigned has the honor to offer M. Serurier the assurances of his
very great consideration,

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Serurier to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: My object in asking you this morning to name the hour at which it
would suit you to receive me was in order that I might, in consequence
of my recall as minister of His Majesty near the United States, present
and accredit M. Pageot, the first secretary of this legation, as charge
d'affaires of the King. This presentation, which, according to usage, I
calculated on making in person, I have the honor, in compliance with the
desire expressed to me by you, to make in the form which you appear to
prefer.

I thank you, sir, for the facilities which you have been kind enough
to afford me in the note preceding that now answered, also of this
morning's date, and which crossed the letter in which I demanded an
interview.

I have the honor to renew to you, sir, the assurance of my high
consideration.

SERURIER.

WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1835_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate of the United States a report[13] of the
Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolutions of that body
passed on the 2d and 17th days of the present month, together with such
portion of the correspondence and instructions requested by the said
resolutions as could be transcribed within the time that has elapsed
since they were received and as can be communicated without prejudice
to the public interest.

ANDREW JACKSON.

[Footnote 13: Relating to the treaty of indemnity with Spain of
February 17, 1834.]

VETO MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1835_.

_To the Senate_:

I respectfully return to the Senate, where it originated, the "act to
authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to compromise the claims allowed
by the commissioners under the treaty with the King of the Two Sicilies,
concluded October 14, 1832," without my signature.

The act is, in my judgment, inconsistent with the division of powers
in the Constitution of the United States, as it is obviously founded on
the assumption that an act of Congress can give power to the Executive
or to the head of one of the Departments to negotiate with a foreign
government. The debt due by the King of the Two Sicilies will, after the
commissioners have made their decision, become the private vested
property of the citizens of the United States to whom it may be awarded.
Neither the Executive nor the Legislature can properly interfere with it
without their consent. With their consent the Executive has competent
authority to negotiate about it for them with a foreign government--an
authority Congress can not constitutionally abridge or increase.

ANDREW JACKSON.

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