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

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Franklin Pierce

March 4, 1853, to March 4, 1857

Franklin Pierce

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MARCH 4, 1853.


WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1853_.

_To the Senate_:

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

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

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

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


WASHINGTON, _March 21, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


EXECUTIVE CHAMBER, _March 25, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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



EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _March 23, 1853_.

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



WASHINGTON, _April 20, 1853_.

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

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

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

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





_Washington, April 20, 1853_.

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


_Washington, April 20, 1853_.

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

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

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


_Secretary of War_.

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

The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

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

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

By order:



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



_April 20, 1853_.

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

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

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


_Secretary of the Navy_.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _December 31, 1853_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


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

WASHINGTON CITY, _January 9, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

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


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

WASHINGTON, _January 19, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

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


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

WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

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


WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


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

WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

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


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

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _February 4, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _February 4, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1854_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

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


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

WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1854_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

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


WASHINGTON, _February 10th, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


WASHINGTON, _February 13, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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


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

WASHINGTON, _March 1, 1854_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

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

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